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Category: Dining Out (page 1 of 15)

Back in time: Yet Con Chicken Rice (逸群鸡饭)

A couple weeks ago, my Australian buddy Cyn (best known as The Food Pornographer) and her partner Jac were in town. Thanks to the wonderful world wide web, Cyn and I connected via Twitter (I think). A few years ago, I made a trip to Perth, and I had such a fun time eating and chatting with her. So I was super dope when both Cyn and Jac were in Singapore–this means lots of eating (duh) and catching up.

The one great thing about having overseas guests is you get to be a tourist again–going to places that you rarely visit–Yet Con is one of them. Located along Purvis Street, Yet Con is an icon. Founded in 1940, stepping into Yet Con, I felt as if I have been transported into another world. The furnishing is old school coffeshop. The owner sits behind the counter, directing customers to their seats. And the place does smell a bit funky.

Among the three of us, we ordered chicken, Hainanese pork chop and mixed chop suey. At Yet Con, they only serve steamed chicken (白鸡) and you do not get to choose your preferred part. So we got half a chicken to share. The chicken itself was quite lean, like kampong chicken. The skin was not fatty and the meat was very flavourful. To me, the rice was equally important too. Yet Con’s version was savoury and tasty. As we have a second eating session, I showed restraint and did not order another bowl of rice.

The oriental-style Hainanese pork chop is one of Yet Con’s signature dishes. Jac found the sauce too sweet while Cyn quite enjoyed the chop. The mixed chop suey that we ordered was pretty good too–the dish had cabbage, baby corn, sotong, prawns and pork. It was refreshing and helped to cut the richness of the chicken.

Chicken rice is a dish I feel that is often taken for granted. It is readily available everywhere in Singapore. Yet Con’s version is quite unlike the ones we find at hawker centres. Most importantly, eating at Yet Con transports one into another era. I personally think everyone should give this institution a try.

Yet Con Chicken Rice (逸群鸡饭)
25 Purvis Street, Singapore
+65-6337-6819
Opening hours: 11.00am – 9.30pm (daily)

An overdue lunch at Violet Oon’s Kitchen

I have a bunch of girlfriends that I have known for years. They are uber talented, smart and “crafty”. We communicate mostly via social media, and we rarely meet up for lunch. Even if we do, there is always one or two missing in the picture. So FINALLY we managed to sit down and have a meal together at Violet Oon’s Kitchen.

All of us ordered a different main and some starters to share. I have heard so much about the dry laksa that I had to get it. It definitely lived up to the expectation. It is not exactly a fried noodle dish – it has enough sauce to coat the noodles without being sloppy. The rempah was beautifully done and they have added the right amount of coconut milk so you would not be sick of the laksa. And there were so much “liao”(translate: ingredients)–beancurd puff, fish cake and prawns. Everyone (including myself) loves this dry laksa.

My friend, R got the dry mee siam. Unlike the dry laksa, you don’t think you are eating dry mee siam. Perhaps it was the choice of noodles which was thick noodles. When I think of mee siam, I always relate to thin vermicelli. However the spices were well done, it was still a good dish.

At our table, another friend, R was brave enough to try the buah keluak pasta. The pasta was a tad too spicy for me but the buah keluak tapenade was strangely nice and addictive. I could not describe the flavour but it was rich and savoury. If the spice level was slightly lowered, I think I can polish off the entire plate

We also ordered the kueh pie tee and ayam goreng to share. The ayam goreng aka fried chicken was crispy and the flavour was pretty good. But the chicken was over-fried, it was a bit dry for me. The kueh pie tee fared so much better. The filling which was made up of bamboo shoots and turnips that were beautifully cooked in a rich prawn broth, making the entire dish super tasty.

We ended our meal with the bread and butter pudding with whisky and custard sauce. The pudding itself was moist and not too sweet. The whisky and custard sauce was the bomb (though some of the alcoholics at the table felt that the sauce can do with more whisky). This is one dessert that I would strongly recommend.

Though I am not sure when we will gather for another meal, this was sure a lot of fun. We filled the restaurant with our laughter and loud chatter. And it was made even better with delicious food in our tummies.

