Sunday, 8 March 2015

Dinner at Ristorante Da Valentino

Decided to visit Ristorante di Valentino, an Italian restaurant at the Turf Club for dinner . Before ordering, the chef came out to talk to us, which I felt was very hospitable because most chefs do not come out to talk to their guests and opportunity for feedback on their food is missed. Thus, most of them will not know how their guests think of their food.  Even though guests will initially give a general answer about the food, after a while, the chef builds rapport with the guests and they will not be afraid to give their true opinions of the food so that the chef can improve.

So when Valentino’s chef striked up a conversation with me, I told him I was a  food consultant. He then offered to cook dishes he felt that was more special and weren’t on the menu.  Firstly, he introduced us to a dish he grew up eating, cooked by his mother, pig knuckles. They are stewed until very soft and tender.

Next, I tried the lamb. It has been grilled, and is different from Morton’s as I mentioned in my previous post. Morton’s has three layers- crispy skin, tender meat and a bit of fat. However this lamb only has two textures. The lobster pasta I would highly recommend as the flavours are very special, but it’s a pity that this dish is not available all the time. I also tried the Parma ham with melon. It wasn’t too salty and complimented the melon well, overall a delicious dish.

If you go to this restaurant, a must try is the tiramisu! I rate it a 9/10, as it is definitely homemade and not ordered from elsewhere. The taste is very authentic.

I highly recommend this restaurant as the food is delicious, the prices are average and the service is excellent!

Ciabatta Bread $6.50

Parma ham with melon $27.90

Pig knuckles  $45.90

Lobster spaghetti  $62.90

Lamb chops $56.70

Lava Vanilla $18.80

Tiramisu  $14.80

Friday, 6 March 2015

Dinner at Morton's the steakhouse

Second time at Mandarin Oriental’s Morton steakhouse- Been craving for their lamb chops and soufflés! I gym everyday, so I give myself a very good excuse to eat a lot of red meat. The lamb chops at Morton’s are very thick, and when you take a bite into it there are three textures- the top is crisp, the middle is very juicy and the last layer consists of a little bit of fat which is very difficult to do. I have tried many restaurants’ lamb chops, and they only have two layers of textures. Morton’s uses high quality lamb meat, different from other restaurants where there is too much fat. This is why I have wanted to go back for so long!

They provide gravy for the lamb chop, but I prefer to just sprinkle some black pepper on top and dig in.

The second recommendation is the soufflé. I have travelled around and tried many soufflés, but I have never tasted anything like Morton’s, which is very soft and fluffy. It takes a lot of trial and error to get such a delicious tasting soufflé. I had the raspberry soufflé which was very delicious.

The prices at Morton’s are quite high, however their serving size can be shared between two people (lobster bisque and lamb chop). The lamb chops are very filling. I had the sea bass as well, which was very fresh but nothing spectacular.

The ambience and service at Morton’s are excellent. They are very detailed in their service and the ingredients used in the food is superb and of good quality. It is very difficult to find lamb chops and soufflés at this standard anywhere else. Highly recommended!

Double-Cut Rib Lamb Chops $104 

1/2 dozen oysters on the half-shell $38 

Chilean Sea Bass $77

Lobster Bisque  $36

Raspberry soufflé $18.50 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Dinner at Shang Palace

This is my very first time going to Shangri La ‘s Shang Palace for dinner. It is a Chinese style restaurant and I was really looking forward to this meal! However I was quite disappointed because their dishes were average, nothing special. To be honest the ingredients were all very fresh, but I felt that the chef did not put his heart and soul into putting the ingredients together to elevate the food. Especially the ‘Crispy Fried Fish’, topped with spring onion and leek gravy- the fish was definitely fresh but it was a waste in a way that the cooking method did not do justice to it. It was deep fried, so I could not taste the freshness of the fish, which is supposed to be the hero of the dish. The vegetables dish introduced to me was quite oily as well- all the vegetable dishes are fried thus it could be better if they used stock or soup base to cook the vegetables to bring the flavors out more.  

I love soup, so I ordered the Carrot and Pork Rib soup. The soup was so fragrant and full of ingredients; it was a pleasure to my palette. I am sure they must have brewed the soup for quite some time as they managed to achieve this taste without adding MSG.

The next dish is Barbecue Honey Kurobuta Pork, the cooking method is similar to that of pork ribs, and is definitely worth a try! I was also introduced to a Shang Palace Crispy Chicken dish. It is very difficult in Singapore to taste a dish, which actually has a genuine chicken flavor. The chef has to be really skilled to make the chicken skin crisp and the meat tender. A really good chicken dish I had was in Ting Heng Restaurant, and this dish at Shang Palace cannot really compare to that of Ting Heng restaurant.

Lastly, the desserts I tried were Mango Sago Pomelo and Avocado, sago with Ice-Cream. There wasn’t anything special about the desserts, however they added strawberry to the mango. This overshadowed the taste of the mango and made the dessert quite sour. The other dessert was avocado sago with ice cream, which I felt was so-so only.

Overall, I feel that the chef should put more heart into cooking the dishes. Giving that the restaurant is quite pricey, and the standard of food is not up to par, I feel like this is not a place worth going to as the food is quite average.

Green carrot, red carrot and pork ribs broth 

Crispy fried sea perch top with spring onion and leek gravy 

Shang Palace crispy chicken 

Barbecue honey Kurobuta pork 

Mango Sago Pomelo 

Cream avocado, sago with Ice-Cream 

My 2015 fashion