Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Senso Ristorante and Bar @ Club Street

Finally! The Singapore Restaurant Week is on!

When the bookings slot was out, I managed to snag two places at restaurants that Momo and I would like to eat. It's the time of the year, you pay a special price to enjoy a special Restaurant Week menu at participating restaurants in Singapore.

Usually the specially created set meals are $25++ for lunch and $35++ for dinner, but this place is a DiningCity Star award restaurant which has an extra $15 / $20 surcharge.

Our first restaurant week meal was lunch at Senso Ristorante and Bar at Club Street.

Senso Ristorante and Bar

It's the first time I am here and I kind of like the architecture of this refurbished old shophouses!
Look at the roof tiles, something that caught my eye!

Back to the food. The Restaurant Week Set Lunch that we had for $40++ each.

Bread Basket

Senso Ristorante and Bar

The basket of warm bread was served not long after we placed our orders and it was nice. Our reservation was at 1 PM and my usual lunch hour is around 11:30 AM, so I was very hungry. I am saying this because if someone is very hungry, the food might taste better. ;-) Anyway, the bread did tasted very good, especially when it's slightly warm.

Momo and I especially like the long bread sticks. It's slightly more 'spiced' and crispy!


Senso Ristorante and Bar

There were two starters on the menu, so we picked one each.

I had the 'Baby Spinach Salad with Honey Mustard dressing, Avocado, Pine Nuts and Crispy Bacon.

I liked how clean the plating was. Each baby spinach leaf had already had dressing on them and it was nicely stacked up. The dressing and baby spinach was a nice combi and I am quite happy with it. I did not like the crispy bacon though. I think it's too crispy for me. I would have personally preferred a not so dry bacon. That green strip was avocado puree.

Senso Ristorante and Bar

Momo had the Pan-fried Buffalo Mozzarella wrapped in 18 months Parma Ham served with black Olives Tapenade. I tried a bit from Momo's plate and I think the parma ham that's pan-fried with the mozzarella was quite nice. A warm mozzarella and the pan fried parma ham was really a good match.

Looks like Momo did not like the olives tepanade as much, as she only had some of it.


Senso Ristorante and Bar

There were 3 choices of mains from the menu. Momo opted for the Homemade Taglierini Pasta with Boston Lobster and fresh Basil.

Portions were not very big, but at the end of the meal, we were still quite full. Freshly made pasta always tastes nice. It goes well with the tomato based sauce too. About the lobster, there were five 'first phalanx of the thumb' sized pieces of lobster in the pasta. 

Senso Ristorante and Bar

I had the Gently-roasted Cod Fillet served on Eggplant puree and green Asparagus. The cod was all right only I guess. Not very spectacular but it was nicely executed though. It was prepared with nice crispy salty skin on top and the cod had not dried out.

The asparagus was grilled as I can see the visible grill lines. I think I might just do the same at home next time.


Senso Ristorante and Bar

There was only one dessert on the menu. The dessert has many parts though! It's called Tiramisu 'Rivisto'. It had Light Coffee Mousse, homemade Savoiardi Biscotto,  Coffee Milkshake and Mascarpone Ice Cream.

Senso Ristorante and Bar

The light coffee mousse was kind of bubbling or bursting itself away, so we had to quickly eat it before it disappears by itself! Made of mostly air, it was quite nice. It had a light texture as if you have soap bubbles that tasted like coffee on your tongue.

The coffee milkshake was alcoholic! It was shaken and poured into the shot glass at our table. I liked the biscotto maybe because it is so simple and it goes well with the mascarpone ice cream.

Tea & Coffee

Senso Ristorante and Bar

Tea and Coffee. Momo the coffee drinker said the coffee is not as nice as she hoped it to be.

Overall, it was an enjoyable meal.
Both of us took half day leave to grab a nicer than usual weekday lunch ;-)

Senso Ristorante and Bar
21 Club Street
Singapore 069410

Tel: 6224 3534

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bistro One Zero Three @ 103 Pasir Panjang Road

Our family was window shopping, enjoying the sights and air conditioning of the VivoCity shopping mall last Sunday afternoon. When it was around dinner time, our cousin asked her mummy if we could all go to Peramakan. Permission granted and we drove there.

