Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Authentic Flavours of Bali" Buffet by Villas at AYANA Resort at Town Restaurant, Fullerton Hotel

The culinary team from Villas at AYANA Resort (rated five stars by Forbes) is bringing Balinese cuisine to Town Restaurant, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore from 4 to 14 April 2017.

You can enjoy signatures like crackling Babi Guling, spicy Bebek Betutu and king prawn Udang Kalas right by the Singapore River waterfront. The whole roasted Babi Guling or Suckling Pig is seared belly-down to a salty crisp on the skin, while street food classics like Nasi Jenggo – rich coconut-turmeric rice are lavishly elevated AYANA-style by chunky braised beef stewed in coconut, lemongrass and lime leaves. Plump skewers of chicken, pork and cumi (squid) satay are seasoned in authentic and unpretentious Balinese style.

Chef Ari (2)
Guest chef I Made Arie Wahyudi is a renaissance man who enjoys playing traditional Balinese music as much as he loves cooking. He will lead the culinary team to present an extensive dinner buffet with twelve savoury and sweet stations.

Food Kampoeng Bali (6)
Diners also stand to win a two-night stay with breakfast for two in an Ocean View Suite at RIMBA Jimbaran BALI by AYANA in Town Restaurant’s lucky draw.

The Fullerton Hotel’s “Authentic Flavours of Bali” takes place from 4 to 14 April 2017, 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. The dinner buffet also includes a local spread with favourites such as Laksa (rice vermicelli in spicy coconut gravy), as well as Town Restaurant’s famous Hainanese Chicken Rice, which has earned its reputation as one of the best chicken rice in “Town”.
  •  S$56++ per adult and S$28++ per child (6 to 11 years old) from Sunday to Tuesday
  •  S$69++ per adult with a seafood selection and S$34++ per child from Wednesday to Saturday
  •  S$89++ per adult with free-flowing Tiger draught beer and Singapore Slings, and S$44++ per child from Wednesday to Saturday

For reservations and enquiries, please call Dining Reservations at (65) 6877 8911 / 8912 or visit www.fullertonhotels.com.

All photos courtesy of Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

Park Bench Deli: New Sandwiches, Updated Favourites

There are new sandwich creations to look forward to at Park Bench Deli!

Mortadella Hero (S$16) - premium sliced wide-girth mortadella nestled against sliced cheese, crisp and fresh lettuce and covered in two thick and tasty vinaigrettes in a soft caramelized onion loaf.

Meatballs (S$17) - ground in-shop and hand-formed meatballs cooked in a rich, savoury PBD tomato sauce before finished with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil, gripped in a warm ciabatta bun.

The Falafel (S$14) - instead of chickpeas, PBD's version is made with freshly chopped broccoli, breaded and fried, then finished with a refreshing, creamy tzatziki dip, alfalfa sprouts and sliced tomatoes on toasted sourdough rye bread.

The Falafel sounded most unusual, of the three. I was intrigued by the broccoli patty. Turns out it packs a punch flavourwise, but was a little on the salty side. Pumpkin seeds added nutty flavour and body, while the creamy tzatziki tied everything together. I liked this vegetarian sandwich, it's no slouch compared to the meaty counterparts.

They have also reinvented their cult favourites:

Cubano (S$16) - now served with lashing of a piquant house-made aji verde sauce, coating a tender layer of overnight-braised pork shoulder, smoked ham and molten cheese. I wished there was more pork, but this was good. The breads they use in all the sandwiches are really well-made and thoughtfully paired with the filling.

Chilli Cheese Taters (S$14) - replacing the Pork Fries, these Chilli Cheese Taters are covered with chili con carne and perfect for an evening post-work snack, best enjoyed over a round of cold beers.

Fried Chicken (S$15) - a generous hunk of chicken thigh is sous-vide cooked, dredged in buttermilk, fried with batter, and then paired with a refreshing jalapeño cabbage slaw and stuffed into an onion roll. It's got Sriracha 😍 kewpie mayo too; next time I'll ask for double the spicy mayo!

