Archive for the ‘1.3 Casual Restaurants’ Category

Saturdays at Portico

Last Saturday, instead of my usual binge and binge some more routine, I spent an interesting afternoon at Portico restaurant at Alexandra. Portico is helmed by illustrious 28 year old Head Chef Nixon Low and his culinary team. I’d missed out on a couple of previous tasting sessions held, and heard that the food was exemplary. Didn’t want to miss out again this time round, even though this time round the focus would be on the upcoming events that Portico will host on the weekends.

Portico Singapore (5)

Stepping into Portico is like stepping into a relaxing and lush garden. If you peer closely enough, you’ll realise that the plants flanking both sides of the seating area are no normal plants, but edible ones. You’ll be reacquainted with them again when they appear in the dishes that you order. I’ve always been a supporter of the farm to fork concept and the organic movement and it was really nice to be able to witness upfront how the plants outside the restaurant are incorporated into the food.

Portico Truffle Fries

Truffle fries and a ton of cheese to keep the bloggers at bay before the event started proper.

Deconstructed Black Forest Cake (1)

For Saturdays at Portico, diners who come to Portico for lunch on Saturdays are invited to stay back and join in their activities held at 3pm, known as Saturdays at Portico. I was told, even if you do not dine there, you are also welcome to join in as well for free! The above deconstructed Blackforest cake was my creation during the hands on plating class! Well the one in the round bowl is Chef Nixon’s model answer, but I think mine ain’t too bad either??

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Enak Enak HongKong Tea House : New Halal eatery in East Coast Park

Our Muslim friends can rejoice at the opening of the very popular Halal eatery Enak Enak HongKong Tea House. If this sounds familiar, yes Enak Enak of Simpang Bedok has expanded with its second outlet now located at East Coast Park Seafood Centre, opened in early April. The outlet boasts prime sea views as well as a huge car park nearby. Although most people may not realise it, there is a strip of beach in front of the Seafood Centre, and otters were spotted there last month!

If there’s one thing that won’t escape notice when you step into Enak Enak, it is that of its extensive menu. It is so extensive, it is more than 10 pages long, and mind you, each page has like 20 items listed! Practically anything under the sun is sold here, ranging from dim sum, to Western grilled dishes, all the way to steamboat, peanut soup and banana milkshake? The list is almost endless. Scroll down to check out sample pages of the menu. And get this, they are open 24 hours every day!

Even English Premier League fans will be happy, as there are a couple of TV screens televising the EPL matches every weekend. Seafood Centre is no longer just the home of the chilli crab…

Enak Enak HongKong Teahouse (1)

Enak Enak Hong Kong Tea House occupies the corner left unit of Block 1202 of the Seafood Centre. Come early morning or in the evenings to enjoy the cool sea breeze! The pricing is very similar to that at Simpang Bedok, or hawker centre pricing but perhaps 10-20% more. The food generally tasted good as well.

Enak Enak HongKong Teahouse Ayam Penyet

Ayam Penyet

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WildFire Kitchen + Bar

Visited Wildfire Kitchen + Bar back in February when they first opened (and again yesterday). Although it is a skip and a hop away from my office, my colleagues had till then not been too keen to check it out because firstly, not everyone likes burgers, and secondly, spending twenty bucks on lunch is not everyone’s cup of tea either.

But, it was my birthday so everyone gamely trooped there to check it out. Although there are quite a number of staff milling around, WildFire is a self-service restaurant, meaning, you have to place and collect your orders at the counter. Don’t be shy to plonk your butt down at the nearest available table, seating is self-service too.

WildFire Kitchen and Bar

Burgers are Wildfire’s speciality. There are a total of 12 burgers to choose from, in addition to 2 hot dog types, as well as fish and chips, and hanger steak. When they first opened in February, there were 7 types of steaks to choose from, but I guess they were removed from the menu because most people know Wildfire as a gourmet burger outlet. It’s not hard to see why, as the beef patties used are 100% beef patties, as opposed to having cheap fillers in them.

Wildfire Kitchen   Bar Chili Con Carne $19 and Umami $17

Chili Con Carne $19 and Umami $17

All burgers are cooked to chef’s recommended doneness, unless otherwise requested. This usually means a doneness of medium rare. However, during my first visit, most of my colleagues complained that the patties were overdone and too dry. The running joke for that day was that the burgers were done very well… However, yesterday, when I was there with the Partner, who is very experienced in burger eating for obvious reasons, his lamb burger was quite rare. We had to have it exchanged and the 2nd one came back perfect. My classic 001 was medium rare to rare, so it was okay for me.

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Chijmes revamped!

After our lunch at Chijmes, we decided to take a walk around the grounds. Some renovations are still on-going, mainly at the cathedral area only, so most of the restaurants and cafes have already been open for business for quite some time. Not much has changed, and rightly so because this is a historic building, but yet Chijmes feels refreshingly different from before. There are a number of new restaurants, as well as a number of old ones.

I would say the courtyard areas are more manicured with lush trees and foliage strategically placed such that you feel as if you are taking a walk in a garden. It kinda feels as if you are taking a stroll in some European park! Also, the single file restaurants have had roofs extended over their outdoor dining areas so rain or scorching sun is less of a worry now.

Prive at Chijmes (5)

I love seeing kids run around outdoors (as opposed to in the malls). This is such a pretty picture, and even after a full meal at Lei Garden next door, I wish I had space to enjoy a drink or something at Prive just so as to be able to relax in this greenery. Thumbs up for how Prive has managed to incorporate nature into their design elements, from the green roof, to the creeping plants surrounding the outdoor area. And of course the large shady trees all around add to the atmosphere. Prive seems to have a knack for choosing “picturesque” locations… you will remember they have another outlet at Keppel Island facing the marina.

Prive at Chijmes (3)

The shady trees I was talking about that make you feel as if you are walking in a park.

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[Chinese New Year 2015] Antoinette’s Ang Moh Yu Sheng!

Chinese New Year 2015 reviews

I guarantee you, this will be the most intriguing Yu Sheng that you will see this year. No there ain’t heaps of lobsters, crabs, abalones, uni or other manner of seafood. In fact, this Yusheng has no raw fish in it! If this isn’t the most creative Yu Sheng for 2015, I don’t know what is! But to keep you in suspense, here’s a picture of some of Antoinette’s Chinese New Year goodies. You’ll have to go below the fold to see the picture of the Yu Sheng I’m talking about. Smile

Antoinette Chinese New Year Goodies

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