Saturday 30 July 2022

Cherry & Oak – A Smoking Good Meal

Cherry & Oak (‘CNO’) is an Asian smokehouse, that combines the art of slow-cooking with traditional local dish Nasi Lemak Bakar. The name of the restaurant is derived from the wood logs used to smoke all the food served here. Cherry wood is known for its flavour and colour, while oak wood maintains the temperature of the smoker.

Cherry & Oak
I met up with YP for our regular catch-up. However, LD is not feeling well, so she can’t join us.

Smoked Satay Madura Chicken 
We started the meal with Smoked Satay Madura Chicken ($18), thick chicken cubes marinated with Madura spices and served with peanut sauce. The chicken cubes are succulent, well marinated and filled with a nice smoky aroma. The satay is already good on its own, however, the nutty and sweet peanut sauce, just brings it to another level. How I wish they give us more of the peanut sauce.

Smoked Satay Madura Chicken
Smoked Satay Madura Chicken
Rainbow Sausage ($16) comes with the complimentary Nasi Lemak Bakar. The sausages are original, spinach, beetroot and curry. I am usually a bit apprehensive when ordering sausages because they can be very salty. However, I am glad CNO proves me wrong.

Rainbow Sausages
These handmade chicken sausages are well smoked, juicy and bursting with flavour. The saltiness level is very subtle, allowing the flavours from the marinade to shine. I was surprised by the clean taste of the beetroot and spinach sausages. A must order here.

I can’t remember when was the last time I tried Nasi Lemak Bakar. The version at CNO is as good as it comes. The combination of coconut milk and smoky aroma just whet your appetite. The Nasi Lemak Bakar is served with fried ikan bilis and peanuts plus the sambal. It is also nice with the peanut sauce from the satay Madura.

Nasi Lemak Bakar 
Brisket 200g ($23) comes with the complimentary Nasi Lemak Bakar. The smoked brisket is the main reason why YP and I choose this place. CNO uses pure-bred Black Angus, MBS 3 -4 from Australia. The brisket is soft, juicy and delivers a melt-in-your-mouth sensation. It has a rich beefy flavour and is filled with a beautiful smoky aroma. The best part is it just goes well with the Nasi Lemak Bakar. Yummy.

Since CNO is a Muslim-owned establishment, no alcohol is served here. Instead, you can enjoy the mocktails. At that time there was 1 for 1 promotion. I ordered Cassanova ($18) and YP ordered Paloma. Both the mocktails have complex and multi-layer of flavours. A treat to your five senses.

The design of the restaurant is based on industrial concept. The cherry wood, oak wood and even the mini smoker are displayed as part of the décor. Some of the seating areas are separated using tall plants, that add nice greenery to the restaurant. The piano tunes playing in the background created a relaxing ambience and a nice environment to catch up with friends. I prefer the indoor seating, however, for those who like the outdoor, there is an al-fresco area available.

Part of The Dining Area
The service is friendly and attentive. Although we order through QR code, the service staff also check with us again to ensure the order is correct. During the meal, they also drop by a few times to ensure the food is ok and if we need anything else. Do take note that reservation is recommended and you will have to put your card as a guarantee for your reservation.

Part of The Dining Area
Overall, we had a great time dining at Cherry & Oak. The food is great and so does the service. The smoked Brisket, Nasi Lemak Bakar and Rainbow Sausages are a must-order here. We’ll surely make a return visit to try the rest of the dishes. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8.25/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

Cherry & Oak
95 Owen Road
Singapore 218907

T: +65 9119 4074
Tue – Sun: 11.00 – 22.00
Closed on Monday
Menu is Available Online

Monday 25 July 2022

The Gong Great World – Great Food, Great Wine & Good Time [MEDIA INVITE]

We visited The Gong by Drinks & Co at their latest outlet in Great World. Following the success of their outlet at DUO Galleria, it fuels their expansion on their 4th outlet at Great World. Known for its wide selection of wine, great food and good services, The Gong is the place to go for a good time.

The Gong By Drinks & Co @Great World
The Alcohol Shelves & Part of the Dining Area
Welcoming you at The Gong @Great World is the familiar shelves filled with a wide selection of wines and other alcohols. There are two dining areas, indoor and al-fresco. According to Amanda, the lady boss, The Gong @Great World is the only restaurant in Great World to have al-fresco seating.

