Thursday 29 February 2024

Sichuan Alley – Landed at Capitol Singapore [MEDIA INVITE]

Sichuan Alley, a modern casual restaurant focused on Sichuan cuisine has recently opened a new outlet at Capitol Singapore. Sichuan Alley (“SA”) serves signature Sichuan cuisine, comforting noodle dishes plus the new addition of delectable fried rice.

Sichuan Alley @ Capitol Singapore
The décor of SA at Capitol Singapore is casual, modern and complemented with Chinese flair. The dining area is designed based on open concept, where diners can see most of the dining area and outside the restaurant with minimum boundaries. On the opposite, passersby can see the diners and delicious food served inside as well. There is one part of the seating area like a noodle bar section. This is good for single-person dining and fuss-free.

Noodle Bar Seating
Part of Dining Area
We started the tasting with Signature Small Plates: Chilled Cucumber ($3.90) and Mala Black Fungus ($5.50). The cucumber is crunchy, refreshing and nicely seasoned. The black fungus will open up your appetite with the fiery mala spice combined with crunchy and nutritious black fungus.

Mala Black Fungus & Chilled Cucumber
Chilled Cucumber
Mala Black Fungus
Mouth Watering King Prawns ($8.90) is a combination of crunchy prawns with chilli oil and homemade sauce. The spiciness is very mild and the fragrant sesame seeds added flavour to this dish. Sichuan Pepper Ox Tongue ($11), the texture of the ox tongue is tender with a bit of bounciness. The homemade chilli sauce is not spicy, instead, it enhances the flavour of this dish.

Mouth Watering King Prawns

Sichuan Pepper Ox Tongue
B-52 Fried Chicken ($16) is the signature fried chicken of SA. The crispy and succulent popcorn-sized chicken nuggets are buried under the pile of dried red chillies, cashew nuts, leek and spring onion. The chicken is delicious, but if you accidentally bite the chilli seeds, you will be in a pickle.

B-52 Fried Chicken
Braised Pig Intestines with Tofu ($17.30). I am a pig intestines lover, so I might be a bit biased towards this dish. The pig intestines are very clean and there is no foul smell. It absorbs the sauce nicely and together with the tofu, this dish is just irresistible. My “rice thief” dish at SA.

Braised Pig Intestines with Tofu
Sichuan Hot Red Beef ($19.30) – Sliced Beef, Black Fungus, Bean Sprout, Celery and Celtuce. A fiery-looking dish and it lives up to its plating. The juicy and tender beef slices are very spicy, after that piece, I quickly gulp my refreshing Black Plum Tea ($5.90) to put out the fire.

Sichuan Hot Red Beef
Sichuan Sour Vegetable Fish ($19). I like the silky texture of the sliced fish in this dish. The Sichuan sour vegetables are very appetizing and invite you to eat more. Yum Yum.

Sichuan Sour Vegetable Fish
We proceed to the main food staples of Dry Noodle, Dumplings and Rice. It was the first time we tried SA fried rice. Sichuan Soy Sauce Fried Rice ($8.90) & Chicken Cutlet Egg Fried Rice ($14). The Sichuan Soy Sauce Fried rice reminds me of the version that I had in Beijing a while back. This simple-looking fried rice is fragrant and appetizing plus the aroma and umami flavour for the Sichuan Soy Sauce is just irresistible.

Sichuan Soy Sauce Fried Rice
Meanwhile, the Chicken Cutlet Egg Fried Rice has a lovely fragrant aroma from the egg. The chicken cutlet is crispy externally while the interior is juicy and succulent.

Chicken Cutlet Egg Fried Rice
President Rice Noodle ($24.50) - Beef Cheek, Pig Intestines, Pork Ribs, Mashed Peas, Vegetable, Coriander, spring onion, crispy chickpeas, rice noodles. This is the most luxurious noodle dish in SA. The rice noodle is smooth and silky, accompanied by three main protein dishes and topped with a lovely fried egg. For the President Rice Noodle, diners can choose the spiciness level from Spicy, Less Spicy or Non-Spicy.

