Ph.Ds of FOOD

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Posts Tagged ‘salmon

Penny University

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One of the more popular brunch places in the East has got to be Penny University. It was a pretty small cafe though, which probably explained for the long waiting list.

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

For $12, the Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon was definitely worth every penny! There was a decent serving of poached eggs and smoked salmon, atop the sourdough toasts. The homemade hollandaise sauce was smooth, rich and slightly buttery. The poached eggs were bit undercooked though, with the egg whites a tad too raw. The smoked salmon wasn’t too salty. The thin slices easily disintegrated in our mouths. The sourdough toasts were fluffy, not too starchy or heavy. Due to the thin layer of jam, it was more towards being sweet than sour.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

The Flourless Chocolate Cake ($8.50) was very dense and packed full of chocolately goodness. The crust was very crumbly and generously dusted and covered with cocoa powder. The chocolate cake was akin to a slab of chocolate fudge. Decadent, smooth and bitter sweet chocolate to satisfy the chocoholics in us.

Penny University
402 East Coast Road

Written by foodphd

November 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

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

Standing Sushi Bar

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Though named as “Standing Sushi Bar“, the full service outlet at the Singapore Art Museum comes fully equipped with seats and tables as well as an extensive menu of bento sets, sashimi, tempura, appetizers and sushi.

All Salmon All The Time

All Salmon All The Time

Our main aim was to try Standing Sushi Bar’s specialty rolls, in particular those of aburi salmon! We chose the “All Salmon All The Time” ($16) which consists of raw salmon, cucumber, avocado, topped off with seared salmon and tobiko. This would be a favourite with salmon lovers due to the presence of both raw and seared salmon, which presents dual textures. The raw salmon would still retain that bit of raw chewiness and bite; while that seared salmon, with its connective tissues and flesh slightly broken down and tenderized by the searing, was more tender, exuding a slight charred taste. The cucumber provided that extra refreshing crunch, with the mushy texture of the avocados forming the backdrop. Indeed, each mouth presents a plethora of textures.

Taste wise however, it was slightly lacking, compared to Koh Sushi. We speculated that it might be due to a lack of sauce to bind the entire sushi together. Koh Sushi’s aburi salmon maki was tastier in flavour. Standing Sushi Bar’s version was less punchy and seemingly lacking in flavours.

Standing Sushi Bar
#01-03, Singapore Art Museum
8 Queen Street

Written by foodphd

September 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Japanese

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Koh Grill & Sushi Bar

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The craze around Koh Grill & Sushi Bar is just unbelievable! Food reviews and instagram photos are just flooding the social media platform. We toyed with the idea of visiting Koh Grill & Sushi Bar past 9pm on a weekday night. But to our alarm, we were welcomed by a long snaking queue, across the width of Food Republic at Wisma Atria.

Our 2nd try saw us visiting the popular Japanese outlet past 2pm on a weekday. The queue was short, with less than 5 people. However, the waiting time for the food was horrendously long. Close to 45 minutes – which had deterred a couple so much that they left after waiting for 15 minutes.

We persevered as we were adamant about trying the “all-so-popular, which got everyone raving about” maki. And hence, after 45 minutes, we were served with:

SHIOK!!! Maki

SHIOK!!! Maki

Not the best plating nor prettiest maki we have tried. Rather than looking “SHIOK!!!”, we felt that it looked like an utter mess. In terms of taste, this maki was definitely not suitable for dipping in wasabi + soy sauce, due to the presence of the mayonnaise. To some extent, the mayonnaise was the binding glue for the entire sushi. The lightly roasted salmon was almost non-existent as we could barely detect any taste from it. Thankfully, the charcoal grilled eel did exude a subtle charred grill taste and fragrance. Bulk of the flavours actually came from the mayonnaise and the fish roe. To be honest, the maki wasn’t all that bad. But to define it as “SHIOK!!!” and with a waiting time of 45 minutes (upon order), we stopped short at giving it a full thumbs up.

Koh Grill & Sushi Bar
#04-21, Food Republic, Wisma Atria Shopping Centre
435 Orchard Road

Written by foodphd

August 14, 2013 at 11:06 am

Posted in Japanese

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Spruce @ Firestation

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Situated at the Old Bukit Timah Fire Station is the 2nd outlet of Spruce! It was pretty easy to spot – just look out for the characteristic bright red fire station doors!

Orecchiette

Orecchiette

Orecchiette ($22) – small ear-like pasta served with chopped sea prawn in zucchini and garlic cream. We absolutely adored the Orecchiette. The texture of the paste was cooked al dente and not too mushy. The sauce was flavourful and viscous. Though having the green colour of vegetables, the sauce didn’t reek of vegetables. Instead, it was creamy and rich, with a slight cheesiness. The chopped prawns added burst of saltiness to the pasta.

