Sunday 27 November 2022

Morsels – Fall Menu 2022 [MEDIA INVITE]

Morsels, a hidden gem located in the lush greenery of Dempsey Hill is owned and operated by Celebrity Chef Petrina Loh. A true-blue Singaporean, she has won tons of accolades and is recognised for her achievements in her culinary journey. The recently awarded 2022 World Gourmet Awards Chef of The Year (Female) is the icing on the cake.

The menu at Morsels is designed with washoku mindset strongly influenced by Japanese cuisine. It is simple yet complicated and thoughtful, put together with sweet, sour, salty, bitter and full of umami flavours in mind. Completing the experience on the plate, each dish is artistically presented.

Welcome to Morsels
Chef Petrina incorporated a lot of Asian elements such as Traditional Chinese Medicine; fermentation with Korean Sauce Maestro for making soya sauce, gochujang and doenjang; not forgetting the Western herbs, some can be found planted around the Morsels. In short, you can expect Asian-inspired tasting dishes with unusual ingredient combinations that will tease your palate and make you gasp and say WOW, Freaking Awesome!!

Table Setting
The theme for Morsels Fall Menu 2022, is to continue to drive food with nourishment given the post-pandemic and the new wave of Covid. The ingredients use spans from spices to build immunity, and Chinese herbs to replenish and low use of white sugar and produce that are high in inflammatory. Be ready for Nourishing yet Bespoke experience.

Kithcen & Part of Dining Area
Our adventure at Morsels begins with Snacks. Seasonal oyster with tamarillo shrub, pear cucumber vinaigrette and pickled cucumber. While most restaurant usually goes with traditional vinaigrette dressing, Morsels incorporate Asian inspired vinaigrette. The result is plump and fresh oysters, accompanied by tangy, yet smooth and refreshing dressing.

Seasonal Oysters
Seasonal Oysters
Negitoro – sea dust, calamansi kaffir vinaigrette and glutinous rice crackers. A lovely chopped maguro mixed with Otoro Miyu (fat), seasoned with citrusy flavour vinaigrette. I like the chewy texture of the chopped maguro and its seasoning. The glutinous rice cracker is crispy, yet I can taste a bit of chewiness in it. The sea dust made from Aonori seaweed, katsuboshi powder and Shijimi togarashi added a mystical umami flavour to the bite.

Truffle Foie Gras Cappuccino. The foie gras cappuccino mixed with black truffle. served with mini duck fat madeleine, poha (crispy flattened rice) dusted with five spice powder. The blend of foie gras and black truffle is smooth and creamy. The pillowy madeleine is a nice touch, while the poha provided a crisp texture to the dish and contrasting flavour to tone down the richness of the foie gras.

Truffle Foie Gras Cappuccino
Truffle Foie Gras Cappuccino
The snacks come with the wine pairing of Champagne Bonnet-Ponson Extra Brut. For the non-drinker like me, I get to try NON wine alternative, salted raspberry and chamomile. It is slightly dry, fruity and tastes like wine, only without the alcohol.

NON wine alternative, salted raspberry and chamomile (Left)
Champagne Bonnet-Ponson Extra Brut (Right)
We proceed with Small Plates. While Snacks are plated in a single bite or individual portions, Small Plates encourages communal dining and sharing between diners.

A touch of Morsels
Hamachi Kombujime - tigernut milk, cilantro kosho, tobiko & kombu oil. At a first glance, this dish reminds me of ceviche, a Peruvian cured fish dish. At Morsels, the hamachi is cured in kombu for 3 days, served in tigernut milk (a superfood with high calcium) topped with tobiko, mizuna leaves & steam and kombu oil.

Hamachi Kombujime 
The sliced hamachi has a firm texture and is covered in a nutty milk like broth, which is a bit sourish and peppery. When you eat the hamachi together with tobiko and rice balls, it delivers a nice popping texture together with an umami flavour.

Hamachi Kombujime 
Burrata - Kuri pumpkin, Kabocha gazpacho, Brazil nut furikake & Thai basil oil. For this dish, Morsels combine sous vide Kuri pumpkin from Spain, known for its nutty flavour, with Kabocha pumpkin gazpacho from Japan, known for its sweeter flavour. Plated on top of the Artigiana burrata are spinach, friseé lettuce and Brazil nut furikake.

