Choosing the right accommodation in Melbourne

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It’s not the easiest task to pick the ideal accommodation for your travel needs, especially when the possibilities are endless. The rule of thumb for most of us is to always look out for sales to enjoy the lowest possible hotel rates, read online reviews and then shortlist. Hotels used to be the only option for travellers until the Bed and Breakfast concept came along. After having been based in Melbourne for a month, I’ve explored a variety of accommodations including a hotel in the city centre, a hotel with stunning view of the river and a rented room from AirBNB. I hope this post would help you in the decision-making process.

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(Lunar New Year 2015) Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, Singapore Marriott Hotel

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To usher in the Lunar New Year, Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant of Singapore Marriott Hotel presents luxurious festive dining menus along with goodies, hampers and takeaway dishes that will meet traditional needs. There are a total of 5 Chinese New Year set menus including one vegetarian set, priced from $118++ to $188++ per person. Continue reading

(Lunar New Year 2015) Man Fu Yuan, InterContinental Singapore

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The culinary team at InterContinental Singapore, spearheaded by Executive Chinese Chef Kwan Yiu Kan of Man Fu Yuan, is concertedly putting forth a series of sumptuous menus and take-home delicacies this Lunar New Year, with a goal to dazzle and impress.


Man Fu Yuan’s Salmon & Japanese Hokkigai Yu Sheng with Ponzu Shoyu ($88/$128 for dine-in, $98/$148 for takeaway)

Starting with the requisite Yu Sheng to toss to greater heights, Man Fu Yuan’s majestic take comprises fresh thick slices of salmon and Japanese Hokkigai accompanied by gold-dusted cornflakes, pomelo bits and vermicelli crisps alongside usual shredded suspects, drizzled with their unique citrusy Ponzu Shoyu dressing.
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Norwegian Salmon Yu Sheng

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Prosperity Yu Sheng with Norwegian Salmon from TungLok ($78+, for 10 pax)

Chinese New Year celebrations are never complete without the traditional Yu Sheng, in which families, friends and business associates gather to “lo hei” (toss to the New Year and to greater fortunes), and “lo hei” is seldom unaccompanied by fish, which has the same pronunciation as “ample” or “plentiful” in the Chinese language. Salmon sashimi is often used in this auspicious dish.

Fastidious Yu Sheng enthusiasts will not settle for anything less than Norwegian Salmon that’s freshly flown in from the cold, clear waters of Norway. Flown in within 48 hours from harvest, this premium grade of salmon has earned its place in Chinese New Year celebrations for its freshness, taste, smooth texture and its auspiciously vibrant red hue.

Norwegian Salmon is also the preferred choice for restaurants from what we can see from the menus, as well as at buffet restaurants and food catering. Can’t get enough of it!

Being an extreme fish lover (salmon being one of my favourite fish breeds), I get to benefit from the healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin A/D/B12 and iodine from the consumption of salmon. Salmon is said to improve eyesight and increase resistance to infections (which I totally agree on); it also helps in the breaking up of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the body, and enhancing the metabolism (keeps me slim!). I swear by Norwegian Salmon. ;) Who else is a fan?

For more information, visit salmonfromnorway.com.

*Photo credits to the Norwegian Seafood Council and TungLok

Late Night A la Carte Hotpot Buffet at Street 50 Restaurant & Bar, Bay Hotel Singapore

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I could be very selfish and not share my favourite supper spots, because I don’t want to be fighting for seats with you guys, but at the same time I feel this place deserves due praises and I can’t resist the urge to shout out loud how fond I am of this place.

Hotpot at Street 50 Restaurant & Bar is nothing new; it was launched as a set meal with allocated portions of meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles, infinite refill of your preferred soup base, and a broad array of dipping choices to accompany. What stood out most back then were the individual Chinoiserie hotpots that operate using actual flame rather than gas.

The hotpot buffet concept came into play as soon as the restaurant was geared up for it in terms of kitchen preparation work and service staff –it was more of getting used to the hotpot concept since the restaurant mainly does international buffet spreads and a la carte orders. It became a huge hit. Due to popular demand, they are now extending their Weekend Hot Pot A la Carte Buffet till 2am. Continue reading

Joyden Canton Kitchen at HillV2

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Crispy Golden Lotus Root Chips ($8.80)

10 years ago, Joyden used to be a name only known to those residing in the west; its name has since spread across Singapore, with adjectives like “comforting”, “flavourful” and “hearty” being used a lot to describe the Asian-style seafood dishes at Joyden Seafood Restaurant. The Joyden brand has recently made new waves with its latest dining establishment, Joyden Canton Kitchen, which serves up a whole new myriad of hearty, comforting Chinese dishes. Continue reading

Breakfast at Jamie’s Italian VivoCity (9.30am to 11.30am, Saturdays & Sundays)

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Most of us are familiar with Jamie Oliver from his frequent television appearances; some of us are huge fans of his. His emergence in the Singapore with the opening of the casual Italian restaurant, Jamie’s Italian in VivoCity, has brought ardent fans streaming in, also attracting food lovers from all over.

