Saturday, December 31, 2011

NYE 2011: A time for reflection

It's the time of the year again, the very last day of 2011. And here I am sitting in front of my desktop at home, reflecting the things that had happened for the past 364 days. This very last day of the year, I woke up early to go to the wet market to get some meat and vegetables, had chee cheong fun for breakfast, washed all the clothes and bedsheets and now sending out New Year messages.

Yes, it does not sound very much like a happening person. I guess when one gets older (yes I'm another 1 year older in another month's time), the less one would party. If you were to count the days I went partying or clubbing, I could safely declare that the amount of our public holidays is more. Nowadays, I like to stay at home, have a good rest and keep up with the house chores especially when mom goes traveling. And since I travel almost 50% of the time, it's good to fully utilise the house whenever possible.

I can't believe 1 year passes by so quickly. The work life has been a mixture of good and difficult times but I'm sure I can handle the obstacles. It only makes me wiser and more determined to do better in 2012. My job has brought me places and new experiences which I could never imagined and I am truly blessed. What I've learnt this year - resilient & determination.

Traveling was abundance. This year alone, I've went globe trotting from asia to europe - Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Sri Lanka, Brussels and Paris. On domestic holidays, I went to Langkawi, Cherating, Penang & Malacca. I've also started running this June and from there, I've participated 3 different runs of 10km - Standard Chartered KL, Putrajaya Night Run & Penang Bridge Run and my personal best record is 74mins. Next year, I plan to do at least 5 runs and hopefully I'll be able to move on from 10km to maybe a 14-16km run.

The essence of 2011 would be the friends I know. I've got a bunch of cool colleagues and I love their company. We work together, we do runs and trips together, and we play our favourite lunch time game of foosball together! Love life is improving. Sometimes things happened for a reason and it's when you least expect it. I do see a journey laden with road blocks but no one knows what will happen if you take the path less taken. I hope one day, I would be able to recite Robert Frost in confidence that I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

And to that, we'll end the year with no less than a glass in hand.

1 shot of Balbair,
1 mug of Beer,
Let's all Cheer,
To a Happy New Year.

The video with such a catchy tune that should end the year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

AcmeBar & Coffee @ The Troika KL

"Beep beep"

Sorry this is no Acme Corporation that was featured in the Wile E Coyote and Road Runner cartoons we used to watch when we were kids. The AcmeBar & Coffee at The Troika is a new establishment of good food and coffee which fits the description of an edgy, classy and trendy cafe in the heart of the city.

Sunday the 18th was the perfect day to stuff ourselves at the buffet brunch at ABC. It was also Yiling's birthday and I made a reservation a week in advance just to make sure that we won't miss this brunch! The Troika is located on Jalan Binjai which is just right opposite the PNB Sime Darby. If you're coming from Jln Tun Razak, take the exit on the left after G Tower, then take a left turn at the junction before Hotel Nikko and go straight along the road. You'll see The Troika on your right and the parking is at the basement level B1 which is for visitors. It's convenient and easy to navigate.

I am impressed with the interior design of this cafe. This place has a loft for private events and it's airy, spacious and I love the big windows that allows the sunlight to penetrate through. It wasn't too warm either and it's just so comfortable dining here.

Cut the crap and head straight to the buffet spread. One advice though - don't come here expecting that you'll get salmon and oyster sashimi, nasi lemak and fried noodles. This is not your typical buffet. Over here, they serve a pretty good variety of healthy looking but yet delicious salads and greens. There's also a carving station for roast beef, lamb and spring chicken. The salt baked red snapper was another stunning dish that I patiently waited for. For something more filling, they do serve spaghetti (but it was not al dente), french fries and rice to go with the roasted vegetables.

Some of the dishes that I could remember were - Roast & Dried Tomato Salad, French Beans + Mangetout Beans, Puy Lentils with Sour Cherries Bean, Potatoes & Green Pea Salad, Grilled Zucchini Eggplant Tahini, Pastrami with Romaine Lettuce, Smoked Duck Pizza with Mozarella cheese and tomato, a pot of mussels and prawns.

With the brunch priced at RM89++, it's a pity that it doesn't come with drinks although they do provide you with water. I ordered a bottle of red from Cotes du Rhone called Clos du Caillou 2009 since Yiling the birthday girl doesn't like bubblies and white. It's kinda weird to be drinking red for brunch but since she's the brithday girl, I'll just do whatever she fancies. And they serve wines in an "O" glass (what Riedel calls it). According to the staff, it's a way of drinking wine from Spain. Hmmm....

I also checked out the desserts while snacking on the salads. The prawn bisque was so flavourful and these are served to you at your table because it has to be consumed while it's still warm. What I liked about this place is that the menu for brunch on Sundays are not the same every week. This is to ensure that customers can come back every week and expect something different.

The dessert spread is quite limited. They have freshly fried Churros that goes with the melted chocolate, Sago pudding with Gula Melaka, Profiteroles, chocolate cakes, fruit cakes and freshly made papaya & lime ice-cream served to your table.

I also ordered a slice of cake with a candle for Yiling's birthday. That slice of cake costs me RM12. I should have just took a piece of cake from the dessert table and stick that candle into it. Therefore, I give some minus points for this place for not having that "small" personal touch to add to the customer's satisfaction. For her birthday, I bought her the Nike+ Running Band with watch and censor. She has started running recently and I need to motivate her!

Overall, I enjoyed the food here and I will return to try their ala carte menu. This place does not encourage you to bring your own bottles. If I'm not wrong, the corkage charge here is ridiculous. Their coffee are from Illy and they do serve a twist of your favourite local food here. KL need more places like this.

UPDATES 2012: Sunday Brunch Buffet with free flow sparkling wine featuring “Dom Plageoles Mauzac Nature” for only RM199++ (without pairing RM99++)

Acme Bar & Coffee @ The Troika
Ground Floor, The Troika, Jalan Binjai, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2162-2288
Opening Hours : 11am - 12am
(Fri & Sat till 1am)

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Joys of Creampuffs

Merry Xmas everyone!

Hopefully Santa has been really kind to everyone this year. Well, Santa did gave me a present - it was a toothache that comes with wisdom. I wanted to go and see a dentist but after waiting for 1 and a half hours and it's still not my turn, I gave up and decide to live with the pain.

Santa also delivered a box of creampuffs to me for Xmas. Knowing that I had toothache, snacking on these creamy creampuffs helps me forget about the pain. hehe...

The creampuff, which is also known as profiterole, is actually a choux pastry shaped in a ball with a hollow inside that can be split into half and filled with whipped cream or with my favourite custard and finish that off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar if you prefer. It's been one of my favourite tea-time snack or a dessert ever since I was a kid. Mom used to make them and I try emulating but failed badly. The choux pastry seemed too soft and sometimes it collapsed after I took it out from the oven.

Yes, there are many commercially made creampuffs out there but nothing tastes like a homemade one. One of the popular ones here available in our country is Beard Papa. I've tried it before and it didn't strike a right note on my tastebuds. The creampuff is big, too airy and dry. I prefer mine to be dainty, moist and creamy in the inside. Just until recently, I found one that is to my liking.

It's Kee's Creampuffs. They do not have a shop and orders are taken through their Facebook page or the telephone. I find these creampuffs unpretentious, delightful and yummy. It has the right amount of custard filling that is smooth and creamy which I can finish it in 2 bites at the same time maintaining my ladylike manners.

A little more info on the people behind Kee's Creampuffs : It was a hobby turned into a real business idea. They started with just some small orders around the neighbourhood and now that the word has got around, the business has finally kicked off. They are now set to take on to the online world and show everyone what they have to offer - nothing but the best creampuffs!

These creampuffs are homemade and thus there are no preservatives. Therefore, these delectable creampuffs has to be refrigerated and consumed within 2 days from the delivery date. I love it when these puffs are served chill. Of course I didn't finish the box of 25 creampuffs alone. I shared it with my colleagues and they all love it! Although they do not have a physical shop right now, I hope one day they are able to have a bakery of their own.

For those who loves a choux pastry, you'll understand the joy of a cup of tea and a creampuff in hand. Ok, make it two, no three, no... maybe all! I think I gobbled at least 5 creampuffs from that box. I'm glad I've found something so wonderful!

And since Xmas is all about sharing, I'll let you know where I got these delectable treats.

