Thursday, April 26, 2012

Le Cuisson, Queen Street

 Came to know about this place while going through some food blogs - I knew we simply had to try out a hawker stall selling very affordable French food! Le Cuisson is quite a hidden and nondescript find, tucked away inside a coffee shop across from Iluma, Bugis.

 Not to be confused with Saveur!

 The 2 chefs who take your orders at the counter and cook for you were formerly from DB Bistro Moderne (of Daniel Boulud fame). Knowing this kind of set a certain level of expectation for me - which was a bit confuddling given the kopitiam setting.

Food came out quite quickly, and all at once. Actually we were both impressed and suspicious about how quickly we got our order (more on that shortly).

 Given the long long long wait at Saveur previously, we were really surprised that our food arrived all together, and promptly after just 10 minutes. How do you cook 3 dishes + medium steak in 10 minutes?

{ Foie Gras Salad ($10) }
Pan Seared Foie Gras, Mesclun with house dressing

 Now the chunk of foie gras was quite substantial. While not melt-in-your-mouth and holy-shit-balls good, this is still probably the best value you can get for just $10. I'd prefer it a little bit more charred/ a bit more well done, but the chef explained this means shrinking the size of the liver - and of course the bigger it looks, the more perceived bang for the buck. I liked this, sure, it was tender - but honestly I'd pay a bit more to get 'properly' done foie gras for that extra buttery fragrance.

 I too preferred if it was grilled more for the crispy-outside-buttery-inside taste. While it wasn't raw it was undercooked by my standards but yes the portion was not bad for $10!

{ Mushroom Pasta ($8) }
Penne Fettucine pasta, roasted mushrooms, cream sauce with poached egg. Add truffle oil for $1.

 I decided to have pasta simply because I hadn't had much carbs that day (really!) and I liked the idea of the poached egg (lol). This was a cream-based dish, which is something I often avoid, but what the hey. This turned out ok in the creaminess factor - didn't feel like keeling over halfway through, and in fact I cleaned the plate quite well. My only gripe is it lacks 'depth' - it needs more seasoning or herbs. I wouldn't say it was bland, but it just needed more character. Maybe the extra truffle oil might have been a good idea!

 Agreed that it didn't feel too spectacular - it was a decent plate of al dente fettucine, and the mixing of the egg definitely made it taste like (proper) Carbonara which I do enjoy.

{ Angus Steak ($14) }
Grilled angus served with crushed potatoes and salad

 Plus points for putting in effort for presentation somewhat! My main gripe for this was that it was lukewarm and bordering on room temperature by the time I started eating it, and the exterior was not grilled enough for that crust. Flavour was alright, sauce was nice but somehow I didn't quite like the texture of the steak.

The first suspicion was when they only serve steaks done to medium, across the board, which is weird. Later I found out that's because the steaks are done sous-vide style, and so are actually sealed and cooked beforehand, so all they need to do is warm it up in the circulator before grilling for the crust. This explains the speedy delivery! But also the lukewarm-ness of the steak which I did not quite enjoy >.< Besides, of the sous-vide steaks I've had, I'd expect this to be softer and richer in taste, but yet was a little chewy and mild. Hmm ...

Food was honestly, not bad, nor smashing, but for the price I would not complain! They are moving to Holland V by end of May (or so I hear) so do keep a look out!

Le Cuisson
269 Queen Street
#01-236 (in the hawker centre)

View Larger Map

HGW Link :
Main website :
Rating (out of 4) : 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Purple Mustard, ICON (TJ Pagar)

 Craving hotdogs? Happen to be in the CBD area? We know just what you need! And even if not - we recommend this place anyways.

Located in Icon Village which is a skip away from Tanjong Pagar MRT, Purple Mustard is a new joint serving up gourmet hotdogs. You really can't miss the bright purple walls and tables.

 What I thought cute was that the word Mustard was in purple and the word Purple was in yellow :)

 For dinner one night we decided to go for a two hotdogs, an Asian Slaw and a drink (Horchata, an almond milk drink with spices - very interesting!) between us both.

 Topping up $1.50 on any dog gives you either fries or asian slaw. Another $1 for a drink which is not bad!

{ Asian Slaw }

 Now this slaw reminds me of the little salad that Soup Spoon serves alongside their sandwiches/wraps. This one here is a little sweeter and milder, compared to Soup Spoon's tangier version. Given this comparison (although it's not that fair to compare this way, I know..), I prefer Soup Spoon's bolder flavour. However, I thought this was a very nice alternative to regular ole' chips, especially making up the fibre component of a balanced meal besides carbs (bun) and protein (dog).

 Sweet and tangy but I don't really like parsley! Purple too.

They were pretty nice and let us try the Sriracha remoulade and Purple Mustard (from Jim Bean soaked blueberries) before we ordered - and they were really good sauces! A short chat and some online reading revealed that all their sauces are homemade - tremendous amount of work!

