(Dragon Boat Festival 2016) Rice Dumplings from Szechuan Court

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“Rice Dumpling Festival” is what many of us would term Dragon Boat Festival. Why? Because Singapore’s immense passion for food supersedes traditional practices. How many of us know the full story behind Dragon Boat Festival? We might have heard various versions of its origins, but it ends there, and I’ll stop here before I start boring you with information acquired from the Internet.

We consume rice dumplings during this period of the year because firstly, it’s delicious! Secondly, it’s ubiquitous. There are small-scale stalls that sell rice dumplings on an almost daily basis, but it is only during the Dragon Boat Festival that you find various versions of rice dumplings in restaurants and hotels.

Over the years, I’ve always favoured Szechuan Court’s rice dumplings over others for many reasons. Quality of ingredients is one; generosity of ingredients is another. Taste, of course, is a huge motivating factor. Lastly, its size: I would dive into this massive bundle of deliciousness like how a bunny would into a pool of carrots.


Szechuan Court’s Signature ‘Gong Bao’ Chicken Dumpling ($26++, 600g)

This massive dumpling weighs a hefty 600 grams! My favourite flavour of all time, Szechuan Court’s Signature ‘Gong Bao’ Chicken Dumpling never disappoints. Encased within the glutinous, are tender pieces of well-marinated chicken boasting the right balance of spiciness and savouriness, and texturally contrasted with crunchy roasted peanuts.


Traditional Hong Kong Rice Dumpling ($18++, 300g)

The Traditional Hong Kong Rice Dumpling is another hearty option encasing succulent pork belly, barbecued pork, roasted duck, Japanese flower mushrooms, salted egg yolk, yellow beans, dried shrimps and chestnuts. I totally would mind this as a meal on a regular day!
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Classic cocktails, perfected by Anti:Dote bar of Fairmont Singapore

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Just had to share. Top Cocktail Bar, Anti:Dote, launched a new cocktail menu, named The Revivals, that draws inspiration from the classics. Think: delicious classics re-imagined with a modern twist. The pages of the stylish menu show off the team’s artistic flair with sketches of the each drink in its befitting glassware.

And you’d be impressed with the elegant handcrafted Schott Zwiesel crystal glassware in which the drinks are served. Its classy aesthetics contributes no less to enhancing the enjoyment of the cocktails than the deliciousness itself.
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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

“The Best of Thai” at Escape Restaurant & Lounge, One Farrer Hotel & Spa (2 to 16 April 2015)

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One Farrer Hotel & Spa in Singapore collaborates with Guest Chef Aek Charttrakul and his team from the Thailand Culinary Academy to present “The Best of Thai” from 2 to 16 April 2015.

Before I begin with the food, I have to say that I am very impressed (unexpectedly) by the overall feel of his hotel, having stepped foot here for the first time. This relatively new five-star hotel, located away from the bustling city centre, strikes one as being built to anticipate the arrivals of diplomats and VIPS at first glance. As you enter the hotel, you are welcomed by a sense of sophistication. Art pieces grace the spacious lobby, with soothing music playing in the background.

At Escape Restaurant & Lounge, white linen tablecloths give the restaurant a clean and classy look, albeit too formal for buffet pleasures I feel, but nonetheless comfortable. The theatrical open kitchen grants diners unobstructed views of chefs in action. The crowd was a little sparse on last Friday evening, which was good for me because I enjoy the quiet peace and less people swarming around the buffet line, but I don’t think the restaurant will enjoy such peace for a long time, especially when more people start knowing about what a gem this place is.

Plain white plates are glued into sculptures of art and hidden away in display cabinets, replaced by various shapes and sizes of ornate dinnerware that are totally “instagram-worthy”. This is where you can truly show off your incredible food plating creativity. Continue reading

Goodwood Park Hotel’s Durian Fiesta ever: 16 March to 2 August 2015

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Singapore’s Goodwood Park Hotel’s biggest Durian Fiesta ever is happening from 16 March to 2 Auguest 2015, starring six new creations adding to the line-up of durian-centric goodies, twice as many varieties as usual. Since its introduction in 1983, this annual fair has been winning the crowds with D24 and Mao Shan Wang durians’ luxuriously creamy flesh and sweet aroma.
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Manhattan Bar at Regent Singapore introduces “Lower East Side” to its updated menu

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Penicillin ($23)

Manhattan Bar at Regent Singapore entered our cocktail scene with a bang last April, and unlike other establishments that claimed quick success, the hype did not die down for this grand hotel bar. Excitement level is kept on a constant high, especially when the bartending and culinary team continuously up their game with each menu launch.


Ode to “Eggs” ($10) – sweet coconut semifreddo “egg white”, pineapple-mango “yolk”, served with slices of crisp brioche

Manhattan commenced the year 2015 with the introduction of five new classic craft cocktails and four gourmet bar bites, revolving around the trendy yet cultural neighbourhood, Lower East Side, to replace “Wall Street” on the menu. You will also find new additions to existing neighbourhoods (Soho, Upper East Side, Theater District and Spanish Harlem) on the menu. 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

Pool Grill at Singapore Marriott Hotel’s Italian Business Set Lunch Menu ($33++)

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Pool Grill at Singapore Marriott Hotel launched an Italian Business Set Lunch Menu to reach out to corporate executives looking to take business meetings to serene environs in the midst of the bustling city. The undisturbed poolside restaurant is conducive for business meetings, matched with the convenient location and value-for-money set lunches.


Pan-Fried Red Snapper, Taggiasca Olives, Asparagus Ravioli

Available from 2nd February to 1st March 2015, 11am to 3pm daily, the Italian Business Set Lunch Menu is a weekly changing 3-course menu, priced at $33++ per person, inclusive of unlimited flow of iced teas and hot beverages. 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) 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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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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