Si Chuan Dou Hua 2015

We have our usual favourite spots for dim sum, however we decided to pamper ourselves by splurging a little more by venturing to a more “atas” (literally) spot for dim sum. Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant is at the top of UOB plaza and boasts great views from the main dining area.

What surprised us was their pricing of the menu. It is pretty comparable to the family chain restaurants such as Crystal Jade and Imperial treasure! Food quality was pretty good too.

Sichuan Douhua - Dim sum time! (1)

We were there to try out signature Si Chuan dishes but we got carried away ordering our favourite Hong Kong dim sum dishes. The cartilege soup in the picture is from the Si Chuan Menu.

Sichuan Douhua -  Homemade Fine Bean Curd with Wolfberry $4

Homemade Fine Bean Curd with Wolfberry $4

And I suppose you really cannot leave without trying their signature bean curd which I assure you is one of the softest and most silky smooth traditional bean curd around. In fact, if you’re in the vicinity and feeling a little peckish, you might just want to pop up to a restaurant for this refreshing bowl of bean curd. At $4 it seems a steal.

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Zafferano–An Italian Brunch affair!

One of my favourite restaurants Zafferano has recently come up with their new Italian Saturday set brunch and it is a brunch to behold. You might just have to hold your stomach too as you leave the restaurant because the set brunch is chock a block full of food!

There are a total of 4 courses, but it’s not one dish per course. Being generous as Italians are, they have have numerous mini dishes within each course. You could almost think of this brunch as being a 10 course brunch (more in fact), with a buffet dessert just in case there is a shred of doubt that you’re not next to bursting. And the interesting thing about this “The Italian Table” brunch it’s that it’s not an egg-based brunch. I was wondering when the eggs would feature, but I realise that egg-based brunches are more an Aussie/UK/US thing. The dishes in this brunch are what the Italians would normally have for brunch.

Check out the pictures below and read about my favourite dishes from the Zafferano brunch.

~~~ Starters ~~~

Zafferano Brunch - Live seasonal oysters (2)

Live seasonal oysters – Self explanatory

Zafferano Brunch - Marinated fjord trout, avruga caviar, orange

Marinated fjord trout, avruga caviar, orange

While I am not a fan of fish, I do love sashimi, smoked or marinated cuts. Trout was finely sliced and had a delicate flavour. Disappeared in a jiffy.

Zafferano Brunch - Italy burrata

Freshly imported Italian burrata and tomatoes

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Visiting Seoul : 5 Useful Tips I wish I’d known!

My colleague is going to visit Seoul in several weeks time so I thought this might just be a good time to share a few of the things I wish I’d known before I went there. Why doesn’t anyone ever tell you these things?

Cheapest place for facial products

Now everyone knows that in Korea, facial products are aplenty and quite cheap as compared to Singapore. Innisfree, Nature Republic, FaceShop, you can find these shops along every major shopping street or mall. There are some slight variations in prices especially if you shop in a popular street vs a not so crowded one. My father has been to Seoul countless times for business trips and he told me that he once bought some facial masks (for my mother of course) for like $X. And try as I might, after visiting more than 5 different outlets of the said brand, I just could not find the facial masks being sold at the legendary $X. Instead, they cost 30% more than $X!

Well, that was until I visited the Lotte Department Store at MyeongDong. Specifically the 10th floor which houses the duty free section. When you get there, you will feel like you are no longer in Korea. The entire mall is pretty serene and orderly, but when you get to the 10th floor, it is like a mad house. It is jammed packed with people, and everyone is speaking Chinese! It is HERE, that you can find the the facial products being sold at about 30% cheaper than the shops outside! At least it was the case for those facial masks that I was buying.

How not to get ripped off at Noryangjin Fish Market

Everyone likes to visit Noryangjin Fish Market for some reason when they visit Seoul. I bet many of you readers out there have not visited your local wet market in years, yours truly included, but some how it’s different when being overseas. Visiting a wet market becomes a tourist activity.

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Sample 6 ION Orchard restaurants in one go!

ION Orchard Culinary Creations 2015 is where you can do just that from 12 September – 25 October. It’s FREE!

Head down to ION Orchard Link, Basement 2 from 3 – 6 pm to sample these dishes

  1. Saveur Art – Egg Confit – 12 / 13 September
  2. Magosaburo – Prestige Wagyu Assortment – 26 / 27 September
  3. Wrap & Roll – Cha Ca La Vong – 3 / 4 October
  4. PUTIEN – Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon with Soy Milk – 10 / 11 October
  5. Nara Thai – Hor Mok Talay – 17 / 18 October
  6. The Marmalade Pantry – Prosciutto wrapped Atlantic Halibut – 24 / 25 October

Ion Orchard Culinary Creations (2)

Of the lot, my favourite has got to be Saveur Art’s Egg Confit. It’s sous vide egg with truffles balanced on top a creamy potato mash. Wobbly egg that bursts at the slightest touch, need I say more? The fried soba sprinkled on top was a great addition too as it lent a delicious crunchy texture to it’s tenderer counterparts.

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St Marc Bakery and Bar

Most people know about St Marc Cafe as it can be easily found in popular malls such as Raffles City or Vivocity. But have you heard of St Marc Bakery and Bar at Parkland Green ECP? I believe it’s the only outlet that serves full brunch, lunch and dinner meals. At least i couldn’t find information saying otherwise on their website.

Ever since I tried their signature Pasta Carbonara more than half a year ago when they’d first open, I was smitten. I was hosting some event at Parkland Green so I managed to have a mouthful, but that mouthful was so wonderfully heavenly that it has been etched in my subconscious mind since. I don’t know why I haven’t been back earlier, but I finally did so last week.

Truth be told, I hardly ever order Pasta Carbonara at restaurants as I can never be sure if the sauce is too thick and cloying. If I say so myself, I do make a pretty good version using Jamie Oliver’s recipe, so I’ve always been a little risk adverse to ordering it. But I did so very much want to relive the taste I had remembered, so I took the risk this time round

St Marc Bakery & Bar - Carbonara $15.80 (Crispy Bacon, Parmigianino, Black Pepper, Egg Yolk)

Carbonara $15.80 (Crispy Bacon, Parmigianino, Black Pepper, Egg Yolk)

The Pasta Carbonara was exactly as delicious and creamy as I had remembered. This being a Japanese version, it’s slightly different from those you get from the Western restaurants. I don’t quite know what goes into the sauce but it was creamy, salty, and was just full of umami. I suppose the saltiness comes from the added Parmesan cheese. I did find it a tad too salty towards the end, but I fully enjoyed the dish for the most part. Love the bouncy texture of the Japanese pasta too, they say it is textured like a mochi.

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