Mikuni’s Grand 8-Course Fugu Tasting Menu

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The exotic Fugu (pufferfish or globefish), is extremely lethal if not prepared with extreme caution, and only chefs who have obtained a license and have gone through years of apprenticeships can serve fugu. Chef Moon of Mikuni at Fairmont Singapore is one such licensed chef with heaps of culinary talent and creative power. This winter, Mikuni draws on the fruitful supply of fugu and brings forth a Grand Tasting 8-course menu ($220 per person or $310 with sake pairing) that celebrates various parts of the Fugu anatomy, showcasing Chef Moon’s artistic strength in blending modern and centuries-old Japanese culinary techniques seamlessly.


Otoushi – Globefish Skin Jelly, Miso, Sushi Ball, Fugu Mirin Boshi, Caviar

The meal begins with “small bites” of jelly made from fish bone broth brimming of collagen goodness, sliced fugu on a sushi ball, and sun-dried fugu saturated in mirin topped with tuna belly tartar and caviar, a beautiful combination of taste and texture.

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IKYU (7-course Omakase paired with Sake)

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IKYU is a marriage of merrymaking, modern sophistication and refined Japanese culinary techniques. A sign of high calibre and success, this Japanese restaurant withstands the test of time and continues gratifying diners since its opening in 2012.

I visited IKYU when it was newly opened and left with nothing but praises. A new occasion to revisit arises; it is merely an occasion to revel in top-notch Japanese cuisine. This time round, I’m having the 7-course Omakase paired with Sake, priced at $138 per person.

Fresh slippery scallop sashimi got the ball rolling, reaching an elevated height with black truffle scattered all over. Next course was a sashimi platter comprising some of the freshest varieties available. Continue reading

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

Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

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Joël Robuchon, a renowned culinary figure whom has accumulated a total of 25 Michelin stars in different parts of the world including Singapore, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Macau, Monaco, Paris and Tokyo, whose restaurants are on the top of every gourmand’s checklist, is a man of firm principles when it comes to French cookery. Speak to him about “molecular gastronomy” and expect a long face.

Seen as a stern and austere man, who allows no inferior work to leave the kitchen with his knowledge, those who have secured a position in his kitchens ought to be no less than the top of the line with great ambitions and talents. I can imagine the workspace spiralling into a frantic pace with each visit he makes, but his very appearance is also what many would eagerly anticipate –a rare occasion to meet the culinary legend that we worship endlessly. Even the staunchest fan may not have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of him.

I felt so privileged to be able to meet him in person, two years ago, when Resorts World Sentosa organised the RWS Food Affair, in which the RWS Celebrity Chefs Dinner brought together six prominent chefs including Joël Robuchon.

Dining at Joël Robuchon Restaurant may not be that far-fetched a dream. While it can cost up to an intimidating $500 per person for dinner, fans can get a taste of Joël Robuchon’s culinary finesse for just under $60. Turn to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, a relaxed concept adjacent to Joël Robuchon Restaurant underlining a heightened level of interaction between chefs and diners with just a (wall-less) counter separating the kitchen and main dining area. Lunches are priced at $48, $68 or $108 per person, and dinner at $68, $98 or $138. The a la carte menu also offers tasting portions.

I headed to Resorts World Sentosa with great anticipation that Saturday afternoon, all eager to be impressed all over again at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon where I visited two years ago, only to find out that I have gotten the date wrong. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon was closed; it is only open for lunch on Sundays (operates for dinner from Thursdays to Mondays). Joël Robuchon Restaurant on the other hand opens for lunch on Saturdays (operates for dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays). I was dressed for L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and underdressed for Joël Robuchon Restaurant, and so was my dining companion. The front of house crew were gracious and ushered us to the seating area without any air, while a table at the swanky Joël Robuchon Restaurant was being prepared for us. I took awhile adjusting to the situation, having to strip off the casual persona and gradually starting to believe that I’m going to dine at Joël Robuchon Restaurant. Lunch at Joël Robuchon Restaurant is far more affordable than dinner, starting at $78 to $118 per person. The versatile menu allows diners to compose their own meals by picking and combining items from a list of appetisers, mains and desserts. For instance, the $118 per person meal includes the Amuse-Bouche, choice of 1 appetiser, choice of 1 soup, choice of 2 main courses, choice of 1 dessert, and coffee or tea served with petit four. Dinners are priced at $228 to $428 per person.

Quoting Joel Robuchon, “Innovation, Modernity and Tradition are the three words that inspired me to create this menu…” “You can adapt as you wish by choosing one, two, three or four services, depending on your appetite, your desires, and discover a multitude of flavours.”
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Lewin Terrace -Romantic Dining Spot in Singapore

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Lauded as one of the most romantic dining spots in Singapore, Lewin Terrace is no longer a secret notwithstanding the fact that it is being concealed by exuberant greenery and tucked away from sight. Here is where many marriage proposals, weddings and anniversaries happen; its close proximity to the ROM (Registry of Marriages) makes this spot even more popular for celebrations of love.

Perched on the edge of Fort Canning Park accessible by a flight of garden steps, the restaurant is housed in a stately 100+year old black and white bungalow, serving up refined cuisine that marries French culinary techniques with the brilliance of Japanese ingredients.

