Saturday, October 25, 2014

Singapore Restaurant Week 25 Oct to 2 Nov 2014: Taratata Bistro @ Keong Saik Road

It's that time again. Yup, Singapore Restaurant Week. This time round, didn't have the opportunity to try more as I'd be in Seoul for the majority of those dates. Nevertheless, made a lunch reservation for 25 Oct at Taratata Bistro.

Located at 35A Keong Saik Road, which is about less than 10 minutes walk from Outram MRT station. Taratata Bistro is small and cosy. Place was busy with almost all tables occupied. Table for two are placed very near one another, about an elbow space apart. Am sure the convo with my bro is freely heard by the adjacent table as we have heard their stories as well.

pour le déjeuner
wall decor

Very simply, the Restaurant Week set menu comprises of two choices for appetisers and mains, so we took one of each. Add $10++ for a glass of wine, which we did.

complimentary bread

Sparkling or still water? As usual, iced tap water s'il vous plaît.

Brittany cider

First up, appetisers. One hot, one cold.

half dozen escargot baked in herb garlic butter

The escargot was amazingly tender. Enjoyable.

snail and bread

Presentation of the salad was good, with vibrant colours. Tasted refreshing with tangy and sweet alternates.

marinated salmon with lettuce and basil scented sundried tomatoes

Once the appetisers were done, the main course arrived quickly. Oh, and the elongated plates were huge! Keke.

poached stuffed chicken supreme with forest mushrooms sauce
pan-fried cod fish with green pea puree & seafood chowder fish sauce

Poached chicken has an earthy undertone flavoured by the forest mushrooms. Pleasant, and intriguing, as for some reason, I thought that the chicken had asian hints of soy sauce taste to it. Mashed potato was smooth, creamy and buttery.

The pan-fried cod fish was very firm. Green pea puree was sweetish and the seafood chowder sauce was wondrously umami'ish. Those tiny octopus tendrils were fun eats and contrasted in texture and taste against the cod.

Lastly, apple crumble for desserts. There was no other option for this, so everyone gets the same.

one huge apple crumble, served hot

Very soft, and very hot. Crumble was sweet, and apples slightly sourish. Managed to plough through the dessert and ended up feeling very full! Black coffee helped to cut through the sweetness. Two could've shared this. No kidding.

All in all, it was a good experience. Looking forward to the next Restaurant Week.

Spent $89 for two pax, inclusive of drinks and taxes.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Restaurant HOME @ The Rail Mall

Located at The Rail Mall, Upper Bukit Timah Road. Usual route to get there would be via bus #67 from Choa Chu Kang bus interchange. The bus stop is right infront of The Rail Mall, so it could still be conveniently accessible.

HOME by award winning and celebrity Chef Tan Yong Hua

A slight rain prior but the clouds cleared just as we approached the appointed dinner time.There's a classy homely feel to the place.

table setting
chinese tea

Started with HOME's signature, the Peking Duck Barbecued with Lychee Wood. The table was served with the duck's crispy skin, to be dipped in sugar. Cracklingly crispy. A delicacy.

crispy skin
sugar dip

After which, one gets to wrap the thin sliced meat with the flour crepe. The sauce here is not overly salty, so one could dip plenty.

Peking Duck Barbecued with Lychee Wood ($38++ half/$68++ whole)
place all together
Peking duck wrap

The second serving (of the bones and remaining bits of meat) of the Peking duck was then deep fried with dried chili, roasted minced garlic and capsicum pepper fine salt. The appearance of this dish is close to the one that I had in Duck King (鸭王) Beijing.

deep fried duck with dried chili, roasted minced garlic and capsicum pepper fine salt @$10++

The next signature dish was the Baked Soon Hock in Claypot. Pricing is based on weight @$9/100gms.

baked fish in claypot

Fish was fresh, firm and sweet. Chef Tan shared that to make a good claypot fish dish, the size matters. Fish ought to be at least 1kg. A splendid, simple dish.

soon hock fish

Next up, Homemade Egg Bean curd with Shrimp Paste, Crabmeat and Roe in Pi Pa Style. It must've been quite a big spoon to make such a big piece of pipa styled beancurd.

Homemade Egg Bean Curd with Shrimp Paste, Crabmeat and Roe in Pi Pa Style

Loved the striking golden colour. Served piping hot, with plenty of sauce. Deepfried beancurd that tasted so good.

crabmeat, shrimp paste, beancurd

Next dish was the Stewed Golden Noodles with Lobster and Spring Onions wrapped in O Ba leaves.

