Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine's Special at Caffe B, Marina Bay Sands

Ladies, who among you can relate to this scenario:
Frannywanny: Hun, what are we doing for Valentine's Day? 
Paul: Hmm.. oh yeah, where do YOU want to go on Valentine's Day?
Frannywanny: ......

So much for Valentine's Day surprises from my Mr. Romantiko. Anyway, for couples who are still thinking of where to go tomorrow, why don't you check out Caffe B at Marina Bay Sands? Paul and I recently discovered this place and it has instantly won our hearts with its delicious and beautifully plated specialties. For Valentine's Day, both Caffe B Restaurant and Caffe B Bar have set menus ready for you to enjoy.

Let me start with Caffe B Restaurant:

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For amuse bouche, we had the Lover's Voyage which is a very pretty assembly of king prawn with tangy mango salsa and served with homemade croustade and yuzu aoili. It's so pretty and I want more more more! The best way to enjoy this is to pop the entire thing into your mouth in one go. Not very ladylike but I'm sure your date will forgive you for it.

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Moving on, we had the A Spherical Retreat. I wasn't really sure what it was when it was first served to us but upon taking a bite, I realized that it's Ferrero Rocher meets Foie Gras thus they call it Foie Gras Rocher! I have to admit that I wasn't too wild about having chocolates for my second course and sadly I could hardly taste the foie gras as the flavor was just too strong. It has an acquired taste to do go for it and see if it suits your taste.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Holiday Lunch at The Waterfall in Shangri-la Singapore

One fine day, Paul and I decided to head over to one of our favourite hotels here in the Lion City, Shangri-la Singapore, for a classy lunch. This came a few weeks after that relaxing weekend staycation that we had and since we failed to have breakfast at The Waterfall, we then make sure not to miss out on this opportunity to have lunch there instead.

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If you still remember, we had our 4th Anniversary dinner at The Waterfall where the Chef was sweet to create a special dinner menu just for us. We went there a few weeks before Christmas so they actually have a holiday-themed antipasti buffet set-up for lunch that day.

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Don't expect a very wide spread but I can assure you that you're in for a treat as everything was definitely of top quality and I was so impressed with the different combinations that the Chef was able to come up with. My top picks were mostly the seafood-based salads such as the Prawn Salad with a generous amount of chilled prawns and couscous, another surprising discovery was the Baccala which is the Italian version of the Bacalao in Spain, this was prepared to look like a mashed potato but I love how the fish wasn't too salty and it had a nice creamy texture in every bite. Even the Crab Salad was really good. Other than those, I also love the fresh greens and the assortment of cheeses too.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Red House Seafood : CNY 2016 Menu

Our festive 4-day weekend has just ended but that doesn't mean it's the end of the Chinese New Year. In fact, it has just begun as Chinese New Year in Singapore runs up until the 15th day where we would get together again as a family and have bowls of tang yuan (sticky glutinous rice balls). This also means that you get to have more days to toss up for luck and prosperity with my ever-favorite Yu Sheng Salad!

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One of my favorite Chinese seafood restaurants here in the Lion City, Red House Seafood, has prepared a delicious line-up of dishes to enjoy this festive season. Given that most of the celebrations are done at home, they have very thoughtfully put together a Reunion Takeaway Tiffin Set which comes with 3 dishes of your choice. I remember Mommy and my Kongkong using these tingkats back then whenever they would take home food from any of our favorite restaurants. Seeing it again today has immediately brought back some good childhood memories.

Should you prefer to gather the family for a nice meal at the restaurant, they also got a couple of Annual Dinner Set Menus you can choose from. Let me share some of the ones that I love and I highly recommend for you to try.

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Of course, what's a Chinese New Year celebration without doing lo hei? I love how Red House Seafood has kept the traditional taste of the Prosperity Raw Salmon Yu Sheng but with an interesting twist of dragon fruit mixed into the plum sauce.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas in SM Megamall

I was already based abroad when SM Megamall opened a new wing called the Fashion Hall. Despite it's name, this area quickly became a favorite of fellow foodies as in here you can find a number of international restaurant franchises and some cool local ones. Since I can't just hop on a plane and fly home on a whim, I would continue to grow my list of restaurants in hopes that I'll be able to visit them when I'm in Manila.

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So, last October, Paul and I decided to have a really belated birthday celebration with my in-laws. While planning for the said meal, I referred to my list and zeroed in on Alqueria which is a Spanish
restaurant conveniently located in SM Megamall. I miss having Spanish food as I haven't really fond a good one in the Lion City which would match up to my favorites here.