Kee's Creampuffs

Contact information:
Facebook: here
Mobile: +6017 384 2813

25 pcs and above: RM0.80 / piece
100 pcs and above: RM0.70 / piece
300 pcs and above: RM0.60 / piece

*Minimum order of 25 pcs. RM7 delivery fee for PJ and selected KL areas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Malacca One Day Trip

Honestly if it's not been my group of colleagues, I wouldn't be traveling to so many places around the country for some good food and fun activities. It's been such a great year and we've been going to Penang to run together and just recently we were in Malacca on a weekend for a day trip. Traveling in a group of friends is so much fun!

One of the much talked about food to try in Malacca would be the Chicken Rice. They are special because the rice are served in a shape of a ball. And the place which most people reckoned to be the best would be this shop called Chung Wah which is situated at Jalan Hang Jebat, at the starting point of the famous Jonker Street.

I don't think anyone will miss this shop as you can obviously see a very long queue outside the quaint little coffeeshop. We were there just before 11am and we had to queue for almost an hour just to get a table.

And just right in front of the shop, there's a local delicacy shop called "Sam Shu Gong" selling all sorts of local products such as coffee powder, biscuits, spices and also Durian Chendol! While waiting in line for the chicken rice, I bought a few durian chendol for everyone (who eats durian). Well, it wasn't the best durian chendol I've tasted but at least it's cooling on a warm day while waiting in the queue. Don't forget to get a few packs of their 3-in-1 coffee powder as they are very good and worth buying!

Once we got a table, the ordering process is really a quick and easy one. Someone would take your orders and usually it's just ordering the chicken and then how many plates of rice balls. For drinks, we ordered the lime barley which is a twist to the normal barley. The lime adds a zesty taste to the drink which I love.

There is only one man doing all those chopping and he must be really tired after so many hours. We ordered a whole steamed Hainanese-style chicken and the rice balls comes in 5 for each plate and it's the size of a golf ball. I'm sure it won't be sufficient for those who have a big appetite. One reason you should not over order is that there are so many things you can eat on the same street and so don't over eat at one place.

While it's an interesting concept to be having chicken rice balls instead of the normal rice, it's not something that I find worth queuing up for an hour or two. The chicken is flavourful but not silky smooth. Eating here has to be brief and quick as people are waiting for the tables outside and you won't feel comfortable to hang out here to chat. The bill comes up to about RM6 per person. I would suggest that if you have not tried this place, give it a go and I'll only come back if I don't need to queue more than 30mins.

Chung Wah Coffee Shop
18, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Open Daily: 7:30 am to 3:00 pm

After a chicken rice meal, you can just take a stroll along Jonker Street if you're interested in shopping. The things that you can get here includes souvenirs, antiques, some clothes and accessories but most of the shops here are selling these keychains and small items which sometimes you couldn't resist buying.

Of course we do have a second round of eating. We came to this shop called Jonker 88 where there is Asam Laksa, Chendol, rojak and Pai Tee available. It's a self-service outlet where you have to queue (yeah it's all about queuing here in malacca) and get your food and then look for a table at the back of the shop. The seating capacity is limited, so I suggest you get someone to look for a table and the others to queue for food.

I had a bowl of Asam Laksa and then a bowl of chendol. While the Asam Laksa is tangy and spicy, very much unlike the Ayer Hitam asam laksa I had in Penang, it's quite nice because I like the spicy taste with a pinch of lime juice. However, it's not the best. Food tastes average here but it's the company of friends and the spirit of trying the local food that exceeds the importance of the quality of taste.

And lastly, along the streets, you'll find stalls like this selling grilled cuttlefish. They are not cheap but they make a good snack if you have a bottle of icy cold beer in hand. On every Saturday, there's also a night market which starts at 6pm where you can start shopping and eating all again too!

By the time we got back to KL, it was past 12 midnight and we headed straight to Murni at SS2 for supper!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Revisit to Bistro à Table @ Jln 17/54 PJ

I told you that I would be revisiting the restaurant after a much unsatisfactory dinner the last time I was there. And here I am again after the 1st visit 2 weeks ago (review here). I just want to give this place another visit to see if it's worth coming back here again.

This time, I went there during a weekday instead of a weekend and I was quite surprised that this place was also fully booked on a Thursday.

