Sunday 31 December 2017

Durian Empire – 100% Ethical Durian Deals in Punggol [MEDIA INVITE]

Premium MSW @ Durian Empire - Punggol

Durian, the King of Fruits, the exotic and mystical fruits that has a special place in the heart of people in South East Asia. It is pungent, polluted the refrigerator like a gas leak, but it just keeps enticing your taste buds.

Durian seasons normally reach its peak in the mid-year and end of the year. The current market favourite in Singapore is the Mao Shan Wang / Musang King (MSW). It is known for the creaminess, perfect balance between bitter and sweetness, plus their seeds are small and flat in most of them.

Durian Empire

However, buying durian can be very challenging. I have been “chopped or conned” a few times when buying durians and personally hate the hard selling tactics. Thankfully, I got to know a couple trusted durian seller recently. One of them is Durian Empire in Punggol Plaza.

Owned and run by a group of younger generation of durian sellers, they focus on service and 100% Ethical Durian Deals. Everyday, they will post the price of their durian on their facebook page. Their current offering includes: Premium MSW, Old tree MSW, Normal MSW, JinFeng, Highland Red Prawn and more depending on the supply.

Zen - One of the boss

Little Devil and I went to Punggol Plaza based on the invitation by Durian Empire. The Premium MSW (priced at $22 per kg on the day) are meaty, creamy and have a good balance between bitter and sweetness. Definitely a #Duriangasm. The plus point also the seeds were very small.

Premium MSW

As it is a “Media Invite” tasting, meaning they will give us the best one to try. However on the same night, we came with a couple of friends and they were sitting far away from us, like our mystery diners. Their feedback to us is that they received the same transparent and friendly service from a different staff member. They do not hard sell you and their durian quality is very good.

Premium MSW

Premium MSW

By coincidence, we also met another friend that stayed near Punggol. He said this was his second time and praise Durian Empire for their service and quality. This is to show that Durian Empire are true to their words on 100% Ethical Deal.

Premium MSW

The Seeds of Premium MSW

For those with kids, the little ones will get free flow of ice cream so the adults can enjoy the durian in peace.

Free Flow of Ice Cream for the young ones

Durian Empire offers Free Delivery service for North East and East Region: Punggol, Sengkang, Bedok, Hougang, Tampines, etc. with a minimum order of 3kg of the same variety. Delivery time is between 6 to 10 PM. Please PM them early on Facebook or the numbers below. When finalising the order, they will PM you the photo of your order for confirmation.

Overall, I was glad to be invited by Durian Empire for the media tasting. Now, I know a Durian Place that I can trust and provide a transparent and wonderful service. Indeed 100% Ethical Deals. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Martin & Zen for hosting us and the delicious Premium MSW.

Durian Empire
168 Punggol Field
B1 Atrium, Punggol Plaza
Singapore 820168

T: +65 9767 1519 / 9138 1876
IG: @DurianEmpire
Sun – Thu: 16.30 – 23.30
Fri & Sat: 16.30 – 00.30
Will close early if durian sold out

Daily Prices are available on Facebook page.
Delivery is available North East and East Region: Punggol, Sengkang, Bedok, Hougang, Tampines, etc.

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ellenborough Market Cafe – Christmas Feast 2017 [MEDIA INVITE]

Ellenborough Market Cafe

Celebrate this year festive seasons with Ellenborough Market Cafe ('EMC'). From 15 to 31 December 2017, EMC will showcase its Christmas offerings with an Asian twist.

Ellenborough Market Cafe - Christmas Feast

Our Christmas Feast begins with Pumpkin Soup with Crabmeat. It is smooth, creamy with a very solid pumpkin flavour. The fresh twist comes from the crab meat with the spring onion, the fresh crab meat give the soup a unique taste, and surprising it goes well together. But I don't think you can find spring onion with pumpkin soup in Europe.

Pumpkin Soup with Crabmeat

Oxtail stew. One of those comforting dish that is perfect for winter Christmas. The oxtail is definitely cooked over a long period, as the meat falls off the bones. It is well braised and the meat absorbs the spices and red wine nicely. Perfect to go with some rice, bread or potatoes.

Oxtail Stew

Sunday 10 December 2017

Element – Christmassey Feasting 2017 [MEDIA INVITE]

Turkey Buah Keluak

Amara Singapore brings in the Christmas cheers and New Year’s festivities with a whole host of dining and party options. For a great feasting, reserve your seats as early as 17 November 2017 and by 1 December 2017, to enjoy 1-for-1 Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Eve and Day buffet spreads at Element restaurant, limited to the first 20 diners, per buffet session, per day.

Cold Cuts

Highlights for the Festive Starters are: Tuna Tataki with Cucumber Ribbons and Puffed Quinoa; cold cuts of: Parma Ham, Salami and Smoked Duck Breast; Cocktail Prawn and Crab Meat in Duo Melon; Marinated Duck Rillette with Red Wine Dried Fruits Chutney and Gherkin Salsa; and Honey Baked Butter Squash with Honey Mustard and Pumpkin Seed.

