The famed Wooloomooloo Steak House and their Weekend Brunch

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse and their Weekend Brunch

Address: 2 Stamford Road Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12.00 pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.00 pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.00pm

Introduction

Wooloomooloo is a Hong Kong based, Australian-inspired steakhouse that is situated at level 3 of Raffles City. It has enjoyed quite a good reputation in Singapore and some even branded them as one of the best steakhouses since they opened their door for business in Singapore in Year 2012.

I visited during lunch time on a Saturday (for my birthday meal =D) and they are offering this weekend brunch menu which i find the pricing quite reasonable. At $68++, the diner can enjoy a 5-course lunch that includes a breakfast item, soup/salad, appetizer, a main course with a side, and a dessert.

Weekend Brunch Menu: Click to Enlarge

You can see their ala-carte menu from here 

Their pricing for a steakhouse is considered as mid-range, but they have Wagyu beef on their menu that cost $298.00++.

Egg Benedict & Fried Hen’s Egg (Breakfast dish)

The egg benedict is pretty decent, with a beautifully poached egg that comes with slices of lightly-smoked salmon and with a slice of muffin toasted to crisp. I particularly like their creamy hollandaise sauce.

The Fried Hen’s Egg is actually sunny side up and there’s nothing fancy about it but it’s a bit different for the stack of tomatoes cubes, avocado and crispy potato sticks. It has different layers of texture when eat together, such as the creamy (avacado), cripsy (potatoes) and juicy (tomatoes) and has a balanced taste of sweet, salty and sour. A very interesting dish.

Lobster Bisque & Classic Caesar Salad (Soup and Salad)

At first mouthful, it’s a little salty but it gets better with every mouthful. This dish don’t exactly has a creamy texture but the soup is very rich, and comes with a piece of Lobster pincer. I like the soup for having a pleasant but not overly strong seafood sweetness.

The Classic Caesar Salad is pretty much standard, except the part where there’s sliced Gruyère cheese. This cheese manages to add savouriness without overpowering the entire salad. No complain for the crispy bacon too. Ok, maybe the bacon’s a little too salty.

Wild Mushroom Risotto & Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (Appetizer)

In fact, both appetizers are among my favourites of the day. The wild mushroom risotto is quite well-portioned and the texture is something that i like very much – with a soft exterior and a moderately firm center. There’s also a robust mushroom taste and the already strong-tasting blue Stilton cheese completes this dish.

They are rather generous with the amount of crab meat used in this Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, although it’s not exactly Jumbo in size. The crab meat taste very sweet and fresh, with a little crisp on the exterior.

Beef Wellington and Tasmanian Salmon Fillet (Wooloomooloo Classic)

For those that watched Gordon Ramsay ‘s Hell Kitchen, the dish beef wellington will not be unfamiliar to you. It is a steak, coated with Pâté (Foie Gras for this case) and minced mixture of mushroom and baked in a layer of pastry. Comparing to a typical steak, in has an additional punch of fragrance from the mushrooms and savoury taste from the Foie Gras.

And of course , the steak is quite well done alone. Just look at the succulent texture!  This is my first time trying a beef wellington and i like Wooloomooloo’s pretty much. However, it’s not that I am against anything,  but I swear that the Pastry layer is made of instant roti prata that we got from the supermarket.  Interesting.

For the Tasmanian Salmon Fillet, the salmon is prepared in a Western style while the sauce has a Chinese soy sauce base. i like how the skin of the Salmon is pan fried to crisp but with zero burnt taste and the soft succulent salmon steak goes pretty good with the oriental taste.

Wooloomooloo Cheesecake and Bread and Butter Pudding (Dessert)

Both desserts are quite to my delight and both of them are not overly sweet. The cheesecake is not exactly a cake but more of a cheese cream topped on a layer of cookie base and also comes with a scoop of Yogurt Sorbet. The cheese layer is very light and balanced, which is not overly heavy after a 4-course meal.

As for the butter pudding, it didn’t have the expected egg custard taste so initially i was a little taken aback. However, the cream base made up is able to complement the butter pudding pretty well and the scoop of vanilla ice-cream made me forget about the egg custard. The portion of the pudding is just right to complete the 5-course meal.

Conclusion

Out of all the dishes that i had, the only one complain is that the side dish, Sauteed Mushroom, is too salty and i didn’t exactly finish it. As for the rest, they are all pretty good for my liking considering the price of $80 nett for a five course meal. The portion of the course are also bigger than expected and it’s definitely filling if one of the courses is a pasta.