President Rice Noodle
Mashed Peas Dan Dan Noodles ($13.50) – Mashed Peas, Minced Beef, Coriander, Thick Noodles. The noodle is thick, bouncy and crunchy. When you mix all the ingredients, it will become like a version of mazesoba. Though the noodle comes with fresh chilli, I find the spiciness level is manageable.

Mashed Peas Dan Dan Noodles
Scallion Oil Noodle ($8.30 – Vegetarian). A lovely al-dente noodle, coated with aromatic scallion oil, soy sauce and spring onion. Simplicity at its best.

Scallion Oil Noodle - Vegetarian
Desserts are Speciality Ice Jelly ($5.50) and Sweet Fermented Rice ($4.50). The sweet fermented rice balls are a dessert that needs some getting used due to the unique taste of the fermented rice. For the Speciality Ice Jelly, I like the combination of brown sugar, hawthorn flakes, peanuts and the ice jelly. It is refreshing and provides a lovely end to the meal.

Sweet Fermented Rice
Speciality Ice Jelly
Overall, the team at Sichuan Alley has fine-tuned their menu with the opening of the second outlet. The dishes look comforting and it showcase that Sichuan cuisine goes beyond spicy and mala. The menu caters to everyone and all ages. For the complete Sichuan casual dining experience, check out Sichuan Alley. Kanpai!! Cheers!!

Thank you very much Kristine, Executive Chef Eugene See and Sichuan Alley team for hosting us.

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

Sichuan Alley @ Capitol
213 Stamford Road
#B1-29/30, Capitol Singapore
S178905

T: +65 9155 5244
IG: @Sichuanalley
OH: Daily 10.30 – 21.30
Menu available online

Other Location
151 Telok Ayer Street
#01-01
S048441

Thursday 1 February 2024

The Ultimate Tips for Mastering Time Management Better


It can be quite challenging to be consistently productive and meet all of your deadlines. At the same time, the ability to manage time efficiently is particularly beneficial for every individual with busy roles such as a housewife, student, employee, or entrepreneur.

To help you manage your schedule effectively, we have curated the ultimate tips for mastering time management better. You can consider and apply these suggestions in your daily life to experience positive changes!


1. Determine the Goals You Want to Achieve

The first thing you should do is to discover the right reason why you should start doing time management properly, what is your goal, and what you want to achieve from your new-found discipline.

For example, if you want to establish better time management for working out, instead of writing down general goals like “be a healthier person,” it is much better to articulate a specific action, like “I’m committing to pilates class every twice a week.”

Establishing clear, measurable, and detailed goals will facilitate the identification of precise steps needed to accomplish them.


2. Make an Activity Planning

Once you have determined your goal, the next step is to create an activity plan. This is important so that you can measure your productivity each day.

For example, if you’re a final semester student who wants to engage in volunteer activities, planning to have a better time management system might be harder to do. Juggling the demands of academic commitments and volunteer work can undoubtedly present a significant challenge in effectively managing your time. Thus why, you need to make a thorough activity planning instead.


3. Organize Tasks Based On Priority Order

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with lots of tasks that you need to work on? You may feel unsure about which task to tackle first. But you don't have to worry now, as we have the perfect solution for you to do it. From now on, you can organize your tasks based on priority order instead. To do this method, you can follow below:
  • Begin by prioritizing and completing tasks that are both important and urgent first.
  • Postpone tasks that are important but not time-sensitive.
  • Delegate tasks that are urgent but not essential to others.
  • Reserve your spare time for activities that are neither urgent nor important.
This method will make it easier for you to map which work must be completed first and which work can still be delayed.


4. Set the Completion Time Target

Did you know that establishing a target completion time is crucial when doing any kind of task? Whether you’re an employee or engaged in other responsibilities, setting a specific time goal is essential.

Especially if you are an employee, when you receive an assignment from your supervisor, ensuring all tasks are completed diligently and punctually is important. Therefore, it is a must to set a target completion time that aligns with your capabilities.


5. Don't Delay Your Work

Postponing your task can indeed lead to increased challenges. When you delay completing a task that could be done today, you often find yourself having to tackle two tasks the next day.

Postponing work may initially provide a brief respite, but it can result in a heavier workload and increased stress. The accumulation of tasks makes the situation busier and more overwhelming than it would have been if the tasks were addressed promptly.


6. Consider Seeking Assistance

When your workload becomes overwhelming don’t hesitate to ask for help. For instance, if you are a housewife accustomed to handling all household chores and taking care of your family, it's entirely acceptable to seek assistance for tasks that may drain your energy.

Consider, for example, hiring carpet cleaning services in Singapore to deep clean your carpet, or a part-time maid to help you out every once in a while. As a housewife, there can be times when you feel a particular chore is very exhausting and time-consuming, thus enlisting external help, though incurring a cost, can be a valuable strategy to manage your time effectively and conserve your energy. This approach can help you maintain your sanity amidst a heavy workload.


7. Give Yourself a Reward

Do you agree that self-reward is crucial? If so, you might want to do this to boost your enthusiasm for time management. When you successfully achieve a target, you can consider rewarding yourself. For example, if you can consistently meet all work tasks ahead of schedule, you could celebrate with a treat like eating your favorite ice cream. These enjoyable moments can serve as positive reinforcement, encouraging you to stay focused on your work.

Do keep in mind that to tackle everything effectively, you need to develop strong time management skills and follow our ultimate tips above!


This article is contributed by Rose

Saturday 27 January 2024

Jia He Grand - Exquisite CNY Set Menu 2024 [MEDIA INVITE]

Enter the auspicious Year of the Dragon with Jia He Chinese Restaurant and its sister establishment Jia He Grand. From 21 January 2024 to 24 February 2024, both establishments will dazzled the guests with meticulously curated menus tailored for families, friends and business associates. What better way to celebrate the Lunar New Year than with Jia He Chinese Restaurant and Jia He Grand.

For this Media Tasting session at Jia He Grand, we tried their Jia He Exquisite CNY Set Menu 2024, priced at $2688++ for 10 persons.

Jia He Prosperity Five Auspicious Blessings "Yu Sheng”
The feast commences with Jia He Prosperity Five Auspicious Blessings "Yu Sheng” (嘉和五福彩玉捞生). This Yu Sheng contains 5 key ingredients with Auspicious Blessings: Fish Maw, Sliced Roast Duck, Shredded Abalone, Sea Cucumber and Salmon. Served together with Bellpeppers, Juliene of Radish, Salads and Special sauce.

Jia He Prosperity Five Auspicious Blessings "Yu Sheng”
After the fun session doing the “Lo Hei”, the Yu Sheng is plated individually and the service staff ensure we got all the ingredients on our plate. As each of the ingredients contributed their unique texture and flavour, it is like having a party in your mouth. On top of that, the special sauce from Jia He added fireworks in the mix, as it contains Sichuan chilli sauce and yuzu. WOW. (Do note that for those who do not or are unable to take spicy stuff, you can request the non-spicy version)

My Yu Sheng Plate
Sea Cucumber
Double-boiled Buddha Jump Over the Wall with Red Ginseng (红参佛跳墙). This sumptuous yet nutritious double-boiled Buddha Jump Over the Wall is unique, especially with the extra ingredient of Red Ginseng.

Double-boiled Buddha Jump Over the Wall with Red Ginseng
(红参佛跳墙)
First serving, Fish Maw and Shark Fin. For this first serving, I enjoy the crunchy texture of the shark fin and the bouncy & collagen of the fish maw. While the clear broth looks light, it contains the essence of all the ingredients, including the red ginseng in the broth. Usually, when we see the shark fin, we automatically reach for the vinegar, in this case, there is no need for it. There is no fishy smell from the shark fin and the fish maw.

First serving, Fish Maw and Shark Fin
Second serving, sea cucumber, mushroom, pork tendon & dry scallops. The broth of the second serving is thicker, more robust and filled with umami flavour. The sea cucumber and pork tendon are soft, but crunchy. While the mushroom soaks up the essence of the ingredients beautifully. A lovely and fulfilling broth.

