Sunday, October 14, 2018

Halcyon & Crane @ Paragon - A New Cafe In The Heart Of Orchard Road

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The legend Halcyon (kingfisher) from the Greek mythology and Crane from the Chinese have flown into Paragon with the opening of Halcyon & Crane, a cafe and bar concept where modern European cuisine is given a touch of Sichuan flavours, offering all day dining at the heart of Orchard Road. The cafe is opened by the same folk behind Birds of A Feather.

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Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte 3.5/5

If you are not into cocktails, Halcyon & Crane offers some fancy coffee selection on the menu. I went for the Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte ($14) which is an interesting combination. You pour the jar of orange juice into the glass of coffee ice cubes.You get the sweetness of the orange juice followed by the bitterness of the caffeine at the end.  It sounds weird but the end product is quite tasty. Come to think of it, we usually have both coffee and orange juice for breakfast, why not combine the two together?

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Cured Sausage Shakshuka 4/5

At Halcyon & Crane, the kitchen as given the shakshuka a modern and Asian twist with their version of Cured Sausage Shakshuka ($22). The baked egg in tomato sauce is paired with Sichuan spicy cured sausage, mushroom, corn, white beans and cheese. The clever use of the spicy and mala cured sausage lends the heat to the dish, which is similar to the original recipe of cayenne pepper. This is best enjoyed together with the toasted beetroot bread.

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King's Chicken Hash Benedict 3/5

If you are bored with egg benedict with hollandnaise sauce, Halcyon & Crane offers a good change with the King's Chicken Hash Benedict ($21). 64-degree eggs rested on top of English muffin and blanket with cheddar cheese. The twist is the use of gong bao chicken replacing the hollandnaise sauce, giving it an Asian touch. The crispy leeks on top of the leek provide a enjoyable crunchy touch. Unfortunately I find the gong bao sauce and cheddar cheese did not quite work for me.

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Ham & Cheesy Crepes 4/5

If you love your ham & cheese, I find the Ham & Cheesy Crepes ($19) here is a much elevated version. The crepe is actually quite thick in texture, more like a wrap, holding ingredients such as forest ham, cured sausage, lettuce and cheesy scrambled egg. The magic that brings everything together is the dou ban mayonnaise sauce, giving it a hint of spiciness among all the different flavours.

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Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad 3/5

For something light and healthy, one can go for the Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad ($21). The salad is tossed in a tantalising spicy red oil vinaigrette and citrus dressing. This is paired with the clean tasting smoked tuna and quinoa salsa.

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Australia Black Angus Beef Carpaccio 4.2/5

Another delightful dish I enjoyed is the Australia Black Angus Beef Carpaccio ($23). The slices of flavoursome beef is topped with wild chilli vinaigrette, pickled daikon, white quinoa salad and scallion & Sichuan pepper dressing. I would recommend having the beef carpaccio together with a bit of the salad to keep that spicy kick from the salad dressing, for a complete enjoyment of the dish.

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Beetroot & Seafood Risotto 3/5

The Beetroot & Seafood Risotto ($32) may look pretty in its stunning pink colour presentation, I did quite enjoy it. Topped with seafood such as clams, prawns, squid and quail egg, I find the texture of the pearl rice too mushy.

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Seafood & Spicy Sour Capellini 4.5/5

Most of the dishes I tried so far comes with some form of spiciness. Hence if you can't take spicy, then I would recommend the Seafood & Spicy Sour Capellini ($25). Don't be mislead by the description. First it is not spicy, second it is not capellini but bee hoon. The bee hoon soup in its light broth with a hint of tanginess is very appetising. In the bowl of noodle soup, you can find ingredients such as mussels, clams, prawns, squid, leek and pickled long beans.

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Marinated Baby Octopus Salad 4.5/5

The Marinated Baby Octopus Salad ($20) supposed to be a salad item but I thought its more like a xiao cai  which goes really well with the earlier dish, Seafood & Spicy Sour Capellini. What I like most is the pickled and smoked pepper and egglant, it just opens up appetite. 

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Baby Chicken Roulade 3/5

Using spring chicken, the meat for the Baby Chicken Roulade ($32) is marinated with honey fish sauce, five-spice powder and Sichuan pepper. It is then cooked to a delectable tender texture, paired with creamy pomme puree. Unfortunately the dish pale in comparison to the other dishes I tried.

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Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice 4.5/5

A not to be missed dish is the Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice ($28). The mixed grains consists of pearl rice, brown rice, pearly barley and kamut doused in a rich tomato based beef stew. It is very flavourful and comforting. Somewhat like an angmo version of mui fan. It is topped with a sous vide egg and buffalo mozzarella, stir them into the braised rice for a creamy finish.

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Molten Matcha Lava 3/5

Last but not least, we ended our dinner with the Molten Match Lava ($16) for dessert. I thought lava cake was passe, I was hoping for something more exciting.

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While some of the dishes didn't quite meet my expectation, I still applaud the European-meets-Sichuan philosophy, it spices up the usual cafe-style dining. I would recommend the Beef Carpaccio, Seafood & Spicy Sour Capellini, Marinated Baby Octopus Salad and Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice.

Note: This is an invited tasting.


