Sunday, March 31, 2013

Bonjour, Au Petit Salut

My purported other life in cyberspace is supposedly a food-blogger. I've not found great fame & fortune in this line of 'work'; in fact, out of so many doctor-foodies that blog about food, I'm probably languishing in the bottom few positions. I'd lament about my lack of time till the cows come home, but the actual excuse is that, I'm often time too hungry by the time I reach a restaurant...thus the official explanation is that mua gobbled up the food before I could capture any photographs of it. The mortal sin of food-blogging? Yup. Tsk, tsk..I know.

Nevertheless, I managed to repent recently. Amidst my colleagues' chagrin (or embarassment), I managed to take photographs of food at this famous French restaurant called Au Petit Salut (APS). I think it's also partly due to the nature of French fine-dining - a lot of time chatting and absorbing the ambience while awaiting the arrival of good food. So, in tribute of fresh beginnings (it's Easter Sunday, a day of resurrection!), I've decided to be a lot more regular in my food blogging habits.

Back to APS. We went there to throw a farewell party for a much-cherished colleague who is about to return to KL as a 'tai-tai'. Of course, we will miss you J! Please come by to visit us in this little red spot! We'll surely bring you eat good food not available in KL one.

The 3-course set lunch in APS is priced at an affordable SGD36, with an appetizer, main and dessert (drinks & GST not included). Lunch-time business was brisk, judging by the almost-full house by 1pm. I suspected the clientele to be mostly groups of superbly-dressed housewives (from the nearby Orchard/Coronation area?) and sprinkled in some professional-looking lunch partners.

As I scrutinized the menu, I quickly decided for a coronary-clogging Burgundy snails with garlic butter and marrow - even the 'tulang' was kept as base/decor for the scrumptious escargots. This is by far the most popular appetizer among the 8 of us.Some of us literally took the plunge - mopping up the garlicky buttery sauce with the free-flow bread.  For once, I was 'disciplined/boring' enough not to do the same.

The other appetizer that caught my eye (but I didn't try) was this very pleasant-looking dish. J took this Spinach & Feta quiche, which is so huge that she was quite full by the time her mains arrived. From the satisfied grin on her face, I knew it was good.

My main dish was Roast Chicken cooked 'piperade a la Basquaise',a typical Basque dish available in many French restaurants. I like the 'healthy' sounding sauce and red/green peppers accompanying the dish. The chicken is, however, slightly bland and nondescript. I wouldn't order this again, once is enough. As compared to my previous poultry in APS, which is the duck confit, I think I much preferred the duck despite the calories+cholesterol.

One of my neighbours ordered the lamb shoulder and it was hearty & tasty. Each dish looks pretty 'small' in contrast to the huge plates, but the reality is that by the time we are halfway through the mains, most of us looked immensely post-prandial.

Thank God for light desserts..mine was fresh fruit salad infused with mint and served with mango-passion sorbet. It was the perfect ending for a really good meal for me.

The other neighbour ordered this pretty looking dessert that I frankly craved but had no guts to try (in view of the upcoming photoshoot sessions). I think it was the lemon-chocolate torte with sorbet. I'll probably try this the next time I'm here - b'coz apparently it tasted as good as it looks!

My verdict for the lunch is: 4/5 for ambience, 4/5 for affordability and 3.5/5 for taste - I guess I wasn't a fan of their poultry (chicken was ok, duck was a bit nicer when I had dinner there)

Address: Au Petit Salut, 40C Harding Road, Singapore 249548. Tel: 64751976. Online reservations available. I suggest calling ahead to book if you intend to drop by, as the crowd seemed to be picking up... 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Satisfying my right-brain

Return of the photographs.

Firstly, it was an eventful week. After a bout of food poisoning (no thanx to a certain Western food outlet in Holland, which I have banned from my list of eating-joints) and a day out of action, I've gotten my first rest day in ages (thoroughly away from the hospital for once).

Secondly, we decided to indulge on a bit of artsy-fartsy adventure. For the first time, we stepped into the sparkling clean art-gallery cum science museum nicknamed the "Welcoming Hand of Singapore". This hybrid of a lotus flower+human palm is also formally known as the ArtScience Museum, located strategically by the Marina Bay Sands. The price is ok for 2 adults (similar to the price of a movie ticket on a weekend). The entertainment and learning value: priceless.

One of the most evocative and philosophical piece is this grey sculpture greeting us near the entrance. Entitled "Hands", it's literally every artist (and surgeons) nightmare.

On the other hand, the vibrant "Yellow" screamed out "look at me! I'm pouring my heart out in all that I do. Can't you see that I'm trying my best." It's one of Nathan Sawaya's most famous pieces, highly featured in magazines, news portal, etc.

"Swimmer" is only seen above water thus we are free to interpret whatever goes beneath the water level. Although replica of a human form, it looks strangely like a blue Lego-alien.

This is a very good 'collaborative' piece as it's made from thousands of donated Lego bricks forming a multicoloured "Peace". I would say this is a very cheerful, hopeful piece.

More human-inspired sculptures greeted us as we walked deeper into the exhibition hall. Does this "Thinker" remind you guys of something in London Tate? Yes, you are gazing at a pixelated tribute to Rodin

And one more cutesy "Ladder" to sum up the various art forms inspired by human body.

Aside from 3D sculptures, Mr Sawaya also made 2D portrait from Lego bricks. This is a picture of B Dylan entitled Bob. Notice the resemblance? It's in this section whereby we can also made 2D portraits of ourselves. Interactive displays for children of all ages, u see...

This "pencil" sculpture is taller the artist. Not only the bricks are wonderful art pieces when put into a genius' hands, what's also quite amazing is that post-construction, he uses special glue to keep the bricks in place. Somehow the Lego remained in position through it all - cranky lorry drivers, air turbulence, cargo planes, children's hands. Yup, has to be once special secret glue to keep it altogether.

Another quirky piece inspired by a musician friend of the artist. Notice the perfectly spherical globe behind? Astounding! Creating a globe out of rectangular bricks is indeed spectacular!

AH, and the final piece-de-resistance, the sculpture that occupied one entire hall by itself..the Tyrannosaurus made out of 80,020 Lego pieces. Mr Sawaya spent one whole summer concocting this marvellous piece and we really sat down and feasted our eyes upon this piece for some time in tribute to his masterpiece.

And finally, my verdict on "The Art of The Brick" : catch it in Singapore before it's gone by mid May 2013! You'll definitely enjoy it if you are a Lego devotee like yours truly...

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