After spending a month in a Western country (Melbourne), I’ve fallen deeply in love with the café culture, breakfast and brunch affairs, and chiefly, fresh ingredients modestly cooked and allowed to shine. Since coming back to Asia, I’ve been yearning to experience that brilliance and passion in food, which I later found in Jamie’s Italian’s new breakfast menu.

Jamie’s Italian VivoCity opens its doors early every Saturday and Sunday, serving up a range of breakfast items from 9.30am to 11.30am. Continue reading

What will the wood goat year bring for us in year 2015?

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What will the wood goat year bring for us in year 2015? This article is for all my friends and readers, brought to you by Feng Shui expert Ivan Koh.

The horse year is coming towards an end and another zodiac animal, the goat, will soon arrive. The Chinese celebrate their lunar new year on 19 February 2015 and most would assume it is the arrival of the Goat year. However, according to the Chinese Farmer or Thousand year calendar, the New Year actually starts on 4 Feb 2015 at horse hour, and it is a wood goat year. It has the following combination of elements: Continue reading

UNA presents Singapore’s Ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration with Spanish flair, Viva la Vida

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Seafood & Chicken Paella

Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno brings his wealth of culinary experience (from 3-Michelin starred Chez Nico the remarkable Barrafina Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar and one of UK’s top restaurants Quo Vidas) to UNA Spanish Restaurant at One Rochester Park, taking the Spanish dining scene in Singapore to greater heights. With Spanish, Italian and French roots (his mum is Spanish, dad’s Italian, and he’s born in the South of France), he complements his expertise in Spanish cuisine and Italian and French influences with his expert precision in utilising the best raw ingredients to bring a whole lot of excitement into his cooking.

Staged in the lush, rustic garden setting, UNA Spanish Restaurant at One Rochester Park is an ideal place for any form of celebration, for instance the fast-approaching New Year’s Eve. Come 31 December 2014, UNA will transform into an iconic Spanish boqueria (traditional market), complete with a stunning array of authentic Spanish cuisine and lots of entertainment. Continue reading

(Christmas Dining Guide 2014) Affordable Christmas Feastings at Street 50 Restaurant & Bar

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Christmas feastings need not be exorbitant. Street 50 Restaurant & Bar at Bay Hotel Singapore, located in the Harbourfront-Telok Blangah precinct, is serving up three international buffet menus competitively priced from $38 to $88, with complimentary parking thrown in. Additional perks include: Senior Citizens pricing at $28 nett, activities and crafts corner for the little ones, kids eating for free and a gift in the sure-win lucky dip for each table. Continue reading

(Christmas Gift Guide 2014) For the ladies who are big on photography: stylish and practical camera handbags from Aide de Camp

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Madison Camera Bag ($329)

I’ve been using this camera handbag from Aide de Camp for close to a year now, and I’m proud to say it’s my favourite camera bag of all time! I frequently attend formal events and dinners for editorial purposes, and doubling as a food photography and writer, I have to be well equipped with my camera along with its accessories. My other camera bags always seem like a huge misfit at such events. The stylish range of camera handbags from Aide de Camp complements all polished looks, whether you’re dressing up to look chic or elegant, you no longer have to be reluctant to bring along your trusty camera. Continue reading

(Christmas Gift Guide 2014) For the makeup junkies: Urban Decay 2014 Holiday Line-up

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This one’s for the makeup junkies! I’ve recently taken a liking to the Urban Decay 2014 Holiday line-up, which includes stunning beauty weapons like Vice3 ($88), Naked2 Basics ($45), Naked Basics Double-Ended Brush ($28), Shadow Box ($52), Black Magic 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil Kit ($60), and Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder for Face and Body ($43).

Those dolling up for the festive season will find endless joy in the Vice3 eyeshadow palette; it comes with 20 shades from light neutral tones to vibrant attention-grabbing tones to dark smoky tones. Time to let your creativity run wild! Fitted in a slim jewel-inlaid case that houses a huge mirror and a double-ended brush, this eyeshadow palette also comes with a matching bag!

Get it at any Sephora outlets.

(Best Christmas Log Cake Guide 2014: Page 9 & 10) Capella Singapore

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Our Best Christmas Log Cake Guide 2014 closes with a “two page feature” of Capella Singapore and its spectacular range of log cakes, created by the imaginative and competent Pastry Chef Sam, who takes a whole lot of pride in his desserts, who deserves due credit and infinite limelight.

My first encounter with Capella Singapore’s dessert spread has left me awestruck; I rate it as one of the best, if not the best, in Singapore. Since then, I’ve always looked forward to returning to The Knolls, primarily for desserts.

Chef Sam has constructed a total of 6 unique log cakes that cater to every possible liking; unfortunately, they are not for independent sales. Instead, each log cake is available on a rotational basis, titled the Yule Log Cake of the Day, and to be enjoyed as sweet endings to the Festive Lunch and Dinner, priced at $65++ per person for 3 courses and $98++ per person for 5 courses for lunch and dinner respectively.

Here’s a peek into the 6 log cake creations.
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