An interesting combination of pumpkin and burrata. It is difficult to taste every ingredient on this plate in one go. I started with creamy burrata with sweet pumpkin gazpacho. Then I scoop the burrata with soft pumpkin slices with olive oil. Afterwards, the spinach and friseé are added into the scoop and I can taste the bitter texture of the dish and a crunchy texture. Franky, the overall dish is a bit confusing, yet I just can’t stop scooping. The overall flavours are on the lighter side and I thought a touch of salt will enhance the overall flavours.

Wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawn - daikon kimchi cake, raspberry gochujang sauce, brown butter granola. The prawn is crunchy and cooked to perfection. The tofu look-alike is Morsels interpretation of Chinese carrot cake, and I enjoy sweet and mildly spicy raspberry gochujang sauce.

Wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawn 
Wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawn 
The wine pairing for Small Plates is white Katogi Averoff Inima Negoska 2019.

Katogi Averoff Inima Negoska 2019
Venus Clams - fig chicken broth, cabbage kimchi, pickled wakame. The fresh Venus clams are cooked in nutritious fig chicken broth, cabbage kimchi and pickled wakame. It is served with 2 slices of crispy bread. Totally love the bisque-like broth of this dish, it is just a flavour bomb. You have a sweet, salty, sour and umami plus not forgetting the plump clams. How I wish there is a spongier bread or you tiao just to soak the broth. Yummy!!

Venus Clams
Venus Clams
The broth & bread
Moving to the Carbs; Jeju Live Abalone - fermented sakura ebi sauce, somen, shallot oil. Served chilled, the somen is coated in shallots oil and topped with fermented Sakura ebi packed with umami. While most of the Korean Abalone that I tried before was usually hard, chewy and almost tasteless. However, the abalone in this dish is tender, tasty and with a slightly chewy texture. Yummy!!

Jeju Live Abalone
Jeju Live Abalone
Jeju Live Abalone
The wine pairing for the carb is red Domaine Julien Cote De Nuits – Villages 2019.

Domaine Julien Cote De Nuits – Villages 2019
Next up are the Mains. Patra Ni Machi Sustainable Ling Cod -fermented Puy lentils, umami shallot crunch, pickled baby radish & sambal matah. This dish is inspired by a Parsi dish, Patra ni Machi is a fish dish, spread with a generous amount of green chutney and then wrapped in banana leaf and steam cooked.

Patra Ni Machi Sustainable Ling Cod
Patra Ni Machi Sustainable Ling Cod
The Ling Cod is cooked to perfection, soft and fork tender, while coated with green chutney, aromatic fried shallots, umami sambal matah and coconut milk. It can easily be mistaken for a green curry dish; however, the taste is different. The slightly sourish chewy lentils provided a contrasting texture to the Long Cod, while the pickled baby radish balanced the creamy richness of the coconut milk.

Patra Ni Machi Sustainable Ling Cod
Toriyama Japanese A4 Wagyu Chuck Roll - foxtail millet, sebago jus, brussel sprout kimchi. A delicious nicely cooked Wagyu Chuck Roll which is rich and melts in your mouth. The foxtail millet is cooked till it reaches the gooey point and mixed with goji berries. The root vegetables and Sebago potato jus accompanied this chuck roll and brussel sprout kimchi on the side to balance the richness of the wagyu.

Toriyama Japanese A4 Wagyu Chuck Roll 
Toriyama Japanese A4 Wagyu Chuck Roll
Toriyama Japanese A4 Wagyu Chuck Roll
Chef Petrina is a fan of bitterness; therefore, Morsels sweet ending comes with some bitterness, richness, and spice as well. We end the meal with Mochi - Namelaka chocolate, buckwheat Guinness cream, candied ginger. The dessert plate is served with a ring made of Namelaka chocolate ganache, homemade mochi, candied young ginger and buckwheat crumble. The buckwheat Guinness cream was then poured into the middle of the ring, creating a mini dam. While the chocolate ganache is creamy and packed with cocoa flavour, it was overpowered by the bitterness of the Guinness cream and spicy candied ginger. An interesting flavour, but not my type of dessert.

While the food served at Morsels is of a fine-dining standard, I enjoy the relaxing and comforting atmosphere and décor of Morsels. Instead of those glamourous, formal dining ambiance, Morsels looks like a mini diner in a fishing village in Korea or Japan. The décor of Morsels epitomises the personality of Executive Chef / Owner Petrina Low and its cooking philosophy. No boundaries, inspired by the world, simple yet sophisticated and artistically presented.

