Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What to eat at Beauty World Station, Downtown Line, Singapore.

Beauty World Station Open Day
(Photo of Beauty World Station during the Open House)

The Downtown Line 2 has opened and people are all stopping at Beauty World (DT5) station to have their meals.

We the residents living around Beauty World welcome you to have a meal or two here. Please take the train here, as the parking attendants are quite active here and you don't want your meal to cost much more than it should. You have already been warned.

There are a few listings you can follow that has been published by fellow food bloggers I know personally. The local residents welcome these lists because those are places we don't go often. Hehe... Come and help our local restaurants and cafes.

Some people have asked me, and it's too much to tell or write. I have rounded them up into 8 clusters or areas you can visit to have your meals here.

The main eating clusters of eateries at DT5 Beauty World Station are:
Exit A / B:
1) Bukit Timah Shopping Centre
2) Beauty World Centre
3) Bukit Timah Plaza
4) Cheong Chin Nam Road food outlets.
5) Lorong Kilat

Exit C:
6) Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre.
7) Toh Yi Estate Coffeeshops
8) Eng Kong Terrace

The most popular cluster:
The most popular place to eat would be the Bukit Timah Food Centre. However be warned that many hawkers don't open everyday, especially the popular ones. They open 4 or 5 out of 7 days. Recently in the newspaper we have a hawker that was featured having their satay recipe passed down from generations. The stall has been in the same family for more than 70 years. Be warned also that different family member / employees cooked in the same stall. The father might cook in the day and the son at night, so there's a different in taste and quality! So we only order certain food when certain people are cooking.

Beauty World Station - 27 Dec - Taking the first ride that arrives.
(The local residents are very proud of this station. Many woke up at 5am in the morning to catch the first train that arrives at this station.)

Some other interesting facts:

The Malay food stalls never seem to survive at the Hawker Centre, the stalls always close down. You know why? Everyone goes to the Indian Muslim stalls at Cheong Chin Nam Road. There are 2 very famous shops. It's like everyone has their own favourites. You go and try and pick your side! One has recently been renovated and one is like so old school stuck in 80s mamak but inside a shop.

Chicken seems to be the most popular meat as there are quite a few places that sells chicken here. One of them does the most delicious fried chicken ever. When you order it, they will unwrap a packet of 'salt baked chicken' and deep fry it. It's so addicitive! You can try your luck at finding where that place is. They have like probably 15 or so chicken a day only from our observation. So it's a secret for now. Hints are in my instagram account.

There used to be 12 ice cream places within a 2 km radius, but most of them have closed down. A neighbour who lives in the same block as me has an ice cream shop actually opens his ice cream shop all the way in the East because he said the rent in this area is too high. We found out we were neighbours when I ate ice cream in the east!

We also have many Korean restaurants in the area. There are 5-6 of them and 3 of them have been around for some time. We have a community of Koreans living in this area. We even have a 'chap chai peng' style Korean stall! (The 'point point' this and that style of food)

Talking about Cafes, there's a whole long list of it too. Not all are popular though to tell the truth. We need more people to come fill up the places.


Beauty World Town re-enactment at Bukit Timah Community Centre
(A recreation of what Beauty World Town looked like long ago. This was at the Bukit Timah Community Club recently.)

More interesting non food related facts:

People always say folks staying here are 'atas'. We beg to differ. They probably forgot this area has the most 'atas' (highest) pile of earth in Singapore, Bukit Timah Hill. Residents in this area can see Swissôtel The Stamford, Marina Bay Sands from our flats.

Beauty World is also the name of a Singapore Musical! It's a musical that tells of a story of a young Malaysian girl from Batu Pahat to the 1960s Singapore in search of her father.

Our local MP is quite popular with the residents because she lives in the area! The older folks in the area watched her grow up. We have seen her do her own groceries in the local supermarket before too. While friends say their MP never visit, our MP does and she does it at least 2 times a year. We avoid being at home because we are shy, our photos might end up on her Facebook page. LOL!

It's a Beautiful World out here with lots of food. Welcome to Beauty World MRT Station. Maybe when I am free, I will list out the 100 over places to eat here and our personal favourites. For now, just walk around the 8 areas listed above and you will find a place or two to have a nice meal.

Here's the first train that arrived at Beauty World Station at 5:57 am!
A video posted by Philip Lim (@keropokman) on



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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Power your day with Quaker @ Brunches Cafe

Recently after coming back from a short holiday, we were invited to try a menu that's made from the different products by Quaker Singapore at Brunches Cafe. I had wondered how would it would taste. From the way I prepare Quaker Oats, I just use hot water and stir and eat it. It's one of the ways to stay healthy.

I was pleasantly surprised that that the food prepared with Quaker products at Brunches Cafe is so tasty, it's a little addictive that I wanted to order another portion. Even not because of coming to try oats, Brunches Cafe is a very cosy place with lots of furniture and fixtures that have been reused. Someone said it's a very 'instagrammable' place! The food I heard is quite good too. I'll be back to try other food another day.

