Archive for the ‘1.2 Restaurants’ Category

Corner House at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Corner House, the restaurant that has taken over the previous Au Jardin’s location, is finally open! As much as I was sad to see Les Amis’ Au Jardin go, I am happy to report that the colonial building that sites Corner House will once again be bustling with diners.

I was fortunate to be able to partake in Corner House’s grand opening due to a last minute turn of events. Hadn’t even brought my bag along with me actually! Nor my usual trusty DSLR. These pictures are all taken with my iPhone 4!!

Corner House at Singapore Botanic Gardens

This conservation building, the residence of the former assistant director E.J.H. Corner of the Singapore Botanic Gardens now houses the Corner House restaurant. While we won’t have the luxury of living in this building like E.J.H Corner, wouldn’t you agree that dining in this history steeped building amidst lush greenery might be the next best thing? You will be able to see some black and white photos of this former residence hung around the restaurant.

Corner House serves fine-dining French cuisine with strong elements of gastro-botanica. You will see that the the herbs and vegetables that make up your meal are given equal emphasis as with the meats and seafood.

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Lewin Terrace

Lewin Terrace, located on Fort Canning Hill, is one of those fine-dining restaurants that boasts a very historic location but yet is a mere stone’s throw away from the city centre. Surprise surprise, it is but a 10 minute walk from City Hall MRT station!

Admittedly, finding it may be a bit of a problem, but if you know to stop your taxi just before the Philatelic museum, the stairs leading to the black and white conservation building which houses Lewin Terrace is just behind the museum and the fire station! Thankfully, I am familiar with this area, having worked in the vicinity for several years. I’ve never found it a problem to get here, even on my 1st day of work, because I know my museums well! Smile

Lewin Terrace

This is the beautiful Lewin Terrace bungalow that greets you after you have ascended the stairs. This was the former residence of the Chief who headed the Central Fire Station on Hill Street. You might vaguely recall that the restaurant Flutes used to occupy this building previously. Here’s a good spot to take all those selfies, if you manage to arrive before nightfall. But be careful because you might find a friendly face popping out of the veranda to welcome you warmly with a “HELLO!” just as you are admiring yourself in your iPhone, as was what happened to me.

Daisuke Kawai

The friendly face and voice belongs to none other than Mr Daisuke Kawai himself, the general manager and chief sommelier of Lewin Terrace. You can tell he’s a friendly person right? Smile The Japanese are ever so polite and eager to ensure you have a good time, you know you are in good hands when it comes to service standards. Beneath his unassuming exterior, Daisuke boasts an arsenal of sommelier awards, including Top Wines Best Sommelier of the Year in the Singapore World Gourmet Series Awards of Excellence 2013.

Lewin Terrace - (2)

We had a sampling of the tasting menu available at Lewin Terrace, prepared by Chef de Cuisine Ryoichi Kano and team. Chef Ryoichi loves experimenting with different foods, spices and tastes, which is evident in the French Japanese inspired cuisine that you will find at Lewin Terrace.

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Absinthe Restaurant Francais weekend lunch

If you know me, you’d know that I love dining at French restaurants. I love the immaculate looking dishes and I love the exemplary service that often comes with dining at such restaurants. Yes, it’s not cheap, but just as you would spend money to entertain yourself at the movies, the same could be said about spending it at a restaurant to get several hours of enjoyment.

One of my favourite French restaurants has got to be Absinthe Restaurant Francais. Tried them once when they were still at Bukit Pasoh, and tried them once more for dinner after they had moved to Boat Quay. Third time lucky, I had the opportunity to partake in lunch this time round.

Absinthe Restaurant Francais - (5)

Absinthe is one of the few restaurants along Boat Quay that is open for lunch on the weekends. There is a special Saturday ala carte menu which is slightly more affordable as compared to the dinner menus. Saturday lunch is a good opportunity to check out Absinthe, especially if you want a more light-hearted atmosphere. Come in the evening and you probably feel like you have to know which fork or knife to use, or feel like you have to keep your voice down. Although after 3 glasses of wine, everyone forgets about that.

Absinthe Restaurant Francais - Finger Food Platter $13

Finger Food Platter $13

I love canapes and so this was a great order for me. Come to think of it, you can’t really get finger food served like this on a menu. You either get these at cocktails (of which is at the whim and fancy of the host of the event), or you are served 1 or 2 items as amuse bouche.

Absinthe Restaurant Francais - Smoked Salmon with sour cream on blini (1)

Closer look of the smoked salmon with sour cream on a blini aka mini pancake. As what my UK Canapés Expert friend would say, it’s hard to go wrong with smoked salmon!

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Arossa Wine & Grill

I haven’t had many opportunities to visit Scott’s Square, one of the newest kids on the block along Scotts Road so I was sure glad to be given the opportunity to review Arossa Wine & Grill. If this place sounds or looks vaguely familiar, that’s because they did a revamp of the restaurant and had a change of name from La Luna Rossa to Arossa Wine & Grill. The wooden floors and brick walls have been retained to exude the rustic charm.

Arossa Wine & Grill (2)

Pricing wise, Arossa caters mainly to the business crowd, what with the table cloths and wine glasses. Strangely though, there are attempts to appeal to the masses by doing away with napkins and also serving brunch on the weekends.

Arossa - Charcuterie of Pate de Campagne, Foie Gras Terrine, Proscuitto $32 (2)Charcuterie of Pate de Campagne, Foie Gras Terrine, Prosciutto $32

We started off our meal with this mouth-watering plate of chacuterie. Seeing slivers of ham, pate and terrines never fails to lift my mood up. It’s also a very good way to distract customers while they wait for the mains to be prepared. I particularly liked the Foie Gras Terrine, which went really well with the complimentary bread. Had to control myself or I would have eaten more and had no space for the mains. The Pate de Campagne was also quite interesting as it had nutty bits in it, something that is not too common.

Arossa - Pan Fried foie Gras with Caramelized Apple $30 (2)

Pan Fried foie Gras with Caramelized Apple $30

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Balzac Brasserie

Balzac Brasserie is a French restaurant that doesn’t require you to rob a bank before you dine here. Balzac Brasserie is helmed by the award winning Chef Jean-Charles Dubois from Angers in Loire Valley, France. What is served here is rustic style, inspired from his own family recipes and his signature dishes include Lobster Bisque, Wagyu beef cheeks and Rice pudding. The French bistro decor is really nice, and makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a street in Paris. Most of the furnishings here were imported from Paris in fact.

Balzac Brasserie (9)

When it comes to birthday celebrations, one birthday meal is not enough for me! I like to celebrate my birthday over SEVERAL meals, kinda like 12 days of Christmas or 15 days of Chinese New Year you know. The previous post on Au Jardin Restaurant was my birthday meal with just the Partner, on the exact birthday. But prior to that, I already had another birthday meal together with the Partner and my parents, and that was at Balzac Brasserie. I’m kinda on a French restaurant / fine dining streak lately (which means $2.50 mixed rice on week days). I’d been here once before back in 2012, for the launch of a French bubbly, Jaillance, which I subsequently used for my wedding! It’s a wonder I took so long to return!

Balzac Brasserie - Complimentary Bread Basket (2)

Inviting bread basket to start the meal. They had raisin bread and multigrain bread. The breads were quite tasty and we even asked for a refill. They were particularly useful in mopping up the escargot juices as you will soon see.

Balzac Brasserie - Escargots de Bourgogne with parsley, garlic and butter $14

Escargots de Bourgogne with parsley, garlic and butter $14

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