Posts Tagged ‘Beef’

Ethan’s Gourmet Foods–Get your Kobe beef fix here!

The Partner likes to cook, so I am always on the look out for supermarket deals and other good places to shop for our groceries. One of our weaknesses is the meat counter, where we can spend a good 5 to 10 minutes scrutinising the various cuts of meats on sale. Btw, not all cuts of meat are displayed. Those in the know will often ask for the more specialised cuts such as skirt steak, hangar steak etc. And it’s a real pity we can’t get beef tongue easily in Singapore.

So it was with a bit of excitement that we drove halfway across Singapore to check out the newly opened Ethan’s Gourmet Foods. The 2,271 sqft grocer boasts premium and exclusive gourmet products air-flown straight from source every other week. One of the 3 founding partners is also a native Japanese who has an extensive network amongst food producers in Japan, hence slant towards Japanese products.

Ethan's Gourmet - Kobe Short Rib (2)

My eyes…. the marbling!!!

Premium products that retail at Ethan’s Gourmet Foods include Tajima wagyu or Kobe beef, Hokkaido snow crab and scallops, amadai aka tile fish, Australian pasture-fed lamb. Ethan’s Gourmet also offers personalised cutsand complimentary marinating services. Check it out, you  can even get dinosaur-shaped minced meat patties!

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Oriole Cafe & Bar revisited

When it comes to thinking of great places to go for dinner, Orchard Road hardly comes up tops in my mind. Of course there are some good restaurants around this area, (my favourite being Lawrie’s Prime Rib Restaurant) but you have to wade through a sea of generic restaurant chains to get to the gems. I’d rather go to the Club Street area or Robertson Quay for a restaurant with more “character”.

But of course, it’s a totally different story if you’ve just traipsed through the whole of Orchard Road for the last 5 hours. Then the last thing you want is to have to travel somewhere else for dinner! That’s when I go for my fool proof option, Oriole Cafe & Bar. Technically speaking, it’s address is listed as being located at the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, but it is right next to 313 Somerset shopping mall, and more importantly, Oriole Cafe & Bar is located a few paces from the Somerset MRT underpass, which will mean less walking and a quicker rendezvous with the bed who misses you.

For a location such as this, the menu is surprisingly affordable, especially if you were to compare this with places like say P.S Cafe or Wild Honey nearby? This is what we had for dinner a couple of Mondays ago.

Oriole Cafe Bar - Fish and Chips (Battered snapper fillets, hand-cut chips, tartare sauce or malt vinegar) $19 (2)

Fish and Chips (Battered snapper fillets, hand-cut chips, tartare sauce or malt vinegar) $19

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Bornga BBQ Restaurant at Star Vista

*Media Invite*

Recently I was invited to try out Bornga, a Korean BBQ Restaurant at Star Vista. I am no expert when it comes to Korean BBQ, having been to only one other a couple of years back at the Esplanade. Which was why I was quite happy to make the trek to Star Vista, even though I live on the opposite end of Singapore.

Established in 2002, Bornga is a BBQ chain restaurant in Korea, and is the brainchild of Jong Won Paik, one of Korea’s most renown celebrity chefs. The opening of Singapore’s restaurant marks the 1st in Singapore and the 13th outlet outside of Korea. You can now find Bornga in China, Indonesia and even one outlet in USA, as well as 33 others in Korea.

Be warned, I will be inundating you with numerous pictures of raw meat. I sure hope pictures of raw meat turns you on, because I sure am getting hungrier as we speak.

Bornga (4)

Okay let me first start with something less bloody…the side dishes. As you know, all Korean meals are accompanied with a variety of small side dishes. I am in awe of all Korean housewives, how they must slave over the stove having to prepare so many different things.

Bornga - Ggot Sal (unmarinated boneless beef; $38) (2)

 Ggot Sal (unmarinated boneless beef; $38)

First up, the Ggot Sal, which is boneless and tender prime beef cuts served non-marinated so that guests can enjoy its deep beef flavour. Now I often hear people saying “oh this meat is great, the beef flavour is not so strong!” and nothing irks me more than to hear those kinds of statements. I’m like, why did you bother to order the dish if you didn’t want to taste it? Notice the rich marbling, which I’m sure is a huge turn on for anyone who loves his meat.

