Friday, October 31, 2014

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Are you a 'fan' of the Mandarin Oriental?

Once you have stayed in one of their properties, you somehow get addicted to their impeccable service and quality of their rooms and restaurants. My wife and I were converts when we had our wedding at Mandarin Oriental Singapore and saw what they could provide to our guests during the dinner. We were also impressed with the rooms and restaurants we dined during our stay. Since then, we have stayed in a few other MO properties. We wished we could stay in more, but it really is beyond our budget at this junction of life, we need to save up.

Are you a fan of great chefs? Are you are a fan of Austrian food? Are you are a fan of the Obauer brothers? If you are, you are in for a treat.

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

From 30 October to 2 November 2014, there will be Special Lunch and Dinner Menu featuring the works of the Chefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer here at the Mandarin Oriental. I was privileged to have tasted the lunch menu yesterday.

There are 2 lunch menus and 2 dinner menus, and you can view them here.

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Lunch started with a baskets of different rolls and crisps and it was served with this interesting saucer of green dip. After we tasted it, we wanted to know what is in it! The chef was happy to tell us the ingredients: Crème fraîche, Quark, Wasabi and Steinklee. Steinklee are Alpine mountain herbs and they brought in the dried powdered version to make this.

Amuse Bouche:

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

It was an interesting start of 5 little tidbits. We had chickpea purée in the spoon, veal tartare, and a shot glass of zucchini yoghurt. My favourite of it all is the shot glass of zucchini yoghurt made from zucchini cream and yoghurt with pumpkin seed oil in it.

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

There's also this little cube of Parmesan „QimiQ“ jelly. To put in names that we in Singapore would understand, it has the texture of marshmallows. I just searched about QimiQ to find out what it is! There is also the lamb sausage.

Course 1: Cauliflower Jelly

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Cauliflower jelly is something we don't usually see in menus here. I have seen it in some restaurants and this is the first time I tasted it. I think I will eat more cauliflower if it's served to me this way! It's light tasting, there were small pieces of soft cauliflower in a firm jelly. It rested on bell pepper purée which gave it a nice slightly sweet and piquant flavours.

There's also the aged smoked beef from Salzburg and eggplant chutney. A very nice texture and taste to complement the cauliflower jelly. I was hesitant to finish all the goose liver though. The reason being, it raw goose liver. If you don't tell me what it is, I will have finished it up because it was delicious when I had some of it with the grains of green tea salt and alpine herbs. Blame it on the service staff for explaining what it was. Haha! My head said don't finish it, when the mouth wanted to eat it up.

Course 2: Lake Char Lasagna

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

This very interesting dish is made up layers of pasta sheets, Arctic Char and reduced tomato slices. It's covered with big basil leaves. The sauce is made from reduced seafood stock with Grüner Veltliner (a variety of white white grape grown in the Alpine region).

Not the usual soft mushy lasagna, but al dante pasta sheets layered between the ingredients. The sauce is something I enjoyed too.

Grüner Veltliner

Since we were talking about Grüner Veltliner, we were treated to some Grüner Veltliner that MO Singapore carries in their collection. The sommelier said only 2 MOs around the world carry this.

Course 3: Celery-Saffron Soup

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Something to warm up our tummies mid meal. Steamed Pike in a simple celery saffron soup. It's always nice to elegantly punctuate the meal with a bowl of warm light soup.

Course 4: Saddle of Lamb

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Mary would have cried because it's lamb they are serving. I would cry too for a different reason. It's so delicious. I wasn't listen to what the service staff was talking when he was explaining the dish because I was mesmerized by the looks and the aroma of the lamb.

It was two medium rare piece, so tender and not much of a gamey smell I thought I was having beef. Oh yes, I am a parsley lover, so this dish just resonated with me. You know I am normally not a lamb person, but this was good.

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

The lamb was served with a mix of horse radish, sour cream and a dash of balsamic v. It goes very well with the lamb. In fact, it was nice just to nibble bits of this by itself.

