Archive for the ‘1.2 Restaurants’ Category

9Goubuli at Marina Bay Sands

You may have read in the Straits Times of the recent opening of the famed Goubuli Restaurant at Marina Bay Sands. Story has it that the owner named Gou (aka Dog) made such great meat buns that he had so many customers he had no time to entertain anyone, hence the name Gou Bu Li (aka Dog doesn’t bother about you 狗不理包子). When I heard about the buns, I though nah, not another casual gimmicky eatery again.

Surprisingly, the restaurant is far from casual or gimmicky when you step in. The restaurant may not be that big, but a warm ambience greets you, complete with wooden motif wood panelling, oriental furniture and marble-top tables. Aside from the buns / baozi, and Hong Kong dim sum (to cater to those who are not too familiar with Tianjin cuisine, the menu boasts a wide array of dishes that you would not find in a casual eatery.

Braised Fresh Abalone in Oyster Sauce-tile

Photo Credit : 9Goubuli

Think Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, claypot braised lamb, eight treasures steamed chicken, braised fresh abalone in oyster sauce, and the like. Argh I wish I could have eaten more at the media tasting but I am limited by my human sized stomach capacity!

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Dinner at Zafferano

Although I’ve visited Zafferano a couple of times prior to this media tasting session, I couldn’t resist the opportunity when it presented itself again. I had a good experience on both occasions:  the beautifully presented and tasty food, the service, the ambience, and of course the views. And surprisingly, the menu is not as expensive as you would think. Glad to report that Zafferano has maintained its consistency, and still deserves the positive review after my 3rd visit.

The experience begins once you step into the elevator that will take you up 240 metres above ground to the top floor of Ocean Financial Centre. You have to walk past the open plan kitchen showcasing chefs hard at work before you reach the dining area that boasts an eye-catching central bar counter. We snagged the booth seats at the corner this time round, which cocooned us comfortably from the rest of the world. Zafferano’s head chef Marco Guccio is renowned for creating dishes incorporating elements from both Southern and Northern Italian food cultures, and we were there to sample his unique style of cooking.

Zafferano - Bread Basket

First up, some champagne and complimentary bread to set the mood.

Marinated Scottish Salmon

Marinated Scottish salmon, green asparagus, red radish, trout roe

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Lei Garden Dim Sum

Years back when I was working in the City Hall area, I used to frequent Lei Garden around once a month, and in particular on birthdays or new joiner celebrations. The big boss was from Hong Kong, and he deemed Lei Garden to be the go to place for good dim sum and double-boiled soups. So I’ve always had a rather good impression of Lei Garden, the food, the ambience, service and decor. There used to be a Lei Garden in Orchard too, but that has since closed down several years ago.

I hadn’t planned on having dim sum as one of my birthday meals, but after the exemplary dim sum tasting portion served at Anti:Dote’s afternoon tea, I just had such an intense craving for dim sum that I had to go the very next day. And since it’s a birthday, it couldn’t be just any old dim sum place, it had to be a good one.

Lei Garden Restaurant at Chijmes

Lei Garden is located in Chijmes, and situated near the courtyard area.

Lei Garden Dim Sum (10)

Are you like me? I absolutely have to order Har Gow and Siew mai whenever I go for Dim Sum. Those are the de-facto, and it just doesn’t seem complete without these 2 stalwarts. Good siew mai should not have too much pork and pork fat, and Lei Garden passed the test here.

Lei Garden Dim Sum (6)

Another must order would be the Char Siew Bao. The baos we tried were so good! So fluffy, with the char siew meat moist, tender and enveloped in the deliciously rich sweet char siew sauce. If only the baos were bigger!

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[Chinese New Year 2015]–TAO Seafood Asia

Opened less than a year ago in 2014, TAO Seafood Asia may be the new kid on the block relatively speaking, but its roots go much further back. 67 yr old head chef Lee Tong Kuon is the former executive chef and co-owner of the Thai Village Holdings Ltd which he opened back in 1991 with his brother. Chef Lee now helms TAO Seafood Asia as head chef in the restaurant created and managed by his son Adrian Lee.

TAO Seafood Asia enjoys an envious location at Asia Square, when it comes to corporate lunches and dinners, as it’s right smack in the heart of the CBD. CitiBank, DBS Bank and even the Singapore Exchange are but a stone’s throw away. Easier to convince your boss to hold the department CNY lunch here if the boss only needs to walk for 5 minutes.

To pay tribute to his teacher and mentor, chef Preecha Jangsombatsiri (Ping), and his culinary roots, chef Lee Tong Kuon and his team have set the stage to bring Yaowarat (name of Bangkok’s Chinatown) to its army of Thai-Teochew loyalists in Singapore with five of Yaowarat’s lunar new year classics with a TAO spin.

Tao Seafood Asia - Supreme Prosperity Yu Sheng (4)

TAO Supreme Prosperity Yu Sheng $128++

As with many of the Chinese New Year dishes at TAO Seafood Asia, there is an element of Thai even in the Yu Sheng, with the use of ingredients such as Thai basil leaves, crispy deep-fried fish skin as well as the use of mango slices. In fact, this Yu Sheng boasts a hefty 18 different ingredients and is probably the only one where fruits play a significant role.

Tao Seafood Asia - Lohei time! (2)

Lo hei, the perfect way to break the ice even in the most sombre of meals. The inner child in us emerges as we try to toss the yu sheng higher than the person next to us.

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[New Year’s Eve] Salt Grill & Sky Bar

It seems like the turkey has hardly been stuffed before one needs to contemplate a fitting way to end the year with a blast. The truth of the matter is that I’m always quite shocked to discover (after Christmas) that the New Year is but 7 days away.

Well, what to do for New Year’s Eve has been put on the front burner after I received this invitation to sample Salt Grill & Sky Bar’s New Year’s Eve menu. And should I call it New Year Eve 2014, or New Year Eve 2015? December 31 is undoubtedly still in 2014, but put another way, it is also the eve of the new year of 2015! You tell me the answer.

Salt Grill New Year's Eve Menu (3)

I love dining at Salt Grill & Sky Bar. If you’ve been there, you’d know that the view is fantastic. You can see out for miles and miles, and some how, it feels like Singapore has fewer high rise buildings than I would have thought. Singapore boasts quite a number of roof top / sky high restaurants, but many are in the financial district. So, another thing that Salt Grill has going for it is its convenience, being perched 50 storeys above the ION Orchard shopping mall. This is probably why they’ve come up with a brunch menu as well as an afternoon tea service, to cater to the ladies of leisure (or aspiring ones) who may feel peckish after a spot of shopping. The private room, perched one level higher is also the spot for many a business dinner, as was the case the last 2 times I was there.

Salt Grill NYE Tasting Menu

Anyway, after arriving for dinner, I was promptly told that I would be sampling ALL the dishes on New Year’s Eve 2014/2015 menu. No problem! I had just spent 1 hour at the Takashimaya Trim Shop jostling with the other early bird Christmas shoppers so I had dutifully worked up an appetite. As always, you will be greeted with a welcome soup, in the form of a coconut broth with Sydney spice served in a shot glass. It tastes exactly as its name suggests, and not only warms you up but whets your appetite in anticipation of what’s in store.

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