Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Equinox at Swissôtel The Stamford: A romantic restaurant with an amazing view!

Let's get this out of the way first: Equinox is probably the restaurant with the best view in all of Singapore (If you know of a food joint with a better view we'd love to hear it in the comments). The magnificent view makes it a pretty romantic place to dine at, although the dining room can be a little loud and boisterous.

The darling and I are more interested in how good the food is, though, so we place our orders and hope it lives up to the view!

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Night View

First up, a complimentary canapé. I think it's testament to just how crappy a food writer I am that I don't remember what ingredient was used to make the chip. Oops! I do recall that it had a miso paste and a block of yuzu jelly, and that it was pretty good though!

Bread-wise we get a so-so slice of (cold) sourdough toast and some unsalted butter.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Canapes

The first of our starters is out next: Burrata ($22) - Iberico Ham sitting on fresh cheese, with green peas, lemon, and rosemary bread crumbs. Burrata's got an amazing creamy texture, but can be a little bland, so we're pretty happy with the accompanying salt and fat from the ham.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Burrata

The Seared Foie Gras ($34) is a hefty portion of fattened goose liver, accompanied by roasted apricots, ginger marmalade, and toasted seed granola. As always, it's hard to get foie gras really wrong, so we're quite satisfied (although the liver could have perhaps benefited from a stronger sear).

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Foie Gras

On to the main courses, then, starting with a 300gm Ranger's Valley, Black Onyx, Grain Fed New York Strip Steak ($90, marble score 3), served with roasted bone marrow. The steak was fine: cooked to our requested medium-rare temperature, but without that crust that you get from dedicated steakhouses like Morton's. It was also a tad bit under-seasoned on its own, but that's probably because it's served with your choice of sauce (we went with the black truffle butter).

You also get a choice of side dish: We chose the mac & cheese, which was nice, cheesy and creamy.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore New York Strip Steak

Our second choice of main course was the Lamb Saddle ($70) with provencal terrine, green olives, spinach and tomato fondue, also requested medium rare. The lamb was juicy and tender and terrifically delicious with the gravy; sadly we weren't as mesmerized by the (in our opinion) too-strong tomato flavour in the vegetables.

Oh and one common minor criticism: The knives that we had were really due for some sharpening.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Lamb Saddle

Being quite stuffed we decided to share something tart after all that meat: The Blackberry Trifle ($22) which comes with mascarpone jelly, meringue, and elderflower ice cream. It was quite delicious and also rather pretty looking.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Blackberry Trifle

To finish - petit fours (caramel chocolates) which were really a tad bit too sweet.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Petit Fours

As Equinox doesn't serve free water (boo), we paid $5 each for warm, filtered water - bringing the total to $248++ for two. In our opinions the food and the view don't justify the price tag if you pay full price. However, you can get a pretty nice discount via via various promos (e.g. OCBC 25% off, Amex Platinum 50% off with 2 diners) which increases the value proposition by quite a bit.

Equinox Restaurant is on the 70th Floor of Swissôtel The Stamford. Reservations recommended; Non-halal. Oh, do note that the restaurant levies a s$20++ surcharge for securing a table by the window.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Braised Fish in White Wine Recipe

This dish is a balance of texture and taste. One of my successful experimental fish dish which have immediate approval and request to have it cooked again soon.

2 Fish Fillet (Red Grouper, Cod, etc)
300ml of Fish Stock
300ml White Wine / Cooking Sake
2 diced in cubes Water Chestnut
2 tablespoons of diced in cubes Yellow Onion
1 tablesppon of diced in cubes Ginger

Garnish with
2 tablespoons of Ikura
Chopped Coriander and Parsley
Drizzle some Olive Oil

Serve with
Grilled Asparagus

Step 1: Bring the Fish Stock to a simmer.
Step 2: Add in Fish Fillet skin side down and let it simmer for 5mins with the lid on.
Step 3: Turn the Fish and add in Onion, Water Chestnut and White Wine. Continue to let it simmer for another 5mins with the lid on.
Step 4: Lastly, when the Fish is cooked, transfer the fish to a serving plate. Pour the sauce over the fish. Arrange the Grilled Asparagus. Garnish it with Ikura, Coriander, Parsley. Drizzle some Olive Oil and serve immediately.

