Friday, June 23, 2017

Hilton Saturday High Tea Buffet at D9 Cakery


Many of us remember the Hilton's cheesecakes as one of the best in Singapore. Even before their renovation the hotel was a hot favourite for high tea. Now the D9 Cakery at Hilton Singapore has launched a Saturday high tea featuring unlimited handcrafted desserts and those famed Hilton cheesecakes encased in a six-meter showcase.



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Right at the entrance you are greeted by a sleek black showcase of little savoury bites and glass drawers of desserts. You'll find gourmet dessert jars with flavours like Ultimate Chocolate Decadence (three types of premium Valrhona chocolates, caramelized hazelnuts and walnuts), The Apple of My Eye (fresh apple compote and Calvados apple brandy), Citrus Panna Cotta (four types of citrus fruits) and Cassis Chestnut.



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The selection includes artisanal cake creations of Ivory Coffee (a combination of 28% white chocolate and fragrant Illy coffeebeans), Matcha Azuki (freshly baked with premium green tea powder and red bean paste exclusively flown in from Japan), Fudgy Chocolate (rich with 68% Valrhona dark chocolate) and Cassis Caramel (sweet Valrhona 36% Caramélia chocolate and fruity blackcurrants).

The signature Hilton cheesecakes come in four flavours of classic American, blueberry, caramel, pecan and maple. There are also freshly baked Vanilla and Raisin scones with clotted cream and jams.





But desserts are not the only draw.

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Cheese lovers were lining up at the à la minute Swiss Raclette melted cheese station, which had an array of accompaniments like pickles and olives.


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You can have the raclette cheese melted over baguette or potato and rocket leaves. The tartness from the cornichons help to cut through the richness of the cheese. 




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The highlight for me though is the beautifully grilled satay.


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It's so nice to have huge meaty chunks instead of the increasingly shrinking satay you see elsewhere. The peanut sauce is also commendably aromatic. I think we went back twice for this. I'm tempted to return just for this.



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We also found the laksa satisfying. It's at the live noodle station.

Other savoury items include juicy pulled pork sliders, croque monsieur, roasted chicken tortilla wraps and mini tuna burgers.


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The live Teppanyaki ice cream station right in front does interesting concoctions with all kinds of toppings.



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Dress it up anyhow you like. My girls picked a mix of chocolate treats - wafer rolls and M&Ms - to go with the chocolate ice cream.



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Complete your high tea experience with ten selections of Asian and European TWG tea blends or top up an additional $35 for bottomless rounds of sparkling wine, selected beer, white and red wines.


Hilton Endless Saturday High Tea at D9 Cakery

1st seating: 12p.m. to 2:30p.m.
2nd seating: 3p.m. to 5p.m.

PRICING
S$41++ per person with free flow of coffee and TWG tea
Additional $35 for free flow sparkling wine, selected beer, white and red wines

S$21++ per child (aged 5 to 12 years old) / Children below the age of five dine for free.

D9 CAKERY
Lobby Level, Hilton Singapore
581 Orchard Road
Singapore 238883
For reservations, call +65 6730 3392 or email D9Cakery@hilton.com.







Many thanks to Hilton Singapore for the invitation. 
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Singapore 2017 Bib Gourmand Awards: Nine New Entrants

Man, the queue at Man Man Unagi is going to be even worse now.

The list of Bib Gourmand winners for 2017 just came out. There are nine new entrants. Apart from Man Man, we have Tsuta and Shirokane Tori-tama, European restaurant Bar-Roque Grill, and Peranakan restaurant The Blue Ginger.

Hawker stalls include Ah Er Soup and Zai Shun Curry Fish Head, Liao Fan Hawker Chan which specialises in Cantonese-style roast meat, and New Lucky Claypot Rice.

Bib Gourmand awards are given to food establishments that offer a high-quality menu at a reasonable price - which in Singapore means a maximum of S$45.



