Collaboration between The Lo & Behold Group and two Australian brothers who share a love for the beach, Tanjong Beach Club is the latest addition to The Lo & Behold Group’s of dining and entertainment concept.
Positioned as a modern seafood restaurant, with dishes prepared using European culinary technique with Asian influence, Tanjong Beach Club offers a brand new take on coastal dining. Helmed by Executive Chef Craig Schantz, with experience in New York City’s famed Momofuku and Oceana, the tasting session was kick-started with a glass of Tanjong Martini ($16.00), a house cocktail that consisted of Vodka married with Lemongrass syrup, shaken with Lychee and Apple Juice and served chilled with freshly cut Lemongrass. HFB could feel the kick of the vodka coupled with a pleasant sweetness and a subtle lemongrass aftertaste that gave the cocktail a light refreshing finishing. The view of the white sandy beach, the babes in the bikini and a cocktail at hand – Life is good eh?
Amuse-bouche for the evening was Oyster Mushroom with Remoulade sauce, a mayo-based condiment. Mushroom was cooked with a nice bite, but otherwise nothing to shout about really.
Their most talked-about (or contentious, depending on how one sees it) dish in the restaurant – Salt-cured Foie Gras ($27.00) served with Toasted Brioche, Kaya and Home-made Jam. It was said Chef Craig gotten his inspiration from our very humble kaya toast which he sampled. He thought locals loved it, and the flavour profile of the kaya would go well with foie gras – sweet and savoury pairing, so why not? More like a Pâté or spread for the toast, HFB thought the foie gras and kaya was really good on its own, but when paired, the kaya was slightly over-powering in flavour and taste and stole the thunder from the more luminary neighbour. HFB had to add that the home-made jam went really well with the foie gras on toast though!
The Bean Salad ($19.00), compiled using Market Beans, Cucumber, Fennel, Cherry Tomatoes, Candied Walnuts with Tofu Vinaigrette was a joy to chomp through! What HFB really loved about it was the crunchy texture of the veggies and munches of the walnuts. HFB can’t really taste much of the tofu in the vinaigrette though.
The trio of Seared Bay Scallops ($21.00) came coupled with Cauliflower and Carrot-Black Cardamom Vinaigrette. The scallops were seared perfectly – crusty on the outside, tender on the inside, but otherwise the WOW factor was wanting, with no fault of theirs - there’s only that much one can expect from a seared scallop dish, no?
One of the dishes that HFB was looking forward to was Warm Octopus Salad ($19.00), that was assembled with Rocket, Fennel, Radish, Cherry Tomato, Smoked Paprika and Garlic Vinaigrette. It was a pleasure to behold as the tentacle of the octopus stood out immediately from the plate that was presented. Half expecting the octopus tentacle to be slight chewy – which was a texture that HFB preferred, he was vaguely surprised that the texture leaned towards – for a lack thereof a better word – limp. HFB is half guessing that the tentacles were treated with a tenderiser or acid i.e. lemon juice to soften the texture, but do not quote him, he might be wrong.
HFB needs to emphasis that he is hardly a fish lover when he dines in a restaurant (less sashimi of course), but he was soon turning into a convert when he dig into the Red Snapper Fillet ($29.00) prepared with Prawns, Clams, Buerre Blanc and Chilli. This was definitely the stellar dish of the evening. Sauce aside, the red snapper was pan seared flawlessly and the fish was really melt-in-your-mouth tender and seasoned flavourfully. Coupled with a ball of deep-fried potatoes strands, it provided an additional texture that was otherwise lacking in the dish. This was one dish HFB would highly recommend. Bravo!
Accompanied with the best, came the bane of the evening – the Spicy Crab Spaghetti ($32.00), with Fennel, Espelette, Garlic, White Wine and Caviar. Ok, where should HFB begin? The pasta wasn’t close to al dente, and HFB couldn’t really taste the sweetness of the crab meat – his bet was that most of the natural goodness was retained in the white wine sauce that was really soaking the noodles for its own good – a real pity really, considering the huge chunk of caviar sitting atop the noodles.
HFB was pondering between the USDA Prime New York Strip Steak and the Roasted Spring Chicken Breast, but the latter was chosen and it was a decision that he didn’t regret one bit. At $28.00, it came served with Lo & Behold’s signature Black Truffle Mac & Cheese, along with a Broccoli Puree. A dish that needed well-crafted technique of de-skinning the chicken perfectly (no breakage or tear on the skin or the doneness of the chicken breast will be compromised) followed by wrapping the chicken breast within to form a roulade, the skin was perfectly roasted till crisp and the chicken breast was cooked to a nice pink tender. An excellent dish that’s definitely worth its price!
The Chocolate Ganache Tart ($16.00) was a really rich dessert! Married with Salted Candied Hazelnuts (which were really yummy btw!), Butterscotch Sauce and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, HFB felt the tart was a lil too heavy for a dessert as it left a slight bitter aftertaste of the cocoa.
However if you are a chocolate lover, this dessert would definitely woo you.
HFB took to the Tea and Honey Parfait ($14.00) much better. Made with Earl Grey Crémeux, Honey Ice Cream, House-made Honeycomb, Chocolate Crisp, HFB really enjoyed the honeycomb that went really well with the cream. The light tea aftertaste was a perfect palate cleanser after a nice heavy meal! HFB was impressed with this sweet!
Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Cheryl and The Lo & Behold Group for their hospitality.
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