Disney on Classic – A Magical Night in Singapore, 16 and 17 July 2015 (Tickets GIVEAWAY + Mickey Mouse Cookie Recipe in this post!)

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Disney on Classic ~ A Magical Night arrives in Singapore for its first ever live orchestral show in Southeast Asia, where familiar Disney favourites are brought to life by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra. This magical experience runs for two nights only, 7.30pm on 16 and 17 July 2015, at The Star Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are on sale from 29 April at all SISTIC outlets, priced at $120, $85, $65, $55, $35, and $165 (VIP).

Following 12 years of sold out performances in Japan, Disney on Classic ~ A Magical Night is the most successful live orchestral show in the Disney franchise. The Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, led by Disney music maestro Brad Kelley, will be companied by eight international singers and members of The Orchestra JAPAN, will be delivering a full-length concert featuring the most beloved tunes from the famed Walt Disney Studios songbook.

Sing along to songs from classic Disney movies including Snow White, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Frozen (OMG I SOOOOO LOVE FROZEN), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and more. Scenes from these movies will be projected – larger than life – onto a cinematic screen suspended overhead, accentuated by dramatic lighting and staging effects, creating a spectacular and memorable experience for Disney fans.

For more information, visit disneyonclassic.sg.

The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre
1 Vista Exchange Green, Singapore 138617

Buy tickets through SISTIC Website www.sistic.com.sg or call the Hotline at (65) 6348 5555.

Now, here’s something fun for Disney fans. Those without the Mickey Mouse cookie cutter can use any cookie cutter, this recipe makes delicious cookies!

Recipe: Mickey Mouse Cookies (credit: Eaglemoss)
Makes 9-10 cookies

My Mickey cookie cutter came with the Disney Cakes & Sweets Collection Issue 1, by Eaglemoss (Australia), but Singaporeans can find them easily, try Qoo10!

Ingredients:
– 200g unsalted butter, softened
– 200g caster sugar
– 1 egg, beaten
– 400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
– ½ tsp vanilla essence

What you need:

– Mickey Mouse cookie cutter and embosser
– Baking tray, baking paper
– Oven
– Mixer/whisk
– Cling film
– Refrigerator

Method:

1. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat them until they are just creamy in texture (do not overmix or the cookies will spread during baking). Add the vanilla essence and then beat in the egg until well combined.
2. Add the flour and mix it in until a dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film and chill it for at least 1 hour.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and, using a rolling pin, roll it out to an even thickness, of approximately 5mm. (Easier to roll when you dust rolling pin with some flour too)
4. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, then cut out a cookie and leave the cutter in place.
5. Push the embosser section gently but firmly into the cookie dough to mark the features.
6. Remove the embosser, easing it away from the dough to leave a deep impression on the cookie. Cut out more cookies and mark on the features in the same way.
7. Transfer the cookies to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and chill for at least 30 minutes before baking. (I did not chill the cookies but they were sitting in a cold room, about 15 degrees Celsius, because my fridge wasn’t big enough hehe.)
8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes until they are a pale golden colour. I baked for a further 1-2 minutes to get a deeper golden colour.
9. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
10. (Optional) Dust with icing sugar.

Another fun way to use the cookie cutter, make ham and cheese sandwich! All you need is the cookie cutter with embosser and a sandwich press. Stack two pieces of bread with ham and cheese in between, push the cookie cutter down, and then the embosser. Place them in a pre-heated sandwich press and it’s done in a minute or two!

GIVEAWAY: 2 pairs of Disney on Classic ~ A Magical Night tickets to be won! Stay tuned to facebook.com/melicacyblog

Catalunya’s Weekend Brunch (Saturdays and Sundays, 12.30pm to 3.30pm)

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Catalunya in Singapore extends its popular Sunday buffet brunch to take place on Saturdays as well. Partake in a Spanish gastronomic journey from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Unlike other buffets, Catalunya’s brunch experience comes in stages, so you’ll feel obliged to stay through the entire 3-hour sitting.

The high ceiling allows loads of natural sunlight into the dining room, making for the perfect brunch setting, great for instagramming your food too. Natural lighting = great photos!

