28.7.15

The Disgruntled Chef

We stopped by The Disgruntled Chef for desserts after a smoking hot meal at Samy's Curry. The Dempsey-fixture recently refreshed its menu, so I thought it about time for a revisit.

Cheese aficionados will love the Roquefort Magnum ($10), an unexpected but ingenious marriage of the stinky blue cheese with honey and dark chocolate. But like how opposites attract, this icy heady concoction worked!

A mainstay, the Chocolate Fondant ($16) with vanilla ice-cream, was, unfortunately, a smidge overdone, so even the glorious peanut butter laced chocolate goo couldn't quite mask the charred undertones. That said, the lava was sumptuously nuanced, and torched banana brulee excellent.


The Disgruntled Chef
26B Dempsey Road
Tel: 6476 5305
Open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner
Fridays & Saturdays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6pm to 11.30pm for dinner
Sundays from 12noon to 4.30pm for brunch; 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner
Closed on Mondays
Website: www.disgruntledchef.com

27.7.15

Saint Pierre

Saint Pierre, arguably Singapore's finest French restaurant, has just launched a new brunch menu, featuring the season's best. Located at the balmy Quayside Isle, Saint Pierre is a little slice of nirvana, away from the bustle of town. I can't think of a better place to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. And, it may surprise you to know that, for a seemingly fancy restaurant, the prices are affordably competitive and ambience is casually breezy. So yes, you can actually walk in bermuda-shorted and sandals-clad. Coupled with the picturesque surrounds, honest-to-goodness food, and exceptional service, this is one hidden gem of a brunch spot.

An off-menu dish, the Smoked Salmon ($18), was a game-changer. I was never a fan of smoked salmon, but the wild Scottish salmon, smoked in-house at Saint Pierre, was sublime. It was impossibly fresh, and cured with just the perfect amount of soot for that salty-sweet balance. The accompanying cream was enlivened with a touch of lemon, and chives. Best smoked salmon I've ever had in my life. Truly a must-try.

The perfectly poached Eggs Benedict ($24), draped in an effervescent champagne hollandaise, and generously layered with glorious ribbons of iberico bellota ham, atop a buttery crusty brioche, was seriously delicious. This took the crown of best eggs benedict from reigning champ Choupinette.

The Poached Eggs with Pulled Braised Duck Leg Confit ($24) with pickled cherry tomatoes and toasted sourdough was another winner. The duck confit was meltingly luscious, made even more sumptuous by the runny egg slobbering all over. The meat-loving Hubs practically inhaled this. 


Saint Pierre
Quayside Isle #01-15
31 Ocean Way
Tel: 6438 0887
Open for weekend brunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm;
Dinner daily from 5.30pm to 9.30pm
Website: www.saintpierre.com.sg

26.7.15

Zest, Conrad Koh Samui

Zest is the in-house buffet restaurant at Conrad Koh Samui. For a resort this remote, it's surprisingly bustling. While the buffet selection was abysmal, the ala minute fare was commendable, and the eggs were far better compared to The Edge.

I liked the fusion of Thai flavours into eggy classics; think spicy curries slopped on poached eggs, so where possible, drench eggs, potatoes, bread, and the like, in any of their curries. It's the magic sauce that makes everything so much better than it was.

The Thai Egg Benedict was our favourite of the lot, with creamy paneang curry slathered over poached eggs with pork floss wedged in-between.

The Eggs Florentine with spinach was nicely done, but a tad heavy on the hollandaise.

From the eggs and pancakes live station...

You get Scrambled Eggs, with peppers, corn and ham; this was also well done, fluffy and moist.

The Omelette, with all the fixings - peppers, cheese, and ham.

Eggs Sunny Side, fittingly runny.

Waffle - drizzled with excellent maple syrup

Pancake - dusted with icing sugar and zigzagged with chocolate sauce

Noodles Live Station

The bao-ga-liao version, with cabbage, meatballs, sliced pork and minced pork, dunked in a lovely robust broth.

