Thursday, September 29, 2016

First 25 Cafe at Hoe Chiang Road, Singapore

Let me ask you all a question: "What were you doing when you were 25?" 

first25 cafe sg 1
For me, I was working for the Green Siren, organizing events and thinking of creative local store activities for each occasion and promotion. I was 25 when was born. That was probably the best thing that ever happened to me that year. Anyway, here in Singapore, two 25 year old guys have traveled around the world and have just opened their first ever restaurant. Thus, First 25 Cafe was born. Now, what do you say about that?! :) 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Great Meat Feast at The Carvery in Park Hotel Alexandra #TheCarverySG

To borrow Andy William's famous line, "It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrrr!"

While he's definitely pertaining to Christmas which, which by the way, is 87 days away (yahooo!!), I'm talking about The Great Meat Feast at The Carvery in Park Hotel Alexandra. I still remember when the hotel opened a little more than a year ago, I've been getting positive feedback and raves from fellow food bloggers about their amazing buffet line-up which is said to have one of the best steaks in town. That's really a bold statement given that there are a lot of steak restaurants here in Singapore and some are even owned by Celebrity Chefs and Michelin-star Chefs too. With testimonies like that, I was certain that The Carvery was definitely worth checking out.

the carvery sg 11
So, when I got an invite to be part of an exclusive sneak peek session of The Great Meat Feast at The Carvery, I made sure that I won't miss it no matter what! Our tasting took place more than a month ago so can you imagine how long we've all been waiting for this day to finally come? The secret is finally out and it's time to feast to our heart's desire. From 28 September up until 22 October 2016, have your fill of the best and finest cuts of beef which were specially flown in for this promotion.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Souper Tang (汤师父) at The Centrepoint in Singapore

It has been raining on and off for the past few days bringing down Singapore's temperature and making it feel cool and breezy for a change. If you ask me, days like these is the perfect time to just snuggle in bed and stay indoors all day long. It's also the time when I would crave mostly for a bowl of congee or soup.

souper tang sg
Luckily, there are a lot of options when it comes to satisfying our craving for soups and congee. A few months ago, Paul and I visited the first ever outlet of Souper Tang here in Singapore. Souper Tang (汤师父) originated in Malaysia where it has a total of 18 outlets scattered in Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Ipoh and Johor Bahru. Apparently, Souper Tang originated as a TCM medical hall where the owners would sell herbal medicines for all types of illnesses. Then the lady owner would cook put together soup packs which she would give out as gifts to friends. Later on, it got so popular and people would request that she would sell her soups. This was when Souper Tang was born.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fitness Friday : 7Cycle Singapore at AXA Tower

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."

My fitness journey is pretty much a long-running one. I began working out at the age of 14 when my parents decided that I can't be that big, chubby kid who lives an incredibly sedentary lifestyle. Back then I was weighing close to 160lbs and that's considered obese for a 14-year-old. With daily swimming classes over the summer break and daily gym workout, I entered my junior year in high school at 145lbs. Not exactly skinny but the shape of my face has transformed from what used to be a perfect circle into one that thankfully has a more defined jaw line. This was also the time that I got into the habit of going to the gym and eventually frequenting the classes, trying out new routines every so often and making new friends too. Would you believe that once upon a time, I used to train for weightlifting and I used to be a regular Body Jam student too?

7cycle sg 4
I'd say that from that point on up until my entire college years, I was at my fittest. Not exactly skinny but I definitely was far from my obese 14-year-old self. Then after a year of working, I started to let myself go. Gone were my daily gym sessions and this was replaced by nightly dinner outs and eventually blog dinners, midnight snacks and later on, I got so addicted to eating that I just turned a blind eye at the weighing scale. Before I left for Singapore, I was back at my heaviest again and since I was no longer a teenager, even my over-all health was showing danger signs too. Moving to a new country has forced me to move more often. Obviously, I won't be able to get around if I refuse to walk. Since we have no household help, Paul and I have to learn how to cook more and so we began to be more conscious of choosing the healthier stuff and to control our portions too. I won't lie. I still love food and I still love to eat but I'd say that one thing that has changed is that I now know when to stop and when to say no.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rice & Fries at Changi Road, Singapore

Let's face it. Carbs is awesome. Yes, too much carbs can increase your blood sugar level, make you gain weight and a lot more negative health effects but if you look at the positive side, we can't totally do away without carbs because this is where we get our energy to go about our routine and tasks every single day. So, it's not really a matter of saying no to carbs but it's about being wise and choosing the right carbs and taking in just the right amount too.

