Wong Ah Yoke Food Critic recommends

Osteria Mozza’s weekend lunch, Iga beef at Keyaki and more

Lobster bisque-based risotto with mascarpone and lobster meat at Parkroyal on Pickering.
Lobster bisque-based risotto with mascarpone and lobster meat at Parkroyal on Pickering.PHOTOS: WONG AH YOKE, PARKROYAL ON PICKERING, SHABURI & KINTAN BUFFET

LOBSTER FEAST AT PARKROYAL ON PICKERING

If you are a fan of lobsters, check out Lime. The buffet restaurant at Parkroyal on Pickering, which normally serves an international array of dishes, ran a lobster promotion in May and June. The response was so encouraging that it has been brought back for two nights each week, until Dec 1, when Christmas festive fare takes over. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, the spread features Maine lobsters cooked in Asian and Western styles, such as with black pepper or chilli sauce and in a mac and cheese with truffle salsa.

My favourite among the Asian dishes is the Lobster Lux-sa, basically laksa made luxe with the expensive shellfish. The gravy is rich and the lobster goes well with it.

Among the Western items, I like the lobster bisque-based risotto with mascarpone and lobster meat. The rice is delicious.

My only complaint is that the lobsters are sometimes overcooked in dishes such as the one with black pepper sauce. Less time in the wok would do the trick.

WHERE: Lime, 3 Upper Pickering Street, Parkroyal on Pickering MRT: Chinatown WHEN: Till Dec 1, 6.30 to 10.30pm (Wednesday and Thursday) PRICE: $99 a person with a glass of limeade TEL: 6809-8899



Caprese of bufala mozzarella with vine-ripened tomatoes and basil pesto ($25).

RELAXING WEEKEND LUNCH AT OSTERIA MOZZA

Osteria Mozza has gone casual on weekends for lunch, with a new menu targeted at those who prefer it light and breezy. The tablecloths are removed and the windows facing The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands are thrown open for a casual ambience.

The placemat menu features a selection of starters, pastas and main dishes. Diners can opt for a three-course meal of starter, pasta and dessert for $48. There is also a kids' menu, with a choice of pasta, gelato and drink for $29.

My favourite dish is a starter of caprese of bufala mozzarella with vine-ripened tomatoes and basil pesto ($25, photo). The lure for me are the tomatoes. The vine-ripened ruby-hued fruits are amazingly flavourful, unlike the tasteless versions I buy from the supermarket.

The pastas are good too, especially the Rotolo ($24). Pasta sheets are rolled with a filling of ricotta, parmesan, pecorino and spinach, and poached till soft. They are then seared and heated in the oven and placed on a bed of tomato sauce and topped with grated parmesan. Yummy.

WHERE: Osteria Mozza, 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Galleria Level, B1-42-46 MRT: Bayfront WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3.30pm TEL: 6688-8522



Steamed Wagyu Beef On Rice. 

IGA BEEF AT KEYAKI

The range of wagyu from Japan seems endless. Besides Kobe and Matsusaka beef, varieties such as Ohmi, Hida, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Iwate and Saga have also come on the market. Add to that Iga beef, which is brought in by Keyaki restaurant for a promotion that ends on Sept 19.

The beef from Iga in the central Kii Peninsula on Honshu island is slightly lighter in flavour compared with Ohmi or Kobe wagyu, but is just as well- marbled and melt-in-the-mouth tender.

Keyaki is featuring the beef in three set menus ranging from $170 to $190 a person, as well as a selection of a la carte dishes such as Grilled Wagyu Beef With Japanese Sansho Pepper ($90) and Pan-fried Wagyu Beef On Rice ($45).

The sets each features three ways of serving the beef - sashimi, grilled or pan-fried - on top of salads and seafood items, and a serving of Hanzo umei liquor that Iga is known for.

My favourite dish, Steamed Wagyu Beef On Rice (photo), is featured in only the $190 set. The tender beef is steamed with shiitake mushrooms in a delicious sauce and served on a bowl of hot rice. The set is a bit heavy for lunch, as it comes with sashimi, seared wagyu, wagyu teppanyaki, salad and dessert as well. But for dinner, it is perfect.

WHERE: Keyaki, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Pan Pacific Singapore, Level 4 MRT: Promenade WHEN: Till Sept 19, 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm TEL: 6826-8240



Half of Shaburi & Kintan Buffet is fitted with tables for shabu shabu and the other with tables for barbecue.

BUFFET FOR HOTPOT LOVERS

Hotpot lovers will find good value at new eatery Shaburi & Kintan Buffet. The dual-concept eatery - half of it is fitted with tables for shabu shabu and the other with tables for barbecue - lets you eat all you want at prices that depend on what meats you select from the menu. Other items, such as vegetables, noodles, appetisers and desserts, are laid out on the buffet spread.

I prefer the shabu shabu, which is a healthier way of cooking that also allows you to appreciate the quality of the meats. You get a choice of five broths: konbu, paitan collagen soup, soya milk miso soup, sukiyaki and spicy miso chicken soup. My favourites are konbu and the collagen soup, which are classic hotpot broths. The soya milk miso soup is interesting if you want something different, and the spicy miso version is good for spice lovers. The sukiyaki, however, is really sweet and not something I would recommend.

Prices for lunch start at $19.80 a person ($24.80 for dinner), with unlimited servings of two kinds of meat - beef and low-fat pork - to $49.80 ($54.80 for dinner) with a free flow of five types of meat, including the high-grade Special Wagyu and a lower-grade Shaburi Wagyu, both from Australia.

WHERE: Shaburi & Kintan Buffet, 50 Jurong Gateway, Jem, 03-11 MRT: Jurong East WHEN: 11.30am to 10pm daily INFO: Call 6262-4329 or go to www.facebook.com/shaburiandkintan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2016, with the headline 'Food Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe