Sunday, December 2, 2018

Giveaway: Morganfield's Christmas Ribs Feast & Takeaway



Christmas is here, almost! I don't know about you, but for the centrepiece Christmas roast, I much prefer ribs to turkey, anytime. Morganfield's has prepared a Christmas feast, and I have S$50 vouchers to give away to three readers. Giveaway promo mechanics are at the end of the post.

Morganfield's originated in Malaysia, but they have fashioned themselves after American BBQ restaurants rooted in Southern hospitality, so you'll find hearty and rustic barbecue items. The signature prime pork ribs are slow-cooked and smoked, then basted with a sweet and tangy hickory flavoured BBQ sauce.

Here's a guide to their "Rib-Tastic Christmas Feasts"...


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Monday, November 26, 2018

MealPal: Subscribe for Cheaper Restaurant Meals in CBD, sans Delivery (get S$50 voucher)


Mealtime in the CBD is very often painful on the pocket. The prices of a simple lunch is easily in the double-digits, unless you make your way to a hawker centre or fast food joint. And then you'll have to contend with food that's greasy and less nutritious. It's hard to eat well sometimes.

MealPal is a global meal subscriptions service that offers lunch and dinner options from restaurants at a discount. They launched here in 2016 operating at four business hubs across the island – Buona Vista, CBD, Novena and Orchard. Singapore is the 17th market so far, and we have over 250 restaurants to choose from. Almost my entire office team is on this program because they often have promos for signups that can make a S$12-15 meal as low as $3-5 sometimes. You can even add on hawker meals at S$1 each.

There are a few plans. One month's subscription of 12 meals is about S$95.88, which works out to be S$7.99 each. The signup promos sometimes offer $30-50 off for the first month, making the meals range from $3.82 to S$5.49.

Sign up with my code below and get S$30 off

https://mealpal.com/camemberu/



And since it's Cyber Monday today, you'll get S$50 Lazada voucher if you use my other code below (valid until 30 November 2018 at 11:59pm SGT and cannot be combined with any other promotion).

mealpal.com/catherineling2





How do they enable the cheaper meals?

MealPal provides a way for those restaurants to connect with new swathes of customers whilst reducing costs and making operations more efficient, especially during competitive peak hours.

Delivery is not included. You have to pick up the meal at an appointed timeslot but you don't have to queue. Just head to the cashier, scan the QR code to pick up your ready meal, and leave the other customers staring at you enviously as you completely skip the long lines. Seriously convenient for busy people.

Restaurant favourites such as Teppei Syokudo and Tuk Tuk Cha are included as well as niche chains such as Sarnies, Grain Traders and Folks Collective.

MealPal also has WorkPals which lets you see what your colleagues have ordered, and lets you coordinate meals and pickups together. Lunch is a highly social affair in Singapore!


MealPal

The app looks nicer on iOS, I think. :) You can view the locations by map or listing.

While it's still a little buggy, the team seems to be ironing out kinks as fast as they can, and are responsive to feedback.




Let me show you some of the meals I've had so far. The first photo above is the Gochujiang Salmon bowl (usually S$12.90) from A Poke Theory.


MealPal
Original Roll & Lemonade from Chunky Lobsters! These are about S$16 each. It's quite a generous portion of lobster, although the roll itself is a little dry.


MealPal
This is the hefty Mexican Salad from Sarnies, with pulled pork, guacamole, corn salsa and tortilla chips.


MealPal
There are Asian options galore too, like Thai and Indian. This is the Original Pad Thai from Ocha Fresh Thai at Frasers Tower.


MealPal
How about Pulled Bak Kut Teh in a salad? From Meat & Green near Boat Quay.



MealPal
HafuDog's gourmet fusion hot dogs come with a drink as well. The set normally goes for S$11.90 or more. This is the Bahn Bao, inspired by the Vietnamese Bahm Mi.



MealPal
Berg Burgers' Miss Piggy (cheeseburger with bacon) is a hot favourite on Fridays.






MealPal

I'll need to travel to go to my favourite ramen, but at least it's here too!




MealPal

I didn't get to take pics of this but the rendang is jawdroppingly awesome.




MealPal

You don't have to give up hawker favourites either. Fishball Story! Pick from hawkers at CBD centres such as Lau Pa Sat, Amoy Street Food Centre and further afield to Timbre + at One North.


Don't say I bojio.




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Giveaway: The Peranakan's Christmas Roast Turkey with Nasi Ulam Stuffing


Christmas is officially less than a month away! What kind of turkey are you wishing for this year?

