Saturday, July 07, 2007

Super Lunch

67 Chulia Street
Singapore 049515
Tel: 65 6223 0038
On a rare opportunity for lunch with N in downtown Boat Quay, we hopped into a cafe that we have heard from the grapevine about their great food that is only available between 9-5 just like the office crowd and only 5 days a week. For guys like me who work out of town areas like in Jurong and have limited time for lunch breaks, it seems like we are being ostracized to check out this place. This is a not a come and go kind of cafe, it's a super cafe with the usual grub but using fine quality ingredients. The place that I am talking about here is the already famous Superfamous.
Set up by lifestyle guru, Michel Lu, this place has been packing the PME Ts (professional, managers, executives and tai tais) crowds during lunch and by evening after 5pm, is a chill out Martini Bar with a wide selection of “Happy Hour” drinks.
As the place is not air-conditioned, it could be sweltering hot under the sun. Fortunately the cafe had the shade of some trees and high powered fans provide cooling wisps of breeze in between. I was told that the signature item here is their Wagyu Burger. As N was craving for one, I decided to let her have it instead and chose a salmon for my main course. I started off with a duck breast salad that came with a blood oranges and a citrus dressing. While the duck meat was in perfect doneness, slicing it along the grain did injustice to the meat. I couldn’t understand why the chef chose to do it that way but it sure toughens up the meat instead of making it tender. The salad leaves and the citrus dressing was rather good but the blood orange segments seemed to have been around too long without their skin and made them look dull and broken instead of the glistening shine of freshly cut wedges. Nonetheless, blood oranges are always sweet by nature so it still manage to compliment the duck breast decently well. A sprinkle of cashew nuts created a nice bridge between the tangy dressing and salad leaves as the high fat content of the nuts help to tone down the slight bitterness of the mixed greens.
N had a great Blue Swimmer Crab Ceasar Salad to start off with. The chilled crispy Romaine lettuces lightly coated with a creamy anchovies based dressing, given a big dollop of fresh crabmeat, a generous inkling of fresh parmesan cheese and real bacon bits. It's a simple dish but when executed well, can produce mind blowing results especially serving it at a right temperature on a hot day. I could eat that whole salad stuffed into a freshly toasted baguette.
While waiting for our main courses, we had the privilege of peeking at a few dishes that whiz past our table. Opposite us was a table who had ordered two pastas, one a simple Olio Aglio with Sun Dried Tomatoes , Spinach and Pine Nuts and the other a creamy Tiger Prawn Linguine with Perrnod Cream. Though we did not get to taste the pastas, the aromas from each plate as the ladies toss them up was enough to almost make me change my mind about the main courses. Just on aromas only, the Olio Aglio version had whiffs of a good quality fruity olive oil with slight peppery notes interspersed with a sweet mellow sautéed garlic pungency. The other creamier pasta dish sent out anise like aromas locked in between pockets of creamy nuances that leeched out from the dash of Pernod, an anise-like liquor frequently favoured by chefs to pair with seafood and cream based sauces. Two other great looking dishes that went by just before our main courses arrived were the Pan Seared Tuna Salad and Fish and Chips.
I am a little nervous and skeptical about ordering salmon main courses in cafe especially if I feel that the cooks are not skilled enough to handle the excitingly challenging piece of fish. Most of the time the fillet comes out overcooked and dry, such a shame for paying so much for a good quality piece of fish. Thank God the nightmare did not happen this time as I had a vibe that the salmon would come out good for once. My instincts were not wrong, my salmon not only came out good, it came out great! Crispy skin, right doneness with moist juicy slightly undercooked flesh without the fishy aromas, whoever cooked this had manage to capture the true essence of preparing salmon for once and restored my hope of ordering salmon in a cafe again. The salmon sat on a bed of mash potatoes or should I say fresh whipped potatoes that tasted fresh and not freshly whipped from foodservice packs reconstituted with milk or water like most cafes do. Complimenting the two great items was a creamy tobiko oriented sauce that gave tiny bursts sensation on the palate like how one would feel bitting into a California Roll.
Honestly, I am not an advocate of using Wagyu to make burgers unless I know that really made from the trimmings that have no other better fate than to end up as a burger patty. Currently the fad among chefs in Singapore, the burger came as it would be topped with caramelized onions, a serving of greens on the side and deep fried frozen potato wedges. The patty was pretty decent, no chewy bits of sinew and there were specks of fresh herbs to be seen. I tasted thyme and figure out there could some parsley too then but anyway isn't it nice to know that the chef uses fresh herbs instead of those freeze dried ones that add nothing but dead weight? I miss some of the beefiness that is associated with a regular patty but the Waygu does taste juicier thanks to the higher density of fat marbling in between the meat fibers.
Squeezing the last fifteen minutes of allowance into deconstructing a pear tartin, N and I discovered layers of pears soaked up in a butter caramel flavours encrusted on a flaky pastry dough. Served warm, the pear tartin was flanked by a scoop of home made vanilla ice cream, yes, u can see the vanilla specks too and it melts pretty fast. It was lovely, creamy, and heavenly setting u off on dreamy mood for the afternoon ahead. Time to get on with work again……………..

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