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SUR | Nuevo Latino Kitchen

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Nuevo Latino is used to describe a new type of cuisine that blends ingredients from Latin America, Europe and the United States to create an exciting and original fusion. Sounds interesting, and off to SUR we went!

Arepitas - Rumbera and Reina Pepiada

Arepitas – Rumbera and Reina Pepiada

For our mini Arepitas, we chose the Rumbera (Pork Loin and Gouda Cheese) and the Reina Pepiada (Avocado and Chicken Salad). The corn arepita wasn’t too dense, was still rather light in terms of texture. Though we suspect that the corn cake had been deep fried, it wasn’t too oily to turn us off. In fact, we enjoyed the slight crisp to it and the taste of corn was well-balanced. The avocado and chicken salad was cold and refreshing with the tender chicken chunks and the mushy avocado. The pork loin was very tender and the semi-melted gouda cheese tied the entire arepita together, providing that additional gooey goodness and cheesiness.

Torta de Maiz

Torta de Maiz

The Torta de Maiz was a mushroom ragout, with twice-baked corn souffle and queso fresco. The corn souffle was very heavy in texture, it was more like a muffin and less of a souffle. The souffle exuded a subtle sweetness and fragrance. There was a generous serving of mushrooms! Earthly, savoury and well-seasoned – we enjoyed the mushroom ragout. The queso fresco, a traditional Mexican cheese, provided that extra kick in saltiness.

SUR|Nuevo Latino Kitchen
#01-01, 13 North Canal Road

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Written by foodphd

August 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Posted in American, Colombian, European

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Dozo Restaurant

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Dozo Restaurant has always been famous for its affordable degustation menu which offers courses of French, Japanese and European heritage.

Complimentary starter drinks

Complimentary starter drinks

Dozo’s 6-course lunch degustation meal started with a complimentary starter drink , meant to cleanse and awaken our taste buds. The drink was very icy and refreshing, a slight tinge of sourness just sufficient to tickle our taste buds.

Chef's Selection of Assorted Platter

Chef’s Selection of Assorted Platter

The Chef’s Selection of Assorted Platter consisted of 3 starters – foie gras on bread, scallop and smoked salmon. The foie gras was rich, fatty and easily disintegrated in our mouths. The bread was a good vehicle to soak up the savoury sauce. The scallop had a nice charred crust to it. It wasn’t over-cooked, still retaining a tender inner core. The smoked salmon, with its subtle characteristic saltiness, marked a good finish to the trio of starters.

Steam Fresh Bamboo Clam

Steam Fresh Bamboo Clam

Foie Gras Chawanmushi topped with Soil Garden

Foie Gras Chawanmushi topped with Soil Garden

Gratinated Escargots baked with Yuzu Butter

Gratinated Escargots baked with Yuzu Butter

The Steam Fresh Bamboo Clams were very fresh, with a bouncy bite to it. It came with a sauce reminiscent of the soya sauce based gravy in Chinese cuisine.

The Foie Gras Chawanmushi topped with Soil Garden was heavier and saltier compared to the typical chawanmushi, probably due to the addition of foie gras. The foie gras taste wasn’t outstanding, it came out more as a subtle savouriness in the background of the chawanmushi.

The Gratinated Escargots baked with Yuzu Butter was cheesy and buttery – perfect for the cheese lovers. The escargots were well-cooked, retaining the juiciness and bouncy texture.

Infusion of Cepes Mushroom with Truffle

Infusion of Cepes Mushroom

Bacon infused Pumpkin Veloute

Bacon infused Pumpkin Veloute

The Infusion of Cepes Mushroom with Truffle wasn’t as thick and viscous as we had hoped. In terms of taste, the earthly fragrance and taste of mushrooms stood out strongly and wasn’t all too milky. The little piece of black truffle was a little bland though.

