Fusion

All posts in the Fusion category

il Cielo

Published October 8, 2017 by piggie

It was with much pleasure that me and my two dining partners were at Hilton Hotel’s Italian restaurant il Cielo for their Japanese Degustazione Tasting Menu on a Friday evening. We were literally offered the best seat in the restaurant with an awesome view of the pool and ION Sky in the prominent background.

il Cielo, which means ‘The Sky’ in Italian, is located on the top level (Level 24) of Hilton Singapore. They have recently welcome Japanese Chef Yohhei Sasaki of Aomori as their head chef some 4 months ago, and he rejuvenated an entire new menu with a Japanese touch! Chef Sasaki isn’t new to Singapore, having previously helmed Forlino at One Fullerton, and had honed his skill at Michelin stars restaurants in Tuscany and Lombardia, and of course, Tokyo.

To start with, I have to admit I am quite unfamiliar with Italian cuisine apart from pizza, pasta, Gelato, and Tiramisu. From what I know, Italian cuisine doesn’t sell that kind of presentation a glamourous French cuisine does, and at best, we can probably expect Mediterranean ingredients to be used. But Chef Sasaki is able to fusion all that. Being Japanese, he possesses a meticulous aspiration on quality and setting, integrating Japanese ingredients into Italian cooking, and presenting the dishes in very eye-watering manner.We were promptly served bread assortment upon seated, and I believed I tried every single variety there. I must say, although these bread aren’t the spotlight, they tasted absolutely great. The crispiness, fluffiness of respective bread naturally offer a very interesting flavour that I feel, anything better would have to be straight out from the oven. Olive oil was also provided to offer an option to appreciate the bread in typical Italian’s way.

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche is a single, bite-size hors d’œuvre. Over here, there are some macarons, to be savour as it is, or can be dipped into the accompanied sauce for an alternate flavour. Also on the wooden platter are Burrata cheese with cured meat, topped with caviar and roes. This was my first time trying Burrata cheese actually, and I was overwhelmed with its texture, its complexing taste with the cured meat and caviar was absolutely marvellous!

Carpaccio di Kinmedai

Carpaccio di Kinmedai has got to be one of Chef Sasaki’s most notable signatures, comprising Kinmeidai Carpaccio, Seaweed Tuile, Madeira wine dressing, and graced with pink grapefruit snow. Carpaccio is a Venice invention of thinly sliced raw meat or fish usually served as appetiser. Right here, Chef Sasaki uses typical Japanese ingredients to re-create it with a touch of Japanese flair, somewhat refreshing in my humble opinion, and what absolutely memorable was when Chef Sasaki personally sprinkled the pink grapefruit powder in front of us, it created an instant mist that reminiscent the cloud, and with the green seaweed tuile representing the earth, what an awesome impression of heaven and earth!

Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare

il Cielo’s spaghetti is specially house made, and tasted al dente. Nevertheless, the focus is definitely on the sea urchin, which hailed from Hokkaido. I understand from the chef that the restaurant is also using ingredients from his home town Aomori as well as from Sanriku region, the latter famous for the Japanese serial Amachan (あまちゃん). In addition, the spaghetti is blended with Sardinian bottarga, a type of salted, cured fish roe, as well as a zest of Yuzu. Overall, this is a beautifully fusion Japanese and Italian cuisine at its very best, it’s savoury but not overpowering.

Giapponese Orata Grigliata

The main course is a choice between Giapponese Orata Grigliata (Grilled Japanese Seabream) or Costina di Manzo ‘Toriyama Wagyu A4’. The latter comprises of caramelized Toriyama wagyu A4 short ribs, sauteed saffron risotto, lemon gel, with Italian Parsley sauce, while our chosen grilled seabream came with Portobello mushroom, sauteed Porcini risotto, with green tea crumbles. But whichever option you chose, both courses involve risotto, and again, the Japanese ingredients here seamlessly integrated with Italian risotto in generating a rather unique flavour, at least I can say that for the Giapponese Orata Grigliata I tried. The tender mushrooms are tastefully sauteed yet not excessively salty, while the leek tasted so fresh I could feel the moisture inside was as juicy as I can taste from a freshly pluck. The crispy rice crumbles provides additional dimension to the seabream, which was truly delicious even without the sauce. I need to reiterate, the risotto here is certainly the best I have ever tried, far far better than what I had tried from a certain local celebrity chef here.