The Bar & Part of Dining Area
Part of Dining Area
Overall, it was an eye-opener to dine at Morsels. The depth of flavours in the simple looking-food is amazing. I learned and tasted new ingredients such as tigernut milk, tamarillo shrub and Patra ni Machi inspired dish. Definitely, a must-visit place for an awesome dining experience. Morsels Fall Menu 2022 is available until February 2023. Cheers!!

Morsels Fall Menu 2022
Dinner Menu
Sharing set menu: $128 per pax (2 snacks, 4 smalls, 1 carb, 1 main, 1 dessert)
Omakase: $158 per pax (12 course); 5 glass wine pairing available at $100.

Thank you very much Kristine, Executive Chef / Owner Petrina Low and Morsels Team for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 9/10
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $81 & Above.

25 Dempsey Road
Singapore 249670

T: +65 6266 3822
Lunch, Tue – Sat: 12.00 – 15.00 (Kitchen LO 14.30)
Lunch, Sun: 11.00 – 15.00 (Kitchen LO 14.30)
Dinner, Tue – Thu: 18.00 – 22.00 (Kitchen LO 21.00, Bar Closes at 22.00)
Dinner, Fri – Sat: 18.00 – 22.30 (Kitchen LO 21.15, Bar Closes at 22.15)
Closed on Sunday Dinner & Monday.
Menu available online

Sunday 20 November 2022

Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles – A Solid Beef Noodle

We have been wanting to try Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles (‘TTLBN’) since we saw the opening of the Chinatown Point outlet. However, we were only able to visit their outlet in Century Square recently. According to S our friend, who is from Lanzhou, beef noodle is a daily staple there.

Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles - Century Square
The stars of TTLBN are the clear beef broth, made from more than 15 kinds of herbs and spices and simmered daily, delivering an explosion of flavour; And the hand-pulled noodles. The Master noodles chefs at TTLBN can pull 8 different styles precisely according to our order.

Menu P1
Menu P2
I ordered their Signature Beef Noodles Large ($10.90 for small / $13.90 for large), with the choice of thick noodle. If you order the large version, you can also get a free top-up of the noodle if needed for free.

Signature Beef Noodles Large
Since it was our first time here, the service staff help us with the ordering. Do take note that the default soup here is spicy even when the picture shows plain or no chilli. I was surprised when I received my order at first, luckily the offer to exchange mine for the non-spicy version.

The thick noodle is bouncy with a good chewiness in it. The broth looks clear; however, I can taste the solid robust clean beef flavour from the first slurp. While you are enjoying your meal, the broth will continue to infuse itself into the noodle. The beef shank is boiled to tender and the thick slices allow you a solid taste of the meat, yet it is easily dissipated in your mouth. The sliced radish is sweet and the spring onion just enhanced the flavour of the broth. Yummy!!

The Thick Noodles
Sliced Beef Shank
Since we came for a late dinner, I did not take up the offer of extra noodle. If I am having this for lunch, I will go for the extra noodles.

LD ordered Sauerkraut Beef Noodle Small ($11.90 for small / $14.90 for large), with thicker noodle. Her noodle is thicker than mine, and she enjoys the chewy texture of it. Her broth has a spicy and sour mixture of TTLBN signature chilli and sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut Beef Noodle Small
She makes her order into a set meal (+ $5), which comes with a side dish, braised egg and drink. She chooses Beancurd Suji for the side dish which is sliced mushrooms marinated in chilli oil.

Beancurd Suji & Braised Egg
Coke Zero
We also ordered Handmade Prawn Dumplings ($5 for 5 pcs, $9.50 for 10 pcs). The prawn dumpling is a must-order here. The skin is thicker than the usual jiaozi, but I like the tender chewiness in the skin like the noodle. The prawns filling is crunchy and packs with umami flavour. These dumplings are tasty on their own, I did not even dip them into the black vinegar.

Prawn Dumplings
Prawn Dumplings Filling
The décor of the restaurant is inspired by modern oriental design, using light colour wood. Service is friendly and helpful. TTLBN is also Halal Certified, so our Muslim friends can enjoy it as well.

