30licious by Amex and HungryGoWhere – $30++ deals, 30 days (Lawry’s The Prime Rib Singapore)


30licious, jointly presented by American Express and HungryGoWhere, is happening from 3 November to 2 December 2014. Over 30 days, Amex card members can enjoy meals at $30++ each at over 30 participating restaurants ranging from upscale settings to chill-out premises. Diners without amex cards can still enjoy the meals at $35++ each at selected restaurants. To enjoy the 30licious deals, simply log on to book.hungrygowhere.com/30licious to make a booking, which also acts as a form of reservation.

US Kurobuta Baby Back Ribs from Lawry’s

Participating restaurants include A for Arbite, Buyan Russian Restaurant & Bar, OSO Ristorante, Ristorante PepeNero, Seasons Bistro, Siam Society, Town Restaurant, Ujong and many more. I wish I could visit all participating restaurants to take advantage of such a great deal but I was out of town for a month and could only commence my gastronomic journey with 30licious towards the end of the promotion. I’m eagerly looking forward for the next 30licious promotion already!

When I was young, at probably 11-17 years of age, I’ve always dreamed of dining at Lawry’s, previously located at Paragon. Each shopping trip with mum at Paragon ends up with an increasing desire to dine there. Somehow it seemed like the most elegant dining spot decades ago, and till date they still present themselves as an elegant and sophisticated dining destination. The 30licious dining promotion finally gave me a reason to pay a visit to Lawry’s, which relocated to Mandarin Gallery (God knows when!). The $30++ set menu was a great bargain for the quality of service, ambience and food. We were lucky to snag a window seat that overlooks the bustling Orchard Road.

The set menu includes freshly baked classic hard rolls to start with, starter and main of your choice. Lawry’s emphasises hugely on tableside service, which is apparent in the starter and main.

The starter of The Famous Original Spinning Bowl Salad comprises crisp Romaine, iceberg lettuce, shredded beets, baby spinach, chopped eggs and croutons, tossed with their signature Vintage Dressing in a salad bowl spun on a bed of ice. If we take away the fancy serving manner, the salad itself is nothing to shout about. The ingredients were not evenly coated in dressing, and that’s not it. My partner’s plate and mine differs slightly; I didn’t get any baby spinach and barely any shredded beets while he had a scanty portion of baby spinach and shredded beets. There were no signs of chopped eggs.

The 30licious set menu offers three mains for diners to choose from: Chef Cut, Italian Chicken & Mushroom and US Kurobuta Baby back Ribs. Part two of tableside service comes with the main of Chef Cut contained in the “Silver Cart”, where diners would then choose their cut of preferred doneness from the batch and have their 120g portion of the roasted Prime Rib of Beef carved before your eyes, served with US Idaho mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. Continue reading

We dined at Singapore Marriott Hotel’s Pool Grill and saved $70, thanks to the Entertainer App


Finding a tranquil dining spot in the core of an active city like Orchard Road poses as a challenge, but not unimaginable with the well-concealed gem like Pool Grill, perched on the fifth level of Singapore Marriot Hotel, adjacent to the outdoor pool.

Pool Grill is where you dine al fresco in a sophisticated resort-like setting that brims with romantic vibrancy –perfect for anniversaries and proposals.

Marinated ½ Baby Chicken ($29; 300grams)

Prices for mains range from $28 for a vegetarian Mushroom Risotto, to $68 for a 400-day grain-fed Australian Wagyu Rib-Eye steak. Not the most affordable dining option in town, but the quality and portion justify its prices.

Online deals, credit card promotions and discounts prove to successfully entice visitors. I for one am drawn to restaurants listed in the Entertainer App, where I get to enjoy buy-one-get-one-free for main courses. I have previously dined at Hummerstons, The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill, and Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar; using the Entertainer App, I’ve saved more than $250 thus far. The app costs just $67!

Glazed Lemon Tart with Nut Tortilla and Vanilla Chantilly Cream ($14.50)

There are over 990 buy-one-get-one-free vouchers for restaurants, nightspots, spas, activities, attractions and more, plus over 380 free night voucher offers for hotels and resorts throughout Asia & Indian Ocean. I’ve even utilised the buy-one-get-one-free voucher at informal f&b spots such as Dunkin Donuts, Popeyes, ShareTea, and Ben & Jerry’s.

This time round, thanks to the Entertainer App, I saved approximately $70 at Pool Grill.

Yellowfin Tuna Tartare ($20)

Our meal commenced on a high note with the pristine Yellowfin Tuna Tartare that arrives with crisp crouton, fresh horseradish crème fraiche and an invigorating drizzle of lemon oil. Clean, fresh flavours; effortlessly divine. Continue reading

AdstraGold Microbrewery & Bistro Bar at East Coast Road


Adstragold Microbrewery & Bistro Bar at East Coast Road is a stomping ground for beer connoisseurs, offering over 10 varieties of ales and stouts that are freshly brewed in-house. The premises houses 6 tanks of microbrewery systems, hence ensuring that they never run out of fresh beer.

Established in 2010, Adstragold Microbrewery is the first to brew cider in Singapore. I’m not a fan of beer at all, but the sweet and musty ciders go down easily for me. Setting the cider-brewing trend in motion, I’m definitely looking forward to more cider flavours from them.

Here is where you can enjoy a whole range of freshly crafted beers, tapped directly from the microbrewery tanks. Varieties include Golden Ale, Summer Wheat, Red Summer Wheat, Pilsner Premium, Red Ale, Indian Pale Ale (IPA; seasonal and limited edition), Nutty Brown Ale, Dark Ale, Roasty Stout, Nutty IPA and Red Oak Ale, priced from $4.90/mug and $7.90/pint.