La Sfera

To cap a fine evening, dessert was La Sfera (The Sphere), and you think it’s just a perfectly rounded ice cream? It’s actually sorbet. But it ain’t ordinary sorbet, it’s a Lemon sorbet coated in Yuzu sphere and Ricotta Cheese Espuma with Acacia honey gel. First and foremost, it’s visually a flashy interpretation, giving me a static impression of our galaxy surrounding the sun. But most significantly, it was absolutely appetising, suppressing my burp and by then a bloating stomach with its citrus zest.

Our meal was also accompanied by three glasses of Italian wine in 2015 Lunae Colli di Luni Vermentino (Liguria), 2015 Valpolicella, Rio Albo, Ca’ Rugate (Veneto), and 2012 Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, Reyna, Michele Chiarlo (Piedmont).

Apart from the bread assortments and the Amuse Bouche, all the courses we tried here are actually Chef Sasaki’s signatures. I have to confess my vocabulary skill ain’t doing sufficient justice to the quality of the food here, in part complemented by the crew’s excellent service. They took the trouble to explain every dishes, but frankly speaking, most of the names are strangers to me and I needed to Google them before I can pen this post, and even then, I probably missed out a lot, and quite humbly, many blog posts you can find on il Cielo (under Chef Sasaki’s tenure) are more well written than yours truly’s. The waitress, as well as Chef Sasaki himself, asked us on the food quality after the meal. Well, what could we say? Terrific! I also understand from the waitress that il Cielo’s bookings have picked up significantly ever since Chef Sasaki’s arrival, and he thrives to revise his menu every couple of months to entice diners to return.

Last but not least, before ending this post, I understand some Italian cuisine evangelist may be critical of such fusion concept of losing authenticity. Well, firstly, il Cielo still serves traditional Italian cuisine. Secondly, evolution is an important aspect in culinary scene, particular for the French, notably at the pinnacle of all cuisines in the world. Even modern day Japanese cuisines are very much modelling after the French, with some innovation of their own. So long as the foundation of the cuisines is retained, anything else should be regarded as creativity. Even Leonardo da Vinci might not be the genius he is if he was restricted by conventionality.

il Cielo
Level 24, 581 Orchard Road
Hilton Hotel
Singapore 238883
Tel: +65 67303395
Website: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/singapore/hilton-singapore-SINHITW/dining/il-cielo.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hiltonsingapore/
Email: ilcielo@hilton.com

Opening Hours:
Mon~Fri: 12:00hr – 14:15hr, 19:00hr – 22:15hr
Sat: 19:00hr – 22:15hr

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Tino’s Pizza Cafe 堤諾比薩

Published March 22, 2017 by piggie

I only get to know about Tino’s Pizza through Tiong Bahru Plaza’s promotion, and its premise there is well hidden in the new annex area that I would have otherwise probably not getting inside unless I can see any shop that draws my attention.

Initially, I thought it was the franchise from some European country but I was rather surprise to find out its origin. Guess where? Taiwan! So that explains the traditional Chinese name on its sign board. Quite interesting isn’t it? But how good can a Taiwanese Pizza gets?

Me and my dining companion initially intended to share a regular size pizza. Oh, wait. Tino’s Pizza has a very fascinating way in terming the size of their pizzas. They offer their pizzas in either Neapolitan or Roman, which literally means Thick crust and Thin Crust respectively. The fact that the former is sliced into 6 pieces and the latter 8 pieces, as well as more costly for the Roman version, could very well means the latter should be of larger size.

Just then, my dining companion saw a different promotion leaflet on another table, offering personal pizza set meal with a drink (soft drink, iced/hot black tea or Americano) for only S$9.90++ (weekday lunch time only), which of course, let us try two different flavours. That sounds like a good idea! We ordered a Mr. Tino and a Sicily Seafood Pizza each. Oh, by the way, I had their iced black tea while my dining companion a hot Americano, and their black tea was served in a conventional bubble tea plastic cup, sealed of course. First sign of a Taiwanese proprietor. Take note, their black tea is plain tea, no sugar, though I suppose you can add sugar or syrup as you wish, but I couldn’t be bother with that.

Mr. Tino

Mr. Tino, as the name suggests, is their signature pizza. It comprises chicken or beef bacon and pepperoni, oyster mushrooms, capsicums, shredded onions, oregano and black olives. The pizza looks simple, but the ingredients are evenly spread, and I found the taste was remarkable. And if you require some extra cheese or chili flakes, they are readily available on the table.

Sicily Seafood

Sicily Seafood pizza offers an oceanic taste completed with tuna, calamari, shrimps, capsicum, basil, and padano. The highlight is the use of basil in bringing out a mint taste to the pizza, and I thought I found the seafood reasonably fresh too!

Tino’s pizza range is not really plenty, but they do have some interesting flavour, such as what I would call dessert pizza, yes, sweet pizza with honey, fruits, oreo etc. You just have to give them credit for the creativity!

Tokyo Sundubu(東京純豆腐)

Published March 6, 2017 by piggie

eatatsevenPerhaps I should have mentioned this when I penned my review on Menya Takeichi, but before I go on to Tokyo Sundubu, allow me to briefly elaborate Eat At Seven, which comprises seven Japanese eateries (including Tokyo Sundubu, Menya Takeichi et al) in Suntec City, hence the name. Eat At Seven is a collaboration with All Nippon Airways, which is almost as good an assurance that these eateries are more than decent back in Japan to get selected in the first place. And in my opinion, Tokyo Sundubu certainly impresses!

Merely judging on the number of Michelin-star restaurants in Tokyo, I guess it is safe to assume that Japan has overtaken France as the culinary capital in the world. But Japan cuisine isn’t just your sushi, ramen, and Kaiseki ryori. External influence, such as western cuisines, have been constantly redefining Japan’s culinary path as early as from the 17th century, which is one big reason why I love Japanese cuisines, retaining the heritage while embracing innovation and fusion. It is based on fusion where I feel Tokyo Sundubu excels.

Tofu in Japan can be quite a delectable cuisine. Japan has no short of stream water, these lighter water makes tofu smoother than the one we have here. Some famous restaurants (notably in Kyoto) specialise in tofu are selling their tofu set meal at a premium price, and I somehow cannot help wondering whether their tofu is made of gold! I didn’t try those famous restaurants though, but I did try tofu from a renowned hotel restaurant in Hakone, it was indeed softer, smoother. But whether it’s worth that kind of price is another question altogether.

Tokyo Sundubu claims they made their tofu in-house, but I don’t know what kind of water they are using, nevertheless, their tofu did taste soft and smooth. Even though their selling point is the tofu, they knew very well mere tofu alone probably is not sufficient to grab a pie from Tokyo’s highly competitive culinary scene (just like any movie needs supporting casts too), so they came out the idea of integrating it with Korea stone pot, along with a rich variety of other optional ingredients such as beef, chicken, seafood etc, which is why I was saying earlier that Japan’s culinary scene is dynamic, more so than many other countries in the world.

Chicken Sundubu, $14.00++

Chicken Sundubu, $14.00++

Their hot pot basically comes in a selection of 5 spicy level, with Japanese standard at level 2, and Singapore standard at level 3. I suppose level 1 is mildly spicy, while anything more than 3 is a genuine test on your readiness to undertake a chili challenge rather than appreciating the goodness of the ingredients inside. I had their basic Chicken Sundubu at level 2, and found its spiciness adequate. My dining companion ordered Asari Clam Sundubu ($16.00++) at level 3, which I found to be a bit over spicy, but for me still manageable. I like spicy food, but not to the extent where the spiciness overpowered my taste bud and render the food almost tasteless, it’s not that I cannot take it.

