Showing posts with label Biryani. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biryani. Show all posts

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Racines @ Sofitel Singapore City Centre - New Menu with Focus On Sustainability Dining By Chef Isaac Henry


Sofitel Singapore City Centre has a new Director of Culinary and Beverage on board - Isaac Henry. His culinary experience spans continents, honing his skills in Michelin-starred restaurants in both Paris and Singapore. As a strong advocator of sustainable dining, it is no surprise that you might have spotted him on the host of a six-part docu-series on Channel News Asia titled 'Zero Waste Kitchen'. On the refreshed Racines's menu, other than its attention-grabbing fashion magazine-style design, new signatures are introduced that were conceptualised with the environment in mind.

Chicken & Duck Foie Gras Mousse 4.8/5

Chef Isaac would like to call the Chicken & Duck Foie Gras Mousse a marriage between Asian food and French dishes – reflecting the restaurant's signature cuisine. The chicken liver is locally sourced, aligning with our commitment to sustainability. A small portion of duck liver is blended with chicken liver, cream and egg to achieve a velvety texture. Adding sweet and tangy Chinese black wine vinegar elevates this mousse to another level brilliantly, much like how a fruit compote complements the richness and flavour of a liver pate with a delightful touch of sweet acidity. It formed a luxurious spread for the sourdough bread served on the side.

Charred Asparagus with Housemade Hollandaise 5/5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Charred Asparagus, which differentiates itself with a tantalising combination of flavours and textures brought to life by creamy housemade Hollandaise, umami Shio Kombu, and sugar-roasted Almonds ($26). The asparagus, charred on an open-fire grill, was laced with a delightful smoky nuance, adding a flavour depth to the dish. The creamy and substantial sauce lent a satisfying mouthfeel to the asparagus, with its sweetness aptly balanced by the savoury shio kombu. The almond candies provided a morish textural crunch, completing this enticing plate of asparagus.

Otak Otak 4/5

Otak Otak ($18) features a spiced Spanish Mackerel Fish cake roasted in a Banana Leaf parcel served with housemade cincalok sauce. Chef Isaac used one of his oldest recipes when craving for otak-otak abroad, and none was readily available. Using a traditional way of making otak otak, made by blending slow-cooked rempah paste for two hours, he also added fresh water chestnuts for texture. I like the lightness of this Otak Otak versus some, which are more assertive in terms of the spice content. The cincalok sauce enlivened its taste even further.

Ngoh Hiang 4/5

Ngoh Hiang features Crispy Five-Spiced Seafood Wrapped in Beancurd Skin Served with Housemade Chilli Sauce ($18). Crusted within was a juicy seafood filling made with sotong paste, prawn meat, and crabmeat. Instead of the sweet sauce, we have a punchy house-fermented chilli sauce resulting from blended spices that is left to sit for a day to ferment.

Prawn Biryani 4.5/5

Chef Isaac's Smoked Argentinian Red Prawn Biryani Served with Salted Yoghurt ($36) is a "nontraditional version", which is a cure for hangover to me. The prawns were pre-seared, effectively sealing an incredible amount of juices within the heads. You will get everything in one spoonful by layering the rice with Spiced Ghee and Cashews and masala made with prawns. Although the rice was saucier than I would have liked it to be, the presence of the well-caramelised onions and the salted yoghurt served on the side provided a great balance to the masala.

Crispy Scale Red Snapper 4.8/5

The Crispy Scale Red Snapper ($42) comprises pumpkin puree, wilted baby spinach, squid ink, and beurre blanc. Snapper is also locally sourced from a farmer who slaughters and fillets it Ikejime-style, which kills it instantly, resulting in less blood and tender flesh. It gives it a much whiter, tastier flesh. Indeed, what we had was beautiful, moist and tender with a supreme taste. What I also appreciate is how the scales were left intact and crisped with hot oil as a means to minimise wastage. As the presentation of such dishes has a typical neutral flavour profile, the accompanying wilted spinach is cooked with squid ink to add that extra savoury element to enhance the flavour profile of the fish.

