Sunday, November 25, 2018

Is Cut by Wolfgang Puck the Best Steakhouse in Singapore?

👍 Steaks are cooked to the perfect temperature and have a terrific sear.
👎 Dining room is really dark, Food is really pricey.

Where's the best place to get a steak in Singapore? Well, if we go by the Michelin Guide, Cut by Wolfgang Puck's the only Steakhouse in the city with a Michelin star. The restaurant's got a little bit of a reputation for being pricey, though, which is why we've been putting off a visit ... until today!

Cut Wolfgang Puck

You probably already know this by now from reading other reviews - or by having just walked past the restaurant - the dining area is really dark. Tables are also packed quite close together, resulting in noise levels that are surprisingly high. Not the best choice for a romantic dinner, then, unless you can get one of the more private, alcove tables set along the edges. Also, while sometime in the past waiters used to bring meats to your table to help you choose your steaks, it seems that doesn't happen any more.

Cut Wolfgang Puck

The waiters do at least bring the bread selection to your table, though. We especially liked the sourdough and the onion bread. The pretzel was pretty good, too!

Cut Wolfgang Puck Assorted Bread

For starters we had the Maryland Blue Crab Cake (s$38) with Heirloom Tomato Relish and Basil Aioli. The crab cake didn't disappoint: Almost all crabmeat and no filler. perfectly seasoned, delicious. Would totally order this again when/if we return.

Cut Wolfgang Puck Maryland Crab Cake

We also tried the Maple Glazed Pork Belly (s$33) with Fuji Apple & Yali Pear Salad, and Sesame-Orange dressing. This appetizer was also amazing, the pork belly being cooked to tender, melt-in-your-mouth perfection. The acidity from the julienne'd apple & pear and citrus dressing was marvelous in preventing fat overload. Definitely a must-order.

Cut Wolfgang Puck Maple Glazed Pork Belly

On to the main star: The Steaks! Cut stocks and serves up a relatively high variety of cows: USDA Prime, Australian Angus and Wagyu, American Wagyu, and Japanese Wagyus from Hokkaido and Sendai. The cuts are priced from a very reasonable s$92 for 340gm of USDA Prime NY Strip/Sirloin all the way up to $330 for 170gm of Hokkaido "Snow" 45-days Dry-Aged Wagyu Rib Eye.

We decided to share something more mid-range: The Tasting of New York Sirloin (s$255), which comes with:
• 120gm of USDA Prime Illinois Corn-Fed beef,
• 120gm of American Wagyu from Snake River Farms, and
• 90gm of Japanese Wagyu from Sendai prefecture.

Each steak came cooked beautifully: A perfect medium-rare (as we requested) almost from edge to edge, and yet having a terrific crust on the top and bottom. These are simply the most well cooked (technically) steaks we've ever had in Singapore.

With regards to the meat, well, it goes somewhat as you might expect. The USDA Prime has the most chew and is the most stringy, and the Wagyu was so tender and fatty it almost felt like eating foie gras. The Snake River Farms wagyu - our favorite, by the way - was somewhere in between (slower to the USDA Prime than the Sendai cow, though).

Cut Wolfgang Puck Tasting of New York Sirloin

To accompany our steaks we added on half a 400g Maine Lobster (s$25) and Foie Gras (s$45) - both of which were well cooked but overshadowed by the meat. We also had Tempura Onion Rings (s$18) and Brussels Sprouts (s$18) with Sesame Yuzu Aioli and Glazed Shallots. Ultimately we felt that the flavour of the Brussels Sprouts was too intense, and didn't enjoy how it tended to overpower everything else.

Cut Wolfgang Puck Lobster and Foie Gras

Being too stuffed after starters and mains we declined to order anything off the dessert menu ... but still got a (surprisingly delicious) mini carrot birthday cake anyway!

Cut Wolfgang Puck Birthday Cake

Before we left we also got some petit fours, the best of which had to be the black sesame macaron; it's earthy flavour blending beautifully with the sugar and ground almonds.

Cut Wolfgang Puck Petit Fours

So there you have it! In our opinions Cut does live up to its' reputation as Singapore's best steakhouse. The way they char their meats while yet maintaining perfect edge-to-edge temperature is sublime; and their starters and sides are also very solid. The price tag is pretty steep, though, so it'll remain firmly in our "special occasions only" bucket (unless we get lucky with an upcoming toto jackpot).

Cut by Wolfgang Puck is in the Marina Bay Sands Shoppes, right next to the Sands Theatre. Reservations highly recommended; Non-Halal.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

10 days in Switzerland (and a bit of France): Travelog!

How should you spend 10 days in Switzerland? Well, we're definitely not Europe travel experts - having visited only once in the last 5 years - so we can't answer that question definitively, but perhaps our travel video will give you some ideas!

We flew in to Geneva, did a couple of day trips to nearby French lakes and mountains, then headed gradually to Zurich via the Zermatt and Jungfrau areas.

In Switzerland, we traveled mostly via the excellent Swiss rail, ferry, and gondola network - offsetting some of the high costs with the Half Fare Travelcard.

Anyway you can check out the breakdown of the places we visited in the video; Do let us know in the comments if you've got any questions and we'll try to answer them to the best of our ability!

