(Dragon Boat Festival 2016) Rice Dumplings from Szechuan Court


“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!
Continue reading

(Mid-Autumn Festival 2015) Paradise Group


Celebrating mid-autumn festival, Paradise Group presents a range of mooncakes contained in exquisite and sturdy cases that can be reused for storage or as jewellery boxes.

Indulge in the elegant gold-dusted Signature Petite Black and White Truffles Snow Skin mooncake flavours that are well balanced with white and dark chocolate, or stick to traditions with four varieties of baked mooncakes.

White Lotus Paste with Double Yolk ($35 for 2-piece box or $64 for 4 pieces)

Purchase online at www.paradisegp.com from 24 August to 23 September, or at the following outlets:

Taste Paradise – ION Orchard #04-07
Paradise Pavilion – Marina Bay Financial Centre #02-01
Seafood Paradise Defu Lane – 91 Defu Lane 10, #01-01
Canton Paradise 112 – I12 Katong Mall, #B1-15
Canton Paradise AMK Hub – AMK Hub, #B2-01
Canton Paradise Alexandra Retail Centre – ARC, #02-30
Canton Paradise Bedok Mall – Bedok Mall, #B2-10
Canton Paradise Compass Point – Compass Point, #03-19
Canton Paradise Star Vista – The Star Vista, #B1-45
Paradise Dynasty Causeway Point – Causeway Point, #05-16
Paradise Dynasty Vivo City – Vivo City, #03-08A
Paradise Dynasty Westgate – Westgate, #02-13
Paradise Inn The Seletar Mall – The Seletar Mall, #03-10
Paradise Inn City Square Mall – City Square Mall, #B1-01

(Mid-Autumn Festival 2015) BreadTalk’s Hello Kitty Mooncakes


To all Hello Kitty fans, this Mid-Autumn Festival, BreadTalk’s Hello Kitty mooncake packaging is a must-have to add to your Hello Kitty collection!

Hello Kitty Mooncake Set ($59.80 for 6-piece box)

The durable case, fitted with a mirror, can be used as a makeup kit after you’ve enjoyed the mooncakes. The set is also accompanied by stylish metal cutlery.

A box of 6 comes with 3 flavours of mini traditional mooncakes of Lotus with Macadamia, Lotus with Cranberries and Lotus with Yolk Blend, embossed with Hello Kitty motifs.

BreadTalk’s range of mooncakes is available at all outlets island-wide from 10 August to 27 September 2015.

For the list of outlets, visit http://breadtalk.com.sg/

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


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


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


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

(Dragon Boat Festival 2015) Szechuan Court, Fairmont Singapore


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.
Continue reading

(Dragon Boat Festival 2015) Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel


This Dragon Boat Festival, comforting and homely flavours are found in Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant’s handmade rice dumplings that require at least 6 hours of cooking.

This year, the Black Truffle with Pork Belly & Dried Scallops rice dumpling ($18 per piece of $168 per box of 8) makes its debut; with the deep earthy flavour of black truffle coming through subtly but surely.

Their Signature Pork & Salted Egg rice dumpling ($12 per piece of $118 per box of 8) is what mesmerised me the most. This is coming from someone who has been living outside of Singapore most of the time –I found familiar flavours and aromas that brought me back to the most joyous days in home.

If fragrance and spice are two prominent keywords in your food diary, go for the Spicy Sambal rice dumpling ($10 per piece or $102 per box of 8), which features succulent pork belly, onion, garlic, and a house-blended dried shrimp-based sauce. This is another must-try!

One of the best tasting Grain Rice dumplings I’ve had can be found right here. The 5-Grain rice dumpling ($9 per piece or $96 per box of 8) encompasses a melange of rice varieties including brown rice, oat, sorghum rice, barley and pearl rice, combined with vegetarian bak kwah, carrot, black fungus, turnip, salty and soft braised peanuts that I enjoyed endlessly, and cabbage –an inviting mix of textures in a dumpling that is also a good source of dietary fibre and vitamins.

Dumplings are available from 1 to 30 June 2015.

For more information, call (65) 6831 4605 or visit singaporemarriott.com/dining.

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
Level 3, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865

(Dragon Boat Festival 2015) Peony Jade


The smell and sightings of dumplings quickly confirms that Dragon Boat Festival is fast approaching. I have been traveling between Auckland and Singapore a lot in these couple of months, and celebratory mood amongst Asians living in New Zealand is no less pronounced. Since I was only in Singapore for a week last month, I took the opportunity to sample as many dumplings as my stomach could digest. One of those that outshines is Peony Jade, like it always has with festive offerings.

Steamed Cantonese Style Dumpling ($9.80++ per piece)

This season, 4 new flavours make an appearance ready to tantalise taste buds. The Steamed Cantonese Style Dumpling encases caramelised kurobuta pork cha siew with chestnut, salted yolk, braised peanuts and Chinese murhsoom; the Steamed Healthy Vegans Multi Grains Dumpling ($8.80++ per piece) features assorted beans; the Steamed Hokkien Style Dumpling wins votes with succulent fatty pork belly, chestnut and salted yolk.
Continue reading

(Lunar New Year 2015) Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant


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


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) Min Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore


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


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


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