{ Barnyard Dog ($9) }
Beef & Guinness sausage, caramelized onions, Purple Mustard, Sriracha remoulade, on a regular bun

 After trying both the sauces I decided on the Barnyard which has the titular Purple Mustard. A truly interesting mix of two spicy sauces (both surprisingly, not that spicy actually) over a great juicy beef sausage. Definitely a great quality dog - great flavour and the skin was soft and not tough to chew through at all. The onions were well caramelized as well - sweet and soft! The buns were supplied, which was surprisingly because the buns were really, really good. Firm, sweet and crisp after toasting, and dense enough to not turn to mush after drowned in sauce (unlike a certain place).

{ Sheep Dog ($10) }
Lamb merguez, buttermilk battered deep fried eggplant, Emmental cheese, mango salsa, on a honey oatmeal bun

 I chose this simply for the lamb sausage, which I thought is fairly uncommon. Definitely the right choice for me! Somehow it all comes together very nicely - the soft mushiness of the deep fried eggplant, the savoury merguez, the sweet mango salsa, the subtle emmental cheese. The best element of this for me was the honey oatmeal bun - wow, this was really nice! It held well, so it was firm but not tough, and soft but not to the extent of absorbing all liquids (unlike a certain other gourmet hot dog place which is just a no-go..).

 All in all, great hot dogs! If you're willing to pay about $8-$10 for a hot dog, you'll be greeted with a rich range of interesting homemade sauces, great quality sausages and overall creative combinations.

Purple Mustard
12 Gopeng Street #01-31/32 ICON Village

View Larger Map

HGW Link (100% recommended at time of posting) :
Facebook :
Rating (out of 4) : 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Empire State Burger, Causeway Point

 Civilization! I needed some real nosh so we decided to meet up near my place for some simple but proper food. We wanted to check out Hot Tomato next door for a while now (cheap steak but is it edible?) but due to the long queue we opted for this instead.

 (Photo below was taken after we'd left - guess we managed to beat the queue here!)

 The one at Iluma has been open since quite a while ago, and I've always lamented that there actually really isn't a burger joint at the Empire State Building itself. Regardless the menu seems alright and I really just need a greasy burger.

The menu just struck me as offensive being that there's a tall building, and a monkey in a plane. Not so much unlike a certain event in Manhattan a while ago (monkey and all).

 We deliberated for a little bit and settled for a pizza, burger and a long overdue root beer float ($8)! The float was actually about a pint so it's not too bad value.

{ Pepperoni Pizza ($12.90) }
For pepperoni lovers, this crispy crust pizza is topped with lots of pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, cheddar cheese and served with tomato sauce

 While nowhere near 'authentic', this pizza brought us back to younger-childhood-Pizza-Hut years. Hate to admit this but we actually enjoyed this! The thick dough topped with oily cheesy pepperoni - it's literally so bad that it's good. Lashings of tabasco sauce made this all the more delish. This pizza can actually be shared between 3-4 people - for the both of us the motherload of carbs got a bit iffy after our 3rd square.

 I dare say I prefer this over Modesto's given the price.

{ House Burger ($12.90) }
Freshly grilled beef patty served with our special sauce on a soft oatmeal bun, filled with lots of melted cheese on a bed of baby greens, sliced tomatoes, onions and pickles

 Wasn't spectacular but wasn't bad as well - it was a good ol' beef burger with a fresh minced beef patty (unlike some others). The 'special' sauce tastes suspiciously like mustard. The oatmeal bun was great as well, and the burger wasn't too soggy and held together well.

It's an affordable place with decent western food if you're not too fussed about quality - but definitely no where close to anything you can actually get in the vicinity of the Empire State Building. Good place to eat at Causeway Point though I wouldn't queue more than 5 minutes for this.

They do have a signature Empire State Burger which is like $30, which can feed about 4 average Singaporeans, 2 hungry males or 1 average American.

Empire State Burger
#02-10/K10 Causeway Point

Main website :
HGW Link (100% recommended ??? at time of posting) :
Rating (out of 4) : 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Savour 2012, Come Celebrate the Delicious!

Two creatures visited Savour on a blazing hot Sunday :) :)

 Finally the day hast arriveth, one day prior to my 3 week reservice :(

 We were lucky to reach just about when the gates open and without a massive queue.

 As soon as you step in the festival ground, there is a booth for purchasing extra Savour dollars or Sav$ (for the daytime entry, you get Sav$21 per ticket) - and so we did! Figured it would be wise to budget our spending right upfront lol. We bought another extra Sav$48 for both of us.

L'Arpege, France
3 Michelin Stars
No. 19 on the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2011

 First stop - one of the few restaurants in the world which is a 3-Michelin star vegetarian restaurant.

 World renowned L'Arpege, home to world renowned Chef Alain Passard!

 We were particularly keen to try out the chaud froid of egg, made famous by Chef Alain Passard.

 Definitely the most I have ever (and probably, will ever) pay for an egg - Sav$18 for a single egg!

{ Chaud Froid of Egg (Sav$18) }
With maple syrup and xeres vinegar

 Texture was definitely interesting with the foamy light creamy mixture on the top (we later found out no egg whites were used), with vinegar providing a depth of taste. The maple syrup was not immediately identified. Flavours were unfamiliar until the soft runny yolks. I thought this was a remarkable and creative dish - I'll never look at an egg the same way again!

