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Archive for April, 2015

The Catch Seafood Restaurant puts the foodie mantra “have food will travel” to a good test. It’s seriously the most remote, distant, far–flung (and whatever synonyms of ulu you can think of) restaurant we’ve ever been to in Singapore! With the aid of GPS and my bff Google map, we finally navigated to Johore Battery. Yes, the Singapore historical site because that’s where The Catch is located!

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Other than being a restaurant, The Catch also brings in live seafood from overseas (ask for a tour around the outdoor giant tanks!) and supplies them to hotels/restaurants. That’s why the food here is so affordable without much markup. The menu offers a vast variety of seafood delicacies (deep sea Alaskan king crabs and lobsters!) and classic local favourites – I counted more than 127 items!

Chef Marinated Cold Japanese Cucumber ($5++)
冰镇黄瓜

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Since there’s only K to divide and conquer with me, I was very careful when “curating” our dinner menu, making sure that I picked dishes which I know we will like as long as they are properly executed by the chef. From the appetizer section, we had a refreshing cold dish of marinated crunchy Japanese cucumber and then ditched the healthy plan for tender deep fried cuttlefish lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Both whetted my appetite for more!

Deep Fried Cuttlefish with Pepper & Salt ($8++)
椒盐鲜鱿须

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And “more” came in the form of these delicious golden discs of eggplant coated with salted egg yolk! Soft and creamy on the inside, crispy and thin batter on the outside, they were amazing – strong and rich in flavour but not overwhelmingly so!

Crispy Brinjal with Salted Egg Yolk ($6++)
黄金茄子

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K loves his soups, regardless of how crazy hot the weather is nowadays. The double-boiled peppery fish soup with bunashimeji mushroom and bamboo pith ($28++) was the highlight for him (and even for me, a non-soup fan!) — pure cuddly comfort liquid food in a bowl! Sorry I don’t have a good pic of it but just imagine how warm and soothing it is to the soul, ahhhhh~

Red Flower Crab Steamed with Egg White & Chinese Wine (seasonal price)
鸡油花雕蒸

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We ordered a couple of crabs prepared in extremely different styles. Steamed red flower crab may not as meaty as its counterparts but it was so naturally sweet and juicy! And if you are a carb junkie, that silky smooth egg white and decadent crab roe will suffice as toppings for multiple servings of plain rice! Then of course we had to try The Catch’s take on the famous chilli crab. Won’t say it’s the best in Singapore but it was fresh, big and super satisfying. Especially the thick fragrant gravy which my spoon kept going back for!

Chilli Crab served with Dough Fritter or Bun (seasonal price)
辣椒炒(油条或馒头)

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Unless you are the type with a personal vendetta against artificial truffle oil, I’d strongly recommend the sauteed lobster meat with truffle oil on egg white (do you see the theme here — seafood, egg, seafood, and more egg)! Simple yet elegant. Dinner went very well but ended on a weak note — desserts. The double boiled hashima with lotus seeds was tooth-achingly sweet and we left them untouched. Lesson learnt: stick to the savouries! Now I have about 101 dishes left to tackle!

Braised Noodle with Seafood in XO Sauce ($14++)
虾米酱茄子焖面

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Special thanks to Danny for hosting dinner!

The Catch Seafood Restaurant & Bar
27 Cosford Road
6546 2155

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We’ve been to Jamie’s Italian numerous times but it’s always for dinner; so glad that we finally made it for breakfast! I love how bright the whole restaurant looks in the day, and it suits our happy mood perfectly on a Saturday! Jamie’s has started serving breakfast on the weekends, and I mean breakfast literally – it ends at 11.30am so definitely does not qualify as lazy brunch which begins after noon.

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The comprehensive menu is broken down into pan-cooked breakfast (naked chef style!), butties (all served in seeded buns with ketchup), toast/cereal/sweets (think freshly baked breads, granola and american-style berry or bacon and banana pancakes), kids’ breakfast (smaller portions of selected items from the “adult” menu) and beverages from the usual coffee/tea and juices/smoothies to brekkie cocktails! Never too early for a glass (or two) of prosecco, mimosa or bloody mary, aye?

