Thursday, October 14, 2021

New on the Block

We went on a mini eating spree on the October 1 long weekend, and to start, it’s Ami/Wood Ear at The Landmark, a new restaurant by the group which also owns Epure and Arbor, with the “unique fine bistronomie” concept as they called it. 

Just like every new restaurants in town, we made the booking in early August and October 1 was the earliest weekend lunch spot available. From outside the restaurant did look nothing like a conventional French bistro, with the dark décor and almost secretive entrance away from the crowd on the third floor of Alexandra House mall area (which I didn’t know exist until now) The restaurant was actually separated into 2 parts – Ami which is more for sit-down dining, and Wood Ear which is their bar. There are two separate seating areas too – the more formal “Salon” and the laid-back Lounge with more al fresco dining/drinking area when weather permits.

On weekends and public holidays, they serve a slightly longer brunch menu with a choice of 4 or 5 courses. The menu reflected what they meant by “fine bistronomie” with a selection of dishes that offered something a little more than just normal bistro fare. The Heritage beef tartare (from a choice of 5 different appetizers) was well seasoned and topped with the condiment brunoise, peculiarly served without toast at first but they brought them straight away when I asked for them. And I love its texture and nice meaty flavor along with the dressing mixed in. 

The second course was slow-cooked egg with red wine sauce. The course reminded me of the old On Dining which has since shut, with the egg cooked 63 degrees and served with a red wine reduction, croutons and chanterelle mushrooms. Thought the chef went with a safe choice on this one – it’s something hard to go wrong in terms of execution and always crowd-pleasing with the oozy egg yolk flowing and mixed with the rich sauce in the bowl. 

Chicken was my choice of main – the presentation was gorgeous with boneless pieces of yellow chicken thigh and breast and the golden, crispy skin served with petite pois, creamy potatoes, ceps and black truffle jus. All the components were solidly executed and worked well together. 

Our friend (and restaurant manager) T, whom we run into, brought us the Croque Monsieur as an extra course to try, and I thought that made the perfect type of bar food with a simple wine or cocktails after work and before dinner. We weren’t served just one but a platter of desserts to share. The mini Baked Alaska was the dramatic one, done flambe at the table, and beside that, I also love the simple Crème Caramel. 

Overall I think they delivered exactly what they set out to do, offering something of an upgrade to casual bistro-style food and well-suited when one wants to eat at somewhere casual but with more serious cooking. 

When? October 1 2021
Where? Ami/Wood Ear, Shop 302 Alexandra House, The Landmark, Central
Menu Highlights? Yellow Chicken, Black Truffle Jus
Drinks? Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier Premier Cru Brut NV

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