An Introduction

An Introduction
The Simplest Aphrodisiac

Flavours of the Month

Flavours of the Month
Rocks Urban Grill & Bar

Overseas Trips

Overseas Trips
The Reason to Travel

The A List

The A List
Featuring the Best

Trattoria L'Ancora

31 January 2011

When the travel buddy got me to choose a lunch place, I turned up with only two options ten minutes later - pizza or pasta? With a raised eyebrow (he didn't have much of a choice on the cuisine clearly) he chose the latter, and we were off to Trattoria L'Ancora along Bukit Timah Road.

Complimentary Bread

L'Ancora's bread were simple but good. No one can really go wrong with warmly toasted focaccia bread, while the lightly flavoured and thin pizza-like slices were just as welcomed.

Calamari Fritti

At $24.90++, the lunch set (available on weekends as well) was quite a steal. My pick of the Calamari Fritti from the small range of appetisers on the set menu was just the way I wanted it to be - crisp, light batter and slightly chewy. The calamari went well with the mildly spicy Arrabiata sauce served on the side too.

Zuppa di Funghi

The travel buddy crossed out the bruschetta, garden salad and sautéed clams and went for the simple mushroom soup, the Zuppa di Funghi. I think he found it a tad too diluted and would have preferred it thicker.

Spaghetti Ai Frutte Di Mare

No surprises, I went for my all-time favourite. The Spaghetti Ai Frutte Di Mare was delicious, and what really stood out was the flavourful and adequately thick homemade tomato sauce. The fresh seafood ingredients - prawns, squids and clams - are also worthy of mention. Note that the portion for the set menu is slightly smaller than if you were to order this dish à la carte, but to be honest I thought the portion was just about right given that you've already got an appetiser and dessert to accompany it.

Branzino Al Lemone

The travel buddy had the Branzino Al Lemone, an oven-baked fillet of sea bass with lemon dressing. Not a frequent fish eater (but he do swear by Nobu's miso cod), he found the sea bass a little too "fishy" in taste and smell. He was thankful for the lemon sauce that helped to make it more manageable.


The waitress (and chef) so politely allowed me to make a swap on the dessert menu with the Tiramisu, and moreover at no additional cost. I liked the tiramisu, it wasn't overwhelming and had a good balance of the holy trinity of flavours - coffee, liquer and chocolate. While not mind-blowingly impressive, this was still decently good.

Panna Cotta

I used to see this as an Italian tau huay, but that surely would be trivialising one of Italy's iconic desserts, the Panna Cotta. L'Ancora's rendition of this dessert was executed well.


And with all that enjoyed, sit back for a bit longer and enjoy that cuppa :)

Very good.

$24.90++ for the set lunch.

789 Bukit Timah Road.
After HCI, just before the turn to Sixth Avenue.

Pictures taken with the Canon EOS 500D.

Le Chocolat Cafe

28 January 2011

Le Chocolat Cafe is a new sandwich & pastry café within the new boutique hotel The Club, and is situated along Ann Siang Hill, right where you can find my favourite K-Ki as well. The café here is small and still finding a foothold in this seemingly sleepy but charmingly peaceful part of Singapore, and I noticed that service can be quite slow as well. Nevertheless, it is new after all, so some baby steps are understandable.

Chocolate Tart

I love the Chocolate Tart, I really do. The crust pastry was neither too hard nor was it too crumbly or flaky, and when cut right with the side of a fork it comes away cleanly with the chocolate intact. Wonder what I mean? Next picture please :)

Lovers of dark chocolate may be a little disappointed with the thin layer of dark chocolate, but I myself really liked the thick and smooth milk chocolate middle. It was what kept me going fork after fork at this simple yet greatly satisfying tart.

Nutty Chocolate

The Nutty Chocolate on the other hand was facing an identity crisis of sorts; it was neither nutty (extremely fine traces of nuts) nor was it exactly chocolatey (too light hazelnut choc mousse/sponge). The flavours were not distinct and neither did they blend very well.

Tell you what, I'll have another one of that chocolate tart please :)

Very friendly and polite.

$7 each.

The Club Hotel
28 Ann Siang Road

Pictures taken with the Canon Ixus 80 IS.

Alfresco Gusto

26 January 2011

Facing Wheelock Place along Scotts Road is Ion Orchard's new Alfresco Gusto, previously known as Gusttimo di Roma and now back with a revamped menu. On the side Gusttimo's gelato bar is still up and running, but I was here for one reason alone and that was to satisfy that crazy, fortnightly craving of mine - pizza.

Bolognese-fresca Mozzarella, Salsa di Ragù

While Alfresco Gusto prides itself for wood-fired grills for its steaks, pizzas on the other hand are not from a wood-fired oven but electric oven-baked. Nevertheless, the Bolognese-fresca Mozzarella, Salsa di Ragù was quite good, especially the melted cheese and minced beef parts.

