Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye 2009

2009 for me was all about understanding myself. Through the 365 days i uncovered a great deal about my personality, strengths, weaknesses and most significantly, what i genuinely wanted out of my life... Now all is set & ready to unfold.

Plenty of awesome noshing this year!

New restaurants are mad sprouting, talented chefs on the rise, cusines made incresingly nouvelle & progressive... there's never an end to my list of wanna-eats. The gastronomical rides, whether good or bad, were all memorable experiences.

Here's a round-up of my 2009 favourites (some yet to be blogged); Food so lovely, so etched in my mind that i swear can pacify me anytime. Bon Appetito!

Best Meal of the Year: Otto Ristorante

This trip to Otto swung by so sudden, yet in the nick of time to draw a bedazzling finale. I hitched on their 6-course Gourmet Menu and witnessed how Chef Michele splendidly closed my year with another few best discoveries...One Many addictive onion foccacia, delicious lobster pasta, marvellous suckling pig, divine vanilla creme brulee.

I also took my virgin jump at white truffles, via their blue swimmer crab scrambled egg dish added with those lavish gold shavings. 3 grams to be exact. Bliss.

I'm so in love with Otto.

Other pristine moments:

Au Jardin
Oso Ristorante
Jaan par Andre
Atlantic Dining Room
Dolce Vita
Saint Pierre
Angus House (not to be confused with Black Angus)

Favourite Fish Dish:

Nothing beats the Chilean Seabass at Ember for now, for Chef Sebastian's ever-consistent fish & bacon beurre blac pairing is simply delish. I love his sauces, and how he clinches perfection through experience, i.e. by never tweaking the menu.

A week ago i had a Confit of Ocean Trout at Saint Pierre for appetizer. It scored. The oily fish babe was semi-translucent, delicate and nicely jazzed with breadcrumbs.

Paco Roncero's Pan-seared Seabass once blew me away, and still would if i had seconds/thirds/forths (if only i could!). Ultra crispy skin + piping hot flesh. The master knows the key to fish success.

Favourite Seafood Dish:

How can i not crown the Maine Lobster at Au Jardin? It's a whole luscious, succulent piece of flesh steeped in the most scrumptious vanilla orange sauce ever. Totally ambrosial.

Dad takes me to Angus House, a Japanese-western steakhouse, for lunch occasionally. Famous for beef, but they do a good Char-grilled Seafood Platter anyhow. King prawns, scallops, squid dashed with a brush of butter, drizzle of demi-glace & lemon juice, just enough to complement the natural seafood flavors.

Absinthe's Hokkaido Scallops with sea urchin emulsion cooked rawish in the centre, is another winner. I liked the way they're stamped with seasoned seaweed specks.

Favourite Meat Dish:

I'm not a big fan of red meat but if there's pork done like any of this 3 above, i would gladly chow them down... and even go for seconds! Omg all i could say about that Charcoal grilled Black Pork i had at 一流風 Ramen at Kagoshima is LOVE. Excellently seasoned stuffs screaming deliciousnessssssss.

Also fell in love with Ootoya's tender Charcoal grilled Pork Rice and that gorgeous Aged Balsamic-glazed Suckling Pig at Otto. For me to like a suckling pig that much, really says something.

Favourite Pasta:

I'm a sucker for tomato-based seafod pastas AND very particular about them. Fresh seafood, decent homemade pasta & quality roma tomato sauce are the criterias to hit. Cugini's complex, robust Seafood Pasta was no doubt comfortingly addictive... but Otto's Homemade Tagliolini with Boston Lobster in spicy light tomato gravy was the real stunner.

Also enjoyed a refreshing Cold Angel-hair pasta with caviar a.k.a Gunther's signature dish that has strapped the hearts of many.

Best Sushi/Sashimi:

Japanese food tails right behind Italian in my chart of fave cuisines, i love sashimi & tamagoyaki and can never get enough of them. Honouring first place in my heart is none other than Aoki... nothing comes close to their Nigiri Sushi Jyo-sen.

Tatsuya blew me away with a virtuous Sashimi Salad, even the dressing was to-die-for. At Inagiku i'll always have this cute Tamago Sushi enveloping rice and salmon roe.

Favourite Bread:

Elaine = Bread Junkie. Especially enthralled by foccacias & anything adorned with fragrant onions or walnuts.

Angus House's round bread roll is magical. Amazing. Always so beautifully crusted and noisy cos you literally hear the crackling in you mouth!

At Otto, their onion foccacia became a heartthrob. Moist spongy rectangles topped with greased onion worms... calling out to me as i called for more of them. Addictive babies.

