Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Weekender Food Mania Awards European Cuisine

By Thursday, July 07, 2016 , , , , ,

The European Category was certainly one of the highlights of the Weekender Food Mania Awards 2016. When i saw the nomination list that is! Of course i expected to check out hot favorites like Andre and Joel Robuchon during the judging BUT unfortunate things happen ALL THE TIME and food judges don't get to choose what they want to taste. So here is a quick highlight of the 3 restaurants that we judged- Bread Street Kitchen, Stellar at 1-Altitude, and Cafe Iguana.
Bread Street Kitchen- Bay Level, L1-81. The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Gordon Ramsay is one hated man by people in the food industry (jealousy perhaps) and given the flake that he has received for Bread Street Kitchen Singapore, I did not bother checking it out, which was a mistake thankfully corrected by the Weekender FMA judging! 
Bread Street Kitchen Singapore is modeled on the London original, and offers classic British European fare with a lovely waterfront view. The starters fared better than the mains and the refreshing slightly ginger spiced Sea bass fillet carpaccio ($21) with avocado puree; and tangy garden party that is the Tomato Tart ($24) tantalized our tastebuds. The Tamarind spiced chicken wings ($18) left us craving for some Korean Fried Chicken however. 
I also adored the crunchy cracker-like Flatbread ($28) with caramelized onion, ricotta cheese, San Daniele ham and green asparagus. It's a super thin cracker pizza wonderfully balanced with the sweet onion jam, creamy cheese, and that nutty asparagus. 
None of the mains were perfect actually but the Fish & Chips ($28) here is classically British. A light crunchy batter (that was a tad salty) coats the chunky fish. I loved the minty crushed peas that came with. The Slow-roasted Dingley Dell Pork Belly ($28) still has that rock hard and super salty pork belly skin! Also didn't like that it had a very porky taste, which was slightly masked by the apple puree (which i thought could be more punchy). Save space for that smooth Peanut Butter and chocolate bar which really is a sophisticated Snickers Bar. 

Impeccable service at BSK (not just because we were judging) because Tim went back and the service is still perfect. Certainly warrants a repeat visit from me too! 
Stellar at 1-Altitude- Level 62, 1 Raffles Place S048616
Now this is a major surprise for me because I went with expectations, and it went crashing-burning-screaming all the way down 62 storeys. We sampled all items from the 6 course ($120) and 8 course ($190) Summer Constellation menu and boy were they disappointing. The in season Sea Salt Loch Fync Oysters and Live Jade Abalone with Foie Gras and Morel weren't fresh and we tried desperately to wash away that fishiness with our overly sweetened cocktails. The Carabinero Prawn with Parmesan Cream, Egg Yolk in Smoked Oil and Bacon ash, which was thought to be a signature, turned out to be really flat. The grilled prawn was great on its own but that was that. The egg did not even taste like an egg (it tasted like water). 
Dishes were mostly bland and flavors watered down? We were hoping for more flavors in the Magret Duck Breast with Quince, Autumn Pot Au Feu, but the meat and the stew only had a hint of the essence of the duck meat.  
The best performing dishes were the Stanbroke Angus Beef Tartare (which was over seasoned), and the overcooked Truffle Risotto with poached Maine Lobster (at least it was flavorful). The Dessert Art, which was plated at our table, was unmemorable. The only thing that kind of stood out was the basil parfait, and everything else was just.. sweet. Well at least it made dinner a little less bitter. I strongly recommend you guys to take your money elsewhere for better and cleaner food. We were disgusted at how the dishes and cutlery weren't clean. 
Cafe Iguana- 30 Merchant Road, #01-03 Riverside Point S058282
I'm adding Cafe Iguana to my regular spots for Mexican food! Ok Mexican is not European at all so it puzzles me why it's on this list. Anyhow, I've never considered Cafe Iguana to be a dinner spot actually, somehow i'm rather cynical of bars that serve food and as you know, they are known for their true blue Mexican Tequila (boy their Margaritas)! So, i really love the Camarones al Diablo ($23) which features huge prawns sautéed with fiery habanero chile, capsicum, ginger, cumin and lime. This tangy gravy reminded me of the Indian Butter Chicken sans the heavy cream; plus that cheese and poblano chile quesadillas were like naan! 
The soft tacos did very well in fact and i actually finished one of the 3 huge-ass Sea Bass Soft Taco ($27)- which held chunky spiced fish with traditional shredded cabbage garnish, lime cream, spicy salsa, Jicama salsa, and cheese! The Green Chile Stew ($18) tasted very much like an Indian dish of tangy biryani and that tender stewed pork was so good with the spice. The Tequila Chicken ($28) was juicy and tender, with a sweet-sour-spicy tequila glaze, and even the side of poblano-scalloped potatoes was yums! There was hardly anything to complain about, ok other than the slightly tough Flank Steak Fajita ($29).  
End the night with the light Churros ($12), wonderfully crisped and slightly sweetened with the cinnamon sugar powder. The Banana Chimichangas ($14) was like a banana curry puff (it's a deep fried tortilla), paired with a creamy avocado ice cream (i wish i could taste more avocado), and weirdly satisfying.  
What i've learned from the judging of the European category is that it is important to have an open mind when it comes to checking out F&B outlets. Now if you don't believe me, do go ahead and try it for yourself! 

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