Saturday, May 28, 2011

Singapore - Caffe B

I finally stepped into the behemoth structure known now as Marina Bay Sands.  Not without being first unimpressed by parking facilities though.  The fact that there is insufficient parking underground in a facility of this size is just bewildering.  And it didn't even seem like a night where much was going on, except the much touted show, The Lion King.  And the fact that you have to pay double ERP charges over a 100 meter stretch to double back to parking beyond the worker dormitories just made the driving experience there frustrating to say the least.  Good thing I wasn't at the wheel..

The inside of the mall is massive, and thanks to the young man at concierge who could not discern left from right, we ended up taking a tour of the mall, or was that on purpose??

Caffe B's restaurant entrance is in the basement, a little odd but I guess that's to make room for their bar at promenade level which overlooks the water out to where the Fullerton Hotel is, which I have to admit is rather pretty.  Service was very professional and efficient with our waiter refilling our water glasses ever so often, and the serving staff dropping a "bon appetit" when each course is served.  Professional but stoic and impassioned - they seem to be low in energy, and overworked...

The food was decent and competent but really nothing to write home about.  The Japanese chef ensured there were spots of the crossover coming through but overall, it wasn't spectacular.

Bread for the table
Fluffy bread although toasting it made it crumbly and not the chewy kind I like.  But decent and went well with the quality olive oil and balsamic.

To start, we had the Caffe B Antipasto Selection to save us the trouble of choosing an appetiser.  And we thought it would be a good representation of what they have to offer since it was our first time.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio
Starting with the carpaccio, this was actually a pretty good slice of beef.  Although thin, it was very beefy and melts in the mouth.  The use of an onion aioli was an interesting deviation from the norm and for those who like onions, they will like this, but I thought it might have stolen a bit of thunder from the beef itself.

Millefeuille Eggplant
This was deceptively blah looking but turned out to be quite tasty.  A stack of thinly sliced eggplant infused with what we thought was bits of eel or fish of some sort was good.  Topped off with a little raw fish in soy marinade, the bite-sized portion was a burst of different flavours and textures.

Iberico Ham
Interestingly, for an Italian place, the Chef decides to use Spanish Iberico.  Though a tad salty, each piece went well with the 3 different fruit of melon, kiwi and grape in each roll-up.  And balanced off with a good piece of Parmiggiano Reggiano.

Stuffed Tomatoes
This was a bit blah for me.  One was stuffed with a Ratatouille - not my favouritest way to do vegetables.  The other was a crab meat mayo - tasty enough.

Spaghetti with Iberico Ham in Tomato Herb Sauce
Going into the main event, the spaghetti was very well done - good quality pasta with bite and stained appropriately with a pretty robust tomato based sauce.  The use of Rosemary was a little overpowering but acceptably so since the Iberico was man-enough to match it.

Fish of the Day in Clams and Mussels Broth 
Catch of the day was Garouper.  Interesting since it's more associated with Chinese style steamed fish dishes, but it went pretty well since I do like Garouper anyway.  The sweet, cottony flesh was fairly good in taking up the broth made with our shellfish friends.  White wine and butter made the broth a little more rounded but not greasy.  Would have drunk a few more spoonfuls if it wasn't a tad salty.  The shellfish was fresh but not ultra so since they didn't come off the shells so easily and were overcooked.  But one can overlook it since the main event was the fish, and there was a lot of it even between 2.

To end, 3 ginormous scoops of ice cream.  Each scoop was the equivalent of about one and a half normal scoops, so even between 2 people it was a bit much, after a 3 course meal.  The vanilla and sesame were ok but I really digged the green tea one since the Matcha came through very well, with a hint of what I think is honey.  Sign of the Japanese chef's roots coming through.

The overall experience at Caffe B was enjoyable enough although it won't be one of the places people rave about.  Perhaps a pit stop for ladies who shop and do lunch.

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue
B1-15 or 01-83
Tel: +65-68873311

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