📅 Detailed Itinerary 📅

Day 1: Tour of Geneva
✓ Lake Geneva / Jet d'Eau
✓ English Gardens and Flower Clock
✓ Geneva Old Town / Shopping Area
✓ Patek Philippe Museum
🍴: 🤤 Cafe Du Centre, 🤤 Auberge de Saviese

Day 2: DayTrip to France (Chamonix)
✓ Chamonix
✓ Aiguille du Midi
✓ Montenvers / Mer de Glace
🍴: 😒 Café de Paris Genève

Day 3: Day Trip to France (Annecy)
✓ Annecy Old Town
✓ Le Palais de I'lle
✓ Jardins de l'Europe
✓ Château d'Annecy
🍴: 🤤 Glacier des Alpes, 🤤 Restaurant MS Libellule, 😒 KFC

Day 4: Zermatt / Matterhorn
✓ 3½hr Train to Zermatt
✓ Gornergrat
✓ Partial Hike down to Zermatt
🍴: 🤤 Chez Max Julen

Day 5: Zermatt / Wengen
✓ Mountaineer's Cemetary
✓ Zermatt
✓ 3½hr Train to Wengen
🍴: 🤤 Da Sina Pizzeria

Day 6: Jungfraujoch
✓ Jungfraujoch
✓ Partial Hike down to Kleine Scheidegg
✓ Lauberhorn Crazy Golf
🍴: 🤤 Kleine Scheidegg Restaurant, 🤮 Pasta & More

Day 7: Day Trip to Bern
✓ Bern Federal Palace
✓ Bern Prison Tower
✓ Zytglogge Tower
✓ Einstein's House
✓ Bern Cathedral
✓ Bern Bear Park
🍴: 🤤 Metzgerstübli, 🤤 La Golosa Gelato, 🤤 Brasserie Chez Edy

Day 8: Männlichen and Grindelwald
✓ Männlichen Gondola & Royal Walk
✓ Summer Gemel (luge) to Grindelwald
✓ Grindelwald & Grindelwald Reformed Church
🍴: 😒 Eiger+ Cafe Lounge, 🤮 Jungfraublick Wengen

Day 9: Rigi Kaltbad
✓ 4½hr Train and Ferry to Rigi Kaltbad
✓ Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad
🍴: 😒 Rigistübli, 😒 Restaurant/Hotel Alpina

Day 10: Zurich & Home
✓ 2hr Train to Zurich
✓ Reformed Church
✓ Fraumünster Church
✓ Bahnhofstrasse
✓ Zurich Old City
🍴: 🤤 Crepes and Meat skewers in Zurich's Old City

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Trains in Switzerland: Should I take the Swiss Travel Pass or the Half Fare Card?

Like many other things in the country, travelling in Switzerland is expensive - particularly if you're spending at least a week or more there. That means that you'll probably be visiting several different cities or tourist attraction hubs, racking up hundreds of Swiss Francs on train, bus or ferry rides.

The easiest, least-planning-required way to reduce these fares are via purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass, which allows you 'free' travel on the majority of Switzerland's public transport network - with some caveats, of course. However, if you're willing to do put in just a little more planning legwork, the Half Fare Travelcard could save you even more money!

Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card

Note: This is not meant to be a comprehensive Swiss travel post, I'm far too inexperienced for that. What this post is, is a simple comparison for my own personal one-week journey in Switzerland between the Half Fare Card and the Swiss Travel Pass starting from Geneva and ending in Zurich, with stopovers in a couple of the country's most popular tourist destinations in between!

Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card

In the table below, I've compared the price difference between buying individual tickets with the Half Fare Travelcard, vs having the 8 consecutive day Swiss Travel Pass, versus having no discount card at all. We see that the Half Fare Travelcard has the lowest overall cost, but why? A few reasons:

a. For many of the more touristy trains and gondolas, holders of the Swiss Travel Pass still need to pay 50% of the fare - identical to the Half Fare Travelcard.
b. For (arguably) the most touristy train - the one to Jungfraujoch - holders of the Swiss Travel Pass pay 75% of the fare, instead of the 50% paid by Half Fare Travelcard holders.

Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card

c. As tourists, we can sometimes take advantage of 'super saver tickets' during lower-peak timings, which are discounted further on top of the 50% off from the Half Fare Travelcard. In the Zermatt to Wengen itinerary below, for example, the super saver train ticket stacked with the Half Fare Travelcard ends up with a cumulative 70% discount over the full fare ticket.

That's pretty reasonable for a 3 hour train journey!

Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card

Of course, the Swiss Travel Pass does have its advantages other than price - for example, on trains, buses, and ferries which are 'free' you don't have to worry about checking schedules or buying at ticket: You can just hop on and hop off as you desire. And these calculations change significantly based on your own specific travel plans, so there really is no one size fits all.

Nevertheless hopefully this quick comparison helps to give you an idea of what sort of options you have available when planning travel in Switzerland ... and how much it might cost in general (yes, I really did spend over 500 Francs in a week). Happy holidaying!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Korean Sweet & Spicy Topokki (Fish Cake, Spam, Rice Cake)

3 tablespoons of Beksul Sweet & Spicy Topokki Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons of Honey
6 Fish Cake
6 Spam / Luncheon Meat
50g Rice Cake

Step 1: Pan fry Fish Cake and Spam and set aside.
Step 2: Add Water Rick Cake, Beksul Sweet & Spicy Topokki Hot Sauce, Honey and let it boil for 3mins.
Step 3: Add Fish Cake and Spam. Lower heat and let it simmer for 2mins.
Step 4: Remove from the heat and serve.

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

- This brand's Sweet & Spicy Topokki Hot Sauce spicy level is high. We added Honey to bring the spice level down.

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