Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Say hello to my recent food obsession: donburi bowls from Kilo at Pact.

More specifically, I’m heads over heels with the salmon quinoa bowl! The ingredients are simple but outstanding on its own – sweet fresh and crunchy corn kernels (nothing out of a can!), creamy and perfectly ripe avocado, well-marinated radishes and shimeji mushrooms, and incredibly flavourful quinoa. So delicious that I don’t even mind that the salmon tends to be overcooked (tried and tested thrice). I can’t make out what’s in the secret dressing though – shoyu? Mirin? Vinegar? WHAT?! Guess I’ll keep going back to figure it out haha.

K’s pork belly bowl is a near replica – just substitute salmon for pork belly, quinoa for sushi rice. He didn’t like this place on our first visit but has since changed his mind yay. The power of a pork belly bowl!

IMG_8137

Pork Belly Sushi Rice ($18++)
avocado, sweet corn, shimeji mushrooms, radishes, sugar peas, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, wasabi sprouts

IMG_8142

Pan-Seared Donburi Salmon Quinoa ($18++)
avocado, sweet corn, shimeji mushrooms, radishes, sugar peas, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, wasabi sprouts

IMG_8143

Kilo at Pact
#02-16/17/18/19, Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
6884 7560

Pontini Italian Buffet

Pontini, the long-standing Italian restaurant at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, has unveiled a brand new Italian buffet featuring a plethora of antipasti, breads, soup, main courses and desserts from various regions in Italy. Priced at $48++ for adult and $24++ for child on Saturdays and public holidays from noon to 3pm, I thought that it was very value for money, especially for the quality (rather than quantity, which is rare for buffets).

2014_10_04

I found myself heading back to the antipasti corner again and again – wholesome baked butternut squash, crab meat and black truffle tapenade; juicy grilled Portobello mushrooms with sweet chilli and arugula salad; Tuscany-style marinated octopus, chickpeas and green asparagus salad; assorted Italian cold cuts served with candied fruit mustard, sweet onion chutney and grain mustard (I made the rounds for K too!); and the crisp, leafy radicchio, pear, Gorgonzola cheese salad tossed with aged balsamic vinegar etc.

2014_10_041

Pastas are whipped up a la minute at the live station by the team of chefs. You can DIY your pasta – choice of pasta (tagliolini, penne, tagliatelle) and preparation methods (aglio oliotomato basil fondue, “Roman” style carbonara, wild mushroom with pancetta and pine nuts, “Genovese” style basil pesto sauce). Mine was given a luxurious touch because I was really lucky to “bump” into both black and white whole truffles! Freshly shaved truffles onto our plates of carbonara and mushroom tagliatelle upped the delicious scale by several notches!

2014_10_047

Main courses were kept to a minimal – Piedmont-style braised beef brisket and potato fondant in herb gravy; sauteed live mussels in crustacean saffron broth and broccoli floret; chicken thigh “Diavola” paired with spicy capsicum tomato sauce and dried oregano. My favourite was no doubt the oven-baked Norwegian salmon mignon in pistachio crust. I love that it was not overcooked despite sitting in the warming tray and the delicately nutty and crunchy crust provided a delightful contrast to the tender flesh!

IMG_7475

A finale for an Italian meal cannot be without desserts right?! The ensemble of mini tiramisu, zesty lemon tart, vanilla panna cotta, pistachio almond biscotti and stracciatella ricotta cannoli prepared deftly at the live station left us completely satiated. I usually left buffets feeling overstuffed but not this time! Everything was just right :)

2014_10_044

Our thanks to Jennifer and Shawn for the kind invitation!

Pontini Italian Buffet
Level 2, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
392 Havelock Road
Singapore 169663
6233 1100

Li Bai Hairy Crabs!

Phew, I’m not too late to share about the return of hairy crabs, am I?!

True, the season is almost over but you can still get your hands on them at Li Bai for the rest of this month!

IMG_7756

New this year is the gorgeous braised king prawn and sweet potato topped with hairy crabmeat and crab roe! I really enjoyed this dish – the medley of fresh and plump prawn, pan-fried sweet potato and sauteed spinach crowned with fragrant hairy crabmeat and creamy roe yielded a myriad of textures with every bite.

Braised King Prawn and Sweet Potato with Hairy Crabmeat and Crab Roe ($36++ per person)
大閘蟹粉大蝦金薯

IMG_7757

My favourite fish dish at Li Bai is the baked cod and while the red garoupa was not bad (deep-fried fillet was good but the sauteed one was bland), I’d still stick with cod any time.