One thing bad about the Bacon infused Pumpkin Veloute was that it turned cold too quickly due to the larger exposed surface area. Otherwise, the pumpkin veloute was rich and thick, packed of pumpkin goodness. Not overly milky nor salty, just a very straightfoward and rustic pumpkin soup.

Seafood Platter in Saffron Sauce

Seafood Platter in Saffron Sauce

Duck Confit with Orange Grain Mustard Sauce

Duck Confit with Orange Grain Mustard Sauce

Chef's Selection of Sushi Platter on Wasabi Mayo

Chef’s Selection of Sushi Platter on Wasabi Mayo

Seafood Platter in Saffron Sauce – every seafood lover’s favourite! The saffron gravy was packed with seafood flavours and it was just an absolute joy slurping every drop. The seafood platter consisted of mussels, clams, squid, scallop and baby lobster. The clams were a little fishy and seemingly not as fresh compared to the rest of the seafood. The baby lobster had a more chewy texture like crayfish and less of lobsters.

The Duck Confit with Orange Grain Mustard Sauce was very tender and the duck meat easily fell off the bone. The duck was a star on its own, with its succulent and juicy texture.

Chef’s Selection of Sushi Platter on Wasabi Mayo was probably the biggest disappointment of the meal. There wasn’t any wow factor in the sushi. Neither the vinaigrette rice nor toppings stood out. There wasn’t any outstanding and commendable flavours or textures and could easily pass of as a mediocre sushi dish from any Japanese restaurants.

Dozo's Freshly Baked Warm Chocolate Cake served with Ice Cream

Dozo’s Freshly Baked Warm Chocolate Cake served with Ice Cream

Milk Jelly with Black Sesame Ice Cream and Red Bean

Milk Jelly with Black Sesame Ice Cream and Red Bean

Japanese-style Red Bean Puff with Vanilla Ice Cream

Japanese-style Red Bean Puff with Vanilla Ice Cream

Dozo’s Freshly Baked Warm Chocolate Cake served with Ice Cream was definitely the best dessert to go for! It was a warm chocolate cake with little to fault, with the only downside being its petite size which left us craving for more. The chocolate casing wasn’t overly thick nor starchy – just light enough for us to break open to unveil the molten goodness.

Milk Jelly with Black Sesame Ice Cream and Red Bean – The milk jelly was like a replica of almond jelly. It was smooth, light and refreshing, without being overly milky. It was a good complement to the strong tasting black sesame ice cream.

The Japanese-style Red Bean Puff with Vanilla Ice Cream would probably not be too popular with those who dislike deep fried items. The red bean puff was deep fried and hence slightly oily. Biting into the puff revealed a semi-solid red bean filling. The red bean filling wasn’t as viscous as we had expected and was more towards being too fluid-like.

Dozo Restaurant
#02-02/03, Valley Point
491 River Valley Point

Written by foodphd

August 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Pasar Bella – A Farmers’ Market

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Pasar Bella

Pasar Bella

After months of anticipation, Pasar Bella has finally opened at The Grandstand! Spanning a total indoor area of around 30000 square feet, with more than 30 permanent and weekend traders, Pasar Bella is Singapore’s answer to the concept of farmers’ market found commonly in Europe and USA.

The most important to remember before heading to Pasar Bella is to go with an empty stomach, as 90% of the stalls sells food, drinks or fresh produce.

Le Patio

Le Patio

Le Patio

Le Patio

Nutella Crepe

Nutella Crepe

We were enticed by the enormous tube of Nutella on the counters of Le Patio and promptly ordered the Nutella Crepe ($3.50). We were slightly disappointed with the crepe. The crepe itself was bland and seemingly just a doughy mixture. The Nutella wasn’t sufficient enough to satisfy us. On the whole, the Nutella crepe was pretty amateurish and underwhelming.

