Redpan – Local Flavours with Many Surprises

Redpan, a collaboration between DP architect and Grub (yes, the bishan park Grub) brings us their collaboration at Marina Square. A concept of design x food, the place is certainly tasteful with beautiful interior and furnishing and a full turnout with many reservations on a Wednesday night speaks volume about this promising place

Located at the new wing, you have to walk in to find the hidden restaurant

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Lavender Earl Grey $5

Infused with the beautiful Earl Grey, you can taste the fragrance of the black tea with a touch of sweetness

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Gula Melaka Lemongrass $5

Char Siew Chilli Fries $7

Fries with housemade char siew ragout, sour cream and jalapeño sauce

I thought the fries were a little overcooked and the char siew ragout disappointing. The flavours don’t really stand out, though it somewhat get kind of addictive

Truffle Floss Fries $8

Fries with truffle aioli, chives & chicken floss

The fries topped with chicken floss were better, possibly cos you can taste the truffle which was evenly distributed with the crunchy and sweet floss

Spicy Fried Chicken Wings $8

The wings with their house special chilli sauce was spicy and provided much kick for those who love spicy food, and the wings well fried and crispy

‘Lup Cheong’ Macaroni & Cheese $14

A well excuted dish with the spotlight on the lup cheong, tasty and delicious, ending with a sweet and salty aftertaste

Prawn & ‘Hae Bi Hiam’ Pasta $16

The tagliatelle was well cooked in a creamy sauce mixed with the spicy hae bi hiang

Hainanese Pork Cutlet $13

I like how well cooked and tender the pork cutlet was, dipped in sweet housemade gravy that gave a contrasting balance and the batter light and crisp

Steak & Chinchalok $22

The steak was probably the most disappointing dish, served lukewarm. The meat was rather chewy and even though I think the chinchalok sauce added some flavours, the combination didn’t provide fireworks

Ondeh ondeh $4

I really like their ondeh ondeh cake, with each bite soft, (not-too) sweet and crunchy. It’s the perfect rendition of ondeh ondeh, in a cake form

Banana Donuts ‘Milo Dinosaur’ $7

A slight banana taste, the donuts were well fried, rolled around in our all-time favourite milo crumb, drizzled in a sweet layer of condensed milk and topped with crunchy hazelnuts

Teh Halia Creme Brulee $7

I thought the taste of teh halia could be stronger, even though such balance would be perfect for those who won’t want their dessert to be outshone by the taste of ginger. The crust of the creme brulee was crackling and beautifully caramelized though I thought the custard was a little too watery

I think Redpan stands out for being innovative, while retaining flavours that we are all familiar with. Also, coupled with a convenient location and reasonable pricing, it gives another reason to visit this restaurant. I think it is difficult to find a place that is accessible, reasonably priced and serving decent food but Redpan might just hit all the above in one of the newest opening this year

Redpan

6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-03/04 Marina Square, S(039594)

Burp Kitchen & Bar – Bar Grub in Bedok Reservoir

The friend wanted to try their salted egg yolk chicken wings and so brought us to this place at Bedok Reservoir which was supposed to open at 11am. At 5 minutes to 11am, the place was pitch black. At 11am, the place was still silent black with no signs of humanity. ‘Huh? Isn’t it supposed to open at 11am? Or they are closed today?’ asked everyone. So we decided to call them to ask, only to be told they will be a little late. Okay, for a restaurant with no punctuality, that is so much of a first impression. I mean by practice, shouldn’t staffs go earlier to prepare the shop for opening, or at the very least from my experience, that was what I did

First in the house!

