Today my mum brought me to Alkaff Mansion Ristorante at Telok Blangah for lunch, to celebrate my 29th birthday. :)
She chose it for its unique location and promising looking food.
The picturesque lawn makes a perfect backdrop for a garden wedding… if only Singapore’s weather wasn’t so scorching hot, sigh.
Anyway, we got there at around 12pm and were one of the first customers to reach for their lunch service. The interior was quite charmingly decorated and had an old-world kinda feel.
The servers were polite and warm, and got me a big cushion to support my back when they noticed that I was pregnant. How sweet. :)
We had some bread to start our meal, and unlike other restaurants, this was served fresh, warm and fluffy.
We got the set lunch which was priced at $36++, with a starter, main and dessert. Coffee/tea was not included in the set, which was disappointing. Considering wines were $10++ to add to the set, coffee/tea at an additional $8++ seemed like quite a ripoff. But oh well…
We both had mixed salad, which included light mozzarella, olives, oranges and greens. It was a refreshing contrast to the hot weather outside. Unfortunately, this is where I run out of good things to say about our meal.
My mum’s sea bass was nicely flavoured but miserably portioned, even for a small eater like her. The 3 minuscule slabs of fish hardly qualified for a main course.
I had the fish ravioli, which tasted so fishy/not fresh that I couldn’t stomach it and left it untouched after eating 2 pieces. The ravioli took up around 1/3 of the bowl, and the rest of the space was filled with tomato after tomato. Let’s just say I won’t be having tomatoes for a while now.
I wanted to return the dish, but the place was full and I probably would have had to wait for a long time for the replacement to arrive, so I just ate whatever I could. But really, the standard was quite bad.
Dessert was a hazelnut chocolate cake with some sort of creamy center, and it was alright I suppose. Nothing extraordinary but very edible.
We still had an overall pleasant experience, but it’s not somewhere I would return to very willingly, haha. Maybe I’ll give it another try one day before writing it off for good? Since I really love places with gardens/greenery.
And it has a whimsical large rocking chair outside too!
I had a craving for waffles the other day, and after scouring through online reviews, decided to head over to Wimbly Lu at Serangoon. Unfortunately, it was full on a weeknight at 8pm and they weren’t accepting any reservations.
Since we were already there, we decided to try the next door pizzeria, La Pizzaiola.
The ambience was cozy, modern and clean. Waiters were really friendly and humorous too. :)
We ordered a Rucola Parma pizza ($19.90) and a Pizzoccheri Della Valtellina ($15.90), which is a handmade whole grain pasta with butter, sage, potato and cheese.
The pizza was unfortunately very underwhelming. The base was chewy and hard, and the flavours somehow didn’t really come together. The ones from our favourite Peperoni’s is still the best so far.
The pasta was really special though! I didn’t manage to take a photo because the hubs decided to dig in before I could say anything, so this photo was taken from another blog.
It was served like a calzone, kind of. The handmade pasta had a nice texture, and I’m a sucker for anything buttery, creamy and cheesy, so this sauce hit all the right spots. The portion was a bit too little though!
If I stayed nearby, I might visit again to try the other dishes, since the service we received was so pleasant and welcoming. :)
I went for dinner at The Pelican Seafood Bar and Grill last Friday evening with 3 friends, since the Entertainer’s Voucher included this place for their 1-for-1 mains promotion.
Overall, I found the experience a bit disappointing. I booked a table indoors as it was raining earlier and I didn’t want us to be possibly sitting in the rain while having dinner.
Also, a search online showed that the interior was cozy and elegant, while the outdoor seats were pretty “bistro-like”, without proper dining tables.
When we arrived, the outdoor area was completely packed and bustling with people, to an extent that we were glad that we would not be packed at sardines with them. To give you an idea, it resembled an MRT cabin at peak hours. It was that crowded. Everyone was standing around.
So good so far? It turns out that their happy hour prices were not valid for indoor diners.
We were baffled that an eatery would segregate their promotional prices by dining area, which we’ve never experienced anywhere else. This was not mentioned by the waitress when I called to make the reservation, nor was it mentioned anywhere on their website.
Sadly, this put a dampener on our plans, as we had planned to enjoy their happy hour drinks with our dinner.
Since we were already there, we made our orders. We were served a seaweed sourdough bread to share before our meal. The bread arrived warm, however it was really quite tough.
This is our striped bass fillet ($36):
It was reminiscent of chinese restaurant steamed fish, and honestly quite underwhelming.
Our yellowfin tuna steak ($36):
It was medium-done, and tasted nice. The texture was soft and the tuna didn’t taste too fishy either.
The pelican burger ($32):
I wanted to like this, and it was honestly not that bad, but just way, way too salty. I’m not someone who cringes whenever a dish is slightly too salty, but this dish tasted almost like it was rolled in salt.
Finally, the baked snapper pie ($38):
The presentation was cute, and the pie itself was not too bad, tasted like a fish version of comforting chicken pot pie.
Overall, I think that their usual price tags of around $36-$38 for each main was overpriced, considering the type of dishes and the taste.
I guess what you’re paying for is the location’s rent.
This is not exactly a con, but just to manage expectations because I found this restaurant rated online as one of the top 20 romantic restaurants in Singapore. I have to completely disagree.
To me, a very basic factor that makes a restaurant romantic, is that it needs to have a quiet and intimate setting, with at least some service. Not any restaurant with dim lights is romantic!
This place was noisy, waiters were walking past us every minute, the service was very lacking. I cannot imagine a couple having a romantic time here at all.
It’s somewhere more suited for after-work drinks and maybe a light bite.
This is a screenshot of their current menu and prices (click to enlarge):
I found out that my insurance claim for my surgery has been approved, after more than 2 months of waiting! It was news I had been waiting for, for way too long.
And of course, my reaction was to celebrate with food!
I really do believe that the most important ingredient and aspect of meal preparation, is a jolly good mood. Everything just flows!
I even somehow got the inspiration to have a cheese platter at home.
In addition to my favourite cheeses emmental and gouda, I picked up camembert at the supermarket to try, and I am in love. It’s creamy and milky, without being too strong like blue cheese (which I just cannot get used to).
This is my dream cheese platter. Feta is there because the hubs likes it; I’m pretty neutral towards feta.
I also made spaghetti bolognese for the first time, although it’s such a basic dish.
The heavens must have been celebrating for me too, because the sauce looked too watery throughout the cooking process, but magically became the right consistency just as I wanted to toss it with the pasta.
This is a simple mixed greens salad with red wine vinaigrette. I wanted the entire meal to go with red wine, so I thought that red wine vinaigrette would make a lot of sense. Haha. Yes, my mind functions in the simplest of ways.
Last but not least, I saw a snail sausage at the supermarket for $1.70 and thought why not. So here it is! I added two blobs of horseradish mustard and american mustard on the side, as sauces.
Unfortunately, the taste was quite bland and the meat was tough.
But it was still a great meal, and even my eccentric dishwasher decided to cooperate, so I didn’t need to wash the dishes afterwards!