Brilliant Berry Breakfast ($9++)
mixed berry compote, smashed toasted nuts, artisanal yoghurt, honey

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I totally dig the creamy artisanal yoghurt topped with tart berry compote and sweet honey (supposed to have nuts too but they were missing hmm), beautiful and my kind of healthy breakfast any day! Speaking of which, I’ve been solely eating fruits for breakfast for the past decade (and counting) so the plate of mango, kiwi, banana and strawberry was another dish right up my alley. Pricey tag aside, I like how the simple fruits were jazzed up with a touch of zesty and crumbly lemon ricotta!

Breakfast Fruit Plate ($15.50++)
freshly cut fruit, lemon ricotta, berries, honey

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No doubt, my favourite was one of Jamie’s classics – smashed ripe avocado set on a crisp toasted ciabatta! Too few places in Singapore do smashed avocado right. Jamie’s take is rather special; rich and buttery avocado that’s a little spicy and has the distinct vinegar tang from Worcestershire sauce, lovely!

Smashed Spicy Avocado ($12.50++)
toasted ciabatta, vine-roasted cherry tomatoes, worcestershire sauce

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The other classic of scrambled eggs and salmon didn’t fare as well. Eggs were not bad, but the supposedly gently poached salmon was overcooked…

Scrambled Eggs & Salmon ($15.50++)
freedom range eggs, poached Norwegian salmon, toasted ciabatta

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Last but not least, breakfast is not breakfast without the big breakfast! I think this is the most value-for-money dish – there’s so much going on in a pan! Almost 10 different components (you get your meat and veggies) and despite the amount of food on our table, K single-handedly polished this off! If that’s not the highest compliment, I don’t know what is.

The Works ($19.50++)
toulouse sausage, pork & honey sausage, outdoor-reared streaky bacon, choice of freedom range egg, vine-roasted cherry tomatoes, homemade baked beans, garlic & thyme oven-roasted portobello mushroom, spinach, toast

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Special thanks to Stef for arranging breakfast!

Jamie’s Italian
#01-165/167, VivoCity
1 HarbourFront Walk
6733 5500

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It’s not an exaggeration when I say Brizo‘s latest promotion ‘Crazier about Crabs‘ is really all about crabs!

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K was hoping for some beef/chicken for his meal but (sadly for him, fortunately for me) almost everything is in one crab form or the other. In fact, the spread features 22 types of crab dishes and 26 kinds of seafood – heaven for pescetarians but not so much for K who is not that into crabs oops. Aprons and gloves are thoughtfully provided but using hands is always the best!

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Into its second year now (because the first year was a hit!), one of the new unique star dishes is the cooked-to-order ‘Crab in a Pan‘. Each pan contains a whole crab, prawns, clams, black mussels, potatoes, corn and sausages. We had ours cooked in bouillabaisse and it was hearty enough to be a meal on its own!

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Even though the variety is so wide, I made sure I tried every single crab! All-time favourites can be found – sweet-piquant chilli crab (a Brizo signature!), salted egg yolk crab (batter too thick, skip), butter crab (sauce too heavy, skip again), black pepper crab (I like this!), “heavenly fragrance” crab, steamed XO crab, Indian spice flower crab masala (the best out of the lot thanks to the aromatic gravy).

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There’s also crabmeat kueh pie tee, crabmeat fried rice, soft shell crab and baked crab in shell – all of which I didn’t try since I was saving stomach space for the more important stuff ha. Luckily for K, he found the laksa corner! Seriously, it was apparently so good that he had two servings! We balanced the savoury with sweets from the dessert corner – mini magnum (my first ever, un-un-un-un-unbelievable right) and homemade durian pengat hit all the right spots!

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Crazier about Crabs
Ends on 28 June 2015; Buffet dinner only
Wednesday to Thursday: Adult $68++ / Child $34++
Friday to Sunday: Adult $80++ / Child $40++

My thanks to Yan and Licya for arranging dinner!

Brizo Restaurant & Bar
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
1 Unity Street
Singapore 237983
6593 8888

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Hello judges,

Here’s why the picture below best represents ‘Singaporean Food Culture‘:

1. Affordable ($2 for 5 pieces of melt-in-the-mouth heaven, so cheap!!);

2. Transcends racial boundaries (I’m a Chinese who loves this dessert believed to be a Malay adaptation of an Indian snack);

3. Looks unassuming but packs a punch (sweet gula melaka + salty coconut shreds, omg);

4. Brings back childhood memories (love getting tutu kueh at pasar malam when I was a kid!);

5. Instagram-worthy (admit it, taking pics of food is the Singaporean food culture)!

Okie that’s all, let me win please! Xoxo.

