Hairy Crab season at Li Bai

After having been to so many restaurants in the last few years, I thought I’ve seen it all. Foie gras, Wagyu beef, caviar, sea urchin aka uni, been there done that. But last week’s meal at Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant simply blew my mind away.

I’m talking about the steamed hairy crabs I had at Li Bai. Believe it or not, it was actually my first time sampling this delicious delicacy. I’ve had crabs numerous times in my lifetime, so it didn’t occur to me to need to seek out these hairy crabs, which I had assumed all along were just merely crabs with a slightly different flavour.

Li Bai Sheraton - Traditionally Steamed Hairy Crab (2)

Traditionally Steamed Hairy Crab $60 per piece

The flesh of the hairy crab is not that different from the usual crabs we get in Singapore, albeit sweeter in taste. But the piece de la resistance, the crème de la crème if you will (pun intended), is the hairy crab roe. Alas, I do not have a picture of the glistening golden roe, because for once I was too busy savouring its sublimely rich taste to remember to capture a picture of it.

This hairy crab roe is unlike any other crab roe I have ever tasted. It tasted saltier than usual, almost like a salted egg yolk. But unlike the one dimensional salted egg yolk which is mainly just salty, the hairy crab roe brought about a savouriness that made it taste 100 times more magical than a salted egg yolk, or other crab roes for that matter.

I wanted to utter something to my neighbouring diner, but I’d noticed that the private room we were in was enveloped in a hushed silence the minute the crabs were served, with only the clicking of spoons to crab being heard. Forget about etiquette, it was every man and his crab for himself.

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Refuel Cafe at Bedok Reservoir

Nothing gets me rushing out the house like a new cafe opening in the Eastern part of Singapore. Even though Singapore may be getting a little saturated in cafes as a whole, one can never have too many cafes in your own neighbourhood. I’m sure you’d agree with me on that, unless well, you live in Tiong Bahru.

This time round, it’s a new cafe in the Bedok Reservoir area that opened just last week! And will you believe it, I’ve already visited it twice! Once on Saturday evening at about 9.30pm where the kitchen had closed and we could only order drinks or cakes. We returned again the next morning to check out the brunch menu. The brownie with ice cream was nothing spectacular, but the brunch menu was really good, especially for the affordable prices charged!

Refuel Cafe - Brunch (2)

What we had for brunch!

Refuel Cafe - Refuel Pancake with bratwurst sausage and scrambled eggs $9 (3)

Refuel Pancake with bratwurst sausage and scrambled eggs $9.90

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Shima Restaurant at Goodwood Park

I love going to Goodwood Park Hotel. It exudes a nostalgia of bygone eras and was also one of the hotels I was seriously considering as a venue for my wedding. So it was without hesitation that I accepted the invitation to check out the newly renovated Shima Restaurant. In case this sounds familiar, yes Shima Restaurant has been around since 1980! It is in fact Singapore’s first fine-dining Teppanyaki restaurant.

The restaurant was previously opened by Katsuhiro Watanabe, a former Singapore resident who has since retired and back in Japan. Last year, JR Foods bought over Shima Restaurant, hence the facelift, which now sees Shima Restaurant downsizing from a double storey restaurant to a single storey one. To be frank, I didn’t know about the existence of Shima Restaurant until the invite. Apparently my parents have dined at Shima once more than 10 years ago, and spent a bomb there! Come to think of it, Goodwood Park has TWO Japanese restaurants, the other one being Tatsuya.

Shima Restaurant - 4 Kinds of Sashimi Moriawase $45

4 Kinds of Sashimi Moriawase (Maguro, Tai, Yellowtail and Salmon) $45

We were there to check out the Sukiyaki set, although we did get a chance to sample the sashimi and teppanyaki as well. First up, the sashimi moriawase set, that had all the bloggers oohing and ahhhing at the voluptuous slices of raw fish. You can really taste the freshness in the fish, in addition to the more pronounced and slightly sweeter flavours. Those salmon sashimi slices were hands down, my favourite item of the evening. If only I didn’t have to share this with 2 other bloggers!

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fArt tArtz Cafe at Singapore Expo

You know, 10 years ago, when there weren’t that many exciting distractions in Singapore as there are now, I used to visit the Expo once in a while just for the fun of it. For the most part, it would be a vast empty space just to roam around. There was just the 1 Coffee Bean outlet there, and I used to wonder how great it would be if some other cafes would sprout there.To me, the potential was OBVIOUS!

Ah well, fast forward 10 years and my wish has been granted in the form of Fart Tartz Cafe, located right opposite the Coffee Bean on the 2nd floor of the Max Atria building that is next to Hall 1 and Hall 2.

Fart Tartz Cafe - Oreo Nutella Mud Tart $5.50 & Lychee Martini Tiramisu $6 (3)

This is a cutesy cafe specializing in no bake tarts and cakes served in jars. Even their savouries such as salads and pastas are bottled rather than plated! It sure makes for great photos on Instagram. If you’re wondering about the weird name, well if you pronounce it in Cantonese, it means prosperity. There’s no doubt it is a name you will not forget easily.

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Listening To My Body–Top 5 tips to improve the health

I have been under the weather lately, not just a couple of days, but a longer period than that. It’s times like these when the body issues distress calls in the form of flu, cold, headaches, body aches, that jolts me into questioning whether I have been paying attention to my body and how I have been treating it.

I am not an advocate for taking medicine. I have not taken any antibiotics in years. If I have a cold or a flu, I usually tell the doctor I want no medicine as such medicines only suppress the symptoms but do not cure the illness. I particularly detest the painkiller ads on TV, where you see the guy suffering from back pain and taking a painkiller, only to be encouraged to go back to his back breaking work. That’s equivalent to giving some throat lozenges to a smoker with smoker’s cough, to mask the itch, so that the smoker can continue smoking. This is so morally wrong.

The point is, everyone has to listen to their own bodies, and find time to make things right, rather than to take quick fix solutions. Question yourselves, are you working too hard, too long, not exercising enough, always feeling stressed?

Here are my top 5 tips to give the body a break, listen to it for once and regain your health and vitality.

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Meditation / Enjoy a calm and peaceful surrounding

We live very stressful lives in Singapore, often having to meet tight deadline after deadline. This is not something that you should accept as the norm.  People often forget this when they seek out the highest paying jobs, which often comes with greater stress. Know that this takes a toll on health and has an actual impact to your pocket when the medical bills start racking up. My advise to mitigate this stress, is to take some time out to enjoy some peace and solitude. Meditate if you can. Even going for spas or chilling out at a cafe need not be considered just mere luxury, but actually beneficial to health. But if money is an issue, at least find a quiet park or take a stroll around some reservoir. Even de-cluttering your room and decorating it with some calming furniture helps.

peaceful-sunset-wallpaper

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