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2016 CNY at CÉ LA VI

If traditional is not your style, how about going fusion this CNY?

At CÉ LA VI (formerly KU DÉ TA), Executive Chef Frederic Faucheux has created a festive menu that puts a modern spin on the Chinese heritage which diners can enjoy against Singapore’s magnificent skyline.

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Toss to abundance with his rendition of the Prosperity Yu Sheng Salad with scallop, salmon, tuna, white fish and assorted vegetables, including crispy fried lotus root chips, a delicious alternative to the traditional golden crackers (which I’m not a fan of and yes I know I’m in the minority ha). This bountiful platter is then generously drizzled with spicy plum dressing infused with Japanese chili garlic sauce.

P.S. Is tossing yusheng 57 levels above ground supposed to make us more huat this year?

Yu Sheng Salad
scallop, salmon, tuna, white fish

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The salt and pepper squid is one of the signatures, must try!

Salt and Pepper Squid
smoked chilli glazed, garlic

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Grilled Char Siew Pork Cheek
pickle achar, sesame

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I was kind of disappointed with the coral trout as there is nothing special about it. Just very light and healthy.

Steamed Coral Trout
cherry tomato, dashi, daikon

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Flavored Spring Chicken
plum powder, calamansi

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I love sea cucumber even though it is pretty much tasteless on its own. This is a classic dish loaded with collagen and the gelatinous texture of the braised sea cucumber is perfect.

Braised Sea Cucumber with Scallop
shiitake, broccoli

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By this time, food coma has struck but wait, there’s still dessert!

Golden Egg Fried Rice
XO sauce

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Creatively using symbolically-auspicious ingredients, Pastry Chef Ariane Jimenez rounded up the reunion feast with an orange-shaped dessert featuring Cointreau diplomat cream at the heart, covered by candied kumquats, along with a base of chocolate sesame sablé and garnished with orange dacquoise. A sweet start to the new year, aye!

Orange and Sesame Dàn Gāo
orange dacquoise, candied kumquats, cointreau diplomate cream, chocolate sesame sablé

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The CNY menu is available at $168++ per person (minimum of 2 guests), with an option of wine pairing at $128++ per person.

My thanks to the CÉ LA VI team for hosting lunch with a view!

CÉ LA VI
SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3
1 Bayfront Avenue
6688 7688

I don’t quite get the hype and raves over National Kitchen. Most of the dishes are average-nice but definitely nothing spectacular nor memorable. For a truly kickass Peranakan meal, I’ll head to Candlenut any day!

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Standard starters such as achar and rojak were good but not great. If you like refined hawker dishes, it’s time to make a reservation here.

Sambal Timun Nanas ($4++)
pineapple and cucumber with chillies, onions and lightly sweet rice vinegar

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The most special item we ordered was the “kimchiam” salad. I have never had this combination before – boiled prawns, sweet and slightly tangy starfruit, chewy dried lily buds, all tied together by a spicy chilli dressing. Interesting!

Sambal Kimchiam Udang ($15++)
lily buds tossed in a sweet and spicy dressing topped with prawns and starfruit

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Rojak ($7++)
guava, sour mangoes, rose apples, pineapple, cucumbers, julienne of pink ginger flowers, jellyfish and crispy crullers tossed in a sweet, sour and mildly spicy sauce

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We were expecting the chicken buah keluak to be served with a thick fragrant gravy (maybe I went to Candlenut too many times) but the diluted version here was disappointingly akin to… Chicken curry?

Buah Keluak Ayam ($23++)
classic nyonya spicy and tangy chicken stew and buah keluak nut infused with fresh root spices of lengkuas and turmeric

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I first tried the meatless meatballs back in 2013 at Violet Oon’s Kitchen and liked them a lot. Fast forward two years, the walnut and cheese “meatballs” turned out too mushy on my visit and could really do with a crisp crust.

Meatless Meatballs Rendang ($15++)
walnut and cheese dumplings braised in spices flavoured with kaffir and bay leaves in a coconut cream sauce

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The description of “cod in laksa sauce” already had me salivating and thankfully, the execution was exactly what I imagined it to be. The fresh slab of fatty cod went very well with the sinfully rich and creamy laksa sauce. May be overwhelming for some people but it’s right up my alley!