Violet Oon’s Kitchen
881 Bukit Timah Road
+65-6468-5430

A delayed birthday treat at Nirai Kanai Okinawan

The birthday was in November. The treat was in January. And now I am finally writing about it.

For the past few years, my friend, S will give me a birthday treat (together with another friend, G whose birthday is quite close to mine). Last year, I selected Nirai Kanai Okinawan. It was quite a feat finding the right place. S is allergic to seafood, and G doesn’t fancy fried food (yah I wondered why I am friends with her). After some good old googling, I found Nirai Kanai.

Located at the basement corner of Liang Court, Nirai Kanai Okinawan is an old school styled restaurant. The décor, in my opinion, is charming and adorable. The moment you step in, it is as if you have entered into a Japanese restaurant in the 1980s. And they are very considerate too. There are hooks and hangers for you to hang your jacket, and they built shelves underneath each table where you can place your bags.

We ordered quite a lot of food as we were hungry and greedy. I wanted the crispy river shrimps as they were my favourite beer snack. Though I did not drink that night, this little titbit is salty and crunchy, and best eaten when warm. The waiter placed the plate of fried shrimps in front of me, I had to push it aside as I cannot stop eating them.

One of Okinawa’s signature dishes is goya chanpuru. It is essentially thinly sliced bitter gourd with tofu, egg and pork. Nirai Kanai version was clean and well-seasoned. I would be quite content if you give me a bowl of rice and a plate of goya chanpuru.

Another favourite of mine was cubed beef steak. There was nothing fancy about this dish – good quality beef topped with garlic chips and stir-fried beansprouts. The beef was cooked to medium which was how I like it. This dish needed to be eaten fast as it was served on a hot plate which cooked the beef.

With all these food, we needed rice to accompany them. I ordered the onigiri. Unlike the conventional rice ball where the core ingredient is stuffed in the middle, the onigiri was made up of mixed rice with mushroom, pork belly and seaweed. The rice was well-cooked and flavourful. We also ordered a pork belly dish (which I never tried but my friends said it was good), and fried chicken (which was also pretty decent but nothing extraordinary). We were pretty stuffed after this meal.

Okinawan cuisine is said to be influenced by the Chinese and South East Asian. More importantly, this particular cuisine is low in fat and salt, contributing to the longevity of the Okinawans. Though I am unsure if the dishes we ordered were low fat and low salt, they were simple and delicious.

Nirai Kanai Okinawan
177 River Valley Road, #B1-01/02,
Liang Court Shopping Centre
+65-6339-4811
Opening hours: 12.00pm-3.00pm, 6.00pm-11.00pm (Mon-Fri), 12.00pm-11.00pm (Sat-Sun)

Afternoon tea at Pollen

Hello! This slacker here finally woken up from her food coma and resumes her writing. It has been a filling and delicious few months, and I cannot believe it’s 2014! I ate so much and I am amazed that my stomach has yet to explode.

My friend, Evie was back for her year-end holidays, and I suggested tea at Pollen for some catching-up. Unlike the hotels, Pollen’s afternoon tea menu was rather small. However every item that is served to you is well planned and paired beautifully. We were given a platter savoury and sweet treats.

Evie and I started with the bread basket of toasted sourdough and cod branade. At a glance, the cod branade looked tasteless – it was not fishy, and it was creamy with a slight hint of saltiness. We finished our bread and cod branade in rapid speed and were horrified when we discovered the table next to us did not finish theirs.

For the savoury items, we had Scotch eggs with piccalilli relish, and seared beef with zucchini relish and onion brioche. Though the Scotch eggs did not have the traditional minced meat encasing the egg, the latter was cooked perfectly with a runny yolk. Paired with the cauliflower piccalilli relish which was pungent and sharp, it was a delight to put this small bite in my mouth (and this coming from someone who don’t like eggs).

For the seared beef, it was cooked to medium rare hence the meat was not chewy. I prised open the onion brioche, and filled it with slices of beef and zucchini relish, and ate it like a sandwich. It was awesome. I definitely have no making of a dainty tai-tai. The tartness from the relish cut through the richness of the beef and brioche. And I almost did an “Oliver Twist” and ask for more.

