Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Paradise Dynasty : Legend of Xiao Long Bao

Whenever I'm asked what my favorite food is, I would always have to stop and think really hard. You see, the problem here is that I don't only have one but in fact, I have 3 favorite types of food that I love very very much! That would be sushi, dimsum and pasta. Give me any of these and I can eat it for days on end.

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I'm lucky that Singapore is such an awesome food mecca that there's pretty much a very wide array of food choices available all the time. Take dimsum for example. Yes, I do admit that Hong Kong still reigns as the dimsum capital of world but when it comes to Xiao Long Baos, then Singapore is pretty much ahead of the pack.

What are Xiao Long Baos? It's a delicate, hand-created dumpling that is filled with pork and a small amount of soup. Steamed to perfection, the beauty of xiao long baos is that the soup stays intact even upon serving. So, there's one way to eat this -- carefully lift a piece using your chopsticks making sure that you don't break the delicate wrapper and place this on your soup spoon. Now, carefully take a small bite to poke a hole and it's either you let the soup flow into the soup spoon or you drink it straight. I love dipping my xiao long bao is this special ginger-black vinegar-soy sauce mix. Just a small amount to add some flavor. Paul, on the other hand, wants his with loads of shredded ginger and the amount of the soy sauce and vinegar is enough to fill one soup bowl.

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So, one Sunday evening, Paul and I met up with cousin J for dinner. Coincidentally, we all purchased a Groupon coupon where we can eat get a set of Flavored Xiao Long Baos (S$14.80/8 pcs) from Paradise Dynasty. Here are the different flavors available: Original, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Cheesy, Crab Roe, Garlic and Szechuan. Each flavor is color-coded making it easier for patrons to follow.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Chop House by The Wooloomooloo Group

Our dear friend A is in town and this just gave the group another reason to get together for a nice dinner last Sunday. A's dinner choice was The Chop House in Vivo City and we just couldn't be happier! After all, who says no to having steak and burgers for dinner?

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Researching more about The Chop House, I was surprised to know that this is actually part of the Wooloomooloo Group. As you all know, Wooloomooloo is ranked to be one of the best steak houses both in Singapore and in Hong Kong. I've been wanting to try Wooloomooloo since I moved to Singapore last year so consider this my first step to Wooloomooloo. What sets The Chop House apart from the famous steak place is that it has a more casual vibe. They're known for their self-service bar system where diners can avail of tap cards with credits that will allow them to try as much beer as they want.

the chop house 1
Paul and I started our meal with a bowl of Pumpkin Soup (S$10) which was very good. I tell you, after trying Cibo's Pumpkin Soup, it's really hard to find one that matches up to it but I'm happy to report that The Chop House's version was just as delicious. Perfectly creamy with the right consistency and each spoonful gives you a strong flavour of pumpkin puree and pepper bits. Yum!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Movie Review : The Hundred-Foot Journey

the hundred-foot journey
This is the story of a boy named Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) who grew up in Mumbai, India. It talked about his love affair with food and how he grew up to appreciate the different flavours and being able to master his craft in the kitchen. Fast forward to the present, Hassan and his family arrived at the South of France and bought a property which they intend to build a restaurant on. The challenge? It's a hundred-feet opposite the famous Michelin starred restaurant owned by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). Will they be able to succeed?

the hundred-foot journey
For one thing, this is a movie that you shouldn't watch with an empty stomach or without any snack on hand. Trust me. On the first 10 minutes of the movie, I felt my mouth water as soon as Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) came out on screen with a huge board topped with cheese and bread. Luckily, I went prepared with my Egg Mayo with Honey Mustard and Sweet Onion Vinaigrette Wrap to munch on.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Weekend Brunch at The White Rabbit, Singapore

"I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!"

This line just got to be the most memorable one that has stuck with me throughout all these years after watching Alice in Wonderland. It's the line delivered by the White Rabbit.

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Here in Singapore, The White Rabbit means much more than the furry white character in the book, it also stands for one of the best fine dining place in the island and as our friends L & T came to visit us last weekend, I figured that it's the best place for us to catch up while enjoying their popular weekend brunch too.

