Showing posts with label Italian Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian Food. Show all posts

Saturday, December 6, 2014

3rd Wedding Anniversary at OTTO Locanda

Time flies, we are officially married for 3 years. Since I got a gift during the 2nd anniversary, Leecher declared - in fact, way in advance - that I won't be getting any present. Boy, this guy is seriously good at managing my expectations or maybe, I have low expectations to begin with, tsk tsk! Well, a dinner is still a must but I decided that we should head for a place near the office, so we could walk stroll there after work to avoid the jam.
We headed to Otto Ristorante located at Red Dot Traffic Building. They couldn't find my reservation when I showed them the email. Upon seeing the email, I realised that I had walked into the wrong restaurant! *super paiseh* The place that I had booked was Otto Locanda, instead of Otto Ristorante - can't believe I made such a blunder. Leecher was trying his best not to give me the see-you-also-make-the-mistake-look, lol. 
Separated by a street, Otto Locanda is a more casual, informal Italian trattoria as compared to Otto Ristorante. We managed to rush there in time to secure my reservation, as they only hold the table for 15 min. We were greeted warmly upon entering the front door and shown to our table by the corner.
The restaurant exudes a cosy and intimate ambience; the walls are decorated with Italian dinnerware and a personal postcard collection from one of the owners while the shelves are filled with antique Italian memorabilia and recipe books. The bar area, boosting an extensive collection of alcohol, is perfect for those who are seeking to unwind after a long day at work. 
 After showing us to our table, the waiter swing by and presented us with a glass of champagne each, complimentary on the house to celebrate our wedding anniversary. How thoughtful of them :)
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Can't wait to get started! 
Warm & crusty bread was served once we placed our orders. Leecher was famished and his hands headed straight to the bread basket before I could even snap a picture.
We went for a 3 course set dinner and started with breaded saffron risotto ball stuffed with taleggio cheese and green peas on beef ragout. This was absolutely delish, even though I'm not a fan of green peas. The only complaint - the risotto ball is too small!
For mains, I went for homemade squid ink angel hair pasta with lobster meat and basil pesto while Leecher had char grilled rack of lamb with arugula and sicilian cherry tomatoes salad. Hmm, why was Leecher's main served in fanciful italian dining ware while I get a plain plate? Nevertheless, both mains were well-executed.
 We ended the meal with vanilla panna cotta & chocolate drops. This was my kind of dessert (anything with dark chocolate & sweet) so I was delighted when Leecher offered his share to me, haha! Happily polishing 2 portions on my own :)
 Happy Anniversary
Otto Locanda
32 Maxwell Road #01-03
Singapore 069115
Tel: 6224 0978
Opening Hours: Closed on Sundays

