imperial treasure super peking duck, orchard

one of my favorite restaurants, from possibly my favorite group of restaurants in singapore – I associate the imperial treasure line of restaurants (referring to the higher echelons here) with reliable, delicious, traditional cooking in sleek, modern environs and I haven’t been let down by a meal here before.

standards are consistent, even if there are occasional dashes of too-much- or too-little-salt, and service is usually quick and efficient. it’s the sort of place you’d bring your business associates or your in-laws – great for impressing and reasonably priced for it.

p.s. those gloved hands sure look professional, eh?

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pind balluchi bar & grill, clarke quay

posh northern indian food, from a prolific truly-indian chain that’s gone upmarket in singapore. this place reminds me of my favorite indian places in london, where the cuisine is dished up fine-dining-style, and with more care and finesse than you’d usually see in singapore.

and the food is great – everything that I love to eat, with bright spice-y flavors and sparkling flavours in a sleek, dark environ that makes for great dates and girls’ nights out.

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wah lok cantonese restaurant, city hall

now, it’s a thursday – and we’re nearly at the weekend – so don’t be harsh. I know this post is a tad late, seeing as how it starts with a photo of yusheng and chinese new year is nearly two months past.

it’s still a worthwhile post though, as the food we had was fantastic, and really rather top of its class. wah lok has always been a steady bulwark of the fine dining cantonese scene, and it well deserves its reputation – food is outstanding, service is utter old-school goodness, and the place is modern (none of that outdated furnishing you see so often in these restaurants) but amenable to cosy family dinners.

a high thumbs up from me, and definitely gratifying.

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golden peony, city hall

I want to write a scathing post about this place, just based on how unhappy I was at the end of this meal – but I can’t bring myself to verbose hostility this morning, and so you have to imagine how bad it was. suffice to say that I was disappointed, not just because this was supposed to be an institution, a stalwart of fine chinese dining in singapore – and what we got, at incredibly high prices and pretty lacking service, was dimsum not even at the standards of the midrange chinese restaurants like yumcha.

this may have been one occasion, the first after many years of good food followed by a long gap of nearly five years, but it was enough to discourage from further visits – and almost definitely not for dimsum.

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l’angelus, chinatown

brilliant french dining – great food in a sophisticated, candle-lit intimate space – in club street, and one of the more impressive meals I’ve had, from start-to-fin. I’ve been to quite a few restaurants this year – perhaps an understatement – and eaten rather well, but a restaurant that shines from appetiser to dessert is difficult to find; this one does that perfectly well – really enjoyable.

plus it’s (thank-heavens-for-) Friday tomorrow! and if you’re looking for a place to start the weekend off proper, this place will do you well good.

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cut by wolfgang puck, bayfront (take 2)

still utterly fantastic, and wonderfully enjoyable dessert at the marina bay sands. it is understating it to say that this place is now my favorite in singapore – and no, I’ve not had their steak, and no, I’m not quite planning to. I have an incorrigible sweet tooth, and it aches for this behemoth of a chocolate souffle.

their other desserts are pretty much up there with the best I’ve had locally, but it’s the souffle that shines – there’s some magic in the substantial lightness, and all the textures and temperatures in it. I could wax lyrical all day (and I’ve done it once before), but really, just look at it – chocolate sauce dribbling down the side while creme fraiche and ice cream sink their slow way into that airy nest of chocolate.

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catalunya singapore, bayfront

showy see-and-be-seen posh-masquerading-as-rustic spanish in this ball floating by the marina bay area.

this place is gorgeous, all dark intimate lighting and architectural elegance, the people inside as dressed up as they come – and it’s got some serious pedigree (el-bulli trained staff, hello). so while it’s probably no surprise that while the food here does exhibit certain expertise, I think it better visited for an experience per se, than explicitly for the cooking.

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the halia, town

really good food at this second branch of the halia-of-botanics at the wonderfully colonial raffles hotel. this place was impressive – and while it wasn’t cheap, I dare say it was rather well worth it. I’ve always wanted to go to halia at its eponymous area in the botanic gardens – it’s long been a stalwart member of the brunch-providing institutions – and I’m so glad they now have a lovely (and very convenient space).

friendly service, a quiet corner of the hotel, and retro furnishings (very appropriately so, and hence not too hipster) – and good food plus reasonable prices: I think this beats many of my recent gastroventures clear out the water.

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ito-kacho, town

really good, really really good japanese grill-it-yourself hidden away in the mandarin gallery – which has a surprising number of decent restaurants (note to self: go back and have a look). my parents first came here on their silver wedding anniversary – gosh! – and were so enthralled with the food they brought us along the next week, and for very good reason. for all you fans of marbled, fatty beef, this is your place.

the prices here are on the steep side: you pay for the quality of the meat – it comes appetizingly dark, sliced just precisely so – for the great service and the quiet ambience for the restaurant, but it’s easily justifiable – just create find an occasion to come.

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ku de ta, bali

there is something poignant in a dark night spent beach-side, with the wind roaring through and a lonely spotlight going out toward the sea. even the trash on the beach looks like speckles of glitter.

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