Posts Tagged ‘mussels’

Rokeby Cafe Bistro at Jalan Riang

*Media Invite*

Jalan Riang is another of those up-and-coming laid-back type street lined with cafes and cool restaurants. I’ve been meaning to check it out for the longest time, but being an Eastie, Serangoon has always been so called off my radar. Well, I finally made it there for lunch on the Saturday just before Christmas at the kind invitation of Rokeby Cafe Bistro.

I was told I could bring a guest, but because it so happened that my parents were with me, I lugged them along for the tasting session well prepared to share everything, and thank god I did because Rokeby was so generous with the food, there was no way the Partner and I could have finished the feast!

http://distilleryimage4.ak.instagram.com/2a8e53aa6a2211e39408122af78613a0_8.jpg

Rokeby Cafe/Bistro is an Australian inspired establishment serving delectable gourmet food and artisan coffee with unique latte art. Coffee beans are freshly roasted from Western Australia and gourmet teas imported from Melbourne. Staying true to its roots, Rokeby serves Australian wines and offers a variety of Australian beer.

I really like the woody tones used in the decor at Rokeby, and of course a pretty Christmas tree during the Christmas season is never a bad thing.

Rokeby Cafe Bistro - Vegemite Glazed Chicken $11.90 and Mushroom Fritters $9 (2)

Mushroom Fritters $9

We left it to Denyse Janz, co-owner of Rokeby to recommend us dishes to try. Rokeby has been reinventing and upgrading itself ever since their opening earlier in 2013. You will find that even the colour theme as change, not to mention tweaks to the menu. Quite a number of dishes we tried were only just introduced into the menu.

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Bergen–Bryggeloftet Restaurant

Just in case you were expecting food reviews on this blog and there seems to be none in the last few posts, I am currently on holiday in Norway. I’ve done Oslo and I returned yesterday from Copenhagen Denmark. I’m moving on to the last leg of my trip, which is the scenic fjords and mountain bit.

Here’s some food pictures to keep us going meanwhile. Food prices in Norway are exorbitant by Singapore’s standards. There’s just no running away from this, believe me I’ve tried. Just to give some perspective, a McDonald’s meal would cost around S$15 if not more. Cafe Latte/Hot Chocolate is at least S$8 for the simplest of cafes. A main course at a restaurant of say chicken would cost S$40 or more. I bought a sandwich from the supermarket the other day and it cost S$20. It’s okay, after a few days, you will become numb to the $$$ and start living it up.

Anyway, when you got to eat, you got to eat. This is what I enjoyed yesterday upon arriving in Bergen, Norway. I’m just thankful that my air ticket cost only S$450, which is why I am holidaying in this cold country at this time of the year!

Bryggeloftet - Reindeer

That’s rudolph’s relative there on the plate (approx S$20)… My 1st time eating reindeer I believe. Deer meat is very common in Europe. Reindeer doesn’t seem to have a very strong taste. The texture is similar to beef, but perhaps a bit tougher. On the whole, pretty enjoyable.

Bryggeloftet - Bacalao

Bacalao (approx S$40) – Dried cod fish stew. Very nice. I love the tomato base and it had a touch of spice to it which was pleasing since I have not had something spicy in a while! This was the lunch portion. The ladies who ordered the dinner portion when we were about to leave had a plate double the size of this, and double the price! I have no idea how they could finish that as we had trouble polishing off everything ourselves!

Bryggeloftet - Norwegian Fish Soup (1)

Bryggeloftet - Norwegian Fish Soup (2)

Norwegian Fish Soup (approx S$40) – I loved this as well. Hearty and hot soup that really helped to chase the cold weather away. Lots of shrimps, a bit of fish and 4 mussels. They eat a lot of shrimps here. Don’t think I’ve seen large prawns yet. I broke pieces of the bread and dunked it into the soup. The soup was thick ÿet not too creamy. Fantastic.

Bryggeloftet - Bread basket

Bryggeloftet (1)

Bryggeloftet (2)

Bryggeloftet (8)

These Scandinavian restaurants and hotels tend to make use of wood a lot as it’s easily available here.

The Queen & the Mangosteen

I think I might have mentioned before that I have a soft spot for cafes and restaurants with quirky names? Tell me if you don’t think that the Queen & the Mangosteen sounds cool. The Queen & Mangosteen is a modern interpretation of the quintessential British gourmet pub with a whimsical flourish. Rumour has it that the mangosteen was reputedly Queen Victoria’s favourite fruit. Hey whaddya know, the mangosteen is my favourite fruit too!!!

