Thursday, May 30, 2013

Emicakes Gets Cute with Daddy's Day D24 Durian Cake



Emicakes has come out with an adorable New Happy Face for the "Dashing Dad" cake (15-20cm sizes). You can try the Choco Truffle or Classic D24 flavours. The D24 durian cake is deliciously light with layers of whipped cream and durian mousse. Some of you will be glad to know the durian flavour is not too overpowering, so even people who don't like durian can enjoy this.

Emicakes Family Card and selected credit card holders get 15% off for delivery or self-collection orders between 1 to 16 June 2013. Check the website for branch locations. Orders can be placed online as well.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

House at Dempsey Hills - Have You Tried The New Menu Yet?



House at Dempsey Hill revamped more than 80 per cent of its six year old menu earlier this year. The ensemble now is a bit more grown up and more elegant, with a focus on familiar comfort enlivened with a dash of quirky flavour.

Asparagus, Serrano Ham and Crumbed Egg ($22.00, above)
Take for example, the sublime combination of ham, egg and asparagus. They've managed to deep-fry a poached egg in crumbed batter, but the yolk is still molten. Break open the crust and let it all flow over the scrumptious Serrano ham and beautifully grilled shaved asparagus. This kind of breakfast deserves to be enjoyed at all hours.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Weekend Prosecco Brunch at LaBrezza of St Regis

Controfiletto ai ferri: US Striploin, medium rare

Breakfast!


Oh yeah. A good breakfast should consist of a healthy amount of protein.

Meat Meet Controfiletto ai ferri: US Striploin (done here medium rare), at LaBrezza of the St Regis Singapore. This is part of the grill selection of the Prosecco Brunch happening every Saturday and Sunday noon to 3pm.



Scottadito: Grilled Australian Lamb Chop, lemon-mint marinade & roasted potatoes
Or how about some Scottadito: Grilled Australian Lamb Chop, lemon-mint marinade & roasted potatoes?

This was pretty good. I only wish they could grill the vegetables better - some of them were a little too charred.


Spigola con broccoli e crema di patate: Seabass with broccoli, cream of potato
Of course, fish is also good for you. When seared just right, good fish can be so tasty.

This is Spigola con broccoli e crema di patate: Seabass with broccoli, cream of potato. Comes with three sauces which really change the flavour of the fish.


Gamberoni alla Griglia: Grilled garlic prawn & lemon chili flakes
Gamberoni alla Griglia: Grilled garlic prawn & lemon chili flakes

Some people prefer prawns. These were fresh, for sure, but a little too dry.

But wait, I'm getting my sequence of dishes all wrong. Secondi, primo...Let's go back to the beginning. Which is really the best part, honestly.


Glorious cold cuts: Cold Cuts: Salami, 12-month & 24-month Prosciutto di Parma
Glorious cold cuts: Salami sandwiched in between 12-month & 24-month Prosciutto di Parma. Oh, come to mamma!


I can just have lots of these for breakfast and be happy...
I could just have lots of these for breakfast and be happy...



A fabulous antipasti salad bar - the highlight were the extra plump and sweet Pachino cherry tomatoes (upper right)
A fabulous antipasti and salad spread. The absolute highlight were the extra plump and sweet Pachino cherry tomatoes (yeah, them super-bright red ones on the upper right). Yes, how I savoured those, and I don't even like tomatoes.


Bread section at La Brezza's Prosecco Brunch
Lots of breads to go with the ham, or whatever you fancy. The rustic display is so pretty.


Lovely condiments to go with your breads - pesto, tomato, tapenade, etc
Lovely condiments to go with your breads - pesto, sun-dried tomato, coriander, olive tapenade, Sicilian topping, and white celery.


The cheese section offers Provolone, Scarmoza, Pecorino and Gorgonzola
The cheese section offers Provolone, Scarmoza, Pecorino and Gorgonzola. It's small but somewhat adequate.


La Brezza is at level 2 of the St Regis in Singapore
Forgive me, I should show you what La Brezza looks like. It's the trattoria-style Italian restaurant on Level 2 of the very regal St Regis. But the atmosphere here is comfortably casual and very relaxing.


La Brezza has a casual, holiday-like vibe with a view of the hotel pool
The place looks out to the hotel pool on one side. So there's a tranquil holiday-like vibe, with lots of natural sunlight. You could choose to sit outside too, if you like the warm weather.

But back to the food...after helping yourself to the buffet spread, it's time to sit down and go for the unlimited a la carte selections. For secondi, you have options like:


Uovo Tartufate e Fontina: 45-minute poached egg with Fontina & truffle sauce (taken with Canon EOS M)
Uovo Tartufate e Fontina: 45-minute poached egg with Fontina & truffle sauce

This sublime creation - a cloud-like egg spiked with cheese and truffle extravagance. Wow. I think we had seconds and thirds. You wish this was as common as scrambled eggs.

This brunch was also my first serious opportunity to shoot food with the Canon EOS M, which the kind folks from Canon lent me to play with. I really like the handy size of the camera, the sleek metal body and interchangeable lenses. The photos are not bad too. Best in brighter lighting or sunlit situations. This uovo was shot with the EOS M.


Several varieties of pizza are also available (taken with Canon EOS M)
Several varieties of pizza are also available (taken with Canon EOS M). But these will threaten to fill you up too quickly.


The Sunday brunch comes with free-flow Prosecco at S$98++ (taken with Canon EOS M)
Did I forget to mention free-flow Prosecco? Yes, unlimited Prosecco D.O.C Ca’del Sette at S$98++ per person. There is, of course, an option without alcohol at S$68++ per person (a really good deal). Photo also taken with Canon EOS M.


Adami Extra Dry Prosecco Superiore di Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. "Dei Casel" (taken with Canon EOS M)
It might also be the Adami Extra Dry Prosecco Superiore di Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. "Dei Casel" (taken with Canon EOS M).


If you'd like a bite of pasta with the prosecco, you'll be glad to know that the portions here are just enough, and not too filling. The pasta is also handmade.


Pasta Vongole
I loved the vongole pasta. We had second helpings. Lovely texture of noodles with that umami hit from the clams.


Canon EOS M collage: Pastas - carbonara, pomodoro, vongole, aglio olio
They also have other types - carbonara, pomodoro and aglio olio - for you to choose from. All these photos are taken with the Canon EOS M, whereas the vongole one above is with my usual Canon 400D DSLR.


Strata Umbria: Savoury bread pudding with spinach & mushroom
Then you have your main courses, such as the dishes shown upfront. Lots of meat-based dishes, as you can see, but here's something more carb-based. Strata Umbria: Savoury bread pudding with spinach & mushroom. Tastes very much like quiche.


You also won't be short of options for dessert. I didn't try all but liked these two.

Scoops of gelato with fresh fruit - chocolate, pistachio, vanilla and lemon
Scoops of gelato with fresh fruit - chocolate, pistachio, vanilla and lemon.


Tiramisu: Whipped mascarpone cheese, espresso & lady finger biscuits
Tiramisu: Whipped mascarpone cheese, espresso & lady finger biscuits

There is also a Zabaglione (Marsala Sabayon with fresh fruit), and a Pistachio Cannoli with candied lemon. If you still have room, that is.

Finish off with one of their excellent Italian coffees. And count that as a weekend afternoon well spent.


Once again, LaBrezza’s Prosecco Brunch is available Saturdays and Sundays from noon till 3pm.

Price:
S$98++ per person with free flow of Prosecco D.O.C. Ca’del Sette
S$68++ per person without alcohol
S$49++ per child (aged 4 – 12)

LABREZZA
The St. Regis Singapore,
Level 2, 29 Tanglin Road,
Singapore 247911.
Phone: +65 6506-6884
Email: labrezza@stregis.com


Thank you, St Regis Singapore for the warm hospitality and invitation.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hanoi Street Food - A Photo-Essay on Makanation




My photo slide-show on Hanoi street food is up on Makanation! Vietnam has so many cheap and tasty eats by the sidewalk, all so full of character. It's an amazing country.

http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/photos/hanoi-street-food-slideshow/

I'll soon be writing about the best eats that I encountered in the Vietnamese capital. Stay tuned.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

McDonald's Heats Things Up with Red Peri Scorcher

It's Face-Off time between two hot items
Looks like McDonald's is set on spicing things up. On Monday night, we had a Face-Off between the popular McSpicy (second from left) and the new RED PERI SCORCHER (far right)! The two models used to represent the burgers in the TVC made an appearance at the Bishan Park outlet where this event took place.