Course 5: Apple Strudel and Cottage Cheese.

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

The last course, the desserts. This apple strudel deserves a photo of it by itself because of the work that has gone into it. Apple that has been reduced with coconut and also with rum and raisin. Let your imagination brings out the flavour for you.

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer @ Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Many of us loved the ice cream. It's chamomile ice cream that's so refreshing. Another flavour that I should try to make with my ice cream machine one of these days. I don't know how to appreciate the cottage cheese curd though. I am not a very cheese nor curd person. It just tasted good to me that's all and a nice clean end to the meal.

We also had some petit fours from Dolce Vita's pastry chefs with coffee and tea.

If you are thinking of bringing that someone special to a special Austrian meal, get a reservation here. Chefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer have a long list of awards under the belt. They are been Chefs of the Year in Austria, named Chefs of the Decade by Gault Millau Austria, and also they have rave reviews by acclaimed food critics. You just need to search their names to read about them. They will be here in Singapore from 30 October to 2 November 2014.

The pricing:
Four-course lunch at SGD 88 per person.
Five-course lunch at SGD 128 per person.
Five-course dinner at SGD 128 per person.
Seven-course dinner at SGD 188 per person.
View the menu here.

I have been a fan of Mandarin Oriental and this lunch was on invitation by Mandarin Oriental Singapore. Thanks!

Guest Masterchefs Karl and Rudolf Obauer
Dolce Vita
Mandarin Oriental Singapore
5 Raffles Avenue
Marina Square
Singapore 039797

Tel: +65 6885 3500.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fishball Story @ Golden Mile Food Centre

Not too long ago, the wife and I were invited to 'take over' HungryGoWhere's Instagram account for a day. Did you catch us that day? We were on a 'things handmade' trail. It was a fun day, taking a day off work to 'pretend' to be hungry tourists going around Singapore in search of food that's made fresh in Singapore.

Are there really a long list of places that made food from scratch and not machine produced in some factories? Yes, there are many places and we had a whole long list. We could not try it all because it's all over the island and it's tiring to go around.

We started by having breakfast at Bukit Timah Food Centre. We had Fried Carrot Cake that's been made from scratch at the stall. If you frequently buy from them, you can see the giant steamer with trays and trays of steamed carrot cake, ready to be fried.

We also had curry puffs at Toa Payoh that's made freshly by the aunties and then fried and sold immediately. Very good ones with fillings inside that's worth your money. We had hand made paus that makes you wanna cry. It's so different from the ones that are resting in steamers in kopitiams and kiosks all around the island. Pan mee that people are willing to wait hours just to taste it. Ice cream that people are willing to pay for. The dish that the wife enjoyed the most was the fishball noodles from this stall.

Fishball Story

The stall, Fishball Story is managed by the 'young' hawkers, young folks who decided that they want to cook real food and food that is fast losing their authentic taste in Singapore. Mr Douglas Ng decided to set up shop at Golden Mile Food Centre using his grandma's recipe.

Their fishballs and fishcakes are really satisfying when you eat them. The texture and taste when you eat it will make you want to order more. It's something that you have to taste and see to understand. That's what happened to us. We decided to order more and eat.

Fishball Story

The fishballs and fishcakes are made from scratch early in the morning and its made with yellowtail fish and they don't use any flour in the process. Their chilli blend in the noodles also has the correct balance that makes you slurp up your noodles and break sweat a little with the spiciness.

This was what I had. I like meepok, so I ordered the meepok version. This costs $3.50.

Fishball Story

The wife prefers 'lao shu fen' and she always orders 'lao shu fen' when it's available. It might look simple, but you need to just bite into one fishball to fall in love with it. This was also $3.50.

Fishball Story

Yup, we ordered another bowl without the noodles. So satisfying we wanted the 3rd bowl. A bowl of fishball soup without noodles also costs $3.50. They give you more fishballs and fishcakes.