As SM Megamall is forever crowded, it was a challenge to park most especially on a Sunday. That said, we got to the restaurant past lunch hour and everyone was feeling hungry. As a result, we ordered pretty much half of the menu to share:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Crystal Jade Singapore : Chinese New Year 2016 Menu #crystaljadesg

Crystal Jade Singapore is celebrating its 25th year this 2016. Since I used to live in the Philippines, I've come to know about the brand barely 6 years ago. However, I will never forget how I immediately fell in love with their signature Dan Dan La Mian and that's really a big surprise given that I used to have extremely low tolerance for spicy food. To this date, Crystal Jade will always be my go-to place whenever I'm craving for that mouthwatering spicy and peanut-y noodle soup.

crystal jade sg 8
In a week's time, most parts of Asia will be welcoming the Year of the Red Monkey and we're already feeling the festive season here in Singapore. There are a few things I love about celebrating Chinese New Year here -- tossing our luck in the air with the traditional lo hei, enjoying all of the best ingredients in a pen cai, receiving some hongbao (red envelopes with money) and lastly, having an abundant supply of mandarin oranges. Back in Manila, we would also eat all the tikoy (nian gao) slices that tummies can handle which is soooo yummy!

Anyway, I was invited to try the special Chinese New Year set menu at Crystal Jade Palace in Ngee Ann City a few weeks back. This is one of the fine-dining restaurants of the Crystal Jade chain. The others being the newly-opened Crystal Jade Prestige in MBFC, Crystal Jade Dining In in Vivo City and Crystal Jade Golden Palace in Paragon Mall. In addition to this, there's Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao which specializes in (what else?!) noodles and xiao long bao as well as a variety of Hong Kong-style dimsum too. Lastly, there's Crystal Jade Kitchen where you can enjoy short orders and indulge in their Steamboat Buffet which I love. Our preview dinner showcased a variety of dishes that will be served in the different Crystal Jade concepts.

As soon as we're all complete, our server started filling up our table with all the ingredients that will go into the Prosperity Yusheng with Abalone & Pomegranate (S$88 / S$138). This is available in Crystal Jade Palace / Prestige / Dining In / Golden Palace. I was pretty excited to try this as I've never had yu sheng minus the yu (fish) and with abalone and pomegranate instead. I'm expecting this to have a sweet note due to the plum and pomegranate sauce. As soon as I had my first plate, I was right! I love biting into the small pomegranate pulp and the abalone gave the salad a more meaty feel. It was really good and I highly recommend it.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Entertainer App 2016 : Food Trail Special #myentertainer

I was feeling a bit bummed out that I wasn't able to fly home for Mommy's birthday last week. It has been 2 straight years of me missing her special day and yes, I was feeling sad and guilty about it. I promise to make it up to her and Pan, most especially, in the coming years. Luckily, I haven't missed any of Papa's birthday and more so now as I really have to be in Manila yearly every end of August for family reasons. This is really one of those moments when reality bites that I am so far away from home and I'm missing out on special occasions like these.

To make up for my absence, I decided to do something productive on Mommy's birthday and thanks to the Entertainer App, I spent my afternoon "productively" eating around Tanjong Pagar with my fellow foodies and friends Ting and Ning ( call me Fing hehe). I've created a 1 minute video to share with you how my gastronomical afternoon went.

If you're curious about the three establishments that we've visited that day, please read on:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hyang To Gol Korean Restaurant in Amara Hotel

"Where to eat?"

For those working in the Central Business District (CBD), I bet you can all agree that this is the most used phrase come lunch hour. Funny thing is, of all the areas in Singapore, I'd say that the CBD has the most food options from the quick and easy fast food joints to the very Singaporean hawker centres to the slightly classy restaurants and hipster cafes. Then again, with more options comes greater confusion on where to go for lunch every single day. Unless you're a create of habit like me who frequents her favourite places on a weekly basis to the point of being known on a first name basis by either the stall owner or the restaurant server, then choosing your lunch venue would definitely be a daily dilemma.

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3rd branch? Wonder where's the first and second branches...
Allow me to share one of my favourite restaurants with you in hopes that this will solve your problem. :) Hyang To Gol is a traditional Korean restaurant located inside Amara Hotel. I got to thank my friend A for taking me here not so long ago and I've actually been back so many times with different groups of colleague. It happened one lunch time when A and I agreed to meet up. We were initially supposed to have salad but since I was feeling extremely stressed from work that day, I told her that I needed to eat something good to cheer me up. She then suggested we go Korean and told me to meet here at Amara Hotel. I was really confused as I know all the Korean restaurants along Tanjong Pagar Road but I've never heard of the one inside the hotel.

We went up the small glass lift that just connects the lobby up to the second floor. It's quite funny to have it there but whatever makes life more comfortable, right? When A and I got to the restaurant, we had to queue up for a few minutes. Wow, this place was popular! In fact, I saw tables of Koreans dining there. To me, seeing real Koreans dining at a Korean restaurant is always a good sign of the food's quality. The wait wasn't that long and I always enjoy chatting with A so I didn't really noticed how long it took for us to get our table.

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One might think that hotel restaurants can definitely be pricey but Hyang To Gol's lunch sets will prove you otherwise. You can choose from a variety of barbecued meat (pork, beef, lamb or chicken) or seafood (squid or eel) done bulgogi-style to some comforting Korean soups, noodles or rice dishes. All lunch sets starts with a bowl of cold kimchi soup that I love love love so much. I don't know why but I find it very cooling and refreshing.

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