Saturday, January 23, 2016

Teppanyaki (Wisma Food Hall Singapore) 01/2016

Around Orchard Rd/Patterson Rd/Scotts Rd there are huge department stores not only four or five floors above ground level but also a couple of levels below. They are connected by long broad passages lined with elegant shops of every type. Scattered among them are cake shops, bread shops and cafe/restaurants. The department stores have areas occupied by every fashion name you can think of and more. Singapore may be all about food and fashion but it is amazing that they survive. 
Food Republic is like a hawkers market with ethnic S/E Asian food of every kind. After a sophisticated Japanese meal at Gion we thought we'd try a Japanese meal here. Teppanyaki is adjacent to a famous dumpling restaurant (Din Tae Feng) and a sushi restaurant. 
It's fast turnover at very reasonable prices. We tried two set menus.

Within seconds a very peppery stir fry salad was served up followed moments later by a bowl of miso, a bowl of rice and a main course pork for one and beef 

for the other set menu. Both dishes were dominated by pepper and lacked any hint of delicacy.
A small John Dory fillet and a couple of prawns, shrimps really!, followed quickly. 

Prawns and fish cooking. Hard to stop things being over cooked.

The whole meal was over in about 10 minutes
Crockery ready for service.
 Comments: Sandra thought this was the worst meal she could ever remember. The best thing about it was an iced lemon tea!
The miso was just OK and the rest food of no quality. I did not feel quite so strongly but I would not recommend it. You can do a lot better for $17.
Score: 12.25/20

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gion Dining (Singapore) 01/2016

Chef Sin Shi Ping.
This is a hallal Japanese restaurant attached to but a separate business from the Royal Plaza on Scotts. As such they do not serve any alcohol. Although I have developed a liking for sake I must say I did not miss it tonight.
This is a quiet restaurant though one noisy table can destroy the atmosphere at any time.
with well spaced large tables mostly in open cubicles. 
The staff from the manager, 

down, are brimming with a desire to be helpful.
Decor is simple.

They were not always alcohol free. This cabinet used to hold their wines.

They have both set dishes and an a la carte menu on an ipad. 
The accurately photographed dishes are named showing their price and can be ordered with the tap of key.Looking for variety we chose a selection of dishes
We started with a small bowl of very tasty custard.
 Delicate and quite delicious.
 Scallop sashimi sliced  thicker than usual I did not care for the texture of the tuna but the scallop was lovely
 Codfish with mayonnaise, a superb dish 
 Fried tofu, out of this world 
 Garlic rice - something new to us, an excellent version of fried rice
 Miso soup
 Beef cooked in butter. Brought to the table just cooked with the sweetish onion sauce still boiling, Another slightly sweet sauce that matched the meat perfectly.
 The most delicate eggplant you could ever want.
Tempura prawns in a super crisp batter.
Everything we ate was excellent. All the dishes with sauces were characterised by sweetness but this was not dominating but rather a supplement that made the dishes all the better. 
Score 15.5/20

Monday, January 18, 2016

Imperial Treasure (Singapore) 01/2016

Renowned for one dish above all others, Peking Duck, this restaurant provides dining in a formal area 

in the restaurant and also in a less formal open area outside the main dining area. 

We were happy to be in the less crowded and quite comfortable outside area. Tables are equally spacious, 
and service efficient but patient with our queries.
We started  with a maw soup and winter melon. This was only the second time we have had a maw soup and this was totally different to the last occasion. 

I enjoyed this looser version but preferred the one I had at Golden Dragon Palace, in Australia.
Peking duck was served exactly as it is served at Quanjude, that wonderful chain of Chinese Peking Duck restaurants which can also be enjoyed in Melbourne.
The roasted glazed duck is expertly carved by skilled chefs,
Served with slightly smaller and thicker pancakes than I would have liked 

the duck itself was magnificent, not quite as fatty as the Australian ducks, it was tender and tasty, served with the usual accoutrements.

For a little variation we also had a dish of braised greens- pea shoots in a light garlic sauce. A little like a firmer spinach.
A very very good meal.
Score: 16/20

Jaan (Singapore) 01/2016

This restaurant on the 70th floor of the SwissHotel sets out to provide diners with an exquisite experience in a magnificent setting. The charm offensive begins before you get to the entrance of the venue.

Views of the city as you approach the restaurant entrance.
A display of Krug

The majority of the 11 spacious and uncluttered tables,
are around the windows overlooking a fantastic view of Singapore.  An odd feature of the decor is two chandeliers extending the length of the room. 
Tables are large and there is good space around them. Waiters are very well presented. There is no doubt it is going to be expensive. They have a cancellation policy to deter patrons from failing to arrive or cancelling late. They also have a dress code. Gentlemen must not have short sleeves or open shoes and ladies are expected to dress smartly.

Food is modern French using molecular techniques and the freshest of produce. It is served with a little theatre too..
We were offered several small delights before our ten course 'surprise' meal began.  First came a series of Chef's offerings.
Rather than trying to describe each dish on the menu I will name them and largely comment at the end. You could never guess what they were.

Olive sable, aged Cheddar
Waghu beef tartar wrapped in kolrhabi and 'fish and chips'
Foie gras and truffle macaroon - outstanding.

Charlotte potato, truffle bouillion. Another truly outstanding dish.
Fine butter and salt came with a variety of breads.

The menu, which they gave us before we left, promised langoustine cannelloni with Oscietra caviar but we were actually served a very pretty plate of mullet.
Farmers Harvest was a collection of vegetables including Heirloom tomato, and tiny fresh lightly cooked vegetables including a Chinese artichoke, distinguished by its Michelin man shape but very little taste.  An exceptionally pretty dish full of textural and taste variation.
Followed by another dish, purple artichoke, chorizo iberica, buckwheat, which accompanied the soft organic hen's egg which had been cooked sous vide.

After the smoke settled this was slid int a bowl with a garlic foam, and artichoke chips resting on smoking straw.

A bit of fun
Confit Rainbow trout, organic chicken, lemon, quinoa.
Way to go yet.
Line caught Kinmedai, carrot collection, sesame.
Confit Wagyu beef, coarse polenta, corn
Sous vide for 36 hours at 53 degrees. The short rib meat was as tender as could be but had lost the texture that makes meat soo delicious.
A cheese selection a small range of soft and semi soft goats cheeses were excellent.

A fennel sorbet palette cleanser
Ivory caramel chocolate

A blood orange sorbet.
And a final offering of petit fours.
Service was impeccable and the chef visited our table and discussed several subjects that interested us including how he designs new dishes and the place of umami. 
This was a beautifully presented meal which, somehow failed to be completely satisfying. Dishes were often too bland and did not make a special impression. Whilst the elements of an excellent meal were all there, despite the bit of theatre, they were largely unexciting. With a total of one glass of champagne and two glasses of wine the bill of a touch over $900 was also excessive, to say the least of it.
Score:Perhaps, taking everything into consideration 17/20