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.

Alkaff Mansion Ristorante, Singapore

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SCRIBBLES

Category: Western

10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178

Honestly, besides the lovely sight of the tudor-style historical bungalow peering over the park (which you can’t really see much of at night), the privacy and the very attentive service, I’m not sure anything else about Alkaff Mansion Ristorante really stood out to me. The portions are on the small side, which is fine considering it’s fine dining, but I didn’t come away very satisfied.

Damage: $$$

Antipasti (~27SGD), Pasta (~30SGD), Fish Main (~43SGD), Meat Main (~50SGD), Desserts (~15SGD)

To go: On rare occasion – should try new places first 😐

If I were to return, I would probably try going back in the day instead when I can enjoy the view and maybe sit out at Alkaff‘s Terrace. I’m thinking late afternoons would be a fine time for that. The menu changes every now and then.

They have a 3-course set lunch on weekdays at $36++, and Italian Afternoon tea on Mondays to Fridays at $26++ and Saturdays at $40++ (I suppose this helps cover the costs of the live band, dessert bar, and the additional crepes suzette and pasta stations).


A MORE DETAILED RECOUNT

2-starter

We opened our meal with an antipasti of Salmon Carpaccio; The salmon was fresh and the roe was springy as it should be, but the greens did nothing for the dish by being dry and tasteless. Although I like my dressing on salads or antipasti light, this was an olive oil dressing that did not quite bring out the flavours of the dish.

For the mains, we ordered the Porcetto Sardinyan Style, Carre’ d’Agnello al Forno, and Fettuccini with slow-roasted veal.

The Porcetto Sardinyan Style (see feature picture) was recommended to us as a fantastic Alkaff Mansion special. While the meat itself was relatively juicy and tender, the skin was really hard to cut through. If I were to knock it with my knife blade, it would remain unblemished while giving rise to a clicking sound. Again, the rest of the greens on the plate did nothing for the dish.

Lamb Rack and Veal Fettuccini

The Carre’ d’Agnello al Forno, or Oven Baked Lamb Rack, was slightly on the well done side but remained tender, although I wasn’t a fan of the slightly sweet and sticky sauce. The mash was grainy. As a pasta lover, I was disappointed that the fettuccini was rather forgettable; the meat was tasty and the pasta was al dente, but they felt like two separate dishes put on the same plate. The sauce could not coat nor cling to the pasta even after I tried to mix it up a few times, possibly also because there wasn’t a lot of it. At almost $30, there are many other places which can serve up a better pasta at this price point.

Semifreddo and Panna CottaTo end off, we had the Semifreddo al Cioccolato Bianco e Caffe’, and the Panna Cotta alla Vaniglia, Frutti di Bosco e Salsa al Lamponi. I love my sweets, but I would suggest having dessert elsewhere. The coffee came across as way too bitter in the semifreddo and the panna cotta had a bit too much of a gelatin texture to it which prevented the creaminess from coming through.