Bornga - Woo Samgyup (thinly sliced beef with BORNGA's special sauce; $22)

Woo Samgyup (thinly sliced beef brisket with BORNGA’s special sauce; $22)

This is one of the favourite dishes in Bornga. Apparently the recipe is patented as the beef slices are seasoned in Bornga’s secret marinade. Unlike the typical Korean BBQ dish of bulgogi which usually appears dull after marinating for at least half a day in dark-coloured sauce, Bornga’s Woo Samgyup is served shortly after being doused in the dressing that retains the meat’s natural colour, while enhancing the traditional bulgogi taste.
While the meat tasted great, I think they can do away with the pumpkin slices as it just looks weird….don’t you think?

Bornga - Samgyup (thinly sliced beef with BORNGA's special sauce; $22) (2)

This is how the Woo Samgyup looked like after being BBQed. Loved the aroma and flavour of the BBQ meat for both the meat dishes I have featured so far. Certainly, keep your calorie counter at home when dining at a Korean BBQ restaurant but it’s well worth the calories! I’m afraid I was a little too busy wolfing the slices down to really pay attention to what Ivy from FoodNews was saying.

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Covelli Italian Bistro at Orchard Central

*Media Invite*

Orchard Central is very much the quieter kid on the block as compared to the bustling 313 Somerset Mall. Or perhaps I should use “was”, as I’ve no doubt that people have been thronging the mall since the opening of Dean & Deluca on the 4th Floor? Do check out the 2 basement levels if you go to Orchard Central. There’s a whole row of shops selling quaint little trinkets. And did you know that there is an underpass that connects Centrepoint Mall to Orchard Central?

Apart from Medz Restaurant, where my friend held her daughter’s 1st birthday, there is also Covelli. Covelli Italian Bistro and Wine Bar is a pretty posh looking Italian Restaurant. It has a cosy stonewall entrance, and a black and white themed decor. When you see it for the 1st time, you might assume that it would cost a hefty penny to dine there, but the reality couldn’t be further. Most of their pizzas cost between $20 – $22, which is very reasonable price. The reason why I’m even mentioning pizza even though I didn’t get to try it for dinner is because the people at the next table ordered a pizza. It was so humongous, it was almost covered the entire table.

Covelli Italian Bistro - (9)

Covelli Italian Bistro - (21)This is part of the separate bar area tucked away in a quiet private corner.

My dining companion and I got to sample a few signature dishes at Covelli. The pictures shown here are smaller than the size of the dishes you would get as a paying customer.

Covelli Italian Bistro - Antipasto Fruitti di Mare (Tataki Tuna, cured Salmon, Crabmeat and Avocado topped with Avruga Caviar & Balsamic Reduction) (2)

Antipasto Fruitti di Mare (Tataki Tuna, cured Salmon, Crabmeat and Avocado topped with Avruga Caviar & Balsamic Reduction) $18

For those of you who want a bit of everything, this might just be the dish for you. There was a lot going on in this dish, as you can see from the picture and the descriptive text. For my 1st mouthful, I made sure to get a bit of everything. It was a little overwhelming as the taste of the crab and the caviar were most prominent. Subsequently, I prised everything apart and enjoyed the layers individually, and found the dish to be more enjoyable. I could at least finally taste the lovely cured salmon, which is something I love very much.

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What to eat on Voyager of the Seas Cruise

Dining on a cruise ship must surely be one of the highlights of the cruise itself. It seems to be a pretty grand affair too. There are a number of dining areas to choose from, ranging from the opulent looking main dining rooms all the way to the casual Johnny Rockets Restaurants, aka Billy Bombers lookalike. Interestingly, there is no extra cost in dining in my favourite Carmen restaurant, which looks like the most atas dining room there is. Yet, there is a surcharge to dine at Johnny Rockets. I suppose when you’ve been on the ship for more than a week, you will yearn for something different.

Voyager Carmen Dining Room - (12)

This is the Carmen dining room. Does it not look super grand? It kinda took my breath away when I first stepped in! Makes you feel like you’re in a bygone era. Cruise passengers can dine here without further charge! The cheapest tickets will get you a table on the 1st floor, and you will be assigned the same table and same waiter throughout.

Voyager Carmen Dining Room -

View from the top level, which is reserved for those staying in the suites.

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