(Best Singapore Neighbourhood Restaurants Guide 2015) Shelter in the Woods

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Shelter in the Woods reopens its doors last November with a bang, and loyal patrons can finally seek solace in the home of familiar aromas after its long hiatus.

The rustic woodland theme remains, while the flavours have taken on a positive turn, led by the newly appointed Consulting Chef, Masashi Horiuchi. Under his direction, the kitchen team embraces the Japanese values of discipline, systematic consistency and precision, delivering European rustic gems that Chef Masashi is passionate about. He speaks as eloquently in French as he is adept in European culinary techniques, bringing more than 20 years of culinary experience in Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe to our tables. Continue reading

CP Foods’ Pork and Chicken Gyoza

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CP Foods introduces the new Pork and Chicken Gyozas just in time for Lunar New Year –the annual festive celebration that means incessant steamboat feastings and nibbling on goodies. Perfect for any occasions, the gyozas taste good steeped in soup (think: steamboat), steamed, pan-fried or deep-fried. The combination of pork and chicken brings a whole new level of succulence. For an added touch of vegetal flavour and texture, you can go for the one stuffed with chives.

These ready-made dumplings are easy to prepare and requires no defrosting. You can even microwave them. How about a simple homemade noodle soup dish with boiled gyozas? (I used the Philips Advance Noodle Maker for the noodles.) The CP Foods Pork and Chicken Gyoza retails at $5.90 per pack, available at major supermarkets.

(Lunar New Year 2015) Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant

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Golden Happiness Fruit Yu Sheng ($128++, serves 10/$78.80 for small)

This Lunar New Year, we explore Crystal Jade’s fine dining outlet, Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant and its palatial festive spread. Diners can choose from 11 luxurious festive set menus priced from $298++ for 4 persons to $4,988++ for 10 persons. Start with the dynamic and vibrant Golden Happiness Fruit Yu Sheng to toss to greater heights, it comprises a colourful medley of fresh fruits such star fruit, rock melon, pomelo bits, mango, pear, apple and strawberry, accompanied by crispy deep-fried yam strips, crunchy peanut, sesame and succulent jellyfish. Adding an opulent touch are gold flakes adorning the platter, and not forgetting the star of the dish, premium Hamachi fish. Combine these ingredients in the citrusy house-made sauce, a blend of lemon juice, plum sauce and ginseng. There’s a great harmony of tastes and textures among the contrasting ingredients, especially amongst the different fruits –what a refreshing and healthy start to the meal. Continue reading

(Lunar New Year 2015) One Paradise and Silver Tray Catering

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This Lunar New Year, One Paradise and Silver Tray catering have got the home-dining aspect covered with several festive menus priced from $21.80 per person or $42 onwards for a la carte items, as well as 2 party sets at $348 and $388, suitable for a party of 8 to 10 people.

I got the Bountiful Harvest Party Set priced at $388 ($415.16 W/GST) per set for our cosy family gathering of 6 and it was more than sufficient in terms of portion sizes. The delicious Mixed Vegetables Deluxe, of three varieties of vegetables, carrots and black moss, was snagged up real quick. The second most popular dish was the flavourful fried Seafood Mian Xian; if it wasn’t heavy on carbohydrates, it could jolly well be the most popular dish! My dad favours the Braised Duck with chunky Sea Cucumber and Mushroom, while my other half enjoys the appetiser platter, the Fortune Treasure Combination, of prawn salad, Japanese octopus, marinated top shell, nori seafood roll and vegetarian shark’s fin omelette. The Signature Wok-Fried Wasabi Prawns is also highly popular, in need of a bigger portion. The Honey Soy Asian Baked Salmon Fillet is a personal favourite, much due to my love for fish. Filling us up is the fragrant Steamed Pumpkin Rice that tastes even better the next day when re-fried with new ingredients; the portion was so generous we had lots of leftover. Sweetening our palates is the thick Chilled Mango Puree with Sago, as well as mini macarons that are especially popular with the young ones.

For more information, visit http://www.oneparadise.com.sg/ and http://www.silvertray.com.sg/ (halal certified caterer).

