Saturday, 14 January 2017

Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Café Introduces Exciting New Creations

Posing beside Hello Kitty life-sized figurine

Launched in May last year, Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Café is known for its kawaii décor which sets many hearts aflutter. Drawing inspiration from Singapore’ s National Flower, the Orchid, the café  is embellished with fresh, beautiful orchids and resembles a glasshouse set in a garden.

The retail section

Although Kitty elements can be found in every nook and corner, the café is tastefully designed and takes on a minimalist and elegant approach, focusing on the floral paradise experience. There is also a retail section where fans can purchase Singapore-exclusive merchandise such as tea blends, plush toys and postcards.

Recently, Hello Kitty Café has introduced interesting new creations on the à la carte menu which marry the best of the East and West. 

Seafood Chowder Lagoon

Start your meal with the tasty seafood chowder lagoon ($9.90) which brims with smoked salmon and fresh mussels, This rich, tasty soup is accompanied with crispy buttery garlic toast.

Captain's Kapitan Curry

The café’s rendition of Kapitan curry chicken (Captain's Kapitan Curry - $18.90) – Penang’s ubiquitous dish hits all the right notes. It is served piping hot with plump, succulent chunks of chicken tossed in a unique blend of aromatic local spices such as ginger, lemongrass, chillies and lime leaves. With bread, it is simply delicious, delivering gratification with every mouthful.

Kitty Goes Fishing

Another new creation I enjoyed is Kitty Goes Fishing ($24.50). The red sea barramundi is creatively assembled with colourful ingredients such as asparagus, tomato and mango salsa. The crust is delicately seasoned and enveloped in a macadamia nut crust which is then baked to a golden brown hue, resulting in a nice, crumbly texture. The lovely combination of the ingredients creates a perfect harmony of different flavours and textures. The homemade mango salsa enhances the taste with its refreshing, tangy flavour. The best thing is that the barramundi is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B, D and Omega-3 fatty acids! 

Cowabunga! Wagyu

For those who like beef, you must not miss the Cowabunga! Wagyu ($24) which consists of premium cuts of Wagyu beef slow-cooked to tender perfection in a fragrant and flavourful rendang gravy accompanied with a delightful medley of diced onions, pineapples, carrots and cherry tomatoes. The beef tastes great with Japanese rice and tantalising Mesclun salad drizzled with Ponzu sauce.

Oops Kitty Did It Again!

For the sides, opt for Hello Kitty Did It Again! ($8.90)! The fries are deep-fried to the precise degree of crispness and topped with sea salt and parmesan cheese. Add some lime ketchup to give it a zesty flavour.

Banana Forest

Bring your meal to a sweet conclusion with Banana Forest ($15.90) which features caramelised bananas wrapped in a unique pastry skin and baked to golden brown perfection. True to its name this dessert resembles a mini forest with chocolate soil, juicy berries, creamy vanilla and a drizzle of homemade vanilla sauce.

Baby André Aaron can't wait to eat his dessert

Kitty Blush and Cumbernade

You may also want to accompany your dessert with the café's revitalising mocktails such as Kitty Blush ($7.90), a rejuvenating concoction of watermelon juice, basil and soda water and Cumbernade ($7.90), an energising and fizzy blend of cucumber syrup, lemonade and soda water. 

The entrance

Hello Kitty Orchard Garden café is located at the Arrival Hall Central, Changi Airport Terminal 3, #01-22.  For enquiries, please call 6241 6127. The café only accepts reservations on weekdays. As it is open 24 hours, you may want to dine during off-peak hours to avoid the queue. For more information, please visit here.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Common Man Coffee Roasters is Arguably One of the Best Brunch Places in Town!

With my former colleagues

The Common Man Coffee Roasters café is one of the best brunch places in town. This unique concept is a collaboration between Harry Grover, Five Senses Coffee (Australia) and the Spa Esprit Group. 

The setting is casual and understated with an Aussie feel to it. Coffee connoisseurs love to relax around the bar area and chat with the Baristas while waiting for their coffee to be served. Be enthralled by the different kinds of coffee making equipment including filters, French press, machines and beans.

This 3-year old café offers hearty brunch favourites, healthy salads, pastas, burgers and delightful desserts. Every item on the menu is crafted with passion to suit the even the most discerning palate. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free dishes for those who desire healthier options.

Hot mocha

For a start, I would recommend the aromatic hot mocha ($7). The fresh aroma and rich flavour will definitely perk you up in the morning. What fascinated us was the coffee art which was crafted delicately and seamlessly.

