28 October, 2008

Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar - Too Pretentious for HFB


Small talk: HFB's version 2.0 comes with Google Maps for the lost souls on the road. Hope it helps all those who needs direction to all the places HFB had reviewed before! :) Let me know what you think.

, located along Purvis Street, is part of The Garibaldi Group of Restaurants helmed by award-winning Chef de Cuisine Roberto Galetti and his team. An Italian dinning place that provides a fine exemplar of contemporary, stylish and elegant dining experience all rolled into one, it came no surprise that the tantalising menu emphasises authentic Italian gastronomy primed with the best ingredients imported directly from Italy.

Stepped past the seemingly discreet sliding door and one will be ushered to an elegant bar that offers a great selection of wines by the glass and excellent cocktails – HFB can imagined this to be a perfect after-work to-be-seen setting for chic finance executives and lawyers to mingle at and network.

Make a left turn, and one will find the sombre interior of the small dining area coerce on you – call me unsophisticated but HFB certainly didn’t take to the air-of-pretentious atmosphere of the restaurant.

Also, having a row of smartly dress yet clueless service staff standing at the side of the passageway greeting and staring at HFB while he is seated with his peers add on to his already discomfort. Kudos to the Complimentary Bread & Balsamic Vinaigrette, which was one of the better renditions that HFB had tried – certainly no one will complain if one goes for a second serving.

For the Antipasti e Insalate, HFB plumped for the Capesante Al Taleggio, or Grilled US Scallops with Porcini Mushroom and Truffled Taleggio Fondue ($25.00). Being a big fan of porcini mushroom, the sautéed nutty flavoured shrooms along with the intense creamy truffled Taleggio cheese was divine. However, HFB felt let down by the textured scallops that were slightly dry for his liking – he thought Sage, The Restaurant did a better job with their Seared Hokkaido Scallops with Normandy Sauce.

What’s an Italian dinner without pasta – the Linguine Al Granchio, or Linguine with Crab Meat and Vodka Sauce ($30.00) was commendable – nice aromatic vodka-infused tomato-cream sauce integrated with the flavours of the sea from the crab meat was simply blissful.

However, the serving portion was definitely pathetic and HFB could easily wolfed down another plate with ease.

Dessert was Fondente Al Cioccolato, or simply Molten Lava Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Gelato and Raspberry Coulis ($18.00) – it didn’t wow me but definitely not the worse I have eaten.

However, accolades must be given to the hazelnut gelato that everyone around the table seemed to enjoy it.

Overall, 4 of us choked a total of $428.00 including a bottle of wine and taxes. HFB felt that the pricey wine was a total rip-off and service although professional, lacked cordiality.


Food: 3.5/5 (Mixed reviews, serving portion could be bigger)
Service: 3/5 (Professional, but lacked personal touch)
Ambience: 3/5 (Sophisticated decor but pretentious)
Price: 2/5 ($107.00 per pax is very expensive for the fare served)
Total: 11.5/20
36 Purvis Street,
#01-02, Talib Centre
Singapore 188613

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23 October, 2008

The BEEFY Series Part 7 - Fatman Satay @ Lau Pa Sat

Built in 1894, Lau Pa Sat is the largest remaining Victorian cast-iron structure in Southeast Asia. Located in the heartbeat of Singapore's Central Business District (CBD) area, this former wet market has been restored and is now a favourite food centre for both locals and tourists visiting the country, offering a wide and affordable variety of local cuisine.

Located within, one can also discover the Satay Club, a consolidation of Satay (dice meat on bamboo skewers) stalls that previously sold on makeshift roadside stalls and pushcarts.

And among them lies Fatman Satay located at Stall No. 1.

Nicely grilled Beef and Chicken Satay with delectable Peanut Sauce.

And with this, we have come to the end of the BEEFY Series. And to reward HFB's loyal readers, he is giving away a $10 voucher from Hana Hana Japanese Restaurant to one lucky winner.

All you have to do is to write in and vote for your favourite BEEFY Series post with your Name, Contact Number, Postal Address, and also ADD UP THE TOTAL SCORE of ALL 7 posts (Hint: Today's post and one of another do not come with a score) and send it to hisfoodblog@gmail.com.

Only one vote is allowed per person and this content is open to Singapore residents only. Closing date is 25th Oct, 2359hrs. Judge's decision (that's me) is final & terms and conditions apply.