There’s something about a place being known as a “pub”. I think in the Singaporean culture, we think of pubs as sleazy places where good people don’t go to. It’s not the same case in the UK. After watching Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay on TV, I’ve come to realise that families can go down to the pub for dinner. It just happens to be a place where you can also get alcoholic drinks.

Ah well, despite me saying that I like quirky names, this is only the 2nd time that I’ve been to the Queen & the Mangosteen. The 1st time being just after they opened a few years ago. Do you recall before this, in its place was Corduroy Cafe? I loved going to the Corduroy Cafe, it had such a nice ambience, and you had to walk past a long display of tasty jams and cakes! Wish the Corduroy Cafe was still around!

Anyway, my colleagues and I went down to the Queen & Mangosteen last week to celebrate someone’s birthday. After perusing the menu, most of us got the set-lunch as the prices were almost similar to the ala carte menu but with an additional soup/dessert and drink thrown in.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Coke

Free-flow of coke! Not that I need free flow coke. One glass is more than enough for me per meal.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Green Pea and Scampi Soup

Green pea and scampi soup – This was the soup of the day. Everyone chose this except for me. The soup colour may put you off, but based on the slurps and grunts of approval, everyone enjoyed the soup very much. There were chunks of scampi (prawns) in it too. Darn, I regretted not ordering this!

Queen & the Mangosteen - Fish & Chips

I had the fish and chips with their home made curry sauce. The fish is pretty good. It doesn’t taste oily and goes well with the curry dip. Only grouse is, 3 pieces isn’t really enough to fill you up if you didn’t already have the green pea soup! The fries were also very good. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Pot of Mussels

My colleague didn’t get the set lunch. Instead she ordered this pot of mussels in thai curry sauce with crusty bread. I managed to snag 2 mussels from her and I tell you, the broth was AMAZING! There’s a hint of Asian spice flavours to it so it’s even better than the usual mussels in wine. I could have slurped up the entire pot of broth if I’d ordered this! I bet the restaurant knows how good the broth is that is why bread is also served on the side. The mussels were also very fresh tasting to me, although it seems in the end, my colleague had to discard 5 mussels as they were unopened. I’m definitely coming back soon to try this dish again. Not cheap at $30+.  

Queen & the Mangosteen - Cottage Pie

Cottage pie (beef) – Not sure how this tasted but I don’t think my colleague had any complaints.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Panna Cotta

Ok this was the ickiest thing of the lot, and alas, it was my order! Instead of having a soup from the set lunch, I chose to have the dessert of the day. It happened to be panna cotta which is something that I like. I had in mind something like this from Gunthers, but obviously Gunther’s is in a far different league. I should have known better. Even the presentation itself was a failure. Look at the icky liquid covering the sides of the glass! Well I suppose the only good thing is that if you like the flavour of this panna cotta, there is lots of it to enjoy.

Promotions

Drink until he looks cute! Don’t you think that is so cheekily creative? I’ve a good mind to gather some of my male friends for a drink now. Ha. And I’ll pay if it works.

Queen & Mangosteen

Queen & Mangosteen Seating Area

Here are some more pictures I took off the Queen & Mangosteen’s website. As you can see, there is indoor seating as well as outdoor if you so choose.

Queen & Mangosteen - Mini burgers and onion rings

I tried those mini burgers the 1st time I went there. Pretty good and definitely pretty cute.

The Queen & Mangosteen

#01-106/107 Vivocity 1 Habourfront Walk, Singapore, Singapore 098585

Mon – Thu:11:00 am-11:00 pm

Fri – Sat:11:00 am-1:00 am

Sun:11:00 am-11:00 pm

NTUC FairPrice Finest and Cookyn Private Dining Party!

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to be invited to a special private dining party organised by FairPrice Finest and Cookyn Inc (a cooking school). I gladly accepted the invitation as I love attending cooking classes! Nearly didn’t make it as it was right smack in the middle of a huge project I had at work, but I’m sure glad I did.

