Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant Food Review

Still not knowing how to pronounce “Don Quijote”, titled after the chivalric main character of a fictional Spanish novel, I recalled my dining experience I had at Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant which was located at Dempsey.
Don Quijote is an authentic Spanish restaurant in Singapore, not only acclaimed for their tapas and traditionally made Spanish fare, but also for their selection of alcohol. The owner has been to Spain for at least 10 times (and counting up) ever since the resturant has started 12 years ago. Every photographs framed up in his resturant were taken by him. 
The dishes served here were basically non-region specific dishes and I started off with a glass of Virgin Sangria ($10.00/glass), a non-alcohol version of Sangria Tinto (red) ($14.50/glass). It was a refreshing and light drink with fruit cubes in it.

Spicy Calamari ($16.00) was my addiction as it was rather fresh, great texture, nicely grilled with spicyiness just right for me. I had to skip the ‘Live’ Gambas al Ajillo ($18.00) due to allergy, yet the sight and fragrance of nicely brown chopped garlic loaded on top of the large sea prawns was so alluring.

I had an instant liking to the Croquetas con Jamón ($16.00) after my first bite on its non-oily, yet crisp shell with velvety smooth potato and ham filling. Definitely a great snack to go with alcohol.
The Secreto Iberico a la Plancha ($26.00) was Iberian pork grilled to what we called ”medium rare” in steak. It was slightly chewy and perfectly safe to consume despite the ”medium rare” state since these ”clean” pigs ate only grass and acorns.

Another highlight which I regret to take a decent picture of was the Rabo de Toro – Ox-tail stew ($36.00). The same recipe for the past 12 years and a great comfort food. The meat was so tender that it readily fell off the bone. I could not help grabbing bread and dipping it into the rich savoury stew!
Spicy Calamari ($16.00)

Croquetas con Jamón – Croquettes with spanish ham ($16.00)

‘Live’ Gambas al Ajillo – Live’ sea prawns in garlic and olive oil ($18.00)

Secreto Iberico a la Plancha – Grilled spanish ‘secret’ iberian pork ($26.00)
Cutting off the gimmicky plate breaking session during the serving of the Asado de Cochinillo Espanol as probably only the more tourisy resturants does that. The ½ Oven-roasted spanish suckling pig was served with really crispy skin and tender flesh as well. I would love to stuff myself silly with this dish.

Chuletón de Buey ($18/100gm (total – $324)) was the charcoal-flame-grilled bone-in tomahawk rib-steak weighing 1.8kg that day which wowed everyone with its grandeur size while ”bone-in”. My image was already deboned and sliced neatly, revealing the medium rare flesh. 
As for the carbs, both Paella Valenciana w ‘live’ Boston Lobster and Fideuá Negra w ‘live’ Boston Lobster ($65 (large) + $79 (w lobster)) were brimming with umami, probably the carbs had well absorbed the flavors of the seafood.  
Last but not least, the desserts served were Bomba de Chocolate -Warm-chocolate ‘lava’ cake ($19.00) and Churros with chocolate sauce ($16.00). Both desserts use Blanxart artisanal chocolate imported from Barcelona. Being a hardcore chocolate lover myself, I enjoyed how the chocolate wasn’t overly sweet nor ‘gelat’.
Trying out less common cuisines such as the Spanish fare from Don Quijote would always be an interesting experience for me. Although dining indoors tend to be more cosy, having it al fresco with alcohol and snacks would be a great way to chill too!
Asado de Cochinillo Espanol – ½ Oven-roasted spanish suckling pig ($169 for medium)

Chuletón de Buey – Charcoal-flame-grilled bone-in tomahawk rib-steak ($18/100gm (total – $324)) 

Fideuá Negra w ‘live’ Boston Lobster – ‘Live’ baby boston lobster squid-ink pasta ($65 (large) + $79 (w lobster)) 
Paella Valenciana w ‘live’ Boston Lobster – ‘Live’ baby boston lobster paella ($65 (large) + $79 (w lobster))

