Friday, August 31, 2012

Colonial Bistro Cafe, Selegie Road

 After yet another long week, we decided to use one of our coupons - we bought a few as of late! A few were fully booked for a Friday so we decided to go for this place at Selegie (5 minutes from Little India MRT).

I refer to this voucher (thanks google cache!) for the $14.90 nett for 4-course European Deluxe - Greatly Prided For Ultra Luxe Cuisine. I'm not even sure what the last bit meant!

 I am embarrassed to say that we walked by this place without realising it was there -.- 

 Decor was plain and simple (though I think they had a fancy-ish room further inside) but we sat in the outer area facing the TV that was airing the news - sure. We were informed that the voucher was valid for the main courses listed in the voucher, as well as a mesclun salad, cream of mushroom and green tea.

Daymn, the salad and
mushroom advertised
on the coupon website
sure looks good!!!

{ Cream of mushroom and Mesclun Salad? }

 Sadly, what we got was not quite the same. Instead of a wild mushroom soups with herbs, we were given a Campbell's derivative - the thick and doughy mushroom-like soup you might be familiar with. And instead of greens with croutons, poached egg and cheese, we were given a small clump of mesclun salad. Granted, the citrus vinaigrette was actually pretty nice. And a nice glass of Yeo's green tea. Well that's three courses out of four!

{ Colonial Chicken }

 I opted for the $2 top up for the signature Colonial Chicken - half a spring chicken baked in some barbeque, caramel-y sauce. The chicken was not half-bad (.. heh) I have to say, but nothing quite spectacular. Just a little bit juicy, and mildly bland in the centre. The sauce tastes like it should go on pork ribs and not chicken. Small handful of chunky fries (according to the photo - 7 fries!) and a summer vegetables were overcooked.

{ Pan Seared Dory }

 So my pan-seared dory arrived and it wasn't the best-looking plate of fish I've seen. In fact I kind of struggled to take a photo of this because it was plated quite strangely - either they do not have smaller serving plates or there should be something else on this dish but they ran out! Anyway, this was a bit underwhelming. It even looked a bit..tired? lol. Average at best. I wasn't even completely full after this D:

 Besides the presentation disaster, I thought the dory tasted exceedingly mediocre and might even be a little tad fresh (odd aftertaste).

So yes, while $14.90 for a '4-course meal' was probably cheap, food was barely toeing the mediocre line. I'm not sure if you get served the same soup and salad if you ordered them ala carte, but regardless ... no.

Colonial Bistro Cafe
235 Selegie Road

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HGW Link (100% recommended at time of posting) :
Rating (out of 4) : 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar, Tanglin Post Office

 Bear has been craving a good hunk of a sandwich for some time and when I spotted an article in the paper featuring Reuben sandwiches here at Nassim Hill Bakery, we had to check it out.

Now we actually entered through the back entrance and up the service lift lol, and our first visual was this big ole door with a sign that confirmed we were at the right place.

 It was a warm Saturday evening - not that we needed an excuse for beer :) I had the Grimbergen blonde (probably the only place in SG that serves this Belgian beer?) which was very, very good! Very smooth and light, a bit fruity/sweet. Must say it's one of the nicer ales I've had.

 The set up concept is quite 'open' and there weren't many other diners that evening, which added to the sense of space. Perfect for chilling out / unwinding.

{ Hot Reuben ($16) }
sliced corned beef with melted emmenthel, saurkreut, onions and Russian dressing on signature Grimbergen Ambree beer bread

 Oh my daymn ... first impression - this thing looks WICKED. While it's clearly not close enough to New York Style in terms of volume (willing to bet you will not find them in Singapore) it had all the right ingredients - oozing cheese, saurkreut, onions, russian dressing, and that sweet sweet corned beef on rye. Even better - the rye is homemade with Grimbergen beer!

 Looks indeed, like a sandwich with STRENGTH. One bite and I am ... mm ... hmm ... hmmemmhm ... goodness. It's fairly close - while I wish the corned beef had more oomph (or actually just more corned beef) the overall sensation was nostalgic. Bread was top notch - delicious, flavourful and chewy, and the flavours ... they blend so perfectly.

{ Braised Meatballs with artisan bread basket ($22) }
served with chasseur sauce prepared with Grimbergen Ambree beer, veal jus, onions and mushrooms

 I was initially a tad disappointed by the lack of choice on the dinner menu, but realised that's actually probably a good thing. Settled for the meatballs and bread, which was actually the other item featured on the Straits Times article we saw. By golly, these are some serious meatballs!

 Each was about the size of my fist and are really packed with mince goodness, firm to the bite. Mm. And oh, the sauce.. so much flavour and richness (I guess from the beer!). I enjoyed fishing out the itty bits of mushroom. The sauce is just great for dunking the bread in - which I must add is really good as well! We were very close to ordering another basket just to soak up all that sauce :)

 Second the ultra-packed meatballs and ultra-goodness-gracious rich flavour of the sauce. It's like the richness of the boeuf bourguignon sauce, but doubley thick and with beer. And the bread was fantastic as well.