You will have trouble containing this chicken in the sandwich as you eat. The meat (and the crunchy Southern-style batter) is practically spilling out with each bite! Best eaten fresh on the spot while the batter is hot and crispy, but I hear it can survive a 15-min Deliveroo delivery.

See my previous post on PBD to see more of their sandwiches!

179 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068627
Tel: +65 6815-4600
Open Mon — Fri 10.30am till 10pm (closed 4-5pm)
(last food order at 930pm)

Sat 10.30am till 4pm
(last food order at 330pm)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ParkBenchDeliSG
Instagram: https://instagram.com/parkbenchdeli/

Thanks to PBD for the treats!


Monday, March 27, 2017

Teppanyaki Hamburg Nihonbashi Keisuke Bettei with Eggs and Salad Bar Buffet

Chef Keisuke Takeda is unstoppable. He has opened his 12th concept in the super-successful Ramen Keisuke Group: this time, it's Japanese hamburg ("hahn-bah-gu") steak, one of Japan's beloved comfort foods. 

The US prime beef is freshly ground on site and the patties are formed to order, so as to keep the meat in optimum condition.  

They keep the menu really simple. There are two options: plain or cheese.

The Keisuke Prime Beef Hamburg Set (S$18.80++, above) gives you a 150g patty of prime US beef shoulder minced into two sizes that gives you optimum bite and texture. It's really a tender patty that comes apart when you use chopsticks. No knife necessary.

The Triple Cheese Prime Beef Hamburg Set (S$20.80++, first photo). They use a mix of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan. This patty is 180g and the molten core of cheese oozing out is surely Instagram-worthy. Just make sure you don't wait too long or it will get too cold.

But what really caught my attention is the unlimited salad bar! This is something you get with every set.

iPhone7Plus photo

Incredibly fresh and crisp vegetables in a special chiller along with other side dishes like creamy pastas, potato salad, noodles, seaweed and pickles. Hey, I'm a meat person but I'd come back here just for the quality of the ingredients in this salad bar.


Next to this is the Live Egg station, where you can get free-flow eggs in six styles: scrambled, sunny side up, deep-fried, boiled, half-boiled, omelette and tamagoyaki. I already thought the boiled eggs at his ramen shops were such a nice gesture; this and the salad bar completely blows it out of the water!

So to summarise, apart from the US prime beef patty, each Hamburg set comes with
  • umlimited eggs from the Live Egg station 
  • a buffet of 20 Japanese side dishes/salad bar
  • free-flow rice
  • miso soup
  • toasted beancurd skin (abuaage) and grilled tofu with bonito flakes
  • one ebi-fry (prawn fritter)
  • 1 of the 4 different sauces: Keisuke original sweet and spicy sauce, demi-glace, oroshi ponzu (radish with vinegar) and teriyaki.
If that is not incredible value, I don't know what is.

The brightly lit 66-seater restaurant is contemporary and comfortable, with an open kitchen so diners can watch their food being prepared.

When you are there, try the Sakura cola that Keisuke bottles in Japan as well.

72 Peck Seah Street
Singapore 079329
(near Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 6908-4348 (no reservations)
Open daily: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Many thanks to Keisuke for the invitation. Except where indicated, photos are taken with the Canon EOS 5DsR kindly loaned by Canon Singapore.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Starbucks PAUL & JOE Designer Collection Singapore 2017

Spring is here! Happy springtime equinox and all, even though it's still the same hot and rainy weather here. But the new Starbucks® collaboration with French fashion house PAUL & JOE will make you feel like celebrating spring anyway.

The PAUL & JOE collection features founder Sophie Méchaly’s beloved pet cat Gipsy – her inspiration and the symbol of the fashion house – as well as pastel and springtime colours and the joyful images of cherry blossoms and butterflies.

There are three designs - pink cat, blue petals and coral butterflies - for double-walled mugs; tumblers in tote bags in pink cat, and blue petals.

I'm not fond of Starbucks coffee personally (except for the toffee nut latte) but I do love their designer collections. So pretty...

Available for a limited time only and designed exclusively for Starbucks, the 2017 PAUL & JOE + Starbucks Designer Collection will be available at Starbucks stores throughout Singapore starting Tuesday, 21st March 2017.

