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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Brasserie Astoria @ Victoria Theater & Concert Hall

When it comes to celebratory dinner, as with birthdays and anniversaries, we usually spend some thoughts on where to go. We want something unique, higher end with great ambience, but won't break the bank. Fantastic cocktails are definite plus as Lady M and I are suckers for this. This year, she brought me to Brasserie Astoria, located at Victoria Theater and Concert Hall. Just six years ago, in the spring of 2018 (ok, summer in Singapore), we were lining up in front of this place taking our actual-day wedding photoshoot. As we walked past, we savoured a sweet memory.

Brasserie Astoria had huge doors. Thank God they are automatic. And as they opened, an inviting space with high ceilings lined with chandeliers, albeit dimly lighted, welcomed us. The friendly service staff guided us to our seats and introduced their menu to us. The menu was concise, but we took awhile to choose our orders, mainly because we wanted to try everything.

For starters, we had their Oyster au Naturelle (SGD$8/each), and trust me on this, it was one of the best. Hands-down. The size wasn't overwhelming but it was plump and juicy. Paired with the shallot vinaigrette and a nice squeeze of the lemon, we joked we could just had the oysters as mains next time.
Not long after, the Snails (SGD$18) came. It was a crude but apt name. Drenched in roasted garlic butter, lavender and a hint of thyme and parsley, this was again finger-licking good. I never thought lavender in such a buttery dish would work, but it was SUPERB. We found ourselves dipping the bread in it and literally spooning the sauce into our mouths. If you're here, please do yourselves a huge favour and order this. 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Hathaway - Modern Southeast Asia Fare @ Dempsey

Dempsey Hill is no stranger to us, it's a great, secluded place in the city, perfect for celebrations, dinner dates, or weekend brunches with the children. When the lovely Lady M told me we are going to Dempsey Hill for my birthday breakfast, I was thinking about the many place we been there (but usually we don't do repeats). Nearing the destination, I was asking for the restaurant's name so I can find a parking spot near there, and especially since it was drizzling. 

"Hathaway". To be fair, Anne Hathaway came to mind straight, so I was pretty sure it was a Western restaurant serving the usual egg benedicts, waffles and usual ang-moh (Western) brunch. In fact, the whole place exudes Western vibes, with marble counters and long wooden benches and lush sofa seating. When I looked at the menu, "EH? Apa ini? Kuih Pie Tee? Bergadil? Chap Chye? Kiam Chye Duck??" Yup, so you know.

Just a heads up, they do not serve their brunch menu on weekends, and since it's too early for heavy mains (like their beef cheeks, fried quail and yes, Kiam Chye Duck), we treated ourselves to some of their other signatures. The waiter recommended the Mussels (SGD$24Galician mussels cooked in a mohinga broth). Aside from my lack of understanding of what the heck is "Galician" and "mohinga", these dish is MHMM SEDAP. Mussels, soft and plump. The broth is another level. It tasted like the whole ocean being condensed into a bowl of broth. Something like lobster bisque on spicy steroids. Needless to say, I finished it to the very last bit.