Showing posts with label Chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chocolate. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2024

AIR @ Dempsey Hill - A Sustainable Dining Experience that Pushes the Boundaries of Culinary Innovation While Rooted in Environmental Consciousness



AIR, an acronym for Awareness, Impact, and Responsibility, represents more than just a restaurant — it's a sprawling 40,000-square-foot oasis at Dempsey Hill. Conceived by Chefs Matthew Orlando and Will Goldfarb, alongside entrepreneur Ronald Akili, this establishment serves as a hub for sustainability, featuring a circular campus encompassing a restaurant, cooking school, research space, and garden farm.

Fermented Cassava Flatbread 3/5

Our dinner commenced with the Fermented Cassava Flatbread ($16), accompanied by whipped mushroom "XO" butter. While the bread exuded a strong, yeasty flavour that didn't quite resonate with my palate, the savoury richness of the mushroom "XO" butter provided a redeeming quality. However, the price tag seemed a tad steep, considering its standard complimentary nature in most establishments.

Crispy Oyster Mushrooms 3.5/5

Next, the Crispy Oyster Mushrooms ($30) emerged from the kitchen. They boasted a delightful interplay of textures and flavours heightened by Sarawak pepper emulsion and pickled chillies. Despite their satisfying crispy exterior and vibrant taste profile, the pricing seemed disproportionate for what essentially amounted to deep-fried mushrooms.

White Fish Ceviche 4/5

A refreshing interlude arrived in the form of White Fish Ceviche ($29) featuring green mango and Kenari nut milk. The dish offered a light and revitalising experience, complemented by the satisfying crunch of emping crisps — an unexpected but welcome addition reminiscent of nachos.

The Whole Coral Grouper For Two 4.2/5


The Whole Coral Grouper For Two ($58) took centre stage for the main course. It is filleted, and confit bathed in a pool of green onion and black garlic vinaigrette sauce. While the fish was excellently prepared, it was the accompanying Smoked Fish Rillette with Fish Bone and Garlic Lavash stole the show, adding depth and complexity to the dish.

Re-Incarnated "Chocolate" 4/5

The Re-Incarnated "Chocolate" ($18) exemplifies the ethos of AIR, showcasing its commitment to sustainability and innovation. Crafted from by-products of common processes—cocoa husks, cascara, and coconut flesh—the dessert undergoes roasting and grinding with cocoa butter and sugar. The result? Luxurious chocolate bars boasting a rich, roasty flavour with subtle coconut undertones. This ingenious approach mirrors traditional chocolate-making methods yet eschews cocoa beans, epitomising AIR's dedication to creative, eco-conscious cuisine.

The Whole Papaya 3.5/5

The Whole Papaya ($18) dessert represents a creative and inventive approach to utilising the entire fruit. This intriguing creation incorporates not only the papaya fruit itself but also features papaya skin granite and uses papaya seeds to impart a peppery note to the dish. While I admire the innovation behind this dessert, I feel somewhat awkward encountering the papaya seeds during consumption. Nonetheless, it's a commendable effort to reimagine traditional ingredients and minimise waste in culinary creations.

In summary, AIR at Dempsey Hill offers a sustainable dining experience that pushes the boundaries of culinary innovation while remaining rooted in environmental consciousness. While some dishes may fall short of expectations, the overarching commitment to sustainability and responsible dining shines through, making it a noteworthy destination for eco-conscious gastronomes.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Dempsey Hill
25B Dempsey Road
Singapore 249670
Tel: +65 8228 1528
Nearest MRT: Napier (TE Line)

Opening Hours:
Wed-Sun: 530pm - 11pm

1) Alight at Napier MRT station. Take Exit 2. Walk to bus stop at Napier Station (Stop ID 13011). Take bus number 7, 75, 77, 105, 106, 123 or 174. Alight 2 stops later. Take the stairs up to Dempsey Road. Turn left and walk to the open air carpark. Walk all the way to the end of the carpark to the entrance of AIR. Walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]

Monday, February 12, 2024

AMI Patisserie @ Scotts Road - Popular Online Pastry Shop Opens First Physical Concept, Crafting Fine Pastries through an ode to Japanese and French Traditions


AMI Patisserie, celebrated for its online prowess in crafting exquisite pastries under the skilled hands of Chef Makoto Arami, has finally materialised into a physical haven at 27 Scotts Road. The Kyoto-style wooden townhouse on the grounds of the colonial black and white bungalow marks AMI Patisserie's debut in the brick-and-mortar world.