Red Garoupa
prepared 2 ways – sauteed fillet and deep-fried

IMG_7779

To experience the natural sweetness and distinctive taste of hairy crabs, at least try one that is traditionally steamed! Love the succulent meat and of course, the sinful decadent crab roe!

Traditionally Steamed Hairy Crab ($60++ per piece)
古法蒸大闸蟹

IMG_7784

I was more than happy to leave my crab to the experienced staff for deshelling! The experts made it seem so easy!

IMG_7789

As hairy crabs are known to be ‘cooling’, hot ginger tea will definitely be served at any feast involving said crabs to balance the constitution. Don’t worry, this was quite mild (I prefer mine to be super strong with a good kick to the system) so you will still have a sweet ending!

Sweetened Ginger Tea
with hasma (dried fatty tissue found near the fallopian tubes of frogs!)

IMG_7799

Thank you to the Sheraton team for hosting us for dinner!

Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Sheraton Towers Singapore
39 Scotts Road
Singapore 228230
6839 5623

I first came into contact with Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore a few weeks ago when they invited their media friends and business partners over for a house party.

Wait a minute, Hotel Jen? New hotel in Singapore? Nope, it’s the rebranded Traders Hotel with a refreshed identity inspired by the virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier who loves life, travel and the adventure of discovering new places!

IMG_7193

Boy, the team at Hotel Jen really knew how to throw a party – superbrunch (the spread was huge!), human foosball (we won, yay!) and lucky draws (no luck sigh). Anyway, we were told of the rebranding offer (ending Nov 30 so check out the “Weekend Staycation at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore” offer which expires 31 Dec 2015 instead!) at the party which sounded very attractive – $230++ for buffet breakfast in Cafebiz, 20% discount at Ah Hoi’s Kitchen, free WiFi etc etc – and I thought, K’s birthday is coming up so why not right?

2014_09_27

Actually, K’s birthday is at the end of this month but he will be celebrating it in Thailand (army duty for 2+ weeks!) so I wanted to surprise him with a weekend staycation. I even gave him an invitation card to complete the surprise – he totally didn’t see it coming!

IMG_7998

We were assigned a Club Room on the highest floor which is 25sqm size and comes with an en-suite bathroom. Honestly, the room (see above) looks quite “tired” right? So I’m glad to report that the rooms will be renovated (hotel will remain open) to feature modern, apartment-style furnishings such as a bay window sofa –> see mock up room below which was introduced to us at the party. Such a big difference!

IMG_7185

Our room faced the pool and we spotted our dinner venue! You can’t see it in the photo but the signage of Ah Hoi’s Kitchen is right above the yellow umbrellas ha.

IMG_7999

Poolside dining at Ah Hoi’s Kitchen was unexpectedly impressive! My favourite dishes are both crab-based – soft shell crabs stir fried with almond and just a handful of chopped chilli padi (so fragrant!) and the meaty salted egg yolk crab from Sri Lanka. The salted egg yolk sauce was rather magical – usually it gets overwhelming after the initial “shiokness” but the version here had a hint of spicy heat and balanced flavour. Simply 好吃!

2014_11_01

K is a gym junkie so it’s great that the gym is 24 hours and has decent equipment! We also took the opportunity to use the sauna, steam bath and whirlpool facilities located within the spa… Staycation bliss!

IMG_8075

Time always fly by so much faster during a staycation! We woke up not wanting to check out haha. Our breakfast at Cafebiz was very hearty because of the vast spread of food! Asian, international and local cuisines, made to order eggs any style, breads and danishes, cereals and fruits, hot dishes, and there’s even an ice cream section omg. I applaud the idea of having a “tapao” corner – guests can openly takeaway food and drinks from the buffet using the disposable boxes and cups provided, nice!

2014_11_02

The Club Lounge also offers breakfast but a smaller spread – continental and classic hot items such as eggs, bacon and sausages. Throughout the day, there’s free drinks and snacks, along with canapes and wines in the evening. Again, the lounge seems kind of old so I can’t wait to see how it looks after the facelift!

IMG_8064

I must really thank the staff at Hotel Jen for delivering a surprise birthday cake to our room! The soccer balls (K is a huge fan and plays every week) were such a thoughtful touch, thank you!

