Thursday, June 30, 2016

Giveaway: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Re-Opens at Marine Cove

Marine Cove is back after four long years. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) was one of its original tenants, if you remember. They have re-opened as well, bigger and better than ever with over 4,500 square feet of cafe and dining space. This makes it the largest CBTL outlet, and also the most family friendly one with pram parking, a kid's play area and kids' menu exclusive to this branch.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

LaBrezza at St Regis: Italian Lunch Classics

LaBrezza at St Regis is where we like to go for lunch sometimes, myself and a group of buddies.

LaBrezza’s Chef de Cuisine, Luca Moioli, joined them a few months ago and came up with new twists on classic dishes with seasonal ingredients and produce from Italy.

The handcrafted menus for lunch include antipastis like Insalata di Mare (above), a picturesque spread of grilled prawns, octopus, scallops, mussels, clams and calamari salad.

The soups here warm both the heart and belly. Zuppa di Porcini e Pollo is a beautifully earthy chicken and mushroom velouté served in a jar, topped with mushrooms espuma and hazelnut powder. Enjoy it with crisp cheese breadsticks.

The pastas here are generally decent. We tried the Ravioli Del Plin. The traditional Piemontese Agnolotti is filled with chicken, pork and veal, all sweet and tender. The braising sauce is very light and makes this dish easy to eat.

Now the risottos here are excellent. I previously had one here that was so good, I totally threw my low-carb diet out the window. This time we got to try Chef’s Luca's saffron-infused creamy Risotto alla Milanese that's not on the regular menu. This traditional creamy rice is sunny saffron yellow and served with sweetly roasted bone marrow.

For mains, we had a fish and a red meat dish. The Baccalá in due maniere consists of cod fish done two ways: oven-stewed cod fish (left) with braised onions and milk reduction; and pan-seared cod fillet (right) with organic polenta and charcoal radicchio. I like my cod pan-seared.

Costoletta di Vitello will please folks who like things deep-fried and golden brown. A thick piece of breaded veal chop (almost half a kg at 450g) dwarfs the buttered kipfler potatoes and rocket salad. This alone is very filling.


You can end the meal with a Sicilian Cassata which comes with ricotta cheese, candied fruit terrine with citrus coulis and pistacchio gelato. Much like eating ice cream cake.

LaBrezza is small and cosy with comfy chairs that make you feel like lingering just a while longer. The fact that it faces the pool also makes it a relaxing place to be (LaBrezza means "the breeze" in Italian).

LaBrezza’s Business Set Lunch (from Monday to Friday), available in 3-
course (S$43++) or 4-course (S$53++), has menus refreshed every quarter.

On Friday evenings, the Barbecue Night (SGD88++) brings char-grilled seafood indulgences and exquisite meat selection, complete with roasted vegetables and homemade salsas.

They also have a Weekend Prosecco brunch on weekends (check out the photos there). I think prices have gone up to S$118++ though but still pretty good with complimentary flow or Prosecco wine to go with a buffet of gourmet antipasti, imported cheeses, handmade pastas and tempting dishes of grilled meats and
seafood, as well as passed-around pizza slices and delectable desserts.

The St. Regis Singapore,
Level 2, 29 Tanglin Road,
Singapore 247911.
Phone: +65 6506-6884


Friday, June 24, 2016

The Alluring Artistic Cities of Southeast Asia

useum Affandi.jpg

(Museum Affandi in Yogyakarta. Image via

One of the best ways to discover a foreign culture and its heritage is through its art. While we love escaping to a little peace and tranquility in an effort to offset the daily 9 to 5, immersing ourselves within a city’s arts scene is also a great way to reawaken the senses and get our creative juices flowing. Art surrounds us regardless of where we are - from grand masterpieces to nondescript scratchings on a wall - and here in Southeast Asia, artistic communities are coming together stronger than ever to mould a flourishing landscape of vibrant and fearless forms of expression.

Art exploration is especially great for travellers on a shoestring budget; a good number of these places can be explored by foot and have a variety of affordable accommodations that can be booked online with additional savings through sites like Saleduck. Public transport is accessible and mouth-watering street food is also aplenty.
So without further ado, here are five cities in Southeast Asia that you should definitely visit if you’re looking to get a little inspired during your travels.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

HungryGoWhere Great Singapore Sale!

The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is here! All that intense shopping is hard work though, and hard work makes you hungry! But check out HungryGoWhere's Orchard Dining Delights: exclusive dining deals you get by booking on their website/app or phone concierge (6884-6884).