Wasabi Tofu Fries $8

The tofu sticks were pretty decent, but I think the mayo was a little too overpowering and overwhelming

Salted Egg Wings $14

A dish that looks so much better than it tastes. The salted egg lack the fragrance and saltiness and the wings were slightly undercooked

Grown-up Mac & Cheese $12

The friend wanted to feed the kid, only to end up with an over cheesy and heavy flavoured mac and cheese, which the kid could not eat

Blueberry Pancakes $8

Oh, macdonalds does it so much better. That’s the remark made by everyone, which was really kinda sad. I think the pancakes lack the fluffiness and were slightly under-seasoned

The Weekender $16

This dish was full of salt. The mushrooms tasted sour (and salty), the pork sausage was really salty, and the rosti though well-cooked and crisp was really salty too. I think the only dish that fared well on its own was the egg

Smoked Salmon Bagel-to-Croissant $13

It was supposed to be smoked salmon bagel but the waitress informed us they had stopped ordering bagels. Hmm, okay, maybe you would like to change your menu? The croissant was limp and unimpressive, and the smoked salmon was taking too much limelight on its own

Mushroom Melt $10

The mushroom melt was decent, but the toast was a little too overdone and burnt. And the side of tomato soup tasted like campbell!

The Man-wich $14

Which took a freaking one hour to come. And on top of that, they had forgotten this order. Slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork which was a little too heavy on the flavours. The toast was less charred, but still overly crispy and dry

It was a disappointing visit from start to finish and thus we never even bothered with desserts. Food was over-seasoned and over-executed, and the drinks were unimpressive as well. I appreciate that the staffs wanted feedback from us, but we deflected with questions on our own because we were quite frustrated already. So eventually I told him, the food is average. And with my back turned, the friend was like, huh?! average! the food was very bad please! So well, I wish them all the very best, in this already saturated cafe industry

Burp Kitchen & Bar

#01-3165, Blk 740 Bedok Reservoir Road, S(470740)

Odette – A Gastronomical Experience by Chef Julien Royer

Odette is probably one of the highly desired restaurants to visit for many ever since its opening last year. The reservation list is on average a month in advance, so I was excited to visit when the colleague invited me to join her for lunch. The restaurant is located at the Supreme Court wing, so it is nearer if you are coming from the Arts House. Tucked in the corner, the staffs welcomed you with a friendly smile even before you reached the doors, and what could happen next in the next 2 hours was just an anticipation of surprise

The setting is classy and elegant with only 12 coveted tables in the restaurant. Lunch was a quiet affair for many, with mostly small groups enjoying their own company

Being seated near the kitchen, it brought that sense of excitement where you get to witness the action that is going on. We even spotted one of the staffs being scolded (oops). But what left us impressed was how everything is so organized amidst the lunch time madness, which brought the experience seating the near kitchen very welcoming

Canapés, compliments from Chef Julien

(From left to right) These small-size snacks were a great way to start. The lightly flavoured cracker with tomato and quail egg was enough to whet your appetite, the bag of eggplant mixed with olive oil left us the most impressed with its explosion of flavours, the cheesecake with candied walnut don’t quite fit my palette and the granola oats with mustard seeds ended the collection with a sweet yet acidic aftertaste

Amuse Bouche

Unfortunately they took the board away before I could take a photo of it, so I tried to present the best I can. Ha

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A simple dish of ceps sabayon mushroom tea with an impactful taste. The eggy and creaminess kicks off your tastebud with crunchy bits of portobello mushrooms, ending with a broth that is light, sweet and flavourful

And pairing the tea is a small piece of mushroom brioche that is buttery, fragrant and crisp to bite

Bread Platter

A very generous portion of bread for enjoyment, with sourdough rye and thyme brioche to choose from, paired with Odette’s version of non-salted butter and lard

First Course; Hand-dived Scottish Scallop with Oyster leaves, Jalapeño and Ikura

You can taste the burst of ikura in the sea of scallops with the saltiness circulating your mouth, though it gets really salty at some point

First Course; North Highlands Beef Tartare with Smoked Bone Marrow, Pickled Kohlrabi and Grain Mustard Icecream

This plate was an enjoyment, partly cos I like how they separate the portion of beef tartare so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the rawness and with the balance of pickled kohlrabi to give that crunch. But I think the element that surprised me was the addition of grain mustard icecream, to clean off the whole dish with an icy punch

Second Course; Duo of Asparagus with Iberico de Bellota, Morels and Mousseline Sabayon (+$15)

