Thursday, August 20, 2015

Shirokiya : Japanese Healthy Dining at Cuppage

Let me put on my geeky glasses as I share with you my new found knowledge about... our skin. Yep! That's right. Did you know how wrinkles are formed? It's through the course of aging as our skin loses its natural moisture and elasticity for each year that you blow out another candle. This is the reason why our moms and grandmothers would always remind us to moisturize, moisturize and moisturize from the moment you hit your mid-20s as this can somehow help slow down the aging process. Now, have you ever heard of collagen? Did you know that this plays a vital role in keeping your skin elastic and when you do have elastic skin, there is a smaller chance for wrinkles to form. Call me a late bloomer as it was only recently when I finally have a more regular skin care regimen. I grew up thinking that I will forever have soft, blemish-free, acne-free and wrinkle-free skin. After all, I rarely put on make-up and my belief was that the less chemical I put on my face, the lesser chances of having break-outs or any other skin problem. I may be right but seeing how Mommy and my Amah have such beautiful skin even in their senior years, I am not taking chances and I'm following their advice too.

shirokiya 2
So, how do you bring back the collagen to your skin? There are a couple of skin care products in the market that can do the trick but being a foodie, I took the dining route first. In fact, there are a couple of collagen-rich food items such as soy, beans, olives and more that you can have on a regular basis. I also came across Shirokiya which is popular in serving their Health & Beauty Hot Pot with Special Chicken and Collagen Stock. If that isn't collegan-filled enough, I don't know what else is.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Heritage Flavours at Ellenborough Market Cafe, Singapore

Singapore's 50th National Day has passed already but the celebration continues! After all, the country has such a colourful history and it's really amazing to see how far they've come and how much everyone have all worked so hard to make Singapore what it is today -- a pretty awesome place to be!

In the foodie front, Singapore has made itself Southeast Asia's food mecca. With a wide array of cuisines to choose from, I tell you, you'll immediately be spoilt with choices here. Craving for Italian? Indian? Malaysian? French? even Austrian food can be found here! However, what makes Singapore unique are it's heritage dishes that withstood the test of time and these are kitchen secrets that have been passed on for generations to generations.

A day before SG50, I was invited to dine at Ellenborough Market Cafe to check out the Heritage Flavours Buffet which will be available till Sunday, 23 August 2015. As you know, buffets can get pretty overwhelming so let me guide you through to make sure you don't miss out on the yummy ones.

ellenborough market cafe
Fish Maw and Crab Meat Soup
This is a good way to start your meal or before joining the battle, as they would say. Warm your tummy with this delicious Oriental-inspired Fish Maw and Crab Meat where you will surely get a generous serving of shredded crab meat and fish maw flakes in every spoonful.

ellenborough market cafe
Shrimp Mango Salad
I also wandered towards the salad station where I always make it a habit to have some greens or fresh pre-mixed salads and I spotted this. How can you no to getting all the plump shrimp and sweet mango cubes that you can fill your bowl with? Even my friend D enjoyed this one as well!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Chocolate Banana Loaf by The Bald Baker

I love it when friends come to visit! Not only does it gives us the perfect excuse to eat out (not that we don't eat out regularly..) but we just love catching up with friends whom we haven't seen for years! Last week, fellow blogger B came to the Lion City to celebrate her birthday. We scheduled to meet up with her for late night dinner and drinks at Pizzeria Mozza.  Of course, when it's someone's birthday, you have to give her a present right? However, the birthday girl was the one who came with surprises for us!

the bald baker
It came in the form of this beautiful white box with a very clean (read: OC-friendly) logo type. OMG! It was from The Bald Baker, Cy Ynares, himself! I was so happy, I gave B a big bear hug. You see, I've never met The Bald Baker yet but I've been following stalking him on Instagram for many months now. It all began when I saw my friends posting photos of this delicious looking Banana Bread and you all know how much I love love love these loaves and breads. I did a little investigation and ... tadah! I was led to Cy's Instagram page.

Our late evening catch-up ended quite late so I decided to wait till the next day to do the grand "unboxing".  I tell you, I had to stop myself from digging in and wait for Paul as he was busy taking the perfect shot . Such torture as I could smell the sweet banana aroma since we removed the plastic wrap.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bottura : Eat. Drink. Italiano. in Suntec City Mall

Some days can get very stressful and when the pressure is on... I eat. Yup, I eat to my heart's desire! That's what I told my friend D recently when we were talking about our stress-coping mechanisms. D normally forgets about her hunger when she's stress while I told her that I'm such a stress-eater.