{ Apple crumble cake ($8) }
served warm with vanilla ice cream and crunchy granola

 After all the delicious savoury nosh, we needed something sweet to balance our meal. I really liked our choice of apple crumble cake: generous chunks of apple within a not-quite-pie-nor-cake and crunchy pieces of granola (which we should have fought over for, but didn't lol).

Was a (somewhat unexpectedly) lovely dinner and I really liked the beer - and hey, there's no GST nor service charge so prices are nett!

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar
Tanglin Post Office #01-03

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Facebook Page :
HGW Link (80% recommended at time of posting) :
Rating (out of 4) : 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mountbatten Room, British Club

I've been craving Beef Wellington off and on for a lonnggg time since I first saw it on Hell's Kitchen (Gordon Ramsey makes a mean wellington) and the one attempt we did was a little less than successful. The British Club is one of the few places (if not only) in Singapore which serves this hard-to-make dish, and even if you're not a member (or not even British) the restaurant is open  to you so long as you call to make a reservation.

 Located up Bukit Tinggi just off Dunearn Road, a car is pretty much required, else you cab up and down. Salivating at all the multi-million dollar mansions on the ride up is a good way to work up an appetite.

There's also a dress code: so no jeans, collarless shirts or flip flops! The poshness of the place clearly warrants said dress code. Seating space was fairly large and we were but the fourth table to be seated that evening - quiet lovely place with a nice view of the foresty swimming pool.

{ Amuse Bouche }
Asparagus cheese pastry with marinated salmon

 We weren't too hyped about the appetizers so we settled for two mains, a side of baby spinach and a dessert to share. Shortly after ordering, we were served an amuse bouche - light, salty and sweet sweet salmon. A little thimble of minty watermelon to cleanse it after.

{ Bread basket }
 Our attentive waiter soon came along with a basket of bread. We were pleased with the selection, which included dense and crunchy breadsticks and some kind of sesame bread-crisps. It took some effort on our parts not to stuff our faces silly with these. So moreish! The olive-sundried tomato paste was a great complement.

{ Green Peas and Mint Risotto ($28) }
fennel, parmesan cheese, vermouth and basil pesto
 Wasn't really up for a meat-heavy dish, so I settled for this vegetarian risotto and was not disappointed! The hint of mint gives an interesting twang along with the slight depth of the herbs and cheese. Fennel was crunchy and went nicely with the nicely cooked risotto and soft peas. I really liked this - to me this is a good illustration of tasty, wholesome 'rabbit' food :P

{ Beef Wellington ($48) }
goose liver, mushroom duxelles, seasonal vegetables, and Madeira veal jus
 Voila ... what I've been waiting for. After a generous dollop of unadulterated Colman's english mustard and a light dash of pepper from Ye Old Giant Pepper Grinder, the aroma from the veal jus started to become apparent. Strong, winey, rich and buttery, it's an amazing pairing with beef. And just look at that golden glaze on the pastry! Cross section time (pardon the overexposed photo, not the best lighting for photos).

 Lovely, lovely pink on the beef, generous duxelle over the top and bottom, and just a little more beef juice oozing out as you knife through it. Beef ultra soft and tender, and the combination of the crispy pastry, decadent foie gras / mushroom duxelle, Colman's mustard and not forgetting the rich jus is just ... ooOOO!

My only gripe was that the bottom of the pastry was not well cooked (still doughy) but I'm not sure if it's intended to be that way. I figured it'll be thick so the liquid from the beef and duxelle won't flow out and make the pastry soggy (like ours did), and also because it's at the bottom so might be harder to cook in the oven. Anyways, I finished everything. Oh. My. Dayum.

 We had a bit of a show to end our very lovely meal that night. A trolley was wheeled to about a metre from our table, and our waiter started preparing our dessert of crepe suzette.

{ Crepe Suzette with Orange Liqueur ($16) }
vanilla bean ice cream
 It was really interesting to watch how this was made - the flambe-ing was quite impressive (which is probably why they do it at some distance away from your table). I really do think that seeing how your food is made/assembled gives you better appreciation of not just how it looks, but how it tastes. And this looked and tasted pretty damn good! It's amazing how the sauce was reduced to such a thick, rich, sweet gloop from a whole lot of fresh orange juice and orange liqueur. If there is ever an orange heaven, it was in our mouths lol. Oh, and the vanilla bean ice cream just pairs so perfectly with the sweet crepes. You should have seen how we scraped at the plate to finish this.

 Holy ... that little bow tie of orange crepe sure tastes SO MUCH better than I expected. The combination of butter, caramelized sugar, orange juice and orange liqueur flambĂ©-d gave birth to this thick orange goop of pure joy. Sweet jesus.

 The Mountbatten Room is one of those places where I kinda wish people wouldn't find out about so that it remains our little secret-4-paws-rating restaurant.. but it's too good not to share! Food was great, service was immaculate. So there you have it folks. The British Club is where it's at.

Mountbatten Room @ The British Club
73 Bukit Tinggi Road (all the way up!)

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Main website :
HGW Link (100% recommended at time of posting [not sure if same place] -
Rating (out of 4) : 
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