(Mid-Autumn Festival 2014) East Ocean Teochew Restaurant

It feels like I’ve struck gold with the varieties of East Ocean Teochew Restaurant’s mooncakes I had, namely the Crispy Yam Mooncake with Whole Egg Yolk and the Mini White Lotus Paste Mooncake with Egg Yolk. Always the case, the epicentre of that coveted salted egg yolk instantly elevates the mooncake.


Mini White Lotus Paste Mooncake with Egg Yolk ($42 for 9 pcs) Continue reading

Duck Specialties by Roast Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato at Shisen Hanten of Mandarin Orchard Singapore

One of the best things that’s happened to Singapore’s dining scene this year is the opening of Shisen Hanten at Mandarin Orchard Singapore. Shisen Hanten (or Akasaka Szechwan Restaurant) is an establishment of great esteem, started in 1958 by the late Chen Kenmin who is regarded as Japan’s “Father of Sichuan Cuisine”.

A bit of history: Born in the Sichuan province of China, Chen Kenichi perfected his craft in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China before settling in Yokohama, Japan. The legacy is passed down to his eldest son, Chen Kenichi, who is one of Japan’s most celebrated iron chefs. To date, there are a total of 14 Shisen Hanten branches in six cities across Japan. Chen Kentaro, son of Chen Kenichi, picked up the tools of the trade through observing his father in the kitchen and learning by experience. He further honed his skills by working in Sichuan restaurants around the Sichuan province in China from 2005 to 2008.

Shisen Hanten at Mandarin Orchard Singapore is its first debut outside of Japan. The extensive menu features innovative and modern Sichuan cuisine, as well as dim sum favourites, seafood and all-time favourites (such as Ma Po Dou Fu, Gong Bao Ji Ding, La Zi Ji and more).

Set lunches are priced at $42++/$50++ per person. Set diners are priced at $68++/$98++/$138++ per person.

This August, Barbecue and Roast Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato presents a special line-up of signature duck specialties, which include the Shisen Hanten Roasted Duck ($16 per portion/$32 for half/$62 for whole), Szechwan Tea-smoked Duck ($16 per portion/$32 for half/$62 for whole), Osmanthus Pipa Duck ($32 for half/$62 for whole), Whole Duck stuffed with Hokkaido Rice and Goose Liver ($78 for whole), and Duo Braised Duck, Local and Hong Kong Styles ($20 feeds 2-3 pax/$30 feeds 4-6 pax/$60 feeds 7-10 pax).

Chef Kentaro travels to Singapore frequently to oversee the restaurant to ensure that quality remains at the high standards they’ve set. So fortunate to be able to meet him in person!


Osmanthus Pi-Pa Duck ($32 for half, $62 for whole)

Shisen Hanten serves Pi-Pa duck at its best. Coated in a sweet savoury glaze, the Osmanthus Pi-Pa Duck is roasted together with osmanthus flowers with aroma that seeps into the meat during the roasting process. The result is tender succulent meat with a floral hint. The accompanying osmanthus sauce may come across as overwhelming to some with its excessive sweetness and overly generous osmanthus specks. The meat itself needs no sauce –it’s perfect on its own.


Cold sliced jellyfish with sweet & sour sauce

While you’re there for the glorious roasted duck, don’t forget to check out the rest of dishes on the menu, which are equally impressive.


Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup ($28)

The Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup is a must-try. Multiple hidden layers include foie gras at the bottom followed by smooth silky chawanmushi, topped with a thick and chunky crab roe soup. Amazing.


Stewed fish fillet in super-spicy Szechwan pepper sauce ($26/$39/$52)

The stewed fish fillet in super-spicy Szechwan pepper sauce is another dish ubiquitous on any Sichuan restaurant menu. Tender succulent and thick slices of fish are served in a broth laced with spices. Here, the spice level is slightly toned down to cater to the constant stream of Japanese clientele.

Chen’s Mapodoufu “Stir-fried tofu in hot Szechwan pepper-flavour meat sauce served in Claypot ($20/$30/$40) is expertly done. One would usually consume Ma Po Dou Fu with plain rice. Here, rice is served in a stone bowl that’s topped with some vegetables and beansprouts. Chen’s Mapodoufu “Stir-fried tofu in hot Szechwan pepper-flavour meat sauce is poured over the rice and mixed up like a “bibimbap” (Korean mixed rice).