Chilli, Vinegar & Cutleries
CBK verdict: A great beef noodle soup. I like the clean taste of the broth and the lovely chewiness of the handmade noodle. The prawn dumplings are great as well. We’ll be back for more. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25

Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodle
2 Tampines Central 5
#01-42, Century Square
Singapore 529509

OH: Daily 11.00 – 22.00 (LO 21.30)
Check out their Facebook Page for other locations

Sunday 13 November 2022

Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon – King Deluxe Room City View [MEDIA INVITE]

Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon ★★★★(4 Stars Hotel)
3 Belilios Road
Singapore 219924

T: +65 6491 0500

Room Type: King Deluxe Room City View
Room Size: 21 Sqm
Stayed: October 2022
Booking: Media Invite

Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon
Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon is part of Hilton’s Hospitality Group that provides business and leisure guests with upscale yet affordable accommodations and modern amenities they prefer for a successful and comfortable stay. It is a laid-back sophisticated brand, offering heartfelt services and award-winning amenities.

Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon participates in Hilton Honors, a hotel loyalty program that allows members to earn points and miles on the same stay without any blackout dates on reward stay.

Opened in June 2017, Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon (‘HGISS”) offer 328-room and caters towards mid-market sector travellers in the region.

Location (8/10)
HGISS is located on Bellios Road, just off Serangoon Road. It is situated in the heart of Little India Singapore, one of the most vibrant districts in this little red dot. This lovely area is surrounded by rows of shophouses, temples and lots of F&B outlets from award-winning restaurants to specialise eateries catering to minority ethnic group cuisine. Beside the hotel, stands Sri-Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore, built in 1881.

City View Daytime 
Within a short walking distance, you can visit Mustafa Department Store. One of the most well-known department stores in Singapore where you can find almost everything from luxurious goods, electronics, perfume to souvenirs for a reasonable price. It is a tourist paradise and is listed in the must- visit place in Singapore. For a touch cosmopolitan shopping centre, you can walk a bit more and visit City Square Mall.

City View Night Time
The nearest MRT is Little India MRT station. It is an intersection of North East Line (NE, Purple Line) and Downtown Line (DT, Blue Line). The NE line will go through major interchanges Dhoby Ghaut and Outram Park which allow you to connect to the whole MRT network in Singapore. For travellers, the travel time from Changi Airport to the hotel is around 25 minutes (20km) by Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle.

Street View during Deepavali 

Room (8.75/10)
Cleanliness (10/10). Space (8/10). Room Amenities (8/10). Ambience (9/10), Bed & Pillow (10/10), WiFi (7/10)

Our King Deluxe Room City View is located on the 15th floor of the main building. The other building for HGISS is known as Serangoon building. We are welcome with the blue colour Hilton Clear Stay sticker at the door, giving us the extra assurance that our room is clean and sanitize following the COVID protocol. My first impression of the room is modern, bright and clean. You can see clearly the city view and the rows of shophouses from the window and sit on the bay window seating area to enjoy the scenery. The room has sufficient walking space to move around in the room and I don’t feel cramped.

King Deluxe Room City View
King Deluxe Room City View
The bedroom is fitted with King Size Bed, which is a very good size for us. Sorry, we just don’t like queen size bed. The bed is firm, yet comfortable and it supports my sleeping posture nicely. I later found out HGISS uses Suite Dreams™ by Serta bed. All four pillows are medium to firm, with suits us perfectly.

King Size Bed
King Size Bed
Hilton Garden Inn Flower Towel Folding Artwork
The bathroom comes with a walk-in shower and no bathtub. The shower is fitted with sliding bar / rail shower head and you don’t have the option for a rainfall shower head. You can find all the amenities needed, including the full range of Crabtree & Evelyn shampoo, conditioner, body soap, body lotion and dental kit. I appreciate the complete set of towels: body, hand and face towels plus bidet spray that is placed beside the toilet bowl which is a very Asian touch.

The Bathroom
The Walk-in Shower
Basin & Toilet
Crabtree & Evelyn Amenities
Crabtree & Evelyn Amenities
Entertainment in the room comes in 43” HDTV and free WiFi. I did a quick speed test on the WiFi, however, the download speed is on the slow side. You can still watch your Youtube or streaming, however, expect it to be lagging or deliver on lower resolution.

43" HDTV
The drink pantry is well stocked with instant coffee, tea, sugar, creamer, bottled water and a kettle. The mini bar is empty, but we use it to chill the drinks that we brought with us. We received a complimentary fruit platter during this staycation.

