Monday, November 28, 2016

Wan Hao at Marriott Singapore Tang Plaza Hotel: New Look, New Menu



Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant at the Marriott Singapore Tang Plaza Hotel has re-opened its doors after a major refurbishment. The new theme “House of a Chinese Scholar” brings about ornate décor with dramatic black and gold colours. Along with that comes a new repertoire of Cantonese cuisine with a focus on well-executed, nutritious dishes, as well as an extensive array of wines.

At a recent tasting, we saw some of the new dishes:


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From top: Steamed Shrimp Dumpling with Black Truffle and Cordyceps ($6 for 2 pieces), Deep-fried Taro Dumpling with Mini Abalone and Scallop ($10.50 for 2 pieces) and Crispy Mango Prawn in Rice Roll ($6.50 per portion)

This select trio showcases some of the well-thought out new items on the dim sum menu. I love how the chef managed to create such translucence and bite in the crystal skin of the shrimp dumpling. The deep-fried taro dumpling is superb, with the savoury baby abalone on top and a piece of scallop ensconced within! The Crispy Mango Prawn Roll seems ordinary by comparison though.



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Stewed Bird’s Nest with Egg White, Crab Meat and Superior Soup ($68 per person)
This dish won many hearts that night. Copious mounds of braised bird's nest mingling with ethereal egg white, and succulently sweet crab meat - this in itself is already a treat, but the exquisite superior soup (see background) elevates this to even higher ground.

We were recommended not to pour the soup into the bowl, but to eat them separately. A mouthful of soup, a bite of the ingredients...and let the flavours intertwine. Wow.



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Deep Fried Prawn with Black Truffle, Mayonnaise and Broccoli ($35 for small portion)
Crunchy fried prawns with an interesting truffle mayo - what's not to like? What I really enjoyed was the crispy spherical half-shell of yam that the prawns rested on. A bonus treat, it was.



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Wok-fried Iberico Pork with Home-style Spiced Sauce ($30 for small portion)
This is a fairly typical Cantonese-style stir-fry. The Iberico pork is suitably tender (maybe still with a little help from tenderiser), and the sauce is not too spicy but well-balanced.



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Braised Japanese Ramen with Lobster Meat in Superior Soup ($16 per person)
That's a lot of lobster in this dish for this price. The flavours for the stock were a little subdued for noodles of this thickness. I was just thinking if they had used the rich and intense stock from the bird's nest dish, the whole experience would certainly change. Maybe even some yuzu zest sprinkled on top as a finishing touch. Of course, the price should also change accordingly!




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Deep Fried Crispy Durian ($16 for 4 pieces)
If you love durian, don't miss this dessert. These plump fritters are so well-fried, they don't seem greasy at all.



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And the smooth durian pulp within the light and crispy batter is just delightful.


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Chilled Coconut Pudding with Purple Glutinous Rice Sauce ($10 per person) 
For those who prefer a cold dessert, this pudding with ice cream should satisfy. It's not loud or dramatic but just very soothing.



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The dining environment is elegant with no expenses spared in furnishings.

Since ancient times, the ideals of a Chinese scholar are demonstrated through the individual’s strength in reason, creativity, expression and dexterity, and these are evident in the four arts – “Qin” (zither, 琴), “Qi” (strategy board games 棋), “Shu” (calligraphy 書) and “Hua” (painting 畫).

The influences and elements of these four arts are incorporated into the design, from the plush furnishings to the reception and main dining hall that are bathed in hues of gold and brown. The use of curated art pieces and artistic calligraphy play up the experience.


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The four-seater booths are reminiscent of giant jewel boxes, each representing one of the four arts, while the four private dining rooms fashioned with oriental influences offer exclusivity – perfect for hosting private events.

A la carte specialties starting from $3.50++
Set Lunch (Daily) starting from $58++ per person
Set Dinner (Daily) starting from $78++ per person
Weekend Dim Sum Buffet (Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday), starting $68++ per person

Check out the website also for their seasonal promotions, like the Lunar New Year ones coming up.

WAN HAO
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza
320 Orchard Road
Singapore 238865
Tel: +65 6831 4605

Opening Hours:
Lunch: 12pm to 3pm
Dinner: 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm Monday to Friday

Lunch: 11.30am to 3 pm
Dinner: 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday





Many thanks to Wan Hao for the invitation
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fat Lulu's: Asian BBQ and Modern Desserts


It's not often I begin with desserts, but the ones at Fat Lulu's are worth talking about. They are pretty and playful, a sweet treat for the senses. This Childhood (S$16) peanut popsicle with chocolate cookies and frozen raspberry puree is even evocative of a child's lolly smashed on the ground. The good part is you can pick all of it up and eat it. Ah, closure.


