Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Coca-Cola Turns 126 years old this year!

A few weeks ago, Coca-Cola Singapore invited some Coke Collectors and bloggers to Coca-Cola's 126th Birthday party. Coca-Cola turned 126 in May this year. It was a cosy party held at Dallas Restaurant and Bar in Clarke Quay.

Other than meeting some familiar blogger friends, I met a few Coke Collectors. Wow, talking to them, you realise they are some serious collectors. I wonder how they store the collectibles at home!

I like Coke, but would not call myself a collector. I only have a few vintage bottles that I bought more than 10 years ago while studying in Australia. I also have a Coke Recipe book that I bought in Malaysia, or rather I bought Coke so that I can get the recipe book! I tried in vain to look for Coke bottle with my name in Australia last year.

Coca-Cola turns 126!
It's a birthday party so there's some food. What I liked most were these Coca-cola glazed baby back ribs and the Coca-cola chicken wings. I don't have the recipe, but I guess you can do an online search for it.
Since this is a food blog, I thought I will share with you a recipe that I have from the little Coke recipe book. Scroll to the bottom for the Coke Potato Salad recipe.

Now about the little party we had:

Coca-Cola turns 126!
It was a mini Coke Paradise. There were lots of Coke related things everywhere at the party. Coke aprons, Coke drinks - regular, light and zero, Coke T-Shirts by Uniql, Coke Singapore staff, Coke fans, Coke Collectors, Coke Drinkers, Coke name tags, etc.

Coca-Cola turns 126!
Part of the party was having a hands-on in mixing Coke cocktails. Well, it was fun, but I still think drinking Coke by itself is nicer! The colder the better!

Coca-Cola turns 126!
Coca-cola being the world's greatest marketer, of course "marketed" to the audience lots of good things they have done. We were given a short history of Coca-cola and coke-washed with lots of coke info. 

One thing that struck me was that they have a policy that does not target children.

Coca-Cola turns 126!
Do you know that there are now official Coke T-shirts sold in Singapore now by Uniqlo?
That night I was also 1 of the first 10 person in Singapore to own a Coca-cola T-shirt. Coke fans out there, you know where to go!

Coca-Cola turns 126!
We were shown a few video clips that night. A few were very touching and this one was particularly touching.

Coke has also been spreading cheer to people around. They have also cleverly made them into viral marketing campaign. This was one of the campaign they had.

This is the campaign video now on YouTube.

Hug Me Coke Machine
Another interesting campaign they had was the Hug Me Vending Machine in Singapore.

I posted about this way back in March here. Yup, at that time, we did not know it will be a viral marketing campaign and those like me and friends who hugged them will be filmed! I am glad the video below did not have me in it!

This is the video Coke had produced of the Hug Me Coke Machine. News of the Hug Me Coke Machine appeared all around the world! Newspaper, tv stations picked it up and told the world about it!

After watching the professional version, I have this amateur version taken using my iPhone. This was my friend trying to hug it, but he was not hugging the machine correctly and he did not get his coke!

I have to confess, I hugged it twice and got 2 cans!
There were two places to press simultaneously at both sides to release the coke!

Coca-Cola turns 126!
Let me end this post with this recipe from this little recipe book I have which should be more than 10 years old now. This was published by Coca-Cola Malaysia.

Coca-Cola turns 126!
Enjoy this Coke Potato Salad recipe.

Happy 126th Birthday Coca-Cola!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Eat at Taipei @ JCube

A colleague told us about this new Taiwanese eatery when we asked what was nice in JCube. After being tempted by her descriptions, we thought why not go immediately to try it? So off we went in a colleague's MPV to JCube.

For those who is wondering where is JCube, it's the previous Jurong Entertainment Centre that has been demolished and rebuilt. When you get to JCube, Eat at Taipei is located beside the ice skating rink on level 3.

Though the place looks packed, we did not have to wait long to be seated.
We were seated just next to the rink so we got to see people skating while we ate.

When we got seated, we were presented the menu, but were were told quite a few things on the menu is not available yet. It will be available soon. It's a pity we could not try more stuff. It's always more interesting to go out in bigger groups and order more stuff to share (and also split the bill).

Eat at Taipei
One colleague ordered the Oyster Mee Suah. This guy loves oysters and when he saw the above, he was a bit sad. He saw 2 oysters floating above and told us straight away he needs a second lunch. When he put his chopsticks in, he suddenly smiled, he said there were 6 mid size oysters hidden inside! He still wished there were more mee suah though.