The pizza here is on the thinner side and would satisfy those who like their pizzas much less fluffy (but certainly not wafer-thin like those from Skinny Pizza). Good enough for lunch :)


The classic Tiramisu was a hit and a miss. The soaked saviordi, topped with cocoa powder, was worthy of praise as it had the good balance of sweet and bitter.

The coffee gelato on the top however was too icy and bland. Perhaps a purer scoop of vanilla gelato would have sealed the deal perfectly.

Excellent. Friendly and helpful.

$20 for the Bolognese-fresca Mozzarella, Salsa di Ragù pizza
$14 for the Tiramisu

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Ion Orchard, #01-15.

Pictures taken with the Canon Ixus 80 IS.

Morton's Steakhouse

24 January 2011

Morton's The Steakhouse at the Mandarin Oriental is an institution in itself. Despite the likes of all those celebrity chef restaurants and what have you across the river at Marina Bay Sands, this legendary steakhouse has still held its own - and I'm sure will continue to do so for a long time. From the impeccable service to the thorough show-and-tell of the steak cuts, seafood and vegetables on offer for the night, Morton's is the place to be in Singapore for that perfect steak dinner.

Onion Loaf

Morton's mythical Onion Loaf is as huge as many have described it to be, and in all seriousness should be shared else you won't even get to appetisers. This soft, fragrant and considerably light bread is extremely addictive. With this baby on the table, you can't quite keep your hands to yourself in between all the courses - have it your way with olive oil, butter or soup. Oh, soup. Now, let's talk about soup.

Lobster Bisque

The Lobster Bisque was absolutely delicious. I couldn't have imagined that such a seemingly plain-looking soup could be this flavourful and rich. The generous serving of (what I believe to be) at least a third of a lobster was firm, fresh and sweet. Perfect.

Onion Soup

The travel buddy loves his Onion Soup, and if he couldn't get enough of it in Italy (or anywhere else) you can expect him to have another go at this as well. It was good meeting up with him after so long because we're already planning our next big trip to *___________* at the end of the year. It's still far away but I'm so excited! :D

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

Morton's signature Jumbo Lump Crab Cake may be pricey, but such indulgences are more than justified with delectable fresh crab meat packed so tightly and neatly together. I liked the light hint of herbs that went into this as well.

Steak Fries

The Steak Fries were very much the wedges-type of "fries" compared to the shoestring or medium-cut ones, and would please those who love their fries more "potatoey" than crispy. It wasn't anything exciting, but the serving was impressive - even the two of us couldn't finish this.

Sautéed Button Mushrooms

The desperate attempt to balance an otherwise meat and carb-filled meal resulted in the (half-hearted) side order of Sautéed Button Mushrooms. In retrospect I'm glad we ordered this, because the mushrooms were moist and juicy and accompanied my steak well.

Did I say steak? :)

Presenting to you, the star of the evening!

New York Strip

When at Morton's, don't go kiddy and order a burger at the bar, or pretend to be shy and get the "smaller steaks". Go all the way and have that New York Strip! It's a big cut no doubt, but this was just amazing. Tender at every slice, and bursting with beefy goodness at every bite - I loved it from start to end. For those who like a little bit of bone, you're strongly recommended to try the porterhouse steak.

Filet Mignon

The travel buddy had his done the more moderate way, a Filet Mignon that is as good (but I'm sure, not necessarily as satisfying as mine haha!) as steak can get. As you can see, his is accompanied by the classic French Béarnaise sauce.

Crème Brûlée

Just too filled with bread, soup, crab cakes, fries, mushrooms and those awesome steaks, we shared a Crème Brûlée for that mandatory sweet round-up to the meal. While the vanilla-bean speckled custard was really good, the caramel crust was a little too thick and overwhelmed it quite a bit. Still, a decent attempt.


Newsflash! Morton's $95++ "Seafood and Steak Menu" set is back by popular demand, and will only be around till 31 March 2011.

* Take your pick and change your appetisers, sides and even steaks as you please!
1) No extra charge for change of Morton's salad (eek!) to Onion Soup; $5++ supplement for upgrade to Lobster Bisque.
2) No extra charge for change of "Signature Potato" to Steak Fries or Sautéed Mushrooms.
3) $22++ supplement for change of single cut Filet Mignon to the New York Strip.

$20++ for the Crème Brûlée.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Fourth Storey.

Pictures taken with the Canon EOS 500D;
Pictures are blur because of low-light conditions.

Bloggers Outing: NYDC

19 January 2011

Desserts are almost always a separate, special affair during our blogger outings, as you probably could tell in our past trips to Checkers Deli at Hilton or Lobby Lounge at Marriott. This time was no different, and we eventually decided on NYDC since most of the other nearby places where closing for the day.

