16 August 2013

Gourmet Plus

Yay this is my first Openrice food tasting session! It's at Gourmet Plus which is situated in the charming Siglap neighbourhood. I was really looking forward to it because Gourmet Plus offers a mixture of Spanish, Italian and French food. So I'll get to try different types of European food at one go. Quoting the host, they are not fusion, but merely confused :)

I was really lucky to be able to sample their 10 course menu that they have specially prepared for this event.. I was even more full of anticipation when I saw that there were two desserts.. It was going to be a feast :P

Nevertheless, may I start with Gilda on Shot Gazpacho ($10 for two shots, below)? This is an appetizer served in a shot glass. Kudos for being creative! Step 1: Please dip the skewer of marinated olive, chilli, antxoas & baby onions into the gazpacho soup. Step 2: Sip a little of the refreshing gazpacho soup that is made of cold tomato . Step 3: Eat each piece of the vegetable on the skewer. The overall result is a lingering spiciness and sourness on the tastebuds, a refreshing starter to our 10-course dinner.

The Haloumi & Green Olive Salad ($18, below) had grilled haloumi cheese tossed with olive, rocket & frisee, Japanese cucumber, pine nuts, red onion in a light mustard dressing. This is my first time eating Haloumi cheese, a Greek cheese, and I loved it. The cheese was pan-fried, slightly salted, texture was like toasted scallop but a bit harder. An interesting dish.

Pulpo ala Gallega ($16, below), is a pretty stack of boiled octopus in between slices of potato, topped with fish roe. Quite a creative combination as the octopus was chewy while the potatoes were soft so there was variation in texture. 

The next dish may look like a kitchen disaster, but never judge a book by its cover. Although the Squid Ink Coated Calamari el Bulli with Aioli ($16, below) doesn't look appetizing, my appetite was aroused by the garlic fragrance of this dish when it was served. The calamari was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Must eat with the smooth Aioli sauce. An addictive dish that I couldn't stop going for.

We are going Spanish now.. Coca Iberico Jamon Lomo & Rocket ($28, below), uses Spanish ham which is from the loin and hence it is more tender than the normal ham. Coupled with the melted cheese and golden baked pizza crust, the result was a robust taste that exploded in the mouth. 

The roasted Corn-fed Chicken ($30, below), was very tender, and the taste was enhanced when the chicken was drizzled with the essence of chicken demi that accompanied it. Together with the shiitake mushroom, roasted potatoes, and kitchen vegetables, this makes a hearty French dish.

Back to Spanish.. the Rabo de toro ($28, below). Spicy spanish oxtail stew, braised for 6 hours, and the result was ultra soft oxtail which tasted both gamey and tender. Eaten with the toasted bread provided. 

Just when I thought it doesn't get any better than this, we were introduced the Crispy Wagyu Beef Cheek ($35, below). Pan-seared melt-in-your-mouth beef cheeks on mashed potatoes, US asparagus, to be smeared with the red wine shallot gravy. The knife effortlessly cut through the reddish meat, evidential that it was well-braised for hours. How do they make it crispy on the outside and soft on the inside? They only fry the beef cheeks when it is ready to be served. And the mashed potatoes was also a scene stealer with its subtle cheese flavor. 

'Desserts' is 'stressed' spelled backwards. So let's have desserts to destress from the long week. Meet Bermuda Triangle of Chocolate ($15, below). The delightful trio is made up of: (i) chocolate lava cake, (ii) Nutella parfait & berries and, (iii) white chocolate panna cotta.. Personal favorite would be the cold sweet Nutella parfait balanced by the sweet and sour berries. Simple yet good.

Since they say there is always a separate stomach for desserts, one dessert would not suffice to end this feast. Our second dessert Nutty Chocolate Peppermint Ravioli ($14, below) - coated with sugar bread crumbs, molasses amaretto (a type of sweet Italian liqueur) and coconut waffle was nutty and slightly mint flavored.. A very unique dessert.

This cosy restaurant has been around since 2004.. so that means they must be doing it right. There's an alfresco area which has a romantic ambience. The place can serve up to 75 persons.. hmmm sounds like a good place to hold functions/gatherings. They have an extensive wine list too. For an inspiring dinner experience and high quality Western cuisine in the East, do visit Gourmet Place for a weekend meal.

Personal faves : Haloumi & green Olive Salad, Squid Ink Coated Calamari el Bulli with Ioli, Coca Iberico Jamon Lomo & Rocket, Crispy Wagyu Beef cheeks

Many thanks to Openrice and Gourmet Plus for the kind hospitality and making me feel like a royal during this great tasting session!

117 Frankel Avenue
Singapore 458232

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