All photos courtesy of Starbucks Singapore


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Down Syndrome Day 2017 - #MyVoiceMyCommunity

Today, 21 March, is World Down Syndrome Day, so named because persons with Down Syndrome carry three copies of the 21st chromosome.

This year the theme is "My Voice, My Community." Here's a global video journey promoting inclusion of people with Down syndrome. It features videos of people with Down syndrome, among their friends and peers. They talk about how it is important for their voices to be heard, as equal citizens of their countries and they encourage their governments to listen to their concerns.

You can also help promote awareness of Down Syndrome today by wearing colourful socks!

It's quirky fun, but might start a conversation. Meanwhile, a big shout out to the special education teachers at MINDS for the fabulous job they are doing, and helping our children gain necessary living skills and also enjoy learning. I'm so envious when my girl Nadine gets to go horse-riding and in-line skating. Her classmates are a real sweet bunch too.

If you know of anyone who feels uncertain about having a baby with Down Syndrome, please let them know there's always support and help in many forms. I'd be happy to talk to them, so send them my email -- camemberu@gmail.com.

The Down Syndrome Association in Singapore has proven to be a great resource; they are great for perspective and are super supportive.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Singapore Cocktail Festival 2017

The Singapore Cocktail Festival kicks off this week with a 5,000sqm Festival Village celebrating the world of mixology along with music and food.

From 16 to 21 March 2017, you will be able to catch international bartending stalwarts from the Asia’s and World’s 50 Best Bars list and participate in workshops and bar tours. At the heart of the festival is the #SGCF2017 Festival Village, home to Asia’s largest celebration of cocktails.

The Festival Village is located on 99 Beach Road (next to Shaw Towers) and will
be housed in a former police station built in the 1930s. Featuring nine different
cocktail rooms, a food street and a music stage, the village opens from 4.00pm to 10.00pm on Thursday and Friday, and 12noon to 10.00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entry to the village is complimentary, and all cocktails will retail at $12 nett.

Cocktail rooms include the “Room of Illusion” by Kult, an underground gallery
known for its support for young street artists and illustrators. “In a world of
instant gratification and excess, are we slowly neglecting the capacity to focus
and appreciate beauty around us? Is it real or is it an illusion? Trickery? Fake
views?” Addressing these questions, guests who enter this room are invited to
take a step back, to examine and extract the beauty and information that a single
image can possess. The cocktails in this room will be inspired by the images on

In the room of “Dreams” presented by Monkey Shoulder, Hendrick’s Gin and
Reyka Vodka, each brand will explore a different element of dreams. For
example, Hendrick’s ‘Tasting in a Dream’ is a virtual reality audio and visual
rendering of a dream experience, taking consumers on a fantastical journey of
sights, sounds and smells, while Reyka vodka will create a dreamscape inspired
by its Icelandic roots. A series of cocktails inspired by each brand’s
interpretation of the dream concept will also be available for sale to complete the

In the Artisanal Spirits Room, guests will be invited to taste unique,
handcrafted spirits including Nusa Cana, the world’s first tropical island white
rum inspired by the island of Bali; Sơn Tinh is a unique selection of authentic
Vietnamese flavours, carefully hand-crafted in small batches from 100% natural
ingredients and well matured over many years; as well as Mekhong, The Spirit of
Thailand, which is created through a secret production process that has been
passed down for generations, using raw ingredients that exude a true Thai
essence. To enjoy these spirits, festival goers can purchase a tasting card at $19
nett for four 15ml shots.

Guests can also be a part of exciting events in rooms such as the Asia Bar Battle
Room, where bartending teams from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines,
Thailand and Vietnam battle through challenges across categories such as “Need
for Speed”, “Mystery Box” and “Flare Off”. The Singapore’s Next Top Cocktail
Room will showcase the final four cocktails that are in the running to win the top
spot – Kopi Ol’ Fashioned by Crackerjack, Shiok Collins by Mitzo Restaurant & Bar, Lion City Sour by 28 HongKong Street and Leo’s Flip by Nutmeg & Clove. Festival goers can vote for a cocktail that best represents Singapore today, by uploading their votes on social media.

