Friday, May 30, 2008
Everytime some new comes out, I will make a beeline for the new product in anticipation. I like junk food, snacks and whatnot. That's no big secret. Except when I'm hoarding my junk. So when the new Dark Chocolate Pucca appeared, I bought 2 boxes of it.
From Meiji, the dark chocolate is smooth and yummy. The slight bitterness hit the palates at the right spot without the rancid aftertaste that some dark chocolates have. The cracker reminded me of WaterThins cracker without much taste on its own. It had a slight cocoa flavour minus the sugar. The bittersweet chocolate and the cocoa-flavoured cracker complimented each other. In the shape of a fish, Pucca targets the young and the old. My little sister loved the "cute fish biscuit" while the older members of the family relished the "adult-ness" of dark chocolate biscuit snack.
It disappeared so quickly that the next time I replenished my stock, I had to pretend that I bought one box less.
It is available at Cold Storage outlets. Try Harbourfront if the other outlets do not have it.
Close-up of the almond milk
Having heard some raves about the simple good food at Figs & Olive, I decided to check out the VivoCity branch. The atmosphere there during late afternoon hours on a weekday was simply perfect. After avoiding the noise and cramp from the busy lunch hour crowds, I felt totally at ease with the good food and sea view to enjoy.
The dory fish was very fresh and well-seasoned with herbs. It was well-cooked too. I tried the fish on its own and was very happy with the smooth texture and flavours of the fish. The natural flavour of the fish was enhanced by the herbs. The creamy mushroom sauce served atop it was delicious as well. It had the herby aromas and chunky pieces of mushroom that I loved. The mushroom provided bite to give the contrast in textures with the smooth taste of cream sauce and texture of fish. It was quite light and not overwhelmingly creamy that I could eat the sauce on its own! My only fault with the dish: I felt that the creamy mushroom sauce and its overload of black pepper overwhelmed the delicate natural flavour of the fish. Only stronger flavour meats like red meats will be able withstand the dominating creamy mushroom sauce. However, both the fish and sauce were tasty enough that no one would mind this method of serving fish unless you like your fish al naturale.
The tomato based pasta was good too. The spaghetti had a good bite and had a flavourful olive oil taste. There was something else that made this pasta delicious but I can't seem to put my finger to it. Praise goes out to the sauce. This Mediterranean pasta sauce met the basic requirement of a pasta sauce. Unlike many places serving pasta in Singapore which tend to serve soupy pastas, the chef had the sense to keep the tomato base to a SAUCE and not a SOUP. Soupy sauces do not give pastas much flavour as they are normally too watered down or thin that you will need to gulp down spoonfuls of the sauce for the pasta to have flavour. However, at Figs & Olive, the sauce was thick enough to coat the pasta properly to give the pasta the intense tomato flavour. Two thumbs up! I am proud to say that you will only need a fork to eat this pasta.
The salad was a disappointment as it was just a bed of salad greens with rings of onion flavoured simply by olive oil sitting at the bottom of the greens. The salad greens also had a bitter aftertaste that I did not relish. I had higher expectations of the salad. Perhaps a dash of balsamic vinegar would add the punch that is desperately lacking in this bland salad.
For drinks, I ordered almond milk. Something that is not quite expected of a Mediterranean Western restaurant. It was not extraordinary but nevertheless, still good. It reminded me of those sold in bottles at the Gilman Village Coffeeshop.
Fried Unagi with Honey
Fried Udon KL Hokkien Mee Style
Fried Rice with Stewed Pork and Radish
For lunch, a couple of Dim Sum choices, a la carte dish, tea and snack, adding GST and service tax can easily hit $60 for a party of 2-3. While the prices are steeper than other Chinese restaurants, remember that you are paying for the ambience, view and service besides the food. Stylish decorations do not come cheap. Service needs fine-tuning as the service varied vastly on the different days and time I visited the restaurant. The place can be a tad too noisy during lunch hours that you'd strain your ears trying to listen to what your companions say but it's great for a family setting. When I next returned to the restaurant, dinner was served in a pristinely peaceful atmosphere that somehow seemed more refined. Kudos to the extensive selection of teas available such as the less common White Chrysanthenum and Rose tea which are offered besides the normal selections.
They have half-priced Dim Sum after 2.30pm on weekdays on selected items only.
Hei She Hui
1 Harbourfront Walk
Telephone: (65) 6376-9740
Food: 3.5/5 (Custard buns and durian mochi are must-tries!)
Price: A tad steep for an average Chinese restaurant fare but it is not an everyday affair. Still affordable.