Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Luxuriant Sunday Brunch at Flavorz, The Ritz Carlton Shenzhen

The interior

Sunday Brunch is a delightful affair. And The Ritz Carlton Shenzhen Flavorz Restaurant’s Sunday Brunch definitely brings a smile to those who like to relax and indulge during the weekend. With a lavish spread, impeccable service, fresh seasonal produce and innovative culinary delights, this buffet definitely lives up to its reputation of being the “Best Sunday Brunch” in Shenzhen.

Seafood on ice

The chic all-day dining restaurant is styled after a market concept featuring brunch favourites such as eggs benedict, extensive selection of seafood, fresh sushi, cured meats, assorted cheeses, grilled meats, noodles prepared à la minute and a lovely repertoire of desserts. 

Assorted breads and cheeses

Other than the flavourful cuisine, what really impressed me about this buffet is that everything is served to my table and food is not just passively laid on the table. Throughout the meal, the wait staff is zealously rushing to bring food to my table, making me feel pampered. 

Fresh oysters

The fresh seafood is a hit with many seafood aficionados. Tickle your palate with fresh oysters, crab and prawns

Assorted sushi

The Japanese section is decent with an interesting selection of sushi. I expected sashimi but did not see it on the buffet. 

Seared tuna

Smoked salmon

Iberico ham

For the appetisers, my personal favourites are the seared tuna, smoked salmon, prawns with mango and iberico ham.

Double-boiled snow fungus, pear and pork rib soup

 The double-boiled snow fungus, pear and pork rib soup is tasty and nourishing. 

Eggs benedict

The egg benedict tasted okay but would have been better if it was prepared on the spot. What is lacking is an egg station which would have made the brunch buffet more complete.

Teriyaki salmon

For the mains, you can look forward to teriyaki salmon, fried rice, stir-fried Chinese noodles, Chinese roast items such as roast pork belly and roast duck, lamb shank, grilled rack of lamb, steak and sausages from the grill section and Chinese wok-fried delights.

Fresh fish
Take your pick from the fish section and let the expert chefs grill them for you right before your eyes.

The Thai section

There is also a Thai section where the chef prepares Tom Yum soup complete with condiments such as mushrooms and prawns.

Different varieties of noodles

Relish noodles prepared with your choice of soup and condiments such as mushrooms, cabbage, enoki, pork balls, fish cake, beancurd puff, quail egg and more. 

Lovely desserts

Conclude your afternoon of indulgence with the lovely repertoire of desserts such as chocolate brownie, rose cupcake, mango dome, cheese cake, pistachio nut cake, crème brûlée, guiling gao (herbal jelly), mango pudding, black glutinous coconut soup, berries trifle verrine, chocolate molten lava cake, chocolate fondue and waffles with ice cream.

 Sweet finale

The buffet is priced at RMB588 and includes free flow of juices, red, white and sparkling wine. Add RMB100 to enjoy unlimited servings of Champagne.

Assorted fruits

Flavorz is located at Level 2, The Ritz Carlton Shenzhen, 116 Fuhua San Road, Futian District, Shenzhen 518048 P.R. China. For reservations, please call +86 (755) 2222-2222.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Delectable Fusion Creations at Flo, a New Halal Café at IMM

Food tasting session at flo

During my recent trip back in Singapore, I was delighted to be able to try the food at flo, a brand new casual dining café located at IMM launched by singer, actress and host, Candyce Toh. 

The interior

Founded by the Manuka Group, flo drew inspiration from its sister café by adding a mix of Western creations with Asian influences. This new kid on the block features a kaleidoscope of different cuisines with an innovative twist. 

With Robert and Agnes and my family

Flo is also a halal certified café which aims to satisfy the palates of all food lovers. With a capacity of 36, it is open daily from 11 am to 10pm. What makes it most attractive is that prices do not include service charge or GST. 

