Sunday, 21 October 2018

T.K. Kitchen – Unique Peppery Chicken Hot Pot [MEDIA INVITE]

Chicken Hot Pot / White Pepper Kampung Chicken Soup 

T.K. Kitchen is a well-known Zi Char (Tze Char) at Teban Gardens neighbourhood known for its seafood dishes. Following its success, they have opened up a new outlet at Clementi West focusing on a couple of new signature dishes.

T.K. Kitchen @Rong Fa Coffee Shop

Zi Char always provide Singapore neighbourhood with delicious food cooked a la minute at a reasonable price. From time to time, some of the Zi Char stalls will create its own signature dishes that stand out among the rest. T.K. Kitchen (“TK”) is one of them and at their new outlet, TK is introducing their Chicken Hot Pot / White Pepper Kampung Chicken Soup ($12 for ¼ chicken/ $22 for ½ chicken / $40 for whole chicken).

Chicken Hot Pot / White Pepper Kampung Chicken Soup  with Vegetable Set

This chicken hot pot used kampong chicken as their soup base, boiled over a long period with white pepper and red dates. Sliced pig stomach is added at the later stage. The result is a robust, sweet and peppery kampong chicken and pig stomach soup. The flesh of the chicken is succulent yet springy, and the yellow colour of the skin is just so appetizing. When you have it at the start, it will just warm up your stomach and wake up your appetite along the way. (In the picture is the $22, ½ chicken portion)

Chicken Hot Pot / White Pepper Kampung Chicken Soup 

The reason it is called a hot pot because you can add ingredients to it. First order, you will get a vegetable set with your order. You can also top up other ingredients such as the chicken ($10 for ¼ or $16 for ½); Fish or Abalone ($7.80 per plate); Seafood such as prawn, lala and sotong ($5.80 per plate); Meat – pig stomach, pork, chicken, pork ball or fishball ($3.80 per plate); or Vegetables ($1.80 per plate). Of course, topping up their superb broth is FOC.

The Pig Stomaach

Together with the Chicken Hot Pot, you can enjoy other cooked dishes such as Assam Prawns ($15 for small). The prawns are crunchy and well coated with the spicy and sour flavour from the assam. The portion is decent and the sauce definitely goes well with a bowl of white rice.

Assam Prawns

Cai Pu Beancurd ($8 for small). The smooth, silky egg tofu is homemade topped with fried Chai Po that is deep fried and tossed with sugar. It will definitely be a popular dish with the kids.

Cai Pu Beancurd

Thousand Island Sliced Fish ($10 for small). Deep fried snakehead mural fish slices, coated with thousand island sauce. A creative dish that incorporates the Thousand Island salad dressing, where most places usually like to use mayonnaise. I like the crispy texture to the fish, however, I am not so sure about the thousand island sauce.

Thousand Island Sliced Fish

Sambal Kang Kong & Sweet Potato Leaves ($6 for small). An interesting combination of two type of vegetables. The sambal is solid and fragrant, however some folks on our table feels TK can turn up the heat more in the sambal.

Sambal Kang Kong & Sweet Potato Leaves

Our finale dishes are Salted Egg Crab and White Pepper Crab ($40 per crab). TK uses Sri-Lankan crab that is about 600gram in weight. The price is fixed at $40 per crab, irrelevant to the market price. The salted egg version that we tried is the deep-fried version. It reminds me of the typhoon crab, the HongKong style. The flour that coated the crab did well to soak up salted egg flavour, however, due to the dual cooking process, you can feel the crab is overcooked.

Salted Egg Crab

We definitely love the white pepper crab. At the first bite, you can taste the juicy and natural freshness in the flesh, followed with slight spicy, warm flavour from the white pepper. It just tickles your palate, enticing you to keep going for the next piece of crab. Definitely worth the try. Yum Yum

White Pepper Crab 

T.K. Kitchen is located at Rong Fa Coffee Shop at Clementi West. There will be plenty of seats for dinner as they are the only stalls operating at the coffee shop together with the drink stall in the evening. 

Overall, the Chicken Hot Pot is definitely something worth trying. Not only it nourishes you, the taste itself is also very good. For seafood, we recommend the white pepper crab. I am sure there are other yummy dishes that are not shown here, but we only have so much space in our stomach. So, if you are in the West or Clementi area, give T.K. Kitchen a try. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Darren and T.K. Kitchen for the tasting invitation.

Food & Drink: 7/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: N/A - Coffee Shop
Budget per Person: $11 - $25

T.K. Kitchen @Rong Fa Coffee Shop
710 Clementi West Street 2
#01-247 Rong Fa Coffee Shop
 Singapore 120710

T: +65 9885 5066
IG: @T.k_kitchen
OH: Daily 11.00 – 14.00; 17.00 – 23.00

Other Branch
Blk 37 Teban Garden
#01-302/303
Singapore 600037

T:+65 8330 7554
OH: 12.00 – 22.00


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

AquaMarine – Peranakan Delights [MEDIA INVITE]

Stir-fried Marron with Tamarind

This October, AquaMarine’s halal-certified buffet will showcase the hearty Peranakan fare. One of the local cuisines that are close to the heart of many Singaporeans. I always find interesting to see Peranakan Chefs introduced Peranakan flavours into International cuisine.

