August 3, 2012

P is for...


Owned by ‘celebrity chef’, 1-Michelin starred Jason Atherton, I had made the reservation just before they opened and earmarked it for our P date. We took the buggy from the entrance all the way into the restaurant and had a table in a corner. Nothing fancy about the interior, has a slight Mediterranean vibe to it but not much of a view.

He ordered the crispy baby squid, with piperade puree and roasted lime to start with, and I had the salad of buttered lobster with pasta and maple dressing, sans seaweed. The dip for the squid was richly flavoured, the calamari itself had a churros-y taste to it, definitely some cinnamon sugar there.

I enjoyed my lobster salad, the dressing was quite umami-tasting, sweet and savoury at the same time. I had ordered a glass of Moscato Asti, so the two went very nicely together. I could just guzzle a whole bottle!

For the mains, I had the roasted cod with creamed olive oil potatoes, lemon conserve, and orange grenobloise. The fish was nicely cooked but after a while I was jelak of the taste, the lemon conserve was cloyingly sweet.

He had the roasted pork belly with broad beans, slow-cooked squid and chorizo. The first few mouthfuls were fine but after eating half, he was full already because it was very rich.

We took a break before dessert to wander around the flower dome. I was disappointed with what I saw. Not only was the lighting dim, there was only one main flowerbed and the colour combination and types of flowers left much to be desired.

Maybe after Keukenhof, no other garden can compare but still, since the conservatory is climate-controlled, they could have done much more. There was a display of bottle trees though, those were quite cute but other than that, I don’t think the admission is worth it.

Once back in the restaurant, we were seated at the dessert counter to order and watch our desserts being prepared. They served a complimentary apple and caramel dessert, it was quite nice with a burst of sea salt flavour in the ball garnish.

I ordered a crema de chocolate with banana ice cream and frozen caramel water, expecting some chocolate mousse thing but it looked like chocolate dry ice and had that effect too. After a while, the novelty wears off.

Nick asked for a coffee, but because before that he was asking the pastry chef what went into the coffee and cognac dessert, she mistakenly thought he was ordering the coffee dessert.

She informed him he had to order that with the wait staff and because the dessert was already made, he ate it anyway and decided to forego his coffee, only for a waitress to bring one around a few minutes later! They should have clarified first...he sent it back!

I showed him the supertree grove just before we left, and then we headed to Tampines to collect Aunty Sarda’s mail. A rather low-key birthday it’s been, but 34 is nothing special. Maybe will do something major for 35.

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