For a while, around midyear, we were wondering if 2010 would pass by without an Annual Food Bloggers meal. Thankfully, Ivan volunteered to coordinate one, and he already had in mind the perfect place and food. Michaelangelo's got a new chef who has introduced nouvelle cuisine. The menu looked good, and a nice number of us signed up. The food turned out to be excellent, and the company even better. Old friends, new faces, it didn't matter. There was plenty of laughter and merriment.
But wait, yes, we were there for the food.
Our starter of Crabmeat Cake with Avocado topped with Mesclun Salad, Beetroot Paint & Balsamic Reduction. The chef did not stint on the good ingredients, and we could taste the sweet richness and texture of real crabmeat in this firm patty. So fresh and juicy! And seafood flavours paired with avocado is always a delight.
Short Tube Pasta with Chunks of Tuna in Homemade Tomato Sauce with Capers, Olives, Chili, Garlic, Basil, White Wine & Rich Fish Broth
Another dish that surprised me. "Hahaha, were you thinking canned chunks of tuna?" Ivan joked. Indeed, I was not expecting tuna tataki - what a treat! It's beautifully fresh and the pepper they use is like some super-charged species - got kick!
And the sauce! I've never been fond of tomato sauces but this one had me thrilled. I think the fish broth, garlic and wine helped bring it beyond tomato's usual tangy signature.
Michaelangelo's was also very generous with their starter bread (sundried tomato) and three dips (hummus, olive oil and balsamic vinegar). They kept replenishing it throughout dinner, and we relished it enthusiastically. It's the kind of bread that's very toasty warm and gently crisp on the outside, but soft, savoury and fluffy inside.
And now we come to the mains - a choice of fish or veal.
Sea Bream blanketed with Crispy Brick Phyllo on Butternut Pumpkin Puree, and topped with Tomato Salsa
If I had seen photos first, I'd have gone for the fish. It also tasted phenomenally good (Momo was kind enough to share). Kind of like a fish popiah but with awesome flavours. Some thought this was a tad salty, but I didn't mind.
Breaded Veal Scallopine pan fried in Butter Glace with Veal Jus, Cherry Tomato Salsa & Lemon Wedge
My actual order. Being a red meat kind of person, I tend to pick meat over fish. For some reason, I only saw the words "veal scallopine" and "butter" when I was reading the menu. You know how some words just arrest your attention and everything else just goes blur.
I'm not sure breading and frying this was a good idea. It lent a heavy and oily taste to the already gamey meat. Some people liked this though.
Somewhere in between and also after the meal, we had lucky draws with prizes kindly sponsored by Pantry Pursuits, an online shop selling kitchenware. I usually never win anything, but I got a teapot with warmer.
In all, some unconventional fare for an Italian restaurant, but who cares so long as it's tasty stuff, right? The dishes here are not on their regular menu, but if you'd like to try them, they welcome advance calls and requests. Check out posts also by MissTamChiak, Keropokman, Aromacookery, DirtyStall. I also had a great time chatting with Foodie-Ah (he has a gorgeous blog, go visit!).
We really should have this more than once a year. Thanks, Ivan, for making this happen!
Block 44 Jalan Merah Saga,
#01-60 Chip Bee Gardens,
Tel: +65 6475 9069