If you want to find out more about the places we went and see photos of them, you can continue to read them at the HungryGoWhere website:*gid-08493101/photos/

Fishball Story
Golden Mile Food Centre
Stall #01-85
505 Beach Rd
Singapore 199583

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Salt Grill and Sky Bar by Luke Mangan @ ION Orchard

Restaurant Week 2014 started last Saturday and we made 2 bookings at 2 very different places to indulge a bit. I didn't book any restaurants last year, partly because when I realised the booking was opened, the places that I wanted to try had all been fully booked. 

Sis has been quite busy, so I thought it would be a nice treat for her. Managed to snag a booking for Salt Grill and Sky Bar on a Saturday. I managed to get booking this time thanks to the reminder email that American Express sent about having priority bookings 1 week earlier for AMEX Card Members. One of the perks that I finally got to use this year. 
 Salt Grill and Sky Bar

We started our meal with taking photographs of the view! Ya, we happened to be seated right next to the tall glass windows. After a while, these warm breads were served with olive oil and dukkah. The breads went very well with the dukkah and I think it might be sis' next project. I suspect she might be making dukkah for Christmas gifts this year.

Here's what we had:

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
'Glass' Sydney Crab omelette. 

Sis saw the menu online and already wanted to order this. It's Luke Mangan's signature dish and it's a very comforting dish. Soft and creamy omelette with a very appetite stimulating miso mustard broth.

By the way, if you want to replicate this at home, Luke's website has the recipe! I recommend coming here for the dish at least once so that you know what it's suppose to taste like. (Making me miss the meals at Glass Brasserie in Sydney!)

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Tuna Sashimi 

Sis said order something else, so we get to try other things in the Restaurant Week menu. So I had the Tuna Sashimi with ponzu sauce, smoked enoki and puffed rice. These few weeks, I have been tasting food with puffed rice. Makes me want to plate something at home with puffed rice too!

The smoked enoki has quite an intense flavour and it does gives the tuna a nice accompanying flavour.

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Cape Grim Striploin

You will expect the Aussie restaurant to use Aussie beef. Sis asked for medium and said later, she should have asked for medium rare. It was a nice cut of meat and nicely prepared. Served with caramelized endive and swirls of eggplant and salsa verde.

Sis also had Dijon Mustard and Wasabi Mustard. The wasabi mustard is something you should try if you like wasabi. To me, it goes well with the beef. If only the beef was a bigger piece, we know it's a lunch menu only.

Salt Grill and Sky Bar

There was an extra menu that was presented to us at the start. If we would like additional sides to go with the Restaurant Week set lunch, we could order. So I ordered the mushrooms for $15.

It was a nice addition to our meal. Sis is not a fanatic mushroom lover (ie don't really eat mushrooms), but she said it was 'ok', so it means it is nice. I also order mushroom dishes to try at certain places to see how it comes out and to remember the taste. This is so that the wife who loves mushrooms can get to taste it when she says 'cook some mushrooms please' at home.

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Grilled Snapper

I had the Grilled Snapper with Israeli cous cous served in a tomato and dill broth. A piece of fish that was nicely grilled, still so tender as I broke it with my fork and had a nice crispy skin. Ya, our conversation at the table turned to Masterchef Australia that we are catching on TV now. We said, on TV they will always have the skin crisp up between trays separately, here they still have it intact, quite good skill ya. (Things we talk about....)

It's the biggest cous cous that I have seen. I have to say, the first taste, I didn't like it. As I had the my second mouth and more, it grew on me and I finished it all.

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Raspberry Cheese Cake

Sis' favourite part of any meal. Desserts. She already said, we are going to order both on the menu when we sat down. A very beautiful and mesmerizing dessert. For the ladies who loves the slight sourish / tart taste of raspberry. Raspberry cheesecake with raspberry sorbet with a piece of freeze dried raspberry.

Just like how they always say on Masterchef Australia, just one word: Yums!

