Archive for October, 2017

Afternoon tea at Marina Bay Sands Renku Lounge– Sip tea blends customised just for you!

[Media Invite]

How do you like to spend your weekends? For me, one of my favourite ways is to enjoy afternoon tea at a posh hotel. There’s nothing quite like sitting back amongst luxurious surroundings while nibbling on dainty food and sipping cup after cup of tea. Conversation is not always necessary, sometimes I like to just stare into space, contemplating life. You know they say creative people need space to just think…

Marina Bay Sands Renku Lounge Afternoon Tea (18)

So, when Marina Bay Sands recently opened Renku, I made sure to quickly check it out. The tea takes centre stage at Renku, literally. There are professional Tea Masters who will provide tableside service and recommend tea blends customised to your preference. There will also be a tea pouring performance at some point during the afternoon tea!

Marina Bay Sands Renku Lounge Afternoon Tea (5)

 

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Marriott Pool Grill–Dinner with Audra Morrice, Chef and Judge on MasterChef Asia

[Media Invite]

Are you a fan of the MasterChef series? Ever wanted to dine with the accomplished chef participants, or even with the judge? Well now you can spend a culinary evening with Audra Morrice. She was a finalist on MasterChef Australia in 2012and is now a resident judge on MasterChef Asia. Since then, she’s gone on to start her own catering business, launched a range of natural, gluten-free jams, and even authored cookbooks.

From 26 October to 29 October 2017 only, you can enjoy a 5-course Wine pairing dinner featuring the best of Australian produce prepared in Audra’s signature eclectic Asian cooking style. The ever friendly and bubbly Audra will be mingling amongst the diners, taking pictures and signing autographs of course. And in case you were wondering why Audra isn’t cooking, well remember that much of the food needs to be prepped even prior to the dinner service.

Audra Morrice

Pool Grill, Level 5
26 to 29 October 2017

5-Course Wine Dinner
6.45pm to 9.30pm $128nett per person (Inclusive of canapés and wines)

$128nett is really not a bad price considering it’s Marriott Hotel, and you get 5 wines. Quite a deal actually! Check out sneak peeks of the food I tried yesterday. Needless to say, the food was really enjoyable, and the star of the show for me has got to be the melt in the mouth beef short ribs. I’ve dined at Pool Grill a number of times, and never have I had a bad meal there. Scroll down for the video for exactly how tender the beef was.

Marriott Hotel Pool Grill - Braised Westholme Australian Beef Short Rib (3)

 Braised Westholme Australian Beef Short Rib with Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime, Chilli, Tamarind, Gula Melaka, Greens and Tomatoes

So tender!!! Marriott Pool Grill really does great steaks without fail.

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U By Uniworld- 5 reasons you would want to experience the world’s first ever river cruise for 21 to 45 year-olds

[Media Invite]

You might be familiar with Contiki Tours, which organises tours for people aged 35 or younger. However, did you know that there is now a cruise catering to travel enthusiasts aged 21 to 45? Check out U By Uniworld, a new brand from Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. It offers tours along popular rivers across Europe. Btw, both Contiki Tours and U by Uniworld are owned by The Travel Corporation, as are Insight and Trafalgar Tours amongst many more.

Four eight-day itineraries – The Seine Experience, Rolling on the Rhine, Germany’s Finest and The Danube Flow – will sail along the Rhine, Main, Danube and Seine Rivers, with overnight stops and longer stays available in major cities including Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and Budapest. U by Uniworld will also offer two five-day holiday itineraries – Dashing Through The Danube and A Merry Little Christmas Cruise – during the holiday season.

I won’t go through the reasons why you might want to do a cruise tour instead of a traditional coach tour. Okay, one of the biggest reasons is you don’t have to pack and unpack at each destination! Instead, here are 5 reasons why I think you might be interested in U By Uniworld cruises specifically.

