Monday, December 27, 2010

La Cantina In Venezia @ Changi Village Hotel

Located at Changi Village Hotel at Netheravon Road. The hotel looked spanking new amidst the laidback charms of Changi Village. On the day of our visit, the hotel car park was full. Waiting for a lot, proved futile and in the end, alternative parking outside of the hotel was the only solution.

We got the outdoor seatings, and the wind was blowing extremely strong that night. It felt almost, like a mini typhoon. Almost.

It offers nice view of the sea and the golf course.

golf course view
hotel pool
sea view

While awaiting for the rest of the group to arrive, we were served with warm bread with olive oil balsamic vinegar dip.

olive oil balsamic vinegar

We ordered carpaccio (beef) for starters. Do have the service staff repeat your orders, because the carpaccio order nearly turned into a cappucino instead! A friend ordered mushroom cream soup, as she doesn't take beef. For mains, we had lobster pasta (special of the day), crabmeat pasta (linguine al granchio), risotto porcini (mushrom risotto) and scallopine al vino bianco (pan-fried pork loin in white wine sauce).

mushroom soup


carpaccio close-up

The mushroom cream soup was really creamy. The mushroom taste was rather subtle though. The beef carpaccio was light and enjoyable. 

lobster linguine

risotto porcini

linguine al granchio
scallopine al vino bianco

The main courses, sadly, were rather disappointing with probably one exception, crabmeat pasta. The mushroom risotto does smell and look better than it taste! The rice was hard, and lacked flavor. The lobster pasta while enjoyable, was a little too salty. And, the person who took our order said the price of this special of the day was about $35+. Imagine our shock when the bill came up to ~$44+ (excluding service charge) for this dish! 

The scallopine dish was a letdown as well. The overcooked pork loin was sour and tough when cooked with the white wine sauce. Not sure if this is the intended outcome. The accompanying vegetables (carrots and zucchini) and potatoes tasted better than the meat. Can you imagine? It's like the sidekicks did their job, but the main cast just didn't rise to the occassion. Overall, the scallopine was heavy handed in salt seasoning as well. 

The only saving grace was the linguine al granchio which has robust flavors, and was up to expectation. Blame it on the weather or strong wind, but as the pasta was cooled down at a much faster rate, and hence, the dish became quite 'heavy' (jelak) after a short while.

Ambience was good, but do choose your food wisely. Expect to pay about  $40-$50 per pax without drinks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ootoya @ Orchard Central

Located at Level 8 of Orchard Central. We decided to head there for lunch on a mid-week, sort of like pre-Christmas celebration.

wall deco and warm lightings

The place was fairly busy and we went without reservation. However, we managed to get our seats in just 5 minutes time. Many chicken dishes were listed in the menu, thus I ordered the tori salad (chargrilled chicken served on a bed of shredded cabbage with some salad leaves, capsicum and sliced hardboiled egg, drizzled lightly with basil sauce. My friend ordered katsu jyu (fried pork with egg and rice). We also had a plate of maguro in soy sauce to share.


First up, was the blue fin tuna dish. Thin slices of maguro doused heavily with soy sauce with a sprinkling of white sesame, and some shredded spring onions.

blue fin tuna slices in soy sauce
closer view
The maguro slices were light and enjoyable, but not outstanding. Next up, our main sets arrived. Each of the set was served with rice, cucumber, simmered item and miso soup.

katsu jyu set

tori salad set

japanese rice, yummy!
cucumber with plum sauce
lotus root, carrot, mushroom and konbu
thick slices of pork!
covered with egg
rosy and tender
delicious chargrilled chicken
egg with basil sauce

The katsu was thick yet tender. I liked those parts that had a little fats on it. The chargrilled chicken really had me at first bite. Was quite captivated by the chicken. The skin has a hint of smokey flavor, while the meat was moist and tender. Yums!

The salad was quite 'dry' as the sauce (oil based basil sauce) was quite minimum which was good in a way. More healthy. Haha. The miso soup was quite light tasting, but it did have a chockful of ingredients in it!

miso soup (has onions, potato, chicken bits and kelp)

It's a pleasant experience having lunch at Ootoya. Good food, reasonable prices. Green tea is served free. This meal costs about $52 (after 10% UOB discount) for 2 pax.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hailam Kopitiam @ AEON Cheras Selatan


AEON Cheras Selatan is my dad's favourite haunt. He always liked to eat inside of the shopping centre, so for a change, we decided to head outside of the mall but somewhere nearby. Hence, chanced upon Hailam Kopitiam and decided to give it a try. It feels just like another 'Old Town' joint.

inside of the kopitiam

We were there for lunch, so we ordered a couple of dishes to try, and coffee as well.

hailam (海南) coffee
cold coffee half drunk
coffee tri-color (the black colored stuff is gula melaka)

 My mom ordered the 'kat zai suen mui' drink, which is literally 'lime and sour plum' drink. It's a must have drink everytime, I'm in Malaysia.

lime and sour plum
this version has a lot of plums, so its a tad too salty!

My mom and sis had the chicken chop and fried fish dish respectively, while my dad ordered chicken rice.
close up view of chicken chop
juicy meat
fish and chips (that looked exactly the same like the chicken chop!) but waiter forgot the sauce!
chicken chop bun
typical hainanese chicken chop with ketchup sauce
chicken sandwich
closer view

The best value for money turned out to be the chicken sandwich (@RM5.80).  The prices here for the food items are between RM6 ~ RM14. I didn't like the coffee here. Would much prefer the real kopitiam's 'hainam' coffee with fragrant roasted buttery taste...nostalgic.
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