Upon entering, patrons are greeted by a serenely elegant Patisserie Café, offering seating for 12. This inviting space provides the perfect backdrop for intimate brunches or leisurely afternoon teas, showcasing fine a la carte sweets, savouries, and viennoiseries — all artfully prepared a la minute. The Chef's Table Discovery Experience ($118++) awaits for a deeper gastronomic affair in the exclusive 8-seat Tsudoi Dining Room.

Piedmont Hazelnut Financier 4.8/5

I had the privilege of embarking on the Chef's Table Discovery Menu — an exquisite 6-course culinary journey that delved into the artistry of pastry creation by Chef Makoto Arami. The Piedmont Hazelnut Financier initiated our journey. Spread with hazelnut praline and adorned with shaved roasted Piedmont hazelnuts, it provided a sweet overture to our 6-course symphony.

Bread Basket 4.5/5

A complimentary Bread Basket graced our table, featuring Sourdough Bread and Iwa Nori Escargot Bun. Accompanied by applewood-smoked and whipped unsalted Lescure butter, these creations showcased Chef Makoto's prowess in bread making too.

1st Course - Signature Choux 5/5

The Signature Choux held a special place in Chef Makoto's heart, paying homage to his father's choux recipe. This Japanese egg-filled craqueline choux, topped with crème fraîche, Schrenckii caviar, hanaho, and edible gold flakes, delivered a delightful blend of sweet and savoury flavours — a perfect harmony of crispiness and complexity.

2nd Course - Shizuoka Tomato Tartelette 4.8/5

The Shizuoka Tomato Tartelette drew inspiration from Chef Makoto's love for Italian flavours. Aged parmesan tartelette, topped with fromage blanc cream, fresh Amela tomatoes, basil oil, micro basil, and cornflower, harmonised Italian classics with a modern twist.

3rd Course - Japanese Uni Brioche 4.8/5

The Japanese Uni Brioche showcased Chef Makoto's fusion prowess, featuring brown butter brioche topped with lime cream, sea urchin, grated fresh wasabi, finger lime, and lime zest. This creation provided a burst of flavours, bursting with a firework of delights.

4th Course - Nasu Brulee 4.2/5

Inspired by Kyoto's Miso Dengaku, the Nasu Brulee featured bruleed eggplant custard, grilled beinasu dusted with sansho powder, and miso caramel. Paired with soy and miso ice cream, it presented a unique and complex flavour profile.

Palate Cleanser - La France Pear 4.2/5

A refreshing interlude came in the form of La France Pear — fresh pear topped with pear puree, chamomile gelee, and yuzu and pear granita. It is a sweet and invigorating dessert that cleanses the palate.

5th Course - Marble Dark Chocolate 4.2/5

The Marble Dark Chocolate was an artistic ode comprising three types of ganache, layered with plain and chocolate tuile and finished with a quenelle of Amaretto ice cream. This dessert celebrated the craftsmanship of the ceramic ware master who crafted the tableware for the Tsudoi Dining Room.

6th Course - Ichigo Milk 4.2/5

The Ichigo Milk, a finale featuring Amaou strawberries, showcased the 'king of Japanese strawberries.' With strawberries mixed in strawberry sauce, fromage blanc mousse, mint gelee, Hokkaido milk ice cream, strawberry granita, and edible gold flakes, it was a delightful conclusion — a light yet sweet ending to the culinary journey.

Oyatsu - Kumquat & Kokuto Pineapple Pie 4.5/5

To cap off the experience, the Oyatsu — Kumquat & Kokuto Pineapple Pie — offered a taste of Lunar New Year festivities. A Mille feuille puff pastry filled with almond cream, pineapple jam simmered with Okinawan kokuto black sugar, and kumquats from Miyazaki prefecture provided a sweet and symbolic ending.

