Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My friend recently had a barbeque at his place but completely screwed up his steaks (they resembled charcoal). Craving for steak, he insisted on paying a visit to Bedrock, where he said was the best steak in Singapore he has had so far.

Eschewing normal stuffy bread, Bedrock provided us with some naan, lovely and warm. To go with it was some roasted garlic as well as butter. Interesting and rather unusual, but it appealed well to our hungry senses.

bedrock bread

wagyu bone marrow, toast, chopped parsley salad”. In our party of 4, only 2 people were really interested in the bone marrow. The PigPig found it very nice but the portion size was a bit too big and we couldn’t finish it in the end. Some more bread would have been nice as well.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse bone marrow

shaved jamon iberico de bellota, croutons”. The ham, even though every restaurant has a slightly different tasting ham, was really nice although I didn’t quite like the too-crunchy croutons. The PigPig found combining the ham with bone marrow to be a particularly good combination.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse jamon

Tomahawk Steak”.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse tomahawk steak

This was really what the guys were here for, a monstrous giant slab of rib-eye on the bone. However, compared to the previous versions (Hawksmoor in London, Dish in KL, Prime in KL) we’ve had before, this tomahawk had a really impressive bit of bone. According to Hawksmoor, the bone normally accounts for approximately 10% of the weight; so a cut of 1.5kg will give you “only” about 1.275kg. Doubtless though, that estimate doesn’t hold true for this tomahawk (don’t forget that bone is much heavier relative to meat!). Anyway we opted for a 1.5kg cut which set us back $350 already.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse

The steak itself was a 400 day grain-fed wagyu (although technically it is a mix-breed between Angus and wagyu stock, so it’s NOT a full wagyu breed). I was also told that the marble score is in the range of 4 to 5+ (12 being the highest marbling score and most pure wagyu breeds will get 6+). Personally, I thought that the marbling was somewhat inconsistent from one end of the steak to the other, with one half of it being a little bit too un-marbled. Similarly, some parts of the steak were cooked a little bit more so it ranged from medium-rare (my personal ideal) to medium-well done; however, the waiter warned us about this while ordering and I can accept this unfortunate state due to the huge size of the steak.

Also, while the taste of the beef itself is not bad, I would prefer a slightly stronger flavour. Nonetheless, the chef got a more-than-decent charring on it from his grill, using Applewood chips from the US.

Ordering the tomahawk also nets us one of each of their 5 different sauces: béarnaise, whiskey Dijon mustard, red wine sauce, black pepper, chilli oil. Even though I usually just eat my steaks with English mustard, I really enjoyed the sauces here, particularly the whiskey and Dijon blend. Their black pepper was particularly aromatic as well, not the typical starchy swill that usually accompanies a “black pepper steak” ordered from a hawker stall for example.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse sauces

We also ordered some sides, two of which were particularly noteworthy. While I’m no particular fan of macaroni & cheese in general, the “bedrock mac n’ cheese” was actually very good with just the right level of cheesy creaminess to be rich but not overtly decadent. The “truffled mashed potatoes” was very creamy and smooth and the aroma of the truffles was very evident.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse mac n cheese

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse sides

Bedrock Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich; toasted waffle, chocolate sauce, double scoop honey and fig ice cream”. Unfortunately, they had to swap the honey and fig for plain vanilla ice cream. The waffle was still very nice, and thankfully lighter than a usual waffle after all the food we had. Nothing to write home about though.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse waffle

A Wedge of Chocolate; 85% valrhona flourless chocolate cake, hazelnut nougatine”. Don’t recall any hazelnut in this otherwise very rich and dense chocolate cake. I was expecting something lighter considering it's flourless.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse chocolate cake

Altogether, dinner for the four of us came up to just under $850 for the party. However, this was inclusive of a bottle of wine (Argentinian malbec, not bad, $150), two cocktails and someone had also ordered a “Crispy Skin Seabass” for her main. To put it in perspective, just the tomahawk steak and 3 sides would’ve come up to about $400 already.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Steakhouse wine

While the steak was really rather good, it still doesn’t seem to be able to match my personal favourite Hawksmoor, maybe perhaps because the English are far more liberal when sprinkling the salt on their meat. However, even in comparison to something a little bit closer to home, I also still prefer Dish (which I suspect is a lot cheaper taking into account the exchange rate), partly because the beef simply felt nicer, partly because the truffle butter there was great. In spite of it all though, I still enjoyed my meal and would be happy to return again although I am quite interested in checking out other steak houses such as Cut and Morton’s for example.

Best bit: macaroni & cheese (according to the PigPig)
Worst bit: the price tag

Bedrock Bar & Grill
96 Somerset Road,
#01-05 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites,
Singapore 238163
Tel: +(65)6238 0054
Official website
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Home-made Baechu Kimchi

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Kimchi, a fiery, fermented mixture of vegetables and various seasonings. It is the most common banchan (side dish) in Korean cuisine and it is used to make several Korean dishes like kimchi stew (kimchi jigae), kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap), kimchi dumplings (kimchi mandu). There are many types of kimchi depending on the vegetable you use, but baechu kimchi (napa cabbage kimchi) remains my favourite.