The Peranakan is bringing back the popular festive takeaways: Christmas Roast Turkey with Nasi Buah Keluak Stuffing ($138++) or Nasi Ulam Stuffing ($168++), available now for pre-orders.

A delicious centerpiece that will shine at any party table, this Christmas Turkey is bathed in a marinade of typical Peranakan herbs and spices such as chilies, ginger and lemongrass before a long, slow-roast in the oven. This achieves a delicate and crispy skin, whilst keeping the turkey moist and tender, brimming with lots of juicy flavour on the inside.

Each turkey is also stuffed with a choice of fragrant Jasmine rice fillings – choose from The Peranakan’s renowned buah keluak paste generously stirred through white rice, or our true blue Nasi Ulam made with finely chopped herbs and vegetables. Drizzle on the accompanying sauce, crafted from the concentrated marinade and turkey cooking juices. These are certainly carvings worthy of a decadent Peranakan Christmas!

Collections are to be made from 1 December onwards. Early-bird orders made by 30 November will receive a complimentary set of Apom Bok Kwa Pisang.

For orders, tel: 6262 4728 or email friends@theperanakan.com

Giveaway


The Peranakan has kindly offered to give away a Christmas turkey to one lucky reader. Just head over to Facebook and share this post and comment.

Contest ends 11:59pm, 30 Nov 2018. All results are final.





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Monday, November 5, 2018

Get ready for 11.11 with ShopBack Cashback Buddy



The biggest online shopping season is starting soon! Many shops have begun having their own 11.11 sale, and I already know people who have carts pre-filled with stuff ready to go.

Lower prices are one thing, but smarter shoppers will get cashback on top of that. I came across ShopBack from a friend's recommendation two years ago. They aggregate cashback opportunities from over 500 online stores. If you're using that, you should know about their ShopBack Browser Extension.

Here is what the Cashback Buddy is about:


- It serves as a notification if you happen to be browsing an online store that you can earn Cashback from ShopBack.

- Saves you from missing out on Cashback if you happen to forget doing a clickthrough from ShopBack (The extension will have pop-up appear and the Cashback button will start blinking to notify you.

- You can discover new stores that you never knew you can earn Cashback from.

- If you are doing a search for things online, for example, a product, you can even find out if there are stores you can earn Cashback from via the search engine. Like this:





- If you’re familiar with shopping on Taobao with ShopBack you’ll know that shopping on Taobao on ShopBack involves having to use the search bar on the ShopBack website for every product you would like to add to cart. And since Singles Day is around the corner, it also makes it easier for you to earn cashback as the search bar that users previously have to use in the ShopBack website is now embedded in the extension.






There'll be more new features available in the future to help shoppers make smart shopping decisions.



I have it installed on my Chrome browser and it's pretty useful in alerting me to the stores that offer cashback and how much I can get. The little red icon flashes with a green border when that alert happens.

Happy shopping and happy saving!





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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Alma by Juan Amador: One-Michelin Star Restaurant at Goodwood Park Hotel

In the blink of an eye, Alma by Juan Amador is three years old. The restaurant has plenty to celebrate; it's not only held on to its one Michelin star for three consecutive years, but its Executive Chef Haikal Johari who was paralysed from the neck down three years ago has made extraordinary recovery.


Chef Haikal Johari of Alma by Juan Amador
It was phenomenal watching Chef Haikal walk out on crutches to greet us. He had been so badly injured in that motorbike accident that he couldn't even talk and needed a ventilator to breathe. See his journey of determination here:
https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/chef-learning-walk-after-bike-crash-left-him-paralysed

Alma which means "soul" in Spanish has rolled out new dinner menus to touch the soul. Chef Haikal marries his training in European cuisine with Asian flavours to create dishes that bring both new yet familiar tastes. You'll also find a strong nod to Japanese ingredients and cuisine.

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Håakon Superfoods & Juice: Delicious, Natural and Nourishing


In recent years, I've had a secret yearning to escape to Scandinavia. I joked about moving to a tiny cabin in Norway (maybe north of Tromsø) when I was shifting house. Aside from the cold climes which would be a relief from this blasted heat, I love the Nordic design aesthetics, social structures, and work-life balance. These countries have got it right - it's all about paring everything down to essentials: people you love and the quality of your daily life.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

FOC PIM PAM: Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurant at Orchard

Good Spanish food is hard to find in Singapore. No matter what you say, it just isn't the same as eating in the country itself. The produce, the vibe, and the service: it's best experienced in Spain. But with places like FOC PIM PAM, we can get a taste of Barcelonan bodega buzz.

