Monday, January 19, 2015

Forest Restaurant: Chinese New Year Menu at Resorts World Sentosa

Chef Sam Leong is one of the most celebrated local chefs around. Always known for innovative use of ingredients and beautiful plating of Chinese dishes, he set up his own restaurant in Equarius Hotel in Resorts World Sentosa.

I was invited for a tasting of the new Chinese New Year menu. And typical of Chef Sam's meals, it is themed...this tasting seemed to be around the coconut.

We started with the Four Treasures Soup

Zoom in, the soup looks coyingly sumptious. 

The superior chicken stock is used to braise the fish maw, sea cucumber, crab meat, Hokkaido dried scallop and served in a young coconut. The taste is mild, allowing the ingredients to shine, and shine they did. Very delicious tasting, thick, filling and satisfying soup, with a light hint of the young coconut.

Next Boston Lobster

Fresh Boston lobster, wok fried with green chive juice and fresh lily bulb. Magnificent. The lobster meat was tender, sweet, and the done-ness just right to be slightly crunchy. The lily bulbs provide a more hearty crunch, as did the vermicelli bed the concoction lies on. Delicious!

Next, a slightly western twist, Sakura chicken roll

Again, using the superior chicken stock as a base, the Sakura chicken is tolled up with dried oyster and black moss and served with yam puree. I found the chicken to be delectable, with a very light, mild chicken flavour...mind you, not the offensive type found in frozen chicken, but a delightfully beautiful aromatic chicken flavour which permeated and harmonized with the black moss and dried oyster. A sprig of asparagus provides an able counterpoint. 

And for desserts, chilled coconut jello

Home made coconut juice jello, served with aloe vera and sea coconut topped with popping candy. Magnificent. The jello was incredibly smooth and supple, and had a light taste of young coconut, and went superbly with the sea coconut and aloe vera. The popping candy providing some fireworks...wonderful way to end a meal.

Truly superb cuisine, And I have to take my hat off to Chef Sam Leong for creating such magnificent dishes.

Forest Restaurant
Resorts World Sentosa
Phone:6577 7788

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Feng Shui Inn: Chinese New Year menu at Resorts World Sentosa

Feng Shui Inn is one of interesting Cantonese restaurants in Singapore. Situated within Crockford's Tower in Resorts World Sentosa, it offers a nice escape for a delicious meal.

I was recently invited to taste the Chinese New Year menu.

Available form 4 Feb to 5 Mar, the special prosperity menu is rather interesting. First off, is the Lo Hei. A tradition these days in Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore, this is not usually a dish I am particularly fond of. But when the dish was served, it was extremely interesting. The chef has taken great pains in ingredient selection as well as in the presentation:

The plate is beautifully decorated with goat motifs, using the ingredients. Which are rather interesting as well. Wild morel mushrooms, I understand from Switzerland to provide an earthy, wild flavour, the texture of the morel is reminiscent of the goat's stomach. And the use of Japanese Flying Fish roe to provide the crunch. I found it also innovative and delicious to use deep fried, crispy fish skin as part of the crackling in addition to the traditional fritters and the chef's home made honey coated cornflakes. 

Tastewise, after the messy tossing which is de rigeur, it is rather light, allowing the ingredients to shine rather than being overpowered by the sauce. Rather nice. 

We next tasted the Double Boiled Pacific Pearl Clams with black fungus

The chef explained that though the Pacific Pearl Clams are not particularly expensive, it is rather rare, as these are from clams bearing pearls, and only one is found in each clam. I had imagined it to be tough, chewy, but I was mistaken. The clams are very tender, almost breaking when prodded with a pair of chopsticks. The flavour is light, clean, fresh, The soup is absolutely delicious. 

Next, Braised 6 head fresh abalone with dried oyster

A single magnificent 6 head abalone. Abalones are classified by the number of heads, and by this method, the number of heads that is required to weigh 1 catty (600g) classifies the abalone. In this case, 6 head, means that 6 of these abalones, in raw, weigh 1 catty. A 2 head abalone, one of the largest I have tasted, is about 300g each. And the mini baby abalones are 12 head or even 16 head.

Here the abalone is tender, succulent, and goes superbly with the dried oyster, which also rendered very tender. The stock is superior, and bursting with umami and flavour. 

