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Archive for December, 2012

Cold Stone Creamery

There’s always a long queue outside Cold Stone Creamery and we finally succumbed to it.

Realized that I’ve no taste for American style ice cream (I don’t like Ben & Jerry too!), so sweet, too sweet, not a surprise considering that the common denominator among the 3 chosen ones is caramel, caramel and more caramel!

Left: Germanchökolätekäke (Chocolate Ice Cream, Coconut & Caramel)

Right: Founder’s Favorite (Sweet Cream Ice Cream, Brownie & Caramel)

Background (though you can barely make out anything, haha): Banana Caramel Crunch (French Vanilla Ice Cream, Roasted Almonds, Banana & Caramel)

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Cold Stone Creamery
#01-09/10, Orchard Central
181 Orchard Central Road
6634 1015

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There’s no excuse to stop your festive feasting since there’s still ten and a quarter days of Christmas left!

Till 1 January 2013, Plaza Brasserie at Parkroyal on Beach Road is offering a spread of festive treats like pork knuckles, roasted turkey and honey glazed ham, in addition to the usual cold salads, hot dishes, sushi and sashimi. For desserts, there’s stollen, log cakes, ginger bread, pecan pies and more!

Hint hint: go for the chocolate and lemongrass ice cream in the black tubs! They are of a pretty good brand; skip the generic white tub of strawberry ice cream~

For details and prices, click here : )

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Special thanks to Karen, marketing communications manager of Parkroyal, for the kind invitation!

Plaza Brasserie (PARKROYAL Hotel)
7500A Beach Road
6505 5710

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The Sleeping Rhino

Wake up, wake up, The Sleeping Rhino!

Since it’s the festive season, I shall not be mean and shoot the rhino, haha. Will just say that there’s nothing great about the food; appetisers and mains were so meh that there’s absolutely zilch interest to try the desserts.

Have a happy Merry Christmas, folks!

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Avocado, Mango and Prawn Salad ($12.50++)
crisp romaine lettuce, balsamic vinegar

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Crab Cakes ($12.50++)
seasonal salad greens, lime and mustard mayonnaise

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Macadamia-Crusted Salmon Fillet ($24.50++)
seasonal vegetables, lemon butter sauce

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New York Striploin ($28.50++)
garlic mashed potato, cabernet merlot sauce

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Double-Cooked Pork Rib ($28.50++)
cajun fries, chef’s secret BBQ sauce

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The Sleeping Rhino
15 Hoe Chiang Road
Klapsons, The Boutique Hotel
6521 9001

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Replacing Spanish tapas bar Bodega Y Tapas at Orchard Hotel is Amuse by Armin Leitgeb, the latest restaurant under the Esmirada Group. Amuse is careful to label itself not as a tapas bar, but a fun and casual communal dining-bar that serves an eclectic cosmopolitan selection of affordable small plates.

For dinner that night, four dishes left a particularly deep impression on me. Starting with the ciabatta wrapped egg (default version comes with prosciutto), a hearty piece of artwork precariously balanced on a deep earthy bed of spinach and mushroom ragout. Right after that was another stunner, the crispy crouton (I had mine without the layer of pork terrine, no love lost there) lying over a lovely piece of smoked eel. I have an undying love for anything eel (think unagi and anago in Japanese restaurants) so this was naturally a hit with me! Wish there’s more eel in each serving though.

Next was the beautifully plated grilled octopus with a liberal drizzle of interesting pumpkin seed oil. Now, I’ve always been weary of octopus, mussels, abalones, squid, oysters blah blah since they have a tough chewy texture, no like. So whenever I come across one that defies my biased expectation, it’s a relevation. Like the spectacular octopus carpaccio at Procacci last year! So. Amuse’s tender, no-rubber-images-flashing-through-my-mind version has officially become the benchmark for octopus in my life, haha.

Last but not least on my list of favourites is the grilled hamachi kama, i.e. yellowtail collar. Nothing fancy, hard to screw up, just fresh fish deftly grilled, very soft and juicy meat, yumsss.

Besides the food, of special mention is the bar’s signature P for Passion ($24++ for a combo of cocktail and shooter), a refreshingly sweet concoction of vodka, Vedrenne Triple Sec, a whole passion fruit, cranberry, orange juice and homemade crushed and minted sugar, phew what a mouthful!

P.S. There’s surprisingly no dessert menu, sadness. We tried our luck and the chef fixed us an impromptu Napoleon. Very unremarkable so either get your fix elsewhere or try the potent chocolate-banana-milk Maica ($18++) liquid dessert from the bar!

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Marinated Salmon ($10++)
chips, pickled vegetables

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Ciabatta Wrapped Crispy Egg ($15++)
spinach, mushroom ragout

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Crispy Crouton with Lightly Smoked Eel ($21++)
horseradish, Dijon mustard, greens

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Grilled Spanish Octopus ($19++)
heirloom tomatoes, Austrian pumpkin seed oil

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Tomato “Bouchot” Mussel Risotto ($19++)
olives, basil oil

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Grilled Hamachi ‘Kama’ ($25++)
lime salt

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Prawn Tempura ($20++)
fennel, herbs, wasabi mayonnaise

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From left, clockwise:

Spicy Lamb Burger ($16++)
fennel pollen aioli, eggplant, harissa

Beef Tartare Cone ($14++)
horseradish mousse, filo pastry

Char Grilled Wagyu ‘Cubes’ Cooked in Hay ($39++)
mushrooms, lettuce, sauce Mignonette

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Napoleon
puff pastry, custard cream, berries

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A big thank you to Chenyze from Sixth Sense Communications for inviting and hosting!