During my visit on a Saturday afternoon, the place is rather quiet, without the usual hustle and bustle of a crowded restaurant. It has a very inviting ambiance, with a spacious dining area with ample natural light coming in from the full-height glass window.

I very much enjoyed my meal here and i do recommend this place if you are finding a place to celebrate a special occasion with your loved ones (in the afternoon).

 

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Fat Cow Restaurant and their top grade Wagyu Beef Steak

Fat Cow Restaurant and their top grade Wagyu Beef Steak

Address: 1 Orchard Boulevard #01-01/02,Camden Medical Centre

Opening hours: Daily 12.00pm to 3.00pm, 6.00pm to 11.00pm

Reservation hotline: +65 6735 0308

Introduction

Fat Cow is a very well-known Japanese restaurant where you can find Wagyu Steak at the top quality. It’s located at a rather interesting location – Camden Medical Centre at the Tanglin district.

When i mentioned Wagyu Beef, we are not talking about the gimmicky so-call “wagyu beef” that we find in many Japanese restaurant nowadays. The steak that Fat Cow is offering are the ones that are graded using a certain Wagyu Beef grading standard. For the non-beef eater, Fat Cow does offer choices of seafood, sashimi and sushi.

Ala Carte Menu – Click to enlarge

Set Lunch Menu – Click to enlarge

Grading of Wagyu Steak

Wagyu beef is graded on the basis of the yield grade and meat quality grade. The yield grade refers to the ratio of meat to the total weight of the cow. Yield is classified into 3 grades from A to C, with A being a grade of highest yield.

The meat quality grade is classified into five grades from 1 to 5 and they are judged on the following criteria – fat marbling, the colour and brightness of the meat, its firmness and texture, and the colour and brightness of the fat. The lowest grade among the four individual criterias will be the final grade of the meat.

Ohmi Wagyu Grade A4 Steak ($120++ for half cut 150g, $225++ for full cut 300g )

One of the top Wagyu in Japan, Ohmi beef refers to cuts of beef from Black Japanese cattle. The cattle are raised with extreme care in an environment surrounded by bountiful nature and water. At Fat Cow, the menu offers an A4 Ohmi Wagyu Beef (ribeye cut).

Fat Cow also offers Iwate Grade A5 Wagyu Beef. Most Wagyu belong to the Japanese Black class, but the Iwate Japanese Shorthorn is a rare exception that has a reddish-brown coat. This exquisite A5 wagyu beef cost you a whopping $288++ for a full cut at 300g.

A half cut of Ohmi Wagyu comes with eight slices of Beef so it’s about $17.00 per slice and my wallet says ouch. I can’t say it’s value for money but the steak is seriously good. I seldom use this word in my blog but this Japanese medium steak is perfectly done.

As expected of a Japanese steak, the surface of the medium done beef is grilled to char while retaining a succulent center. The beef is very rich in flavour and the distinct layers of melty fats within the beef slices made this steak really exciting. The soft fat breaks down effortlessly in my mouth while the fragrance of the grease fils the palate. Such a texture truly separates the quality of ordinary steak from a slab of true Wagyu Beef. No doubt, so far this is best steak that I ever had.

The Fat Cow Donburi Lunch Set $39++ (comes with salary, chawanmushi, miso soup and a scoop of ice-cream)

For those that are not that determined to splurge on a piece of meat, they also offer a Wagyu Beef Donburi lunch set (only during lunch time) that gives a little hint of how a piece of Wagyu Beef that may taste like. They did not mentioned the cut and grade so probably it’s not a steak cut. However, from instagram, this rice bowl seems to be the top favourites of Fat Cow’s patrons.

Needless to say, the beef slices are more lean, but, the beef is not tough at all. Credit goes to the method of cutting up the beef and the traces of marbled fats among the meat fiber. The rice is drizzled with their Japanese barbecue sauce that comes with a hint of truffle oil. Of course there’s a vast difference if you compare this to the steak but this rice bowl’s quality is more than enough to justify for it’s $39 price tag.

I have one complain though. I ordered a medium but I think they made me a medium well. Or I should probably order a medium rare. For people that don’t like your beef to be too well done, probably a medium rare will better a better doneness for this Donburi.

Spicy Salmon Donburi Lunch Set $26++ and Sake Sashimi $18++

If your dining partner is unable to take beef for various reasons, fret not because Fat Cow does offer seafood selection too and it’s not too bad either. Four slices of Sashimi cost $18.00 and a Spicy Sashimi Bowl cost $26.00.

