Thursday, September 15, 2011

Michelango's, Chip Bee Gardens

Chip Bee Gardens - directly across from Holland Village, and a world of a difference. Holland Village - bars and alcohol, rowdy, packed as all hell. Chip Bee Gardens - quiet, nice selection of restaurants, kinda peaceful actually! This place houses not only Michelango's, but also (several) Da Paolo, Original Sin and the Daily Scoop among others.

Armed with yet another voucher promising $80 value for $40, we decided we needed some pampering after some tough projects at work! I heard they have a refurbishing/renovation/changed hands(?) recently and had trouble holding on market share of the Italian food circle.

{ Ciabatta with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and black olive caviar }

At least I think it's Ciabatta o_O Soft white Italian bread to start the night, came paired with the usual oil and vinegar, First time I've been served black olive caviar, and I must say goes so well with the bread. Salty, sour and with an interesting texture (though clearly dissimilar to caviar). I'd imagine it'd go awesome with bruschetta as well.

Bread was okay - wished it was more herb-y. This was just standard ole lump of carb for me, even with the black olive spread. It served well to quell tummy rumbles though!

{ Mozzarella di Bufala con Prosciutto ($24) }
Mozzarella di Bufala wrapped in Italian Prosciutto perched on a leafy bed of Arugula drizzled in vintage Italian balsamic vinegar

We decided to get an antipasto as well and clearly distracted by promises of buffalo and prosciutto, I ended up ordering this. Upon being served I was kinda glad to see that familiar poached-egg-like buffalo mozzarella which I have sorely missed! But what's sad is that the portion of prosciutto was kinda sad to be honest - about the length of a bacon strip.

The cheese was fantastic of course, but the prosciutto I wasn't too sure - whether I've been spoilt by Parma Ham pizzas from Modesto's and Picotin, or if this prosciutto was the real deal I couldn't tell, but it's was chewier and less salty than it's other counterparts, with a less distinct taste as well. I liked it overall but felt it wasn't worth the $24.

I reeeaalllyyy liked the soft creamy texture of the mozzarella - I was almost surprised when it mushed inside my mouth. The dish fell a bit flat for me though because I, too, felt it was lacking saltiness. The balsamic vinegar is quite distinct, which is fine because it always goes well with tomatoes. But the neutral mozzarella needed a little more help from the ham.

{ Tortellini Gorgonzola ($26) }
Home made spinach and ricotta filled tortellini pasta tossed with forest mushrooms draped in a light Italian Gorgonzola rose cream sauce served on a bed of spinach

The pasta shell wasn't too thick which was great - the salty ricotta filled tortellini paired really well with the rose cream sauce, though I couldn't quite detect the Gorgonzola in it (in fact I'd forgotten there was Gorgonzola anyway in this dish until I looked up the menu to write it now). Couldn't quite get flavours from the forest mushrooms as well! Also while the pasta and the sauce are not that heavy, I'd imagine getting quite jelat of this half way through - definitely share if you can.

This is indeed quite heavy, and the awesomeness wears off after a while. Nonetheless I enjoyed this (I'll enjoy anything spinach!) and somehow managed to finish most of this myself despite the cloying creaminess. Where are the mushrooms?

{ Fruitti di Mare ($32) }
Slipper lobster tail, scallops, prawns, gentle [sic] rings of calamari, fillets of barramundi and green lipped N.Z mussels sauteed in olive oil and garlic then blended with your choice of sauces: zesty tomato and chili, white wine or squid ink and your choice of pasta or risotto

Description is way long! I picked the white wine and linguine for my pasta - in retrospect the squid ink would have great too. First impression was "wow you guys really gave me everything that was listed on the menu".

Lobster tail (crayfish) was great, though it was a wee bit soft; prawns were crunchy (personally don't like crunchy prawns but they were fresh i suppose!); mussels and calamari were great; barramundi was a little too fishy to my liking ( loved it though!). But overall, I was still rather impressed and I think the seafood served was fresh. The sauce was really stellar though, I slurped every ounce of that sweet, sweet sauce. And the linguine - al dente of course!

