Friday, September 15, 2017

[Media Invite] nALAn Restaurant @ Capitol Piazza

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nALAn Restaurant is located at B2 of Capitol Piazza and serves purely vegetarian food. Its menu has the usual northern and southern Indian dishes, a sprinkle of Desi Chinese dishes and a few western-influenced items. The restaurant is spacious and could easily accommodate a cosy 2-pax party or larger groups of say 10 to 16 pax.

menu

interior

Have always wanted to try lassi, a popular drink that is  blend of yoghurt, water and spices. The adventurous one took the butter milk lassi (white), the semi-adventurous one took the badam milk lassi while the safe-ones chose mango lassi. The butter milk was watery, has cardamom in it and most sour amongst the three while mango lassi was the sweetest. Am most delighted with mango lassi!

butter milk @$3, badam milk @$5 and mango lassi @$5

For our meal, we started with western-styled cream of mushroom soup. The soup came with a rather peppery taste. So hold on to the pepper and salt shakers till you've tasted it.

cream of mushroom soup @$7

If you are in a group of say 6 to 8 pax, then you might want to order the Tandoori Platter for sharing. It was an interesting plate with an assortment of kebabs; paneer tikka, hara bara kebab, vegetable sheek kebab, button mushrooms and cauliflower. Loved the hara bara kebab which is essentially made of green vegetables such as spinach and peas. Crunchy flavours of onions on its outer batter and fragrance of green peas on its insides. Lovely.

Tandoori Platter @$25
there's vegetables in my kebab

The Daaba Salad was rather spicy and it contains mostly raw vegetables such as carrots, onions, and capsicum. Beware of the chopped bird's eye chilies in it.
 
Daaba Salad @$6


Gobi Manchurian @$13

My favourite was the Gobi Manchurian, an addictive dish of fried cauliflower where its sauteed with garlic, ginger, chilies, onions, capsicum, soy sauce and ketchup and decorated with chopped spring onions. Yummy.

Our main course consists of butter and garlic naans, chappati, rumali roti and kashmiri bread. The accompaniment were communal dining portions of aloo palak, dal makhani, mushroom mutter methi and kadai paneer.

main course
naan @$4.50 per piece
Dal Makhani @$11
Jeera (cumin) Rice @$8

Would like to recommend Jeera (cumin) rice with Mushroom Mutter Methi. These two should win an award for best partner/combination. The ingredients in the mushroom mutter methi are ginger, onions, corriander powder, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, tomato puree, cardamom, black pepper, green peas, dried fenugreek leaves and coconut cream. The result was simply creamy tasty magic!

Mushroom Mutter Methi @$13

But best bread has to be Rumali Roti. How is it that I've not discovered this flatbread till now! If you unfold it, it is really a large large piece of thin (almost paper thin) dough. Non-oily and light to taste. Eat it with a pinch of this and that, and chew. The flavours were just so agreeable.

Rumali Roti @$4.50

For a healthier choice, then that'll be chappati. Made of ground whole wheat and contains complex carbs and low in fat content.

For dessert, one could end with the sweet Kashmiri Naan. This flatbread has cashews, badam and glazed cherries.

Kashmiri Naan @$7.70

Otherwise, one could opt for the traditional Indian desserts of gulab jamun and carrot halwa. Do note that these are very very sweet! Take small small bites and savour. The carrot halwa has a strong milky aroma and garnished with pistachio.

Gulab Jamun @$4.50
Carrot Halwa गाजर का हलवा @$5.50

Thank you HGW for the invite and nALAn Restaurant for hosting the dinner. It was fun learning the names of the dishes and its ingredients.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

[Media Invite] Five Marbles Craft Beer Restaurant @ Rendezvous Hotel

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Where in town could one enjoy a chill-out session with work-mates, bffs or family while experiencing a carefully curated selection of craft beer and beer infused dishes? Five Marbles is located within the courtyard of Rendezvous Hotel and easily accessible by Bras Basah MRT and the nearest bus stop which are about 5 minutes away.

Five Marbles @ Rendezvous Hotel Courtyard
spacious
There are 12 curated craft beers available and one could expect to see something new being introduced every other week. Current selection consists of pale ale, porter, ginger beer, IPA, XPA, DIPA, stout, mead and cider.

current craft beer selection

I'd likened that the craft beer experience here at Five Marbles was rather similar to a wine experience. The staff will be on-hand to share with you, depending on your preferences, which beer to start with, the profile of the beer, food pairing and dessert, where one could end with a beer float, akin to an adult version of ice-cream float.

For the drinks, half pint is 236ml and full pint is 473ml, and priced attractively. It is not surprising to know that beer is one to the top 10 most consumed beverages in the world.