The full list of 2017 Bib Gourmand winners (in alphabetical order, with new entrants marked with an asterisk) along with addresses and my previous reviews:

A Noodle Story – #01-39 Amoy Street Food Centre
Alliance Seafood – #01-27 Newton Food Centre
*Ah Er Soup - #01-143 ABC Brickworks Food Centre
Balestier Road Hoover Rojak – #01-06 Whampoa Market Place
*Bar-Roque Grill - 165 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-00
Bismillah Biryani – 50 Dunlop Road
Chey Sua Carrot Cake – 127 Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre #02-30
Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa – #01-75 Alexandra Village Food Centre
Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa – #02-67 Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee – #02-01 Tiong Bahru Market
Hong Kee Beef Noodle – #01-42 Amoy Street Food Centre
Hoo Kee Bak Chang –  #01-18 Amoy Street Food Centre
J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff – #01-21 Amoy Street Food Centre
Ka-Soh Restaurant – 2 College Road
Kok Sen Restaurant – 30 Keong Saik Road
Lagnaa - 6 Upper Dickson Road
Liang Zhao Ji – #01-07 Whampoa Market Place
*Liao Fan Hawker Chan - 78 Smith Street
Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant - 1 Keong Saik Road #01-01
Na Na Homemade Curry (Bukit Merah) – 115 Bukit Merah View Market & Food Centre #01-48
*New Lucky Claypot Rice - 44 Holland Drive #02-19
New Ubin Seafood – Block 27 Sin Ming Road #01-174, Sin Ming Industrial Estate Sector A
Peony Jade (KeppelClub) – 10 Bukit Chermin Rd
Shi Hui Yuan – #02-33 Mei Ling Market & Food Centre
Shish Mahal Restaurant – 29 Albert Street
Sin Huat Eating House – 659/661 Geylang Road
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh – 11 New Bridge Road, #01-01
*The Blue Ginger – 97 Tanjong Pagar Rd
328 Katong Laksa (Joo Chiat) – 51 East Coast Road
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice – #01-10/11 Maxwell Food Centre
Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice – #02-82 Tiong Bahru Market
*Shirokane Tori-Tama - 11 Unity Street
True Blue Cuisine - 47/49 Armenian Street
Tsuta Ramen - 9 Scotts Road, #01-01, Pacific Plaza
Whole Earth – 76 Peck Seah Street
Yhingthai Palace – 36 Purvis Street #01-04
Zaffron Kitchen (East Coast) – 135/137 East Coast Road
*Zai Shun Curry Fish Head - 253 Jurong East Street 24 #01-205


You can see last year's list here:
http://www.camemberu.com/2016/07/singapore-michelin-bib-gourmand-awards.html




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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Menya Sakura: Foie Gras Ramen and Truffle Onsen Egg Rice


Foie Gras Ramen.

My world has been changed. I never thought fatty goose liver could taste good boiled or in a soup. But chef Sho Naganuma has managed to do it. He has tenderly sous vide-cooked French foie gras and wrapped it in a smooth chicken breast chashu. The resulting texture is like a delicate beancurd or custard with the alluring flavours of foie gras. In some ways, this is even better than the usual pan-fried variety.

I can see how the chicken works well holding the foie gras in a roulade form. The meat itself is well-marinated in homemade chashu sauce, and it is so tender, I couldn't tell it was chicken breast.

The soup is 100% chicken broth enhanced with shoyu tare topped with a gorgeous mushroom fricassee (three kinds of mushrooms sauteed), toasted pine nuts and watercress. Instead of pork lard on the surface of the soup, chef uses argan oil for a hint of the exotic. Yuzu zest adds the final lift to this incredibly gourmet experience.

So much flair and flourish in a single bowl but this is devoid of any forms of pretentiousness; it's totally worth the S$22.90.

I've always admired the Japanese's finely honed sense of harmony, and this dish is a lovely example of how the flavours and textures complement and set off each other.

However, it's a lot of preparation work that goes into this! So the run is very limited, only until 1 July 2017.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Monti Festino: Italian-Style A La Carte Sunday Brunch Buffet

Few things convey luxurious relaxation as a lengthy Italian-style brunch, complete with stunning waterfront views of Marina Bay and its surroundings. Monti at the Fullerton Pavilion hosts this brunch every Sunday from noon to 3pm.

You'll be presented upon arrival with a seafood platter (one per table) - Alaskan King crab, tiger prawn, tuna tataki, salmon sashimi, Fine de Claire oysters, mussels, clams - with three accompanying sauces. You can also request for just the oysters, tuna, salmon and gamberi (tiger prawns). I think presenting seafood this way is a clever way to reduce wastage.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Yayoi Kusama-Inspired Afternoon Tea at Fullerton Hotel


If you totally adore the polka-dotted frenzy that permeates the art of Yayoi Kusama, you'll be glad to know you can continue your enjoyment of her art in this specially themed afternoon tea at The Courtyard, Fullerton Hotel. The tea is only here for a month - from 9 June to 10 July 2017.