Never thought a dish of asparagus can be so good. Both asparagus were cooked perfectly but we all agreed the iberico stole the limelight with the flavour and texture

Second Course; Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg with Smoked Potato, Chorizo and Buckwheat

According to the waitress, this is the most attention-seeking dish in the restaurant. And cos we were seated near the kitchen, we witnessed plates of smoked egg coming out dozed with a lingering rosemary smell that filled the pathway

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I don’t eat poached eggs, but I felt like I have to give this a try, and it was delicious. The creaminess and solid texture of the yolk with the smoothness of the white, mixed with a combination of potato and chorizo was an explosion of flavour

Did I mention we were full at this point already? Ha

Third Course; Kabocha Pumpkin Agnolotti with Pine nuts, Black trumpets and Gaperon Cheese

Honestly, this dish on first thought? It seemed a little too healthy. The pumpkin didn’t taste like pumpkin, and had a clean sweet taste to match tartness of the cheese

Third Course; Line Caught John Dory with Charred Kurobuta Pork Belly, Domaine Saint Vincent Asparagus and Vin Jaune

I thought this was the best out of the main courses. Both the fish and pork was well executed and carried good flavours by complementing each other. There was nothing to fault on this dish

Third Course; Pays de La Loire ‘Guinea Fowl’ with Black Truffle Coulis, Foie Gras Coulant and Albufera Sauce (+$15)

Not a dish you see often, with the choice of lean white meat being used. The meat was disappointing at some point cos it was overcooked and a little bland without the sauce. But the smaller piece (hidden) tasted much better with the meat really moist and skin crisp to perfection. What I enjoyed most was the foie gras coulant which gave a burst of surprise with the juice popping in your mouth and exterior nicely done

Palate Cleanser

I was surprised when Chef Julien came and served us personally. It was like a ‘OMG, the chef is here’ moment. Coming back to the dish, the palate cleanser might not look anything special but the combination of lime, cucumber crunch, basil and lemon sorbet was nothing short of amazing. It was so good we wished they just had this as dessert

Fourth Course; Tout Citrus with Iranian Saffron, Almond and Coriander

Something different for those who aren’t fans of sweets. It’s tarty and citrusy and is a good alternative if you want something acidic to end your meal with

Fourth Course; Choconuts

And if you prefer chocolate like me, the 66% Mexico chocolate with peanut & almond praline and tonka bean icecream would fit your palate well. I like how balanced this dish is without being too sweet and the unique texture of the tonka bean icecream was just a delight to scoop into

I know it’s just coffee but the latte was so strong it’s best to go with the petite four

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Petite Four; Torched Marshmallows with White Chocolate, Sticky Date Pudding, Pistachio Tart & Caramels (Right to left)

We actually forgotten about our petite four and wanted to leave after having the coffee cos we were so full already. But after one bite of the marshmallow, we decided to finish the entire plate. If I have to choose a favourite, the sticky date pudding would have won my vote with its good texture and flavour

Even though we went with the four-course lunch ($88), it felt like we were treated with much more food that left us really full and satisfied. I cannot imagine if we have taken the six ($128) or eight course, I would probably have difficulty finishing them. My experience at Odette left me pretty impressed with its outstanding service staffs that were professional and looked like they really love their job. I appreciate it when chefs took a moment out of the kitchen to give that personal touch, even for something small because they value their customers as much as their food. Without a doubt, the quality of food here speaks volume about the techniques, finesse and flavours of French cuisine even though not all were exceptional. With the Michelin guide round the corner, I have heard many expressing their hopes for Odette to be on the panel but whether or not they eventually were awarded with the prestige, this place had already won my heart and stomach

Odette

1 St Andrew’s Rd, National Gallery

#01-04, S(178957)

Mad About Sucre – Spring Collection 2016

I know I’m a little late to be talking about Spring now, given Summer is just right round the corner, but well, better late than never right? I finally found time to revisit Mad About Sucre to try their spring cakes this season and was treated to 4 new ones

