Friday, July 13, 2012

Dozo, Valley Point

 We'd have to have reason for celebration to be mentally prepared to shell out > $50 per person (well, we're not quite the 1%) so I was pretty glad that bunneh mentioned Dozo which has I've been wanting to check for the longest time but kinda slipped my mind lately. Good too that she had a UOB 20% discount!

 Weeelll, the discount is secondary to the occasion - it was our 2nd year anniversary *confetti :D

 If you're familiar with Tao's, then you'll know how Dozo works, being that it's kind of the "upper range" of Tao's : 6 - 7 course meal, multiple options for every item, awesome idea, and it's $59.90++ for a 7 course at Dozo (versus ~$29.90++ at Tao's). But the feel of the place was completely different, with ambient lighting, lovely service, and a nice vase of pastry (pasta?) sticks to munch on while deliberating the menu.

 We meandered inside Valley Point for a bit before realizing that to access the 2nd floor to Dozo, you'll need to take the stairs just outside the mall, by the entrance.

{ Pastry Sticks }
 These super light pastry / pasta sticks have a mild saltiness and volume to it, causing it taste almost like one calorie each. Pretty nice munch food even between courses!

{ Plum Sherbet }
 After finalizing our choices, we were presented with a on-the-house plum sherbet to cleanse our palettes - love the touch of lavender! Sweet, sour and ice cold it prepped us for the amuse-bouche while pondering why plum sherbet was orange?

 Cold and refreshing! Wish it didn't have ice chunks inside the drink though, I'd rather it be smoothly blended. We don't recommend eating the lavender, but hey.

{ Starter : Chef's Selection of Assorted Platter }

 The holy trinity of amuse-bouche (?) came a smoked salmon roll with shiso, ginger and whipped cream - pan seared scallop with yuzu foam - and foie gras on crouton. The waiters actually explain each dish when they serve it and also the recommended order to consume (start with scallop!) which was really nice! Scallop was firm and juicy, with that yuzu foam lending a little queer mole-gastro-texture to the whole thing. Foie gras was at just the right level of creaminess, but the smoked salmon - lovely combination of sweet, ginger, shiso, rich flavour of the salmon all rolled into one bite.

{ Cold Dish : Beef Tataki with Shaved Parmesan and Truffle Mayo Mosaic }

 My impressive tower of beef tataki is actually supported by a wafer cone. I thought the wafer cone was a nice idea to give a different texture and a bit of a presentation spectacle, but didn't really work in practice in terms of taste. The cone was a bit soft and 'airy' (ala those cheapo ice cream cones) and didn't really pair well with the beef. However, I really liked how the beef went with the parmesan and mayo. I'd love to have moooore cheese please, and maybe the use of baked wanton skins might have done the trick?

{ Cold Dish : New Style Tuna with Crab Meat }

 Kinda like carpaccio but instead marinated in shouyu (the waiter explains), texture and thickness of the tuna was interesting - like a midway between smoked and carpaccio. Interesting and delicious combination of flavours not only from the crab meat, but also orange zest, black and white sesame and I also detected some chilli seeds.

{ Side Dish : Gratinated Escargots topped with Yuzu Butter }

 Here is a real snail + a couple of snails in what looks like is trying to be a big artsy snail. These were good! Herby and buttery and just the right amount of cheese.

{ Side Dish : Foie Gras Chawanmushi topped with Black Truffle Slice }

 Honestly the word foie gras and black truffle gets thrown a lot around this place ... which is nothing short of awesome. Interesting taste to this chawanmushi - definitely not your regular sweet, light flavour, but rather this rich, and mildly salty flavour that made me go "hmm ..." more than once. Though you can't see the foie gras you can be damn well sure they foie gras-ed this chawanmushi somehow alright to get this taste!

{ Soup : Crab Bisque Cappucino Style }

 I was instructed to drink this 'like a cappucino', and I did. Holy crab this bisque is some serious stuff. I had to take it in small sips - so more akin to an espresso! So rich and flavourful, I could feel the essence of a thousand crabs seeping into every capillary.. in a good way!

{ Soup : Infusion of Cepes Mushroom with Truffle }

 Can't turn down mushroom with truffle - that dollop of oil in the soup could very well be truffle oil, besides the speck of black truffle on the spoon which I was told to "enjoy on it's own" (which I did, and enjoyed). This is what I always imagined mushroom soup to taste like - fantastic wild-porcini-mushroom-y flavour, and surprisingly non-viscous but very very very strong and deep in mushroom flavour, not the slightest bit as jelat as I thought it would be. Light and deep, like the flow, of a river.

{ Main : Chicken Thigh served with Pan-seared Foie Gras }

 I didn't realise until    pointed out that the chicken thigh looks suspiciously like roast pork and he thought the yellow sauce smeared by the side was mustard. I can however verify that this was indeed chicken, and was very good! Cooked perfectly tender yet the skin crispy. Yellow sauce was a bit sweet, I wasn't able to identify what it was exactly. Foie gras was delicious (though not the best I've had) but it's amazing how it all tastes amazing together - fatty, buttery smoothness of the liver along with the tender chicken thigh. Yum.

{ Main : Herb-braised Lamb Shank }

 We were about 75% full by the time the mains came, and I do wanna point out the timing between each course is impeccably timed so that you're never rushed and never left waiting!

So here comes my surprisingly large portion of lamb shank which was very kindly removed from said bowl onto thy plate adorned with half a croquette, cracker, and bread sticks (rather literally, sticks of bread). Now the lamb, was so god-almightily soft and tender - the result of quite literally 24 hours of stewing. Ultra rich in that awesome herby, gamey flavour, generous in portion and both meat and tendon so soft it falls off the bone at the slightest touch. 10/10, though I did wish there were more interesting or complimenting sides!

{ Drink : Iced Fruity Refresher and Iced Grapefruit Glory }

 Supremely satisfied and after almost an hour of dining, came the drink to kinda wash off all the confuddling flavours in our mouths. Nice and sweet but we were honestly a little stuffed! I also did prefer the tiny shot glasses they use in Tao's instead.

{ Dessert : Raspberry Mousse with Tarragon Cream }

 But of course, always a spare stomache for dessert, and ho-ho-ho ... this was just fantastically amazing. While I can't say I taste the tarragon, the mousse was thick and rich, and sweetness just right to pair with the raspberry jam at the bottom. Hidden amongst the sea of mousses are tiny chocolate wafer balls for that lovely texture mixup. I think we definitely picked the winning dessert here!

{ Dessert : Dozo's Freshly Baked Warm Chocolate Cake served with Ice Cream }

 This was the only dessert with 'Dozo' in its name, so we thought heck let's better try this. Definitely no regrets ordering this - can't go wrong with oozy dark chocolate lava cake and ice cream! Not too sweet too, in fact I think it was the perfect amount of chocolate bitterness to complement the sweet cold ice cream. That said though, this is just a really nice lava cake - nothing too new or exciting.

 Service was rather impeccable and they even threw in a little muffin with Happy Anniversary sprawled in chocolate at the end (well they did ask if there was any occasion when I made the reservation!) even if we were beyond stuffed. Dining here was utterly satisfying, sampling all 6 (food) dishes was just a sheer delight, and multiple choices at each item guarantee replayability! A wonderful dining experience to be had, and worth every penny.

491 River Valley Road
#02-02/03 Valley Point (stairs are OUTSIDE the building)

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Main website :

HGW Link (85% recommended at time of writing) :
Rating (out of 4) : 

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