Sunday, July 31, 2016

Morganfield's Singapore - Weekend Ribs Buffet @ Star Vista

For pork ribs lovers, you can indulge in Morganfield's Weekend Ribs Buffet that is currently available every weekend on Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays from 11am to 4pm at $40++ per pax. Unlimited servings of delicious tender tasty sticky bones! Plus, there are some sides to provide a bit of distraction from the ribs.

Also, don't worry if drinks is not inclusive in the buffet as $11++ could get you a pint of Asahi or Kronenbourg draft. How about your children, you're asking? Kids below 6 years old eat for free with their paying adult. Maximum of two kids per table redemption. What about if there is an adult in the party who doesn't want to get the buffet? No problem too as ala-carte dishes are still available. Good to know that there is no requirements for all in the party to get the buffet as long as the buffet food is not shared to non-buffet person.

Morganfield's need no further introduction and I've been there multiple times, with most visit to Star Vista outlet. Noticed that their weekday set lunch deals (comes with a drink and a soup with the main course) menu had expanded a little over the years. Now, besides the grilled and half-rack sticky bones, there are sandwiches and salads too.

window seat
For Weekend Ribs Buffet, simply indicate into the order chit your order and the quantity. One portion of the buffet ala-carte stickby bones is a quarter of a slab and that translates to two bones.

indicate your order

The good thing about the ribs buffet, was that it allowed the customer to try more than 1 flavour in one sitting. We tried quarter slab of each flavour just to see which one we liked more.

all four flavours please
And what better to accompany the smokey, sauce slathered sticky bones? Beer, of course. There might be on-going craft beer (bottled) promotions, so do enquire from staff.

American craft

I prefer my Asahi, while bro got his Kronenbourg Lager. Refreshing on a warm day.

Asahi glass seemed bigger!
I think I ordered garden veggies, and was expecting some green leaves but it turned out to be hardy vegetables instead. Should've gotten coleslaw instead!

garden veggies

Was quite impressed with the plate of sticky bones. Quarter slab of each flavour. Very long and big bones, yay!

quarter slab sticky bones (right to left): Hickory BBQ, Smoked Peppercorn, Spicy Asian, Garlic BBQ
We started from mild to strong flavours. The Hickory BBQ which is their original sticky bones. Lovely meat, fork tender while retaining some bite. Loved the fatty charred bits. The smoked peppercorn has a tinge of spice to it but still pleasantly mild.
Garlic BBQ - close up

Next, the Spicy Asian seemed to have that soy based flavour and although there's a dried chili pepper adorning that quarter, it wasn't as spicy as it looked. Lovely char. Next, was what my bro called the tastiest of the lot, the Garlic BBQ. Indeed, it was also the strongest in flavour. Goes well with beer and loved the crunchy garlic bits.

yummy tender meat

Saturday, July 30, 2016

[Media Invite] The Quarters - Inspired Singapore Cuisine @ Icon Village

The Quarters is located at Icon Village and near Matchaya and Cold Storage. The Quarters serves local inspired flavours, executing the dish with a whole lot of passion and presenting it to diners in a comfortable cafe-bistro like setting. Was invited by Kris to join fellow foodie gang to have a taste of Chef Chung Deming's creations.

But of course, the direction-less me managed to get myself lost. But that's only because I didn't realise that The Quarters is located in Icon Village, here's a short video showing to to get there when you're at Icon Village doorstep.

Ok, the place is cosy and there are some on-going promotion for the month of August. Like the 1-for-1 main course (3 selected mains; Ma Jie Indulgence (chili crab pasta), Fish & Chips and Satay Burger), or get The Real McCoy (salted eggyolk chicken burger) with a dessert for just $20.

promotion board
coffee, beer or...

So what exactly do they serve here at The Quarters? Let's have a look at their menu board.

you're welcome
Ok, the names in the menu can be quite a mouthful. Let's have some starters while taking enough time to decide on the mains.
Shioks Fries aka Shoestring (double-fried of course!) Fries Half&Half in Salted Egg Yolk and Chili Crab Sauce @$14
Pricey fries, but oh so good. Real crab meat is included. Loved the way the mildly sweet spicy chili crab cuts away some of the richness of the creamy salted eggyolk sauce. The enjoyment is only possible because the fries were good. Still managed to retain its crispiness amidst being doused in double-sauce. As Tiara puts it, once you can't stop.

If you have a beer/cider on hand, how about some har cheong popcorn gai (chicken) with power belachan dip? Liked the level of spice in the power belachan but together with the well marinated har cheong gai, the combo could come across as a tad too salty if it was eaten on its own without some soda or beer.

Har Cheong Gai @$9.50

Having tasted the appetisers, now let's proceed to main course.

First up, The Real McCoy. Imagine crispy oat battered chicken thigh meat that has been marinated for 24-hours in buttermilk and 'secret' spices. And coat this with lots of golden sandy velvety salted eggyolk sauce. The smell of the sauce was quite strong but its taste was interestingly balanced. Chef Chung shared that this was to allow all the three major components of chicken marinade, crispy oats and salted eggyolk sauce to be showcased.

