Monthly Archives: December 2013

BERGS

K and I checked out the newly opened BERGS along East Coast Road. It is their fourth branch in Singapore and are known for their “gourmet burgers”.

The small standee on the table featured The BFB which has the full works – 2 Beef Patties, Streaky Bacon, Pineapple, Beetroot, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Edam Cheese, Aioli & Bergs Sauce. It looked really tall and intimidating and we decided to share The Alamack and The Berg with Cheese instead.

The burgers come in 2 sizes – BERGS size (5’) and Small (4”). And you can top up for fries and an ice lemon tea or lemonade.

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The Alamack
(Lightly Crumbed Fish, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Dill Tartare & Aioli)

I am usually wary of fish burgers especially if the fish fillet has a thick batter; you end up tasting mostly batter and oil. But The Alamack was none of that! It was very lightly crumbed and the fish kept its juices without being oily at all. The dill tartare gave it a unique herby flavour and sets it apart from other fish burgers.

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The Berg with Cheese
(Prime Beef Pattie, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Aioli & Bergs Sauce and your choice of Swiss, Brie or Edam cheese)

On recommendation of the server, we chose the Edam cheese. But quite frankly, I hardly tasted the cheese. The Bergs sauce (which tasted quite like BBQ sauce) was overly sweet and overpowering for me and I had to scrap off some of it. The beef patty was also on the dry side. I wasn’t too impressed with this burger.

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I would return for The Alamack. The menu also features interesting burgers like The Marrakech (Spiced Lamb Pattie, Mint Yoghurt, Beetroot, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, & Aioli) and Good Falla (Falafel, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Aioli & Lemon Yoghurt) which I am keen to try. Good thing BERGS is just in the neighbourhood. 

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45 East Coast Road
www.bergsburgers.com

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Alkaff Mansion Ristorante – Weekday Afternoon Tea

On a rare day off on a weekday, C and I decided to play pretend tai-tai and indulge in afternoon tea at Alkaff Mansion.

There were hardly any online reviews on Alkaff Mansion’s weekday afternoon tea and we weren’t sure what to expect. But it was really good! And I would rate it above some of the more popular high teas in town. It is also very reasonably priced at $26++.

First up, choice of teas. This was easy for me; I always stick to boring earl grey. C was more adventurous with her yuzu and pear choice. There were about 10-12 Gryphon teas to choose from.

We started off with warm raisin scones. I really like it that they were warm. There was a slight hint of saltiness which contrasted nicely with the sweet raisins. They were nice on their own but we also lathered on the accompanying Chantilly cream and jam.

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The pastries and savouries were served on a three-tier stand. Taking photos was rather challenging as the upper tiers were casting shadows so do pardon the photography in this post.

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I usually prefer high teas served buffet style so I can have a free rein but the spread here was varied enough to leave me very contented.

Starting from the bottom tier of savouries – there were salmon sandwiches, egg mayonnaise with bacon on toast, foie gras with pear compote on pancakes, beef burgers and skewers of ham with pineapple (C stole one before I took this photo :)).

3rd tier

Green tea tarts, meringue with raspberry, brownies and shortcakes with strawberry sat pretty on the middle tier.

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The “icing on the stand” were the lychee and rose macaroons, which coincidentally is my all-time favourite flavor of macaroon (or in fact, of any sort of cake or pastry).

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Also very coincidentally, a relative of mine is the restaurant manager and she offered us an additional platter of the chef’s specials. Thanks, Aunty M, we really appreciate it!

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I would highly recommend this for a weekday indulgence!

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10 Telok Blangah Green
Weekday Afternoon Tea: 1130am-330pm (Mon-Fri)
www.alkaff.com.sg/alkaff-mansion-afternoon-tea/

Latteria Mozzarella Bar

December is a month for birthday celebrations. We celebrated J’s birthday at Latteria Mozzarella Bar last Friday.

Given the restaurant’s name, it was a must to start our meal with cheese.  The “mozzarella glossary” in the menu was thoughtful. Simply cos’ it sounded feminine and cute, we chose the plaited buffalo sized buffalo mozzarella (or more properly known as treccia). The cheese had a mild flavor and was pillowy and slightly chewy. I really liked it.

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We all chose from the set lunch menu ($28++ for 3-course).

The starter was a choice between the potato and leek soup and the parma ham croquette.