Capture

Post written as submission for the contest organized by Foodpanda and Sethlui.com~

Traditional Haig Road Putu Piring
#01-08, Haig Road Market and Food Centre
14 Haig Road

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This post is a chronicle of the food tried and tested over our recent Bangkok getaways. K and I are so in love the land of smiles – we went twice last year (see Instagram album #kkbangkok2014) and yet again two months ago (#kkbangkok2015). Being “regulars”, we have a few places that’s a MUST on every Bangkok trip (that means Raan Jay Fai!!) but I also like to strike off new cafes and restaurants on my ever-expanding list. Not all the places we conquered are featured here; see the Instagram albums for more foooooooood!

Breakfast

Singapore has Chin Mee Chin, Bangkok has On Lok Yun. Breakfast here is as old school as it gets – bare and basic “decor” (for want of a better word), A4 laminated menu, cha chaan teng-style booths, and of course the simple traditional servings of toast, eggs, bacon, ham, sausage and drinks. Between the two of us gluttons, we ordered 2x kaya (a.k.a. egg custard on the menu), 2x soft steamed bread, 2x soft boiled eggs, 1x French toast, 1x chayen (Thai milk tea), 1x black coffee and 1x milk coffee *victory sign* Whether the kaya is the best around is debatable but I’ve got no qualms with giving my stamp of approval for the French toast (and I don’t even like French toast in general)! Cushiony soaked bread underneath a blanket of crispy egg, it was utterly stunning and definitely one I’d return for.

On Lok Yun
72 Charoen Krung Road, Bangkok
02-223-9621

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Have food, will travel. Yes I do live by that motto. We actually cabbed from our hotel to another hotel just for breakfast, and we did it for two consecutive days! Hotel Metropolitan by COMO houses Glow, a wellness-focused restaurant that serves a very healthy make-us-feel-good-before-pigging-out-later breakfast menu. K always have the scrambled eggs with corn cake and pork sausage while I’ve discovered one of the best things in life – raw young coconut and almond ‘porridge’! The pure blended coconut and nutty almond was insanely smooth, creamy and so nourishing! But good things don’t last forever and I was devastated to find it gone from the menu on my last visit, sob! Good people of Glow, bring it back, please please please?

Glow
Metropolitan by COMO, 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek Sathorn, Bangkok
+66 2 625 3333

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Brunch

We discovered Karmakamet Diner on our 2nd Bangkok trip back in 2013 and have not looked back since. It is easily the prettiest cafe we’ve ever been to and although it’s more well-known for a wide range of aromatics rather than food, it’s the latter that brings us back whenever we are in BKK. While the menu is very comprehensive – egg dishes, sandwiches, pasta, mains and desserts – we have never ventured beyond the full breakfast (for K) and gravlax salad (for me!) because we are predictable eaters like that ha. The full breakfast is of incredible value – barely S$20 for scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, potato skins, toast with butter and jam, granola with fruits, fresh juice and coffee/tea, phew. Where to find in Singapore?!

Karmakamet Diner
30/1 Sukhumvit Soi 24, Bangkok
02-262-0700-1

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Highly successful and popular in Bangkok, Rocket Coffeebar now has three outlets in Bangkok. We’ve been to the original hole-in-the-wall branch on Sathorn Soi 12, and also the newest/biggest so far at Sukhumvit Soi 49.

Rocket Coffeebar S.12
149, Sathorn Soi 12, Bangkok
+66 (0) 2 6350 404

Rocket Coffeebar S.49
46/12 Sukhumvit Soi 49 (at Piman 49), Bangkok
+66 (0) 2 6626 638

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I like to go for breakfast because they open really early at 7am every morning (you won’t believe how late the other cafes open zzz) and also serve some special dishes other than the usual smoked salmon scrambled eggs and artisanal coffee etc etc – warm coconut porridge made with oats and barley cooked in slightly sweetened coconut water and topped with fresh mango and pomegranate; almond bircher consisting of nuts, oats, sunflower and chia seeds in banana puree and house made almond milk; thick and velvety coconut shake blended with 100% young coconut flesh and water!

