宴 Yàn Restaurant at National Gallery

If you’ve been wanting to dine at the upmarket Yan Restaurant at the National Gallery but have been holding back because of the cost, here’s your chance to check out Yan. From now until 31 October, Yan will be featuring 25 double-boiled soups prepared during time honoured recipes. Each bowl of soup costs only $13.80++ and comes with a bowl of fragrant crispy rice. On any one day, 5 pre-determined soups will be available on weekly rotational basis. However, if you have a particular soup in mind, you can call in the day before to have it reserved. Scroll to the end for the entire list of the 25 soups.

Yan Cantonese Cuisine (6)

芫茜果皮炖鸭

Double-boiled Duck with Parsnip and Dried Orange Peel

I had the opportunity to sample 5 soups a couple of weeks back. The soups are chock full of ingredients and are pretty light tasting, ie not the thick with collagen kind. Personally, I would prefer stronger tasting soups. I would also have preferred the rice portion to be larger, because I enjoyed the soup even more with the rice.  I actually like chomping on some rice while drinking soup, I feel it somehow adds to the flavour, probably because there’s some textural thing going on, especially so with crispy rice.

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Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan Zoisl – Let the chef decide what you should eat!

Choice can be a double-edged sword if you haven’t a clue what it is that you desire. Leaving the decision making to the chef when you’re at a restaurant and thinking of what to eat, in this case can actually pay off.

At Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan, instead of choosing off a menu, diners are invited to cross out what ingredients they would like to avoid. The entire meal will then be left to the chefs to prepare and serve based on the freshest produce of the day. The Japanese have a term for it, “omakase”. And yes, the chefs, not the waiters will serve you so that they can explain to you the inspiration behind their creations.

I had the privilege of checking out Chef’s Table some time back and I must say that the food served is indeed delicious, innovative and stylishly presented. Even the fish dish was delicious to me, and I am usually very fussy about fish as it tends to be too dry or stringy. So it did seem like the gamble to leave it all up to the chef paid off.

The only issue I have is with the pricing. For our 6 course meal costing $128++, I would have expected some sort of a steak for one of the courses to make the entire meal feel more substantial. Although there was a veal dish, the veal was diced into cubes, which doesn’t give the same impact.

Scroll down for pictures of the meal we had.

Chef's Table by Stephan Zoisl - Crabmeat

The meal was off to a good start with this crab dish that was just bursting with flavour, literally from the salmon roe, to the juicy diced cucumbers and the sweet crab flesh, helped along with a gazpacho sauce of cucumber and yoghurt.

Chef's Table by Stephan Zoisl - Hamachi (1)

The first of the two fish dishes, the hamachi was lightly seared on the outside while still being raw on the inside, allowing its freshness to be tasted.

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Free flow Foie Gras and Wagyu beef at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel’s Borderless Sunday Brunch Buffet!

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These days with so many F&B restaurants sprouting up just about every other day, it’s not enough to simply serve decent food. Each F&B needs to boast its own unique selling point to entice customers to give it a try, and to keep them coming back. This is probably even more pertinent for buffets, where it costs a pretty penny to enjoy one, so people tend to be even more discerning.

Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Borderless Sunday Brunch (15)

I think Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel’s Borderless Sunday Brunch might have just hit on a winning formula via these 4 areas. Btw they call it borderless because you get to experience 3 different F&B outlets in 1 buffet, ie

  • Food Capital buffet restaurant – a buffet only restaurant on other days
  • Grissini Italian Grill Restaurant – specialising in antipasti and hearty Italian favourites, not forgetting the Josper Grill meats
  • Tempo Bar – signature cocktails

1. Free flow Foie Gras and Wagyu Beef

Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Borderless Sunday Brunch (50)

Yes I kid you not. The rest of the buffet offerings is not as extensive as the name suggests, but then again, do you need an extensive buffet spread if you already have foie gras and wagyu beef in unlimited quantities????

2. Grilled meats from Josper Oven

Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Borderless Sunday Brunch (56)

Speaking of the Josper Oven, that itself is another reason to check out Grand Copthorne’s buffet. The Josper Grill to chefs is like a Ferrari to car lovers. The Josper oven combines an oven and grill in one and is fired by charcoal and flavoured wood to bring out the aroma and texture of the ingredients.

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SilkAir launches All-Time Favourites menu for Business Class

For those of you travelling on SilkAir’s Business Class, listen up because your ride just got sweeter. SilkAir, the full-service regional wing of Singapore Airlines has launched its All-Time Favourites menu comprising 20 meal options spanning Asian, Western and Singaporean cuisines, for flights leaving Singapore that are 3 hours and above. The meals are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To enjoy this option, Business Class travellers must book their intended All-Time Favourites meal at least 24 hours in advance via the SilkAir/SIA websites or via their travel agents. If not, you’ll just have to settle for the usual inflight meals.

And to help you wash it all down, freshly-squeezed orange juice and champagne will also be available, and on selected flights, Masala Tea also. Speaking of Masala Tea, that Masala Tea is really extraordinary. You must order it if it’s available on your flight. It’s spicy, it’s warming, it’s comforting, it’s enough to entice me to book a business class ticket to somewhere just so I can have more of it. It’s a pity it’s only available up in the skies because it’s so darn delicious!

Here is the list of the 20 All-Time Favourites dishes, scroll down if you want my recommendations on what to order.

SilkAir All-Time Favourites Dishes (All) 3

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Arteastiq–Afternoon tea in a non-hotel location

I’ve been on a roll. I’ve been trying to find ways to utilise my Entertainer App and have been rather successful lately. The best part is finding out that restaurants I’ve been meaning to visit since like forever, have now jumped on the bandwagon and joined the Entertainer. If you don’t know what the Entertainer App is, you should read this post. There are of course limitations to the Entertainer App, which I shall discuss more in a subsequent post, but generally speaking, it is really possible to reap rewards with this app. But I digress.

What I really wanted to talk about was my recent visit to Arteastiq. Yes, I’ve been wanting to visit since several years back, but somehow never go the chance to. Lately, I’ve been meeting up with some of my secondary school friends rather frequently, to the extent of meeting every few weeks now (when we haven’t done so in years!) and we’ve been pigging out! And that’s when the Entertainer App has come in very useful. We just pick one of the restaurants or cafes on the app, and off we go!

Arteastiq (7)

Using the Entertainer App, we enjoyed 1-for-1 on the Double Teasery sets, at $38++ (without drinks). The iced teas were on the pricey side at about $11 each, but they looked so delicious and thirst quenching on a hot sweltering day that we just had to order them. It did come in a fairly large tea pot though. Actually it costs $48++ for 1 double teasery set with 2 drinks, wonder why they couldn’t have included the drinks when using the app.

Arteastiq (1)

Couldn’t resist after spotting the luscious lychees at the next table, so it was a fairly easy decision for me, despite the numerous pages of drink selections.

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