(Mid-Autumn Festival 2013) Mooncakes from Jiang-Nan Chun, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

Chef Alan Chan from Jiang-Nan Chun, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, is best known for his creative enthusiasm in tandem with drawing on traditional roots.

This Mid-Autumn Festival, expect bold and inventive flavours in Chef Chan’s new range of mini snow skin mooncakes, yet traditionalists can still seek comfort in familiar favourites. Continue reading

(Mid-Autumn Festival Recipe) Flaky Pastry with Organic Golden Sweet Potatoes by Feng Shui Inn, Resorts World Sentosa

Mid-Autumn Festival is around the corner. Have you made your mooncake orders, or are you planning to get your hands (and kitchen) dirty and bake some from scratch? If you’re planning on the latter, you’re in luck! The recipe in this post, (tried, tested and triumphant), is nothing like the usual ones stamped out of squarish ornate moulds.

I had the privilege of attending a mooncake-making media workshop held at Resorts World Sentosa’s elegant and luxurious Chinese restaurant, Feng Shui Inn. Emphasising hugely on healthy eating, Feng Shui Inn introduces the baked flaky pastry for the first time, which encases organic golden sweet potatoes for a healthier alternative. It is lower in calories, fat and sugar content.

They have generously provided the recipe so everyone could give them a try. This version is a twist from the traditional Teochew mooncakes that have purple yam as fillings. Continue reading

Paradise Inn Launches a New Menu

Paradise Inn, a popular chain by Paradise Group, unveils a new menu, offering new culinary creations while retaining a few of the all-time favourites.

According to Executive Chef Tan Chia Siong, Singaporeans are becoming increasingly health conscious these days, opting for healthier food with lighter flavours. As such, he has worked together with Grup Executive Chef Fung Chi Keung to revamp some of the preparation methods and choice of ingredients to cater to diners’ preferences.

The interior is dressed in an oriental theme instilled with a modern essence. The atmosphere is casual and convivial while still radiating poise.

Double-boiled Spare Ribs with Pumpkin & Oysters Soup ($18.90 per pot)

Traditional double-boiled soups are the key specialties of Paradise Inn, which are certainly not to be dismissed out of hand. Continue reading

Din Tai Fung presents: Red Bean Rice Dumplings in June 2013

Celebrate Dragon Boat Festival in June with Din Tai Fung’s ever-popular Red Bean Rice Dumplings, specially air-flown from Taiwan to grace this festival.

As opposed to the classic tetrahedral shape that we are accustomed to, Din Tai Fung’s Red Bean Rice Dumpling presents itself in a cylindrical (pillow) shape, wrapped tightly in bamboo leaves that instil fragrance in every tacky grain of rice.

The fragrance of the bamboo leaves permeates the air as you unwrap the dumpling.

I’ve sampled a great deal of savoury rice dumplings, from those with conventional and modest fillings to the luxurious ones, but this has got to be my first time tasting one with a sweet filling. I envisioned myself finding the combination too bizarre for my taste buds, but it took me by surprise as I took subsequent bites. It grows on me. Continue reading

Ju Chun Yuan –Dim Sum Buffet at $18+ for a limited time only! (Usual price at $24+)

Dim sum lovers, you’re in for a treat. At just $18+ (no service charge), you get to enjoy a plethora of over 50 dim sum varieties, from 11.30am till 3.30pm, any day of the week. Where can you get such a good deal? The answer is no other than Ju Chun Yuan, located at Far East Square.

Housed in a heritage site, in the former Chui Eng Free School built in 1854 (one of the first Chinese free schools to provide free education to the poor), Ju Chun Yuan’s ancient-looking façade is stunningly elegant and very well preserved. A great backdrop for touristy group photos –I totally witnessed that. Wade past prevailing tourists (if any) whom might be blocking the entrance, and walk through the elegant bamboo courtyard that leads to the restaurant.

The two-storey 140-seater restaurant is dressed in a classic Chinese décor, replete with 4 well-appointed private rooms that are perfect for intimate gatherings and parties.

I visited Ju Chun Yuan twice for the value-for-money dim sum buffet, and both visits were exceedingly fulfilling.

