Sunday, December 10, 2017

Seafood from the Heart: The Kitchen Table's Dinner Buffet Review (W Hotel Sentosa)

👍 Wide range of seafood and seafood-themed dishes and cuisines. Food's generally pretty good!
👎 Location's inconvenient with no wheels. A little pricey at s$88++ per person.

The Kitchen Table is W Hotel Singapore's buffet / all purpose restaurant, serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch (on weekends). On Friday - Sunday nights their dinner goes ocean-themed with their "Seafood from the Heart" buffet spread. It's a pretty expensive dinner, so without further ado let's see if the food justifies the s$103.58 per person (after service charge and taxes) price tag!

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore

The cold seafood station is small, but makes up for it with a solid variety of alaskan king crab, prawns, mussels, lobster, crab claws, and langoustine / scampi. The Friday night dining crowd is sparse, which means that there's plenty of each to go around.

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore Cold Seafood

The neighbouring sushi station does quadruple duty with oysters, a whole poached salmon, and ceviche mixed up a la minute as well. The sushi is pretty crappy, and the salmon's a little plain, but the ceviche's mixed up to order so you can tell the chef to adjust the condiments to your tastes.

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore Salmon and Sushi

Salad and cold cuts are pretty par for the course for hotel restaurant buffets, with a decent variety of smoked fish, ham, salmon gravadlax, air-dried beef, etc.

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore Salad and Cold Cuts

The indian station was one of the better ones, in our opinions, serving up tandoori lobsters and a whole tandoori red snapper in addition to the normal spread of briyanis, dhalls, curries and assorted breads. The snapper, being a large fish, has somewhat firm, but delicious-tasting flesh. We also really enjoyed the tandoori lobsters, flavoured and cooked to perfection!

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore Tandoori Snapper

The hot food line has decent, if not mind-blowing, variety, with around a dozen or so different dishes including a whole salmon, black pepper dungeness crab, baked lobsters with cheese and sambal stingray. The overall taste of the dishes were pretty good, but quality suffers from the fact that the dining room is less then half full: People aren't eating the food quickly enough, so it gets left out for a long time. Long enough, in fact, for some dishes to actually cool down to almost room temperature!

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore Whole Salmon

No such problem with the baked lobsters with cheese sauce, of course: It's one of the few dishes that gets snapped up pretty quickly after each replenish.

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore Lobster with Cheese

There's also a noodles & dim-sum station. We tried both: The laksa which pretty damn good; but the dim sum was over-steamed and limp and soggy.

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore Noodles

The final desserts station has a chocolate fountain, and individual-sized portions of assorted cakes, desserts, macarons, cookies and a surprisingly wide variety of nyonya kuih. We quite like that even the cakes are individually-portioned, so you don't get the aesthetic problems of serving a full sized cake (and then having the guests really mess it up).

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore Desserts

Overall, we really liked the abundance of seafood available throughout the whole buffet line, and also some of the novel (to us, anyway) flavours like the tandoori lobster. What we didn't really like was some of the hot dishes being left out on the line for way too long. We also thought that while the food was generally "not bad," there weren't really any standout "oh so delicious" dishes. To us, we think it's a little much to ask a diner to drive (or UberGrab) all the way out to Sentosa Cove, and pay a hundred bucks for this dinner, when there are countless other hotel buffets in Singapore that are better, cheaper, more convenient, or all three.

Seafood Dinner buffet Kitchen Table W Hotel Singapore

The Kitchen Table is at W Hotel Sentosa Cove. For reservations, call up +65 6808 7268 or email thekitchentable.singapore@whotels.com. Non-halal.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The best "Classical NY Steakhouse" experience at Wolfgang's Steakhouse Singapore.

👍 Steak is amazing; "Classic NY steakhouse" experience without flying to the US.
👎 Upmarket ambience also means upmarket price; Side dishes are just par for the course.

Any steak lover worth his (or her) salt knows of Peter Luger Steakhouse: The iconic, legendary, New York steakhouse that opened more than 130 years ago. The story goes that after working there for 40 years, one of Peter Luger's head waiters - Wolfgang Zwiener - decided not to retire, but to instead open his own restaurant as a blatant copy of as an homage to his old employer's place.

What this means is that you get pretty much the same dry aged, USDA Prime porterhouse, blasted under a 400+°C broiler twice (the second time sliced, with melted butter), before being served sizzling at the table. You also get most of the iconic appetizers and sides - for example thick cut bacon, creamed spinach, and onion rings.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Menu

"With more than 4 decades of experience (at Peter Luger), Wolfgang Zwiener didn't duplicate an exceptional steakhouse, he improved on it to make Wolfgang's Steakhouse exceptional." (Wolfgang Steakhouse's Website)

The improvements to the original are a more upmarket positioning (thick, luxurious white tablecloths and far more comfortable chairs), slightly expanded menu offerings, and a greatly expanded wine and spirits list. Oh, and a free baguette and mini onion loaf.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Baguette Bread

We were really tempted to go for the thick cut sizzling bacon (s$12 per slice), but decided to save stomach room for the steak by ordering two lobster bisques (s$22 each) instead. The bisque/broth is extremely flavourful, with strong lobster flavours and just the right touch of salt.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Lobster Bisque

After we're done with the soups, we didn't have to wait too long before the sound (and aroma) of sizzling butter heralded the arrival of our Porterhouse for Two (s$185) - Medium Rare. As is the case with good meat, no sauces or fancy seasonings needed: just salt and some clarified butter.