I did not take photos of the other dishes that the rest of us ate. Everyone's hungry and I did not want deprive even 5 seconds of their time to fill themselves up. Some of us had the braised pork belly noodles, braised pork rice etc.

Eat at Taipei
This was my Spicy Taiwanese Braised Beef Noodles. ($9.90)

It's not really spicy, probably a light hint only. The beef were not spectacular, but it was still quite nice. It had been braised till it was soft. The daikon too was well braised. The soup does not look thick, but it was flavourful though. It's also not salty, so I could finish all the soup!

Another colleague who had the same too, enjoyed it too and also finished it happily.

Eat at Taipei
This next dish has a very inauspicious name. It's called the Tainan 'Coffin' Toast. ($8.90)
It's a very thick slice of bread that has been fried, the top cut along three sides, part of the bread digged out and filled with seafood in white creamy sauce.

I like the bread but not really what was inside. It's because I personally don't like my bread soggy. But the rest seemed to like it. They love bread soaked with the creamy sauce. The seafood inside were prawns, sotong and fish slices.

Be warned, it can be quite messy! 

Eat at Taipei
This was the Spring Onion Oyster Pancake.

I did not really like it. If you are those who prefer the taiwanese style of 'or chien' with the gooey kind of texture, you will like this. Our colleague who likes the oysters liked it. :-)

We would probably go back again when we could try more things in the menu.

eat at taipei
2 Jurong East Central 1
#03-18, JCube
Singapore 609731

Tel: 65 66843032
Hours 12pm – 10pm daily

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Osteria Mozza Sunday Bellini Brunch @ Marina Bay Sands

We have been to Pizzeria Mozza a few times since it opened, bringing friends and family to try their delightful pizzas and other specialties. This was the first time KopiKosongGirl and I went to the sister restaurant Osteria Mozza.

This time we were here at the invitation of Osteria Mozza / Marina Bay Sands. The day we went for brunch here was also the day before our wedding anniversary. We were there to try their Bellini Brunch. No PR folks around, just the two of us enjoying a nice quiet lunch, like how you all will be when you visit them.

The photos are a bit dim, because the place had warm lighting and we did not want to disturb other diners with flash photography.

Osteria Mozza iPhone Photos
Osteria Mozza Singapore is the first Osteria Mozza in the world to open its doors for brunch. The entire menu will be from the original creations of Nancy Silverton.

The brunch starts at $45 per person, that comes with Ariana's Pastry Assortment and a main dish.
Some mains have a $10 supplement. 

Osteria Mozza @ Marina Bay Sands
When you enter, you will see this huge display of pastries that's part of the Ariana's Pastry selection that's part of the menu. It looks so tempting doesn't it? We felt like trying everything!

Osteria Mozza @ Marina Bay Sands
What's a Bellini brunch without having a Bellini?

There was 3 choices in the menu, White Peach + Prosecco / Blood Orange + Prosecco / Torresella Prosecco NV.  It's $50 free flow or $18 for a glass.

We tried the White Peach and Blood Orange. We like the white peach better for both our taste buds. KopiKosongGirl says she white peach went down her throat so smoothly.

Osteria Mozza @ Marina Bay Sands
The selection of 4 pastry that were presented to us. We are not sure if we can choose it ourselves, but we liked what was chosen for us. We had a raspberry tart, cinnamon roll, chocolate croissant and apple turnover. The raspberry tarts and chocolate rolls were our favourites!

We saw 9 different mains on the menu and wondered what was nice.We happened to have Mr Will Simons the GM, walked to our table and we asked him for his recommendation.

Osteria Mozza @ Marina Bay Sands
KopiKosongGirl decided on Smoked Sea Trout Cakes Benedict. KopiKosongGirl was pretty happy with her order. The smoked sea trout cakes were light and firm (not crumbly). It had a nice aroma that tempted her. The poached eggs had nice runny yolks and the hollandaise sauce made it perfect.

It rested on a bed of rucola. We thought it was a bed of spinach, but it did not taste like spinach and not the usual arugula. It was very nice.

She was saying to me, if only it was dungeness crabs, it would be her dream to go back to US and have it again!  

Osteria Mozza @ Marina Bay Sands
I had the Roasted Pork alla Toscana. I could not resist when I saw the word roasted pork. It was served with a poached egg, cranberry beans and cavolo nero.

The pork had skin that was nice and crispy. It was very nice and juicy inside, not like our local roast pork. The crispy skin had been partially cut so it curls when the skin shrink after roasting. Looks gorgeous and had such a nice roast pork aroma. The green veg on the side is cavolo nero. It's from the same family as kale, and it seems the Italians love it. I liked it too, probably because it was not bitter like spinach sometimes and had a nice texture.

