Ph.Ds of FOOD

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Posts Tagged ‘pasta

The Providore

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Lobster Mac & Cheese

Lobster Mac & Cheese

1st look at The Providore’s Lobster Mac & Cheese ($22.50) and we immediately knew that it would not be up to our expectations. There was just a serious lack of cheese in the dish. And true enough, The Providore’s version of the American comfort food was on the creamy side and seriously lacked a good punch of cheesiness. The sauce was also too liquid-like. It would have been better if the sauce was thicker and more viscous, with the cheese binding the macaroni pieces together. In this case, it seemed like the macaroni was just mixed into the cream sauce. Macaroni wise, it was cooked al-dente. The best part of the dish were the generous chunks of lobster – fresh, slightly sweet, with a chewy texture.

The Providore
#02-05, Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road

Written by foodphd

November 9, 2013 at 1:18 am

Posted in American, Brunch

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Nine-thirty by Awfully Chocolate

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The now-defunct Loola’s at Esplanade Mall has revamped and transformed into the current Nine-thirty, also by the folks from Awfully Chocolate. On top of the usual sweet offerings from Awfully Chocolate, Nine-thirty offers the usual western fare, including pastas, salads and some small bites.

Tandoori Chicken Salad

Tandoori Chicken Salad

There wasn’t sufficient dressing in the Tandoori Chicken Salad ($12) to tie the entire salad together. The salad was pretty boring and uninteresting. The slices of tandoori chicken tasted purely like grilled chicken, with no tinge of tandoori flavours.

Pink Salmon

Pink Salmon

The pink sauce in the Pink Salmon ($18) was rather imbalanced as the sour, acidic tanginess of the tomatoes greatly overpowered any creamy milkiness. This resulted in the pink sauce tasting like any red tomato based sauce. There wasn’t any depth in this sauce, as all we could taste is the sour acidity from the tomatoes. The salmon was lightly seared, very lightly as there was hardly any charred crust or caramelization on the surface. When we cut apart the salmon, the centre of the salmon was only half cooked, resulting in a pink, rubbery texture – almost like salmon sashimi. Typically, for fresh salmon sashimi, upon contact with our body heat, will melt and soften in our mouth cavities. In this case, the centre of this seared salmon wasn’t that delicate, yet wasn’t tender and flaky like a fully-cooked salmon. This was just a very awkward, neither here nor there, piece of salmon fillet. In our opinion, we will never try this again.

(clockwise from top left) White Chocolate Butterscotch Block, Hei Ice Cream and Hazelnut Crumble

(clockwise from top left) White Chocolate Butterscotch Block, Hei Ice Cream and Hazelnut Crumble

At the end of the day, the best offerings that Nine-thirty can offer remains to be the signature desserts from Awfully Chocolate. Our favourite dessert of the night was the Hazelnut Crumble ($7), with its thick rich hazelnut chocolate layer and the crunchy bittersweet dark chocolate cookie base. The crumble combined the sticky and dense hazelnut fudge together with the crumbly and crunchy cookie base, great combination. We didn’t enjoy the White Chocolate Butterscotch Block ($7.50 per 100g) as the white chocolate coating the entire cake was a bit too creamy and had gotten slightly too cloyingly sweet. We did enjoy the salted butterscotch drizzle. It was thick, gooey and sticky, with a balance between saltiness and sweetness. And finally, Awfully Chocolate’s signature Hei ice cream – the rich, dark chocolate ice cream was very strong in flavours, dense in texture and simply finger licking good.

Nine-thirty by Awfully Chocolate
#02-14, Esplanade Mall
8 Raffles Avenue

Written by foodphd

September 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Saveur

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Saveur – the name synonymous with affordable French cuisine. From a coffee shop at Katong, Saveur has upgraded itself to a restaurant shop space at Far East Plaza – while still staying true to its motto of affordable French cuisine.

Saveur's Pasta

Saveur’s Pasta

Saveur’s Pasta was a simple, rustic pasta tossed with chili oil, fine-chopped Japanese konbu and sakura ebi with minced pork sauce. It was almost like an aglio olio, minus the garlic. There was a generous serving of sakura ebi, but not a lot of minced pork. In fact, there wasn’t much sauce. It was more of the chili oil which resulted in a smooth and moist pasta.

Chocolate and Hazelnut

Chocolate and Hazelnut

The Chocolate and Hazelnut consisted of chocolate mousse with crushed hazelnuts, broken raspberries, roasted rice puffs, chocolate tuile and praline. The Chocolate and Hazelnut was a plethora of textures. The crunch from the hazelnuts, juicy texture from the raspberries and the crispiness from the tuile, all found within the soft and melts-in-your mouth mousse. Though not exactly looking the prettiest, the Chocolate and Hazelnut was still pretty decent. The chocolate mousse wasn’t exactly of premium quality, but still chocolately satisfying with that burst of sourness from the raspberries. In all, the Chocolate and Hazelnut was like a deconstructed ferrero rocher.

Saveur
#01-07B, Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road

Written by foodphd

August 6, 2013 at 6:15 am

Mad for Garlic

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First established in Korea, Mad for Garlic is a garlic-specialized Italian restaurant, aimed at infusing garlic into everyday Italian cuisine!

Tutto Mushroom Salad

Tutto Mushroom Salad

Tutto Mushroom Salad ($14.90) – Garlic and rosemary marinated mushroom salad served in Teriyaki sauced with grilled red pepper, asparagus and arugula. We adore the mushroom salad – savoury earthy fresh tender mushrooms with sweet caramelized onions soaked in a subtly savoury Teriyaki sauce.