Common Man Full Breakfast

For those with a gargantuan appetite, go for the Common Man Full Breakfast ($27) which consists of free-range organic eggs in any style, back bacon, pork sausage, confit herbed tomato, vegetable rosti, minted sour cream, portobello mushroom, house-made chorizo baked beans with artisanal sourdough or pepita toast. It is a very substantial meal which delivers gratification in every bite and gives you your much needed energy boost for the day.

Orechiette pasta

I liked the orecchiette pasta ($28) with squid Bolognese with chopped basil, pancetta and shaved pecorino. Orecchiette pasta originates from the Puglia region in Italy and it is shaped like ears (hence the name Orecchiette, which means little ears in Italian). What I really like about the orecchiette pasta is that it is able to absorb the sauce very well. It goes well with the robust Bolognese sauce and the basil adds a fragrant, minty taste to the overall taste, while the pancetta and shaved pecorino enahanced the intensity of the flavours.

Fish burger

The fish burger ($26) was another all-time favourite. The patty was made in house and was sandwiched between a fluffy, brioche bun. The crispy patty and soft bun provided a lovely contrast of flavours, embellished with creamy coconut bok choy and grilled tomatoes and accompanied with tasty fries.

Common Man churros

We concluded our meal on a wonderful note with the sugar-dusted Common Man churros ($12) served with decadent chocolate sauce. The churros were a tad too sweet for us, however the I like the crisp exterior and the soft interior.

The Common Man Coffee Roasters is located at 22 Martin Road, #01-00, Singapore 238058. It is open on Monday to Sunday from 7.30am to 6pm. The last order is at 5pm. 

For enquiries, please call 6836 4695 or visit here.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Delicious Handmade Noodles at I Want My Noodle

Indulging in Aromatic Prawn Noodles

I am an avid fan of noodles, especially springy noodles which are made from scratch with fresh ingredients. I discovered I Want My Noodle by chance when I went for a medical check-up at Raffles Medical Clinic at Shaw Centre. I Want My Noodle is a one-year old noodle house located at level three of the revamped extension of Shaw Centre next to the popular Chinese casual dining restaurant, Xi Yan.

The interior

This humble and rustic noodle house is helmed by first-time entrepreneur Derrick Quah who prides his noodles on freshness and quality. He mastered the art of making noodles from his mother and mother-in-law. Every item on the menu is handcrafted painstakingly in house with ingredients sourced from wet markets. What is noteworthy is that the dishes are crafted with love using fresh and natural ingredients and are devoid of MSG, preservatives, additives and colouring.

The noodles at I Want My Noodle are chewy, tasty, springy and retain a firm bite. What is unique is that many of the creations are a mish-mash of different ingredients and seasoning.

My Truffle Oil Noodle

My Truffle Oil noodle ($9.90) consists of freshly made egg noodles tossed in a special braised sauce made using chicken and mushroom and enhanced with white truffle infused olive oil. It is tantalising with the gentle, earthy taste of truffle oil. Stewed mushrooms and perfectly soft boiled egg are added, making the noodles simply delish and slurp-worthy.

My Aromatic Prawn Noodle

My favourite noodle is My Aromatic Prawn Noodle ($14.50) -  a Thai inspired prawn noodle tossed in a fragrant tom yum sauce prepared with prawn heads and a variety of spices including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and crushed chilli peppers. The noodles are generously topped with tiger prawns and prawn crackers which resembled shoe string fries. The noodles are a twist from the usual local prawn noodle soup and is a delightful mix of savoury and spicy flavours. The flavours are well-balanced, making me crave for more.

Shrimp Wanton Soup

The Shrimp Wanton Soup ($7.90) deserves special mention too. It is slowly simmered with fresh and dried seafood, resulting in a broth which is hearty and tasty. Wolfberries are added to give it a slightly sweet flavor and to increase the nutritional value of the soup (wolfberries are believed to be beneficial to vision). The wantons consist of shrimps wrapped in a thin, soft skin. Every mouthful bursts with homely goodness, satiating the taste buds of diners.

The entrance

I Want My Noodle is located at 1 Scotts Road, #01-14/15 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208. It is open from 11am to 9pm daily. For more information, please visit the noodle house's facebook page here.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Cajun on Wheels (C.O.W) Launches New Outlet at Plaza Singapura with New Additions to the Menu

Tucking into a glorious seafood feast

Following the success of its first outlet at Pasarbella at Suntec City, Louisiana-style seafood ‘Cajun on Wheels’ (C.O.W) has just launched another another outlet at Plaza Singapura. This new outlet boasts exciting new additions, tempting even the most discerning of palates. What I really like is the wide range of sauces offered to accompany the seafood including chilli egg, Thai red curry, sambal tumis, salted egg yolk, cajun cheese, cheesy cream and cajun herb and butter. C.O.W is also the place to go to where you don't can feast to your heart's content without worrying about your dining etiquette. The seafood is served in buckets and you can simply pour them onto a plastic waterproof sheet, mix them with the various sauces and dig in. 

The Nice Platter

One of my favourites is The Nice Platter ($39.90) which features succulent fresh Hokkaido scallops, tasty sea bass, tiger prawns and a choice of pilaf rice or aglio olio pasta. A healthy and substantial meal for one or two diners.

Mussel stew

Those who have a soft spot for mussels must go for the mussels stew ($21.90, serves 2) which is a rich, robust stew prepared using fresh tomatoes and mussels. The flavourful sauce complements the savoury mussels very well, satiating the taste buds of mussel lovers. 

Crusty C.OW Burger

Burgers are always a hot favourite with many diners. The Crusty C.O.W Burger ($39.90) is finger linking good. It consists of juicy, tasty patty made with 100% premium beef topped with freshly grilled lobster. The tender, luscious patty combined with the sweet, oceanic taste of the lobster brings delight to every bite.

Oh Lobster

If you are in the mood for a crustacean indulgence, try the Oh Lobster ($59) accompanied with potatoes, corn and chicken spam. We chose Cajun herb and butter sauce to go with the lobsters. A dynamic blend of spicy, vibrant and soulful flavours, this delightful sauce is a lovely accompaniment to the lobsters.

For a crab-a-licious feast, opt for the Oh Crab ($59 for 600grams, $69 for 800 grams, serves 1 to 2) which features delectable Sri Lankan crabs served with corn, potatoes and chicken spam. Titillate your taste buds by having the crabs with spicy sambal tumis. 

Olympian bucket 

If you want a bit of everything, I would recommend the Olympian bucket (serves 3 to 4 - $159) which consists of Scottish dungeon crab, Sri Lankan crab, mussels, white clams, mussels , prawn, sweet corn, potato and chicken spam.

Fried squid

For the side dishes, you can try the fried squid (original at $8.50, with salted egg yolk at $10.50) or fried mushrooms ($4.90) deep-fried to golden perfection. The fried squid hits the right notes and balances the palate after buckets full of seafood while the delicious fried mushrooms impress with  its delicate taste and light batter. 

Seafood indulgence at C.O.W

The entrance
Cajun on Wheels (C.O.W) is located at 68 Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura (New Extension), Singapore 238839. It is open from 11am to 10pm daily. For more information, visit their facebook page here

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Succulent Roast Duck at London Fat Duck

The entrance

London Fat Duck which was launched over a year ago is a collaboration between Singapore-based Fei Siong and Akashi groups. What is interesting to note is that London Fat Duck has nothing to do with London and did not originate from there. The name was inspired by renowned roast duck restaurants in London such as Four Seasons and Goldmine in Bayswater. 

London Fat Duck is famed for its Cantonese style roast ducks which are sourced from Silver Hill Farm located in Ireland. The ducks are grain-fed and allowed to roam freely. Relaxing music is played before the duck is slaughtered, resulting in its succulent, tender and flavourful flesh.

The restaurant reminds me of casual eateries in Hong Kong which are small, cramp and brightly lit. Although the setting is understated and fuss-free, it has a welcoming feel. Service is decent and the food is served in less than 10 minutes, which makes it an ideal place to dine if you are rushing for time.

BBQ2 combination rice

Signature London roast duck half portion

London Fat Duck’s signature London roast duck (whole $48.80, half $26 and regular $16.80) impressed me with its crispy skin and moist, juicy meat, oozing delight with every mouthful. If you are dining alone, you may want to try the BBQ 2 combination rice ($9.80) which comes with roast duck, pork belly and barbecued pork. The roast duck however stole the limelight from the other meats.

Crispy London duck snow bun

Another item on the menu which had me bowled over was the crispy London duck snow bun ($5.20). It is a little similar to the legendary barbecued pork bun at Tim Ho Wan. The only difference is that tender slices of duck are used for the filling instead of barbecued pork.

The juicy interior

The bun has a crispy and fluffy exterior with a moist, juicy interior with generous slices of roast duck meat seasoned to the right degree of sweetness. 

Signature steamed cheong-fun

I love the signature steamed cheong-fun ($6.20) which consists of deep-fried prawn rolls encased in a silky and velvety steamed rice roll, so you can get the best of both worlds.

Hong Kong wanton mee

The Hong Kong wanton mee ($7.80) is another highlight. The egg noodles are springy and firm and are accompanied with fresh shrimp dumplings and kai lan. Each morsel of dumpling is bouncy and savoury.

Hong Kong egg tart

For dessert, I would recommend the Hong Kong egg tart ($4.20). The egg tarts have a flaky, fluffy crust with a smooth and soft interior. Each bite is a heavenly burst of goodness.

London Fat Duck is located at 1 Harbourfront Walk #B2-29, Singapore 098585. For reservations, please call 6221 6689. There are also two other outlets located at Scotts Square and Waterway Point. For more information, please visit here.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

5th Wedding Anniversary Celebration at Adrift by David Myers

Basking in the relaxed, convivial setting

Adrift by David Myers offers an upbeat and enthralling dining experience in a convivial setting. The name ‘Adrift’ connotes to go with the flow, which is befitting of its relaxed, chic setting. 

Hubby, Thomas and I celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary

The concept is started by celebrity chef, David Myers who hails from Boston. Other than Adrift at Marina Bay Sands, Chef David owns several restaurants in Japan.

The sleek interior

Adrift's interior boasts a Ginza-inspired cocktail bar, large transparent glass windows revealing an outdoor garden, private room with a vintage feel and seats resembling an outdoor bench.

At the cocktail bar area

A vibrant take on the contemporary izakaya, the menu focuses on Californian produce with Asian influence. The cuisine is inspired by Chef David's culinary experiences and travels around the world. consisting of mainly of small plates, healthy salads, seafood and meats grilled over bincho charcoal on a traditional robata grill. You can also go for the Omakase dinner where the chef will curate a special menu for you with premium ingredients.

Another shot of the interior

My hubby and I were happy to celebrate our 5th anniversary at Adrift on 11 November 2016. We selected the Timeless set menu showcasing signature creations of Adrift. Service was excellent and every dish was flawlessly executed.

Rice crackers with yuzukosho aioli

Before our meal started, rice crackers were served with yuzukosho aioli, a Japanese sauce made using chilli peppers, yuzu peel and salt. The crackers were very appetising and helped to pique our appetites prior to commencement of the dinner.

Japanese big eye tuna sashimi

The first course was the Japanese big eye tuna sashimi which was enhanced with myoga (a type of Japanese ginger), sesame leaf and tofu purée. The sashimi was very fresh and the marriage of different flavours, created a burst of delight in every mouthful.

The vitamin -packed baby spinach salad was equally tasty with hoshimeiji mushrooms, hazelnuts and truffle pecorino. The hazelnuts added a crunchy texture while the truffle pecorino gave it a refreshing earthy aroma and taste.

King crab melt

The king crab melt was the star dish for the evening. The tasty chunks of crabmeat and pimento cheese were sandwiched between crispy toast and topped with deep-fried Alaskan king crab.

Suzuki fish

The suzuki fish was drizzled wth a rich lemongrass butter, imparting a familiar Thai flavour to the taste buds. The taste was quite intriguing although I think the preparation method would have tasted even better if seabass or halibut was used.

Iberican pork chop

For the main course, we had the Iberican pork chop which was succulent and flavourful. The accompaniments, salted plum and sweet potatoes provided a contrast of sweet and savoury flavours. 

Rose parfait

The dessert was a bowl filled with passion consisting of refreshing rose parfait with crunchy coco mochi and cool, zesty raspberry sorbet, refreshing our taste buds. The rose parfait was smooth and creamy with a subtle, gentle taste of rose, accentuated with the chewiness of the coco mochi.

Caramel French toast

The finale dish for the evening was the French toast steeped in a rich, sinfully delicious caramel sauce. Coffee sauce was added to give it the extra flavour and oomph. This was our surprise anniversary dessert which was presented by the Adrift team. A complimentary glass of sparkling rosé was also served to accompany our desserts. We were really impressed with the thoughtfulness of the service staff.

Hubby and baby, André Aaron

Overall, our dining experience was fantastic. Service was top-notch and food was an interesting mix of hearty ingredients, showcasing the culinary dexterity of the culinary team. Thank you to General Manager, Gibran, wine sommelier, Dean and staff April and Chris for making our evening such a memorable one.

The entrance

Adrift by David Myers is located at Marina Bay Sands Hotel Lobby, Tower 2. The restaurant is open from 12pm to 2.30pm on Monday to Friday and from 6pm to 12pm on Sunday to Thursday and 6pm to 1am on Friday and Saturday. The Timeless Set Menu is priced at $88++ per person.

For reservations, please call +65 6688 5657 or visit here.