A TASTE OF WESTHOLME
Five restaurants have developed dishes showcasing the best of Australia's Westholme wagyu beef in the brand's partnership with fine foods importer Culina. Culina's bistro at Como Dempsey is one of the restaurants on the list, along with 28@Wilkie in Wilkie Road, Restaurant Jag in Duxton Road, Salt Grill & Sky Bar at Ion Orchard and The White Rabbit in Harding Road.
If you plan to splurge on just one restaurant, I recommend the newly minted one-Michelin-starred Restaurant Jag by chef-owner Jeremy Gillon.
The Westholme wagyu A7 striploin ($98++ on the a la carte menu) is cooked to juicy perfection for the main course and served with a medley of beetroot. The beef has a lovely sear on its exterior and you get just the right amount of fat that doesn't make the meat too oily.
A more unexpected use of the meat is in the first course of the omakase menu ($168++ or $218++), where the same cut of the Westholme wagyu is served with a plump oyster.
The oyster is presented with the wagyu chopped and served like beef tartare. The meat has a much milder flavour than the cooked version and what brings the dish together is the light chamomile dressing, smoked broccoli jelly and pickles. A creative surf and turf indeed.
WHERE: Restaurant Jag, 76 Duxton Road MRT: Tanjong Pagar WHEN: Till Oct 31, noon to 2pm (Tuesdays to Fridays), 6 to 10pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays and Mondays TEL: 3138-8477 INFO: www.restaurantjag.com
BREAKFAST AT ANTOINETTE
After its outlet at Mandarin Gallery closed in July, Antoinette patisserie now has a new home at Millenia Walk. In addition to its picture-perfect cakes, the menu offers a selection of breakfast options as well as bistro-style dishes.
On the breakfast and sandwich menu (8am to 5pm, weekdays only, add $3 for coffee or tea), don't miss the egg muffin with pork sausage patty and melted cheddar ($5). Consider it a fancy take on the McMuffin, where the buttery muffin and pork patty are made in-house.
Another upgraded version of a local favourite is Antoinette's Ondeh Ondeh Kaya Toast ($6) with pandan kaya and gula melaka syrup on Italian ciabatta. I sink my teeth into the generous pat of French butter, creamy kaya and crisp ciabatta - truly a heavenly combination.
For a more substantial meal, try the savoury buckwheat crepes ($18). Nordic is a beetroot-infused crepe topped with smoked salmon, capers, red onions and dill cream cheese; while the Sierra is topped with Serrano ham, Hollandaise sauce and a sunny side up.
Save space for the Earl Grey bubble tea souffle pancakes ($14), with Earl Grey chantilly cream and the quintessential tapioca pearls steeped in black sugar.
WHERE: 01-28 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard MRT: Promenade OPEN: 8am to 10pm daily TEL: 6235-5109 INFO: www.antoinette.com.sg
NEW UBIN'S NEW HOME
I was thoroughly upset when I found out that zichar chain New Ubin Seafood's branch at Hillview Avenue closed in June. It has other outlets in Chijmes and Zhongshan Park, but they lack the casual industrial setting where I can comfortably show up in shorts and slippers.
Thankfully, another branch has opened in industrial estate Space@Tampines. Called New Ubin Village, it takes over the operations of a 5,700sq ft canteen, which also houses other stalls selling noodles and Malay food. Three of the other units are for New Ubin's kitchen and its new incubator concept New Ubin Test Kitchen.
The menu is largely the same for New Ubin - the perennial favourites of heart attack fried rice, boss beehoon and smoked pork curry all remain.
New Ubin Test Kitchen, however, features a new dish, Ubin Nasi Lemak ($15 nett). Fragrant rice is cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves and served with Joo Hee Sambal (sambal cuttlefish), Ayam Bakar (charcoal-grilled chicken), hard-boiled eggs, anchovies and sliced cucumber.
At the end of its three-month run, if deemed successful, Ubin Nasi Lemak will be available for islandwide delivery.
There are plans to rotate the Test Kitchen's dish every three months. Another stall in New Ubin Village will be used for charcoal-grilled items and dry-ageing meats.
I admire the gung-ho spirit of New Ubin's founder Pang Seng Meng, 64, who always ensures that the brand remains relevant after 30 years. I eagerly await the day the restaurant returns to the West, but, in the meantime, there is island-wide delivery of some items.
WHERE: Space@Tampines, 18 Tampines Industrial Crescent 01-16 MRT: Pasir Ris OPEN: 11am to 2pm, 5.30 to 10pm daily TEL: 9740-6870 INFO: newubinseafood.com