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One thing that stood up from the moment I stepped into GAIA was their impeccable service. The team of waiters and waitresses would greet you on your way to your table. At your table, bread and water were served quickly. The toilet is another feature to rave about. Food wise, the best dish was the grilled cod.
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The specially designed menu during the Restaurant Week was particularly tempting and we visited with highly anticipative spirits. Greeted by excellent service upon arrival and guided right till we got our seats, it was quite an impression made from the start. We were then welcomed with these crackers and bread before our dishes were served.
I would have preferred it more if the bread were slightly toasted prior to serving, in order to retain the crispness and soft warm insides. It was a tad stale by the time we'd tried it but I enjoyed the bread crust that was slightly more toasted and remained crisp.
Veal tenderloin with warm tuna sauce and crispy capers Coming as a starter, I found the tuna sauce too overpowering that it masked the veal tenderloin that was supposed to be the star of the dish. It was a tad too strong to start with, though the celery slices helped add a refreshing touch to it. This wasn't exactly to our liking but we were impressed with their staff's service in noting that and took the initiative in making special arrangements for us.
Grilled Hokkaido scallops in saffron cream with a dash of coffee powder
Off the original menu, their manager Ian arranged for this as a replacement. I'm a fan of scallops and this certainly won me over. Grilled to perfection with a viscous saffron cream, the savouriness was enhanced by the coffee powder that gave just a slight bitter edge to it, yet a heavenly combination. This was one that I could not get enough of for sure!
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Let's start with the good things. Service at Gaia is amazing. We were asked a number of times how the food was, and they were responsive to our every desire.
A pity the food let the service staff down so badly. The dinner started with Tuna carpaccio. The tuna had been so marinated in watermelon juice, anyone with their eyes closed would not be able to tell the difference between the tuna and the watermelon. And no, the texture would not have helped any.
The second course of cream soup was a bit.... duh. I would have liked a fresh breadstick but it was alright.
The third course of pasta in a meat sauce is more american than sicilian. Interestingly, the sauce was watery but the pork was dry. Not sure how they did that.
The fourth course of cod fish was a mistake on my part. I could smell the fish before the waiter even came near our table. Creamed potatoes in a very rich lobster bisque-like sauce didn't help. It was cream on cream with dry overcooked and frankly, not so fresh fish.
The dessert course proved the best part of the meal. Well, the ice cream did. The strudel was soggy and stodgy instead of being light and flaky.
Quite a disappointment all around. How bad was it? Let's just say, I returned their discount card.
For a full run-down of my dining experience at Gaia, please visit:
Dining at Tatsuya recently, I noted this restaurant nearby and made a mental note to check it out one of these days - and that day happened to be yesterday when I was looking for a place to dine for my Sunday date night.
The setting is a fine dining environment with a pleasant setting with the use of the flow of water to create a really peaceful vibe.
Down to the food, I tried the tomato soup ($14). One could taste the thickness of the roasted tomato. I did not quite fancy the anchovies after-taste though which can be create a temporary salty shock to the palette.
From the cheese menu I tried the Burrata ($26), which I found to be a little wet due to the surrounding condensation on the cheese.
From the pasta menu I tried the Linguine Astice ($32), a Boston Lobster linguine. The pasta was executed fine - al dente but I found the lobster to be a little stale with a slight salt-water after taste.
The dish of the day though had to be the squid ink Risotto ($28). This was a well executed dish with the rice cooked to perfection - chewy with a slight sea-water after taste with chopped scallops and prawns to compliment the food. Definitely a must try here.
For desserts, I had the chocolate lava cake ($14), which was really thick and had lots of chocolate oozing from it.
The food was above average and what really stood out was the service - which was excellent. No up-selling, staff that are ready to serve and offering of ice water when I declined "still" ( a rarity in a fine dining establishment) definitely helped make the dining experience a lot better. Prices are also very fair for a place like this.