In conclusion, the Chef's Table Discovery Experience at AMi Patisserie transcended a mere culinary journey — a symphony of flavours, artistry, and sentiment. Chef Makoto Arami's meticulous craftsmanship and thoughtful compositions elevate pastries to a form of culinary art, offering patrons an unforgettable and deeply personal gastronomic encounter. AMi Patisserie's physical concept place is more than a patisserie. It is a testament to the craftsmanship and passion that defines Chef Makoto Arami's culinary world.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

AMI Patisserie
27 Scotts Road
Singapore 228222
Tel:+65 8907 6146
Nearest MRT: Newton (DT, NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Patisserie Café
Tue-Fri: 1130am - 6pm
Sat-Sun, PH: 11am - 6pm
(Closed Mon-Tue from 19 Feb 2024 onwards)

Tsudoi Dining Room - Chef's Table Discovery Experience
Wed-Sat: 12pm - 3pm, 7pm - 9pm
Sun: 12pm - 6pm

1) Alight at Newton MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk down Scotts Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 6 minutes. [Map]

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Opus Bar & Grill @ VOCO Orchard Singapore - Flame-grilled Haven for Discerning Steak Enthusiasts


Opus Bar & Grill, nestled within VOCO Orchard Singapore, unveils a new Executive Chef, Dean, boasting an impressive career spanning over 25 years across the United Kingdom and Singapore. Known as a haven for discerning steak enthusiasts, we visited Opus Bar & Grill for a dinner that promised the elevation of flame-grilled perfection.

Crab Cake 4.5/5

The Crab Cake ($29) emerged as a star-studded starter. Crafted into a jumbo sphere, it showcased a decadent crab meat filling. The crispy exterior of the croquette-like creation harmonised impeccably with the mango puree, wasabi mayo, pickled pineapple, and a crowning touch of caviar. A luxurious prelude that set the stage for what was to come.

Burrata Salad 4.5/5

Following next, the Burrata Salad ($28) offered a refreshing interlude. The fresh and creamy texture of burrata paired seamlessly with fermented chitose cherry tomato and plum gel, creating a symphony of flavours. The addition of crispy basil crackers contributed a delightful textural contrast, elevating the overall dining experience.

Charred Cabbage Steak 4.8/5

Diverging from the conventional steak offerings, Opus Bar & Grill introduced the Charred Cabbage Steak ($22). This innovative dish showcased sweet cabbage with a smoky aroma from the grill, enhanced by the firework of flavours from herb cheese mousseline, shallot crisps, hazelnut snow, and chilli oil. It is an unexpected delight reminiscent of okonomiyaki, challenging the norms and delighting the palate.

Grain-Fed Miyazaki Striploin A4, Japan (300g) 4.5/5

A visit to Opus Bar & Grill is synonymous with savouring their flame-grilled steaks. Opting for the Grain-Fed Miyazaki Striploin A4 ($138) from Japan, we were treated to a sensory journey of exceptional marbling, tenderness, and rich flavour. The flame grilling process unveiled the steak's full potential, a testament to Opus Bar & Grill's mastery of its craft.

Coal-Roasted Spatchcock Chicken 4.2/5

For those preferring alternatives to beef, the Coal-Roasted Spatchcock Chicken ($42) emerged as a stellar choice. The caramelised char on the skin, attributed to the tare glaze, complemented the moist and tender meat. It is accompanied by a side of Nori Mash, velvety and creamy.

Jivara Floral Garden 4.2/5

Concluding our dinner, the Jivara Floral Garden dessert made a grand entrance. Beautifully presented as a lollipop, it featured Passion fruit-inspired ganache, cassis micro sponge, dark chocolate cigars, and a Valrhona Jivara 40% praline milk chocolate. It is a rich and chocolaty crescendo, providing a sweet symphony to conclude our meal.

Opus Bar & Grill, under the guidance of Executive Chef Dean, rises above the ordinary steakhouse experience. It's a sanctuary where every dish and every bite compose a symphony within an epicurean masterpiece. The expertise in flame-grilled perfection establishes Opus Bar & Grill as an essential destination for those craving superbly grilled meats and seafood.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Opus Bar & Grill
VOCO Orchard Singapore
581 Orchard Road
Singapore 238883
Tel: +65 6730 3390
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS, TE Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily (Breakfast): 630am - 1030am
Daily (Dinner): 6pm - 103pm
Sat (Lunch): 12pm - 2pm
Sunday Brunch Buffet: 12pm - 3pm

1) Alight at Orchard MRT station. Take Exit 4. Walk towards Wheelock Place via ION. Exit Wheelock Place and turn left towards Liat Tower. Walk down Orchard Road to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Moxie @ Alumni Association Medical Centre (SGH) - A Modern Mediterranean Dining and Lifestyle Destination


Moxie, the fresh-faced Mediterranean dining and lifestyle haven, has gracefully descended upon the Alumni Association Medical Centre (SGH), replacing the erstwhile Kah Soh. Transforming the space into a modern beach house with a lively coastal vibe, Moxie offers a delectable array of shared plates and refreshing cocktails throughout the day.


