Il Lido Bali

DSC02367During my last day on my recent trip in Bali, I was looking for a good Italian restaurant for a late-lunch, around 3.30pm, where most of the fine dining establishment is having their lunch break.

DSC02353Il Lido is located at Seminyak neighborhood. It has almost 300 seats in total where diners can choose to dine by the bar or at the courtyard. The restaurant is a replacement for the previous Warisan restaurant, with a hope to duplicate their successor Il Lido Singapore.

DSC02357Their homemade bread was lovely. It ‘s served warm with a good crust, and when you tear it the aroma was perfuming my nose.

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Bone Marrow, Salsa Verde, and Radish Crostini

Everyone loves the idea of roasted bone marrow on toast. What makes this one great was the salsa verde managed to cut the richness from the marrow. You just can’t get too much of this. 8.5/10

Scallops with Asparagus and Lobster Sauce

Scallops with Asparagus and Lobster Sauce

Scallop was cooked perfectly with a nice bite and sweet flavor coming trough it. The lobster bisque was packed with flavor, and the consistency was just nice to coat the scallop. Faultless cooking. 9.5/10

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Truffle Cheese Ravioli with Veal Jus

Based on several reviews, this one is their must-try from this place. Believe me, I have to agree on those reviews. The ravioli was stunning. The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the amount of truffle oil was just right, in fact too much can kill the whole dish. Basically, after you manage to break the pasta, the filing will melt like butter on your palate. The rich flavor coming trough from the cheese, truffle oil, and the jus was the best feeling on that day. 9/10

Undoubtedly, the food at Il Lido was at the top quality. The service was warm and attentive. I would like to go back for sure.

Il Lido

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Jalan Raya Kerobokan No 38

Banjar Taman, 80361 B

+62 361 731175

http://www.illidobali.com/

Cassis Gourmand

DSC01548Ginger Bread Christmas House

Ask any Jakartans to name several, if not one of the best, French restaurants in town, Cassis will always be easily crosses your ear. The kitchen helmed by Michelin starred chef Jerome Laurent since 2013. His past restaurant Le Cilantro in Arles, France, earned Michelin star in 2007. I was choosing a la carte instead of their Christmas menu.

DSC01521Amuse Bouche
From left to right: Barramundi fish cake, “Cheese Cake”, Cheese Gougères

DSC01523Pan Seared Foie Gras “Cassis”
Caramelized apples, toasted brioche, blackcurrant sauce

Who doesn’t love the foie gras? This luxurious, rich, buttery like texture piece of fatty goose liver that easily tease your palate any time. I believe that Cassis knows their foie gras really well. Each component was cooked to perfection. The foie gras was crisp at the outer layer, and melted easily in your mouth. The apple was tender, but still left a slight bite into it. The Sauce has the right amount of sweet and sour that compliments the dish really well.

DSC01528Traditional French Onion Soup with Baguette Bread
With comte cheese gratin

DSC01534Crispy Iberico Patanegra Pork
Baby pok choi and Balinesse pepper sauce

Unfortunately, my main course was completely in contrast from my starter. It was a let down to find out that the pork felt somewhat dry, slightly under seasoned, and the “Balinesse pepper sauce” seems didn’t work out.

DSC01541Crispy Mallard French Duck Leg Confit
Sauteéd new potatoes, mushrooms, mixed lettuces

Cooking a simple dish is never a simple task. The duck confit was pretty mediocre. The duck was dry, tasted more like a deep fried duck than a confit.

DSC01546Strawberry Hibiscus Fresh Bubble
Homemade vanilla ice cream

This is really good. The flavor was balanced really well. The vanilla ice cream mellowed the sharpness from the strawberry beautifully.

DSC01547Sorbet Selections

I personally believe that chef at his caliber will able to deliver far better precision into his food. Yes, the foie gras was absolutely the star on that afternoon, but you don’t judge a restaurant by the foie gras alone do you?

Cassis gourmand

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Jalan KH. Mas Mansyur, Kav. 24, Pavilion Apartment Retail Arcade, Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10220, Indonesia
+62 21 57941500

Les Amis

Les Amis

The Friends, is what Les Amis stands for in French. Since the opening in 1994, Les Amis has been the temple of French cuisine, and that put Singapore into the world culinary map. The restaurant has several prestigious accolades including San Pellegrino world’s 100 best restaurants 2013 (ranked 81st), San Pellegrino Asia’s 50best 2013 & 2014 (ranked 14th), and The Miele Guide Asia’s 10th best restaurant.

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The kitchen is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Sebastien Lepinoy, who widely known as the legendary Robuchon’s right hand man before he joined Les Amis group in 2010 as the head chef of Cépage restaurant in Hong Kong. He took out Les Amis’s kitchen since September 2013. He applies classic French technique with a touch of Asian accent on his food.

IMG_0718Mini Croutons (olive, tomato, fennel), Mini Baguettes, Sour dough, Hazelnut Bread.

IMG_0768Teppanyaki Seared scallop, Teriyaki Sauce

This is exactly how I would like my scallop to be cooked every time. The texture was just perfectly crisp on the surface and slightly rare in the center. It’s fresh, has an intense sweet sea flavor with a little bit of acidity from a tiny squeeze of lime and coated thinly with teriyaki dipping…. unbeatable.

IMG_0770Foie Gras Custard, Artichoke Soup, Shaved Truffle.

IMG_0709Simple yet elegant dish. Both the custard and the soup were light and balanced perfectly, nothing was too dominant or heavy, especially the foie gras usually has a tendency to deliver strong flavor, but this one they really nailed it.