Cod in Laksa Sauce ($34++)
baked cod in a creamy laksa sauce drizzled with coriander pesto

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National Kitchen by Violet Oon
1 St. Andrew’s Road
#02–01 National Gallery Singapore (City Hall Wing)
+65 9834 9935

My first yusheng of the Monkey Year was at Jade Restaurant where Master Chef Leong and his culinary team prepared a feast for the eyes and tummy!

Eight-Happiness Gold Rush Salmon Yusheng
champagne jelly, olive oil, peach dressing

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Jade’s signature yusheng with wobbly handmade champagne jelly, edible gold leaves, salmon, olive oil and peach dressing is always a sight to behold. During this festive period, dine-in orders of yusheng will feature calligraphic drawings complemented with auspicious greetings created by Chef Leong. So spot the two cheeky monkeys on your plate!

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Priced at $68++ (5 pax and below), $98++ (6-8 pax), $138++ (9-12 pax), orders should be made one day in advance. I’m going to ask my mum to order for our family gathering yay!

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My favourite dish is eight treasures fortune pen cai, a twist from the traditional featuring premium seafood such as abalone (I’m not a fan!) and fish maw (sooo good!) braised in a rich flavourful broth for approximately 3-4 hours in a claypot. I like that it is served individually instead of in a massive pot #portioncontrol

Eight Treasures Fortune Pen Cai ($58++ per pax)
six-head whole abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, chinese cabbage, flower mushrooms, roasted garlic, roasted pork

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Actually, now that I think (or rather, write) about it, my favourite dish may be the simmered boston lobster with ginger milk instead! (Yes, I’m a fussy and fickle-minded eater ha) Imagine fresh lobster meat simmered with milk, ginger, butter and a hint of lemon before being drizzled with a geneous serving of fragrant ginger milk gravy. It sounds a tad heavy but tastes surprisingly light and the sweetness of the lobster comes through.

Boston Lobster ($88++ per whole 700g lobster)
simmered with ginger milk

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If you need the daily dose of meat, try out the new roasted duck marinated in foie gras sauce and Chef Leong’s specially created sour plum guava jelly.

Roasted Duck ($23++ for quarter portion; $46++ for half; $92++ for whole)
foie gras sauce, sour plum guava jelly

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The best thing about the roasted duck is that it comes shots of refreshing guava granita and tart sour plum jelly!

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When Chef Leong wants to impress, he really goes all out. Look at this beautiful and delicate handmade golden bird sculpture crowning the dessert platter! Painstakingly assembled over 5 days using gelatin, wow.

Desserts
pan-fried rose-flavoured water chestnut cake
honey peach pastry ($26+ per box of 8 pieces)
sweet potato pandan-flavoured ‘nian gao’ tart ($28+ per box of 8 pieces)

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Although the sculptures stole the show, we still wiped out the ‘nian gao’ tart, buttery baked honey peach pastry and pan-fried water chestnut cake! These goodies are available as takeaways till 22 February 2016.

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My thanks to the Fullerton and Jade teams for their hospitality!

Jade Restaurant
The Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
6877 8188

Long Chim

Happy New Year, lovely people!!

K and I spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Bangkok on a whim and omg we are so missing the food there! I’m still reminiscing and sharing our BKK eats on Instagram so check them out on my feed.

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In the meantime, on a related (Thai) note, I shall write about our dinners at Long Chim. Yup, dinnersss because we have already dined there a couple of times. Although the prices are as un-BKK-ish as it gets and there are mixed reviews about Celebrity Chef David Thompson’s “come and taste” (meaning of Long Chim) restaurant, you just gotta know the right dishes to pick and the kind of flavours you like!

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My favourite starter is the betel leaves topped with a pleasantly pungent mixture of dried prawns and fragrant toasted coconut, yums. This is our must-order at Long Chim! Skip the fish cakes ($17++) and spring rolls ($18++), very forgettable and not worth the price tag.