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I chose the latter as I am not a great fan of leek. The croquettes came in small square packages. They were crisp on the outside with warm creamy potato inside. It was all good until you bite into the “parma ham”. L blurted out my sentiments exactly: “What was this supposed to be again?”. It really didn’t quite taste like any parma ham I know; it was closer to minced beef or lamb. Once I got past that, they tasted alright.

You can choose from 3 mains – mozzarella risotto, grilled sirloin in truffle sauce and baked seabass fillet aquapazza style. Z and I shared the first 2 mains.

The risotto was extremely rich and creamy and could probably feed an entire family. It got too much after 5 mouthfuls. If you can’t share it, I would suggest you don’t order it.

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The sirloin came medium rare (I had realized at that point, we weren’t asked about our preferred doneness) but it was all good as it was juicy and tender. The truffle complemented the beef well. It was a pity it was served lukewarm at best and I do prefer my food hot.

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I have a slight aversion to fish, having choked on a fish bone when I was young. But for the sake of this blog, I pinched some of L’s seabass. I actually liked this best of the 3 mains! The fish was very fresh and the clam-based broth added a briny flavor to the dish.

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Dessert was lemon panna cotta. The curd was firm and not as wobbly as others I have had. It was milky and the lemon flavor plus the berries provided a tart contrast. Beware though; the berries left all of us with deep purple teeth and lips!

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Overall, the set lunch was underwhelming, especially after the cheese. We did notice that other diners having the ala carte dishes seem to be enjoying their meals more; perhaps we should have gone the same way.

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40 Duxton Hill
Open 12nn-230pm (Lunch, except Sat) and 6-11pm (Dinner)
www.latteriamb.com

IZY

Izy does it for my first post. 🙂

We celebrated S’ birthday at Izy on Friday after hearing her rave about their omasake dinner. Our lunch was less fancy and we had 4 choices from the set lunch menu – yasai tempura don, chicken karaage don, chirashi don and wagyu beef don. The sets are $30++ each (with a $10 supplement for the latter two) and came with the usual accompaniments, served in a “deconstructed bento set” style.

First up was chawanmushi. It was flavourful and the texture was extremely smooth and silky. The small dollop of wasabi gave it an added twist and kick. I really liked it! (For non-wasabi-fans, it may be wise to scoop away the wasabi before digging in).

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Next up was the salad with spicy goma sauce. M was laughing (or rather, rolling her eyes) at the few of us taking photos of a plate of common leaves.  “It is just a salad!”, she scoffed. But since I took it, here you go:

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M was right. It did not taste any more fascinating than it looked and the leaves were bigger than I like them in salads. I suppose that is the risk of serving the accompaniments as stand-alones. The salad would probably never have drawn so much attention if it was part of a bento set, but as a stand-alone, it became a conversation piece. I was eager to move on to the main dish.

My wagyu beef bowl was good. The beef was tender and worked well with the sweet soy sauce, mushrooms and the cute onsen egg sitting atop the pile.  However, I would have preferred it with more sauce.

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As a dish, I still prefer the wagyu beef bowl at Fat Cow, but admittedly, that has the unfair advantage of having foie gras in the mix and comes at a higher ticket price.

L and A both had the chirashi bowl. I wish I had ordered it instead as they unveiled the burst of colors within.

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L kept smiling to himself throughout lunch, which was really odd until he explained, “I get emo when I eat good food.” It was comical, the way he put it, but it made me want to swap my bowl with his. I had to make do by pinching some sashimi just for a taste. The little I had left me wanting more.

I heard good stuff about Izy’s chicken karaage, which S had. A pity the chicken karaage was simmering in the moist heat of the capped bowl and lost its crispiness.

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We ended off the savoury part of the meal with Japanese pickled vegetables and miso soup. The miso soup was different from the usual and there was some resemblance to fish soup with ginger. It was really comforting for a rainy afternoon.

The dessert was shiso and green apple sorbet. A brave attempt, I must say. It is an acquired taste and it is what I imagine chlorophyll mixed with lime would taste like.  I left most of it but the rest of the group finished theirs and thought it was a very unique dessert.

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Overall, I would not be too excited about returning for the set lunch (and if I do, I will definitely have the chirashi bowl). However, I see enough interesting elements to want to go back to try their small plates or omasake dinner.

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27 Club Street
Open Mon-Sat, 6pm till late
www.izy.com.sg