The Drink Pantry
The room is also equipped with a half oval working / dining table, ergonomic chair and single-seat couch. On both sides of the beds, you will find built-in universal plug points with USB ports, lighting points, modern bedside lamps and reading lights. In-room safe, hairdryer, iron & ironing board, bedroom slippers, and laundry bag are part of the amenities; However, no bathrobe is provided.

Working / Dining Table
Bedside Table with Lighting Control
Our room is also fitted with an energy-efficient sensor, which will automatically turn off the air-con and lights when we leave the room and activates them when we enter our room.

In-room Safe

Dining (7.75 /10)
Breakfast (8/10), Lunch (7.5/10)
The main dining restaurant for HGISS is The Garden Grill, which open for breakfast and lunch only. Breakfast is buffet style and the spread includes American, Intercontinental, Asian and Vegetarian cuisine. The eggs are done in a Live station and you can order any style of eggs you want.

Breakfast - Western
Breakfast - Cold Cuts & Asian
Breakfast - Asian & Vegetarian
Breakfast - Fruits & Yoghurt
For lunch service, it is ala carte. We have an A3 size menu to choose from. It offers International, Asian and Singaporean cuisine. Though the menu is limited, we find the quality is very good.

The Lunch Menu & In-room Dining

Lunch - Caesar Salad with Tandoori Chicken

Lunch - Beef Burger & Grilled Norwegian Salmon
All Day Dining & In-room Dining is available from Mon to Sat from 12 noon to 21.00 (Last order at 8.45), while on Sunday available from 12 noon to 14.00. The menu is the same as the lunch service menu in The Garden Grill.

The Garden Grill (Indoor Dining Area)
The Garden Grill (Indoor Dining Area)
The Garden Grill (Outdoor Dining Area)
Since you are situated in the heart of Little India, you will be spoilt with the choices of food. We walk over to Marmaris Restaurant at Dunlop Street for Middle Eastern cuisine for dinner. You can also try the established and award-winning Indian Restaurants such as Muthu Curry, Gayatri or Sakhuntala along Race Course Road.

At Chandler Road, you try Swaadhisht for Kerala Cuisine (Click for the full review) or Gurkha Palace for Nepalese cuisine. If you fancy something modern, try Cherry & Oak, an Asian smokehouse paired with Nasi Lemak Bakar or even Saremban Bak Kut Teh at Jia Bin Klang Bak Kut Teh. These are just to name a few restaurants, as the list is endless.

Hotel Facilities (9/10)
The check-in process is fast and seamless. I completed my check-in through Hilton Honours App, however, due to Singapore regulations, I still need to visit the front desk for verification and get my Digital Key activated. HGISS is modelled for travellers that like to do things independently. Therefore, there is no concierge to help you with your bags, however, you are welcome to use the trolley to cart your belongings to your room.

Hilton Honours App Check-in
Check-in Completed
Part of the Lobby
There is complimentary parking when you stay at HGISS. If you park at the 4th floor, it will allow you access directly to the main building of the hotel. However, you can only access it after you completed your check-in and verification from the Front Desk.

Mini Business Centre
The Swimming Pool is located on Level 8, just outside The Garden Grill. It is open between 09.00 – 22.00. There is no lifeguard, Meanwhile, the 24-hour gym is located on the 1st floor.

Swimming Pool
Children's Pool
24-hour Gym
24-hour Gym
HGISS also provide a coin-operated laundry, located at Level 8, behind the children's pool. It is open 24 hours; therefore, you can do your laundry at your convenience.

24-hour Coin Operated Laundry
For ice cubes, cutlery, plates and microwave, it is available at Pavilion Pantry, Level 1.

Services (8/10)
The overall services are warm and friendly. If we have some questions, the friendly front desk staff is always ready to help. The service crew at the restaurant are friendly, efficient and knowledgeable. During the breakfast service, they keep the tables turning and clean seamlessly while running at full capacity. Meanwhile, during lunch service, our service staff is confident to give us his recommendation regarding the food selections as well.

Team - Koko & Lala
with the complimentary fruits platter & handwritten Welcome Card
We also received a personalise handwritten welcome card from the HGISS General Manager. A small gesture and very much appreciated.

CBK Verdict
It was a pleasant and enjoyable staycation for us. The room is very comfortable, modern and clean. The breakfast service is very good and I must say it was beyond my expectations. Overall, it is definitely a place to consider for your accommodation in Singapore or even for a staycation. Cheers!!

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