Thursday, September 15, 2011

Michelango's, Chip Bee Gardens

Chip Bee Gardens - directly across from Holland Village, and a world of a difference. Holland Village - bars and alcohol, rowdy, packed as all hell. Chip Bee Gardens - quiet, nice selection of restaurants, kinda peaceful actually! This place houses not only Michelango's, but also (several) Da Paolo, Original Sin and the Daily Scoop among others.

Armed with yet another voucher promising $80 value for $40, we decided we needed some pampering after some tough projects at work! I heard they have a refurbishing/renovation/changed hands(?) recently and had trouble holding on market share of the Italian food circle.

{ Ciabatta with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and black olive caviar }

At least I think it's Ciabatta o_O Soft white Italian bread to start the night, came paired with the usual oil and vinegar, First time I've been served black olive caviar, and I must say goes so well with the bread. Salty, sour and with an interesting texture (though clearly dissimilar to caviar). I'd imagine it'd go awesome with bruschetta as well.

Bread was okay - wished it was more herb-y. This was just standard ole lump of carb for me, even with the black olive spread. It served well to quell tummy rumbles though!

{ Mozzarella di Bufala con Prosciutto ($24) }
Mozzarella di Bufala wrapped in Italian Prosciutto perched on a leafy bed of Arugula drizzled in vintage Italian balsamic vinegar

We decided to get an antipasto as well and clearly distracted by promises of buffalo and prosciutto, I ended up ordering this. Upon being served I was kinda glad to see that familiar poached-egg-like buffalo mozzarella which I have sorely missed! But what's sad is that the portion of prosciutto was kinda sad to be honest - about the length of a bacon strip.

The cheese was fantastic of course, but the prosciutto I wasn't too sure - whether I've been spoilt by Parma Ham pizzas from Modesto's and Picotin, or if this prosciutto was the real deal I couldn't tell, but it's was chewier and less salty than it's other counterparts, with a less distinct taste as well. I liked it overall but felt it wasn't worth the $24.

I reeeaalllyyy liked the soft creamy texture of the mozzarella - I was almost surprised when it mushed inside my mouth. The dish fell a bit flat for me though because I, too, felt it was lacking saltiness. The balsamic vinegar is quite distinct, which is fine because it always goes well with tomatoes. But the neutral mozzarella needed a little more help from the ham.

{ Tortellini Gorgonzola ($26) }
Home made spinach and ricotta filled tortellini pasta tossed with forest mushrooms draped in a light Italian Gorgonzola rose cream sauce served on a bed of spinach

The pasta shell wasn't too thick which was great - the salty ricotta filled tortellini paired really well with the rose cream sauce, though I couldn't quite detect the Gorgonzola in it (in fact I'd forgotten there was Gorgonzola anyway in this dish until I looked up the menu to write it now). Couldn't quite get flavours from the forest mushrooms as well! Also while the pasta and the sauce are not that heavy, I'd imagine getting quite jelat of this half way through - definitely share if you can.

This is indeed quite heavy, and the awesomeness wears off after a while. Nonetheless I enjoyed this (I'll enjoy anything spinach!) and somehow managed to finish most of this myself despite the cloying creaminess. Where are the mushrooms?

{ Fruitti di Mare ($32) }
Slipper lobster tail, scallops, prawns, gentle [sic] rings of calamari, fillets of barramundi and green lipped N.Z mussels sauteed in olive oil and garlic then blended with your choice of sauces: zesty tomato and chili, white wine or squid ink and your choice of pasta or risotto

Description is way long! I picked the white wine and linguine for my pasta - in retrospect the squid ink would have great too. First impression was "wow you guys really gave me everything that was listed on the menu".

Lobster tail (crayfish) was great, though it was a wee bit soft; prawns were crunchy (personally don't like crunchy prawns but they were fresh i suppose!); mussels and calamari were great; barramundi was a little too fishy to my liking ( loved it though!). But overall, I was still rather impressed and I think the seafood served was fresh. The sauce was really stellar though, I slurped every ounce of that sweet, sweet sauce. And the linguine - al dente of course!

Wow this was good - every kind of seafood known to man probably exists in this bowl! The broth was really good too, having been (presumably) soaked in the essence of various sea creatures. Two non-opposable thumbs up!

{Sticky Date Pudding ($13) }
Back by popular demand [sic]!! This moist cake of rich dates and brown sugar is perfect for any season draped in a cloak of butterscotch sauce

And of course - you can't leave Michelango's without trying their sticky date pudding apparently (I tried). Already stuffed beyond human identifiable levels, we decided to buckle up and try the sticky date pudding. And wow, god damn. This shit was GOOD. Soft, sticky, soo sweet and really strong in date flavour, the warm cake paired so well with the vanilla ice cream and what I assumed to be cranberry saucewhales. I really loved it - and while seemingly expensive at $13 for a small portion, I thought it was kinda worth it especially after a heavy pasta dinner!

We simply could not resist dessert, and so had to try the sticky date pudding. While it was eyebrow-raising-ly good, I honestly feel we were overpaying for that postage-stamp-sized portion. But it's okay - it's surely worth the price with squiggly-drawn whales in descending sizes so can't really fault that.

 The bill came up to be $114, so I shaved $40 off the final bill using the voucher. While not exactly THAT expensive, I wasn't really blown away by the food either (besides the dessert) and coming from a cost/benefit ratio perspective I would must prefer Modesto's or Riccioti, personal opinion! It's also a wee bit out of the way for me, at least until Holland V MRT opens up.

HGW Link (65% recommended at time of writing):
Rating (out of 4) :

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