Archive for the ‘1.0 Media Invites’ Category

999.99 (Five Nines) – Best beef tenderloin and lamb chops

It’s not often that I come across a restaurant with this many laudable dishes, but yes, nearly every single thing that I tried at 999.99 (Five Nines) at Keong Saik street was delicious and memorable. What sort of weird name is Five Nines, you may ask. Well, 999.99 is the finest form of gold and is considered the gold standard. The team at 999.99 holds themselves to this gold standard in the food that they serve, be it quality, service or presentation. Five Nines is helmed by Chef Masanao Saito, where his previous experience included being Head Chef of the Japanese Embassy in Sweden, serving Japanese Kaiseki and French cuisine to dignitaries.

Let’s cut to the chase and let me tell you which dishes to order to maximise your dollar. Without a doubt, do not leave Five Nines without ordering either the Smoky Lamb with Eggplant, the Beef Tenderloin and Foie Gras, or the Lobster Gratin. These 3 were absolutely mind blowing.

Five Nines - Smoky Lamb with eggplant $22 (1)

Smoky Lamb with eggplant $22

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Hai Tien Lo (Pan Pacific)–MEGA rice dumplings!

There are rice dumplings, and then there are mega rice dumplings. This bak chang season, check out these premium handcrafted rice dumplings from Hai Tian Lo, specially prepared by Executive Chef Lai Tong Ping. They are so huge (almost big enough to cover my face!), they are sure to make a statement to whoever whom you gift these bundles of treats to!

Traditional Cantonese Jumbo Rice Dumpling

Traditional Cantonese Jumbo Rice Dumpling $29.90 – Including premium ingredients such as dried oysters, dried scallops, Japanese mushroom, succulent pork belly and salted egg yolk, this is a perennial must order from Hai Tien Lo. I had an entire one for lunch and was stuffed!

Classic Five-Spice Rice Dumpling with Pork Belly and Yam

Classic Five-Spice Rice Dumpling with Pork Belly and Yam $19.90 – Slightly smaller than the jumbo dumpling above, this dumpling holds its own with its sweet and savoury flavours thanks to the five-spice powder.

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Salt Tapas & Bar– Surprisingly affordable brunch menu!

Salt Grill & Sky Bar has always been on my list of restaurants for special occasions thanks to the good food, exquisite presentation and amazing near 360 degree views of Singapore from the 55th floor of ION Orchard. But to dine here costs a pretty penny which is why it is reserved for special occasions. But did you know that Salt Grill & Sky Bar has a “sibling” in the form of Salt Tapas & Bar located at Raffles City shopping centre, which offers dishes at much more wallet friendly prices?

Salt Tapas & Bar is an extension of the existing “Salt” Brand by celebrated Australian Chef Luke Mangan. The menu has recently been revamped and now presents quality modern tapas with an Australian twist, at affordable prices. I am always wary about tapas places as the portions tend to be miniscule while charging full appetiser prices. Not so at Salt Tapas & Bar. Quite a number of the dishes we tried, in particular the brunch menu items, are large enough to be considered as mains. And the amazing thing is that the pricing is comparable to cafes you find in Singapore, and we are talking about food from a celebrated brand name located in the heart of town! This is probably one of the best kept secrets and I wish I’d known about it earlier!

The brunch menu is particularly worthwhile checking out for its affordable prices. For example French toast with clotted cream and Okinawa ice cream at $15, or scrambled eggs with ratatouille on toast at $15 or even the grilled sirloin with mash, salad and poached egg at $18!

Salt Tapas Bar - Egg berentine with bonito flakes - $14

Egg berentine with bonito flakes – $14 

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Where to find white asparagus? – Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

It’s Spring in Europe, and that means white asparagus season is here! Check out specially curated white asparagus dishes available at the Pool Grill restaurant at Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel. Hurry, because they are only available until 31 May 2016!

What’s the difference between white asparagus vs the more common green asparagus you may ask? Well apart from the colour, white asparagus has a more delicate flavour, with a nutty hint at times. It also tastes slightly sweeter and juicier to me. And the fascinating thing is that all asparagus start out the same, but those you want white are deprived of sunlight by completely covering them with earth when they are growing. This prevents them from producing chlorophyll, and hence they end up white instead of green. 

There are many ways to eat white asparagus, but the best is to leave them lightly cooked so that you can enjoy their natural taste. I prefer to pair them up with stronger tasting accompaniments such as with steak so that the contrasting flavours are more pronounced. Here are the 6 asparagus dishes you can enjoy at Marriott hotel during white asparagus season. Please note the pictures below are about 1/2 – 2/3 the original portion as this was sampled as part of media tasting session.

Marriott Pool Grill - White asparagus soup, seared scallop, avruga caviar

White asparagus soup, seared scallop, avruga caviar

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SAVOUR Gourmet 2016 (Free Entry!)

Savour 2016 is back this year from 12 – 15 May and is currently on-going as we speak! This year, being the 5th year that Savour has been held, the format has changed into 3 exciting, specially-themed editions.

The 2016 Calendar:

  • SAVOUR Gourmet : 12 – 15 May
  • SAVOUR Wines : 8 – 11 September
  • SAVOUR Christmas : 17 – 20 November

But more importantly, this year’s SAVOUR Gourmet will feature FREE ENTRY! A total of 10 restaurants are featured at the Gourmet Village, and dishes are priced at the more affordable pricing of either $6 or $12. Cash and credit are now also accepted on the grounds. You can also purchase the SAVOUR Experience Pack for $30 which includes vouchers to be spent at the Gourmet Village and Jasons Gourmet Market, a goodie bag and an exclusive Xiao Long Bao from 3-michelin starred Bo Innovation (otherwise not available to the public)!

Savour Gourmet 2016 (11)

2016 also marks the debut of DBS Live Your Dream initiative, which provides emerging home-grown talents a platform to showcase their culinary skills. You can play a part in helping to pick out the next culinary star by voting for your favourite up and coming chef during the 4 day event.

The 10 restaurants featured are

  • Artichoke – Jonathan Lee with mentor Bjorn Shen
  • Buona Terra – William Bai with mentor Denis Lucchi
  • CATO – Tommy KJim with mentor Ethan Li
  • Gattopardo – Kenneth Oh with mentor Lino Sauro
  • abyrinth – Han Liguang (slugging it out on his own)
  • Lower East Side – Michael Yeong with mentor Claudio Sandri
  • Salt Tapas & Bar – Ronald Li with mentor Luke Mangan
  • Saveur Art – Tyler Lai (slugging it out on his own)
  • Guest Team R&D – Eric Chong (Masterchef Canada Winner) with mentor Alvin Leung

I had a sneak peek on Thursday, and my was the whole place teeming with activity. Did I mention that the location is also more accessible this year? It’s located at the empty field next to Marina Bay Sands, so for those coming by public transport, just take the MRT to Bayfront MRT Station and it will be a 5 minute walk to SAVOUR.

Savour Gourmet 2016 (7)

Buona Terra – Homemade Tagliolini Mushrooms, Saffron, Parmesan and Black Truffle $12

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