Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Canon 7D Mark II Quick Review: First Shots on Singapore Heritage Tour

I love the 7D Mark II. Yes, I'm late to the game, but I just only got to try this Canon beauty at a specially organised Canon-NHB heritage trail. For a few hours, we got to play with new cameras and discover beautiful religious sites that aren't on the normal tourist path.

The 7D Mark II is the first Canon DSLR equipped with both a 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and dual DIGIC 6 image processors. This combination enables low noise, high sensitivity and speedy processing for both still images and movies. It is fast and does pretty well in low light situations. Colours are vivid and true to life.

The new 65 all-cross-type Auto Focus (AF) system enables the user to quickly track and focus on the desired subject, nifty when shooting fast-moving subjects. Overkill perhaps for my food photos, but useful for events.

I tested the camera with the EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, which captured details very well.

Abdul Gafoor Mosque was our first stop. What a brilliant day it was with clear blue skies. This mosque has many interesting and eclectic architectural highlights, but the most outstanding is the elaborate sundial above the entrance (first photo) with the names of the 25 prophets as the sunburst spikes in calligraphy.


St. Joseph’s Church has the largest collection of stained glass windows in Singapore. This neo-Gothic style church was built in the plan of a Latin cross. It also carries a lot of light blue because Mother Mary is often depicted wearing this colour.

At the Yueh Hai Ching Temple, one of Singapore's oldest Chinese temples, I got to try out the EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, which is an absolute delight. You can really get 180-degree views. The full circular photos are too extreme, so I found it better to go easy on the wide angle aspect. I love how it captures so much more in one shot. But oh S$1,999...

OK, I have too many photos to put in one blog post, so here's a slideshow of all 45 shots.

Album link is here:

The 7D Mark II has a lot of improvements. It seems to be way more rugged than its predecessor. The enhanced sealing over the external cover seams is estimated to be four times more resistant to dust and water over the EOS 7D. Just fabulous for traveling.

You can also take more shots since it has a maximum shutter release cycle of 200,000, up from 150,000 in its predecessor.

Photo courtesy of Canon Singapore

The EOS 7D Mark II has a tough but lightweight magnesium alloy body, which gives it a solid feel. It's still a little on the heavy side for me, but I like the stability from the weight.

If you'd like to see more photos I have taken with the 7D Mark II, see my posts tagged with it.

Thanks to Canon Singapore for the tour and 7D Mark II experience!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pince & Pints: Truffle Lobster Roll to Celebrate Expansion

I've been wanting to try the much lauded Pince & Pints lobster roll but the epic waiting time (over an hour at times) is enough to make anyone wilt. If you've felt the same way before, you'll be glad to know that starting today they're adding 30 seats on the second floor! This will certainly help to ease congestion for the initial 46-seater downstairs and reduce waiting time.

I had a sneak peek of the second floor. It's casual and unpretentious, with warm woods lending a cosy feel, and a high ceiling giving it airy space.

Pince & Pints is also expanding north to Kuala Lumpur! Come 9 October, folks at Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru can look forward to the same signatuer lobster goodness. In fact, they'll be having something extra - lobster noodles in superior broth!


To commemorate this expansion, Pince & Pints has introduced the Truffle Lobster Roll (S$68++). Buttery sweet lobster paired with earthy truffle? A divine combination!

The meat from a full lobster (claw and all) goes into this roll. The lobster is first blanched 3-4 minutes and then given an ice bath. Then it's seared with butter and homemade truffle sauce. Chopped chives and truffle caviar complete the ensemble.

The dish is served with a homemade truffle sauce (no artificial truffle oils here) with a serving of fries and chef's salad.


This is the regular lobster roll (S$58++), which is utterly decadent as it is. This too, has a whole lobster stuffed in a soft, toasted roll. The meat is done perfectly; it's tender and juicy. These are wild caught Maine lobsters flown in 2-3 times a week, and kept in a special holding facility until delivery to the restaurant.

The bread they chose also goes really well - it's very soft and slighty sweet, made by a local bakery.


But I discovered just how good the Grilled Lobster (S$58++) is. That char grill smokiness permeating the succulent flesh...oooh. It didn't even need the herbed butter sauce but that was nice too.


The Chili Lobster (S$58++) was probably the only one that didn't thrill me, mainly because the sauce was too starchy for me. I think it could do with more chili heat and spices too, but then again, I probably eat too much chili padi for my own good.


You can also get some nice cocktails at Pince & Pints. Here's their lychee martini and the 500 Days of Summer. They were a perfect way to start our dinner there, but take your pick from the wide variety of drinks on their menu there.