@melicacy: One of the most exciting weekend brunch experiences you can find in Singapore! Begin the meal with some very well curated salads, anchovies, ceviches and jamon at the buffet station, order the creamy and foamy modern interpretation of Spanish omelette, the comforting Estrellado of scrambled egg on potatoes, and the Bikini sandwich encompassing iberico, cheese and truffle, a skinny sandwich that amazingly packs so much flavour. The party truly begins when mains are being served. The atmosphere turns lively with music and dancing and clapping, and the throwing of plates, true Spanish style. The suckling pig is utterly moist, juicy and tender, one of the best I’ve had. Finish off with dainty desserts that also arrive in jubilant fashion. I thought the view was spectacular, then with all the delicious goodness, the view was just secondary. What a happy place!

Warm crusty breads and croissants served at the table.

The buffet is inclusive of free flow of juices. How about some bubbly-cava to accompany the meal? Simply add $48++ for free flow of cocktails and wines throughout the entire buffet.

Coffees are also included in the $48 top-up. There’s the latte, and there’s the Spanish Latte. Try the latter!

Salads, appetisers, fish (raw, marinated and pickled), Spanish cured meats, cold cuts, cheeses and stews are beautifully presented at the buffet station in a myriad of colours and textures.

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Beesket –D.I.Y Mix-And-Match Juice Bar

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Arriving in Singapore from the Land of K-pop, Beesket is a trendy Korean D.I.Y juice bar providing customers with unlimited fun and freedom in creating their own juices.

The name Beesket is “Bee” and “Basket” combined, reflecting the creative and fun ordering process customers experience at the counter when deciding on their Beesket Original juice ($5.90 per 350ml cup).

The honeycomb-like design of the Beesket counter is filled with fruit capsules in a myriad of vibrant colours, each hue representing a fruit or vegetable. Customers can simply pick up a ‘basket’ and, like a bee, busily pick their capsules and drop them into the basket.

Pick up to 3 different types of fruit capsules and have your juice creation made upon order. All fruit capsules are outfitted with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips that when scanned, instantly provide information such as calorie counts and nutritional values for the juice combination in each cup, in which customers will receive a printout of.

Share your printouts if you love your juice combinations. I chose Grape, Pomegranate and Pineapple, perfect for my sweet tooth!

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(Shopping in Singapore) Car Boot Carnival, 11am to 10pm, 29 May till 9 July 2015

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Shopping is one of Singaporeans’ favourite pastimes, don’t you agree? There is no lack of shopping malls especially along the bustling Orchard Road. So you’ve combed the entire stretch of Orchard Road, malls after malls, to the extent there’s not a brand name alien to you. Hankering for a fun and exciting new shopping experience?

This summer, an array of vintage vehicles makes a striking spectacle at Orchard Central. They’re not for sale. Vendors on a rotational basis will be displaying their proudest products on and around the cars for the Car Boot Carnival, happening from 29 May till 9 July 2015. To add to the atmosphere, the OC Music Sessions will happen every weekend in the month of June, featuring various local bands.

Vendors include the famous Japanese creative lifestyle brand Tokyu Hands, DEAN & DELUCA and more! How about some candyfloss to kick-start the shopping spree? Continue reading

Open Door Policy (New Menu from June 2015)

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Tiong Bahru’s dining gem, Open Door Policy, launched a new menu recently in June 2015. Diners will recognise flavours from far and wide throughout Asia, Latin America and Europe in the new menu designed by Head Chef Daniele Sperindio and Chef-owner Ryan Clift of Tippling Club.

ODP’s signature contemporary-comfort style of cooking from day 1 is still manifested clearly across the menu. Weekly chef’s specials are introduced to add variety and excitement, highlighting seasonal ingredients. Continue reading

IKYU (7-course Omakase paired with Sake)

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IKYU is a marriage of merrymaking, modern sophistication and refined Japanese culinary techniques. A sign of high calibre and success, this Japanese restaurant withstands the test of time and continues gratifying diners since its opening in 2012.

I visited IKYU when it was newly opened and left with nothing but praises. A new occasion to revisit arises; it is merely an occasion to revel in top-notch Japanese cuisine. This time round, I’m having the 7-course Omakase paired with Sake, priced at $138 per person.

Fresh slippery scallop sashimi got the ball rolling, reaching an elevated height with black truffle scattered all over. Next course was a sashimi platter comprising some of the freshest varieties available. Continue reading

Violet Oon Singapore (formerly Violet Oon’s Kitchen) opens on 20th June 2015

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After a 6-week renovation, Violet Oon Singapore takes the place of former Violet Oon’s Kitchen with an elegant new setting, matched with a polished menu focussing strongly on personality Violet Oon’s Peranakan roots, layered with the richness of Singapore’s rich food culture. Well loved dishes and elements from Singapore’s Hainanese, Hokkien, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and Seafood heritage have made their way onto the menu.