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And then more recently, we took the opportunity to try out the lunch and dinner menus too! K liked the toast skagen (prawns with horseradish-dill mayo and tobiko on sourdough bread) while I prefered the crab & pineapple (with iceberg lettuce, pea tendrils, red lentils, lemon mayo and chilli dressing); for mains, the crispy duck leg confit with potato terrine was a winner for him and the pan seared snapper with hot quinoa, seasoned yogurt and beetroot chips was the same for me; both desserts of Sapparot (i.e. pineapple and lime mousses, coconut ice cream, coconut water tapioca, ginger gel with sesame cookie) and Ichigo (strawberry and raspberry in sorbet, mousses, gels, meringue, tuile, sous-vide rhubarb, vanilla bean pudding, lemon curd and star anise crumbles) won’t be out of place on a restaurant menu and tasted as good as they looked!

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I came across The Girl and The Pig accidentally while googling for “best crab cake in Bangkok”, so random right haha. Offering new American bistro style cuisine in a instagram/OOTD-worthy farmhouse inspired setting, The Girl and The Pig prepares all their food from local produces, natural and seasonal ingredients available and more importantly, no MSG!

The Girl and The Pig
Central Embassy Level-5, Ploenchit Road, Bangkok
+66 91 771 1143

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We had a late lunch here after flying in from Singapore and were absolutely starving – a blessing in disguise since that made me trigger-happy when ordering. Scallop caponata (caramelized jumbo scallops with stir-fried eggphant and truffle sauce), Nordic shrimp bite (not the best grilled corn bread but the marinated shrimps with beetroot are gorgeous), egg benedict with crab cakes on homemade English muffins (love this!!!), grilled sirloin steak with fried egg on buttermilk biscuit (slightly pricey so KIV), bouillabaisse (rich broth, five different types of seafood, yums) and out of all the desserts hand-made from scratch, our favourite is the classic baked French clafoutis, so perfectly moist, light and fluffy!

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Thai

Because we have been to Bangkok so many times, Thai food is no longer a priority though K still wants at least one Thai meal per trip. We’ve been to Supanniga Eating Room, Som Tam Nua, Krua Apsorn and here’s one more for our collection: Siam Proud. After learning that the Executive Chef has apparently more than 40 years of experience, we knew we were in for a treat! The menu is all in Thai – a big plus as that’s a sign that tourists are not the target group yay!

Siam Proud Thai Restaurant
64 Rama IX Road, Suan Luang, Bangkok
+66 2 118 6227

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The yam pla foo is beautiful – crispy catfish deep-fried to a golden hue and amazingly not oily at all. It was a first for us and I fell in love with it. We also ordered a thick coconut-milk dip with raw veggies on the side and although it was so spicy that I couldn’t bear more than a couple of small bites, I was happy because it’s a testament to how authentic the dishes are. Two must-orders for us are the yellow curry with crabmeat and wild betel leaf, and the stir-fried scrambled eggs which seemed deceptively simple yet turned out to be so fragrant. K paired them with purple rice steamed inside a young coconut (I don’t eat rice heh) and we wiped out all the dishes easily. After all the bold flavours, the cold and mild milk-free coconut ice cream was a godsend!

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Asia Top 50

It’s our SOP to tick off a couple of restaurants on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list whenever we are in Bangkok. Nahm will always have a special place in our hearts because that was the first Asia Top 50 restaurants we experienced together; Gaggan was outstanding – I don’t think we will tire of it anytime soon; and Issaya Siamese Club (currently ranked #39) is another impressive restaurant which we really enjoyed despite the naysayers.

Issaya Siamese Club
4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Road, Sathorn, Bangkok
+66 (0)2 672 9040-1

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Dining here can be quite a show – the homemade green curry paste soup with basil, kaffir lime leaves, heart of palm and prawns is cooked right in front of us; slow-cooked smoked salmon with Jerusalem artichokes in red curry sauce is theatrically presented with much smoke and fanfare; and the most exciting spectacle is the Kanom Tung Taek – I don’t want to spoil the surprise (though you probably can guess from the next photo), you have to order this cold coconut crepe souffle!

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Other memorable eats for us include the famous banana blossom and heart of palm salad (great texture and the chilli jam dressing is addictive!), chicken rubbed with “Issaya spice” and charcoal grilled, and soft shell crabs slathered with spicy egg sauce. Delish! We’ll most likely be more adventurous and go for the tasting menu next!