Personally, I think the sweet did not fare as well as the savoury. There were some hits and misses. My favourite on the platter was the éclair with fresh strawberry and cream. Though Evie found the strawberry to be rather sour, I quite liked it as it was refreshing amongst the thick, luscious cream. The choux pastry was crisp without being dry.

On the platter, we also had an orange and cranberry scone, macarons and a banana tea cake. The scone was beautifully scented with orange but it was way too big. I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it. The banana tea cake was not too bad but I don’t fancy the buttercream on top which was a tad heavy. And the cake itself was also a bit stodgy. The macarons we had that day was raspberry and chocolate, and lime and coconut. They were quite well made and the flavours complemented each other.

Pollen’s afternoon tea looked little, but seriously how much can one eat. It is not a competition to see how many open sandwiches you can eat. It is about a comfortable space, where one can chat with friends and enjoy some delicious afternoon delights.

Pollen
Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay,
18 Marina Gardens Drive, #01-09
+65-6604-9988
Afternoon tea starts from 3.00pm – 5.00pm (daily)

A welcome surprise: Penang Delights

Ang Mo Kio was my childhood playground. Papa Ng used to own a men’s garment factory in Ang Mo Kio. When I was a kid, I spent most of my time at the factory, doing menial tasks like trimming the thread from the shirt’s sleeves, folding and packing them into boxes. My primary and secondary schools were in Ang Mo Kio too. Back then, the A&W near the library was my favourite place (hello coney dog). Since Papa Ng closed down his factory, there was little or no reason for me to go back to Ang Mo Kio.

Recently, I needed some craft material for a friend’s birthday present which prompted me to Elsie Departmental Store in Ang Mo Kio. Elsie Departmental Store has been around for as long as I can remember. It has faithfully supplied me with material for my primary and secondary school projects. Stepping into Elsie, you will be welcomed by sights of pom pom tissue cover, framed cross stitch work and a table full of women(and sometimes men) crocheting and knitting. This place is old school and grouchy friendly (the owners’ faces look stern but they are very nice). My last trip there, the owner even offered me a banana and gave me an extra lucky draw ticket.

After my errands at Elsie, I went over to the nearby coffeeshop (S11). I wanted to eat my favourite yong tau foo but the stall seems to have moved. I was walking round and round, searching for possible lunch. I settled on this inconspicuous stall – Penang Delights. They served two things – prawn noodles and lor mee. I opt for a bowl of prawn bee hoon noodles soup (S$3.50).

The first impression of this bowl of soupy goodness was the richness of the broth. It was brownish orange and I could detect a “prawny” smell. I dived right in and have a sip of the soup. It was what I had predicted – rich, flavourful and comforting. Though I was lament that the stall owner gave me so little soup, if he had given me more, I doubt I would be able to finish it. The second thing that got my nod of approval was the prawns. The prawns were neither puny nor sliced into half. They were left whole. The stall owner was also very thoughtful. He had peeled the shell of the prawns, leaving the head and tail intact. This also means I got to suckle on the prawn heads (hello cholesterol) and extract more “prawny” juice. And I do not have to get my hands dirty.

Thanks to Penang Delights, I can see myself returning to Ang Mo Kio (and of course, saying hi to all the lovely uncles and aunties at Elsie).

Elsie Departmental Store
Blk 709, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, #01-2607
+65-64515519
Open hours: 10.30am to 8.30pm (daily)Penang Delights
Blk 711, Ang Mo Kio Avenue, S11 Food Centre, #01-08

World Street Food Congress 2013

I am buried in work (and I am slowly crawling back up). All the last-minute projects made me lose the motivation to go to the World Street Food Congress which happened from 31 May to 9 June. However I saw a lot of sad pictures where there was hardly anyone visiting the stalls. I felt bad and guilty for the vendors especially the ones who flew all the way to Singapore. To show my support and hoping that these overseas vendors will return, I went with my fellow tam chiak (translate: greedy) friend, Kat.

Time to put some yummy in my tummy

We went on a Friday evening. When we reached the venue, it was almost deserted. We did a tour of all the food stalls and target the ones we wanted to try. Some were really outstanding while others were pretty ordinary.