Dried Prawns Ginger Toasted Coconut ($14++)
in betel leaves

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A plate of pad thai will always taste so much better on the streets in Thailand, I’m telling ya. Long Chim’s rendition is just good, not great.

Pad Thai ($30++)
with prawns, peanuts and beansprouts

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The first time I tried the stir-fried curry soft shell crab, I love it! Crunchy and flavours were spot on. But on the second visit, it was too salty hmm. Maybe third time lucky?

Soft Shell Crab ($28++)
curry powder celery and onions

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Thai food to K = green curry ha. Both the beef (below) and chicken ($24++) versions are very delish!

Green Beef Curry ($34++)
chillies thai basil cucumber and roti

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Between the deep fried seabass (below) and grilled tilapia in salt crust ($34++), my vote is leaning towards the latter. Not sure whether we were lucky, but our fish was perfect. A 10/10 with incredibly tender and moist flesh!

Deep Fried Seabass ($45++)
three flavoured sauce

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Do you know that you can order off the menu items? Chockful of fresh prawns, the Thai omelette is one such dish that the kitchen can whip up on request. It’s simple, a little oily, always satisfying (to egg lovers)!

Prawns Omelette
off the menu!

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Don’t leave without ordering desserts! Seriously, I will go to Long Chim just for their durian and coffee ice cream. Fabulously intense and smooth, they are one of the best ice cream I’ve tried in Singapore so far (and trust me, I eat a lot of ice cream). Faultless.

Desserts ($12-15++)
durian ice cream, thai coffee ice cream, coconut cake

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Thank you for having us, Long Chim!

Long Chim
L2-02, Casino Atrium 2
(access via The Shoppes, Bay Level, L1)
Lunch: Mon – Fri 11.30am – 2.30pm
Dinner & Bar: Daily 5.30pm – Midnight
+65 6688 7299

Dinners at db Bistro have always been very enjoyable. But the one I had a couple of weeks ago was the best because the man himself was in the house! Yup, I’m talking about celebrity chef Daniel Boulud!

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Transforming his French bistro at MBS into db Bistro and Oyster Bar to reflect its ever-expanding culinary repertoire, the affable Chef Boulud has added a brand-new oyster bar in the middle of the restaurant, featuring the freshest seafood from around the world, hand-selected daily by Executive Chef Jonathan Kinsella.

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The new oyster bar offers a wide selection of seafood including freshly shucked oysters from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Boston lobsters and Alaskan king crabs.

tuna tartare, avocado, cucumber

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New menu highlights also include a daily selection of crudo and ceviches, as well as new seasonal seafood dishes such as whole roasted Mediterranean seabass and octopus “a la plancha”. These new selections complement db’s signature dishes including the world-famous original db burger, crispy duck confit and herb roasted organic chicken.

tuna belly, fennel, oscietra caviar

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Our menu that night was a spread of specials for the night as every day, the restaurant offers market specials to highlight the fresh seafood or French inspired classics of the brand.

dover sole, black truffle

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My favourite was the yin-yang-ish dover sole stuffed with black truffle. Chef Boulud made a surprise appearance to shave copious amount of black truffle on our dish individually. Gobsmacked! The delicate fish was the perfect vehicle to bring out the earthy flavour of truffle, so good!

homemade pasta, white truffle

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Executive Pastry Chef Benjamin Siwek sweetens the meal with new desserts such as the chocolate s’mores made with graham crackers, dark chocolate crémeux, chantilly vanilla marshmallows and caramel ice cream. A brand new selection of ice cream sundaes awaits with traditional flavours like banana foster, rocky road and baba rhum.

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But what is Christmas without a festive log cake! db’s wintry version is worth anyone’s precious calories, of course!

chestnut, chocolate, ginger ice cream

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chocolate, blood orange ice cream

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Special thanks to Philicia for hosting dinner!

db Bistro and Oyster Bar
#B1-48, Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave
6688 8525

From now till 31 December, be spoilt for choice at Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove with a host of dining treats which is sure to cater to all preferences!