Gorgonzola Pizza

Gorgonzola Pizza

Gorgonzola Pizza ($21.40) – Unique and popular pizza with Italian gorgonzola cheese served with honey dipping sauce. This is a very unique, hit-or-miss kind of pizza. The gorgonzola chunks, with the signature blue veins, exuded the salty cheesy characteristics of blue cheese. On its own, the thin crust pizza was packed with strong savoury flavours. The addition of the sweet and viscous honey dip cut through the pungent flavours of the blue cheese. This pizza could go 2 ways, as while there are those who enjoy this unique combination of a sweet salty pizza, there are also definitely those who find it rather queer. But do give it a go, with an open heart, and you might find this combination rather surprising.

Gorgonzola Cream Pasta

Gorgonzola Cream Pasta

Gorgonzola Cream Pasta ($24.60) – Creamy potato gorgonzola cheese pasta served with scallop and grilled king oyster mushroom. We kind of felt that a more appropriate pasta for this gorgonzola cream could be something along the lines of gnocchi, penne or farfelle – a smaller, bite-sized pasta which could better absorbed the white sauce. The sauce wasn’t all that cheesy, more of a creamy and salty sauce, thickened with potatoes. The addition of fish roe provided that extra salty burst. Both scallops and oyster mushrooms were fresh, with a chewy bite.

Garlic Sizzling Rice

Garlic Sizzling Rice

Garlic Sizzling Rice ($21.40) – Garlic fried rice with garlic pickles, bacon and fish roe. The fish roe has shone in the garlic rice as well! The fish roe acted as miniature pockets of flavour and texture, bring a surprise kick to every mouthful of rice. The fried rice wasn’t overwhelming with garlic taste, though minced garlic can be easily spotted in every spoonful. It was slightly spicy and very fragrant. The bottom charred portions of the rice added that slight crunch.

Mad for Garlic
Block 3B, River Valley Road
#01-16, The Foundry
Clarke Quay

Written by foodphd

July 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Italian

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Necessary Provisions

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Necessary Provisions

Necessary Provisions

Hidden in an extremely obscure location along Eng Kong Terrace is Necessary Provisions. The place wasn’t easy to find, especially for those who aren’t familiar with the Toh Yi region. This setting of Necessary Provisions within a row of ship houses, nestled in a private housing estate, resembled the exact same setting of Wimbly Lu.

Summer Pasta

Summer Pasta

The Summer Pasta ($14) is a concoction of home-made pasta with sundried tomatoes, baby spinach and cheese. The home-made pasta was fresh and cooked al-dente. Taste wise, the pasta was rather non-uniformly seasoned, with some portions tasting very salty, while other parts were bland. The saltiness was pretty one-dimensional, seemingly coming only from the salt. The cheese taste was indiscernible.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

The Flourless Chocolate Cake ($4) was pretty average. Texture was dense, but more brownie than cake like. The chocolately taste was a tinge shy of impressing us.

For us to travel miles and tracking the place using GPS, Necessary Provisions has failed to convince us that the trip was worthwhile.

Necessary Provisions
21 Eng Kong Terrace

Written by foodphd

June 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

Al Borgo

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Al Borgo is a quaint Italian restaurant situated along the lower end of Bukit Timah Road. We have always been impressed with Al Borgo’s unique cakes, but sadly their cake offerings this time round were unimpressive and we had to settle for a no desserts meal instead.

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Though there wasn’t any desserts attracting us, Al Borgo does serve decent renditions of classic Italian dishes. The Melanzane alla Parmigiana ($16.50) had a sufficiently thick and rich tomato sauce. There wasn’t a whole lot of cheese, but thankfully Al Borgo provided us with additional freshly shaved cheese. The eggplants had also adequately soaked up the tomato sauces and on the whole, this was a flavourful dish.

Orecchiette con Formaggi e Salsiccia

Orecchiette con Formaggi e Salsiccia

The Orecchiette con Formaggi e Salsiccia was recommended by the staff to be the most cheesy dish in Al Borgo. The mix cheese sauce was creamy and flavourful, not too overwhelmingly salty and rich such that it made us sick. The orecchiette was cooked al dente, retaining a bit of bite. The homemade sausage was quite fresh, didn’t taste like processed meat. On the whole, this was a simple yet comforting dish.

Al Borgo
#01-02, Alocassia Service Apartments
383 Bukit Timah Road

Written by foodphd

April 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Posted in Italian

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Eighteen Chefs

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Eighteen Chefs

Eighteen Chefs

Walking past Eighteen Chefs, we were attracted by the huge wallpaper of the Double Cheese Baked Rice. The advertisement was certainly effective as almost every table had ordered a cheese baked pasta/rice.

Double Cheese Baked Pasta, in red and white sauce, with mushrooms

Double Cheese Baked Pasta, in red and white sauce, with mushrooms

Our Double Cheese Baked Pasta, in red and white sauce, with mushrooms didn’t look all that attractive and appetizing compared to the advertisement. It looked pretty amateurish, perhaps almost reflective of the affordable price we were paying. The Double Cheese Baked Pasta was supposed to consist of a dual layer of nacho cheese and mozzarella cheese, but we couldn’t tell any difference. The cheese topping was just a thin, soft and mushy mash of cheese. There wasn’t any charred fragrance or crisp on the top layer. Beneath the thin and almost non-existent dual layer cheese was spaghetti in a rather soupy red and white sauce. We were expecting and hoping for penne like pasta fused together by thick, viscous and rich cheesy sauce. Instead, the long spaghetti strands were swimming around in a soupy and milky sauce. The mushrooms were common button mushrooms.

Having tried baked pasta/rice from many eateries, this Double Cheese Baked Pasta from Eighteen Chefs has got to rank right at the bottom of our list.

Eighteen Chefs
#02-K1/K6, Tiong Bahru Plaza
302 Tiong Bahru Road

Written by foodphd

March 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Posted in American

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