And by the way, due to the volume and colour of the spicy broth, the content inside are not particularly visible, that’s how it was served, and the appearance for my partner’s Asari Clam Sundubu looks almost identical. Let me scoop out the ingredients for a more appealing presentation:

chicken_sundubu-p_20170226_121341The restaurant was not crowded during our visit, but even then that probably ain’t the reason why the chef didn’t make it more presentable the way I did. As a customer, I want the ingredients to stay immersed longer to make sure it stays hot and properly cooked too. For that reason, it’s difficult to distinguish my companion’s order from mine without scooping out the ingredients, hence I won’t bother posting another picture of it here. The difference is that, the Asari Clam Sundubu has more clams, naturally, but probably no chicken (if I remember correctly). In fact, to be honest, I find their chicken more tasty than the clams. I do love seafood, but frankly speaking, their natural sweetness will all be masked over if the taste of the broth is too strong, likewise for the spicy level. Nevertheless, let’s not deviate from the fact that in Tokyo Sundubu, tofu is the spotlight (and in part, the stone pot), other ingredients are mere supporting cast. As for the rice, I can only tell it’s Japanese grains, but the restaurant didn’t mentioned whether it’s Japan grown, or specifically, which prefecture it came from.

Flavours at Zhongshan Park

Published June 12, 2014 by piggie

Flavour_bibiksI don’t usually like to blog about buffet, but guess I’ll just make this rare exception. As usual, most buffet restaurants have their hits and misses, and likewise I found at Flavours for their Afternoon with the Bibiks high tea. In the first place, $28++ is a reasonable price for a hotel restaurant, and under such circumstances, one cannot really expect loads of seafood. Yet, Flavours’ variety certainly did not disappoint. Despite branding it as Peranakan and Dim Sum high tea, they do serve a little beyond the main theme, with a very slight touch of Japanese and Western to go along.

IMG_2462-Flavours1Let’s look at my first platter, comprising Mee Tai Bak Goreng, Roti Jala with Chicken Curry, Chicken satays, fried carrot cake, Fish Tofu, Siew Mai, & Har Gau. The truly outstanding one here has to be their Mee Tai Bak Goreng, its appearance alone was already eye-catching, and fried to the right altitude, with enticing aroma that matched its taste. I found their fried carrot cake a tad plain though, blame it on my high standard perhaps, but ever since I tried Toa Payoh Lorong 1’s Chey Sua carrot cake (white), I never found any other pleasing. Siew Mai and Har Gau were satisfactory, above average, but may be it’s the mass-produced effect, I found them a little dry for my liking. I was initially impressed by the large satay, and greedily took a few sticks to satiate my desire. It turned out to be a slight disappointment. Firstly, I’d love the gravy to have more peanut paste (and more spices please!), but more importantly, the satays needed to be grilled longer until a little burnt, just so the meat could be more fragrant and offer some crunchiness on the bite. I understand it would be more sinful to the health, but this was how it was done traditionally. Just by grilling it lightly and rinsed with satay gravy doesn’t turn it into real satay, it’s just chicken stick that’s all, that failed to integrate with the gravy.

IMG_2464-Flavours2Alright, nothing to complain. I love sashimi, and these were just that little extra Japanese essence Flavours offer beyond their high tea theme. In-between, I also had steamed custard bun, steamed char siew bun, Kueh Pie Tee, kon-bak pau (Braised Pork Belly with Steamed Bun), tuna sandwich, egg sandwich, but non of these impressed me although mum was full of praise for their char siew bun and kon-bak pau. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s poor, just that these lack that oomph factor that stand out from the rest. There were also various hot dogs, Popiah, more sandwich varieties, gorang pisang, as well as nonya pastries which I did not take because I’d love to reserve my capacity for other more appealing food… 😀

IMG_2465-Flavours3These!

I always love pastries and desserts, and I must confess, despite the limited variety, Flavours satisfied me with their desserts, including their chocolate fondue! The Durian Pengat is a must try, and recommended by many reviewers for its aroma, in fact it was so good, it paled the sago pengat right beside.

I next made my own shaved ice, I’m not sure whether to call it ice kacang or chengdol, but I mixed everything miserably and created something too ugly to be pictured. But one thing I mixed it right would certainly be the following…

IMG_2467-Flavours4Rojak!