Other rooms at the Festival Village include the Cuts & Booze Room, inspired by barber shops and hair salons of yesteryear; Disco Fitness Room, inspired by the retro era of disco balls, colourful headbands and leg warmers; Bols Genever Room and Snow Leopard Vodka Room, both of which will be showcasing classic and signature cocktails, along with appearances by guest bartenders and brand ambassadors.

On the Food Street, enjoy delicious bites prepared by restaurants such as IZYDining and Bar, a Japanese-American Izakaya popular for their Japanese Nokke Roll and Wagyu Truffle Don; The Disgruntled Brasserie, which serves modern, comfort cuisine in small and big plates, and Ninja Cut, known for their hearty and wholesome one-dish meals that are delicious and easy to eat. Prices range from $10 to $15 nett.

The music line-up will feature Resident DJs of CÉ LA VI, Brendon P, known for
his disco-influenced grooves; Ramesh K, who earned his reputation as one of the
most respected eclectic DJs in Singapore; Joshua P, whose repertoire ranges from
funk and soul to afro-jazz and breaks; and YA5TH, a familiar face in the hip hop
and rhythm and blues circuit.

The little ones can also join in the fun from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm on Saturday
and Sunday (18 and 19 March 2017) while parents enjoy afternoon drinks with
friends. A free-access play zone that includes a bouncy castle and fun games will
be available to keep them occupied throughout the day.
Bookings now open for bar tours and seminars

At the Festival Village, visitors can sign up for bar tours that will take them
across some of Singapore’s best bars. Bar tour themes include “Gin There, Done
That”, which is an all gin round-up; “New Kids On the Block”, which features
some of the newest bars in town; “Who Run the World”, which brings limelight to leading ladies in the world of cocktails; and “Suave The Day”, showcasing not just delicious cocktails, but the great looking bartenders behind them.

Tour schedules and pre-booking are available at singaporecocktailfestival.com
from Friday, 3 March 2017. Every ticket is priced at $98 nett. Festival goers may
also book tours at the Festival Village itself, and will need to do so at least two
hours before the start of each tour.

Last but not least, for the first time in Asia, the Festival Village presents a
seminar by London based Distill Ventures, the world’s only accelerator for the
spirits industry. The seminar will be hosted by Co-Founder Dan Gasper and a
panel of experienced drink entrepreneurs across Asia. Titled “Brick by Brick –
Building a modern spirit business in Asia”, the session explores Distill Ventures’
framework that helps entrepreneurs develop and grow exciting new brands.

This 60 minute seminar is complimentary and will be held on Sunday, 19 March
2017 at 2pm. Interested parties can register to attend at
singaporecocktailfestival.com on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Singapore Cocktail Festival
Festival Village Address: 99 Beach Road
Festival Dates: 16 to 21 March 2017 (Thurs to Tues)
Email: hello@sgcocktailfest.com
Facebook and Instagram: @SGCocktailFest, #SGCF2017
Festival Village Address: 99 Beach Road, Singapore 189701
Festival Village Operating Hours:
16 – 17 March (Thurs, Fri) from 4.00pm to 10.00pm;
18 – 19 March (Sat, Sun) from 12.00pm to 10.00pm
Entry to the village is complimentary.

All photos courtesy of Singapore Cocktail Festival

Monday, March 13, 2017

Superior Chia Seeds and Birds Nest

With its abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and protein, chia seeds are considered one of the most nutritious foods in the world. This superfood is believed to aid heart and digestive health, stabilise blood sugar and maintain stronger bones and teeth. High in fibre, gluten-free and trans fat-free, they are great for cleansing and detoxing. The neutral flavour makes it easy for us to incorporate them in food and drink recipes.

I was very pleased to meet Freddy Yap, CEO of Superior Foods, who had a personal story to tell. It was his own struggle with health that led to him taking chia seeds. His recovery and further research convinced him that chia seeds were highly beneficial not only for health, but beauty and weight loss. He started Superior to bring its benefits to the masses.