(Lunar New Year 2015) NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Promotions

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From now till 28 February 2015, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto is having a series of attractive promotions for its modern multi-beverage systems to give you more reasons to host parties in style this Lunar New Year. Get $80 off for a Circolo FS (usual price $339), $60 off for a Genio 2 (usual price $259) and $50 off for a Melody (usual price $279).

In addition to the attractive discounts, any purchase of a NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto multi-beverage system entitles one to three free boxes of capsules (Cortado, Green Tea Latte and Milo).

What better occasion than to fill your home with the aroma of coffee? Continue reading

(Lunar New Year 2015) Min Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore

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Blessings of Fortune ($88 for 1kg, available for takeaway at the Deli)

This Lunar New Year, Goodwood Park Hotel stirs up buzz with its exquisite goodies by the brilliant pastry team, such as the Blessings of Fortune cake encompassing dark chocolate fudge cake swathed in crimson and gold icing and adorned with milk chocolate gold coins, dark chocolate ingots and golden rice crispies, and also the gleaming Golden Prosperity Pumpkin, a cashew nut cake coated with gold icing, both available at the Deli from 29 January to 5 March 2015.


Golden Prosperity Pumpkin ($88 for 1kg)

These stunning creations are bound to be the centre of attraction at house parties.


Kanpachi and Tuna “Yu Sheng” ($138 for large, available for dine-in only at Min Jiang)

Chef Chan Hwan Kee of Min Jiang elevates the traditional Yu Sheng to a new level with great flavour profile and complementing textures, featuring a fresh seafood stars, kanpachi and tuna, along with a lofty stack of mesclun greens, strips of radish, carrot, red ginger, jellyfish and fried silver cod fish, a sprinkling of pine nuts, sweet potato and yam crisps, ground peanuts, sesame seeds and ‘pok choy’ (crispy golden ‘pillows’), tossed in his own concoction of the highly coveted plum-wasabi-lime juice sauce. Continue reading

True Blue Cuisine

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Salted vegetable duck soup

True Blue Cuisine, situated next to the Peranakan Musuem, serves up true blue peranakan cuisine with no twists. The essence of Peranakan cuisine is kept true to its roots, showcasing time-honoured recipes handed down through generations.


Nonya Chap Chye

I silently protest the unnecessary air of conceitedness, first encountered upon entering the restaurant, short of smiles; the staff greets with a nasty demand of an “entry pass”, as if not making reservations at a moderately filled restaurant is a crime. They ought to come to terms that they aren’t the only ones who can deliver good tasting and authentic Peranakan cuisine. Continue reading

(Lunar New Year 2015) Shisen Hanten, Mandarin Orchard Singapore

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Shisen Hanten by celebrity Chef Chen Kentaro at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, famed for remarkable Szechuan cuisine with a Japanese twist, is rolling out an array of Chinese New Year menus and festive goodies from 26 January to 5 March 2015.

Diners can choose from a range of 10 set menus that are auspiciously named Prosperity, Fortune, Success, Peace, Happiness, Wealth, Opulence, Triumphant, Sumpreme and Splendor, priced from $98 to $388 per person. Apart from the set menus, a range of specialties and signatures such as Barbecued Whole Suckling Pig and “Chen’s Mapo Doufu” alongside Lunar New Year specials are available on the a la carte menu. Continue reading

(Lunar New Year 2015) Furama RiverFront

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Furama RiverFront welcomes the year of the Goat with sumptuous buffet spreads and festive menus throughout the Lunar New Year, as well as tantalising festive takeaways.

Kick-starting the meal on a high note is the Salmon Yu Sheng, featured in the buffet lunch and dinner on the eve and the first two days of Chinese New Year, priced at $68++ per adult and $20 per child. Other Chinese New Year delicacies available in the buffet spread include Pen Cai, Stewed Dried Oysters with Sea Cucumber, Drunken Chicken with Chinese Wine and Honey Pepper Pork Rib. 3 diners pay for the price of 2 when you pay with selected credit cards. On top of that, reservations for 6 diners and above will receive a complimentary serving of Fortune Yam Dumpling.
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(Lunar New Year 2015) The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Jade Restaurant

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Esteemed Chef Leong Chee Yeng and his culinary team at The Fullerton Hotel’s Jade Restaurant are gearing up this Lunar New Year with feasting menus ready to impress. Celebrations stretch from 3 February to 5 March 2015 here, and one should not miss out on their signature Eight Happiness Gold Rush Yu Sheng with Champagne Jelly, Salmon, Olive Oil and Peach Dressing to toss to greater fortune. Dine-in orders of Yu Sheng feature beautiful calligraphy with auspicious greetings hand-drawn personally by Chef Leong.


