Monday, December 27, 2010

Kuriya Fine Dining @ Central

Happy Holidays! Greetings from the Chocolate Reindeers! We've had a great holiday, did you have a good one too?

When DH and I got back to SG, one of the first things we did was to go on a date. We really missed that when we were in Aussieland on our own. We didnt do the common thing - which was to hire a sitter to take care of the kids - so we never ever had dates.

And since there were so many new restaurants to try out in Singapore, we had a good reason to have date night!

Kuriya Fine Dining at Central was a great choice, it had both excellent food, drinks and a gorgeous sky view. Plus, they didnt allow children under 15. So it seemed to us that it would be an ideal date place. And it was!

I honestly cannot remember what this starter was. Is it foie gras? Chicken? Tofu? You take a guess.

Grilled Gingko nuts, lightly salted. They are chewy, and warm and salty and a little sweet. DH's first time trying it, and he loved it. I think this is very typical Japanese izakaya fare, perfect with that glass of sake.

Sashimi was delicious, and very beautifully presented.

This was beancurd skin with unagi and foie gras stuffed within. Very interesting and definitely very tasty.

This is Oden, a Japanese yong tau foo. Nice but not as nice as the foie gras. The sweetish gravy was rather similar though.

DH's main of wagyu steak came at an additional price.

My main of grilled fish, which was nicely done.

So our dining experience was very interesting because, when we arrived we were ushered to the bar area for our complimentary welcome drinks. Then we sat at the table in the dining hall where we were served our appetisers and mains.

Then we had our dessert, which was served buffet style on a trolley.

We picked the seasonal japanese fruit. Love Japanese grapes especially!

And they had different kinds of parfaits for you to pick from. DH and I liked the sesame best.

Our dessert was served in the outdoor lounge that was like a little private garden. Very romantic!

We also ordered umeshu on the rocks, my current favourite drink. A bit girly cos its sweet and doesnt have very high alcoholic content but it is sooo refreshing! And they serve it with this huge spherical ice, which was perfect for keeping the drink cold with minimal dilution. I will come back just for this drink alone.

Can you guess where this is?

Highlights from our Hong Kong trip coming up on the next post, stay tuned!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gunther's @ 36 Purvis Street

The foodblogger community had a lunch here not too long ago. Being stuck in Australia meant that I wasnt able to attend.

Nevertheless, a trip here was necessary seeing how well-reviewed the cold angelhair pasta with oscietra caviar was.

The complimentary amuse bouche of prawn tempura.

So, we came here and ordered the pasta as a starter to share ($60).

It was very fragrant, dressed in an obviously very good quality olive oil, and topped with a generous mound of caviar. This caviar (well it's only the 2nd time I
have tried it) is very different from say, ebiko (flying fish roe). It's not fishy and it doesn't "pop" in your mouth. The taste is rich yet very subtle, very smooth.

Then we shared a roasted rack of black pig (2 person serving at $75pp). It was tender, so melt in your mouth tender. It also had a richness to the meat. And, funnily enough, there were different parts to the meat, one side was more "white" meat, and the other side was more "dark" meat. Sort of like chicken where there is breast and thigh portions, but in the same piece of meat. I know the description sounds odd and probably not very appetising, but it was good!

Complimentary petit fours, which were generous and delicious too.

And a pic of Sweetie.

She's really grown up huh?

Playing hide and seek, and she is always so thrilled when she is found. haha.

And here is Cutie, being well, cute.

Yep, Cute.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands

It was a great experience. from the moment you step in, you feel as though you are transported to a different universe where the food is out of this world, and the service is impeccable.

Our first course was a fresh oyster with yuzu dressing. It disappeared too quickly and I forgot to take a photo.

This is a signature favourite, and I can see why. Sweet creamy uni paired with crunchy botan ebi and beluga caviar. It was a divine medley of tastes and textures that sent one straight to gastronomic heaven.

Did you know, they are so particular about serving the best that the spoon that we used was a mother of pearl spoon? This is because caviar afficionadoes are of the view that the taste of caviar is affected if metallic silverware is used.

Grilled alaskan king crab leg. Sweet, meaty, delicious.

Unfortunately, we did not sample the rest of the menu. One my guests at the table had food poisoning the night before and was unwell. As the dinner progressed, he got worse and we had to take him to the hospital.

And this was when the restaurant's service standards really were put to the test, which they passed with flying colours.

I wrote the following letter to commend them:

From: Teng, Vivien
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 11:47 AM
To: wakughinreservation
Cc: sean_leo
Subject: RE: Reservation for 11 december 2010 - THANK YOU

Dear Sirs

I would like to commend your staff and your kitchen for a wonderful dining experience on Saturday 11 December 2010.

I arrived for with my 2 guests for dinner on Saturday. One of my guests had food poisoning the night before and was not completely well. He had requested for only cooked food for his set. However, he felt worse as the dinner progressed and eventually we had to take him to the Accident and Emergency department (at the Singapore General Hospital). We were thus compelled to abandon our meal after having had only 3 courses.

Your staff were reassuring and accommodating throughout the entire time. When Chef Yazawa learned that I had to leave despite not being able to complete the set dinner, he took the initiative to waive the cost of the dinner, thereby charging me only for the drinks that we had ordered. I was more than prepared to make payment for the full dinner but I was assured that the restaurant would welcome my reservation at a later date. Your Maitre’D (who was also from Sydney where I lived) was very kind and tried to alleviate my distress and discomfort.

Your staff certainly made a traumatic experience so much more tolerable with their kindness, understanding and compassion. It has made an indelible imprint in the minds of both myself and my guests. The professionalism and graciousness of your staff has made the difference in transforming this restaurant from a great restaurant to an exceptional one. Please convey my gratitude to your staff, particularly to your chef and Maitre’D.

I have to add that the food that we managed to try were superb, and were a gastronomic delight.

I will definitely return, and I will definitely inform others of the remarkable experience I have had.

Once again, thank you.

Best regards

Vivien Teng

This was their gracious response.

From: Wakughin []
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 1:40 PM
To: Teng, Vivien Yuet Ying
Subject: FW: Reservation for 11 december 2010 - THANK YOU

Dear Vivien,

Thank you so much for your such a kind email.
Hope your guest is alright now after the night.

Please do give us a call for another booking and we are looking forward to welcoming you.

Many thanks
Hitomi Matsumoto – Guest Relation

10 Bayfront Avenue, Level 2 (Casino), Singapore 018956
T +65 6688 8507 | F +65 6688 8531
W (Launching soon)

So, you can see, the difference between a good restaurant and an exceptional one, lies not in its food (which of course is important) but in the service. And for that, Waku Ghin has my loyalty from now on.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Burnt Orange, Mosman Sydney

One of the things I liked best about Sydney was the abundance of space and the beautiful outdoors.

Burnt Orange, a concept retail store cum cafe set amidst lush greenery of an old golf club, only 15 minutes from where we stayed, was the perfect place to enjoy the best of Sydney.

The burger was fresh and juicy.

DH had the salmon patty with salad, and it was refreshingly tart.

I had the signature seafood pie, and it was rich and flavourfull.

Sweetie had a good time too.

And Cutie enjoyed the home-made fries.

And of course, after our lunch, we enjoyed the beautiful grounds...

Cutie found a stick that also worked well as a boomerang.

Sweetie picked flowers..

Presented the flowers to mommy..


Cutie gets some for mommy too

I love being a mommy, can you tell?