Lobster in O Ba leaves

The noodles were requested to be specifically made using Chef Tan's recipe. The result? Springy, egg noodles without the alkaline taste. It tasted as though it was tossed simply with sesame oil, and light soy sauce. Very yums.

Lunch Sets

Next we sampled Restaurant HOME's lunch sets. In the lunch set, one gets a soup of the day, a dessert and a noodle dish. Price ranges from $20++ upwards.

The soup of the day happened to be Boiled Dried Vegetables with Candied Dates, Wolfberry and Pork. A soothing kind of soup that reduces heatiness.

Soup of the Day

Noodle choices include Crispy Roast Pork, Barbequed Duck, Honey Glazed BBQ Pork Loin (char siew) served with yellow noodles.

The plates pictured below, were of tasting size. The actual serving size for example, one gets a quarter of a duck for the BBQ Duck with Lychee Wood set lunch @$24++ per pax.
barbequed duck with lychee wood served with homemade yellow noodles
crispy roast pork with homemade yellow noodle

Or, one could try the homemade Ramen with 8 Head Quality Amidori Abalone (fresh).

homemade ramen with 8 head abalone

After so much meat, the Chilled Rosella Flower Jelly with Diced Mango was a welcomed change.

Chilled Rosella Flower Jelly with diced Mango

For those working nearby, the lunch sets will surely satisfy the big eaters. Or, share it with someone.

Special thanks to media personality, Chef Tan Yong Hua whom is also the Director-Executive Chef of Restaurant HOME (家). A humble and affable man, whom patiently answered our queries, shared tips and his philosophy on food.

Thank you too, to my fellow blogger friend, Hence for this session.

Restaurant HOME

Location: No. 394, Upper Bukit Timah Road, S678046
Contact number: 6465 1698

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Makan@Jen @ Hotel Jen Orchardgateway

Located directly above Orhardgateway, Makan@Jen is all the way up at Level 10. It opens daily from 630am till 11pm. Serving buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

During weekday lunch time, one could get a main course or salad/dessert buffet @$9.90++. Or, top up $5 for appetiser buffet and/or $5 for dessert buffet. In this manner, one could enjoy one main course with appetiser and desserts buffet for just $19.90++. That's quite a steal. Do note that promotions are subjected to change.

@Level 10 of Orchardgateway

The place was spacious. Here's a quick tour.

table for 4
out at the terrace
view from Level 10

Back to the buffet. Salads, cold seafood section, noodles station, grill station and desserts.

achar, various leafy greens for salads and breads
tuna and salmon
clams and mussels

Prawns were firm and clams had a bit of sweetness to it. There's a green coloured thai-styled sauce which goes well with seafood.

Small bites such as kueh pie tee, popiah and dim sum (har gao and mini buns) are available too.

kueh pie tee and popiah station
noodles station
sampler from noodles live station

Didn't try the noodles but assembled a kueh pie tee, for myself. The shell could've been crispier though.

kueh pie tee and har gao

There is a wine dispenser machine and one could top up $19++ for unlimited tastings of wine.

four types of wine for $19++ only
some cheeses to go along with the wine?

There is also grill station that churns out grilled beef, chicken and seafood.

grilled seafood

Other hot food include pasta, brocolli, sweet and sour pork and baked salmon.

sweet sour pork

The pasta ragout was likeable.

grilled zucchini and pasta ragout

For drinks, there's the usual coffee maker and hot water for tea bags. Makan@Jen offers orange infused water, as well as strawberry ice tea and also the usual ice lemon tea. Mostly unsweetened, but syrups are provided.

flavoured water/tea

strawberry lemon tea with rose syrup

Lots of choices for sweets. Tarts, cakes and kuehs. Marshmallows and ice-cream.

hot water dispenser and tea bags
cakes and local kuehs
pumpkin tart
lemon tart

Tried the pumpkin and chocolate tart. The pumpkin tart base was a tad hard but the pumpkin mousse/cream was of a right sweetness. Not too sweet. Chocolate tart was dark and good to finish with a cup of coffee.

pumpkin (front) and chocolate tart (back)

I understand from one of the staff that one could also enjoy the $19++ wine without getting the buffet.

The place has a nice ambiance with a relaxed atmosphere.


Contact number: +65 6708 8899 (for buffet prices enquiry, reservations etc)

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