This ingenious way of eating Ma Po Dou Fu is oddly delicious and comforting.


Chen’s original spicy dry noodle ($12)

Another staple on the menu would be Chen’s original spicy dry noodle, tossed in an assertive sauce with bits of well-marinated minced meat.

Shisen Hanten truly impresses, with Sichuan cuisine executed with the finesse of Japanese cooking. Singaporeans are in for a treat.

The Roasted Duck Specialties menu by Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato is available for a limited time only from 12 August 2014 till the end of the month. For reservations, call 6831 6262/6266 or email shisenhanten.orchard@meritushotels.com

(Mid-Autumn Festival 2014) Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium

This Mid-Autumn Festival, Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at the Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium showcases Chef Cheung Kin Nam’s creativity and adept culinary skill. A master of dim sum and pastries, Chef Cheung displays his capabilities in a range of mooncakes. What really impresses is his signature creation Xin’s Special Mini Custard Mooncake, which has been a huge success over the past years.

Worth trying are the fruit-incorporated snowskin mooncakes, such as the Soursop and Chocolate Crunch Snowskin Mooncake and the tangy Passionfruit Paste Snowskin Mooncake. Continue reading

(Mid-Autumn Festival 2014) Jade Restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

Lunar New Year is not the only occasion for family reunions. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has specially designed a 6-course Mid-Autumn Dinner Feast ($88 per person) that encompasses thoughtful elements inspired by Chinese folklores and traditions. (Let’s talk about mooncakes later…)


Shredded Chicken with Preserved Fruit in Honey Mustard Dressing

Kicking off the meal is the appetising starter – the Trio of Mid-Autumn Combination – that includes petite portions of Steamed Sea Prawn Roll with Capsicum and Mushroom, Shredded Chicken with Preserved Fruit in Honey Mustard Dressing, and Tea-smoked Bean Curd Carrot Roll. Continue reading

(Mid-Autumn Festival 2014) Hello Kitty Mooncakes by The Icing Room

I am not going to rave about something that tastes bad just because it comes in the shape of Hello Kitty, just because I’m a fan of Hello Kitty (don’t judge). Thankfully the Hello Kitty mooncakes from The Icing Room did not need to use the Hello Kitty logo as its saving grace at all, because the mooncakes are decently done and would not incur strong rejections.

The Hello Kitty mooncakes come in two flavours: White Lotus with Cranberries and White Lotus with Macadamia Nuts. I prefer the former for its sweet fruity bits with pastry and lotus paste reminds me of the well-married “raisin in bread” combination. Continue reading

Masterpieces from Fantasìa by Escribà

Fantasìa by Escribà, the world’s first confectionery theatre extravaganza comes alive at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre (22 to 24 August 2014).

Featuring dazzling theatrical showcases, towering masterpieces made from confectionery and an array of sweet and savoury treats, Fantasìa by Escribà is the brainchild of acclaimed pastry chefs Christian Escribà and Patricia Schmidt. Continue reading

What to eat and shop at One Raffles Place mall

One Raffles Place mall opens it doors to a new shopping and dining experience right in the heart of the Central Business District, bringing good news to the workaholics stuck in offices around Raffles Place, and others who enjoy the therapeutic experience walking around a locale surrounded by towering office buildings. Formerly known as OUB Centre, the One Raffles Place mall has undergone a major refurbishment exercise and it is now the destination of choice for retailers and leisure providers to offer their goods and services in the premises of Singapore’s iconic landmark. With an extensive tenant list, the mall provides the working population and local residents in CBD with a wide range of shopping, dining and leisure conveniences all seven days a week.

Here are 4 dining spots worth checking out:

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(Mid-Autumn Festival 2014) Sheraton Towers Singapore’s Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant

Traditionalists are bound to give the mooncakes at Sheraton Towers Singapore their stamps of approval. Bending conventional rules this year, Chef Chung Yiu Ming and his culinary team from Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant have subtly incorporated modern touches to the mooncakes without having lost the traditional appeal. Continue reading

6-Course Dinner by Michelin-Starred Guest Chef Alyn Williams at The Cliff of The Singapore Resort & Spa Sentosa


Red Snapper, Miso Glaze, Seaweed Butter, Beach Vegetables

The series of dinners and brunches by Michelin-starred guest chefs have brought an added vim and finesse to The Cliff at The Singapore Resort & Spa Sentosa. Not only did this initiative bring Singapore’s culinary scene to greater heights, it also provided Singaporeans an opportunity of a lifetime to taste the culinary gifts from celebrated chefs from around the globe.

