Sunday, November 6, 2011

A New Reason To Graze

I first wrote about Graze @ Martin No.38 when it opened earlier this year. Since then, I have been going back for brunches. Now, there is a new reason (not that I ever needed one) to visit Graze... a new chef at the helm and a new exciting menu.

Meet Chris Donnellan, who is hailed as one of today's brightest culinary talents in Australia. As the new Executive Chef, he has created a new menu for Graze.

The good peeps at Graze invited me over last week to sample the new menu. What I like about the menu is that it is simple but offers a good variety. For salads, you can create your own by choosing from the "Composed Salad" section or choose from the "Our Picks" if you are not in mood to decide. There's also the all-day breakfast menu under "Brunch Special" for those who love their eggs and pancakes.

I opted for the a la carte lunch menu and here's what I tried...

Clam Chowder - S$18
It's kinda hard to find a good clam chowder in Singapore and this is one that suits my taste. I hate the starchy type and this clam chowder not only has a good texture, but also an interesting touch of spices which gave it an Asian taste.

Upside down duck pie - S$22
The picture doesn't do this dish justice. The shredded duck meat and mash were a perfect combo. This dish serves as a good appetiser or as a main if you want a light lunch.

4 jumbo tiger prawns and skinny frites - S$34
The prawns are perfectly grilled but the star of the dish that got my attention was the skinny matchstick fries, which were deep-fried to crisp perfection. Such a rarity! Oh, the house sea urchin butter is also worth a mention.

Kurobuta pork chop with pear chutney - S$36
I am generally not a fan of pork and will usually only eat it if it is deep-fried (tonkatsu style) or barbequed (char siew or heavily marinated). However, I was pleasantly surprised that this dish won me over. I am not sure if the fact that it is Kurobuta pork from Berkshire, Australia, has anything to do with it. It was really good and I couldn't detect the funky porky taste that I hate.

Black and white - S$15
I was told this is the favourite of many diners. I was also drawn to this item on the dessert menu. The description for this dessert was so enticing... "Valrhona dark chocolate cream, vanilla bean ice-cream, compote of mango, rambutan and mangosteen with a sesame snap". I particularly like the freeze dried rambutans.

PiƱa colada - S$14
Coconut parfait, toasted coconut, spiced pineapple, with crispy wafer. This is Graze's version of the famous cocktail. I highly recommend this dessert even if you usually prefer chocolate over coconut. I almost gave it a miss but I was glad my host told me to give it a try.

Chef Chris Donnellan is working his magic so far, for he recently got the nod of approval from well-respected Straits Times food critic Wong Ah Yoke, who gave Graze a great 4-star review.

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