Mini Cod Burger & Crab Dumplings
Food tasting sessions are probably some of the best dinners ever to have. Not only do you get to eat good food, but you also get to meet fellow foodies congregating together in one packed restaurant where everyone has a common interest one way or another.
Today’s dinner brought me to Cafe Oliv, where the SistaFooD girls hosted their first food tasting gathering. The crowd consisted of close friends, family and also food bloggers such as Brad (LadyIronChef) and Harris (The Simplest Aphrodisiac). For many of us, it was our first time at Cafe Oliv, and many were anticipating to that fine piece of Brownie topped with ice cream which was so much raved about!
Just a note, our dishes are all “tasting portions” so the amount you see is smaller than what you will get if you order it from the menu. Also, many of the dishes are new creations and may not be available currently. So for now, feast your eyes on the gracious delight. Chef and Owner Kelvin was also at hand to serve, cook and explain to us the exquisiteness and style of each dish.
Tender goodness of the Lamb Shank
The most prominent dish of the day would to my opinion be the Lamb Shank. Extremely tender, with the meat oh so crumbly in the mouth. It was tasty yet almost neutral in touch, complementing well with the subtle hint of lamb that shrieks delight when the thin layer of fat hits the tongue. The best part? Pair each slice of meat with the thick mushroom infused sauce to reveal a savoury and delightful combination!
$18.90 grabs you a huge chunk with the bone on it and a dallop of smooth mashed potatoes.
Garlic Butter Mushroom Escargot (not in menu, different version available)
This was my first time indulging in escargots. As we were told by Kelvin, the snails were marinated for over a day in a hearty butter sauce, heavy liquor and wine. I found it to be a bit oily because of the glaze of olive oil and the texture was really meaty and chewy. Interesting flavour and as I was told by Harris, the ones which are not as well marinated can really have an “acquired taste”. Oh well, I guess snails and garlic must go together.
Hokkaido Sea Scallop with Asparagus
The Hokkaido Sea Scallop with Asparagus is going to be a permanent item on the menu. Huge chunks of scallops were lightly glazed over a pan for the sear of golden brown in a smack of buttery goodness. There was a fresh and lingering scent of the sea with a slightly heavy musky aftertaste of butter and asparagus. I only wished they used sea salt as a finishing touch instead of the ordinary pan salt.
This is no time to take out your fork and spoon. Just pile it up and use your fingers!
Mini Cod Burgers are found as part of the menu and it was actually a dish requested to be made by Dr. Leslie Tay (ieatishootipost) The slices of fresh cod are marinated for slightly over an hour in a heavy teriyaki sauce and then later broiled to perfection. It was a little salty and sweet but definitely infused with a delightful umami sensation.
Imagine slices of bacon wrapped around a warm roll of compact savoury rice and drizzled with a smattering of light mayonnaise. I found the bacon slices to tear away easily on each bite while carrying a taste of saltiness and heartiness. Unfortunately, the rice was also a little too salty for its own good and salt plus salt equals to more salt. Hmmm..perhaps it would be good to place a slice of lettuce beside to soften the taste?
Crab Dumplings – Looks good, looks only.
Out came the chopsticks and spoon and something told me a very Chinese inspired dish was going to come up. True enough, Crab Dumplings (not in menu) were served in threes with a saucer of chilli padi soya sauce. I took the first bite in the dumpling and was impressed with its juciness. Sadly, the meaty filling within was a little too salty for my liking. I think its best to not dip it in the soya sauce provided as that would almost be pertinent to sending alarm bells ringing throughout the entire body.
Olive Crab Cake
The Olive Crab Cake (Not in menu)
is basically a dish made out of crab meat, minced pork belly, herbs and spices together with a dip of melted cheddar cheese sauce. It was a tad salty but not too bad with the myriad of spices mixed together. A unique blend of flavours especially with that cheddar cheese dip!
Beef Kebabs – Heavily Charcoal Grilled by hand!
Now these were good. The beef kebabs were charcoal grilled to tenderness, and it simply was mouthwatering when each bite revealed the smoky flavours embroidered within. It was juicy with a sharp grilled skin that complemented well with the meaty mushroom brown sauce. Nice!
The much awaited prize of the day, Brownie with Ice Cream. Tingle your tastebuds with the warm soothing heavy chocolate brownie with a crisp and iced creamy spoonful of vanilla ice cream dusted with chocolate powder. Dip into the centre and indulge in the nutty interior. Ooo….perfection. I like the way in which “hot” and “cold” can go so well with each other.
On an overall perspective, Cafe Oliv offers an affordable dining experience in a quick, no hassle ambience and environment. The restaurant was a little small though with the 15 of us all packed in one long table.
Though the food served up today was a mix of both exceptionally good to “that was a little way bit too salty”, I would say that those that were not so good have to undergo some refining before a proper introduction. Other than that, the stalwarts of the menu like the Lamb Shank and Brownie with Ice Cream are definite delights and is a must order each time Cafe Oliv assumes the sole position of your mind.
Apart from which, it was great meeting everyone and especially my fellow food bloggers. Now let’s see what next adventure shall I conquer tomorrow to satisfy and complete my weekend!
Till then =)
220 East Coast Road
Tel : 6344 3114 Lamb Shank a die die must try!!!
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