Previous star-studded guests include Chef Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon, Lonndon, Chef Jarad Gallagher of Chez TJ, California, and Chef Saul Bolton of Saul, New York City. The final Michelin-starred guest chef to arrive in Singapore for this series is Chef Alyn Williams, whose restaurant Alyn Williams at The Westbury has been awarded a Michelin star, three AA rosettes, and voted 15th place in UK’s National Restaurant Awards 2012. Born and bred Londoner Chef Williams also bagged the title of UK’s Best Chef of the Year in 2012.

Chef William’s entrance to Singaporeans’ palates highlights his style of straightforward cuisine with contemporary touches, featuring only the best of seasonal ingredients. Epicureans here get to taste his signature Foie Gras Semifreddo with Lemon Curd, Hazelnut and Coffee during the 6-course dinner, as well as seafood and lamb dishes that embrace middle-eastern influences.

After the customary champagne upon arrival, the Canapé of Tuna Tartare, Gazpacho Gel and Sesame Toast arrive in separate components –one of crunchy, one of fluffy and another featuring the star of tuna tartare topped with a smooth layer of gazpacho gel. Continue reading

(Mid-Autumn Festival) Paradise Group

It is almost a trend that hotels and restaurants are putting their own stamp of ownership on mooncakes, accompanied by uniquely designed packaging and boxes, bringing new flavours each year to call them their own creations. Paradise Group jumped on the bandwagon swiftly after its inception in 2008, giving consumers more options in the mooncake market.


Assorted Petite Snowskin ($28 for a box of 4/$50 for a box of 8)

The box of Assorted Petite Snowskin includes Earl Grey, Hakka Lei Cha, Roasted Coffee and Mocha flavours. Out of the four unique flavours, the Earl Grey Snowskin Mooncake carries the most appeal, with a soothing tea scent that isn’t too peculiar for unadventurous palates. Continue reading

(Mid-Autumn 2014) Man Fu Yuan of InterContinental Singapore

The art of baking mooncakes –each hotel has its own specialty and strong suit that sets it apart from the rest. For Man Fu Yuan of InterContinental Singapore, the baked Shanghai Mooncake is what they excel in.


Shanghai Mooncake with Single Yolk ($57+ for 4 pcs, $31+ for 2 pcs)

Making an impactful debut, the Shanghai Mooncake with Single Yolk wins hearts with its buttery crust that’s notably fragrant and crumbly to the right extend. Because of its size, the perfect ratio of salted egg yolk to lotus seed paste to crust is achieved. This creation by Man Fu Yuan’s acclaimed Dim Sum Chef Simon Poon is a must-try this year. Continue reading

Communal Dining at The Halia at Raffles Hotel


Cream of potato and leek

Communal dining is the practice of dining with others; it brings people merrily together over a hearty meal with happy round-the-table conversations leading back to harmonious times. A long table laden with an endless variety of delicacies: the idea seems similar to the long tables seen in the Great Hall of Hogwarts Castle where Harry Potter and the other students have their meals, receive daily owl posts or partake in special events.

The Halia at Raffles Hotel intends to bring the magical joy and delights of dining together to the people of this fast pace tech-prioritised generation who are unable to tear their attention away from their mobile devices, social networks or work. Now, take one random day out from sitting in front of the television, or the range of entertainment devices, and get together with good company for a delicious feast. The communal dinner is served in generous portions, enough to comfortably feed four hungry men with large appetites. The refreshing concept classifies dishes into ‘big plates’ and ‘small plates’ instead of the usual ‘appetisers’ and ‘mains’. The restaurant décor has a touch of ‘nature’, bringing the garden into the restaurant with lush planted foliage complemented by wood-carved tables –a reversal of Halia at the Singapore Botanical Gardens where the restaurant is situated amongst the greens.


Oriental pulled duck, gherkin, caper, micro herb salad, soba noodle, and sesame oil

The Communal Feast serves four and is reasonably priced at $270; reasonable for the reasons stated in this post (read on). The feast is hydrated with a communal jug, with your choice of the new orange cinnamon, lemongrass or iced tea. The orange cinnamon fusion has a refreshing spicy edge –a great perk-me-up after siting under harsh fluorescent lights throughout the day in office.

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