Wow this was good - every kind of seafood known to man probably exists in this bowl! The broth was really good too, having been (presumably) soaked in the essence of various sea creatures. Two non-opposable thumbs up!

{Sticky Date Pudding ($13) }
Back by popular demand [sic]!! This moist cake of rich dates and brown sugar is perfect for any season draped in a cloak of butterscotch sauce

And of course - you can't leave Michelango's without trying their sticky date pudding apparently (I tried). Already stuffed beyond human identifiable levels, we decided to buckle up and try the sticky date pudding. And wow, god damn. This shit was GOOD. Soft, sticky, soo sweet and really strong in date flavour, the warm cake paired so well with the vanilla ice cream and what I assumed to be cranberry saucewhales. I really loved it - and while seemingly expensive at $13 for a small portion, I thought it was kinda worth it especially after a heavy pasta dinner!

We simply could not resist dessert, and so had to try the sticky date pudding. While it was eyebrow-raising-ly good, I honestly feel we were overpaying for that postage-stamp-sized portion. But it's okay - it's surely worth the price with squiggly-drawn whales in descending sizes so can't really fault that.

 The bill came up to be $114, so I shaved $40 off the final bill using the voucher. While not exactly THAT expensive, I wasn't really blown away by the food either (besides the dessert) and coming from a cost/benefit ratio perspective I would must prefer Modesto's or Riccioti, personal opinion! It's also a wee bit out of the way for me, at least until Holland V MRT opens up.

HGW Link (65% recommended at time of writing):
Rating (out of 4) :

Friday, September 9, 2011

Jerry's BBQ & Grill, Club Street

 Yet another long overdue dinner - wanting to savour sake at Shots after, we decided to check our Jerry's BBQ & Grill. Read about this place several times, finally get to try it out!

Located along Club Street in the Ann Siang area, lottsss of nice restaurants and some bars here but mostly in the pricey range.

 Friend said the Jalan Kayu branch wasn't as good as this one ... we shall see! One of the best ribs I've had in my life was from Smokey's in New York - let's see how their self-proclaimed Memphis style matches up against it!

 Not exactly Memphis-style but apparently a must-have, we started with half dozen buffalo wings. "Smoking" was the least-hot ones (followed by Intensi-Fire, Chef's Challenge, Why-did-I-order-this and finally Cleansed-By-Satan's-Hellfire). I was gearing up for a tearing session following my experience at other 'famous' wings places (like Sunset Grill, what an horrendous experience) but to my surprise these weren't spicy at all. Even with the chilli flakes. Well not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but at least I was able to enjoy the chicken. Blue cheese dip is always welcoming!

{ Buffalo Wings "Smoking" ($12.95) } Most talked-about buffalo wings apparently.

 My friend raved about the pulled pork sandwich so we decided to share these and ribs for the mains. Reading up on a little on Memphis-style BBQ :

"Instead, they use only the highest quality of meat and let the slow smoking process enhance its natural flavor. This results in pork that is tasty and tender, even without rubs and sauces."

First bite - I thought it was a little bland to be honest. The BBQ sauce was great but the pork by itself wasn't that tasty - wasn't that tender too, which is odd because all the pulled pork I've had in other places are realllyyy soft. With a generous slather of BBQ sauce the sandwich was still good though.

{ Barbequed Pulled-Pork Sandwich ($14.95) }
"We also serve this hand-pulled tender pork piled high on a bun as a sandwich, which comes with coleslaw and fries / potato salad"

 And of course, you can't come to a BBQ place and not try their pork ribs! The Memphis-style is famous for their dry rubs and dry barbeque, so the meat itself is dry, as compared to say the St. Louis Ribs from Cafe Cartel which is wet and mushy. True enough, the meat itself was dry but very very flavourful - tender and easy to part from the bone but still has that chewability you won't find in a wet style. Really good - and again the stellar BBQ sauce slathered all over that thing. Sweet jesus.