32/32A and 33
Duxton Road
Singapore 089496
Tel: +65 6225-7558 (update: they take reservations, starting Nov 30, 2015)
Open Mon - Fri : 5pm - 11pm (Dinner Only)
Saturdays : 12pm - 11pm (All Day)
Open on Public Holidays
Last Order for Kitchen 10pm

Thanks to Pince & Pints for the invitation and congratulations on the expansion!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sugarhall: Rum Bar and Steakhouse

Sugarhall - apt name for a place to celebrate rum. Now there's even more to celebrate as they extend their offering of flame-kissed steaks on the menu. The Parilla grill in the kitchen churns out some serious grilled goodies. But more on the food later. The rum collection here is amazing.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Colony at Ritz Carlton Singapore: Buffets in Retro Chic Glam


Remember Greenhouse? It's been revamped and whoa, what a transformation! Say hello to Colony which opens today at the same location - level 3 of the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore.

We were completely blown away at the official opening yesterday. Here's what the place looks like now.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Hashida Garo: Japanese Food and Culture


From slicing sashimi to crafting confections, Chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida seems to be a talented chef but it looks like he is also quite the artist. Last month, he opened Hashida Garo (Garo meaning 'gallery') just two floors up from his flagship restaurant Hashida Sushi Singapore.

Here you'll see pieces of his artwork. The gallery can also be used to feature other artists.

A raised tatami platform takes centrestage and diners sit all around it counter style. This is where you may get to see tea ceremonies conducted. One of the highlights here is wagashi (Japanese sweets) paired with Japanese tea.

Hashida Garo is his second food and beverage establishment in Singapore. Chef Hatch aims to present Japanese culture to a broader audience – be it aesthetically or gastronomically. Sake is the tipple of choice here and sampling portions are the way to go if you want to try out some fine and rare labels available here. Flanking the restaurant is a retail arm featuring niche food produce and gifts.

The eatery part opens at 10am, so it's perfect for a late breakfast or brunch.

Unagi ippon breakfast at S$19.80
Grilled eel, shredded egg, shredded dried seaweed, sichuan pepper, unagi sauce with shio-konbu, shihazuke and takuan pickles. Comes with rice and miso soup.


I had a sample of the unagi and it was beautifully decadent. I could eat ten bowls of this.

Midday meals (12pm - 3pm only) could get expensive but the Extravagant Lunch (S$90) with the Miyazaki A5 wagyu could be worth the splurge.

The wagyu is seared just perfectly. Oh the tenderness and buttery sweet char just can't get enough.

Alternatively, you could opt for rice sandwiches Oz-Onigirazu (S$22) with a choice of smoked salmon, smoked duck, umeokaka, beef croquette or butakaku fillings.

There's a different menu for dinner - you could have the Miyazaki wagyu A5 grade tenderloin by itself for S$70, paiten oden (S$20), buta kaku or simmered pork (S$20), or wagyu croquette (S$18). Add S$7 for rice and miso to make it a set. Other dishes are tapas-style small dishes to share.

Desserts - chef has traditional Japanese creations such as kuzukiri (kuzu noodles in black sugar syrup and fruit), manjyu, mochi and yubeshi (yuzu and white bean confection) as well as the crowd favourite Hokkaido cheesecake and chocolate cake (pictured). You can also get the popular macarons from Hashida Sushi here.


The Merlion Monaka (S$5) was created to celebrate Singapore's Jubilee. Before you hashtag #simisaialsosg50, give it a try. This mochi wafer pastry encasing sweet kaya and white bean paste is actually very moreish. It's a bit pricey but I don't remember many other S$5 desserts as well as this one.

The teas here are truly a treat, so take some home if you like them. The buckwheat or burdock one was extra mesmerising.

333A Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Road #04-16
+65-6235 2283
Open daily 10.00am - 10.00pm (closed alternate Mondays)

Thanks to Hashida Garo for the invitation

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

10 Places in Singapore for Good Food With No Queue!

It's been said that if there's a queue, Singaporeans will just join it, sometimes even without knowing what it's for. But as many of us have found out, a line isn't always a guarantee of something good.

And even if it's something really tasty, we may not have the time or energy to stand in line for 45 minutes just for a meal. My friends and family members who work long hours do not have the patience for queues, no matter how famous the eatery is. If only everything was as easy to get as a can of Coke. Ice-cold Coke zero makes my family happy.

So along the way, I have found 10 hidden gems with almost instant gratification - NO QUEUES! Here they are in no particular order:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© CAMEMBERU | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Crafted by pipdig