Archive for July, 2013

Shangri-La Rose Verandah Afternoon Tea 2013

I am on a quest to try out all the afternoon teas available in Singapore to recommend you my favourites! After my visit to Ritz Carlton Chihuly Lounge’s Afternoon tea last month (the 3rd time I’d visited Ritz Carlton actually), the next stop was to naturally be reacquainted with the Rose Verandah.

Shangri La Rose Verandah (29)

Raisin scone with clotted cream and jam, one of best scones available

The Rose Verandah is like the grand old dame of Afternoon teas. Back in 2005 when I first started enjoying afternoon teas, the Rose Verandah would be my go to location. The afternoon tea has been available for as long as I know, and Japanese ladies of leisure love coming here to socialise over nibbles. You’ll be able to catch them in action especially if you come on the weekdays. In fact, it’s more economical to come on weekdays because the afternoon tea hours are extended, there being just 1 sitting instead of split into 2 on the weekends.

Shangri La Rose Verandah (32)

The Rose Verandah used to boast their 101 tea selection, quite a mind boggling number I must say. But guess what, it’s now morphed into 164 teas! For the price of your buffet, you can have free flow of 1 type of tea. Should you wish to have another type of tea, it will be an additional charge of $7.50. The trick is to just order one pot of tea first between you and your dining companion. You can then change the tea to something else halfway through the meal.

Although there are so many teas to choose from, which gives the impression that the Rose Verandah is an “English” Afternoon tea type of place, the spread is actually very international. There is also a good emphasis on local delights, so you can actually customise your own mee siam at the mee siam station, have har gow and siew mai, and even tuck into cooked dishes such as curry chicken and Asian duck.

Shangri La Rose Verandah (24)

Salmon sashimi, my favourite! There are a few sushi types to choose from too, but I only had eyes for the salmon.

Shangri La Rose Verandah

Someone came around with bowls of soup so we got one for ourselves.

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Kiwifruit Recipes

You may be familiar with Apple Pie, Banana Muffin and Cherry Tart, but did you know that ‪#‎Kiwifruits‬ are also good for making desserts? Check out this Chocolate and Kiwifruit muffin recipe courtesy of www.zespri.com.

Choc O’ Gold Muffins


Serves: 10

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups (250 g) self raising flour
  • 75 g (3 oz) butter or margarine
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup (125 ml) milk
  • 2 large ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit
Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°C)
2. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups
3. Place the chocolate chips, sugar and sifted four into a bowl
4. Melt the butter or margarine and combine with the egg and milk
5. Peel the ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit
6. Cut in 1 cm (1/2 in.) dice. Reserve a little fruit for the top of the muffins
7. Add the liquid ingredients and diced fruit to the dry ingredients and combine quickly, until just moistened
8. Spoon into the muffin cups and dot with the reserved fruit
9. Bake for about 20 minutes

Preparation Time

15 minutes

Cooking Time

20 minutes

Many more kiwifruit recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner available at www.zespri.com!

Oenotheque by Wine Universe

It so happened that I managed to lay my hands on some vouchers to enjoy a business set lunch for 2 at Oenotheque Wine Universe. I’d heard of Oenotheque before when I was browsing through the Restaurant Week participating restaurants, but I’d never tried it before. I have the feeling that not many people know about Oenotheque Wine Universe, so do drop me a note should you visit Oenotheque after reading my post! I’d love to know that my review came in useful!

Well, as with any other vouchers that I have, it seems like I only remember its existence when it’s a few days to its expiry! I had planned to take my parents with me to enjoy the set lunches. We’d have 2 complimentary and 1 paid one for $44++ (3 course) or $36++ (2 course). Divide the price amongst 3 people and it would be a great meal out at a very low cost Smile.

And so….at the height of the HAZE, on the faithful day that it topped 400 PSI in Singapore, we made our way to Oenotheque. Okay it was about 300 PSI during lunch time to be exact, but I recall us taking deep breaths, hopping out of the car as quickly as possible and dashing into to the restaurant just in front of the Millenia Walk car park. It felt like being part of some apocalypse movie scene! And because the whole restaurant is glass-walled, we felt like we were dining in the depths of an abandoned misty city, with no one else spotted on the roads. God forbid that we should have to endure another period of Haze like we did back in June!

I have to say, the business set lunch was the highlight of that hazy day. Totally don’t regret driving all the way from the office to enjoy it!

