Showing posts with label Spaghetti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spaghetti. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Zafferano @ Ocean Financial Centre - Elevating The Italian Dining Experience


It has been a year since I last visited Zafferano at Ocean Financial Centre. During the year, the restaurant has welcomed new Head Chef, Andrea De Paola. Previously from ilLido Group, Chef Andrea incorporates innovative flavours and modern techniques to time-honoured classics, bring finesse to the plate.


Our dinner started with some amuse-bouche. The delicate bite-size snacks gave me a glimpse of the chef's culinary philosophy, balancing complex flavours in an elegant touch.

Scampi 4.8/5

I was impressed with what Chef Andrea is bringing to Zafferano right from the start of the first dish, the Scampi ($32++). The plating is more elegant and refines now. The langoustine is simply char-grilled with extra virgin olive oil till medium rare, and given a coat of sesame. Complementing the natural sweetness of the crustacean's flesh is the white miso and mirin sauce. The result is a plate of complex flavours but coming harmoniously together.

Carciofo 3.8/5

Next, I tried the Carciofo ($28++). The artichoke is poached and grilled over almond wood. Hence the tender texture with a hint of smokiness. This is paired with Caciocavallo cheese foam that has a smoky flavour, with a smoked Yamanashi egg yolk in the middle. I am not a big fan of artichoke, but I love the caciocavallo cheese foam, and I think it can go well with a lot of ingredients too.

Spaghetti 4.2/5

The Spaghetti ($30++ starter/ $42++ main) is Chef Andrea's interpretation of traditional spaghetti with bottarga, replacing the cured fish roe with razor clams and Oscietra caviar. It is a unique combination that I have not tried before. What blew me away is the sauce that brings the whole dish together, for a slurping good time.

Branzino 4.5/5

The dishes so far showcase how Chef Andrea combines different flavours to elevate the main ingredient. On the contrary, the Branzino ($48++) is bare naked to highlight the freshness of the seabass sourced from an open farm in the Mediterranean Sea off the Sardinian coast. The seabass fillet is lightly seasoned with just salt, and extra virgin oil finished in the oven and brushed with tarragon salmoriglio before serving. It is paired with young zucchini, spring herbs salad and zucchini cream on the side. Nothing fancy, just straight forward appreciation of the beautiful seabass.

Manzo 4.5/5

Besides the a la carte menu, Chef Andrea has also put together a 4-course Chef menu ($118++) and 5-course Chef menu ($148++). From the chef menu, I had the beef striploin grilled in the charcoal oven, paired with blue foot mushrooms which is a classic Italian combination. The Sanchoku wagyu striploin was cooked beautifully, locking in all the lovely jus with crispy chars at the edge.

Cioccolato 4.5/5

Also, from the Chef menu, I had the Cioccolato to wrap up dinner. It is a vegan dessert that comprises variations of chocolate forms. You may think this is going to be a very rich and heavy dessert, but it turns out otherwise. It is light, well-balanced harmony of flavours and textures.

I am glad that I have the opportunity to try Chef Andrea's food. With the new chef on board, I feel that it has elevated the food at Zafferano a notch. If the kitchen team maintains its consistency, and the chef's culinary philosophy, the star may not be far away.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Ocean Financial Centre
Level 43
10 Collyer Quay
Singapore 049315
Tel: +65 65091488
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place (EW Line, NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 1130am - 3pm
Sat: 12pm - 3pm (last Sat of the month)
Mon-Fri: 530pm till late
Sat: 630pm till late
(Closed on Sun)

1) Alight at Raffles Place. Take Exit C. Walk to Ocean Financial Centre which is on the left. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Wok In Burger @ JCube - Kungfu Zi Char Burgers


Wok In Burger is a new concept by the third generation of Keng Eng Kee (KEK) Seafood restaurant. Doing what they know best, they are bringing the local zi char dishes in the form of burgers to the table. They started experiencing at their Pandan Garden outlet which has now closed but brought the burger concept back to Keng Eng Kee (KEK) Seafood restaurant at Bukit Merah. Recently, they also opened a new outlet at Jcube.