Rosti Special

We started our food tasting session with the all-day breakfast favourites, flo’s Rosti Special -$15) which consisted of fresh grated potato (made-to-order), rocket salad, egg (choice of sunny side up or scrambled), marinated pulled chicken slices and sour cream and chives on the side. The rosti was pan-fried to a perfect golden brown hue and tasted heavenly with the sour cream and chives. The marinated pulled chicken was tantalising and helped to refresh the taste buds. The rocket salad provides the vitamins our body requires while the eggs give us the energy boost for the day. Overall, this is a wholesome dish which appeals to most diners.

The corn soup ($8) is prepared with the goodness of fresh corn and has a smooth consistency and a pleasant sweet taste. This is suitable for toddlers and children too.

Tomato and mozzarella salad

I also like the tomato and mozzarella salad ($12) with consists of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, mesclun, basil pesto and balsamic reduction. A quintessential Italian appetiser, it oozes the refreshing taste of summer.

Succulent flank steak

My favourites are the flank steak ($18) which is served with cauliflower purée, seasonal vegetables and herb butter and the signature Korean inspired marinated chicken ($16) served with myeolchi bokkeum and kimchi fried brown rice. 

Korean inspired marinated chicken

The former is succulent and flavourful and melts readily in my mouth while the latter is palatable, enhanced by the crunchy texture and savoury taste of the anchovies. The chicken is also tender and complements the rice well.

Korean kimchi pasta

The Korean beef pasta ($17) is a unique fusion dish which combines the Italian pasta with the exotic flavours of the Korean kimchi. Made with flo's in-house blended base, it allows the pasta to completely absorb the spicy, tangy flavours. This is a must-try dish if you are inclined towards spicy food, though it may be a tad too spicy for those who are not fans of spicy cuisine.

Bountiful choco-brownie

The bountiful choco-brownie ($14.50) was the finale dish for the food tasting session, ending our dining experience on an exceptional note. It was superbly prepared with freshly baked crispy waffles, chocolate brownie, walnuts, premium vanilla bean ice cream and maple sauce. The waffle was crispy on the outside and fluffy inside and the different ingredients merged together to create a wonderful explosion of various flavours and textures. Chocolate sauce was added which gave it a rich, decadent taste.

Review of the Bountiful Choco-Brownie

Flo offers a lovely setting for a casual meal with your loved ones. Thank you Agnes once again for the invite.

Flo is located at IMM, 2 Jurong East, Street 21, #02-15A, Singapore 609601. It is open from 11am to 10pm daily. 
For enquiries, please call 6896 1396 or visit here.
For more information or for tastings, please visit here.

Photos by Photographer, Producer and Song Writer, Robert Wesley Seng.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Tease Your Palate with Fish Prepared in Innovative Styles at Be A Flying Fish (鱼乐飞) at MH Mall, Shenzhen

With my new colleagues

Be A Flying Fish (鱼乐飞),  MH Mall is part of the Mission Hills Centreville located within the largest golf resort in the world - Mission Hills, Shenzhen.

The restaurant specialises in fish prepared in innovative styles, guaranteed to pique the palates of those who love fish. As the name implies, the fish is so tasty that one literally feels like 'flying'.

Here are some of my favourite dishes:

凉拌皮蛋 (Chilled Century Eggs)- RMB16

I don’t usually fancy century egg but I am quite impressed with Be A Flying Fish (鱼乐飞)'s version. It has a translucent orange hue instead of the usual charcoal black colour which makes it look much more appetising. Traditionally, century eggs were made by preserving chicken or duck eggs in a mixture of salt, lime and ash and wrapping in rice husks for several weeks. This helps to raise the PH of the egg, the chemical process breaks down the proteins and fats into smaller complex flavours. After the egg is chilled, it is served with soya sauce and topped with chilli. The yolk has a creamy consistency while the white has a gelatinous texture. Cool and refreshing, it helps to whet one’s appetite before the main meal.

韭菜鸡蛋干 (Sliced Egg White with Leek) - RMB18

Resembling beancurd, this is another popular appetiser. The egg white is sliced thinly and has a firm, pleasant texture. It is accompanied with leek giving it a fragrant and crunchy flavour.

