Braise - A collaborative effort between Loh Lik Peng of Hotel 1929 and New Majestic Hotel and Chef Sebastian Ng of Ember Restaurant that opened in March 2008. Helmed by Chef Desmond Lee, who had stints at Raffles Hotel, Saint Julien and the now defunct Fig Leaf as well as an attachment with celebrity Chef Gordan Ramsay, this modern European restaurant offers classic French food with a modern lift.
Sitting pretty on the 2nd level of an old monorail station along Palawan beach, Braise plays neighbour to Amara Sanctuary's Silk Road of the Sea, which is located on the ground floor. The interior of Braise is nothing short of breathtaking, offering a splendid view of the surrounding Palawan beach through floor to ceilings windows throughout the entire place - very reminiscent of a green house actually. Temperatures are kept to a comfortable low through the use of powerful airconditioning. Essentially the place offers the best of both worlds - bright and cheery with a view in the comfort of an airconditioned environment.
The complimentary bread was served warm and had bits of herbs in it, coming across as crusty on the outside while soft on the outside. Overall a mildly flavourful piece of dough that saw me asking for seconds.
Pressed Duck and Potato Terrine with Mix Greens and Balsamic Onion - Wrapped up with a flimsy layer of lettuce, the duck had a lightly salted smokey aftertaste that went well with the smoothness of the potato. Subtly pleasing to the tastebuds but not exactly my idea of a fantastic appetiser though as it failed to open up my appetite.
Pan Seared Foie Gras, Lentils Fricassee and Red Wine Sauce - I would gladly sacrifice my health for another piece of this foie gras. Though smallish, the foie gras was pan seared till the exterior was a tad crisp yet remaining soft and quivery on the inside. Equally outstanding was the lentil stew with red wine sauce which lent its savouries to the foie gras and created one of the best foie gras dishes I've had this year.
Turkey Breast, Braised Vegetables, Honey Spiced Sauce - Turkey, especially the breast portion, tends to be associated with toughness. However Braise's rendition was, on the contrary, surprisingly tender without losing its fibrous texture. A pity the sauce was a little lacklustre, coming across merely as a little sweet from the honey.
Venison with Braised Vegetables, Cassis Sauce - Believe it or not, this is the first time I'm having venison in a non Chinese restaurant and I am suitably impressed with what Braise presented. Well seasoned and grilled till the meat retained but a nice pinkish hue, it tasted rather similar to a well done piece of steak, albeit more tender. Buttery overtones carrying a pepperish tinge complemented the sweetness of the meat and left me lamenting about the portion size. The only gripe I had about this dish was the sauce, which tasted like cough syrup to me.
Tout Chocolate Combination - Comprising a scoop of chocolate ice cream topped with chocolate balls, a slice of chocolate cake and chocolate mousse on a biscuit base, this dessert didn't exactly involve much aesthetics and looked rather haphazard if you ask me. However, I must say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. The chocolate ice cream was smooth and more bitter then sweet (great for those who don't like too sweet stuff) with the chocolate balls giving it an extra crunch. The sponge layers on the cake were moist and compact while the chocolate layers gelled everything together for a nice and simple chocolate cake. As for the mousse, it had a nice bitter hazelnut taste on a crunchy biscuit base.
Vanilla Creme Brulee, Figs, Passion Fruit Sorbet - I thought that the creme brulee was quite decent save for the fact that the sugar layer was overly thick. Made from real vanilla beans, as evident by the black vanilla seeds in the pudding, this dessert didn't overwhelm with its sweetness and had a smooth and almost creamy texture. The passion fruit sorbet provided the sourish contrast to the pudding's sweetness, allowing for a more varied taste sensation.
Lunch for 2 almost broke the bank at $93 after a $4 discount from some promotion that Sentosa is currently running in which diners will be reimbursed for their entrance fee to the island if they dine at certain F&B outlets. Having said that, I see this amount as money well spent for the quality of food, ambience and service. A revisit to this charming little restaurant beckons. This time under the moon's pale glow of course.
See all my pictures here.
It was a day of celebration, a celebration of me and my gf's 1 year anniversary together that we decided to patronize a recommendation by my boss. The location was good, nestled in the middle of Sentosa with practically no one around to bother us. Still, it was with trepidation that we went since i've heard no other accounts of a good visit to the place due to its relatively infant start. Loving adventure and the unknown, we went ahead.
Here's a place that gives the impression of being miles away from your troubles and cares of the world. Calm, clean white covers most surfaces with glass walls and sleekly varnished tables and chairs. The view is equally enticing with the palawan beach spread before your eyes and your date. Its an ambiance that reinvigorates in the afternoon and energizes in the evening.
Its not in my thoughts or habit to order drinks in a swanky restaurant but then again, i couldn't stinge on a date like this i suppose. The end result is that we ordered 2 fruit punches which could have bought me about 6 fruit punches elsewhere. To be fair, it is rather good, being well balanced in sweetness and sourness but its still an expensive drink.
The complimentary bread was served warm with a nice aroma which reminds me fondly of pizza. Upon opening it, there are small granules of cheese and some chili thrown in for good measure. The crust is crispy while the inside was soft and warm. Not a bad start.
Pan seared foie gras, banana chutney and chocolate sauce - Doesn't this just look delightful? Who could resist foie gras anyway? Not me. This rendition was seared crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth on the inside. The gripe here is that the foie gras itself, had a layer of salt on it and the "chocolate sauce" tasted more like soya sauce which meant it was extremely salty overall. The banana managed to lessen the taste but i wonder if they actually poured the wrong sauce on this? It could have been so much better if the sauce was sweet. Even with this gripe, the foie gras was still done well.
