Friday, September 30, 2016

Route 88 Steak Dinner Set at SKIRT (W Sentosa Cove)

SKIRT at W Singapore, Sentosa Cove, is synonymous with succulent steak. The dinner-only restaurant uses an Argentine-style Parrilla grill and Mesquite wood-fire to imbue the meats with a gentle smokiness.

They've launched a new three-course dinner set menu (S$88++) called Route 88 available weekdays (Mon-Thu) that's a real steal considering the quality of the meat.

The prime cuts of meat and sustainably sourced seafood are on display in a glass chiller. I love that huge block saying they officially have Saga-gyu here (I have been to Saga prefecture to see wagyu cattle farms and they are just phenomenal).

The premium meats are dry aged on the premises. They know their meats well, and bring in specialties like the Blackmarket cut from Rangers Valley which is exclusive here.

So many kinds of steak with all manner of marbling. The staff are more than happy to explain the cuts.

If you look up, you'll see shiny metal horn and leather chandeliers just subtly anchoring the theme of SKIRT being a steak joint.

We start off with some warm toasty bread served with artichoke dip and...chorizo oil! This bright red oil is just a stroke of genius. I couldn't get enough of it.

Start of Route

Tuna Ponzu, Chive Flower Slaw and Crispy Rice
This is like a tuna kaisendon minus a lot of carb. There's just enough crispy rice in the mix to provide bits of crunch while the creamy avocado and cold seasoned tuna just feel so soothing and refreshing. I liked this one best.

Crab Cake with Cucumber and Spiced Foam -
This is also delightful - lots of crab meat packed in a grilled patty! It goes well with the spiced foam which gives it a whole new flavour profile.

Confit Duck Leg with Slow Cooked Hen's Egg and Root Vegetables
This in itself can be quite filling, but it's worth it.

Nashi Pear and Beets Tartare Salad with Brin D'amour Goat Cheese
If you prefer something light, fruity and refreshing, this salad appetiser is for you. The goat cheese is not too strong but helps bring everything together.

Pit Stop

For Pit Stop (aka the Main Event), you have a choice of meats, including seafood and a vegetarian option (in case you have companions who don't take meat). But hey, we are here for STEAK.

The SKIRT Duo of Beef from the Parrilla Grill featured the USDA Brandt Tenderloin and the Black Angus Grain Fed MS5+ Sirloin that night alongside some wasabi mash and wild field farmer's salad. The cuts change depending on what's good and available.

The steaks were done perfectly. Look at that beautiful char on the outside and the tender red meat within. I hear them calling, "Bite me!" They need nothing more than a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper. The USDA cut was more beefy and flavourful than other tenderloins I've tried, while the Black Angus was wonderfully smoky and rich.

End of Route

You have three choices for dessert:

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
One for the chocoholic. Which I am not, but the contrasting textures of this dessert made it interesting.

Trio Palette Creme Brulee - Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut, Coconut and Lemongrass; and Earl Grey Tea
What's better than a creme brulee? Three different creme brulees in divine flavours, including one that tastes like Nutella! Love the coconut one too.

Yuzu Cheese Tart, Granny Smith Apple Sorbet, Raspberry, Yuzu Curd
Probably the most fun of the three desserts, this cheese tart came alive with the infusion of yuzu juice.

The experts at SKIRT will also recommend wine pairings should you like a glass or two to go with your meal.

Route 88 is available Mondays to Thursdays and is priced at S$88++ per pax. The steaks alone are worth the price of admission and more than enough reason to cross over into Sentosa on a weekday. Plus, entry charges are just S$2 after 5pm for cars and taxis. If you are an SPG member, you can also earn Starpoints on your spending at SKIRT.

