Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Green Bar, Hitachi Tower, Singapore

The Salad of the Day

I nearly walked away from this place the first time I came here (16 Collyer Quay #01-16, 6493-6948). See, one of my biggest pet peeves is fruit in a salad, and nearly everything on the menu at this place featured something sweet in it. And this wasn't your usual salad bar where one could pick your own ingredients either - you had to pick from a limited menu of pre-designed salads.

But for whatever reason, I ended up sticking around...maybe because I noticed that they had a Greek salad, which was one of the few selections that wasn't sweet. And it was delicious, not only because of the sea salt that they sprinkled on it, but also because of just the right pairing of ingredients that made it taste just right. Indeed, it encouraged me so much that I've gone on to try nearly every other thing available here, including this off-the-menu special above featuring strawberries, dates, and balsamic vinegar - three things that I never would have put in a salad of my own, but that in reality came together wonderfully. No wonder why one of their slogans is "Our salad designs...when you trust us to do it for you."

There are still a few remaining things on the menu that I have yet to try, particularly the Chili Crab Salad and Caesar Salad, mainly because of fear that they won't live up to my expectations of the real thing. Yet these guys have proven my preconceived notions wrong so many times already that maybe one day I'll muster up the courage to try them on faith that these guys will still create something tasty.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gustazo Gourmet Tuyo from the Philippines

Gustazo Gourmet Tuyo

My Filipina colleague brought me some more packaged food from the Philippines, this time being something called tuyo. The way she explained it to me was that it was some kind of stinky fish that traditionally is eaten by peasants but is now common among the masses.

Based on that description as well as some stuff that I read online, I was expecting it to be so offensively strong that it would just stink up the entire place when I opened it. It turned out to be much tamer than I had thought, with those thin and salty strips of herring going great with a bowl of rice.

Yes, it had some stank to it, but in a good way. Perhaps the stronger smelling things were those cloves of garlic sitting inside, but of course that made it all the more tasty too. Anyway, I liked it. If this was the "mild" version, then I'm curious to know what the stronger ones taste like.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hakka Zhong's Thunder Tea Rice

Thunder Tea Rice

I haven't been down to Amoy Street Food Centre in a while. So I was a bit confused when I saw these guys at stall #01-11. They were selling lei cha fan, but I thought I remembered my usual stall being a couple of rows down. Upon further investigation, it looked like they had shut down, and this was a different vendor.

I actually liked these guys even better. It was a tad saltier and greasier, which made it a bit more interesting. But the plastic bowl was so small that it couldn't have handled my usual soup-drenching process, so I dunked a couple of scoops at a time instead. It worked for me, if only the weather weren't so darned hot outside.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Podi Uttapam from Komala's

Podi Uttapam

That was a new one for me. Skimming through the menu at Komala's tonight, I noticed podi uttapam, or basically a chili powder uttapam. It sounded interesting enough, and fortunately it turned out to be better than I expected, with a gritty podi encrusted on top to provide a bit a fun texture. It wasn't super spicy, but it was rich from all of the ghee. It's clearly not doing my arteries any favors though.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

ROAST at One Rochester, Singapore

Shellfish risotto with seared langoustine and avruga caviar

That was totally unexpected. We were orignally in the Rochester Park area scouting for a private event venue at a neighboring tenant when we mistakenly came here instead (1 Rochester Park, 6773-0070). It turned out to be surprisingly good, with this risotto in particular blowing me away. The langoustine was tender, naturally sweet, and yet still with the beautiful fragrance of a quick sear. Topping it with caviar and with a creamy risotto underneath was frosting on the cake.

I'm easily coming back. In particular, I want to plop myself down here on an afternoon just trying out a bunch of their bar snacks, if those playful little baby potato skins that we had tonight were representative of how good this place could be. I regret that I never really cared about trying out this place before (probably because of a lackluster experience at its next door neighbor ages ago). But one taste of this place tonight, and it's instantly leapt into one of my favorite places in town.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Bollicine, The Rivergate, Singapore

Fettucce Tognazzi

Despite the Robertson Quay address, this isn't exactly a place that one would expect to find a restaurant at, as it is tucked into a big condo complex (95 Robertson Quay #01-19, 6509-8509). But I came across it a number of months ago while walking along the riverfront, and it's been a quiet little gem that I've been going to ever since.

The main reason is because of its consistently honest approach toward food. I've come to like a wide range of items from their menu, be it the starters, egg noodles, sea bass, or even something as simple as the fragrant olive oil they keep on each table. More than anything, it's just down to earth, and reminds us of simple, honest food from Italy.

The baffling thing for me though is that these guys are part of the same family as Quattro Stagioni Deli, a place in Liang Court that I've never been a big fan of (and that, not so surprisingly, shut down recently). I wasn't expecting to find out that they are associated with Via Veneto either, even if I've only been there once. Well, I hope that Bollicine sticks around; I'd rather come here than many of the other Italian places with better known names.