And for dessert, a twist on the traditional nian gao, or New Year Cake

Presented as a layered cake, with custard topped golden flakes. Two layers of nian gao,a nd two layers of custard cream and coconut chunks. Topped with a 24k gold leaf. Rather interesting. And in tune with the modern interpretation, is not quite as sweet as traditional nian gao. 

The chef, Li Kwok Kwong, from Hong Kong. Bravo, chef.

The restaurant is rather large, with a huge dining hall, and several private rooms. Decor is very beautiful and elegant, as befitting a top level restaurant in the Resort.

Overall, lovely, lovely meal. Very light, beautiful play of ingredients making what I feel is a nutritious and healthy meal. Nicely played. Highly recommended for your Chinese New Year festivities.

Feng Shui Inn
Resorts World Sentosa

Friday, January 9, 2015

Katsukura Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square: best katsu ever?

I have eaten at Katsukura's branch at Shiodome for many years, in fact almost every trip to Tokyo is not complete without a meal there.

This last trip, in November 2014 was no different. As I arrived in Tokyo, I heard from the grapevine that the quality of the food in Katsukura Shiodome has fallen, but that the outlet at Times Square is still very good. So we trodded over to Shinjuku to eat our fill.

And without further ado, we ordered. Almost immediately the side dishes arrived, together with the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestel and the requisite sauces.

And also some light appetizers of tofu and simmered vegetables.

The order of rosu katsu: from the loin of the pig

As in my earlier experiences in visits to Shiodome, it was marvellous. The breaded crust was very light, crispy, and no hint of oil at all. The pork within was juicy, tasty and very tender, with a small sliver of fat which provided some oomph to the taste.

As mentioned in my earlier review, the cabbage is hand cut, and unlimited servings are offered.

We also tried the smaller cut of katsu with a prawn

Indeed, superb as well. The smaller cut of pork cutlet was a little dryer...perhaps the smaller portion tend to cook faster. And the prawn was superb. Beautifully fresh, with a hint of the sea, very sweet and very tasty.

We also added a croquette

Deep fried with the same batter, the crust was as light, crispy and ungreasy as the pork and prawn. The insides were delightfully moist. The mashed potatoes were remarkably tasty, with chunks of crab within. Excellent.

Overall, still a very enjoyable meal. And again, very highly recommended. 

Takashimaya Times Square 14F, 5-24-2, Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-0051
(〒151-0051 東京都渋谷区千駄ヶ谷5-24-2 タカシマヤ タイムズスクエア14F)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Burger Barn at ARC

The onslaught of new burger places never ceases. Some are rather good, but most are just pedestrian.

One of the better ones which arrived at our shores recently is Burger Barn. From what I understand, this is not a chain store. Artisan styled, perhaps. There was a Japanese chef in attendance when I dropped in on New Year's Day. 

The decor was simple, rather western. Service was fast, and polite...its the order and pay at the cashier, go sit, and wait for your food to be served.

I ordered the Classic Burger

There was a choice of bun, I chose brioche. The bun was very soft and fluffy. A nicely fried egg sits on top a cheese layer on top of a hand made beef patty which lay on a bed of lettuce. And on top of the egg sat some thick slices of bacon. The burger was rather large and came with a big paper box of thickly sliced fries, dusted with paprika.

The patty was absolutely delicious. Slightly smokey flavour, well grilled, tender, and with an oomph of a beefy taste. The texture was that of a hand chopped beef patty, and not ground beef. The bacon was very nice, if a bit fat, like most bacon. The fries were rather standard, I figured they sliced the potato and fried it. Not processed in any other way, I suspect.

Nice burger. I really enjoyed it.

Kin ordered the grilled cheese sandwich

Rather nice too, but we have had better at Revolution Coffee. The rye bread, or what seemed to be rye, nicely toasted with melted cheese within, sits on top of the crisps. 

The servings for both the burger and the sandwich is rather large. The atmosphere was relaxed, and quiet. I would recommend it, and will be back to try out other burgers...including a Philly Cheesesteak.

Burger Barn
460 Alexandra Road, Alexandra Retail Centre (ARC), S(119963)
Singapore, Singapore
Opening Hours:
Everyday, 9am-9pm
Tel: 6273 0012