The Alcohol Shelves
Part of The Dining Area & The Bar
Al-Fresco Seating Area
We start the tasting with Sour Dough Bread (3pcs, $5 Member / $6 Regular), served with kombu butter and olive oil with balsamic vinegar. The sourdough is served warm, thus enhancing the crispy crust and soft interior. While the olive oil with balsamic vinegar provided the Italian traditional dip, the homemade Kombu butter really stands out. It tasted creamy and pungent, tasted almost like soft blue cheese.

Sour Dough Bread
Sourdough with Kombu Butter
Tuna Tartare ($18M / $20R). Sitting on the slice of sourdough bread, the chopped raw tuna is mixed with ponzu, avocado cream and topped with a generous scoop of caviar. It was an explosion of flavour in my mouth. A beautiful appetizer.

Tuna Tartare
The Gong Salt & Pepper Squid ($18M / $20R). It might look like your regular salt and pepper squid, but it’s not. It has a crispy exterior, followed by springy and bouncy flesh. The surprise comes from the chili padi. Yes, this fried seafood packs heat. So, watch out for those mini seeds.

The Gong Salt & Pepper Squid
The Gong Salt & Pepper Squid
Chilean Black Cod ($35M / $37R). A fat and buttery cod fish served with Asian-inspired risotto, edamame, kale and seaweed. Without a doubt, the Melt in Your Mouth texture of the cod fish is just awesome. A must-order dish here, LD and I agreed that we will return for this dish.

Chilean Black Cod
Pizza Mushroom ($20M / $22R). This is the upgraded version compared to the one we tried at the Duo Galleria outlet. The homemade dough is light and crispy, while the toppings of white button mushrooms and truffle paste are generous. If we want to be picky, we were hoping for the egg to be runny instead of well cooked.

Pizza Mushroom
Pizza Mushroom
Mixed Grill Meat Platter ($48 for 2, $90 for 4 Member; $52 for 2/ $95 for 4 Regular). We were served the 4pax portion. Consist of Argentinian ribeye, lamb rack, gochujang pork ribs, Bali pork ribs, chicken satay, fennel sausage, grilled cabbage and roasted garlic. On the side are chimichurri sauce, olive and meat sauce.

Mixed Grill Meat Platter
Mixed Grill Meat Platter
The chicken satay is thick, juicy and well marinated. While the fennel sausage is firm, nicely seasoned, not salty and a bit spicy. I was taken back by the Argentinian ribeye. Usually, the beefy flavour is very strong, however, there was almost no beefy flavour. Cooked to the point of medium-rare it can easily be mistaken for Australian or New Zealand grain-fed beef.

Chicken Satay
Fennel Sausage
Ribeye - Medium Rare
The mini tomahawk lamb rack is just awesome. Juicy, succulent with minimum lamby taste. The pork ribs come in two versions gochujang and Bali style. The gochujang is a bit spicy and familiar Korean flavour in it, while the Bali style has a nice sweet aroma. Both are equally good. However, I prefer the Bali style, while LD prefer the gochujang.

Lamb Rack
Bali Style Pork Ribs
Bali Style Pork Ribs
Gochujang Pork Ribs
While the platter is meat-centric, we find the grilled cabbage is a star on its own. Filled with a nice charred and smoky aroma, the grilling also extracts the sweetness from the cabbage. Combining all the flavours, you get an awesome vegetable. I think The Gong should serve the grilled cabbage as a dish on its own. Yummy!

Grilled Cabbage
Of course, dining at The Gong will not be complete without the drinks. For the wine, LD and the rest tried Little Giant Pinot Noir 2021 and proceed with Little Giant Barossa Shiraz 2020 when the Mixed Grill Platter is served. For the non-alcoholic mocktails, I tried the Mango Virgin Margarita, while Kris tried the Lychee Virgin Mojito.

Little Giant Pinot Noir 2021 
Mango Virgin Margarita
Lychee Virgin Mojito
For desserts, we shared the Gong High Tea Set ($45++) for 2 pax. It comes with 4 savoury bites, 4 sweets and served with 2 cups/glasses of coffee, tea or prosecco. The pan-seared foie gras, tiramisu and burnt cheesecake are not to be missed.

The Gong's High Tea Menu
4 Savoury Bites
4 Sweets
Lily Tea and Tea Sets
Overall, it was a great experience dining at The Gong @Great World. We were surprised to see Chef Wan helming the kitchen there and he has up his game. The food is delicious and we recommend the Tuna Tartare, Chilean Black Cod and the Mixed Grill Meat Platter. Not forgetting their reasonably and wide selection of wines. Cheers!!