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Banana Parfait with Peanut Brittle

The other dessert on the menu. Banana parfait which has a nice ripe banana taste with pieces of the addictive peanut brittle on it. The 'skid marks' chocolate mousse goes well with the banana parfait, loving the taste of the dark chocolate used.  Oh yes, a 'spoonful' (the shape) of salted caramel sauce to go with it too.

After the meal, we went around the viewing deck. Looking at how beautiful the city is and how much it has been changing over the years (and maybe months and days too!)

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#55-01 / #56-01
Singapore 238801


Since I started by telling you that I got the booking early because of the Amex Platinum card I had, might as well, tell you more. People have been asking me where to go and eat and you want it affordable as well. Get the American Express Platinum Credit Card that now comes with free membership to two dining programmes, the Classic Far Card membership and PALATE programme.

I remember a long time ago, it was FAR only, then it became PALATE only. Now it's both and the sweeter deal is that for 1st year it's free membership now.

With these 2 programmes combined, you have a few months to try different restaurants, if you try one a week. It's best for couples as you get 50% off. There's also the Platinum Private Deals that you can look forward too. 

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Detox Experience using PunchDetox.

My sister has recently gone healthy. She's eating cleaner, going to the gym a few times a week, preparing for a short marathons (she just signed up for 2!) To help her slim down and also trigger the body to 'clean up', she's also gone on juice detox two times over the last 6 months. She paid quite a huge amount of money because she said that will motivate her. When I told her, I was offered to try a juice detox, she and my wife said that I should try it. I have been eating too rich a diet.

I was skeptical about juice detoxing. Are you sure?  So, I didn't say yes to the offer.

I love my food and I am sure many of you know it.

That said, I tried out their juices earlier. PunchDetox invited some folks over for (healthy) drinks, before they offered me to try the full thing. I had about a quarter a glass of each of their juices to taste, it tasted quite nice frankly.

Anyway, here's a short brief about PunchDetox:

PunchDetox is the first and leading Hong Kong based juice detox program. It has been around since 2010. PunchDetox uses a combination of raw, unpasteurized, vegan and organic juices. The difference that PunchDetox has compared to other juice detox program in Singapore is that it uses 'superfood' in every single of its juices. Amazonian Acai Berry, Himalayan Goji Berry etc.

They came over to Singapore in August this year and brought over their experience in juice detoxification to Singaporeans. If you want to find out more about them, there are tonnes of Q and A and other info at  I think I have clicked on almost all of the questions and read the answers.

So a few weeks later when I was asked if I would like to try, I said yes.

So here goes, my experience. I asked different people who have gone through it and they all had difference experiences. It's interesting how different body reacts to it.

Detox Experience using PunchDetox

I did the cleanse on a weekday. Some people prefer weekends as they feel more relaxed and detoxification is all about doing it slowly. Weekends are days with family and also extended family. We have gatherings etc, there's too much explanation to do if I excuse myself, so a weekday is good for me.

The delivery of the juices:

The juices are delivered a day before your juice cleanse starts. This was for the 3 day cleanse. They would have told you earlier that these juices needs to be kept cool, so delivery is preferably to a place where you can keep the juices in the fridge as quick as possible.

Detox Experience using PunchDetox

Each bag comes with 6 bottles which is a day's worth of juice. They have ice pack in this cold pack, so your 'living juice' as they call it, stays cool and alive.

Detox Experience using PunchDetox

There are two levels that you can choose from. Level 1 for beginners and Level 2 for the more advanced detox, or those that have done detox before.

I chose Level 1. The juice from breakfast to supper!

Detox Experience using PunchDetox

I stored them in the bar fridge in my office. Fits in nicely! All 18 bottles of it!
I took home my breakfast (drink 1), dinner (drink 5) and supper (drink 6), because I will be at home when I drink them.


Like other Juice Detox programs, you get emails to guide you along. You can see that I have been receiving emails.  Since I already had a sister who have gone through it twice, she's telling me what to do, so I won't waste the effort.

Basically, for maximum benefits, you start to eat clean and reduce your 'unhealthy' food intake. My sis when she was doing it, had almost a week of clean eating. I only had ahem, 1 day of clean eating. You know there are many people who are experts and have read up about a lot of things.

Since I did the detox during the weekday, I still had lunch with my colleagues. One colleague who is well read about health issues said, it takes around 3-4 days for all the food you take to be passed out from your system. He should have told me earlier, then I would be more discipline to eat clean longer.


Detox Experience using PunchDetox

In the pre-detox email that they sent, it's recommend that the following be eliminated from my diet:
caffeine, meat, dairy products, alcohol, nicotine, sodas, refined sugars, gluten, processed foods, fast foods. Not too difficult for me. I think the most difficult for most people would be caffeine!

So, I was having Yong Tau Food for my meals. Sis said I should not even eat tofu and fish, but I ate it because I was hungry.

Pre-detox day was actually the most difficult day for me.  I was constantly hungry and I could not snack like I usually do. I have a headache almost the whole day and that night I went to bed early.

Detox Day 1:

I woke up at 6:15 am. It's the day that I have personal training with my trainer and he was teasing me. Sure or not? Protein shakes gives you more muscle lah. Why do you want to detox?

I thought I felt weaker but I did have energy to do the burpees and strength training exercises for 1 hour. I just felt slighter weaker lifting heavier weights. 

Punch Detox - Fitbit

Proof that I had walked a lot that day. I was surprised that I could last the first day!

I had my 'drink 1' before going to the gym. It lasted me till 10 am when I had my 2nd drink. I was feeling 'hungry' because it was mostly liquid. How shall I put it? It was not really hungry, but more of 'lacking satisfaction' as it was only liquid. The above was 'drink 3' which was my lunch.

Since lunch was already available, I thought I would stay in the office and take a nap. After the drink, I was feeling very cold. The drink was cold, and the office temperature was at 24 C. Somehow the 24C seems colder than usual.

I decided to take a walk to the library, it was warm outside according to colleagues who later came back from lunch. Guess what? I was not feeling warm at all. I felt like I was thawing. I borrowed books about food. Those scientific ones that tells you about the technical details of Mailliard Reaction, too geeky eh?

The day went past quite OK. I was very sleepy by 9 pm. I had my 'drink 6' and went to bed.

Detox Day 2:

Like my usual 'after personal training' day, I feel tired and was not as active. I felt lazy and didn't take steps and mostly used the lift. The body was ok. Passing motion was about normal, just that there was nothing much coming out.

Punch Detox - Fitbit

I felt the absence of real solid food in my diet. The Hokkien saying of "No eat meat, no strength!" came through my head. Since I was determined to complete it successfully, I did not cheat.

Throughout the day, I did not feel as strong as the previous day and I felt cold too. I was drinking warm water in between my drinks. That made me go many rounds to the toilet to 'dispose water'. I did notice that the urine was not really clear. The various juices did make the urine seem 'yellowish'. 

Detox Experience using PunchDetox

When I got home in the evening, it was time for 'drink 5' which is their GazPUNCHo. I was feeling cold and did not want to have another cold drink. I read in their literature that you can warm up 'drink 5' if you want. Heating it slightly made it so easy to drink and it was like a instant relief. Body felt warmer.

The soup is made up of tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, cilantro, cayenne pepper, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. Yes, it tastes like tomato soup. I love this soup! I met someone who went on as well and she said she hated this soup to the max! She said she hates tomato to begin with. I love it because I love tomatoes!

I fell asleep watching TV and decided to just go to bed after 'drink 6'. I love Drink 6 because it's a nutty and filling juice. It's made from raw cashews, raw almonds, agave nectar, sea salt and filtered water. With this, you don't go to bed feeling hungry.

Detox Day 3:

This was a horrible day, it started when I woke up.

Whatever these juices are suppose to do, it's working. It's making me run to the toilet! There are slight churning in the tummy. Oh man, and the liquid substance that came out stank through the roof! It was so smelly and sis was saying on our home whatsapp group, it's working, you are being cleansed! Ya right.....

Day 3 seems to have more steps recorded on my pedometer. Well I think it's because there was at least 5 trips to the toilet to 'ka-boom'! It also happened to be a super busy day at work. Meetings, Kaboom, Meetings, Kaboom. Meetings, Kaboom.

Punch Detox - Fitbit

It was a busy day and after meetings that went into overdrive, by the time I came back to the office for my lunch, I was behind in the timing. I drank 'drink 3' and 'drink 4' within 2 hours to catch up. 

By the end of Day 3, I didn't feel hungry and there was no more runs to the toilet. It's totally empty!
You feel your stomach capacity shrunk, you already don't feel hungry. Each bottle has 500 ml of juice, you do really feel very full and I didn't really want to finish it all because I don't feel hungry.

I was glad it was over after 'drink 6' on the 3rd night. I slept early because it's Personal Training day the next morning.

Day after Detox:

Woke up at 6:15 am, so that I can go for my 7 am personal training session.
Somehow felt really lighter, less stress too. The whole detox is over and I don't feel hungry!

Punch Detox - Fitbit

If you start the day with cardio and strength training, you feel stronger and more energized. You can tell from the pedometer records the walking I did and the floors I climbed.

Detox Experience using PunchDetox

I still avoided the list of banned foods that was stated before the detox. It's kind of back to the usual food I have. I usually buy fruits and chocolate milk for breakfast. I just skipped milk. I ate half the fruits and you felt full already. Stomach capacity has shrunk so fast?

Detox Experience using PunchDetox

For lunch, I had 3 different veggies from the Vegetarian rice stall. First taste of real food. I didn't really eat the rice. The rice was to soak up the oil and saltiness of the veggies! The veggies did fill me up without having the rice.

Detox Experience using PunchDetox

I usually have the ABC at the drinks stall. This tasted weak and lousy.

The 'drink 3' for the last 3 days has been organic and high quality ones. Beetroot, Carrot, Red Apples, Ginger, Orange and Goji Berries. I am beginning to miss the wonderful taste of cold press juices. As I typed this, sis has got a new cold press juicer at home and we have had quality juices now.

In Summary:
  • I didn't lose any weight, the most was probably 1/2 kg. I stand on the scale daily anyway and it's recorded digitally via wifi to the cloud and I access the graphs via my phone.  I look at the statistics and charts and there was no weight loss. Weight fluctuate daily anyway depending on what time you stand on it.
  • The body fat seems to have decreased 1.5%. A week after the detox, the 1.5% came back to me! 
  • I didn't feel hungry during detox days, it was only the pre-detox day that I was hungry. During the detox days, with 500 ml of liquid every 2 hours, I don't really feel hungry. Just a feeling of 'non statistaction' on the first and second dat. I also drank water because it was recommended. Try drinking so much liquid daily. You won't feel hungry at all.
  • The juices tasted good. The 'potions' were slightly sweet because of the fruits in it. The juices always have a slight 'heat' element in it. There's either ginger or cayenne pepper in it, so you feel a bit 'hiam' in the taste.
  • I felt lighter inside, you feel more relax as your body don't need to process food. It's hard to describe this. Your body is not working so hard, so you don't feel stress. This can only be felt if you go through this. Then maybe you can explain it to me.
  • I felt really cold for the days when I was on detox. It was only when I was in the gym doing exercises that I didn't feel cold.
  • I did have energy to even go to the gym. I was told by a lady friend that she could not move and felt so drained and had to lie in bed. Maybe it works different for ladies?
  • I feel guilty when I see 'bad' food and I want to eat it. I somehow managed to refrain, I don't know why, but it did not last long. After a week or so, I felt less guilty and started to indulge again. You need a great will power to stay clean for a longer time.
  • I did not have the urge to cheat. My wife and sis was showing me my favourite food when I was drinking tomato soup. I resisted and felt good!
  • There's a cheat sheet where you can eat cucumber, celery sticks, mashed avocado, miso soup. I didn't need it. 

Would I recommend it?

If you have strong will power, and want to have a change, do it! I don't feel much change, but someone people said my skin did look different, there was a glow. I am not sure about that. The wife says, I should eat healthy and don't eat so much rich food. She says I need to live longer than her!

Get someone to do it with you, it might be easier. I am always curious so I talked to different people. A couple who was getting married decided to do it together as their one of their projects. He, I was told could do it, she (the person who told me) said it was tough for her.

If you think you would only do it half heartedly, don't waste your money. It's not cheap and you are wasting the juices.

Ok, that's all.
If you want to read about PunchDetox, go to the website at

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Okonomi Kaiseki @ Keyaki, Pan Pacific Singapore.

Last weekend, the wife and I were invited to a tasting at the new Weekend Brunch at a Japanese restaurant. We found this interesting as for most Kaiseki, you don't really have 'options'. You pick the Kaiseki set you like and out comes the chef's best picks for you. Here, they have what they call the Okonomi Kaiseki. Okonomi means 'as you like it'. Chef Hiroshi Ishiii has this Okonomi Kaiseki on weekends.

I asked the wife if she's interested to go, she thought for a while. Ladies have a rational side and not all emotional. She figured, it has been some time since she's been here, so that is a tick. She's also a preggie now and when she thinks of Japanese, so it's a cross. So she was in a dilemma. That's until I told her, you can choose what you want to eat. She exclaimed: Really?! You mean for every course, I can choose? Are you sure? OK, another tick. Let's go!

Yes, that's what the weekend brunch here is about. It does solve the problem many of us have with different family members or friends or spouse. The road block they always give you when you want to bring them out for meals.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore

It's a pleasure strolling to Keyaki at Level 4 of Pan Pacific. It's suddenly so tranquil and peaceful. I don't really see Japanese gardens at a restaurant in Singapore. I suddenly thought of Tetsuya's in Sydney. Tranquil gardens ah...

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore

The wife says, "Hey this place has changed a bit". She's right, they have done some renovations here recently. So peaceful that you want to spend some time reading here!

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore

We were slightly late because of poorly planned route we took getting here. The jams are so unpredictable now. The gracious host was kind to us, but we felt sorry for the other guests who had to wait for us.

Here's the menu. $75++ per person if you choose the non alcoholic version.
$125++ if you choose the unlimited sake, champagne, beer and some reds and whites version.

I shall not describe the details of a traditional Kaiseki meal. It's really very interesting but it takes pages and pages to describe it and some of you might already know. I'll describe our delightful experience here at Keyaki, course by course. Here goes:

1. Sashimi
  • this course is usually served as earlier courses and it showcases the fresh flavour and what's in season.
  • choices are: Shake (salmon), Hotate (scallop), Amaebi (sweet prawn), Hamachi (yellowtail) or Assorted Sashimi (Shake, Amaebi, Hotate).
Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore

Almost the whole table has the assorted sashimi! The amaebi was really nice. So fresh, sweet and I wanted more. The scallop was good too. So I plucked a few of the chrysanthemum petals and had it with the sashimi.

2. Kobachi
  • the course is like the French style amuse bouche, it's to awaken the palate and prepare for the meal. It's usually light and refreshing.
  • choices are: seared beef with ponzu sauce, sweet miso-glazed konnyaku, unagi omelette, avocado salad and spinach with goma sauce.
Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
Unagi Omelette was nicely done. Soft and light, it really whet your appetite for what's to come.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
This was the seared beef appetizer. OK lah.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The spinach with goma sauce is good. Flavourful yet very light.
If popeye was to eat here, he will love the goma sauce over the spinach.