A Compter du Printemps $11.80

Story behind this was the first sign of spring is usually the appearance of strawberry buds and hence the use of strawberry cream and raspberries to recreate the inspiration. You can taste the chill of the cake with light lemon mousse, Turkish cream topped on almond sponge cake with almond crisp which gels all the elements perfectly

Pairing with white French peony with Cambodian lemongrass

Saveurs de Printemps $11.80

I love how smooth the French earl grey apricot mousse is, smoothed with rose petals to round out the edges of the the Earl grey. Using savoire sponge as the base, you can find the element of blood orange & grapefruit insert when you slice the cake through

A very delightful piece with the right notes of earl grey, and a different taste when you eat it with the chocolate chantily cream

La Normande $13.80

Inspiration came from North Western France where they are famous for Granny Smith apples. This dessert comprises of caramelised normandy, almond cream, chantilly cream, tahiti vanilla cream on a short pastry. The apples were sweet, sour and tarty which goes well with the buttery pastry

Cambodian honeycomb with mangosteen, an absolute favourite of mine. It was a light white tea with an impactful mangosteen sweetness

Piece Montee $13.80

Translated as mounted pieces where such desserts were meant for royals in the past, but has since progressed to be used at French weddings and baptism. Made using french choux pastry, it reminded me of cream puff, but a smaller version decorated with French caramel. The bottom layer is filled with mascarpone vanilla cream while the top is puffed with Japanese matcha cream, separated by almond sable. It’s sweet, and might be too sweet for some, but it’s a beautiful piece of art and recommended to be shared

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Dutch rose with lychee, another tea that goes very well with the cakes. You can sense the fragrance and the sweetness without being overwhelmed by the cakes

For you with a sweet tooth, if any of these cakes interest you, do head down to try their Spring collection before the end of the month. I heard their Summer cakes are gonna be released soon. I really like the first two cakes for the smoothness and flavours though the last two were different in terms of structure. I’m excited to see what new cakes they will be having soon

Mad About Sucre

27 Teo Hong Road, S(088334)

Cafe Pal – Dreaming of That Coconut Cake

Cafe Pal situated along Middle road is a cafe I had patronised many times before (but never got down to reviewing it). They used to have a different name but the food and drinks still remain since the owner who owns Cafe Pal also owns Yhingthai Palace so the food at Pal comes from there

Only the first floor is opened to public for dining so it could fit a sizeable crowd

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Lychee Tea $12

I used to love their lychee tea but somehow I felt the taste wasn’t right this time I went. It felt rather bland with not much lychee taste

Thai Style Otah $8

Rather cute they presented their otah in an escargot plate. I thought the otah wasn’t special. The texture felt more like fish cake though there was a little kick from the spices

Fried Wings $8

The wings were disappointing. I had expected the flavours to be more punchy and packed with spices but somehow they were rather ordinary

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Tom Yum Noodles $9

It wasn’t spicy. It felt more like a comforting bowl of noodle soup, served with hard wanton

Phad See-Eu Fried Rice with Pork $12

I thought the rice fared a little better with the fragrance though it was a little on the salty side

Pal’s Coconut Cake $5

But I guess what saved all was this slice of coconut cake. It was so delicious with the fragrance and sweetness of coconut I was tempted to have another slice

Not too sure if it was a meal gone wrong or I just happened to go on a wrong day. But Cafe Pal is one place to consider if you need somewhere quiet to have a good long chat with your friends with some food and drinks options. I would still go back for that slice of wonderful coconut cake and if I need some peace and quietness

Cafe Pal 

43 Middle Road #01-00, S(188952)

Merchants – Just A Wine Place in Duxton

In celebration for a friend’s birthday, we decided to hold it at Merchants Wine Cellar so that we can have a bottle or two to celebrate. And the friend mentioned they have pretty reasonable, decent wine and food pairings. So I dropped by the restaurant in the afternoon to deposit the birthday cake only to be informed there is a cakeage charge of $2 per person if we want to consume there. I thought he was joking, but he was totally serious about it so okay, to save the trouble to consuming the cake elsewhere plus it’s a celebratory event, I accepted their proposition