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What makes dining at The White Rabbit so interesting is the fact that you can enjoy the beautiful interiors inside. It's actually a restaurant and bar that's housed within a restored old chapel so as we walked up the mini hill towards the restaurant, Paul was quite unsure if this was indeed The White Rabbit as it looks like a chapel from the outside. "Are you sure this is it?", he asked me a couple of times before heading up those steps.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday Folks at Chip Bee Gardens, Singapore

I always believe that a restaurant doesn't need to have a long list of menu items in order to be successful. In fact, most of my favorite restaurants, for instance, would just specialize on 3-4 amazing dishes and this would still get people to queue up for hours. Pretty similar on how a person should be -- no one wants a jack of all trades but who's sadly a master of none. Rather, we'd go for one who may have just focused on one to two skills or talent but can truly be considered an expert on those.

Let me tell you about my newest discovery here in the Lion City -- Sunday Folks.

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It all began when I had dinner with fellow bloggers Nicole and Charlene who were talking about their latest coffee shop and dessert places finds. Then they started raving about Sunday Folks which initially sounds like a regular cafe to me. It was when I started to ask about it that I was told that it was actually an ice cream place but it's no ordinary ice cream shop too. They proceeded to show me Instagram shots of the ice cream cones and waffles that they were able to try and from that moment on, my life was not the same anymore.

I went home thinking about those mouthwatering ice cream cones and when I told Paul about it, he was all game to give it a try as well. So a few weeks ago, we went out to look for Sunday Folks. Located within the foodie famous Chip Bee Garden, one might find it hard to locate Sunday Folks as it only has this subtle blue signage in front. It's right beside Mai Tai Restaurant and is on the same side as Michelangelo's too.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

#IkawAngHeroKo on National Heroes' Day

Tomorrow, the Philippines will celebrate National Heroes' Day to commemorate all the brave men and women who fought hard for our country's freedom more than a century ago. However, I believe that this day is also the perfect opportunity to look deeper and to give importance to countless Filipinos who have made their own personal sacrifices to make things better. True, no blood had to be shed but more of sweat and tears just to be able to make their families live a better life and to help our nation in general too. I'm talking about our modern-day heroes -- the Overseas Filipino Workers a.k.a. the OFW. They are based all over the world from Hong Kong to Singapore, as far as the Middle East and even in some part of Europe and the United States too.

Living here in Singapore where more than 300,000 Filipinos are present, I've heard countless stories from fellow OFWs, all unique on its own way, on why did they choose to work here. No matter how different one's story is from another, all of them have a similar goal and that is to be able to provide better for their families back in the Philippines. Take for example Ate who cleans for us, she's a single lady who has been working here for more than 5 years and she recently went home for a quick break to attend her nephew's graduation whose education she financed all these years. If you think about it, 5 years worth of monthly wage is big enough for her to probably buy a nice house for herself but instead she has been sending back money every month to her family who needs it badly.

So, in celebration of this year's National Heroes' Day, our flagship carrier -- Philippine Airlines paid tribute to Armiel Saldua, a very lucky OFW here in Singapore with the best surprise he can ever imagine. Hope you enjoy the video below and tell us in the comment section, who the hero in your life?

Happy National Heroes' Day to our modern-day heroes! #IkawAngHeroKo

Friday, August 22, 2014

Potato Head Folk : Three Buns Kitchen

"It's so beautiful!"

potato head folk sg
I think I must have uttered this line more than a dozen time last Tuesday night when my colleagues and I decided to have dinner at Potato Head Folk along Keong Saik Road -- a quick 10 minute walk from our office. I was at awe upon seeing this tall 4-storey white and red shophouse at the corner of the road that somehow reminds me of a ship. I don't know why, blame my hyperactive imagination. :)

People who have visited Bali must be familiar with the name and yes, this is from the same group that runs Potato Head Beach Club in Indonesia. I personally haven't been to Bali, but I've been hearing a lot of good things about it.

potato head folk sg
Potato Head Folk in Singapore is divided into three establishments -- Three Buns Kitchen, Studio 1939 and the Rooftop Garden. Each establishment occupying one entire floor and each carries a different vibe unique from each other. That evening, our dinner was set at Three Buns Kitchen so this is where this blog post will center on.

potato head folk
thank you Preethi for this lovely photo!
Located at the second floor of the shophouse, you'll surely be amazed at the colourful grand decor found all over the restaurant. From giant statues to pretty white and blue painted walls. It has a very whimsical feel where they made use of curated art pieces put together in such an organized chaotic manner. No two table set-up is the same and since reservation is not allowed, we were lucky to immediately get a nice table for 6 given that the place was packed on a busy Tuesday night.

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