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Fat Lulu is the bromantic brainchild of divergent Chefs Sam Chablani (Head Chef, left) and Chef Song (Pastry Chef, right). They used to co-own Five & Dime at the same premises, but revamped it to introduce a brand new concept: beautifully charred BBQ (#NoBurnNoTaste) seasoned with Asian spices and chilies by the gregarious Sam, paired with the visually arresting and soulful desserts by the soft-spoken Song who strives for a #HappyEnding.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Entertainer Now with Cheers - Buy One Get One Free Drinks!




The Entertainer has launched its 2017 iOS and Android apps for Singapore! This is a leading "Buy One Get One Free" incentives brand offering over 1,700 such deals for hotels, restaurants, cafes, attractions, leisure activities, spas, fitness, and retail.

Total savings are valued at S$250,000 for 2017 and available at spots such as Meat Smith, Open Door Policy, Jamie's Italian, Bedrock Bar & Grill, Wave house, Spa Luna Sentosa, and Forest Adventure.




What's New

For 2017, Entertainer Singapore is introducing Cheers Singapore 2017 featuring 800 Buy One Get One Free Drink offers at restaurants, bars and nightspots. Pick from single beverages to bottles of wine / spirits / beers, double cocktails, pitchers and more. Venues include LongPlay, Gravity Bar (Carlton hotel), Mad Men Attic Bar and Sentosa’s Finest - Bob’s Bar, Museo and much more.

The other new thing seasoned ENTERTAINER Singapore members will appreciate is: You can now get a 4th voucher at your favourite spots! Most places offer three vouchers.

"Smiles" is a virtual currency system which allows members to earn reward points when you use the app. Once you've hit a certain number of reward points, you get to unlock a 4th voucher and get extra Pings, among other benefits.




Buy Entertainer, Get Cheers Free

Cheers Singapore 2017 normally costs S$125 but you'll get it free with The Entertainer Singapore 2017 .

The Apps' regular retail price is $125 each, but right now, both Apps are available until November 30th at a special discounted price of $95. That's $155 in savings! Buy The Apps Here.

In 2016, it's estimated Entertainer members will have used over 310,000 digital offers, with the average member saving about S$650.




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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Nanjing Impressions 南京 大牌檔: Coming to Plaza Singapura



Those of you who have been to China may have come across Nanjing Impressions ( 南京 大牌檔 or Nanjing Dapaidang) which has 35 outlets across the country. Recently a new acquaintance of mine told me he liked them so much he visited them three times on a trip. He is very excited that Nanjing Impressions is opening its first overseas outlet at Plaza Singapura in Dec 2016.

UPDATE: 
Nanjing Impressions has opened at Plaza Singapura #04-46 to 51 (Tel: 6352-7877) and operates daily, 11am to 10pm. The experience is pleasant but not exactly the same due to the use of different produce and certain tweaks to suit local palates. I will visit after they have settled in and finished fine-tuning the dishes after getting local feedback. 

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Super Loco Customs House and Robertson Quay, Lucha Loco at Duxton



Mexican food in Singapore has for many years been the bastion of poor imitations. When Lucha Loco opened at Duxton Hill in 2012, they brought a modern take on authentic Mexican flavours inspired by the founders' travels in Mexico.

Since then, The Loco Group has spawned two other restaurants: Super Loco at Robertson Quay in 2014 and most recently, Super Loco Customs House in the heart of the CBD. Each one has its own focus, but the overall theme of fun and festive eating is prevalent throughout.

Oh and there's no service charge, so leave a tip if you've enjoyed their service!

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Circles.Life Referral Code OBWAN


YES!!! I'm no longer stuck with a randomly generated referral code, but I now own OBWAN, named after my favourite sci-fi Gandalf. That's all because from Nov 2016, Circles.Life users can customise their referral code, as a reward for hitting 3GB of bonus data.


Use my referral code OBWAN and get $20 off your registration fee!




Seriously, he's so bad ass, he fears nothing.



Circles.Life does have a great referral program - code users get $20 off, and you get 200MB bonus monthly data per user who stays on the network. The bonus data keeps adding up!

Don't worry, my old one 2DQWC still works, if you submitted that.

By the way, some people aren't sure where to key in the referral or promo code. It's right here on top of the final screen before checkout:

Yeah that gray box can be a bit hard to spot if you zero in on checking the figures and the big blue PAY NOW button. But now you know!