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

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

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

Samgye-tang (a.k.a. Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup) Recipe

1 whole Ginseng
0.5 cup of Korean Glutinous Rice
1 small whole Chicken
2 tablespoon Salt
4 small Red Dates
12 peeled whole Garlic cloves
2L Water
Pinch of Salt to taste
Scallion for garnishing

Step 1: Soak Korean Glutinous Rice for 1 to 2 hours. If you're using dried Ginseng, pre-soak for 1 to 2hours.
Step 2: To clean the Chicken, rub inside and skin with Salt then rinse to remove all the Salt. Trim off and discard excess Chicken fatty skin around the chicken neck and bottom for less oily soup.
Step 3: Bring the Water to a boil in a deep pan.
Step 4: Stuff the Chicken Cavity with Korean Glutinous Rice, Red Dates and Garlic. Optional, you can tie (truss) the chicken legs with kitchen twine.
Step 5: Place the Chicken and Ginseng in the simmering Water and cover the pan. Bring it to a boil. Lower the fire and let it simmer for about an hour.
Step 6: Season with Salt to taste.
Step 7: Lastly, when the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a stone serving bowl or claypot or serving bowl. Garnish it with Scallion and serve immediately.

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Newbie Kitchen: A first-timer's attempt at "BBQ" Beef Brisket (Sous Vide)!

Welcome to our second episode of Newbie Kitchen! In this series of videos we tackle a recipe or dish which we've never cooked before, purely with guidance from the almighty Internet! Today, we're trying out a rather ambitious and time-consuming cook: "BBQ" Beef Brisket!

We put "BBQ" in parentheses because we live in an apartment, so actual smoking/bbq'ing isn't an option; Let's see if sous vide works just as well!

Step 1 - Brine:
→ 1.6kg Beef Brisket (we could only find Australian grass-fed beef)
→ 90g Salt
→ 60g Brown Sugar
→ 45g Liquid Smoke

Mix all ingredients & refrigerate. Apparently if you have an injector/syringe, injecting the meat with the solution brings down the brine time to about 48 hours. We didn't inject and brined for 6 days instead.

Step 2 - Fake Smoke Ring:
→ 5g Curing Salt / Prague Powder #1

Dissolve in a small amount of brine before mixing back into the container. This step is purely for cosmetics (to make the brisket look like it was BBQ'ed) and is therefore optional.

Step 3 - Glaze & Sous Vide:
→ 80g Molasses
→ 40g Liquid Smoke
→ 20g Soy Sauce

Use a pastry brush to glaze the Brisket before Sous Vide'ing at 68°C for 24hours. Note: we had quite a bit of leftover glaze so you could probably halve the ingredients.

Step 4 - Rub:
→ 50g Salt
→ 67g Brown Sugar
→ 35g Black Pepper
→ 15g Smoked Paprika
→ 15g Mustard Powder
→ 10g Onion Powder
→ 5g Garlic powder

Use a pastry brush to glaze the Brisket before liberally sprinkling on the rub. Note: we had a significant amount of leftover rub so you could probably reduce the ingredients to a third.

Step 5 - Bake:

We finished the Brisket in a 125°C oven for almost 3 hours to bake on the bark (crust).

Finished Product & Verdict:

First Time Attempt BBQ Brisket

This Brisket was amazing! Savory and mega-juicy, with a superb bark; We dare say it's a lot better than the majority of commercial (i.e. sold in restaurants) Briskets that we've tried! The bark might perhaps do with less sugar and more black pepper though, but other than that we're absolutely delighted with the result & can't wait to try it again!

If you enjoyed the video, and/or you'd like to share more tips & tricks, we'd absolutely love to hear from you: Leave us your comments below!