Grandma Goes Nuts, Seriously!

If for real it's not a laughing matter, but if it's a NYDC mudpie, it's awesome. The Grandma Goes Nuts, Seriously! mudpie features nougat and macadamia nut ice-cream on an Oreo base, accompanied by (breathes in...) almonds, peanuts, marshmallows, hazelnut syrup, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. A guaranteed sugar shot, this would drive anyone high, courtesy of a crazy grandmother.

Apple Crumble

The Apple Crumble was sweet but lacked the X-factors of natural-tasting (caramelised) apples and a truly crisp crumble layer. Do choose to have a scoop of French Vanilla ice-cream as well to complement this - hot crumbles are really best eaten with ice-cream :)

Big O Cheesecake

Many people seem oblivious to what "The Big O" actually means in American slang, but I would leave it to you to look it up on Google. Or, I can quite simply say that the Big O Cheesecake wasn't much of an aphrodisiac and couldn't possibly give you The Big O. Decent but not mind-blowing.

Goldmine Cheesecake

I thought the Goldmine Cheesecake sounded promising - cheesecake with "chocolate chunks and slathered with irresistible chocolate fudge topping". Sure, it tasted great, but only when you hit "gold" (the chocolate chunks) at the bottom, but these were few and far. In the end, it didn't turn out too differently from the Big O Cheesecake.

Boo Boo

A house favourite, the Boo Boo was smooth and chocolatey, but can get too rich after a few forkfuls. Best to share. Or perhaps, get a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to accompany this macho dude.


$10.95 for the Grandma Goes Nuts, Seriously!
$6.95 for the Apple Crumble and a scoop of French Vanilla Ice-Cream
$6.95 for the Big O Cheesecake
$6.95 for the Goldmine Cheesecake
$5.95 for the Boo Boo

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Orchard Wheelock Place, #02-19.

Pictures taken with the Canon EOS 500D.

Bloggers Outing: Shashlik

17 January 2011

It's been a long while but I finally found time to meet up with some of the bloggers for dinner at old school Shashlik. I really did miss coming to such gatherings of food, cameras and good company, and was delighted to see them all again. The bloggers' roll of the evening is as follows:

Xin Li from The Four Moose
Frances from Foodies Queen
Jer Lin from Le Petit Connoisseur
Harris from The Simplest Aphrodisiac
Daniel and Lay Sian from Memoirs of Food
Fen and Yuan from Indulgence After Work-Out

And without further ado, let's head on to the food, food, food!

Buns with SCS Butter

The Warm Bun was soft and light, pure and simple.

Garlic Bread

The crispy Garlic Bread was a perfect accompaniment to the soups. Even more so when some of them were terribly bland and needed some finishing up to do (see below).

Mushroom Soup

The Mushroom Soup was sadly quite tasteless and diluted. It tasted like it was out from a can and had too much water added to it. I couldn't go past half of this.

Borsch Soup

Shashlik's Borsch Soup received more favourable comments from the table. The dollop of sour cream gave this tomato-based soup of potatoes, beef, carrots and cabbage a more creamy feel without being too over-powering.

Black Pepper Steak

My Black Pepper Steak, though tender, was overwhelmed by the thick sauce. There was nothing spectacular to it and in fact merely reminded me of a Jack's Place-type of steak, complete with the hot-plate. For the price I'm paying, I would take Astons Prime anytime.

Chicken Shashlik

The Shashlik, the Russian rendition of the Shish kebab, is where this restaurant got its name from, and is one of the most popular items on the menu. Here's what Xin Li had to say!

"The Shashlik of Chicken was served on a hot plate with mixed vegetables and fries. In humble opinion, it was palatable. The chicken was quite tender with a nicely charred skin. Unfortunately, at this price, I felt that it lacks flavor or the punch to set it apart from what a Western Food hawker can reproduce. In fact, certain parts of the chicken have a very mild gamey aftertaste." (Xin Li, 2010)

Chicken A La Kiev Imperial

Jer Lin's order of the Chicken A La Kiev Imperial was an interesting one, in large part because of that sprout of paper at the tip of the battered chicken. Lying on a thick toast, it seemed like a king on his bed.

"The chicken breast meat was satisfying tender, and was, interestingly, stuffed with butter. However, the toast was too stiff for my liking, though it was deep-fried to a golden crisp." (Jer Lin, 2010)

Chicken A La King

In contrast, Frances' Chicken A La King did not seem fit for royalty (unless perhaps it's for a really old king who needs a slightly softer diet). This is stewed chicken served with mixed vegetables and steamed rice. Not something I would order or enjoy.

