Good eats

26 04 2011

“ONE IS enough.  Two is too much.  Three is a poison that can kill a person.”  That’s one of the rhymes that my mother would tell us whenever we would try to push our luck in getting our ways.

I got reminded of it once more as I recollect my gastronomic adventure in Singapore.  For specific dishes and places, I think I could o.d. before I get satiation.  I could get to “three is a poison…” easy.

Here they are, in no particular order.  (I forgot the details of the hawker center that Partner brought me to, where I had this amazing Fish Head Curry dish!)

CareShop de Café

70 Bendemeer Road, #01-05 Luzerne

Singapore 339940

Tel: +65 6293 9298

www.careshopdecafe.com

Will go back forMushroom Soba with lots of steamed Japanese Rice

Mushroom Soba, CareShop de Café

 

 

Culina Bistro

Blk 8 Dempsey Hill,Dempsey Road#01-13

Singapore 249679

Will go back forDe Cecco Penne Crab Meat (with the penne replaced by angel hair) , and all the complimentary bread rolls I could handle!

De Cecco Capellini Crab Meat, Culina Bistro @ Dempsey Hill

 

Complimentary Bread, Culina Bistro @ Dempsey Hill

 

 

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

B2-89/89A, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972

Tel:  +65 6535 1837

Fax: +65 6221 1837

Will go back for1837 Black Tea (tea number T6033), French Onion Soup, and all the complimentary bread rolls I could handle!

1837 Black Tea (tea number T6033), TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge

 

French Onion Soup, TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge

 

Complimentary Bread, TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge

 

Fou de FaFa

168 Robinson Road

#01-05 Capital Tower

Singapore 068912

Tel: +65 6327 9418

www.foudefafa.com

Will go back forPizza Fou’d Flewed, and that bluish green drink that’s a concoction of pineapple, grapes, and mint

Pizza Fou'd Flewed, Fou de FaFa

 

My fave drink, a concoction of pineapple, grapes, and mint, Fou de FaFa

 

Jumbo Seafood Gallery

20 Upper Circular Road

#B1-44 to 48 The Riverwalk

Tel:  +65 6534 3435

Fax: +65 6536 3836

Will go back forChilli Crab with lots of Deep-Mini Bun, Cold Fresh Barley Juice

Just the apron!, Jumbo Seafood Gallery

 

Wee Nam Kee

275 Thomson Road #01-05

Will go back forHainanese Chicken Rice, Cold Fresh Barley Juice (which they always run out of!)

Hainanese Chicken Roasted and Steamed, Wee Nam Kee

 

Hainanese Chicken Rice, Wee Nam Kee

 

Cold Fresh Barley Juice, Wee Nam Kee

 

Tung Lok Seafood OC

#11-05 Orchard Central

181 Orchard Road

Singapore 238896

Will go back forBraised Shark’s Fin with Fish Maw Soup, Poached Baby Kai Lan served with Chinchalok

Braised Shark’s Fin with Fish Maw Soup, Tung Lok Seafood

 

Poached Baby Kai Lan served with Chinchalok, Tung Lok Seafood

 

Marché at 313@somerset

313@somerset, 313 Orchard Road

Provisional Unit No. #B1-39-45

Singapore 238895

www.marche-restaurants.com

Will go back forMushroom Soup, Calamari, Calamansi Juice with Sour Plum

Mushroom Soup, Marché at 313@somerset

 

Calamari, Marché at 313@somerset

 

Calamansi Sour Plum, Marché at 313@somerset

 

Food Opera at ION Food Hall

Basement 4, ION Orchard

2 Orchard Turn

Singapore 238801

Tel:  +65 6509 9198

Will go back forOyster Omelet (FattyWeng Fried Oysters, #B4-04M), Fishball Mee Kia Noodle Soup (Li Xin Fishball Noodle Soup, #B4-04B)

“FattyWeng Fried Oysters” Oyster Omelet, Food Opera at ION Food Hall

 

"Li Xin" Fishball Mee Kia Noodle Soup, Food Opera at ION Food Hall

 

4 FINGeRS Crispy Chicken at ION Food Hall

Basement 4, ION Orchard

2 Orchard Turn, #B4-06A

Singapore 238801

Tel:  +65 4274779

Will go back forChicken Wings

Crispy Chicken Wings, 4 FINGeRS Crispy Chicken at ION Food Hall

 

Nando’s @ Tanglin Mall

163 Tanglin Road

#01-14/15 Tanglin Mall

Singapore 247933

Tel:  +65 6235 3555

Fax: +65 6235 5581

Will go back forPeri-Peri Chicken, Portugese Rice, Grilled Vegetables

Peri-Peri Chicken, Portugese Rice, and Grilled Vegetables, Nando's @ Tanglin Mall

 

White Dog Café

No.1 HarbourFront Walk

#02-131/132 Vivo City

Singapore 098585

Tel:  +65 6235 3555

Will go back forLobster Pasta

Lobster Pasta, White Dog Café

 

Shimbashi Soba

290 Orchard Road

#B1-41 The Paragon

Singapore 238859

Tel: +65 6735 9882

Will go back forGoma Tare Seiro Sesame Soba

Goma Tare Seiro Sesame Soba, Shimbashi Soba

 

Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

25 Scotts Road

Singapore 228220

Tel:  +65 6589 7788 / +65 6589 7819

www.royalplaza.com.sg

gourmet@royalplaza.com.sg

Will go back forEVERYTHING in their international buffet

Soon Kueh, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

 

Roasted Tomato, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

 

Bowl of Noodles, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

 

Macarons, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Culina at Dempsey Hill

5 04 2011

Culina's De Cecco Capellini Crab Meat

I WASN’T told where the best pasta could be had in Singapore.

