Sunday, March 30, 2014

Restaurant Week, 2014 edition: Etna Italian Restaurant

Another weekend flew passed so quickly that I'm starting to wonder if there is an invisible hand somewhere that is set to quicken the pace on weekends and slowing down the pace on weekdays :( Too much drama-mama that I think I'm hallucinating as well, haha! A quick entry before I head over to mummy dearest place for the usual Sunday family dinner :) This year, we kick-start Restaurant Week with 3 reservations during priority booking and ended up with almost 5 at the end of the period, heehee!
Initially, our 1st stop was at Latteria but I had to cancel our reservation for we brought parents-in-law out for a meal instead. Thus, our first stop was dinner at Etna Italian, a cozy restaurant located at Duxton Hill. Named after Italy's most iconic volcano, the name ETNA is also a clever play on the words "Every Table Needs Attention" which is the focus and pride of this restaurant. 
We arrived shortly after 6.15pm (parking woes!) and were shown to our table immediately. The manager reminded us gently that they needed the  table back by 8.15pm for the 2nd seating - this was fine by us since I predicted that we'll be done by 1.5hrs since we were both feeling quite tired from a long day out.
Pour your own olive oil dip from the bottle that is placed on every table.
We started the meal with grilled scallops in champagne sauce. The scallops were presented on a bed of rocket salad, topped with fresh cherry tomatoes. It was an appealing sight. The scallops were succulent and juicy and I couldn't get enough of it even though I had already devour 5 of them. 
Even Chef Leecher thought this dish was well-executed. Leecher had double helping of rocket salad since I dislike the slight bitter taste and in exchange, I get one more scallop, yippee!
For mains, we had braised pork cheek with truffle potatoes puree. ETNA's restaurant week menu was kind of restricted and patrons did not have any choices to choose from. Perhaps, this helped to keep their standard consistent?
Honestly, I wasn't a fan of pork cheeks as it was slightly fatty for my taste buds. 
Dessert came in the form of nougat parfait. Service was indeed attentive at our table - the waitress took time to explain the ingredients & cooking methods for each dish. This little gesture was much appreciated, for it allowed me to gain an insight on the dish. Her explanation added a little colour to my imagination as I pictured the chef working his magic on the dishes.  
ETNA Italian Restaurant
50 Duxton Road, Singapore 089513
Tel: 6220 5513
Opening Hours: 12 noon till 2.30pm, 6pm till 10.30pm (Mon to Sun) 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wedding Celebrations: Joshua & Yanni

love heart confetti 
Another wedding entry of our dear friends ~ Kaiwei & Yanni. Kaiwei (also known as Joshua, but somehow, both Leecher & I tend to call him Kaiwei instead) and Yanni tied the knot last July. For those who may have noticed, Kaiwei was Leecher's best man when we got married. Wa, the BFFs took turns to be each other's best man, lol. 
Being the best man, Leecher headed off to perform his duties early in the morning. I woke up later and headed straight to church for church reception. It was drizzling slightly when I stepped out of the house. I was worried about not being able to grab a cab (we all know how difficult to get a cab whenever it's raining!) but thankfully, one cab stopped in front of me and I hopped on immediately :)
Reunited with Leecher, lol! He was performing the best man duties while I took a walk around. We have always drove past this church while heading home but I never had the chance to enter the compound to take a closer look. 
The church wedding reception took place at Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the oldest Catholic church for the Teochew community in Serangoon. I sat together with a couple of Kaiwei's friends and one of them actually recognised me from SSL's wedding - small world indeed!
Presenting the lovely couple as they walked down the aisle! Yanni looked absolutely gorgeous in her wedding gown! Instead of the usual princes wedding dress, Yanni opted for the mermaid dress. Her vintage gowns (morning and evening) were hand-stitched by her mum.
A picture with the lovely couple before we adjourned for lunch reception.
 Leecher was very on-the-ball that day. We stayed till the end of lunch reception & Leecher ensured that everything was in place before heading back home to change for dinner reception. 
Church interior after everyone left. 
A change of outfit later, we headed to Mandarin Oriental for dinner. MO is certainly one of my favourite place for wedding for they served really good food :) Leecher said the standard has dropped over the years but it still tasted good in my opinion. 
Meet lil Kiera, 2nd precious daughter of HuaiQin and Sheena. I haven seen the little kiddo since her birth and she has grown so big now! I'm always amazed at the rate kids grow up nowadays. 
Lil Kiera was on her best behaviour that night. While she was in her good mood, we played musical chair with her (each one of us took turn to babysit her) so the parents could eat their food. I had to resist myself from pinching her chubby cheeks. 
With the lovely Jacq ;)    
The couple rock-and-roll their way in for the 2nd march-in, much to everyone's surprise!  
Leecher giving his best man's speech. Knowing how lor-sor (long-winded) Leecher can be, I had to remind him countless times the night before to keep his speech short and sweet.  
Congrats and happy marriage :) 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Restaurant Week, 2013 edition: Little Diners

