“Food trail to Sawadee Thai, Marukyu, Oso Ristorante”
American Express cardholders have a reason to smile this November. And it’s not because you can rock out with your sexy Movember look. In view of popular demand, this 3 November to 2 December, 44 handpicked upscale restaurants will be offering early festive $30++ promotions on prized gourmet treats under the 30licious campaign. Non-AMEX members too are entitled to the 30-day long offer at the rate of $35++.
The collaboration by HungryGoWhere and American Express that features a diverse range of cuisines only requires you to make a paid reservation online to commit to the specific restaurant. With the deluge of varying terms and conditions, eligible time ranges, plus cancellation policies, you are encouraged to be cautious amid all the excitement surrounding this wondrous month of rebated fine dining.
For our gourmand readers, we went on a little culinary trail to try the delightful offerings on promotion in 3 of the listed restaurants, and first up, we have:
Sawadee Thai Cuisine
Opened in 2000, Sawadee Thai Cuisine recently relocated to a shockingly quiet street just outside of Bugis MRT. Experience the languid Thai elegance in the restaurant that is inspired by the traditional Sabai while you deliberate between the 2 mains in the full 30licious set containing 3 appetizers, 1 curry, 1 rice, 2 desserts, and a drink (Iced Lemongrass or Fruit Juice).
Appetizer: (L-R) Thai Mango Salad, Thai Rice Crackers with Chicken Dip, Thai Otah. Precise order seems to be highly valued in Thai culture as I was exhorted to commence with the appetizer rightwards. The crunchy mango strips laced with shredded peanuts contributed to an enticing sour element in this 3-way set.
I then found the tepid rice cracker to be an interesting transition to the otah that inserts just a tinge of spiciness to the palate. It is unusually satisfying to be able to grind the stuffed fish instead of the flat consistency we’re seasoned to having.
Main 1: Thai Duck Curry. What I thought to be unnaturally fresh shrimp is actually chilled lychee in this authentically piquant bowl of red curry that blends ceremoniously with the rice dish that would later arrive. The tender duck flesh that is soaked in the curry is also absent bone and a sheer pleasure to munch on.
Main 2: Pan Seared Beef Steak with Green Curry Sauce. The first alternative to the duck curry is this impeccably sliced steak with a side of delicious green curry. I liked the choice of steak and how albeit fairly well done, the finish is still juicy and we are treated to a healthy amount of fatty meat.
The smokiness and tenderness of the steak won me over, but if you have a propensity for fried meat, you can also consider the next alternative that is Deep Fried Pomfret Fish with Mango Sauce.
Side: Olive Rice or Seafood Fried Rice. Of the two, I went with the signature olive rice that is colourfully topped with assorted condiments. If you haven’t yet noticed a pattern, it appears that every dish in Sawadee Thai is presented with a dash of greens at least. A certain charred aroma that I’m used to is missing in this serving, though the olive essence still shines through. If I were to venture a guess, this would denote a sparing use of oil in the frying process.
Dessert: Red Ruby, Mango Sticky Rice. From purple to blue rice, Sawadee Thai does it all with their plethora of colours, spices and inventive layouts (I thought I saw the blue-white shadow of a heart on the right). Be treated to an epicurean experience here in this halcyon restaurant that may leave you craving for more Thai delights.
Address: 9 Tan Quee Lan Street #01-01, Singapore 188098 | Tel: 6238 6833 | Website
Marukyu is one of the many swank restaurants sitting on the vibrant thoroughfare that is Telok Ayer Street serving classy patrons fine Japanese cuisine in Omakase and Kaiseki styles.
Unlike the other 2 places we visited, Marukyu offers just 1 option for its 30licious promotion.
Bara Chirashi, served with Chawanmushi and Miso Soup. In this medley of fresh sashimi, fish roe and tamago resting on sushi rice, there are no shortage of flavours as your meal arrives fully loaded with the likes of cold salmon, tuna, yellowtail and even a robust portion of wasabi right in the middle. There’s a mix of ginger as well as their homemade ume (plum jelly) within that adds some tangy contrasts to the fishy chirashi. At first glance, it’s hard to even tell that there’s rice below. An absolute delight for Japanese cuisine aficionados.
Finally, it might be worth noting that this delectable set is usually priced at $35.
Address: 116 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068585 | Tel: 6636 5608 | Website
Oso Ristorante is located a little off Outram Park on a classic lane of shophouses at Bukit Pasoh. In this ritzy Italian restaurant, you’ll not only be entitled to a tour in the exclusive section enveloped by stacked racks of wine, but also able to bear witness to a dedicated bar separate from the dining area, highlighting 2 unique yet complementary styles from the managing duo.
At your 30licious request, Oso Ristorante offers an appetizer, main, and dessert each, and with the possible combinations, you might be quite spoilt for choice.
Appetizer 1: Classic Poached Prawns Cocktail Green Salad Garden in Campan-Orange Cocktails Dressing. Exquisitely arranged to look somewhat like coral, I found that the flavourful shrimp soaked in the dressing adds a delicate texture to the tinge of sourness that the tart salad garden introduces.
Appetizer 2: Thick and Creamy Cauliflower Soup Served With Avruga Herring Caviar and Dill Herb. An alternate choice of appetizer. The rich essence of cauliflower in this viscous solution topped with a garish array of oil drips is adequately contrived for you to feel the cauliflower puree in a savoury bowl of goodness. With the avruga herring caviar that seamlessly blends (or perhaps overshadowed by the broth) with the creamy soup, I would pick this over the alternative.
Main 1: Homemade ‘Fogottini’ Ravioli Pasta Filled With “Parmigiano”, Black Truffle Scorzone Sauce. From the excellent absorption of the black truffle sauce the ravioli exhibits, the meticulous efforts that goes into producing this bouncy pasta is very evident. A pop of cheese within the pasta adds to the excitement of this dish.
The ravioli as a whole bursting with the aromatic truffle flavour but is not exceedingly salty, though the absence of meat may be a sign of concern for some.
Main 2: Stewed Dory Fillet and Green Asparagus Vegetables in Tomato-Cappers Sauce “Livornese” Style. The livornese makeup of the fish uses a stewed finish instead of the typical frying. While the dominant tomato sauce and soft peas go well with the dory, I suspect the fillet serving to be a little less than adequate. Like the delicate texture of the fish, those asparagus vegetables are so intensely prepared that it crumbles in the mouth.
Main 3: Braised Veal “Stracotto” Cheek With Black Figs and Red Wine Served With Pumpkin Puree and Lemon “Gremolata”. Yes there are actually 3 mains you can choose from. Though extremely lean, the veal was most easily sliced and sufficiently tender, indicative of quality preparation. I found it to be a little dry on the whole as well, but perhaps we took too long taking photos.
Aside from that, the juicy fig drenched in red wine served to be a healthy contrast to the milder flavour from the pumpkin puree that felt a tad peppery topped with the lemon gremolata.
Dessert 1: 70% Dark Chocolate and Double Creme Flan Served With Rum Raisin Sauce. Discerning the rum raisin sauce proved to be difficult, but the thickly coated cake was firm and potent. Almost immediately a wave of warmth hits you when you have a go at a piece. Very comforting and almost like how grandma bakes chocolate cake.
Dessert 2: Sicilian Lemon Creme and Caramelized Red Mixed Berries. Sturdy on the outside and an explosion of moist sweetness and sourness from the berries, this other choice of dessert is my preferred of the 2.
Address: 46 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore 089858 | Tel: 6327 8378 | Website
While I may hold a bias, Sawadee Thai and Marukyu appears to be more generous in their servings for the promotion. Relative to original prices, on the other hand, it could be argued that you’re getting more value for your money with the curated meal at Oso Ristorante, as well as their fine ambience.
But generally speaking, it would come as a surprise if you found yourself unbearably stuffed at the end of any meal. Unlike frigid climates where you could consider some food-induced insulation for the extreme winter, perhaps November in Singapore is the month of culinary appreciation with light and fancy dining.
Do check out what restaurants may catch your eye, and make a 30licious booking while the promotion lasts!
Make your bookings now at http://book.hungrygowhere.com/30licious
Some other 30licious restaurant deals I recommend:
1) Starter (Choice of: Classic lobster bisque, brandy, chive cream OR House cured salmon, caperberries, smoked sour cream, lime caviar OR Chargrilled baby gem, heirloom tomatoes, artichokes, parmesan)
2) Main (Choice of: Woodfired chicken, roasted swede & beetroot, tomato chilli oil OR Baked barramundi fillet, sea asparagus, tomato olive tapenade)
3) Dessert (Choice of: Warm chocolate pudding, vintage strawberry ice cream OR Brandied cherry & almond tart, crème friache OR Passionfruit and lemon curd profiteroles, chocolate sauce)
4) Glass of housepour wine
1) Starter (Choice of: Georgia peach salad OR Roasted tomato soup)
2) Main (Choice of: Country fried steak OR Chicken & waffles OR Blackened pork collar)
3) Dessert (Choice of: Fig and honey ice cream OR Vanilla bean ice cream OR Double chocolate ice cream)
1) Spicy jelly fish
2) Cucumber salad, japanese egg omelette and grilled salmon cheek with salt
3) Salmon and yellow tail sashimi
4) Grilled beef with teriyaki sauce
5) Prawn, eggplant and pumpkin tempura
6) Salmon, crabmeat aburi maki
7) Braised pork belly with sake & soya sauce
8) Miso soup, rice and pickles
9) Dessert – Japanese ice cream
*Due to the crazy 9 course value, I heard Sankai is quite over-booked, and have even cancelled phone-in reservations before. But Sankai is definitely the most value-for-money out of all the restaurants.
4) Wagyu rump cap, wagyu nakaochi, wagyu brisket
Make your bookings now at http://book.hungrygowhere.com/30licious