Friday, December 31, 2010

DB Bistro Moderne (Daniel Boulud) @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

DB Bistro Moderne
@ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

I am not a person who enjoys fine dining.

At least for this very moment of my life, it's mission impossible to see me in a restaurant that requires me to pay more than S$50 (after thinking for a while) S$100 a person and observe mealtime decorum that makes eating real painful.

The number of stars given by the reputable Michelin guide is not a valid consideration when food, to me, is only meant to fill my stomach as a basic need. There's only so much i will pay in order to have food that more than satisfy my not-very-picky palate.

When Mr Kon suggested the celebrity restaurant by Daniel Boulud (who earns three Michelin stars for his establishment in New York) in Marina Bay Sands for our Christmas dinner, i was hesitant.

Korny, knowing my disdain for incredibly expensive food, suggested paying for this French-American meal while emphasising that the prices are actually not that exorbitant!

Given my zero knowledge on French and i presume the same goes for most of you; i will give a general translation of what i thought we had in DB Bistro Moderne.

Cavin's Term: Hams
Official Term: Assiette Lyonnaise

Essentially an appetiser with hams, something called terrines (jellied meat loaves) and a plate of warm French country bread.

Terrines were something i have never had before; high quality house-made luncheon meat that was slightly more saltish.

My bad for not being able to truly appreciate this dish.

Cavin's Term: Foie Gras
Official Term: Foie Gras Terrine

Sighz... I am breaking my own promise (please read here)!

This large piece of Foie Gras wasn't very impressive (it's still full of buttery fats though) as i prefer pan-fried foie gras which has a very distinctive and addictive taste. 

The accompanying bread; brioche, was another story altogether.

Unlike normal plain bread, this gently toasted bread had a rich buttery content that made it even as delicious without any spread.

Cavin's Term: Seafood Stew
Official Term: John Dory Bouillabaisse

Originating from the French city of Marseille, i found that this plate of fish stew (supposedly) had an overbearing seafood taste that covered every ingredient due to the strong tasting mussels!

By itself, the mussel was plump and super delicious! The whole combination, however, was just not as outstanding.

Cavin's Term: Chicken Stew
Official Term: Coq Au Vin

My suspicion told me this looked exactly like the black soy sauce chicken stew my mom whipped up a few months ago. But this is French-American cuisine!

Of course the taste was not the same.

Wine was added, resulting in a sourish flavour that was both smooth and palatable. The submerged mushrooms in all that dark gravy were also comfort food for mushroom lovers like me. Given two options, my vote would unfortunately still go to my mom's sweet yet flavourful chicken stew.

Spetzle, a bowl of odd looking flour lumps (and tasted like that), was given with the chicken stew.

Cavin's Term: DB Burger
Official Term: DB Burger

A burger that was the deciding factor to dine at DB bistro, this was basically (according to the website) "a Sirloin burger filled with braised short ribs and foie gras on a Parmesan bun".


Cut nicely into four separate pieces, each was a difficult mouthful of delicious juiciness!

While the thick medium-cooked patty was a marvelous piece of art, the tiny portion of foie gras in the middle gave at most a fleeting, almost unnoticeable moment for my taste buds! 

Cavin's Term: Chocolate Souffle
Official Term: Cladoutis Tout Chocolat

Authentic chocolate lovers will love this for the chocolatey bitterness i totally dislike! Life's already bitter enough for goodness sake!!! The vanilla ice cream on the side, however, was a total contrast to the souffle; a strong vanilla fragrance that was the best i have experienced!

I was anticipating hot chocolate flowing straight out of the cake with a slight poke of my fork but i took such a long time to take pictures; the chocolate had solidified slightly.

Cavin's Term: Ji Dan Gao
Official Term: Warm Madeleines

Given a reason to patronise DB bistro again, it would have to be their madeleines.

These shell-like pastries had a slightly crisp bite and were impossibly light tasting with a touch of zesty lemon.

By the time this last item arrived on our table, my stomach was at the point of bursting. That said, my right hand just could not resist taking one after another of these tiny cakes (numbering a total of 20) and popping them into my mouth!

That's how good they were! 

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The overall bill was surprisingly acceptable and given the ambience, service and location, i thought it was a pretty good deal!

My mom will definitely enjoy herself in DB Bistro even though her grasp of English is limited to only the alphabet.

Location
10 Bayfront Ave #B1-48
Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Pricing
Assiette Lyonnaise - S$26
Foie Gras Terrine - S$26
John Dory Bouillabaisse - S$38
Coq Au Vin - S$31
DB Burger - S$35
Cladoutis Tout Chocolat - S$15
Warm Madeleines - S$8

(Subject to Service Charge and GST)

Additional Information
There are a lot of 'first' i encountered in DB Bistro and one of them was the impeccable service!

Never in my thirty years of life had i received such attentive service from the service staff!

Almost forgot this complementary dessert from the chef! A slice of christmas cake that had chestnut and red bean filling!

A warm gesture for the Christmas season!





Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chatuchak Weekend Market @ Bangkok, Thailand

Every visitor to Bangkok will have heard of this world-famous market. Whack yourself (hard) on the head if you have ever been to Bangkok and yet have never stepped into this amazing shopping arena!