To Freddy, building a brand with a strong reputation and a business with integrity is paramount. He personally believes that by eating well, you can live well and by taking care of your body, mind and spirit, you can in turn, take care of others.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Wall at Tanjong Pagar: Whisky and Sumiyaki

The Wall (no, this one has nothing to do with Donald Trump) is a new whisky joint in Singapore. What's different about it? It's friendly and approachable, unlike some snooty club for gentlemen with cigars. The Wall wants to demystify whisky, make it less intimidating, more accessible and more readily enjoyable.

Housed in a two-storey conservation shophouse along Tanjong Pagar Road, it is named for the 100-year-old brick walls that enclose it.


MELT Dinner Buffet: Taste of Thailand

If you love Thai food, Melt Café at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore has a run of specialty Thai dishes at their popular dinner buffet spread 6-19 March 2017. The dinner buffet inclusive of free flow of juices is priced at S$75++ per person from Sunday to Thursdays and S$85++ per person on Friday and Saturday.

Here are some of the highlights you can expect:

Ko Mun Yang - Thai Roasted Pork Neck with Jaew Dipping - first photo above

Kaeng Khiao Wan Mu San - Green Curry Pork Belly (this is seriously good)

Kaeng Phet Pet Yang - Red Curry Duck

Massamun Gai Rue Nuea - Yellow Curry Beef


Chiang Mai Style Lemongrass Roasted Duck

Pomelo Salad - makes a great palate cleanser

Of course you still have all the regular seafood on ice - oysters, lobsters, prawns, scallops and so on.

There's the full section of Western mains like this Duck Breast.

The Indian food here has always been stellar. Don't miss this.

Worth all the calories!

The Thai line-up extends to desserts as well.

Red Ruby Dessert. There's also Mango with Sticky Rice.

There are plenty of other desserts and cakes, like this Green Tea Yuzu Opera cake, as well as their famous waffles and ice cream.

Finish off your meal with a Thaihito - a light cocktail in a coconut. It's got chunks of ginger and lemongrass and smells like a spa.

If you'd like to see more photos of MELT's buffets:

http://www.camemberu.com/2007/06/melt-world-cafe-oriental-singapore.html (way before they renovated)

Many thanks to MELT for the invitation. Photos taken using the Canon 5DsR kindly loaned by Canon Singapore


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

McDonald's Seoul Spicy Burgers with Korean Sauces and Kimchi Shaker Fries

Looks like the Korean wave isn't abating. McDonald's is rolling out on 9 March the Seoul Spicy Chicken (above) and Seoul Spicy Beef burger (below). Inspired by the distinctive Korean cuisine, the burgers are characterised by McDonald’s spicy Korean sauce made with ingredients used in Korean delicacies.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Circles.Life $20 for 20GB: Biggest and Cheapest Data Plan in Singapore

Yes, you've heard. Circles.Life just launched the Data Plus option offer of 20GB for S$20, making it the largest ever no-contract data plan under S$50 available in the market today.

This means up to 26GB for just $48/month!

How does it work?

1. Sign up for the Base Plan (S$28/month) that gives you up to 6GB data (plus 100 mins calls, free WhatsApp bandwidth and caller ID).

2. Add on the Data Plus option (S$20 for 20GB) to top up your data.

3. SURF & BINGE WATCH ALL THE VIDEOS LIKE CRAZY now that you have as much as 26GB per month!

Need a referral code for $20 off registration?


That's the letter I, not the number 1, at the end.

Circles is the largest no-contract plans provider in Singapore, and has been shaking up the market since it launched last year. I've been a happy customer since I found them. See my 12 good reasons to switch to Circles.

A lot of people are making the switch (I know from the referral code usage). The biggest question they have is usually - "What's the coverage like?" My answer: it's decent (based on M1 network), stronger in some places, slower in others. For the price and freedom from contracts, this digital telco is unbeatable.

A Hardwarezone article published on Yahoo compared all the telcos to see which would be the most affordable choice for a mobile phone plus 20GB per month, and it was clear Circles left everyone else in the dust.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Thermomix Launches in Singapore With Experience Centre

photo courtesy of Thermomix Singapore

Thermomix, the much vaunted multifunctional kitchen appliance, is now officially in Singapore. Consumers can experience Thermomix at the Thermomix Singapore Experience Centre, which will hold daily cooking shows and classes in its 4 cooking studios.


