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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Lunch at Riccioti Italian Restaurant @ The Riverwalk

Photosource: https://sweetlifeinsingapore.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/ricciotti-irresistibly-italian/

20 Upper Circular Road #B1-49 / 50 The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416
Tel: 6533 9060

Riciotti Singapore has been around since 2004, bringing to the patrons nothing short of what a good family-oriented Italian restaurant should offer - good food, passion, tradition, laughter, love, joy and loud conversations.  They created a complete Italian dining experience with modern art,  music and contemporary design etc, embracing the Italian culture wholesomely.  Besides that, Riciotti Singapore also organizes "Food for Good" initiatives which include fund-raising and other charitable events.

We were there for our company Christmas lunch, enjoying a hearty meal and friendly service throughout the course of it all.

I had a Cod Fillet (SGD$32.00) - pan seared and luscious, served with sautéed spinach and potatoes, and topped with sun-dried tomatoes, thyme and wine sauce. I loved how the crackling skin parted easily under knifepoint to reveal snowy flesh that melted deliciously in the mouth, heightened by the sauce it was infused with.

The Cozze (SGD$24.00) - mussels cooked in white wine sauce had a class of its own, springy mussels bathing in a delicious white wine broth. Choice of tomato broth is available in lieu of white wine sauce. Toasted garlic bread was served with this dish.

The Tagliere di Affettati (SGD$24.00) consisted of a platter of parma ham, honey-baked ham, mortadella and chorizo, served with toasted baguette slices, rocket salad and olives. The thin slices of cured meat were tender and tasty, making for the perfect appetiser.

Next, the Nizzarda Salad (SGD$19.00) was made up of mesclun, fresh tuna loin, quail eggs, green beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and anchovies topped with sherry dressing. I loved this refreshing starter because it contained most of my favorite foodstuff all in one!

The Calamari (SGD$15.00) were crispy and served with a spicy tomato dip. We liked it so much there were additional orders of this anti-pasti.

Following that, we had the Supplì  (SGD$15.00) - an Italian snack that was primarily fried risotto balls stuffed with beef ragu and mozarella cheese. These crispy balls stuffed with chewy rice were quickly snapped up as well.

The Fritto Misto (SGD$16.00) was made upo of fried dory fish fillets served with tartare dip and greens. I did not get to try this one unfortunately - so it must have been good and snapped up fast by ravenous colleagues :)

Next, an assortment of Pizzas and Pizza Platters - my most memorable favorites were the Al Granchio (SGD$20.00) made up of crabmeat and other mixed seafood; as well as the Quattro Formaggi (SGD$18.00), essentially the 4-cheese pizza made up of scamorza, gorgonzola, parmesan and mozarella.

Desserts came next. Carrot Cake (SGD$8.00) was moistened, with cinnamon and walnuts, topped with frosting.  The cake was dense but not hard, sweet but not cloying; a rather good slice of carrot cake.

The latter two desserts were unnamed; they might be festive specials - the first one was like a lemon cake topped with a layer of zesty foam; the latter was like rich chocolate cookies studded with nuts.  Both were enjoyable in their own way.

Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Ricciotti Singapore's - with the very warm touch of the crew and hearty good food.

Boxing Day Dinner at Muthu's Curry Restaurant @ Race Course Road

138 Race Course Road #01-01 Singapore 218591
Tel: 6392 1722

Started in 1969 as a small business selling home-cooked curry by Mr. Ayyakkannu, Muthu's Curry has since spanned Singapore with many outlets, and is one of the most well-known curry houses here. Culinary standards and quick service is ensured and maintainted throughout traditions as they continue to serve up contemporary and conventional Indian cuisine.

The interior of this restaurant is simple yet cosy, with Zen decor beautified by stained glass panes. Service was quick and friendly, injected with a little tinge of humour. We were here on Boxing Day, primarily for their Tandoori Turkey, but of course we also took the opportunity to try other items on the menu too.

We started with their Pappadum Chips to munch on and beverages of Kingfish Beer and Mango Lassi (SGD$7.00). Some of us had the Strawberry Lassi (SGD$6.00) and Lime Juice (SGD$1.00). Iced water was served as well.

They placed on our plates a couple of side dishes to go with our rice - Aubergine Goa (pickled brinjal) and Bandh Gobhi Achar (picked cabbage), flavourful and appetite-whetting sides.

For food, we began with an assortment of different-flavoured Naan (SGD$3.00 - SGD$5.00) - hot breads to be paired with the dishes and gravy.  There were also White Rice (SGD$3.00 per guest) and Briyani Rice (SGD$4.00 per guest) for the same purpose - we were disappointed that they used jasmine white rice instead of basmati rice for the White Rice.

The Butter Chicken (SGD$12.00) was lovely - tender chicken in a creamy butter sauce. The Chicken Vindaloo (SGD$11.00) was made up of boneless chicken cooked together with potato - another dish made up of succulent chicken and soft chunks in a tasty gravy.

Next, Tandoori Turkey (SGD$98.80 for a whole stuffed turkey / SGD$90.80 for whole plain turkey); we ordered just a portion of it. The turkey was moistened and tender, unlike any other turkey we have tasted; and roasted delicious tandoori style - with yogurt and spices.

The Chicken-65 (SGD$12.00), better known as Tandoori Chicken- was marinated with yogurt and Indian spices and deep-fried until a crispy golden-brown. It was delicious with smokey hints and the meat was rather tender.

We all liked the Lamb Rack Annas as well - the lamb chops version, served with grilled pineapple discs. The lamb chop was soft, tender and delicious with smokey hints; obliterating the very faint gamey taste of this dish. The sweet pineapple discs were a lovely touch to this heavier meat dish.

Then we had the signature Fish Head Curry (SGD$22.00 for small / SGD$27.00 for medium / SGD$32.00 for large), a South Indian dish proclaimed to be pioneered by Muthu's Curry. The curry was thick, spicy and tantalising - perfect to be eaten as a soup or doused over naan or rice. The fish head was huge; its flesh was utterly tender and smooth, bursting with freshness.

The Bindi Fry aka Crispy Lady's Fingers (SGD$9.00) - stir-fried with onion rings and dried chilli. It was delicious and addictive, crackling in texture and unstoppable to munch on. Eat it while hot though, for it would turn soggy towards the end.

For desserts, we started with Mango Kukfi (SGD$5.50) - homemade mango ice-cream served with whipped cream and a single maraschino cherry. The ice-cream had a gently crunchy texture, like biting into crushed ice, and luscious with mango's aroma.

Next, Pistachio Kulfi (SGD$5.50) - ice-cream prepared with a generous serving of pistachios, served with whipped cream and a single maraschino cherry. This was another nectarous creation, redolent with pistachio's nutty flavour.

Finally, the Gulaab Jaamun (SGD$5.50) - milk dumplings fried and served in a rose-flavoured sugar syrup. Another very saccharine concoction with soft fried milk balls, creamy and delicious, infused in sweet syrup. It was the perfect dessert after a heavier, spicier dinner.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Dinner at Muchos Mexican Restaurant @ Plaza Singapura

68 Orchard Road #01-34C, Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839
Tel:  6338 6001

Muchos Mexican Restaurant is a casual Mexican joint serving up scrumptious and authentic Mexican food, armed with effecient service crew. I was meeting *Amelia and *Janice here for our annual Christmas gathering.

We started with drinks - Tiger Beers (SGD$10.00) and Mojitos (SGD$15.00) while we decided on what to eat. It was *Amelia's first time trying Mexican food, so we would like to have an assortment of different items for her to try.

To start, we had a Fajitas Trio (SGD$29.90), comprising of sheets of soft tortilla wraps, cabbage on the sides, and a sizzling hotplate of beef, chicken and prawns tossed in with onions, capsicum / bell peppers. The grilled meat were delicious and tender, even suitably moistened. Wrapped together as one, with choices of 3 dips, this was a delicious, well-balanced meal.

Next, Muchos Platter (SGD$28.90), comprising skewered prawns, calamari, potato wedges, chicken wings, corn chips (nachos) with salsa roja and chicken tacos. This was another delicious platter of crispy fried seafood and potato wedges and crackling tacos filled with minced chicken and cheese. The chicken wings were a tad dry though.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Lunch at OverEasy @ Orchard

541 Orchard Road #01-01 Liat Tower, Singapore 238881
Tel: 6684 1453

OverEasy is an all-American diner serving good-portioned American dishes for mains and lots of sides to go with your drinks. Having enjoyed the chilling out experience at OverEasy @ Fullerton (review here) several times before, I was vaguely interested when I noticed they now have an outlet in Liat Towers, Orchard, taking over the familiar spot Wendy's (burger joint) used to occupy.

It wasnt on my priority list of "places to visit" initially, since they don't have the views their Fullerton branch have to offer. Then *Jalpeth started raving about their Spicy Buffalo Wings and Beer Can Chicken, and it piqued my interest enormously. Hence, I decided to head down with *Celine today, as our Christmas meetup brunch.

The interior was spacious, complete with checkered tiles, a bar counter, booth seats and a couple of game consoles that was all the rage during my teenage years. Service was professional and polite enough, but if you are looking for that friendly all-American element, save yourself the disappointment.

We started with drinks while waiting for our food. I had a Corona Beer (SGD$14.00) with a wedge of lime, and *Celine had a Chocolate Milkshake (SGD$9.00), a smart move since we were at an American diner, right.

For starters, we shared a Crispy Brussel Sprouts (SGD$12.00) - brussel sprouts deep-fried till a dark brown and crackling in texture. We thought it was a little charred, hence the bitterness (I loved charred for meat but not veg), but there's a massive improvision if you dip them into the hot sauce served on the side. Nonetheless, it was addictive to pop these crispy greens into the mouth.

The highlight was our mains - the Beer Can Chicken (SGD$58.00) , an item that is off-the-menu, and has to be pre-ordered preferably, since preparation time it around 40 minutes. It was a whole spring chicken grilled on top of an open beer can so that the steam from the beer flavours the chicken. This odd way of preparing the chicken also makes the chicken succulent, juicy and flavourful.

The helpful service crew got the kitchen to help us cut the chicken up into smaller pieces so that it was easier for us to partake. The skin was crispy; the flesh was tender and soft, infused tastefully of the sweet Budweiser's essence. There was still about half a can of beer left, so we doused more over the chicken for more flavour. Both of us managed to finish about 80% of the chicken, which was an achivement. It would be more ideal if more people share this dish, so that you can order more dishes to try too.

I am glad I finally got to try this - that's one item off my list. I would like to come back to try the Spicy Buffalo Wings and maybe one of the spiked (bourbon?) bacon milkshakes.