Archive for the ‘3.1 Places in Singapore’ Category

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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Premium Japan Farmers Market opens at Changi Airport – Great place to buy souvenirs before you leave Singapore

Singapore’s first Premium Japanese Farmers’ Market has opened at Changi Airport. Located at the Departure Hall of Terminal 3 (Public Area near to Sky Train / MRT), the shop boasts a range of quality vegetables, fruits, meat products and sake all exclusively brought in from Japan. Think quality beef cuts such as Wagyu, Saga Gyu, Tochigi Wagyu, or grapes such as the Shine Muscat or Kyoho grapes.

Premium Japan Farmers Market (2)

Grand opening!

Premium Japan Farmers Market (6)

There is also a ready-to-eat bento section presented by GO-ZEN, which allows customers to customise their own bento boxes from 25 different dishes. You can order 12,000 different combinations before you end up repeating the same thing again!

Premium Japan Farmers Market (10)
Ikura on sushi rice. If you need party ideas, this is a really simple idea but a sure crowd pleaser!

You might think it strange that a Japanese grocery store might want to locate itself at Changi Airport, which is not very accessible to those not living in the East. But did you know that there is a FairPrice Finest at Changi Airport and that it is usually quite crowded? So there are already Singaporeans going to Changi Airport to do their marketing. Secondly, this would be a convenient base for tourists who are looking for last minute souvenirs to bring back to their home country! Choice Japanese products would make great souvenirs don’t you think? Anyway, I live in the East and I say YAY to more options for us! Smile

Scroll down further for more photos of what you can get at Premium Japan Farmers Market.

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The Bird Southern Table & Bar at MBS – Worth crowing about?

Media Invite

I’ve been waiting for over a year for The Bird Southern Table & Bar to open at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and that day has finally arrived. The Bird, also known as Yardbird, is an award winning restaurant featuring US Southern cuisine and hospitality, founded by renowned restaurateur John Kunkel. Yardbird is known as The Bird in Singapore to minimise confusion with the same named Yardbird hailing from HK, which I hear is going to be opening in Singapore too sometime soon.

Why was I so keen for The Bird to open? Fried chicken! As you might guess from its name, it is most famous for its fried chicken and waffles with watermelon. But another reason is because I’m always on the look out for restaurants serving Southern food to see if they match up to what I remember of Southern food when I was studying in Atlanta years ago. Featured in their menu include other Southern favourites such as Shrimp ‘N’ Grits, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Butter Lettuce and Grilled Mango Salad.

The Bird Southern Table & Bar Interior

Even the modern-rustic design of The Bird is inspired by the Southern United States, with its use of reclaimed wood, recycled machinery parts and mason jars.

Here’s what we had the opportunity to try during our media tasting session a few weeks back.

The Bird Southern Table & Bar - Chicken N Watermelon N Waffles  (3)

Chicken N Watermelon N Waffles

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5 must eats at Marina Bay Sands’ Epicurean Market 2017

If you’ve been following my Instagram, you would have realised that the annual Epicurean Market at Marina Bay Sands is currently on until 13 August Sunday. This is already the 5th year and the event is bigger than ever before! If you’ve always wanted to check out the Celebrity Restaurants, now’s the time to do so because many of their signature dishes can be sampled for a fraction of the price it would cost at the restaurants.

Epicurean Market 2017 - Opening Ceremony

Photo Credit : Marina Bay Sands

This year, aside from Celebrity Restaurants, enjoy the Singapore Street Food experience by trying local dishes/hawker fare presented by the newly refreshed RISE Restaurant. And of course not forgetting over 30 masterclasses, tasting sessions, special appearances, bespoke cocktails. And before you leave, take home some fresh gourmet produce from the Farmer’s Market.

Each $39 per ticket gives you unlimited entry plus a $15 signature dish of your choice. OK with so many celebrity and signature restaurants to choose from, how do you decide where to spend your money? After sampling each of the restaurants during the media preview on Friday, here are my top 5 picks based on taste, value-for-money and uniqueness. Enjoy!

Epicurean Market - Lobster Roll $25 from DB Bistro and Oyster Bar

Lobster Roll $25 from DB Bistro and Oyster Bar

If you love lobster rolls, you will know that they cost a pretty penny in Singapore. I know of some restaurants/cafes to be charging in excess of $40 per roll! So this $25 lobster roll from DB Bistro is great value considering the size of it and considering that it’s from DB Bistro. It’s big enough to actually be sufficient as a meal too, if you are on cost-savings mode.

Epicurean Market - Sweet Corn Agnolotti $20 from Spago

Sweet Corn Agnolotti with truffle shavings $20 from Spago

With practically every restaurant offering dishes boasting premium ingredients like crab, lobster and carviar, it’s hard to choose a favourite because they were all good. This sweet corn agnolotti with truffle shavings might just be my favourite dish from Epicurean Market. It’s so different from the other dishes. I really like the pillowy soft pasta parcels bursting with sweetness, and the earthy contrast of the truffles. I won’t lie about the portion size though, it’s as small as it looks… but tasted so good! I really want to return to Spago again for the full-sized portion!

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Baby’s day out at HortPark!

I hope you guys had great fun during the glorious long weekend! The Partner decided to take a few days leave as well so it was an even more glorious weekend for us. We had originally planned to take Baby to some of the indoor playgrounds or playgroups, but because it rained so much, we thought it’d be a better idea to make full use of the unusually cool weather in Singapore to enjoy the great outdoors! Pat on the back for being flexible with our schedule! Smile

We were in the Alexandra area to visit Playeum at Gillman Barracks. So with the change of plans, we headed straight for HortPark, it being the nearest one to us, and also because it has mini horticultural gardens. HortPark is quite different from other parks! If you haven’t been there, you should go!

Baby Edward having fun at Hort Park (2)

There are so many different aspects to HortPark, so not only was it great for Baby to explore all the different elements, we managed to get great photos too! I’ve taken a gazillion photos of Baby using my iPhone, and the iPhone is really useful to capture a fleeting moment, but nothing beats the DSLR if you want that all important bokeh….. I kinda feel regretful that I’ve taken so many photos of food using my DSLR, and not spent the same effort when it comes to photographing Baby. I shall have to be more mindful about that and I can’t wait for the next cloudy or drizzly day to head to our parks again!

Baby Edward having fun at Hort Park (7)

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