Sliced Beef Hor Fun 4.2/5

Sliced Beef Hor Fun features a wok-tossed thinly sliced Argentinian Grain-fed Beef with Flat Rice Noodles and Garlic Crisp ($38). While it is tough to attain a deep wok hei flavour into the rice noodle, this is nonetheless a very decadent version with soft and tender Beef Argentinian striploin. I also enjoyed how sweet the spring onions were, which balanced the flavour of this highly flavour dish. Attention is paid to the Garlic crisps. They are coated with flour and then fried to get a long-lasting crisp. However, I preferred a broader type of flat rice noodles for a better texture.

Sautéed Clams Manila Clams 4.8/5

Sautéed Clams Manila Clams ($60) stood out with a heedy broth. Chef Isaac uses locally sourced Manila clams, which do not have many sand sediments and are sweet in flavour. Tossed in Aged Guanciale, Housemade Nduja Butter and Parsley Pistou, the broth had so much body and packed a punch of flavour. The Nduja is sourced from a Basque country (France), producing milder' nduja. Hence, the sweetness of the clams was still very much present. Parsley Pistou was sharp, accenting the broth with herbaceous nuances.

Almond & Logan 4/5

For dessert, Chef Isaac's rendition of the Almond & Logan surprised me with an aesthetically pleasing plating and an exceptionally creamy Almond jelly. The white fungus could have been more cooked through for a softer texture.

Skillet Baked Dark chocolate Cookie 4.5/5

Skillet Baked Dark chocolate Cookie Salted Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream ($23) is a comfort food that will lift your spirits. The Skillet baking creates crisp edges with a moist and gooey centre.

Textures of Meringue 3/5

Pavlova features Textures of Meringue with Passion Fruit Sorbet, Micro Basil and Strawberries ($22). I find most meringue desserts to be on the sweeter side; hence, this is my least favourite of the lot.

Photos and words 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.

Sofitel Singapore City Centre
Level 5
9 Wallich Street
Singapore 078885
Tel: +65 64285000
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am - 1030am, 12pm - 3pm, 530pm - 10pm

1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn right on Peck Seah Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh @ Craig Road - Chef Gaggan Opens First Oversea Outpost In Singapore


Chef Gaggan Anand's Bangkok-based casual offshoot restaurant, Ms Maria & Mr Singh, opened its first overseas outlet at Craig Road, Singapore. The menu features tapas and small plates marrying Mexican and Indian flavours and traditions.

Mixed Chips with Four Dips 3.5/5

We started with some appetisers and snacks, beginning with the Mixed Chips with Four Dips. The colourful fried chips comprise sweet purple potato, sweet orange potato, yam, and yellow corn tortilla. Seasoned with salt, you can have it on its own or go with the four different dipping sauces - Pickled Mango, Chilli Cheese Sauce, Guacachutney, and Pickled Baby Corn.

Spicy Crunchy Okra 4/5

The Spicy Crunchy Okra ($12) is a popular Indian snack known as 'Bhindi'. An addictive and crispy snack coated with beautiful aromatic Indian spices.

Papdi Chaat 4.2/5

Get an explosion of flavours from the Papdi Chaat ($18) in one bite, which is made of chaat masala and yoghurt. The snack combines a traditional Indian street snack and Chef Gaggan's signature dish - Yogurt Explosion.

Cold Curry Ceviche 4.5/5

The Cold Curry Ceviche ($20) is inspired by Gaggan's classic Cold Curry, Scallops dish. It challenges the norm that curry has to be served hot and cooked. The interpretation is served cold and raw. Recommend giving it a good mix before eating.

Truffle Quesadilla 4/5

Quesadilla, an iconic staple of Mexican cuisine found worldwide, is given an elevated take incorporating influence from India, adding paneer to the quesadilla. In addition, black truffle paste is added to the Truffle Quesadilla ($28) for that extra earthy oomph to enjoy.

