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

(Mother’s Day Special) Yummy Hampers for Mummy

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Rather than splurging on fancy dinners or lavish gifts this Mother’s Day, there are gifts that warms the hearts and tummies of mums, like the hampers from Italian organic brand, Alce Nero, and local food company, Ayam Brand. The all-in-one cooking hampers contain almost everything you need to prepare a heart-warming meal for the most important woman in your life.

Available exclusively on HealthyGourmet.sg, an online shopping portal, the meticulously assembled hampers come with specially devised recipes on top of the food products, showing you how to use the products in simple step-by-step instructions.

Packaged with a quality casserole dishware from Neoflam, an international kitchenware company, mums will be thrilled by the fine addition to her kitchen gadgets.

The Ayam Brand ‘Local Delights’ Hamper is packed with Ayam Brand Nyonya Curry, Ayam Brand Coconut Cream (270ml), Sardines in Water (120g), Baked Beans (425g), Sliced Peach (410g) along with the casserole dishware and recipes.

The hampers will be available till the end of May 2015, exclusively on healthygourmet.sg.

(Mother’s Day Special) Pure Love by Bakerzin

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Bakerzin hardly ever disappoints when it comes to cakes. This Mother’s Day, there are three variants of celebratory cakes, named Pure Love, Classic Love, and Tender Love. Whichever you pick, mum will get the hint of your love for her.


Pure Love ($55.65, serves 10 to 12 pax)

Underneath the coating of white, rich Chantilly cream, is a vibrantly hued red dragonfruit sponge cake with a layer of white cream cheese.

The colourful myriad of berries and dragonfruit that adorn the cake barely gives hints to that striking pink beneath. Who would’ve thought dragonfruit would work so well in a cake?

The cake is deliciously moist and not too sweet –definitely a clever choice this Mother’s Day.

The other flavours, Classic Love and Tender Love, feature (flourless) chocolate cake and the brand’s iconic tiramisu respectively.

The Mother’s Day cakes are available for orders at bakerzin.com and at all eight Bakerzin stores islandwide (last day for orders is 7 May 2015, 2pm). Customers can make arrangements to either pick up their selected cakes personally from an outlet of their choice (except Gardens by the Bay) or have them delivered directly to mum.

Bakerzin outlets:
Jurong Point
Paragon
Tampines 1
United Square
Vivo City
MyVillage (Serangoon Gardens)
Gardens by the Bay
Connexion@Farrer Park

(Mother’s Day Special) Heart of Youth cake from Swensen’s

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Heart of Youth ($51++)

Swensen’s presents something really special this Mother’s Day; the Heart of Youth ice cream cake has more to its name than just its youthful façade.

Pretty in baby pink, the piping jelly encases vanilla ice cream swirled with chocolate fudge chunks. Adding to its charm is the outline of pearl cream, and a white chocolate crown enclosing a delicate adornment of sugar flowers and berries.

One of the best gifts to a mum is her youth, and the Heart of Youth cake will grant her just that. The cake is infused with a healthy dose of Marine Collagen, a natural supplement renowned worldwide for its anti-aging properties. Mums will be glowing with healthy skin and stronger bones!

The Heart of Youth cake is available at all Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s outlets from 23 April to 10 May 2015.

For more information, visit swensens.com.sg

GIVEAWAY

I’ll be running a giveaway on Facebook. Do check it out!

Personalise your own Coca-Cola Can

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Want your name printed on a can of Coke? It’s possible now with the world-famous ‘Share a Coke’ campaign that has finally arrived in Singapore.

The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was first launched in 2011, and has since spread happiness across the globe in more than 80 countries. Here in Singapore, the lingo is very much localised. Across the island from now till the end of August, (Coke, Coke zero, Coke light) cans and bottles will feature commonly used Singaporean nicknames and phrases in place of the iconic Coca-Cola logo such as “Auntie”, “Uncle”, “Ah Boy”, “BFF”, “Bestie”, “Babe”, “Bro”, “I Love You”, “You’re the Best”, “Chiobu”, “Relak Lah”, and more.

With every $10 spent on Coca-Cola trademark products, you can customise your own Coca-Cola can at the ‘Share a Coke’ roadshows that are taking place at various venues from 26 April 2015. Check the locations and dates at the website: http://www.coca-cola.com.sg/ShareaCokeSG/

Remember to share photos and videos on your social media timeline with the hashtag #ShareaCokeSG and #SG50!