1. A really cool design

There are currently 2 ships under the U By Uniworld brand : The A and The B ships, and they feature a contemporary look and feel. I mean, have you seen a black ship before?

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U by Uniworld - Ship Interior

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Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens is now certified Halal!

[Media Invite]

Did you know that the Halia restaurant at the Singapore Botanic Gardens has recently been converted into a Halal restaurant as of June 2017? This beautiful restaurant which has been at the UNESCO World Heritage inscribed Singapore Botanic Gardens since 2001 can now be considered an inclusive dining destination for all. Muslims who visit the Botanic Gardens often now have the option to dine amidst this lush greenery without having to scoot off elsewhere for lunch or dinner.

It certainly makes sense to cater to the Halal market because of its unique location in one of Singapore’s most popular tourist destination.  In order to be certified Halal, a significant change they have had to make is to remove alcohol from the menu. I am told this has not put a dent on profits because now the customer base has widened! Anyway, with a name like “Halia”, which means “ginger” in Malay, the connection is now even stronger.

Btw, when I say “inclusive dining destination”, I do mean it also in terms of pricing. Years ago, if you thought Halia to be an expensive restaurant, you would be right. But the menu has been largely revamped and now there are many main course-sized dishes going for less than $30. Appetisers are in the $15s range while desserts are about $11. Yet when you look at the decor and the ambience at Halia, you feel like you are dining in an upscale restaurant! On the evening of our media tasting, quite a number of tables were occupied by people celebrating birthdays. I would certainly love to celebrate my birthday there, it is so romantic at night!

Anyway, on to the food. In general, I thought the food was very good, given the pricing. Quite a number of the dishes were also innovatively presented so that nothing is predictable or mundane. Also the presentation, and small touches were befitting of an upscale restaurant. It is the attention to detail that takes a dish from good to great.

Halia - Fresh Boston Bay mussel ($22  )

Fresh Boston Bay mussel $22

My favourite dish of the evening was this mussel dish, featuring a slightly spicy coconut and ginger flower broth had such an intense flavour that made me crave for more. A good thing that they provided a substantially sized slice of focaccia bread to mop up the delicious broth. This dish is listed under the “In Between” section of the menu, meaning that this may not be filling enough if you’re a large eater.

Halia -Lightly Smoked Kingfish ($17  ) Chilled cucumber & ginger shooter, almond, chilli & lemongrass oil (2)

Lightly Smoked Kingfish $17 

The fish was pretty delicate in flavour as well as texture, and disappeared all too soon. Oh you’re supposed to pour a chilled cucumber & ginger shooter onto the fish, but I quite liked it on its own.

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Kara Cafe and Dessert Bar – Sogurt has grown into a full-fledged cafe!

[Media Tasting]

Foodies will be familiar with the popular yoghurt brand Sogurt, one of the first few players in the froyo market. After 7 years in the market, Sogurt has decided to rebrand its very first store in Bukit Timah from just a Froyo shop into a full-fledged cafe serving hot food and healthy eats. Owner Lee Li Ping recognises that the F&B scene changes rapidly, and that “it’s important to keep up with the latest trends or be left behind”. Tell me about it, even the social media scene has changed as compared to the days when I first started blogging. Time really waits for no man.

The new menu does indeed comprise of a substantial number of healthy dishes such as hearty soups, grain bowls and salads. But there are also comfort food dishes and sweet treats, because let’s be frank, what’s the point of eating out if you can’t indulge just a little bit? The signature self-served froyo bar is still available, for loyal fans who might miss it if it were gone. It now includes soft ice-cream flavours as well.

Scroll down to see some of the dishes from the newly revamped menu.

Toasties and Snacks

Kara Cafe & Dessert Bar - Classic Grilled Cheese $10 (2)

Classic Grilled Cheese $10 – Cheese lovers will love this sourdough sandwich which is literally oozing with cheese. Good idea to include the sweet pickle relish, to help taper down the cheesiness.

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