Brunch at Ku De Ta, Marina Bay Sands

Ku De Ta - (9)

Are you looking for a brunch location with a difference? How about having brunch at one of the highest spots possible in Singapore, and having it in style? Ku De Ta’s modern Asian brunch moves away from conventional eggs, sausages and baked beans to feature an assortment of fresh sashimi and Asian breakfast favourites inspired by the Singaporean and Japanese palate.

I had the opportunity to partake in Ku De Ta’s gastronomic brunch a couple of weeks back. I have one word of advice, come HUNGRY. As it’s Asian styled, appetisers will be served sharing style. Portions below are for three pax.

Ku De Ta - Edamame with maldon salt

Edamame with Maldon salt

Healthy start to the brunch. And the Maldon salt, there is salt, and there is Maldon salt. These salt flakes are less bitter than the usual iodized granular types that we are so used to.

Ku De Ta - Oysters on Ice, Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Tataki (2)

Oysters on Ice, Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Tataki

Sashimi and oysters to further whet the appetite. As you can probably tell from the photos, these were exceedingly fresh tasting and delicious with the condiments. The tuna tataki had onion ponzu and spring onions on top while the salmon sashimi had a shishito, mizuna and uni powder dressing.

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Blu Kouzina–Greek food in Singapore

There are a precious few Greek restaurants in Singapore. The last I counted, there were only TWO. One is Blu Kouzina, of which is the focus of this article, the other being Myconos on the Bay at Quayside Isle, Sentosa.

I’ve always wondered why is it that we have such a proliferation of Italian restaurants in Singapore, and French restaurants as well, but not Greek? Can there be that many Italians in Singapore or is it a simple case of pizza and pastas being easily received by the general public, largely helped along by American TV programmes? The thing with Greek food is that it is probably very palatable to the Asian palate, as Greek food emphasises fresh ingredients cooked in a simple and light way. Because Greek food is not often smothered in thick sauces, freshness of ingredients is key.  Perhaps that’s the reason why so few Greek restaurants have managed to stay afloat in a country that has precious few farms providing fresh produce that is demanded of Greek cooking.

Anyway, it was my father’s big birthday, and I had spent the entire week thinking of somewhere unique enough to hold a birthday celebration for a person who does not eat meat! I went through a gazillion fine dining restaurants, but because menu choices are limited at such places, and I couldn’t run the risk of not having fish and prawn dishes for my father to choose from, it was decided that Blu Kouzina would be the birthday venue. It’s quite certain that none of us had tried Greek cuisine in Singapore before.

Blu Kouzina (4)

Menu is not cheap though. Appetisers are mostly above $15, meats are $20 and above and seafood $30 and above, in general. But the food here is REALLY GOOD.

Blu Kouzina - Spanakopita - Phylo pastry filled with spinach, feta cheese and herbs - $14 (3)

Spanakopita cut in halves

Spanakopita – Phylo pastry filled with spinach, feta cheese and herbs – $14

For some reason, I just knew I would love this dish when I saw it on the menu. Piping hot filo pastry filled with slightly creamy spinach. The filo was as crisp as can be and the buttery taste went really well with the fillings. SO GOOOOOD. If it wasn’t so expensive, we would really have liked to have a second serving of this.

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The Missing Pan

With a name like that, it’s hard not to sit up and notice this new cafe that’s popped up in the Bukit Timah area back in November 2013. I was quite happy to be invited down for a tasting session to help them find their pan if need be. For the record, there’s a western stall at the food court in the Botanic Gardens called Two Cooks and a Pan. The people from The Missing Pan might want to inquire with the Two Cooks….

The Missing Pan - (6)

If you walk past The Missing Pan, at first glance, you might mistaken it for a really tiny cafe able to seat 2 or 3 couples at the most. That’s because the bulk of the seating is actually upstairs! Take the tiny lift right in the middle of the cafe to the 2nd floor, and take your pick of whether to sit facing the open kitchen concept or by the full length windows looking out onto Bukit Timah Road. I’m sure most people would love the quirky yet stylish decor here, with understated tones lots of shelves high above us. I’m frankly a little tired of the retro look that so many cafes sport these days.