Green Apple Curry Burger 4/5

What makes Wok In Burger different is their unique Asian style patty with Asian sauces. For example, the Green Apple Curry Burger ($15.80), with a choice of pork or chicken. My eyes brightened up at my first bite, as I tasted something familiar. The curry sauce reminds me of the popular sauce from a particular fast-food restaurant. I jokingly asked if they made the sauce or took it from the fast-food restaurant. I love the addition of green apple, giving the burger a refreshing crunch.

Fish Skin Salted Egg Burger 4/5

Standing towering tall is the Fish Skin Salted Egg Burger ($15.80). Like the other burgers, it comes with a choice of pork or chicken. We have the pork cutlet drenched in the delicious salted egg sauce. The fish skins give the burger the extra crunch on top of the soft fluffy bun.

Sambal Fish Burger 3.5/5

If you are a pescatarian, there is the Sambal Fish Burger. Sandwiched in between the soft and fluffy sesame buns is a slab of moist fish fillet with crispy batter paired with fragrant sambal sauce.

Strawberry Cereal Fried Rice 3.5/5

Besides burgers, Wok In Burger offers fried rice and pasta on the menu too. For example, the Strawberry Cereal Fried Rice ($12.80) is another unique take of the usual zi char items. It even comes with a fried egg to complete the meal.

Marmite Chicken Aglio Olio 3.8/5

Black Pepper Beef Spaghetti 4/5

For the pasta dishes, we tried the Marmite Chicken Aglio Olio ($10.80) and Black Pepper Beef Spaghetti ($12.80). It is a skill to wok-fried pasta in a wok, while still having an al dente bite to it. The marmite chicken comes with chunky, juicy chicken pieces glazed with the sweet and savoury sticky sauce. If you like it spicy, I would recommend the tender black pepper beef spaghetti.


Not to be missed is their latest $6.90 Set Meal promotion for students, senior citizen (60 years and above), Singapore Armed Forces (Army, Navy & Air Force), Police Force and Civil Defence and Nurses. The set meal comes with a choice of one main, an iced lemon tea and a scoop of ice cream.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Wok In Burger
2 Jurong East Central 1
Singapore 609731
Nearest MRT: Jurong East (EW Line, NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am - 10pm

1) Alight at Jurong East MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn left and walk to the traffic light at Jurong Gateway Road. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Viio Gastropub @ Balestier Road - For Affordable Weekday Lunch Set and Craft Beer On Tap


Situated in the heart of Balestier, just next to Zhongshan Mall is Viio Gastropub – the latest upscale casual dining restaurant in the Balestier neigbourhood, helmed by Chef Ronald Li who has an impressive history of culinary experiences at high end restaurants and hotels over the years. Featuring a menu of specially curated pasta and donburi, they have an affordable weekday lunch set option from 11.30am to 2.30pm as well. Each main comes with house greens and soup of the day, starting from $9.90++ onwards. They also sport a lineup of fresh craft beer on tap to cater to the casual happy hour gatherings as well.

Spaghetti Aglio Alio with Prawns 3.8/5

We had the Spaghetti Aglio Alio with Prawns ($9.90) which features al dente pasta tossed in a homemade prawn and olive oil mixture, giving the dish a fragrant aroma and a subtle hint of spice. Paired with plenty of small shrimps atop which has a crunchy sweet texture. Although I wished plump juicy prawns were used instead but for the pricing, it is rather value for money.

Rigatoni Bolognese with Onsen Egg 4/5

The al dente chewy texture of the pasta for the Rigatoni Bolognese with Onsen Egg ($12.90) was pure enjoyment on its own. The dish is cooked in a flavourful bolognese sauce to elevate its flavours. Not forgetting a flowy onsen egg to gel everything together as well.

BBQ Pork Ribs Donburi 4.2/5

A personal favourite is the BBQ Pork Ribs Donburi ($14.90) which features flavourful slabs of pork cooked till tender, and seasoned with a marinate to give it a tinge of sweetness. Also comes with complements of seasonal vegetable and pickle to add another flavour and texture dimension to the dish, as well as to cut through the richness of the BBQ pork ribs. Break into the oozy onsen egg to meld all the elements in the bowl together.

