Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chef d'Table at CHIJMES

A western themed restaurant...tucked in CHIJMES. Small, cozy, comfortable. This is Chef d'Table.

In the interest of a full disclosure, the restaurant is owned by the family of a good friend. But the views expressed are totally mine, and I hope not biased by friendship. I know my friend would want no biasness in my review.

The bar outside is fully stocked, but we brought our own wines

We started with appetizer of chilled angel hair pasta, perfumed with white truffle oil, tossed with ebbiko and konby with a sauteed garlic prawn

Excellent. Reminds me very much of the signature dish at Gunther's, but with a twist. Less luxurious as in the place of caviar, ebbiko is used. And two beautifully cooked and fresh prawns adorns. Very nice.

The next course was a lobster bisque cappucinno

Very good. Strong lobster bisque flavours. Served very hot. My only complaint on this soup? I wish it had larger chunks of lobster meat within...but mainly I wished the soup were bigger. I was later told that a regular a la carte serving would be on a soup dish, and a larger serving size. But we were there for a banquet like event...some 30 pax, so the portion size was reduced to meet our very specific budget. Anyway, excellent soup.

For mains, I had the grilled US Angus rib-eye steak, with grilled asparagus and crispy fried eggplant with a shallot red wine veal jus

The meat was excellent. Again, I wished for a larger portion. I prefer steaks which are at least 1-1.5 inches thick, so the doneness can be perfect...charred on the outside, medium for the inside, with a tinge of medium rare at the core.

As steaks go, this was quite good. The ribeye was tender, juicy, well marbled. The accompanying vegetables were excellent. And though I am not a jus fan, the sauce went very well with the steak.

For dessert, baked filo pastry, wrapped caramalized banana with almond and crumble with a warm chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream

I found this to be magnificent. The pastry was light, crisp and fluffy. The banana within beautifully cooked. The entire dish, being a dessert provided a wonderful sweet ending to the meal...but not too sweet...just right. The vanilla ice cream added a dimension which transforms this dessert.

The chef...Jason was an quiet, unassuming man...but quite accomplished in the kitchen.

Overall, highly recommended restaurant. Beautiful surroundings and romantic atmosphere complemented by truly excellent cooking.

Chef d'Table
30 Victoria Street
11.30am – 2.30pm
6.30pm – 10.30pm
Closed on Sundays

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