Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Nalan – Indian Vegetarian Dining [MEDIA INVITE]


Nalan @ Capitol Piazza

Nalan, one of Singapore's leading Indian vegetarian restaurants that showcase authentic vegetarian recipes from North and South India. The team behind Nalan believes in the rejuvenating powers of this healthy lifestyle, where this meatless cuisine made from the freshest and finest ingredients.

Nalan - Part of the dining area

We started the dinner with Cream of Mushroom (S$7). It looks similar to the regular cream of mushroom soup, however the version here very peppery. It sure warms the throat and heats up your taste buds in anticipation what comes next.

Cream of Mushroom

Daaba Salad ($6). Looks like general Ahcar vegetable mix. However, they really crank up the heat on this salad. Further CSI-ing, I found chopped Bird's eye chilli inside. I actually gulp down a significant amount of my mango lassi ($5) to put out the fire. For those who likes fiery dishes, this is the one for you.

Daaba Salad

From Left: Mango Lassi, Badam Milk and Butter Milk.

Tandoori Platter ($25). Paneer Tikka, Vegetable Sheek Kebab, Hara Bara Kebab, Tandoori Cauliflower and Tandoori Mushrooms. Our version of the platter tonight. Interesting and my personal pick is the Paneer Tikka. The blocks of the cottage cheese are thick, creamy with a slight smokey flavour.

Tandoori Platter

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Five Marbles – Craft Beer and Crafted Food [MEDIA INVITE]


Five Marbles

Five Marbles, a new restaurant set up with the idea of building a community of people who love great food and great beers. At any day, there are 12 craft beers on tap sourced from this little red dot, Japan, Australia, USA, UK and New Zealand. The craft beer list will be refresh from time to time, to allow the customer to savour the exciting offerings.

The Craft Beer Menu

Following the theme of the restaurant, the food here is also infused with their craft beers. Don't worry, you won't get drunk from the food, but you can definitely get high from the beers.

Beer Price

We started with Craft Beer Mushroom Soup ($9). Made with four type of mushrooms: shiitake, portobello, white button and oyster. The brownish dark colour soup is robust, creamy and filled with complex mushrooms flavour. Watch out for the hint of beer flavour at the end of each slurp of the soup.

Craft Beer Mushroom Soup

Portobello Chicken Cheese Baked Beer Rice ($16). A flavourful mushroom and chicken rice, topped with cheddar cheese. It is then oven-baked, to melt the cheese and create a crisp texture of the cheese. The rice is al-dente, and you can taste the chicken and mushroom in each bite. A solid baked rice dish.

Portobello Chicken Cheese Baked Beer Rice 
Portobello Chicken Cheese Baked Beer Rice 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Outback Steakhouse – New Menu 2017 [MEDIA INVITE]

Outback Steakhouse @Orchard Gateway

In August 2017, Outback Steakhouse Singapore launched a new menu that featured the 22 fresh and bold flavours that you will surely love, in addition to the perennial favourites.

Our last visit to Outback Steakhouse was at their Millenia Walk outlet. The full review is available here.

The View from the restaurant

Accroding to the tradition in Outback Steakhouse, Honey Wheat Bushman Bread is served at the start of the meal It has a crisp crust, a touch of sweetness with a hint of cocoa. Served with their signature mix of their butter, that will definitely wake up your appetite.

Honey Wheat Bushman Bread

Appetizer Platter ($19.90) - A combination of Kookaburra Wings, Lemon Butter Calamari and Crispy Volcano Shirmps. We asked for the mild vision of Kookaburra wings. The secret spices is on the strong side, salty and need to be balanced with the blue cheese dressing.

Appetizer Platter

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Wicked Garlic – Wickedly Good Pizza Pasta and Risotto [MEDIA INVITE]


The Wicked Garlic @ Cineleisure

The Wicked Garlic ('Wicked') is a home-grown Italian inspired restaurant who recently opened their third outlet in Orchard Cathay Cineleisure. So far, its existence has been under the radar but their regulars customer has been growing steadily in their International Plaza and Clifford Center outlets.