Duo Wagyu Beef Slider and Chips 4.2/5

The Duo Wagyu Beef Slider and Chips ($16.90) is served with a side of fries. Although mini in size, the beef patty sandwiched in between the buttery toasted buns was thick and succulent. Each slider also comes with tomato, melted cheese, oyster mushroom and pickle, which adds some sweetness and crunch to the sliders.

D.Chocolate Fondant 3.8/5

End the meal on a sweet note with their D.Chocolate Fondant ($14). Featuring a beautifully plated desserts of two mini chocolate lava cakes with assorted berries and mango sorbet, which adds a sour flavour to complement the richness of the chocolate. My only gripe is that the chocolate cakes did not flow, and would be better if there is more chocolatey goodness in it.


Overall, we were impressed with flavour-focused menu at Viio Gastropub, with the lunch set deals being an extremely worthy deal especially for people working around the area on the weekdays.

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.

Viio Gastropub
520 Balestier Road
Singapore 329853
Tel: +65 62535752
Nearest MRT: Toa Payoh (NS Line), Novena (NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 1130am – 11pm

1) Alight at Novena MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Irrawaddy Road. Walk towards Ren Ci Community Hospital direction along Irrawaddy Road. Turn onto Shan Road and walk to the end. At the end of the Shan Road, cross Balestier Road to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Toa Payoh MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to Toa Payoh bus interchange (Stop ID 52009). Take bus number 139 and 145. Alight 3 stops later. Walk to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]

3) Alight at Toa Payoh MRT station. Take Exit C. Walk to bus stop at Toa Payoh MRT station along Toa Payoh Lorong 2 (Stop ID 52189). Take bus 56, 105 or 153. Alight 1 stop later. Cross the canal. Cut through the cluster of HDB flats and carpark towards block 103 onto Ah Hood Road. Continue on Ah Hood Road to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Morettino Cafe @ 100AM Mall - A Place For Burrata Dishes


Located in 100AM Mall, Morettino Cafe is a cosy dining space that serves authentic Italian food prepared by Chef Andrea, who started his culinary journey in Rome. Not just a cafe for food, their coffee is Morettino, an Italian artisanal slow coffee produced in Sicily, in the middle of the Mediterranean since 1920.

Bruschetta of the Chef 3.5/5

Our lunch started with Bruschetta of the Chef ($14.80) made with fresh tomato, basil, mix vegetables and herbed cheese. I like the homely touches of the eggplants and zucchini which were delightful. Marinated and pickled in house, they are not soaking wet with vinegar and salt like those of ready made, which allows their natural flavours to come through.

Pisa 3.8/5

Alongside our starter we had Pisa Salad ($16.80). A salad but the key is really their roasted beef and I could imagine having this dish along with their wines. Laced with a layer of luscious fats, each slice of beef gave a rich and satisfying mouthful despite its elegant cut. I appreciate the light kiss of olive oil on the salad without complications of a salad dressing, other than assertion from the feta cheese. The beef and feta makes a pretty strong combination but the apple and greens balance that out.

Spaghetti Amatriciana with Burrata 4/5

You will notice that almost under each category in the menu, there will a Burrata dish and labelled as Chef's recommendation. Apparently, the Burrata used here is supplied by Chef Andrea's friend in Italy, who produces organic Burrata in small batches! I was so glad that I had chosen one of the Burrata dishes - Spaghetti Amatriciana with Burrata. Tossed in traditional roman tomato sauce prepared inhouse, the well rounded sauce seems to leave just enough space for the savoury chopped bacon to fit right in. That allows the delicate burrata cheese to stand out even after it was mixed into the pasta.

Salmon Lemon 2.8/5

For pizza, we decided to try a more different combination - Salmon Lemon ($25). It was underwhelming somehow. I find the salmon slightly dry and the overall combination was a tad too bland even with all the fresh herbs and cheese. I would have opted for the Burrata pizza anytime!

Grass Fed Beef Burger & Fries 3.5/5

For mains, we had Grass Fed Beef Burger & Fries ($28). Other than the juicy and well seasoned 200g Australian angus beef patty, the toasted brioche bun was fluffy with crisp edges, which is a plus point for me, done the way we wanted. The caramelised onions could be reduced further for sweetness though.


