Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Fabulous Baker Boy @ River Valley Road

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I have heard good words of the cakes at The Fabulous Baker Boy, opened by theater star turned chef, Juwanda Hassim. Besides the fabulous cakes and brunch, The Fabulous Baker Boy has introduced a new dinner ala carte menu to give patrons more variety and value to their dollars.

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Scottish Smoked Salmon Salad 3/5

The dinner at The Fabulous Baker Boy started with the Scottish Smoked Salmon Salad ($16/$20). Slices of smoked salmon lie on a bed of mesclun salad, topped with capers and thin onion silvers. I did like the tangy zest of the refreshing calamansi vinaigrette that removed the earthy taste of the greens.

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Wild Mushroom Salad 2.5/5

Another salad dish on the menu is the Wild Mushroom Salad ($14/$18). Drizzled with aged balsamic dressing, the salad comes with sauteed wild mushrooms glazed over with thyme butter and a sunny side up egg. I only hope there were more mushrooms as they were missing from the plate.

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Almond Encrusted Salmon with a Mango Hollandaise 3/5

A classic dish is the Almond Encrusted Salmon with Mango Hollandaise ($22). A decent baked salmon dish with crusty top, served with buttery mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.

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Fish Burger 3/5

Some fine tuning is required for the Fish Burger ($14.50). While the execution managed to retain the juicy dory fillet underneath the crispy batter coat, the burger needs a much better boost in flavour. Another disappointment is the lacklustre fries. It was so bad that it was left untouched.

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Fried Chicken & Waffles 3/5

Finally there is a dish on the new dining menu that managed to wow me but momentary. The Fried Chicken & Waffles ($21) comes with deep fried butter milk chicken served on waffles and golden syrup accompanied with a servicing of pear and cabbage slaw. It comes with a choice of either original or spicy. Unfortunately the southern american staple is not the most tender and juicy chicken I have eaten. But the worst part is the waffle. It is as hard as a brick. Seriously they need to do something about it.

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Duck Confit 3.5/5

A far better rendition goes to the Duck Confit ($21) where the whole leg of duck is cooked to juicy tenderness paired with cranberry plum compote and mash. The skin however could have been more crispy.

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Steak Frite 3/5

Lastly we tried the Steak Frite ($25) on the mains menu. The piece of New Zealand grass fed sirloin was rather flat in flavour dressed with mushrooms and caramelised onions. The fries was the other disappointment just like the those from the fish burger.

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Saving the best to the last, this was so truth for the dining experience at The Fabulous Baker Boy. Indeed their famed cakes made some form of rendition to the not so interesting diner menu. Juwanda even created a new cake, Pam Dor to honor his good friend, muse and inspiration, the talented Pamela Oei. Among the few cakes I tried, my favourite went to Nutty Monkey and new diva cake, Pam Dor.

Sad to say, the dinner menu still has a lot of work to be done. It was too pedestrian and in a way old school that did not deliver a wow factor. In this competitive food industry, there are many good cafes out there servicing much better and more creative dishes on their menu. Judging from the dinner menu, The Fabulous Baker Boy will have a tough time attracting the crowd especially when they are spoilt of choices. Saying that, their cakes and brunch are still up to the mark.


The Fabulous Baker Boy
The Foothills
70 River Valley Road
#01-15
Singapore 179037
Tel: +65 66948336
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Thefabbakerboy
Website: http://www.thefabulousbakerboy.com/
Nearest MRT:

Opening Hours:
Tue-Thu: 11am - 10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am - 11pm
Sun: 11am - 5pm
(Closed on Mon)

Direction:
1) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit C, F or G. Walk along the river toward Riverside Point direction. Cross the bridge to the other end of the river. Turn left and walk towards Liang Court. Cross the road to the park. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit E. Walk to bus stop at Clark Quay Station (Stop ID 04222). Take bus number 54. Alight 2 stops later. Cross the road to the park. Walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]

Friday, April 24, 2015

BOCA @ Bukit Pasoh Road

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Occupying the space of defunct Oca Grassa, is a new Portuguese Restaurant BOCA set up by a group of Portuguese friends working and living in Singapore. Opened its door in January 2015, the restaurant aims to bring the genuine taste of home to the table which took them a good 2 year to conceptualized.

