Friday, February 22, 2019

Baan Ying @ Royal Square - The Great Baan Ying Brunch

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Established since 1999 in Bangkok, Baan Ying has been known for its home-style Thai cuisine created by founder Aunty Ying. From a small humble eatery to a restaurant group in Bangkok, its first Singapore outpost in Royal Square set up last year made quite an impression with its bright and airy space. Other than bringing home-style dishes from Aunty Ying's hometown, Baan Ying shall bring to you another type of experience - The Great Baan Ying Brunch.

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Salmon Steak 3.5/5

Drop by on Saturday or Sunday from 11am to 3pm, you can indulge in popular Thai favourites that include a choice of one main course along with a buffet spread of 12 to 15 delectable appetisers, sides and desserts on rotation every week. Priced at $38.80++ per adult and $19.40++ per child (four to ten years old; kids under three dine free; child price includes a complimentary fruit juice). Top up $29.80 for a free-flow of beer and wine. Out of the four mains that I get to choose from - Angus Beef Steak, Bone-in Iberico Pork Chop (approx. 250g, additional $9.80++), Pan-fried Salmon Steak and Grilled Large River Prawns, we had the Salmon Steak and Pork Chop.

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Pork Rib 3.8/5

Iberico Pork Chop, that has been marinated with Aunty Ying's secret blend of Thai spices. My favourite part is definitely the portion near the rib, as I really love the luscious and flavourful fats. The lime wedges served together with the main dishes is a nice touch to cut the richness of the meats.

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Thai Salad 4/5

That said, coming to a Thai restaurant, the main drawn is still the spread of the traditional Thai dishes such as salads, soups, the curries etc. One of the highlights for me is definitely the DIY Thai Salad station where I get to mix and match own ingredients such as peanuts, dried shrimp, cherry tomatoes, long beans and either, tangy green papaya (Som Tum) or green mango (Yum Mamuang) and toss them in Aunty Ying’s secret salad dressing. We were fortunate to have a staff to demonstrate for us the techniques and skills that go into making a good Som Tum. Seems tedious but with a dressing that good, I am quite sure yours will turn out just as great too!

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Yum Woon Sen 3.8/5

Out of the entire spread, my favourite would be the Yum Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Salad) which was loaded with seafood. The ingredients were really fresh, especially the thick cut of fish slices.

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Larb Moo Tod 3/5

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Mu Tod Nga 3/5

A few bite size items that is good to accompany your beer is the mini Larb Moo Tod, deep fried spicy meat balls mixed with toasted ground rice, mixed herbs and lime. The other delectable bite is the Mu Tod Nga which is Baan Ying's very own white sesame pork, and you may find it as moreish as any fried chicken wing. It would be much better of course, if you are able to consume them while still hot as they tend to get a bit dry and tough when out for too long.

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Green Curry with Chicken 3/5, Salted Egg Fried Rice 3.5/5

A few quintessential Thai dishes such as Green Curry and Tom Yum Soup are also available. There was no pineapple fried rice, but we had an equally sumptuous Salted Egg Fried Rice.

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Rainbow Ruby 3/5

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Yam Soup 3/5

Desserts are of comforting taste, such as Rainbow Ruby, that has colours obtained from natural ingredients such as sweet potatoes, Lord Chong (green tapioca noodles in sweet coconut milk) and Yam Soup.

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Overall, although there are a few interesting Thai dishes among the buffet spread, I might have a more satisfying experience if I were to go for ala carte option. The main dishes were all right but the key to satisfy my Thai food craving would still be that few Thai style dishes that I have grown accustomed to.

Words and photos by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.


Baan Ying
Royal Square @ Novena
103 Irrawaddy Road
#02-07
Singapore 329566
Tel: +65 91117852
Facebook
Website
Nearest MRT: Novena (NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11am to 3 pm, 530pm to 10pm
Sat-Sun: 11am to 10pm

Direction:
1) Alight at Novena MRT station. Take Exit A or B. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 mins. [Map]

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Preludio @ Frasers Tower - Fine Dining Restaurant Serving Author's Cuisine, First Chapter "Monochrome"

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Preludio is a new fine dining restaurant at Frasers Tower opened by Executive Chef Fernando Arevalo serving Author's Cuisine. What exactly is Author's Cuisine? Originated from Spain, it is about allowing the chefs to express their creativity through food, without rules and boundaries. It translated to an experience that stimulates the senses and pleasing the palate with its unusual combination of textures, aromas and flavours. For the first chapter of the Author's Cuisine at Preludio, Chef Fernando has picked Monochrome.