The curated minced pork balls and kailan version

Porridge - give this bland blend a miss

Green curry chicken - punchy and heady, fantastic stuff

Stir-fried pork with peppers and steamed white rice - despite its mussed-up look, it had a homecooked appeal

Rosti - ask for this to be freshly made, it's much better than what's left out in the buffet

Bread and pastries - mostly mediocre, save for the somewhat passable fruit danishes

Charcuterie - generic turkey ham and pork bolongna

Salami and Chicken Bolongna

Pass on the cheese (cheddar, edam, emmental) platter too, these weren't very good. Or they'd been left out too long.

Roasted ham and bacon - pedestrian

Pork sausages - love its chunky texture and beautiful charring

Sushi hors d'oeuvres - unimpressive

Mackerel in tomato sauce- cause of death: drowning by mayo

Fruit salsas and compotes, muesli and yoghurt with a selection of luxury olive oils and flavoured salts

Salad station - unremarkable

Fruit Juices- freshly squeezed and scrumptious

The small-ish but sunlit restaurant interiors, the tables facing the floor-to-ceiling glass panels are the best in the house

Alfresco-lovers who appreciate being tanned while at breakfast would probably prefer these tables on the outdoor terrace instead.



Zest
Conrad Koh Samui
Open daily from 6pm to 11pm
Website

23.7.15

The Edge, Banyan Tree Koh Samui

The Edge is aptly named for its cliff-edge location in the swanky Banyan Tree Koh Samui. This is the in-house buffet restaurant serving international cuisine, and breakfast.

The food was surprisingly decent, with more hits than misses, distinguishing The Edge from the sea of unremarkable garden-variety hotel buffets.

The awesomely curated charcuterie and fromage table; with the seldom-seen-but-very-appreciated coppa ham, salami, turkey jadgwurst, and cabanossi; and cheddar, mozzarella, feta, gruyere, and brie cheeses; and its accompaniments like cheese crackers, olives, capers, pickles, and nuts. This section alone won me over.

Salads: a DIY section, a fruit salad, and a thousand island-based potato salad

Japanese sushi and salmon sashimi - clunky

Breads of all kinds: breadsticks, bagels, baguette, wholemeal, nuts, rolls and sliced bread, with butter on ice.

Pastries, including danishes, muffins, doughnuts, and tarts, with a melange of jams and sweet spreads, strawberry, raspberry, lychee honey, pineapple, mango, blueberry, peanut butter and nutella. Loved the danishes.

Even more pastries, including donuts, bread pudding, and croissants, and a honeycomb drip. 

Roasts; bacon and a rather dry roast pork, with buttered corn, baked beans and grilled root vegetables

Grilled potatoes and onions fragranced with rosemary

DIY pork porridge was pretty decent, with a lovely stock base, and condiments.

Grilled chicken with teriyaki sauce with chunkily textured pork sausage - passed muster

Chicken hotdog with Aglio Olio linguini - forgettable

Japanese-styled steamed egg laced with shitake and crabmeat - a firmer rendition of chawanmushi

Siew Mai and HarGow - give both a miss, very middling

Ditto for the too-thick-skinned steamed red bean and pork buns

Sauteed Spicy Beef - lovely sauce but beef was a smidge overcooked

Oyster sauce vegetables - simple but excellent

Fried Noodles with Egg - passably comforting in that maggi mee goreng way.

Indian Rice Pilaf - fluffy and flavourful

Thai noodle soup live station

Chicken coconut soup - fantastic, creamy and robust

The eggs, cooked ala minute, were disappointingly amateurish, the Egg scramble with peppers, ham and onions was overcooked and rubbery.

The same fate befell the Eggs Benedict as well...

And the regular poached Eggs

Freshly cut fruits and muesli

Locally-influenced ice-cream flavours like coconut, Thai iced tea, and regulars like vanilla and coffee; with toppings like chocolate chips, almond flakes, sunflower seeds and cookie crunch.

Pretty desserts in a row, petite-sized for easier consumption and reduced wastage.

Fruit Juices: pineapple, mango, watermelon, orange and guava smoothie, and milks of the soy and fresh full cream and skimmed varieties.

Best outdoor table in the house; if there ever was a reason to linger over a meal, this view would be it.


Restaurant reception


The Edge
Banyan Tree Koh Samui
Website
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