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Featuring the Best

The Simplest Aphrodisiac: Best of the Year 2010

31 December 2010

2010 was a great year for this food blog, with a comfortable crop of over 200 food-related posts and hundreds more of pictures. It was also good that I was able to travel overseas more often this year, and in so doing got to see more of the world beyond Singapore and to eat more of what these amazing countries have to offer. Extra kilos aside, it was a lot of loving and pampering, but in a way that was happily shared with my fellow bloggers, friends and family. So as a toast to all the delightful and delicious memories of 2010, let me present to you The Simplest Aphrodisiac's best of the best of the year!

Best Meal of 2010: Otto Ristorante

It took a long while before we finally met, but it was well worth the wait and was truly a case of love at first bite. With the most amazing Boston Lobster pasta and the most divine crème brûlée that I could ever ask for, Otto Ristorante is the perfect choice for this blog's top position for 2010. [Review]

First Runner-Up: Mellben Seafood ~ Fresh, spicy and awesomely addictive, this is classic chilli crab at one of its finest. Just a little feistier and this would have been flawless. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: The Dunearn ~ A little sanctuary close to the Botanic Gardens, The Dunearn delights with its affordable set menus and its tranquil ambience. While monthly-themed menus may bring up hits and misses at times, this is still one place that is guaranteed to please your palates in one way or another, or more. [Review I & II]

Best Meal of 2010 (Overseas): Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala & Cèpe

The force in the Italian is strong indeed. Coming in joint firsts, Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala and Cèpe show how one cuisine, whether done in fine-dining or in pure simplicity, can produce equally fantastic results. While Trussardi impresses in overall dining experience, Cèpe scores on the perfect pasta. For that, they both share the top spot. [Review I & II]

Second Runner-Up: Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant ~ Exquisite Peking roast duck, and quite possibly the best there is in Beijing. Have it in a hearty pancake roll, or better, let it melt decadently in your mouth. Gone to heaven and back in a single night. [Review]

Best Lunch of 2010

No surprises, Otto Ristorante claims this spot as well for all the charms that it had entrapped me with. No doubt more romantic and intimate in the evenings, this lovely eatery is also great for peaceful and leisurely lunches. [Review]

First Runner-Up: Black Sheep Cafe ~ This was where I savoured the best duck confit that I've had in the year, trouncing the more established brand names that just can't seem to hold up to something so immacutely done, from the perfectly crisp skin to the absolutely tender meat and to the tantalising apple rosti. Brilliant. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: PS Cafe @ Orchard Palais ~ Good burgers make my day. Awesome burgers, on the other hand, make the list of the best of the year. Another wagyu burger that deserves only the highest of praises. [Review]

Best Dinner of the Year: Mellben Seafood

It took me a while to decide on Mellben Seafood's more than stellar feature in this list for 2010, but I shall insist that sublime Singapore-style butter, pepper and chilli crabs deserve some of the limelight. Contrary to some remarks, service here was good and waiting times were pretty tolerable. Just focus on the crabs and you should be quite delighted. [Review]

First Runner-Up: The Dunearn ~ Praiseworthy main courses and delectable desserts are usually the order of the day, but you will be surprised by how delicious some of the appetisers can be as well. Nevertheless, always leave more room for desserts. [Review I & II]

Second Runner-Up: Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck ~ This is the closest that I've come to authentic Peking duck in Singapore, and if I could tell a little secret, this was confirmed by a couple of officials from the Chinese Embassy here as well. If space permits, do try some of the other à la carte dishes on the menu, they are worth every cent you pay. [Review]

Best Dessert of the Year: Frigidarium

Fabulous gelato is hard to come by in this part of the world, but in Frigidarium we've ourselves a true gem. While it did well in core flavours like hazelnut and pistachio, it impressed even more in its innovative creations like sakura. I'm hungry just thinking about it. [Review]

First Runner-Up: Laurent Bernard Chocolatier ~ If you like your desserts in chocolate, you would adore Laurent Bernard to bits. Soufflé, tart, cake, ice-cream, pralines - you name it I love it. Chocolate desserts at their finest. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: Tampopo Deli ~ In particular, Tampopo's famed cream puffs, which has the smoothest and richest cream custard gloriously speckled with vanilla beans. Tastes even better when chilled; it's like having custard ice-cream in a soft puff! [Review]

Best Find of the Year: K-Ki

My love for K-Ki is immeasurable, and it leads the pack in this category by a long stretch. Delivering some of the lightest and most delicate cakes that you can ever possibly find, this is a little bit of heaven right here in Singapore. Antoinette, Mont Blanc and Kinabaru are long-time favourites. [Review I & II]