Fish en Papilotte

Daniel and Lay Sian's order of the baked Fish en Papilotte seemed somewhat soft and healthy. I'll let you know what they thought about it when they get their post up heh.

Baked Ikan Kurau with Cheese

For a Russian-themed restaurant, they seem to have adopted the use of the Malay language too. The Baked Ikan Kurau with Cheese was like a baked rice dish but I'm not sure if it was good, or not.

Good. On a packed evening, be prepared to wait a bit for your food to be served.

$6 for the Mushroom Soup
$7 for the Borsch Soup
$26 for the Black Pepper Steak
$18.50 for the Chicken Shashlik
$19 for the Chicken A La Kiev Imperial
$19 for the Chicken A La King
$22 for the Fish en Papilotte
$21 for the Baked Ikan Kurau with Cheese

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Far East Shopping Centre, #06-19.
Note: This is beside Wheelock Place, not the Grand Hyatt Singapore.

Pictures taken with the Canon EOS 500D.

Rocks Urban Grill and Bar

14 January 2011

Rocks and sails may seem like an unlikely pair, but The Sail at Marina Boulevard is where you'll find Rocks Urban Gril and Bar, a chic and tranquil European restaurant by the Emmanuel Stroobant group. Rocks definitely ranks amongst one of my favourite places to dine for its good service and ambience, and may very well be a little secret at One Raffles Quay still unknown to many.

Warm Buns

By Warm Buns I really mean those edible, soft and fluffy ones that Rocks serve to set you going. It's simple - slightly crisp crust and soft centre - yet so satisfying, especially when eaten with creamy and lightly salted butter.

Scallop Carpaccio

The Scallop Carpaccio is a light starter for the light eaters, and therefore is not something I would personally order. Nevertheless, the serving of carpaccio was fresh and smooth and more than makes up for the lack of an amuse-bouche.

Crab Cakes

The Crab Cakes were more of my kind of thing, and I particularly liked the way the garlic, coriander and chili blended so well together. On taste, I have to admit it did not have the wow-factor, and was deeply humbled by the more impressive crab cakes from Mezza9 at Grand Hyatt and - no surprises here - Morton's at Mandarin Oriental.

Cote de Boeuf

A whole kilo of 150-day grain fed Australian beef, this is what we're talking about! The Cote de Boeuf is typically meant for two to share, but I do know of someone who can eat it all up on his own (no, that's not me either, no matter how much I adore my beef). This heavyweight dish was very well done, with the meat tender on almost all parts and the fats chewy where necessary.

Tenderloin Steak

For the classic lovers, the Tenderloin Steak (250gm) would do for you perfectly. Tender, well-charred and with an immaculate pink centre, this won praise at the table and pleased even the more seasoned steak eaters.

Lamb Shank

In contrast, the Lamb Shank was a tad disappointing as it turned out looking (and tasting) more like a stew. From the single forkful I had, the lamb wasn't as tender as the steaks either, so some improvements are needed here.

Duck Confit

The Duck Confit, which I tried on a return visit, was better than average but not something that would really blow you away. It was relatively small and may not be worth the price you're paying for ($32++), and even more so when the main dishes don't come with much complimentary sides. So if you like your potatoes, you could order a jar of fries to share with your dining partner.

Truffle Mashed Potatoes

I would think though that the ladies would appreciate the Truffle Mashed Potatoes a little more than the typical fries, in large part because it's smoother, healthier and more fragrant. Somehow, and surprisingly so, I found myself liking the mashed more than the fries as well.

Sauteed Mushrooms

The Sauteed Mushrooms were sweet, fresh and juicy. If you don't like your salads, you should have some of these to lie to yourself that you're having a "balanced" meal.

Chocolate Fondant

Desserts at Rocks is sadly a pricey (and tiny) affair. At $17++ the Chocolate Fondant was small and uninspiring.


I really liked the smooth and rich Cheesecake, which was topped with a delicious scoop of red berries sherbet and with apricot chutney on the side. If only this could have been bigger, because I'm sure it would have been even more memorable and satisfying.


$24 for the Salmon Carpaccio
$22 for the Crab Cakes
$110 for the Cote de Boeuf
$48 for the Tenderloin (250gm)
$44 for the Ribeye (350gm)
$40 for the Striploin (350gm)
$32 for the Lamb Shank
$32 for the Duck Confit
$8 for a selection of sides, including Fries and Truffle Mashed Potato
$17 for the Chocolate Fondant
$16 for the Cheesecake

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.
* The full menu can be found here.

The Sail, 2 Marina Boulevard.
Next to One Raffles Quay.

Most of the pictures were taken with the Canon EOS 500D.

2009 ·*the simplest aphrodisiac by TNB | Official Singapore Food Blog.