Amuse
#01-29, Orchard Hotel
442 Orchard Road
6735 3476

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St Marc Café

I’ve been to St Marc Café multiple times in Japan, mostly in Tokyo and once in Kyoto.

Choco Cro, the chain’s ever popular chocolate croissant, is my one and only must-order at any St Marc outlets. But definitely not so in Singapore cuz I’d hate to spoil my fond memories of it if the ones here are lousy, haha.

I don’t recall the original St Marc Cafés in Japan selling any desserts so it’s a sugar rush moment to see all the pretty parfaits in the display case.

Since I can’t have them all at one go (I wish I can!), Kyoto Delight was the sole object of lust love that afternoon!

Very. very. gratifying.

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Kyoto Delight ($8.80)
green tea and milk soft serve, warabi mochi, mini rice balls, castella sponge cake, red bean paste, corn flakes, brown sugar syrup

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St Marc Café
#01-108/109/110, Vivocity
1 Harbour Walk
6222 2309

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Ryoshi Sushi Ikeikemaru

Itacho has been sorely neglected by us lately as there’s a slew of new Japanese restaurants to try out these days!

One of which is Ryoshi Sushi Ikeikemaru, a new conveyor belt sushi restaurant at Liang Court. With coloured sushi plates varying from $1.80++ (green) to $6.80++ (black), the price range is Itacho-ish value for money.

I’d say go for big salmon, literally big long slabs of fresh salmon sashimi atop a small mound of rice; aburi salmon, the seared version of the aforementioned; kanimiso, a duo of crab meat and unappetisingly grey but deliciously rich crab paste gunkan nigiri that’s rather rare in Singapore but oh-so-common in Japan; daimyo anago, a must-order whenever we spot it on any menu; mentai dashimaki, made-to-order juicy tamago stuffed with briny yet creamy seasoned cod roe; and my favourite at Ryoshi: negitoro, minced fatty raw tuna that’s extremely ooh la la soft~

There’s a separate laminated menu featuring the fresh catch of the day (or maybe week?) and we tried the aburi sawara from there. So-so spanish mackerel~ Can’t remember much of the chawanmushi (infer: forgettable); toro bincho (albacore belongs to the tuna family) is a poor naive substitute for chutoro, much less the real deal (read: otoro); and surprise surprise, I’m far from crazy over the unagi (usually I am!) cuz the silvers of thin glaze-grilled eel are too ridiculously thin. Skip.

Top left, clockwise: chawanmushi ($3.80++); aburi sawara ($3.80++); big salmon ($2.80++); toro bincho ($4.80++); unagi ($2.80++).

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Aburi salmon ($2.80++)

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Negitoro ($2.80++)

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Daimyo anago ($6.80++)

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Mentai dashimaki ($5.80++)

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Kanimiso ($3.80++)

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Ryoshi Sushi Ikeikemaru
#B1-48, Liang Court
177 River Valley Road
6337 1022

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1st Giveaway!!!

For the first time ever, I’m doing a giveaway on this blog!

Coming January next year (omg that’s like next month!!), Marina Bay Sands is going to host a mega exciting foodie event!

Epicurean Market is Asia’s Dining Destination’s inaugural three-day gourmet food and wine appreciation show that will bring together the finest in culinary delights and vintages, from the region and beyond. The gourmet event will offer food samplings and wine tastings from the restaurants of acclaimed chefs and 80 establishments, with personal appearances by Celebrity Chefs Nancy Silverton, Daniel Boulud, Tetsuya Wakuda, Justin Quek and Hide Yamamoto.

Early Bird Tickets are available from 1 December 2012 till 2 January 2013.

Each Early Bird ticket includes a 1-Day Access Pass priced at $49 and a $30 Epicurean Market redeemable credit. Ticket prices quoted exclude booking fees.

Tickets may be purchased at MBS Box Offices via MBS hotline (+65 6688 8826) or website (http://bit.ly/RqlaGl).”

3 pairs of tickets are up for grabs, though I wish I can keep all of them for myself, haha.

I’m not going to make you answer silly questions like “why do you deserve to win blah blah blah” cuz I firmly believe blogs-surfing shouldn’t kill any grey matter! So all you need to do is to leave a comment below or email me at qiuyi_ong@hotmail.com with your name and contact details.

3 lucky winners will be picked randomly on 31st December 2012, my MBS’s gift to you for the New Year : )

Terms and conditions:

Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd. is solely responsible for contacting the winners. No refunds are allowed and the prize is not exchangeable for credit, cash or in kind. If unclaimed after the redemption period, the prize will be forfeited, and the winner shall have no further right to claim it thereafter.

Winners of the Epicurean Market Ticket Giveaway are not eligible to win the same prize in similar contests hosted by Marina Bay Sands Facebook, blogs, magazines and online publications.

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