One thing though, I don't just munch on anything within reach or within sight. I have my comfort food staples that never fail to make my tummy and heart happy. These include a delicious plate of well-done pasta and pizza among many others. I'd say, I'm very Italian by heart. I love my risotto and I always enjoy ending my meal with a scoop of gelato. Perhaps, my next travel destination should be Italy, don't you think? *cough* hello Paul! *cough*

bottura 10
While that dream trip might come in the next few years, I'm lucky to discover Bottura, which I must say is one of the few good and authentic Italian restaurants here in Singapore. Located at the newest wing of Suntec City Mall, Bottura is an Italian deli shop, a gelato stop and a full-service Italian restaurant all rolled into one! While others may think that to eat good Italian food means having to splurge beyond your budget, Bottura's menu will show you that yummy and delightful dishes can be done at very reasonable price.

I was counting my lucky stars when Paul and I were invited to a private tasting session at Bottura, not so long ago. Let me share you the ones that I loved the most:

bottura 7
Prosciutto di Parma, Stracchino and Rucola Piadina (S$12)
We started our meal with a platter of piadina which for me it like an Italian quesadilla. Filled with homemade stracchino cheese, thinly sliced prosciutto and fresh rocket greens, I really loved this very much! I was told that Chef Luca imports most of his ingredients and also makes a lot in-house. This includes the pasta noodles and this creamy stracchino cheese which reminds me of my favorite burrata.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

328 Katong Laksa in East Coast Road

Now this is what I'd call a food trip

328 Katong Laksa 3
Right after having kaya toast and cupcakes at Chin Mee Chin Confectionery, we literally hopped next next door to 328 Katong Laksa as this has been one of the places friends have been recommending to us. Every time we'd tell someone that we haven't been to East Coast, the first thing they'd say is: "What?! But the laksa is the best there!"

That said, we agreed not to pass up the chance to have that much raved about Laksa for this trip. To be honest, I rarely have Laksa simply because I always thought it was unbearably spicy. Sweating profusely while eating is not really something that I really like to do. Well, the restaurant has a nice air-conditioned area inside so at least they got that sweating problem covered. Now, we will have to see if the spice level of the Laksa is something we can manage.

328 Katong Laksa 2
We got a small bowl of Laksa (S$5) to share. Look at that generous serving of shrimps, noodles, cockles, fish cake and bean sprouts! I love how they have cut up the noodles that there's actually no need for chopsticks and you can easily slurp up this noodle soup with a soup spoon. As for the spice level, I'm happy to report that it just had a very mild kick. Of course, we didn't add any more chili so the soup stock itself was very milky with a hint of spicy note in the end. It was actually very good that for a moment there, Paul and I wished that we got the large bowl (S$7) instead. Well, perhaps next time, we're getting our own individual bowls to have more Laksa noodles to ourselves.

Researching more about 328 Katong Laksa, I'm so relieved that they actually have 6 branches all over Singapore and 3 of which are in the west! Yahooo! Looks like this will be the start of more Laksa bowls to consume. Here's another trivia, did you know that Gordon Ramsay once challenged the owner for a hawker cook-off challenge and 328 Katong Laksa won over the famous TV chef! I'd say though that no one knows true authentic Singaporean food than the local Singaporean chefs themselves. Hats off to them.

328 Katong Laksa is located at 216/218 East Coast Road, Singapore. Click here to see the full list of branches. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery in East Coast Road

Happy #SG50! It was indeed a fun and relaxing long weekend that just passed and how I wish we can have more reasons to celebrate like this. So, on Singapore's National Day, all trains and buses gave free rides for the entire day and Paul and I took this opportunity to explore the other side of town -- the East.

chin mee chin sg 4
Our adventure started early in the morning where we took a 45 minute train ride all the way to Dakota MRT Station. This was followed by a quick bus ride to East Coast Road -- our first destination of the day. After attending Sunday mass, we checked out this famous old-school coffee shop which dates back to the 1920s! I first learned about Chin Mee Chin Confectionery when I saw a couple of random Instagram posts from fellow bloggers about it.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Back for more at Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall

Despite my short visit home, I made it a point to visit some of my favorite restaurants. True, I have a growing list of new restaurants to try but there are just some times that I would prefer something that's familiar, something that brings comfort, something safe. So, when I was setting a dinner catch-up with my cousins-in-law, I suggested that we go to Hole in the Wall in Century City Mall.

hole in the wall
If you recall, I've dined there with my family last December but after months of being away, I just have to satisfy my craving for that yummy Buttermilk Fried Chicken from Bad Bird and that to-die-for freshly baked cookies from Scout's Honor. In addition to that, I heard that there were more stalls that opened after my visit so I am definitely heading straight to those.

We were a huge group of 9 so you can just imagine the amount of food that went around as we shared all our orders that evening. Let me share with you my top picks :

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