June 28, 2016

Froth @ Ascott Raffles Place Singapore ~ New Location, New Menu. Duck Bak Kut Teh And Five-spice Ngoh Hiang Wagyu Beef Burger, Anyone?

In case you're unaware, Froth has recently ceased its operations at Big Hotel due to tenancy issues, and taken up a new home at Ascott Raflles Place Singapore.

New place, new concept, new menu. From a café to a casual dining restaurant serving Asian fusion dishes. Besides the shift of location, the revamp is quite apparent on all fronts.

We wondered if fans of old Froth will miss it, but most importantly, will the new Froth find new fans?

Helming the kitchen of Froth is Chef Derrick Ow, who is known for his unconventional use of ingredients pairing and culinary techniques.

We had a dinner course of some of his latest creations, including Duck Kut Teh ($10.90), an innovative twist from the herbal-based pork ribs soup. The duck broth of melons, radish and cresses is slow-cooked for 12 hours and beautifully presented, but tastewise, it had a pronounced sourness which distracted the other more subtle flavors in the broth. Serving portion of the duck meat could also use a bump up, as ours came with less than bite-sized pieces.

Lobster Jelly
($22.90) has chilled lobster chunks encased in housemade tomato jelly, and paired with marinated cherry tomatoes, edible flowers, cresses, wasabi and ginger powder. The jelly was tasty and pretty good enough on its own, however together with the wasabi and ginger powder, it somehow lost its focus. Flavors did not gel well together for this jelly dish.

Hot & Cold Foie Gras
($23.90) is a ying-yang combination of hot pan-seared foie gras plated on one side of the plate and chilled foie gras sitting on the other. No complains on the hot version which was superbly done to a right note of creamy richness and served on toasted butter brioche with a drizzle of truffle honey apple reduction.

However for the chilled foie gras, like the lobster jelly above, the flavors did not synergize with each other.

The Granny Smith slaw and liquid centre of apple and kiwi puree were too tarty, presumably this is meant to cut the richness of the foie gras. However chilled foie gras itself is not as excessively rich due to the solidifying of its fats at a cooler temperature, therefore when eaten together, the tartness of the slaw and puree overpowered the liver. No doubt the pairing of foie gras and acidic fruits is quite classic, but flavors could be better balanced.

Some favorites from the previous Froth menu are retained, including Doritos Crust Winglets ($16.90) - Lovers of boneless chicken wings and doritos chips would probably love this combination, and Seafood Tom Yum Risotto ($29.90) - A creamy, spicy, tangy tom-yummy rich dish with grilled prawns, flower clams and squid. What a satisfying dish with plus points to the wonderfully grilled seafood which imparted such lovely smokey aromatics.

Five-Spice Wagyu Patty Burger ($34.90) is where local ngoh hiang (five-spice meat roll) meets the western burger with chopped wagyu beef wrapped in beancurd skin and deep fried, and sandwiched with brioche buns. Sounds promising, but the execution fell flat on several fronts.

The deep-fried beancurd skin did not turn out crispy, rather it was soggy and drenched in oil. The beef patty was not compact enough resulting in it falling apart upon eating and, lastly the flavors of the five-spice seasoned beef was too strong, overpowering the meat itself.

I guess it would have been better if the beef patty was treated traditionally followed by a light sprinkling of five-spice powder instead so that the flavors of the delicate wagyu can be appreciated better. A piece of bean curd skin can be fried separately to ensure it totally crisps up and added to the burger subsequently.

Next up, Squid Ink Lobster Roll ($25.90). This version of lobster roller is unlike any we have seen before. A squid ink-infused charcoal-colored brioche stares at you till you start slicing it up. Out comes the lobster chunks and the creamy squid ink mentaiko sauce. Was a tad on the saltish side, but overall a very umami dish.

If you're not so big on funky fare, Ponzu Soya Cod ($35.90) is perhaps the "safer" dish to order. Fish that is sous-vide ensured of optimal texture and preservation of flavors. I must say it was very well put together from the tasty caramelized skin to the pairing with edamame puree and ponzu and sesame soya glaze. Definitely one of the better dishes of the evening and generally well-liked by most.

French Toast Waffle ($16.90) could possibly be the most loved item of everyone! Waffles are first prepared in the waffle iron, then dipped french toast batter and deep-fried. What a delicious hybrid of waffle and French toast indulgence! Waffle-shaped but with a nice, dense chewy French toast-like texture perfected with a crusty exterior which I personally enjoyed. Bonus points to the caramelized banana and toasted marshmallow ice cream too!

In conclusion, it was an evening of hits and misses. Froth may have over-stretched on its creativity on some dishes, some tweaking is much needed. However, given Chef Derrick's imagination and talent, I'm sure the menu would keep progressing and breaking new grounds in a positive way.

We may not be fans yet, but looking forward to what the future brings.

Address: No. 2 Finlayson Green, Ascott Raffles Place Singapore, Level 2, Singapore 049247
Contact: +65 6336 1228
Website: http://froth.sg/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/froth.sg/
Opening Hours: Breakfast 7am-10.30am, set menu / Lunch & Dinner 11.30am-10pm, ala-carte menu

Prices stated are in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST.

* Written by BFF, a guy who is desperately trying to find a balance while lost in the world of sights, sound and taste.
* Edited with additional inputs by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by PinkyPiggu

1 comment:

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