(Mid-Autumn Festival 2015) Szechuan Court, Fairmont Singapore

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Expertise in dim sum making is just one of the many qualities Dim Sum Chef Mandy Yeo of Szechuan Court, Fairmont Singapore, possesses that makes her so invaluable. Creativity and technical brilliance shine through her creations, with great taste to match. This Mid-Autumn Festival, she displays her 25 years of experience in crafting mooncakes with an enticing ensemble, packaged in sophisticated boxes.

This year, Chef Mandy also partners with Executive Pastry Chef Sebastien Cocquery-Beraud to develop a new snowskin mooncake flavour that strikes a balance between refreshing yuzu and creamy white chocolate.

The Autumn Treasures Baked Mooncake ($67 for a box of 4) brims with a medley of textures and wholesome goodness, comprising sunflower seed, melon seed, white sesame, almond, and walnut, in the white lotus paste.

Don’t miss out on Szechuan Court’s signature flavours such as the Bailey’s Chocolate, Rum & Raisin Chocolate Truffle and the Champagne Truffle & Chocolate Ganache, as well as the all-time baked favourites like the Double Yolk in White Lotus Paste ($69 for a box of 4), and Peach-Shaped Single Yolk & Macadamia Nuts in White Lotus Paste ($67 for a box of 4).

Mooncake boxes are patterned with orchids, Singapore’s national flower, as Szechuan Court joins in the year-long SG50 festivities. The tower drawer design can also be used as a jewellery chest after the celebrations. Definitely a keeper.

For convenience, order online at celebrationscentral.com.sg. Otherwise, for enquiries or orders, you may call their Mooncake Hotline at (65) 6338 8785 or email fairmontsingapore.mooncakes@fairmont.com.

Szechuan Court
Level 2, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189560

(Mid-Autumn Festival 2015) Carlton Hotel Singapore

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Carlton Hotel Singapore’s Signature Mini Walnut Moontarts with Egg Yolk have always been a highlight every Mid-Autumn Festival, it’s almost customary for our yearly celebration.


White Lotus Paste with Double Egg Yolk ($72 for a box of 4)

Apart from perfecting the craft of making moontarts, they also excel in baking traditional mooncakes.

Another must-have is the Mini Red Velvet Snowskin, filled with velvety cream cheese and crunchy royaltine.

For orders and enquiries on discounts, call (65) 6349 1292 or email restaurants@carltonhotel.sg.

Carlton Hotel Singapore
76 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 189558

(Mid-Autumn Festival 2015) Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore

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Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore is especially renowned for their irresistible array of handcrafted sweet treats. Think: mouth-watering durian creations appropriate for any occasion. This Mid-Autumn Festival, expect nothing less than awe-inspiring. The crowd-winning all-time favourite Premium Durian Snowskin Combo is joined by new creations, setting the stage for uphill excitement.


Tropical Royals – limited edition ($45 per box of 2 pieces)

Contained in sophisticated packaging are two gems: the Tropical Royals, featuring the king of fruits, durian, and the mammoth tree-borne fruit, jackfruit, for the first time in baked mooncake history. One of pure D24 durian pulp blended with white lotus seed paste, and another of juicy jackfruit bits adding texture to the white lotus seed paste. They are available in very limited quantities per day, so it’s best to order in advance.

Another new highlight this year is the Pineapple, Lemongrass and Dark Cherry Snowskin Mooncake, enthralling mooncake enthusiasts with gorgeous watercolour-inspired swashes of vibrant green and yellow. The pineapple puree is delicately infused with lemongrass, with a macerated dark cherry sitting snugly in the middle.

Check out the rest of their creations at festivepromotions.goodwoodparkhotel.com.

Goodwood Park Hotel’s mooncake creations are available from 16 August to 27 September 2015. To order, visit the Deli from 9am to 9pm daily, contact the Mooncake Call Centre at (65) 6730 1867/1868 from 9am to 7pm (Mondays to Fridays) and 9am to 1pm (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays), or email the order form (available at the hotel or at www.goodwoodparkhotel.com) to mooncake@goodwoodparkhotel.com. Alternatively, you can place online orders at festivepromotions.goodwoodparkhotel.com. Last pre-order date is 21 September 2015, 5pm.

Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
Singapore 228221

Singapore River Festival (SG50 Edition) –23 to 25 October 2015

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The Singapore River was seen as the lifeline for Singapore. It was once an important port for trading and where our forefathers worked and lived.

