A daily ritual is developing. Wake up at about 9am, buy breakfast or have breakfast bought for me, babysit Lucas for a few hours and then get ready to head out for some lunch. I feasted this morning.
Marina Bay Sands
While my Aunty returned to the casino to make the most of her 24 hours admittance, I headed in search of somewhere to have lunch. The place is full of high end stores but I managed to find a few restaurants and one of them was open and serving brunch/lunch.
The restaurant has an American/Parisian bistro feel and the maitre'd was friendly and efficient. I was shortly shown to a table by the window overlooking the interior of the shopping mall. The lighting was perfect for me to read my book while enjoying my lunch. There were a few kids in my section but they weren't misbehaving too much and I was deeply submerged in the final few chapters of the book I was reading so I didn't take as much notice.
It's nice to see now that there are more half bottle options for purchasing wine. In recent trips to Singapore, I've had to order a whole bottle because it's cheaper than ordering two glasses and then wanting a third. In most cases I am able to finish the entire bottle but sometimes it does leave me rather tipsy. So, I was delighted to be able to order a half bottle of a nice German Gewürztraminer for SD$125. Worth every drop.
An entree incorporating foie gras to start.
Pistachio, Foie Gras, Muscat Gelee - SD$22
It looked gorgeous on the plate and I love the little arrangement of garnishes. However, I was disappointed when I tasted wasabi. It was some sort of seeded mustard and wasabi dressing. I was going to say something but then I thought that perhaps I had misread the menu in my haste and excitement. But no, I later found out that it doesn't mention wasabi in the menu. I think this is a big no no as it was a significant flavour in the dish and it really decreased my enjoyment. I normally would have wiped all the dressing off the plate but instead I was trying to avoid it.
Mussels, Clams, Shrimp, Fennel, Saffron Broth - SD$34
I was really looking forward to this seafood dish! The waiter promptly served it in an oval shaped black ceramic casserole dish. She removed the lid and I replied 'Oh, I will' when she commented 'Please enjoy".
Alas - when I removed the mussel on the to expose a prawn, I noticed immediately that the prawns not yet cooked through. Instead of the gorgeous red specks on the flesh, there was still that glassy look and purple/blue specks. I cut through one just to be sure before alerting the waiter.
Much better this time. They must have either thrown the casserole dish into the oven or tossed the contents through in a pan before returning it to the dish. They also added some finely sliced fennel and croutons - I suppose to jazz up the dish so that it didn't look like they were bringing me the same dish twice. I have no problem with a kitchen just throwing my dish into the pan to cook through a few more minutes if it's undercooked, but they can't do this with steak or it ends up being tough and dry. And I didn't need the croutons to be thrown in because they ended up soaking up all the broth. If it's a high end restaurant and they have made an error or overcooked/undercooked it, they should be throwing the dish out and preparing you one from scratch - and it should be on the house.
The prawns were cooked through this time and the mussels and clams were soft and juicy. However, the dish was an overall let down because I can honestly say I make a better saffron seafood dish than this. It lacked flavour and zest.
With still a chapter to go in my book, I went back to the menu and ordered another dish to enjoy with a glass of red.
Selection of House Made Terrines & Cured Meats - SD$26
How gorgeous does this platter look!? I also received another slice of the quail ballotine that I had for my entree. They really should have noticed that I already had this and replaced it with something else. An oversight.
Overall, it was a really nice enjoyable ambience and the waitstaff were professional, friendly and attentive without being intrusive. My wine and water glasses were always kept topped up and I was left alone to read and eat in peace at my own leisure. The restaurant wasn't full to capacity though, so I don't know whether the level of service would have been the same if it had been busy. By the end of the lunch service, I was the only patron.
The food was fine but not a total standout. A big no-no to not mention that wasabi is in a dish, especially when it is such an overpowering flavour. The seafood casserole lacked flavour and depth. The wine was fantastic though and there is such a huge choice. I would go back just to drink and snack on the charcuterie platter.
Marina Bay Sands
Victoria joined me for a cuppa and sweets. We chose a few slices of cake and some macarons.
There are a number of Paradise Inn restaurants in different locations around Singapore but I don't know which one my cousin took us to this evening. I wasn't able to eat much but the food was great!! It was like sitting down to a homecooked meal. Simple, tasty dishes. Just what I needed after a day of eating.
Some Wintermelon & Pork Soup was ladled out for us. This tastes just like how Mum makes it at home. Absolutely loved it!