Yet another day ended with a late meeting nearby, and hubby went to la kopi at Roosevelt’s Diner Bar while waiting for me. While I could find the correct MRT exit to Dorsett Hotel, I couldn’t find the cafe.. *faintz*
So hubby came to look for me, and Candlenut, who has just won a star in 2016 Michelin Guide Singapore, was just right there! There appeared to be some available seats close to 8.30pm, so we decided to try our luck and walked in without reservations 🙂
They were serving a unique Peranakan tasting ‘ah-ma-kase’ menu of inspired Peranakan cuisine at $68++ per pax, with a choice for dessert out of 5 options. We were not fans of sweet desserts, and I did not particularly like kuehs, so it was tough to choose!
Eventually, we ordered 2 of the less-sweet desserts, as recommended by the staff. Here was the sequence of the food.
- Prawn crackers with sweet sauce dip: It was a crunchy delight as we settled down to wait for our food.
- Homemade Kueh Pie Tee Shell, Blue Swimmer Crab, Yellow Curry, Laksa Leaf: Cruncy cups with fresh ingredients, it was a modest beginning to the rest of the goodness that would follow.
- Minced Pork Dumpling, Peranakan Signature Buah Keluak Black Nut Sambal: We liked the buak keluak fillings with the crispy thin skin.
- Charred Octopus, Chincalok, Cucumber & Pineapple Achar: The achar was very appetizing, and the octopus was done very nicely, with a nice bite and easily chewed.
- Grilled Spice-Marinated Blackmore Wagyu Beef Satay: Our favourite among the starters, with the right amounts of fats and tender meat. Give us another
Main series: (with white rice… And where the heat lies!)
- Pong Tau Hu Soup, Tofu & Crab Meatball, Shellfish Bisque, Prawn Oil: This was a very, very awesomely warm and flavourful soup, especially with prawn oil! The tofu, lobster and crab meatball was exceptional! Did we mention we finished every single drop?
- Sayur Lodeh, Kangkong, Baby Sweet Potato Leaf, Crispy Whitebait: We enjoyed the fragrant and rich coconut flavour, and the freshness of the vegetables. The spice level was pretty mild.
- NZ Maori Lakes Lamb Shoulder Rendang, Green Banana, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Serunding: Hubby’s favourite (other than the soup), the lamb was tender, and just very slightly musky. Enough to know that it was lamb, I managed to finish 1 piece, despite not being a fan of lamb. The green banana reminded us of tapioca. The gravy went well with the rice.
- Charcoal Grilled John Snapper Fillet, Black Mangga Sambal, Ginger Flower, Thai Cucumber Kerabut: This was not bad, but the meat was a bit on the soft side. The ginger flower was delicious.
- Wok Fried Sambal, Wild Caught Baby Squid, Petai Beans, Tamarind: It would be best to try this last, for it gave a really spicy and tangy kick! My favourite main, for the squid was cooked perfectly, achieving this wonderful chewy-tender-yet-with-a-good-bite. It was awesome, especially since it could be so difficult to find good squid dishes. *went to squid heaven*
- Thai Hom Mali Rice: Probably the biggest letdown of the dinner. Somehow it was not really fluffy.
- Rose Apple Jelly, with Green Apples and Mint: Totally won my heart (and all my organs). It was a light and fragrant cup of delightful-ness! The fruity and flora tones washed away the heavy tastes of the main dishes, preparing ourselves for the desserts to come.
Desserts: (Actually, the chendol was the classic, but we were advised that it was very sweet…)
- Buah Keluak Ice Cream, Valrhona Chocolate, Warm Chocolate Espuma (additional $5++): We had initially thought that this might taste odd, but the combination of everything was surprisingly yummy and balanced. Try the ice cream by itself, if you wish to savour the mild, earthy flavour of the ice cream. The pop rocks were like energizer bunnies and could not stop popping; so you either love it, or hate it, because it could get very distracting at times!
- Homemade Kueh Salat, Bangkit Crumble, Young Coconut Sorbet: Despite not being much of a kueh person, we gotta say that this kueh was quite lovely, and not overly sticky. The young coconut sorbet had a very clean and clear taste, and it was quite addictive to eat it with the bangkit crumble.
As part of celebrations for winning its one Michelin star, the restaurant was serving a glass of sparkling wine per guest, on the house, for the entire week. Warm water was available at 60 cents per cup (why oh why??), and they were very attentive at filling up our cups.
Service in general was pleasant, and we liked that they would explain what we were going to have, though we had the menu by our side.
Overall, we enjoyed the lovely surprises from the familiar ingredients. The price tag is certainly not cheap, but the quality of the food and the pleasure we had from this meal made it feel very value for money 🙂