Nibbles by Rabbit Carrot Gun

Nibbles by Rabbit Carrot Gun

Scone

Scone

Our next stop was Nibbles by Rabbit Carrot Gun. Touted to be the stall that sells authentic British snacks, Nibbles sells quiches, pies, cakes and most importantly, scones! Priced at $4.50 each, the scone was pretty expensive. Unfortunately, the standard didn’t match up to the price. The scone was tasteless, floury and lacking in aroma. The inner core was clumpy and a little damp – making the scone pretty heavy and hard to swallow.

Huber's Deli

Huber’s Deli

Huber's Deli

Huber’s Deli

Chicken Cheese

Chicken Cheese

Perhaps one of the more popular stalls was Huber’s Deli, evident from the number of people carrying the Huber’s Deli takeaway boxes. Coupled with the fact that Huber Deli’s hotdogs were grilled on the spot, it is no wonder many visitors were enthralled by the aroma and looks of the hotdogs. We ordered the Chicken Cheese ($7.80), with pickles, gruyere cheese, parsley, spices and sauce. The cheese was slightly charred; though the cheese wasn’t particularly salty or strong in flavours, the spices atop the cheese did add some extra flavour to it. We felt that the cheese could have been a little more melted, which would then provide this extra gooeyness. There was also cheese inside the hotdog, which was like the extra burst of surprise. The hotdog was, as usual, of high standards from Huber’s Deli. Authentically meaty and juicy! In addition, the bread had been toasted and hence exuded a fragrance crisp. Thankfully, Huber’s Deli didn’t disappoint!

Dutch Colony Coffee Co.

Dutch Colony Coffee Co.

Seasalt Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Seasalt Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Our final conquer of the day was the Seasalt Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake ($5.50) from Frootkeyk, which is sold at the Dutch Colony Coffee Co. We especially enjoyed the peanut butter as it provided that salty, nutty fragrance to the cake. The peanut butter also increased the moistness of the cake. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate can never go wrong.

Pasar Bella
200 Turf Club Road
Bukit Timah

Written by foodphd

May 14, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Morsels

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Morsels

Morsels

Morsels literally means a small piece of food, reflecting on the owners’ style of offering small sharing dishes to be shared with friends. Everything at Morsels is painstakingly made from scratch. There’s no particular well-defined cuisine, thus allowing the owners to fully exhibit their creativity.

Morsels

Morsels

Like many other new bistros, Morsels adopted an open kitchen concept. We were seated at the bar stools by the hot open kitchen, and was really witnessing the entire cooking and serving process.

Hokkaido scallop ceviche, plums, tobiko, cilantro, red onion, homemade tortilla chips

Hokkaido scallop ceviche, plums, tobiko, cilantro, red onion, homemade tortilla chips

Hokkaido scallop ceviche, plums, tobiko, cilantro, red onion, homemade tortilla chips ($17) – This was our first attempt trying ceviche. Ceviche is essentially a seafood dish consisting of thin slices of raw fish/prawns/scallops marinated in acidic citrus juices. The citrus acid cooks the seafood, altering the structure of the proteins, making it more opaque and firmer, almost like it has been cooked with heat. We didn’t quite appreciate the ceviche. No doubt there were multi layers of taste (sour tomatoes, tangy plums and the sweet red onions) and the tobiko with its characteristics exploding bursts, we couldn’t quite accept that queer raw taste of scallops. We have definitely tried scallop sashimi before, but the scallop ceviche exuded a lingering raw seafood taste which didn’t go well with us. Instead, we preferred the tortilla chips – crispy, fragrant, without being overly oily.

Grilled octopus, squid ink risotto, salted egg yolk sauce, tobiko, wasabi sprouts

Grilled octopus, squid ink risotto, salted egg yolk sauce, tobiko, wasabi sprouts

We did however enjoy the Grilled octopus, squid ink risotto, salted egg yolk sauce, tobiko, wasabi sprouts ($26). The texture of the risotto was well grasped. Individual rice grains had a slight crunch, with the risotto coming together as a sticky, thick concoction. There wasn’t an overpowering taste of squid ink though. We found the addition of the salted egg yolk sauce creative, but the effects weren’t as strong as we imagined. The egg yolk sauce was grainy, with the taste of butter/milk somehow overshadowing the savouriness from the salted egg yolk. The grilled slices of octopus were the stars of this dish. It had a smoky taste, while still retaining the sweetness. While the outer parts of the squid were slightly charred, the octopus itself was towards the soft side, almost losing the typical chewiness of octopus.

