Wednesday, April 25

Vineyard @ HortPark

Last weekend, we hopped out of our comfort zone (read: Orchard Road) and trooped down to Vineyard @ HortPark ( for lunch. We were there to try out their food as we are thinking of organizing a dinner event there for a very special someone. As such, I might be harsher than usual - otherwise, we will have 37 unhappy people to answer to that evening and 1 very unhappy person to answer to for the rest of our lives. *Shudder*

For our budget ($75++ per pax), we had a 4 course sit-down menu put together for us. For those of you who are interested in organising an event there, upon confirmation of the event, you could arrange for a food tasting event but since we hadn't confirmed our interest, we paid for lunch which is fine since it allows us to be less biased. 

White and multigrain slices, served with extra virgin olive oil and blasimic vinegar. I was starving upon arrival and these warm slices saved me from kneeling over.

Amuse Bouche: Egg Cocotte with Scramble Egg, White Tuffle Oil, Avruga Caviar, Cute-as-hell Serving Bowl

Truffle? Caviar? Did someone just win the lottery? No but this starter was a w-i-n-n-e-r. Toast soldiers dunked and double-dipped into a cocoon of warm truffle-tinged, silky scrambled eggs, topped off with salty caviar. Very very moreish and a wonderful start to our meal.

Starter: Foie Gras Au Torchon with Balsamic Jelly, Dried Fruit Compote, Homemade Brioche 

Perhaps if I had googled “Foie Gras Au Torchon,” I would have known what to expect from Michel Ruhlman’s recipe. I thought “torchon” meant torched or something along those lines but it actually means dish towel in French. Any other mountain tortoises out there? Cuddle time.

It was a ridiculously luxuriant slab of liver that warranted much relief from the brioche and tangy balsamic jelly. This could either be decadent and dreamy or gamy and coying depending on which side of the fence your butt cheeks are on. I really enjoyed this it and it had a 'wow' factor' but it did get a bit much for me in the end; kw loved it and refuses to consider alternatives. Loved the caramelized apple salad on the side.

The first couple of dishes were a tad more gourmet while the mains and desserts were more no-frills comfort food. To figure out what mains to to go for, we tried out a white meat, red meat and fish dish.

Main course #1: Oven Roasted Game Hen, Roasted Potato, Rosemary Gravy fair trade 

The skin was crisp skin and the flesh was tender but I got bored with the hen after a few bites. I know people who appreciate a very good roasted chicken but I'm just not one of them so I very much preferred the lamb shank and snapper.

Main course #2: Braised Lamb Shank in Shiraz Jus, Seasonal Vegetables and Potato Mousseline 

Falling off the bone… why isn’t this a title for some nursery rhyme or lullaby? The lamb shank was tender but not to the extent where it disintegrates unceremoniously (got to have some bite for my meat, yo). Would have been a homerun if the mashed potato was smoother and more mousse-y.

Main course #3: Oven Roasted Wild Snapper with Seasonal Vegetables, Lemon Caper Noisette 

The wild snapper was surprisingly good with its sweet, sourish sauce that sounded weird but paper but fab in "person". I will probably choose this as my main for the actual event.

There would only be one dessert served that evening but we tried two to make an educated choice. Perfect because my initial choice was the hazelnut bar but the sticky date pudding worked out better in the end.

Dessert #1: Hazelnut Crunch Bar, Fresh Berries, Passion Fruit Coulis 

A rich, decadent block that could easily sit in your stomach like one of those containers from the nearby PSA. I scrapped the plate clean but on hindsight, it may be too much for the guests that evening so we will go with the sticky date pudding, which is also easy-to-please. Didn’t touch the passionfruit coulis, didn’t miss it.

Dessert #2: Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch and Vanilla Ice Cream 

I remember there was a period in my life where I was terribly obsessed with sticky date pudding. Vineyard's pud' was delectably spongey in full absorbent mode with the butterscotch sauce; pity about the icy vanilla ice cream though. I liked how the pudding was soft but not too soft (am I making any sense here?), you know, providing some cushion for the swoonin'.

A sucker for Gryphone Tea, I could park myself at the restaurant all afternoon with this pot of Nymph of the Nile.


PY said...

Cant help but to make a comment totally unrelated to food. Orchard rd is our comfort zone as well :)

yixiao said...

i dare say, you are alot more adventurous than me =)

Anonymous said...

This place is totally underrated and I hope it remains so cos it's so cosy... the food is awesome and wine affordable and not to mention deliscious desserts. I love the lemon lava cake, the duck confit, the generous pork belly and the evening view is to die for. Very romantic, looking forward to read your post on the actualy party :)


yixiao said...

i agree!