Thursday, November 8, 2012

Let's get it Straits - Casa Bom Vento

Not realizing that it would take us couple of hours to finish our "Monkey business" at Forrest Adventure, Bedok reservoir, it was already almost 3 pm and the two monkeys were exhausted but happy and very hungry. There is a restaurant/cafe , Wawawa, located within the park which serves a Cafe/ Bistro style cuisine. We felt like having something hearty and a bit more comfort so decided to venture out elsewhere.
Headed toward the East, soon enough we reached Joo Chiat road, another upcoming food street in Singapore. On Joo Chiat road lies rows of shophouses for stores, restaurants, bars and even some "special" hotels. There you could find a local bicycle shop, money exchange, food center with a French name - Le Petit Paradis, a cafe with a Japanese name - Mooshi ( Mooshi ) and chocolate specialty shop within , a cupcakes shop and more. It took us just a few minutes to spot restaurant with a Portuguese name, Casa Bom Vento - the House of Good Winds , where we settled there for lunch. At Casa Bom Vento, their specialties are fine Eurasian and Peranakan cuisines.

You may have guessed, use of the term Eurasian refers to a small unique ethnic group, the offsprings of intermarriage between the Europeans and locals Chinese and Malay during the colonial period in Malaysia. Some of whom came to Singapore as early as in 1920s. The cuisine has both Eastern and Western influences. Eurasian cuisine is an amalgamation of European cuisines; Portuguese, Dutch and British with local ingredients and influences of Malay, Indian and Chinese styles of cooking. Typical Eurasian dishes would be the extremely spicy Devil's Curry and Shepherd's Pie, a pastry fulled with beef and potatoes.
For the term Peranakan is used to refer to another unique ethnic group, the hybrid of Chinese and Malay traditions also with a touch of Portuguese, Dutch and Indonesian influences. Staple Peranakan dishes are such as Ayam Buah Keluak ( Chicken curry & Keluak nuts ), Otak ( steamed , grilled fish paste with spices )

It was our first time experiencing this type of food so we spent sometime examined the menu. Just the description of each dish alone were already quite mouth watering. Just to quench my thirst, couldn't help but had to try the Home Made Rose Jelly Drink with Lime Juice. Surprisingly wonderfully refreshing. For our lunch we settled with one dish from each categories ; meat - Wendy's Chicken Tambreyno, Seafood - Grilled Baby Sting Ray with Black Peppercorn and Curry Leaves, Vegetable - Baby Brinjal in Onion Tomato Lime Sauce Salted Fish and last from Something for a change - Chinchalok Egg Omelette with Onion and Chilli.

Casa Bom Vento Interior
Voila! then we just sat back and enjoyed the scene. The restaurant was decorated with Peranekan elements - antique like tables and chairs, lamps and a lot of restaurant histories & stories framed on the wall. In the mean time our chef was cooking away in the kitchen sent out the pungent aromatic teaser. Very soon the dishes were served.

Wendy's Chicken Tambreyno
First, Wendy's Chicken Tambreyno, came in a flowery homey looking bowl, the curry almost overflow out. I went straight to the gravy, thick and rich yet not over powering with a hint of tanginess from tamarind. Chicken in the curry served with bone and it was tender and flavorful. This dish went very well with the Chinchalok Egg Omelette  The omelette was nicely done with chopped onion and some green chili.

Grilled Baby Sting Ray with Black Peppercorn and Curry Leaves
Grilled Baby Sting Ray with Black Peppercorn and Curry Leaves, the fish was marinated in black peppercorn sauce and other condiments, then pan fired. It was perfectly cooked, with crispy edges but smooth and moist flesh inside. With the pepper taste lingered in my mouth, fried curry leaves gave another dimension to the dish. Grilled Baby Sting Ray with Black Peppercorn and Curry Leaves is a signature dish of Casa Bom Vento. I had no question why. Just wonderful.

Baby Brinjal in Onion Tomato Lime Sauce, Salted Fish
Baby Brinjal in Onion Tomato Lime Sauce Salted Fish. We had to confirm with the staff if this was what we ordered, later learned that Brinjal was just another name for eggplants. The sauce has very interesting taste to it, sour from lime with occasionally a bite of saltiness from the small bits of salty fish blended very well with a subtle taste of eggplants.

After finished the meal, we were happy and satisfied so much that we could definitely see ourselves be back to Casa Bom Vento for more discoveries. In fact as I am writing about them, we are heading back there again tonight with our guest. Can't wait.

Casa Bom Vento
477 Joo Chiat Road

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