Friday, October 25, 2013

Ivy Restaurant - Part 1

Time for the occasional company lunch and as always, the boss got us to decide on a venue. And as always, we only start deciding only hours before the lunch itself.

It was a mad scramble to find a place to head to. Hopped from one website to another. Eventually it's down to two. Fika (Millenia) and Ivy. We've been to Fika before. Besides the set lunch appears limited since it's only 1 dish per day.

So we settled for Ivy, a restaurant serving Halal French food. Besides, my colleague will also have a site visit at Sentosa itself and also in Vivo City so I guess it did seem ok... At first. That was until we got lost. The hilly roads, flanked by thick vegetation on that hot afternoon. Quite a hassle finding our way around. My bosses were in another car and they were grumbling about the location. Ooops.

The driveway (pardon my straying finger)

We were pretty taken in my the surroundings at Siloso Beach Resort. Truth to be told, I totally didn't expect there to be such a place in Singapore itself. Almost felt like we've been dropped off at the lobby of a beach resort in Bali. Or Phuket. Definitely not SG. The dense vegetation. The almost tranquil surroundings…

Turns out, the lobby is all the way at level 8. We have to get into the resort compound to get to the lift lobby that will bring us to the restaurant all the way at Level 1.

Various pool sections

I was amazed to see the pools that's located at level 5 of the hotel. I can easily visualise my kiddo splashing around in those waters. Check out those slides!


The waterfall really add plus points to the scenic view. Right then, I was planning a staycation here; in my head. The fact that all rooms have seaview also helps.

Mainly alfresco dining

When we finally reached Ivy Restaurant, I was apprehensive to see the simple layout. Honestly, I had pretty high expectations. The dining area is mainly alfreso. The lush-looking interior seems fitted for sitting around over some drinks or something.

On the right of the pic (behind the bamboo blinds), is the semi-open kitchen.

Simple roofing

It was just corrugated clear plastic roofing sheets thoughout the dining area. Guess I missed out seeing all these details because most pictures that I see of this place were taken over dinner, at night.

Direct beachfront

A plus point is the fact that we directly face Siloso Beach. Quite interesting to see the beach trams, folks on rented Segways and cyclists passing by.

It was lunch on a weekday so it's pretty quiet. I can just imagine the hustle-bustle on weekends.

Halloween decor

Since Halloween is around the corner, the restaurant also partake in that 'festive' spirit and had quirky, supposedly scary stuff hanging around; like that skeleton and couple of 'voodoo' heads in the previous pic.


When 'nature' gets close

This little squirrel came scurrying down from a nearby tree and did not hesitate to come near. Seems like it knew what to expect and it hung around until someone came by with a piece of watermelon. Ahh… no wonder!

Table setting

After making our orders, we anticipate the arrival of our foods. Will they be up to our expectations…?

…This post has gotten too long. More in the next entry!

Ivy Restaurant
Siloso Beach Resort
Singapore 099538
Tel: 6271 7008

Opening Hours:
Tue: 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Wed - Sun: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Ivy Restaurant - Part 2

(Continued from previous post) ~

2 of my colleagues and myself chose to have the 2-course set meal. Another colleague chose a separate soup & mains order. My bosses meanwhile, chose random stuff from the menu, to try.

I tried to peer into the kitchen and didn't seem to see Chef Piotr around. Hmm…
We were told earlier, when making our orders; that the Fillet Steak (with polenta cake & hazelnut velouté) and Lobster Bisque was unavailable. Well, given that those were his specialities...

Bread basket

We were pretty much starving right then so it was such a relief when the bread basket was served. I was careful not to consume too much, though. Need the space for the mains!

There were 2 type of breads. One seemed a lot like tomato & sea salt. The other was plain baguette. Although the tomato bread was intensely savoury, the plain baguette somehow trumped it over in terms of compatibility with the given herb-butter. 


Each of us had a dollop each of this very savoury herb-butter to go with the breads.