The ambiance at Moxie is a breath of fresh air—literally. The modern beach house aesthetic is both inviting and chic, transporting diners to sun-soaked coastal getaways. The airy and vibrant atmosphere complements the Mediterranean fare perfectly, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely meal or casual gatherings.

Moxie Dip Platter with Sourdough/Pita 4.5/5

Kickstarting the coastal journey, we dived into the Moxie Dip Platter with Sourdough ($22). The platter offers a trio of delightful dips—Spinach Yogurt, Smashed Kabocha, and Whipped Ricotta. Each dip is a star in its own right, but if one has to be crowned, the Whipped Ricotta takes the throne. The interplay of textures and flavours, coupled with the choice of either Sourdough or Pita, is a crowd-pleaser.

Burrata 4.8/5

The Italian Burrata ($19) is a masterpiece. Paired with pickled red beets, charred grapes, pistachio dukkah, and red beet gel, the dish is a symphony of colours and flavours. The creaminess of the burrata finds harmony with the tanginess of the beets and sweetness of the grapes, creating a palate-pleasing experience.

Spiced Corn Ribs 4.5/5

The Spiced Corn Ribs ($16) are a revelation. Dressed in cumin-infused aioli, grated feta, and lime, the corn bursts with flavors. Eating it like a rib, squeezing lime included, adds an interactive element to the dish, enhancing the sweetness of the corn.

Grouper Crudo 4.5/5

The Grouper Crudo ($25) is a highlight for seafood enthusiasts. Local flower grouper meets Zhoug coulis, pickled Japanese cucumber, and diced red radish, creating a refreshing and vibrant dish. The coriander seeds sprinkled on top add a final layer of complexity.

Arugula Pesto Orecchiette 4.2/5

The Arugula Pesto Orecchiette ($38) is a flavorful pasta dish. Al dente orecchiette, sautéed prawns and scallops, crab meat, shaved parmesan, fresh arugula, and toasted pine nuts come together harmoniously, offering a medley of textures and flavors.

Catch of The Day - Fillet (200g) 4.2/5

The Catch of The Day (Fillet, $42, 200g) showcases the versatility of Moxie. With a weekly rotation of fish, the pan-fried fillet with clarified butter, browned almonds, and capers is a delightful dish. The moist fish comes with a hint of smokiness, nuttiness from almonds, and tanginess from capers, creating a symphony of flavours.

Moxie Mille Feuille 4.8/5

Save room for dessert, as Moxie's Mille Feuille ($19) is a showstopper. Layers of filo pastry, whipped cream cheese, strawberries, and blueberries, crowned with kataifi and raspberry, deliver a sweet ending with myriad textures.

Dark Chocolate Mousse 4.5/5

Concluding the feast is the Dark Chocolate Mousse ($16). Rich dark chocolate meets hazelnut ice cream, berry compote, toasted hazelnuts, and streusel, creating a well-balanced and indulgent dessert.


Moxie succeeds in bringing the vibrant flavours of the Mediterranean to Singapore's shore. From the captivating ambience to the thoughtfully crafted dishes, each aspect of the dining experience at Moxie reflects a commitment to quality and creativity. The menu's diversity caters to various palates, ensuring that Moxie stands out as a delightful addition to Singapore's F&B scene. Whether you're craving a leisurely lunch or a lively dinner, Moxie beckons with its coastal charm and culinary prowess.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Alumni Association Medical Centre
Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
2 College Road
Singapore 169850
Tel: +65 9339 3380
Nearest MRT: Outram Park (EW, NE, TE Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Thu, Sun: 1130am - 10pm
Fri-Sat: 1130am - 1130pm
(Closed on Mon)