W Singapore
Sentosa Cove
21 Ocean Way
Singapore 098374

Tel: +6568087278
Open daily
Sunday - Thursday 6PM - 11.30PM
Friday, Saturday, Eve Of Public Holidays, Public Holidays & Special Events 6PM - 12.00AM

Many thanks to W Sentosa Cove for the invitation.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Conrad Centennial Singapore Turns 20 with Hotel Staycation Package and Birthday Bear

Feeling like a vacation but can't spare a long holiday at the year end? Well, Conrad Centennial Singapore turns 20 this year with a special weekend staycation room package. A Classic Room can be yours from S$220++ per night for weekend stays between November 4 and December 23, 2016. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Floral Garage: How To Build Your Own Terrarium (DIY Kits)

If you've been to the Singapore Garden Festival earlier this year, you may have seen the Terrarium section that's quite enchanting. Maybe it's even inspired some to start building their own terrariums.

Terrarium building is great for curious and creative minds. It is a great activity to introduce to kids and teens. Even for adults, these can be therapeutic. You get a living art installation of your very own, and technically these become your plant pets.

I recently got to try the Premium DIY Terrarium Kit (S$159.90) from Floral Garage Singapore, This is by far the most comprehensive kit I've seen for making your own terrariums. 

It comes in a big box and has everything you need to build two terrariums:

Six plants
Two Glass Jars
One Spray Bottle
Gardening Tools
1.5 kg of Premium Terrarium Mix
1.25 kg of Gravel
250g of Activated Charcoal
Three packets of Decorative Pebbles, 800g each

In fact, there are more than enough plants for two terrariums; you could have enough for other mini pots. 

This is what makes the box heavy - the potting soil, gravel and decorative pebbles, all neatly packaged and labelled. 

The instructions are so sweetly drawn. With everything provided, assembling the terrarium is easy even for total beginners. Let's go through these:

Step 1: Wash the gravel and drain the excess water.

Step 2: Place about half to 1cm of gravel in the glass jars.

See the mini shovel, spade and rake? They come in the kit; they look so cute but are actually useful.

Step 3: Lay a thin layer of activated charcoal.

Step 4: Remove the plant from the pot, loosen the soil and trim the roots to fit the jar. (To be honest, I didn't dare cut off too much!)

Step 5: Place the plants in and backfill with the premium potting mix.

Step 6: Put in the decorative pebbles.

Step 7: Mist the plants.

Yeah they even give you a spray bottle for that. It's such a gentle way of watering your plants. And kids just love spraying water, so you know your plants will be well-taken care of.

So there you have 'em.

Now as you can see, my terrarium design skills are the pits. I am all thumbs (none green) when it comes to gardening. All my plants tend to die. Other people's basil and mint are growing like gangbusters, but mine won't even get the past sapling stage.

But I am so pleased that even after two months, these terrarium plants are still alive and thriving.

Floral Garage also gave me an infographic that explains more about terrariums.


You can also check out Floral Garage's Succulent/ Cacti (the second photo) Other Terrariums and the DIY Terrarium Kits

They also have other gift choices like flower baskets, party packages, party decor, balloons, pinata and party ware.

Promo Code for 10% Off

Simply use the promo code "CAMEMBERU10" for a 10% discount when you shop at Floral Garage. Code is valid until 31 Dec 2016.

Many thanks to Floral Garage for the DIY terrarium experience!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Buttertrade Giveaway: Ondeh Ondeh Cake from "In The Brickyard"

Cake! It's one of the simple joys and indulgences that makes both kids and adults happy. Where do you like to get your favourite cakes from? If you love cakes with a more artisanal touch, here's a new place where you can find them - Buttertrade!

Buttertrade is an online marketplace where you can browse and buy from small boutique bakeries. There are more than 100 cakes including novel & local flavours, vegan, halal, gluten-free and even a dedicated section for our four-legged furry friends!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

NOW Noodles at Square 2 Novena: Eat Mee!

Introducing the Mee Tai Mak with Century Egg at NOW Noodles. This is something you won't commonly get elsewhere. I'll have to say I was at first curious about this adventurous combination - mee tai mak or bee tai mak stir-fried with century egg? Some people might have reservations. But give it a go.

I was wowed by its wok hei, its garlicky aroma, prawns, mushrooms, crispy fried egg, fragrant chives and the mellow bits of century egg - there's more "liao" (ingredients) than noodles! Tastewise, it's almost like a carrot cake but with extra character and complexity. I am so coming back for this, and next time I am not sharing!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

McDonald's Ebi Burger Is Back! With Seaweed Shaker Fries and Fish Dippers Too!