First Runner-Up: Oasis @ Grand Hyatt Singapore ~ I've been to Oasis a couple of times after my initial food-tasting session and it is still consistently impressive. Grilled Salmon and beef ribs are amongst some of the most delicious on offer. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: Kichn ~ Comfort food at its best, and one that doesn't burn a hole in the pocket for such pleasures. The chicken cutlet spaghetti with chilli crab sauce is a definite must-try, while the house recommendation lychee, Oreo and Milo ice-blend is a sky-high sugar boost. [Review]

Best Pasta of the Year: Otto Ristorante

Sometimes, minor tweaks to a dish can do wonders. In this case, the hint of spiciness in Otto Ristorante's Boston Lobster pasta, possibly in an effort to appeal to the local clientele, worked perfectly for the appetite and the senses. [Review]

First Runner-Up: Pete's Place @ Grand Hyatt Singapore ~ Pete's rustic seafood pasta, known as the Cioppino, exudes a homely and heart-warming feel that is set to melt your heart and please your tummy. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: Cugini Trattoria ~ The seafood pasta is a Cugini signature that is not on the menu, and is one of the eatery's bestsellers. Compared to the other two above, this actually tastes the most authentic in terms of pasta flavour, but loses out in its ingredients. [Review]

Best Pizza of the Year: Al Forno

Wrapping up this list and proving once again that Italiano is the flavour of the year, Al Forno is my pick for the best pizza in Singapore. Here you can expect to find excellent wood-fired pizzas with the right amount of dough, cheese and ingredients, and with a good balance that one would find truly admirable. [Review]

First Runner-Up: Da Paolo Pizza Bar ~ Finishing a (very) close second, Da Paolo serves up simple but extremely satisfying wood-fired pizzas. The light but crisp crust on the sides is a joy to munch on. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: Cugini Trattoria Pizzeria ~ I never knew electric-oven pizzas can come so close to those from the wood-fired ovens, but this did and was quite terrific stuff really. With Cugini now having a wood-fired pizza branch in Sole Pomodoro, Singaporeans have one more reason to feast on this Italian icon. [Review I & II]

So there you have it - the favourites and the best this blog has to offer for 2010. You may have noticed that several of the entrants this year are classics, but old is gold and I love them all the same. And for those who disagree, please don't hold it against me (or my tastebuds), it's after all based on my likes and preferences and I'm sure we're unique in our own ways. Finally, here's a big thank you to each and every one of you for standing by me and believing in what this blog stands for, which quite simply is to share the love for food, and for eating! It's really all about enjoying the simple indulgences and pleasures of life :)

With all that said and done, here's wishing everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)

Yours Sincerely,
Harris Chai
Author | The Simplest Aphrodisiac

14 Foodie Comments:

Wen said...

Happy New Year! Lovely wrap up for 2010! Well done!

December 31, 2010 at 10:41 AM
Glenn Lee said...

Happy New Year Harris and all the best for 2011!

December 31, 2010 at 10:46 AM
PY said...

I will bookmark this page and make it my reference for pastaa and pizzas. Happy New Year! Keep writing.

December 31, 2010 at 10:51 AM
Anonymous said...

Nice! Writing up a Best of the year 2010 is much better than hmmm.. yeah you know.. :P

Good job and may 2011 be a food-ful one ;)

December 31, 2010 at 10:56 AM
Hungrybunny said...

Great eats!Happy New Year Harris!

December 31, 2010 at 11:14 AM
Zhi Hao said...

nice pictures! shall try the al forno pizza one day! :D happy new year to you too!

December 31, 2010 at 11:21 AM
Ernst said...

Keep up the excellent work - you have many silent readers like myself who frequently follow your recommendations and rarely comment. I recently visited Cugini as a result of your blog post and while good I still haven't found a better pizza than Bella Pizza in Robertson Quay. Will be visiting Al Forno shortly based on this post!

December 31, 2010 at 12:52 PM
Fen said...

Wow, that is a comprehensive list. Great sum up...

Happy New Year to you and looking forward to your 2011 posts. =)

December 31, 2010 at 2:17 PM
Xinli said...

wow nice post!

Happy New Year to you in advance! =)

December 31, 2010 at 6:29 PM
Daniel said...

Steaks, burgers, pastas and ducks on the list, what's not to like? =)

Hope to see you in the new year soon!

December 31, 2010 at 7:04 PM
HungryTrotters said...

Happy New Year Harris! :) Your compilation made me drooL!

December 31, 2010 at 7:51 PM
stargirl said...

thanks for the useful compilation! happy new year (:

December 31, 2010 at 10:20 PM
*Harris said...

Wow thanks everyone! I'm sure it was a delicious food-filled 2010 for all of you too; hope 2011 would be even more delicious ya? :)

Happy New Year everyone! :)

January 1, 2011 at 3:24 PM
*Harris said...

ernst: Thank you! Bella pizza, as well as the new mozza at mbs, are the two places that I would definitely want to try this year for pizza! And with your recommendation now, I'm even more geared to go soon heh ;)

January 1, 2011 at 3:25 PM

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