Posts Tagged ‘Tanjong Pagar’

Botanist (Cafe) – Pretty food, pretty plants, pretty good

I have been craving cafe food lately so I went back to look at my old pictures and realised that I have not been blogging about cafes in Singapore for the longest time! So to make amends, you will be seeing more cafe posts in the coming weeks! Hold on tight because there’s going to be a deluge of pancakes, eggs Benedicts, waffles, grain bowls, hot chocolates and flat whites coming at you! I’m sure you won’t mind, would you?

Botanist -  (8)

Visited Botanist late last year when my friend was still pregnant and on early maternity leave. Run by the same guys who also run Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters and Alchemist, Botanist is probably well known in the cafe hopping scene because of its garden-like decor. Aside from Instagram opportunities, it is quite soothing to see the touches of greenery all around.

We had intended to visit more cafes but she popped soon after, about 2 weeks after this picture was taken! One hardly thinks about it but there’s a lot of nice cafe food that you can’t have while you’re pregnant. Think coffee/caffeinated drinks, dishes with runny yolks, smoked salmon, salad…. the list can be long depending on how strict you want to be!

Botanist - French Toast (fried brioche, rhubarb berry marmalade, fresh berries, almond flakes, poached pear, vanilla ice-cream) $18 (1)

French Toast (fried brioche, rhubarb berry marmalade, fresh berries, almond flakes, poached pear, vanilla ice-cream) $18

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The Disgruntled Brasserie

The Disgruntled Chef has always had a soft spot in my heart not just because of the wonderful meal I had there many years back, but also because it was one of the first few restaurants I blogged about when I first started this website. It was also around the time when I started to pay more attention to where I dined, and food quality. When I look back at the photographs, they look hideous! I hope to think that I’ve improved since then.

Even though I haven’t managed to revisit The Disgruntled Chef, I’ve always kept it under my radar. So it was exciting to know that they have just opened a younger sibling called The Disgruntled Brasserie, situated at The Club Hotel on Ann Siang Road on Oct 16. Since February 2017, they have been offering a revamped menu created by newly appointed Chef de Cuisine Desmond Goh. And for fans of communal dining, you’ll be happy to know that the concept of small and large sharing plates is still going strong.

The Disgruntled Brasserie (3)

The Disgruntled Brasserie is supposed to be a more informal and cheaper version of The Disgruntled Chef. The food is definitely more casual, but I’m not too sure about the decor. The Venetian leather banquette and booth seats, the muted greys and mirrors make the restaurant look posher and seem more expensive than it intends to be. Btw those mirrors are no ordinary mirrors but vintage-inspired and individually tarnished and illustrated by UK artist Ruth Parker.

The Disgruntled Brasserie - Home Cured Salmon (Horseradish buttermilk, pickled cucumber, marinated avocadoes) $16

Home Cured Salmon (Horseradish buttermilk, pickled cucumber, marinated avocadoes) $16++

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Niku Katsumata–Delicious yakiniku minus the smoke

Niku Katsumata (20)

Niku Katsumata Singapore at Duxton Road is the 1st offshoot of the original Niku Katsumata in Ebisu Tokyo. Lucky for us that they have opened a branch in Singapore because it’s an invite-only restaurant in Tokyo, ie you need to know some celebrity or big shot before you can dine there.

Niku Katsumata specialises in lean Japanese beef, although they also have well marbled cuts of Wagyu. Wait a minute, haven’t we been trained that when it comes to marbling, the more the merrier right? But because these leaner cuts have been selected from cattle who have been bred and managed under the “highest Japanese standards”, these leaner cuts taste exceptionally good too.

