Monday, July 13, 2009

Citron Modern Asian Restaurant

Citron Modern Asian Restaurant

I read a recommendation for Citron online. When I Googled the restaurant and found their website, I naturally had a peak at their menu too. It was one of those menus that appealed to me right away. Even as I was perusing casually, I couldn't decide which dish I'd pick over another. Everything sounded good!

It's lucky then that I got to go to Citron as a big group with my family. Large numbers = more food to try and more opinions.

The restaurant is moderate in size and quite contemporary-looking. There is an indoor dining area as well as an enclosed outdoor area which is where we were seated.

The staff were very professional and helpful, offering to explain the dishes to us when we looked confused. We ended up ordering a selection of entrees, mains and desserts to taste as many things as possible.

Mixed taste plate - a betel leaf with spanner crab, shaved fresh coconut, chili & coriander, a beef and lemongrass bite and a ma hor-minced prawn, pork & peanuts on pineapple

The first item that came up was the mixed canapes. We were warned that these would be bite-sized and 'difficult' to share. This is sound advice. I suggest you order one set per person. The little portions look lovely though and everyone commented that though they couldn't identify what they were eating, the flavors were interesting and pleasant.

Seared scallops, crisp pork belly and asian mushroom salad with sesame soy dressing

I loved the pork belly and scallops. Pork and scallops make a classic flavor and texture combination. The scallops were sweet and succulent and the pork was so tender and silky.

Grilled rare beef, fried green papaya salad, caramelized peanuts & chili jam

My mum and dad favored the rare beef salad. The beef was just delicious and perfectly complimented the green papaya salad and chili jam. Truly tasty dish.

Duck larb - minced duck salad, mint, chili, roasted rice with raw vegetables

I wasn't a huge fan of the duck larb. Most of us couldn't tell what meat it was because it was so loaded up with fish sauce. There were a few lettuce leaves to wrap the larb in but not nearly enough. Although it didn't taste 'bad', it was unimpressive compared to the other dishes.

The mains came next, all at the same time. Presentation was lovely and serving sizes weren't bad either.

Claypot braised pork hock, shitake mushroom and cabbage dumpling, fresh soy beans, star anise & cassia bark

The pork claypot had pieces of meat and mushroom dumplings wrapped in cabbage. Whilst it was delicious, this type of dish is common in Chinese cooking so it wasn't outstanding to us.

Coconut smoked ocean trout, pickled vegetable salad, Vietnamese mint & crispy noodles

Most of my family loved the coconut smoked trout. Whilst they argued about what fish it was (even though I knew it was trout, not everyone was convinced), it was agreed that this fish had an amazing texture and flavor.

Jungle curry of yellowtail kingfish, apple eggplant, snake beans, Thai basil & shredded ginger

The same couldn't be said for the jungle curry. I'm used to a more robust, thick curry. This one was watery and the spices didn't deliver either. Again, not bad but not great.

Crispy skin duck, black sticky rice, Chinese broccoli with coconut & tamarind sauce

My personal favorite dish was the crispy duck. The skin was lovely and crisp and it just tasted fabulous. Not sure how complimentary the black sticky rice was but still, it was a good dish overall. Mum liked this one too.

"Bombe alaska" spice cake, pineapple compote, pandanus ice cream & kaffir

We ordered 3 desserts to share. The first was a bomb Alaska. I was really curious to try this, having seen recipes in dessert books before. A bomb Alaska is basically a ball of ice-cream coated with meringue that has been lightly toasted. I thought it would be mostly gimmicky but it was surprisingly a very clever mix of textures - the sticky sweetness of the meringue really worked well with the ice-cream and the layer of sponge cake.

Caramelized lemongrass & lime tart, mascarpone, red papaya & mint

The caramelized lemongrass and lime tart tasted like any other lime tart to me, not to say that's a bad thing. It was very... well... tart (as in acidic). This was nicely balanced by the mascarpone and red papaya.

Roast banana pudding, malibu gelato & ginger caramel sauce

The surprise for me was the banana pudding. It sounded pretty average on paper but the pudding had a wonderful consistency and the malibu gelato was just WOW. It packed a punch - distinctly alcoholic but in a sinfully good way.

Overall, Citron was a great experience for me. The cuisine style reminded me of Obsession at Southbank with the fusion, pan-Asian dishes. Though there was a variation in how impressive the dishes were, even the less-outstanding picks tasted good. With the great service, modern selections and top presentation, it's no wonder Citron was crowded with trendy, artsy-looking diners.

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