When we got there, they asked if we had any reservations. We said no. They said they were sorry. They were fully booked! Alamak! I suddenly thought of Bistro One Zero Three and suggested we go there instead. It's nearby. We came here before and thought they were good. We are back for a re-visit.

Italian Bruschetta

Bistro One Zero Three

Sis remembered the Italian Bruschetta ($4.80) that we enjoyed the last time and we ordered one to share.  Very crunchy toasted bread with butter and garlic topped with very juicy savoury bruschetta topping. It was really mouth watering!

We challenged our cousin whose age should be learning how to 'cook', to make this for us in the coming weeks. 

Pan Fried Norwegian Salmon Steak

Bistro One Zero Three

Uncle had the Pan-fried Norwegian Salmon Steak ($20.90) and he enjoyed it. Balsomic Cherry Tomatoes looks good doesn' it?

Oatmeal Dory Fillet

Bistro One Zero Three

Our aunt almost always order the same thing when we visit a western food place. We already knew what she wanted and recommended her the 'fish and chips'. She always go for fish and chips!

The fish and chips here is called the Oatmeal Dory Fillet. ($17.90) A huge piece of dory fish padded with oatmeal and deep fried till its golden brown. Crispy and crunchy. Served with tartare sauce that had tomato chunks inside and their coleslaw that we like!

Salmon and Crab Pasta

Bistro One Zero Three

Teenage girls like pasta! We noticed that our cousin after certain age seems to always order anything pasta. This was her Salmon and Crab Pasta ($16.90).

She has been brought up well and always asked if we wanted to try her food? We disturbed her by all grabbing our forks and dive it into her pasta. Swirled the fork and took up a fork full. It was nice! Those who like tomato based pasta and those who like seafood with the slight crabby smell would love this. The portion today was quite big too!

Looking at the previous photo of this same pasta here, it seems to be bigger and nicer now! It's also more al dante now. ;-)

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Bistro One Zero Three

One of the reason I suggested this place was because I had cravings for BBQ Ribs! Sis and I had been nibbling the whole afternoon while at VivoCity earlier, so we decided to 'share our calories' for dinner. We had the ever so delicious BBQ Baby Back Ribs. ($26.90).

The ribs were tender, the sauce was addictive and really finger licking good! Even if you don't use your fingers, if you use your fork and knife, a slight nudge on the meat and it will fall off the bone. I like their coleslaw that goes with it too!

Brownie with Ice Cream

Bistro One Zero Three

The home made brownie and ice cream! Warm brownie and ice cream. Ahh....

Sis asked if the ice cream was home made, the lady (we think is also the boss) who served us said yes! Sis added, er.. using a Cuisinart machine? The lady answered, yes! you use that too? We had a laugh. No, my machine is a partial automatic Kenwood and the freezer bowl is spoilt. Sis and Momo refuse to let me buy the Cuisinart Fully Automated machine I wanted!

Back to the ice cream, this lady makes good ice cream! Try it! It's a family business here and they serve great food and service is good too! Always glad to be back eating here.

(Now to get this teenage cousin of ours to make us the bruschetta. After the bruschetta, get her to make brownies. Another cousin has a great brownie recipe that is totally awesome. I need to convince the two ladies at home to let me get the Cuisinart ice cream maker. We can then have brownie and ice cream party! haha!)

Bistro One Zero Three
103 Pasir Panjang Road
Singapore 118531

Tel: 6476 6373

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Burger Dinner @ Home

After this burger post, I will have a break from posting more burgers. I still have lots of photos of burgers from burgers from Singapore and also overseas. If you have the Lonely Planet Queensland guide, they have an entry about the best burger in Brisbane. It was a tiny shop, far away in the suburbs. Sis, Momo and I travelled more than an hour to go try it, and yes it was worth the trip. The burge was superb! We are sometimes so crazy while on holiday.

We will still be eating them though, we love burgers! I will refrain from posting more burgers until I have the urge to burger bomb my blog again.