Pamma Ham, Scallops and Rocket Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing - I had a piece of the scallop in pamma ham and it was delightful. Light, sweet and fresh tasting, its easily taken and liked. Though the scallop could have been more plentiful and the dressing as well. The lack of honey dressing left a bitter taste on the rocket salad actually.
Pan Roasted Pork Belly with Savoy Cabbage and Spiced Port Sauce - This is a worthy main course. Don't be fooled by its rather oily and fatty appearance. What you get with each bite is melt in your mouth tasty meat (and fats of course) but sinning has never felt better. Crispy pork belly that actually tastes salty and sweet at the same time. This is definitely something to try. The savoy cabbage is light and manages to neutralize a bit of the aftertaste that the pork leaves behind. Still, this was pretty darn good.
Roasted Cod with Ratatouille and Basil Dressing - My gf had this. Simply put, it looks amazing. 2 fine sized cod pieces between servings of ratatouille and sprinkled with basil sauce. Subject to the taste test however, and it falls flat. Amidst all the colors, i was unable to find much flavor in the roasted cod. In fact, it was also less tender and soft then any other cod dishes i've tried. The ratatouille was also lackluster in taste but at least it tasted fresh.
Cheese Platter - I was rather surprised with the menu when i saw the cheese platter as a choice for dessert. So, i decided to try it out just to know how it actually tastes like. The platter came with a variety of choices including blue cheese, cheddar and a few others i can't quite remember but the one thing i do remember is...i'll never have blue cheese...ever again. The taste is indescribably unpleasant. Stay away from this unless you have an acquired taste for it.
Cinnamon apple tart with cinnamon ice cream ($14) - Sweet! Sweet sweet and sweet! Sugar icing, mashed apples soaked in syrup and crumbles adorn this sweet dessert. The tart was served warm and crispy with a pleasant fragrance. In fact, it tastes pretty good until you mix it up with the cinnamon ice cream which tipped the scales from bearably sweet to excruciatingly so. Without the ice cream, this is one dessert thats easy to recommend.
Chocolate Lave Cake with Hazelnut Ice Cream - I expected this to be good but it turned out only average. The reason for this is the rather thick layer for the crust and the unmelted chocolate which definitely did not flow like lava. But bigger then this gripe is the weird pairing choice, chocolate lava (bitter) with hazelnut ice cream (equally bitter). And to add insult to injury, the hazelnut ice cream tasted more like coffee ice cream to me which thus resulted in one of the most bitter desserts i've ever had. Improvement definitely needed.
The total bill this time came to $131.85 for 2 people. Acceptable but not for the quality of food i had.
There's potential here for sure. The serene location and open space gives the customer a santuary away from the bustles of life. Yet, the pairing quality and the preparation of fish needs a definite improvement. Otherwise, this becomes perpetually, a place which has potential but lacks substance.
Our Anniversary, My BF bring me to Braise for Lunch, as he heard that the food was not bad.
I like the place setting, everything looks white. It seems like a grasshouse. It air-con place.
We order 1 Braise Exec Lunch & 1 Braise Exec Lunch Special, 2 glass of Fruit Punch & 1 Ala Clat Cinnamon Apple Tarte.
While waiting for the food to be serve. They gave us complietary bread. The bread taste a bit like pizza. Can taste it has some spices and cheese. Not too hard and it nice.
2 Glass of Fruit Punch $12.00
The fruit punch nothing special but still ok.
Braise Exec Lunch Special $48
Pan Seared Foie Gras, Banana Chutney and Chocolate sauce. The Foie Gras were cripsy, a bit oily and salty. It goes well with the sauce. Not sure about the banana as I didn't try. Not bad dish.
1 Main Course
Roasted Pork Belly with Savoy Cabbage and Spiced Port Sauce. I usually don't eat pork belly as I scared of the fats. But, this pork belly was good. It has more meat and less fats. Not too oily too. The cabbage were sweet and nice, there is taste of ham. It goes well with the sauce. Nice Dish.
Selection of Cheese Platter. It has 5 different flavours of cheese servced with lots of greens, raisins, dry fruits and some biscults. Sorry not too sure what flavours of cheese they served but we both agree that the blue cheese were not nice. I don't really feel cheese platter served as desset.
Braise Exec Lunch $38
Pamma ham, Scallops and Rocket Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing. Ham wrap around the scallops. The Ham taste a bit salty but it goes well with the scallops. The rocket salad with honey balsamic dressing were nice too.
1 Main Course
Roasted Cod Fish with Ratatoulie and Basil Dressing. The Cod Fish were fresh. Ratatoulie has lots of vegetables. There is cucumber, green, red, yellow pepper. This dish was not bad. But not really that nice.
Chocolate Lava Cake with Hazelnut Ice-cream. The Chocolate were served warm it not too sweet taste a bit better. But, when you eat it with the ice-cream it get more bitter. i feel they have served us the coffee ice-cream. But, I still find the dessert is nice. If they served it with vanila or chocolate chips ice-cream maybe it will be much better.
1 Ala Cart Dessert
Cinnamon Apple Tarte with Vanila Ice-Cream. In between the tarte there is apple. The Tarte is cripsy. Cinnammon taste not too strong. It goes well with the ice-cream. Not bad.
Service was not that bad. But, I still feel the price is a bit too high.
Total Bill: $131.85 (Including 10% Service charge & 7% GST)
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