This year, in celebration of the history of the Singapore River and in honour of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, the Singapore River Festival 2015, happening from 23 to 25 October, will bring to life a never-before-seen side of the Singapore River. The event brings visitors to the three quays – Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Robertson Quay – a line-up of spectacular activities including interactive exhibitions, good food, trendy markets, art installations and theatrical performances.

For more details of the event, refer to the Singapore River Festival website or Facebook page:
http://singaporeriverfestival.sg
www.Facebook.com/singaporeriverfestival

Bangkok’s Best Food Court 2015: Central Embassy’s Eathai

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I travel to Bangkok at least once a year, mainly for the love of Thai food. The explosion of flavours – comprising sour, spicy, salty, sweet and even bitterness –that invigorates the taste buds, is just out of this world. Street food is the best way to experience Thai food. But, if hygiene and cleanliness is your main concern, and you seek high quality in the ingredients that go into the dishes, then your best option is Eathai at Central Embassy, raved by many to be Bangkok’s best food court.

Central Embassy by the Central Group is a classy and sophisticated shopping haven, featuring an 8-storey retail podium. You will find an extensive range of retail outlets with big luxury brands to boot. Restaurants can be found mostly on level 5, while cafes are dispersed amongst different levels. Continue reading

Singapore Food Festival 2015 – What is your family’s signature dish?

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Growing up, my parents hardly ever cook. I always look forward to the feastings during Lunar New Year because it’s the only time my mother actually steps into the heated kitchen and picks up a wok. One of our family’s signature dishes is the Yam, Pork and Sea Cucumber Stew, which she learnt from her mother (my grandmother). And, she’s passing on the recipe to me!

It is a comforting dish that requires just 6 simple ingredients: spring onion, dried shrimps, pork, sea cucumber, yam and oyster sauce. It’s amazing how it’s so flavourful without the addition of salt, pepper or MSG. Oyster sauce is the only seasoning used.

Yam (or taro) is one of the key ingredients. Remove the skin, cut into chunks, and give it a good rinse.

The yam has to be deep-fried before the cooking of the dish begins.

I guess if you deep-fry it, the yam holds its shape and not turn into thick goo by the end of cooking. Also, it speeds up the cooking process later on.

The pork (we use pork belly here) has to be blanched beforehand and sliced. I trimmed off the skin (and made pork crackling with it!!!).

My mum would fry the dried shrimps in a bit of oil till it exudes fragrance, then toss in the sliced pork for a quick fry. The sea cucumber and yam is then added in with some water enough to cover everything, and set to simmer for like an hour or two, till the sauce thickens and yam softens. Simmering for a longer period of time also means the pork becomes meltingly tender.

This is my favourite dish from our family!

Food equates bonding for many of us Singaporeans; there are no other common interests that Singaporeans are more passionate about apart from food. Singapore food is mostly defined by the hawker scene, Singapore dishes such as chicken rice, laksa, chilli crab, fried kway teow, oyster omelette and more (gosh I’m salivating as I’m typing this). Singapore dishes that are closest to our hearts are the dishes that our grandparents cooked for us at home when we were young, which have never seen the public light. Have you picked up a skill or two on how to prepare them, or had since added your own twist to the classic dish? Do you have a burning desire to share your family’s recipes? This is your chance to!

The annual Singapore Food Festival (SFF) is now in its 22nd year, and it is the only food festival that focuses on local flair and chefs. From 17th July to 2nd August 2015, the theme for this year’s festival is “A Fresh Taste of Tradition”, where festival goers will get to revisit traditional local favourites as well as experience modern interpretations on Singaporean dishes. The Singapore Food Festival is holding a contest in collaboration with hungrygowhere: share photos or recipes of your family’s signature dish on hungrygowhere at sff2015.hungrygowhere.com and stand a chance to win SFF event tickets and F&B vouchers! Use the hashtags #SFF2015, #myfamilyssignaturedish and #YourSingaporeFood if you’re sharing it on social media.

For more information, visit www.singaporefoodfestival.com.

Singapore Food Festival 2015 – Violet Oon’s Living Culinary Treasures Cooking Workshops (8 classes, 21 July to 2 August)

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Singapore Food Festival is an annual celebration of Singapore’s food heritage. What better way to immerse in our rich food culture than to partake in culinary workshops that bring you back to your roots? Discovering the true culinary DNA of Singapore food is Violet Oon’s lifelong quest, and she’s inviting you to be part of it at her all-new Culinary Workshops in conjunction with this year’s Singapore Food Festival. The Living Culinary Treasures workshops begin on 21st July and runs till 1st August at the newly renovated and re-launched Violet Oon Singapore at 881 Bukit Timah Road.
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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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