Monday, April 29, 2013

Ferran Adria Shares Plans for elBulli Foundation at Catalunya

It's so amazing meeting Ferran Adria in person at Catalunya. He's really charged about what he and his team are doing. He spoke very passionately about the elBulli Foundation, which will feature a two-prong approach to preserve the legacy of elBulli, and spark greater culinary creativity.

Full details in my story here


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ito-Kacho: Chilled Kagoshima Wagyu for Your Yakiniku

If you love your beef chilled rather than frozen, and want your wagyu cuts from specific parts of the belly, Ito-Kacho has the menu for you. The wagyu is specially sourced from a farm in Kagoshima that supplies exclusively to Ito-Kacho. Grill this all on fancy ceramic charcoal grills that don't emit smoke.

My full story and more photos here:

Meanwhile, I am off tonight to Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Oita, Fukuoka for the next eight days, doing a loop tour of Kyushu island. Oh the photos I am dying to take!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road: Stunning Service! Plus Dinner at Si Chuan Dou Hua

The girls had fun at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road

Oh we had such a lovely stay at the PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road.

This was formerly the New Park Hotel. It's been reborn as a four-star establishment and is easily the most comfortable hotel in the area. The location, as I found, is marvellous for anyone who wants to explore Little India and Jalan Besar (eateries galore!). Kitchener Road itself has a few interesting restaurants. Check out my list of 10 eateries around the area.

We took one final staycation there before the school holidays ended, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered. (Psst, you can win a free stay in a special contest below - details at end of post)


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sharing the Richness of Singapore Life on #sgmemory


It is what it sounds like. Preserving memories of Singapore.

Singapore is less than 50 years old, but so many things are already gone. Things we love, things we hate. Progress at breakneck speed will do that to you. Harried chopping and changing in a tiny island will leave in its trail disjointed peculiarities - here today, gone tomorrow.

When I was in Saga-ken (a rural prefecture in Japan) last year, one of the locals told me, "Nothing ever changes here."

Saga is beautiful and charming in a timeless way, but the locals sometimes feel bored. Yes, change is exciting, and it's healthy. I just wish we had the luxury of more time to enjoy what we have. Our ways of life as we know it seem even more transient, even more precious and worth noting down.

Here's where you can add to the memories. The Singapore Memory Project has started a repository of digital memories -  

Anything in or with regards to Singapore, even something that's not old or retro, can be added. Big or small, triumphant or trivial - immortalise it all in the form of texts, images, audio or video files. Instagram or Twitter users use the hashtag #sgmemory to help create awareness of this project.

Last Saturday, a group of us food bloggers went around Singapore on a #sgmemory food trail of some of of the older "makan" eateries. Daniel was our "tour guide" and he did a great job; I discovered quite a few new things.

First stop: Zam Zam Restaurant (697 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198675)

One of the things we hope will never disappear - a good teh tarik (mine's with halia/ginger)!

Zam Zam is more than 100 years old; it was set up in 1908. 
Service is brusque at best, but the place is still packed. 
Come upstairs for some air-conditioning.

Look at these stamped metal cutlery pieces. 
These bring back memories of school canteens and 
frustrated attempts at cutting anything tough (ever bent one of these?).

Of course, Zam Zam is most famous for its murtabak (mutton, chicken, deer).
 Skip the briyani and save the calories for this. 

Second Stop: Rich and Good Cake Shop (24 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198887)

Oh the heavenly Pandan Kaya Swiss Roll. 
So fluffy and soft, it feels like biting into a cloud. 
One of the signature items at Rich and Good Cake Shop.

You'd be all smiles too, if you had some of these Swiss Rolls.

This is the Mango version, filled with cubes of the tart fruit and extra cream. 
I prefer the kaya one though, and I hear the durian one is great too.

This shop has been around since the 1970s. 

Third Stop: Seow Choon Hua Restaurant (33/35 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198481)

Next up - a feast of Foochow delicacies! 

Seow Choon Hua Restaurant - this slightly run-down eatery is a 
no-frills, non-air-conditioned joint in a refurbished shophouse in the Arab Street area. 

Foochow fishballs famously have a mince pork filling. 
Here everything is handmade, and you can really 
feel the difference in the soft yet chewy texture. 

Red wine lees chicken with mee sua - a fortifying meal. 
Thankfully the wine flavour is not too strong here, unlike confinement versions.

Foochow "Yan Pi" is this dumpling wrapper made from 
hammering pork with sweet potato flour until it becomes a skin. 

Fourth Stop: Tiong Bahru Galicier Confectionary (55 Tiong Bahru Road, #01-39, Singapore 160055)

This old school bakery from 1975 is a treasure trove of Nonya kuehs, pastries and cakes. 

Key highlight and discovery here - the Kueh Dadar. 
These carry a filling of shredded coconut without the usual gula melaka!
It's a refreshing take, which I really like.

The lemper udang (bottom) and lemper ayam (top) are both delicious savoury items. 

Kueh kosui (made with rice flour) and ongol-ongol (made with tapioca flour): 
 they look similar but the latter has a bouncy, chewy texture! Love it.

Very haute ok, this kueh.

So pretty. Coconut candy. There's no resisting these!
These are made with cranberries to cut through the sweetness.

The bakery also supplies incredible milk buns to Shashlik Restaurant. 
If you're lucky, they may have extra to sell at the restaurant. 

Remember these? Flaky, buttery and sweet - these are called butterfly horseshoes. 

Stuff was so good, we couldn't resist buying some back for our families.

Final stop: Queenstown Library

What a happy place! 

It's the library's birthday soon too. Guess how old it is?

This is the oldest library in Singapore. 

Here you will find the "My Home, My Library" exhibition, 
showcasing memories of Queenstown and its environs.
You can share your stories too. 
Fill up the postcards and drop them into the Carnation-style "Collection" tins.

There are lots more suggested activities here. Come take a look.

You can also browse the many stories and recollections. 
I learned quite a few things I never knew.
It is only when people care to share what they know with others, 
that the richness of the past can live on.

So get snapping and posting with #sgmemory. 
Might even win something!

The "My Home, My Library" exhibition at public libraries island wide is on from now till 29 April.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Win S$1000 and A Year's Supply of Fiji Water!

If you're amazing and you can race, you might want to try your hand at the Fiji Water Race this Saturday, 13 April, happening noon to 4pm at Savour 2013. Up for grabs is the grand prize of S$1,000 and a year's supply of delicious Fiji Water. I loooove Fiji Water and its gorgeous mouthfeel. If you've never tried it, go to Savour and savour some of its grrr!

As for the race, there are about five main stations and three optional tasks to run through. Take some snapshots and upload it onto Instagram with the #FijiWaterSavour2013 hashtag. There are quite a few steps but it's pretty easy and it should be fun. Get a headstart by reading up on details of what you need to do here -

Have fun racing at Savour 2013!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bellabox Giveaway! April Box Includes Laurent Bernard Chocolate Souffle Recipe

Bellabox April is about all things yummy

Do you like surprises?

You may have heard of Bellabox - it's a service that sends a specially curated box of beauty samples from boutique, cult, and high end brands to their subscribers each month in a gorgeously wrapped gift box. Like the famous box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get, but they work with many brands including Lancome, Kiehl's, Vichy, Benefit, and Laura Mercier.

This feels like unwrapping a birthday present every month!

April's theme Beauty Goodness celebrates all things yummy!

Bellabox April 2013 features six goodies

There are six items in the box: Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gel, Faust's Potions' Asleep Potion, Nuxe Creme Fraiche 24 hour de Beauty Masque, Skin Pharmacy Collagen Building Serum, Cellilux Glacial Mineral Gel and Twistband headbands which are soft, elastic, and won't leave kinks.

I also found some S$5 discount vouchers.

You can subscribe at S$19.95 per month or give it as a gift. Annual memberships give you one month free. Besides, you will get rewarded with bellabox for discounts in the webshop, where you can buy full size cosmetic products. More details here:

As a yummy bonus, the April box comes with a chocolate souffle recipe from Laurent Bernard. You still have time to sign up for the April box; they'll be shipped around the 20th.

Chocolate Souffle Recipe included in Bellabox April edition

Bellabox is giving me five April boxes to give away to readers. I like to keep my contests simple. So here's the three easy steps:

1. Share this post on Facebook or Twitter
2. Post the shared link in the comments below
3. Tell me in that comment the name of a beauty brand you'd love to see Bellabox include

For an extra chance at winning, you can also comment on my Facebook Fan page here:

Please be a resident of Singapore. Winners will be chosen by random draw, so everyone has a chance. I will contact winners via their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Closing date is Sunday, 14 April, noon.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mikuni - Beautiful Food and Priceless Lessons from Chef Moon

It's tremendously inspiring to talk to people who are passionate and knowledgeable about food. Mikuni's Executive Chef Moon Kyung Soo blew our socks off when he brought us through the three sections of the restaurant, and spoke in fascinating detail about the thought and science that goes into the preparation of sushi. すごいですね!Amazing.

Here he is, showing us the three styles of sushi - Edomae, buffet (thinner slice) and standard restaurant offering, if I remember correctly.

Mikuni means "three countries" in Japanese, and appropriately there are three main culinary disciplines (sushi, teppanyaki and robatayaki) in the restaurant (by now, most of you would know this place took over Inagiku at the Fairmont).

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