Nyonya Ayam Merah Shawarma Station

Nyonya Ayam Merah (Nyonya Spiced Chicken Shawarma with Lotus Bun). The boneless chicken is marinated with candlenut, torch ginger, kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass. Cooked in Shawarma (doner kebab) style, you can taste the charred yet succulent flavour in the meat.  Served in the soft lotus bun with condiments and sauces, it can lay claim to Nyonya Ayam Merah Burger.

Nyonya Spiced Chicken Shawarma with Lotus Bun

At “SIGNATURE” station, Salmon Fillet coated with Otah-Otah Mousse. In short, I call it Salmon Otah. As the salmon fillet is coated with otah-otah, the spices from the otah naturally transfer and penetrate into the salmon. It is a creative way to cook the salmon, but there is a risk of overcooking the salmon. Served with pineapple salsa, it helps to balance the fattiness from the salmon.

Salmon Fillet coated with Otah-Otah Mousse

Salmon Fillet coated with Otah-Otah Mousse.

Stir-fried Marron with Tamarind. This signature Peranakan caramelised tamarind sauce cooked with marron. I like the intensity of the sauce, where the twang from the assam really hits your palate. The Marron is only available in the evening, while in the afternoon the replacement is Stir-fried Tiger Prawns with Tamarind.

Stir-fried Marron with Tamarind

Stir-fried Tiger Prawns with Tamarind

Ayam Buah Keluak. The most famous of Peranakan dishes. The chicken is juicy, succulent and absorbs the spices and flavours of buah keluak. The gravy is rich and thick, making it a perfect companion to eat with white rice or Nasi Ulam. The Nasi Ulam here uses basmati rice to mix with the herbs, so it is light and fragrant.

Ayam Buah Keluak. 
Ayam Buah Keluak



Nasi Ulam

Nyonya Braised Duck with Tamarind and Coriander. They are perfectly braised. The flesh just falls off the bone, while the essence of the duck flows into the gravy making it rich and irresistible. Definitely a “Rice Thief” dish and goes well with the Nasi Ulam.

Nyonya Braised Duck with Tamarind and Coriander

Nyonya Braised Duck with Tamarind and Coriander

Nyonya Lam Mee and Itek Tim Soup are available if you are looking for some soupy stuff. Nyonya Lam Mee is also known as Nyonya’s birthday noodle. It reminds me of Loh Mee, the Malaysian version with thick egg gravy.

Nyonya Lam Mee

Peranakan Kuehs. To end the meal, Peranakan kuehs are available in desserts section. They line up includes: Ang Ku Kueh, Kueh Kosui, Kueh Dadar, Kueh Salat, Lemper Udang and many more.

Peranakan Kuehs

Peranakan Kuehs

I personally like their non-peranakan desserts this round, in particular, their Durian cake and Chocolate pudding.

Durian Cake

Chocolate Pudding

Although the theme of the buffet is Peranakan, you can still enjoy their International Buffet spread. Keep some space in the tummy for their chilled seafood, Japanese sections, Indian sections, Salad Bar and desserts.

AquaMarine – Peranakan Delights
When: 1 to 31 October 2018.
Where: AquaMarine at Marina Mandarin Singapore
Time:
Lunch Mon – Fri: 12.00 – 14.30.
Lunch Sat, Sun and PH: 12.00 – 15.00.
Dinner Daily: 18.30 – 22.00.

Price:
Lunch Mon – Sun: $60++ per Adult, $30++ per Child
Dinner Sun – Thu: $72++ per Adult, $36++ per Child
Price: $72++ per Adult, $36++ per Child
For enquiries and reservations, visit www.meritushotels.com/marina, call (65) 6845 1111 or email: aquamarine.marina@meritushotels.com.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80, $81 & Above

AquaMarine
6 Raffles Boulevard
Level 4, Marina Mandarin Hotel
Singapore 039594

T: +65 6845 1111
IG: @marinamandarinsg
OH:
Breakfast: Daily 06.30 – 10.30
Lunch: Mon to Fri, 12.00 – 14.30
Lunch: Sat, Sun & PH, 12.00 – 15.00
Dinner: Daily 18.30 – 22.00


Saturday, 6 October 2018

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach - Premier Room



JW Marriott Singapore South Beach - Premier Room

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach ★★★★ (5 Stars Hotel)
30 Beach Road
Singapore 189763

T: +65 6818 1888
IG: @Jwmarriottsg

Room Type: Studio Room, upgraded to Premier Room, 1 King Bed
Stayed: July 2018
Booking: Marriott Rewards

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach is the luxurious brand under the Marriott umbrella, known to incorporate art and contemporary style in its design. JW Marriott South Beach Singapore commence operation in July 2015 and with 2 years under its belt, you can look forward to a memorable experience here.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach
Image Credit: Booking.com