A few weeks ago, as usual, we were at home working on our laptops. We usually have either Asian Food Channel or Food Network Asia providing the background noise when we work. For that particular day, we were subliminally influenced to have burgers! On both channels that we kept swapping, it was all about burgers, burgers and more burgers! Since we saw the programs making it, we decided we would make some too! We invited a few people over for dinner that night too!

My sis did most of the work. I did most of the eating. She prepared the patty, cut up everything. When there's a lady busy in the kitchen, it's best to leave her alone. The golden rule is that there can only be one person in charge in the kitchen.

Home made burger meal

A very healthy looking burger that we made. The vegetables used had more nutrition too. We had baby spinach instead of lettuce. Carrots and crunchy water chestnuts were also added into the patty as well.

Home made burger meal

If you are veggies hater and prefer more meat, no problem!
Use two meat patties instead! This is also the no carbo version! Great for losing weight!

Home made burger meal

Another version of the carbo-less burger. Tomato slices used instead of bread.
The combination is up to your imagination!

We had baked potatoes and corn as sides for those who wants more carbo that is not made from white flour.  ;-)

Home made burger meal

Since sis has done everything else, I was in charge of cooking.

I got a scolding for making the patties too small. Always remember to ask the person in charge first before being "kay-kiang" and start cooking. Use the weighing scale too, if she specifies she wants a 40, 60 or 80 gram patty!

The good that came from the mistake is that we had lots and lots of patties and we could have different variations!
 We got our minced meat from Culina at Fairprice Finest as that's the supermarket nearest to our place. The recipe sis used was originally from The Biggest Loser cookbook. It had lots of herbs and spices in it. For the meat patty, we did not add any flour into it.  If you don't have any flour in the patty, the meat loosens when you cook it. So how? You know when you cook at home, you do try to finish up stuff you have at home. I told sis, add in the almond powder that we have extra from making macarons some time ago. Hey, it turned out nice!

It has been a long time since my Scanpan grill griddle pan saw the light of day. Aren't the patties beautiful? When cooking patties, please don't keep pressing them. If you do, all the juice from the burger comes out and the patty will taste dry.

Be a little patient, let it cook slowly and gently press them to get the grill marks. I did not use any oil, because the instruction was please keep it healthy.  

(It's weird huh, we try to eat healthy at home, but when we are out, we order the most unhealthy stuff! haha)

Home made burger meal

We thought of making our own buns, we had all the ingredients at home, but we got lazy and went to buy gardenia buns instead.

We love gherkins in our burgers. There are two kinds of gherkins for sale in the supermarket. I prefer the sweet gherkins so I got the bottle above. But....  the ladies who came for dinner said I got the wrong one. They prefer the tart gherkins. Oh well....

Home made burger meal

The best tasting cheese we think are the ones by President.  It does taste better! They are a bit more expensive though. We used organic baby spinach instead of lettuce. It tastes so much better and is also more nutritious.

Home made burger meal

We had sides like steamed corn and baked potatoes as sides as well.
If you noticed in the supermarket nowadays, they sell colourful of potatoes all in a bag now. We bought a pack to make wedges!

Home made burger meal

Wash the potatoes cut them in wedges and throw in the spices you like. I had some high quality olive oil in it (I used the same brand used by the famous Ferran haha), spanish smoked paprika and dash of dried parsley with some kosher salt. Bake them for 20 minutes and that's it! Simple.

Note: We read recently that if you want super crispy potatoes when baking, soak them in water first. You might also read that cooking starch rich food in high temperature is not good for health. It produces something called acrylamide. Well, this research says that when you soak your potatoes in water before cooking, it reduces it. So, soak your potatoes before cooking! Pardon me if you get confused, just my geek-ness.

We are no burgers expert. We are just experimenting. ;-)

Bon App├ętit

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Burger King Tendergrill @ NUS Deck Canteen

Since I am doing all burger posts these few days, I might as well blog about this burger craze today.
I am sure most people would have seen the $1 Tendergrill advertisement by Burger King.

Colleagues and I decided to join the queue today!

Time is precious and why waste it by queuing for burgers?