“Thermomix redefines cooking with the introduction of the innovative Recipe Chip which stores hundreds of recipes; full colour touchscreen controls; and the Guided Cooking function. Thermomix represents the future of cooking, and we are now very proud to introduce Thermomix to Singaporean consumers through the Thermomix Singapore Experience Centre,” adds JC Lim (centre in photo above), Managing Director, Thermomix Singapore.

Photo courtesy of Thermomix Singapore
photo courtesy of Thermomix Singapore

1 Blade & over 12 functions at your fingertips

The Thermomix has the ability to stir, mix, blend and chop but also cook, steam, weigh, grind, knead, whisk, simmer and emulsify.

The touchscreen and single selector dial allows the Thermomix to be operated intuitively. The timer, temperature and speed controls guarantees consistent good results every time you cook.

The Thermomix has also been upsized to provide meals for everyone – whether it’s for one or a large family.

Unique guided cooking function

The Thermomix Recipe Chips are digital cookbooks. Once attached to the Thermomix, all of the recipes on a Recipe Chip are shown on the Thermomix’s display. Using the touchscreen, Thermomix users can easily browse through the recipes to find ideas and inspiration. The Thermomix Guided Cooking feature anticipates each cooking step ahead, making cooking so easy and effortless – even for people with no culinary experience.

Five-star service

Every Thermomix comes with the personal support from a Thermomix Advisor, who will remain a personal contact for service and support for the entire lifetime the Thermomix is in use. At the start, this means offering customers personal demonstrations and tutorials right in the kitchen. Cooking classes are also available, where beginners can explore other tasty recipes with the experts.

We were treated to demos of dishes done effortlessly: chicken rice with soup and white steamed chicken, pineapple prawns, fried beehoon, foccacia bread dough, stir-fried broccoli and carrots, and mayo. The machine even makes sorbet, ice cream and desserts like tofu cheesecake.

It's mind-boggling that one machine can do it all. If I was starting over in a new kitchen, I'd want one. It would save so much space.

I was also surprised to see that many cookbooks dedicated to Thermomix recipes.

The Vorwerk Thermomix is available for S$2,320 (w/GST). Together with the Thermomix, the package includes:
  • The official Thermomix Basic Cook Book with 175 recipes
  • The Recipe Chip of Thermomix Basic Cook Book for guided-cooking of the 175 recipes
  • Free Thermomix e-newsletters
  • Personal Thermomix support through a dedicated network of Thermomix Advisors who are also Thermomix customers and super users
The Thermomix Experience Centre is at #01‐03 Starhub Green, 67 Ubi Avenue 1, 408942 Singapore. Tel: +65 6634 2016

Thermomix also has an online store: Thermomix.com.sg/shop


Friday, March 3, 2017

Beauty in The Pot at Centrepoint

I have a gang of friends are big fans of Beauty in The Pot - I'll call it BITP for short. It's one of our favourite hotpot restaurants, with a dreamy collagen broth that kept us coming back. For the longest time BITP only had a single outlet at OneKM Mall. That meant a lot of patience on the phone making reservations way in advance.

So when they opened a second outlet at Centrepoint, we had to check it out. It was good that we didn't go immediately after the place opened as there were stories of people waiting an hour for their seats (even with reservations) and then another hour for their food.

Luckily for us, dinner went smoothly. We were seated immediately and food arrived quite fast.

We had the quad-broth tray - mala, collagen, herbal chicken and tomato soup. They were okay but I felt something was missing; the collagen broth just wasn't as good as the broth we knew at OneKM Mall. This seemed somewhat diluted. If they're not going to improve this, I'll stick to their first outlet. Wait, I hope they haven't diluted the broth there now too!

We did recognise some of the staff from OneKM Mall there, which lent a nice familiarity to the place. The only other benefit is that this place is open til 6am, so you know where to go if you have a post-midnight craving for hotpot!

176 Orchard Road
#05-15/16 The Centrepoint
Singapore 238843
Open daily
11:30am - 06:00am
Tel: +65 62353557

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