Morsels
35 Mayo Street

Written by foodphd

March 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Carpenter and Cook

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Carpenter and Cook

Carpenter and Cook

Carpenter and Cook, as the name goes, is a vintage home store and artisan bakery cafe. That would mean while you savour your high tea delights, you are also welcomed to purchase any of the antique home accessories in the cafe!

Carpenter and Cook

Carpenter and Cook

Carpenter and Cook

Carpenter and Cook

We were blown away by the wide variety of cakes and pastries! We were spoilt for choice as everything looked appetizingly tempting. But we finally settled for a savoury and a sweet treat.

Caramel Walnut Cheesecake

Caramel Walnut Cheesecake

The Caramel Walnut Cheesecake ($7) was sticky, mushy and moist. The cheese taste was on the mild side, not all that evident. The walnuts were fresh and crunchy, no doubt slightly bitter. The gooey and sticky caramel was an additional twist to the otherwise mediocre cheesecake.

Cook's Amazing Quiche

Cook’s Amazing Quiche

The Cook’s Amazing Quiche ($7) consisted mainly of mushrooms and red pepper. The mushrooms exuded the taste and aroma of earthly freshness. The red peppers provided that extra spicy tinge and the entire quiche was held together by the egg custard. We also enjoyed the crunchy pastry crust of the quiche. On the whole, this has got to be one of the better quiches we have tried.

Carpenter and Cook
#01-06, 19 Lorong Kilat

Written by foodphd

March 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm

The Lawn Grill and Salad Cafe – Meat your Greens!

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Riding on the notion of healthier eating habits, salad cafes and bars have been popping out all over Singapore, particularly in the region with the highest density of office workers – with the aim of targeting the busy lunch crowd where office workers are more than happy to grab a simple quick lunch, not to mention a healthier and less palate-heavy alternative.

The Lawn

The Lawn

Nestled in the research town of Singapore aka Biopolis, is 15-months-old The Lawn. The Lawn prides itself on its unique and home-made from scratch using fresh ingredients dressings. In addition, to cater to the meat lovers while still advocating a green diet, The Lawn combines their fresh mesclun with tantalizing premium grills!

The Lawn

The Lawn

The Lawn currently offers only 1 serving size at $9.90, consisting of the basic mesclun salad (Romaine lettuce, arugula, cabbage and spinach), 5 toppings, 1 grill item and salad dressing of your choice.

Toppings

Toppings

The selection of 20+ toppings included nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, crushed peanuts), cheese (parmesan and cheddar), raisins, corns, olives, fusilli pasta and other vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, celery and alfafa sprouts. Once you have made your 5 choices, you move on to the grill!

The Grill!

The Grill!

At the grill, you can choose your protein selection – prawns, chicken, fish, duck, beef or mushrooms, marinated in different ways. And finally, you get to decide on your salad dressing!

Salad Dressing

Salad Dressings (left to right, from top left corner: wasahonie, beachy peachy, manly mango, red island, me so spicy, citrus, maple peanut, honey ball and sesame ginger)

9 different salad dressings! All concocted from scratch using fresh ingredients! Unique flavours for everyone! And finally, we have our customized salad bowl!

Customized Salad Bowl!

Customized Salad Bowl!

Our 5 toppings consisted of almonds, cashews, cheddar, raisins and croutons. The nuts and croutons provided the extra crunch and fragrance. The raisins were pockets of sweetness and the cheddar cheese added that lingering savouriness to the salad. As this was an invited food review, we had the opportunity to try all 9 different sauces.

