Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Saveur at Far East Plaza

Apparently, the standard was not as good as compared to their other outlet at Purvis Street. I went on a Saturday for lunch. It was not as crowded as expected but it gotten longer much later. The space is not as spacious as other outlet too. While we were waiting for our foods, there were quite a few people waiting for tables.

I decided to try the supposedly popular Saveur's Pasta ($4.90) for the first time. It came as quite a surprise. I'd think it tasted much nicer than expected. The pasta was cooked to achieve the delightful texture. It was al dente though not as hard as compared to some served in the Italian restaurants. Though it was supposedly to be tossed with Chilli's Oil but the level of spiciness was rather mild. It tasted so mild and you might not even noticed it if you left out the description when ordered from the menu. It served with a generous bit of finely chopped Japanese Konbu and Sakura Ebi rested on the Minced Pork Sauce. When tossed it well, the taste was amazing and it exceeded my expectation of this simple looking appetiser. I would definitely order this again when i am back. 

We ordered 2 portions of Duck Confit ($12.90) this time. The waiting time was unexpectedly short. When served, the presentation did not look as good as the one we had over at Purvis Street. I'd expect the skin to have a thorough brownish color but the edge seemed to be still a slightly yellowish. When cut it, it was rather soft and not crispy at all. Luckily, the central area was done just right. 

The mashed potato was comparably good though. I particularly enjoyed smoothness and softness of the texture. It just melted away effortlessly in the mouth. It tasted especially good when eaten together with the sauteed Shitake Mushroom. The orange infused jus did not have a distinctive orange taste but rather a pleasant savoury taste.

We ordered the Chocolate and Hazelnut ($7.90) for the first time, too. It is a pile of chocolate mousse served with crushed hazelnut, broken raspberries, roasted rice pugffs, chocolate tuile and praline. As i am not quite a fan of chocolate mousse, i did not quite appreciate it but my lunch companion enjoyed it quite a bit. I guess it should be good. 

The Pistachio Panna Cotta ($6.90) is still my all time favourite. 

14 Scotts Road #01-07B Far East Plaza

Monday, October 28, 2013

Duke Bakery

Where would you be on a beautiful Sunday? I went to the Grand Opening of Duke Bakery, the most talked about bakery in town. I gotten the news from the facebook page of 'What To Eat Singapore' about their opening.

Duke Bakery is originated from Taiwan serving tasty Japanese European style of breads that indirectly in promoting healthy eating. Their breads are freshly handmande and baked daily using the freshest ingredients including the yeast from fermented fruits for a natural flavours. There would be 60 different types of breads available daily to get their customers to keep coming back for more. 

I was there at about 10 am. There was already a small crowd of mostly invited guests crowding the entrance of the bakery. A brief introduction of the bakery was given by the DJ while waiting for the arrival of Fann Wong to initiate the Opening Ceremony at about 10.45 am.

Fann Wong arrived with Jerry Huang, an artiste from Taiwan together with the founder of the bakery for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The bakery was then declared officially opened and this followed by a private party for the VIPs and the invited guests from 11 to 12 pm. 

To celebrate the Grand Opening, a 40% discount given store wide from 12 pm to 9 pm. I heard most items have been sold out by 7 pm. If you happened to be one of the disappointed ones then you might be delightful to know there is a 20 discount given to all items with no minimum spending required. And for purchase above $20, a life time membership Privilege Card is given that entitled you to a good 10% purchase each visit thereafter.

I joined the queue right outside bakery at about 11.25 am. The queue though long but was rather systematic and everyone waited patiently for their turn to enter the bakery. I waited till about 12 pm before being ushered into the bakery.

There are a good range of breads available from about $3.30 to $8.50. Unlike other bakeries, tasting is allowed before you decide what to buy. A plastic container consisted rather big pieces of nicely cut bread displayed with toothpick attached to each piece for tasting purpose. 

After tasted quite a few, i settled for Chocolate Buns (5 pieces in a bag) at $4.50, Carlbell at $6.60 and Swiss Chocolate at $3.30. The discounted amount for all is $12.60 from $21.00. These would be for my dinner later.

I met Esther Gan, a long lost friend there. We used to be ex colleague working in the same company and left contact after we both left. She was with the 6oz Expresso Bar there. We chatted for a bit. We exchanged the contact and she initiated a meet up with our ex colleagues then. 

A gentleman spotted us chatting and came over. Esther mentioned to him that i keep a Blog too. The gentleman went away and came back with a brochure contained the Privilege Card and then a goodie bag for me. There was a bag of Chocolate Buns and the Signature Crown in the bag. This made me happy.  I wanted the Signature Crown earlier but none left on the shelf.

And, i am indeed the privileged fews to be given the Privilege Card. This means i will get to enjoy more of these fantastic breads at a 10% discounted price each time. 

Signature Crown is one of the recommended items promoted as one of the Four Kings. Thus, this is a definite must try. It has a beautiful crown shape nicely formed by 5 buns that contained of generous filling of cream cheese. This would likely be the new found love for cream cheese lover like myself. The texture of bread has a delightful chewiness together with a noticeable softness. It still tasted so good even after left it for hours and to best enjoy it is to heat it lightly to give it a slight warmth. 

A bag of 5 Chocolate Buns is affordably priced at $4.50. This is another item in the range of Four Kings. I'd think this is a must eat particularly for chocolate lovers. I could taste the good quality chocolate is used as part of the ingredients to bake these lovely Chocolate Buns. The texture is rather fluffy and moist within with a ball of chocolate and cocoa filling in it. The rich chocolate taste is simply irresistible. 

Swiss Chocolate. A beautifully looking bun on its own for $3.30. A simple bun with delightful fluffiness though it is without filling but it still tasted pretty good on its own. 

Carlbell is another personal favourite listed as part of the Four Kings. This is quite a big bread for $6.60. It is of a substantial size to have it for lunch or even for dinner. The sourness of the dried cranberry incorporated nicely with the light sweetness of the cream cheese to surprise your taste bud pleasantly. 

There is a Post Grand Opening Special Promotions going on now. A good 20% discount off storewide with no minimum purchase required from 28 October 2013 (Monday) to 4 November 2013 (Monday). You can choose from a delightful range of freshly baked Japanese European style artisan bread with a twist of Taiwan. And, you will be give a FREE Lifetime Membership with 10% discount off future purchase if you spent a minimum of $20 worth of breads.

NOTE: Re-visited on 31 October 2013 (Thursday) at about 2.30 pm. The shelves were almost empty. When checked with the staff on the next batch of Carlbell, i was told there's only a batch per day. I felt a certain amount of efforts should be put in to ensure there is enough supply to meet the demand particularly when there is an on-going promotion of 20% discount. 

101 Thomson Road
#01-02/03 United Square

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nara Thai Cuisine

I was chosen as the winner of their Grand Prize in their facebook contest conducted to celebrate their Grand Opening in September 2013. This Grand Prize is a meal for 4. I wanted to make a reservation on a Saturday to claim my prize but i was told reservation is only allowed from Monday to Thursday. 

I went early on that day with my friends. I presented my letter and it was then shown it to the Duty Manager before ushered us to our table. The restaurant has got a cosy ambience but it got pretty packed later. The menu offers an extensive selection of different types of Thai Cuisines for selection. The best way to make decision on what to order might be to follow the illustration given in the attached picture to the dish. 

We were told to order 4 drinks, 4 appetizers, 4 main courses and 4 desserts. For a start, we decided to order 3 glasses of Lemon Glass Juice ($6.50 each) and a glass of Thai Iced Tea ($5.90). Then, we selected Pandan Chicken ($12.90), Fried Squid ($13.90), Barbequed Chicken in Thai Style Marinade ($9.90) and Deep-fried Minced Prawns in Spring Roll Sheet ($10.90). We decided to have Stir-fried Soft Shell in Yellow Curry ($18.90), Fried Prawns with Sweet Tamarind Sauce ($28.90), Green Curry with Beef ($13.90) and Grilled Duck with Crispy Hot Basil ($18.90). We wanted 2 servings of Coconut Ice-cream with Assorted Thai Sweet Condiments ($8.80 each), Mango Sticky Rice with Coconut Milk ($6.80) and Red Ruby in Coconut Milk & Crushed Ice ($6.80) as desserts.

Lemon Glass Juice ($6.50) and Thai Iced Tea ($5.90). The refreshing of the Lemon Glass Juice is simply irresistible. Friend commented it was one of the better ones that she ever tasted. The taste of Lemon Grass was not overpowering but rather soothing. 

The Thai Iced Tea is definitely another good choice. I overhead the Service Staff telling the customers seated at the next table. He said, their Thai Iced Tea is very authentic and it is a must try. It was nicely sweetened with a comforting fragrance. 

Fried Prawns with Sweet Tamarind Sauce ($28.90) The prawns were nicely deep fried to give it the desirable crispiness then served along with the sweet tamarind sauce. The prawns have got a noticeable freshness and its taste was nicely enhanced by the sauce. It still tasted crispy even after left it for a bit.

Pandan Chicken ($12.90). This was the appetizer that we enjoyed the most. The marinated chicken pieces were wrapped in pandan leaf then deep-fried to give it the nice pandan flavor. It tasted good with or without the sauce. The chicken meat still tasted tender and juicy. 

Green Curry with Beef ($13.90) This was probably the not so appetizing amongst the mains. The texture of thinly sliced beef was slightly chewy and a little tough. The taste of green curry was creamy and rich though.

Fried Squid ($13.90). We felt this is the worst appetizer of all. It was slightly greasy and rather soggy with an extreme chewiness. Apparently, the dipping sauce did not play a apart to enhance its flavor further.

Grilled Duck with crispy hot basil leaves. ($18.90) Slices of tasty roasted duck was served with a deep fried Hot Basil. It was done well to give the handful of basil a delightful crispiness. It tasted good when eaten with the roasted duck.

Deep-fried Minced Prawns in Spring Roll Sheet ($10.90). Its taste was pretty close to fish paste. Though it was supposed to be wrapped in Spring Roll Sheet but the actual texture was slightly closer to beancurd skin for ngor hiang. It tasted good when dipped it into the sweet tasting dipping sauce.

Barbequed Chicken in Thai Style Marinade ($9.90). It is grilled marinated chicken on skewers. It did not taste particularly spicy nor salty but rather light. The best way to enjoy it is to dip it into the sauce that served along. 

Stir-fried Soft Shell in Yellow Curry ($18.90) The fresh tasting soft shell crabs were deep fried first before stir-fried it in Yellow Curry. The crispiness was not quite compromised when it served. The aromatic curry was rich, fragrant and not too spicy. 

Coconut Ice-cream with Assorted Thai Sweet Condiments ($8.80 each). It was a lovely choice. The assorted Thai sweet condiments served in 8 different glasses consisting red rubies, slices of jackfruit, sticky rice, atap seeds, sweet corns, peanuts, cendol and nata de coco. 

 Though their prices are slightly higher than most Thai restaurants but the ambience and quality of the foods are worthy of the experience. 

Myself and my guests truly enjoyed the foods and the experience. 

Thank you, Nara Thai Cuisine.

2 Orchard Turn
#B3-21 ION Orchard