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21 October, 2008

The BEEFY Series Part 6 - Yakiniku Daidomon

After a very pleasurable and gratifying dinner at Aburiya some time back, HFB was looking forward to his next Yakiniku meal (焼き肉 or 焼肉), or Japanese BBQ-styled of cooking bite-sized meat over flame of wood charcoals carbonised by dry distillation (Sumibi (炭火) or gas/electric grill. So off he went to sample Yakiniku Daidomon’s Buffet Dinner (Adult: $63.00++ child: $28.00+) that is only available at their Keypoint outlet along Beach Road.

With slightly more than 100 items to choose from, HFB was absolutely spoiled for choice. So being the Kiasu Singaporean that he is, HFB did his share of research and zeroed in on a few items. For appetisers, it was kick-started with the much raved about Yukke Sushi, or Marinated Beef with Egg Yolk, and it was rightly so – nicely seasoned with spices and sauces such as sesame oil and soy sauce, a raw egg yolk was cracked on top, giving it a smooth velvety taste. The beef was thickly sliced thus granting the person consuming, a nice bite.

The trio of Tuna (Maguro), Salmon (Shake) and Sea Bream (Tai) Sashimi though were disappointing. Although served chilled, it just didn’t tickle HFB's fancy and tasted flat and uninspiring.

The Gyu Tataki, or Marinated & Lightly Grilled Raw Beef was also lacklustre; so much so that HFB thinks the one he had in Bangkok was better.

Surprisingly, the Teiru, or Oxtail Soup that looks boring when served tasted yummy. The gelatinous meat from the oxtail was simply amazing and my only nitpick was there was only one piece floating in the soup.

Once done, the real show begun, and the raw food was set in place. Salmon was thick but filling, thus HFB advise one to go slow and concentrate on other dishes instead.

The Hotate, or Scallop is a MUST try - served whole and juicy, two servings were ordered that evening.

The Kaki Butter, or Oyster with Butter was another orgasmic experience for HFB. Fresh and meaty, cooked it just right and a sweet juicy feasting experience await.

The Ebi, or Prawn was of medium size – nothing fanciful.

The Buta Karubi, or Pork Belly came nicely streaked in fats and tasted wonderful when grilled.

Vegetables were a much welcome break from the meat and the Mushrooms were delightful.

Very high in fat content, it is no wonder the Tan, or Beef Tongue is considered a prized item in Japanese BBQ. Slightly chewy for a bite, however HFB didn’t really fancy it much that night.

The Karubi, or Beef Belly Tender was better appreciated. Slightly marbled – allowed the fats to cook slowly, and what one gets in return is a nice juicy piece of meat.

However, if one think that’s the finest, one would be thrilled to know that the Honetsuki Karubi, or Belly Tender with Rib is one notch better. It tasted so scrumptious that no words can simply describe it and if HFB is to come back to this restaurant, this dish would probably be the reason!

Overall, HFB thinks this is one of those places he will visit if he craves for meat and feel like pampering himself with a treat.


Food: 4/5 (Karubi, Oyster, Scallop, etc. enough said)
Service: 4/5 (Staff were pretty knowledgeable with food)
Ambience: 3/5 (Nothing fanciful)
Price: 3.5/5 ($150.66 for two is expensive, but pretty worth it)
Total: 14.5/20
371 Beach Road,
#01-07, Keypoint
Singapore 199597

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16 October, 2008

The BEEFY Series Part 5 - Morton's The Steakhouse

Mentioned the word “Steak” and Morton’s The Steakhouse will probably come to mind as the pinnacle in classic steakhouse experience.

Located at a hidden corner on the 4th floor of
Mandarin Oriental, entering into the restaurant immediately transport one from a simple boring main façade to a voguish interior of dim lighting and sounds of fine tableware clanks.

Being HFB’s virgin trip to Morton’s,
Tina, our maître d' for the evening, rattled off what seem like a scripted introduction of the various cuts of steaks, as well as seafood, that the restaurants serve as mains before the start of the dinner.

Following that, the dinner commenced with the much raved about
Onion Loaf that HFB was looking forward. A colossal loaf of a bread, that was probably the best complimentary bread that HFB have eaten – served crisp on the exterior and fluffy on the inside, the whiff of the onion exude from the bread when one yank opened, yet it remained subtle on the palate without too overwhelming. It is so good that it goes with butter as well as on its own. And if one is too tempted to finished it, HFB’s advice to you is – DON’T – as Morton’s is also renowned for their generous serving portion.

