SUMMER PAVILION LAUNCHES TASTING MENU
To celebrate retaining its one Michelin star this year, Summer Pavilion has launched a tasting menu of Chef Cheung Siu Kong's new creations that will be available until the end of September.
The six-course menu is priced at $148 a person. Wine-pairing for three dishes comes at an extra $68, with champagne, white and red wines.
All the dishes are good, but standouts for me are the pan-fried Canadian lobster with wok-seared green asparagus and black truffle sauce; and the poached rice with estuary grouper in fish broth.
The lobster, which comes shelled, is really succulent. The truffle sauce has a pleasant perfume and is light enough not to overpower the sweetness of the shellfish.
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As for the estuary grouper, or giant garoupa, it is the beautiful fish broth that impresses. The dish is completed with ginger, salted vegetables and black fungus that add texture as well as help to mask any fishy flavours.
The other dishes are smoked Australian abalone, double-boiled chicken soup with sea whelk in whole coconut, sauteed Japanese wagyu and a trio of desserts.
WHERE: Summer Pavilion, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Avenue MRT: Promenade WHEN: Till Sept 30, 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm daily PRICE: $148 a person TEL: 6434-5286
TRY VEGGIE LAKSA WITH MUSHROOMS
Vegetarians have a new place to dine at in Chinatown.
Located next to the main entrance of Chinatown Point, Lotus Kitchen cannot be missed. The month-old eatery has a clean, contemporary design and a mid-priced menu that will appeal to young families and executives.
Check out the Stir Fried Laksa ($9.80), which is a bit wet for a stir-fry, but boasts a fragrant and spicy gravy that is the hallmark of a good version of the noodle dish. Think laksa without cockles and the usual fishcake, but with straw mushrooms instead. There are also plenty of beancurd puffs or taupok.
For another familiar flavour, try the Claypot Brinjal With Salted Soy ($15.80). The soya replaces the salted fish usually found in non-vegetarian versions. But the flavours are no less robust and it is best to pair the dish with rice.
WHERE: Lotus Kitchen, 01-01/02 Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road MRT: Chinatown OPEN: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.45 to 9.30pm daily TEL: 6538-1068
SWEET BITES AT IZAKAYA
Izakayas may be popular with the drinking crowd, but these casual Japanese establishments offer interesting bites too. Each has its set of dishes, with a number of grilled and deep-fried items in small plates meant to be shared among friends.
Boruto, located opposite Hong Lim Park, is a recent discovery that I like. The place is cosy and the dim lighting reminds me of similar eateries in the back lanes of Tokyo or Osaka.
Helming the kitchen is Angus Chow, a Singaporean who started his career in Japanese restaurants here, but has also worked at fine-dining French restaurant Les Amis.
I would not rave over all the dishes, but some are good. Among them is a new creation, "Charcoal" Karaage ($10.80). It's delicious fried chicken with a crispy batter blackened with charcoal to add an intriguing smoky flavour.
Make sure you end the meal with Warabi Mochi ($6.80), an almost jelly-like mochi made with bracken starch and coated with roasted soybean flour. Caramel is drizzled sparingly for a touch of sweetness.
WHERE: Boruto, 80 South Bridge Road MRT: Clarke Quay/Raffles Place OPEN: 6 to 11pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays TEL: 6532-0418
NEW DISHES AT TIN HILL SOCIAL
Tin Hill Social has refreshed its menu with new dishes, including a delicious seafood stew.
The Tin Hill Seafood Stew ($33) is a robust lobster bisque packed with pieces of cod, calamari, slipper lobster, New Zealand mussels, clams and tiger prawns. It comes with onion bread and the serving is enough for two if you share your main dishes.
There is also an interesting dessert, Lemon & Passionfruit Delicious ($15). It comprises passion curd with Chantilly cream and lemongrass sorbet - and a trail of weaver ants. The ants have a citrusy flavour that complements nicely the acidity of the other ingredients.
WHERE: Tin Hill Social, 100 Turf Club Road MRT: Sixth Avenue OPEN: 3pm to midnight (Tuesdays to Fridays), 9am to midnight (Saturdays and Sundays), closed on Mondays TEL: 6466-0966