麻辣鱼皮(Fish Skin in Mala Sauce) - RMB36

A traditional Szechuan favourite, this will tantalise your palate and titillate your senses. The fish skin is chewy and delectable and goes well with the mala sauce which consists of Szechuan peppercorn, chilli pepper and various spices simmered in oil. Spicy, numbing and delicious.

金牌酸菜鱼 (Signature Fish with Preserved Vegetables)--RMB148

For the mains, the signature fish with preserved vegetables is my ultimate favourite. It consists of boiled and fried fish cooked in a tangy, flavourful broth which is meticulously prepared with preserved papaya, preserved vegetables, ginger, bamboo shoot and chilli and enhanced with sliced lemon. The marriage of tangy, spicy and savoury flavours makes it absolutely delightful.

招牌脆鱼锅 (Signature Crispy Fish served in a Pot) - RMB 158 

The fish is tender, delicious and crisp as we heard that the fishes are farmed and fed only with soybeans. Topped with peppers, green and red chilli and served in a huge pot, it delivers gratification in every bite.

Enjoying 金牌酸菜鱼 (Signature Fish with Preserved Vegetables)

The entrance

Be A Flying Fish (鱼乐飞) is located at L304-306. For more enquiries, please call 
0755 -21002527; 4008818632 or email 3215772073@qq.com. Alternatively, kindly visit www.yulefei888.com.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

SBCD Korean Tofu House - New Authentic Korean Tofu House at Tanjong Pagar Centre

Indulging in authentic Korean dishes

Korean soft tofu stew is my ultimate comfort food. I just love the silky, smooth beancurd and the spicy, flavourful broth, which is nourishing to the heart, body and soul.

New kid on the block, SBCD Korean Tofu House, located at Tanjong Pagar Centre offers one of the best Korean tofu stews in town. The ambience is bright, spacious and comfortable and furnishings are mainly in earthy tones. The walls are embellished with history of Korean silken tofu. Launched on 10 January this year, SBCD Korean Tofu House specialises in a variety of soontofu (Korean soft tofu soup), where the “soon” in “soontofu” means soft. You can choose from traditional versions such as seafood and original (with beef and pork) to innovative ones such as ham and cheese and abalone.

Chef making soontofu in the kitchen

Special hot stone rice cooker, 15 minutes 20 seconds

SBCD upholds the kitchen philosophy of serving uplifting and complete meals, and every soontofu dish is created with passion and mastery with soft, silken tofu that is hand-made from scratch daily. 

Piping hot soontofu (Korean silken tofu)

The broth is prepared in four different levels of spiciness including mild, medium, spicy and crazy hot.

Ham and cheese tofu stew

The ham and cheese tofu stew ($19.90) was served first. Initially, I was a little sceptical to try it as it sounded a little too adventurous for my liking. The broth is a little thicker and has more body than the usual tofu stew and there is a certain degree of sweetness to the stew. I was pleasantly surprised.

Abalone tofu stew

The abalone tofu stew ($29.90) has a briny, oceanic taste which will definitely captivate seafood aficionados. It abounds with generous servings of fresh abalone, clam, shrimp, squid and mussels.

For the purist at heart, I recommend that you go for the original version which is clear and tasty and boiled using pork and vegetables. You can choose to have it with either pork or beef. 

Traditional seafood tofu stew

The traditional seafood tofu stew ($19.90) topped with clam, shrimp, squid and mussel is a hot favourite too.  

I am not a spice fanatic as I feel that if the broth is too spicy, it will overshadow the flavours of the ingredients. Mild or medium levels are perfect for me. SBCD’s tofu has a velvety smooth yet, firm texture which makes it absolutely irresistible.

LA Galbi

For the mains, my favourite is the LA Galbi (BBQ short ribs - $35.90). The ribs are well-seasoned and grilled to perfection, satiating my senses to the very last mouthful.

Prawn tofu pancake

For the sides, you can go for the prawn tofu pancake ($19.90). Crisp on the outside and juicy inside, it will leave your taste buds yearning for more. The combination of prawn and tofu gives it contrasting textures and flavours, making every bite a gratifying one.