1) Alight at Outram Park MRT. Take Exit 1. Cross the road. Turn right and walk down Outram Road towards the flyover. At the junction of Outram Road and Chin Swee Road, turn left and walk to College Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 6 minutes. [Map]

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Usher in this Joyous Season with Da Paolo Gastronomia’s ‘Everyday Italian’ Festive Highlights 2023


Usher in this joyous season with Da Paolo Gastronomia's 'Everyday Italian' Festive Highlights available for self pick-up and delivery. They are available for orders online from 1 November to 31 December 2023 or while stocks last (whichever is earlier) for self pick-up from any Da Paolo Gastronomia outlet and delivery from 4 November 2023.

Stuffed & Deboned Roast Turkey 4.8/5

The Stuffed & Deboned Roast Turkey ($388, approximately 4kg) was excellent. Filled with its own meat and its Christmas Stuffing, which comprises chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, and veggies, enveloping a classic Italian sausage Cotechino, it breaks the monotony of having roast turkey during the Christmas season. The stuffing itself was seasoned just enough to complement the tender turkey meat, and the flavoursome sausage imparted a depth of savoury and meaty flavour that truly enhanced the experience of enjoying a roast turkey on this special occasion.

Braised Beef Rib 3/5

The Braised Beef Ribs ($248, approximately 1.3kg) is new to the line-up, suitable for 6 to 8 persons. It's low-cooked in red wine and served with roasted potatoes, onions, carrots, and cherry tomatoes. While the rib was fork-tender, I found it lacking in flavour.

Brussels Sprouts, Turnip & Cranberry Salad

Truffle Mac & Cheese

Sumptuous sides are available to pair with the roasts. For a refreshing crunch, the best option would be Brussels Sprouts, Turnip & Cranberry Salad ($69). The cranberries lent pop of sweetness to the roots and vegetables. For something hearty and indulgent, Da Paolo's signature Truffle Mac & Cheese ($110) is good for 4 to 6 persons.

White Forest Log Cake 4.8/5

For the very first time, I've found a white log cake that isn't cloyingly sweet. Conversely, this White Forest Log Cake ($89, approximately 900g) was light, featuring white chocolate yoghurt chantilly. What makes all the difference is the homemade rum-spiked morello cherry compote in the centre. Sweet and tart, with a depth of smoky and bittersweetness imparted by the rum, perfectly matches the yoghurt chantilly.

Homemade Stollen 4/5

The new Homemade Stollen ($48, approximately 400g) is crafted with month-long macerated dried fruit and toasted nuts in their very own spice blend and traditional Kirschwasser. The toasted nuts are melded within, giving it a moreish nutty flavour, which helps cut through the richness of the sweet marzipan core.

Gingerbread Chocolate Tart 3.5/5

Rocky Road Eggless Brownie 3.5/5

There are new sweet delights as well. The Gingerbread Chocolate Tart ($89, approximately 700g) boasts a buttery gingerbread spiced crust with a gooey homemade caramel layer between almond frangipane and dark chocolate. While the tart is unique with its gingerbread tart shell, it could have been less sweet for a better balance. The new Rocky Road Eggless Brownie ($89, approximately 850g) features a layer of dark chocolate ganache and is topped with walnuts, marshmallows, and Maraschino cherries. I find the chocolate notes a tad overwhelmed by the sweetness.


Exquisite Gift Hamper Panettone - Handmade by Da Paolo's artisan bakers in Italy, the dough is leavened for 36 hours to develop a softer and fluffier crumb with more intense flavours. Panettone Classico ($72 for 750g) and Panettoncino Classico ($14.90, 100g) are filled with raisins and candied citrus peels. In contrast, the Panettone Cioccolato ($75 for 750g) is studded with dark chocolate chips, and the Panettone Prosecco ($75 for 750g) contains Prosecco D.O.C.G. cream.


All offerings other than the Gingerbread Cookies, Stollen, Tea Tins, and Panettone are exclusively available online at from 1 November to 31 December 2023 or while stocks last (whichever is earlier) for self pick-up from any Da Paolo Gastronomia outlet, and delivery from 4 November 2023. Orders must be made three days in advance, before 12pm. Enjoy anlol early bird offer of 15% off the Christmas Roast Bundle for orders placed from 1 November till 30 November 2023.