Monday, September 17, 2012

Enclave in the beautiful flower garden at Gardens by the Bay, Pollen serves mainly Mediterranean-inspired modern European cuisine. If you are familiar with Chef Jason Atherton, this chef and restauranteur is the chef director who leads the culinary direction for Pollen. He formerly worked for celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay at the highly-acclaimed Maze restaurant. Pollen is a sister restaurant of Pollen Street Social - the first restaurant that he established in 2011 after leaving Chef Ramsay.

We arrived 5 minutes before opening and was invited to take a seat at the waiting area. Very quickly, we were then ushered to our table. The restaurant was beautifully decorated. The staff were attentive and polite. We were served with baguette and sour dough with butter, two other condiments as soon as we settled down. We both loved the one with the mashed potato and olive oil. It was very delicious.

We ordered ala carte food instead of the lunch set. For appetizers, we had 3 dishes - parsley soup with smoked sea trout, deep fried truffle egg; salad of buttered lobster, pasta, seaweed, maple dressing; and slow-cooked egg, "english breakfast".For mains, we ordered 2 dishes - Lined-caught John Dory, Spanish rice, cabaneros, asparagus; and Iberico pork chop, belly, fermented apple, seeds, grains

After the entree, we were invited to the dessert bar to meet the executive pastry chef Andres Lara. We ordered three desserts and saw chef Andres Lara at work.

At the end of the memorable gastronomic lunch, we explored the Flower Dome from the restaurant.
The first appetiser, the slow-cooked egg "english breakfast", was mind-blowing. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, keeping the yoke runny. The egg rested nicely on tomato sauce and topped with crispy bacon strips. Eating the egg with the sauce and bacon was divine. The combination had traces of saltiness from the bacon and sweet-sour from the tomato sauce that blew us away. (Priced at SGD20.00) (Food rating: 5/5)

The parsley soup that came with smoked sea trout and deep fried truffle egg was fantastic. A refreshing soup that did not have a strong "vegetable" smell and aftertaste. Coupled with the aromatic deep fried truffle egg, the soup combination tasted even better than we had expected. (Priced at SGD18.00) (Food rating: 4/5)

Another appetiser - salad of buttered lobster, pasta, seaweed and maple dressing was a huge WOW!. The lobster meat chunks were fresh and sweet. The pasta, more like egg noodle, was equally delicious. Texturally, the pasta was perfectly cooked - firm to the bite. (Priced at SGD35.00) (Food rating: 4/5)

The Iberico pork chop and belly was delicious, tender and succulent. The fats melted the moment I put into my mouth. There were traces of oriental sauce - more like some Chinese sauce that we used to eat at home. (Priced at SGD50.00) (Food rating: 3.5/5)

The lined-caught John Dory with Spanish rice was mouthwatering. The sweetness of the dory fillet blends very well with the asparagus and prawn. Eating the entree with the Spanish rice was heavenly. The broth was flavourful and rich at the same time. The rice were perfectly cooked in al dente style - firm to the bite. I was intrigued by the Spanish rice which had nice alluring fragrance and yet had a nice texture. (Priced at SGD48.00) (Food rating: 5/5)

Chocolate roast cocoa nib ice cream, lavender parfait & cherry was my favourite amongst the three desserts. The chocolate was therapeutic.

Address: Flower Dome, Garden by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-09 Singapore 018953
Rating: 4.8/5
Pricing: $$$
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 5/5

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Address: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, B1-08
Price: $$
Rating: 3/5

漁 Yú Cuisine is a modern Chinese seafood, dim sum, grill and champagne bar restaurant.

I had lunch with a friend at Yu Cuisine. The ambiance was great. The cushioned chairs, semi-circled cushioned benches and the grand chandelier gave a grandeur of luxury dining. We were served by friendly staff who attended to our every needs. Despite the grand decor, the cushioned benches had water stains that made it very unsightly.

We were served with fried fish skin as appetisers. We had dim sum, soup, main dishes and white rice. The impression I was given was a seafood restaurant which was branded for fine dining. For dim sum, we had steamed shrimp dumplings (ha gow) and steamed pork dumpling (siew mai). We had crabmeat and fish maw soup. Then we ordered sambal kangkong, crab meat with conpoy in egg white, steak cooked in Chinese style.

I liked the steam pork dumpling (siew mai), crabmeat with conpoy in egg white and steak. The steamed shrimp dumplings and soup were just normal.

If you are in the vicinity and in need for Chinese seafood, this is the place to go.