Adorning the walls and ceilings of the new interior are hundreds of painstakingly sourced antique Nyonya tiles, traditional lamps, and intricate gold-trimmed wordwork, with sparkling mirrors adding to its grandeur. The new space also features a culinary show kitchen, the home of Culinary Workshops, which also doubles up as a private dining space for up to 12 persons, separated from the main dining area with floor to ceiling movable glass panels.

New star dishes on the lunch and dinner menus include the slow-braised Aunty Nanny’s Daging Chabek Beef Cheek ($35), Udang Goreng Chilli ($27), Nyonya Sambal Kimchiam Udang ($15), Sio Bak Kiam Chye Soup ($9), and an old style Hainanese Chicken Rice ($18).

New exciting appetisers include the Crispy Tamarind Pork paired with a garlic vinegar dip ($13), Coronation Chicken in Wantan Leaf Cup ($10), fried Tumeric Chicken Wings ($13) and Buah Keluak Otak in Banana Leaves ($10). Well-loved favourites will remain on the menu, including Dry Laksa ($22), Buah Keluak Noodle ($24), Dry Mee Siam ($19), and Kueh Pie Tee ($17).

Tantalising vegetarian options include Sayur Lodeh ($9), Tau Hu Goreng ($10) and Meatless Meatballs Rendang ($14).

Must-try desserts include the Eurasian Sugee Cake ($7), Kueh Bengkah ($10), Ketsuri Lemon Pie with Papaya and Limau Kesturi Compote ($13) and Bubor Cha Cha Panna Cotta ($10).

The Sugee Cake is a personal favourite!

Perk up weekend mornings with a traditional Nyonya Kaya Toast ($7) paired with their very own blend of coffee ($3.50 for Kopi VO or $5 for Kopi VO Shake), or old school local favourites like the Spicy Corned Beef, Egg and Toast ($16) and Babi Roti with Chilli Chuka ($13).

For something more substantial, go for Violet’s Big Breakfast ($22) that comes with OtakOtak, Deep Fried Turmeric Chicken Wings, Sambal Telor, IkanBilis Sambal and Sambal Chilli, served with their traditional Nasi Kuning.

Violet Oon Singapore has also put their own special touches to the beverage menu, showcasing the House Made Sodas lovingly made from scratch. Violet’s Old Fashioned Home Brewed Halia Beer ($7) with pungent ginger bits is a must try, so is the Singapore Island Iced Tea ($7) made of gula Melaka and kaffir lime leaf. The biggest highlight would be the coffee, featuring their own blend of Singapore style coffee that combines Robusta coffee beans with Arabica beans, prepared the old fashioned way with metal jugs and the “sock”.

Violet Oon Singapore
881 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 279893
Reservations: (65) 6468 5430 or eat@violetoon.com

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm
Saturday & Sunday: Breakfast 9am to 11.30am, Lunch 11.30am to 2.30pm, Tea 3pm to 5.30pm, Dinner 6pm to 10.30pm
Closed on Mondays

(Dragon Boat Festival 2015) Szechuan Court, Fairmont Singapore

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Luxuriate in massive bundles of joy this Dragon Boat Festival at Fairmont Singapore’s Szechuan Court; the sizeable bamboo-leaf wrapped dumplings (weighing at a hefty 600g each) come in 4 flavours this year, available from 8 to 20 June 2015.

Stewed Spiced Pig Trotter Dumpling ($34++, 600g) -luscious stewed pig trotter complemented with mushrooms, chestnuts and black eye beans, wrapped in glistening glutinous rice.


Hong Kong-Style Rice Dumpling ($32++, 600g)

Each dumpling packed with a generous amount of quality ingredients, the Hong Kong-Style Rice Dumpling for instance encases freshly-roasted pork belly, barbecued pork, roasted duck, Japanese flower mushrooms, salted egg yolk, yellow beans, dried shrimps and chestnuts.
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(Dragon Boat Festival 2015) Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

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This Dragon Boat Festival, comforting and homely flavours are found in Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant’s handmade rice dumplings that require at least 6 hours of cooking.

This year, the Black Truffle with Pork Belly & Dried Scallops rice dumpling ($18 per piece of $168 per box of 8) makes its debut; with the deep earthy flavour of black truffle coming through subtly but surely.

