Saturday evening. I have been planning this for some time. It's been a while since I last gave the wifey a surprise. After church we headed to Raffles City. The wifey wanted to try this new restaurant. The space used to be occupied by another restaurant specializing in crepes. As with most things in Singapore, nothing stays the same for long. But boy were we surprised by what was to come. The name of the place - PODI.
I was expecting the same old mass market restaurant fare that one can find in any shopping centre. We had the mushroom soup for starters. Although it wasn't bad, it tasted like it came out of a can. As they didn't have the mentaiko pasta that the wifey wanted, she ordered another pasta with prawns. I had the duck confit.
The first surprise came in the form of the innocuous-looking side dish that came with my duck. Rocket surrounded by cherry tomatoes on pink radish slices, with a sprinkling of grated parmesan on top. I've never really liked radish but this dish changed my perspective completely. The sweetness of the radish, coupled with the burst-in-your mouth flavour of the cherry tomatoes was simply delectable. The parmesan added a touch of class which brings the palate to the stratosphere. Finally the simplicity of the rocket brings us back to earth.
How about the main dish? Doesn't your mouth water when you look at the mushrooms. And indeed it was a healthy serving of it too. The duck was sufficiently crispy on the outside and, cliche as it may sound, really juicy on the inside. I've eaten duck that was either too dry or too tough once too many times at higher-end restaurants. This duck was baked to near perfection.
Service was prompt even though it was a Saturday evening. We didn't have to wait long for our meal. What's more, they serve water! (I still cannot understand why some restaurants refuse to serve free water. It's only water for goodness sakes!) We polished off our meal and had time on our hands. What to do? Order dessert of course! The above pic doesn't do justice to our dessert. Earl-grey and fig ice-cream on waffles with maple syrup on the side. The ice-cream was heavenly. You can see the small pieces of fig in the ice-cream ball. Really something worth trying. Not only was the waffle hot, it was crispy too. The wifey didn't want the maple syrup so I had more than I could use. Imagine the syrupy goodness of maple drenching the hot, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside waffle, coupled with the coolness of ice-cream infused with earl grey, with a hint of chewiness from the fig. All these in one yummy spoonful. Yes, it's one of the rare desserts both of us agree on. Waffle, we'll be back for more.
The highlight of the night was a surprise ticket to catch "Bane" at the Drama Centre Theatre. "Bane" is a one-man one-musician series of comedy drama. Joe Bone plays Bruce Bane, a gun-for-hire, who has to find out who wants to kill him before it's too late. With no props and no set, Joe infuses crass comedy, slapstick, and other theatrical techniques into classic noir, creating a fast-paced Hollywood-style drama, reminiscent of Dick Tracy. "Bane" holds the Guinness Record for the most number of character played by a single person - 140.
Joe Bone going at it non-stop for an hour was truly impressive. However, what impressed me more was Ben Roe's superb skills with the acoustic guitar. Imagine "Star Wars" without iconic soundtrack and you'll have an understanding of how important Ben's music is to the production. With his daft fingers running over the fret and even at times playing on the fret, Ben's contribution to the production cannot be overlooked.
The wifey certainly didn't expect me to take her to a drama production. The surprise worked. Unfortunately, she didn't really enjoy the show. Violence and slapstick just wasn't her cup of tea. Nevertheless it was a new experience for the both of us. Been there, done that. Next time, remind me to choose something more "classy". It was indeed a night of "PODI and the Bane"... Now back to conquering the world, muahahaha...