Starting with the food!

Witness the magnificent Ibérico Secreto Pork & Mushroom Paella (above, S$33). Let me first say that I am not a fan of European rice dishes. But this paella blew me away. It's the richly infused flavours of mushrooms (ceps, button and oyster) and whatever magical stock they've conjured up using chicken and pork trotters; like a spell, it pulls you in and just makes you reach for more. The special cut Ibérico pork topping the rice is marvellously tender too.


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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Visiting Penang for the first time? Must-See Attractions!


Many Singaporeans love traveling to exotic and far-flung locales, so much so that we sometimes forget the gems nearby. For instance, the laid back yet culturally bustling island of Penang, Malaysia. Besides being a food paradise, this island is full of places to explore and must-see attractions. If you've never been to Penang, here are some places and activities you can see and do that are perfect for all ages.

Enjoy the beautiful view at Penang Hill


Being the first colonial hill station developed in Peninsular Malaysia, this hill compromises Western Hill, Bukit Laksamana, Tiger Hill, Flagstaff Hill and Government Hill. Penang Hill is set 891m above Penang’s capital and it is generally 5 degrees cooler than Georgetown. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the island’s breeze on this hill. Not only that, you also get a panoramic view of the northern coast and Georgetown City.

Pray at Kek Lok Si Temple


Kek Lok Si Temple is jaw-droppingly awesome. This massive complex, the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, totally requires time to explore. With Georgetown city as the backdrop, this temple is every photographer’s dream, thanks to its unique architecture. Do make sure you go up there on foot so you don’t miss the tortoise pond.


Enjoy Nature at Penang National Park


Everyone knows that Penang is a food heaven, but once you are done eating, visiting the Penang National Park is the great way to burn calories and to view Penang from the sea. All the way from Monkey beach to the lighthouse and Pantai Kerachut, there are many stops along the way for you to catch your breath and enjoy the beautiful view. If you are looking for a quiet beach to just relax without the noise from the crowd, you should totally visit Pantai Kerachut, one of the hidden gems in Penang.

Explore the fascinating street art


When you are in Penang, make sure you check out all the hidden murals in Armenian Street. From murals of cats to kids on a bicycle, do ensure you find all. Easier way for you to move around the street is to rent a bicycle and ride around this heritage site for the perfect photo opportunity. You can get a map of each mural’s location for the shops nearby.

Enjoying the sunset at Chew Jetty


Chew Jetty is among the last of floating villages in Penang. Wandering along the Chew Jetty is really interesting. The residents have turned it into a little shopping area which is very enterprising given the space or lack of it. When the sunset comes, this jetty becomes a beautiful picturesque view. A must see when visiting Penang.

Dare yourself at The Top at Komtar



If you love an adrenaline rush, check out the new attractions at THE TOP at Komtar. Get your heart racing at the Rainbow Skywalk, a semi-circle glass path that is built just several meters out of the building. The Open Deck will leave you amazed while you enjoy a spectacular view and experience of being amongst the clouds.

Apart from the things above, there are many more activities that can be done in Penang, making this your trip of a lifetime. Don’t miss out your chance to visit Penang when you visit Malaysia. For cheaper flight deals, you can always check out Traveloka Malaysia. They have great deals for flights from Singapore to Penang and to everywhere else you would like to go. Make sure to check them out.











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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Shabu EN Taki Nabe Hotpot: Miyazaki Wagyu and Iberico Pork


Is there a sight more alluring than marbled meat all laid out for your enjoyment? This is certified A5 Miyazaki wagyu and Iberico pork belly sliced thinly and placed around a shabu-shabu hotpot almost volcano style.

This is Kyushu Taki Nabe from Shabu EN, the fourth dining concept from EN Group (which also operates EN Sakaba, EN Japanese Dining Bar and Monster Curry). This Japanese wagyu and Spanish pork combo (S$38.80) feeds two and makes a pleasant, interactive shared meal.

The fact that is Japanese wagyu makes all the difference. You know how Australian and other wagyu doesn't quite taste the same, even if they try to breed or cross-breed the same kind of cattle. There is an aromatic sweetness that is unmistakably the essence that makes wagyu the prized meat it is.



Taki Nabe at Shabu EN

The Taki Nabe features a 40cm hotpot and introduces a new way of enjoying the steamboat dish. The wagyu and pork are layered over cabbage and garnished with spring onions, circling the pot of boiling stock. Simply push in a stack of ingredients, swish them around for a couple of seconds and enjoy!



Shabu EN
There are three different broths to choose from. The Dashi Bonito and Kobu soup, which is the best for making porridge with at the very end. Head Chef Tatsuya Nakayama has also created a Paitan Collagen Chicken soup and a Spicy Kara Miso soup using spices from Okinawa.



Shabu EN


There are three dipping sauces:

  • a ponzu (above) enlivened with shiquasa or shikuwasa limes from Okinawa (it's super citrusy and really cut through the fat): I really liked this one although some may find it a little too tangy
  • goma-dare: the sesame staple with soy and vinegar
  • chili sauce: Monster Curry's spicy and garlicky chili given a touch of sake and ponzu




Shabu EN
You can add on more meat. This is Iberico pork collar (S$7.80). You can get more pork belly (S$6.80) or more wagyu (S$16.80) too.



Shabu EN
They also have Premium Beef (S$8.80) which turned out to be pretty good.


Shabu EN
Big slices of beefy goodness. This beef would suit those who prefer something lean but still tender.


Shabu EN
See that umami broth brimming with flavoursome wagyu and Iberico fat at the end? You simply MUST finish off with a porridge add-on (S$2.50). The friendly wait staff very kindly helped us cook and stir the porridge. Takes about 15-20 minutes but it is so WORTH waiting for!




Shabu EN
The other highlight we found is their Jyubako (or "treasure box") Black Box Bento and I'm referring specifically to the Miyazaki Aburi Wagyu Don Set (an absolute steal at S$22.80) which gives you torched Miyazaki wagyu with sweet soy steak sauce. You can choose your preferred level of doneness, but you can also trust the staff to get the perfect slightly rare grill level. This set is so good, you'll want another one almost immediately.

The bentos come with miso soup, a supremely delicate ikura chawanmushi, salad and dessert (we got a purple sweet potato ball coated with sesame seeds). Kyushu is well-known for its sweet potatoes.

Other options for the bento include Unatama (grilled eel), pork belly shogayaki, wakatori teriyaki, premium beef yakiniku, chicken/pork katsu tama, and tendon. Prices range from S$13.80 to S$15.80 for these sets. They are also available at Monster Curry Downtown Gallery.


Shabu EN
I'm so lucky Shabu EN started this first outlet at Parkway Parade just across from Monster Curry. We are regulars there and the staff already know us well, so we always get fabulous service. My girls and I love hotpot, so we'll definitely be back for this and the Jyubako Aburi Wagyu!




Meanwhile, there's a promo going on: get a free plate of Iberico pork belly with every Taki Nabe hotpot (prices start from S$28.80).



SHABU EN
#01-11 Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Road
Singapore 449269
tel: +65 6348 6171
Open daily 11am – 10pm







Thank you, Shabu EN for the the invitation and hospitality!
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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday Brunch Buffet at JW Marriott's Beach Road Kitchen


Ahh...nothing quite sums up the joy of Sunday brunch like a kid with ice cream. The pure head-on enjoyment is what the Sunday indulgence ought to be like.

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Beauty in The Pot at OneKM Mall: New Bigger Branch On Third Floor


Beauty in a Pot is one of my foodie gangs' favourite hotpot haunts. The collagen broth is something not many places can match, and the ingredients and service never fail to disappoint. While they have a branch at Centrepoint, the original one at OneKM Mall is still better. However, reservations at OneKM Mall are almost impossible and long queues are an everyday sight. So when we heard that they expanded upstairs with a huge 7,600 square feet outlet, this could only be good news.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Grain.com.sg: Healthy, Tasty, Singapore-wide Food Delivery Under 45 Mins


I've liked Grain.com.sg ever since its young but talented team started the venture four years ago to feed people better. Grain creates and delivers nutritious and well-balanced meal boxes. These are cooked by professional chefs and not only look amazing but taste good enough that you might find yourself wanting seconds or maybe the very same meal the next day. I like the the meals are well thought out and sophisticated enough to keep interest going. And they're certified halal!

I particularly appreciate the detailed nutritional breakdown you get with each meal box - calories and macro breakdowns - which are so essential for planning your daily intake.

They used to only serve the CBD (using technology and apps to swiftly deliver orders in 15 minutes) but now deliver islandwide within 45 minutes.