The poached egg contained a runny yolk and I love eggs done this way. I used the yolk as a dip for part of the pork. 

Contorni (side dishes)

OsteOsteria Mozza @ Marina Bay SandsriaMozza5
This was the Sauteed Wild Mushrooms ($21). I like mushrooms so I ordered this. It was lightly sauteed but was quite generous with salt. A little salty if you nibble it on its own. Goes well with our mains.

If you have it with the bellini, it goes rather well. We were sipping bellini and nibbling on this! Can't stop!

Osteria Mozza @ Marina Bay Sands
We thought this was rather unique so we ordered it. It's Maple Sage Sausages ($15).
It's slightly sweet sausages and had extra fried sage on top as well. I liked the taste of it.

You won't believe it when I tell you the following dish was from the diners sitting beside us. We made new friends while dining here. When our mains were served, 3 persons got seated on the table beside us. They were staying at the hotel and had dinner the night before. They were back and the same service staff served them. They were saying to the service staff: "you are still here"?

We did not eavesdrop, but we could hear it so clearly. They said they liked the food the night before and ordered quite a bit from the dinner menu. The Exec Chef David even came out and said hi and welcome them back! They must have ordered quite a lot the previous night! It was 2 sisters and one lady's husband. Looking at the brunch menu, they saw what we ordered and asked the service staff how it is.

I could not help it but we told them that it was nice and described it as I mentioned it above. Suddenly we were chatting like old friends. We know each other by first name now and we talked about food we have around the world. They have lived in many places around the world!

In the end, they ordered everything we had and few more! We had the same bellinis too!
The only thing we did not say as usual is that we have a food blog. :-)

Osteria Mozza iPhone Photos
This was the Baked Eggs and Tripe alla Parmigiana. When this dish arrived at our neighbour's table, before touching it, they said to us, please have some of it. We declined, it's not nice to have other's food!

Having undergone training to entertain dignitaries for YOG previously, when you have been offered to take things 3 times, accept it on the 4th time to show that you respect them and wont be labelled as rude. We were so embarrassed!

If you like tribe, this was delicious. It's a little spicy, but tasted rather good. Their server who happens to be ours too, brought us new plates so that we could take some. She told us, this is Osteria Mozza! (oh ok... never experience this before in Singapore. haha)

She told us the tripe has been slowly cooked for hours that is why it is so soft. There's also no strong offal smell because it has been boiled in vanilla water. It was nice!

What an interesting lunch we had!

Osteria Mozza’s brunch menu starts from S$45++ per person onwards.
Reservations can be made at +65 6688 8522 or
Brunch is available on Sundays from 12:00pm – 2:00pm.
Dinner service continues at 5:00pm – 11:00pm daily.

Osteria Mozza
10 Bayfront Avenue
Level B1, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Singapore 018956

Tel: +65 6688 8522
Brunch (Sundays) 12 noon - 2 pm.
Dinner 5:30pm to 11pm daily.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Orange Thimble @ Tiong Bahru

We have been to the Orange Thimble a few times and we like this place. I just realised we only go there on Saturdays because it's not really near where we live. It's also not that difficult to get a place, just wait a while and people will leave after their coffee or food. [So in return, when you see people come and you have finished your food, leave..... ;-) ]

It's a little artsy place, where you see pieces of art that's used as deco, but it has a price tag on it, so you can buy it if you want. It's an art gallery and cafe in one. It looks more like a cafe to me. Not sure if there's an art gallery upstairs.

When you get in here, it's casual, look for your own place to sit. There's a 'backyard' behind where it is not air-conditioned, and a few 'corners' that you can 'hide' away for a while. We seem to always sit on the long table in front where there is 'air-con' and it's near the food.

The Orange Thimble
Their tea range is from Naturalis range. After a while, you know the various brands that most people source from.  Plus a cute lil sugar biscuit on the sides.

The Orange Thimble
KopiKosongGirl is a coffee person, she says it's ordinary, she likes the atmosphere here. The crowd that comes is the quiet kind. You do not need to speak loudly.

(The nicer coffee KKG says is a few street away, but that place is more noisy)

In our previous visits, we had their big breakfast. It's probably one of the cheaper one around, but we think it's so so especially the sausages. We think because of the price, it's a good deal though.

The Orange Thimble
This more recent visit, we saw the quiche and it tempted us. This was the spinach and tomato quiche. It was quite packed with spinach and somehow it was just tasty.