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Starting the dinner is a basket of warm house made bread served with olives and extra virgin olive oil imported from Portugal.

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Flamed Chorizo 3/5

A feast to the eyes is the Flamed Chorizo ($36) which is flambeed tableside. The plump sausage made with pork, wine, garlic, salt and paprika is imported all the way from Portugal. I find the chorizo a bit on the tough side.

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Cod Fritters 4/5

A staple in Portugal is the bacalhau  (dried and salted cod). The ingredient is dated back to the 15th century in which Portuguese fishermen would sail north to fish for cod. They would butterfly, dry and salt the cod to preserve the meat on the long journey back. The Cod Fritters ($15) which I had is made of this treasured ingredient together with potatoes and parsley served with a piquant pickled mayonnaise on the side. This is a delightful starter with its crispy exterior and flavourful innard.

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Octopus Salad 4/5

Octopus if not cooked probably would turned out rubbery. Lucky this is not the case at BOCA with the Octopus Salad ($24). The octopus is blanched quickly several times to achieve the tender texture. It is then thinly sliced and dressed with crunchy capsicums, crispy garlic, red onions, cilantro, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and smoky paprika to complete the orchestra of flavours singing in one tune.

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Braz Codfish 4.5/5

The Braz Codfish ($28) is another dish on the menu that features the bacalhau. The cod is mixed with crispy deep fried shredded potatoes, caramelised onions and a beaten egg. Each spoonful bite of the mixture is layers of flavours and textures. A total new and enjoyable experience of authentic Portuguese cuisine.

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Coffee Steak 4.2/5

The scent of coffee aroma filled the room when the Coffee Steak ($48) is served. This is one steak that you can really taste the sweet bitterness of the coffee. The 220g Australian tenderloin is dressed in a espresso mustard sauce, cream and a dash of cognac. The steak is generously paired with a delicious rice that has been cooked with almonds, garlic, onions, herbs and butter.

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Shrimp Porridge 4.8/5

The real deal at BOCA has to be the Shrimp Porridge ($28) that is mind blowing. The so called porridge has no rice at all. It is actually made using aged homemade bread, immersing it in bacahau or shrimp stock to obtain the rich intense flavour. After that, it is simmered and stirred over a low flame until the bread turned into a porridge consistency. An egg yolk is added to give the dish a velvety finishing.

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Cognac Chocolate Mousse 3/5 and Floating Island 4/5

Ending the delightful meal is the Cognac Chocolate Mousse ($13) and Floating Island ($15) for dessert. The Cognac Chocolate Mousse is made of valrhona chocolate mousse topped with tangy cognac macerated red berries, lemon cream and crunchy hazelnut praline. The Floating Island which I preferred among the two, is a slightly sweetened vanilla custard dusted with cinnamon, layered with passion fruit coulis, fragrant shredded basil, egg white quenelle and crowned with a sugar nest.

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Authentic Portuguese Egg Tarts 4.5/5

Only twenty pieces is made each day is the Authentic Portuguese Egg Tarts ($4.50/pc). The creamy caramel egg custard together with the flaky puff pastry, dusted with cinnamon and icing sugar is the surprise highlight of the night. This is one of the best egg tarts I have eaten so far. I only wish they can make me and I can takeaway these beautiful delights to share with my friends.

Overall I have enjoyed my first experience of authentic Portuguese food. Some of the items really surprised me with the used ingredients and how they are put together. In a way, I have never tried anything similar until now. I strongly recommend trying the shrimp porridge, egg tart, braz codfish and coffee steak.


BOCA
6 Bukit Basoh Road
Singapore 089820
Tel: +65 62210132
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boca-Singapore/424998484314105
Website: http://boca-restaurant.sg/
Nearest MRT: Outram Park (EW Line, NE Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 6pm - 12midnight
(Closed on Sun)

Direction:
1) Alight at Outram Park MRT station. Take Exit H. Turn left onto Teo Hong Road. At the end of Teo Hong Road turn left and continue on Bukit Pasoh Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5. [Map]

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