November 29, 2011

Don Quijote

Having heard many positive reviews about Don Quijote (say 'Don kwee-ho-tay'), I headed there for my primero experience with Spanish food.
bread rolls and garlic butter dip @ don quijote
Warm, chewy bread rolls served alongside a tasty garlic butter dip did a decent job of quelling our appetites while waiting for our mains. While the menu warns that paellas and fidueàs take about 25 to 35 minutes to be prepared, our food arrived in about 15 to 20 minutes on a low-traffic day.
paella valenciana @ don quijote
I wasn't as wowed by the Paella Valenciana ($30++ for a small portion that will feed one to two persons) as I had hoped. It wasn't poorly executed- the creamy short-grain rice was thoroughly infused with the saffron stock, and the mussels and clams were pleasantly fresh and succulent. But as I dug into the bottom of the pan, I was disappointed by the absence of socarrat- the crispy burnt crust that is considered to be the hallmark of an excellent paella by many. I also found the rice too wet for my liking.
fideuà negra @ don quijote
We all preferred the Fideuà Negra ($30++ for a small portion, starring bite-sized strands of angel hair pasta cooked in a jet-black squid-ink sauce bursting with flavors of the sea. As with the paella, we indicated that we wanted the noodles to be cooked al dente and they turned out perfectly done.
desserts @ don quijote
We rounded off the meal with Pudin de Pan y Manteqilla ($7++) and Pastel de Naranja y Queso ($7++). The bread and butter pudding fan in me wasn't particularly thrilled with the former; the orange cheesecake was satisfyingly rich and creamy but was, again, nothing out the ordinary. Perhaps, we should have opted for the friendly waitress' recommendation for the ubiquitous Bomba de Chocolate (molten chocolate cake).

Now, can someone recommend me a place for good paella in Singapore?

Blk 7 Dempsey Road
#01-02
Tel: +65 6476 2811
Opening hours: 11.30am-10.30pm (Sun-Wed), 11.30am-1am (Thu-Sat)

November 16, 2011

The Pancake War: Hummerstons

pancakes @ hummerstons
While Cedele's and Food for Thought's pancakes still reign in terms of fluffiness and moistness, Hummerstons' rendition of this familiar breakfast favorite is definitely one of the better ones around. Thin but sizeable, these light and airy pancakes ($14++) had a delectable buttermilk tang and were served with berry compote, real maple syrup and easy-to-slather whipped butter. They go cold quite quickly though, so do lap them up with haste.
hummerstons
Oh, did I forget to mention that I adored the design of the spacious lounge area as much as I liked the pancakes?

Hummerstons
11 Unity Street
#02-14 Robertson Walk
Tel: +65 6737 8863
Opening hours: 12nn-12am (Tues-Fri), 10am-12am (Sat-Sun) 

November 11, 2011

Paulaner Bräuhaus

Portions come in big sizes at Paulaner Bräuhaus; my party of four left with stuffed tummies after sharing three mains, a dessert and drinks. The first floor of this German establishment is home to a bar cum brewery, while the cozy restaurant housed on the second floor is festively decorated with a majestic Maypole and murals of traditional Bavarian scenes and costumes.
knusprige schweinshaxe

Crunchy skin meets tender meat in Paulaner's crispy pork knuckle, otherwise known as knusprige schweinshaxe ($29.50++). While decent, this porcine signature was not as succulent as I would have liked. Being no fan of fermented cabbage, I passed on the sauerkraut; the soft and hearty knödel (bread dumplings) which accompanied this dish were however quite pleasant. Paulaner Bräuhaus also serves boiled pork knuckles- has anyone tried them before?
currywurst @ paulaner bräuhaus
Die “Currywurst” Klassisch mit Pommes und Currypulver (the German Currywurst classic with curried tomato sauce and French fries) ($17++). I had no complaints about the currywurst, but it was the curried tomato sauce that stole the show- beats regular ketchup anytime! While the fries were decidedly average, they were wiped out in no time as tools to wield the addictive curry dip.
sausage pan @ paulaner bräuhaus
What's German food without sausages? Unfortunately, the Paulaner sausage pan ($25++)- which comes with Thüringer, cheese sausage, debreziner, pork sausage and spicy Kolbazi sausages- failed to impress. The sausages weren't particularly juicy, neither were they grilled to a crisp. The powdery reconstituted mashed potatoes were equally mediocre.
kaiserschmarrn @ paulaner bräuhaus
The highlight of the meal would be the Karamellisierter Kaiserschmarrn mit Apfel-Pflaumenkompott (caramelized Bavarian emperor's pancake with apple plum compote) ($12.50++). Prepared a la minute and served piping hot, the fluffy bite-sized pancake pieces were coated with a crisp caramelized sugar. While it was expectedly on the sweet side, Paulaner's kaiserschmarrn is definitely one of my favorite pancakes around and is a dish that I will return for!
paulaner bräuhaus
9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-01 Millenia Walk
Tel: +65 6883 2572
Opening hours:
Restaurant: 12pm–2.30pm, 6.30pm–10.30pm (Mon-Fri); 
6.30pm–10.30pm (Sat); 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm (Sun)
Bar: 11.30am – 1am (Sun-Thur), 11.30am – 2am (Fri, Sat & PH eve)