The Orange Thimble
This was the Raspberry Pie. It was freshly baked so we thought we would try it upon the recommendation from the service staff. We would expect it to be a little sour, a little tart and yet sweet, but it was really really sweet! We find it a bit too sweet for our tastebuds, but for those who like sweet stuff, it's probably your kind of fruit pie.

The Orange Thimble
The Shepherd's Pie. It will take some time to prepare, but it will be worth the wait.

We liked this. The mince below was not too wet, not heavily salted, it had enough spices added that took away the gamey smell of meat. The potato on top was the smooth type. Worth the calories.

The Orange Thimble
This was simply awesome. It seems this has become our personal favourite, we will have it whenever we visit this place. It's the Hazelnut Dacquoise (Rich Valrhona Chocolate & Hazelnut Meringue). It's like having a huge slab or frozen cold nutella with nice rich chocolate added to it. It's very sweet, but because it has chocolate and hazelnut, we like this kind of sweetness. We came once with a friend's little kid and the little girl liked it!

It's a cosy and laid back place. The few times we were there, fellow diners are the more toned down crowd, enjoying their time reading books or swiping their fingers on their gadgets. Despite the so so coffee, KKG says we will be back again for another quiet weekend.

The Orange Thimble
56 Eng Hoon Street
Singapore 160056

Tel: 6223 8068
Hours: Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs: 9am - 9.30pm / Fri, Sat: 9am- 11pm / Mon: Closed

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City

KopiKosongGirl, her sister-in-law and I decided one day we shall join the queue after resisting it. There seems to be always a queue at Menya Musashi and after sometime you do get curious and wonder how good it is!

This very popular ramen shop in Tokyo looks equally popular in Singapore!

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
The queue might be long, but it does not really take that long. Probably around 15-20 minutes of waiting that day. You can browse through the menu which they will give out. You can also eavesdrop on what others tell their dining partners about the ramen here.

Or you can also google about it and see what others say about this place while waiting. We were busy on instagram ;-)

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
After a while, someone walks over and ask us what we would like and takes our order and gives this order chit to us.

You can see what's in the menu in this chit. Basically, they have White Musashi, Black Musashi and Red Musashi. Then choose if you want Kanuni (Stewed Pork) or Cha Shu.

When they seat you, you don't have to wait long for your food to arrive.

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
The Crispy Gyoza. (5 for $5.90)
Sis loves gyozas and always orders them. They were crispy, quite tasty but we found it very tiny.

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
The Black Kanuni Ramen ($14.90)
Sis had this and found the ramen not 'q' enough for her liking. It's a bit 'soaked' she said. She likes the broth though, but thinks mine is better.

I tried some of the broth, it's like it has a bit of the 'flour' taste in it.

The Kanuni is nice, soft and well marinated and if you like stewed pork you will probably like it. It not all lean meat, but with some fatty layers which makes it nice to eat. 

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
The White Cha Shu Ramen ($12.90)
KopiKosongGirl had this she also said her noodles were a bit too soft and she would have preferred it more al-dante. She loved the broth though. I think it also has some 'flour' taste because of the noodles, but she found it nice for her.

The Cha Shu that she had and mine was really enjoyable. Round thin slices of meat that taste a bit like the salty bottom section on a good piece of roast pork. It smells like it and taste like it.

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
I had the dry version. The Tsukemen ($14.90)
I like the Cha Shu, really yummy! If you like your ramen more 'q', this version is good.
In fact, sis and KKG both preferred my noodles.

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
Oh yes, for your noodles, you can choose the serving size.
3x has 360g of noodles and it's very very filling. The next time I would probably only try 2x!

A friend who had recently went wanted to try the 5x and it's like 600g, madness trying to finish it!

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
You can choose the broth for the Tsukemen, either white, black or red.
I chose the red and I find it really tasty! Sis like I said earlier, preferred the red as well.
Quite salty I would say but addictive. It's thicker than the soup version, more concentrated.

Menya Musashi @ Raffles City
I did not want to waste the noodles and since I took the challenge to order the 3x, I made sure I finished it all!

The eggs here as you can see seems more cooked and does not flow. I still liked it because I love eggs. There are places with nicer eggs.

We think the broth at Keisuke Tonkotsu King that we tried recently was nicer. The meats like stewed pork and cha shu here is much better thatn Keisuke though. It's really tasty and flavourful here.

We like that this place as is very comfortable and relaxing unlike most ramen shop which is cramp and very warm. We will be back for another visit.

Menya Musashi
252 North Bridge Road
01-16 Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore 179103

Tel: 63356500
Hours: 11.30am to 10pm daily.