With the wide view of the bustling street that the space offers, I could just sit by the window pane with a coffee and people-watch all day. Other than food and coffee, Morettino Cafe is strong with their wine repertoire too. Their wine list features 100 bottles starting from $38 and under $100, and changes with the seasons. Labels includes newcomers to Old-World classics from small-production winemakers.

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.

Morettino Cafe
100AM Mall
100 Tras St
Singapore 079027
Tel: 6224 0424
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am - 10pm

1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk towards Gopeng Street and turn into Tras Street. Walk to Amara Hotel. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

SG Pho House @ North Bridge Road - New Vietnamese Restaurant By True-blue Vietnamese Lady Boss


SG Pho House is a newly opened Vietnamese restaurant, nestled in one of the shophouses along North Bridge Road. The lady boss is a true-blue Vietnamese and with her leading the kitchen together with her own team, expect real Vietnamese flavours in your pho as well as other dishes.


Its interior is probably one of the closest to that of those eating places I had been to in Vietnam, perhaps what's missing are the little stools for a morning beer. Shiny mental foldable tables with much sturdier legs that are built to last, these dining tables are actually imported from Vietnam. The menu is fairly simple, offering Beef and Chicken Pho, Vermicelli, Rice varieties and sides.

Mango Salad 4.2/5

Seafood Spring Rolls 3.5/5

For sides, we had Mango Salad ($6.90), Fresh Spring Rolls ($3.90) and Seafood Spring Rolls ($4.90). I'm really pleased with their mango salad which comes with fried shallot, shrimps and sliced pork. The acidity is just right and I could taste the citrusy of the lime juice. What I really appreciate is how the shrimps and pork are being sliced to align with the shredded mango, hence there is a bit of everything in each bite. As for the spring rolls, I thought the fresh ones are kind of flat, while there is definitely a lot more going on with the fried seafood version.

Beef Vermicelli Soup, Hue's Style 3.5/5

I was told that different style of pho uses different bases. The traditional beef noodle soup, Hue style vermicelli soup, chicken noodle soup and even Thailand style (Tom Yum) vermicelli Soup have a different soup base. The sweetness and flavours are not from MSG but a concoction of imported Vietnamese herbs, spices and their solid good broths. For the mains, we had Beef Vermicelli Soup, Hue's Style ($7.90), Rice Spaghetti Soup with Crab Meat ($9.90) and Grilled Pork Vermicelli ($9.50). The broths here are indeed the soul of the dishes. What hit my senses first was the sweetness of the broths, born from hours of simmering bones and marrow. There is depth to it, accented with herbs and spices. Served alongside the beef vermicelli soup is not just your usual plate of basil and beansprouts but with a pile of shredded kang kong to provide an extra crunch and freshness to the overall taste.

Rice Spaghetti Soup with Crab Meat 3/5

Their Rice Spaghetti is similar to our local Mee Tai Mak. The soup is made with pork bones which explains the unexpected level of sweetness. I thought it was just going to be a mediocre soup base. I like the homemade meatballs which reminds me of how a yummy minced meatball make a difference to a bowl of handmade noodle soup. However, the crab meat which is supposed to be the star of the dish was rather dry and bland, hence a better option may be their vermicelli soup with seafood only.

Grilled Pork Vermicelli 3/5

As for the Grilled Pork Vermicelli, although it didn't pack much surprises, it is a crowd pleaser with very well marinated juicy pork chop. And it is not at all boring when a bowl of it comes with a pork spring roll and a grilled fermented pork, akin to a sausage.

Vietnamese Coffee 3/5

One thing I learnt from this lunch is the similar to how a Hong Kong evaporated milk made its mark in a Hong Kong milk tea, Vietnamese have their own version of condensed milk as well, which apparently is less sweet than our local ones. True enough, even though our Avocado milkshake and Strawberry milkshake were made with big spoonfuls of their condensed milk, they turned out creamy and milky without being cloying. My Vietnamese version of 'Piccolo' was fine too, though I wish it could be a lot stronger.


Out of malls and away from the crowd, I quite enjoy the rustic atmosphere of SG Pho House which elevates the experience of tucking into their hearty broths and dishes. The chicken noodle soup is highly recommended by the owner so when you need a alternative chicken soup for your soul one of these days, do drop by!