The Real McCoy @ $14 (usual price: $16)

The Real McCoy was quite a substantial burger and we used the remaining fries to mop up the salted eggyolk sauce. Don't waste.

lunch crowd can opt for local flavoured donburis

The other burger we tried, was The Satay Burger. What's so difficult about a satay burger? Just slap on some peanut sauce and turmeric, onions, and lemongrass marinated grilled chicken meat lor. Hmm, not so fast and not so easy. Perhaps there's an easier way but Chef Chung has his own methodology of doing things due to his passion in delivering a dish that's not only packed with locally inspired flavours but made with heart.

The Satay Burger @$17

The Satay Burger came with Chef's choice of charred rice patties that's smokey and crisp on the outside and chewy on the insides. In between, we have well marinated chicken thigh and a small jar of Javanese peanut sauce. Assemble the julienned cucumbers and onions into the burger and that completes the satay experience when one bites into it. Right flavours but need a bigger portion of this. Upsize?

Or, get a dessert?

You have heard all about duriancanboleh created by Chef Chung. Why, here's a website dedicated to the pud:

So we tried a different flavour, the passionfruit creme brulee. Soft and creamy.

Passionfruit creme brulee @$8.50
Or, try their Wonderffle topped with Lemongrass and Pandan ice-creams topped with gula melaka glaze. Quite lovely.

Wonderffle @$12.80
handmade ice-creams

Thank you The Quarters and Chef Chung Deming for hosting us and Kris for the invite. Plus, the enjoyable company of fellow foodies.

You can also get the Salted Eggyolk Chili Crab Fries and The Real McCoy from their outlet at Timbre+.

If you enjoyed their sauces, you can purchase their bottled sauces and recreate the local flavours at home.

bottled power belachan and salted eggyolk aioli

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Empire State Restaurant @ Causeway Point

Was there recently for late lunch. Causeway Point sure is crowded on a Sunday! Empire State has ongoing promotions where senior citizens aged 55 and above can do a buy 1 get 1 free. Or choose the $19.90++ pasta combo set where one can choose salmon & prawn pasta combo or glazed ribs and ribeye pasta combo and includes drink and soup. Am just going to use my Entertainer App.


Ordered 4 main courses to share. Tried the BBQ Pork Ribs, Fish & Chips, Herb Chicken and Squid Ink Pasta.

Herb Chicken @$13.90++
Fish & Chips @$15.90++

The chicken had a mild herb flavour, possibly rosemary. Chicken was alright, and not too dry. The fries needed improvement as it tasted limp.

The fish & chips was a single big slab of crispy battered fish. I think it was dory fish. The slaw was enjoyable although a tad too watery.

BBQ Pork Ribs @$17.90++

Squid Ink Pasta @$15.90++

The pork ribs was a tad too tough but tasty enough. The surprise find was the squid ink pasta which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Strongly flavoured and tasted good. The prawns and squid was rather limited edition though.

This place is suitable for family and the ongoing promotions made it viable for a family of 6 pax to dine there for about $10 per pax.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

[Media Invite] Xperience Restaurant and Bar @ Sofitel So Singapore

Xperience Restaurant and Bar is located within hotel Sofitel So Singapore. A nice boutique hotel located right smack in CBD area at 35 Robinson Road. Actually, it is very very near Lau Pa Sat. Took bus #57 and alighted at One Raffles Quay. Then walked about 7 minutes towards Boon Tat Street.

hotel as seen from across the road
The Xperience Restaurant and Bar has a chic trendy feel to it. Able to seat 80 pax and boasts of an open kitchen where one could watch the chefs at work. If you are there, say hi to Chef Trevor Paulo; Sofitel So Singapore's resident culinary designer and one of Singapore's youngest Executive Chef.

have a seat, and be comfortable
Personable and passionate about his craft, Chef Trevor aims to create that memorable dining experience for everyone who comes to Xperience. Expect menu that changes through the seasons, monthly specials and Chef's Signatures. Learnt that Chef has a soft spot for quality Japanese ingredients which he loves to cook using French techniques. Chef Trevor's flair is to create new textures, design the visuals and introduce flavours with local twists for that So Singapore experience.

Talented Chef Trevor Paulo

While Chef was busy preparing our dinner, we munched on the house bread. Pretty good crusty, chewy bread with unsalted butter. If you like yours salted, fret not. Just reach out for that salt bottle that's on the table.

house bread and unsalted butter

Our first starter was the Poached Sweet Prawns. Fresh succulent tiger prawns were used, expertly poached and marinated in mirin, sake and soy. Firm and sweet, paired with crisp thinly sliced granny smiths and baby radish carpaccio. Decorated with sansho pepper to resemble a golden leave and arranged with some colourful edible flowers. Pleasing to the senses and each bite of the prawn was delightful!

