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Sage The Restaurant

The first time I was introduced to SAGE, The Restaurant, I remember thinking as I was walking through underpasses and over bridges, how thankful I was that I wore my comfy though nearly disintegrating pumps.

SAGE is not like your nearest Crystal Jade establishment or Cafι Cartel in many ways. Not only do they target pretty different types of foodies, it is also not the kind of place one would chance upon while stopping or even on the way to other eateries in the vicinity of Robertson Walk or The Pier. One would have to very deliberately look towards the second floor of the Robertson Walk quadrangle to catch a sliver-of-a-glimpse of it.

Nevertheless, their relative inaccessibility has not stopped their business from taking off, and for many good reasons. The most basic, yet often most neglected element in the food industry is service, with a smile. Although it was packed and supremely busy when I went, on a Tuesday night (thankfully that’s not ALWAYS the case), the pearlies were out in full force from both the manager and waitresses alike.

Unlike some food outlets, SAGE made me feel welcome the very instant I stepped through the doors. Low lighting, mahogany brown hues, and soft jazzy tunes immediately relaxed my nerves and wiped the frown I did not even realize I had been wearing all day.

A backpack hotel seems an unlikely place to find a swanky restaurant serving international fusion, but that is exactly where Wild Rocket is located. Lawyer turned sous chef, Wilin serves contemporary western cuisine with a Singaporean twist. Having heard good things about Wild Rocket @ Mount Emily (the name also rouses my curiosity), my mind begin to sub-consiously tell me “go to Wild Rocket…”

Wild Rocket at Mount Emily

Wild rocket @ Mount Emily is definitely quite a romantic place to bring your date to impress. Prior to this visit, i have totally no idea that Singapore have two ‘Mounts’ in town, lest to mention Orchard Road. But thats where the two Mount are at, Mount Sohpia and Mount Emily behind Plaza Singapura. Having said this, i hope you understand we are talking about Mount, eh you know Mount Faber?

Ahh.. finally get the idea right?  Mayb you’ll say Singapore where got Mountains? The highest is Bukit Timah Hill what? Nevertheless, Wild Rocket is on the very top of Mount Emily. And to get there, public transport i.e buses and trains are a Big No No. Only cars and cabs, unless you’ll prefer to walk up Mount Emily with your date and arriving in fashionable stinky sweat-smell. Go only car and cab, but when you finish your meal, it might be quite nice to stroll down Mount Emily with your date : )

One of the corner of Wild Rocket. My companion mention that it will be quite a good place to hold a birthday party or a mini gathering of the spacious corner. The lighting is a bit dark on this side though, which makes photo-taking not nice. But the comfy of the seats definitely make up for it.

The other side of the restaurant. The place is quite small though, at a rough estimate i’ll say mayb 30 seaters or less? And it can be quite cram when it gets crowded, so please make sure you make your reservations before you go. Recommended for lunch, and necessary for dinner. The car park was also very limited, only around 5-6 parking lots? And there is barely any space outside the hostel for parking, as the area is all private estates.

We browse through the menu, the first page was their 3 course Set lunch. A starter, a main course and a dessert, all at the price of $25++ which i though was rather cheap when i saw that their A la carte mains are mostly in the 30s and 40s range of pricing. But then we didn’t have lunch there as we just had dim sum for brunch at Red Star. Despite being quite full, we braced our stomaches for the desserts. It will be a pity not to have anything after coming all the way here.

Oh yes, before coming to Wild Rocket @ Mount Emily, we went to Old School @ Mount Sophia (that will be the next review coming up). Mount Sophia is beside Mount Emily, at first we didn’t plan to come to Wild Rocket because we didn’t know where Mount Emily is at. But after coming down from Mount Sophia, i saw the road Wilkie road, and the name sounds a bell in my head, i gesture excitedly to my companion that i conjuncted this is the place where Wild Rocket is located. Poof, less than 30 seconds, we drove up Wilkie road and found ourselves facing Mount Emily Park, and further up is hang out @ Mount Emily. Cheers!