Hate Veggies Love Peanut Mole 3/5

Another staple in Mexican cuisine is the mole sauce, comprising chocolate, spices, fruits, nuts, chilli peppers and over 60 different ingredients. Charred cauliflower and crispy fried lotus root rested on top of the Hate Veggies Love Peanut Mole ($14).

Maria Singh Fish Tacos 4.5/5

Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh Shots 

A twist of the classic Baja Fish Taco is the Maria Singh Fish Tacos ($18), using two different styles of marinades representing Ms Maria and Mr Singh favourite ingredients. Instead of tortilla shell, it is replaced with Perilla leaf to hold the barramundi fish. Besides that, two special Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh Shots ($16) are designed to go along with the tacos.


Patrani Fish Tamal 4.5/5

With limited daily portions, the Patrani Fish Tamal ($30) is another inspiration from one of Gaggan's classic dishes - Fish Paturi. It incorporates influences from both the Indian and Mexican cultures. It reminds me of our local sambal stingray.

Biryani - Surf & Turf 4.2/5

A staple dish but given a new variation for Singapore is the Biryani - Surf & Turf ($28). Usually, it comes with a type of meat, but this has a mix of seafood (prawns and scallops) and meat (beef tongue).

Gaggan's Crab Curry 4.8/5

We had Gaggan's Crab Curry ($32) and Chicken Tikka Masala ($18) to go with the rice. The crab curry is a signature dish of Chef Gaggan that has been a staple in several pop-ups. The stirred-fried crab meat's sweetness is showcased beautifully in the creamy Southern Indian curry.

Chicken Tikka Masala 4.5/5

The chicken tikka masala is spicier than the crab curry, a classic British cuisine popularised by British cooks from India living in Great Britain. The tender chicken is marinated in tikka masala and cooked in a creamy, tomato-based curry.

Mango Yuzu Snowball 4.2/5

Singaporean may be familiar with the Mango Yuzu Snowball ($24), a dessert featured in MasterChef Singapore. The Alphonso mango mousse comes with a yuzu base paired with white chocolate snow and chopped mangoes. A light and refreshing dessert to wrap up the meal.

Avocado Falooda 4.2/5

Lastly, we had the Avocado Falooda ($16). Falooda is a traditional Indian cold dessert made by mixing vermicelli, and rose syrup with milk, often served with ice cream. Ms. Maria & Mr Singh's interpretation comes with vanilla ice cream, avocado mousse, coconut jelly, lemon foam, and basil seeds..



Note: This is an invited tasting.

Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh
43 Craig Road
Singapore 089691
Tel: +65 96544351
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line), Outram Park (EW, NE, TE Line), Maxwell (TE Line)

Opening Hours:
Wed-Thu: 6pm - 1030pm
Fri-Sun: 12pm - 230pm, 6pm - 1030pm
(Closed on Mon, Tue)

1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Walk to Tanjong Pagar Road. Cross the road. Walk to Craig Road. Turn left and walk down Craig Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Outram Park MRT station. Take Exit 4. Walk to Duxton Plain Park. Turn right and walk to Neil Road. Cross the road using the underpass. Take the staircase and walk to Craig Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

3) Aloght at Maxwell MRT station. Take Exit 3. Walk down Neil Road. Cross the road at the junction of Craig Road and Neil Road. Turn left onto Craig Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Gabbar Bistro & Bar @ Clarke Quay - Spinning To A Mix Of Bollywood Music And Scrumptious North Indian Cuisine


Gabbar Bistro & Bar is a fairly new modern Indian bistro bar located at Clarke Quay. Its live Bollywood music performances often draws huge turnouts, where diners get to experience an international DJ spinning the latest Bollywood and Punjabi mixes over an extensive selection of drinks which includes wines, cocktails and Single Malts. However, customers return to Gabbar time and time again not just for its music, but to satisfy their cravings for a scrumptious North Indian cuisine.

Lamp Chops (tasting portion) 4/5 

The Lamb Chops here wins the hearts of the Indian diasporas and locals alike. Its mouthwatering aroma delivered my expectations. Marinated for 12 hours with hung curb and spices, the meat was succulent, tender, and flavourful with just the right amount of spices. For a drink and a quick bite, this serves equally good as a bar bite too.