Halcyon & Crane
Paragon
290 Orchard Road
#03-09
Singapore 238859
Tel: +65 97275121
Facebook
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS Line), Somerset (NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am - 10pm

Direction:
1) Alight at Orchard MRT station. Take Exit C or D. Proceed to the road level. Walk down Orchard Road until the junction of Orchard Road and Orchard Link. Cross the road and walk to Paragon. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Somerset MRT station. Take Exit B. Proceed to the road level. Turn left on Orchard Road and walk down Orchard Road until junction of Orchard Road and Orchard Link. Cross the Road and walk to Paragon. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]

Friday, October 12, 2018

Senso Ristorante & Bar @ Club Street - Introduces New Moet & Chandon Courtyard Brunch Held Quarterly In A Year

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Situated along Club Street and beside the buzzing district of Chinatown is Senso Ristorante & Bar - known for its high quality Italian fine-dining cuisine and impeccable service, this charming Italian restaurant serves up exquisite creations curated by a team of dedicated and passionate chefs with a strong focus on fresh produce and robust flavours. Beyond the unassuming shophouse facade, a probe into the premises reveals a classy interior with its colonial architecture, modern design and an al fresco courtyard, creating an excellent atmosphere that blends tradition and elegance wonderfully.

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From October 2018, Senso launches a Moet & Chandon Brunch to be held every quarterly in a year. The first of all Moet & Chandon Brunch was held on 7th October 2018, with the Imperial Brut as the special theme. Diners can expect to indulge in free flow Imperial Brut, wines and beers in this Courtyard Brunch, which features a Pop-Up Champagne Bar, a buffet and live carving station. The subsequent Moet & Chandon Brunch will be held in the following months where diners can expect to indulge in a series of extravagant brunch buffet represented by different special themes:

October 2018 – Imperial Brut (by bottle)
December 2018 – 1.5L Imperial Brut with Golden Sleeve
March 2019 – Imperial Brut (Magnum)
June 2019 – Ice Imperial
September 2019 – Moet Rose
December 2019 – Moet Grand Vintage

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Take a seat in the beautiful courtyard seating area and relish in a sip on your first glass of Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut. Refreshing with a crisp acidity and nuances of harmonious fruitiness, the House's iconic champagne features an utter balance between its layers of complex aromas and flavours - the perfect palate cleanser for the amount of rich flavourful dishes in anticipation of the brunch buffet.

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Head straight for the antipasti sections of the buffet table, featuring a variety of appetisers which include the cold cuts such as the Chorizo, Aged Parma Ham, Salami, Mortadella, Breasola, the traditional Caprese Salad, a selection of cheeses such as the Parmesan, Fontina, as well as an assortment of freshly baked breads.

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For something lighter, go for their selection of salads, which include the Mediterranean Cous cous Salad, Chicken Salad, Beef Salad, Pasta Salad, Vegetarian Pasta Salad.

Senso Puree with Truffles

Moving on from the antipasti to the more substantial mains, diners can expect an array of hot dishes, presented in alluring heaps within heated-up trays on the buffet table. The Senso Puree with Truffles features a bed of soft mashed potatoes elevated by a rich truffled aroma of the generous truffle pieces layered atop.

Beef Tenderloin with Black Pepper sauce

One of my favourite is the Beef Tenderloin with Black Pepper sauce. Despite being prepared in mass quantities and heaped on a tray, the beef is kept warm, retains a tender succulence that just melts in the mouth. The pepper sauce adds a rich flavour to the meat, while not being too overwhelming nor overshadowing the rich beef essence within.

Sea Bass Fillet

The Sea Bass Fillet comes in a close second, with its soft tender meat that comes off easily with a fork beneath a thin layer of slightly crisp skin. The complementing flavours of the diced vegetables and Virgin sauce were on point as well, providing a good counterpoint to the natural sweetness of the fish to form a divine combination of depth and richness of flavours.

Penne Arrabiata

Apart from the pasta salads, opt for the Penne Arrabiata with al dente pasta boosting a good bite and texture, robustly flavoured and accompanied by a tinge of spice and umami which makes it a greatly addictive dish.

Fin De Claire Oysters

For the seafood lovers, expect fresh crustaceans such as the Fin De Claire Oysters and Steamed Tiger Prawns.

salmon

Ditto the Marinated Salmon and Norwegian Smoked Salmon - not to be missed out if you're a fan of salmon too!

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Finally, end the brunch buffet on a sweet note with a selection of desserts such as the Tiramisu, Chocolate Cake, Raspberry Chocolate, Mango Mousse, or the excellent Pistachio Creme Brulee.

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Overall, the brunch experience at Senso is defiinitely enjoyable, with scrumptious food selections and impeccable service rendered by attentive staff who are committed in keeping the champagne glasses filled to the end.

Cheeses

Guests are welcomed to extend the party from 3pm till late, with the option of The S bar A la carte drinks menu. Prices: $129++ (Early Bird) / $149++.

In case you have missed the special Moet & Chandon brunch, the Sunday Prosecco Brunch is available every Sunday, except during the special-themed Prosecco brunch and Moet & Chandon brunch. Diners can expect to indulge in Senso’s enhanced free flow Italian Prosecco Brunch, featuring an extensive selection of Italy’s finest and freshest produce; Salads, Antipasti, Hot Mains, Pastas, Desserts and more Italian Classics paired with Italian Bubbly as well. Prices: $68++ / $98++ (Served with free flow of Prosecco).

Photos and words by Crystal. A girl who likes to eat, photograph, and write about food, and dreams about travelling around the world one day. Note: This is an invited tasting.


Senso Ristorante & Bar
21 Club Street
Singapore 069410
Tel:+65 62243534
Facebook
Website
Nearest MRT: Chinatown (NE Line, DT Line), Telok Ayer (DT Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 12pm - 230pm, 6pm - 1030pm
Sat: 6pm - 1030pm
Sun: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 1030pm

Direction:
1) Alight at Telok Ayer MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk towards Club Street. Turn left on Club Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Chinatown MRT station. Take Exit F. Walk down Upper Cross Street to junction of Upper Cross Street and South Bridge Road. Continue down Upper Cross Street and turn right onto Club Street. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]

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