La Guerrerense’s seafood tostada

The first stall that I visited was the famed La Guerrerense from Mexico. I ordered the seafood tostada with a mild sauce (S$10). While I was waiting for Sabina, the owner to fix up the tostada, she was also busy chatting with customers. And she would suddenly stop whatever she was doing, whipped out her handphone and take a snapshot with her customers. She was so adorable! And her seafood tostada was one of my favourites for that evening. The base of the tostada was lathered with some sort of crab paste and Sabina would stack chunks of prawns, squids and top with a big slate of avocado. You got to choose the spice level for the sauce and I opted for mild. When I bit into the tostada, you get the crunch from tostada, the seafood was fresh and everything was well-balanced.

Kat and I shared a soft shell crab burger (S$10) from Eurotrash Food Cart. It was pretty ordinary and I did wish the crab was more crispy. Once we were done with the first round of food, we were off to get more food. I went off to The Swamp Shack and got us shrimps and grits and smothered chicken. Kat went to get a porchetta sandwich from The People’s Pig and chicken 65 from Abhishek.

The shrimps and grits (S$10) was pretty decent. The shrimps had a cornmeal crust which was seasoned with chilli as they were quite spicy. I actually quite enjoyed the grits, it was buttery and well-seasoned. The smothered chicken (S$9) faired a lot better. Fried chicken, mash and gravy – how not to love? Though the chicken got a bit soggy from the gravy, it was quite a generous portion. The mash potatoes and the gravy stole my heart – it was smooth and buttery, and I love butter.

I didn’t have a taste of Kat’s porchetta sandwich (S$9) but she said it was quite nice as it had fats (I think you can tell we are not fans of low-fat food). The chicken 65 (S$3.50) was surprisingly delicious too. At this stage, we were stuffed. We each got a drink and sat in the indoor dining area and enjoyed the breeze.

Love a good taco

After a while, I craved for the tortilla chips and guacamole that I spotted earlier. Unfortunately they were sold out. So I got the fish and beef tacos from Tacombi. The first bite brought me back to the Maxwell Street Market in Chicago. I could taste the masa harina in the tortilla, and the fish and beef were beautifully fried. What surprised me was the pickled cabbage. I was never a fan of purple cabbage but they were skilfully prepped that you do not taste the rawness in the cabbage and not too acidic too. A wonderful end for me.

Despite all the delicious food that I have ate at the World Street Food Congress, there were a lot of problems too. And I will not go into details as I know how difficult it is to organise such events (this one took two years to plan). But one thing I do hope that the organisers look into is the price point. I be honest here, the food I chose to eat are mostly from the North America. I purposely skipped the stalls from Vietnam, Indonesia, China and so on. Yes it may sound silly as I might miss out on some great cuisines. But I just can’t do it. As someone who travelled around Asia quite often, I know the cost of food and they were not exactly out of reach. So I will not pay S$8 for a small bowl of mee siam.

I do know there is logistic and business cost involved. But to a consumer, these are factors that we do not consider. We just think it is street food and it is supposed to cheap. Especially in Singapore, where we have hawker stalls, we are spoilt. To pay S$8-S$10 for a small portion of food, it was a bit hard to swallow. That said, if World Street Food Congress is to return next year, I will still continue to support the event.

The day I ate fried chicken at 10am

I love my fried food. I do not think I can go a week without eating anything fried. It does not need to be fast food. When I ordered yong tau foo, I would definitely pick out fried beancurd skin. And I also think people who eat fried chicken and not eat its skin, are throwing insult to fried food. What’s wrong with you people?

That said, it is not a habit or routine that I have fried chicken at 10am. No matter what terrible morning I have, it does not warrant fried food in the morning. I still believe breakfast should be substantial but not greasy.

My friend, Biona told me that the Philippines fast-food chain, Jollibee was voted to have the best fried chicken in Singapore. I have eaten at Jollibee years ago in Manila. I do not have much recollection of their fried chicken. Of course, a revisit is necessary. However Jollibee is notorious for its long queue. Apparently people queued two hours to get their food. In anticipation of the long queue, Biona and I met up at 10am and predicted that when we reached the front of the queue, it would be lunch time.