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore’s Executive Pastry Chef, Enrico Pezzelato, who is a fan of Kusama, has specially designed five sweet creations will draw from the iconic Japanese artist’s original pieces currently exhibiting at National Gallery Singapore, from 9 June to 3 September.




These designs are personally approved by Kusama's agency in Japan.

These include a cube of lychee mousse flecked with dots, which mirror the constellation in Gleaming Lights of the Souls. I liked this one; it had a piece of kueh lapis as the base for the mousse. It's a nice touch using a local element.

The most colourful treat is crafted with hazelnut cream on a Breton sable that carries bright gelatinous dots, a tribute to All My Love for the Tulips, I Pray Forever, a piece that was sold for US$5.1 million – the highest price ever paid for a work made by a female artist. The big dots will remind you of colourfully decorated cream cakes in retro bakeries.

A cottony soft strawberry shortcake, topped with whipping cream and sandwiched between cocoa butter printed with striations, bear the mark of Life is the Heart of a Rainbow.

In keeping with Kusama’s I Want to Live Forever from the My Eternal Soul series, 70% Valrhona dark chocolate mousse is tinged a desert red, and topped with a blue chocolate disc and a thin strip of coverture to finish. So rich and delicious the dark chocolate!

Also available is a mango cremeux confection, which sits delicately on piped buttercream frosting and a chocolate base, featuring polka dots synonymous with Kusama. This reminds me of Kusama's Pumpkin, one of my favourite pieces.




This three-tier Afternoon Tea also comes with finger sandwiches, bite-sized pastries, assorted cakes and freshly baked scones. The latter are served with clotted cream and berry preserves. All items are replenishable and the spread is complemented by free-flowing TWG tea or any coffee of your choice. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the experience is complemented by a live harpist.

The Yayoi Kusama-inspired Afternoon Tea, priced at S$43++ per person, takes place from 9 June to 10 July 2017, from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. on Monday to Friday; and 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. (1st seating), and 4.30 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. (2nd seating) on Saturday and Sunday.

THE COURTYARD
Lobby, Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
Singapore 049178
Tel: +65 6877-8911 / 8912





Many thanks to The Fullerton Hotel Singapore for the invitation. Last photo courtesy of Fullerton Hotel.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Expedia Essential Food Guide to Asia


If you love planning your travel itineraries around food, you'll be happy to find this new resource by Expedia: the Essential Food Guide to Asia. It lists 10 of the top foodie destination cities in Asia - Seoul, Hong Kong, Osaka, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok, Penang, Hanoi, Shanghai and Bali - and gives recommendations in categories like street food, standard restaurants, fine-dining, and Michelin-starred restaurants.

It looks like a curated list with select recommendations; it doesn't seek to overwhelm you with hundreds of choices.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

El Cubanos: Cuban-Style Pressed Sandwiches To Die For


I really love finding hidden gems or amazing food that hasn't been hyped about yet. El Cubanos is one of these places. It serves Cuban-style pressed sandwiches which not only take your tastebuds by storm but are affordably priced too. Chef Sanny Abdul Salem is incredibly energetic and passionate about making good food, and you can taste it from the first bite.
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Morton's The Steakhouse Singapore: Spring 2017 Menu



Despite all the new steak places opening in town, Morton's The Steakhouse is still one of my favourite places for steak. In all its 19 years in Singapore, it's been reliable and consistent. You know what you're gonna get, and you know it's going to be good.

The menu rarely changes at this American stalwart, but they have started introducing select seasonal items to cater to regulars who might want to try a little something new. Here's some new items for spring:

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

McDonald's Goes Bananas with Minions!


