Friday, January 23, 2009

lunch unlimited

i think this is not good. i seem to be on an obsessive food tracking mission. must be due to reading too many foodie blogs. this must really stop else no matter how many times i go up and down the slope of bukit timah NR, i'd not get any healthier. i foresee another at least 5 days (though not consecutive) of food eating craze during the festive period so i better keep myself healthy and not use that funny reason that since i'm going to eat the next few days might as well eat away. hmm.. so not good if my thoughts go that way.

interior of the restaurant

anyway, had lunch @ 7atenine in the esplanade. hmm.. read about it at this person's blog and she liked it lots. so i thought we could order anything in the menu which consists of many dishes. when we reached there, we were wrong. lunch starts at 12pm and i suggest if you really want to eat as many dishes to make your $37++ worth it, go at 12pm. lunch lasts till 2.30pm though stated on the website it's till 3pm. don't go during weekdays if you do not have the luxury of having long lunches. coz your $$$ will so not be worth it.

so the 'rule' of the lunch was that the chef will dish out whatever dishes he feels like from the menu, so you wont know. when i heard that i was like worried (think supperclub) that i have made a wrong choice. in any case, we decided to stay on. there's also unlimited serving of soft drinks, juices (lime/orange/cranberry) as well as coffeee and tea. you can order any beverage according to your mood. ie, if you drank cranberry, you can switch to lime and get coffee too so it's quite cool! the coffee is fragrant and smells fantastic! tastes wonderful and i drank two cups. hee.

my cranberry juice

ok, on to the food. we reached at 12ish close to 1pm and had 1.5hrs to try as many dishes as possible.

melon with parmaham

first dish we had was the melon with parmaham. the melon was served thinly shaved slices and the parmaham was mush up in a clump. i think i still prefer the usual way of serving, one thick slice of melon with parmaham wrapped around. eating it the way it was presented, the parmaham was salty. the melon was too thin to blend with the saltiness of the ham. it was unfortunate and i was kinda disappointed.

tomato salad

japanese cherry tomatoes with wild herbs and spanish extra virgin olive oil dressing

that's what's described in the menu. so i dunno issit kio tio that there were pine nuts inside. the nuts are nicely roasted, the cherry tomatoes were plump, juicy and sweet. blends well with the pine nuts and the balsamic vinegar sauce was good too.

raw salmon with shallots and dunno what sauce

this was so so. salmon wasn't chilled enough so it was rather room temperature feel when i put it into my mouth. would have preferred yellow fin tataki instead.

rice corquette

looks sushi-ish, just that the outside is covered with bread crumbs and the seaweed is inside and there's an little bit of egg and you eat it with the wild herb salsa sauce on the side. not bad, just not that into hot sushi rice fried.

grilled corn and wasabi salad

i like this dish. the grilled corn has a nice and slightly burnt taste which sits nicely in my mouth. the bbq potato was so so, we thought it was something else. the wasabi taste was mild. when i told there was wasabi, i was a bit surprised. when i think back, i remember that almost hidden taste. this is good.

anchovy with some tomato puree sauce with some honey on toasted bread? hmm.. didnt like the anchovy coz it was too fishy. not in the menu, so it was quite unfortunate.

wasabi cod

garlic scented black cod brandade corquette with wasabi dressing.

this is nice, i love it that when they served this dish it was hot. the cod was entirely flaky in fact, i can't even say it's flaky, it's already 'finely shredded' into fine fine lines of flesh pulp and made into what looked like chupa chups lollipops. the wasabi dressing is nice, not overwhelming and light. goes extremely well with the ballies!

tuna salsa tartlette with some salad leaves which had some similar to tao jiuy paste on the leave. the paste is damn salty but would be better if you put the tuna mix into the salad leave and eat it together.

caramelised garlic soup

almond scented cold garlic soup with shallots and black pepper

when i drank this, the taste was familar. it's not a hot soup, and yet not too cold. the cream is heavy coz it tasted oily and i couldnt identify what was the ingredient until we asked the waiter. i didn't finish the soup coz it became too jelat. quite interesting but i'd not want to have it again.

vegetable tempura with ponzu sauce

i think the presentation is interesting. as for the tempura, nothing impressive. this is not in the menu as well. the sauce would be just nice without adding rock salt inside or perhaps my tongue is conditioned to the normal tempura sauce?

seared kobe beef with shitake mushroom and ponzu sauce

the beef was tender, nicely done. love the shitake mushroom. the ponzu sauce in the dripper is nicer here. love this dish.

sizzling wings

jalapeno chilli powder dusted crispy chicken wings with soy-chilli dressing

i like the unique presentation of using the clothes peg for holding the hot wings. but it didnt work for me coz my food keep dropping. slightly salty here for my taste but the meat was damn tender and it's good. there's a side sauce of mayo with some roe if i am not wrong which tasted damn good too. add the lime and it enhances the smell as well as my appetite, if only it's less salty!!

panfried salmon

i commend the chef for cooking the food just right. i love the salmon. it was moist, flakes easily, detaches from the skin perfectly so that i can taste the meat and the skin separately. no dryness until towards the end. the meat was also slighly fatter. with minimal sauce and only sprinkling of rock salt on the skin, i could taste the naturalness of the salmon. i love the creativity of the chef drawing the fish as a presentation for this dish. visual and taste scores!!

lamb shank with mash potato

this one is awesome!! the meat of the lamb is uber tender!!! so tender that it broke easily when we 'tore' it apart. and it was so soft when you bite and juicy and yummy though not melt in the mouth. the mash potato was good, there's something added to it that made it quite fragrant. and i loved it that roasted almond bits were added. glad we asked the waiter to bring out the last savoury dish for us before the dessert.

chocolate brownie

chilli pepper scented cuban chocolate brownie with macadamia nuts and vanilla ice cream

the brownie is different from the usual brownie which is usually thick and filled with chocolate. this one is moist and not chocolate thick. it's good fluffy cake with big macadamia nuts. i love it. the ice cream is not bad too. goes well together.

tequila cake with rum chocolate ice cream

the cake was light and mousse ish but there's no sponge and the bottom if i am not wrong is laid on a bed of bits of nuts and thin think cake. i can't taste the tequila though. not that strong. the rum in the chocolate ice cream was pretty strong though. to me, the ice cream and the cake is separate and don't seem to mix. but not bad. everything's pretty light.

hmmm.. overall, i'm not sure if this whole thing is worth it. quite a few of the dishes served are not in the menu, as such it's difficult to put a dollar value to those dishes. since there were only the two of us, each dish served, we shared. or that's how the whole thing works. though there are some dishes which were given individual portions, most of them were sharing portions. i think it pays to 1) know the chef, he will then give the signature dishes, 2) go at 12pm and you will have more time to try more dishes, 3) drink as much as the free flow drinks as you can, 4) eat fast if you are short of time. we also had the beef sashimi. hmm.. it was a mini portion and i kinda didn't think it was fantastic as i imagined it to be, but the manchego cheese was delish!

i will only go back after a long long time if they still have this and will go early so as to try everything. but we were quite full after the meal. i didn't have dinner thereafter. guess some way or another it was worth it? Hmm... :D

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