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Hamachi Amuse Bouch 4.5/5

We kick started the 8-course degustation menu ($238++) plus Wine Pairing ($158++) with the amuse bouche. The pear jelly on top of the hamachi gives the delicate fish a refreshing touch with a sweet note.

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Elude 4/5

Before serving our first course, we were presented a root vegetable to guess what it is? The root ingredient is French white beetroot which will be served in our next dish - Elude. Blanketed underneath the white yogurt foam is the sweet white beetroot, burrata, walnut crumble and dil-marinated cucumber, paired with primeur sturia caviar on the side. The result is a complex combination with a delicate sweet note.

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Allude 4.2/5

When the next dish - Allude is served, we thought there was a mistake as the dish looks very similar to the first course. Replacing the yogurt form is creamy mushroom potato mousse covering the fermented mushroom, bone marrow, thyme croutons and preserved Amalifi lemon, paired with Oscietra Sturia caviar. The taste profile is leaning towards the savoury side compare to the first dish.

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Peek A Boo

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Peek A Boo 4/5

Another mysterious looking dish is the Peek A Boo. Lifting the crispy rice cracker reveals a colourful contrast to the monochrome theme of smoked eel, lampascioni bulb, girolle mushrooms, heliantis, crosnes, salty fingers and viola flowers in a egg yolk emulsions made with mustard and yuzu. To eat, one cracks the rice cracker with the back of the spoon. Have a bit of everything together for that lovely play of textures and flavours, all coming together.

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La Cortina 4.2/5

The La Cortina is a pasta dish made with eggs, double OO flour, salt and olive oil. Filled with butternut squash and amaretto, it has a delectable al dente texture. Besides the parmesan sauce and almond snow, what bonds the pasta dish together is the 25 years old balsamic vinegar that gives it a caramelised finishing.

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White Opal 4.2/5

Moving to the mains, we kick off with the White Opal. The Patagonian toothfish is paired with cauliflower puree, crunchy shallots, leek and almond milk bubbles, and pickled fresh almonds. I enjoyed the crusty black olive powder on the fatty fish, giving it a nice contrast.

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Pata Negra 4.5/5

A question comes to my mind. How is the kitchen going to plate the Pata Negra in a monochrome theme? It is a pork dish afterall. Smartly, the chef coats the pork with pulvarised squid ink panko bread crumbs. Cutting into it, reveals a pinkish interior that can be mistaken as a beef. When I put the tender pork in my mouth, the caramlised sweetness reminds me of our local char siew. It really surprised me with its taste profile.

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Irezumi 4/5

Moving to the desserts, we start with the Irezumi which comes with a salted black sesame ice cream atop a bed of sesame snow, yuzu white chocolate ganache, strawberries with lime zest and baby basil. A light dessert with the rich intensity of sesame.

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Gorbea Mountain 4.8/5

The Gorbea Mountain is landscaped to look like Gorbea, the highest mountain in the Biscay and Alava provinces where Pastry Chef Elena's home city of Vitoria is located in the Basque country. The beautiful mountain scene is plated with blueberry mousse, yogurt sponge, yogurt ice cream, Idiazabel cheese, blueberries, blackberries and milk foam. What impressed me is not only the beautiful mountain view but how the savoury cheese ignited the sweetness of the dessert into a firework of flavours.

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Petit Fours 4/5

The Petit Fours wrapped up the 8-course meal. It consists of tropical fruits white chocolate bon bon, orange and coffee dark chocolate bon bon, vanilla chantilly filled pate choux and white macarons.

I have to applaud the team for putting together the delicious 8-course degustation menu, it is not an easy task to stick to the Monochrome theme. It demonstrates the team's creativity and innovation while adding a sense of curiosity in each dish. Even the wine list are specially curated to fit the theme, in which the grapes are harvested white soil (limestone) and black soil (volcanic soil).

Note: This is an invited tasting.


Preludio
Frasers Tower
182 Cecil Street
#03-01/02
Singapore 069547
Tel: +65 69045686
Facebook
Website
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 1130am - 230pm, 6pm - 1030pm
Sat: 6pm - 1030pm
(Closed on Sun & PH)

Direction:
1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit G. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes.

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