Why wait for the weekend? Weekdays are perfectly good for a spot of indulgence, and nothing comforts a soul like good food and good company. Surprise your significant other with a midweek treat after a hard day at work, and it will feel like you've cut the wait for the weekend in half!
If you have a Standard Chartered Credit Card, you'll be glad to know that they have put together some exclusive weekday (Mondays to Fridays excluding public holidays) dining privileges for their credit cardholders:
* Enjoy up to 15% off total bill at over 100 participating restaurants
* Get 6% cashback (up to S$50 per month and S$100 per quarter) with an accumulated spend of S$300 at these participating restaurants
* Terms and conditions, minimum spends and exclusions apply. Visit sc.com/sg/dining for the full Standard Chartered Dining Journeys 2016 Promotion Terms and Conditions.
Here's a look at two of the participating restaurants with great food and ambience - OSO Ristorante and The Peranakan. Both are romantic but in very different ways.
OSO RISTORANTEOSO Ristorante is located on the trendy side of Chinatown. This fine-dining Italian restaurant by Stephane Colleoni and chef Diego Chiarini has been around since 2004 and is well regarded by many. It's the quintessential romantic Italian eatery, with low lighting, fine table linen and a warm ambiance.
I know the meal is going to be good when the bread isn't an afterthought. A most pleasing medley of warm garlic focaccia, crispy breadsticks and soft wholegrain slices is served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Fresh Burrata cheese served with cherry tomato and its own sabayon
I love it when a good burrata bursts open with soft creamy insides. This dish doesn't need much seasoning but the salt, pepper and herbs on the plate do help to accentuate the flavours.
Poached spider crab, vegetables tartar
The de-shelled crabmeat is served in the shell underneath the garden of greens. This seafood salad is quite refreshing and so pretty to look at.
Fettuccine pasta with braised Pancetta bacon, onion and red wine ragout
O.M.G. This went down so well, thanks to the braised bacon and onion. The flavours were so good, I didn't even notice (or care) how al dente the pasta was.
Carnaroli rice in risotto style with black truffle
If you love black truffle, this one is for you. The rice has absorbed the richness of the stock, but each plump grain still has a nice bite.
Slow-cooked pork belly “porchetta” style
This was the other stunner, along with the pancetta pasta. Interestingly, both are pork belly dishes (oh, you just cannot fault the part where bacon comes from). Slow-roasted pork belly in this instance is married with a gorgeous sauce and ripe figs.
Hot smoked salmon, tomato tartar, green asparagus and beetroot juice
If you don't take pork, you can try the salmon. It's cooked very simply, so there are no overpowering flavours.
70% hot dark chocolate tart and milk ice cream
This dark chocolate is more sweet than bitter, despite it being 70% dark. But it goes well with the milk ice cream. The cold and warm aspects provide a nice contrast too.
Saffron frozen parfait with candied ginger
This is one for fans of ginger. The sweet candied ginger somehow brings back old school memories.
Or just go for a cheese platter from this gorgeous rack - now that's my kind of dessert!
46 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089858
Tel: +65 6327-8378
Open daily except Sunday
Mon - Fri lunch: 12 noon - 2:30pm
Mon - Sat dinner: 6pm to midnight
Now this is a romantic restaurant of a different kind. It's bright and colourful, like the wardrobe of a fashionable Bibik. But the nostalgia it invokes gives it much romance, and harkens back to a time when going out to any restaurant was romantic. The food here is bold and intensely flavoured; the Peranakans are often seen as a passionate lot and it shows in their cuisine.
Satay Babi Sum Chan
This is pork satay but minus the skewers and with the sauce all over the tender pork belly pieces. The "sum chan" refers to 三层肉 (literally three-layered pork). This is not really spicy, despite the colour.
Asam Pedas Fish Head
The fish head is really fresh and comes with a lot of meat for you to pick at. The asam pedas sauce is a little different from the last time I visited. When we had it with the vegetarian "codfish", it was much thicker. I guess they had to make it more watery to suit the fish head.
Sotong Masak Asam
This squid dish really whets the appetite with its tangy notes from the belimbing or starfruit. It's a beautiful combination of sweet, salty, savoury and sour. This was even better than I remembered.
This Peranakan dish is normally done with duck as "Itek Sio" but the chicken version exists too. The chicken is braised in tamarind and coriander gravy. It almost looks like ayam buah keluak (which is also available here, and done quite well too).
Sambal Udang Petai
Shrimp stir-fried with sambal and petai. I love stink beans. This comes with a generous portion of fresh prawns too.
This cold rice salad dish is chock-full of vegetables and herbs. It's best eaten with the killer sambal belachan. You won't be able to stop once you start.
Yaaaaas. Super spicy sambal belachan. Deserves its own dedicated photo.
Pulot Enti Durian
They have various desserts, some with the option of a divine dollop of durian puree added on top. This time round, the puree is a little on the sweet side. It was perfect when we first visited.
Photo from their Facebook page.
442 Orchard Road, Orchard Hotel - Level 2, Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879
Tel: +65 6262-4428
Open daily from 11am to 10pm
They say the way to a man's (and woman's) heart is through the stomach. Check out the promotions and other participating restaurants at sc.com/sg/dining
CONTEST / GIVEAWAYStandard Chartered is giving away two S$50 vouchers to be used at either of the two restaurants above.
All you have to do is:
1. Share this Facebook post (make sure you have liked both Camemberu and Standard Chartered Facebook pages):
2. Name your favourite dish from the post in your comments.
3. Tag one of your friends who might enjoy the dish as well.
Deadline is noon, 6 Nov 2016. Winners will be announced on Facebook on 7 Nov 2016.
This story was produced in conjunction with Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited. All information provided is on an “as is” basis and for informational purposes only. Standard Chartered and the independent providers or restaurants are not liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein. For more information on the Standard Chartered Dining Journeys promotion and a full list of participating restaurants, head over to www.sc.com/sg/dining now.