Dinner at NUSS Guild House (Bukit Timah)

22nd May 2010. Written By Mu Yao.

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Well, dinner here basically happened through being my mum's personal assistant for her 25th anniversary class reunion, and I had to come here to do personal errands for her. She was class rep for her class, hence the job of collecting money from everyone fell on me. At least the food was great though! Even though the company was honestly quite boring. How exciting are a bunch of chemical engineers talking amidst a clueless art student? Not terribly exciting. And how often do you meet exciting 50-70 year olds? Not very often either.

The place in itself was something like an exclusive clubhouse (which it was), with a nice airy patio at the back, placed in one of those charming colonial villas in the sprawling grounds of the prestigious NUS Law campus. Hmmm, reeks of history (and *cough* elitism). Heh. The interior was fairly well decorated, but nothing wonderfully spectacular either. It simply looked quite comforting, with pleasant surroundings to enjoy your food in.

So yes, dinner was a 4 course affair, with a thoughtfully placed intermezzo in between the 2nd course. Oh, there was wine too. We all had this Chilean Cab Sauvignon (recent vintage, probably 09). Wasn't spectacular or even good, but it had a strong burnt flavour of burnt cherries with a full body, so it went quite well with the heavier dishes. Surprisingly tart. And of course, being a wine from Chile, it was expectedly spicy.

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The Salmon Carpaccio With Truffle Salsa & Salad

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The Flamed Wagyu Tataki with Truffle Shoyu & French Shallots


For starters, we had Salmon Carpaccio with truffle Salsa & Petite Salad, as well as the Flamed Wagyu Tataki with Truffle Shoyu & French Shallots. First up, the Salmon Carpaccio.

The dish itself looked pretty okay, nothing to write up about the unpretentious presentation. Salmon tasted quite good - very tender texture, meaning that there was a pretty decent amount of fat in the meat, and it was quite fresh (or rather, the fishiness was heavily masked by the strong amounts of olive oil and the taste of the truffle salsa). The salsa in itself was a refreshingly bright complement to the carpaccio, although the truffle taste was surprisingly absent, only a slight accent. Overall, it was quite satisfying and well-executed, even though it was a little heavy on the olive oil, and I had the annoying amounts of oil smeared over my mouth. Rawr.

I tried my mum's Flamed Wagyu Tataki, and found it much better. The truffle shoyu had a lovely salty zing to complement the slight gameness and tenderness of the beef. The beef itself had a well balanced taste, meaning there was right amounts of fibrous muscle interwoven with the very thin strips of fat, creating a nice complex salty meat taste. The saltiness of this dish was in turn very well complemented by the zingy, tangy, fresh spring flavour of the shallots , as the slight tartness provided a welcome refuge to the salty nature of both the shoyu and the beef. :) Very, very sublime, lovely. mmmm.

(In case you do realise why I'm getting so detailed, it was because I was highly bored and couldn't find anything else better to do then to take notes down on my food).

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Next course came the Truffle Infused Cep & Morrel Mushroom Soup, which was a delight for the mushroom lover (me). There was quite a bit of the truffle taste, but I would have liked more of it to come through. Otherwise, the viscosity of this soup was quite pleasant, and the taste was wholesome, complex and fulfilling. It tastes like a good ol' homemade gourmet mushroom soup from Southern France. Slightly Summery. Oh, and I loved the bits and chunks of morrel mushrooms that were inside! Absolutely enhanced the texture. I would highly recommend adding pepper to this, for it provides a nice zingy tang to the otherwise gelak flavour of this soup after awhile.

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I was honestly quite surprised at the arrival of this intermezzo. It tasted like some green apple/lime/lemon sherbet (didn't ask), and there was some honey jelly thing at the bottom, with I didn't have a clue what it was. I thought this was a nice touch, scored extra points with me at least! wooo hoo.

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The Grilled Aussie Tenderloin with Cep & Morrel Mushroom Cream Sauce.

Next up was the mains! I had ordered the Grilled Australian Tenderloin with Cep & Morrel Mushroom Sauce, while my mum had her Oven Seared Spiced Chicken with Portobello Mushroom, Duck Liver and Port Wine Sauce.

My tenderloin arrived on a bed of lovely summer vegetables, and unlike the soup, the sauce tasted quite light. Light saltiness, and I could smell a bit of olive oil (which must be quite strong coz i had a blocked nose). The tenderloin itself was on the tough-dry side, even though I asked for a medium (It looked more medium well to me). But nevertheless, it was still tender enough to be considered tenderloin (haha), and there was not too much of a gamey flavour, which I liked. The whipped potatoes were an excellent complement to the possibly gelak taste of this dish. Eat too much of this, you'll feel sian. Lucky I had wine also (like most cab sauvignons, this complements beef well).

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I tried my mum's over-seared chicken next. Wow. There was this lovely homecooked, homely flavour to this chicken which I couldn't put my finger to. The spices provided quite a faint accent to add to the lovely aroma of the chicken, and the chicken, even though it was near the breast part, was still surprisingly tender (although a little fibrous). Again, a very wholesome complex flavour, just enough saltiness without being too overwhelming, and it balanced the strong taste of the port mushrooms very well. I loved the mushrooms personally, because it tasted fantastic because of the texture! The oven roasted vegetables (like the potatoes) were also nicely seasoned. This tasted like a very fulfilling old English Christmas/Thanksgiving dinner. Heh. This was a dish very well done!

Last up, was dessert!

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Ice Mocha Tiramisu With Wild Berries

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The Coconut Custard with Black Glutinous Rice topped with Rose Espuma & Coconut Ice Cream!

I had this Ice Mocha Tiramisu With Wild Berries (and a sherbet) while my mum had a Coconut Custard with Black Glutinous Rice topped with Rose Espuma & Coconut Ice cream. The former was pretty nice, but not extraordinary like the latter dessert. The Mocha tiramisu didn't taste of mocha - more like chocolate. It tasted like any typical tiramisu you get at those hotel bakeries. Well done fundamentally, but nothing exciting. However, what was good was the excellent tartness and the refreshing nature of the wild berry compote and sherbet that provided a nice contrast and balance of taste to the creamy sweetness of the tiramisu itself.

The latter was divine. I shan't say more, but to say that all the ingredients in the cup was extremely well balanced, with such a beautiful explosion of flavours in your mouth. Sweet, homely bliss, with the nostalgic local flavours of coconut and black glut. rice that made the texture very very fulfilling. I was never a big fan of coconut, but I think I'm a changed man after this. At the side was this sweet coconut cake that smelt lovely and complemented this dessert well. The biscuit stick on that thing was really good as well! :) Loved this, probably the best dish of this evening.

All in all, the food really made my otherwise boring evening much more exciting and happy. Good food really makes you happy, even without company. That was how good the food was. The bill was around 65+++ a person, which isn't too bad for such lovely food and pretty good service. (attentive, not intrusive). I would definitely come here again - great atmosphere, good good, and best of all, that sense of humble, unpretentiousness that forces you take the food seriously for what its worth. :)




TECHNICAL INFORMATION:
Address: 1F Cluny Road, NUSS Guild House (Bukit Timah)
Contact No.: 6779 1811
Website: http://www.nuss.org.sg/web/viewarticle.aspx?id=1577
Operating Hours: (unknown)



4 comments:

  1. Wow, rose, coconut and black glutinous rice is such a novel combination! I still can't imagine how it tastes like xD

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  2. looks gorgeous! but the aftertaste of that disastrous hi-tea some time back still lingers :/

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  3. lol i thought the high tea was okay but the coffee was =/. They seemed to perform better in the proper meals though.

    ReplyDelete

 

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