LaBrezza, The St. Regis Singapore

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Saffron Panna Cotta ($16) – served with caramel sauce almond, orange tuilles and sweet dried fruits

The St. Regis Singapore embraces a new Chef de Cuisine, Luca Moioli, who will be holding the culinary reins at the hotel’s in-house Italian restaurant, LaBrezza. The completely refreshed a la carte menu is aptly balanced with a mix of classic Italian fare – original creations from his hometown, Sarnico, in the region of Lombardy – and his own signatures that are expertly crafted with contemporary touches. Continue reading

Cola Café by Jack’s Place

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Jack’s Place launches a new concept, Cola Café, in tandem with its revamped look, beginning at its newest restaurant outlet at Paya Lebar Square. Read more about Jack’s Place’s new look and menu at my previous post. Adjacent to Jack’s Place, Cola Café is a casual outlet catering to a diverse age group – counting in youths, working colleagues, homemakers and retirees – to catch up and linger over coffee and tea, as well as enjoy cakes, pastries and ice cream. There’re also salads and pastas on the menu if you’re intending to grab a quick lunch or dinner. Continue reading

Jack’s Place’s revamped restaurant outlet at Paya Lebar Square

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Jack’s Place is a brand close to the hearts of many Singaporeans, some of whom are loyal patrons from way before there was an influx of western cuisine restaurants (back then there were no Michelin-starred restaurants or celebrity chefs), some of whom (I happen to belong to this group) started dining there as children where their parents used to date, whose parents would then share with their kids the fond memories of their dating years, which often take place at Jack’s Place.

For those who don’t know much about the history of Jack’s Place, it began in the 1960s with Mr Say Lip Hai, who learnt how to prepare Yorkshire pudding and roast beef when he was a cookboy with the British troops. After learning the skills, he opened his first restaurant called Cola Restaurant and Bar in 1967, catering mostly to the British and Commonwealth troops and their families, and those residing in the Sembawang neighbourhood. In 1968, a huge opportunity came his way. A British housewife approached him after tasting the steak he prepared, to start a catering business in her husband (Jack Hunt)’s pub in Killiney Road, which led to the birth of Jack’s Place Steak House where Mr Say was in charge of the whole kitchen operation. In 1974, Jack Hunt sold the business to Mr Say and relocated back to England. Today, the company comprises the 2nd and 3rd generations of the Say family.

Celebrating its 49th anniversary this year, one year shy of the big 50, Jack’s Place is taking gradual steps to refresh and revamp its outlets with a new look, beginning with its newest outlet at the comparatively new Paya Lebar Square. In succession, renovation at all 17 outlets is targeted to complete in two years. The revamp involves the concept of Jack’s Place (or rather, an addition of a new concept), the décor, ambience, and as might be expected, an updated menu. Noticeable changes include the replacement of the iconic green and white checked tablecloths with the new silk-screened tailor-made wooden tables.


Fire Steak ($29)

What many of us are most concerned about is the food. Signature staples like the steak on hotplate will stay. Huge sighs of relief, yes? Catering to modern day diners, the presentation of some items will be updated, such as the Fire Steak, now served on a white plate.
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(Recipe) Homemade Black Sesame Noodles with Seared Salmon and Peanut Sauce

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If you have been following me on Instagram, you are probably aware that I’ve been experimenting a lot with the Philips Noodle Maker since a few months ago. I started with the simple “egg, water and flour” noodle and whipped up many successful noodle dishes from this one simple type of noodle – many of which inspired from local hawker fare, and some are personal tweaks from the recipe book that came with the Philips Noodle Maker – but I never felt extremely proud of any of my creations and neither will I claim credit for the wonderful recipes that the recipe books have provided. The dish of black sesame noodles with peanut sauce is one of my most satisfying creations.
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Ginzawa Japanese Restaurant at Palais Renaissance

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Palais Renaissance, positioned at a quieter corner along the bustling stretch of Orchard Road, has a new addition to its dining offerings. Ginzawa is a new Japanese concept underlining traditional Japanese fare with modern twists, and encompassing multiple facets of Japanese cuisine from kaiseki and seasonal omakase to lunch set dons and chirashis.


Deluxe Tempura Moriawasu ($35) – Anago Ippon Age, Uni Tempura, Amaebi Hotate Kakiage

The menu consists of sections dedicated to steamed, grilled, sushi and tempura dishes. Also available are seasonal offerings that allow the chef to showcase his creativity and culinary techniques. The man behind these dishes is veteran Chef Donny Tan, whom has accumulated over 30 years of culinary experience at Japanese restaurants in the US, Europe, Japan and Singapore. Continue reading

Saveur Art @ Ion Orchard -Affordable French Dining

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Dining at the higher floors of Ion Orchard is often regarded as a lavish affair, encircled by elite brands that contribute to the upscale reputation of the mall. One would imagine to be paying at least $150 each for a meal at a French restaurant, especially at Ion Orchard where rental rates are expected to be extremely high, but Saveur Art @ Ion orchard contradicts just that.


Salmon Confit ($11) – with marinated ikura, cauliflower, horseradish

Saveur’s first foray into the Singapore food scene was a huge hit; it extinguished the intimidation of French dining and made it affordable to the masses. The Saveur Group’s latest venture, Saveur Art, is an upscale version of Saveur, starring a different set of menu exclusive to this outlet. Saveur Art features deluxe ingredients such as white and black truffle from Alba, Italy, langoustine and wild game like pigeon, without the exorbitant pricing. It also carries a larger range of wines compared representing different regions of France, which also includes two dealcoholized white and red wines. Fervent fans of Saveur can still find their favourite items like Angel Hair Pasta and Duck Confit at Saveur Art, albeit with slight twists. Continue reading