Saturday, July 29, 2006

my birthday @ ember.

Restaurant Ember
Hotel 1929
50 Keong Saik Road
Tel: 6347 1928

I love Julys cos it's birthday month! I never realised that I knew so many people with birthdays in July until this year. As I grow older, I realise that my bday celebrations go on longer. Actually having a bday is just an excuse to go on an eating spree; trying new restaurants, having good food.. So let's see. Bday celebrations kicked off last Friday with colleagues at Black Angus, Sat was at Patara Thai, Sunday was at Imperial Treasure Teochew and the actual day, Monday was at Ember! Well, then last night was at Mee Doo Korean with pals... It was good fun; catching up with friends, sampling the good food.

So I finally managed to try Ember! I remember getting to know about this restaurant through an ex-colleague. We were on our way to 'da pao' some beef horfun and he pointed out that I should try the food at Ember as we drove past. Well, I never got down to doing it cos there were too many new places to try! So this time, I made D book a table there so I could finally find out what the rave reviews were about.

Restaurant Ember is run by Chef Sebastian Ng and his wife Sabrina. Sebastian Ng used to be the chef at Pierside, a restaurant located at One Fullerton which is part of the Marmalade Group. He apparently won Best Rising Chef at the World Gourmet Summit before so of course, you'd expect the food to be pretty good.

Food's somewhat modern Italian with a little Asian influence here and there. Not sure if my classification is correct but see below for the food review and you'll know what I mean. I liked the cosy ambience although D thought otherwise. The restaurant's pretty small actually, just a small extension of Hotel 1929. All in all, it's the kind of place that I'd go back to over and over again for it's fuss free food and affordable prices. D & I had full courses without wine and ended up with a $120 bill which I thought seemed pretty ok. Pictures weren't really taken well but thought I'd share them anyways...

- D's M e n u -

Spiced Crab Cake with Sweet and Spicy Sauce
An American favourite. I'm not sure if it follows the same recipe although I doubt it cos this version was heavily spiced. It had a bit too much spices for my liking. Sauce was nice but it wasn't anything unique. Just tasted like improved Thai chilli sauce. D said that my version of the crabcake was comparable! Made me so happy that night... Here's a peek of the crabcake I made before.

I got the recipe for my crab cake from It's really a good recipe and I should share it sometime. OK but now back to Ember.

Seafood Linguine with Clam Jus
It was a bit funny that night when we ordered this. Supposedly, they used clam jus but ran out of clams for the pasta itself. Not that it did matter anyway. I think D enjoyed this course although he still fondly remembers and likes the seafood pasta we had at the now-defunct Canteen better. It was still good though.

Warm Valrhona Bitter Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
This was delicous! I think I've mentioned before. I'm not the biggest chocolate fan but this really took the cake (forgive my pun). The chocolate was not too sweet, the cake was soft and the chocolate was rich and oozing out from the sides of the cake. A must-try if you're a chocolate fan.

- S o o k ' s M e n u -

Angel Hair Pasta with Sakura Ebi
This was my favourite! I've never tried Sakura Ebi before and I loved the saltiness of it against the lightness of the pasta. I think D wanted to take the whole share of it cos he loved it so much as well.

Chilean Sea Bass with Porcini Mushrooms & Bacon Ragout
I think this complemented my first course well. I wasn't sure about having fish on a Monday cos you know there's this supposed rule that seafood comes in only on certain days but it turned out ok. The porcini mushrooms with the I-can't-make-out-what's-in-it sauce was salty but delicious!

Warm Banana Tart with Homemade Lavender Ice Cream
Yes. I had lavendar ice cream. A little queer but surprisingly refreshing. A bit like aromatherapy in my mouth. Although I think the banana tart was a overbaked, it was still quite good. Except that if it wasn't so "baked", I would have tasted more of the bananas. Good end to the evening though.

I must commend on their service cos I thought the service staff were very attentive. The food was served at a nice speed too so at least I didn't feel like I had to rush through dinner. I loved the ambience. The food's good although not WOW! But yup... I'm definitely going back again.

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