Home-made Baechu Kimchi

Kimchi is not only tasty, it is also very healthy. It is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, and contains lactobacilli, which is a “healthy bacteria” found in fermented foods like yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion. Besides, kimch is also belived to lower cholesterol and prevent certain types of cancer.

Home-made Baechu Kimchi

Kimchi is extremely easy to make, the hardest part is chopping up all the different vegetables. If you have someone to help you with that, everything else is a breeze! This recipe is adapted from Maangchi's easy kimchi recipe, which involves making a glutinous rice flour base. Apparently, the paste helps the Kimchi to ferment more quickly and also thickens the juice. And also makes it more smooth and well balanced. Can't comment on that as I've not tried making kimchi without using the paste. Another note, please use Korean red hot pepper flakes, I tried using chili powder and it came out weird. The colour was murky and it just didn't taste right.

Home-made Baechu Kimchi

Home-made Baechu Kimchi

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 3 hrs
Ferment time: 1-2 days
Yield: about 2.5 kg


Ingredients:
A:
  • 1 large (about 2.3 kg) Chinese/ napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • Water
B:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 2 tbs sugar
C:
  • 1/2 radish - julienned
  • 2 carrots - julienned
  • 2 large stalks (about 1 cup) spring onion - cut into 1-inch in length
Kimchi paste:
  • 1/2 pear
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 thumb size ginger
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 5 tbs Thai fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 cup Korean hot pepper flakes (or to taste)

Directions:
For cabbage:
  • Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Chop it up into bite size pieces.
  • Soak the pieces of cabbage in cold water and put the soaked cabbage into a large basin. Sprinkle salt.
  • Every 30 minutes, turn the cabbage over to salt evenly. I left it to salt for about 2 1/2 hours.
  • Rinse the cabbage in cold water a few times to clean it thoroughly. Drain and dry. I got rid of most of the water with a salad spinner.
For rice porridge:
  • Mix together water and glutinous rice flour in a pot.
  • Cook under low heat until a translucent paste is formed.
  • Leave to cool.
For kimchi paste:
  • Using a food processor, blend together all ingredients for kimchi paste except the hot pepper flakes.
Finally:
  • Mix together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Remember to wear gloves or cover your hands with plastic before mixing!
  • Season to taste.
  • Put the kimchi into an air-tight sealed plastic bag container or glass jar.
  • You can eat it fresh right after making or wait until it’s fermented. Let stand for one to two days in a cool dark place, at room temperature. Check kimchi after 1 or 2 days, if it’s bubbling a bit, it’s ready and should be refrigerated. If not, leave it for another day or so.
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Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Decided to splurge a little for our 3rd year wedding anniversary. Heard good things about Blu in Shangri-La so decided to give it a shot. Located on the top floor of the hotel, the panoramic window views of the city was amazing.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

Too lazy to make proper decisions about food, so we settled for the Experience Menu consisting of 6 courses as well as wine pairing.

Both variants of the bread were great, soft and delicate but each with their own distinctive aroma. Preferred the potato-onion-thyme over the tomato-parmesan flavour although the potato-based bread did get a bit chewy as it cooled. Instead of oh-so-boring butter, aioli mousse was proffered instead. Although I was worried the garlic flavour would overwhelm the tongue for future courses, it was actually quite smooth and washed away quite easily.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore bread

Roasted foie gras mousse, hoisin, crispy passion fruit meringue”. On paper, this sounded fantastic: heavy earthy foie with the sweet hoisin and sweet/tart passion fruit should have been a great combination. Unfortunately, it just didn’t balance well as the passion fruit flavour was far too strong and overpowered the other flavours. Conversely, the foie mousse didn’t put up much of a fight and was too light (maybe insufficient quantity provided!).

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore foie

Australian spanner crab meat, BBQ pineapple, peanut, Thai perfume”. My interpretation is that the “perfume” refers to the bouquet of herbs surrounding the crab, which worked quite well. The peanut powder didn’t really belong though alongside the other more rustic and down-to-earth components; I would also have liked the crunchiness of the peanut here. The pineapple was a bit too tart as well, a bit more sugar glazing would’ve been ideal.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore crab

The wine for the first two courses was a brut by Chandon. The bubbly was sweeter than champagne and more floral as well, which worked well for us as we find champagne a bit too dry usually.