Oreo cheesecake with fudge & hazelnut ice cream

Astonishment is the word to describe us when the waitress serves us our desserts. The Oreo Cheesecake is de-constructed and instead of the slide of cakes you will normally see in all restaurants, Wild Rocket went one step up and reassembled the cheesecake in a tall martini glass. Kudos to the chef for being so creative and creating a winner dessert. Normally i will feel the pinch in my pocket if i have to pay close to ten bucks for a slice of cake. But not at Wild Rocket, i was immerse in the indulgence of the cake that no pain is felt. Presentation-wise score full marks, and the taste of the cake also won me over. A strong hint of cheese covering the top, with the cake and hazelnut ice cream in the middle, oreo cookie smashed filling the bottom.

Kueh buloh Tiramisu with espresso ice cream

The first question is what the heck is Kueh buloh? But then after the first bite of the cake, it doesn’t really matters. My companion a self-proclaimed Pro in baking Tiramisu, when he took the first taste of the cake, he gave me a strange look, without saying anything he took a second bite. After which he annouced, “not too bad, got my standard!” Indeed, the Tiramisu is good, and similarly it does not comes in the usual form of a cake. Deconstruction and reassembled is the way desserts go @ Wild Rocket, at least that applies for this two desserts.

I’ll definitely come back to Wild Rocket @ Mount Emily for their Main course, and of course more desserts. Some may say the place is over-rated, over-priced, or inaccessible, i gave it a thumbs up. While not in the fine-dining league, its unquestionably a good restaurant with the ambience you want to bring a date to.

The price isn’t that expensive when you account in the feel-good factors, and the creativity of the chef. The dining industry in Singapore definitely can do with more chef like Wilin who produce top-notch food. The brunch menu is also quite comprehensive. My evil-twin took a snap-shot of the brunch menu, anyone interested can tell me to send it to you. Anybody wants to go with me to Wild Rocket for my next visit?? *Raise hand* *Waving* *ME!* *ME!*

You are always welcome to visit ladyironchef for a full-up on this trip. Whatever written above are my geniune feelings expressed in words that may be subjected to my personal distortion or bias. Please do not feel emotional or distress should you have any violent objections. Kindly click the little X at the upper, extreme right of your screen if negative adjectives would be derived. Otherwise, feel free to furnish me with comments, may it be positive or negative :

New Majestic Restaurant

My parents were huge fans of the former Majestic Restaurant, back in its day. They’d wax lyrical about the steamed fish and the roasted chicken, and how much of a pity it was that it had to close down. So I figured that I just had to bring them to the New Majestic Restaurant, to help them relive the nostalgia.

Unfortunately, my parents – and I guess, to a certain extent, me – don’t really appreciate the melding of fine-dining and Chinese food. My father actually had great trouble deciding what to order from the menu; he seemed confused by the terms being used and the portions being served.

We settled for 4 dishes:

1) the combination starter of wasabi prawn, Peking duck and pan-fried foie gras, at $15 per person

2) the shark’s fin fried with egg in lettuce, at $36 per portion

3) the roasted chicken with five spiced salt, at $18 per portion

4) the homemade tofu with lufta melon, crab meat and crab roe, at $14 per portion

It was the starter that was the stunner. There is no doubt that the food served here is indeed good. It’s just that perhaps, we don’t feel comfortable paying fine-dining prices for fine-dining portions for Chinese food. Our first dish was exactly what was described in the menu – one square piece of Peking duck skin perched atop a small square of pan-fried foie gras, and one wasabi-mayonnaise prawn settled on a water melon bed.

The taste was exquisite, to be honest. The singular wasabi prawn was well-done and the tangy sweetness of the wasabi mayonnaise provided and edge to the sweet crunchy watermelon beneath. And the pan-fried foie gras was a-mazing; literally crispy on the outside, and oh-so-soft and melt-in-your-mouth within. The Peking duck skin was crispy as well, so tastewise there was no disappointment there. It was just the portion-size that was jaw-dropping. On hindsight, maybe we should have just ordered the portion of wasabi prawns for $24. We would have had much more prawns, and even save $21 on our starter.