Churros with chocolate sauce ($16.00)
Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant

Block 7 Dempsey Road, #01-02
Singapore 249671
Tel: (+65) 6476 2811

Antoinette Christmas Collection 2017

A beautiful story always captivate my heart before my tummy. I enjoy hearing other people’s stories as much as how I would enjoy narrating my own through blog posts. The festive mood has once again returned with a new Christmas theme menu finding its way back to Antoinette.
As Chef Pang wanted to create a magical and nostalgic feeling for everyone through his creations, his creative and artistic fairytale story started off with A Walk in the Forest (petit S$55.00 / grande S$110.00). Being a sucker for anything with chocolate, I loved how the cake evokes an enchanted feel with edible twigs, soil, leaves and mushrooms. Pairing this cake together with my mildly bitter yet addictive Antoinette’s Iced Chocolate (S$7.00) lured me deeper into chef’s enchanted realm. 
Probably halfway through a walk in the forest, one would experience Winter is Here (petit S$50.00 / grande S$100.00). It is a snow-white looking log cake (not featured in this post) that has coffee components in every aspects. 
Upon the arrival of winter, the Snow Globe (10cm S$15.00 / 15cm S$65.00) is formed and being the most attractive dessert that I have come across this season. Encased in the cute snow globe like a terrarium, I could not take my eyes off the miniature landscape crafted within. Besides bringing me joy, the dessert proved to be my top favourite that day since the cream cheese mousse was really light as the raspberry marmalade added a contrasting tartness.
I almost could not resist taking a bite into the Forbidden Fruit (S$12.00) that was crafted into the exact shape of an apple. A fruity dessert with almost all its component constitute from an apple. Not forgetting to mention the naughty looking Randolf the Squirrel (S$70.00) that was sculpted out of a block of chocolate. I would love to nibble on its wood textured block-body though.
As I got myself crazily excited over the desserts, I would not want to miss the festive savoury dishes I have tasted as well. Coffee Glazed Ham and the Laksa Roast Chicken were both somewhat comparable but my preference still went to the chicken dish that has a marinate that won me over. Ignoring my allergic to shrimps which was definitely used not sparingly in the laksa paste, it paired so well with the tender chicken flesh that could quickly becomes an addiction too.
I ended the meal with another glass of drink, the Yuzu Green Tea Bubble Bath which I caught sight from another guest. It has a yellow duckie floating atop on a foamy bed that I just had to pose for pictures with. At first I did not quite enjoy the unusual fruity-tea taste. Yet the more I drank, the more I enjoyed it. I even brought home the rubber duckie which could squeak when squeezed.
It was a wonderful start of my pre-Christmas experience and I have already started counting down to Chirstmas holidays!

(Note that the dishes I mentioned were my personal picks.)
Coffee Glazed Ham 1kg
Forbidden Fruit (S$12.00)
Laksa Roast Chicken 1.2-1.3kg
Chocolate Gianduja Ball Christmas Tree (S$95.00)
A Walk in the Forest (petit S$55.00 / grande S$110.00) 
Christmas Macarons (S$3.50 each / 6 pcs – S$19.00)
Yuzu Green Tea Bubble Bath
Christmas Stollen (petit S$9.00 / grande S$16.00
Festive Cookies (Raspberry Snowball, Meringue Kisses, Croquant, Almond Shortbread, Orang & Chocolate Checkered Cookie and Orange & Hazelnut Shortbread
Randolf the Squirrel (S$70.00)

Authentic Peranakan Food at The Peranakan – Singapore

Peranakan cuisine is probably one of the lesser known cuisine in Singapore and The Peranakan, an under rated restaurant that resides along Orchard Road, not only introduces its food but along with its culture as well. From the beautifully furnished interiors to the decorative ornaments to utensils and dining wares, I got the chance to immense myself and experience the peranakan culture with a group of friends!
Since it was a group dinner, we had the privilege to try out many of the popular ala carte dishes as well as the Tok Panjang Feast (Min. 2 persons to share). Tok Panjang refers to a feast laid out along a long table, specially prepared for special guests.
I heaved a sign of relief as I scanned through the spammed amount of images I took. The lighting was dim as compared to lunch timing but that doesn’t compromise my photos clarity! 
We started off with Bak Wan Kepiting, a light and clear broth of subtle sweetness, with crabmeat, pork and prawn balls that has a nice bite. Itik Tem on the other hand was much stronger in taste, saltier due to the salted vegetables, with tender steamed duck and sour plum. 

