Archive for the ‘1.2 Restaurants’ Category

Catalunya Weekend Brunch with Passion – 5 reasons why you need to check it out!

Catalunya’s Weekend Brunch Buffet is like no other that I’ve ever experience! It’s rowdy, it’s fun, it’s sensational, it’s fantastic! If you think you’ve seen one buffet and you’ve seen them all, Catalunya’s Weekend Brunch Buffet will change your mind!

Let me tell you five facts about Catalunya’s Weekend Brunch Buffet that sets it apart from the others, culminating in the show stopper….

Catalunya Weekend Brunch with Passion (1)

1. It’s a Spanish inspired buffet

Are there any other Spanish buffets out there? There certainly are a number of Italian ones, as well as International ones, but none that are Spanish focussed.

2. Appetisers Galore

The array of appetisers is mind boggling. The Chacuterie section comprises numerous types of smoked meats such as the much sought after Iberico hams. There is even a whole bowl of steak tartare, which is one of my favourite things. The fish section comprises things like smoked salmon, hamachi with ponzu sauce, sardines and even anchovies. Yes I did say this is a Spanish buffet. And at last count, I saw 7 different types of salads.

I for one normally spend the bulk of my time at the appetiser section when I go for buffets as I love all the raw or smoked meats. They’re not things you can get easily when you dine ala-carte, at least not in this variety. So this buffet is really heaven sent!

3. Buffet line has no mains???

After you have surveyed the buffet line, you will find there are no mains laid out! That’s because the mains will be served to each table around 1.30 pm. What a fantastic idea to do away with the perennial problem of how to make the mains still taste moist, tender and fresh when it’s been sitting under the warmer forever.

Catalunya - Suckling Pig Segovian Style (1)

The suckling pig is surely the highlight of the mains, and really the best that I’ve ever eaten. So tender you don’t even need a knife, and the crackling, oh my, wafer thin and glistening with oil!

4. Fabulous Views

At Fullerton Pavilion, it’s as if you’re dining on water. And you get to enjoy the views of the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Need I say more?

5. It’s a rowdy and passionate affair

For this, no amount of words can do justice. You have to watch the video near the end of this article to see for yourselves!

Scroll down to check out the photos!

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IKYU Niigata Food and Sake pairing menu

At first glance, 4 year old IKYU might strike you as a modern Japanese bar, thanks to its heavy use of metallic furnishings, and even heavier metal chairs. However, the traditional basics of serving quality fresh food exquisitely plated still runs supreme here. IKYU is helmed by the affable Executive Chef Takuma Seki or Seki-San, who at age 41, has had more than 20 years of culinary experience, most recently being Chef de Cuisine of Hide Yamamoto at Marina Bay Sands.

I was glad to be invited to partake in their $98 per pax 5 course Niigata Food and Sake Pairing menu that will be available until 14 June 2015. The menu pays homage to various techniques that have originated from the Niigata Prefecture, such as the use of Wappa-meshi, Hegi Soba and the Le Lectier pear of Niigata. Interesting to note that Niigata boasts 96 sake breweries, as compared to say 30 plus in Kyoto. I am told it is due to the water.

I have been to a number of wine pairing dinners, but never before a sake one, hence I had to bring my alcohol(ic) expert along.

IKYU - Chef Takuma Seki (2)

Seki-San was born in Niigata, hence the lovingly curated menu. Here, Chef Seki is preparing our first course for the day, the sashimi in 3 forms. If you can, grab the seats by the sushi counter. Chef Seki is a hilarious guy and very approachable!

IKYU - Nihonkai sansyu sashimi (1)

Nihonkai sansyu sashimi aka 3 types of Sashimi

We started off with the octopus sucker on the right, which is possibly my 1st time eating octopus sucker of this size. You would think that it would be of a slimy and somewhat soft texture as most small octopuses tend to be, but this was actually bouncy, bordering on crunchy. A very interesting texture that I may not have yet encountered. Above it is the ice plant, which also has a very firm texture. Think black fungus but maybe firmer.

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Long Chim–Affordable eats at MBS Celebrity Row

Well by affordable, I do mean relative to the other celebrity restaurants at Marina Bay Sands. The recently opened Long Chim takes the space that was formerly Guy Savoy. The thing that struck me most when I first heard that Bangkok based Michelin-Starred Australian chef David Thompson would be opening a restaurant in Singapore, was the rather unflattering name of “Long Chim”. Long Chim means “come and taste” in Thai, which is the restaurant’s invitation for you to come and try out its street food inspired Thai dishes.

I’m afraid my photos don’t do justice to the food this time round, as the restaurant was dark and bathed in yellow hues. You’re best checking out the mouth watering dishes on the Long Chim website itself.

Our friend from the UK was in town, and we were torn between impressing our friend with the Chinese cuisine at 9Goubuli (also at MBS) or checking out something new, ie Long Chim. Turns out said friend is a fan of Thai food, so the choice was easy. Interesting to note that the English are more used to spicy food, as compared to say the New Zealanders, probably due to the large population of Indians and Pakistanis.

Long Chim (1)

Long Chim boasts a very impressive entrance, despite its humble motto of featuring street food inspired cuisine. The wait staff will ask you if you’re going to have a drink first or head straight to dinner, which reveals David Thompson’s roots.  We took a long time to decide on the dishes to try because the menu is just 2 pages long, with the 1st page being more of single pax dishes type.

Long Chim (2)

Recently awarded the No. 7 spot on San Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 and 13th on World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 for his restaurant in Bangkok, Long Chim is Chef David Thompson’s first venture into casual dining. At first glance, the menu seems affordable, as most of the dishes are around $20+. But then again, it’s comfort food in casual plating that we’re talking about, even if the food does please in general.

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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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