Towards the end of my first week, the answer seemed to be elusive.  I initially wondered why but later conceded that being in the mecca of food, I would be presented a number of options that would rival one another as to which indeed was the best.  So that would take time.  But Friendship bringing me to Dempsey Hill on Dempsey Road solved my seeming pasta conundrum.

“Ang swerte mo, eNTeNG.  Ako, one year na ako dito bago ako nakarating dito,”  (Good for you, eNTeNG.  I’ve been here in Singapore for a year before I even got here) my friend Clint blurted out as we alighted from the 10-minute cab ride.

“Well, mas love ako ni Friendship,”  (Well, Friendship loves me more) was all I could say, tongue-in-cheek.

It was already quite dark when we got there, but I didn’t miss the verdurous feel and laid-back atmosphere that struck me about Dempsey Hill.  Street signs pointed to establishments and tenants clustered in blocks.  While it would’ve been a lot easier to use these signs for what they were intended, we stayed on our adventurous path and wandered around.  We stopped for a few minutes in front of the complex directory, not so much to be able to make a decision but more like – in my case – to make humorous observations.

“Oh, I have to take a shot of Harry’s @ Dempsey Hill (for Harryboy).”

“There’s a Jumbo here.  I just ate at their Riverwalk outlet the other day.”

Jumbo! Harry's!

“Who in his right mind will eat at ‘The Disgruntled Chef’?”

The Disgruntled Chef?!

Our feet led us to Block 8 where we found Culina, an enoteca.  Enoteca is Italian for “wine bar” and is a place that often serves simple meals.  Since they also sell and serve wine, it’s like having two businesses in one retail space.  Often, enotecas would charge less, compared to other establishments, for both the food and the wine.  We accessed Culina from one of the side doors and the extensive wine selection was the first to greet us.  Immediately, like a subtle homage to enotecas on the Via Del Gesu in Italy, I was engulfed with the comfort that could only come from a small, family-owned restaurant that has a cozy dining room open only for a few hours for lunch or dinner.

Complimentary bread

 

The best bread! Crusty on the outside, fluffy and chewy on the inside. I was willing to pay for bread this good!

 

I would only have extra virgin olive oil with my bread.

 

Friendship prefers a mix of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

We started off with the complimentary bread, and with the first small piece torn off from all that crustiness, didn’t feel the need to even consider having appetizers.  A bread has never had me at first bite.  Until, Culina’s.  The bread was that good!  We were able to charm our way to getting a few more, but I won’t reveal here exactly how many so as not to get any of the wait staff in trouble.  (Though I did come close to offering to pay for everything we had.)

The Pasta Menu. They had me at "De Cecco"!

The explicit mention of the dry pasta brand “De Cecco” on the menu got me instantly sold to make my entrée pasta.  I’ve always loved De Cecco and have referred to it here, and here.

My favorite pasta dish in Singapore!

My first choice, “Penne Crab Meat” had exactly the sauce I was lusting after that very moment – crab meat and arugula salad with spicy tomato sauce, except that I wanted it on capellini (angel hair).  It wouldn’t hurt to ask the chef if he’d consider.  And true enough, he obliged me on my simple tweak to their menu offering.

The crab meat was plentiful and was so fresh and sweet!

 

I asked for some more of the baby arugula! Yey!

 

Before I totally devoured the pasta, I had to dump additional baby arugula onto it.

 

Only my remaining sense of propriety prevented me from licking this dish!

The serving portion that arrived at our table was huge.  Expertly twirled to give more of an imposing height than spread, each strand of the capellini was suffused with the red tint of the tomato sauce, flecked sparingly with bright green julienne of basil than with crushed red pepper flakes, belying the intensely gratifying heat that would surprise the uninitiated to the wonders of “al arrabiata.”  The crab meat provided unassuming, underlying tones of sweetness that would coat the tongue after the arrest of heat, seafood so fresh it could very well have come from fresh lump crab meat caught and picked by a fishmonger himself.

For a refreshing crunch, a generous crown of baby arugula salad sat perched on top, its succulent leaves bursting with peppery goodness that was more nutty than spicy.

My Winter Dream Tea on ice, infused with the essence of ginger!

I knew I ended up telling Friendship that what I was having was, hands down, the best pasta dish I had come across in Singapore.  I was gasping for breath from both the excitement of my discovery and the enthusiasm of my declaration that to calm me down, I would take sips of the Winter Dream Tea on ice that I ordered.

Culina, I shall return.

Friendship had the De Cecco Tagliatelle Wild Forest Mushroom.

 

Clint had the most tender, most scrumptious Steak Sandwich!

 

The cherry tomatoes on Friendship's plate crossed over to mine. And were so welcome!

 

The house water was San Pellegrino?! Hahaha!

 

One of the many blue "Christmas" trees that lighted up Dempsey Hill that night.

 

Truly, an unforgettable dinner at Culina with Friendship and Clint!

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.