We reached Jollibee, we were shocked. There was NO queue. Well, there were a few people in front of us. I was clearly unprepared to have fried chicken at 10am. We made our way to the counter and got ourselves a bucket of 6 pieces of chicken, gravy and drinks. We did not get any sides as they did not look appealing to us.

In case you wondered, no, we did not finish all the 6 pieces of chicken. We only got the bucket because I want it. It is my dream to have fried chicken out from the bucket (yah I am not very ambitious). The last time I had that was when I was a kid at either my siblings or my birthday party. I mean seriously, fried chicken tastes the best out from the bucket.

We had to wait awhile to get our fried chicken – I guessed they did not expect fried food was in demand that early of the day. When our bucket finally arrived at our table, the chicken was piping hot. Unlike most fast food chains, the bucket contained all the dark meat and parts that I like – we got wings and drumsticks. When it comes to fried chicken, I much prefer the dark meat (the drumsticks and thigh) which are juicier and flavourful (and I think fried chicken breast is a joke). As the chicken was really hot, we started with the wings which cooled much faster. The meat itself was fresh and juicy. Biona commented that Jollibee used fresh chicken meat (instead of frozen ones) which contributed to the moisture in the meat. The seasoning or the batter for the chicken is rather subtle. To me, it was bordering to the bland side. I like fried chicken to be heavily seasoned. Chicken meat is quite mild in taste hence it can take on strong flavours. For every fried chicken order, you will be given a small tub of gravy which Biona loved and I hated. It was MSG-lardered and tasted like salty, watery brown sauce.

I do not mind dining at Jollibee again. The service is pretty good and the food is fresh from the fryer. However if I have to queue two hours for the food, I rather go to my favourite Popeyes and get my cravings sorted.

Jollibee Singapore
6th floor, Lucky Plaza
Open hours: 9.00am to 9.00pm (daily)

Happy birthday me! Smashing fun at The Cajun Kings

(Before y’all start to wish me happy birthday, the birthday is in November so yes this post is really, really late.)
Located in the centre of private estates, The Cajun Kings serves up rich, flavourful Creole-styled seafood in a playful manner. The menu is pretty extensive. Beside seafood, there are mouth-watering appetisers that help to appease the belly while you wait for your main course.

Sweet potato fries

The Kings wings

Among my group of four, we ordered the sweet potato fries, gumbo and the Kings wings. The sweet potato fries were piping hot when they reached our table. The fries were crisp on the outside and soft in the inside. Another delicious starter we ordered was the Kings wings. They tasted clean (this mean that they did not recycle their oil), well-cooked and were seasoned properly

Gumbo

I was very much looking forward to the gumbo. Gumbo is a southern Louisiana dish that is similar to a stew and it comes in different varieties. Some people add rice, while others will throw in beans. Tucking into this dish is always fun – you never know what you’re going to get. You get a bit of vegetables in the first spoon, and perhaps a small piece of sausage in another. The Cajun Kings’ version was aromatic and choke full of ingredients. I could easily wallop that bowl of gumbo all by myself.

Before the star dishes arrived at our table, we were each given a bib and a wooden mallet to prep for the mess to come. We have ordered a Dungeness crab in garlic butter sauce and red sea prawns cooked in the Kings’ mix (mild). The staff came and plonked two big plastic bags in the middle of the table. We opened up the bags and started going at them with our hands. And yes it was a hell of a mess.

The Dungeness crab was not overcooked and was rather sweet. The surprise was neither the garlic nor the butter overpowered the mild flavoured crab meat. We also had a fun time smashing the crab into pieces. Bits of shell flew across the table, the sauce dripping from our fingers. We had a much easier time eating the prawn. The Kings’ mix that we ordered was mild and you would get the pungent Cajun spice with a hint of heat at the end. I was happily sucking up the prawn heads which contained all the juices and spice. The prawn meat was firm and before eating, I would recommend dipping it in the cooking sauce.

Dinner at the Cajun Kings is not exactly cheap. But I can assure you that you will have a lot of fun playing with your food. And the best part, they are quite delicious too.