3. Yakimono
  • dishes in this course are cooked over high heat to give it a nice crisp crust.
  • choices are: Cod Teriyaki, Chicken Teriyaki, Grilled Mackerel, Grilled Prawn Skewer with Bacon, Pan-fried Pork with Ginger.
Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
I love all kinds of mackerel and if it's on the menu, 90% of the time, I will order it. Nice crispy mackerel, nicely salted and a happy me. It's very hard to describe mackerel, if you are a mackerel person you will like it.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The wife is the cod or salmon person. If there's cod or salmon, she will order it. The cod teriyaki here is nicely done. It's also popular on the table as most people ordered this!

4. Nimono
  • for this course, food is simmered in Keyaki's homemade dashi stock.
  • choices are: agedashi tofu, chawanmushi, chicken soup, simmered seasoned vegetables and simmered white bait and egg.
Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
I enjoyed this simmered seasoned vegetable. The best part was the tofu that has soaked up the flavours of the stock. I have also learn how to make beautiful shape carrots next time I am cooking. This shape is nice ya!

 Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The Agedashi tofu was good too as it was not the chewy on the outside.

5. Agemono
  • this course is the hearty deep fried dishes, food dipped in batter and fried till golden.
  • choices are: tempura, battered oysters, battered soft shell crab, battered squid, battered seasonal vegetables.
Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
Battered Squid was all right. It was done just nice and flavoured nicely. The portion was good too. Looks a bit overdone, but it wasn't chewy though. Maybe the seasoning.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The battered soft shell crabs were good too. Crispy and nicely salted.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
We saw new friend Bino's battered oysters and had to take a photo of it.
In fact, it might be the most popular dish for this course as most people had it!

6. Teppanyaki
  • this course serves food cooked over high eat on an iron griddle.
  • choices are: beef, scallop, prawn, salmon, chicken
Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
I had the urge for scallops then, so I ordered scallops. As you can see, nicely charred, and still fat and plump. The small touches that I observed, heated plates, it's quite hot, ensure your food is still nice and warm when it is served to you.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The Mrs ordered well done beef and surprise surprise, it came out well done and it was still tender inside. Looks like the chef behind the teppanyaki does know how to control the temperature of the grill and the doneness of the meat.

7. Shokuji
  • this course is the final savoury course in the menu, to round off the meal.
  • choices are: spicy tuna roll, california roll, yakisoba, garlic fried rice and cold soba noodles.
Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
The Mrs has the California roll. It's one of the safe food for her. (Haha!)
The service staff said they had egg roe on it and it was omitted for her, so they only had sesame seeds for her roll.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
I had the cold soba noodles. I like soba noodles and the ones here is nice and cold. I think it's like an action food. You take some noodles, dip them in the sauce and then repeat.

I like more wasabi in my sauce, so I stole the wife's wasabi and added my portion of wasabi, seaweed and green onions into the sauce.

8. Mizumono
  • the sweet note as the last course of the Kaiseki.
  • choices are: seasonal fruit (that day we ate it was musk melon), green tea ice cream, red bean ice cream, lime sherbet and read bean soup.
Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
It was a sunny day, so almost everyone had the recommended green tea ice cream.
Come to think of it, maybe I should have eaten the musk melon because it's available.

Keyaki @ Pan Pacific Singapore
Another safe food for preggies, read bean soup with rice cakes.
A bit too sweet for the Mrs who has a less sweet tongue. It's a very heart warming end.

It was a nice meal on a warm Saturday afternoon. A nice cool, quiet place to spend the afternoon too and we met a few new friends.

To keep up to date with the restaurant, you can follow them at:

Weekend Brunch @ Keyaki
Pan Pacific Singapore
Level 4
7 Raffles Boulevard
Singapore 039595

Brunch hours: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
Days: Weekends (and public holidays)

Tel: +65 6826 8240

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