Sunday, January 27, 2013

House, Dempsey II

The fries look so good in this picture, don't they?

Yes, I had a second meal at House, Dempsey despite the first experience - I was invited for dinner at House, and could not quite suggest an alternative. Regardless, this invitation as an opportunity to sample something different from their menu; to give their kitchen another chance.

My dining partners and I decided to order a few dishes to share: Deep Sea Threesome, Ginger Butter Chicken Skinny Pizza, House Rib Eye Steak, and Red Snapper. And thankfully, this time, our orders began arriving after about twenty minutes, with the last dish arriving after about forty minutes.

The Deep Sea Threesome is described on the menu as "A spectacular skewer of grilled prawns, fresh calamari and black mussels waiting to be dipped in caramlised pineapple, fire-roasted capsicum and mango." This picture was taken after the seafood was removed from the skewer. The dish was a beautiful myriad of colours. It looked healthy, the seafood tasted fresh, no fishy taste, the calamari was cooked just right. Seafood lovers will enjoy this dish. We did.

At first I was doubtful as to whether a pizza called "Ginger Butter Chicken" would work. In the menu it is described as "Tender chunks of chicken thigh slow-cooked with fragrant Indian spices and served with coriander, cashew nuts, red onion, yoghurt, and our homemade tomato salsa."

But when the dish arrived looking this good, I could not resist taking a scoop of the toppings to try... and was not disappointed. Meaty curry-tasting chicken with creaminess from the yoghurt and what appeared to be feta cheese (?), with a hint of bitterness from the dandelion greens, a kick from the red onion, and lovey textural crunch from the roasted cashews. Somehow, all of it blended together so winningly well. I really enjoyed the toppings and wish they would just serve them without the base. 

Now I am really curious to taste the other pizzas, namely the Vietnamese Coconut Poached Chicken, Braised Veal with Onion Marmalade and the Wild Truffled Mushroom.

Arriving next was the test dish: House Rib Eye Steak. It is described as "tender, juicy, and cooked the way you like", and "[s]erved with grilled artichokes, blanched crunchy brocollini, and a homemade gooseberry port wine sauce". It actually comes with mashed potato as well, and I think that the menu should include that for the people who are Paleo / low carb.

I requested from the server that the potato be substituted with vegetables, and that the steak be cooked rare... and surprisingly, he said he would first check with the kitchen whether it could be done rare. Does the menu not say "cooked the way you like"? (scratch head)

Anyhow, as you can see from the picture above, the chef acquiesced and gave me a nice amount of brocollini in lieu of the potato.

And yup! Looked rare enough to me! Test passed! The beef was so tender it did not take much chewing and piece after piece slid down my throat very easily. Beautiful beef.

The last dish to arrive was the Red Snapper, and I was surprised upon seeing it. (Note that this picture was taken after one of my dining partners had scooped out some noodles and chorizo.) It is described as "Lightly seared red snapper braised with southern New Zealand clams and Spanish chorizo to produce a broth perked up with saffron and parsley." I had persuaded my dining partners to agree on this dish because I felt like having some fish, and nowhere in the menu did it say that it was coming with green noodles. If this was my one and only main, I would have been annoyed. But thankfully we were sharing.

Spanish chorizo is a sausage made from pork and pork fat, and seasoned with paprika and salt. Some may also contain spices, garlic and herbs. I am unsure whether the taste of the broth was due to the chorizo or the saffron, but I had never tasted anything like that before. The first few sips were delicious - it was really strong tasting and saltish. But after that the taste numbed down and it became too saltish to drink.

The surface of the red snapper was nice and crispy whilst the insides were tender. I wonder whether having it with broth is a mistake though because the broth tended to soak through some parts of the fish, making it soggy instead.

My dining partner thought that the green noodles were soba noodles, and did not show much enthusiasm for this dish, unlike the previous dishes.

As for service, it was quite slow that night, and the servers kept disappearing. Midway through our meal, the manager got so annoyed that she said in a very loud and irritated voice towards the counter that there was no one on the floor in our section, and she ordered the servers to come out from behind the counter and to stop hanging around there. Feisty.

Nonetheless, this dinner at House was much more enjoyable than our first time, and I think we may have discovered the better and faster-to-arrive dishes to order if we ever return again.


8D Dempsey Road
Singapore 249672
Tel: 64757787

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