Our top favourites were the me so spicy, wasahonie, maple peanut, honey ball and citrus. Our number one choice was the me so spicy. The dressing won us over with its spicy and sour tom-yum like flavour. It was also comparatively more viscous than the rest of the dressings. Thick, rich and savoury – it added considerable flavours to the otherwise bland mesclun. The wasahonie was a fusion between wasabi, honey and a tinge of mayo. The honey brought down the pungent spiciness from the wasabi, making it more acceptable to the palate. We enjoyed that little swing between sweetness and the characteristic spicy kick from wasabi. The maple peanut and honey ball were suitable for those with the sweet tooth. The maple peanut, in particular, exuded the fragrance and saltiness evident of peanut butter – a definite hit for nut lovers. On the other hand, the citrus was a lighter and more refreshing dressing, with a sour and mouth watering flavour.

Typically, each salad bowl came with 1 grill serving. But we had the lucky opportunity to try 5 of their grill offerings!

Mojo Chicken

MOJO Chicken

Portobello Mushroom

Portobello Mushroom

Grilled Chicken breast with Maple infusion

Grilled Chicken breast with Maple infusion

Char-grilled Garlic Prawns

Char-grilled Garlic Prawns

Butter Seared Pacific Dory with Parsley Rub

Butter Seared Pacific Dory with Parsley Rub

*Note: As this was an invited food review, the portions of the grilled items may differ slightly from typical orders.

The MOJO Chicken was marinated with Italian herbs and cumin powder, exuding a faint herb fragrance. The chicken meat was tender and succulent, nicely grilled. The Grilled Chicken breast with Maple infusion was slightly sweeter. Both grilled chicken items weren’t overly impressive, but were still decently prepared to satisfaction.

The Char-grilled Garlic Prawns was the one that won us over! The prawns were fresh, juicy, crunchy and very thoroughly seasoned. It was the most flavourful and savoury grilled item that we tried. The strong tasting prawns were simply addictive.

The Butter Seared Pacific Dory with Parsley Rub was very fresh and flaky. The grilling created the slightly charred and crispy outer crust on the fish, which was a good contrast to the inner soft and flaky fillet. Nicely rubbed with black pepper and parsley, this fillet was also another of our favourites.

Finally, the non-meat grilled item was the Portobello Mushrooms. The juicy mushrooms were stuffed with minced garlic, which kinda covered up the earthly taste of the mushrooms. This would definitely hit a sweet spot with garlic lovers as the taste of garlic was quite overwhelmingly rich.

Cream of Mushroom

Cream of Mushroom

Besides salads, The Lawn offers soups as well. And the Friday soup of the day was the Cream of Mushroom. The Cream of Mushroom was very rich, thick and had a grainy texture that we enjoyed. It was a slight downside as we felt that the milky taste was a tad too much. But it was still a decent Cream of Mushroom – fresh and not from the can!

On the whole, we were quite impressed with The Lawn’s offerings, in particular the freshly made dressings and the grilled items. The serving size was also very value for money. Who says salads are only for herbivores? The Lawn’s unique pairing of grill and salad is just the right thing for the carnivore in you.

*Note this is an invited food review.

The Lawn Grill and Salad Cafe
#01-07, Nanos
31 Biopolis Way

Written by foodphd

February 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Rider’s Cafe

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Located deep in the lush greenery in the deep ends of Bukit Timah is Rider’s Cafe.

Death by Chocolate Cake

Death by Chocolate Cake

The Death by Chocolate Cake could not have a better name. We were blown away when the cake was placed in front of us. The generous and overwhelming serving of thick chocolate sauce made the entire cake moist and chocolately. The sponge portions were dense and rich. There were also layers of fudge covering the sponge. The fudge was sticky and gooey, full of chocolate goodness. Taste wise, the cake wasn’t overly sweet, retaining a slightly bitter sweetness. As the vanilla ice cream melted into the bed of chocolate sauce, every mouthful of cake was really death by chocolate.

Rider’s Cafe
51 Fairways Drive

Written by foodphd

January 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm