Archive for August 14th, 2012

Hard Rock Cafe

When I told my friends that I was invited to a food tasting session at Hard Rock Cafe, many of them told me that they had either been there once eons ago, or never at all. This caught me by surprise, as I was under the impression that people liked going to Hard Rock Cafes all over the world to buy their memorabilia as evidence of having been to the respective countries. Perhaps that’s just it, they go only for the souvenirs but not the food.

Personally, the first and only time I was at Hard Rock Cafe was way back in 2007. It was the birthday of our American intern, and he specifically requested for a celebration at Hard Rock Cafe to remind him of home. The birthday meal was fun, and I believe he even received a small birthday cake compliments of the house! It’s interesting to know that Hard Rock Cafe actually started as an American diner in London, and not in USA! I’ve been to London’s Hard Rock Cafe, and I have a Tshirt to prove it too, heh.

Fast forward to last week, and I was there once again to sample Hard Rock Cafe’s new Seafood Menu with the URBAN TEAM bloggers I made friends with during our Greenwich V Amazing Race. I even had a special guest with me, the winner of my Hard Rock Cafe contest!

Hard Rock Cafe is a very lively place. A stage and a huge ceiling to floor projection screen take centre stage. Loud music is played and MTVs are shown on the projection screen. Needless to say, music memorabilia such as guitars and photos of singers decorate every wall available. When you’re in it, you know you’re in Hard Rock Cafe alright. By the way, did you know that there are more than 70,000 guitars, drums pianos etc on the walls of over 163 Hard Rock Cafes, Hotels and Casinos in 52 countries around the world? And the 1st guitar ever donated, which started the collection going came from Eric Clapton!

Hard Rock Cafe - (2)

I ordered this Mocktail for $10 to get things started. If you don’t know what to order, I would highly recommend this drink. It’s pretty humongous and lasted me the whole evening!

Hard Rock Cafe - Seafood Platter with an assortment of grilled prawns, calamari rings, battered sea bass fillet, soft shell crab served on a bed of french fries with tartar sauce $28   (2)

Seafood Platter with an assortment of grilled prawns, calamari rings, battered sea bass fillet, soft shell crab served on a bed of french fries with tartar sauce $28

I love it when someone at the table orders a seafood platter. It’s always such a feast for the eyes. However, the downside is that with nearly everything being covered in batter, it can be very unhealthy. I only tried the calamari rings and soft shell crab. The soft shell crab was very nice but the squid was a little on the soft and mushy side.

Hard Rock Cafe - Crab Fried Rice, wok fried with succulent crab meat, prawns and diced portobello mushrooms, wrapped in an egg omelette $20   (2)

Crab Fried Rice, wok fried with succulent crab meat, prawns and diced portobello mushrooms, wrapped in an egg omelette $20

Out of the entire seafood menu, this was my favourite dish. First of all there is a generous amount of crab on top of the rice. That’s good because when the crab meat is hidden within the rice, if not done properly, the flavours can be lost. At least with the crab outside, you can savour it separately. The olive rice was also pretty fragrant, and was kept piping hot by the enveloping thin egg omelette. A lime was provided which added an extra tanginess to the rice.

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Health mantras by 365days2play

While I’m on this healthy streak, I thought I should share my enthusiasm with you guys by posting some health tips you might like to follow.

Before I jump into the hard stuff, I’d like to tell you that I am a label reader, and I’ve always been so since I was a kid. My music school was right above a supermarket, and after class, I’d prowl the supermarket shelves, stalking the canned food or confectionary section. I’d actually read the ingredients and nutrition list. Don’t ask me why it’s so fascinating, but it just is. In fact, one of my dream jobs (still is!) is to work in a supermarket!

Anyway, the point is that when you read labels, you learn a lot more about the food you’re consuming. It just baffles me how easily people are fooled by the colourful words on the packaging, that are designed to make you think what THEY want you to think. Cereals for kids are the worst offender! But the truth is there for you to see, in the labels! For example, I once told a colleague to drink more fruit juice since he had come down with the flu. He dutifully went to 7-Eleven, and to my horror, bought a juice drink. Now when you see the word “juice drink”, rather than “juice” or “pure juice”, you know that it’s not pure. Many times it’s apple juice added, but in bad cases it’s sugar added. So he sipped on a sugary juice drink. Ah well, on to the mantras.

Eat 2 servings of fruit a day

So everyone has this vague idea that one should try and eat more fruits. The question is how much is enough? The answer is that you should eat at least 2 servings of fruit a day. And how much is 2 servings of fruit? 1 kiwi is about the size of 1 serving of fruit.

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In a survey conducted by Zespri (the company that represents and markets NZ Kiwifruit), it was found that most Singaporeans aren’t getting at least 2 servings of fruit a day. At least more than 50% eat at least 1 serving of fruit a day. I certainly hope you’re not in the 8% that do not eat fruit at all! Two servings is the minimum btw, there are some health experts out there who say that you need to consume 9 servings per day! I think I’ll give myself a pat on the back if I can sustain 2 servings.

Not all fruits are created equal. Be kiasu, choose the best!

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Okay you guys may think that I’m trying to hard sell the kiwifruit, but the facts are not fake. We should always eat a good variety of fruits for the various vitamins, but if you can only stomach a bit of fruit a day, go for the most power packed one!

Make your breakfast a nutritious one

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You see, one excuse I have for not eating enough fruits is that after lunch or dinner, I’m just too full to eat anymore fruits. And believe it or not, I don’t snack all that much, yes it’s true lah! So actually, a good time to pack more fruits into my diet is to have fruit for breakfast.

In another survey conducted by Zespri, only 19% have fruits for breakfast, while a whopping 84% have bread, buns or biscuits. I don’t know about you but plain bread or bread with a sweetened spread is a definite NO NO for me for breakfast. The sugar from all the carbo hits me really hard and I literally feel like taking MC for the rest of the day.

So are you one of those that makes use of breakfast to jumpstart your day? Let’s ignore the survey that Zespri has done and conduct one ourselves. Fill in this survey and let me know what you have for breakfast!

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