PEr FYI

May 5, 2018

Hujan Locale, Bali…Over-order at will, with no regrets

Here it is: The Big One. A place I felt compelled to revisit again and again.

What to have: Crispy squid with chili jam ginger flower lemongrass, Dutch Indonesian salted cod kroket with chili mayonnaise and chili sambal, Sudanese steamed and fried fish dumplings with chili peanut sauce, Chili wood roasted ayam Taliwang stuffed with prawn meat served with cassava chips, Betawi soft shell crab asinan with pickled organic vegetable’s sambal kacang and pink krupuk, “Ayam bakar padang” butterflied whole spring chicken with kandis chili turmeric and coconut served with sambal terasi taucho, Salt grilled whole fish with sambal lemo and kemangi, “Bukit Tinggi itik lado muda” duck leg simmered in green chili and served with fern tip papaya leaf and shredded coconut urap, “Bandung iga bakar kambing” lamb shoulder simmered in Javanese spice and then caramelized in sweet soy tomato and chili, “Gulai ikan salai” house tea smoked fish simmered in Batak curry with ginger flower belimbing wuluh petai and charred leeks, Northern Sumatran octopus rending with star anise fennel and chopped turmeric leaf.

Sorry, I meant everything.

If you’re ever in Bali, you should try to visit this exceptional restaurant at least once. Remember, you only live twice. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

hujan locale bali3hujan locale bali2

 

September 3, 2016

Sea Shell of Lisson Grove, London…from legend to myth

London just wouldn’t be London without a helping of fish and chips.

Sadly, I never expect to have an order of cod and chips as sad as the one served to me at Sea Shell of Lisson Grove. Certainly not at this London restaurant dedicated to fish and chips. Many years ago, on my first visit here, the hunk of cod had an unbelievably crispy exterior. The flaky insides are just as moist as you could ever want and the fries were among the best you’ll find. On my recent visit, though, it’s now the overly greasy, chewy gut bombs you’ll find at a lot of beachside eateries. The fries are unspectacular, limp and without life.

Sea Shell of Lisson Grove has just gone from London legend to London myth. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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sea shells lhr1

June 11, 2016

Tatsu Teppanyaki, Singapore…It won’t be cheap, but it will be great.

Flames fly in Tatsu. Obviously this type of high-octane dining isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste and it probably won’t win any Michelin stars, but it certainly has its loyal fans.

The chefs and the servers will go to great lengths to make sure you are happy. Cooked at a high heat and with only a drizzle of oil, the lightly seasoned cod fish with sauce in foil was delicious. The portions are smallish, but adequate. The amazing Aburi Sushi which consists of 5 pieces seared sushi and 7 rolls is a popular item on the menu. Layers of flavour and texture woven together in a symphonic result. Jiro might dream of sushi, but I have spent every waking moments obsessing about the seared sushi I had here.

What made me pleased to be here? Pretty well everything. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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tatsu sin2

June 19, 2015

Harry Ramsden, London…..the most disappointing legendary

Fish & chips. Britain’s comfort food. These are not two separate food items that happen to share a plate — they are intrinsically linked in a dance of lusty oil and crunchy desires, while a bottle of malt vinegar flirts around the edges.

It states choice of Cod or Haddock. I asked for Cod. It looked as though it had melanoma. It did not taste of Cod it tasted like they need to change the oil! The real star of the fish and chips show is the batter. One’s heart sinks a little. I wasn’t a huge fan of the batter and the chips were limp and pallid.

Harry Ramsden was the uncrowned king, his Fish & Chips were unbeatable, and since then the name has gone on to become a worldwide franchise. Oh! How the mighty has fallen. I think I’m still on the lookout for that perfectly amazing Fish & Chips in the UK. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

harry ramsden london2

harry ramsden london

January 4, 2015

Otto Ristorante, Singapore…you are guaranteed to walk – or waddle – out satisfied

Smallish but tastefully and stylishly furnished dining space, the intimate Otto has a modern, upscale feel. The top notch service was every bit as thorough and professional without being overbearing, a cut above many other places of the same calibre.

The authentic Italian food was so good you’ll want to lick your plate clean and one of the better Italian places I’ve tried recently period. Complimentary bread is served upon arrival. Be sure to try the freshly baked warm, soft, moist and crumbly foccacia with onion. The herb crusted New Zealand lamb cutlet with red pepper passata is run-to-the-hills-singing-hallelujah-to-the-Almighty astonishing.  It’s a simpler-than-usual treatment for the gorgeous meat but one that will make you wonder why everyone doesn’t do it this way. The Atlantic cod tagliata – “taggia”olives crust with sweet garlic is unassumingly satisfying. The magnificent hunk of grain fed beef tenderloin with bone marrow sauce and porchini mushroom is good, it is very, very good.

The simple-but-elegant Otto is very much a special, date-night destination, where the art of classic, Italian fare is elevated. The staff are friendly and you are guaranteed to walk – or waddle – out satisfied. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

otto

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