HungryGoWhere GSS Orchard Dining Delights
3 June to 14 August 2016

You can expect 1 for 1 main courses and draft beer, free truffle fries, 4th diner dines free promos and up to 50% discounts on international buffets, brunch, premium yakiniku, Mexican, European, Australian, Peranakan and Spanish cuisines. We visited three outlets to see what's on offer.

Ito-Kacho Fine Yakiniku

333A Orchard Road #04-08/09/10 Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238897

If you love a good wagyu BBQ, Ito-Kacho is one of the best places for yakiniku. The wagyu is from Kagoshima, and it's chilled, not frozen. Every bite is such a divine treat.

The promo here is 20% off total bill with a minimum spend of $100 (here's the direct link to the reservations page with full terms and conditions).

Here are some of the highlights:
- Wagyu Toku-Jo-Bara (S$69++)
- Wagyu Ribeye (S$90++) *not on the regular menu; subject to availability
- Kainomi (S$29++): my favourite!
- Kurobuta Karubi (S$19++)
- Tsubo-Zuke Kurobuta (S$19++)


Side dishes to complement the meats:
- Ito-Kacho Salad ($9.90++)
- Dashimak Tamago ($6.80++)
- Kimchi Moriawase ($9.90++, not pictured here)
- Ishiyaki Bibimbap ($15++)
- Ishiyaki Sundubu-Chige Soup ($15++)

Milagro Spanish Restaurant

181 Orchard Rd #08-06/07 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896

Milagro is a bit of a hidden find, tucked upstairs in Orchard Central. I was pleasantly surprised by the food. They are offering:

a) 20% off Paella from Sunday to Thursday

b) 1-for-1 Main Courses from Monday to Friday; lunch only


The Paella:

- Arros Negre (Squid ink rice with prawns, clams, squid, scallions and a splash of cognac; $49 for mini, $79 for standard size): we really liked this one. It's got all the umami from the seafood beautifully infused into the rice.

- Paella Valenciana (classic paella featuring chicken, French beans, saffron and spices; $38 for mini, $59 for standard size): the regular paella is ok but pales a little in comparison to the squid ink version.


The Mains:

- Hickory-smoked Salmon ($23++): the salmon is done perfectly, still moist and tender inside. The foam is what lends it an ethereal hickory smokiness. In this case, it isn't a gimmick but it works. And what a fabulous 1 for 1 deal this is!


- Braised Beef Cheeks ($23++): Generous chunks of tender beef in a rich stew. It's easy to like, but the salmon was what blew us away.


Level 10 Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, 277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858

If there's something Singaporeans can't get enough of, it's a buffet. Makan@Jen has several offers:

a) 4th diner dines free for Weekend Seafood Buffet Dinner ($65++/pax) on Friday & Saturday

b) 4th diner dines free for Weekend Singapore Roast Brunch Buffet ($42++/pax) on Saturday & Sunday

c) 4th diner dines free for Sunday Buffet Dinner ($42++/pax)

We had the roast-themed Wednesday dinner buffet which is not part of the HungryGoWhere GSS promotion but it gives you a sense of what to expect especially for the weekend seafood buffet dinner (expanded seafood spread) and the Sunday buffet dinner.

Save some room for dessert; they have eight flavours of ice cream like coconut, chendol, sweetcorn and yam. Some of these really evoke old school memories.

The full list of HungryGoWhere’s GSS Orchard Dining Delights deals can be found here:

Happy shopping and eating! Share this with your friends and family too!

Many thanks to HungryGoWhere for the fabulous food trail!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Giveaway: PayPal "Girls In Tech" AppJamming Camp


Jolie has made her first Android app! I could not be more proud of my 8-year old. Thanks to the PayPal's Girls In Tech AppJamming Camp, she's discovered what a joy it is to create apps like the ones she loves to use on her mobile.

The AppJaming camp is part of PayPal’s Girls in Tech programme which started out in the U.S. as an initiative to help close the gender gap in technology, by providing tech knowledge to school girls aged 8-14 years old.

It’s the first time this camp has come to Singapore. The three-day camp is fully sponsored by PayPal and is held at its Suntec office.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Singapore Coffee Festival 2016: Celebrating Cafe-Hopping and Coffee Culture

The Singapore Coffee Festival (SCF) hits us this week from 9-12 June! It's a dream event for coffee lovers who want to learn more about what goes into making a good cup of coffee, sample coffee beans from around the world, and see everything that makes our coffee culture so vibrant.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel Bangkok, Thailand

The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel in Bangkok just turned 10 this year; it shares this anniversary with the airport. I still remember when the airport was built, but I never got to see the hotel until this trip to Laos. We stayed here overnight so we could catch a Bangkok Airways flight to Luang Prabang the next day.

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