Wong Ah Yoke Food Critic recommends

Food picks: Peach Blossoms' home-cooked specials, Kopi Tiam's Cantonese claypots and more

Beef Tenderloin With Foie Gras, Marsala And White Asparagus at ilLido at the Cliff.
Beef Tenderloin With Foie Gras, Marsala And White Asparagus at ilLido at the Cliff.PHOTOS: SOFITEL SINGAPORE SENTOSA RESORT & SPA, SWISSOTEL THE STAMFORD, WONG AH YOKE
Hokkien Mee In Kuala Lumpur Style at Peach Blossoms.
Hokkien Mee In Kuala Lumpur Style at Peach Blossoms.
Seabass (left) and rainbow trout (right) are charcoal-grilled to order at South Beach Kitchen.
Seabass (left) and rainbow trout (right) are charcoal-grilled to order at South Beach Kitchen.
Claypot Fish Head at Kopi Tiam, Level 2 Swissotel The Stamford.
Claypot Fish Head at Kopi Tiam, Level 2 Swissotel The Stamford.

ILLIDO AT THE CLIFF FEATURES THE WHITE ASPARAGUS

It is white asparagus season. Fans of the vegetable can find special menus dedicated to it at ilLido at the Cliff until July 30.

Among my favourites is a starter of Baked White Asparagus With Egg Milanese And Veal Jus ($30). White asparagus, when baked properly, gets soft and sweet - which is how I like it.

Beef Tenderloin With Foie Gras, Marsala And White Asparagus ($48) is another good dish, with the vegetable helping providing a healthy balance to the heavy foie gras.

Other dishes include White Asparagus With Lobster Knuckles And Amalfi Lemon Hollandaise ($32) and Smoked Octopus With White Asparagus, Beluga Lentils And Saffron ($42).

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Besides the a la carte selections, there are also three- ($88) and four-course ($98) dinner menus featuring the seasonal vegetable.

WHERE: ilLido at the Cliff, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, 2 Bukit Manis, Sentosa MRT: HarbourFront WHEN: Till July 30, noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10pm daily TEL: 6708-8360


MORE TIME TO TRY HOME-COOKED SPECIALS AT PEACH BLOSSOMS

If you are looking for a Chinese restaurant for a family meal, try the "home-cooked specials" at Peach Blossoms, the Chinese restaurant at Marina Mandarin Singapore.

The promotion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the hotel was supposed to end today, but is now extended till the end of next month.

Dishes from various dialect groups take centre stage. The flavours are authentic, even though some of the dishes are more luxurious than what I've eaten before - they are prepared by chefs of a five-star hotel, after all, with prices to match.

An example is the Hokkien Mee In Kuala Lumpur Style ($26), which comes with plump scallops and clams on top of the usual prawns. The black sauce - a viscous, caramelised variety from Kuala Lumpur - and the generous amount of crispy lard bits get my vote.

Another favourite dish for me is Braised Pig Trotter In Sweet And Sour Vinegar ($26), a confinement dish among the Cantonese and Hakka dialect groups. The chef gets it perfect here, with a nice balance of sour and sweet flavours, and trotters simmered until they are so tender that the skin melts in the mouth.

There is also a dish of Teochew Yong Tau Fu ($24 for six pieces), which I have never heard of. The pieces of stuffed beancurd are similar to the Hakka version that I know, but they come in a more cloudy soup. They are good.

There are many more dishes on the promotion menu and, now, you have an extra month to try them.

WHERE: Peach Blossoms, Marina Mandarin Singapore, 6 Raffles Boulevard MRT: Esplanade WHEN: Till July 31, noon to 3pm (Mondays to Fridays), 11am to 3pm (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays), 6.30 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6845-1118


MORE SEAFOOD AT SOUTH BEACH KITCHEN

South Beach Kitchen has bumped up the seafood offerings in its buffet for the coming two months.

The station to go for is the grill, where whole fish such as seabass and rainbow trout are charcoal-grilled to order. I like the seabass better. It has sweeter and smoother flesh and fewer fine bones too.

Other new additions include a sashimi selection at the cold seafood section, as well as hot dishes such as deep-fried soft-shell crab and seafood stew.

Don't skip the meats though. The Korean-style barbecues are as good as ever.

WHERE: South Beach Kitchen, Level 1 South Beach Avenue, 26 Beach Road MRT: Esplanade WHEN: Till Aug 31, noon to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays), noon to 3pm (Saturdays and Sundays), 6 to 10pm daily PRICE: $58 for lunch, $78 for dinner, $108 for Sunday brunch TEL: 6818-1913


CANTONESE CLAYPOT DISHES AT KOPI TIAM

Kopi Tiam, the local food eatery at Swissotel The Stamford, is having a promotion on claypot dishes until the end of next month, with six classic Cantonese items on offer.

Dishes such as Claypot Chicken ($22), cooked with oyster sauce and spring onion; and Claypot Frog Legs ($26), with spring onion and ginger, are traditional recipes.

Claypot Bitter Gourd Pork Ribs ($24) boasts very tender meat, but the slices of bitter gourd are too green. A few minutes longer in the pot would make them softer and soak in the flavours of fermented black-bean sauce.

The Claypot Chicken Rice ($22) is given a luxe boost with the addition of Chinese sausages and a raw egg yolk. The sausages make it rather salty, though, as there is already salted fish in the rice.

The Claypot Fish Head ($35) is a soup here, with a whole deep-fried snapper head cooked in a broth with mushroom, tomato, yam, cabbage and chilli. It reminds me of a fish-head steamboat.

The last item is Claypot Seafood Crispy Noodles ($24), which is let down by an overdose of salt.

WHERE: Kopi Tiam, Level 2 Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road MRT: City Hall WHEN: Till July 31, 11.30am to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays), noon to 2.30pm (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays), 6 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6431-6156

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2017, with the headline 'Food Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe