Archive for May, 2013

Special 4-Course Dinner at Shatec RECIPES bistro

RECIPES, a full-fledged restaurant managed and operated by SHATEC, will be serving a Four Course Set Dinner Anniversary Menu in celebration of its 30th year. This special menu comprises dishes created by well-known chefs, all of whom are SHATEC alumni. The special menu will be available only on 7th and 14th June (Fridays) for dinner at $42++ per pax. Do show your support for our home grown celebrity chefs as well as encourage the next generation of students from SHATEC to walk towards the route of culinary success!

It’s interesting to note that many of our movers and shakers in the hospitality industry were formerly from SHATEC. Here are some illustrious members:

  • Simon Song – Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Maldives
  • Ignatius Chan – Owner of Iggy’s and a world-renowned restaurateur
  • Justin Quek – Owner of SKy on 57 at Marina Bay Sands
  • Arthur Kiong – CEO of Far East Hospitality
  • Nicholas Lim – Regional Director of Trafalgar Tours

We also got a chance to sample the dinner anniversary menu created by 4 famous SHATEC Alumni but cooked and served by SHATEC students. Of the 4 chefs below, I recognised Chef Pang Kok Keong’s name without any difficulty as he is the owner of Antoinette, the lovely Parisien style patisserie cafe where you can find the best hazelnut nutella crepes in Singapore!

SHATEC RECIPES Bistro (5)

SHATEC RECIPES Bistro (6)

Appetiser – Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Apple Salsa

Created by Chef Randy Chow, Class of 1986

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Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome

Tulip Mania is raging on at Gardens by the Bay. I was there today and it was a lovely sight. Reminded me so much of my travels in France where the roadside planters would be stuffed full of tulip plants and other colourful flowers. In fact, I was at the Gardens last week as well, but the tulips hadn’t yet bloomed fully. What a difference a week makes! It was well worth the effort to make the trip to the Flower Dome again today. Tomorrow is the last day of Tulip Mania so do take leave and see it if you can!!

It was actually my first time at the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest last week. For Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, it costs $12 to visit one dome and $20 for 2 domes. If you ask me, you have to make time to visit the Gardens by the Bay Domes at least once. I think it’s really unlike any other attraction that we have in Singapore. How many times have we wished that Singapore wouldn’t be the scorching island that we have to tolerate on a daily basis? The domes allow you to take a walk in the park in cool air conditioned comfort. For those few blissful hours you can imagine yourself on holiday in a temperate country.

And if you’re hungry after the visit to the Domes and want to know what to eat at Gardens by the Bay, do check out the SuperTrees Dining, Cafe Crema or Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant for dim sum. Smile

Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome Tulips (26)

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The Albert Premier – Luxembourg

Day 1 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

The Albert Premier Luxembourg (17)

Luxembourg was our official first stop in our 14 day trip through Luxembourg, Germany and France. We made the conscious decision that we were not going to stick to just the mega cities like London and Paris, and that we wanted to be able to experience “country living”. After massive planning, we came up with this very unique itinerary of first arriving in Paris via Singapore Airlines, followed by taking the TGV train to Luxembourg (part journey by coach), taking another train to Strasbourg before collecting our car and travelling to Hornbach (Germany), Alsace, Burgundy and Lyon.

I am quite confident in saying that few Singaporeans have visited these areas that I have mentioned because I hardly saw a Chinese person in those areas, let alone a Singaporean. So if you’re planning to go somewhere to escape the Singaporean crowd, try Luxembourg and Alsace!

While walking the streets of Luxembourg, I suddenly bumped into a hoard of Chinese tourists, probably the only Asians I saw in my 2 days in Luxembourg. They were all so happy to be able to finally have dinner at the Chinese restaurant. I have to admit there’s just nothing quite like having comforting food that you are familiar with, especially if everything else has been so foreign the entire day.