For the entree, my friend has the Veal Sweetbreads with Poached Duck Egg Salad (RM45). I haven't the sweetbread in this style. Usually I had it pan seared but in a salad, this is the first time. This is the thymus gland and according to the chef, this is the better sweetbread. The conclusion is that I still like them to be pan-seared.

I had the self-saucing Ravioli with shaved Alba white truffles (RM58). When you order this dish, the chef herself, Isadora Chai would come out and shave the white truffles in front of your eyes. I wished she could have shaved more of it into my plate. This is a very nicely executed dish with the egg still soft and moist in the ravioli.

We brought our own bottle - the Napa Valley Dominus 1999 which I've written before here. I find it drinking well after letting it breathe for at least 30 mins. It's only worth bringing your own bottle if it's a good bottle as the corkage charge here is RM60. And non-negotiable.

This is the Cannelloni of seared scallops and school prawns in Lobster bisque with a slice of Indonesian black nut tapenade (RM62). I wanted to eat scallops and this seems like the dish to order. The scallops and prawns are diced into cubes and you have to eat it together with the lobster bisque cause it gives it the saltiness and added flavour to the otherwise bland stuffing. The "buah keluak" which is also the Indonesian black nut tapenade is interesting. I usually see it in the Nyonya cooking but in a western dish? This is quite new. I like the crispy tapenade that goes with the bisque as well.

My friend has the Shredded Duck Confit Parppardelle (RM52) for the main dish. I can't comment cause I didn't try it.

Mangosteen Pavlova with Chantilly Cream & Candied Cucumber (RM19)

This is one helluva crazy dessert that I've ever eaten. It's so amazing that the baby mangosteen tastes so good with the pavlova and cream. I've never heard about candied cucumbers and I find this dessert simply refreshing and creative. Hats off to the chef. Too bad they told me that they won't be serving this anymore until they are able to find more baby mangosteens. You know why? The half of the supplies goes to Isadora's stomach. Well, that's what she told me. Haha...

Ode to Newton (RM37)

This is one dessert that according to the menu, you can only order this past 9.30pm and to allow 25mins waiting time. If I get this right, it means that by the time you have this dessert, it's 10pm. According to Isadora, the reason why it can only be done after 9.30pm is that they have to coordinate the hot and cold kitchen so that this dish can be served perfectly together. I was lucky that night as I manage to get this dessert a bit earlier.

This is a combination of a candied ginger souffle served with a pure Mexican Vanilla bean Anglaise and on one side you have a warm ginger beer with a Lemongrass ice hemisphere where the Nutmeg & Cinnamon ice-cream sits on top. After a while, the ice slowly melts and the ice-cream would fall into the ginger beer mixture. You can slowly sip the ginger beer as you indulge in the perfectly baked souffle. A very interesting dessert!

I must say that the dinner ended with a good note. Service was much better compared to the weekend dinner that we had. Maybe because it's less busy and the chef was in a good mood. She was quite chatty and nice on that night. They are closed on Mondays but every 1st Monday of the month they would be having a Degustation night with a specific theme. Well, in the end, it's still up to you to decide if it's worth spending at least RM300-400 for a meal here without the wines.

Bistro à Table
No.6, Jalan 17/54,
46400 Petaling Jaya.

Tel: +6014-338 5888
+603 7931 2831

Opening Hours:
Tue - Sun : 6.30pm to 11pm

Monday, December 19, 2011

Breakfast all day at Brew & Bread @ Kota Kemuning

There's a new breakfast place in town, and it's in my neighbourhood. Need to do a hip, hip, hooray for that as the dining scene in Kota Kemuning is indeed getting a little boring. Yiling discovered this place and she has been there before and in fact she has been going back to this place numerous times already. I personally have been there twice so far.'

Taking over the previous Klafz restaurant, Brew & Bread is the brainchild of a newphew and aunt whom also started Kheng's Kopitiam, which is just a few outlets away. I must say that it's a brave move for them to start such a concept in this neighbourhood as I find that people living here likes to venture out for food rather than eating in.