Poached Sweet Prawns @$26++

Next, we tried the Cured Salmon dish. Interestingly, Chef whipped out a bottle of apple juice which he had fermented. This was used instead of consommé. Sounds exciting!

carefully pouring in the fermented apple juice

The cured salmon was snuggly surrounded by cucumber shavings, some microgreens, edible flowers, tobiko, pickled cauliflower and green pearls of dill and corriander. Beautiful contrast of colours as well as textures. It tasted exactly as how it looked. Refreshing with a tinge of sweetness.

Cured Salmon @$25++

Appetisers were very light on the palate and the fermented apple juice whetted our appetite for more. Let's bring on the mains!

Do you like lamb? Have you tried Lamb Confit before? If you are not averse to lamb, I urge you to come and Xperience Lamb Confit. It was delicious, in its own subtle way.

By no means was this easy to prepare. Lamb had to be trimmed, seasoned, ballotined, then sous-vide'd for 36 hours and then a quick sear prior to serving.

Lamb Confit (tasting portion) @$38++ (full portion)

Served with ginger carrot puree for that lovely bright yellow hue, Kenya beans, asparagus, heirloom carrots and Vadouvan jus. Vadouvan is a French derivative of a masala, which is an aromatic spice blends typically of cumin, onion, garlic, mustard seeds and fenugreek.

The lamb was tender and with very mild gameyness to it. The Australian heirloom carrots were great (lovely purple colour!) and really lovable flavour. Can't get enough of the ginger carrot puree. It was around 95% of carrot sweetness and probably just 5% ginger spiciness at the end. Was a happy camper with this plate.

Next, was the restaurant's favourite main dish; the Beef Short Rib. This was the first dish that appealed to the olfactory. Very quickly one detects the fragrance of onions. Rightfully so, since this plate had onion puree, spring onion tempura, onion 'paper' and shallot jus. First time having onion 'paper' and it was a fun eat! Interestingly, the smell of onions while was rather strong when served, the taste of onions was quite mild.

Beef Short Rib @ $38++

The beef has been sous-vide'd for 48 hours and hence, was enjoyably tender. One can't go wrong with a little bit of fats and I ate the slightly fatty bits with glee. Again, mild natural flavours.

Next up, was desserts time. Wonder what Chef Trevor and his Pastry Chef have up their sleeves.

Chocolate Dome @$24++

Am sure most must have seen photos or heard about chocolate dome desserts that melts when warm sauce was slowly poured over it to reveal something else within the dome? Similary, we got to experience here.

hot vanilla cremeux is poured over
melting the top of the dome
just a bit more

araguani chocolate and hazelnut ice-cream

Theatricals, either you like it or you don't. Regardless, the melting chocolate dome dessert was actually good. Balanced sweetness and lovely smooth texture.

Next, was a tasting portion of carrot cake. After trying it, I dare say that this is one cake that you wouldn't want to miss. The cake was moist and shall I say, fluffy but not quite. The espuma cream cheese played lightly on the palate and the carrot chips were like candy. Sweet and intense. It was a new flavour for me, having the apricot sorbet. All in all, yummy.

Now, a cup of good coffee with this carrot cake. Lovely.

Carrot Cake (tasting portion) @$22++ (full portion)

cream cheese espuma, edible flowers, salted caramel sauce, carrot chips. apricot sorbet, maple soil

If you like something a little more special, why not go for the Xperience Celebrations Dessert which is ideal for a party of four. Chef Trevor would personally come round and prepare this feast of a dessert, right in front of you and your guests.

lights off and let the show begin!
Actually, it wasn't really a show. Nothing flashy but there might be some fancy bits. It was more akin to being in your friend's home and watching them prepare your food.

How do I describe the experience of Celebrations Dessert? It was like watching an artist paints his canvas.

Chef Trevor putting his design onto the platter
The ingredients were all laid out, and by watching him one could almost see the creativity flowing. Little pumps of vanilla chantilly here and there, some coulis everywhere, carefully arranging the colourful berries, and a trail of truffle and chocolate soil.

in goes to the huge shell of chocolate ball
finishing touches

There was a fun interaction towards the end, and the end result, was a beautiful edible mess. Not sure when it got there, but there were macarons, merringue and popping candy in there too. Sweet.

For the Celebrations Dessert, do place a one-day advance reservation.

Celebrations Dessert
let's eat

Sofitel So Singapore's Xperience Restaurant and Bar offers memorable experience, good food and good service. Efficient and friendly staff and offers enough variations in menu through the change in seasons. There is almost always something different even for the same dish that you might have tried before. Chef Trevor has his way to present his dishes differently, or uses his ingredients in a different manner.

There are also seasonal monthly items, depending on Chef and what he has sourced for that month.

current month special

If you feel like relaxing by the pool after dinner, sure. Just head up to the rooftop bar where one could enjoy a cocktail or two while watching the CBD skyline.

rooftop bar
by the pool

Special thanks to Sofitel So Singapore, Xperience Restaurant and Bar, Dawn and Chef Trevor for hosting the tasting. Thank you to the good folks at HGW for the invite and fellow foodies for the company.

Xperience Restaurant and Bar

Address: 35 Robinson Rd, 068876
Contact 6701 6800
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