Saturday, May 24, 2008

T8 Restaurant & Bar

After our aperitif at dr bar, we walked over to T8 Restaurant & Bar. One of 'THE' restaurants at Xin Tien Di. The first impression you get when you enter the restaurant is the fusion of east & west. Dark wood floors, asian touches in decor, dark steel panels, chic lighting fixtures that makes everyone look good (I like that).

We were greeted with VIP status because the friends I was with, know the restaurant manager and they often dine at T8. Of course, I never complain when people want to treat me like a VIP. We were led to our table and the first thing I noticed was the huge modern open kitchen, with bar style dining so you can watch the chefs in action.

We were escorted to our table, which was close to the bar. While waiting for our food, individual freshly baked bread came out, which were devine. Since, we were so hungry, we truly enjoyed the crispy top of the breads and the soft interiour of the breads. We were happy eating and talking when, the amuse bouche came out. A chemistry cylinder filled with beet root salad & horse radish foam. It was amazing; if you closed your eyes, it was actually like eating a fresh beet root & horse radish.

The wine we drank was Chateau Gigognan 2004 from Cote du Rhone. A nice wine that was full of fruit and spices. A very nice beginning for the evening. Well, we ordered another bottle to last to the end of the evening as well.

The first appetizer was Tatakiof sesame crusted tuna on carpaccio of daikon radish & black caviar. A beautiful presentation of tuna and radish, it was almost a piece of art. The tuna was so fresh and tasty and the radish added an asian element but was not over powering the tuna. A great starter. The second appetizer was fois gras parfait, crispy marnier sugar, brioche, coriander and granny smith apple. Another beautiful presentation, almost Zen like, simple and delicate. The fois gras was cooked perfectly (a difficult task), the brioche which was soft and sweet was a nice accompaniment for the fois gras. The whole combination was a hit.

The third appetizer was Sichuan seared king prawns, octopus compote, garlic cream and crab spring roll. Another amazing dish, the sauce was rich and spicy, the tiger prawn was fresh and not over cooked. Luckily my friend was trying not to over do it with the carbohydrates, so I had to eat his coconut infused rice with the left over sauce. It was a difficult job, but sometimes, you just have to help friends out by eating all their food.

Since, my friends were friends of the establishment, T8 decided to offer us an extra dish on the house. Which turned out to be a fantastic dish. It was a white asparagus soup with cray fish & tangerine. All I can say about this soup was, 'WOW'. Amazing richness & creaminess, but not heavy. The taste of white asparagus was so obvious. I am sure this dish was very deadly for my cholesterol and heart. But, what's life about if you cannot enjoy soups like this.

The first main course was seared 'poussin roti' with kohirabi rissotto, hoi-sin pine nuts and rehydrated figs. The poussin was roasted to perfection. The meat was falling of the bone. The rissotto was cooked al-dente and the unique combination of flavours surely made the italian rice more asian. The second main course was slow cooked lamb and Sichuan high pie, yellow curry & coriander bisque. I have had a lot of dishes in my time, but this was a knock out. The dough was a lovely crispy shell (though to thick) and the filling was an unbelievable lamb that was slow cooked (I have no idea how long they cooked it for, but the lamb just melted in your mouth). The yellow curry was rich and spicy and added a nice touch.

The side dishes were snow peas, shallot dressing with almond topping. The other side dish was spinach stir fry with asian flavours and topped with red chillies.

No desserts were needed. We were so stuffed. But were delightfully happy with our dinner. After dinner, the manager asked if I wanted to see the rest of the restaurant. I took a tour and the restaurant is so amazingly designed. This is a place that needs another visit by me. I want to try all the other dishes.

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