The Cajun Kings
15-1 Jalan Riang
+65-6284-4426
Opening hours: 4.30pm – 10.00pm (Tue – Sun)

Delicious weekend: Savour 2013 (part two)

On the second trip to Savour, we got the dinner tickets and the weather was slightly improved. The most important was Biona, Collin and I were joined by more friends – Clariss and Kat. This can only mean more deliciousness in our bellies.

Like the first trip, we started off with the Gourmet Village. It was there where we met the charmer of the year – Chef Bart de Pooter of De Pastorale. He was trying to persuade us to give his dishes a try, telling us he had flown in specially for the event. Biona couldn’t say no to the chef and tried his wild salmon served with mountain vegetables and ginger mayonnaise. The wild salmon, which we suspect was cooked via sous-vide (where food is sealed in airtight plastic bag and gently cooked in a water bath over a low temperature) was moist and tender yet the fish maintained its firmness.

I went onto getting Arbutus’ deconstructed slow cooked 1824 beef “cottage pie” with hot smoked potato. 1824 beef is an award winning beef brand from the Australian Agricultural Company – the cattles are raised both grass-fed and grain-fed thus making their meat tender and flavourful. And the meat was melting in my mouth. The potato was a really light mousse that complemented the beef. And let’s not forget about the gravy – I had to maintain my lady-like manner and stop myself from licking the cup.

Biona and Collin were off to support Chef Sam Leong and came back with two dishes of the day – cold wagyu la mian with a hot and sour broth, and braised baby abalone with chicken glutinous rice. Though I did not have a taste of the abalone, the glutinous rice was jammed packed with flavour – it was sticky and the minced chicken was beautifully cooked. However the winner for us was the cold wagyu la mian. The cold la mian was thin yet maintained a bite. Though the broth looked plain, it was refreshing with a tiny kick at the end.

As the Gourmet Village is getting crowded, I walked aimlessly, thinking what I should get next. In the end I settled for Gattopardo’s risone cooked with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow. This was my surprise of the day. The dish itself looked ordinary and brown but every component was well-cooked. I especially liked the little nuggets of octopus –it was like digging for treasure – when you get bits of it, it was delightful and delicious.

We ended our walk around Gourmet Village with a visit to Bo’s Innovation. I chose one of their signature dishes – molecular “xiao long bao” and Biona got the Bo’s chicken rice. The “xiao long bao” came in the form of a small yellow ball but do not underestimate its power. It encapsulated this thick, rich broth which had a hint of vinegar. This dish was made much more enjoyable for me as the broth was not porky (people who know me, knows how much I “love” pork). The tiny red strip of ginger didn’t do much for me as I could barely taste it. We also bumped into our biggest disappointment of the night – Bo’s chicken rice which was made with yellow chicken stock and topped with abalone jelly. The flavour of the abalone jelly was rather mild, bordering to tasteless. The rice was a tad too al-dente and overloaded with chicken stock – the flavour was so strong that it almost felt like eating cheap chicken stock. After the high from the “xiao long bao”, we were quite bumped about the chicken rice.

Once we were done with the Gourmet Village, we walked over to the Gourmet Market. We couldn’t resist stopping by Windowsill Pies especially when Clariss and Kat haven’t try their pies. They both got the banana almond brittle and salted caramel chocolate pies. Both fared so much better compared to the lime, vodka, coconut pie. To go with our pie, we got free cups of Nespresso’s coffee and Gryphon’s tea.

After our pies, we took another break at our favourite beer vendor – Tuckshop.sg. Though there was no free beer, they were having a 1-for-1 deal which Biona and Collin took. And I settled for a Kopparberg pear cider. While we were having our drink, a handsome dude came over and offered us some healthy expired black bean tortilla chips. And we would never reject free food. Though the chips were a few days off, they were perfectly fine (the guy even came to check on us to see if we were alright).

Savour 2013 was a wonderful experience for me especially when it was shared with friends. This event was a great opportunity to try out food from Michelin Star restaurant without paying the high price, and in casual wear. At the same time, it was a chance for me to road-test some of the local restaurants that I have been dying to try and knowing I can go ahead and book a table with no fear. If you are a foodie, I would say give Savour a shot (but do get the pre-event ticket) and remember to wear your eating pants.