The Sashimi taste very proper, not fantastic, but proper. The Donburi’s chopped Salmon taste very fresh, but is not the fatty-type Salmon. The added light Japanese mayonaise manage to add on a light greasy texture and enhanced the taste.

Conclusion

Reservation was made well in advance so we were allocated to semi-private dining area. The place is spaciously comfortable with ample table top space. Price wise, most items are priced above average and service is swift and prompt.

The semi private dining area, with floor partition separating dining area with two tables per area

Needless to say, as mentioned earlier, I am very satisfied with this meal. Although it did burn a hole in my wallet, i left the restaurant thinking when is a good date to return. The beef, in particularly, is outstanding and made the trip worthwhile, and naturally, the Salmon is pale in comparison.

Fat Cow – The Main Dining Area

It’s not that the salmon is bad. It’s just the beef is too good and the salmon became negligible. In conclusion, a trip to Fat Cow without trying their beef (even just for the beef bowl) is a wasted trip.

Fat Cow Interior – The Bar Area

Brunches Cafe, The Prettiest Cafe in Singapore

Brunches Cafe, The Prettiest Cafe in Singapore?

Address: 96 Rangoon Road

Opening hours: Weekday 10.30am to 9.00pm, Sat & Sun 9.30am to 9.00pm, Closed on Tuesday

Introduction

In Singapore, we have many cafes that can be described as old-school, rustic, industrial look, but none can pull off the theme “Vintage” as good as Brunches Cafe. It is actually a furniture store cum cafe located near the Farrer Park area. This cafe, which started their operation only in Feb 2015, is extensively decorated with old school / vintage items at all corners of the cafe. If you set your eye on any pieces in the cafe, including the dining furniture and lighting, it is almost certain that you can bring it home at a price.

Brunches Cafe Menu – Click to enlarge

The Exterior

The exterior of the cafe is framed in a black metal window frame, employed from ceiling to floor and corner to corner. These frames, that were deployed in some great factories and warehouses in the 19th century, imparted an industrial aesthetic and also offers a glimpse of what to expect upon stepping into it.

The Interior

The ambiance of the cafe is set in an old factory workshop with each and every corner of the cafe decorated with vintage furnitures and a combination of old school artifacts and an actual antique collection. The lighting are mounted on black wooden beam which is contrasted by the striking orange pipes and metal cable casing against the white-wash ceiling.

The most eye catching, as well as probably the most sort after seat of the cafe is the mini-cooper converted dining table. The car body is cut into two halves and cushioned seats are padded on both sides of the body and complete by a matching table slipped between the seats.

On the left wall of the cafe, modern vintage art pieces are presented over the once-popular Metal Grilled Sliding Gate that was widely used by provision shops in the early 1980s.

My favourite among all the lighting structures in the cafe – the Birdhouse Light Fixture. It hangs over a 10-seater color-stained reclaimed wood top table and it’s a creation by one of Brunches Cafe’s bosses. In my opinion, apart from the mini-cooper seats, this is another one of the vitalities of the cafe which brought it to life.

On the other side of the cafe, it lies a glass-top table made from an old Bullock Cart Wheel and also the once popular item for all grandmothers – the Singer Treadle Sewing Machine, which is ran by a manual foot pedal which connects to the sewing mechanism with a leather belt. The NEC black and white standalone TV is another interesting item in the cafe. Not to mention black and white TV, i’m sure some of us have never seen a non-remote TV before.

On the far right hand corner, there is a good collection of antique players like the Phonograph, Gramophone and the Turntable Record Player and other more familiar items like the Rotary Dial Phone and Vintage Radio, that are all in good working condition.

Their Food

I was like really full after having my meal at a nearby cafe, Jewel Cafe, so I only ordered their dessert and a drink. The waffle is reasonably priced at $12.50 that includes cubes of brownies, a whole banana and a scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream. I like the texture of the waffle, which is crisp and fluffy. However, I feel that it is lacking in taste in term of fragrance from egg and butter.

i have no complain for their caffe latte, which comes with a cute latte art and accompanied by this exquisite tea spoon. Also do try out the pastries in the cafe as they were personally baked and prepared by the lady boss.

Conclusion

From Brunches Cafe’s menu, it seems like they have a good food selections except for their dessert range. Do share with us if there’s any food recommendation. I can’t review much on their food but I’m pawned by the interior design. I have been to many fascinating theme cafe at overseas before and i’m proud to now have Brunches Cafe in Singapore.

No matter which part of the cafe you are seated at, i would say there is none with a boring view. Since i like the dining ambiance so much, I’m gonna be a little bias here and recommend this cafe to my readers and please be my white mice for review of their food. And lastly, pre-wedding photo shoot at this cafe anyone?