Banchan (side dishes)

A typical Korean meal is never complete without banchan (side dishes). At SBCD, you can look forward to kimchi, spicy squid strips, pickles and seaweed which are refillable. The yellow crocker fish is very tasty but unfortunately it is not refillable.

With Managing Director, Mr Brian Park (left) and Founder and CEO, Mr Kevin Nam

SBCD Korean Tofu Stew is definitely one of my favourite Korean tofu stew restaurants in Singapore. Prices are slightly on the higher side. However, the quality and variety make it worth a visit. Thank you Brandon and Nisha for the invite.

The entrance

SCBD Korean Tofu House is located at 7 Wallich Street, Tanjong Pagar Centre, #B1-01/02, Singapore 078884. The restaurant is open from Mondays to Sundays from 11.30am to 10pm. The main dining area can accommodate up to 96 diners. Private dining rooms are also available. For enquiries, please call 6386 6441 or email sbcdsingapore@gmail.com or visit their official facebook page here.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Classic Lunar New Year Creations at Gu Ma Jia Restaurant

Indulging in stir-fried beehoon with clams

Lunar New Year is approaching and it is time to plan a reunion dinner with your loved ones. To herald the Year of the Rooster, Gu Ma Jia has introduced the Prosperity ($768) and Peach ($599) set menus which comprise many delectable auspicious creations. At Gu Ma Jia, delightful dishes are prepared using traditional recipes and fresh ingredients, reinforcing the fact that the restaurant offers quality, home-cooked food devoid of MSG and artificial seasoning.

Crab meat and fish maw soup

I was glad to be invited to savour some of the main highlights from the Peace and Prosperity Menu. The crab meat and fish maw soup abounds with generous ingredients, imparting a familiar home-cooked flavour to the soup. It is very comforting and evokes a sense of nostalgia with every mouthful.

Ginseng fortune chicken

My favourite is the classic ginseng fortune chicken which is nourishing and delicious. The chicken is boiled with dang gui and red dates in a flavourful broth till it is soft and tender.

Steamed prawns with Gu Ma's homemade sauce

Another highlight is the steamed prawns with Gu Ma’s homemade sauce. The prawns are fresh, sweet and succulent and the savoury sauce prepared using XO sauce and other condiments complements the prawns very well.

Broccoli with macadamia nuts and fresh scallop

The broccoli with macadamia nuts and fresh scallop is an all-time favourite. I like the fact that macadamia nuts are used instead of walnuts as they are packed with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health and wellness. They also add sweetness and a crunchy texture to the dish.

Steamed garoupa with soya sauce

Fish is always an important dish in any Lunar New Year meal as it symbolises abundance throughout the year. The steamed garoupa with soya sauce has a fresh, delicate texture which is enhanced with the savoury soya sauce. 

Steamed lotus leaf rice

The steamed lotus leaf rice is one of the restaurant’s popular dishes. It is cooked with chicken, pork, black mushrooms and Chinese sausage and has a pleasant aroma and wholesome taste. The gentle fragrance makes it irresistible the minute you unwrap the lotus leaf. 

Stir-fried beehoon with clams

Another signature dish of the restaurant which is available throughout the year is the stir-fried beehoon with clams. The beehoon is stir-fried with homemade chicken stock. Clams and egg are then added to give it a sweeter flavour. Light, healthy and delightful, it left me craving for more.

Sea bird's nest with wolfberry and dried longan

To end your auspicious meal on a sweet note, I would recommend the sea bird's nest with dried wolfberry and dried longan.

 It is refreshing and rejuvenating and is believed to contain anti-ageing properties.

 With my baby boy, André Aaron and Kow Meng, from MediaCorp

With Agnes from AT Marketing Consultancy, Gwyn from Gu Ma Jia and Baby André Aaron

Gu Ma Jia is located at 45 Tai Thong Crescent ,Sennett Estate, 347866.
For reservations and enquiries, please call 6285 2023. For more information, please visit here.