Their Signature Pork & Salted Egg rice dumpling ($12 per piece of $118 per box of 8) is what mesmerised me the most. This is coming from someone who has been living outside of Singapore most of the time –I found familiar flavours and aromas that brought me back to the most joyous days in home.

If fragrance and spice are two prominent keywords in your food diary, go for the Spicy Sambal rice dumpling ($10 per piece or $102 per box of 8), which features succulent pork belly, onion, garlic, and a house-blended dried shrimp-based sauce. This is another must-try!

One of the best tasting Grain Rice dumplings I’ve had can be found right here. The 5-Grain rice dumpling ($9 per piece or $96 per box of 8) encompasses a melange of rice varieties including brown rice, oat, sorghum rice, barley and pearl rice, combined with vegetarian bak kwah, carrot, black fungus, turnip, salty and soft braised peanuts that I enjoyed endlessly, and cabbage –an inviting mix of textures in a dumpling that is also a good source of dietary fibre and vitamins.

Dumplings are available from 1 to 30 June 2015.

For more information, call (65) 6831 4605 or visit singaporemarriott.com/dining.

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
Level 3, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865

(Dragon Boat Festival 2015) Peony Jade

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The smell and sightings of dumplings quickly confirms that Dragon Boat Festival is fast approaching. I have been traveling between Auckland and Singapore a lot in these couple of months, and celebratory mood amongst Asians living in New Zealand is no less pronounced. Since I was only in Singapore for a week last month, I took the opportunity to sample as many dumplings as my stomach could digest. One of those that outshines is Peony Jade, like it always has with festive offerings.


Steamed Cantonese Style Dumpling ($9.80++ per piece)

This season, 4 new flavours make an appearance ready to tantalise taste buds. The Steamed Cantonese Style Dumpling encases caramelised kurobuta pork cha siew with chestnut, salted yolk, braised peanuts and Chinese murhsoom; the Steamed Healthy Vegans Multi Grains Dumpling ($8.80++ per piece) features assorted beans; the Steamed Hokkien Style Dumpling wins votes with succulent fatty pork belly, chestnut and salted yolk.
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(Recipe) Air-fryer Sardine Otak Otak

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Otak Otak is a snack widely popular in Singapore’s vibrant hawker scene, essentially spiced fish paste wrapped in banana leaf and grilled over charcoal fire. Here’s a quick and simple recipe for busy home cooks, made without the vigorous flames and without having to pollute your entire kitchen or home with carbon particles.

Ingredients:

– 100g minced fish
– 10g galangal
– 1 tsp coriander powder
– 5g turmeric
– 20g dried chilli paste
– 3 candlenuts
– 2 garlics
– 5 small onions/shallots
– 1 stalk of lemongrass
– 1 tbsp oil
– 100ml Ayam Brand coconut milk
– 1 can of Ayam Brand Sardines in Spring Water
– 1 egg
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 2 tsp cornflour
– 2 pieces of kaffir lime leaves

Method:

1. Blend galangal, turmeric, dried chilli paste, candlenuts, garlic, small onions, lemongrass and oil
2. Heat oil and fry the blended ingredients till fragrant. Put aside till cooled.
3. Add in minced fish, sardine, coriander powder, coconut milk, sugar, cornflour, egg and kaffir leaves.
4. Place the paste onto banana leaves and bake in airfryer at 200 degree Celcius for 12 minutes.

I’m using the Philips Avance Airfryer XL, which allows me to adjust to the right temperature, pre-heat, and set a timer. This recipe is adapted from Ayam Brand’s. Have fun cooking!

Each A Cup – Beauty & Wellness in a cup of Bubble Tea

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Homemade bubble tea

A seemingly never-dying craze, bubble tea still garners throngs of supporters since its birth in the late 1990s. The beverage culture originated in Taiwan, a country renowned for oolong, black and green tea. Headquartered in Taiwan, Each-A-Cup is one of the bubble tea pioneers in Singapore that has survived and flourished throughout the years, constantly enticing customers and regulars with new products. They specialise in a large variety of freshly brewed teas, ice blended drinks, smoothies, yoghurt drinks, snow shakes, coffees, and creative juices.

In recent times, Each-A-Cup has undergone a facelift, rebranding itself with a vibrant orange-coloured logo that appears to be the illustration of the top view of a bubble tea cup, a view that bubble tea drinkers are well acquainted with.

