Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar

Met up with one of my ex-bosses recently and decided that instead of going to the same old places, we should actively check out new places that neither of us have been before to try out.  So it was off to Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar situated at 10 Winstedt Road.  The place was previously occupied by District 10 and I was half-expecting the same laid-back feel but was pleasantly surprised by the chic decor that the new owners have replaced it giving it a loungy approach to the place.

I came hungry but as it was close to lunch hour and I really didn’t feel like have breakfast type of dishes (which looked very good btw), we ended up sharing a 2-lunch course followed by the famed Ricotta Pancakes for dessert.

For the starter, we chose the light and refreshing Tomato and Mozzarella salad.  I loved that the rocket salad was tossed with a sesame dressing that went very well with the tomatoes and the cheese.

We went with the Fish of the Day for the main.  Wasn’t too impressed with the dish for the fish served was similar to the Stingray family.  The sauce that went along with the dish was forgettable.

And lastly for dessert, we opted the breakfast choice of pancakes – the Ricotta Pancakes.  The passion-fruit butter was really fragrant and went extremely well with the fluffy pancakes.  I also loved the almond crisp which was sinfully good when eaten together with the pancakes.

Verdict?  I think I might give this place another go for brunch on a weekend with the Man.  For lunch, I’d say you probably better off somewhere else.  As for dinner and drinks?  Maybe it’s worth checking out.

Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar
Address: No.10 Winstedt Road, Block E, #01-17, Singapore
Open Daily: Monday to Sunday (including Public Holidays), 10am to late
Telephone: +65 6225 6690
 

One epic dinner!

So we went for our little staycation with no research what-so-ever on what to eat. Thankfully our hotel room came equipped with some guidebooks on where to dine. While flipping the pages, the Man read out loud what are the options available. I stopped him when he mentioned molecular dining. I’ve enjoyed molecular dining ever since our first encounter at Tapas Molecular Bar in Tokyo. The show-stopping dining experience we had there was forever etched in my culinary memory and I was all for discovering a new experience.

When the Man asked the concierge to help make the reservation, he stared at the Man hard and muttered these words “Monsieur, that place is CRAZY! Are you sure you want to go?” Turned out that it was crazy because it was a 25-course long meal. When the Man told me this, my stomach did a triple turn and almost protested in fear. Oh my, food coma part deux for sure!

But our fears were unfounded for the portions that we had for all 25-courses were rather small and thus manageable. It was for sure a showcase of epic culinary proportions. Be warned: major photo dumping of food pics with key highlights of the dinner!
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Going french

Last Thursday (8 September) was a public holiday (St Bartholomew’s Day) in Geneva.  For more on the origin of the holiday, blog-pal S does a pretty good job here in explaining the origin of the holiday. When we were living in Singapore, I used to love public holidays for that meant that we could have the day off, relax and hit the shops where necessary.  But in Geneva or most parts of Europe, I’ve learnt that public holidays are strictly a day of rest for many, so most stores remain shut.

Having returned back to Geneva late Wednesday night, I didn’t have time to hit the supermarket to stock up on groceries.  So I was going to cook the Man a meal consisting of instant noodles and whatever I could whip up with the canned food in our pantry.  Thankfully, he was kind enough to spare me from messing up the kitchen and decided to bring me out instead.

We find that fine dining in Switzerland can be quite an expensive affair so we’re better off crossing the border to seek for better dining options.  Relying on an online recommendation, the Man booked us a table for 2 at La Ferme de l’Hospital in France.  Sounds pretty far but it was a 7-minute drive away from our apartment.  :)

We pulled up to an unassuming facade of this farmhouse which was once the property of the Geneva hospital.  We strolled on the grounds and I saw one of the staff plucking flowers and herbs to be used for the dishes from the mini vegetable and herb garden.

Greeting us behind those doors are warm, characterful interiors and the promise of lovely French cuisine with a pretty fine selection of wines. Was feeling a little jet-lagged more than hungry, so I decided to order the 2-course menu instead of the 3-course menu.

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food that we had throughout the entire dinner.  The Amuse Bouche: Foie gras crème brûlée and the chilled beetroot/ green asparagus salad was a great way to kick-start our dinner.  For the starter, I had the Foie Gras Ravioli with White Truffles.  It was super delicious for the foie gras ravioli resembled a large dumpling, the mushroom cappuccino with the white truffles made for a heavenly combo.  The Man had the equally tasty Escargots risotto served with Jamon Iberico ham.

As a prelude to our main, our server set before us a thick creamy soup.  From the looks of it, I had wanted to skip the entire soup dish completely.  But the Man bugged me to try.  Surprisingly, the warm potato soup was light and not at all creamy.

For our mains, I had the chicken roll stuffed with morel mushrooms while the Man went straight for the Beef.  He was a little disappointed with the way the beef was done for it was over-cooked.  As for my main, I was happy with the entire dish – chicken was done just right and with the flavorful morel mushrooms, I couldn’t ask for more.

I was stuffed by then, but the French really know how to serve up a good meal.  The cheese trolley came along and we couldn’t resist having a sliver of some of our favourite cheeses.  Followed by a pre-dessert of a thick chocolate mousse served with a macaron biscotti and finally a banana tart with passion fruit sorbet.  The meal was really good but was simply too filling for me. But I think we just may come back if we want to treat ourselves to a good French meal. ;)

La Ferme de l’Hospital
Tel: +31 (0) 4 50 43 61 43
Add: 74160 Bossey
Website: http://www.ferme-hospital.com

The beancurd wars at Old Airport Road Hawker Centre

Book Junkie in one of her posts talked about the famed beancurd at Old Airport Road Hawker Centre.  That piqued my interest for I’ve been to the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre countless of times but hardly recalled the long queues for beancurd of any sorts.  Turned out I missed out the ‘hot piece of action‘ that was happening in our tiny island.  Hehe.