Monday, June 2, 2014

2nd Wedding Anniversary at Alkaff Mansion

Last October, we celebrated our 2nd year of marriage. Gosh, I'm still trying to come to terms that we are married for 2 years and yet, we are slowly approaching our 3rd year soon. It felt like yesterday when we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. So, there was a bit of drama-mama courtesy of Leecher for forgetting our wedding date (as usual!). He certainly made up for it during our date :)
(pic credits to Alkaff Mansion website) 
Dinner venue was confirmed at Alkaff Mansion, a 2-storey bungalow turned restaurant located at Telok Blangah. This building dates back to 1918, where it was first built by the a member of the Alkaff family as a weekend house. Housed at the top of the hill, it offers a sweeping view of Keppel Harbour. 
We were shown to our table on the 2nd floor. Minutes later, the manager came over to our table and addressed us as Mr & Mrs Lim while giving us the menu. Wow, impressive service! I don't get addressed like this whenever I'm dining out, even when reservations are made beforehand. 
Leecher surprised me with a present, which made my day :) As you all know, Leecher is not very romantic and doesn't believe in showering me with gifts, apart from my yearly birthday present. So, I was extremely touched when he presented the gift to me ... very unlike of him! He actually remembered our conversation from months ago, when I caught sight of Pandora's new tagline "My Story, My Design". I'm a sucker for anything that tells a story, specially when it relates to special moment in life. So, I casually mentioned it to Leecher about buying a Pandora bracelet. Leecher gave me the DUH look (as always, whenever he thinks I'm spending unnecessary money on useless items) and said that this is all marketing, lol! 
When we alighted from the car, Leecher went to open the car's boot while I stood in front of the car, waiting for him. When he opened the boot, I blurted out "Are you getting a present for me from the boot?" In fact, at this moment, I only said this sentence just to tease him & see his NAH reaction. Since we didn't exchange presents on 1st anniversary, I was 100% certain that there won't be any present this year. He closed the car's boot with a slightly shocked expression on his face and a paper bag hanging on his fingers. LOL - his jaws-dropped expression was soooo funny. 
Presenting my own customised bracelet, from the hubby! He picked the wedding couple charm & topped it up with a couple of other charms in my fave colours :) I must admit I was really caught off-guard by this surprise - I actually felt guilty for not preparing a gift. Heh.
 We were quite famished by the time we placed our orders. Thankfully, the appetizer appeared swiftly on our table. We had Carpaccio di Salmone - marinated Scottish Salmon carpaccio with yellow frisee salad and salmon roe. This dish was light and refreshing; a perfect start to our evening :) 
Honestly, I can't recall the name of this dish. However, I do remember liking this so much that I stole several spoonfuls from Leecher's plate after finishing mine, lol! Leecher was on his no-carbo diet, so I was more than happy to finish it for him. 
Us, with our main courses :)
Leecher ordered baked sea bass, while I went for sliced beef tenderloin served with roast potatoes & grilled vegetables. Beef was absolutely juicy and wonderful (I had mine at medium-well) & exchanged vegetables with Leecher for sea bass, lol! Old habits, heh
We got another surprise for the night, courtesy of Alkaff Mansion!
We ended the night on a sweet note - in the form of 2 desserts :) The surprise was definitely memorable, given that Leecher doesn't pull this kind of stunt. Hmm, should I start praying for another surprise this year, heh?
Alkaff Mansion Ristorante
10 Telok Blangah Green,
Singapore 109178
Tel: 6510 3068

Monday, April 14, 2014

Restaurant Week, 2014 edition: Truffle Gourmet

Our 2nd stop for restaurant week is Truffle Gourmet, chosen by a dear friend/colleague Stella. Given my special liking for anything with a dosage of truffle, esp truffle fries, I was gamed to try out this new place. Furthermore, Stella is a foodie as well so her choice can't go wrong :) So, we aimed to end work on-time & headed to the restaurant. I love the location, since it was near our workplace and can be reached by walking for less than 15 min. We don't even have to spend time looking for parking lots, lol!
Located at Club Street, opposite where Platters used to be, I almost walked past this restaurant without noticing it. I was half expecting the place to be full, since most of the angmohs were standing outside with several bottles of beer/wine. To my surprise, the place was relatively empty when we walked in apart from 3-4 tables filled with diners. 
We were shown to our table near to the kitchen and had the privilege of witnessing the live actions in the kitchen. The chefs all seemed to have chemistry with one another, working silently alongside with the rest of the kitchen crew. 
We were served with bread freshly baked from the kitchen. Oh, I love the crispness of the grissini. They were so good that I was tempted to ask for 2nd helpings.
We started dinner with Zuppa Toscana, toscana style soup with cabbage staffed with sausage meat, onion, light tomato and light cream. 
It was soon followed by Plin Agnolotti, homemade beef ravioli with beef reduction sauce and sprinkled with truffle oil and black truffle cream. I hereby declare this as one of my fave dish! The aroma of the truffle oil reached my nostrils before the dish arrived on the table, making me almost jump with excitement.
2nd main course was Tagliata Di Maiale Iberico Pluma, grilled Iberian pork served on a bed of sauteed potatoes, onions, peaks, marsala sauce and black truffle. Coincidentally, we had braised pork cheeks a few days ago at ETNA. Personally, I prefer this dish for the fact that it was grilled (instead of braised pork) and also, the overwhelming truffles used to bring out the taste of the dish. 
 We sat for almost 3 hour in the restaurant, enjoying our food and chatting :) So much catching up to do!
We ended the course with Torta Al Cioccolato, Italian chocolate cake with truffled whipping cream. I was sold by truffled whipping cream and it was the perfect companion for chocolate cake (^^) 
Truffle Gourmet
49 Club Street
Singapore 069426
Tel: 62225996

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) 
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