Wicked made their name by serving three main items: Wicked Pizza, Wicked Pasta and Wicked Risotto. Their signature ingredients are their king prawns, which they used in the more than half of the dishes on their menu.

Granchio E Pepe / Crab Meat Pizza

Salmone Affumicato ($19) is their signature Wicked Pizza. Thin crispy homemade pizza dough, topped with homemade tomato sauce, eight smoked salmon slices rolled, mozzarella cheese and dill. Unlike regular smoked salmon pizza that skimps off the ingredients, the size of the rolled smoked salmon will make you drool. It combines the saltiness from the smoked salmon with the creaminess of the cheese, definitely a must try pizza here.

Salmone Affumicato

For the carnivore, Meat Lovers Pizza ($21) is something that you can look forward to. Slices of Spicy Italian Sausages, Bacon, Minced Beef topped with Mozzarella Cheese. The overflowing topping will definitely deliver a meatgasm experience you are looking for.

Meat Lovers Pizza

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Bird – Authentic Southern Cuisine in Marina Bay Sands [MEDIA INVITE]

The Bird Southern Table and Bar

The first international location for James Beard nominated and award-winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami, Florida open its door in Marina Bay Sands ('MBS') Singapore. The collaboration between MBS and 50 Eggs, showcasing Southern hospitality and farm fresh ingredients.

Part of the dining area

The Bird Private Dining Room
Image Credit: The Bird Southern Table and Bar

Founder / CEO of 50 Eggs, John Kunkel is a renowned restaurateur that operates many popular restaurants in US feels that Singapore is an incredibly exciting destination and honoured to showcase his family recipes at The Bird Southern Table & Bar ('The Bird').

Seating at the Bay Level (Level 1)

The signature dish for The Bird is the famous 100 -year-old recipe Lewellyn's Fine Fried Chicken. The all natural chicken is brined for 27 hours, dredged in secret spices and flour before fried to perfection. The exterior is crisp, while the meat is juicy, succulent and fall of the bones. Not to sound degrading, but imagine a fine dining version of the Original recipe of Kentucky Fried Chicken. You can splash some honey hot sauce with the chicken, but I like mine without the sauce.

Chicken 'N' Watermelon 'N' Waffles

Friday, 8 September 2017

Hanoi - 4 Days 3 Night Adventure (Part 2)


Day 3. Ha Long Bay Trip

Ha Long Bay

Halong Bay is another must visit place if you are near Hanoi. A bay with more than 3,000 islands and inslet, which time, wind and waves have sculpted into fantastic shapes. This scenery is best to be enjoy by cruising through the bay with boat.

Our Cruise Boat

It is located 3 hours away from Hanoi by bus. We took the tour bus and the bumpy road along the way sure give our butt some unexpected massage. Along the way, you can see rice paddy field, one of the main produce that Vietnam is well known for.

Rice Paddy Field on the way to Ha Long Bay

Once we reach the cruise centre, you can see the outstanding scenery of Ha Long Bay. Seafood Lunch is served once we step on the boat and the cruise begin about 20 minutes after. We were fortunate the weather is sunny, though it was a bit hot. The view of the bay is pretty awesome.

Small Boat at the 1st stop to visit the grotto

Journey to visit the 1st grotto

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Provisions – Skewers & Claypot Rice Cocktail Bar [MEDIA INVITE]

Provisions

Drawing inspirations from the founders' childhood, Singapore's first skewers & claypot rice cocktail bar called itself Provisions. Executive Chef / Co-Owner Justin Foo is in charge of the cuisine which revolves around the comfort food that he enjoyed; while Head Bartender / Co-Owner KC Rahmat curated the bespoke cocktails and mocktails.


The Outdoor Seating

Provisions is set in a charming industrial-chic space of metal and wooden fixtures that brought back the nostalgic feel of the yesteryears. The experience is enhanced further with the availability of the old school snacks and toys for the patrons to enjoy while waiting for the food to come.