Pan Roasted Norwegian Salmon Steak

Pan Roasted Norwegian Salmon Steak

The Pan Roasted Norwegian Salmon Steak ($29) with baby green salad and lemon butter sauce was a decent rendition of a salmon steak. The fillet, with a fragrant charred crust, was flaky, fresh and exuded the characteristic salmon taste. With its salty skin, the salmon was rich in flavours on its own, without having to dip into the lemon butter sauce.

Spruce Mac & Cheese

Spruce Mac & Cheese

The Spruce Mac & Cheese ($10) was served as a side, rather than a main course. It was more towards being creamy, rather than cheesy. Still, there was sufficient cream to ensure the macaroni was thoroughly enveloped and wasn’t too dry. The top crust could do with a little more charring, to increase the crunchy crispiness. This dish just fell short in terms of cheesiness, which would have definitely elevated its texture and aroma.

Spruce
260 Upper Bukit Timah Road

Written by foodphd

January 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

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Genki Sushi

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Ordering your food using an iPad? Having your orders delivered to your table by a “high speed sports car”? Sending the emptied delivery car with a press of the button? Sounds gimmicky, but this is exactly what is going in Genki Sushi.

Genki Sushi's Double Decker Delivery System

Genki Sushi’s Double Decker Delivery System

Sake Oyako Don

Sake Oyako Don

Sake Oyako Don ($7.80) – Our favourite don remains to be the salmon and roe donburi. The salmon sashimi was fresh, very succulent, with a tinge of seafood salty sweetness. It was smooth and very refreshing. The rice was rather bland and lacking in vinegar, but this was compensated by the strong characteristic saltiness of the roe. If Genki Sushi can work a little more on the flavour of the sushi rice, this Sake Oyako Don would definitely be a crowd pleaser.

Sea Eel Whole (Anago Ippon)

Sea Eel Whole (Anago Ippon)

Sea Eel Whole (Anago Ippon) ($5.80) – The sea eel seemed more steamed/poached than grilled. It was a bit soft and mushy, unlike the tenderness of unagi. Taste wise, it wasn’t as strong and flavourful as unagi. Basically, this dish turned out quite unlike what we were looking out for. There was a small chunk of rice encompassed within the eel, making it seemed like a piece of sushi with an oversized topping.

Genki Sushi
#03-32, Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road

Written by foodphd

June 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Posted in Japanese

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Equinox Restaurant

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Located on the 70th floor of Swissotel is Equinox – famed for its breathtaking view of the city area and its exquisite European cuisine. We kicked off the first Restaurant Week in 2012 with dinner at Equinox.

Bread

Bread

We were offered a choice of three kinds of breads – plain, multigrain and baguette. In general, the breads were of a hard and chewy form. The baguette did not have a crispy crust either. However, when served warm, the inner loaf tasted softer and lighter. The multigrain bread was the most impressive. The sesame seeds, wheat and oats added much fragrance to the otherwise plain bread.  The breads were free flow and the waitress was prompt in offering more every time a new batch of freshly baked bread arrived.

Tomato Gazpacho

Tomato Gazpacho

Before the appetizers were served, we were each offered a shot glass of Tomato Gazpacho to cleanse our palate. The Gazpacho was refreshingly cold and immediately awoke our taste buds. It was very thick, more towards that of a salsa dip and less of soup. There was a very strong taste and smell of raw vegetables, which could be a turn off for non-vegetable lovers.

Poached and Smoked Salmon Rillette with Beetroot Carpaccio and Pink Grapefruit

Poached and Smoked Salmon Rillette with Beetroot Carpaccio and Pink Grapefruit

Poached and Smoked Salmon Rillette with Beetroot Carpaccio and Pink Grapefruit. A dish of carpaccio is usually made up of thinly sliced raw meat. Here at Equinox, beetroots are used in place of the raw meat to give a vegetarian carpaccio. The thin slices of beetroot were soft, breaking into smaller pieces easily when we attempted to lift them up. However, they were juicy and slightly sweet and went down well with the rillette which was slightly more bland. The rillette was garnished with a few pieces of smoked salmon, which left a slightly fishy aftertaste. However, contrary to the description of the dish, the rillette tasted more of tuna which had been chopped and poached, instead of the smoked salmon rillette we were expected.

Classic French Onion Soup with Gruyère Cheese Crouton

Classic French Onion Soup with Gruyère Cheese Crouton

The Classic French Onion Soup with Gruyère Cheese Crouton was unlike other French onion soups. It was more unique in that the soup base was thick with a sourish vinegar punch. There was abundance of softened mushy onion slices but these did not turn out too overpowering. However, the chewy thick cheese which we were looking out for was nowhere to be seen. A very negligible layer of gruyere cheese was spread on the crouton bread and there was somewhat an equally strong taste of butter present.