The place was pretty big, and not too crowded which makes it a nice place to drink and hold conversations which you can still hear each other

And a huge selection of wines to choose from, which is mainly sourced from Australia and New Zealand

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Crunchy Fries $8

Fries with the inside just a little bit too mushy

Crunchy Chicken Wings $10

I like their wings, with the skin crispy and crunchy

Nacho Meatballs with Corn Chip $18

The meatballs were a little tough and too chewy for my liking, though the chips go pretty well with the sauce

Underwriter’s Pizza $18

Which is basically salami topping. I would have preferred the thin crusts a little more crispy

Ham & Pineapple $18

The salami pizza was better

Chilean Mussels Steamed with White Wine $18

Unfortunately, the toasts were better than the mussels. I thought the meat was rather bland

Grilled Rib Eye Steak and Crispy Potatoes $29

Ordered medium-rare, came back medium. The steak was under marinated and just failed to shine

And a picture of the rose cos well, it’s a wine place right?

Wine-wise, credits would probably go to the producer of the wines and us, who select the wines from the list so yes, the wines were pretty good. Food-wise, it is really not the best. But what I cannot agree is the application of cakeage here. I have heard of cakeage charges, but cos these are not uncommon overseas in celebrity chefs’ restaurants for fear of diners hogging the tables and also an insult to pastry chefs. So looking at this place, they are neither which is why even though I am trying to stay as objective writing this, I cannot come to an agreement with myself. And if the reason is cos we are hogging the chiller, well, I had requested the cake to be placed in the freezer. Honestly, at the best as I can trying to find a positive trait here, the only thing would be the servers that served our table were pretty friendly and the service was good. So, you can probably guess if I am going back there..

Merchants Wine Cellar

52-53 Duxton Road, 089516

Ginza Sushi Ichi – Refined, Elegant Sushi at Marriott

As many would have heard, Ginza Sushi Ichi has moved its home from Scotts square to Marriott hotel next door, occupying a space at the back, with a door so inconspicuous I was confused how to enter the restaurant. The place wasn’t crowded and the silence was enough to intimidate me even though the environment was refined and elegant. The friend and I took on the Tokusen Nigiri set, priced at $150 per pax, featuring an appetiser, 10 pieces  of nigiri sushi, miso soup and dessert.

A simple flower decoration nestled in a chopstick holder, with flowers all imported from Japan

Japanese Firefly Squid

Tai (Snapper)

The colour of the snapper is so beautiful, enough for my heart to skip a beat

Smoked Spanish Mackerel

This was really awesome, with the texture and flavour so refined

Aji (Horse Mackerel)

A nice thin layer of oil, fatty and subtle taste of mackerel fishiness

Maguro (Marinated Tuna)

A plump and soft texture with enough sweetness

Chutoro

The colours were enough to blow me away. The beautiful gradient and the melt-in-your-mouth kind of medium fatty tuna was awesome

Sayori (Needle Fish)

Tiger Prawn

Firm crunchy prawn texture filled with abundance of sweetness

Kohada (Gizzard Shard)

Tamago

Smooth and sweet tamago that tasted more like pudding than egg itself

Miso Soup

Uni and Salmon Roe with Rice

A wonderful combination of sweet uni and salmon roe with each bite exploding in your mouth

Sea Eel

I really like their take on anago, with the sea eel so soft and moist that I enjoyed every bite of it

Negri toro and kanpyo maki

My birthday dessert:)

Brown sugar icecream, soya pudding and milk with salt monaka

It was a pleasant dining experience at Ginza Sushi Ichi. I thought their rice, the marinate and the warmth was there and the seafood pretty decent. Like what the friend said, if you are looking for a decent sushi place with reasonable pricing, Ginza Sushi Ichi is worth the consideration

Thanks for the treat, D!:)

Ginza Sushi Ichi

Marriott Singapore 

320 Orchard Road, S(238865)