Thank you very much Kris for the invite and Amanda plus The Gong @Great World team for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

The Gong By Drinks & Co.
@Great World
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#01-128 Great World
Singapore 237994

T: +65 9619 4568
Sun – Tue: 11.00 – 22.30
Wed – Thu: 11.00 – 23.00
Fri, Sat, Eve PH: 11.00 – Midnight
Alcohol LO 30 mins before closing.
Food LO 22.30 every night.
Menu and Other Outlets locations are available online.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Hotels Recommendation Marina Bay Area with Fascinating View

Southeast Asia has several countries that offer interesting holiday objects such as Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and others. Singapore has a variety of tourist options that you can visit. No wonder this country is always crowded with foreign tourists from various countries. In this peninsula country, you can go around the city visiting various popular historical places. In addition, you can also enjoy culinary delights in various world-class restaurants spread across various regions in this country. Singapore also offers a wide selection of hotels that are located in the business district and have easy access.

Here are two 5-star hotels located in the Marina Bay Area, if you want to stay here, please refer to the following reviews. 

  1. PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, Singapore

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay is a 5-star hotel that offers comfort and luxury. If you want to stay at a world-class hotel, you can't go wrong choosing this hotel, its facilities and design will spoil you during your stay here. In the guest rooms, there are flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, minibars, and bathroom amenities. In addition, you can also enjoy public facilities at this hotel such as a swimming pool and breakfast. The hotel also provides parking for those of you who bring a vehicle.

This hotel has easy access and is close to many popular places in Singapore, such as Little India, Orchard Road, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Botanical Gardens, and Orchid Gardens. You can also enjoy delicious seafood at several restaurants, such as Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant, JUMBO Seafood, and Colony, all of these restaurants are adjacent to this hotel.
Image Credit: PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay Singapore
2. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

The Fullerton Hotel is located in the business district of Singapore. This hotel can be the right choice for those of you who are on vacation in this country. You will feel the comfort and the best service that will make your stay unforgettable. The Fullerton hotel was once a former post office, offering stunning views of Singapore and Marina Bay. The hotel provides complete room facilities, such as a Flat Screen TV, AC, minibar, and a bathtub and other toiletries are also available.

The Fullerton Hotel 
Image Credit: The Fullerton Hotel

While in Marina Bay you can visit interesting tours in this place ranging from shopping, museums, restaurants, and various other interesting tours. Here are the activities you can do while in Marina Bay.

  1. Canoe Ride

The first activity you can do is take a boat ride in the Marina Bay Sands area. During this trip, you will be presented with winding roads and views of the city from the river. The boat that you will be riding is made by hand and will be driven by experienced sailors. Spending time traveling around the city by boat is an experience that will leave you feeling memorable.


River Cruise
Image Credit: Marina Bay Sands

   2. Sky Park Observation Deck

If you like beautiful city views, you can try climbing to the top of the Marina Bay Sands area on the 57th floor of the observation deck. On top of this, you can enjoy an amazing view of the city of Singapore. In addition, you also add insight by studying the history of hotel construction and architectural aspects.

Skypark Observation Deck
Image Credit: Marina Bay Sands

  3. Digital Light Canvas

If you want to see an interesting show, you can visit Digital Light Canvas. This venue showcases the multi-sensory combination of technology and digital art at Marina Bay Sands. You will be presented with 4 different kinds of attractions.

Since the scene shown is always changing, you can physically interact with the LED floor to produce special effects. You can also create unique reactions in the form of messages via your mobile device. This place is perfect for those of you who are enthusiastic about shows that showcase the sophistication of technology.

Digital Light Canvas
Image Credit: Marina Bay Sands

That’s all about hotel recommendations in Marina Bay and some activities you can do around. Are you going to Singapore to travel around? Don’t forget to book and prepare your trip with Traveloka!

This Post is brought to you by Annisa Nuraziza

Thursday 21 July 2022

Burgercraft – Artisan Burgers [MEDIA DROP]

Calling all burger lovers, Burgercraft is open for business. Created with handcrafted precision and painstakingly years-long experiment by Chef Bruce (from Meat N’ Chill) and following the success of ‘Prototype Burger 1’, the newest line-up of artisan burgers is here.