Location: (10/10)
JW Marriott Singapore South Beach is located in new development South Beach, also known as the heart of Singapore’s art and cultural district. Across the Nicoll Highway is Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre and it is accessible through an overhead bridge.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach - Main Entrance

Central Business District and Marina Bay Sands are just 5 minutes taxi ride. National Gallery Singapore is located less than 10 minutes’ walk, while 4 shopping centres: Suntec City, Millenia Walk, Marina Square and Raffles City are located a stone throw away from the hotel.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach - Water Fountain


Room: Overall (9/10)
Cleanliness (8/10). Space (10/10). Room Amenities (9/10). Ambience (8/10)

Premier Room, East Wing - King Size Bed

We decided to use up our Marriott Rewards Points to book the Studio Room, due to the high occupancy during the weekend, we got upgraded to Premier Room however it was on a 3rd floor in the East Wing, the same section as the SPA.

SPA by JW

From our room, we can directly see the busy junction of Nicoll Highway and Raffles Boulevard, Suntec Convention Centre and One Raffles Link building. There is a portrait of a dancer behind the bed as a centrepiece of the art in the room.

The View from the room

The room is spacious, enough to fit King Size Bed, a huge sofa, working desk, side table and enough space to fit another single bed if needed. The huge sofa is definitely a plus point, where we can laze around on it and watch the TV instead of lying on the bed. Due to the width of the room, I find that the TV looks a bit small if you are sitting on the bed.

Premier Room, East Wing

Soundproofing in this room is not very good. Located on the 3rd floor, we can actually hear the sounds of the vehicles outside, especially coming from the bus and big truck. As I am very sensitive to sound, I can get distracted in my sleep hearing the truck pass through at night.

The View from the room in the evening

When we first enter the room, we notice that the quilt was stained. Luckily, we found one of the housekeeper cleaning the other room, he helped us change a new quilt.

Wardrobe 


The Bathroom

The bathroom is split into 2 cubicles, one for the toilet and one for the shower. It gives the vibe of modern and luxurious. No bathtub for Premier Room. I was surprised to find remote control in the toilet to manage the functions. Meanwhile, the waterfall shower definitely a plus points here, complimenting the Aromatherapy Associates shower amenities. Shiok!!


Shower

Toilet Cubicle

Remote Control - For the Bidet

The bar in the room is well stock, including Nescafe coffee, TWG tea, snacks, wine and liquors. Sorry folks, no Nespresso or those funky coffee machines.

Coffee and Tea

Mini Bar Stock

Bar Fridge Content


Room Entertainment and WiFi (7/10)

I have a problem connecting to the room WiFi as I used an Android phone. A quick call to service side, I was guided on how to resolve this problem. Alas, the speed of the WiFi is very slow, even the connection to the Youtube was lagging. In the end, I switch back using my data plan.

Premier Room, East Wing
The TV channel offering is good but not extensive. Focused more on Western content including news, sports and movie.


Dining (8.5/10)

Beach Road Kitchen.
This is the main restaurant for the hotel, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Surprisingly, it is located outside the hotel, but within the South Beach complex. We had our dinner there, buffet style. There was a 20% discount for guest staying in the hotel. The spread is very good, we zone in on the seafood and antipasti, which are their speciality.

Buffet Dinner at Beach Road Kitchen

The spread of the cooked food section is limited, but there is ala minute section for grill meat. We ordered grilled whole fish and it was perfectly grilled. The desserts sections are not be missed. You will be spoiled for choices and definitely WOW. Don’t miss out on their homemade ice cream to go with your waffles.

Ala minute gill section

Waffle and Homemade Ice Cream

In-Room Dining – Breakfast
We decided on All American Breakfast and Buttermilk Pancake. The spread is definitely very generous, it can easily fit 3 persons. The pancakes are just humongous. Although the WOW factor is there, the downside of it is the centre area is undercooked. As it is undercooked, we just nibble the sides, which tasted not too bad

In-Room Dining - Breakfast

Blueberry Waffle


Facilities (8.5/10)

Reception
Unlike the traditional design of 5 stars hotels, the space of the reception is very petite. The reception desk and concierge desk located close to each other. The space is very limited and it is prone to congestion during peak check-in and check-out time. The staff definitely got a handle of the situation and manage to limit the waiting time to the minimum and manage the traffic flow. There is an option to download Marriott App to make the check-in process as seamless as possible.

Reception Area

Swimming Pool
We only check out the swimming pool on the East Wing. Size wise is proportionate to the length of the building. Not huge but cosy.

Swimming Pool at East Wing
Image Credit: Booking.com

The View from the East Wing Swimming Pool

Service (10/10)
Overall the service standard in JW Marriott Singapore South Beach is impressive. The friendliness, professionalism and attention to details shine from during the duration of our visit. Reasonable waiting time for check-in and check-out. When you call for assistance, everyone seems to be proficient and know what their stuff. Two Thumbs Up.


Overall: Highly Recommended

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach is definitely an accommodation to consider for a luxurious stay in Singapore or even for a staycation. Room and amenities are very good, while the service and location here are excellent. For 5 accommodation in Singapore, JW Marriott Singapore is highly recommend. 

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