Platypus Kitchen, by Lobster Shack at Bugis Junction

Platypus Kitchen at Bugis Junction

Address (Google Map): 200 Victoria Street #03-29 Bugis Junction

Opening hours: Daily, 12.00pm to 10.00pm

Introduction

Platypus Kitchen first opened for business in end 2012 and they pride themselves to serve the freshest handmade paste and to offer gourmet cuisine at affordable price.

They are actually the same group of people managing the famous lobster shack at China Square. In October 2014, they revamped their menu and incorporated their famous lobster roll from Lobster Shack as part of the menu.

Menu: Click to enlarge

Chicken Garlic Creme Risotto (S$16.90++)

I like my risotto’s rice grain to have a well-defined texture and Platypus’ rice grain is a little too mashy and soft. From the name Chicken Garlic Creme Risotto, i was expecting something more robust in taste.

The garlic flavour is strong and is to my liking but overall it fell short for it’s taste. The portion is good and presentation is great. This is an OK dish for me.

Spicy Diablo Crab and Prawn (S$18.90++)

The pasta is tossed in a herby pasta base with medium sized prawn and topped with a generous portion of shredded crab claw meat. Unlike what the name suggested, i thought it’s not really spicy.

I have no complain about the prawn and crab claw meat and I really love the texture of their handmade pasta. It’s actually like a softer and more moist version of Mee Pok. The only complain is the lack in flavour. It’s very lightly salted with the majority of flavour coming from the herb, which doesn’t add much taste to the pasta as well. A little saltier might been nice.

Lobster Rolls (S$23.90++)

My favourite is actually their lobster roll. A generous amount of butter is spread onto the roll and the lightly-fried bread is delightfully crisp on the outside. There is little or zero unpleasant seafood taste and i pretty enjoyed the texture of the chewy and succulent lobster chunk.

Each portion of their lobster roll also comes with a serving of thick-cut truffle fries and a side salad. Among the two flavours, the traditional and garlic, i enjoyed both but my vote goes to the traditional.

The lobster meat in the garlic flavour is tossed in a sweet mayonaise with a pinch of lemon. A generous sprinkle of crispy garlic slice and tomato cubes made up the majority of the condiments and goes rather well with the sweet chilled lobster meat. This is lighter in taste compared to the traditional flavour but enjoyable nevertheless.

The traditional, flavoured with buttery mayonnaise (and cheese powder I guess), chopped onion and sprinkled with pepper, is my favourite among all dishes. This lobster roll gives a stronger punch compared to the Spicy Roasted Garlic. Despite the potent mix of ingredients in the sauce, i can still taste the sweetness of the lobster meat.

Conclusion

Actually I’m am pretty impress with the pasta selection of Platypus and they did a very good job in describing their dishes in it. It made me wanted to order everything. It’s a pity that the actual taste ia a little different from the expectation. Not that it’s bad, just that it’s different.

From the four main courses that i ordered, i am pretty more into their lobster rolls although I think that the handmade pasta’s texture is commendable. I thought the price is pretty reasonable, given the variety and kinds of ingredient used.

I enjoyed the overall dining experience at Platypus. I think this place is quite suitable for family with kids. Firstly it’s very accessible, right in the center of Bugis Junction and the tables are well spaced out. During evening time, the place is also slightly dimly lited, which adds a little romantic atmosphere in the air for couples who don’t wish to burn a hole in their pocket.

I will go back to try out a few more of their handmade pasta selections. Have you tried any good pasta from Platypus? Feel free to leave a comment if you do and you think that it may does justice to their pasta range.

Alkaff Mansion – One of the Most Romantic Restaurants in Singapore

Alkaff Mansion @ Telok Blangah Green

Address (Google Map): 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178

Opening Hours:

Lunch: Mon – Fri 11.30am to 2.30pm (last order at 2pm)

Dinner: Mon – Sun 6.00pm to 10.30pm (last order at 10pm)

Afternoon Tea: Mon – Sat 11.30am to 3.30pm (last seating at 2.30pm)

Weekend Terrace Brunch: Sat, Sun and PH 10.00am to 3.30pm (last order at 3pm)

Reservation Contact Number: 6510 3068

Introduction

Alkaff Mansion is reputed as one of the most romantic restaurants in Singapore. i celebrated my birthday once, and also attended a friend’s wedding at Alkaff Mansion. This is my third visit  and I would like to thank Jeanette from Sixth Sense Communications & PR Consultancy for the media invite and Alkaff Mansion for hosting me.