For a beginner, I couldn’t fault my own work, but if I have to be mean (to myself), I would like to quote Gordon Ramsay’s favourite phrase… LOL (it definitely is NOT “LOL”)! Partly, I’d blame the prawn paste. It’s not that bad, just that I found it rather diluted despite adding quite a portion. The better rojak in Singapore all have thicker prawn paste, notably Soon Heng Rojak over at Toa Payoh HDB Hub across the highway, whom I regard as the best in Singapore. Again, having tried that, I have to say sorry to Flavours, they have much room for improvement on this, notably their prawn paste.

WP_000743-ice-creamAfter Rojak, I had a cup of Chin Chow drink (Bandung also available) before taking a durian potong ice cream. I was a little disappointed with these ice cream option, I’m not referring to the flavour variety, but offering potong ice cream is a big step backward for a good restaurant in terms of image. I can understand price constraint, but I personally feel it will be better offering F&N Magnolia ice cream, they have durian flavour too! To me, those scooped ice cream not only offer better taste, but better image too!

Alas, coming to the end of this post, there is one thing I’d highly recommend, the staffs at Flavours! Their presence and spontaneity were simply outstanding as they thrived to please customers like me, who didn’t even bother to dress for the occasion. In part, perhaps because the restaurant was not congested (over a Sunday afternoon), but the waiters and waitresses cleared our emptied plate promptly, and was very helpful when my mum asked for coffee and sugar. Like I elaborated, the food quality can be further improved, but it’s already moderately good enough if I don’t view it as a restaurant. Also worth mentioning is their long high tea duration, from 1pm to 5pm, though I very much doubt I can eat that long. LOL! Needless to say, I skipped dinner that evening.

Flavours at Zhongshan Park
Level 1, Ramada Singapore
16 Ah Hood Road
Singapore 329982
Tel: 68086846
Website: http://www.ramadasingapore.com/dining

 

The Soup Spoon Union

Published April 28, 2014 by piggie

TSSUNION_MAINMENU_mainI am a little embarrassed to confess that although I had walked pass The Soup Spoon many times, but I never had the idea of patronising them ever. I probably still won’t had I not obtained some of their vouchers on the cheap.

On a Sunday evening, I decided to visit The Soup Spoon Union at Raffles City because it’s probably their biggest outlet, with a fusion of food variety which includes their trademark soup, as well as noodles and burgers.

Despite coming on a bustling Sunday evening, The Soup Spoon Union only had a moderate crowd as compare to many of their other restaurant peers around the vicinity. I thought we could have a seat first and casually browse through the menu, but that wasn’t the case. Patrons have to grab a copy of their menu (prices indicated are already inclusive of GST) at the queue entry and make payment (either by cash or NETS) before seating. That can be quite congested if there are more than 5 parties queuing as their holding area is rather small. After payment, patrons would be given a electronic beeper and free to select any seats inside the restaurant (yes, the waiters won’t be leading you, but you ain’t paying any service charge anyway).

The food was served surprisingly fast, within a couple of minutes upon seating. That only means one thing, they are super efficient, but most significantly, the food were prepared well in advance and merely rinse through with broth (if any) before serving.

Pulled Pork Burger, $10.80

Pulled Pork Burger, $10.80

I had a Pulled Pork Burger from their ala-carte menu, and surprisingly, the pulled pork was very well marinated, probably the best I ever tried, retaining that right balance of sweetness, and topped with lettuce, tomato, and vegetable salad. Though I feel at such price, it seems a little ex, but pulled pork is a lot of work, involving hand-pulled before marinating (probably that’s why they called it Handburger?), and to obtain an optimum taste is not easy, however, they did it.

Tokyo Chicken Stew, $7.50

Tokyo Chicken Stew, $7.50

The bread that came along with this order was very different from that on their menu, which was suppose to be a small French baguette. Instead, we were given a ciabatta, though personally, I would have preferred the later anyway. The actual soup was also looked entirely different as well. It is understood that The Soup Spoon had simmered the marinated chicken into a broth of sake and mirin, and served together with ingredients such as lotus roots, shiitake, enoki mushroom, white radish, and bamboo shoots. The overall flavour was moderate, expected that of the mushrooms and chicken soup, but done with a Japanese touch.