The last edition of restaurant week 2013 was at Little Diners. Initially I made a reservation for 2 pax, but changed it to 6 pax as the rest came along as well after a hearty game-session @ Boss EK's place. We were all pretty well-fed with snacks at EK's place, so we went for late dinner (due to my last min request, the restaurant could only accommodate 6 pax after 8pm which was totally fine with us). I was pleasantly surprised to see a place-card on the table with my name on it :) Nowadays, such sweet gestures are really hard to come by. 
Leecher choosing items off from the set menu before making his decision.  
The place was visibly still crowded even though it was close to 9pm. The kitchen, helmed by Chef Michael Quinn, was churning out plates and plates of food to feed the hungry diners. From this point onwards, both my camera + iPhone decided to call it quits and I had to rely on Leecher's Note 3 for pics. Somehow, I find that the picture quality is quite grainy as compared to iPhone even though Note 3 boosts a 13 mega-pixel camera as compared to iPhone 4S 8 mega-pixel. Maybe Leecher don't know how to set the resolution.  
Guys on one side, girls on the other side ~ triple date!    
Beers for the guys - a day out with Boss Khim means drinking during brunch (will blog about our brunch date @ Saint Pierre in another entry!), drink during games and drink during dinner, lol! He's really a drinking machine! I'm a fan of truffle fries, so its a must-order whenever we see this item on the menu. Sad to say, this plate of truffle fries was a disappointment ~ the fries were drenched in oil which resulted in it being soggy. 
Cheers to a day of feasting, fun & drinking (^^)  
Another of their recommended item, Old School Baked Mac and Cheese ~ glorious cheesy goodness topped with breadcrumbs & more cheese, baked till golden brown and served with salad. 
We were able to select our preferred starters from 4 items. Most of us went for either wild mushroom soup (served with homemade garlic croutos and truffle oil drizzle) or soup of the day, which was cauliflower & pumpkin soup (I think!). 
Leecher with wild mushroom soup :)  
I wanted to be adventurous and ordered Fried Risotto Balls instead. These balls were fried to golden-brown, with a melty mozzarella center and served with rustic marinara sauce. These risotto balls were gigantic that I was struggling to finish both.
 The girls unanimously chose Salmon (served with sweet potato puree and rocket salad) while the guys headed for more meaty choices like Chicken Roulade (slow poached chicken thigh stuffed with parma ham, wild mushrooms and spinach, finished in the oven till golden brown. homemade mash potatoes, roasted asparagus and red capsicum albufera sauce) and Bacon wrapped meatloaf (homemade mash potatoes, roasted vegetables and rich red wine mushroom gravy). Nothing too fantastic about their mains, apart from humongous portions!
Desserts came in the choices of Old Fashioned Apple Crumble (sweet & tangy apple compote topped with delicious morsels of buttery crumble, served with vanilla ice cream) and Bread & Butter Pudding (brioche baked in a vanilla scented egg custard, accompanied wby luscious creme anglaise).
Group pic before we call it a night, but missing me (the photographer!), haa!
Little Diner
789 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 269763
Tel: 6466 4088
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