I was surprised that McSpicy has already been around for 10 years or more. That long? So I guess it's high time this burger had some competition.


He might not be too pleased.

McSpicy won the previous Face-Off with Black Pepper Flamer, but now there's a new contender - the Red Peri Scorcher - and it's been a secret until now. You all can vote again on the Spicy Face-Off Facebook page when she's officially unveiled tomorrow.


The Red Peri Scorcher - hot but not overly so
So here it is! The tangy and spicy Red Peri Scorcher. It's a whole muscle chicken piece marinated with red peri chili, cumin, coriander, capsicum and lemon, cooked in a crispy batter with cracker wheat.


The Red Peri Scorcher has much more complex spice mix in its sauce
It's slathered with a spicy hot red peri sauce, all between a lightly toasted long single-split bun with wheat topping. It's spicy enough for most people without being too stinging. Some will get a higher endorphin buzz than others.


The McSpicy certainly delivers bite
I requested a McSpicy just to compare. I remembered it being more spicy. But I realise the chili heat in this is more straightforward - basically chili powder seasoning - whereas the Red Peri Scorcher has more complexity in its spice mix. Have a go and see which one you prefer. I like both.


McSpicy has been around 10 years!
This is still the reigning favourite for many people, so it's bound to stay on the menu. The Red Peri Scorcher is only here for a limited time period.


The MC and McDreamy, I mean, McSpicy...
The MC and McDreamy, I mean, McSpicy dude. He looks like a sweet and spicy version of Nat Ho, no?


MC asking guests which one is more spicy
The MC went around asking people which burger was hotter. It's a tough question when you could be influenced by the hot chick and cool dude models. This guy seated is Australian and said he couldn't take much of the Red Peri heat. And the McSpicy totally killed him previously. I think he could do with some spice training.


Kitchen Musicians
The evening ended with a raucous performance of "kitchen music". The instruments are real kitchen utensils. It was quite fun.


McDonald's Red Peri Scorcher vs McSpicy Face-Off
Photo op! Miss Red Peri Scorcher and Mr McSpicy. Who do you think is hotter? They both look equally dangerous!

The Red Peri Scorcher meal (from S$6.50) will be available in outlets from tomorrow, 16 May 2013, for a limited time period. Have it with the Passionfruit McFizz (S$2.40) and Citrus Thai Shaker Fries (S$2.75 a la carte).
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Jolie and Nadine in matching Tinkerbell tees from their cousins

Happy mother's day to all moms out there. Kudos to anyone who has embarked on this monumental journey of parenting, and are still surviving. In my case, it's my children who are special, not me. I've been blessed with Jolie (left), 5, who is educating me on all things pink and girly, and Nadine, 6+, who has shown me how amazing children with Down Syndrome are.

Nadine is impish for sure, and way too smart and fearless for her own good, but she's also incredibly tender and loving. Today, while doing research on the computer, I put my head on the table briefly to rest. She looked at me, came over and asked me gently, "Mommy, tired?"

As a friend of mine described, "If anyone takes the time to truly get to know (kids with special needs) for who they are, then you are overwhelmingly in love with them for their personality, intelligence, and all the other joys that they bring to the planet." Thanks, Michael. I could not have put it better.

My own mom passed on a few years ago. I miss her, and always wish I could have done more for her. All I can do now is be a good person to everyone in my life.
http://www.camemberu.com/2009/04/mama-1935-2009.html

We are all someone's child. Happy celebrating, everyone.
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons Opens 10 May

Spring is in the air as Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons opens 10 May
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons opens 11.30am today at Bugis Village (facing Rochor Road). This fourth venture in Singapore by Keisuke Takeda seeks to celebrate the beauty of the seasons that dress Japan in absolute splendour. See how festive the shop is?

You may have known that his third ramen shop Tori King focused on chicken broth. In fact, every branch he owns features something unique. Keisuke-san's back to using pork bone broth here, because his Tonkotsu King at Orchid Hotel is such a runaway success (hey folks, we gotta do something to ease the queues there). But take note that the tonkotsu at this new outlet is 1.5 times thicker (the pork bone stock gets boiled 11 hours compared to the normal eight), and comes with creative flavours to reflect the characteristics of the four seasons.