Salad of Marinated Baby Artichokes, Frisée Lettuce, Shallots, Green Beans,  Hazelnuts with Round Radish and Truffle Dressing

Salad of Marinated Baby Artichokes, Frisée Lettuce, Shallots, Green Beans,
Hazelnuts with Round Radish and Truffle Dressing

Salad of Marinated Baby Artichokes, Frisée Lettuce, Shallots, Green Beans, Hazelnuts with Round Radish and Truffle Dressing. There was nothing to rave about for the salad and we thought we should have given this up for either of the other two appetizers on the menu.

Confit of Duck Leg, White Bean and Smoked Pancetta Cassoulet with Thyme Jus

Confit of Duck Leg, White Bean and Smoked Pancetta Cassoulet with Thyme Jus

Confit of Duck Leg, White Bean and Smoked Pancetta Cassoulet with Thyme Jus. The duck confit was well prepared, with a very good balance of juicy tenderness and the amount of fats and oil in the meat. The duck skin had a slight crisp but did not taste overly oily. In fact, it felt more pan-fried than deep-fried. Equally appetizing was the side dish of beans in tomato sauce. The taste resembled that of canned baked beans, only that these tasted much fresher with the beans being harder and less soggy.

Pan-Seared Barramundi, Saffron Confit Potatoes, Baby Spinach,  Dried Cherry Tomatoes with Lemon and Herb Dressing

Pan-Seared Barramundi, Saffron Confit Potatoes, Baby Spinach,
Dried Cherry Tomatoes with Lemon and Herb Dressing

Pan-Seared Barramundi, Saffron Confit Potatoes, Baby Spinach, Dried Cherry Tomatoes with Lemon and Herb Dressing. There was nothing to pick on for this dish either. The Barramundi was soft and tender. The skin had a slightly salty crisp. The sliced potatoes were uniquely prepared. They tasted sourish, but there was no suggestion of saffron. On hindsight, it was likely that the potatoes had absorbed some of the dressing. The baby spinach was broiled and served bland. These felt healthy but we found them a little over cooked and soft. The dried cherry tomatoes were a combination of sweetness and sourness. The texture was somewhere near that of fried peeled potato skin, which we had almost mistaken them for.

Tagliatelle Pasta, Wild Mushrooms, Spinach with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese Sauce

Tagliatelle Pasta, Wild Mushrooms, Spinach with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese Sauce

Tagliatelle Pasta, Wild Mushrooms, Spinach with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese Sauce. This dish would have been better if the cheese wasn’t goat cheese. The cheese sauce was creamy and not overly salty. However, it was way too heavy on the palate due to the sharp overpowering characteristic goat cheese taste, which we found it hard to swallow. We had difficulty finishing this dish.

Seasonal Crème Brûlee

Seasonal Crème Brûlee

The Seasonal Crème Brûlee has got to be the most impressive dish of the night. In fact, it would be the best non-flavoured creme brulee we have tried thus far. The custard base was very rich, creamy and milky. It was of the right level of sweetness and softness. The curd like textured custard disintegrated and went down smoothly in our mouths. The creme brulee was studded with some chewy sweet prune, giving the dessert an additional dimension of texture, on top of the contrasting layer of burnt caramel.

Pineapple Carpaccio, Lime, Chilli Syrup and Coconut Sorbet

Pineapple Carpaccio, Lime, Chilli Syrup and Coconut Sorbet

Pineapple Carpaccio, Lime, Chilli Syrup and Coconut Sorbet. The use of thinly sliced pineapple in place of meat proved to be another revamp of the conventional carpacccio to a dessert dish. However taste wise, there was nothing too unique.  There was barely any hint of lime and chilli syrup too. Dried coconut shavings were laid across the plate as extra garnishes. Not fans of coconut, this healthy fruity dessert did not really appeal to us.

Selection of Seasonal Exotic Fruit Sorbet and ‘Langues-De-Chat’

Selection of Seasonal Exotic Fruit Sorbet and ‘Langues-De-Chat’

Selection of Seasonal Exotic Fruit Sorbet and ‘Langues-De-Chat’. The wild berry sorbet and pineapple sorbets were refreshing. The coconut sorbet, also found in the other pineapple carpaccio dessert, was thankfully not too overpowering in the coconut milk taste.

Chocolates

Chocolates

The meal ended off with complimentary confectionery of dark chocolate coated orange peel sticks and chocolate pebbles. We especially liked the chocolate coated nuts. They tasted like M&Ms and the hazelnuts encased within were very fresh and crunchy.

Equinox Restaurant
70F, Swissotel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road

Written by foodphd

March 24, 2012 at 9:06 am