Oh, and having a steak served on a (really) hot plate is pretty awesome because the meat takes a while to cool down (even in the cold, air conditioned dining room)

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Porterhouse for Two

The porterhouse, of course, is two steaks in one: An NY Strip (Striploin) and a smaller Filet (Filet Mignon / Tenderloin). In theory the NY Strip side is a little chewier and stringier (but with better flavour), whereas the tenderloin is tender but can lack flavour. No such flavour issues here, though - the dry aging process ensures that the tenderloin has plenty strong beefy notes while still maintaining an unbelievably tender texture.

Needless to say, the crust on the steak is terrific, and the meat's cut thick enough to still have a wonderful, juicy, pink, delicious centre. Sure, other cooking methods such as sous vide can get visually superior ("pink from edge to edge") results, but in my opinion, dry cooking methods still taste best. The only thing missing, perhaps, was a hint of smoke from a wood fire, which is of course unobtainable from gas flame or electric broilers.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Porterhouse for Two

For our sides - the Creamed Spinach (s$15) was pretty nice, especially since there isn't an overload of cream like how some other places do it. The lobster mac n' cheese (s$25), however, was a little underwhelming and not particularly worth the (carbohydrate) calories.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Mac and Cheese and Creamed Spinach

Overall, we really enjoyed our dinner, even if the price is quite a bit more upmarket than the original Peter Luger in New York. Do note that Wolfgang only stocks and serves one kind of meat (USDA Prime), so if you're looking to do a comparative tasting between Australian Grain Fed steers vs Japanese Wagyu vs English Grass Fed cows, you'd be better off in one of the more "modern" steakhouses like Cut or Sear @ 50RP.

Wolfgang Steakhouse is on the 2nd floor of Intercontinental Hotel, Robertson Quay. Reservations recommended; Non-halal.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Irish Stew Recipe

For this dish to be Irish, beer must be added to the stew. Another successful stew experimental dish which have immediate approval.


Ingredients
1 sliced Brown Onion
1kg Lamb Cubes (Beef)
900ml Stock (Chicken/Beef/Vegetable)
400ml Beer (We tried Guinness)
250ml Filtered water
0.5 teaspoon of Thyme Leaves
3 Bay Leaves
500g Carrots
500g Potatoes
1 teaspoons of ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons of Flour (mixed with some Filtered Water)

Garnish with chopped Coriander and Parsley

Step 1: Heat pan and sauté Brown Onions until caramelized.
Step 2: Add in the Lamb Cubes sauté until slightly brown then pour in the Beef Stock, Beer, Filtered Water, Thyme leaves, Bay leaves and bring it to a boil. Reduce to low heat, and let it simmer gently for 10mins. Skim off all the impurities from the surface.
Step 3: Add in Potatoes, Carrots, ground Black Pepper and further simmer for another 30mins.
Step 4: Lastly, add flour and simmer for 10mins to thicken the stew.
Setp 5: Garnish and serve with Rice or Bread.

Give this recipe a try and hope you like it too.

Notes:
- Fish Stock & White Wine ratio can be adjusted to your liking.

Click here for our blog page Cooking Recipes - Western Cuisine for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Sunday, October 22, 2017

High Tea at Brasserie Les Saveurs, St Regis Singapore.

👍 Amazing ambience, nice selection of teas, buffet spread to fill up large tummies.
👎 A little pricey for smaller appetites; local flavour scones were interesting but a bit dry.

Brasserie Les Saveurs is the French, all-day-dining restaurant of the St Regis Singapore. Between lunch and dinner services the restaurant pushes out Afternoon Tea: Your choice of TWG teas (including a blend specifically created for the St Regis chain), scones, sandwiches and pastries served on a three-tiered silver stand, waffles and crepes prepared a la minute, and a mini buffet spread to fill up any stomach space you have left.

Thanks to a wide range of credit card / dining card discounts available, per-pax nett prices are s$48 (weekdays) or s$52 (weekends). Let's find out if the experience is worth the money!

Brasserie Les Saveurs St Regis High Tea

Brasserie Les Savuers' ambience is, of course, amazing. It's classy, it's comfortable, the air conditioning is great, and the live pianist almost never takes a break. Chairs are comfy, too, making the dining room a perfect place to catch up and chit chat for two hours over scones and coffee.

Brasserie Les Saveurs St Regis High Tea

The buffet spread itself, isn't really all that great. There's a half-dozen (or so) cold items like Alaskan crab salad and an assortment of cold cuts, and an assortment of different bread. There's also a waffle and crepe station (not pictured).

Brasserie Les Saveurs St Regis High Tea

Over on the desserts section, a chocolate fountain takes center stage, accompanied by a few cakes and pastries, some fruits, and 4 ice cream flavours.

Brasserie Les Saveurs St Regis High Tea

Finally - there's a small cheese cart with some common cheeses (and their accompaniments).

Brasserie Les Saveurs St Regis High Tea

Overall, the buffet spread won't win any "best buffet" awards, but the focus really is on the afternoon tea spread. We really dig the shiny silver three-tiered stand (and teapot). Starting from the bottom, the sandwiches were okay, the scones were a bit dry (and we didn't really appreciate the pandan and salted egg ones), but the desserts were pretty good.

Speaking of that silver teapot, there's a wide range of TWG teas, but they're not free flow: You only pick one tea, and the waiters come round with refills of hot water.

Brasserie Les Saveurs St Regis High Tea

Our final verdict, then? Considering the buffet spread, waffles & crepes station, and cheese cart, the pricing actually is pretty reasonable. For comparison, TWG's Parisian Tea Set is s$40 nett without any of these 'extras,' and in our opinion is far less attractive place to eat.

Taste-wise the food isn't the greatest, but in our opinions the ambience more than makes up for it; and this might be our default afternoon tea spot for now whenever we're in the mood to splurge a little!