Cookyn has just moved from its previous location in Novena to Jalan Penjara just off Margaret Drive. The place looks really pretty and I hear that in the day time, you can even see a nice lttle pond outside Studio no.3. Chef of the evening, Ming Tan of Jam, proceeded to teach us 3 really simple dishes that we can replicate at home easily with ingredients that can be bought from FairPrice Finest, the atas arm of NTUC FairPrice. Recipes can be found at the end of the post.

Ming cooking and chopping combo

Here’s a picture of Chef Ming showing us the techniques of cutting up the lime leaves into little shreds and halving the lobsters.

Cooking Process combo

Here’s all of us studiously taking down notes and photographing his every move. Personally, I will only go for cooking classes that have a hands-on component. There’s only so much you can learn from watching the chef. Besides, its so much more fun to get your hands dirty. But of course, for that day, it being a weekday (a very busy week I might add), I was just glad that I didn’t have to cook my own dinner.

Bruschetta Combo

Lovely bruschetta to start us off

NTUC Fairprice-Cookyn Inc demo -  Pasta with Mussels

Lime-Leaf Mussels with Linguine and a White Wine Sauce – The recipe is so simple, it’s almost unbelievable.

NTUC Fairprice-Cookyn Inc demo - Pasta Mussel Broth

Mussel pasta broth – Hmmm I wish they gave us a huge bowl of it! 1 shot glass ain’t enough! I think if you’re feeling down in the dumps, or having a flu or cold, having a huge bowl of this pasta with lots of broth would just chase all the evils away. I would add more aromatics to give it even more kick, and maybe add double the wine? Hee hee hee ….hic!

NTUC Fairprice-Cookyn Inc demo - Grilled Slipper Lobster in Mornay Sauce (2)

Grilled Slipper Lobster with Mornay Sauce – I really love the cheesy topping, perhaps even more so than the lobster! And that’s saying a lot since I love lobster as well!

NTUC Fairprice-Cookyn Inc demo - Grilled Slipper Lobster in Mornay Sauce

Close up shot of the lobster meat. Feel hungry already! Hey I took this photo all by myself, including holding up the lobster meat!

NTUC Fairprice-Cookyn Inc demo - White Wine

Can’t say no whenever I’m offered wine…

Equipment Combo

We also got a tour of the Cookyn premises. They have 3 studios, the 3rd studio being the one with the all the “to lust for” kitchen equipment. Those in the know where oohing and ahhing at the brand name wine cabinet, refrigerator, oven and hobs.

NTUC Fairprice-Cookyn Inc demo - Group Shot

Cheers!

A very special thanks to Cookyn/Chef Ming and FairPrice Finest for sponsoring this event and to Joelle of Siren-Communication for inviting me.

Did you know that you can get Organic Pasta, OMEGA New Zealand Cooked Green Shell Mussels and even Parma Ham from FairPrice Finest? FairPrice Finest has a premium delicatessen counter run by Culina, a walk-in wine cellar, live oysters displayed in a specialised oyster tank, a wide variety of cut cheeses, and home delivery services as well. Ambassadors are also available to offer shoppers information on the available products and even guidance on how certain products can be used. Make full use of the free help! As of June 2011, you can find FairPrice Finest at 7 locations:- Bukit Timah, Clementi, Marine Parade, Upper Thomson, Tampines, Serangoon and Orchard. Click on http://www.fairprice.com.sg/ to find out more.

I didn’t know about Culina having a counter at FairPrice Finest. I love looking at delicatessen meats, I can literally spend 10 minutes staring at each cut and imagining what good things I (or the Partner more likely) can cook with them.

Cookyn Inc

60 Jalan Penjara, Garden Hub, Block O, Singapore 149375

Tel: 6748 4848

Read on if you want the recipes….

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The Disgruntled Chef

Met up with a good friend of 12 years to go try out The Disgruntled Chef the other day. After all these years, she’s still so passionate about teaching. As she put it, it is indeed a blessing that she has found her true calling, and so early on in life. We had a good time chatting and catching up.

The ambience of the place is quite nice. The lighting is low and soothing, which makes for a very romantic setting suitable for lovers. And that’s in addition to the sharing concept too. There are some booth like seats but those look like they are reserved for parties of 4. I had originally imagined The Disgruntled Chef to be a really casual looking restaurant thanks to the rather casual name, plus the fact that they employ the communal eating concept here. But really, with the wine glasses on all the tables, plus the low lighting, it looks like an upscale restaurant instead.