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Everyone knows Kith Cafe (#01-08) is famous for hearty brunch dishes but how about its special Kithmas menu? There’s honeycomb whisky mocha/chocolate ($7.80++/$9.80++ for iced versions), furikake crab cake and eggs with corn quinoa and crushed avocado ($20++), French black mussels in tomato broth ($18++) and a chestnut tart filled with granola crumble and vanilla cream ($10++)! Is it just me or does everything sound delicious?!

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At Saint Pierre (#01-15), the Christmas Eve Dinner set menu is available on 24 December from 7pm and Christmas Lunch Roast is available on 25 December from 11.30am to 3pm. New Year’s Eve Caviar Dinner is available on 31 December from 7pm.

Prices: Christmas Eve Dinner – $188 per person (Additional $288 per person for 3-hour free flow of selected champagne or $188 per person for wine pairing). Christmas Lunch Roast – $98 per person. New Year’s Eve Caviar Dinner – $228 per person (without wine pairing), $388 per person (with wine pairing), $558 for 2 persons (includes 1 bottle of Duval-Leroy NV), $748 for 2 persons (includes 1 bottle of Dom Perignon 2004).

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From 6pm throughout the month of December, feast through a Festive Christmas Dinner Set ($68++) at Quayside Fish Bar & Bistro (#01-11). Take your pick from two main courses, both meticulously curated by the chef. The first main course option includes a foie gras stuffed turkey breast while the second main course option consists of a pan seared whole rainbow trout in a saffron lychee broth and ratatouille. Both main courses come with butternut pumpkin velouté paired with herb croutons, truffle oil and edible flowers, and a white and dark chocolate mousse log cake adorned with pink vanilla glaze, hazelnuts and raspberry compote.

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Last but not least, enjoy a hearty Christmas Family Brunch with a live oyster station and giant turkey paella at Sabio By The Sea, Tapas Bar and Grill (#01-02). Available only on 25 December from 12pm to 3pm, do not miss the chance to excite your taste buds with the flavours of Spain!

Price: $88 (Adults), $48 (Kids). Kids under the age of six dine for free.

Giveaway:

Want to win a $100 Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove voucher to enjoy the festive season with your loved ones?

Simply leave a comment below telling me which restaurant will you like to dine at! Contest ends on 20 December, good luck!

Lime House

Lime House was such a perfect place for us to unwind after work on a TGIF night. Inspired by all things Caribbean and as Singapore’s first Caribbean restaurant, it is located in a heritage multi-storey shophouse in (ironically?) the heart of Chinatown. I have never been to the Caribbean but the flavours are exactly as what I imagine – bold and strong yet clean.

New on the menu, the salmon tartare was fresh and so refreshing with the mango pineapple salsa. I could almost hear gentle waves crashing before a beautiful sunset ha. My favourite starter was the giant crab dumplings stuffed with a generous amount of real shredded crabmeat and topped with fragrant toasted coconut flakes! Even the bread baked in-house was something different from other restaurants – the naan-like barra bread came with toppings of spicy curry chickpeas and sweet mango chutney and tamarind, so flavourful! Though enjoyable, our main courses of pan-fried seabass and jerk-rubbed steak ain’t as spectacular as the starters. Desserts were limited to just four choices – chocolate lava cake, deconstructed pina colada, spiced banana cake and coffee creme brulee. Take your pick but we will definitely go for the chocolate cake any time, worthy of our calories!

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Gourmet Doubles ($9++)
barra bread, curry chickpeas, mango chutney, tamarind, lime house pepper sauce

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Salmon Tartare ($15++)
salmon, mango and pineapple salsa, avocado, micro greens

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Crab Dumpling ($15++)
crabmeat-stuffed dumpling, callaloo, coconut flakes

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Pan-Fried Seabass ($30++)
chayote gratin, avocado puree, spiced shrimps, peppers

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Coffee Jerk-Rubbed Steak ($36++)
roasted potatoes, buttered veggies, jerk cream sauce

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Piton Chocolate Cake ($12++)
vanilla ice cream, fruit compote

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Thank you for arranging dinner, Lime House!

Lime House
2 Jiak Chuan Road
6222 3130

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