rice and fries 2
So enough about my health and fitness talk and let me talk about FOOD. When it comes to carbs, it's no secret how much I love rice. It may be a psychological thing but I always have to have rice especially during lunch time. More so when I know that I'll be working out later in the day then I need rice to keep me going. Sometimes I would try to eat healthy and go with a bowl of salad or a thin piece of sandwich but who am I kidding, right? I know that I will end up snacking after 3 hours. So, when Paul and I got an invite to visit a restaurant in the East called Rice & Fries, we immediately said yes despite knowing that we will be traveling to the opposite side of the country for dinner. With a restaurant named like that, we're pretty sure that the distance traveled will be worth it.

Rice & Fries, apparently, has been around for a couple of years already. It's located very near the residential area near the Kembangan MRT station. It wasn't difficult to spot the restaurant as we've been to this side of town to attend our company's Deepavali party last year. It's a nice neighborhood cafe where families and teenagers can hang out.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Menu Items at Harry's Singapore

In a country where restaurants and cafes have been opening left and right, you could say that the competition to survive in this little food mecca is really tough. As fast as they open, we've already bid good bye to quite a lot over the past 3+ years that Paul and I have been here.  It's quite heartbreaking, if you ask me, especially for those that we've grown to love and patronize for the short time that they were around. That said, I really have the highest respect for restaurants that have withstand not only the test of time but in and outgoing trends and people's ever-changing minds as well. Take for example Harry's which is currently celebrating their 24th anniversary here in Singapore. I guess, one of their secret is their willingness to innovate and to keep up with time.

A year ago, they started to renovate their outlets doing away with the dark, very masculine-feel bar to a more trendy, travel-themed resto-bar that caters not only the men but to women and even to the younger crowd too. I love Harry's for their small plates which goes very well with your choice of drinks. Regardless if you want it alcoholic or non-alcoholic, these yummy munchies are the perfect pair to complete your experience.

That said, Paul and I had the privilege to try some of the newest items in their menu and I can't wait to share them with you!

harrys bar singapore 2
We started our meal with Soy Glazed Beef Cubes (S$18.90) which are tender cuts of beef coated in soy-glaze very similar to a teriyaki sauce. We love the balance of salty-sweet flavors and of course, who doesn't love beef right? This makes for a nice starter or if you ask me, I'd love to have this with a cup of garlic rice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

#FrannyCooks : Baked Salmon ala Conti's

In Manila, when you ask people where you can find the best baked salmon, chances are they'll point you to just one place -- Conti's. There's really something about Conti's Baked Salmon that has made us fall so deeply in love with it. This was also my Ama's favorite and we made it a point to order this whenever she would come over for lunch or dinner. So, what happens when I suddenly have the craving for Conti's Baked Salmon and I won't be home in the next 3-4 months to enjoy it? I learned how to recreate it! Thanks to my friends N and T for sharing this recipe with me.

zin baked salmon 3
I first prepared this for my friends who came over to celebrate my birthday last June and once again for my uncles when Aku was in town in July. It has been a hit every single time that it has become one of my favorite dishes to prepare. Add to the fact that it's really easy to do!

Here's what you'll need: 
3 salmon fillet (de-boned)
1 lemon
1 cup cream cheese
8 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1.5 cup parmesan cheese
Chili Flakes

Do it in 7 easy steps:

zin baked salmon 1

1) Marinate your salmon fillet overnight with lemon juice, salt and pepper
2) Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, chili flakes and cheese. Mix very well.
3) Pat the salmon filled dry and transfer to your baking dish.
4) Top salmon with the cream cheese mixture.
5) Pre-heat oven 175 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.

zin baked salmon 2

6) Bake salmon for 30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
7) Serve with buttered veggies and Enjoy!

zin baked salmon 4
If you may have noticed, I'm using this classy looking salt and pepper duo encased in a pretty plastic grinder. It's by my friends behind the brand Zin Manila in the Philippines and they've been coming out with flavored salts promising to give your dish a more interesting dimension. For starters, I got the Natural Sea Salt (Php. 150), Triple Pepper Blend (Php. 260) and the Rosemary & Lemon Salt (260). I'm having so much fun adding this as a rub, marinate or even directly to my cooked dishes and I love how strong the flavors are that that you don't need a lot to really bring out the taste. Check out Zin Manila on Facebook!
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