Four Seasons of ramen plus a King to rule them all
It is a gorgeous spread. All five offerings on the menu taste very distinct from one another. Keisuke-san personally devised all the flavours to best represent the season it's named after.


Spring: basil and parmesan cheese (S$11.90)
Meant to evoke the colours of spring (green and pink). Originally, they wanted to use green shiso (a common Japanese leafy herb), but it is hard to find good quality shiso all year round in Singapore, so they used basil instead.

Summer (S$13.90): spicy minced pork
Summer is hot in Japan, so three different kinds of spice mixes are used here - the Japanese shichimi, Szechuan pepper and Cayenne pepper.

Autumn (S$12.90) Pork mince with bonito flavour and fried mixed mushrooms
Three different kinds of mushrooms are used, to reflect the abundance of mushrooms in the fall.

Winter (S$10.90): pork broth ramen
A simple broth is most comforting during the cold season.

King (S$13.90): stir-fried pork with ginger on top
Not tied to any season, but looks like this is the one to rule them all.


The Ramen King bowl has buta shogayaki for a topping
My favourite is the Ramen King. It features beautiful ribbons of buta shogayaki (ginger stir-fried pork), fried mushrooms and shallots. Makes the broth really addictive.


photo 5

Spring (bottom right) - tastes a little Italian, almost like pasta in cream of tonkotsu!
Summer (top right) - the spicy mince is utterly delicious, I like this one too.
Autumn (top left) - with seasoned pork mince, bonito and fried mushrooms, this is probably the most umami of the lot! The bonito is so strong that the broth is almost sweet.
Winter (bottom left) - This is the closest to the Orchid Hotel Tonkotsu King formula, but is much thicker.

Add S$1 for Japanese seaweed and S$2 for the runny tamago (eggs). As usual, you can choose the level of thickness, amount of oil and noodle doneness. Help yourself to free marinated bean sprouts and boiled eggs while you wait for your order.


photo 3
You'll see a progression of seasons as you walk through the eatery. First is spring (see first photo), then summer, and autumn (above) with all the momiji foliage, and lastly winter at the back.


photo 2
Snow monkeys in an onsen. What else could you ask for?


photo 4
Keisuke also bottles his own Green Tea Cola (S$3.80) which helps cut through the grease. It's produced in Shikoku. Tastes like Sprite spiked with green tea.

Oh they just posted a promo:"When you order Ramen bowl at Keisuke Four Seasons, please tell us that you have seen our Facebook page. You will be given “a bottle of Green Tea cola” per one bowl of noodle. (Promotion period 5/10-5/31.)"


photo 1
Also you could win a ticket to Tokyo, one of these gorgeous Arita porcelain bowls (Arita is a famous pottery town in Saga prefecture, Kyushu. This stuff dates back to Toyotomi Hideyoshi's time!), and S$50 dining vouchers. Just post a creative photo when you visit the ramen shop! You have til 10 June.
Details on their Facebook page.


Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons - sounds like a mouthful, but what a tasty mouthful it is. I reckon there are going to be queues here just like at Orchid Hotel. But I'll be back for sure.


RAMEN KEISUKE TONKOTSU KING FOUR SEASONS

158 Rochor Road
Bugis Village
Singapore 188433

Tel: +65 6333-5740

Opening hours:
Weekdays  11:30am to 2:30pm   and 5pm to 10:30pm

Sat / Sun / PH  11:30am to 10:30pm
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Camemberu Celebrates 6th Anniversary in Kagoshima, Japan


OK, so I did something a little different this year. I celebrated this blog's anniversary in my favourite country, Japan. Camemberu turns six in 2013. As was appropriate, I had some meltingly gorgeous Japanese Camembert cheese, deep-fried and served in an addictive soup curry. This was at Goya Restaurant (Kagoshima-shi, Nakamachi 2-13, Nakazono Building, B1) in Kyushu. No website or any other reviews elsewhere, but the food is so good. It's a surprise find, and an absolute gem of a place with great staff. I will put up a more detailed review (we liked the place so much, we actually went back a second time).

Moving forward, the blog will probably focus more on travel, but of course, I won't forget to point out notable eateries or interesting local food to try.
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