Luxembourg is a lovely little city. The country is only about 3 times bigger than Singapore, but has only a population of 524,853 (as of October 2012). You can read more about Luxembourg in my previous post. I loved that Luxembourg was my 1st stop in my European trip because it is such a relaxing and pretty city to be in. I love city centres which are cordoned off from traffic so that pedestrians can wander the streets easily. Did you know, the official country motto for Luxembourg is “We want to remain what we are”. It’s admirable that there can be a country brave enough to recognise that maintaining its heritage and culture is as important as building a better economy. Despite the motto, Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world. Contrast that to Singapore’s motto, which is Majulah Singapura, aka Onward Singapore.

Things are not particularly expensive too. I had the best steak tartare sandwich of my life in Luxembourg, from a cafe costing just 5 Euros! Be warned though, that Steak tartare is referred to as steak à l’Americaine over there. I didn’t even know it was Steak tartare, and ate it 6 hours later. It was so delicious I decided to risk any possible stomach upset, but luckily all was fine.

The Albert Premier Luxembourg (2)

Lobby Lounge of the Albert Premier Hotel

We stayed at the Albert Premier for the 2 nights that we were in Luxembourg, courtesy of the Albert Premier and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The Albert Premier is a nifty little boutique hotel providing 40 elegant rooms and suites, fine dining in our gourmet restaurant, a library and a fitness and steam room. The hotel is located just off a main road, but we weren’t disturbed by noise at all. The hotel is about 10 minutes walk away from the heart of Luxembourg City. Along the way on avenue Monterey , you will pass a park, which has a huge playground with a Viking Ship! If you have children, you must make this a visit! I’m sure the kids will absolutely adore the place! Just across the street from the hotel is a small supermarket chain called the Alima, should you need anything. As with all hotels that we stayed during our trip, WIFI is free! Get your coupon

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Louvre Museum Paris

Day 10 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

After having taken a train from Lyon to Paris, and after checking into our hotel at the Citadines Suites Louvre Paris, it was already close to 4pm. Although people often say that you need 3 days to completely cover the Louvre, and they are absolutely right, we felt it a waste not to make the Louvre our 1st stop simply because it was so close!

Louvre (3)

The great thing about visiting at 4pm, and this was on a Saturday mind you, is that we didn’t really have to queue to get in. It was but a 2 minute wait in a rather fast moving queue to go through the scanners. Oh you have to get the Paris Museum Pass. It gives free entry to 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris. I got the 4 day pass for 54 Euros. The best part about the Paris Museum Pass is not so much the fact that you save money, it’s more of the fact that it allows you to skip the ticket queues! When you see how long the ticketing queues can get, it’s really a no brainer. You may still be required to stand in line to get through security, but trust me, if the security line is already damn long, do you really want to have to go through the ticket queue as well??

Louvre (5)

The Louvre Museum itself is pretty breath-taking. It is truly an impressive building, and rightly so as the building is actually the Louvre Palace, and began as a fortress built in the late 12th century. There were hoards of people out in the cold wind taking all manner of photos.

Louvre (11)

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Citadines Suites Louvre Paris

Day 10 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

We spent our 1st night in Paris at the lovely Citadines Suites Louvre Paris. Although Paris wasn’t our first stop in France, I’m starting with this post first because the Citadines Suites Louvre Paris is managed by Singapore’s very own Ascott Limited, a member of Capitaland. Also, it was the only service apartment we stayed at in our honeymoon trip to France.

Citadines_Suites_Louvre_Paris_Facade - Copy

The hotel is slightly difficult to identify because there isn’t a grand entrance like most hotels in Singapore. You do have to keep your eyes peeled for the Citadines logo and the entrance at the side of the building. However, once you enter the lobby, I assure you that you will feel mesmerised, as I was. From the bustling and noisy streets of Paris, I felt as if I was being transported into an oasis of calm. The lobby is stylishly decored in a pale blue grey theme, as is pretty much the rest of the areas of the hotel.

Citadines Suites Louvre Paris (39)

Citadines Suites Louvre Paris (29)

We got a lovely suite on the 6th floor. The truth be told, when I first stepped into the hotel room, I was just breathless at how soothing yet stylish the room looked. Suffice to say that the Citadines Suites Louvre Paris has given me the inspiration to furnish and decorate my new home in a similar style.

Citadines Suites Louvre Paris (10)

Love the hanging bedside lamps.

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