French onion soup w/ cheesy toast (background)
Creamy mushroom soup (foreground)

2 of my colleagues opt for the creamy mushroom soup as their starter in the set meal. It came with a couple slices of baguette. One enjoyed her bowl while another remarked that it seemed underwhelming.

My male colleague who ordered his favourite French onion soup had no complaints. The cheese toasts used were the tomato & sea salt bread similar to the one in the bread basket, earlier.

Endive salad with blue cheese dressing, walnuts and shaved pear

I got really excited to see 'blue cheese dressing' on the menu and immediately chose this as my starter. Never mind that I should avoid raw cheese. A bit of that in a salad dressing shouldn't harm.

The greens come in the form of curly endive and some arugula (rocket). With roughly chopped walnuts, thinly sliced red radish and pear. All tossed with nice, stinky (like old socks!) blue cheese dressing. YUM!

Fried calamari

Ordered our favourite appetizer to share, while waiting for the mains.

The dressing used with the side salad (as seen above) deserve a mention. I loved it so much that I wiped out every salad leaf on the table. My amused boss informed me that they used aged balsamic vinegar, that's why the taste is more sweet that the usual tart balsamic vinegar. Ahh... Am sooo getting a bottle for myself (not that cheap, though).

Crab salad with caramelised leeks, truffled honey, figs chutney, hint of avocado puree

Their signature dish. My boss ordered this.

Err... looks a bit different from the picture in their website. Maybe the seasonal fresh figs weren't available then.

Homemade mini burgers with caramelised onions, sliced tomatoes

Or sliders for short. My bosses shared these 2 cute burgers.

Sirloin steak

My male colleague's order. He asked for 'medium-rare' but the sliced steak pieces appeared pretty 'rare' instead so the plate had to be sent back to the kitchen for added coking time.

The mains come with chips and side salad (which I happily helped him finish).


Pan-fried Salmon with Vegetable of the Day

2 of my colleagues ordered this as their mains in the set meal. I guess, when a restaurant use 'vegetable of the day' as their side dish to their mains, we're really at their mercy. The veggies that day may not be that to our liking. Or maybe the way they're cooked.

One of my colleagues dislike cabbages and the way it's cooked doesn't really complement the vegetable much. Add to the fact the it appeared overcooked. Even the beautiful slab of salmon can't salvage the shoddy plating. My colleagues remarked that it also taste like it's under-seasoned.

Add to the fact that the salmon came off as a bit 'fishy'.

I guess what could go wrong with the dish, did end up wrong.

Lamb shoulder with Caponata

I saw 'lamb' and I knew I had to have that. Only when my colleagues ask me later, what a 'caponata' was, do I hurriedly google it up.

It's actually: "… is a Sicilian aubergine (eggplant) dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce" (source:Wikipedia)

I still have NO idea what to expect so I somewhat align the dish to be similar to the French ratatouille.

When the dish arrive, I was pretty dismayed to see that, save for that green sauce (presumably avocado puree); the whole dish came in a single shade of amber. After seeing the sad state of my colleagues' vegetable of the day, I wonder if my caponata was overcooked, too.

After I had a bite, I dare say that I love it. Overcooked or not, the taste is right up my alley. I simply assume that the veggies come off as stewed instead. Besides, I LOVE eggplants.

The lamb was a lil' bit gamey but not till it affects my appetite. Maybe because it's the lamb shoulder and not the usual shank or ribs. The meat was tender. The whole ensemble had this sweet-sour taste, not unlike that of a nicely-cooked stew.


We end up being pretty full. Luckily we opt for the 2-course set meal, instead of the 3-courses. The desserts offered had been pretty enticing, though. Eton Mess (my fave!) or Apple tart w/ Vanilla Gelato.

So are we happy with our experience here? I had no qualms. Not sure if my 2 colleagues can agree, though.

Ivy Restaurant
Siloso Beach Resort
Singapore 099538
Tel: 6271 7008

Opening Hours:
Tue: 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Wed - Sun: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm