Thursday, 16 August 2018

Lobby Lounge – Weekend Afternoon Tea with Harvest of The Sea [MEDIA INVITE]

Scones - from Weekend Afternoon Tea
Lobby Lounge - Conrad Centennial Singapore

Lobby Lounge at Conrad Centennial Singapore has unveiled a sumptuous four-course afternoon tea with a twist that combines a quintessential British Culinary experience with a decadent seafood platter and a fine selection of cheeses platter paired with a glass of Prosecco.

Executive Chef Mandar does away with the Lobby Lounge previous buffet style afternoon tea, instead offering a more elegant approach of Traditional High Tea experience. Weekend Afternoon Tea with Harvest of The Sea experience consists of four courses.

Weekend Afternoon Tea with Harvest of The Sea Menu

First Course Poached Boston Lobster, Irish Oysters, Fresh Prawns. The first course is paired with a glass of Prosecco. The lobster and prawns are fresh and springy, while the Irish oysters are briny and sweet. The vinegar dressing is a perfect companion to lighten up the rich seafood and tasted especially good when you mixed it with lime. The glass of Prosecco add a hint of sweetness while you savour the seafood. (LD’s comments)

Poached Boston Lobster, Irish Oysters, Fresh Prawns

Since I can’t take alcohol, I started my first drink with Iced version of Ronnefeldt Morgentau Tea, a blend of sencha, flower petals, mango and lemon.

Prosecco and Iced Morgentau Tea

Second Course is the combination of savoury and sweet bite-size dishes. For the second course onwards, the drinks pairing will be free flow of Ronnefeldt Tea or Brazilian Coffee. LD choose Sweet Kiss, flavoured fruit infusions of strawberries, pineapple and kiwis; While I continue with my Morgentau but in the hot version.

Second Course

The savoury bites include House Cured Salmon and Guacamole, Cucumber with Dill Cream Cheese; Heirloom Tomato and Marinated Mozzarella Tartlet; and Egg with Japanese Horseradish Mayo and Chives. My personal favourite is the Heirloom Tomato with Marinated Mozzarella Tartlet. This tartlet is acidic and packs of punch, especially coming from the tomato and marinated mozzarella. Good preparation for the sweet bites coming next.

House Cured Salmon and Guacamole, Cucumber with Dill Cream Cheese;
Heirloom Tomato and Marinated Mozzarella Tartlet (at the back)

Egg with Japanese Horseradish Mayo and Chives

Savoury Mini Bites

The sweet bites include Orange Curd and Fresh Thyme Flower, Ivory Chocolate Mousse; Classic Mille Feuille and Vanilla Cream; Baked Mango and Passionfruit Lava, Coconut Coulis and Live Zest; Hazelnut Bavaroise, Coffee Mousse and Soft Sponge; Sakura Rose and Raspberry Red Velvet; and Strawberries with Classic Chantilly and Pandan Chantilly.

Hazelnut Bavaroise, Coffee Mousse and Soft Sponge

Orange Curd and Fresh Thyme Flower

A generous spread of sweet bites, the Hazelnut Bavaroise is my top pick as it tasted like deluxe Ferrero Rocher, showcasing generous hazelnut fillings. Next is Classic Mille Feuille, that is creamy and crispy; followed by moist and flavourful Orange Curd.

Baked Mango and Passionfruit Lava, Coconut Coulis and Live Zest
Classic Mille Feuille and Vanilla Cream

Near the end of the second course, I feel a little overwhelmed by the cream base bites coming from the Sakura Rose and Chantilly. It might be good to replace one of this dish with something lighter considering there will be two more courses coming.

Sakura Rose and Raspberry Red Velvet

Strawberries with Classic Chantilly and Pandan Chantilly

Third Course, Warm Scones Served with Clotted Cream, Homemade Fig Jam and Homemade Strawberry Jam. Afternoon Tea is just not complete without scones. Two type of scones, plain and raisin. The version of the scones here is very refined, unlike the rustic version you find in regular cafes. However, it is delicious. For us, the combination of clotted cream with the fig jam is just YUM!!

Warm Scones Served with Clotted Cream, Homemade Fig Jam and Homemade Strawberry Jam

Fourth Course, Cheese Board, Brie Cheese, Chaumes and Tomme de Savoie. A nice ending to the meal, where the savoury and saltiness from the cheese helps to balance the overwhelming sweetness from the second and third course.

Cheese Board, Brie Cheese, Chaumes and Tomme de Savoie

I end my high tea experience with an Americano. Please note that you are allowed to change your type of drinks tea or coffee anytime during the session.

Sweet Kiss Tea

Overall, we find the new Afternoon Tea experience at Lobby Lounge is definitely elegant and a memorable one. Afternoon Tea should be about cosiness, chatting and enjoying the overall experience without the need to stand up and pick up your food from the buffet line. On top of that, the quality of the Afternoon Tea is just excellent. Definitely must try. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Conrad Centennial Singapore for the invitation.

Weekend Afternoon Tea with Harvest of the Sea
When: Every Saturday and Sunday
Time: 13.00 – 17.00
Where: Lobby Lounge, Conrad Centennial Singapore.
Price:
S$68++ (Adult) - Includes free-flow of Ronnefeldt tea, coffee and a glass of Prosecco
S$98++ (Adult) - Includes free-flow of Ronnefeldt tea, coffee and free flow sparkling wine
S$34++ (Child 6-12 years old) Includes free-flow of Ronnefeldt tea and coffee, excludes seafood platter and selection of cheese

 Food: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80

Lobby Lounge @Conrad
2 Temasek Boulevard
Lobby Level, Conrad Centennial Singapore
Singapore 038982

T: +65 6432 7483
OH:
Sun - Thu: 07:00 - 00:00
Fri - Sat: 07:00 - 01:00

Daily Afternoon Tea: 13.00 – 17.00

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Mui Kee Congee – Comforting Hong Kong Congee

Mui Kee Congee

Mui Kee Congee originated from Hong Kong has reached the shore of Singapore. It was brought over by Les Amis Group, owner of multi concepts dining establishment known for its quality.

Mui Kee Congee

Mui Kee Congee is renowned for their silky-smooth congee filled with old school ingenuity. In Singapore, they signature congees are Parrot Fish Belly and Homemade Pork Meatballs. Worried that the fish belly is too fatty, I decided to order Sliced Parrot Fish Congee ($9.80) plus an add-on of Meatballs ($4).

Sliced Parrot Fish Congee plus meatballs

The congee is silky and smooth, with a lingering charred flavour in the fish. At first, I thought it was burnt, however, I later found out that it was due to the high fired used at the beginning to fire up the fish slices. The congee is added afterwards. Each slice of the fish is thick, firm and have a good bite to it. While the homemade pork balls are juicy and succulent. Let’s just say that I have two signatures congee in one bowl.

Sliced Parrot Fish

Meatballs

The congee does not come with you tiao, so you have to order it separately. Crispy Dough Fritters ($2). Definitely, a perfect pairing to give the congee a contrasting crispy texture and also helps soaks up the flavour in the congee.

Crispy Dough Fritters

One of the side dishes that I ordered is Drunken Chicken in Shaoxing Wine ($10). The flesh of the chicken is on the firm side and you can taste the Shaoxing wine absorbs into the inner part of the meat. Very good and appetizing indeed.  

Drunken Chicken in Shaoxing Wine 

For vegetable, we ordered Poached Kai Lan ($8). Though the oyster sauce is solid, the kai lan was overcooked. It was missing the crunchy bite to it. Drinks, Iced Hong Kong Milk Tea ($3.50). The tea has a nice smooth milky texture; however, it can be better if the tea is darker.

Poached Kai Lan
Iced Hong Kong Milk Tea

The décor of the restaurant has a modern Cha Chaan Teng feel to it. Seating is limited, so sharing table just like in Hong Kong is kind of a norm here. Service is efficient and the service staff tried to use Cantonese in taking your order. However, feel free to switch to English or Chinese to your convenient. Expect long queue during lunch and dinner time, the rest of the time should be very normal.

Overall, Mui Kee Congee expansion to Singapore brought with them the culture and taste of Hong Kong dining. Definitely worth a visit if you are craving for Hong Kong Style of Congee.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25
  
Mui Kee Congee
1 Scotts Road
#01-12, Shaw Centre
Singapore 228208

T: +65 6737 2422
IG: @Muikeesg
OH: 11.30 – 15.00, 18.00 – 22.00 Daily.


Sunday, 5 August 2018

Element – Funology SG53 Buffet and Durian Party [MEDIA INVITE]

Element – Funology SG53 Buffet and Durian Party

To celebrate Singapore 53rd National Day, Amara Hotel Singapore presents Funology SG53 Buffet and Durian Party, available at Element from 3 to 9 August 2018.

Durian Party - Mao Shan Wang

The main attraction of this celebration is the durian theme party. A fresh durian stall is set up at Element on Tras Street, serving Mao Shan Wang, D24 and Kampong durians during my visit on 3rd August. My personal pick is the D24, where I enjoy the complex bittersweet flavour of the flesh. They will rotate the durian each day, depends on the supplies. Give it a try and let me know which one you like better.

Durian Party - D24

Durian Party - Kampong Durian

Inspiring the nostalgic feel on this National Day celebrations, childhood favourites food like Muah Chee, Putu Piring, Old School Snacks, Potong Ice Cream with bread and seasonal fruits like mangosteen, duku-langsat, rambutan and longan will be part of this special line up.


Putu Piring
Seasonal Fruits

On the 9th of August, there will be fun-filled activities including old-school games such as tikam-tikam, tin throwing games; taking photos on a trishaw; meet the Samsui Woman; and free caricatures drawing. The National Day Parade will also be shown live on TV at Element.

With the Fun comes the food as well. Highlights of the buffet spread are:

Durian Panna Cotta

Everything Durian. The durian bonanza continues in the desserts section, starting from durian cake, durian panna cotta, durian pudding, durian crème puff, and durian swiss roll. My favourite is the durian panna cotta, as it uses the during pengat as the topping, and you can really taste the durian.

Durian Cake & Durian Puff

Durian Pudding

Durian Swiss Roll (at the bottom) with other Durian Desserts
Chocolate Truffle Cake (at the top)
Save some space for their signature Chempedak Crème Brulee and Chocolate Truffle Cake that are awesome.

Chempedak Crème Brulee

The Seafood Spread. Boston Lobsters, Oysters, Alaskan King Crabs, Mussels, Clams, Scallops and Prawns. The Boston lobsters and oysters are fresh. But I personally like the Alaskan King Crab here, where you taste the freshness and briny sweetness in the flesh.

Chubby Botak Koala picks for Seafood Spread

Boston Lobsters

Oysters

Mussels, Alaskan King Crab Legs, and Clams
Below are the condiments

Mussels, Scallops and Prawns

Laksa. The spices in the broth really pop up and the rice noodle is well cooked. I did not have chilli in my laksa, for spicy lovers, you might need to put a few dollops of sambal in it. You can make it more atas, if you add the lobster into this laksa Yum Yum.

Laksa

Peking Duck. Crisp skin, tender and succulent, the best part, one of the Chef will do the wrapping for the Pecking duck. All you need to say is how many pieces you want.

Peking Duck Station

Peking Duck - Ready to Eat

Drunken Chicken. Well marinated with rice wine and I like the sweetness from the wolfberry. Make sure you get the meat that is soaked, so you can really taste the wine in the chicken.

Drunken Chicken

Proscuitto and Cheese selections. I love prosciutto. For me, this cured ham has the salty umami taste to it that just opens up my appetite. I can have this at the start or end of my meal. Paired it together with rock melon, I am a happy man. With so much durian pastries for desserts, I need something salty to end the meal. The cheese board sure provide it.

Proscuitto with Rock Melon

Cheese Selections

Overall, it was indeed a fun dining experience. I started with the savoury buffet spread at first, follow with fresh durians and desserts from the buffet line. I also got my caricature done as well, complete with solid muscles on both arms. So check out FUNOLOGY SG53 Buffet & Durian Party at Element, Amara Hotel Singapore till 9th August 2018.

Thank you very much to Amara Hotel Singapore team for the tasting invitation.

Chubby Botak Koala Caricature

FUNOLOGY SG53 Buffet & Durian Party
When: now till 9th August 2018.
Time: 18.30 – 22.00
Where: At Element and Element on Tras Street
Price: SGD 88++ per adult; SGD 36++ per child (6 to 12 years old).
For reservations and enquiries, call: +65 6879 2607

Promotion:
2 persons dine free for every 8 other paying guests.
Free flow of iced tea with a group booking of 53 adults.
Old-school games and activities are available on the 3rd and 9th August.

Food & Drinks: 7/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Event)
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80, $81 and Above

Element Restaurant
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088539

T: +65 6879 2607
IG: @AmaraSingapore
OH:
Breakfast, Daily: 06.30 – 10.30
Lunch, Mon – Fri: 11.30 – 14.30
High Tea, Sat & Sun: 11.30 – 14.00 (1st Seating), 14.30 – 17.00 (2nd Seating)
Dinner, Daily: 18.30 – 22.00


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Oscar’s – Singapore Peranakan Buffet [MEDIA INVITE]

Singapore Peranakan Buffet at Oscar's

To mark Singapore 53rd birthday, Chef Alex Siah of Conrad Singapore has collaborated with renowned and award-winning Singaporean Chef Shermay Lee. This collaboration will present three new signature Peranakan dishes which will be featured at Oscar’s buffet line from 3rd to 31st August 2018.

Singaporean-Peranakan Buffet
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore

I was fortunate enough to have a front-row seat to this gastronomic experience and also chat with Chef Alex, hail from traditional Peranakan family in Melaka and Chef Shermay the 6th generation of Peranakan in Singapore on their inspirations to these Peranakan dishes. These next three dishes are co-created by Chef Shermay and Chef Alex.  

Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (Kong Bak Bao)
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore

Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (Kong Bak Bao). Peranakan version of stewed pork belly. The pork belly is well marinated, slightly sweet and tender. Unlike some pork belly that is overcooked and fall apart, the version here maintain its shape nicely, has a nice bite to it and it is a perfect companion with the soft and fluffy lotus bun. Oink Oink!!

Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (Kong Bak Bao)

The Black Gold – A Buah Keluak Beef Burger. 
This dish is inspired by Chef Shermay fondness for Burger as one of her comfort food. Hoping that Buah Keluak Burger can be her next comfort food. In creating the beef patties, Chef Shermay uses her grandma’s Buak Keluak recipe (with the spices) and mixed it together with minced beef. The result is the juicy, delicious patties with signature Peranakan buah keluak.

The Black Gold – A Buah Keluak Beef Burger.
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore
 

The Black Gold – A Buah Keluak Beef Burger.

Charcoal sesame bun is used as the vessel of the beautiful patty, topped with a generous spread of the buah keluak paste. Watch out the subtle kick of chilli at the end that will tingle your taste buds. It sure is a Black Gold Slider.

Check out the Buah Keluak Paste, with Emping

Nyonya Chicken Curry Pie Tie. Pie Tie is one of the Peranakan dishes that everyone loves. Who does not like that crispy cup filled with turnip, dried shrimp, egg and nuts. I definitely do and I always have hips of this dish when available. We know that if regular Nyonya curry is used to fill the pastry, the crispy cup will not be able to hold it and it will become soggy.

Nyonya Chicken Curry Pie Tie.

The version here uses the same spices for making Nyonya chicken curry. However, instead of the lemak version, the recipe is tweaked into the dry version of the curry. It is then loaded into the crispy cup and the result is tapas bite size of Peranakan Nyonya curry. Yummy.

The following three dishes are created by Chef Alex Siah, hail from traditional Peranakan family in Melaka. Fish Otak-Otak, Passion Fruit Mayo and Black Tobiko. The surprise here is that the otah is served chilled as appetizer.  The otah is moist, rich and filled the combination of spices and coconut milk. The passion fruit mayo, achar and black tobiko gave this dish contrasting texture and flavour to balance the creaminess of the otah.

Fish Otak-Otak, Passion Fruit Mayo and Black Tobiko.

Udang Chilli Garam, Spicy Prawn with Balsamic Vinegar and Truffle Oil. The prawn is fresh and crunchy. The spiciness level on this dish definitely on the high side. The balsamic vinegar here assuming the role of assam, while the truffle oil provided the attractive aroma that catches your attention to this dish at the beginning.

Udang Chilli Garam, Spicy Prawn with Balsamic Vinegar and Truffle Oil. 

Bubble & Squeak with Chicken Rendang Bolognese. Inspired by this English dish, Chef Alex created the Peranakan version of this English traditional breakfast dish. The base of this dish is potato and cabbage cake, topped with chicken rendang bolognaise and fried egg. Definitely an interesting dish.

Bubble & Squeak with Chicken Rendang Bolognese.

Bubble & Squeak with Chicken Rendang Bolognese.

For desserts, Chef Shermay Lee created Potong Ice Cream while Chef Alex Siah served up Durian Pengat with Gula Melaka. There are three flavours for the Potong Ice Cream, gula melaka, pandan and coconut. I picked gula melaka potong ice cream. It is served sandwiched between two pieces of wafers and it just brings back the memory of your childhood when you are eating it. Meanwhile the Durian Pengat with Gula Melaka is pungent, creamy, filled with durian flavour. The gula melaka syrup actually enhances the flavour of the durian further.

Durian Pengat with Gula Melaka and Gula Melaka Potong Ice Cream

Durian Pengat with Gula Melaka and Pandan Potong Ice Cream

Overall, it was definitely an enjoyable tasting experience. The dishes by Chef Shermay are homelier with international influence inspired by her version of comfort food. Meanwhile, Chef Alex dishes are edgier and inspired by local dishes from his broad overseas experience. Although the style of these dishes is different, the signature and element of Peranakan Heritage remain strong on all the dishes. Come and Experience Peranakan Buffet at Oscar’s, Conrad Centennial Singapore. Cheers!!

Please note that ever-popular Oscar’s buffet line up are still available.

Peranakan Buffet at Conrad Centennial Singapore
When: August 3 to 31, 2018
Where: Oscar’s
            Conrad Centennial Singapore, Lobby Level
Price:

Meal
Day
Time
Price
Lunch
Monday to Saturday
12pm - 2.30pm
Adult: S$59++
Child: S$29.50++ (6-12 years old)
With free-flow of homemade lemon barley
Dinner
Sunday to Thursday
6pm - 10pm
Adult: S$78++
Child: S$39++ (6-12 years old)
With free-flow of homemade lemon barley
Friday to Saturday
Adult: S$88++
Child: S$44++ (6-12 years old)
With free-flow of homemade lemon barley
Sunday Brunch
 Sunday
12.30pm – 3.30pm
 Adult: S$178++
With free-flow of Champagne, Premium Wine Pairing, Gin Bar, Craft Beers and homemade lemon barley
 Adult: S$128++
With free-flow of Sparkling Wine, Wine Pairing, Gin Bar, Craft Beers and homemade lemon barley
Adult: S$98++
Child: S$49++ (6-12 years old)
With free-flow of Soft Drinks, Tea, Coffee and homemade lemon barley


For Reservation:
Please call +65 6432 7481/63;

Food & Drinks: 8.5/10
Value: 9/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $81 & Above

Oscar's
2 Temasek Boulevard
Lobby Level, Conrad Centennial Singapore
Singapore 038982

T: +65 6432 7481
OH:
Open 24 Hours for A la carte menu
Buffet Breakfast: 06.00 – 10.30
Buffet Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30
Buffet Dinner: 18.00 – 22.00
Supercharged Sunday Brunch: 12.30 – 15.30


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