As for the communal sharing concept, there are 20 Small Plates on the menu, each about $15 – $20. They are small enough such that each person can easily polish off at least 2 plates worth of food. You could also order the Big Plates, which are entree-sized dishes. We decided to go for the Small Plates so that we could sample more dishes.

The Disgruntled Chef - Steak Tartare and soft quail egg

Steak Tartare with soft Quail Egg and fries – $16

I don’t believe I’ve tried Steak Tartare before, or at least not in this quantity. I have to say it was damn delicious. From the minute the beautiful square of raw meat was placed in front of me, I could hear it calling my name. The taste was divine. If only I just didn’t have to share!

I wonder if a lot of people out there have a problem with eating raw meat, because I certainly am not in this category. In fact, the raw look of the meat appeals to me very much…And I don’t think of myself as eating raw meat, I just think of it as eating really tasty meat!

The Disgruntled Chef - Steak Tartare and soft quail egg (4)

The Disgruntled Chef - Steak Tartare and soft quail egg (2)

There’s the quail’s egg which is to be mixed into the steak tartare

Runny quail egg with juicy steak….ohhhhhhhhhh!!!

The Disgruntled Chef - Baked Bone Marrow with Persillade

Baked Bone Marrow with persillade & sour dough toast – $14

This was also very delicious. The bone marrow was soft, fatty and oh so tasty! Once again, I wish I had the whole thing to myself! I had a hard time trying to make sure I didn’t scoop out more than 50% of my allocated portion or I might incur the wrath of my friend, who was also enjoying the dish tremendously. This was served with bread. The greenish thing in the background was the Persillade, which is a mix of parsley and garlic. Imagine bread with lots of garlic, everyone loves garlic bread right? Now top that off with fattening bone marrow. Can things get better than that?

The Disgruntled Chef - Curried Mussels

Curried mussels with sourdough toast – $16

This was also very nice. Don’t expect some really spicy local curry though, this is more like Ang Moh curry. This was a little hard to share. I wish they’d given us bowls so I could slurp down the curry!

The Disgruntled Chef - Chicken Liver Parfait

Chicken Liver Parfait with red onion marmalade & Brioche toast – $14

The Liver Parfait’s in the chicken essence bottle thingy. This one had a texture like pate, but had the strongest pate taste I’ve ever encountered. I loved it very much, but my friend only managed to eat 1/4 of it. They should have given us more than 6 pieces of toast though. Luckily we had a lot of bread from the other dishes so we used those to finish up the parfait.

The Disgruntled Chef - Baked Camembert Fondue

Baked Camembert Fondue with chicory, toast & apple sauce – $18

This was a little bit of a let down, especially after having tried the other dishes. At $18, I thought it was way too pricy for something I could just pop in the oven myself. Also, the Camembert was pretty mild, so the plain bread wasn’t exactly the best delivery vehicle in this case. The apple sauce in the bowl was nice, and lifted the flavours somewhat, but I didn’t order this dish just to taste apple sauce.

The Disgruntled Chef - Baked Camembert Fondue (2) The Disgruntled Chef @ Dempsey Hill

Conclusions: The food is really good. I’ve described them in detail above, so I shan’t elaborate again here.

However, there were a few things that kinda made me wonder if I would return again.

1. Beware what you choose. We only realised that we’d chosen 4 dishes out of 5 that come with bread. Nothing wrong with that, but on hindsight, it felt like it was a big bread feast, with many delicious toppings to choose from.

2. The pricing wasn’t exactly expensive, yet it was neither cheap. Our bill came up to approx $87 after tax, which meant that we spent about $45 each on “appetisers”.

3. The sharing system felt a bit cumbersome at times. Eg, the curried mussels and the oozy cheese, not a very simple thing to share if you don’t want double dipping.

4. The style of the food required a lot of work on our part. It wasn’t a scoop and shovel into your mouth thing. There was a lot of “effort” required to scoop stuff onto the bread, and add the garnishing. Ok it’s not a lot of effort if 1 or 2 dishes are like that, but when all are like that, it’s a little overwhelming.

Still, because the food is so nice and unique, I think I’ll still take the Partner to come try the place out. But, it won’t be some place I come to relax after a hard day’s work.

 

 

 

The Disgruntled Chef

26B DEMPSEY ROAD
SINGAPORE 247693

T: +65 64765305 F: +65 64765306
E:
BOOKINGS@DISGRUNTLEDCHEF.COM

Click this for directions

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