Same goes for the uncountable pieces of herb, cheese & sundried tomato foccacias i had at Atlantic Dining Room.

Favourite novel desserts:

Edward Voon's White Chocolate Cake with all the bizarre bling blings seemed like swallowing air to me after a crazy 10-course, full-portioned dinner. I even hoped for a second helping. That's how good it was.

FiftyThree wowed me with unbelievably fine chopped apple bits in Apple Risotto mixed with intriguing tigernut crumble & rosemary foam. Kudos to Chef Leandros. At Jaan, the Tarte au Citron's combination of grapefruit granite, lemon & churros was right up my alley.

Favourite Cake:

No.1 goes to.... Mont Blanc Fukuoka in Kyushu! I was uber impressed with this chi-chi patissierie cafe. All their cakes were intricate, detailed & immaculate, and this Raspberry Slice is whoooo divine.

Loving the Strawberry Shortcake at Barracks more than any of those cream-laden japanese renditions.

And when the guilt-o-meter sounds, its time to switch to Cedele's Pink Beet Cake. "Moist and not so sweet, baked with grapeseed oil & fresh beetroot. One of a kind, great anti-oxidant & nutritious cake." I know cake is still cake but at least there are pinkie beets in there to feel healthy about.

Favourite Cheesecake:

All blueberry!

Hmmm maybe it should be labelled favourite BLUEBERRY cheesecake instead lol. The tops are from The Cheesecake Cafe (East Coast Road), Hilton's Checkers Deli & Say Cheeze (Tampines 1). Despite their stark differences, i'm loving all 3.

Favourite Carrot Cake:

After tasting Seah Street Deli's carrot cake, Prive & Cedele took a backseat. The cake is texture-perfect, not too crumbly or spongy, and generously packed with premium pecan nuts. It's cheese frosting optimally portioned and yum. Unparalled.

But in any case of a carrot cake-emergency, Prive's spongy compact block and the unfailing Cedele slice still satisfies.

Favourite Tart:

Whoo the unbeatable n.y.d.c Apple Crumble, with a scoop of in-house vanilla bean icecream, still remains unbeatable. Loved it since the secondary school days. Just $6.95 for a slice of heaven. Rocks.

The new-found wonders have to be OSO's decandent Dark Chocolate Crostata and the extremely moist Hazelnut Pear Torta at 1 Caramel.

Favourite Souffle:

I just have this thing for souffles.

Souffles are not commonplace but there are 3 attainable options i can always count on.

I go to Bakerzin for an airy puffy Bailey's Souffle, 1Caramel for the quirky-but-lovely Red Miso Souffle... and where else but Laurent Bernard Chocolatier for Chocolate Souffle? It has converted even a non-chocoholic like me.

Favourite Panna Cotta:

For panna cotta, i'm into Relish's local-inspired Pandan Panna Cotta. It's invincible wobbly texture, alluring pandan fragrance & brilliant gula melaka sauce never once disappointed.

The CaffeBar does a thick rich cream good for indulgent days; while Pasta Brava's beware-i-disintegrate-instantly version is amusingly fragile and light. Good anytime.

Favourite Icecream:

My love for icecream require no description.

Loving Canele's Rose Petal icecream with lychee pieces, Rose Veranda's extremely delish Vanilla Bean icecream, and Ice Kimo's Blueberry Cheesecake icecream featuring blueberry & digestive chunks yummmy.

It's been an eventful year no doubt, but i'm gonna ditch all the 2009 bads aside & embrace the (hopefully) greats of 2010.

Have a nosh-ful new year y'all!

P.S. Round the clock, loving God & Dad always (:


  1. Certainly the BEST ever year-end round-up post that I've read. You've had so much good eats in 2009 Elaine! I'm putting half the places on my to-go list already haha!

    Cheers to much lovin' and eatin' in 2010!

  2. You have the BEST the BEST the BEST & most photographic round-up 2009 post elaine. Totally echos my thoughts, especially on best meal of the year. (:

    You'll have the most fantastic 2010, & you know it!

  3. wow..I'm drooling over all the food! Nice round up! And may you be blessed in 2010! Cheers! :)

  4. wow that's a very long round-up! hee Yay to more good food in the new year! :)

  5. Thank you all for the compliments!

    Mine's definitely not the best but just a personal wrap up of faves so i can always look back & drool over those yummy darlings =p

    Happy 2010 (& good food) to all of u too!

  6. While scrolling down your fabulous entry, I thought this was the best round-up post for 2009. Then I saw all the comments! HHA. AWESOME entry! x)



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