Monday, July 28, 2014

Steak Alert at La Barca at Goodman Art Centre

If u are looking for a super private place to enjoy a yummy steak dinner, this is it!

Even on the eve of a public holiday, the restaurant was 30% filled, which is excellent for recluses like me. Ambience is dapper with airy white interiors studded with dark wood undertones, shiny cutlery, funky water glasses and freshly pressed napkins. 

To start the evening, we were served with a warm bread basket filled with interesting creations. My favorite is an glazed orangy tau sar piah looking one (sorry u can't see it.. It's hidden behind) which goes really well with lashings of butter. 

Steak (1.2kg) is juicy and comes medium rare from the onset. Served with a flourish after being meticulously sliced by the chef himself. The potato wedges tucked at the side of the dish are good! We also ordered spinach and mashed potato, which, on hindsight were totally redundant. 

Steak was tender and juicy, charred in all the right areas. We were also given a hot stone to sizzle the beef if additional "doneness" was desired. 

As I'm not a meat fanatic we also ordered other dishes to share, comprising 3 other starters (pumpkin asparagus salad, baked eggplant, lobster bisque) and 2 mains (squid ink risotto and beef lasagne). 

All the dishes were well executed and more-ish in portion. After awhile, the risotto started to resemble and taste like  buah keluak rice. My Peranakan alter ego must have been hallucinating. 

Desserts look interesting. A good friend ordered orange creme brûlée for dessert. She really likes the version here and gave two thumbs up. I wanted to steal a bite but was really too stuffed. Maybe next time. 

Some expat kids were playing with the soccer machine outside the restaurant. As we were making our exit, we spotted the cutest little 10 week old pug in town with a baffling name- "Darth Vadar". 

This is not some random cze char place to bring Tom dick or Harry. Prices are toppish but quality is guaranteed. Strictly reserved for special occasions with special people.  ;) 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hoshino coffee @ plaza singapura

Always wanted to try Hoshino, having read superb reviews on their pancake toasts.

Having been forewarned of bad service, I thought I was mentally prepared but this was really worse than expected. 

There was only 1 waiter serving our whole section of 10 tables. He was a sour faced bespectacled old man immaculately decked in smart western waiter outfit.  While his English was impeccable, he was also prone to impatient outbursts especially when we clarified on credit card promotions and took too long to make our order. Water took ages to refill and we had to help ourselves in the end. 

What really irked me was how attentive the other staff suddenly became from the time our food arrived right up till the time we settled the bill. They were probably eager to close and couldn't wait to shoo us out. All our food arrived in a quick succession even though I had ordered a starter (soup), main (pasta) and dessert. It was a miserable sight watching my ice cream melt and my pancake toast turn soggy as I tried to quickly gulp down my soup and pasta. 

To add salt to the wound, multiple persons kept checking our order chit, repeatedly informing us that our orders had arrived.

For the record, the hoshino pasta (with bacon, soft boiled egg and shimejj mushroom) was nice but nothing to rave about. Miam miam serves an identical version, if not better.

Dessert was a hit and miss. The chocolate banana pancake toast (with vanilla softee) turned out to be disappointing with a strange bitterness within the batter. 

Faring better was the French toast whose  pillowy soft bread was well complemented by a dollop of whipped cream and lashings of maple syrup.

Don't recommend visiting this place unless u are into Japanese food photography and maybe, coffee. 

Basil @ Kallang Wave

wanted to name this post "the day Mee Siam Mai hum" coz this dining experience involves a chance encounter with our PM who happened to be walking past (with his entourage). But since food takes centre stage in this blog, let's move on to the yummy stuff instead.

First and and foremost, if u are reading this post and haven't yet made a trip to the retail wing of Singapore sports hub (love the name- "Kallang Wave"), get your butt cracking and do so now while it is still relatively uncrowded. Once word gets out, there's no way you can enjoy the beautiful and pristine surroundings in peace, much less take a contemplative evening walk along the glistening promenade.  

Local fare features prominently here with a slew hawker style offerings ranging from porridge (Aone) to bryani ( Bryani house), bak kut teh and kopi/kata toast (Old Town coffee). 

Fresh from collecting our World Cup winnings from Singapore pools, hubby and I decided to give ourselves a treat and settled on a chic looking Thai restaurant for dinner (Basil by Thai express). 

It was their first day of opening and there was a nervous anticipation in the air. Thankfully the staff pulled it together and made this one hawt dining experience I will not forget. 

The stage was set with this harmless looking Thai beef salad that contained more beef than leaves. Not a bad thing and v tasty too- except that the beef was waaay too spicy for our threshold. Our eyes watered, we croaked for more ice water and our tongues were so stung with spice that we couldn't really savor the subsequent dishes. Which was quite a pity. 

Drinks: I had a delicious lime Mojito (80% ice and 20% water.. Help! I need more water) while hubby had yummy Thai ice tea.

Since the restaurant is called basil, the interior was appropriately decorated with.. basil (naturally)

This is their logo.. I think it's quite well done.

When the other appetizers starting making an appearance, we prayed for some respite. Unfortunately this rice cracker dish with prawn and lemon grass proved similarly spicy. Thank God for the chilled vegetable sticks (wing bean, carrot, long beans, cucumber and cabbage) which provided momentary relief. 

Chicken wings were nice and crispy but nothing more. Or perhaps it was because we had partially lost our sense of taste by then. 

Green curry chicken for 2. For once this wasn't too spicy. The gravy is watery but palatable nonetheless. Order rotis for dipping. Kids will love it.

Pineapple rice was scrumptious. In fact, one of the best versions I've tried so far. Piping hot and perfectly speckled with bits of pineapple, cashews, prawn and raisins. Heaven. 

There's so much to see and do after dinner. We did a spot of grocery shopping at fair price/ guardian and gawked at rock climbers dangling precariously on walls housed within the mall's premises. Before leaving, we took a quick walk along the stunning promenade ("paktor" alert!) and snapped some shots of the main sports stadium.

Isn't the view beautiful?

For a comprehensive listing of shops pls click the link below: 

Overall a great place for all ages to hang out. Getting there with public transport may be quite troublesome though. 


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