I got a sample of four different dishes, and they are all so beautifully packaged. Here are the official descriptions and my verdict.


Untitled
Roasted Thai Chicken with Sautéed Greens ($12.95)

This dish was so popular that it was brought back in 2018 with a healthy makeover. This Thai-inspired twist on a classic Sunday roast turns up the heat and delivers on flavour. Roasted chicken thigh is served on a bed of antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes and sweet purple potatoes. We've also added spinach to our version 2.0 – a powerhouse of nutrients. Still as tasty as ever, this dish is just what you need after party season.

VERDICT: This was my favourite of the lot! The richly marinated chicken yielded beautifully aromatic flavours and the sauteed greens were just crunchy and gorgeous. Pour on the dressing for an intense tangy effect.





Beef Brisket Rendang on Butterfly Pea Rice with coconut flakes and long bean achar ($12.95)

This striking dish takes inspiration from Nasi Kerabu, a North Malaysian specialty. Chunks of beef brisket are cooked low and slow in a thick velvety sauce with star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric. This is paired with fragrant basmati rice enriched with freekeh, a nutritious whole grain. The brilliant blue colour of the rice comes from the petals of the butterfly-pea flower. Achar, spicy Malaysian pickled vegetables, brings all the elements together with a perfect balance of spicy, sour and sweet flavours.

VERDICT: This is quite appetising eaten with the achar, and the rendang spice mix is not too overpowering (it didn't even need the rice). I found myself wishing there was more beef (I was sharing) but the portion was just nice for one actually. Do make sure you eat this within two hours as the rich coconut in this may spoil easily especially at room temperature.



Tofu-Powered Tabbouleh with aubergine, roasted pumpkin and bulgur ($9.50)

This plant-powered dish will put a spring in your step, even for meat-lovers. The meatiness of aubergine contrasts with creamy roasted pumpkin and nutty bulgur wheat, a hearty Middle Eastern grain. Silken tofu carries the Japanese flavours of soy and mirin, with a delicate citrus note. This dish is all about the interplay of textures and naturally vibrant ingredients.

VERDICT: This is vegan but oh so delicious! It's chilled and refreshing; the combination of ingredients just works. I also like how the soy-ponzu dressing ties everything together. This pack is also the lowest calorie one among the four I got. 



Pan‑seared Norwegian Salmon with citrus vinaigrette on pasta ($14.50)

This vibrantly hued dish is a real feast for the senses. Norwegian salmon is slow-cooked for a buttery texture and seared in a sizzling pan. A zesty citrus vinaigrette keeps things fresh along with crunchy edamame beans, cherry tomatoes and fusilli pasta. Super-satisfying and packed with omega-3 fatty acids, it’s as good for you as it looks.

VERDICT: What seems to be a simple salmon pasta is elevated by an unusual dressing. It's a little on the sweet side, but the fruity accent is interesting. The fish is fresh and cooked perfectly - not dry at all. 


Check out their easy-to-use app.

Use my code RF40460 

and we’ll both get $5 towards good eats!



Meanwhile, Grain is launching a subscription plan, Grain Up, that is currently in its pre-release phase. For a monthly fee, subscribers will enjoy unlimited free delivery and savings up to 25%, depending on which plan they choose. The Mid and Premium plans come with meal credits which can be used to purchase meal boxes, and any unused meal credits will be carried over to the next month. If you are interested, you may email the team at hello@grain.com.sg to register your interest.





Many thanks to Grain.com.sg for the meal boxes. Good luck with the new plan!
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Morton's S$98 Sunday Lunch Menu Has New Dishes


Morton's has introduced new dishes to its Sunday lunch which it started two years ago. For S$98, you get a three course lunch of starter, main and dessert. From the mains, you can choose from the 8.5oz Filet Mignon above, served with asparagus and mash potato. New items include Short Rib Tacos and their Crab Cake BLT. A la carte options are still available.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Shermay Lee Peranakan Signatures at The Dining Room Buffet at The Sheraton



If you love indulging in a good Peranakan spread, you might like to check out The Dining Room and Shermay Lee's collaboration. This sixth generation Nyonya needs no introduction but she's probably most well-known for her award-winning cookbooks featuring recipes from her Peranakan grandmother.

Shermay has curated 20 heritage favourites for Sheraton Towers' The Dining Room x Shermay Lee's Kuehtessentially Peranakan showcase. It happens every on weekends in April (7 to 29). These are some of the dishes you can look forward to.

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