Part of Indoor Seating
The Snacks from the past

It is best to describe the food here as small bites/tapas. While you can definitely savour it individually, it just seems to taste better when you share it with someone else.

The Bar

Pig Ear Fritters ($12). Deep fried sliced pig ears marinated with five spice, chilli and pepper. Can easily be mistaken for fried calamari, but the difference will be obvious when you bite into it. It has a crispy exterior followed with crunchy and gelatinous texture internally. The flavouring almost similar to the Taiwan jumbo fried chicken and it is a good nibble to go with any drinks.

Pig Ear Fritters

KFC ($10), Korean Fried Cauliflower. Something for the herbivore. The deep fried Cauliflower almost like the stack of Korean Fried Chicken. It is then tossed with sweet sauce together with dried chilli and spring onion. A pleasant combination of sweet and spice in this dish.

KFC - Korean Fried Cauliflower

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Cha Thai – Version 3.0 [MEDIA INVITE]

Cha Thai

Cha Thai recently celebrated their 2nd Birthday. To be able to survive and thrive in Singapore CBD for more than 2 years definitely no simple feat. Cha Thai simply prove that Singapore market can appreciate Quality Thai Food served here.

Gearing towards the 3rd year, Owner and Executive Chef Leah Sirijindapan has been active in creating new cuisine, while retaining the old time favourites. You can check out our first review of Cha Thai here.

Signature Tiger Prawn “Panang” Curry ($28). One of the signature dishes at Cha Thai. The tiger prawns cooked in rich creamy curry and lychee. A touch of saffron adds the extra OOMPH to this dish. Previously, the prawns are cooked to about 85% so you can taste the “Uni” like mushiness in the prawns. Unfortunately, Cha Thai customers still unable to accept this so Chef Leah relented and cooked the prawn to 100%.

Signature Tiger Prawn “Panang” Curry

For those who like their prawns to have the texture like the BBQ river prawns in Thailand, you might want to let the service staff know you want “the original” version when you order, as we will definitely order the original version on our next trip there.

Part of the starters Creamy Crab Roll ($15) & Crispy Prawn Cake ($15). The crispy crab roll consist of deep fried spring roll sticks served with the crab cream sauce. The sticks are crispy to be eaten with rich, creamy crab cream sauce. Thai version of chips with dips.

Creamy Crab Roll

The crispy prawn cake is made in house at Cha Thai. It's crisp exterior followed by springy juicy succulent chopped prawns internally. It is served with sweet sauce however, it is tasty enough on its own.

Crispy Prawn Cake 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Hanoi - 4 Days 3 Night Adventure (Part 1)




This is an exciting experience as it is Chubby Botak Koala and Little Devil first visit to Vietnam. We picked Hanoi since it comes highly recommended from our Vietnamese friends. The city itself is more than 1,000 years old, so you can expect a vibrant and charming historical city.

Slik Air travel twice daily to and from Hanoi

Our first trip to Hanoi, we decided to travel with Silk Air @ S$250 per person. For a full-service airlines, the price is pretty good. Silk Air flight 2 times per day to Hanoi. Flight time Singapore to Hanoi is about 3 hours and 25 minutes.


Day 1. Arrival & Dinner.

We reach Hanoi around 6pm. Comparing to the other ASEAN countries, Noi Bai International Airport is very clean and modern , and the process through immigration was also breeze. As we booked our package through travel agent in Hanoi, recommended by a friend, which include Airport pick up and drop off.

You can purchase SIM Card in Noi Bai International Airport. We bought SIM VINA GCS for US$15.00. It has 8GB of data, 80 mins of local call, 80 local SMS, and 50 mins of IDD. The speed is very good and sufficient to cover the data for our stay in Hanoi and for 2 person to share. Please note that there is no special roaming package for Singapore SIM Card here.