Eight Happiness Gold Rush Yu Sheng with Champagne Jelly, Salmon, Olive Oil and Peach Dressing ($68 per person for 5 persons and below, $98 per person for 6 to 8 persons, $138 for 9 to 12 persons)

Chef Leong introduces champagne jelly accompanied by edible gold leaves in the Yu Sheng for a special touch of luxury. Exquisite calligraphy that decorates the plate are drawn by Chef Leong using olive oil and dusted with cinnamon powder.


Poached Minced Fish and Mutton Fortune Dumpling ($16 for 3 pieces or $38 for 8 pieces)

It is believed that the more dumplings one eats during the spring festival, the more fortune one will receive. Continue reading

(Lunar New Year 2015) Antoinette

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Antoinette, much favoured for its French pastries and cakes, unveils a Lunar New Year Collection inspired by Chinese traditions and local flavours. Created by Executive Chef Pang Kok Keong, the Lunar New Year confectionery and specialty cakes showcase his creative touch and mastery, bound to impress in the aesthetics and taste department. They’re not your usual Chinese New Year goodies. Think: Valrhona chocolate love letters, fluffy pork floss meringue, macaron made of mandarin orange and white lotus paste, earl grey mandarin orange chiffon cake and more.

The most groundbreaking creation would be Chef Pang’s reinvention of the iconic Yu Sheng (Lo Hei); the Queen’s Yu Sheng ($88++, serves 6-8 persons) is a dessert with French elements, eaten as a sweet ending to the Chinese New Year meal. It features a large chocolate Golden Egg symbolising birth and renewal, perched on a “nest” of auspicious sweets such as chocolate fish, ingots and coins, 5-spiced almonds and cashews, mandarin orange butter cake and meringue kisses, and yam and sweet potato chips. A wooden hammer is served alongside, where diners reveal the ingredients hidden within the chocolate egg with a strike: pineapple, Thai green mango, red dragon fruit and pomelo, all diced and shredded just before serving. The dressing is unique blend of mandarin orange, plum and gula Melaka. The communal tossing then follows.

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(Lunar New Year 2015) Szechuan Court, Fairmont Singapore

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Lunar New Year celebrations commence as early as 2 February through 5 March 2015 at Fairmont Singapore, as Chef Mok Wan Lok of Szechuan Court rolls out eight promising New Year set menus accompanied by a collection of chef signatures, all set to welcome the new year with a bang.


Ultimate Success Yu Sheng ($238++, serves 10)

Among the 6 Yu Sheng varieties available here, the Ultimate Success Yu Sheng showcases an exceptional choice of ingredients such as Maguro (Tuna) and Boston lobster, with crispy morel mushrooms adding an extra crunch to this traditional dish. What gave the chef the idea to use this ingredient is that the name of this mushroom – “羊肚菌” in Chinese (denoting goat) – signifies the year of the goat. Other Yu Sheng variants with a choice of salmon, tuna, abalone or Boston lobster are available from $68++ per set.


Szechuan Court’s Prosperity Pot of Gold ($438++ for 6, $688++ for 8 to 10 persons)

The iconic pot of treasures (pen cai) is quintessential in Lunar New Year celebrations, believed to bring good luck for the year ahead. Signifying abundance and opulence, Szechuan Court’s Prosperity Pot of Gold features fourteen different ingredients including the highly prized African abalones, giant Japanese dried scallops and oysters, succulent fish maw, sea cucumbers, and a selection of roast meats, simmered in chicken stock and a concoction of sauces for six hours to reach a deep fusion of flavours.

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