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.

SG Pho House
774 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198742
Tel: +65 62998774
Nearest MRT: Bugis (DT Line, EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am - 10pm

1) Alight at Bugis MRT station. Take Exit E. Walk down North Bridge Road towards Ophir Road direction. Continue walking North Bridge Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]

Friday, August 24, 2018

Origin Grill & Bar @ Shangri La Hotel Singapore - The Place For Great & Exclusive Steaks


The love for a good steak has brought me back to Origin Grill & Bar at Shangri La Hotel Singapore. If you have not known, you can savour the Shiro Kin Wagyu and the Snow-aged Full-blood Wagyu that are exclusively available at Origin Grill.

Tuna Cracker 4/5

Before starting on the mains, we have a couple of starters. First we have the Tuna Cracker ($28) which comes with fresh raw sashimi grade tuna on top a light crispy vegetable flat bread. What is interesting is the nuttiness from the thin flat bread, which consists of golden flax pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds. It has the interesting play of textures and flavours.

Octopus Charred with Smoked Paprika 4/5

Grilled to a beautiful char is the Octopus with Smoked Paprika ($32). It has an delectable bouncy bite, served with Morrocan inspired sweet and sour tomato jam, and citrus salsa with lemon undertones.

Pan-seared Hokkaido Scallops 4/5

Plump, sweet and juicy is the Pan-seared Hokkaido Scallops with chilli jam ($32). Completing the dish is a garden of Asian herbs salad, crunchy dry roasted peanuts and kaffir leaves.

Spaghetti Tossed with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil 4.2/5

Sometimes fresh and simple is the best for me. Take for example the Spaghetti with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil ($24). Nothing fancy and complicated. Well cooked pasta tossed in freshly made rich tomato sauce, olive oil, heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes.

John Stone Grass-Fed Dry-aged 35 days 4/5

Moving to the meat which is the highlight at Origin Grill, we started with the John Stone Grass-fed Dry-aged for 35 days. It comes in either Striploin on the bone ($98 for 400g) or Ribeye on the bone ($138 for 500g).  It is a good piece of Black Angus beef, beefy and rustic in flavours.

Snow-aged Full Blood Wagyu A4 4.5/5

The priced meat has to be the Snow-aged Full Blood Wagyu A4 (Striploin $168 for 200g). I related it to having Tuna. This is the Otoro of the beef. I associated the fatty marbling of the beef to that of the otoro. Instead of the melted in the mouth texture like the otoro, the beef has a slight crunch to it. The beef is aged using snow as its natural refrigeration or better known as Yukimuro, an centuries-old aging process used by the residents in Niigata, Japan.

Shiro Kin Full Blood Wagyu 4.8/5

While the snow-aged wagyu is extraordinary, my favourite actually goes to the Shiro Kin Full Blood Wagyu. $148 for 250g of Striploin and $198 for 250g of Ribeye. Apparently the cattle is direct descendants of Japanese Wagyu and fed a specially formulated Japanese diet for minimum of 500 days. It even won 6 grand champion awards. Compare to the earlier 2 steaks, this is distinct for its tenderness and sweetness. Its like sipping a good glass of red wine, that is full bodied but yet smooth and pleasant drinking.

Carrot Walnut Cake 4.2/5

Chocolate Fudge Cake 4.5/5

Not to be missed is the desserts at Origin Grill, especially the cakes. Both the Carrot Walnut Cake ($14) and Chocolate Fudge Cake ($14) are awesome. Being not a dessert person, I am surprise that I could resist going back for more of them. My only regret is that I didn't save more space for dessert.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Origin Grill & Bar
Shangri La Singapore Hotel
Lobby Level Tower Wing
22 Orange Grove Road
Singapore 258350
Tel: +65 62134595
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 12pm - 230pm, 6pm - 1030pm

1) Alight at Orchard MRT station. Take Exit E. Walk towards Wheellock Place via ION. Exit Wheellock Place and turn left towards Liat Tower. Cross the road at the traffic light junction and turn left towards Royal Thai Embassy. Walk down to the end of Orchard Road. Turn right onto Orange Grove Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 23 minutes. [Map]