To start, one could opt for Brewdog Dead Pony Session Pale Ale from the UK. This zesty brew has strong citrusy aroma, and tasted fruity, and easy to drink.

Brewdog Dead Pony Session Pale Ale UK 3.8% ABV @$5-half /$10-full

On the menu, there is Craft Beer Mushroom Soup which is infused with the pale ale. This classic warm soup was tasty and provided the much needed comfort to settle an empty stomach. The aroma of the beer in the soup was mild.

Craft Beer Mushroom Soup @$9
The soup was prepared with four different types of mushrooms; oyster, shitake, portobello and button mushrooms. The earthy undertones played well with the beer. Loved the rustic flavours.

chunky mushrooms
For the ladies (and the gentlemen too), you would love the Zeffer Apple Crumble Cider and Gosnells Citra Sea Mead. I'd bet on it! Very easy to drink and one could easily overdo it. To me, that signals dangerous, in capitals and bold, if you'd like.

The apple crumble cider is of a deep golden colour with strong aromas of ripe apples and cinnamon. Tasted just like the baked apple crumble dessert in liquid form.

Zeffer Apple Crumble Cider NZ 5% ABV @$6-half/$12-full
Gosnells Citra Sea Mead UK 5.5% ABV @$7-half/$14-full
First things first. What is a mead? Wiki says that "mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops". Ahhh, ok. If you love the taste of honey, then you'd fall in love with the taste of Gosnells Citra Sea Mead. Blended with sea water, this mead my day with its sweet and salty taste.

Getting hungry? Let's have some Portobello Chicken Cheese Baked Beer Rice or the Craft Beer Chicken Rice. Recommend to order the mains for sharing.


Portobello Chicken Cheese Baked Beer Rice @$16

The cheese baked beer rice was very striking in its golden yellow cheese toppings. Dig in for fresh portobello and pulled grilled chicken. Enjoy while it is hot. Yums.

golden portobello chicken cheese baked rice with beer bechamel

The Craft Beer Chicken Rice came with a large whole leg on the plate. Its origin was from Beer Canned Chicken with a strong cajun flavour marinated thigh and served with chicken rice, and baby potatoes. The meat was fork tender.

Craft Beer Chicken Rice @$16

To cleanse the palate, there's ginger beer from Innocence Brewing Kranji Kakis. Yes, it is local! Singapore own brew where galangal (blue ginger) from Kranji's Bollywood Veggies was used. How was the taste? Like a clean tasting ginger drink minus the sweetness and it is alcoholic.

Innocence Brewing Kranji Kakis Ginger Beer SIN 3% ABV @$6-half/$12-full




Next up, the other pale ales. Pale ales is a style made through warm fermentation processes with predominantly pale malts. It is said that the granddaddy of pale ales are the British bitters.

Then, there are the XPA (Extra Pale Ale), IPA (India Pale Ale) and DIPA (Double India Pale Ale) at Five Marbles.

Stockade Hop Splicer Grapefruit XPA Aus 4.2% ABV @$6-half/$12-full
Brewlander Love IPA SIN 6.5% ABV @$7-half/$14-full
Lost Coast Indica IPA USA 6.5% ABV @$6-half/$12-full
Stockade Mysterio Double IPA AUS 9% ABV @$7-half/$14-full


The Stockade Hop Splicer Grapefruit XPA has a pronounced sharp grapefruit aroma and upfront taste as expected. The Brewlander Love was a lovely fruity brew of pineapples, mango and passionfruit with a long hoppy bitter aftertaste. The Lost Coast Indica is full bodied with strong hoppy fruity yeast flavours. The Stockade Mysterio Double IPA packs a harmony of hoppy zesty flavours with strong bitter aftertaste.

I'd pair all these bitterness with the Beer Grilled Honey Wings and the munchies of Salted Egg Fish Crisps. Yes, both are equally as addictive!

Beer Grilled Honey Wings @$9-half dozen/$16-dozen
Salted Egg Fish Crisps @$9

Spice and beer? Yes please! The Green Curry Lychee Duck Linguine packed quite a spicy kick. Looks can be rather deceptive. This dish was Thai-influenced.

Green Curry Lychee Duck Linguine @$19

One of the signature pasta dishes at Five Marbles is its Bolognaise Linguine. Made from a good ratio of minced/chopped beef, beef fats and bacon and simmered for long hours, resulting in a delectable, rich sinful taste of bolognaise. The version here is less saucy but lip-smacking good. Like a good beefy ang mo bak chor mee.

Bolognaise Linguine @$16

Moving on towards the dark side, the world of Porter and Stouts. The Brewlander Respect Porter was full bodied and was just like drinking cold black coffee. Well, almost lah, since this one is more potent with the alcoholic content.