Surkh Laal Chicken, Tikka Fish Amritsari and Hariyali Chicken (tasting portion) 4/5

From the tandoor, we tried Surkh Laal Chicken, Hariyali Chicken and Tikka Fish Amritsari. The reddish Surkh Laal chicken was punchy with spices with a tinge of heat. The Hariyali Chicken didn't lose out either with its well-seasoned, creamy spinach marination. I have had quite a few unpleasantly dry and bland Fish Tikka before, but the version here was moist and flaky.

Dal Makhani (tasting portion) 3.5/5

Dal Makhani is a comfort food, and also quite nutrient-dense with beans and black lentils. I would have liked it even more if it is slightly more tomatoey to have some tartness to balance the richness of it.

Assorted Naans (tasting portion) 4/5

Options aplenty for naans. We tried Roti, Tumeric, Olive and Cheese, Garlic, Butter and a Lachha Parantha. Each of them was soft and fluffy, but if you can only choose one, go for the Olive and Cheese naan for that full-bodied flavour.

Chicken Biryani 3.8/5

Chicken Biryani is a great option for a quick lunch. It seems like a basic dish, yet there is complexity in the use of spices and the way the rice is being cooked and put together with the meat. Mine was packed full of flavours but not too overwhelming with aromatics and spices. Hidden underneath the pile of fluffy basmati rice is load of tender chicken cubes.

Paan Ice Cream 4.8/5

If you visit Gabbar, do go for its Paan Ice Cream. Made with betel leaves, the sweetness and milkiness were at the right amount to mellow down the sharp herbaceous flavours of the betel leaves. The spiced and nutty topping intrigued my taste buds in every bite. It was such a unique and delicious ice cream, I strongly encourage you to give it a try.

Besides dining in, Gabbar Bistro & Bar also offers island-wide delivery for you to dine at the comfort of your home. You can order island-wide delivery at

Photos and words 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.

Gabbar Bistro & Bar
Clarke Quay
3B River Valley Road
Singapore 179021
Tel: +65 87555597
Nearest MRT: Fort Canning (DT Line), Clarke Quay (NE Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am - 1030pm

1) Alight at Fort Canning MRT Station. Take Exit A. Turn right and down River Valley Road. Turn right onto Tan Tye Place. Walk to the end of the road. Turn left onto Clark Quay. Walk to destination. Journey time bout 5 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit C or G. Walk to the river front. Turn left and walk down the river. Cross the bridge. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Torasho Ramen & Charcoal Bar @ Tras Street - New Contemporary Izakaya In The Heart Of Tanjong Pagar


I am glad that I am reunited with Chef Sho Naganuma at his new restaurant Torasho Ramen & Charcoal Bar. Formerly the Execute Chef at Hide Yamamoto, chef Sho Naganuma has partner with restaurateur Tora Widjaja to open the contemporary izakaya restaurant in the heart of Tanjong Pagar.

Ikura Nachos 4/5

We started with a couple of appetisers, and I have to say they are not the usual items you get in a traditional izakaya restaurant. The creative bites are inspired by the sophisticated Singapore palate which chef Sho Naganuma has a wealth of experience, having been working in Singapore since 2010. First up, we had the Ikura Nachos ($12). The delightful bite comes with tobiko and herbs on a crispy papadum chip. A delightful bite with the right balance of flavour and texture.

Unagi Tacos 3.8/5

The Unagi Tacos ($15) is quite similar to the ikura nachos except the meaty unagi takes centre stage resting on the crispy papadum, crown with green papaya for acidity and crunch. I thought a little more punch in the sourness from the green mango and even a little heat will lift the dish.

Uni Pillow 4.8/5

The Uni Pillow ($15/pc) may seem small in portion, but it's an explosive combination of flavours and textures from the karaage crumbs, nori and uni. This is definitely one of my favourite appetisers.

Wagyu Chips 4.2/5

The Wagyu Chips ($8) thinly sliced and fried with the wagyu fats is very addictive. It comes with truffle shio konbu that perfumed the enjoyment further.