Seriously, Chatuchak (or Jatujak) Market is the highlight for any Bangkok trip!!! Most of us plan our holiday over the weekend just so that we can visit this humongous bazaar!

My feeling for this market is mixed; on one hand, i love Chatuchak because it's so large and allows me to roam through the thousands of stalls that sell a wide variety of almost everything at a fraction of the price back in Singapore. At times, there might even be budding entrepreneurs selling stuff not found anywhere else except Jatujak!

On the other hand, i hate Jatujak, as a confirmed trip there will guarantee a big hole in my pocket!! The daunting size of the market also means that i am likely to spend a day there and the tortuous result is nonetheless the absolute soreness of my legs!

Pictures pictures pictures!

Childishly colourful carrier bags at only 20 baht a piece (that's less than a Singapore dollar)!

Every now and then, an unlikely food stall will appear in the middle of nowhere. Not that i am complaining because it can be damn tiring and having something to bite is always welcome for Cavin!

Large sheets of colour papers used as wrappers for gifts!

Prefer wrappers with patterns? The whole shop was filled with piles and piles of them and you can have your pick!! Provided you don't see stars after 15 minutes.

Souvenirs for your family, friends and colleagues back home? These were really popular when i first stepped in to Chatuchak in 2007.

Retro tableware with the signature chicken that used to be so common in Singapore! Unless you are importing thousands of them, the fragility of these items makes it really torturing for individuals like me to bring it back to Singapore.

Dried cuttlefish that you can smell from a few shops away! Do you know that these cuttlefish are very delicious when you BBQ them??

Gaudy designs that were the rage ten to twenty years ago! My sister has a pair of shorts with similar design that stink my eyes whenever i see her wearing them.

Cute door labellers! I am gonna get this once i have my own house. Eh... That's provided i can still find the shop! Change is constant in Chatuchak and it can be difficult to remember the exact location of a shop!! Get a namecard if you know there will be a revisit! The section and unit number are prominently displayed (in bright yellow) outside each shop!

Food again? Hey, i may love food but there's only so much my stomach can hold!

This picture is a continuation from the one before. Have you guessed correctly? They are actually candles!

No idea what are the uses for these. However i thought they looked very pretty!

Loads of windchimes hanging from the ceiling! Mysterious instrument that could be so soothing in the daytime yet so scary at night.

The lanes can get really crowded! Keep your cool and just wait a while. People will eventually move! If you are impatient like me, walk into any of the shops beside you; something interesting might just catch your attention long enough.

Thousands of cups of various sizes, patterns, designs! There was even a mug that was way bigger than what i have in the office!

Tiny paper flower buds for your scrapbook. Scrapbook lovers will most likely spend hours in the shop! Thank god i have no interest in this time-consuming hobby!

Paintings that will brighten up any dull and ugly walls. I should have bought some for my office! Not that my luggage can afford the additional weight though.

Rows of bangles! Again, i am thanking god that i am male.

Antique-looking fans i will never bring back to Singapore! The current trend is danger-free bladeless fans (you can find them in Courts)!

Can never get enough of salted fish? Get this big one from Chatuchak!

Silver jewellery that only cost less than S$2.00 a piece. The best deal? Buy five pieces and you get one free. Too good to be true! Must be silver plated lah (i think)!

Need a clean helmet to replace that musty, smelly one you have back home! A big question mark on whether it is LTA approved or not.

What do you call these? Miniatures? Since young, i have a special affection for these stuff; small yet realistic! This interest could be due to the book "Gulliver's Travel".

Something as basic as a wooden spatula can be found in Chatuchak market! You won't believe it but my mom bought two of them for the kitchen! Sighz....

A shop full of scented candles! Aromatherapy has a very strong following in Thailand and you can find an extensive range of high quality products catering to this market.

Heard that growling stomach? Time to buy some snacks!

As it reaches the end of the day, you will see some shop owners dragging their wares onto the main street and selling them at a discounted price!

Beautifully crafted glass pens! Using it the traditional way by dipping the glass tip into a bottle of ink, i bought one plainly because of its unique design. My handwriting sucks big time.

Bags that looked like bulky radios! Fortunately, they are not suitable for my age.

The evening crowd that was still as enthusiastic in their shopping! Well, the main purpose of this picture is to inform all smokers that lighting up a ciggie in the area will attract a fine of 2,000 baht (look at banner)!

Sexy attire made entirely from seashells! Who will wear this? Your guess is as good as mine. :)

Lampshade from the pre-80s; it seems that anything before the 80s have a certain vibe to it!

A tired body is guaranteed after all the walking, looking, haggling! It's time for a traditional Thai massage in full view for everybody!

At the end of the day, it's not uncommon to see this view.

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I have hundreds of photographs taken in Chatuchak and only a small portion is published today! Another post on the pets section will be published soon!

Additional Information
Map of Chatuchak (Jatujak) Weekend Market
Getting to Chatuchak weekend market is very easy with public transportation. It’s within walking distance from Mo Chit station (BTS Skytrain) and Chatuchak Park MRT station.

What is considered a good time to visit Chatuchak? For me, it’s Saturday around 11.00 am.

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