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Sra Bua used to be ranked #21 on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2014 but sadly has completely dropped off the list this year (for the record, it was still one of Asia’s best when we were there in February). Serving Thai-inspired cuisine with a modern twist, Sra Bua is conceptualised by renowned Henrik Yde Andersen, whose Kiin Kiin restaurant in Copenhagen is currently the only Thai restaurant in the world holding a Michelin star. It is also conveniently located at the Siam Kempinski Hotel which is right behind Siam Paragon! Ideal for lunch before the shopping spree starts ha.

Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin
Siam Kempinski Hotel, Rama 1 Road 991/9, Bangkok
+66 (0) 2 162 9000

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We began with a lovely trio of “nibblings” – crispy kaffir lime scented lotus root, roasted cashew nut soya meringue and homemade squid ink chip with oyster aioli – followed by spicy wagyu beef salad for K and Hokkaido scallops with tamarind and lemongrass for me. Even though the 3-course menu is substantial enough, I also psycho-ed K to order the signature starter – Maine lobster salad with frozen red curry. You can’t say you’ve been to Sra Bua unless you’ve tasted it. Notable familiar piquant flavours, yet so much more refined (though the dry ice effect was a bit gimmicky)!

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After satisfying mains of butter fish in aromatic coconut milk and a generous slab of five spiced braised pork belly with pumpkin and crackling (!!), our meal ended with my favourite course – desserts! It was a close fight between the lightly sweetened pandan ice cream with pistachio and jelly and the moist banana cake with caramelized milk and smooth salted ice cream; let’s just say we wiped the plates clean and even the crumbs were not spared!

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Japanese

Similar to Singapore, the Japanese food scene in Bangkok is alive and buzzing as the locals seem to adore sushi and sashimi as much as we do. We tested a few Japanese restaurants and Fillets came out top in our opinion. K kept raving about the omakase – best he ever had! I may have to agree too.

Fillets
The Portico, 3thFloors, 31 Soi Langsuan, Bangkok
092-879-6882

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Obviously skilled and knowledgeable about what he’s serving and handling, watching Executive Chef Randy prepare course after course of sublime morsels is an art, a graceful performance. You’ve got to see how he aburi his fish – nothing as passe as a blowtorch but a rank over burning charcoal instead. Such a simple yet brilliant idea! And of course, all the fish and seafood were expectedly very fresh, from the fatty otoro (with shaved black truffles and caviar omg) and delicate tongues of uni to the plump hotate and creamy shirako. He did feed us some exotic sushi and sashimi but I’m sorry that I’ve forgotten their names, my bad!

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The reason why I bookmarked Fillets while researching for my food itinerary in Bangkok was because their bara chirashi reminded me of Aoki’s! It’s available during lunch and Chef was so accommodating to include it as part of the omakase (K had a wagyu don), score~ The cubed marinated fish scattered with freshly baked spongy castella tamago on a bed of sushi rice was exactly the kind of “carb” dish I won’t mind having!

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After Fillets, Shintaro is the next most memorable Japanese restaurant we tried in Bangkok. When we visited, it was managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts but I realized after March 1, the hotel’s owner is operating the hotel as Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel so take note!

Shintaro
Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, 155 Rajadamri Road, Bangkok
+66 2 126 8866

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Two items made an impact – the hamachi sashimi and braised tuna toro cheek. Sashimi we’ve had plenty but I can still remember the melt-in-the-mouth sensation vividly when the semi-thick slice of hamachi eagerly disappeared into my mouth. Too fresh, too good! As for the braised tuna cheek, it was my first and I certainly hope won’t be the last. Fatty and tender, the flesh tasted almost like… Meat? Quite unbelievable and I want to go back again just to see whether it’s as delectable as I recall it to be!

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Each dish at Utage is beautifully executed and we truly enjoyed our lunch there. Our favourite was the aburi platter with 7 kinds of assorted sushi – salmon, hamachi, matsuzaka beef, foie gras, scallop, uni and toro. Hokkaido scallop gunkan maki and signature matzuzaka beef, unagi and foie gras roll with garlic jelly came in at a close second. Lunch sets start from THB444 (that’s under S$20!), a worthwhile choice if you happen to be shopping in that area!