Burgercraft's Menu
Image Credit: Burgercraft
The master ingredient of the burger is the 160g flame-grilled patty, made from Japanese A5 Tochigi Wagyu Steak and dry-aged Australian Angus Beef blend. With only 3,500 Tochigi Wagyu cattle certified in Japan to be of top quality each year, this Wagyu beef is definitely the chosen one.

LD and I were fortunate enough to receive the Media Drop from Burgercraft, consisting Good O’ Classic, The Next ‘Big Thing’, For The Carnivores and the Smash Burger (double patties).

Good O’ Classic - Toasted Bun, Secret Wagyu-Angus Patty, Monterey Jack Cheese, Smoked Umami Mayo, Caramelised Onions, Pickles, Chef Bruce's Signature BBQ Sauce (10yrs in the making).

Good O' Classic
A superb all-round classic burger. The brioche burger bun is fluffy, the patties are cooked to the point of medium rare, juicy, chunky and bursting with “MOO MOO” flavours. I like the combination of raw onions and caramelised onions, while the smoked umami mayo and bbq sauce just bind the whole ingredients together.

Good O' Classic - Halved
The Next ‘Big Thing’ - Toasted Bun, Secret Wagyu-Angus Patty, Monterey Jack Cheese, Szechuan Mala Mayo, Raw Onions.

The Next 'Big Thing'
This innocent-looking burger sure packs the spicy punch. When I bit into it, I feel there is a spicy and lips numbing sensation after chewing on the patty. While I think it is spicy, those that extra spicy mala Xiang Guo will find the spiciness level on the ordinary side. Maybe Burgercraft can have different levels of mala spiciness for the mala lovers to choose from. Not my kind of burger.

The Next 'Big Thing' - Halved
For The Carnivores - Toasted Bun, Secret Wagyu-Angus Patty, Thick-Cut Bacon, Monterey Jack Cheese, Smoked Umami Mayo, Pickled Onion Jam, Steakhouse Seasoning.

For The Carnivores
My kind of burger. Two slices of juicy thick cut bacon stacked on top of the Burgercraft patty, it feels like a carnivore party with each bite. The smoked umami mayo enhanced the flavour of the patties, while the pickled onion jam adds a touch of sweetness and tanginess to reduce the “jelakness” in this burger. Yummy!!

For The Carnivores - Halved
Smash Burger (Double Patties) - Toasted Bun, Secret Wagyu-Angus Patty, American Cheddar Cheese, Iceberg Lettuce, Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise.

Smashed Burger (Double Patties)
LD’s kind of burger! When we bite into this burger for the first time, the memories of McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder just popped up. The combination of ketchup, mustard and cheddar cheese on grilled patties tasted very nostalgic. Of course, the patties from Burgercraft are at a different level altogether. Thick, juicy and packs with delicious natural beef flavour, without the overgenerous seasoning. It is a burger in its purest form and it is just awesome. Two Thumbs Up!!

Smashed Burger (Double Patties) - Halved
Each order of Burgercraft’s burger comes with 2 sides. You can choose from Straight-Cut Fries, Mash Potatoes, Cornbread and Coleslaw. Our favourites are Mash Potatoes and Cornbread.

For The Carnivores with Corn Bread and Mashed Potatoes
Smashed Burger with Coleslaw and Fries
Burgercraft’s burgers are available only via delivery and takeaway. Rest assured, the folks at Burgercraft have mastered the delivery method. Except for Smash Burger, the burger bun and patty are packed separately. When you want to eat your burger, you can take out the patty from the aluminium foil wrap and place it between the buns. For all the burgers that we received, the patties are still warm and the doneness between medium-rare to medium point.

The Patty & The Bun - Separately Packed
Overall, it was a real treat chowing down the 4 different types of burgers from Burgercraft. Each has its characteristics and is delicious as well. My pick is For The Carnivore and the Smash Burger. If you are a burger lover, you must check out Burgercraft. Cheers!!

Thank you very much Protegie Consultancy and Burgercraft Team for the yummy burgers.

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Drop)
Ambiance: N/A (Media Drop)
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50

805 Bukit Timah Road
#01-04, 6th Avenue Centre
Singapore 279883

T: +65 8812 4455
Tue – Sun: 11.30 – 14.30; 17.00 – 21.00
Closed On Monday
Available via Delivery & Takeaway Only

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