Indonesian Soto Ayam, $10.80

Indonesian Soto Ayam, $10.80

The next order we had was Indonesian Soto Ayam, basically glass noodle with grilled chicken leg, in chicken broth spiced with galanga, lemongrass, candlenuts, egg, served with chili, Indonesian soy sauce, crispy fried shallots, potato crisps, and a slice of lemon. Apparently, the drumstick was pre-grilled, but it made little difference as it was soaked into the broth anyway, the meat was tender nevertheless. The broth tasted light, lacking strong characteristic, at best moderate in my opinion. After all, I got to admit I am never a fan of Mee Soto in the first place.

In general, I had difficulty identifying the genre of the food they serve, I suppose I can call it a fusion, with a trail of all things Asian.

The Soup Spoon Union
Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road #B1-61
Singapore 179103
Open daily: 10.30am – 10.00pm
Tel: 63343220

Violet Oon’s Kitchen

Published September 29, 2013 by piggie
Violet Oon's on a normal Saturday noon...

Violet Oon’s on a normal Saturday noon…

I had wanna bring mum here for sometime, somehow, she was always not at home over weekend. Today, consider it lucky she is, and since it was a last minute decision, I didn’t book in advance. Good thing Violet Oon’s Kitchen was not crowded. In fact, we were the first diners at 11.45am, it wasn’t until some 10 minutes later when the second group appeared, and I suspect they are foreigners staying nearby.

The decor was a delight to me, a tint of nostalgic setting with two notable large mirror diagonally placed, projecting a false ambience of expanded space.

I have some brunch vouchers complimentary of Singapore Women’s Weekly, and did some homework before coming. The review so far has been rather diversed, but I carefully selected a few dishes I personally favour (at least from the pictures), nevermind mum, it could easily take quarters of an hour for me to explain to her each entry on the brunch menu.

Vietnamese Pulled Pork Burrito, $18++

Vietnamese Pulled Pork Burrito ($18++)

The Vietnamese Pulled Pork Burrito was served rather promptly after I placed the order, probably because there were no other patrons at that moment. Far from impressive from its look, but it tasted quite appetising for an otherwise plain tasting pulled pork. Personally, I prefer Burrito with tender chicken, but Violet Oon did pretty well in spicing up the slow cooked Vietnamese sweet pulled pork wrapped in tortilla with ingredients including salsa, tomatoes, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. I was a little puzzled why the avocado was served in a tiny appetiser bowl instead of wrapping it together with the burrito, I thought for the benefit of appearance, the vegetable salad did fairly well, but the colour of avocado really didn’t add a good touché, looked a little bit overdone in my opinion.

Otak Panani ($15++)

Otak Panani ($15++)

I like Otak and bread, and this Otak Panani gave me a little surprise! Hang on a second, what is Panani? I guess it’s a mis-spelt of Panini, a general term for pressed and toasted sandwich in English speaking countries, although the word was derived from the Italian word Panino.

Violet Oon’s Otak Panani was my cup of tea, not for my mum though, I guess it was the use of melted cheese which irked her. She doesn’t like cheese. I found the toast was rather crisp, and absorb the taste of melted Monterey Jack cheese and otak well, so much so it was already smelled nice on its own! As for the spiciness of the otak, I found it quite mild, but I suppose that part can be quite subjective here.

Asian Big Breakfast ($20++)

Asian Big Breakfast ($20++)

I found that this Asian Big Breakfast is a very good miniature collection of Violet Oon’s Peranakan culinary prowess. From the Otak, fried chicken wings, sambal egg Indonesia, nasi kunning (yellow rice), and cucumber with ikan billis salad (I think should be ikan bilis), even the chili tasted nice except the nasi kunning (agh.. it’s been painful needing to correct their spelling here! It should be kuning). Let’s start with the rice, which I found to be rather hard and dry. The fragrance was there, but the rice simply lacked moist. I wasn’t sure whether it was down to the rice grain, or was it because Violet Oon tried to minimise oil on the rice for a healtier recipe, I certainly did not enjoy it. As for the rest, well, otak tasted the same (as my previous order), the chicken wing appeared dry, but turned out it didn’t taste as badly done as it appeared to be. The cucumber with ikan billis salad was a welcome spice to the otherwise dried nasi kunning, but the most credible among here had definitely got to be the sambal egg, or rather the sambal itself! I don’t know how I can describe the taste here, something rather exceptional.