Utage
Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel, 61 Wireless Road (Witthayu), Bangkok
+66 2650 8800

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European/French

Water Library Chamchuri was actually my first choice (because their food looked like Ember’s!) under the Water Library group of restaurants but it was undergoing renovations when we were in town. The Capital came highly recommended to us as it is the first grill-and-bar, steakhouse-cum-seafood restaurant in the Water Library portfolio. Promising quality meat selection from around the world and daily delivered seafood, our expectations were high – and fortunately met.

The Capital by Water Library
3rd Floor, Empire Tower, South Sathorn Road, Bangkok
+66 2 286 9548

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Chef De Cuisine Chef Sebastian had previously trained under three-Michelin-starred restaurants’ head chefs Gordon Ramsay, Heinz Beck, and Juan Amador so we knew we were in safe hands. We tried a variety of dishes and none disappointed. Highlights include Kimchiku steak, made with black cattle meat from a leading stock-raising region in Japan and can only be found at The Capital (yes, can’t be found anywhere else in Bangkok!); lobster gumbo, with an oriental twist by adding Thai larb spices for a unique ‘lobster bisque and chili’; steak tartare; lobster thermidor; and the signature apple pie!

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La Table de Tee is Bangkok’s first ‘Chef’s Table’, where a daily changing tasting menu is served, depending on the ingredients bought from the market the very same morning. And more attractively, the 6-course meal only costs about S$50 (THB 1150+); that is a steal no matter in Bangkok or Singapore! To give you an idea of a typical tasting menu, here’s what we had: #1 chestnut & age parmesan cheese, #2 tiger prawn & ginger, #3 salmon & galangal or snapper & lime, #4 beef & black pepper or duck & five spices, #5 mango passion fruit parfait or dark chocolate fondant, #6 peanut macarons & fruit jelly. Sounds pretty good right? Trust me, it’s an unpretentious gem!

La Table De Tee
69/5 Soi Saladeang Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok
+66 2 636 3220

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J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain is conceived by highly respected three-Michelin-starred chef Jean-Michel Lorain and interestingly merges classic French cuisine with shared Asian tables, giving diners the chance to sample a number of innovative dishes on offer. What do I mean? Well, think of it as French food in dim sum style! Other than the lobster and sweet corn bisque with pickled baby corn and tarragon, all the appetizers, mains and desserts were served in tapas form – small plates on a communal Lazy Susan, so Chinese and uncommon in a French restaurant! We were smitten with most of the dishes, from ocean oyster terrine with Irancy wine gelée and pan-seared scallops with morel mushrooms to lightly-smoked sea bass with caviar sauce and the dessert mille-feuille “napoleon”!

J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain
U Sathorn Bangkok, 105, 105/1 Soi Ngam Duphli Thung Maha Mek Sub-district Sathorn District, Bangkok
+66 (0)2 119 4899

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Dining with a View

The sky is not the limit at Centara Grand’s Blue Sky. Cliche as it may be, this restaurant and bar has been named as one of the 15 most exciting rooftop bars in the world! Located on level 24 of Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao (near Chatuchak Weekend Market!), the bistro/al fresco lounge is literally cast in blue at night (as you can see from my photos!) and gives a fantastic view of the city skyline.

Blue Sky
Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao, 1695 Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok
+66 (0) 2541 1234

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The cuisine is a mix of Western and Asian which may seem sound dubious but the food is legit alright! Healthy steamed snow fish balanced the sinfulness of fried squid ink balls; smoked and fresh salmon rillette was the light counterpart to the heavier seared Japanese miyazaki striploin A4; and the weakest link was the desserts. Ain’t no flow for the chocolate lava cake, sigh.

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Siam@Siam Design is a cool boutique-ish hotel and houses La Vue on level 25. The key is to reserve a table by the window for a breathtaking view and romantic dinner!

La Vue
Siam@Siam Design Hotel, 865 Rama 1 Road, Wang Mai, Patumwan, Bangkok
0 2217 3000

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Be warned, portions are huge here, honestly more in line with bistros than fine-dining restaurants. We wish we had space to stomach all the delicious seafood bisque, scallops, beef bourguignon and escargots but (I can’t believe I’m saying this) there was just too. much. food. Service was not lacking; our staff was attentive and offered good recommendations. I also gave points when he rolled out a trolley by our table and prepared to make the salmon tartare right in front of us! And then “performed” again by flambee-ing the crumbly apple pie generously laced with booze, four thumbs up (mine and K’s)!