On the regular menu, tasteful renditions of Min cuisine (also known as Fujian cuisine) predominate.

Oh how I love dim sum. With the desire of wanting to order every single item on the menu, my eyes would excitedly scour the extensive list of familiar dim sum items, and my hand, gripping onto a pen, would instinctually tick away, filling the order chit with numerous strokes that scream greed.

I have compiled pictures taken from both visits. I used a compact camera during my second visit, thus the quality difference. You could possibly derive vicarious pleasure from the following food porn –or at least, I hope my photos did justice to the dishes. Enjoy. Continue reading

Si Chuan Dou Hua presents The Petites Selection (from now till 31 July 2013)

Si Chuan Dou Hua, leading ambassador of Sichuan cuisine in Singapore, has caught on the tapas trend, bringing you a kaleidoscopic menu of 30 tapas-sized offerings designed by their culinary maestros Zeng Feng, Peter Tsang and Leung Wing Chung.

Crispy Roasted Pork

Sichuan cuisine is more than just spicy and tongue numbing. Experience the diversity of robust and distinct flavours in this time-limited promotion, The Petites Selection, from now till 31 July 2013.

Spinach with Ginger Sauce

Two wallet-friendly The Petites Selection options include:

Wine pairing – Great as pre-lunch or pre-dinner nibbles, you can enjoy 5 Petites dishes and 2 glasses of wine at only $55.
UOB cardmembers exclusive: $48 for the above promotion; or enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine with every order of 10 Petites dishes, priced from $8.80 each.
Petites dishes can be paired with an Australian Shiraz Cabernet blend from De Bortoli DB Family Selection or a French Chardonnay from Pierre Jean Columbard.

Tea-pairing with the Imperial High Tea – Savour handcrafted dim sum, premium Chinese tea and your choice of 5 Petites dishes at only $30++ per person.
UOB cardmembers exclusive: Start off your high tea with a complimentary glass of wine per person.

Mini Pan-fried Pancake with Crispy Floss

Prawn in Spicy ‘ma la’ Sauce

This distinctive ‘ma la’ sauce is a piquant mix of peppercorn, chilli powder and salt. This dish packs a spicy punch –not for the faint-hearted.

Continue reading

Tim Ho Wan; Hong Kong’s renowned Michelin Star Dim Sum Restaurant opens in Singapore

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chef Mak Kwai Pui garnered vast culinary experience working at renowned hotels, before he eventually set up his first restaurant, Tim Ho Wan.

Shortly within a year of business, Tim Ho Wan was awarded one Michelin star for its remarkable array of dim sum; it wasn’t long before the business expanded from one outlet to four in Hong Kong.

This April 2013, Tim Ho Wan’s first-ever overseas outlet opens at The Atrium@Orchard, Plaza Singapura –a highly accessible and bustling mall just above the MRT station. Continue reading

Guan Chee Fish Head Steamboat opens a Mini-Restaurant at Food Republic, Parkway Parade

Fish head steamboat is often enjoyed in the open air, with friends and families, standing on no ceremony; slurping on piping hot soup accompanied by a bowl of rice and a few other wok-fried ‘tze char’ dishes –in an unpretentious boisterous setting.

Guan Chee Fish Head Steamboat has taken things a step further, by housing its latest outlet in Food Republic at Parkway Parade. In its own cosy private enclave within the food atrium, this well-ventilated air-conditioned mini restaurant makes the enjoyment of fish head steamboat more accessible, in a comfortable and clean environment. Continue reading

Food Trail at Bugis+ with Omy bloggers

Last weekend, a group of Omy.sg bloggers were invited to a 6-hour-long food trail, covering over 10 dining establishments in Bugis+. With an empty stomach and a voracious appetite, we sampled a wide range of cuisine from American to Chinese, and Korean to Thai, available in the promising mall.

(Hashtag for the event: #BugisPlus; follow me @melicacy on Instagram)

Regrettably, I had an event to cover earlier in the day, hence I missed out on several restaurants. Nevertheless, I’ll be featuring some of the restaurants I’ve visited at Bugis+ during the past few months, in addition to what we’ve sampled during the food trail. Continue reading

Soup Broth Asia

The soup culture has gained enormous popularity, especially with the health-conscious group. If you have a soft spot for comforting home-style soups, this post is dedicated to you. Soup Broth Asia is the tamer sibling of The Soup Spoon, branded as a modern soup restaurant dedicated to serving Asian soups.
Continue reading

Lunar New Year Feast at Crystal Jade (Dine-in or Takeaway)

What’s your preference for reunion dinners on the eve of Lunar New Year? Do you prefer dining in, or out?