 Felt like some molecular chemistry was at work but in truth there was none - cold, creamy, foamy, mildly sweet and vinegary, many-a-WTFs were given while we enjoyed the roughly 6 spoonfuls worth of chaud froid. While I wasn't blown skyhigh in amazement, I was definitely impressed with the ingenuity and sheer curiousness of flavour!

Bo Innovation
2 Michelin Stars
No. 64 on the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2011

 We then trotted to sample some 2-Michelin star dishes now, from Chef Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation.

 Molecular Xiao Long Bao caught our attention - and I knew we had to try the waffles (can't say no to waffles, especially if it comes with black truffle).

 Waffles were being prepared upon order right at the booth counter. Free heavenly waffley smells for all!

{ Egg Waffles (Sav$9) }
With black truffle, pine nuts and vanilla condensed milk ice cream

 This did not disappoint. Generous sprinkling of black truffle and a big scoop of fragrant vanilla ice cream on top of a crisp waffle.

 A much needed cold salvation in the blistering heat, generous sprinkling of black truffle with ice cream on waffles is sheer decadence!

 Crispy outside and fluffy, moist inside. Yumm.

{ Molecular Xiao Long Bao (Sav$6 per) }
A molecular reinvention of the traditional Shanghainese soup dumpling 

 Having had our dessert first lol we now braced ourselves for the peculiar spheres atop funky plastic spoons... and wow, this was truly amazing! The balls burst in your mouth, releasing XLB essence. We would have gotten more if it was not Sav$6 a pop.

 Wow ... not often do I receive such epiphany within 2 seconds of introducing food to my mouth. Quite literally, xiao long bao soup encased in a taut gelatin skin with a single strand of pickled ginger, the tiniest prick with your teeth causes a literal soup explosion. In your mouth. And it does really taste like XLB, have to say this is easily the most interesting dish of the day.

 Masterclasses (hardly an actual masterclass) available at no extra charge - just turn up and take a seat!

 Chef Frank Bruwier of Le Cordon Bleu, France ran us through some basic basic techniques and flavours used in vegetable stews.

Pujol, Mexico
No. 48 on the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2011

 One more stop before we headed upstairs to the gourmet market area, we decided to try some Mexican from Pujol.

 Mexican pig! As we required some form of meat.

{ Cerdo pelon en recado blanco (Sav$18) }
Mexican pig with white spice sauce, alfayayocan bean, red and black radish

 Slight crunch on the skin, decadent fat and juicy meat - and the entire pork belly was soooo soft, no problems were had slicing with a plastic knife. The spice was quite light and a tad sour, and together with what seems like alfalfa and the pickles - really great!

 Soft soft soft fatty pork.

 As we escaped the scorching demonic broil into the pit building for the gourmet market and other classes, you get a nice overview of the Savour gourmet village.

 We attended a short lesson on sous-vide cooking by Chef Mark Richards of Keystone Restaurants. Free samples FTW! A small taste of medium-rare sous-vide steak with sprinkled salt - I do want to try Keystone now.

 Attended another hour of cooking class - this time by Russian Chef Sasha Kutuzova of Buyan Russian Haute Cuisine. Was an interesting spectacle into Russian food and culture (want to try Buyan now too!).

 We finally adjourned to check out the air-conditioned gourmet market. Lots of delis, coffee booths, bakeries - all kinds of stuff la!

 There was also a supermarket section by ThreeSixty MarketPlace (curiously selling fish ...)

 One of my favourite places of Savour - we could have stayed here all day and tried all the huge chunks of CHEESE samples.

Boa Bistro, Brazil
Chef Revelation, Gula Magazine

 As the event drew to a close, we needed to finish our remaining Sav$ so we went down. This time to Boa Bistro.

 We rationed our remaining Sav$ and opted to try their Coxinha which were chicken croquettes.

{ Coxinha (Sav$9) }
Brazilian chicken croquettes with pepper jelly

 Light crumb exterior with a shredded chicken interior - I liked how it was shaped like a drumstick (hence, Coxinha) for ease of eatage. Tastewise was just alright, no real interesting taste of spices except being well done. Sauce was supposedly pepper jelly but tasted more like a mild cheese dip.

Jaan, Singapore
No. 39 on the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2011

 With our last remaining moolah we opted for a dessert to end the day on a sweet note at one the top restaurants in Singapore, Jaan (which upon checking, has ridongculous ala carte prices).

{ Choconuts (Sav$12) }
Sable breton, tanariva mousse, peanut and caramel

 Well as the name suggested, we got chocolate with nuts. Choconuts. Have to say the plastic plate didn't help its otherwise intricate presentation, but taste wise was just alright. The stack with chocolate, peanut butter and sable was not bad, but lukewarm partially due to the heat. Besides that wasn't too impressed, but the full portion with proper plating, airconditioned with proper ambience might do justice to it.

 All things considered, we really enjoyed our day out at Savour. It's a great idea bringing in top restaurants to showcase their signature dishes - we would otherwise not have the opportunity to see taste and "celebrate the delicious".
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...