March 2, 2012

D is for...

...Degustation Dinner.

We had our belated anniversary dinner tonight, trying out one of the degustation menus at Majestic Restaurant, Bukit Pasoh

I had originally wanted to try Absinthe on 1st March, but they were having a private event and Majestic had no space either. But when we decided to move dinner to the 2nd, there was space for us at Majestic, which worked out well enough since the boy prefers Chinese food.

I was looking forward to the meal, and in honour of the occasion I wore a new Trina Turk wrap dress that unfortunately kept flipping up as I waited near the Duxton bus stop for him!

Didn’t really know what to expect, the reviews online had been very positive but the restaurant itself is very casual. Service was prompt, perhaps a little too prompt, the waitresses couldn’t wait to clear each time we finished a course and we ate too fast because the food just kept on coming!

We had opted for the $88++, 6-course meal comprising:

- Fried prawn coated with salted egg yolk served with mixed fruits salad

- Double-boiled shark’s fin soup with sea treasures and black truffle

- A combination of sliced peking duck with pan-seared foie gras
and fried crab claw with sake and spicy chilli sauce

- Braised south african whole abalone
with homemade beancurd and garden greens

- Grilled rack of lamb in chinese honey with wok-fried carrot cake

- Choice of dessert

The boy requested to change his soup to something non-shark’s fin and ordinarily I would have too, but this time round I decided to stick with the original menu. I don’t go out of my way to order sharks fin soup but if served at a wedding dinner I would eat it, just so the shark didn’t die in vain.

Anyway, his soup was replaced with a lobster broth with scallops and crab roe and he also replaced his abalone course with scallop.

The fried prawn came served piping hot, the first bite was delicious although after a while, the salted egg yolk taste was overpowered by something sweet, maybe there was some honey in the dish.

The shark’s fin soup came in a big soup bowl. Did not see any truffle and the piece of fin was generous indeed. The bowl also had pieces of chicken, pork, sea cucumber, dried scallop and a bunch of other gooey, chewy sea ‘treasures’ I didn’t recognise nor appreciate.

Next came the trio of peking duck, foie gras and crab claw. The foie gras was really fatty and I had to eat it with the watermelon provided to tone down the richness. The peking duck was just skin, there was no meat attached…the crab was my favourite bit.

The abalone was tender and I loved the homemade beancurd. The grilled lamb had a strong gamey taste, and I found the combination with the carrot cake a little odd.

For dessert, the boy chose ice cream and I opted for their mango pudding with pulut hitam. Strange combination but somehow it worked.

We were so stuffed after dinner, luckily the restaurant is so nearby and we just walked home since we were too early to meet Kavi and Swana for part 2. I gave him his present yesterday, a Gap voucher so that he can get new jeans, and a small bottle of Cool Water for when he travels. In return, he's sponsoring my Lady Gaga ticket (yes, she's coming!).

Managed to see Gigi and Sasha for a bit and put Sasha to sleep before we made our way to Haji Lane, where Kavi had suggested drinks at Going Om or Bar Stories earlier the day.

I knew Haji Lane is quite funky in the day, but I didn’t know the whole stretch of Arab Street and Haji Lane were quite happening at night too. Felt a bit ‘haram’ to be drinking alcohol in a traditionally Muslim enclave.

People were smoking shisha everywhere, carpets were laid out on any available floor space.

I remembered reading abour Bar Stories in a recent issue of SilverKris magazine so was keen to check them out. We were the first ones there, luckily Swana had made a reservation so we could be seated immediately.

It was all a bit underground, the fact that the bar is located on the second floor of a shophouse lends it an air of mystery. They tout themselves as a bespoke cocktail bar, there is no menu, the waiter will recommend what you should drink based on your preference for sweet, refreshing, citrusy etc.

I asked for something berry-ish and citrusy and got served a Blackberry Bramble, a mixture of crushed blackberries, blueberries and lemon. Couldn’t taste what alcohol they put in it but I found the drink bitter from the lemon rind.

Nick wasn’t able to order a normal drink, and had to settle for some kind of martini that was apparently the original in the Bond movies. Swana had something with rosemary in it, all that was missing was the roast chicken or lamb!

Anyway, first impression is that the place is quite pretentious and the drinks rather expensive ranging from $20-30. I wouldn’t rule out going again, but only if someone else is buying…a bit heart pain to fork out $25 for some crushed fruit and soda water and dash of alcohol but maybe I didn’t order the right drink!

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