Brunches

A good cup of coffee pleases the wife and she gave a nod of approval of the coffee here.
Other than the coffee here, the staff here is also very friendly to kids!

Brunches

From now till the end of the year, if you like me want to try how the different Quaker products can be made tasty and not boring like how I prepare them at home, you can visit Brunches Cafe and order from the "Power Your Day With Quaker" menu.

Brunches

If you all have been shopping in the supermarket, you might have been given the 'Quaker Oat for Rice', you can prepare risotto with it! My colleague at work brought the 'Quaker Oat for Rice' to work and ask if anyone want it because he doesn't cook.

Brunches

We wanted to go to 'Brunch' for brunch at around 11 am, but because of the little girl messing up our schedule, we only went there at 3 pm or so. So sad that the dessert was sold out by then!

Brunches

The Creamy Chicken Risotto was really creamy and had lots of chicken chunks. Probably the first time I had 'oats' that is savoury. It was almost like the 'usual' risotto just a bit healthier with the carrots and cucumber cut into tiny bits that gave it a slight crunch. Taste wise, it's something that I could keep putting it into my mouth.

Brunches

Quaker Sweet Corn Oatmeal Porridge.
This second dish is more like the usual cooked oatmeal porridge that people will prepare at home except it has some sweet corn. Slightly sweet when compared to the risotto that is savoury. This is a vegetarian option and they have replaced meat with some delicious mushroom. Love that the sunny side egg is so nicely done and the egg yolk does goes well when mixed with the sweet corn oatmeal.

You can try and get idea about how you can prepare Quaker products in a different way.


Brunches Cafe
96 Rangoon Road
Singapore  218381

Tel: + 65 8685 8488



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Friday, October 16, 2015

Burnt (The Movie) - Want to learn how to cook the dish in the movie?

A quick post. There are quite a few movies about food that makes you hungry.
One that is premiering soon in Singapore is Burnt.

Here's official trailer if you want to see what it is.


If you want to read more about it, there's also the Wiki.

If you have been watching Masterchef Asia (every Thursday on Lifetime), and want to learn to prepare something like that. Hoping that someone will teach you how to do it, here's a chance!

I just found out that Chef Dan Segall (Group Executive Chef of The Big Idea which restaurant includes Kinki, Fat Cow, Marmalade Pantry, Oriole Cofee etc) will be giving a Hands-on cooking class. You'll learn recipes that will be featured in the movie BURNT!

The dishes you will learn:
- Anjou Chicken, Sweet Potato, Sorrel
- Halibut, Confit Egg, Coppa

The recipes provided by British Michelin starred Chef and Restaurateur Marcus Wareing, Chef Consultant for Burnt. www.marcuswareingrestaurants.com

It's tomorrow!
Date: 17 Oct 2015
Time: 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: ToTT @ Suntec

If you want to attend the class or find out more, you can click on the link below:
http://content.tottstore.com/classes/details/be-burnt-based-on-a-true-recipe

Maybe you will be cooking and plating your food like Lennard, Leong, Marcus, Jasbir, Blanche or my favourite and funniest contestant Sandrian! (of Masterchef Asia) LOL



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Monday, September 14, 2015

Quaker Oats Chocolate Cake

Have you eaten or bake a cake made with oats before?

If you haven’t, it is one way to add variety to what you eat. It might be a way to easily add in more fiber to your diet. Studies have shown oats has a cholesterol-lowering properties for some people. You can do an online search for “Health Benefits of Oats” and you can read all the articles there are out there.

There are also those that do not believe the benefits of oats, but they want to eat tasty cake. Do you think a cake that has instant oats will be tasty? I hope this recipe might change your mind.

This is not a light and fluffy cake, but a dense chocolatey cake. No, it also doesn’t take like oats or paper, it taste like real chocolate cake.

Try and bake it or ask something to bake it for you. This is a mix of different recipes that I have experimented and probably the least sweet version you can find. Those who are sweet-tooth might not find it sweet. You can ‘sweeten’ it by having a scoop of ice cream on top of the slice of cake when you serve it.


Quaker Oats Chocolate Cake

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

Ingredients:

Set A:
100 gm Quaker Instant Oats
400 ml boiling water

Set B:
150 gm brown sugar
150 gm butter
2 eggs

Set C (to be sifted together):
200 gm flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoon cocoa powder

Set D (others):
1/2 teaspoon salt
150 + 50 gm chocolate chips

Method:

1.    Preheat oven at 170C.
2.    Prepare a cake pan. I use a square one. (20 cm x 20 cm x 5 cm)
3.    Cream the butter and sugar (from Set B ingredients) in a mixer.
4.    When you have a nice creamy mix, add in the eggs and mix it to a nice creamy mix again.

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

5.    Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda (Set C ingredients) plus the salt into the mixture.

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

6.    Mix the Quaker Instant Oats with the hot water (Set A ingredients) for around 2-3 minutes.

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

7.    Add the Quaker Instant Oats that has been soaked into a paste into the other ingredients. Careful, it is hot.

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

8.    Add in 150 gm of chocolate chips and give it a good stir. Do it quickly one or two stirs as the chocolate chips will melt quickly.
9.    Pour the mixture into a cake pan.
10.  Sprinkle the 50 gm of chocolate chips over the cake.

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

11.    Bake for 30-40 minutes. You can test the cake your favourite way. Some people insert a metal skewer or toothpick. I bake it to around 95-98C in the centre to have a moist cake.

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

Enjoy the cake, let me know if you like this recipe.

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

Quaker Instant Oats Chococlate Cake

Thanks to Quaker, I have a giveaway!

There are 3 sets of $50 hamper of Quaker products that winner will get. To win it, you just need to do 3 simple things:
1) Like Quaker’s Facebook page
2) Like Keropokman.com’s Facebook page
3) Share this blog post on Facebook.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is brought to you by Quaker. Follow them on Facebook at QuakerSingapore for more interesting and fun ways to enjoy your daily dose of oatmeal.



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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dilmah High Tea Set @ Carpenter and Cook

Carpenter and Cook (C&C)  is probably the cafe that we visit most often because it's in our neighbourhood. We will walk in and pick up a pastry or two on the way home. For the longest time, I have never blogged about this place because we don't want to invite people into our neighbourhood and cause a 'congestion' to a place we love.

So, why am I blogging about it now? There are now more cafes along this "Carbo Street" (aka Lorong Kilat) to spread the cafe crowd, so it's a good time to introduce this gem in our neighbourhood.

If you love their pastries and other baked goods, you might probably wish they come in a smaller size so that you can order a variety to try.  Good news! C&C is participating in the "Host a Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge" and they will be pairing food with the Dilmah Exceptional Premium Tea Series.

It will only be available this week (20-28 June 2015).

Carpentar and Cook, Dilmah High Tea Set
Dilmah High Tea Set for 2 ($20 per pax)

For $20 per person, you get to choose 1 flavour of tea from the Dilmah Exceptional Premium Tea Series and a selection of different pastries and other bakes.  

If you prefer to dine alone, you can still have the tea set (which comes in a 2-tier platter) and sample the variety of food.

(This Cafe is also a shop that sells furniture and other antiques, you'll be served on these lovely antique china and cutlery! When they first opened, I set my eyes on the church pew chairs and wanted to replace our dining room chairs with them, but it was a bit out of my budget then.)

Carpentar and Cook, Dilmah High Tea Set

What we had earlier today:

- Earl Grey & Lavender Mini Loaf
- Valrhona Caraibe Chocolate & Maldon Sea Salt Caramel Tart

Their Earl Grey and Lavender Mini Loaf this week is made with the premium series Dilmah Earl Grey. Still having the texture and fragrance of Earl Grey. Not too strong for me.

My favourite of the day is the Valrhona Caraibe Chocolate & Maldon Sea Salt Caramel Tart. I have to confess I am bias to anything chocolate. Made with one of the better chocolate around, it's something you got to try.


Carpentar and Cook, Dilmah High Tea Set

This is something that Anglophile loves. Scones and Clotted Cream. The scones (made with French butter) and jam are made in-premise.  The only thing that they do not make are the clotted cream - they import them from Britain.

They served both good old plain scones and mixed fruit scones.

Carpentar and Cook, Dilmah High Tea Set

The green apple and cucumber finger sandwiches were lovely.  Sis bit into it and said it's brioche because of the noticeable fragrant buttery taste.  I have never had green apple, cucumber and yoghurt sandwiches, and was pleasantly surprise that it was refreshing.  I thought they added a secret ingredient because I tasted something pickled in the sandwich.

Their Tiramisu is made from the coffee which they brew with the coffee machine. They don't use the usual 'coffee liqueur' that most home bakers use (i.e. kahlua or amarula). I am not telling you what they use, I am sworn by secrecy. Taste it and see if you like them.

Macarons! Everyone love a macaron that has been nicely aged, still having a hard shell and slightly chewy inside. It's best paired with the Rose with French Vanilla Dilmah Tea. Why? It's a raspberry and lychee macaron! They use fresh lychee that is now in season. French dessert fans will know what flavour that will be! Ispahan!


What would you recommend?
- This set during this week is good and it's a good price. Our usual takeaway of 2 items already cost around $14. This set allows you to sit and have the items above and also a pot of tea.
- If you have room for more food, we love their Lemon Tart! It's one of the items that we always have for takeaway.

Baby notes:

Crowded cafes are usually a no no for babies. Weekends are really busy here, so parents with babies should avoid it. Weekdays are all right though, we live nearby and we know when people flock to our neighbourhood.

Other notes:
This was an arranged tasting session, thanks to Dilmah Teas. We paid for our takeaways that we could not resist, i.e. the Lemon Tarts.
 

Carpenter and Cook
19 Lorong Kilat
#01-06
Singapore 598120

Tel: 6463 3648
Hours: Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10am - 10pm / Sundays: 10am - 7pm / Closed on Mondays




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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

The wife and I have been wanting to try HamBaoBao since it's in our neighbourhood. Everyday around evening, we would have to think what to have for dinner. Depending on baby's mood and the weather we plan where to go. Evenings are when I take over from the wife the 'duties' of taking care of baby. It's time when mummy eats a hearty meal so she is energized for the next day's routine.

The day was right, cool weather, this is going to be at a hawker centre on the 'rooftop' of Beauty World Centre where it's usually warm. So we hop on the bus and stop at the upcoming Beauty World MRT station stop.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

The tables were mostly packed with everyone ordering from different stalls at this hawker centre. The 2 tables that were empty were right in front of the stall. Maybe it's our day to try it.

Looking at the menu and peeping at the orders that were going out, the wife knew she can wallop 2 of the burgers. The appetite of BF mums are enormous. They can eat and won't grow in size because of the calories burnt breastfeeding!

So the wife ordered and they asked if you wanted fairy fries, the wife said no, thinking it was just like other fries serves elsewhere. It was until we saw other people's orders of fairy fries that we decided we should try it as well, and she went to add one portion of fairy fries.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
Crispy Pork Belly HBB ($4.50)

I had a smile on my face. My favourite meat with hoisin sauce, English mustard 'kiap' between a burger. Some meat with mustard over it, then topped with cucumber and the crispy bits!

The burger came together nicely. I love dipping my Crispy Pork in mustard to give it that bit of zing, the splash of English mustard they spread gave it the zing that I like. The cucumber also gave it a nice refreshing crunch and a little moisture as you bite into it. 

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

I thought it deserved another shot that here it is. I am becoming quite pro taking photos using the iPhone 6 without anyone noticing and I have a baby in kangaroo pouch position in front of me.

I also like the fact that it comes with a piece of paper so I can eat the burger holding the paper so that my hands are clean to take care of baby and nothing will drip on baby that's in front of me.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
The Classic Beef HBB ($4.50)

The wife's first burger was the classic beef. Simple yet quite good. A beef patty, cheese, homemade tomato sauce, pickles and lettuce. If you like a simple burger and a meat eater, this is a good choice.  If you are a big eater, order 2, it can be small to some. The pricing allows you to order 2 without burning the pocket.

The wife always uses her hands eating her burgers. Since it's the husband's time to take care of baby, she can use her hands and get deliciously sticky hands. No fear, all well prepared mums have lots of wet wipes and tissues in the SG50 Skip Hop Diaper Bag! 


Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

Oh yes, Fairy Fried are hand cut potato wedges. It's pretty addictive too.
No wonder everyone was ordering it.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

Dat Dory Fish HBB ($5)

The wife loves fish burgers and this was her second burger. She said she'll gladly come to the fourth floor than to eat the fish burger on the first floor. (This only residents around this area will know what's on the first floor.)

A palm size piece of dory with tartar sauce, zucchini, red pepper and cheese. The wife likes it because of the grilled pepper and the tartar sauce. The fish has some char and was juicy, you can see it in the photo above. The overall bite into the burger is very balanced. She said this left a nice impression on her.

***

Fast forward 2 or 3 weeks later, we thought of the burgers again. Weather has been too warm and humid to bring the baby out, so I packed the burgers back.

Speaking from our experience, I would recommend that you eat there instead of packing it back and the Fairy Fries will become a little limp and also the burger buns have absorbed all the moisture from the burgers.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

I misread wife's SMS and ordered a Dory plus extra beef patty in a burger. She wanted 2 individual burgers, but I ordered the 2 in 1. Well, now we know it can be done, fish and beef in a burger!

I am not a fan of Ayam Buah Keluak, but I ordered it because we have tried everything in the menu. The only thing we haven't tried. I should buy it for the Father-in-law who is Baba, he would appreciate the 'weird' taste of buah keluak.

Sis was also on our chat group and she said she want to try the burgers too even though she already had her dinner! She wanted the pulled pork burger.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
Ayam Buah Keluak HBB ($5)

It tasted ok, I am not a fan of the taste of buah keluak, but I ate it, so I think probably Babas would love it. Knowing Babas and Nonyas, they are also a bunch of super picky people, so half of them will like it and half will say, my grandma's version is better. (I doubt their grandma will make a burger right? haha)

It's minced chicken with the rempah and buah keluak. It's a piece of dark patty. For the veggies, they use chap chye!

Buah Keluak fans, try and let me know if it's ok for you.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
Dat Dory Fish HBB plus additional beef patty ($5 + $2.50)

The wife's fish and beef burger in 1. It does look good right?
I think next time I will have the Classic Beef + additional patty for myself.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
Spiced Pull Pork HBB ($5)

It's pulled pork shoulder, cheese with homemade coleslaw. This is sis' order. I had a bite and it's not bad, but I prefer Crispy Pork Belly and the Classic Beef.

While waiting for my orders I read KF Seetoh's write up about them that was hung on the stall. This couple was previously studied food science diploma and nursing and decided to open up a hawker stall. Both of them are only in the 20s.


What would you recommend?
1.Crispy Pork Belly
2. Dat Dory Fish


Baby notes:
This place is a hawker centre, so it can be quite warm for babies on certain days. Find a table that's on the sides and it might be cooler. Baby was sleeping all the while in her BabyBjorn Carrier. It's a quick meal so you can bring baby back to the shopping mall to cool down a bit before going home.  Can't remember if there's a feeding or nappy change area as we did not need it.


Hambaobao
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Beauty World Centre
#04-49
Singapore 588177

Hours: 12 pm to 8 pm. Closed Mondays and alternate Tuesdays



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Friday, February 13, 2015

Chinese New Year Festive Offerings @ 6 Fine Dining Chinese Restaurants in Singapore

The Chinese New Year Festive Dining has already started and many places are already serving Yusheng and Pen Cai. There's no way I can have an exhaustive list, but these 6 places are where I had the privilege to taste their festive offerings.

Some places might still have slots available for booking for the Chinese New Year's Eve. Some popular ones have already been booked months ahead. That's what I heard of the very popular Li Bai. There are so many days in the Chinese New Year period to dine, so there will be slots available for you. Just see which one you fancy and call them up.



1) St Regis Singapore - Yan Ting

Yan Ting serves fine Cantonese cuisine and it has recently appointed a new Executive Chinese Chef, Chef Tony Wun. Chef Wun brings with him a list of awards and accolades. I will talk more about that in another post some time later.

My wife and I had one of the Yu Sheng here with my in laws last year. We haven't decided where we are going this year. We like to change around every year.

CNY_StRegisSingapore-YanTing

Yan Ting's Yu Sheng this year is called the Prosperity Yu Sheng with Norwegian Salmon. This year they have snow pear and passion fruit plum sauce dressing to give it a very refreshing flavour.

CNY_StRegisSingapore-YanTing

One of their interesting creations is the Crispy Prosperity Roll with Scallops, Banana and Salted Egg. That's the item in the middle above. What you have are layers of scallop, water chestnut, prawns, black moss, as well as banana!

CNY_StRegisSingapore-YanTing

If you decide to dine at home, Yan Ting's Chinese New Year Pun Choy serves 6 and it includes a medium Prosperity "Yu Sheng" with Norwegian Salmon, Fried Glutinous Rice with Preserved Meat and Osmanthus Cake. The takeaway price is $468. It's a huge serving with thirteen ingredients including the much loved abalones, dried oysters, sea cucumber and dace fish balls.

CNY_StRegisSingapore-YanTing

If you chose to dine in, there are multiple set meals with different taste buds. In the set meals, you get to try things like this very succulent prawns with black bean sauce.

For you convenience, you can click here to view all their different set meals and pricing here: http://www.yantingrestaurant.com/assets/u/YanTingCNY2015Menu.pdf

CNY_StRegisSingapore-YanTing

It's interesting when you read the menu and they have interesting name. This is the Wok-fried Glutinous Rice with Wind-dried Sausages.

Why is it wind-dried? It seems there is some history behind it. The sausages they have are wind-dried preserves the meat's umami. Sun-dried ones have nice scent. Ask the knowledgeable service staff. There's this service staff who seems to know quite a bit here. Or you can read this interesting article about Lup Cheong by chaxiubao. I love to read about food, hope this part is interesting to you.


CNY_StRegisSingapore-YanTing

You can end the meal with a cup of creamy avocado sago cream served with ice cream and glutinous rice cake.

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a microsite for it at: http://www.yantingrestaurant.com/cny2015

Yan Ting Restaurant
The St Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road
Singapore 247911

Tel: +65 6506 6887



2) InterContinental Singapore - Man Fu Yuan

Man Fu Yuan probably had the most interesting preview for the mainstream and online media. I reckon they have the biggest private room in a Chinese Restaurant that can seat 25 people comfortably!

Executive Chinese Chef Kwan Yiu Kan has created a unique reunion menu that is very symbolic of the occasion as well as tasty.

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

Their Yu Sheng is called Salmon and Japanese Hokkigai Yu Sheng. It's served with a concoction of Ponzu and Shoyu Sauce. So it's tangy instead of the usual more sweetish sauce.

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

We each had a cup of literally sweet golden flakes to throw into the center of the table. We then had a super long spatula to toss our Yu Sheng. I think this is only for the preview. If you have some special occasion you can contact the restaurant and they should be able to arrange something with additional cost involved of course.

Here's an Instagram video that I took. Interesting eh?

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

Here's to show you the Japanese Hokkigai. To add more crunch to the Yu Sheng, Chef Kwan also added fried vermicelli to the dish.

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

Chef Kwan's Double-boiled "Fu Zhou" Buddha Jump Over the Wall ($688+ for 5 persons, with wok-fried glutinous rice and Yu Sheng) is quite an indulgence. Whole abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, dried scallops, deer tendon and panax ginseng has been cooked over low heat for 48 hours to produce this thick luxurious broth.

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

A sell-out item every year, Man Fu Yuan's signature Deluxe Treasures Pot ($428+ for 5 persons, with Yu Sheng) is filled to the brim with 23 premium ingredients. Whole baby abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, goose web, scallops, preserved meat sausages all in a flavourful broth.

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

For some who love suckling pigs. This is their barbecued whole suckling pig with wok-fried glutinous rice. ($488+). This is so tempting!

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

It was fresh out of the barbecue and it was smoking hot as Chef was cutting the pig up. Everyone just had to eat up every bit served because it was really good.

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

Steamed Red Garoupa in Homemade Black Bean Sauce was really delicious. If you are a fish lover, you would particularly love how it was nicely steamed. The black bean sauce concoction really brings a difference with its bold flavours.

If you want to view their festive menu online, you can click here.
They have 10 different set menus, vegetarian menu, Indian vegetarian menu and a Muslim Set menu.

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

If you are going to indulge for your dessert, order the Double-boiled Superior Bird's Nest with Rock Sugar in Whole Coconut ($72 per person).

CNY_IntercontinentalSingapore-ManFuYuan

I just can't help showing you another photo of it. It is served steaming hot and you slowly scoop up bird's nest and indulge. It's the reddish superior bird's nest.

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a microsite for it at:
http://singapore.intercontinental.com/festive-takeaways/


Man Fu Yuan
InterContinental Singapore
80 Middle Road,
Singapore 188966

Tel: +65 68251008 




3) Sheraton Towers Singapore - Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant

Li Bai at Sheraton Towers Singapore is headed by Chinese Executive Chef Chung Yiu Ming.

If you are a SPG member, you will notice that this Chinese restaurant is the only that doesn't give you discount amongst all the Starwood properties in Singapore. It's that popular. At least you still get to accumulate points though.

CNY_SheratonSingapore-LiBai

The Yu Sheng here is just called the Salmon Loh Hei Platter. They ingredients all have special meanings. Carrot for luck, pomelo for a smooth sailing year and crisp crackers for abundance in wealth.

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The Loh Hei platter starts from $52. If you want more ingredients, you just request for it and pay the additional charges. If you like more salmon than the one they provide, add it for just $20 per plate. They additions like Ikan Parang, Crispy Salmon Fish Skin, Shredded Abalone, Lobster ($35 per 100gm) and even extra crackers.

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Yes, we had a whole lobster, and the service staff giving us the auspicious cheers.

That reminds me, I got an mass email from a bank and has these all typed out for me, so I might as well reproduce it here. I have added more in, but the list can be longer. You can save it to your phone, just in case you need it for your meals.

Fish
年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu) Surplus and bountiful harvests every year.

Pomelo or lime to the fish
大吉大利 (Da Ji Da Li) May your year be filled with good luck and prosperity

Yu Sheng sauce
甜甜蜜蜜 (Tian Tian Mi Mi) May your life be always sweet.

Pepper
招财进宝 (Zhao Cai Jin Bao) May you attract wealth and treasures

Oil
一本万利 (Yi Ben Wan Li) Making 10000 times profit with your capital

Carrots
鸿运当头 (Hong Yun Dang Tou) Arrival of good luck and blessing

Peanuts
金银满屋 (Jin Yin Man Wu) Abundant wealth and blessings to your household.

Keropok
满地黄金 (Man Di Huang Jin) Let your ground be laid with gold.


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This was the Double-boiled chicken soup with fish maw, morel mushroom, pearl meat, bamboo pith and Tientsin cabbage.

Yes, we were told the Pearl Meat is one very expensive ingredient in this soup that is served in a very interesting ceramic container. Pearl meat is the adductor muscle of a pearl oyster. Only when the oyster is no longer used for producing oyster, it is then harvested. Cost are about hundreds of dollars per kg for fresh ones. There are also dried versions.

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We don't mind more lobster indulgence. This is the Sauteed Lobsters served in Crispy Rice Basket. This dish was probably served to showcase the finest of the chef. The characteristics of good Chinese cooking: color, aroma and taste.

Colors of the carrot, ginger, asparagus complements the whitish orangey colour of the lobsters. I noticed that the ginger pieces are in nice four angle shapes, the carrots are in the shape of a bird! The aroma with the different sauce and application of heat gives it a fragrant wok aroma or the Maillard Reaction. Taste, the use of enough seasoning that doesn't over power other flavours.

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It seems their popular "Eight Treasures" Duck now has a bonus treasure. It now comes with 5-head abalones. This is in addition to the treasures of Lotus Seed, Chinese Mushroom, Sea Cucumber, Salted Egg, Barley, Chicken, Pork and Chestnut.

If you love slowly stewed food, order this as a Takeaway for $388.

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I was told Chef uses the spiky version of sea cucumber, which is the higher quality ones. There are many types of sea cucumbers, you can read more about it online during your free time. Just look at the photo above, doesn't it look appetizing? I used to dislike it when mum or aunt cooks them. If you read more about them and taste different ones, you would learn to appreciate them more.

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Other festive goodies you can order with the set meals or for takeaways include Water Chestnut Cake with Osmanthus and also the Traditional Nian Gao with Red Dates and Lotus Seeds. The Nian Gao do get fancy year after year!

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a brochure for it at:
http://issuu.com/sheratontowerssg/docs/cny_emailer__page_by_page_/0
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Sheraton Towers Singapore
39 Scotts Road
Singapore 228230

Tel: +65 6737 6888



4) Mandarin Oriental Singapore - Cherry Garden

Cherry Garden at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore is helmed by Executive Chinese Chef Cheng Hon Chau.

We were recently there to celebrate my mother in law's birthday and we were really impressed with the service standard of the service staff. Impeccable. We like to gossip when we eat sometimes. We realised lady who served us, Joy is a Thai and she can speak multiple languages. She was speaking to us in English, then she switched to Chinese at the Hong Kong couple in the next table. The was then speaking to her colleague in Malay and yes we eventually found out she's Thai.

Not only that, as the wife is pregnant, she came back with a back pillow for her to sit more comfortably. We haven't been given a back pillow so far in the places we go to.

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Back to the Yu Sheng here. Depending on the set meals you order, you have different combination of Yu Sheng. They have the Salmon and Crispy Fish Skin ones like the ones above. There is also the Black Truffle Slivers version and the ultimate luxurious lobster, salmon, slice abalone and black truffle slivers version. They also have a Garden of Health Yu Sheng that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables.

You can take a look at their different set menus that are names like Success, Joyous, Harmony, Auspicious, Longevity, Prosperity and Wealth. The menu is available online here:
http://photos.mandarinoriental.com/is/content/MandarinOriental/singapore-cny

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The highlight at Cherry Garden is Singapore's largest traditional 'basin dish'. It weights more than 25 kg and measures up to 45 cm in diameter. That's Chef Cheng carrying the heavy Pen Cai to show off his masterpiece.

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Another angle so that you can look in front of you and imagine how big the Pen Cai is!

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The best way to enjoy this is to gather a minimum of 6 persons and order the Success set menu. It set menu will come with Yu Sheng, this luxurious Pen Cai, Egg Noodles with Lettuce and two desserts. It will cost $138 per guest (minimum of 6 orders), but look at the following photos to see if you think it will be worth it.

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The Pen Cai will be served to you slowly for you to enjoy. Enjoy braised Lobsters and Eight-head Abalones.

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There's also scallops, sea cucumber, prawns, dried oyster rolls, conpoy, dace fillet, roasted duck, soy chicken, crispy pork belly, waxed sausages, mushrooms, black moss and tientsin cabbage.

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With the luxurious broth, they will also serve you egg noodles and ice berg lettuce.

After eating them all, you would probably be quite full. They will then serve you one of their signature dessert available in their regular menu. Cherries in Nu Er Hong and aged Kuei Hua wine cocktail jelly served with lychee sorbet. This dessert is quite good.

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You will end your meal with some pan fried Nian Gao.

If you like pork trotter, you can order their Braised Pork Trotter with whole 8-head abalone, dried oyster, mushroom, black moss and vegetable in claypot for $188. This will serve 4 persons.

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a brochure for it at:
http://photos.mandarinoriental.com/is/content/MandarinOriental/singapore-cny

Cherry Garden
Mandarin Oriental Singapore
5 Raffles Avenue,
Marina Square
Singapore 039797

Tel: +65 6885 3500



5) Pan Pacific Singapore - Hai Tien Lo

Hai Tien Lo is helmed by Master Chef Lai Tong Ping. After the recent refurbishment of Pan Pacific Hotel, the restaurants have moved around. It's now located at Level 3. Chef Lai has been here for 10 years and if you like his food, there's also a Glorious Decade at Hai Tien Lo set menu available.

It probably has the 2nd largest private dining room I have seen, after Man Fu Yuan. Something about the turn table here at Hai Tien Lo is that it is automated! You can push a button and it turns. It's because the table is so huge and there's no way anyone is going to turn the 'lazy susan'.

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Oh wow. During the preview, we saw this and instantly felt blessed. This is their Flourishing Prosperity Yu Sheng with Fresh Lobster, Alaskan Crab, Hokkaido Scallop, Norwegian Salmon, Salmon Roe and Japanese Kelp.

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It's quite bold to have the word 'yang' in black and topped it with gold flakes. I was thinking, if you have a 'black sheep' at home, bring them here. You know I am just joking.

For Hai Tien Lo's different combination of Yu Sheng, you can download their choices here.

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Double boiled soups are such a pleasure to consume. This was the Double-boiled Abalone, Fish Maw, Dried Scallops, Sea Cucumber and Fermented Black Garlic.

I have noticed that chefs are using fermented black garlic more. They do give the soups a different flavour. It is subtle so you wonder what it is, then when you are told what it is, some people says it has a nice balsamic aroma. There are also many reported health benefits to it. 

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I think I said this before, if you want to have great soups, marry a Cantonese. Your perception of soups will instantly change when your mother in law boils soup for you. As Hokkiens, we grew up drinking soups too. Egg drop soups with tomatoes. Lean pork and bittergourd soups. Most soups that doesn't take hours, except maybe the peanut and pork ribs, lotus root soup with pork or chicken soup that takes a longer time to boil. (Wait, I am not sure if these are Hokkien soups, but we drink them growing up).

Long story short, you get these kind of soups when you go back for your weekly dinner when the mother in law 'boils soup'. Of course the weekly soup ingredients doesn't include all the expensive stuff. Once in a while, they do add in some abalone or sea cucumber.

You can only bring them to places that does better soups than them like all these Cantonese restaurants. Maybe I shall buy her some black garlic one of these days.

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If you want a whole Barbecue Crispy Whole Suckling Pig (5 kg), you can order it from their Takeaway menu at $288+. Tempting doesn't it?

The takeaway order for for this is here.

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This is Chef's Trio of Treasures that we had. So cute to have the pastry as Honey Bees!
There are quite a few weekend Dim Sum buffets around, maybe we should try the ones here and see.

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Stewed Inaniwa Udon with Lobster and Truffles in Supreme stock. These udon as slightly thinner than the regular udon. A curious me went to do a search and read about it here. Oh the little bit of truffles on top really gives it a nice aroma.

This dish will be served as part of the various set meals, available. They call it the French way Chinese New Year Prix Fixe Menu. You can view their full menu here.

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To keep guys handsome, and ladies pretty. A dose of Birds Nest will do the trick. This is the Double-boiled Imperial Swiftlet’s Nest with Maltose. Also comes as part of their Prix Fixe Menu.


If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a microsite for it at:
http://www.panpacific.com/en/hotels-resorts/singapore/marina/stay/offers/an-ode-to-tradition.html

Hai Tien Lo
Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Square
Singapore 039595

Tel: +65 6336 8111



6) Fairmont Singapore - Szechuan Court

Szechuan Court dishes have been crafted by Master Chef Mok Wan Lok. It has been quite a few years since I dined here. As I typed this, I remember that I have the FAR Card through my Amex Card and I do get discounts here. Maybe it's time to come dine here with the wife.

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The Yu Sheng here is called the "Ultimate Success Yusheng". The choice of exquisite ingredients here includes Maguro (Tuna) and Boston Lobster with a citrusy flavour.

You can choose a choice of Salmon, Maguro, Abalone, Lobster or Vegetarian Yu Sheng. Prices range from $58++ to $98++ for the small serving. For the large serving, the prices range from $108++ to $188++ if you opt for the Boston Lobster Yu Sheng.

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To add crunch to their Yu Sheng here, they have added  Crispy morel mushrooms known as “羊肚菌” in Chinese to give it the crunch in this dish. Yes, it's there because of the 羊 in the Chinese characters. This is in addition to the 羊 word that is arranged on the platter.

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Their Pen Cai here is called Szechuan Court's Prosperity Pot of Gold. The 6 persons portion costs $438++ while the 8-10 persons portion costs $688++.

The OCD me noticed that when they prepared the prawns they snipped off the head and also the sharp ends on that is on the tail. I do that when I clean my prawns at home. It's so that no one gets hurt eating. It's either your hands or mouth gets pricked. So I know the chefs here are meticulous.

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They have 14 different ingredients in this treasure pot. It includes the sort after African abalones, top grade giant Japanese dried scallops and oysters, luscious fish maw, sea cucumbers and a selection of juicy roast meats. They have been slow simmered for six hours.

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Double-boiled Bird's Nest Chicken Soup with Morel Mushrooms. $58++ per person. If you want soup for its nutritional and health value, you can order this.

Treat your mum, mother in law, wife, girlfriend to this it's better than any Valentine's Day gift. Someone was texting me asking what to bring his girlfriend to eat. I said it's a day for them to chop you. I should have recommended him to bring the girlfriend to some Chinese restaurants and have beauty soup!

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A new creation by Dim Sum Chef Mandy Yeo to the Dim Sum menu is the Fried Shredded Filo Dough Roll with Prawns and Lychee. It is something sweet, 2 kinds of sweetness, from the prawns and the lychee. It's paired with the house blended Thousand Island Sauce. $8.80++ per set of 3 pieces.

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Teochew-Style Steamed Pomfret from the Spring Set Menu. If you come from a traditional family and your grandparents insists that you have a whole pomfret, you can have it here.

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These 'prawn balls' are so crunchy and tasty. Need I say more?
Prawns to bring you 'haha' laughter and harmony in the family for the whole new year.

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Another new creation by Chef Mandy is this Home-made Green Tea, Red Kidney Bean and Traditional Nian Gao coated with Coconut Flakes. $12.80++  per order.

It's a contemporary twist to the traditional brown Nian Gao. It has freshly grated coconut to give it a unique texture and taste when you eat it. Their Nian Gao is freshly prepared daily. 

If you want to find out about all their Chinese New Year offerings, they have a microsite for it at:
http://www.fairmont.com/singapore/special-offers/other-offers/prosperous-lunar-new-year-delicacies/

Szechuan Court
Level 3, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 189560

Tel: +65 6431 6156



Here are 6 previews of what you can expect from some of the Fine Dining Chinese Restaurants in Singapore. If you are still deciding where to go, I hope this post will help you.

Almost every restaurant listed above will be serving their Chinese New Year Menu till 5 March 2015. 

Wishing you all a very Blessed, Healthy and Prosperous Chinese New Year.




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