with Prof Horolographer, SJX and RobG
A friend from the Philippines visited, and a a few of us decided to get together for lunch with him before heading out to the MBF tea event at Au Petit Salut. We decided to go to Vanentino's at Rifle Range. I have known Chef Valentino for many years, since when he first came to Singapore from his native Venice some 8 years ago...then he was working as chef at Cafe Roma, just off Sixth Avenue. I always loved his touch - pasta, pizza, fish all tasted great. He then ventured out on his own, and at one stage his mother (Mama mia!) joined and he set her up at another Valentino's in Changi. He recently moved to Rifle Range, occupying a quaint shophouse...but being Deepavali, he was closed. We went to the Fish Market at Greenwood Avenue instead...nearby.
This was a quiet residential spot, nestled amongst an expensive District 10 suburb. A row of shophouses which boasts of many eating places...some quite good...like the old Shiro - a Japanese joint so exclusive that they don't take walk-ins...by appointment only...but once inside, cuisine is divine, and service quietly superb. They have recently closed to move to another place...I understand to be the former Couduroy & Fitch at Sixth Avenue. Another winner here is the French Bistro - Sebastian's. A family favourite, this is a delectable bistro...service always attentive and knowledgable. And the food always dependable and excellent.
Nearby there is also Chat Masala Too...a branch of a classic Northern Indian joint, dishing up favourites. Also in the same row is Lana Cake house, famous for what else cakes. Which brings us to the Fish Market. This is actually a fish market - you can buy fresh seafood, and have the folks there clean, and even suggest how you cook it.
But venture a bit into the shop, and there is a dining space, setup for perhaps 30 diners. The style reminded me very much of the seafood restaurants that dot Venice...shop outside, tiny diner inside. A smell of the fresh sea permeated as one enters.
As we were preparing for more food later, we decided to go light...a Shashimi platter comprising salmon shashimi, octopus, jellyfish and ginger. They usually have yellowfin maguro (tuna), but that day they ran out, and offered a double portion of salmon instead.
The sashimi was fresh. As can be seen from the pic, the glistening salmon testified to its freshness. But this was no Japanese restaurant, where the sushi chef takes pride in not only tempting the tast buds, but also provide a visual treat with the presentation of the food. In contrast, this was a fish market, the fish was fresh, but simply presented. Taste was excellent. Though I have tasted better in Tsukiji market and Tokyo, but in Singapore this one passed the muster.
RobG had a Portobello mushroom salad, and it looked very nice.
I didn't taste it, but it looked like a large, fleshy portobello mushroom was grilled with some cheese and set athroned on some garden salad.
We ordered a hot platter to be shared. This was a large plate...measuring some 12 inches across, and packed with nice seafood.
This comprised of (clockwise from 11 o'clock) char grilled lobster, wild king prawns (partially hidden), octopus in a salad, littleneck clams, greenlip mussels, gorgeous deep fried soft shell crab and calamari poppers.
This was a lovely plate. The lobster in particular stood out...firm flesh, sweet, tasty. The deep fried soft shell crab was also exceptional...the roe within provided enveloping richness to the crispy crab. Went very well with my glass of Wolf Blass Chardonnay - house pour for the day.
Nice place. I noticed that they also have Maine Lobster, and Alaskan King Crab...will come back to try next time.
34 Greenwood Avenue
Fish Market 11am - 10pm
Lunch 12pm - 2.30pm
Dinner 6.30pm - 10pm
Sat, Sun, PH 12pm - 10.30pm
Photonote. Taken mainly with EF35 f/1.4L...borrowed from Prof Horolographer. Must say this is a superb lens. Nice bokeh, though not as beautiful as EF85 f/1.2L. Rich, nice colour, including the out of focus area. At f/1.4, the depth of field is understandably shallow, but I like the effects. I also tried my 85L with a macro extension tube, but the magnification is too high...too close to the food.
White balanced in custom mode, by shooting at white table cloth and referenced in camera. Small adjustments done on Photoshop Levels mid-eye dropper.