Brewlander Respect Porter SIN 5.1ABV @$6-half/$12-full

The Innocence Brewing Calamity Coffee Ale SIN 4.6% ABV ($6-half/$12-full) has a stronger coffee and caramel aroma, as freshly ground specialty beans from Papa Palheta are infused in an amber ale base resulting in a cold-brew coffee like ale.

Young's Double Chocolate Stout (back) and Tiny Rebel Marshmallow Porter (front)

For an unusual yet familiar taste of marshmallows, one could try the Tiny Rebel Marshmallow Porter UK 5.2% ABV ($7-half/$14-full). Otherwise, there's the Young's Double Chocolate Stout UK 5.2% ABV ($5-half/$10-full) for its mocha-like taste.

It is rare to find Beer Floats served in Singapore, but one could get it from Five Marbles. We tried the White Princess and the Calamity Affagato. Please note that the photographed beer floats below are of tasting portions.

Crumble & Tumble @$15 

The Crumble & Tumble has coconut ice-cream on Zeffer Apple Crumble Cider. For those who likes cinnamon, juicy apple and coconut. Personally, I'd prefer the Affagato as it tasted like a creamy coffee, and less sweet than Crumble & Tumble.

Calamity Affagato @$15


Overall, it was an educational and interesting experience to go on a craft beer journey. Food tasted great, plenty of knowledge to be gleamed from the staff pertaining to craft beer profiles and a nice place to chillout.

Thank you Hence for the invite and Five Marbles for craft beer experience.







Sunday, September 10, 2017

[Media Invite] Beyond Pancakes @ Marina Square Mall

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Pannenkoek? Galettes? Now you have can them all at Beyond Pancakes. This halal-certified casual eatery is located at Level 3 of Marina Square Mall, serves a variety of European influenced pancakes, burgers and pastas.

menu
As usual, we went with the Chef's recommendation. For hors d'oeuvre, we had the Nachos Set. Yes, that's French for appetizer. The nachos were actually toasted crispy crepe which was served warm and crispy, then loaded with mozarella cheese, avocado strips, onions, olives, jalapenos and topped with a beautiful sunny side up. For the set, it was served with cheese sauce, spring onion dip and cheesy sundried tomato dip. The spring onion dip was refreshing but my favourite was the cheesy sundried tomato dip.

Nachos Set @$10.90


If you are ordering the Nachos Set, I do urge you to eat it as soon as it arrived. So good to have warm crispy crepe scooping up those yummy dips which quickly made their exit into our stomachs.

Next, we had the Chicken Bolognaise from the pasta section. Served with moderate amount of sauce and it sprinkled with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. The noodles strands were soft. The flavours were mild.

Chicken Bolognaise @$13.90

Saumon Fume Galette @$14.90
Was pleasantly surprised by the presentation of the smoked salmon galette. Thin thin layer of French crepe made of wheat, had edges so crisps that it fell off as soon as our finger tips gave it the tiniest of a nudge, which was lined with pesto sauce and topped with avocado, smoked salmon and a sunny side up.

We ate it the way Europeans would usually have it, which was to break the yolk, smear it around before rolling up the pancake. I liked it! The flavours were balanced and the rolled salmon, avocado and pesto mix with the thin galette skin was a big hit amongst the group.

For most of us, we are more familiar with the American styled pancakes. Round, soft and fluffy, and usually sweet. At Beyond Pancakes, there are savoury pancakes to choose and we had Le Poulet.

Le Poulet @$12.90
Butter in semi-melting state and spring onion mushrooms on my pancakes? Yes, please! The taste of the pancake was mildly sweet and the combination of grilled chicken strips, capsicum, onions and cherry tomatoes on the side would make this dish slightly more substantial.

Having a meal at Beyond Pancake was like taking a pancake journey to around European continent.  Pannenkoek was our next dish, and this is a Dutch-style pancake. Thin crepe, almost like a more hardy popiah-skin and topped with sliced chicken, black pepper sausages, turkey bacon, onions, capsicum, olives, and mozarella cheese.

De Kip @$13.90

No one resists desserts, right? Neither did we. This is for the sweet-toothed ones. The plate that we had was a special order of singular pancakes for tasting. Usual order would be Short (2 pieces), Medium (4 pieces) and Tall (6 pieces). Price ranges from $5.90 to $10.90 for Short.

(front counter clockwise) strawberry cream cheese, plain, chocolate chip and blueberry
Cheesy Nutella Roll @$14.90

The Cheesy Nutella Roll was basically Pannenkoek rolled with cream cheese, nutella, choco biscuit crumbs, served with vanilla ice-cream and peaches. The sweetness level was just right. Most of us were happy with just the original and the chocolate chip pancakes with butter and maple syrup.

My favourites were the Saumon Fume Pannenkoek, Le Poulet and the chocolate chip pancake.

Good halal option for pancakes.





 
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