The new direction for this bubble tea joint is largely defined by a lifestyle concern for health and wellness, hence a strong focus on drinks with beauty and health benefits. Drinks under the Energy Burst category, such as the Azuki brown rice milk tea, pack in vitamins that deliver that much-needed shots of energy; the series of flavoured coffees and specialty teas under Mind Booster are stimulating and sustain alertness throughout the day; Weight Lite drinks such as Golden Buckwheat tea with Katen and Aloe Vera and a range of fruity teas offer sweet, guilt-free drinks for those watching their weight; under the Forever Young category, the range of green teas and Chamomile milk tea brim with antioxidants for optimal health and well being; Daily Dose drinks like the Yakult Apple Jelly Green Tea or Honey Kanten with Ai Yu are zesty beverages that help strengthen the immunity system.

Some will be happy to note that several drinks such as the Golden Buckwheat tea and Rooibos tea are caffeine-free, ideal for children and those allergic to caffeine.

Here’s my attempt on the Yakult Lemon Green Tea with a minty twist.

Ingredients needed:
– Freshly brewed Jasmine Green Tea
– Yakult
– Fresh green lemon juice (they squeeze it using a lemon extractor machine)
– Desired sugar level
– Ice
– (My own addition: fresh mint leaves)

Premium tealeaves and tapioca pearls used by Each-A-Cup are sourced by its headquarters in Taiwan from high-quality Taiwanese companies. Replicating them is nearly impossible even if you have the complete recipe, unless you have connections with these Taiwanese suppliers.

For more information about Each-A-Cup, visit www.each-a-cup.com.

Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory at 313 Somerset

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Originating from Seoul, Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory opens its first outlet in Singapore at 313 Somerset, bringing Korea’s “Chimaek” chicken-and-beer pairing culture to our shores, serving up a slew of fried and roasted chicken coated in garlic, chilli and cream-based sauces to accompany malty libations. With over 100 outlets across South Korea, this fried chicken restaurant, its popularity and success is self-evident.


Chir Cream Beer ($13.90 for 350ml/$18.90 for 650ml)

Inspired by the hippest trend in Korea’s drinking scene, Chir Cream Beer comes with house-whipped cream atop bubbly beer. Continue reading

Sunday Brunch at Shelter in the Woods

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Oven-baked Chorizo Eggs ($22) – Two Japanese farmhouse eggs baked with chorizo sausage, roasted baby potatoes, caramelised onions

To please brunch enthusiasts, there are a few criteria to meet. First of all, locations matter –the more inaccessible and off-the-beaten-path, the better. Somewhere with lots of natural sunlight. Next, the presentation of food has to be Instagram-worthy; egg dishes are good for some egg-cutting yolk-dripping action shots. It has to photograph well. Lastly, the menu should be diverse enough to pander to not just the eggs benedict and pancake lovers.

Brunch 😻 Loving the eggs Benedict, croque-madame, chestnut tiramisu, omg almost everything on the menu.

A photo posted by Melicacy (@melicacy) on

Shelter in the Woods puts a tick in each check box, ready to impress once again with the Sunday brunch affair, available only on Sundays from 11.30am to 2.30pm.


Shelter Eggs Benedict ($22)

Japanese-born and European-trained Chef Masashi Horiuchi puts his own twist on brunch classics. The Shelter Eggs Benedict for instance come with two wobbly poached Japanese farmhouse eggs doused in the requisite hollandaise sauce, perched on a toasted bagel, and visually and palatably enhanced with smoked bacon. There’s nothing not to love about this dish; it’s a safe but sure way to start the Sunday on a good note.


“Vol-au-Vent” Chicken-Mushroom ($24)

The “Vol-au-Vent” Chicken-Mushroom is one of the star dishes that set off uhmmms and ahhhhs. Accompanying the golden-brown baked puff pastry is a medley of creamy mushroom, pan-fried chicken, smoked bacon chunks and pearl onions. This dish scores high on taste and comfort level, and its presentation highly prepossessing.

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(Recipe) Home-cooked Laksa, two versions: simmered in gravy and dry stir-fried

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Laksa is known to be tedious to prepare. The key to a great laksa is in the gravy, which is made up of a medley of spices and aromatics, blended into a paste. In the olden days, they use the mortar and pestle to crush and grind the ingredients, but now with new technology and kitchen gadgets like the food processor, less effort is required. Here’s the recipe for the spice paste as well as a laksa leaf-infused noodle that you can make at home from scratch, for modern day homecooks like myself.

Scroll to the bottom for the dry stir-fry version. Continue reading