Well, if you have been working hard the whole morning, giving presentations (I was) or sitting the whole morning, it's ok! You deserve doing something totally different and enjoy it as well. Your eyes needs rest, you need to laugh and chat with your colleagues or friends. It really brings sanity back.

But if you have already been wasting time the whole day, then don't waste your time queuing. You can't afford too because you have not been a good steward of time ;-p

Burger King Tendergrill

Colleagues and I went to the nearest Burger King outlet that we know of. The Burger King at Singapore's 1st Eco-Food Court! At the Deck Canteen, NUS.

BK is on the 2nd floor, but the queue went all the way to the 1st floor!

Burger King Tendergrill

People do know how to queue. No fights here, they are a civilized lot here!

In fact, as you queue, you notice there are students or academics reading (academic) papers!
No wonder in today's newspaper, NUS is ranked 27th in the world and 3rd in Asia! (read the news here)

Burger King Tendergrill

So many people? No, not everyone was in the queue for Burger King. The rest of the stalls also have queues. If you visit this canteen like colleagues and I sometimes do, the queues here are always long.

But the longest queue for the day was at Burger King. You add around 20 minutes more to your normal waiting time if you queue at Burger King today.

Burger King Tendergrill

Finally at the upper floor.
When you are at this canteen, you can tell which faculty the students are from! It's as easy as ABC!

(A)rts, (B)usiness and (C)omputing students hang out here and you can tell by their dressing!
No prize for guessing where the nerdy ones belong to!

Burger King Tendergrill

Hmm. Why is the girl scratching her head? (She must be an Arts student!)
There was only 1 burger to order for the day! Tendergrill.

Burger King Tendergrill

One of the early birds who got his burger.
He seems to be really enjoying it. He was on that pose for some time!
Some more he is 'kiao-kar-ing'! (crossing-his-legs)

Burger King Tendergrill

Colleague and I finally got our burgers.

Burger King Tendergrill

Wow, the burger today had a big piece of meat! It's protruding out of the bun!
It was well worth the $1. The only complaint was that it was not warm enough. The kitchen staff must be rushing like mad today, cutting a few seconds off the grilling over the flame timing?

I had this burger few weeks ago with normal queuing and waiting time, it is nice and warm. Today's version is definitely a rush job.

Burger King Tendergrill

Overall, it was a fun and a bit silly queuing for the $1 burger. But colleagues and I had a good time!

Try the burger another day when it's not so busy. You will enjoy it more.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Shiok Burger Combo @ Mel's Drive-In, Universal Studios Singapore

One more burger place that Momo and I had recently.

Momo and I are annual pass holders of Universal Studios Singapore. Since we paid good money for it, we can't let the pass go to waste. We will sneak into USS when we feel like it. We don't spend the whole day there when we visit USS. We only go in to take a few rides, screamed our heads off (to relax a bit), take a bite then go home!

We recently tried Mel's Drive-In. We are on a quest to try every restaurant at USS!

Mel's Drive In, Universal Studios Singapore

Unlike other fast food places where you order right at the serving counter, at Mel's drive-in, you order at the cashier that's before the service counter.

Mel's Drive In, Universal Studios Singapore

We saw this deal. Shiok Burger Combo. Usually $16.30 going for $12.80.
So we decided to try it. If you use the 'correct credit card', you get another 10% off! ;-)
Hint: Use DBS/POSB credit cards when you order your food, you get 10% off!

Mel's Drive In, Universal Studios Singapore

Our Shiok Burger Combo!

Mel's Drive In, Universal Studios Singapore

What a unique combination for the burger!
Spiced Chicken Floss, Fried Onion Ring, Guacamole, Turkey Bacon and a Beef Patty all in one?
It has the usual veggies, tomatoes and cheese too.

Mel's Drive In, Universal Studios Singapore

It does taste quite all right although it is like a rojak burger!

The meat floss reminds me of bread, floss and butter that mum makes for us when we were little kids.

A unique combination that's combining all the sinful food that locals love and made into a burger! Adding onion rings inside gives it come crispy bite. The guacamole was too little to be noticed.

It's a bit expensive, since it's in a theme park, the higher price is expected. If you look at the burgers elsewhere now, the prices are almost similar.