Sambal KangKong
Fried Fish Skin

The Fried Fish Skin were crispy and crunchy. I loved the fact that there was no fishy smell and after taste. It was absolutely delicious and enjoyable. (Food rating: 3/5)
crab meat with conpoy in egg white

I was amazed how delicious the Crab meat with Conpoy in Egg White. The dish was amazing delicious. When eaten with white rice, the taste of the crab meat with conpoy in egg white heightened. (Food rating: 3/5)
steak cooked in Chinese style

It was interesting how the steak was prepared. The creative way of cooking the steak in Chinese style was an interesting and unconventional way. The meat was tender and juicy. (Food rating: 3/5)
Meat dumpling with prawns

We also ordered a dim sum dish - meat dumpling with prawns or Shaomai (烧卖). The meat dumplings were crispy and freshly prepared. (Food rating: 3.5/5)

crabmeat and fish maw soup

The rich broth of crab meat and fish maw soup was a must-have. You could also taste the collagen in the soup. (Food rating: 3.5/5)

Situated at The Fullerton Pavilion floating atop the waters of Marina Barrage, a contemporary Spanish restaurant, Catalunya serves a menu that reflects the diversity of Spanish cuisine. The restaurant is helmed by an international team of award-winning culinary experts from the likes of elBulli, Santi and many more.

We made a lunch reservations at Catalunya on a Saturday as dinner reservations were always full. The beautiful lighting from the facades of Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Singapore Flyers would be the most romantic dining place for first dates. During the day, the view overlooking MBS and the Marina Barrage was also captivating. Underneath the blue sky, there were sailing boats and deep blue waters, which created a breathtaking view to make a deep impression. As soon as we arrived, we were warmly greeted by their staff who led us to our table. The table was a U-shaped booth that gave us a great view of MBS and the privacy we needed. The servers were both considerate and polite - giving us privacy and yet attending to our needs. So, guests would not feel overwhelmed or awkward whilst dining.

We ordered three tapas, two mains and two desserts. For tapas, we ordered a Ham, Cheese and Truffle "Bikini" - a Ham, Cheese and Truffle sandwich, Asparagus with Poached Eggs, and Roasted Suckling Pig with Lemon Puree. For desserts, we ordered a Chocolate in Different Textures with Passion Fruit and "Torrija" with Milk Ice Cream - Fried milk bread with spices, served with smoked milk ice cream. For entrees, we had a Veal "Fricando" with wild mushrooms - Traditional Catalan veal stew and Lobster Rice - short-grained with lobster cooked in fish broth. We also had two side dishes - Wood roasted pineapple and Stewed Mushrooms, baby onions, and vegetables.

The tapas arrived first and we were already swooned over the delicious food. The entrees blew us away too. After the entrees, our anticipation grew. We were eager to know if the desserts were going to blow our minds away with their delicious creations. And it did.

The lunch at Cataluya really surprised us with their amazing mouthwatering dishes. Besides the delicious food, the ambience and service were also highly commended. It would be another dining place to bring your partner for an enjoyable and memorable meal.

Today's Special - Asparagus with Poached Egg Tapas was very good. The asparagus were perfectly cooked, retaining its crunchiness. The poached eggs were superbly cooked - soft in the middle, which was simply delicious. The poached eggs went very well with the asparagus - a great combination. (Food rating: 4/5)

Ham, Cheese and Truffle "Bikini" was heavenly. Like a bite-sized sandwich, the bread were very well toasted with generous servings of ham, cheese and truffle bits.  A savoury and flavoursome sandwiches that whetted our appetites. (Food rating: 4/5)

I was swooned over the Roasted Suckling Pig with Lemon Puree. The pork was tender and moist that it melted the minute I put into my mouth. The mild sourness of the lemon puree complemented the pork very well. It brought out the sweetness of the roasted pork. This tapas was very well suited for those who wanted to taste the dishes. The restaurant also served the "Traditional Suckling Pig 'Segovian Style'", which was the entire pig, was best for 2-3 persons. (Food rating: 4/5)

We were served with Mussels with Tomato Puree Tapas when the food was a little delayed.

Stewed Mushrooms, baby onions, and vegetables was delicious. The sauce was sweet and yet rich. My friend enjoyed the different mushrooms stewed for long hours immensely. (Food rating: 4/5)

The Lobster Rice served in short-grained rice with lobster cooked in fish broth. The risotto was firm to the bite and had a rich aroma. The lobster was freshly prepared and the crunchy meat was easily removed from the shell. (Food rating: 4/5)

 Veal "Fricando" with wild mushrooms, which was a Traditional Catalan veal stew, was absolutely superb. The veal was very tender that it melted in your mouth. The wild mushrooms were very fragrant. The entire dish was wholesome. (Food rating: 4/5)

"Torrija" with Milk Ice Cream was fried milk bread with spices, served with smoked milk ice cream. The milk bread was soft and moist that melted in your mouth with a slight sweet flavour. The smoked milk ice cream had a nice sweetness and smooth texture. It was a great dessert to enjoy after a scrumptious meal.

I could not imagine how the wooden roasted pineapple sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon powder could be so delicious. The cinnamon surprisingly brought out the sweetness from the pineapple that made it so appetising. (Food rating: 4/5)

Chocolate in Different Textures with Passion Fruit was gastronomic. The dessert was a blend of sourness and sweetness. The sourness from the passion fruit sorbet and the different textures of sweetened chocolates made the dessert fun and enjoyable.  (Food rating: 4/5)

 The Fullerton Pavilion

Address: The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay Singapore 049327
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 5/5

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