Two appetisers were chosen that night – the first being ½ dozen of
Pacific Oysters on the Half Shell ($36.00). Served the way HFB expected it to be – on a bed of ice that is, the oysters were fresh but not the most meaty. Thus for $6 a pop, HFB doesn’t found it to be value-worthy.

The latter was that of the
Lobster Bisque Soup ($30.00) that was big enough portion for 2 – but HFB found the single small piece of lobster meat swimming within laughably wretched. While the soup reeked of essence, it was VERY salty towards the end of it, such that HFB have trouble finishing it.

The mains in Morton’s don’t come with any sides thus a serving of
Creamed Spinach, for two, costs an eye-popping $22.00. Serving portion was a gargantuan affair, but what HFB like was how lightly salted and smooth it was to consume. However, too much of the cream and the “jelakness”, or fullness starts to set in.

Sautéed Mushrooms ($15.00) were satisfactory. Done al dente and comes with a nice bite, it was salted to taste.

The celebrated dish that evening would have to be the
Aged Australian Filet Mignon ($79.00). Nicely char-grilled on the outside, the lean cut was perfectly executed to medium-rare, exuding sweetness on this tender piece of meat.

It was definitely the best piece of steak HFB had tasted so far, and rated higher than the Grade 9 Wagyu Ribeye at Astons, as HFB prefers his steak to be “beefy” – something that is lacking in a piece of well-marbled wagyu.

Regrettably, the Morton’s
Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake ($25.00) failed to live up to the tag that evening. Urged on to “die, die” sample the chocolate cake by all my peers who had dined at Morton’s before, it came slightly over-baked and was dry and bitter on the outside.

Portioning the cake also did not reveal an oozing molten chocolate that HFB was highly anticipating. The only saving grace was the scoop of
In-house Vanilla Ice-cream that tasted very good.

Overall, service was generally good and accommodating, but dinner for two costs $316.60, inclusive of 2 glasses of house-pour wines and taxes, which is very expensive and (steak aside) not value-for-money. Excellent mood created by the furnishing and lighting was also ruined with mindless chatters from various tables as well as the consistence singing of birthday songs (10 times over a 2.5 hours period) – absolutely not recommended for a romantic dinner for two.


Food: 3.5/5 (4.75 for the Filet Mignon!!!)
Service: 4.5/5 (Friendly, personal and accomodating)
Ambience: 2.5/5 (4 without the noise & birthday songs)
Price: 2/5 (Only the beef is valued for money)
Total: 12.5/20
5 Raffles Avenue,
4 floor Mandarin Oriental
Singapore 039797

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14 October, 2008

The BEEFY Series Part 4 - Astons Specialities @ Cathay Makan Session

Many readers have been asking me about last month’s Grade 9 Wagyu Beef Makan Session organised at Astons Specialities @ The Cathay – so the story goes – a total of 15 pax turned up for the event and were rewarded with a unique dining experience – satisfying and educational.

We also got to meet the man himself, Mr Aston Soon, who came down personally to present a show-and-tell segment about Wagyu Beef and the difference between the different marbling grades of their Ribeye Beef to all the participants that evening.

Are you able to tell apart the normal, from the Grade 5-6 to the Grade 9 (Answer to be revealed at the end of post)?

Everyone who participated also received a complimentary house-pour and HFB was presently surprised by it.

A soft, slightly spicy wine displaying aromas of blackcurrants and summer berries with a smooth round palate.

Although I would prefer it to be slightly drier, I am not complaining.

With high expectations, the 250gm Wagyu Ribeye Grade 9 ($89.90 with 2 sides) finally arrived – lip-smacking tender, with meat melting in one’s mouth, fatty juices that oozed with every bite, very well-marbled are some of the apt terms that was sprouted that evening.

Everyone who had a taste of it was raving how different it was from the normal and grade 5-6 ribeye.

Overall, everyone was delighted to learn more about Wagyu, and enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

However service was still found wanting at times (there was a mixed up of orders – which HFB found out later to be something very common in Astons in his subsequent visits).

Special thanks to all those who attended that evening - hope you guys had fun learning about your food - as well as to Aston and staffs for making this session a success.

(Answer: A - Wagyu Grade 9, B - Wagyu Grade 5-6, C - Normal Ribeye) Did you get it right?

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