Reasons to Switch

Still wondering whether to switch? Check out my 12 reasons to consider!
http://www.camemberu.com/2016/10/circleslife-review-12-reasons-to-switch.html



Break Up Bonus Data

Circles also just introduced the "Break Up" promo campaign. If you're still tied to your existing telco's contract, you'll be happy to know you can be rewarded with extra data for breaking that contract early. Circles will give you 2GB per month EXTRA data (up to 12GB max) until June 2017. After which, 1GB per month stays on permanently.

For example, if you have 6 months left on your contract, if you port your number over, you'll get 12GB per month BONUS data until June 2017. From July, your bonus data will then be 6GB per month.

https://pages.circles.life/campaign-contract-break-up/







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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Korean and Thai Snacks


Recently I got to try some new snacks from Korea and Thailand.

Darda Premium Caramel Popcorn (S$3.90)

i) Caramel & Cashew Nuts
ii) Caramel & Pretzels

Product of South Korea

Highlights: Similar taste to Garret Popcorn but at a more affordable price.
Uses Mushroom kernel popcorn which pop into firm round shapes, unlike Butterfly types that are light, airy and pop into complicated shapes. The popcorn is coated with rich caramel, but does not stick between teeth after eating. Resealable pack for convenience.


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My take: Forget Garrett! This is WAY better and far more addictive. The caramel coating is truly generous and the hint of salt just makes this so addictive. I generally prefer savoury to sweet snacks but this one won me over.

Available at: NTUC Fairprice (from Dec-Jan festive period), SPC Gas stations, Popular bookstores, Redmart, Nice minimart, Shine Korea Mart, Sol-Mart, MrBazaar.com.sg


Yuki Jasmine Rice Crackers (S$1.50)


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i) Snowy Milk Flavour (57g)
ii) Original Flavour (57g)

This is produced in Thailand by an old Japanese Brand 雪饼 (Snowy Milk)
Highlights: Smooth and light texture


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My take: Oh these are pretty nice. They kinda taste like Wang Wang biscuits but are more delicate in texture but stronger in taste.

Available at: Caltex Gas stations, Popular bookstores, Redmart, Nice
minimart, MrBazaar.com.sg


Chao Lay Crispy Anchovy (S$4.95)



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i) Tom-Yum Flavour (100g)
ii) Original Flavour (100g)

Product of Thailand

Highlights: No MSG, No Preservatives, High Omega 3, High Protein. Can be used to as a protein-based topping for instant noodles/ Bee Hoon/ Porridge. Also makes a good beer snack.

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My take: These take a bit of getting used to. They are not the super crunchy kind of satay fish that we have locally. Although generally crispy, the fish is a little bit soft and chewy. The anchovy scent is also an acquired taste. I still prefer our local versions of crispy fish or Big Bang Seaweed for the spicy tom yum taste. I think they might work better in porridge or with soupy noodles than as a snack.

Available at: NTUC Fairprice (from Dec-Jan festive period), Popular bookstores, Redmart, Nice minimart, MrBazaar.com.sg


Mr Bazaar is on Social Media and these online shopping platforms:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrbazaar.sg/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mr_bazaar/
Redmart: https://redmart.com/marketplace/mr-bazaar
Lazada: http://www.lazada.sg/mr-bazaar/

Wholesale prices available for corporate/company/school events/wedding
gifts with miminum order quantity (MOQ).










Thanks to Mr Bazaar for the samples.


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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Mitzo Chinese Restaurant Weekend Brunch Buffet


If you're tired of Western brunches, take a look at Mitzo's Weekend Brunch (S$68++ per adult) which seeks to redefine the yum cha experience with progressive Cantonese fare. It features premium dishes such as lobster, abalone and bamboo clam in addition to an a la carte buffet of over 40 dishes comprising of supreme seafood delicacies, dim sums, roasts, wok dishes and desserts.

For another $60++ per adult, indulge in free flow Veuve Clicquot champagne, wines, beers or artisanal cocktails artfully selected by Mitzo’s in-house mixologist to complement the brunch.

But the great value brunch is not the only reason to visit.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Tsuta: Michelin-Starred Ramen Arrives in Singapore



Everyone is curious about Tsuta - the first ramen eatery ever to receive a Michelin star, awarded in 2015 - opening its first overseas branch in Singapore tomorrow (6 Nov 2016).

There's only one outlet in Tokyo, and they only serve 150 bowls a day. Hundreds of hopeful diners in Japan begin queuing as early as 6am for a ticket to dine at the nine-seater establishment. The store does not open its doors until 11am, but tickets for the day typically sell out by 8am.

There hasn't been a long storied past with Tsuta. Chef Yuki Onishi broke away from the fashion industry and started Tsuta only in January 2012. He apprenticed with his father who was a ramen seller. Chef Onishi focused on the shoyu broth and using a rich dashi (soup stock) to accentuate the flavours.