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Zense @ Heaven is ambitious – five restaurants, hip cocktail bars and a gourmet wine bar, plus downtown’s most expansive panoramic view (right smack in CentralWorld)! We went a day before V-day and all the window seats at the vast outdoor deck were taken, argh. Luckily the food salvaged the partly blocked view. We opted for Thai by Phojana (the other four are Japanese by NipponZense, Italian by Gianni Ristorante, Indian by Red and Modern European by To Die For) and were happy with our choices of green curry (tough chicken meat but K liked the gravy), yellow crab curry, flaked salmon salad and soft shell crabs! It will probably take at least ten other visits to finish exploring the extensive menu here!

Zense Rooftop Bar and Restaurant
ZEN World, Level 17, 4, 4/5 Rajadamri Road, ZEN World @CentralWorld, Pathumwan, Bangkok
+66 (0) 2100 9000

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If you’ve made it through this ultra long post, thank you for reading and hope it’s helpful! 🙂

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Named after the address of Mandarin Orchard Hotel – 333 Orchard Road – Triple Three usually offers a spread of Japanese-inspired international buffet but from now till 26 April 2015, it’s game on for The Great Big American Buffet!

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At the launch event on 9 April, we were lucky to witness the making of Singapore’s first giant burger! Over 60kg of beef, 100 whole eggs, 15kg of flour and 5kg of onions were used to set a new mark in the Singapore Book of Records for the Largest Hamburger in Singapore. The burger measured 82cm by 40cm and weighed approximately more than 100kg! That’s more than twice my weight omg. It was rather scary and so unreal. But genuine it was as the mammoth burger was later sliced and distributed to all guests at the event after the SBOR certificate was presented to the hotel for the achievement, well done!

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As for the restaurant’s Great Big American Buffet which is available only during dinner and Sunday brunch, expect iconic American dishes made from air-flown ingredients from the good ole USA. Nowadays it takes a lot to impress me because I still believe buffets earn their bucks from selling quantity than quality. But K and I were pleasantly surprised – not only was the selection extensive, the standard was pretty darn high for a buffet. We loved that there were several cooking stations where chefs cooked our food a la minute – freshly sliced sashimi, grilled Boston lobsters, New England clam chowder, hand carved oven-roasted US prime beef, fajitas and tacos, mini sliders with Monterey Jack cheese and so much more (you must try the whole roasted halibut – I went back for it thrice)!

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Desserts were definitely not an afterthought over here. Classic American sugary treats include New York cheesecake, berry trifle, chocolate fudge, blackforest cake, tri-chocolate cream pie and pecan pie. Then there’s also the liquid chocolate fondue (seems to be a must-have at any self-respecting buffets these days), opera cake, mousse, ice cream and even cute little molten chocolate cakes! There’s nothing quite like an awesome sweet finish yeah (spot the American slang ha).

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The Great Big American Buffet
Price: $108++ (adult) / $42++ (child)
Promotion: Citibank card holders are entitled to 50% off for every second diner!

My thanks to Ikram for the kind invitation!

Triple Three
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
6831 6288/6271

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May May

When I first came across the lunch bowls at May May, my first thought was “Kilo copycat!” oops. You already know I’m obsessed with the donburi bowls from Kilo at Pact so it’s a given that a comparison is inevitable. At May May, the bowls are more Asian-style with beef rendang, braised pork belly and butter poached cod stealing the limelight (also a vegetarian grilled miso aubergine dish which sounds lovely). We tried the latter two and I realized the futility of comparing Kilo’s bowls with these. Each has its pros and cons – I adore Kilo’s accompaniments (best corn kernels, radishes and quinoa everrr) but not so much the salmon which is always overcooked geez; whereas May May’s substantial mains of cod and pork belly are flavourful and have wonderfully soft texture. But the bed of quinoa and veggies on the side are nothing spectacular hmm.

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Braised Pork Belly ($16++, additional $3++ for salad and coffee)
wasabi sprouts, asian slaw, oven roasted tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, pickled lotus root, soft centred egg

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Butter Poached Cod ($18++)
wakame, oven roasted tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, pickled lotus root, soft centred egg, wasabi sprouts

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May May
65 Tras Street
6221 4698

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