Delicious weekend: Savour 2013 (part one)

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend Savour 2013 not just for a day but for two days. My friends Biona and Collin invited me to join them at Savour, and I am happy to report that my belly was very happy.

On the first day, it was a blazing hot Saturday afternoon (I was sunburnt). Despite the heat, there was a steady stream of crowd. Savour 2013 is divided into two main sections – the Gourmet Village and the Gourmet Market. You are better off getting the ticket early as there is quite a bit of price difference (compared to getting it at the door). The tickets that we have received allowed us to have access to the two main sections (the Savour Pass allows you to gain access to the Gourmet Market only). Armed with our Savour dollars (which you will need to change to purchase food or products), we walked around the Gourmet Village, deciding what we wanted to eat.

My first stop was at Gunther and I ordered their signature cold angel hair pasta with truffle and Oscietra caviar (S$18). This was one of my favourite dishes that I tasted at Savour. The pasta was a much needed relief from the scorching heat – it was cold yet tender. The truffle was fragrant but not overpowering, and the caviar was briny and firm. Everyone at the table loved this dish and we were happily “burping truffle”.

Biona went off to Pollen Street Social and brought back the slow cooked Angus ox cheek (S$14) which was braised in Burgundy and served with horseradish and potato puree, roasted carrot and topped with bone marrow crumb. I am a fan of Jason Atherton. I have dined in both Pollen and Esquina, and have yet to be disappointed. And this dish was delicious. The savoury ox cheek just melted in my mouth.  Though I could not taste the horseradish, the puree was smooth and creamy. The bone marrow crumb was a surprise – it was crispy and salty – giving the dish the much needed “crunch”.

The next dish that I got was L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon’s La Caille – free-range quail with mashed potatoes (S$18). I got this dish because I want to try Robuchon’s famous mashed potatoes. It was pure happiness. Unlike most puree or mashed potatoes I have tasted, it was not really buttery but the texture was velvety and it literally just disappeared when I popped it into my mouth. It did not need any jus or sauce, I can eat a bucket of the mashed potatoes. The quail was perfectly cooked but it was the mashed potatoes that stole my heart.

The prettiest plate of the day was Mirazur’s quinoa risotto, served with bacon, fried Jerusalem artichoke skin and parsley sponge (S$12). It was a beautiful garden on a plate. We almost couldn’t bear to eat this dish. The quinoa was beautifully cooked and seasoned. I was a big fan of the parsley sponge – it was salty and pungent.

After our little feast at the Gourmet Village, we went off to the Gourmet Market where more deliciousness awaits us (and we really needed the air-conditioning). At the market, it was further sub-divided to wine, baking, lifestyle and gourmet. At both lifestyle and gourmet sections, it featured some of our local restaurants like Oso, Balzac. We also each got a cup of free beer (thanks Tuckshop.sg) and we couldn’t resist bagging Cirio tomato sauce and Barilla pasta that were on sales.

At the baking section, Biona and I found our favourite pie shop – Windowsill Pies. We tried their lime with vodka jelly and coconut cream pie which was a new flavour and made its debut at Savour. To go with our pie, the generous owner gave us a sample of Gryphon Tea Company’s Gold Muscato white tea which we love. As for the pie, unfortunately it was not a hit with us. The lime flavour reminded us of cordial and we couldn’t taste much of the vodka. That said Windowsill Pies still have other awesome pies which everyone should try.

After we were done with the pie, we went to the Jasons pop-up store. There were tomatoes, potatoes, jams, chutney and juice for all to sample. Almost half the store was dedicated to cheese. And guess who went around sampling all the cheeses? One of our favourites was Beemester’s classic cheese which was aged for 18 months. Originated from Netherlands, the cheese had a marmite-umami quality, making me wanting more.

We finally ended our day by sharing one dozen of Pacific oysters among the three of us. The guy who shucked our oysters was not very skilled. But the fresh, sweet, briny oysters just made us smile and ended our day beautifully.

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