Wine Universe Oenotheque - Beef Tartare with potato puree (2)

Beef Tartare with potato puree

I chose the beef tartare as my starter. It was one of the most fantastic beef tartares I have ever eaten! Probably the best one was the time I had it in Luxembourg, but this comes a close second! The sesame oil dressing on the tender diced beef complemented the meat so well! It was just pure enjoyment at it’s best and the even better part was that the portion was very generous too! The potato puree placed atop the beef tartare was equally delectable, helping to enhance the flavours of the beef tartare due to its more subdued flavour.

Wine Universe Oenotheque - Hotaru  with apple and celery iberico ham stock

Hotaru  with apple and celery iberico ham stock

A very interesting broth using a combination of squid and iberico ham, don’t see that often do you? The broth was refreshingly light yet savoury. The squids were unexpectedly a little bland and actually quite nondescript. I love how the wasabi has 3 uses in this dish. First, the bright colour just draws you to the plate, next it is placed in an alternating fashion with the squids, giving the dish a balanced look. And lastly, it is meant as a dip.

Wine Universe Oenotheque - Duck with orange and pea and pumpkin puree

Duck with orange and pea and pumpkin puree

With my expectations set really high thanks to the incredible beef tartare, I was overjoyed to find my duck selection as mains another winner. Really, I think you can almost from the picture how tender the duck was. The rosy hue was still retained on the flesh. The duck was also cut in to numerous slices, which probably helped the meat to soak up more of the sauce. Putting each sliver of the duck into my mouth was sheer pleasure. It didn’t taste heavy or oily either, unlike most restaurants that cook or fry the duck to death! I thought the addition of orange slices and pea and pumpkin puree helped to lighten and brighten the dish even more. This duck is probably the most tender and most delicious duck I have ever eaten in a restaurant!

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Amazing Zespri Kiwifruit

It’s Zespri Kiwifruit season again in Singapore’s supermarkets! Have you seen all the green kiwis in the supermarket lately? If you’ve seen a god kiwiffruit, you are in luck! Gold kiwifruit is very rare this year due to a drought in New Zealand which affected the gold kiwi fruit crop! If you manage to lay your hands on some, you can buy toto as well!!

Do take the opportunity to stock up on more kiwi fruit as they contain TWICE the amount of Vitamin C as compared to Oranges!

Kiwi Fruit

The easiest and most brainless way to eat a Kiwi fruit is obviously to slice the fruit in half and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. But check out this video below, where you don’t even need a spoon, just a knife will do!

And in case you want to peel a whole kiwi fast, this video below shows you how! Good for when you need pretty slices of kiwi to decorate your cakes or if you just need to peel a ton to make kiwi chutneys!

I will be doing some Zespri Kiwi fruit giveaways in a few days time! Do watch out for the contest here. Bonus points to early birds who leave a comment here first on your thoughts about eating kiwi fruit!

Cycling in France!

Day 5 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

Most Singaporeans, when they tell you that they’ve been holidaying in France, actually mean that they’ve been holidaying in Paris. And that’s usually because most Singaporeans do a London-Paris type of trip, and already these 2 mega cities would have taken up at least 5 days each of the holiday that there’s hardly any time for the countryside!

I had such a dilemma as well when planning my Honeymoon. Would it be London and Paris? Or London and then Paris+French Countryside? Or Paris and then London+English Countryside? There are quite a number of variations but one thing I knew I definitely didn’t want to do, at least not for the entire trip, was to have to use the public trains. It’s actually not that cheap to take the Eurorail around Europe, unless you limit yourself to a few stops. And it’s almost impossible to see the countryside if you don’t drive. But I wanted to see some countryside, so in the end we decided to drive around France, and stick only to France or else we’d have to spend another bomb on the train from Paris to London!

Thank god we did a self-drive tour, even though we had to contend with driving on the right side of the road. For one, we’d never have been able to stay at the lovely Chateaus dotted all over the French countryside. We even got the chance to do a spot of cycling in the vineyard behind our Chateau D’Isenbourg!

Chateau d'Isenbourg grounds (10)

The grand Chateau d’Isenbourg of the Small Luxury Hotel of the World and Grandes Etapes Françaises groups.

Cycling around Chateau d'Isenbourg (2)

Rent a bike for free from the hotel. They will gladly give you a code to unlock the bikes.

Cycling around Chateau d'Isenbourg (12)

Rows and rows of grapevines. No grapes yet cuz it’s still spring. Chateau d’Isenbourg is in the distance.

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