{ Memphis Style Hickory-smoked Barbeque Pork Ribs ($21.95 for half slab) }
"Baby back pork ribs smoked-barbequed for 4-5 hours. Tender, juicy and falling off the bone. Served covered with our homemade barbeque sauce."
 They do serve steaks and stuff like prawns if you wanted them grilled as well. The place is three storeys but doesn't have much seating space so do arrive early on a busy night because I don't think they take reservations. Their ribs are the real deal so definitely go for the ribs! To be honest I was impressed by the way the meat was still firm yet tender, and falls sooooo easily off the bone - only achievable from really slow cooking over the grill.

Main Website :
Rating (out of 4) : 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

TBB (The Better Burger), The Foundry

 Yet again armed with a discount voucher, we were promised a burger and fries for just sixxxxx dolllaarrrrsssss. Awww yeaaaa. Located at Mohammad Sultan Road, we were suspicious as to why they would open a new burger joint so near the godlike transcendental Fatboy's. But upon arriving, we learnt the cold hard truth that Fatboy's has been replaced by TBB :(

Not sure why, personally I thought Fatboy's gave me one of the best burgers in Singapore, though they still have their branch in East Coast area, the one here was so much more accessible. Oh well.

 Oh no, Fatboy's has left The Foundry! I thought this new burger joint has quite the balls bold proclamation. Personally I would hesitate to declare myself as the Better Burger, especially after taking over the quasi-institution that is Fatboy's - but hey that's where the four legged foodies come in to find out for ourselves :)

 Located on Mohammad Sultan Road just behind Robertson Quay, The Foundry has an Indian restaurant, a Thai restaurant, this new burger joint and a bar of sorts. Not exactly in most people's neighbourhoods though.

 The variety of food available here means it's easier to accommodate a larger group of potentially picky eaters. Pizza? Check. Butter chicken? Check. Phad thai? Check.

 To be honest I was never a big fan of the service at the Foundry. Probably because it's a joint seating area owned by several restaurants, nobody really takes ownership of clearing the damn tables. I had to plead and convince one of the waitresses before she cleared mine!

 It's a nice chillout spot, a good change from the nearby Clarke/Robertson Quay. I do like it but yea, it's pretty much a self service place, so bear that in mind before you sit at your table for 20 minutes wondering why isn't anyone coming to ask which damn beer you want.

 The $6 voucher allowed us to pick any burgers under $13 - I stuck to the traditional Cheese Bacon, a generously sized beef patty with cheese and grilled bacon. Well I guess I was moderately impressed when the burger came. The fries ... not so much. It's the thin short ones, double fried with a dash of pepper. Exceedingly normal and too oily for my liking - tastes like they bought it from MacDonald's then fried them again.

As for the first bite, hmm not bad, tastes like a burger, nothing too mind blowish. After a few more bites I felt really jelat - the patty was really oily and wet, and even the bun was really really oily. While the burger was no doubt "not bad", it wasn't great either and it was way too oily to my liking.

{ Cheese Bacon ($13) } Cheddar, Bacon, Iceberg Lettuce, Tomato, Mayo, Gherkin, BBQ Sauce

 I chose the Mexican Burger, just because it was.. different (I was also extremely tempted by the other one with the pesto sauce). This was quite a sizeable burger (I really do mean 'quite') and my immediate thought was "oh yum hey cool look beans".

{ Mexican ($13) } Sour Cream, Habanero Spicy Kidney Bean Salsa, Mayo,
Iceberg Lettuce, Tomato

 This wasn't bad - the beans were definitely an interesting addition and I always appreciate foliage in my burgers. The patty could not reeeaally be faulted (let's not this time, lol). My main gripe is that it lacked a Mexican flavour, which was really what you would expect from a burger named The Mexican (right?!) Throw some jalapenos and more pronounced 'habanero spicy' in there and I'd be happier! Heck, I'd even go so far as to add some nachos and guacamole inside the burger. But that's just me.

 Personally I liked the idea as well but I thought with ingredients like this, you won't have a burger that holds together - and it was true. Just by picking the burger up, the beans and salsa started to fall out. Also did not taste any spiciness! 

 Overall, a decent alternative burger place. But does TBB live up to its name? I'm afraid not! Sure, to each his own, but I can certainly find Better Burgers elsewhere.

HGW Link : None yet!
Rating (out of 4) : 
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