Besides specialising in coffee, which the name suggests, they do serve a reasonable variety of breakfast dishes which can be ordered all day long as well as the pasta dishes. I had a Cappucino (RM7) on my first visit. Here, they use only illy coffee and it's one of my favourites. However, the barista was very busy and didn't manage to create a coffee art for me :(

This is the Truffle Mushroom (RM9) under the Sandwiches menu. It's stuffed with sauteed shitake, Swiss brown and button mushrooms seasoned with truffle oil. The sandwich came hot and the portion is just right for 1 person.

The only fresh juice that they are selling is called OJ which simply means Orange Juice (RM7). I felt that the OJ is really worth the price as what you get is pure orange juice squeezed freshly with adding any sugar or water. This is a refreshing drink after a morning run! I wished they would include more fruits into their fresh juice section and it'll be perfect!

Or if you don't feel like having a heavy breakfast, you could always order a Petit Four (RM10) which consists of 4 pastry selection according to your preference. The chocolate pastry and the apple filling pastry is quite nice.

One of the dishes that caught my eyes was this Eggs Waldorf (RM18). It has poached eggs, cherry tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, potato salad and focaccia. The nice touch of this dish is actually the grapes. The grapes gave a interesting sweetness to the dish after all the savoury tastes. The eggs were poached well, giving the egg yolk a runny texture when I cut across it. A very nice dish to start the day!

The Eggs Benedict (RM18) is also another popular dish. My sister likes this one. The poached eggs, the chicken ham and the hollandaise sauce all blends in very well. However, I think it would be much better if the portion of the Hollandaise sauce wasn't that generous.

If one doesn't like eggs or bread. There's always a choice of pasta. I had a Fettucine Basil (RM15) which consists of spinach, prawns, parmesan, and basil. Lucky the Fettucine wasn't overcooked and I can taste the basil in the pasta. A very nice dish indeed at a reasonable price.

The last time I came here was after a morning run with my sisters. Since it's just located at the shops opposite the lake, it makes it a convenient place for some satisfying wholesome breakfast!

Brew & Bread
No. 10, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla M31/M,
Kota Kemuning, Seksyen 31,
Shah Alam, Selangor,

Operating hours: 0800 - 1900 (hrs)
Off day: Thursday

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice @ Maxwell Food Court Singapore

It was such a lovely Monday morning in Singapore. It's always nice when you're on vacation right? But that very day, the weather was good, not too hot and it's a short taxi ride from Mount Elizabeth to Maxwell Food Court near Chinatown.

My plan was of course to eat the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice which I've had it before here and I had to line up for it. So I thought at about 11am, there should be no crowd and I can easily get my hands on it in a breeze. Unfortunately, it was not opened. In fact, most of the stalls are not opened at that time. I wasn't sure if they are closed on Monday or it is too early.

So I decide to give a try at this stall. It's called Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice and it looked so weird with all the chicken bones hanging in a neat line. I mean, how wrong could a plate of chicken rice goes in Singapore where everywhere you go, there's always a chicken rice shop. I believe the amount of chicken rice stalls in the republic exceeds those of 7-elevens?!!

They also do provide 3 types of sauces - ginger, chilli and dark soya sauce. This is a self service food court. I was lucky as there were no queue at all and the process of ordering to getting my meal takes less than 3 shots of picture taking. It costs me SGD$3.00 for a plate.

The rice was very nicely presented. You could see that the grains of rice are in perfect shape. However, I find the rice slightly undercooked. It's very slight and I guess they must have been undercooked because it's still early. By the time it gets to lunch, it should be perfect.

As for the chicken meat, I find it funny that mine doesn't come with the skin. I want the skin!! Who the hell eats Hainanese Chicken Rice without chicken skin? Doesn't make sense right? It's like eating KFC without the crispy chicken skin. But I do like the idea of a boneless chicken. Saves me the hassle of taking out the bones. The chicken meat here is smooth and tender but it wasn't as good and as silky as the chicken from Tian Tian. The sauce lacks a little saltiness as well.

Overall verdict - I still prefer my favourite chicken rice from Tian Tian which is just located near this stall. I haven't forgotten my mission in Singapore which is to try all the best Hainanese Chicken Rice there and see which stall is truly the creme de la creme.

Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Stall 17
Maxwell Food Centre
1 Kadayanallur Street

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Forlino @ One Fullerton Singapore

Monday is usually not the best day to start the week. Who the hell would have the mood to dress up for dinner at a glitzy sassy fine-dining restaurant, sipping wines and champagnes, indulging in all those rich culinary and then waking up early the next day to go to work knowing that it's only Tuesday - the week has just begun. Well, maybe those who doesn't have to go by the official clock in hours would! I'm not one of those but since I'm on holiday, I could do that too.

And that very evening, I was taken to a beautiful Italian restaurant at One Fullerton located in Marina Bay which is built on Singapore's reclaimed land. The restaurant, Forlino, pride themselves as Singapore's Finest Italian Restaurant and I'll tell you why I had to agree whole-heartedly.

I'm quite a fussy person when it comes to a fine-dining experience. A fine-dining experience starts at the moment you stepped into the restaurant, down to the cutlery and service to the moment you waltzed out the door. I expect nothing but a stellar dining experience if I were to pay through my nose for that meal, boy.

The dinner at Forlino started on the right note. We were ushered to our tables with a GREAT view of the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer and the Merlion. After taking our orders, they served us the still water, the Silex that we brought to the restaurant and then our amuse bouche. I must say that for every fine-dining restaurant, the amuse bouche is the first dish to impress. Well, the creampuff with Parmigiano and drips of bell pepper puree was impressive. It's light, fluffy and the cheese wasn't too overpowering either. E Buonissimo!

For appetisers, I had a Pan Roasted Goose Liver with Lambrusco Wine and Motello Cherry (S$32). What I loved best about this dish is that the goose liver was so tender, moist and fine. The sauce and poached pear slices was a good combination, resulting in the savoury and sweet taste. Then when I laced it with the Motello Cherry, it tasted even better because the this cherry has a rich and complex flavours. Don't be surprised if you taste chocolate in it too. I told the Chef that there should be 2 cherries instead of one!

My dining partner ordered the Spanner Crab with Tuscan Bread & Tomato Salad and Champagne Vinegar (S$32). Initially I wanted to order this but since I can steal a bite from his plate, I should order a different dish instead. It's aesthetically impressive from the bowl and on the palate, it's as good as it looks. The whole combination was refreshing, tangy and it has interesting textures of tomatoes, crab meat and greens all interwined together. An appetising entree indeed which is building up to the mains.

Silex 2005

One of the wines that I really wanted to drink was this Silex from Didier Dagueneau, one of the greatest Sauvignon Blanc producers in the world and dubbed as "one of the greatest winemakers of our generation". Sadly his legacy could not be continued as he died in a microlite accident in the Dordogne region of France at the age of 52 in 2008. He was also known as the "wild man of the Loire" due to his notorious behaviour and his different approach at winemaking. Therefore, his wines are immensely pleasurable as they are special, as unique as the man himself. As wine writer James Turnbull puts it: "No other wine born of silex soil has the firm and austere authority of Dagueneau’s."

Having tasted the Pur Sang 2006, I can't quite take my mind off Didier's wines. And now, having the opportunity to taste the Silex, probably his most famous wine, I would have an orgasm even before sipping. Seriously if you think a Sauvignon Blanc is just another white, you'll be so wrong until you've tasted Didier's Silex or Pur Sang. This white from Pouilly-Fumé has so much minerality that you'll find this a surprise. On the nose, you get these white flowers, verbena and nutty notes. It has a light yellow hue, indicating that it's still young and on the palate, you'll get to taste the zesty, floral notes as well as its richness and balanced acidity. Though this is not as lime-zesty as the Pur Sang, I find this very much elegant and refined. A 96 pointer from Wine Spectator is quite a fair review. I don't think I'll ever have a chance to taste his wines anymore and so it was indeed a cherished moment when I sipped my last glass of Silex 2005.

After the appetisers as we were enjoying the wines, we asked them to hold our mains for another 15 mins. After a while, the staff came up to our table and served two identical covered plates to us and I thought to myself, "how come the two mains come in the same plate although we ordered 2 different dishes". And voila when the lid was lift off!

It was Chef Mario Caramella signature dish - the Spaghetti 'alla Chitarra' with Lobster which I wanted to order initially but decided to go for the beef cheeks instead. It was indeed a very nice surprise 2nd course which I didn't expect. To be able to describe this dish in words might not be something I am able to do but to put it this way, "the dish was so well executed that I find no words to oblige a 2nd helping". The pasta was cooked al dente, absorbing the sauce so well and the lobster is still moist, juicy and tender. You can taste the burst of freshness and the sauce is not overpowering as well.