For those who are looking for ideas for home made burger, this is for you!

(Mel's Drive-In is halal certified)

Mel's Drive In
Hollywood, Universal Studios Singapore
Resorts World Sentosa

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Fat Boy's - The Burger Bar @ Mohd Sultan

Momo and I had burgers again, so here's another burger post.
It was our first time to Fat Boys and it was on a super hot Sunday afternoon.

The branch at Mohd Sultan is in a shop lot with a few other stalls selling different food and drinks. If you have been to Bar Bar Black Sheep at Bukit Timah, it's similar.

Fat Boys - The Burger Bar

The burgers here are the total opposite of the previous post of Freshness Burgers.

Just the name alone - "Fatboy's" sound so big, burly, chunky, macho or even an "ah beng" feel to it. Since it's at a pub area, many order alcohol with their burgers here.

Compared it to Freshness, it sounds so dainty. So damsel in distress! Depending on the occasion and the weather, you might want to go to different places.

Fat Boys - The Burger Bar

Place your order at the counter and you are on!

When we got here on a Sunday afternoon, there was only us and another two persons a few tables away. It took around 20 minutes for our orders to be ready. Not sure about the waiting time during other days, it was quite a long wait for our food. It was ok for us as we were instagramming / tweeting / facebooking!

Fat Basterd

Fat Boys - The Burger Bar

Momo and I shared the biggest burger on the menu. It's called Fat Basterd. ($18) What a name to give to a burger.  For all burgers orders here, lettuce, tomato and chunky fries are served with the burger on the same basket.

It was a double beef patty, double bacon, double cheese, fried egg and homemade Fatboy's BBQ Sauce on a Sesame Bun. Sounds so sinful ya?

Fat Boys - The Burger Bar

Taking off the sesame seed bun on top, here's how it looked inside. The beef patty was really nice!

We did not use our hands because we cut it into two to share. You can see the burger  retained its shape well, and yet it is a little crumbly. It was like meat without much added flour or any agent to hold it up. It was a combination of fatty and juicy. It had a great mouth feel to it.

When they were preparing the burger, I thought it smell rather like Ramly Burger! It made us even more hungry! There was a smell similar to bread spread with 'planta' that was heated on the grill. When Momo asked later if they used planta, they said no. Hmm. That smell of heated planta on bread was familiar though.

Overall, we really enjoyed this burger. If you like rugged burly burgers, this is probably your kind of burger place. If not, go to Freshness! ;-p

Crispy Hot Wings

Fat Boys - The Burger Bar

We have always liked fried chicken wings so we ordered a portion of Crispy Hot Wings ($11.50) as a side to the burgers. When it was served, it was not a side portion. It could be a meal by itself. It had 10 pieces of it.

When the wings were brought to us, we thought they had used sesame seeds in the batter before frying. We were so wrong. We took a closer look and gasp in horror/excitement! It was chilli seeds! The  chicken drumlets and wings were coated with chilli seeds! Lots of chilli seeds as well!

If you are a chilli lover, you must order this!

The first bite was not potent, but as I took my second and  third piece, I was suffering! It did not help that I ordered coke! I took a sip of cold drink and that was it. I received the baptism of fire! (p/s that night, I was King. I sat on my throne a few times that night!)

It was nice though. I might go have it again! I am a sadist?

Fat Boy's The Burger Bar
18 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238967

Tel: 67358840

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Monday, March 07, 2011

Freshness Burger @ The Central, Clarke Quay

Since the arrival of Freshness Burger in Singapore, many folks have been raving about it. My colleagues and I decided to try it out to see.

Freshness Burger

We saw on their website that they have a few branches. We went to the branch nearest to us, which is at The Central, just above Clarke Quay MRT Station. When we got there, we had a trouble looking for it! We walked around the inside of the building. Ask the security guard who gave us a blank look.

We finally found it. It's facing Eu Tong Set Street. The entrance is 'outside'.  If you are inside the the mall, you won't be able to find it!

Freshness Burger

Healthy meals? If you have been reading about them, they advertise themselves as "Fresh and Organic". We were curious to find out!