The signature Shoyu Soba (from S$15 to S$22.80 nett per bowl) comes with a decidedly complex soy broth made with three types of shoyu. Two of the shoyu is formulated inhouse, and Chef Onishi has a brewer in Wakayama prefecture making the third to his specifications, and using soybeans that are matured for two years.

Approach the ramen with Tampopo-like meditative appreciation, and you will experience the smoky depth of the shoyu broth enhanced with dashi made with whole chickens, vegetables, clams and other seafood ingredients.

The toppings (optional) are simple: slices of char siu (nicely marinated), menma or stewed bamboo shoots, and an incredibly tender but salty boiled egg.

A dollop of leek and truffle paste in truffle oil anoints the piping hot bowl of noodles. Purists may balk at this, but it's meant to give the ramen character, to help it stand out.





Personally, while I enjoyed the shoyu soba, I'm still a tonkotsu girl at heart. I will go for the shoyu broth when I want something "cheng" - clear and light.

I am curious to see how Singaporeans will respond to this shoyu broth, as the majority are steadfast tonkotsu fans. The Shoyu Shoba does have its own unique signature and is sophisticated in its own way. Will it be strong enough to carve a following among the palates craving something different?






There is also a Shio Soba (salt broth, same prices) which is a chicken-seafood blend made by adding a careful balance of Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt.

The two bowls look remarkably alike, as you can see from the first photo. The one on the left is the Shio broth. I thought I would like the Shio version more as I normally prefer shio to shoyu, but Chef Onishi's Shoyu is truly more exotic.

A Miso version is coming at a later date.




Tsuta’s noodles are handmade, as it is Chef Onishi’s motto to prepare ingredients by hand. Chef Onishi has also specially curated four types of whole wheat flour as well as whole grains to create the noodles. The smooth strands certainly are made for slurping!

So is it ramen or soba, you wonder? It's called soba here, because in Japan, "soba" is a generic term for noodles.






Singapore’s 18-seater outlet is a bright and cheery one at Pacific Plaza. The chefs here will be using the same special soy sauce and ingredients (as much as 80%) that its Japanese counterpart uses, so that the flavours are as close as possible.






In Japan, they have a vending machine dispensing tickets for the ramen. Here you get a touchscreen kiosk with photos of the food for easy ordering. You can by by cash or card, and even Apple Pay. You'll even get change back for cash!

It's only one machine though, so I reckon the line that forms here is going to be made worse when a bottleneck forms with people who aren't familiar with this method of ordering.



TSUTA
9 Scotts Road
#01-01/02/03 Pacific Plaza
Singapore 228 210
Opening hours
6-11 Nov : 11am to 6pm (last order 5:30pm)
12 Nov onwards : 11am to 10pm (last order







Many thanks to Tsuta for the preview!
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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Giveaway: New Zealand Snack Pack for Movie Nights!


Who's up for a movie night with a lovely Sauvignon Blanc, scrumptious chips, Hokey Pokey chocolate (studded with honeycomb), natural fizzy drinks, and peanut butter to eat straight from the jar? These are all some of New Zealand's snacks that are available here. New Zealand has such great produce. I like their focus on quality natural ingredients, sustainable produce and how everything is GMO-free.

I wrote about some New Zealand products in my Food & Hotel Asia round up on Yahoo:
https://sg.style.yahoo.com/fha-2016-highlights-hidden-gems-075502166.html

I loved the hot sauces from Culleys, the coconut and chia snack pots from New Zealand Dessert Company, and also Genevieve's dressings. I'm still hoping they will arrive on our shores soon, but until recently I didn't have a way to track what New Zealand products were here.

But now New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) has set up a microsite that highlights all the New Zealand food and beverage products available online in Singapore.

www.newzealandfood.co


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Giveaway

NZTE is giving away one Snack Pack for Movie Nights worth S$75 comprising the following:

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc
Mother Earth Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar added)
Whittaker's Chocolate Hokey Pokey
Proper Crisps - Sweet Smoked Paprika
Proper Crisps - Marlborough Sea Salt
Pete's Natural Ginger Beer
Pete's Natural Lemonade
A Virtual Reality Goggle Kit you can use to view 360 videos.

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All these would be perfect for a movie night in! Netflix and munch!

All you have to do is visit this link and answer one simple question.
http://newzealandfood.co/news/giveaway-new-zealand-snack-pack-for-movie-nights/

Contest ends 2359hrs, Thursday, 17 Nov 2016. Good luck!

Connect with them on Facebook too!





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