Bistro du Vin

A homely bistro style French diner belonging to the Les Amis umbrella of restaurants, this place was a quick lunch stop before our movie at Lido. My brother loves the steak here, and what more when they allow you to have it as part of the set lunch, with additional charge of course, but we didn’t mind because my brother got the best of both worlds – set and steak! Another good thing was the fact that they actually offer the set lunch on Saturdays, and at only $30++.

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Foie Gras Ravioli with Shaved Mushroom & Port Wine Sauce – This was really really yummy, tasted like it had truffle in it too. It’s just one huge ravioli with lots of sauce. I thought it was a good ingredient combination and a nice starter.

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Baked Salmon Trout with Mussels in White Wine – Huge portion for a set meal. The salmon was well cooked, just nicely pink in the centre. The ratio of meal to broth was also just nice. A good choice if you want something healthier.

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Walnut Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream – Chocolate-y and caramel like tart. I felt like its name misrepresented it cause it was not at all heavy on the walnuts. My brother really enjoyed it, and I would say it was probably the best of the three desserts we ordered.

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Pink Tiramisu – Their take on a tiramisu, using what I think is Rosé wine. As you can tell, it was in deconstructed style and was served with mini meringues and a strawberry sorbet at the bottom. I wish there was more mascarpone though.

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Banana Tart Tartin with Ginger & Lemongrass Ice Cream – The ice cream was very interesting, an acquired taste in my opinion. I didn’t fancy it that much, though my dad did. Having tried a small amount, I must say that the ice cream does balance out the sweetness of the tart, and so it might be a good dessert to order if you don’t want something too sweet. It is however, on the heavier side, especially since we were already so stuffed by the dessert course.

I didn’t manage to get a picture of the other appetizers and main courses but I got all the desserts. The meal was very satisfying and the portions aren’t small so you really get your money’s worth. The ambience is also nice if you’re looking for a place to bring a loved one. I also especially like that it’s situated in town cause that makes it very accessible for everyone, and also a go-to for when you’re craving French fare after shopping or watching a movie. They do also offer an a la carte menu but I don’t see why order a la carte when you can have the set lunch!

See the menu here: Bistro du Vin Set Lunch

I’ve only ever visit Bistro Du Vin once but my family has been here a few times already. I wouldn’t say anyone could go wrong with a Les Amis restaurant. They also have another outlet at Zion road which serves Weekend Brunch, but I’ve yet to try it.

1 Scotts Road

#02-12 Shaw Centre

Tel: 67337763

Lolla

Upon walking into Lolla, what struck me first was the bar seating, I hear they’ve a communal table too but it wasn’t opened when I went. The other thing that was interesting was that I got to see the chefs prepare my food (and they got to see me eat my food). Overall it was a good experience, though it was slightly pricey, especially since the portions are small. It’s probably best to go for drinks and snacks, and not when you’re extremely hungry or have friends who are big eaters.

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Gem Salad with Anchovies and Garlic ($14) – There wasn’t anything bad about this salad but it wasn’t anything fantastic either. For its price, I wish they’d given a bigger serving or a salad with more substantial components, I mean I probably could’ve bought ten times the amount of anchovies, greens and garlic at the supermart for $14.

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Sea Urchin on Squid Ink Pudding ($19) – THIS WAS AMAZING. A sure must try! I don’t know what words to use to describe it cause I don’t think my words can do it justice. It’s a really small portion but you won’t regret it. It’ll be your best $19 spent!

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Sweet Clams with Fig and Kimchi Broth (approx. $20) – Clams were well cooked and there weren’t any empty shells (i.e. you get your money’s worth), and the broth was yummy. My only question was: why separate the clams and the broth? Cause I ended up eating them together anyway.

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Duck Fat Potatoes ($13) – I ordered these because I missed the duck fat fries I ate in Berkeley. However, these were a far cry from the delicious truffle-like tasting fries I had in Berkeley and so I was quite disappointed. But I must say the potatoes were well cooked, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, a pleasurable texture to eat.

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Doughnuts with Lemon Curd ($12) – I think the curd was the winner component in this dessert. The doughnuts were nice and fluffy but the curd was what really made the dish. In fact, my dad and I slurpped up all remaining lemon curd after we’d finished all the doughnuts. It was that good. It feels like the dish should’ve been called “Lemon Curd with Doughnuts”, instead of vice versa.

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Steamed Dark Chocolate Pudding ($15) – It was served hot and molten and struck a nice balance between cake and pudding. Accompanied by vanilla bean ice cream from Creamier, it’s the perfect end to a meal at Lolla. In fact, I would actually go back just for this. 

As you can already tell, Lolla is quite pricey, especially relative to it’s small serving portion. It was a good meal experience, made special by the sea urchin pudding and the steamy dark chocolate pudding. I don’t know if I will go back again, maybe if I were around the area and wanted to have something light.