Noble Scallops 4.5/5

The first thing that caught my attention is the colourful shells of the Noble Scallops ($27). Cooked in a sake-soy butter nage, the scallop was plump and juicy, infused with the aroma of sweet sake. Don't forget to take a sip of the sake based broth to enjoy the umami flavour.


With all the delicious appetisers, don't forget to order some sake to go along with them. Torasho even has their sake brand. If you order a bottle of sake, they even come in a mini sake barrel. Do note there are limited sake barrels available, so don't be disappointed if you didn't get one.


Truffle Baby Chick 4/5

For those that need something for filling or you have a big group, there is the big plates and rice section on the menu. The Truffle Baby Chicken ($38) may look like any original roasted chicken, but you will be in for a surprise. The chicken is actually stuffed with Kolkata style biryani rice cooked with potato inside. The hint of truffle further elevated the aroma and enjoyment of the fluffy rice and tender roasted chicken.

Bak Kut Teh Donabe 4.5/5

Anther rice dish on the menu is the locally inspired Bak Kut Teh Donabe ($38). Give the hotpot a good mix to get all the flavours blended together. The rice does come across garlicky and peppery like the local white bak kut teh. However, it doesn't resemble a bak kut teh dish at all. It is a delicious dish on its own with its own characteristic which all of us enjoyed.


One should not miss the ramen at Tora, especially their Dipping Ramen. Having tried Menya Sakura owned by Chef Sho Naganuma, I look forward to tasting the familiar flavour again at Torasho. At Torasho, the menu offers three types of ramen - Dipping, Dry and Soup.

Uni and Ikura Dipping Ramen 3.8/5

For the Dipping Ramen, we decided to go for the Uni and Ikura ($34) and Tsukemen "Singapore Best" ($14). The Uni and Ikura Dipping Ramen comes with a bowl of uni dipping soup, separates from the ramen that is topped with uni, ikura and nori. The noodle for dipping ramen is thicker and chewier compare to the rest as to complement the rich dipping soup.

Tsukemen "Singapore Best" Dipping Ramen 4.2/5

Between the two dipping ramens I tried, I still prefer the Tsukemen "Singapore Best" Dipping Ramen which comes with charcoal pork, bamboo shoot and nori with rich seafood and tonkotsu dipping soup. The dipping soup is more robust and richer in flavour, which goes better with the thick noodle. After finishing your noodle, you can ask for the staff to add either clear dashi broth or yuzu dashi broth to the soup so that you can appreciate the drink the remaining dipping soup. I would recommend the clear dashi broth.

Soup Ramen 3.8/5

For the soup ramen, there are three choices. You can go for the normal Tonkotsu Ramen ($12), Truffle Tonkotsu Ramen ($18) or Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen ($14). I decided to have the Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen, which comes in three levels of spiciness. Even at level 1, I feel that it will be a challenge for those that can't take spicy. What you can find in the bowl of ramen are roasted garlic, green onion, nori, kikurage and charcoal pork chashu. While the chashu is thick and charred, some prefer the more thinly sliced and tender type.

Dry Ramen, Lobster 4/5

Last but not least for the dry ramen, diners can choose to have the Truffle & Wagyu ($20), Lobster ($16) or Torasho Pork "Bak Chor Mee" ($14). We decided to have the Lobster Dry Ramen that comes with minced lobster, claw croquette, onsen egg, green onion and nori. Due to the crustacean flavour, it tastes like have a bowl of dry prawn noodle.


It has been a while since I get excited about a new opening. I really enjoyed the food at Torasho. Besides the flavours, I like the modern-inspired izakaya dishes that brings a refreshed concept to the table. It is definitely a place I will recommend my friend to go to for our next gathering.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Torasho Ramen & Charcoal Bar
32 Tras Street
(Main Entrance along Cook Street)
Singapore 078972
Tel: +65 69705055
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 1130am - 12midnight

1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Tras Street. Turn right onto Tras Street. Walk down Tras Street and turn left onto Cook Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]