The Despicable Me Minions are establishing dominion over McDonald’s Singapore this June, and they’re starting with the Soft Serve machine! The mischievous Minions will be switching out McDonald’s famed Vanilla Soft Serve with a creamy Banana Soft Serve.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach: Beach Road Kitchen Dinner Buffet

If you're visiting the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach are, you may want to check out the hotel's adjacent Beach Road Kitchen which serves all-day dining fare. Like at most hotels, it's a safe mix of international dishes and local favourites, but the food is certainly five-star to match the hotel.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Menya Sakura: I Finally Found Singapore's Best Ramen


I'm often asked which ramen place is my favourite in Singapore. We really are spoilt for choice here with over 50 ramen shops, and it's so easy to be jaded, but I can now emphatically say I have found the one I like best and it's no other than the fairly new Menya Sakura at 69 Boat Quay.

Menya Sakura serves Nagoya-style ramen which is characterized by hearty soups carefully brewed from both selected meats and seafood to achieve the best combination of flavours from the land and sea.

The ramen here is, in a word, DIVINE. Good ramen is not about the broth being rich or intense; the taste and mouthfeel have to be well-balanced. The flavours at Menya Sakura are finely tuned and clearly done with an artisan's pride.
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Jade at Fullerton Hotel Singapore: New Look, Superb Chinese Cuisine


Jade at The Fullerton Singapore has completely transformed! Gone are the warm golds and brown hues; this Chinese fine-dining favourite is now cloaked in beautiful pastel teal and bird egg blue. The colours are certainly more jade-like now.

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DBS Marina Regatta 2017: Singapore's Biggest BayFest


The DBS Marina Regatta (DBSMR), Singapore’s Biggest BayFest, is back for the sixth time with high-octane thrills and spills on land and water.

From 1 to 4 June 2017, the regatta will be packed with activities for outdoor enthusiasts, fitness lovers and partygoers from day to night. Singapore’s largest giant inflatable water obstacle course and Singapore’s largest interactive art dome are some of the clear highlights.

The region’s top dragon boating teams will battle it out against the iconic Marina Bay skyline for Asia’s highest prize purse of SGD134,000.

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A Better Florist Speaks the Language of Flowers

If you’re a flower enthusiast, or just an enthusiast for the beauty around us, you’re going to love what A Better Florist has to offer. This unique online florist in Singapore delivers their bespoke blooms all around the country, and unlike most florists, their blooms tell the most beautiful and moving stories. 

Their modern flower bouquets are designed and handcrafted to impress the connoisseurs as well as those who have a keen eye for beauty. The offering is humble yet versatile, and shows that they strive to be passionate and dedicate to each and every bouquet they create.

You are able to also customize your order, depending on your specific needs. Their selection extends from flower bouquets and arrangements, to beautiful and thoughtful bundles and fruit baskets. The options are truly endless. 

I say they speak the language of flowers, simply because every bloom is designed to send out a certain message, and they don’t utilize any blooms to create beautiful bouquets. They will use the flowers that represent the sentiment want to send to the most special individuals in your life. The hours of Googling flower meanings are all over, because A Better Florist does it for you. 

Their signature blooms includes the most charming combinations of the freshest flowers of the season. The Elizabeth, the Emilia and the Julianne stand tall and proud as first your first choices and undoubtedly the crowd’s favourite. 


                                              

The second choice, and one of my personal favourites, has to be the Farmer’s Choice, which are seasonal blooms that come straight from the farm and look magnificent. I present to you, the Keira, The Pamela and the Priscilla.


                                                           




And gorgeous blooms that send out the right message aren’t their only advantage. 


They are also quite convenient if you’re looking to send your flowers to different areas in Singapore, all from one place. A Better florist is my #1, favourite florist if I have to send flowers in Yishun. With just a click of a button you can choose the blooms of your choice and have them shipped off to just about any part of Singapore. And that’s not all. They guarantee a same day, 90-minute delivery for last minute orders. In a busy environment such as Singapore, where nobody waits around for excellence but makes it happen, A Better Florist is a team that created an excellent flower oasis for everyone in need, all around Singapore. 

Take advantage of the florist that offers it all, love, design, thought, affordable prices and a high-class service.


DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed above are not mine

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Dine Inn Has Chosen Its Master Diner!

Photo courtesy of Dine Inn
One deserving foodie has won Dine Inn's Master Diner title and S$2,000 prize to eat her way through the website's home-cooked goodies. Congratulations, Gwendolyn Lim!

Dine Inn is a community where pre-vetted home cooks can offer their dishes to the public, either at their homes, for takeaway, or delivery. Gwendolyn will be taking over Dine Inn's Instagram (@dineinnofficial) to journal her adventure, so we'll get to read her reviews. I can't wait to see what she will pick, and how the food is.

I've got my own personal favourites listed in my post here which also gives you an in-depth introduction to Dine Inn:
http://www.camemberu.com/2017/04/dine-inn-singapore-home-cooked-food.html

But that's from the early days; the platform is growing and there's more to discover!

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Quarters Experience: 10-Course ModSin Communal Dining


Local chef Chung Deming has got to be one of the more under-rated talent on the culinary scene here. He's self-taught and passionate about preserving local flavour traditions. At The Quarters, his first eatery, you can expect ModSin creations like Satay Burgers, Chilli Crab Pasta and Duriancanboleh (Durian Crème Brûlée). Deming also runs Kush at Timbre+ where he offers kushiyaki and donburi with local influences.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line's Luxurious Seven Seas Voyager


If you like cruises but not the crowds, there are ships specially built to service a smaller but more exclusive clientele. Norwegian Cruise Line's most luxurious brand the Regent Seven Seas Cruises has a four-ship fleet that carries at most 490 to 700 guests per ship. These smaller ships can go where big ships cannot, and hence may be able to offer more interesting itineraries. They visit more than 425 destinations around the world. 

The highlight of these upmarket cruises is the inclusive experience. You get everything included in the price, from WiFi to offshore excursions. No more worrying about gratuities either. 

One of those ships the Seven Seas Voyager came to Singapore recently. So we were able to take a peek.



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The Voyager just completed a US$14 refurbishment last November; it's part of a US$125 million fleet-wide refurbishment. The Voyager sports new decor and style across restaurants, lounges, and the 350 suites. Even the menu selections have been upgraded. Voyager offers guests four dining selections from modern French cuisine to the largest specialty restaurant at sea.




Here's a quick tour (10 photos) of the ship that I posted on Instagram.



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The suite is fairly roomy (ranging from 300 to nearly 4,000 square feet) with a large European king-size bed or twin bed featuring their exclusive Suite Slumber Bed® with luxurious European linens and duvet. All suites have a separate sitting area and 97% have a private balcony.

Guests enjoy a personalised full-liquor bar set-up and mini-bar replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water - all complimentary.

The interactive flat-screen television comes with an extensive media library and complimentary movies-on-demand.


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Marble-appointed bathroom with tub or shower in each suite, along with a walk-in closet. For toiletries, expect no less than L'Occitane® soaps, shampoos and lotions.






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There are plenty of lounging areas, some with gorgeous vantage views. This is the Observation Lounge on Deck 11.



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Prime 7 is the Steak and Lobster house where you can enjoy USDA Prime steaks and seafood like whole Maine lobster and Alaskan King Crab legs. In the first photo, we see Chartreuse the French fine-dining restaurant. 



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There's a casino on board, with games like blackjack, roulette, poker, craps and slot machines, but it looks fairly small.


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The Constellation theatre brings you full-scale musical productions and cabaret shows backed by a nine-piece Regent Signature Orchestra. Tiered seating ensures everyone has a good view.


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A fairly well-stocked library hugs the wall of one floor.



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Hair and nail salon for your grooming needs.


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A full-fledged spa on board offers signature massages and therapeutic bodywork, aromatherapy, ayurvedic and seaweed treatments, as well as facials.



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There's a workout studio and gym as well. There are free exercise classes on Pilates, yoga and aerobics. Instructors are on hand to offer advice and demonstrate the use of fitness equipment. One-on-one training can be arranged at additional cost. Equipment includes Lifecycles, free weights, striders, StairMasters, treadmills, weight benches, a Nautilus machine, workout mats and step benches. There's also an outdoor jogging track.




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We had a pretty good lunch at the Compass Rose restaurant.


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Lobster Medallions on Jumbo Lump Crab Salad, with Paddefish caviar


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Seared Duck Foie Gras, banana bread, candied pineapple, pomegranate syrup


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Miso-glazed Black Cod Fish


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Roasted Veal Rack Loin, Porcini-port wine sauce, mashed Yukon gold potatoes, seasonal vegetables



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Warm Croissant and White Chocolate Pudding, vanilla sauce and berry compote



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It was interesting to see the wonderfully inclusive experiences with fine-dining and entertainment aboard a luxury vessel; it's definitely how the upper crust would travel if they wanted a cruise.





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