Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Arteastiq Boutique Tea Lounge - Valentine's Day 2015 Gentleman and Ladies Menu

I usually avoid eating out on Valentine's Day as there are not many actual good menus on that night.

Restaurants tend to churn out very drab and bland menus just to capitalise on the occasion and placing a ludicrous premium on the food.

Arteastiq at Mandarin Gallery is looking to buck the trend by offering not just a single menu, but a separate gentleman's and ladies' menu for V-Day.

Arteastiq has always been known for their teas and their lychee tea is one of the most popular teas out there.

In February, they will be revamping their food menu and as part of this revamp, the Valentine's Day menu will consist of a selection from the revamped breakfast themed menu. I was on hand to have a sneak peek at both the V-Day menu and some of their new, creative dishes.

Rosemary and Sweet Potato Salad

As part of the ladies' menu, this refreshing rosemary and sweet potato salad will certainly get the romantic evening off on the right note. Brightly coloured greens tossed with roasted sweet potatoes and infused with the lovely scent of rosemary will delight the palate and set the appropriate tone for the night.

Cyperian Affair

The gentleman's salad was even more impressive. Filled with beautifully pan seared halloumi cheese chunks, the aromatic cheese flavours were precisely cut through with the acidity of the succulent grapes and the combination of greek honey and croutons.

Maryland Crabcake Benedicts

The ladies and gentlemen will definitely love this twist on the classic eggs ben. Perfectly poached eggs sitting on top of a very nicely seasoned crabcake base and brioche, this is just about the ultimate breakfast dish.

Oozy egg yolky sauce that had been infused with the punch of the paprika accentuated hollandaise that had just the right amount of acidity, the alchemy of flavours and textures will leave one utterly bedazzled and craving for more.

Vegetarian Barley Risotto

Instead of using the standard rice risotto, the chef have elected to substitute it with barley and cooked it with a saffron broth and finished off with whollops of butter. Garnished with beautifully cut strips of fennel and pecorino cheese, the presentation was both pretty and elegant.

The barley was cooked al dente but not underdone, and there was a hint of bite coupled with a complete surrender as you bite into every grain. The mantecare finish to the risotto ensured that there was a sensuous and buttery creamy sauce to accompany the barley risotto and made this dish totally enchanting.

Duck Pancakes

This may be on the guy's menu, but I am sure the ladies will utterly adore this too. A fusion of east and west, there is great thought behind this simple looking plate. The duck was confit, but infused with a mixture of oriental spices and wrapped in a homemade crepe that resembled a very refined Peking duck dish.

Finished off with an orange glaze, the flavours recalled both the classic Chinese duck and a touch of French duck a l'orange at the same time. Mesmerising and intoxicating are the only words to describe this wondrous dish.

French Toast with Brie

It may say french toast on the menu, but to me it was more like a modern dessert take on classic grilled cheese sandwich. We do not have many places that does a good grilled cheese toast here, so this was both a surprise and a revelation.

The ice cream was forgettable, just dig into the magnificence of the finely crafted french toast smothering a gorgeous layer of oozy grilled brie within. Heavenly and totally addictive. Trust me, you will want more of this long after you are home.

For the entire menu, there are 5 courses each for both the ladies and the gentlemen. Sold as a set for $188, it is probably the perfect way to celebrate the romantic night. For my money, it is possibly the only worthwhile Valentine's Day set in town.

The sense of genuine invention coupled with great cooking techniques ensures that the food here is not only clever, but superbly executed as well. Every single plate makes sense and none of the inventiveness reeks of gimmickry. 

If this sneak peek is a taste of things to come, I can only anticipate with high expectations, the full menu coming in February where there is an even greater promise of deliciousness and creativity.

Arteastiq Boutique Tea Lounge
333 Orchard Road
Mandarin Gallery

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