Sauteed lobster meat, sweet and sour eggplant, passion fruit, kaffir lime essence”. This dish worked simply with the sweet lobster, an incredibly thick semi-gelatinous gravy which screamed of dead crustacean essence, and finally the rather exotic kaffir lime aroma emanating from the dish. The passion fruit crackers were an interesting touch too. The tempura-like eggplant was nice in its own way, although it felt a bit like a third wheel in this dish.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore lobster

Poached farm egg, mushroom floss, stewed prune, spiced tomato puree”. To be completely honest, I was really tempted to ask for a swap for this when I saw the menu; ultimately we decided to give it a chance though. Unfortunately, I should have stuck to my gut instinct as I didn’t like it much. The egg was beautifully poached, and the pepperoni and tomato puree felt like a good pair, but unfortunately the prunes were far too sour. Also, the mushrooms were strangely sour, almost pickled in flavour (I was expecting a mushroom version of pork floss and was soundly disappointed).

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore egg

A white Cloudy Bay was given, which was robust enough to stand up to the lobster and overall very pleasing.

Pan-seared kurobuta pork chop, steamed clams, celery root, hazelnut, melon broth”. The pork was perfectly cooked and quite tender, although the PigPig found it a tad porky. It went rather well with the sweet melon based broth (I suppose the inspiration comes from prosciutto and melon?). However, it really needed the extra aroma and flavour from the shredded celery and clams (the clams were invisible too; we could taste it but not find it anywhere!). Lastly, the occasional crunch of hazelnut with its burst of nutty flavour was much welcomed.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore pork

A glass of Californian McManis cabernet sauvignon was rather husky and oaky, but felt a bit better after left to breath for a bit.

Warm Valrhona chocolate mousse, Tahitian vanilla ice cream, cookie crumb”, or rather more affectionately described as OREO by the waiter. The latter description fit it rather well actually. The combination might be somewhat uninspired, but it was perfectly made and tasted fantastic.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore dessert

The glass of Inniskillin icewine had a beautiful heady aroma of peach/mango and went down a treat.

Since I made a mention when making the reservation that it was our 3rd year wedding anniversary, the kind folks at Blu gave us a complimentary chocolate cake as well. Unfortunately, it had a bit too much chocolate cream and too little cake (just a little sliver at the bottom) for us.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore cake

Last but not least, a tree of petits fours appeared. Speared by the branches were balls of passion fruit cotton candy. The soil was coffee beans with a hint of chocolate coating, and the leaves were dark chocolate. We found them all pretty good and very interestingly presented, while I loved the “soil”.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore petit four

Altogether, the bill for the pair of 6 course tasting menus with wine pairing came up to $450, including a 15% online booking discount. Service throughout was brilliant, as befitting a restaurant from a top-class hotel.

While the food was bold and courageously innovative as befitting a chef who had trained in Arzak and El Bulli, some of the dishes felt a bit disjointed and lacked harmony and balance. Several of the dishes had elements that were too sour for my taste buds. Also, chef Kevin Cherkas’ passion for passion fruit was downright obsessive at times!

Best bit: the lobster dish.
Worst bit: staying awake till 2 am after eating the coffee “soil” from the petit four.

Blu, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore anniversary

Blu, Shangri-La
Level 24, Tower Wing
22 Orange Grove Road
258350
Singapore
Tel: +65 6213 4598
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Chicken in Garlic and Shallots

Saturday, 7 April 2012

My "tai tai" life has officially ended and a new chapter of my life has begun. I've joined the workforce! So far, so good. Stressful, yes. Having dreams about work, yes. Nightmares, yes. But am so far enjoying it. There's so much to learn and everyday is a challenge.

Chicken in Garlic and Shallots

It is as though my life is on a fast-forward mode, minutes feel like seconds, hours feel like minutes. There's so much to do yet so little time. I spend most of my time now at work and oh, my kitchen, how I miss thee.

Chicken in Garlic and Shallots

The wild boar does most of the cooking on weekdays now and the only time that I can do proper cooking is on weekends. I usually cook a large pot of stew like this on Sunday so we have lefovers to eat on Monday. Other than pealing the garlic and shallots, this dish is easy to put together. Just a few ingredients yet rich in flavours.

Chicken in Garlic and Shallots

Chicken in Garlic and Shallots

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hr
Yield: serves 3-4


Ingredients:
  • 1 whole (about 1 kg) chicken - chopped into pieces
  • 40 cloves (about 3 bulbs) garlic - peeled
  • 40 shallots - peeled
  • 30 g parsley - stems and leaves separated, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I used Swanson clear chicken broth)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black peppercorn

Directions:
  • Heat up a bit of oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Brown chicken pieces. Remove and leave aside for later use.
  • Remove oil and leave about 1 tbs of oil in the pot.
  • Add garlic, shallots and parsley stems. Fry until fragrant.
  • Add chicken and chicken stock. Bring to boil then lower heat to simmer for about 30 mins, covered.
  • Remove cover and continue to simmer for a further 20-30 mins or until slightly thickened.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with parsley leaves.
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