Honey Baked Butter Squash with Honey Mustard and Pumpkin Seed.

The tuna tataki is light and delightful. Nicely seared to medium rare, you can enjoy duo texture of the slightly cooked part. There is a touch of tanginess in the dressing to remove any fishy flavour in the fish. The best part of the cold cuts is the Parma Ham. One of my favourite cold cuts and nicely paired with the melon from the cocktail prawn and crab.

Tuna Tataki with Cucumber Ribbons and Puffed Quinoa

Cocktail Prawn and Crab are simply tossed in mayonnaise. A simple dish, however, it showcases the freshness of the ingredients.

Cocktail Prawn and Crab Meat in Duo Melon

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Cook & Brew – New Dishes For The Festive Season 2017 [MEDIA INVITE]

Nova Scotia Lobster and Avocado Toast

We are back at Cook & Brew, the Westin Singapore's speciality gastro-bar for the unveiling of new dishes for this festive season by Chef Aaron Foster and his team. Little Devil and I have been to Cook and Brew on a few occasions and we are always impressed by the food served here.

Whipped Buffalo Milk Ricotta Cheese ($15), the perennial favourite in Cook and Brew. The ricotta cheese is creamy and mild. The infusion of truffle honey added sweet and aromatic touch to the cheese. Spread it over the crisp yet chewy grilled bread, making it a good finger food. Knowing it is going to be plenty of food for the night, I stop myself from having a second helping.

Whipped Buffalo Milk Ricotta Cheese

Barbecue Turkey Meatballs ($16). Turkey Meatballs has been a Cook and Brew menu as far as I can remember. This time around, Chef upsize the meatballs. The barbecue sauce added the sweet and tanginess to the succulent meatballs. For contrasting crispy texture, you can nibble on the chips.

Barbecue Turkey Meatballs

Barbecue Turkey Meatballs

Sunday 3 December 2017

JIN Fine Dining – A Refine Japanese Food [MEDIA INVITE]

JIN Fine Dining

JIN Fine Dining is a Japanese Restaurant located at the Amoy Hotel along Telok Ayer Street. It served a wide selection of quality Japanese cuisine, under the care of Executive Chef Ray Phun, who has more than 16 years experience in Japanese cuisine.

Amoy Hotel Lobby

Interesting Wall in Amoy Hotel Lobby

We commence this dining experience with Sashimi Moriawase ($128). A special sashimi platter curated for this tasting. It has fresh and thick slices of salmon, tuna and amberjack. Special on the platter is the whole sea bream. It is actually one of the most popular sashimi in Jeju island. The flesh of the sea bream has a more crunchy and chewy texture. It is slightly different from the common fish sashimi I have tasted.

Sashimi Moriawase

Monday 27 November 2017

Garang Grill – Singaporean Grill Concept

Garang Grill

Garang Grill is a pop-up concept by the folks from New Ubin Seafood. Offering Singaporean style grill experience. The pop-up store was only supposed to open for 3 months, but the response was so good that they extend for three more months; and finally, they just decided to make it permanent. Last I heard, they are going to open the second branch as well. Well, they must have done something right isn't it?

Garang is a Malay word that means fierce or powerful. So Garang Grill means fierce or powerful grill. Are we expecting some blackened steak like Florentine steak?

From Pop Up to Permanent

Location wise, it is hidden somewhere in Siglap and Bedok. As a car owner, I already find this place difficult to locate, I really have no idea how the people taking the bus or MRT can get there.

We started the dinner with Chilled Angelhair Uni ($16). It used to be on the permanent menu, however, this time around it has been shifted to the special board. Rolled chilled pasta, coated with olive oil, served with Uni and Tobiko. You have to eat the three ingredients at one go so you can get the creamy texture from the Uni, salty popping flavour from the tobiko and al-dente pasta. I personally find it needs a touch of salt or umami, to make this dish Omph!!

Chilled Angelhair Uni

Grilled Portobello ($8) A side dish that you must order. Big in size, juicy, succulent with the lovely mushroom chewiness. It is grilled with smoked sea salt and it is just perfect. Yum Yum.

Grilled Portobello 

USDA Prime Ribeye 500 gram ($90) served with Garang Rice. We asked for medium rare and it is served as per order. The outer part is charred, crisp and dark while the internal part is meaty and succulent. For USDA Prime Ribeye, we found the marbling of the steak is uneven, you don't even get the melt in your mouth feel and some part of the meat is chewier than the other.

USDA Prime Ribeye 500 gram

Friday 24 November 2017

[CLOSED} Sea & Blue – Roast & Sushi at Marina Bay Sands [MEDIA INVITE]

Sea and Blue

Sea & Blue is the latest premium buffet restaurant in Marina Bay Sands, replacing the defunct Todai. Similar to its predecessor, Sea & Blue offers more than 100 food items, which include the freshest seafood, succulent roasts, Western highlights, Japanese fare, local favourites and a large range of mouth-watering Korean dishes and desserts.

Part of the seating area

From the main entrance, the dining area at Sea & Blue looks spacious. Their seating are well spread around the restaurant, including different sizes private room to cater to different group size.

As it is too much to go through each dishes, let Chubby Botak Koala take you through some dishes that worth your stomach spaces. Check out the video below for more details.

Seafood. The line up includes oysters, scallops, prawns, snowcrab legs and sashimi selections. The oyster is fresh and shucked on the spot and upon request. The prawns are chilled and crunchy, while the scallops are equal to the oysters.

Part Seafood Selections

Part Seafood Selections

Sunday 19 November 2017

Cherry Garden – Unveiling 2017 Delicious New Look [MEDIA INVITE]

Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore

Rejuvenated Cherry Garden recently open its door after it's recent renovations. My last visit to Cherry Garden was early this year, and this new look is just impressive. The new interior features a palette of natural wood stained hues enhanced by daylight streaming through the outdoor garden, lending a bright and welcoming atmosphere.

Part of Main Dining Hall

Part of Private Dining Area

Amuse-bouche was Crispy almond prawns with fresh passion fruit and flying fish roe. The prawn is crispy, crunchy and nicely coated with delicate creamy mayonnaise. The fresh passion fruit gave it a zest that balance the creaminess of the mayonnaise. Most Amuse-bouche can be eaten in a bite, but this prawn is pretty big that it will take you a couple of bites. Well, I do enjoy the bigger portion, as it gives you the shiokness.

Amuse-bouche - Crispy almond prawns
 with fresh passion fruit and flying fish roe

Known for its innovative and refine Dim Sum menu, we had some for entrée. Steamed prawn dumpling with black garlic - 黑金蒜虾饺 ($8); Steamed crystal dumpling with fresh mushrooms and black truffle - 黑松露水晶饺 ($7) and Steamed pork xiao long bao – 金汤小笼包($7).

Steamed pork xiao long bao 
Steamed prawn dumpling with black garlic

Monday 13 November 2017

How to keep clean drains in your kitchen?

Healthy Clean Kitchen
Image Credit:

Leftovers, cooking oil and other debris that go down the drain can clog the pipes and cause a whole host of plumbing problems in your kitchen. A sure way to keep clean drains in your kitchen is to be careful what you put down the drain and get accustomed to a few good practices.

Do not throw everything down the drain

You should avoid throwing everything down the drain when you wash the dishes. You can start by collecting the cooking oil in a disposable recipient instead of letting it go down the drain when you wash your skillet, wok, or other pans. Secondly, you should do the same for coffee grounds.

Sink full of dishes
Image Credit:

While having a garbage disposal helps get rid of unwanted debris, the use of a sink strainer or drain-grate is recommended to cover the opening of the drain and thus reduce the number of leftovers that go down the drain.

When you move into a new house you might want to consider doing a thorough plumbing inspection, make the necessary repairs and even replace your kitchen sink, if needed.

Tips for cleaning clogged drains

A tip on how to clear clogged drains in Singapore is to use home-made cleaning agents. This can be a tablespoon of baking soda, simply cast down the drain and washed with hot water. Baking soda not only cleans but it also absorbs unwanted smells and it can be combined with white wine vinegar for improved efficiency. 

Baking Soda

Strong cleaners like chlorine bleach can be an option for cleaning clogged pipes. You can also use this substance as a preventive measure, once a month, by pouring approximately ten ounces down the drain at night, once you have stopped using the kitchen sink.

Stronger Cleaners

The types of pipes you have in your kitchen will ultimately determine what types of cleaners you can use. For example, PVC or copper pipes are considered more resistant compared to older iron pipes. A plumber in Singapore can help you clear the kitchen sink drainpipes and solve any plumbing problems that might have appeared because of clogged, messy drainpipes.

This post is brought to you by Andreea Paulsen

Thursday 9 November 2017

Thien Kee Steamboat – Traditional Hainanese Steamboat

Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant

Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant ('TK') at Golden Mile is a name that most people in Singapore heard or familiar with. This Hainanese restaurant begins its operation in 1952 and they have been the anchor tenant in the basement of Golden Mile Tower as long as I remember.

The restaurant itself had undergone a facelift. I remember a while back the place is dark and dingy. However, in the recent visit, it has transformed into a clean eatery. The first thing that you will notice when you received their menu is there is no price on the menu. This mystery often lead to “kiasu” perception where if you get chopped here or not?

The Menu - No Printed Price

Hainanese Chicken and Chicken Rice. The signature dish here. The chicken is poached to almost cooked, sometimes you can still see the blood near the bones. It is plump, juicy and succulent, with silky skin. The combination of light soy sauce and oil are drizzled on the chicken for more flavour. A minus point here is that the chicken missing its bishop, my favourite part of the chicken.

Hainanese Chicken

The rice is aromatic and plump. The rice soaks up the essence of the chicken broth plus the ginger and garlic.

Chicken Rice

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