This is one special day where I get to spend quality time with the family –an extremely rare occasion, once a year, where we would sit down for a meal together. Hence, I would rather spend it in the comforts of our home, as opposed to the bustling dining scenes at Chinese restaurants, where waitstaffs are generally paid twice (or thrice) their regular pay to spend the eve of Lunar New Year without the company of their loved ones, but still putting a smile on their faces no matter, till the dinner service concludes.

If you would like to enjoy a reunion dinner at home without having to spend the entire day in the kitchen prepping, the takeaway options at Crystal Jade will bring boundless delight.

If you like the hustle and bustle, you have the option of dining in. Prices stated in this post are for takeaway; 10% service charge applies for dining in. Do remember to make reservations in advance to avoid disappointment!

Reunion Yu Sheng (Small $39.80/Big $69.80)

‘Lo Hei’ is almost a mandatory practice in the Chinese tradition during Lunar New Year. What sets Crystal Jade’s Yu Sheng apart from the typical Yu Shengs is the finely shredded yam that is deep-fried to a crisp. They remain crispy even after the mixing and tossing.

My favourite part of Yu Sheng is usually the crispy golden crackers, but now with the crispy strips of yam, there’s one more component on the plate that I equally adore.

Are you ready to ‘Lo Hei’?
Continue reading

Enjoy Complimentary Peanut Glutinous Rice Balls at Din Tai Fung (January 2013)

Usher in the New Year with the classic Peanut Glutinous Rice Balls at Din Tai Fung. In the month of January, diners can either order a bowl of Peanut Glutinous Rice Balls a la carte, or enjoy it complimentary with a minimum spending of $90. Citibank cardmembers need to only spend $80 to enjoy this promotion.

Peanut Glutinous Rice Balls ($6.80)

I hate to admit, but the ‘tang yuans’ I’ve consumed over the past years are the ones that are ready-made and frozen, conveniently purchased from supermarkets. Hands up, those who can relate, whose family members are always tied up with busy work schedules, and are too busy to step into the kitchen to make ‘tang yuans’ from scratch.

This year, Din Tai Fung brings us the cosiest form of tang yuan –freshly handmade, using the freshest ingredients. Good for 2-3 to share, each serving comes with 6 balls of sticky, chewy, gritty goodness, steeped in a sweet soup chockfull of peanuts. Every kernel is boiled till it loses its crunch –I dislike the crunchy texture of peanuts, so this I totally approve.

To get a bowl free of charge, it is not difficult to exceed an expenditure of $80-90 when there’s so much temptation on the menu, calling out for you. ‘Choose me!’ ‘Choose me!’

Here are the items that I ordered last week during dinner with my parents. I hope it will be of some help in facilitating you in narrowing down your options from the wide range available.
Continue reading

Dian Xiao Er -a visit to Nex’s outlet

Famed for their Signature Roasted Herbal Duck, this restaurant chain – with 8 outlets dispersed islandwide – has been winning the hearts of duck lovers since 2005.

Step into Dian Xiao Er, and be transported back in time to the ancient era of the Han dynasty. An apt location for traditional Chinese banquets I feel.

The interior corresponds to the Chinese inns you see on period dramas –the inns that provide a ‘pit-stop’ for ‘weary travellers’ to rest and recharge before proceeding with their hectic journey. Here, customers can indulge in a nutritious and sumptuous spread to replenish their energy before continuing their shopathon.

Herbal Roast Duck (Small portion, serves 2-3 pax)

Dian Xiao Er’s Signature Herbal Roast Duck is a must-try. They have perfected the art of duck roasting, acquired through years of experience. In addition to using only the finest quality Cherry Valley ducks, the combination of traditional preparation technique and modern equipment yield the perfectly roasted ducks. Ducks are prepared and roasted daily.

Continue reading