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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Spirit of Beijing @ Marriott Cafe, Singapore

A few months ago, KopiKosongGirl and I went to Beijing for a holiday which coincidentally was on Valentine's Day. We spent V Day feasting on Peking Ducks! We had 2 ducks that day, lunch at Quan Ju De and dinner at Da Dong.

So when Marriott Cafe sent an invitation to a hands-on session with Chef George Gong from JW Marriott Hotel Beijing that is visiting Marriott Singapore, I was tempted.

Chef Gong who has been with JW Marriott Beijing since 2008 will be in Singapore to take helm of the restaurant's newly created live cooking station with his menu available at Marriott Cafe till 17 June 2012. Beijing favourites like Beijing Noodles in Black Bean Sauce, Beijing Hot Pot, Fried Chinese Pot Sticker and of course Peking Duck will be available here.

Here's the hands-on session I had with the chefs from Marriott Cafe.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
This is Chef George Gong from JW Marriott Beijing.
In front of him, the duck! Since it's a short session, we don't get to see the duck being roasted.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Hello Mr Ducky! Before my trip to Beijing I read quite a bit about the ducks because I knew I would be devouring them. They are to be of certain species and according to Chef Gong, he said the ducks are to be slaughtered around 48 days. The ducks are roasted between 45-50 minutes to achieve the crispy skin.

I tried to ask where they sourced the duck from, but was told it's sourced locally from suppliers that has farms that breeds the duck according to the Peking Duck specifications.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Chef cutting the duck up.

In Beijing which I had the ducks, both restaurants had the option to ask if you want skin only or skin with some meat on.  Chef Gong was cutting it up with some meat on for us.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
I wrapped these myself after being taught by Chef to a group of bloggers and journalists there.
Put the meat this way. Duck meat, spring onions and cucumbers with the skin. The bottom flap upwards and the sides folded in. The top is to be 'open ended'.

It's Peking Duck, don't wrap it like you are eating popiah. Most of the time in Singapore, the service staff wraps it for us. In Beijing, it's mostly DIY.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Flip it over and that's it.

When I was in Beijing, I noticed we had around 8 - 12 different condiments to go with our duck. I thought it was interesting because when in Singapore we don't see 8 - 12 condiments to wrap the ducks!

I asked Chef and he replied that there are many styles of serving in Beijing. The ones served to us is the more traditional style. The hoisin sauce was their own special recipe, served with thinly julienned cucumbers and spring onions.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
They tasted nice. But now that I have tasted the 8-12 condiments style, I am tempting to visit Beijing again for their ducks!

The other hands on was to make Fried Chinese Pot Stickers (Guo Tie).
Chef said the origin of this dish was that the Imperial kitchen pan fried left over Jiao Zi and the Empress had a whiff of the aroma and after tasting it became one of her favourite.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Dough made from scratched! Yes, I was more busy taking photos than making it.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Portioning it out to be rolled. When I was doing it, I had trouble getting nice round flattened dough with the rolling pin.

A chef from Marriott Singapore who was looking at how mine turned out, squirmed and decided to help me. He made it looks so effortless! Literally in seconds, he rolled out nice round dough skins!

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Slap on some meat, for my version I slapped up quite an amount of it.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Pinch the top part only. Leave the ends exposed.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
This plate was my creation. If you notice a thin slice of cucumber at the last piece, well that's my marking to say that was made by me. It was sent to the kitchen to be cooked.

marriott12Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Have a bite!

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Other specialty I tried was the homemade Beijing Noodles in Black Bean Sauce. (Zha Jiang Mian).

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
This was spicy minced meat with vermicelli. Something very spicy and appetizing.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
I quite like the Wok-Fried Lamb with Chinese Leek. True to Beijing cooking style, it was a little oily and salty. I liked it though and it did not had a strong gamey smell. The bowl of soup was something I could not appreciate though.  It was thin slices of dough and the few of us thought of it as mee hoon kueh.

If you are planning of what to eat the next few days, you can try out the lunch or dinner Spirit of Beijing buffet. Hurry, it's on till 17 June 2012.

Lunch buffet - 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm
Mondays to Fridays | SGD46++ per adult, SGD25++ per child
Saturdays | SGD50++ per adult, SGD30++ per child
Sundays | SGD55++ per adult, SGD30++ per child

Dinner buffet - 6.30 pm to 10.00 pm
Sundays to Thursdays | SGD62++ per adult, SGD30++ per child
Fridays and Saturdays | SGD70++ per adult, SGD32++ per child

Marriott Cafe
Marriott Hotel Singapore
320 Orchard Road
Singapore 238865

Tel: 6831 4605

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