The Kueh Pai Tee was DIY your own fillings with stewed turnip, condiments or topped with a prawn in crisp Top Hats. Loving how the turnip wasn’t at all soggy. Prawn Ngoh Hiang would definitely be a popular option with kids and adults alike with its crisp skin, diced water chestnut and meaty fillings of pork and prawns. The Nasi Ulam was perhaps one of those interesting dishes that has a acquired taste. A rice dish of raw herbs, vegetables, minced and salted fish which is difficult for me to describe.

Moment of revelation that my 3 favourite dishes that night were actually the meat dishes. Not that the vegetables did not fare well but personal preference for guys would usually be the meat.
Ayam Buah Keluak was a dish that took at least 3 days of soaking to wash off the poisonous volcanic ashes from the Buah Keluak nuts originated in Indonesia. The nut itself was bitter and tasted almost like dark chocolate of about 85% cocoa. The dish’s gravy itself was rich in flavor that the tender chicken had partially absorbed, perfect with rice.
Satay Babi was not your usual satay with skewers. It was slices of pork belly with melt-in-your-mouth fats, coated with sweet and chunky peanut sauce. Another dish that has gravy perfect with rice!
Beef Rendang was an addiction for me. I couldn’t help but to refrain myself from taking too much since the beef was surprising tender and the spices were well balanced. I liked how it was a ‘dry’ dish that has moisture within. I was lucky enough to have eaten the tendon as well!

Other dishes not mentioned were also fresh and delicious in their own ways, just that I have listed my individual preferences. The meal ended off with Chef’s Dessert Platter with my favourite dessert being the homemade pineapple tart that was not so sweet. Not forgetting the fluffy Pandan Chiffon Cake with Gula Melaka Drizzle that everyone loved!

Thank you Chef Raymond for hosting and explaining about the dishes and it was definitely great catching up with other blogger friends over a great Peranakan meal!
442 Orchard Road
Level 2 Claymore Connect
Singapore 238879
Bak Wan Kepiting
Bak Wan Kepiting (shown above) or Itik Tem

Kueh Pai Tee
Kueh Pai Tee

Prawn Ngoh Hiang
Prawn Ngoh Hiang

Nasi Ulam
Nasi Ulam
Ayam Buah Keluak
Ayam Buah Keluak

Chap Chye
Chap Chye

Ayam Goreng Ketumbar
Ayam Goreng Ketumbar

Satay Babi
Satay Babi

Ikan Goreng with Kichap Manis
Ikan Goreng with Kichap Manis

Beef Rendang
Beef Rendang

Sotong Masak Asam
Sotong Masak Asam

Terung Chinchalok
Terung Chinchalok

Chef’s Dessert Platter
Chef’s Dessert Platter

Pandan Chiffon Cake with Gula Melaka Drizzle
Pandan Chiffon Cake with Gula Melaka Drizzle