Crispy Pork Belly ($12.90/$18.90)

Hankering for savoury items to accompany your beers? Consider the delectably juicy and crispy pork belly. Continue reading

Zafferano’s New Executive Chef Unveils Debut Menu


Utterly bedazzled by the elegant dining and posh settings of Zafferano during the media preview of Singapore Restaurant Week Edition 7, I left with a burning desire to return. Perched on the highest floor of Ocean Financial Centre 240 metres above ground level, this fashionable restaurant, bar and lounge provides a magnificent view and ambience.

Chef Fabio Cucchelli’s debut menu in Asia – showcasing a modern adaptation of classic northern and southern Italian cuisine with great emphasis on natural flavours – gives the perfect reason to revisit. Continue reading

Prego – an Italian Trattoria at Fairmont Singapore


Prego manifests itself as an Italian Trattoria, in every possible aspect of the restaurant –from the service style and communal dining to its rustic décor dominated by wood and marble.

It’s new menu, launched in July 2013, stars Chef Antonio Facchinetti’s creative take on traditional Italian fare, which combines age-old culinary methods and techniques with fine seasonal ingredients.

An assortment of breads, baked in-house, is served to the table with accompanying dips, beginning to whet our appetites before our meal commences.

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SingTel Hawker Heroes Challenge –the day has finally arrived!


Fans of Gordon Ramsay have been following various online platforms religiously ever since the news of him accepting the invitation (to take on Singapore’s three most popular hawkers in a culinary cook-off) went viral.

Gordon Ramsay’s acceptance video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOFvFeCTw0c

After a gruelling culinary showdown on 7 July 2013, the Singapore hawker heroes have defeated Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay. Continue reading

Hawker VS Michelin-starred Chef -who reigns supreme?


Dining these days is no longer merely for sustenance. Fastidious diners are bringing to a standstill the seeking of belly-fillers; the entire package from the ambience to service to impeccable plating are now taken into significant account in evaluating their dining choices. Many are willing to splurge on meals at preeminent restaurants with Michelin stars to boot, even if they end up leaving the restaurant still peckish from the petite portions plated like a piece of art.

Would you rather proceed to a hawker centre, and load up on a satiating plate of char kway teow?

I confess to enjoying greasy calorie-laden fried kway teow, fried oyster omelette and fried carrot cake amongst many other hawker foods. But, the queue, the clammy environment, the uncivilised and inconsiderate folks that we sometimes encounter, and some snobbish vendors that piss us off with bad service, are just some of my many gripes. So often the ugly side surfaces and overshadows the pleasant side that unfortunately remains taken for granted.

Do you prefer our local ‘wanton’ dumpling or the Italian ravioli?

If we are talking about the food and just the food in its entity, judging by the taste and flavour profile, the level of satisfaction our favourite hawker foods gives definitely surpasses that of a Michelin-starred restaurant dish –hawker food gets the upper hand because it’s something close to my heart – the familiar tastes and aromas that have accompanied you through your growing years – and I’m sure majority of Singaporeans, born and bred in Singapore, can relate.

An Italian rendition of Chicken Rice at OTTO Locanda; Aged Parmesan Cheese Risotto “Carnaroli” with White Chicken Ragout and Chili Dressing

In my response to HungryGoWhere’s article “Are Singapore hawkers not Michelin-worthy?” I disagree to a certain extend. Hawkers are not on par with Michelin-starred chefs, because they’re both in a totally different and opposite league. You can’t compare apples to oranges. However, if the question was, are hawker foods inferior to award-winning restaurant dishes, I disagree wholeheartedly.

Skills: There is almost zero chance of finding hawkers with the knowledge of molecular gastronomy. Simultaneously, Michelin-starred chefs will experience the same level of difficulty replicating centuries-old recipes of hawker fare. Continue reading

OTTO Locanda


OTTO Locanda brings fine Italian cuisine in a relaxed setting, at the charming Maxwell Chambers just minutes away from the Red Dot Traffic Building, where its fine-dining counterpart OTTO Ristorante resides –both walking distances away from the Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

The partners behind OTTO Ristorante share a life-long passion for great Italian food, offering dining that is close to the hearts of Italians.

OTTO Locanda exudes a rustic charm similar to that of a traditional Italian trattoria. Walls are adorned with the owner’s personal postcard collection, while copper lamps illuminate the dining room with warmth and cosiness. Shelves are filled with vintage Italian memorabilia, which will open vaults of memories and feelings of nostalgia close to the Italians’ hearts.

Under the culinary direction of OTTO Ristorante’s head chef Michele Pavanello, Chef Marco Violana helms the kitchen at OTTO Locanda, bringing his impressive Italian culinary expertise to the table. Expect hearty Italian recipes coupled with high quality ingredients and precise execution. Continue reading

Chili’s seasonal menu: “Chillin’ and Grillin'”


Chili’s Grill & Bar is an internationally known restaurant chain, serving up a flavourful mix of South-western-inspired classic American favourites in a fun, energetic atmosphere. With several decades of history since 1975, they now have over 1,500 restaurants in all 50 states, two territories, and across the world in 32 countries. Its first outlet in Singapore opened in June 2009, at Tanglin Mall.

From 30 January 2013 through 9 April 2013, the “Chillin’ and Grillin’” menu – developed by the brand’s Global Business Development Chefs – will bring novel integrations of ingredients without steering away from the invitingly familiar flavour profile Chili’s is loved for.

The four choices of “Chillin’ and Grillin’”, available for dine-in or carryout, are as follows:
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