Thursday, 12 March 2009

Culinary Miscellany

I have been pottering about a little of late, sampling here and nibbling there. All necessary work to bring you essential information. In these sad economic times, one still has to eat, I say. So if you can’t buy that Bulgari, at least you can still eat out well.

Salitage Wine Dinner at Chalk
One way to eat well without breaking the bank, I find, is to attend some of these vintners’ dinners that wine distributors often organize. I find them rather good value usually and it’s certainly a chance to explore new libations out there.

Next week on 18 March, Chalk, a new restaurant at The Old School at Mt Sophia (which incidentally is my old school!) teams up with Salitage Wines from Pemberton, Western Australia, to serve up a generous seven-course dinner featuring five wines. 

Dishes include tuna sashimi with an Salitage Unwooded Chardonnay 2007, duck rilette with Treehouse Pinot Noir 2005, confit of salmon with Salitage Pinot Noir 2007, pasta with braised lamb or chicken with Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot 2004, seared duck breast with Lyonnaise potatoes with Salitage Pemberton Blend 2002, coffee and tea. At $98, this spells plenty good value to me! The owner of Salitage Wines, John Horgan, will be there to speak too.

What’s also interesting to know is that the wine distributors bringing in Salitage is Top Wines, a leading wine company run completely by a bunch of business-savvy women. If you do go for the dinner – and I suggest you do – go say hi to Madeleine, Flora and Eliz. If you like your wines, they are good people to know.

(Having recently dined at Chalk -- run by a Les Amis ‘alumnae,’ offering Italian and French food on its a la carte menu – I must say it is rather good. I would recommend the coq au vin, served in a Chinese claypot (excuse the crab cartoon on the lid), which came nice and tender with a hint of orange; the panna cotta, which was rich and smooth as a baby’s bottom; and the hearty crème brulee.)

For Salitage Wine Dinner, call Madeleine or Eliz at tel: (65) 6468 3866
Or e-mail: and

For Chalk:
11, Mount Sophia
Tel: (65) 6883 2120


Pineapple Cosmopolitan, anyone? Had a dainty little sip at 7Atenine, a lovely bar-cum-restaurant recently opened at the Esplanade Mall. 

Stylish, with semi-alfresco options and lots of shade, it’s a good place to get together with the girls for a meal or an alcohol-oriented, after-work tete-a-tete. Why so? Well, lots of elegant little cocktails for one, and for another, with the St Pierre Group as one of the owners, you can be sure that the food will be interesting. 

Its extensive menu comprises a perky parade of creative, tapas-sized dishes ($7- $18). Not mains, nor appetizers – you eat as much or as little as you want, and smaller portions mean greater variety at one sitting. Must have their signature chilli con carne ($18) made with tender wagyu beef and the wasabi cod ($14) – whimsical lollies of crisp fried cod brandade perched pertly on toothpicks. Also try the tomato salad ($7), which is simple but refreshing. Be warned though: the foie gras hamburger comes with a great slab of foie gras, which, while generous in these cost-conscious times, underscores how too much of a good thing can sometimes be, well, too much.

Esplanade Mall
8 Raffles Avenue #01-10/12
Tel: 6338 0789

Durian Confessions

Speaking of too much, durians are in season once again at the Goodwood Park Hotel, which has been famous for its durian-laced pastries since I first started writing…ooh…once upon a long time ago. 

From now until 10 August at The Deli, you can get your artery-clogging durian fix with swanky yet sinful high-end confections like Durian Strudel ($8.80 per slice; $48 for a 30-cm whole log), D24 pulp filling and vanilla sponge layered between crisp layers of pastry; the devilish, dense, live-dangerously Durian Oreo Cake (S$8.80 per slice, S$48 per 750g cake, back by popular demand) with durian pulp sandwiched between vanilla sponge, drizzled with gula melaka syrup and covered with Oreo cookie crumbs (yikes!); and a light and local Durian, Pandan & Coconut Cake (S$8 per slice; S$46.80 per 1.3kg cake), with durian mousse, pandan sponge and coconut flakes. 

Something to consider for Father’s Day in July (if dad isn’t on a diet), or as a decadent indulgence in times of stress. There’s lots more, but limited space won’t allow me to go on…but do note that until 31 March, there’s also the Durian Fiesta Combo 5 ($22, usual price $30) containing a piece each of Durian Strudel, Durian Oreo Cake, Durian Puff, Durian & Crunchy Hazelnut Tartlet, and Durian, Pandan & Coconut Cake.

Goodwood Park Hotel Deli
Tel: (65) 6730 1786.
(Open 9am-9pm daily)


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