Second serving, sea cucumber, mushroom,
pork tendon & dry scallops
Steamed Australian lobster with Sea Urchin in Egg White and Chinese Wine (海胆威龙). An Exquisite bowl of Chawanmushi. When this dish is presented, a serving of Singapore whisky is lit on fire and poured over each bowl. The lobster is cooked to perfection, delivering a sweet, smooth and silky texture that pairs nicely with the sea urchin. The pillowy egg white and Chinese Wine added a delicate flavour, while the whisky gave a contrasting flavour of oak and smokiness.

Steamed Australian Lobster with Sea Urchin
in Egg White and Chinese Wine (
海胆威龙)
Poached Sliced Spotted Garoupa with Wild Mushroom and Superior Lobster Soup (野菌龙虾汤堂灼星班). While the preparation is done in the kitchen, the cooking and plating are done table side. The sliced fish and wild mushrooms are pan-fried table side with oil and butter. Once cooked, lobster stock is added to complete the dish. The result is soft, silky smooth garoupa slices, accompanied by robust stock complete with umami flavour. A very comforting dish. Yummy!!

Poached Sliced Spotted Garoupa with Wild Mushroom and
Superior Lobster Soup (
野菌龙虾汤堂灼星班).
 
Roasted Suckling Pig with Australia 3 Head Abalone, Fried Rice with Yam and Sakura Shrimp (香芋櫻花虾3头鲍鱼有米乳猪). This dish can also be considered as the third serving of Buddha Jump Over the Wall, as the abalones used here were cooked inside the broth.

Roasted Suckling Pig with Australia 3 Head Abalone, Fried Rice with Yam and Sakura Shrimp (香芋櫻花虾3头鲍鱼有米乳猪).
The suckling pig has a paper-thin crispy skin, followed by juicy and fatty flesh. The fried rice is fragrant, filled with the flavour of the Sakura shrimp and the drippings from the suckling pig. The abalone is soft and flavourful. Don’t forget about the pickled Roman tomato and cucumber on the side, not only they are very yummy, it will help to balance the richness of this dish.

My Serving of Suckling Pig
Desserts are Daifuku filled with Mandarin Orange and Cream Served with Bird's Nest-Ginseng Xiao Long Bao (橙香雪梅拼泡参小笼包燕窝). The Bird’s Nest-Ginseng Xiao Long Bao is best eaten when it is hot. It is refreshing, while the broth is medium sweet, offset with a touch of bitterness from the ginseng.

Bird's Nest-Ginseng Xiao Long Bao (泡参小笼包燕窝)
Meanwhile, the Daifuku is packed with orange flavour, refreshing and just bursts in your mouth.

Daifuku filled with Mandarin Orange and Cream (橙香雪梅拼)
We had an additional treat of Nian Gao from our host. It is pan-fried without coating, resulting in a crispy exterior, with a nice caramelisation. It has a medium sweetness followed by a warming taste of the ginseng.

Nian Gao
Overall, Jia He Grand Exquisite CNY Set Menu 2024 exceeded my expectations. It is packed with flavour, nutritious and tantalises your palate. Jia He Exquisite CNY Set Menu 2024, priced at $2688++ for 10 persons and advanced booking are required. Ganbei! Cheers!

Thank you very much Sharon & Jia He Grand 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.

Jia He Grand @ One Farrer Hotel
One Farrer Hotel, Level 1
1 Farrer Park Station Road,
Singapore 217562

T: +65 6538 9688 / 6538 2788
OH: Daily 11.00 – 14.30 (LO 14.00); 18.00 – 22.00 (LO 21.00)
CNY Menu and other information is available online

Sister Restaurant
Jia He Chinese Restaurant
1 Farrer Park Station Road,
#01-14/15/16 Connexion,
Singapore 217562

T: +65 6694 8988 / 6694 9466
OH: Daily 11.00 – 15.00 (LO 14.30); 18.00 – 22.00 (LO 21.30)

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