I don’t want to see Violet Oon’s Kitchen as a Peranakan restaurant, to me, it’s more of a fusion. Overall, the taste of the food I ordered was quite pleasant. But I have to confess, the price will be difficult to convince me for a return visit. If I have to list one thing that truly impressed me, their service was highly commendable.

Kilo at PACT

Published July 11, 2013 by piggie

Hiding in a remote corner of Orchard Central diagonally facing Orchard Plaza, Kilo at PACT is a raw gem. But before I touch on Kilo, I would like to elaborate a little on PACT, which, as its name implies, is a collection of three sub-outlets within one brand. K.I.N (Know It Nothing) is a simple clothing and accessories outlet selling mostly gents wear. PACT +Lim is a hair salon with Japanese influx. And Kilo at PACT, is the offspring of Kilo Kitchen from Kampong Bugis.

Food Menu

Food Menu

I have never visited Kilo before, so I did a little research on recommendations from fellow bloggers so as not to step on landmines during my first visit. On recommendations, my dining partner ordered a Beef Short Ribs Rice Bowl while I had two sharing items of Baby Eggplant and Salmon Avocado Sushiros.

My understanding is that, Kilo at PACT serves Japanese and Vietnamese fusion food, they are particularly good at the Japanese aspect of it. And if I remember correctly, they are using Niigata’s Koshihikari rice variety, arguably the best rice in Japan, if not the world. So, I have certain level of confidence my order of Salmon Avocado Sushiros could not have gone very wrong.

Salmon Avocado Sushiros ($15++)

Salmon Avocado Sushiros ($15++)

Served with soy flaxseed chips, which was nothing much worth mentioning really, the Salmon Avacado Sushiros looked very much like a hand roll, except that seaweed swapped position with the rice, which was then wrapped around with paper instead. The vinegar rice was sweet, offering a diversion from the conventional impression of a seaweed wrapped handroll, somewhat masked off the taste of the seaweed a little bit. However, by doing this way, it’s hard to avoid rice sticking to the fingers, although on hindsight, it required less technique wrapping up the ingredients with the seaweed inside rather than using rice in the traditional method. As can be seen, the filling of prawns, Japanese cucumber, tamago, and spring onions were quite generous, and strictly speaking, freshness was never in doubt. While most conventional hand rolls gave more texture of vegetables, here, my mouth was filled with the sweetness of the tender salmon. The overall satisfaction beats whatever hand roll I ever tried, even though I hate avocado, I didn’t find it disgusting on this aspect.

Baby Eggplant ($12++)

Baby Eggplant ($12++)

As far as I can remember, I have never eaten eggplant my whole life. I simply don’t like its soft texture, and particularly the way it was cooked. But I was encouraged to try this after reading several good reviews, and gosh, it’s indeed awesome! The combination of the donburi sauce and tempura flakes did wonders to the eggplant, injecting new dimensions on it, and with the marscapone cheese adding a creamy touch, I was overwhelmed. Honestly, I have never expected eggplant can taste this great!

Beef Short Ribs Rice Bowl ($17++)

Beef Short Ribs Rice Bowl ($17++)

And now, the order which I didn’t try. It was my companion’s actually, and as I don’t take beef, I cannot touch on much about this, except that along with the ribs were Niigata rice, sweet corn, radishes, sugar peas, and wasabi sprouts. Sounds really nice to me!

One thing I notice is that, most bloggers ordered 3 items from Kilo like yours truly here. I wonder whether they were also budgeting $50 at this humble outlet 😛 And I absolutely have to compliment the waiter & waitress, who never failed to bring on a smile and cleared our table quite promptly throughout. Also, I was very pleased that my dining partner secured a seat close to the window overlooking KPO, that view was not only scenic, but only let in adequate light for my pictures!