Table @ Pip’s, Singapore

SCRIBBLES

Category: Western

181 Orchard Rd, #B2-11/22 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896

B2 of Orchard Central is pretty dead, even on a Friday night. I’m not sure if anyone even ventures there, and Table@Pip’s is tucked all the way at the end if you’re approaching from the main escalators coming down from where the apple store is on level 1. The wait staff were very friendly and helpful, but the food and ambience just didn’t justify the bill.

Damage: $$

Appetisers (~$10), Pasta (~$20), Mains (varies, but easily ~$30 for a dish less common than something like Fish & Chips)

To go: Nope :/

The dishes are pretty pricey for the quality; the mains were a disappointment. I learnt from the waitress that Table@Pip’s was previously situated along the row of shophouses near Coronation Plaza, but had moved to this new spot since September 2014. They have quite a large floor space which is oddly split down the middle by a wide and open walkway, and the cafeteria-type plastic tables and chairs and colourful plastic placemats somehow didn’t feel like the right atmosphere for their fine-dining menu. Perhaps its 91% rating on HungryGoWhere was earned at the old place, but I won’t be back anytime soon.


A MORE DETAILED RECOUNT

We started with the Foie Gras, which was served with sautéed onion, sweet glazed apple and a raspberry demi-glaze. The sauces were okay but coated the entire dish in a dark brown, making for a rather non-photogenic dish. I couldn’t really pick out the flavours distinctly, but I would describe it as a savoury, somewhat tangy contrast to the foie gras. The foie gras was a good portion and full of flavour, and the slice of sweet apple beneath worked surprisingly well.

My friend ordered the Creamy Carbonara (featured picture) – a pretty standard pasta dish. The pasta was a little too firm for my liking, but I supposed that could be a personal preference although most good Italian restaurants do it just right. While the bacon lent the carbonara flavour, I had to agree with her that it somehow made the dish a little too salty. The mushrooms were tasty, however, and so was the egg yolk – especially if you’re like me and love to slice open the yolk to coat every form of noodle.

Duck Leg Confit

The Duck Leg Confit (~$20) itself was tender and easy to separate with a fork, but was very dry in certain parts. The mash was very grainy and the vegetables entirely lacked flavour. If you have a craving for duck leg confit, go to Saveur instead for a better one and at a better price point.

There was an ongoing promotion for a $1 add-on for the flourless chocolate cake, which was around $8 on the menu if I recall correctly, so we ordered two – reminder to self: don’t order it again. The cake was 3 bite-sized and hard rounds on the plate, topped with a scoop of very ordinary vanilla ice cream.

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Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, Singapore

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SCRIBBLES

Category: Western – Steakhouse

I visited Wooloomooloo Steakhouse when they first opened in Singapore, and I’ve gone back (and have been wanting to go back) at every opportunity. Wooloomooloo Steakhouse has a cosy spot in my book as a place that serves a great steak, is cosy (yet comfortable enough and not overly pretentious), and good to go with friends, family, and even that special someone.

2 Stamford Road, Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford, 178882 (Access from Raffles City Shopping Mall)

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse is tucked at a corner, just behind the escalators leading up to the conference venues, on level 3. You’ll be led from the entrance past chillers displaying a variety of wine and a classically-furnished bar area (think cigars and men in top hats) into the restaurant, which is surprisingly larger than it appears from the outside.

Damage: $$$

They’re reasonable (by that I mean around 70 bucks for an Australian Black Angus Beef 12-oz Rib Eye or Sirloin). If you don’t feel like spending a bomb, I’d pick them over CUT by Wolfgang Puck or Morton’s. In this price range, they trumph Bedrock Bar & Grill, and are comparable to Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse, although I’d go to the latter just for the Fiorentina.

To go: Yes, whenever possible

Christmas time is actually a really good time to go to Wooloomooloo Steakhouse. They usually have a very comprehensive 4-course Christmas menu for $68++ at lunchtime, including a steak option for the mains. The rest of the menu is fixed. For people who can’t eat a whole lot, a set menu makes more sense as well. As for the rest of the lucky ones with bottomless pits for stomachs, by all means, feast and be merry!

The ambience by day is comfortable, cosy, with light coming in from the full length windows, and with views of the Padang. By night, the place seems to transform into a warm, rustic and charming atmosphere, with gentle lighting illuminating the dark wood.


A MORE DETAILED RECOUNT

StartersThe bread that opened our meal was an onion bun which was served warm. The bun was soft, yet with a thin outer layer that provided a bit of bite, while the inside was fluffy and moist. I loved the onions atop, which was well complemented by the sea salt butter, although I thought some of the flavour could have been better kept at the edges which had been heated out a little too much.

The cream of pumpkin soup was next – creamy and flavourful. The highlight of this dish, however, was really the foie gras which was seared to perfection. Many places overcook foie gras, but this one wasn’t; the searing brought out the intensity of the flavour on the outside, while the inside remained soft and almost tofu-like.

Salmon on cream cheese

The appetiser was a smoked salmon dish on some cream cheese and topped with mint leaves. I thought this was an excellent choice, being light and full of fresh bright flavours, and really set the stage for the heavier (and meatier) mains and creaminess of the dessert to follow. I am personally not a fan of smoked salmon because I find it tends to be rather salty, but this was quite alright even for me.

The steak, oh the steak, was really my favourite part of the meal – as it should be, considering it is after all a steakhouse. It was a true medium, springy and still red through the middle, was tender through and kept its juices. The brown gravy brought out the meat’s woody notes, and the mash on the side was pureed into a cream.

Fruitcake dessert and coffee

The dessert was a Christmastime special of fruitcake, seated in a moat of a creamy vanilla sauce, topped with vanilla ice cream and a caramelised thin. I wasn’t a fan of the fruitcake (nor of most fruitcakes for that matter) because it was quite hard and the flavours were too synthetic and gummy for my liking, although the ice cream was fine. The coffee that came later was a great way to finish the meal and cleanse the palate though – strong and full-bodied with a mild bitter finish, accompanied with a little chocolate truffle cube.