Sunset at Alkaff Mansion

History of Alkaff Mansion

The history of the Mansion goes way back to the 1918 and has been around for almost a century. The mansion was built by Arab (Yemeni) immigrants as their weekend retreat bungalow and was subsequently abandoned during WWII. It reopened as a restaurant in the 1980 but closed down in 2003.

In 2010, the management of Alkaff Mansion, LHN Culinary Concepts, won the bid from Singapore Land Authority and renovated the mansion at about $5 million and turned it into the current posh Italian restaurant.

The Interior and Ambience

I was quite mesmerised by the whole ambience of Alkaff Mansion when I first visit them in 2013. It is something quite un-Singapore.  What greeted me after a small flight of stairs are patches of lush greenery and the sounds of water fountain.

No traffic can be spotted here as the Mansion is totally tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  There was a performance put up by an unplugged band at the Gazebo that overlooks the outdoor terrace dining area while the guests enjoy the al-fresco dining that’s accompanied by the soft relaxing music.

The main dining area is at level one of the Mansion. Each dining table is very well-spaced from each other to ensure couple get to enjoy their private lovely dovely moments. The lavish interior design and the dimly lited dining area sets the perfect mood for a romantic dinner.

The Food Menu

The newly appointed Executive Chef, Simone Depalmas, is a native Sardinia (Italy) that had more than 20 years old culinary experience. Chef Simone added his own Sardinian flair to dishes and came out with a couple of refreshing items on their menu.

Alkaff Mansion Menu 1 of 2 (click to enlarge)

Alkaff Mansion Menu 2 of 2

Slow Cooked Sardinian Style Suckling Pig ($46++) 

This is one of my favourite dishes of the day. This Suckling Pig is roasted in it’s own fats for a few hours at 70 degree celsius to ensure the chunks of meat is evenly cooked and remain tender. The preparation method reminds me of duck confit.

The heat is turned high towards the end to produce the delicate crispy skin texture. I am pleasently surprise that this roast pork goes really well with the dash of berries compote.

Oven Baked Lamb Rack ($45++)

I tend to avoid lamb due to the distinctive strong smell that comes with it, but Alkaff Mansion’s lamb rack has none of it. The lamb rack is baked to a good medium pink that gives the lamb a smooth and succulent texture. i could not get enough of their caramelised onion and the sauce goes perfectly with the celeriac mash. I feel that the portion can be a little bigger though.

Porcini Mushroom Risotto Superfino Acquerello with Thyme ($28++)

The dish that gains my favour the most is not the most fanciful or the most expensive but it’s this simple and yet delightful dish. The rich garlicky mushroom broth is well-absorbed by the Superfino Acquerello fluffy-soft rice grain and this dish is complete by dousing a small amount of truffle oil. Those who like strong flavour like me will enjoy this risotto very much.

Fresh Mint Vanilla Panna Cotta ($14++)

Panna Cotta is my favourite kind of Italian dessert that is mainly made from cream, milk, sugar and gelatin, and Alkaff Mansion’s is one of the best that I had so far. The mixed berries sauce gives a good balance between the sweet vanilla flavour and a fruity sour-sweet taste and is complement by a very subtle taste of mint that gives a refreshing aftertaste. Savoring this sweet wobbly-soft pudding should be the best way to conclude a nice romantic dinner.

Other dishes

Gran Misto Di Mare – At $68++, consisting of Tuna Tatare, fresh Lobster, Tiger Prawn, Sea Bass and Octopus, this seafood platter will certainly make an impression on your first date. The portion is honestly is a little too big for two pax.

Fregola Ai Frutti De Mare ($28++) – Fregola is a uniquely Sardinian ball-shape pasta, each rolled into a diameter of 2-3 mm and toasted in oven. It’s then simmered in tomato-base sauce with clams and squids. The pearl-like texture is rather refreshing.

Conclusion

It’s always a pleasure to visit Alkaff Mansion. Despite the higher-than-average price tag, it’s truly a different dining experience that is reasonable to pay for the extra bucks. There is no pressure to leave right after dining. Grab a patio couch near the outdoor fountain area that’s dimly lited with a tea light and enjoy the rest of the night under the moonlight. This place will always be at the back of my head when my friends ask for recommendation for a classy romantic dinner venue.

For friends who are not driving, i encourage you to go down in a cab. It is possible to climb up to Alkaff Mansion from the bottom of the hill but trust me, get a cab, unless you are dining in running attire.

The Grand Marquee at a glance, mainly for holding functions like wedding banquet.