Posts Tagged ‘fine dining’

Ritz Carlton Summer Pavilion–Fantastic anniversary lunch at this one Michelin-starred restaurant

A very Happy New Year to all readers of 365days2play Lifestyle, Food and Travel blog! Hope your new year has been off to a great start! Here’s wishing you good health, happiness and an even more exciting 2017 to come!

Speaking of exciting, I thought it fitting as my 1st post for 2017 to blog about a really fantastic meal I had in 2016. As the title of this post reveals, its our anniversary which we celebrated at the one Michelin-starred restaurant Summer Pavilion.  It’s the 1st time we formally celebrated it after being married for 4 years! Can you believe that? In some circles, that would be grounds for divorce! But truth be told, Christmas is the occasion that we spend our efforts celebrating (with family and all), that by the time 29th December comes along, it doesn’t feel as if we need yet another celebration.

Nevertheless, I was really happy to be able to have the opportunity to celebrate our anniversary. Even though I have dined at quite a number of posh restaurants,  I hadn’t been to Summer Pavilion before, and it has been more than 2 years since I was last at Ritz Carlton, so the whole experience was very exciting! It did help that the Christmas decorations were still up, and the hotel looked so pretty! The stark black and white tableware set up also exuded refinement and was like a prelude of good things to come.

Ritz Carlton Summer Pavilion Soya Sauce

You know you’re in for a treat when even the soya sauce looks like an art work.

We opted for the Lily Dinner Set. Yes, they were able to serve that during lunch (I’d checked when I made reservations). I can certainly see why they managed to obtain the coveted Michelin Star. The 5 main criteria that the Michelin inspectors look out for are as follows:

  1. Quality of the products

  2. Mastery of flavour and cooking techniques

  3. The personality of the chef in his cuisine

  4. Value for money

  5. Consistency between visits

While I can’t comment on point 3 and 5, I can certainly state that with the exception of dessert, all the dishes we were served that day wowed us. Dessert tasted good too, except there wasn’t any wow factor. As for value for money, at $88++ per pax, I think that you could possibly find a handful of Chinese restaurants in Singapore that might be able to match this standard for a lower price tag, if you look hard enough. For hotel restaurants, Yan Ting of St Regis or Wan Hao of Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel come to mind, but they aren’t very much cheaper either. Lei Garden or Crystal Jade Golden Palace may be cheaper too, but guess what, they’re also Michelin Starred restaurants!

One thing that the Michelin inspectors don’t value is ambience and decor. But I do. Ambience, decor, service and how comfortable I feel dining in a restaurant are all important factors to me when it comes to enjoying a meal out. If it were just the quality and taste of food, home cooking would have sufficed!

Anyway… scroll down for the low down on each of the dishes.

Ritz Carlton Summer Pavilion - Deep-fried prawn head and tail, salt, pepper chilli prawn, sesame sauce (2)

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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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Gourmet de l’Ile – Strasbourg

Day 3 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - (2)

Day 3 – We were generously invited to dinner during our stay at Château de l’Ile & Spa in the Strasbourg/Ostwald region. Château de l’Ile has 2 restaurants. The Restaurant "Winstub de l’Ile " has all the charm of an Alsace brasserie with its typical welcoming decor: traditional benches, solid rustic chairs, decorated ceiling, and tinted windows. You can enjoy regional dishes at this restaurant.

The other restaurant, which we eventually chose as our dining venue for the evening was Restaurant "Gourmet de l’Ile". It is decked out to look like a 19th century bourgeoisie house and serves fine dining French cuisine.

We perused the menu and concluded that the Tasting menu at 74 Euros was the most value for money, yes even though 74 Euros doesn’t sound cheap on its own. The starters were already above 20 euros while the main courses were above 30 euros, so it made very good sense to get the Tasting menu, even if we had to take 3 hours to finish the meal!

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - Lentil soup with bacon

Lentil soup with bacon

As with all fine dining, you always get more than what you’ve ordered! There will be “surprises”, more “surprises”, “mouth washers” literally, and chocolates after desserts! Don’t be planning to go home early when you dine at a fine dining restaurant! This here was the appetiser of lentil puree soup with a stick of bacon in it. It was an amazing starter as the graininess of the lentils and smokiness of the bacon really gelled together very well, kick starting the whole meal.