Another special thing about Niku Katsumata is that it’s probably one of the few places you can have yakiniku without your clothes and hair stinking like hell. The meat here is cooked over a special clear crystal plate. This crystal plate is so special, hardly any smoke is produced so you can enjoy your grilled meat meal without smelling like you’ve just worked 24 hours in a kitchen. Apparently, if you dine there on a full moon, together with the crystal, this creates good Feng Shui….. I don’t know about that but then again you never know…

Niku Katsumata offers a choice of 2 set menus, the Katsumata Course $128++ and the Ebisu Course $198++. There is also an ala carte menu but this is for topping up of the set menu. I had the Katsumata Course when I was there, and there was so much food, I can’t imagine even wanting to order anything else! You can see the full menu here.

Niku Katsumata (14)

This is the special crystal plate. Although you can grill the meat yourself, I highly recommend that you leave it to the experts because you don’t want to be burning or overcooking those expensive morsels of meat.

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Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan Zoisl – Let the chef decide what you should eat!

Choice can be a double-edged sword if you haven’t a clue what it is that you desire. Leaving the decision making to the chef when you’re at a restaurant and thinking of what to eat, in this case can actually pay off.

At Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan, instead of choosing off a menu, diners are invited to cross out what ingredients they would like to avoid. The entire meal will then be left to the chefs to prepare and serve based on the freshest produce of the day. The Japanese have a term for it, “omakase”. And yes, the chefs, not the waiters will serve you so that they can explain to you the inspiration behind their creations.

I had the privilege of checking out Chef’s Table some time back and I must say that the food served is indeed delicious, innovative and stylishly presented. Even the fish dish was delicious to me, and I am usually very fussy about fish as it tends to be too dry or stringy. So it did seem like the gamble to leave it all up to the chef paid off.

The only issue I have is with the pricing. For our 6 course meal costing $128++, I would have expected some sort of a steak for one of the courses to make the entire meal feel more substantial. Although there was a veal dish, the veal was diced into cubes, which doesn’t give the same impact.

Scroll down for pictures of the meal we had.

Chef's Table by Stephan Zoisl - Crabmeat

The meal was off to a good start with this crab dish that was just bursting with flavour, literally from the salmon roe, to the juicy diced cucumbers and the sweet crab flesh, helped along with a gazpacho sauce of cucumber and yoghurt.

Chef's Table by Stephan Zoisl - Hamachi (1)

The first of the two fish dishes, the hamachi was lightly seared on the outside while still being raw on the inside, allowing its freshness to be tasted.

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Roosevelt Cafe at Outram – CLOSED

Previously, it was quaint and delightful to be able to chance upon new cafes located in off the beaten path locations, the more hidden, the better. But sometimes, you just want a cafe conveniently and centrally located for days when you just can’t be bothered to travel so far. One such cafe comes to mind, Roosevelt Cafe situated at Dorset Residences Hotel, just outside the Outram MRT station exit (NE Line). The location is quite hard to beat, but in the several times that I’ve been there, it’s never seen a full crowd, which is a pity in my opinion.

Roosevelt Cafe (2)

Well the fact that Roosevelt cafe is not on most cafe hopper’s radar, is also the reason why I love being able to spend quiet afternoons at Roosevelt, sipping my cuppa without having to worry about knocking into the neighbouring diner’s elbow, or having someone breathe down my back in the hopes that I’d vacate the seat faster. I like the tasteful decor at Roosevelt too. It has a bit of a motoring theme, but thankfully no more of that nostalgic old school decor, which frankly is getting so common it’s almost irritating.

I also like it that Roosevelt’s menu is quite wide, with choices ranging from various permutations of eggs benedict, to waffles, to pastas, sandwiches and mains. I don’t know about you but it sucks whenever I encounter a cafe with like only 2 items on the menu.

Roosevelt Cafe - Ham and Triple Cheese Waffles with smoked ham, mozarella, cheddar and parmesan $14 (2)

Ham and Triple Cheese Waffles with smoked ham, mozarella, cheddar and parmesan $14

Roosevelt has a nice lunch deal going on where if you get the sandwiches or the mains, the coffee is on the house. It’s not just the black coffee, but also all the coffees in their menu such as lattes and cappucinos, without any additional cost. So for something like $12, you could get lunch and coffee, quite a decent deal I must say.

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