Freshness Burger - Flowers on each table

It has this cafe feel. On each table, there was a tiny vase with fresh bright flowers! This little touch really cheer people up and make waiting more bearable. Yes, be prepared to wait for your burger!

You place your order at the counter and after paying, you will be served your drinks first together with a plastic tag with your order number. We noticed there was this lady who was walking around clearing the tables and at the same time arranging the plastic order tag to face outside every 20 seconds or so! (So that the servers can see the number easily) Every time you touch it, she will come back and rearrange it neatly. They employed a perfectionist with obsession for tidiness! We found it hilarious.

Avocado Salad

Freshness Burger - Avocado Salad

One of our colleague HY, who is the ultra healthy type ordered the Avocado Salad. Lots of red juicy tomatoes on top the chunky avocado pieces. Those bits on top are onions. HY said the salad was nice.

Tofu Burger

Freshness Burger - Tofu Burger

HY also ordered the Tofu Burger. It was a piece of soft tofu instead of a meat patty. It looks nice but it is almost impossible to eat it like a usual burger. It was too soft!

HY said luckily she had the fork from the salad. She ate it layer by layer using the fork. Other than the mess, she said she enjoyed her burger.

Classic WW Burger

Freshness Burger - Classic WW Burger

Another colleague, ET who has been eating here and said the only thing to order here is the Classic WW Burger. He said it's the best tasting burger here and the only one that would fill you up.

We soon found out why. Our burgers were puny! His burger was the largest. If you want to be feel full, you got to order this expensive - $10.90 burger. You get a double patty and double cheese as well.

Freshness Burger

Freshness Burger - Freshness Burger

I ordered the burger named after the shop. Freshness Burger. ($6.80 - set meal with fries and a small drink) I am sorry to say, it's a bit too healthy for my liking. It's non greasy and a very healthy tasting patty. 

It's also quite small. The tomato slice was thick though. From the photo, you can see the size of the burger is about the same as the circumference of the tomato :-)

You should try the bun though. Probably something  you would not get elsewhere. The bun's yellowish because it's made with pumpkin! We wondered if all the burgers are like that so we flipped each others burger and realized not every burger had the pumpkin bun.

Teriyaki Burger

Freshness Burger - Teriyaki Burger

A colleague who many of you might know him as Old Cat ordered the Teriyaki Burger complained! He kept complaining about the size. (He said 'jiak buay pa'!)

We did not ask him how it tasted, but we could tell that he liked it. (judging from his smile while he was eating it). It does look very puny doesn't it?

Fried Potatoes

Freshness Burger - Fried Potatoes from Hokkaido Farms

Most of us ordered set meals. It came with a side, which was the 'fried potatoes' and a drink. On their website, they stated that their potatoes are from their farm in Hokkaido.

How special? It was rather healthy tasting, i.e. not very oily. I found it a bit plain because I think no or very little salt was used. I don't eat enough potatoes to tell the difference from usual one. Guys and gals who are watching their weight can have this.

The drinks

Freshness Burger - Drinks

The hot drinks come in a very nice cup! I liked the sugar cubes! It reminds me of sugus!

Freshness Burger - Drinks

My set came with a softdrink.

Freshness Burger - Yuja Cha

HY had the Yuja Cha. (Citron./Yuzu Tea)
She said it was good. We should have ordered this instead of our soft drinks!

So did what did we think of this place? The burgers are OK, but they are too small. They taste healthy, so it's for those who prefer healthier burgers. If you are into meaty, stronger flavour burgers, go elsewhere.

Be prepared to wait too. They say it's because they only start making it after you placed your order. Many places do that too. (If you don't know, McDonald's burger are also made when you order it for some time now. Subway is made to order and it is quite fast too.)

Just don't think of them as fast food, but a sit down cafe, then your perception of it might be better. We like how the restaurant looked. It was calming and relaxing. The flowers on each table was a nice touch.

We would like to try the ones in Japan to compare. Heard that it's a bit different. The ones here probably suited to local taste?

Freshness Burger
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#01-30 The Central
Singapore 059817

Tel: 6222 2528

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