Yay! McDonald's Ebi Burger is coming back! I love the crispy breaded whole-shrimp patty topped with Thousand Island dressing, random cut lettuce and tangy mustard! #fatdieme

The Ebi Burger is available for a limited time only from 22 September. If it was on the permanent menu, #superfatdieme.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - More Home Than Hotel

Ever get tired of being cooped up in a tiny hotel room and wish you had the spaciousness of home?

Then you might like to consider Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur if you're headed to the capital of Malaysia. The rooms are not only big but also come with amenities - kitchenette, washer, dryer, microwave, full-size fridge, crockery and cutlery - to make you feel right at home.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Halia Launches Halia Provisions - Ginger Goodies for the Home

The Halia is celebrating its 15th anniversary by launching Halia Provisions, a retail line of homemade dressings, jams, condiments and a selection of pastries that are handcrafted for enjoyment at home.

The Halia is named after the Malay word for ginger, referencing the locale of the homegrown brand’s first restaurant within the Ginger Garden of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Since its opening in 2001, The Halia has been known for using modern European cuisine as a canvas for showcasing Asian flavours.

The original Halia-style Chilli Crab Spaghettini for example, celebrates the restaurant’s roots in Singapore, and is immensely popular with tourists and locals alike. In 2008, The Halia expanded to include Villa Halia, a 220-seater events space also located within the Ginger Garden, and the opening of Halia at Raffles Hotel marked yet another milestone for the brand.

I got a set of the lovely products:

1) Ginger Flower Dressing (S$13.50 for 250gms) - a beautifully aromatic dressing for salads, rice, popiah, rojak, whatever you fancy.

2) Ginger Pineapple Jam (S$7.00 for 250gms) - pleasing combination you could possibly use as a relish or dessert topping.

3) Wild Mountain Honey (S$25 for 330gms) hand-harvested from the virgin rainforest of U Minh National Reserve in Southern Vietnam.

4) Halia Infusion (six sachets for S$26) - sundried ginger slices, just a few pieces per sachet but they are pretty strong, so feel free to make your own teh halia!

5) Maldon Salt ($9 for 60gms) - mine are small sample bottles in three flavours: Umami for seaweed infused salt (my fave); Chili & Lemon; Woodland Mushroom. I like how they are all intensely flavoured.

“Halia Provisions has been a project in the making for over two years. The range showcases some of the most popular flavours on our menu, such as the Ginger Flower Dressing and Halia Infusion, as well as homemade desserts such as its Signature Macarons. Guests can now bring a taste of their favourite Asian inspirations home, wherever that may be,” says Esther Wee, Managing Director of The Halia.
These ginger goodies are available now at The Halia's "grab-and-go", located a stone's throw away from Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Super Lunch Sunday Buffet at PARKROYAL on Pickering

Lime Restaurant at PARKROYAL on Pickering is beautiful with high ceilings and glass panels letting in all that therapeutic natural sunlight. Seats and furnishings are comfy, and service is always with an easy smile. I always feel very good coming here.

During our weekend staycation (link to staycation blog post) at PARKROYAL on Pickering, a PARKROYAL Collection hotel, we tried their Super Lunch Sunday. It starts at 12:30pm, allowing you to sleep in as long as you like on Sunday. And it lasts four luxurious hours, allowing you to catching up with friends and spending quality time with family over a good variety of nibbles.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Must-Read: Most Interesting Quora Answer Ever

Dogged determination. Tenacity. Ambition. Hard work. Street smarts. Hunger and drive. A fascinating life story of success and failure. This was someone who clawed himself back multiple times back into the 1%.

I've read so many "life" tips and much advice on Quora but this one just blows the mind. Some of his opinions may surprise you too.

I should warn you that this is also one of Quora's longest reads.

My friend Hisham (who shared this) took 90 minutes to read this whole thing. I'm probably going to take longer, and re-read it a few times, and even make this bedtime reading for my kids. There are a lot of valuable and practical life lessons in there, and I also love the books he recommends at the end.

Please to enjoy.

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