Other points-scoring aspects of Hotel Jen include fruit cups inside the fridge (conventional whole fruits are so yesterday and chilled fruits do make a difference!), refreshing infused water served in the lobby and at various places (Level 2, Ah Hoi’s Kitchen) and the useful mobile chargers displayed at the lobby (I always see guests camping by the chargers haha).

IMG_8066

And with that, our weekend staycation came to an end… Quirky cushions on sofa, see you soon! I’ll be keeping a lookout for the various room offers on your website!

IMG_7186

My heartfelt thanks to Wai Ling and the team at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore for making our stay so comfortable and memorable!

Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore (Formerly Traders Hotel)
1A Cuscaden Road
Singapore 249716
6738 2222
hjs@hoteljen.com

Merely Ice Cream

I had high hopes for Merely Ice Cream as I had read plenty of positive reviews about their “French-style” ice-cream made using egg yolks as natural emulsifier.

So was I impressed?

In a word, no.

IMG_7600

The flavour that brought me to Merely was actually gula pandan (i.e. gula melaka + pandan cake), which I thought sounded like a sure winner when I was doing my “research”. After sampling it, I realized I was wrong. Didn’t like the weak flavour and the pieces of cake were dry. Because our SOP is a cup of triple scoops, we eventually settled on chocolate stout (best of the lot to me), salted butterscotch and earl grey. Verdict? –> Click here to read more about my (and others’) comments on Instagram!

IMG_7595

Merely Ice Cream
#01-13 Sunshine Plaza (directly opposite NAFA Campus 2)
91 Bencoolen Street
6238 0890

Lime Deli

As neither of us work in the CBD area, K and I are always very excited whenever we have a chance to lunch with the office crowds haha. We decided to give Lime Deli a try primarily because it is opened by the same folks at Lime House, Singapore’s first Caribbean restaurant which has been on my to-go list for ages. Located along Telok Ayer Street, this deli concept serves food freshly prepared daily by the Lime House chefs and available for both dine-in or grab-pay-and-go.

IMG_7263

The only fish/seafood dish on the menu is the “catch of the day” which turned out to be fried parrotfish, my first ever! The texture was firm and a little flaky, very interesting. Every main course comes with two sides and I chose the most exotic ones – ladyfingers and spinach in coconut cream and lemon lime slaw. I prefer the latter for its zesty flavour while the gooey okra in creamy gravy was somewhat of an acquired taste.

Catch of the Caribbean ($12)
battered parrotfish, okra & spinach in coconut cream, lemon lime slaw

IMG_7249

Wiki told me that jerk is a “style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice”. While the jerk chicken was well-marinated and tender enough, it was not spicy at all. The hand cut chips are actually an assortment of yam, potato and sweet potato, a refreshing change from the normal shoestring fries. Skip the macaroni pie as it was too dry and starchy. Oh ya, we also tried the curried pumpkin soup ($4), lovely!

Jerk Chicken ($12)
caribbean hand cut chips, macaroni pie

IMG_7254

Lime Deli
51 Telok Ayer Street
6222 7751

Le Comptoir

I don’t like sweet crepes made of plain flour but I do love the savoury buckwheat ones! Sadly, they are not easy to find in Singapore as creperies are so rare here. Enter Le Comptoir, my current favourite go-to place for buckwheat crepes (or galettes, their French name). The edges of their crepes were wonderfully crispy and delicate while the center remained soft but not soggy under the weight of the toppings. I chose Kao San Road – a Thai inspired crepe with prawns, egg, juicy mango and plenty of raw bean sprouts. It may sound funky but I thoroughly enjoyed the unique combination! Chase The Spices is Le Comptoir’s take on the Indian classic chicken tikka masala and oh boy, the accompanying small pot of harmless looking chilli sauce was so potent and spicy that it burnt my tongue and made my eyes tear immediately! Not joking and so thankful that this was all K’s. Alrighty, enough said, I can’t wait to go back for more!

IMG_7560

Dry Pear Cider ($8++)
ciders and crepes are best friends!

IMG_7535

Chase The Spices ($18++)
masala chicken, ginger, onions, peanuts, chilli, tomato, cheese

IMG_7547

Kao San Road ($20++)
pan-fried prawns, egg, tomatoes, garlic, soy, mango, mint, bean sprouts

IMG_7557

Le Comptoir Singapore
79 circular road
6534 7645

IMG_7559

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,014 other followers