Many are intimidated by its formal aura, but you’d be glad to know that lunch sets begin at an affordable $38++ (4 courses). Wine pairings are available from $38 for 3 glasses, while sparkling or still water comes at $8 for unlimited flow. The following courses are part of the Omakase-style menu priced at $108++ per person.


Buri Daikon (part of the Omakase set meal)

Judging from the food he presents, I can tell Chef Ryoichi Kano of Lewin Terrace is one who respects ingredients and is strict on quality. The starter of Buri Daikon is a playful combination of Japanese and French, with the clean tasting Japanese yellow tail matching the classic French ratatouille seamlessly.


Foie Gras Terrine ($28)

The artfully plated Foie Gras Terrine has got to be one of regulars’ all-time favourite, seemingly becoming a staple on the menu. The rich and creamy foie gras terrine is wrapped in pickled radish (bettaraduke/Japanese pickles), served with a paper-thin crystal chip (potato chip) accompanied by a mango and passionfruit puree and lemon charcoal on the side for dipping. The idioms that go “good things come in pairs” and “good things come in small packages” both apply in this case. Continue reading

Open Door Policy at Yong Siak Street

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Open Door Policy, Tiong Bahru estate’s well-loved modern bistro since October 2011, opens its doors to fresh and bolder ideas with a new head chef, Daniele Sperindio, helming the kitchen.

Chef Sperindio began his culinary journey at a tender age of 13 in Genoa, Italy, and honed his culinary skills in Paris and Monte Carlo after he completed training at the Professional Institute Marco Polo. He was also the sous chef of Michelin-starred Antica Osteria del Bai of Genoa, and has worked in fine dining restaurants in the US. He adds to his portfolio a Sommelier certification from the United States Sommeliers Association (USSA), for the benefit of marrying food with wines beautifully with a deeper understanding.


Beetroot Risotto (cooked in sherry vinegar) topped with Feta Goat Cheese and Pea Tendrils ($25)

Open Door Policy is favoured for its modern cooking techniques, which bring out the best of the ingredients and adding sophistication to hearty contemporary classics at the same time –essentially eclectic comfort food coked with finesse. The menu undergoes a major revamp, replacing 70% of list with exciting new dishes.

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Xperience Restaurant & Bar at Sofitel So Singapore

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Before I begin on my review of Xperience Restaurant & Bar at Sofitel So Singapore


Panoramic view of the hotel room

When I uploaded a photo of one of the rooms in Sofitel So Singapore on facebook and casually captioned “Staying here tonight!!!…In my dreams hurhur…” everyone seemed to have taken no notice of the second half of the caption and I suddenly became the subject of envy.

Well… I imagine me snuggling up in the lush comforts of the bed, reaching out to the iPad and start browsing; my finger swiping across the iPad, pitting against the constant dilemma on what show to watch. Then falling into deep slumber.

On a side note, Sofitel So Singapore’s rooms are furnished with iPhones and iPads.

Toiletries are kept in an enthralling His and hers drawer unit designed in their iconic hexagonal shape. So if I’m staying here with my girlfriend, we’ll be vying for the ‘Hers’ drawer.

Spotted throughout the hotel are commissioned objects featuring Karl Lagerfield’s “The Lion’s Seal” emblem.

Stylish, fashionable, sophisticated, glamorous and luxurious are words that would describe Sofitel So Singapore best.

You need not book a night’s stay just to soak up the glamorous vibes. Dine at Xperience Restaurant & Bar and be dazzled by the culinary flair of Chef Ann-Cecile Degenne in the sophisticated environs of Sofitel So Singapore.


Seared Pork Knuckle & Pickles ($12/$21/$31)

The menu does not abide by the standard way of categorising (appetisers, sides and mains); instead, dishes are categorised according to textures and tastes: crunchy, zesty, smoky, spicy, silky, saucy and juicy.

The restaurant lets you customise your dining experience based on the occasion by offering three portion sizes: tasting XS portions, personal XM portion, or sharing XL portion.


Mushroom Soup and Celery Royal (set lunch menu)

Those working in the CBD/Shenton Way area will find more reasons not to rush through unhealthy lunches at the desk; fuss-free set lunch menus are priced at $38++ for two courses (entrée and main) or $43++ for three courses (entrée, main and dessert). Xperience Restaurant & Bar Xperience makes for an ideal spot for business lunches as well. Continue reading

Recommended Hotel Accommodation in Tokyo, Japan: Hilton Tokyo

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When I returned to Singapore from Japan, I couldn’t stop raving about the spectacular experience I had at Hilton Tokyo. It was by far my most memorable hotel stay.

Hilton Tokyo resides in the west side of Shinjuku, an area home to Tokyo’s largest concentration of skyscrapers including several of the tallest buildings in Tokyo such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, KDDI Building and Park Tower.

Its close proximity to Shinjuku Station means easy access to restaurants, entertainment and shopping. The hotel multiplies the level of convenience by providing complimentary shuttle bus service to Shinjuku Station throughout the day.

Clustered within the bustling Shinjuku district are departmental stores, malls, boutiques, electronic shops and more.

Along the tracks northwest of Shinjuku Station is Omoide Yokocho (memory lane). The narrow lanes and alleys are filled with tiny eateries serving yakitori, ramen and more.

Return from a day of sightseeing, shopping and eating to the spacious and luxurious hotel room in Hilton Tokyo. The King JR Suite Executive, spanning across 474 square feet of space, is where I wallowed in. Continue reading