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - Pan-Fried Foie Gras, butter muesli, apple compote & Caramel (2)

Pan-Fried Foie Gras, butter muesli, apple compote & Caramel 27 Euros

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The Olive Restaurant

There were 2 dining establishments during our stay at Resorts World Genting that were particularly memorable. One of them was The Bakery at Maxims Hotel. That was where we withdrew for the day to relax over a cup of coffee and catch up on our social networks via the free WIFI. The other memorable dining establishment was The Olive Restaurant, just a stone’s throw away from The Bakery actually.

Of the entire 3D2N that we spent at Resorts World Genting, The Olive was single-handedly the most memorable restaurant we visited. The Olive is a fine-dining restaurant and without a doubt, the food was impeccable. The service was excellent too. If I were to return to Genting again and had extra cash to spare, I would most definitely visit The Olive.

The Olive - (2)

We were the 1st customers to arrive at the restaurant at 6pm on a Sunday evening. Love the elegant ambience and lighting.

The Olive - Complimentary Hot Bread

The complimentary bread was excellent! The breads were kept nice and warm in the napkin. Don’t be put off by this black bread, cuz it’s squid ink bread! It was absolutely lovely and it’s one of those places where you could just eat loads and loads of bread and be contented.

The Olive - Pan Seared Foie Gras with sweet & savoury brioche, port poached apple, toasted hazelnuts and tangerine caramel sauce RM 128 (3)

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In love with Il Lido – Super Weekend Set Lunch

Il Lido has always been etched in my mind as a really top notch restaurant, not least thanks to my ex-boss, who so favoured dining at Il Lido for business lunches and special occasions, so much so that the staff remember his special requests. In fact, I partook in one of those special occasions, the boss’s birthday(!), and that eventually became my 1st ever food review on 365days2play!  (In case you are wondering, that was way back in 2008, and I subsequently resurrected the blog again in mid 2010.)

Back in those days, Il Lido had these colourful plastic chairs, and my 1st impression upon stepping through the front door was “You must be JOKING. My boss finds this place ATAS?” The food and service quickly changed my mind. I was glad to find that in my recent visit in January 2012 that they’d gotten rid of those unbecoming chairs. They still have those chairs at the al fresco area, which I think is more appropriate given that it is outdoors.

Il Lido Sentosa (3) Looks quite fine, don’t you think?

So in late Jan 2012, thanks to a DBS birthday treat coupon which gave us a 50% discount, we were able to sample the delights at Il Lido again. Actually, it’s not terribly expensive to dine at Il Lido. Mains are about $35 – $60. Appetisers are about $20 and desserts are in excess of $10. Contrary to popular belief, I am not a big eater, so I almost never order an appetiser and dessert all on my own. Set lunches/dinners are different as the restaurants kind of scale down the size of the food anyway. And of course, for buffets, I bring my other stomach, you know the bigger capacity one.

Back in January, they were having this wonderful weekend set lunch menu, which comprised of FIVE appetisers and FIVE mains, FOUR desserts and coffee/tea for $68+++. I mean seriously, is this a good deal or what??? The portions are all smaller than usual, but still, the total amount was sizable. I really love menus like these. I don’t know about you, but I have the perpetual problem of not knowing what to order. Usually it’s because there are so many attractive dishes I want to order, rather than the lack of something interesting.

So….presenting the appetisers! Portions are for 2 pax

Il Lido Sentosa Goose Liver Goose Liver

Il Lido Sentosa - Octopus Terrine Octopus Terrine

Il Lido Sentosa - Parma Ham Parma Ham

Il Lido Sentosa Caprese Caprese

Il Lido Sentosa Calamari Calamari

Phew, 5 appetisers man! All of them were super delicious. My personal favourite was obviously the foie gras. Just can’t go wrong with that. Also loved the texture of the octopus terrine. Don’t believe I’ve ever had an octopus terrine before and I really loved the bouncy feel. The Calamari also had a nice bouncy texture and didn’t taste oily at all. Parma Ham and rock melon was another winning combination. In fact, for a cheese lover like me, the caprese was the least outstanding, which goes to show how good the other appetisers were.

Next up, the Main Courses. Portions are for 2 pax.

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