Nhat Tan Bridge at night
 Image credit Phillips / ledsmagazine.com

Old Quarters. The heartbeat of the historical city of Hanoi. The area that is alive during day and night, without a doubt one of the best place to stay to have a good feel of the vibrant of Hanoi. Travel time from Noi Bai International Airport is about 30 minutes. We were fortunate to arrive in the evening, as we passed by the beautifully lighted Nhat Tan Bridge. 

Accomodation is L'Heritage Hotel. (39-41 Hang Ga Street, Hoan Kiem District HANOI)
This hotel seems to get one of the highest ratings in the hotel website and located within the vicinity of old quarters. We secure it for US$71 per night for Executive Double Room, with a city view. Nice Hotel with friendly price and it also came with a jacuzzi.

L'Heritage Hotel at Old Quarters Hanoi

Dinner, Cha Ca Thang Long. One of the signature dish in Hanoi and was named one of the dishes that you must eat before you die. Also known as the rite of passage if you ever visit Hanoi. It is a catfish dish, marinated with turmeric and cooked with spring onion and dill. The meat is fatty and flaky, absent of traces of mud due to the turmeric marination. This dish is to be eaten with rice noodle, fresh leaves of mint, basil and coriander, peanut and fish sauce. Absolutely delicious and a must try dish in Hanoi. There are other restaurants that sell this dish, but this one seems to be one of the best in Hanoi plus it is the most reasonably priced.

The Marinated Catfish

Spring Onion & Dill added, cooked on the table

The condiments to eat the dish with

Ready to Eat

Cha Ca Thang Long
19,21,31,2D Duong Thanh
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
T: +844 3 8286007



Thursday, 3 August 2017

Jiakpalang – Zi Char Inspired Modern Singapore Cuisine [MEDIA INVITE]




Jiakpalang is a Hokkien word referring to a person that ate to his fill. Not a Hokkien myself, I just find the restaurant name to be catchy.

Jiakpalang Eating House - Storefront

Jiakpalang Eating House is the latest venture by Executive Chef Nixon Low. A home-grown Singaporean Chef who has cut his teeth in the top fine dining restaurants and elevate the reputation of Portico Group. The first time I saw Chef Nixon Low, I compare him to Chef Robert Irvine from Food Network due to his muscular build.

The buzzing drink counter

Inspired by the local flavours he grew up with and enjoy, Jiakpalang is showcasing Chef Nixon creativity in blending local flavours with modern cooking technique. Known as Modern Singapore cuisine.

Thai Ice Lemon Tea

In the afternoon, Jiakpalang served a one bowl meal like Signature Sesame Soy chicken ($6.90). It is brown rice topped with sous vide chicken breast, with sesame soy dressing and woodear mushrooms. Well to make it more 'atas' there is fresh pomegranate, an onsen egg and steamed vegetables, to sum it up deliciously healthy version of Singapore “Chap Chye Peng” mixed vegtable rice. It is definitely value for money and no wonder the office crowd flocking Jiakpalang during their lunch hour.

Signature Sesame Soy chicken

From 1st week of August, Jiakpalang has commenced their dinner service. We sampled the Appetizers of Silken Tofu, Century Egg Sauce, Tobiko ($7) and Sour Plum Vine Tomatoes, Seaweed (v)($7). The chilled silken tofu is smooth and creamy, topped with creamy finely chopped century egg sauce. Tobiko adds crunchy popping texture with salty flavour to this dish. The chopped pickled ginger balance this dish nicely and remove any jelakness that you can have with the century egg.

Silken Tofu, Century Egg Sauce, Tobiko

Sour Plum Vine Tomatoes are marinated for 24 hours with tomatoes, sour plum, sugar, salt and pepper. This marination seems to intensify the flavour of the tomato. Since the dish is served chilled with seaweed salad and roasted sesame sauce, it tasted tangy and refreshing at the same time. A good dish that wakes up your appetite in anticipation of what comes next.

Sour Plum Vine Tomatoes, Seaweed