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017
I was lucky enough to get hold of a pair of Singapore Coffee Festival 2017 tickets for the trade preview on Thursday and decided to head over to Marina Bay Cruise Centre to explore. It is basically a festival to showcase Singapore’s speciality coffee, local kopi as well as the cafe lifestyle.
I arrived about 7pm and there wasn’t much crowd since the people attended that day were probably bloggers or from the media. The aroma of coffee filled the air and I was trigger-happy, busy snapping photos, but of course not forgetting to appreciate the booths that were beautifully set up to attract and welcome visitors. Be prepared to get your bags spot checked on both level 1 and level 2 before entering!
Each ticket holder will be entitled to a card with 2 stickers that could be used to redeem 2 cups of sample beverage. I ended up using both stickers on chocolate drinks since I am rather sensitive to caffeine and definitely would not be able to sleep the entire night. I loved the chocolate drink series from Grounded Pleasure so much that I ended up buying a packet of French Mint Drinking Chocolate (S$16.00) that reminded me of Christmas! I also tried the cream muffins (S$3.00 each) from Hattendo and they did not disappoint. The bread-like texture with a caramelised biscuit-like top was filled with lovely cream. Unfortunately only the kaya cream was left since both the chocolate and matcha were sold out. 
With over 100 exhibitors from the coffee and café industry, scheduled activities such as educational talks, workshops as well as music, it would be a great way to spend one’s weekend.

The event is happening from 4 – 6 August 2017. Do check out their webpage here
Singapore Coffee Festival 2017
Singapore Coffee Festival 2017
Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Hattendo cream muffins

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Singapore Coffee Festival 2017

Tocha Bistro – Chill and Dine Around Lavender

Tocha Bistro
Residing within the parameters of Boss Hotel, along the Rochor River of Lavender, Tocha Bistro is a fairly new place to chill and dine. Its bar well stocked with a huge selection of alcohol, particularly whiskies due to its owner’s love for it. Crazy Hour is from 5pm to 6pm daily, where beer buckets go as low as S$25++ for half a dozen!
Since cocktails are available, I might as well start off with Sex, I mean the cocktail named Sex On The Beach (S$15.00) which was a fruity subtle-sweet concoction of cranberry juice, orange juice, peach and vodka. My friend’s neon blue Singapore Sling (S$18.00) was rather refreshing and I kind of enjoyed sipping it.
Homemade Mushroom Soup was first served, brimming with chunky bits of diced button mushrooms. Enjoying every mouthful of soup, alternating between the perfectly crisp garlic bread. Both the Baked Scallops (S$8.80) as well as the Smoked Duck Roll (S$6.80) do make excellent accompaniment to alcohol. 

I had the luxury to try a mix platter of Tenderloin Steak, Iberico Pork, Lamb, sausages and marsh potato, with a side of additional 3 sauces for the meats. I am a sucker for beef steaks and the Tenderloin Steak did not disappoint me. It was chilled and airflown from Australia, served rare which was my preferred doneness. Not bloody nor too chewy yet retaining its juices in the slab. I  totally enjoyed the Marsh Potato due to its delicate texture as well as it being drenched by sauce.

Having tried both the Grilled Salmon and Grilled Cod, my friend and I each have our individual preference. Both were comparable, just that I would prefer the oilier flesh of cod as compared to salmon. The skins of both fishes were similarly grilled to crisp and thankfully scaleless.

Probably my personal favourite dish that night that won my tummy over was the fork-tender Braised Lamb Shank (S$16.80) that was slow cooked overnight with herbs and red wine, served on a bed of mashed potatoes and baby carrots. Perhaps I could have slices of bread where I could dip or wipe the entire plate clean from savoury sauce.
(Note that this dish is available in limited quantities daily.)

Do check out their affordable Set Lunches, S$18 at nett prices available the entire week! Each set comes with salad, mushroom soup, fries and a choice of soft drinks.

Address: 500 Jalan Sultan #01-20
               Singapore 199020

Contact: 6291 7118

Tocha Bistro Alcohol
Sex On The Beach (S$15.00) (left) ; Singapore Sling (S$18.00) (right) 

Tocha Bistro Mushroom Soup with Garlic Bread
Mushroom Soup with Garlic Bread

Baked Scallops
Baked Scallops (S$8.80)

Smoked Duck Roll
Smoked Duck Roll (S$6.80)

Tocha Bistro Mixed Platter
Platter of Tenderloin Steak, Iberico Pork, Lamb, sausages and marsh potato drenched with sauce 

Tocha Bistro
Mixture of Grilled Salmon and Grilled Cod with salad and carrots

Tocha Bistro Braised Lamb Shank
Braised Lamb Shank (S$16.80)