IMG_0707Sea Bass, Crispy Leek, Caviar Sauce

The Sea Bass was spotless, it was perfect in both seasoning and cooking. The only concern that I had was I prefer for the sauce to have a little bit more acidity to lift up the flavor. Lacking of acidity almost turned the dish flat.

IMG_0769Grilled Dry Aged Beef Tenderloin, Asparagus, Rich Jus, White Miso

The meat was cooked perfectly and delivered everything that you want to get from the beef. It was perfectly charred, tender but still have the meaty texture (very different from the tender feeling you get from sous vide), and seasoned beautifully. Everything on the plate were delivered with precise cooking. It doesn’t require any unnecessary dressing or plating. A pair of perfectly cooked asparagus were really did the justice.

IMG_0699Pinot Noir Macerated Strawberries, Yoghurt Ice Cream, Almond Cake

It might looks simple, but, believe me, it is not easy to find the right balance for a dessert like this. The Yoghurt ice cream compliments the warm, mellow strawberries really well.

IMG_0697Madelaine, Lemon Cream

Do I need any more explanation about this? 🙂

I realize that simplicity is getting rarer these days. Is it because simplicity is just too difficult to master? or they just thought that simplicity means boring. Simplicity demands heavily on great produce and perfect execution, and Les Amis clearly knows this game really well. There’s nothing to hide on that afternoon, where every 3 to 4 things on the plate were perfectly executed without any unnecessary garnish or seasoning. This place has a lot to offer. I will go back to this place beyond any doubt.

Les Amis

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1 Scotts Road, #02-16 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208
+65 6733 2225

http://www.lesamis.com.sg/

Pollen Singapore

After leaving Ramsay’s empire in 2010, Jason Atherton launched his own company, Jason Atherton Ltd. And opened his first restaurant Table No. 1 in Shanghai. In 2011, he was opening Pollen Street Social in London, and has been awarded 1 Michelin Star. Currently he has several restaurants, three of them are in Singapore.

Jason Atherton spent his younger days at some of the British culinary Godfathers including Nico Ladenis, Pierre Koffman, and Marco Pierre White. He was also the first British chef to stage at Ferran Adria’s El Bulli. He’s one of Ramsay’s former protégé as a chef de cuisine at Maze restaurant for 9 years before he leaved in 2010.

Pollen in Singapore is the Jason’s fine dining venture beside his other sites, Esquina and Keong Saik Snacks with more relaxing environment.

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Amuse Bouche

Homemade baguette served with seaweed and black sesame butter, Homemade Crackling with mustard and apple puree, Parmesan Truffle Rice.

Even at the start, the food speaks about Jason’s great influence from Asian cuisine, the seaweed and black sesame butter gives you the unusual and exotic sensation about eating bread and butter. The crackling was quite decent, and the parmesan truffle rice was failed to impressed me. It was lacking of flavor. The truffle oil aroma and the rice were just felt unpleasant to me.

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Back-to-Front Squid risotto, Cauliflower, Roasted Squid Consommé

This dish is all about playing on the texture without sacrificing the main ingredient quality which is the squid, where the risotto was actually the squid that had been cut about a rice-size, and the used-to-squid cracker is actually made from rice.

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Slow-cooked egg, Pea soup, Sourdough

Most of the time, a simple dish is the most difficult one to make. This soup was under seasoned to my taste. It tasted rather bland. Too bad, the soup didn’t matched well with the perfectly cooked poached egg. When you have a bowl of pea soup, you need that warm and hearty feeling when you put a spoon of soup in your mouth. It’s just missed from this bowl.

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Fillet of Cod, Broccoli Stem and Quinoa, Cockles and Cabaneros

The perfectly cooked fish was served with potato gnocchi with mushroom-chrysanthemum-tarragon tea. I feel that the broth really compliment the fish really well. It was packed of flavor but still light at the same time, so the aroma and the flavor penetrate slowly to the fish without overpowering the fish.

IMG_0512Squab Pigeon, Braised Leg, Rhubarb, Caramelized Radicchio, Golden Raisins

This was my favorite plate on that afternoon after a let down from the pea soup. Everything on this plate was just immaculate, seasoned really well, and each component from the perfectly glazed carrot, to the onion puree with a hint of nutmeg flavor in it was sublime. It’s almost impossible to left a thing on the plate.

Dessert Bar:

IMG_0510Nuances of Red

Hibiscus and Yoghurt Ice Cream, Pickled Raspberries and Orchids

I personally feel that the sweet and sour element from this dessert is great for a pre-dessert, especially before you had the Chocolate “Kopi”. It is red, bright, vibrant, sharp, and incredibly refreshing on the palate.

IMG_0511Chocolate “Kopi”

Rum Raisin, Coffee, Truffle Honey

A small, simple, and yet elegant dessert that is beautifully presented really was the best way to end my lunch.

It was a let down at first, but luckily the food manage to climb up in terms of execution and flavor. Some of the dish was far too simple until it was sacrificing the flavor, but most of it were good. No doubt, Jason Atherton is still a genius. I like his approach to serve anti-bullshit food with good flavor combination. He always try to keep it simple without sacrificing the magic on the plate.

Pollen Singapore

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Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-09
Singapore 018953

Opening Hours (Tuesday to Sunday)
Lunch: 12.00pm to 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Pollen Afternoon Tea: 3pm to 5pm
Pollen Bistro: 12pm to 9pm (Daily)

http://www.pollen.com.sg