 

22 Ann Siang Road

Tel: 64231228

Morsels

I’d heard about Morsels for quite a while but never got down to trying it cause they only open for dinner (6-10pm), and I’m usually busy or at home for dinner. So this year, for my 22nd birthday, I decided that I wanted to have dinner there. Having never visited before and therefore not knowing what their menu was like, I called in advance to make a reservation and also ask the lady boss, Petrina, to suggest a menu for a budget of about $50/pax. This is what we got:

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House Marinated Olives & Brie Balls with a Salsa-like Sauce

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Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche with Tortilla Chips – I really liked this and judging from the comments on their Facebook page about this dish, I think a lot of people concur. It’s a must-order when you visit!

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Egg Jello topped with Boquerones (Anchovies) served with Burnt Miso Vinaigrette & Croutons

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Tomato Tofu Salad

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Grilled Octopus Risotto with Salted Egg Sauce, topped with Tobiko (Roe of Flying Fish) & Wasabi Sprouts

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Steamed Clams in Kimchi Fig Broth with Pickled Wakame

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Pan-seared Snapper in Miso Buttermilk, topped with Ikura (Salmon Roe) & Daikon Sprouts

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Butcher’s Secret: Grilled Bavette served with Confit Fingerling Potatoes, Grilled Shishito Peppers, Pickled Grapes, Onion Jam & Chimichuri Sauce

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Panna Cotta with a Red Wine Fruit Compote

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With my grandmama who’s just recovering from a double bypass. Was really glad to have had her at the dinner.

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My dad got me a Margarita Birthday Cake, and this was after I already had about 4 drinks. I guess some things do change when you’re 22.

Not pictured: Chicken Skewers, Pork Skewers and the Firecracker Pork Pasta with Habanero Pesto & Sour Cream

We paid about $880 in total for 12 people, including about 6 alcoholic drinks and one corkage. Sorry don’t have the exact price for each dish cause we ordered it set menu style.

For my birthday every year, we usually go to a chinese restaurant so having it at Morsels this year was a refreshing change, which many of my guests appreciated too. In terms of price, I felt that because we’d ordered so much, and my dad’s office also happens to be in the same building (i.e. they are work neighbours), there were some things they could’ve waved, for example, the $35 corkage, especially since we did also order their alcohol drinks, and also the $3 charge for extra bread, which by the way, came so late that we were already done with the dish we wanted to have the bread with. It’s not really about the extra $38 but the PR – you want your customers to come back and I thought that would’ve been a nice gesture and would’ve “sealed the deal” for me.

Eating here reminded me of all the nice little owners-are-the-chefs restaurants you try overseas. The quality of the food they serve is topnotch and the service was excellent too. Every dish we got was interesting and it felt like an adventure for my guests and I – we were constantly referring back to the menu and trying to find the ingredients in the dish. Honestly, I’ve never experienced this kind of cooking from a local startup, and I think it was encouraging for me to see this couple step out and start something so revolutionarily new, not sure if either of them have a chef background though.

The food is good and I will go back, but do note, it is on the pricey side so maybe save this place for a nice occasion. Once you’re there though, I’m sure you won’t regret the experience and the food. Morsels is definitely a MUST TRY for all Singaporean foodies.

SUPPORT LOCAL! Visit Morsels at:

35 Mayo Street

Tel: 63966302

http://www.facebook.com/morselsinsingapore

Latteria Mozzarella Bar

It’s Restaurant Week here in Singapore from 18 – 24 March. And if you’ve never heard of it, the catch to Restaurant Week is that restaurants, mostly fine dining and renowned, will come up with set menus for both lunch and dinner for an affordable S$35++ (sometimes more if they have the DiningCity Star).

I’ve never been able to participate because whenever I would find out about it, the better restaurants would already be fully booked, and me being the snob that I am when it comes to food, wouldn’t budge about trying a less known but equally well reviewed restaurant. This year, however, I figured that being snobbish would probably mean not ever getting to participate in Restaurant Week and so I decided that I’d try something and some place new.

Today my family and I landed up at Latteria Mozzarella Bar for lunch; it was given good reviews (8.51/10) even though it hadn’t earned the DiningCity Star. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the servers, two of whom were Italian. We were then presented with the menu:

  1. Appetizer – Pan Seared Buffalo Milk Mozzarella wrapped in Parma Ham
  2. Main – Smoked Mozzarella Risotto or Lamb Shank with Chickpeas and Red Wine Casserole or Seafood Cacciuco
  3. Dessert – Red Wine Poached Pears with Mascarpone Mousse

We then proceeded to ordering our mains, two lamb shanks and two seafood cacciucos. Sadly no one wanted to order the risotto since the appetizer was already mozzarella-heavy. Had they made another kind of risotto, I definitely would’ve ordered it. I think risottos are one of the ways in which you can tell the quality and standard of the Italian chef/restaurant, but don’t take my word for it, it might’ve just been some useless opinion I formed while watching reality cooking shows, specifically when Gordon Ramsay flings lousy risotto into the bin or when Masterchef judges label risotto as the “killer dish”.