I tried bugging the little one to queue for me to get the beancurd but she refused of course.  Said that she had better things to do!  Well, it’s true but I really wanted to try for myself what the fuss was all about.  So yesterday, while waiting for the sisters, I decided to head on down to Old Airport Road to go see what the rage was all about!  This was after a heavy lunch / coffee with the Imp, a tea-time beverage with the cousins and then a pre-dinner snack before drinks with Princess Min.  Phew.. I need major detox when I return back to Geneva.

According to my sister, the famed store of the lot is Lao Ban Beancurd.  I  wasn’t sure where the store was exactly.  I thought I’ll let the snaking long queues guide me to the store.  Turned out they weren’t opened on Monday.  BAH!  Well, moving on to store #2 then which was just 2 stalls down.  Ordered a chilled bowl of Almond Beancurd and waited for the little one to come by before tucking into the dessert.  I kinda enjoyed the Almond Beancurd from the ’51 stall’.  It had a malt-ish taste to it and the almond essence provided a touch of relief for the throat.

Greed got the better of us and the little sister decided to try another bowl of beancurd.  This time from the Bean Flower Water stall.  They had funky flavours such as durian, strawberry and blueberry.  We went really experimental with our choice of durian beancurd.  It does taste a little strange to have the durian flavours infused in the beancurd. I didn’t quite enjoy it but the little one thought the stall owners were rather ingenious to have come up with this flavour.

I guess after this, my cravings for the beancurd have been duly satisfied… Moving along ….

Spanish eats

Aside from Tapas, there is more to Spanish cuisine.  I’ve put together a brief guide on our eating adventures to showcase the exquisite food that we had in Madrid.

#1. El Rincon de Esteban

After our mild hangover from the first night in Madrid, we slept in the next day, only to emerge from our hotel room at about 2pm – the magical hour for lunch for most Spaniards.

Headed for some early lunch at El Rincon de Esteban which is famed for its family style ambience and typical Castilian cuisine.  Many famed faces have passed through its doors including Tom Cruise and Tennis superstar – Roger Federer.

For starters, we had the complimentary amuse bouche which was the traditional Spanish tortilla – an egg omelette stuffed with fried potatoes.  I wasn’t feeling too hungry, the pounding headache was enough for me to deal with. So, we ordered the Spanish omelette with pine nuts and blood pudding.  A little funky but I kinda enjoyed it for it was very savory, just what I needed to get my taste-buds in order.

Before our mains come, we were served with this iced-berry sorbet that was laced with strong alcohol that I could smell when it was placed in front of me.  Oh, I really can’t do this right now, but we didn’t want to appear to be rude so I took a modest spoonful of the sorbet.

The Man was famished (as usual) so he ordered himself a hearty steak, while I went with a Seafood soup that tasted rather Asian (kinda Assam – tangy) with bits of assorted fish and clams in it.

After his steak, the Man proudly declared that he has gotten over in mild hangover.  While yours truly was still clutching my temples, wondering what went wrong the night before.  An order of the super-sweet Apple pie sure didn’t jolt me out of hangover-dom, but that mint tea did do wonders.  :)

A lovely lunch combined with very friendly and attentive service.  I just wished that I was in a better mood to enjoy more of the menu offerings.

El Rincon de Esteban
Address: 3 Santa Catalina, Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 429 92 89

#2. Restaurant La Paella

Me thinks that our trip to Spain would not be complete without having a taste of Jamón ibérico ham and Paella.  This home-styled restaurant, recommended by our affable concierge host, is just a stone-throw’s away from our hotel.  Location was of course ideal for our famished and growling tummies that needed to refuel before our shopping adventure.

There are three widely-known types of paella: Valencian paella, Seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco) and Mixed paella. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck), land snails, beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and sometimes beans.  Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil.

As soon as the hot pan of Seafood paella was put before us, we tucked in and polished off the yummy dish.  No words were exchanged, just need to fill our tummies fast with the delicious saffron rice and the accompanying seafood plus generous servings of chunk-sized chicken bits.  Indeed, a very satisfying lunch that put us in a very good mood.

Restaurante La Paella
Address: 39 Calle De La Reina, 28004 Madrid
Telephone: 91 531 18 85

#3. La Bola Taberna

A recommendation from Time Out magazine and the Walking Madrid guide, we decided to try a different sort of Castilian cuisine.  La Bola Taberna is a classic Madrid restaurant is considered by many to be the home of Cocido Madrileños, the huge and hearty stew beloved of Madrileños.

It’s bright red exterior greeted us and a quick look at its door included accolades from the Michelin Guide, I guess we’re in the right place then.  La Bola is still run by the same family that founded it in the 19th century, and the Cocido (which is only served at lunchtime) is still cooked traditionally in earthenware pots on a wood fire.

Interestingly, the cocido madrileno is eaten in two parts: first, a warm noodle soup, followed by chickpeas with vegetables, meat and cured meats.

The chick-peas I enjoyed very much for it reminded me of Kachang Puteh (Roasted and salted or sweetened peas, peanuts and other beans or nuts eaten as snacks, traditionally sold wrapped in paper cones).  A simple taste that evoked memories of home.

Come by and try the famed speciality – Cocido Madrileños – at least once during your stay in Madrid.  Best enjoyed on a cold day.

La Bola Taberna
Address: Caella Bola 5, 28013 Madrid
Telephone: 91 547 69 30