This is the main I ordered - Wagyu Beef Cheek with 100% Chocolate and Red Wine sauce (S$45). I ordered this due to 2 factors, one being I shall not give beef cheeks a pass if it's in the menu and second, I am intrigued with the combination of chocolate with beef cheeks. Actually, there's so many dishes on the menu that I wanted to try but sadly I don't have the space for everything. The beef cheeks is braised so tenderly and the chocolate and red wine sauce doesn't seemed to be a red eye to the dish. It blends very well, creating the slight sweet taste to the meat. There's also the herbs, carrots, onions and well mashed potato that is fine and beautiful to pair with the richness of the wagyu beef cheeks.

This is the Milk-fed Veal Shank with Vin Santo Wine and Forest Mushrooms Ragout (S$58). It's funny that I seldom take veal though it's supposed to be a very good piece of meat due to the young cattle instead of the meat from older cattles. This veal shank is delicious! The meat is extremely tender, meaning no extra amount of strength needed to chew this. I must say that Chef Mario is very good with sauces as they tend to pair the dish so well and you'll want to have every morsel of it!

1997 Arnaldo-Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco

To go with our mains, we had another bottle of wine, this time a red made with Sangratino grapes made by Arnaldo Caprai which is considered as the Best Producer of top quality Sagrantino di Montefalco in the region of Umbria in Italy. This is one of those Italian wines that I've not tasted nor heard before and surprisingly, it exceeded my expectations. On the nose, you get these leathery and chocolate notes. On the palate, I can taste the ripe fruits such as plum and blackberries, there were also herbs and earthy notes with a touch of oak. The tannins are still young but it's a silky wine with a good balance and decent length. It's about S$250 for this bottle but I think it's worth it, considering we are drinking this at Forlino.

Our dinner seemed like a never-ending meal. It's a Monday and there were only a few tables which granted us extra attention from the staff due to a reasonably quiet day of the week at the restaurant. I didn't order any desserts and Ganesh, the restaurant Manager has the liberty to decide what we should be having to give a sweet ending note to our dinner. My wish came true, as they really served me their signature Molten Lava Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone Ice Cream and Persimmon Coulis. Well, I was thinking to myself that this dessert better pass Eiling's chocolate test or else I'll fail this dessert miserably. First bite into the cake and I was memerised beyond words. The chocolate was oozing out and the cake was so chocolatey! My perfect chocolate dessert needless to say!

Then there was also the Tiramisu which they claimed that it's one of the best desserts too. Okay, I'll take a spoonful and see if it's really that good. Well, one thing for sure, there's liquer in there which makes the Tiramisu more "real" as I dislike having a non-alchoholic tiramisu. The cocoa powder was rich and the textures were all there. I'll still stick to the Molten Lava Chocolate Cake thank you! It's one of the best chocolate desserts I told the Chef, almost speechless when I was trying describe how good it was.

Whimsical deco, impeccable service and fabulous waterfront scenary.

The phrase above truly summarised my experience at Forlino. I like how meticulous they are towards the service and also in their set-up of the tables. The staff did iron each table cloth one very table! Every dish was served in perfect manner, with explanation of the dish and politeness. The chef was friendly and he came out to greet his customers as well. The food was excellent, timeless menu, impeccable service, picturesque waterfront view and wonderful company. Forlino is truly a class above the rest.

Limoncello & Chiacchiere

Just as when I thought dinner has ended, Ganesh came holding a cute glass container holding a gold amber liquid. Desserts hasn't quite ended as in every Italian tradition, we should end with either a shot of Grappa or a Limoncello. I prefer the latter which also happened to be the chef's own special concoction which he made it himself. Very wonderful limoncello with hints of sweet honey. I think I had 3 shots because my date isn't fond of sweet stuffs.

One of the best dinner dates I ever had! This place is worth visiting again and again. I'm sure my 2nd visit won't take too long.


#02-06 One Fullerton | One Fullerton Road Singapore 049213 | Tel: 6877 6995

Opens Daily

Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm | Dinner: 6.30pm - 10.30pm

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