I do however, love the second dish – the shark’s fin fried with egg in lettuce. They were really generous with their shark’s fin; I was biting into chunks of shark’s fin, fried with really fluffy egg. And I like that – the fact that the egg was fluffy rather than limp dry, the way it usually is with most of the other such dishes that other restaurants serve. I felt as if the eggs were half-scrambled. Yummy. Oh, and there was also a lot of crunchy bean sprouts and lots of crab meat shavings to go around. And the lettuce was really fresh. To me, this dish is a must-try.

Our third dish – the roasted chicken – won accolades from my parents. According to them, the standard of the chicken has not changed inspite of the rest of the character of the restaurant. The chicken is really nicely done – the meat is tender and juicy. Even the white meat, which I otherwise never touch, is actually more tender than I’ve known, and can actually be edible with the five spiced salt. The roasted skin is also really browned and crispy. Who can resist?

Our last dish – the homemade tofu – was also really good. At least, the tofu was. I found the gluten sauce a bit too thick and heavy. And even though it was chock-full of crab meat and roe, and lots of lufta melon, I felt that it wasn’t very tasty. But this could simply have been because the tofu is really what provides the flavour. Bite into one of the homemade tofus, and you can understand why it’s so special. It’s crispy on the outside, amazingly soft and silken on the inside, and it has this subtle flavour that makes it perfect to pair with all the other stuff that comes on its dish. It can flavour anything, without being overpowering.

For dessert, I got the chilled mango puree with sago and pomelo for $6. It came as thick mango puree served with a scoop of ice-cream, peppered with sago and pomelo bits. On its own, the mango puree was overpowering, and a little too intense to take. But once you started mixing the ice-cream into everything, somehow the flavours just melded and grew on you. The end result was a rather pleasant one; however, I guess the impression being left on me wasn’t all that great. While I think this dessert is nice, it’s not something I’ll want to come back to this restaurant for.

Decor-wise, the restaurant is really upmarket and chi chi. I guess this is part of the whole New Majestic Hotel look – modern, yet classy and edgy; the way a boutique hotel ought to be, I suppose. The look’s really nice, I must admit. It’s really welcoming and comfortable.

The service is also very efficient, I must say. Orders are taken quickly, tea is promptly refilled all the time (the quality of tea is quite good too), the food comes really quickly, request for cut chilli also get attended to efficiently… I honestly cannot complain there.

All in all, the New Majestic Restaurant does serve quite good quality Chinese food. However, this food does come at a very hefty price, and one that perhaps, I may not be all that willing to pay because it is possible to get food of equal quality at lower prices elsewhere (discounting the decor costs).

One Rochester

Housed in a lush green setting with a charming colonial feel, One Rochester exudes a chilled vibe, making it perfect for casual drinks and evening soirιe. I must admit that this was my sole impression of the place and had not much expectations of its food offering. With the appointment of executive Chef Reif to One Rochester however, Singapore’s first gastrobar has definitely stepped up its game.

Armed with a carefully chosen ala carte menu boasting the freshest ingredients, One Rochester also offers a prix fixe dinner menu unique to each month and a weekend brunch menu. Highlights from the ala carte include Pan-fried foie gras with brioche & brandy-soaked prune jus, the Field mushrooms soup with white truffle oil and the Chicken sausage and bacon carbonara with linguine topped with a raw egg yolk.

Garibaldi’s Italian Restaurant & Bar

It was our 3rd visit today and boy was it a FRUITFUL ONE…..

as i have already done my own review + posted pix on my own blog, i shall just post the link here… http://eatshopbemerry.livejournal.com/89192.html

I apologise if some pple here found my review here too short… i typed heaps over at my blog but i tot i cld share some info wif foodies here… so this shall be my last posting….

Thanks for reading anyway.