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Pan-Seared Buffalo Milk Mozzarella wrapped in Parma Ham – This was really good! Apparently Latteria is known for its cheese and so, as expected, the mozzarella was smooth and paired really well with the parma ham. The bitterness from the sear coupled with the balsamic reduction and the argula were also spot on. This appetizer left me really impressed.

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Seafood Cacciuco – Came with mussels, clams, squid, prawns and fish. It was cooked really well, the tomato-base broth didn’t taste artificially seasoned with salt and it had a strong seafood essence, telling of the fact that they must’ve spent quite a bit of time preparing and boiling the soup. The other main, the lamb shank (sadly I forgot to take a picture), was huge and also cooked really well. Both my family members who ordered the lamb finished it and were really impressed.

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Red Wine Poached Pears with Mascarpone Mousse – The pear was poached really well. It had enough resistance when cut into but it wasn’t too hard to the point that cutting into it meant fearing that it might fly off your plate. The mascarpone was light and just rightly sweetened, in my opinion. It paired really well with the slightly tart pear slices. The chocolate shavings, though initially mistaken as decoration, actually added another dimension to the dessert. I found myself scraping the plate of all the shavings once I was done with the dessert.

I must say that it was a pleasant experience on the whole. The servers were polite and prompt, and the food was authentic and tasty and of decent proportions. I did, however, feel slightly rushed, like I needed to finish my meal by a certain time so they can turn the table over to another customer. Though that’s probably true, I still wished I was given more space to enjoy the food and company instead of having servers move in and out to clear dishes every 20 minutes or so. But I can’t complain, when we paid our bill, we ended up realizing that set lunch was only $25++ per person, what a steal! We all agreed that the meal was well worth our $25, the lamb shank alone probably costs that much on a normal day.

I think Latteria still has some vacancies for Restaurant Week, do give it a try!

40 Duxton Hill

Tel: 68661988

TWG #8

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Seared Salmon with Tea-Infused Rice ($26)

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Coconut Vanilla (Turquoise) and Salted Earl Grey Caramel (Black) ($2 each)

Tom Dixon Popup Pizzeria

I’d been anticipating this event since the day I heard about it. There aren’t enough popup restaurants in Singapore – I think it’s such a cool concept! This popup event was put together by Xtra and Kith Bistro, Xtra provided the furniture and accessories while Kith catered for the food and drinks. The furniture and accessories were designed by Tom Dixon and hence the event was called “Tom Dixon Popup Pizzeria”.

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I thought this was probably the highlight of the event – the chef makes all the pizzas to order in the display window

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The menu for the night – affordable

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Tom Dixon light fixtures

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Salmon Pizza (top) & Pepperoni Pizza (bottom) – my friends and I really enjoyed both pizzas. The crust was, in my opinion, perfect. It was thin and crispy but not too crispy that it falls apart when you bite into it. The toppings were very well paired and given in just the right amount. I don’t usually eat smoked salmon or sashimi but this salmon pizza was really yummy. By the end of the night, three of us girls finished 12 out of 16 slices of pizza, telling of how good the pizza was.

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Each diner had a wooden slab, kind of like a cheeseboard, and disposable wooden utensils as a place setting. It was simple but fitting to the theme.

We really had a good time at the popup pizzeria, though we didn’t buy anything designed by Tom Dixon. I was just slightly disappointed and perplexed at why we couldn’t takeaway the leftover slices of pizza. The waitress told us that the there was strictly no takeaway because they didn’t have pizza boxes. I understand that they didn’t want to let people come in and order whole pizzas to takeaway but I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t let existing customers who have obviously eaten their fill takeaway leftovers, despite the fact that I said that I didn’t even mind taking them away in a brown paper bag. But other than that, the evening went pretty well.

Since the pizzeria no longer exists after tonight, I can’t give any address for it. However, if you’d like to visit Kith Bistro, you can go to:

9 Penang Road

#01-01E Park Mall

Tel: 63388611

You can check out my other visits to Kith by typing “Kith” in the search function. It’s definitely high up on my list of my “go-to” places.

Riders Cafe #8

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Royal China #2

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Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh #2

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Omakase Burger

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200 Turf Club Road

#01-05 The Grandstand

Tel: 67632698

Mellben Seafood #2

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211 Toa Payoh Lorong 8

#01-11 to 15

Tel: 63533120

Canopy Garden

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1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1

Bishan Park II

Tel: 65561533

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