The Missing Pan - (26)

The Missing Pan not only differentiates itself from the other cafe in terms of decor, but in terms of menu as well. I like it that there are quite a number of items to choose from. I’ve kinda reached a point where I would like to relax in a cafe and have some brunch that doesn’t just comprise of eggs benedict or all day breakfast, although I must admit I do often order those. But I would LIKE to have a choice. At The Missing Pan, you have 4 egg dishes to choose from, several sandwiches, burgers, a pasta dish, salads and a beef stew.

The Missing Pan - French Toast Salpicon - Chicken, spinach and mushrooms stuffed in French toast, banana nuggets, mixed berries, strawberry-smoked maple syrup ($19  ) (2)

French Toast Salpicon – Chicken, spinach and mushrooms stuffed in French toast, banana nuggets, mixed berries, strawberry-smoked maple syrup ($19)

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Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction at ArtScience Museum

The partner and I were invited to visit the latest exhibit at Marina Bay Sands’ ArtScience Museum – Dinosaurs, Dawn to Extinction. The partner has been fascinated with Dinosaurs since he was a kid and given the chance would have enjoyed spending all day wondering around.

Occupying over 3,700 square meters of floor space, the exhibition will feature more than 400 fossils and models, as well as over 50 original artworks. This first-of-its-kind exhibition combines four exhibitions from the renowned American Museum of Natural History, San Juan National Science Museum, SCI! Expo at Monash University and artist Peter Trusler. “Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction” will take visitors on a journey from the Precambrian, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous time periods. The highly interactive exhibition will also feature some of the oldest dinosaurs fossils ever discovered on the planet and many little-known species, some never before seen by the public.

A herd of Herrerasaurus at the first gallery - Welcome to Dinner

While Dinosaurs are the main attraction there is a lot more to this exhibition than just some old bones and big teeth; although there are plenty of these to be found. Instead the Curators have strived to explain the rise of many types of animals and mass extinctions that have occurred in Earth’s history and how these have shaped the evolution of Dinosaurs and ancient reptiles through to mammals and birds. You get see how changing continents and weather patterns lead to huge changes in evolution. To me this adds a great deal more to the Dino story than just displaying life size skeletons and telling us that these creatures were very big.

Earth's Timeline

For those with children there are plenty of additional activities to keep them occupied but are also educational. Another interesting add on to the exhibition is the free App for iPhone and android phones called Dawn2extinction. This app provides additional information about the exhibition and Dinosaurs but it is also interactive. Throughout the display there are strategically located icons that you scan with your phone and unlock new features including a T-Rex game! The app is free but just like the Dinos it is BIG! About 150mb so you may want to download it at home before venturing into the Museum.

Scroll down further to see more pictures of the exhibition

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Aurora Salmon from Norway available in Singapore!

Not all salmon tastes the same, that’s what I found out last week after I tasted the Aurora salmon from arctic Norway. So smooth, so flavourful, and so delightful to eat, I have to say that I won’t look at salmon in quite the same way ever again.

What is Aurora Salmon you may ask? Aurora Salmon is meticulously grown in the artic regions of Norway, as compared to Norwegian salmon from waters nearer to the southern parts of Norway. At such high latitudes, this is where the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) can be spotted. The fresh cold clear waters within this pristine environment hold temperatures stable at a consistent average of 3 to 4 degrees Celsius in winter and 5 to 10 degrees Celsius in the summer. This, together with the optimal currents and oxygen levels, ensure the slow growth of the Aurora Salmon, resulting in a higher fat content than other farmed salmon which can take a shorter time to be harvested.

In fact, Aurora Salmon is already one of the most sought after brands in Japan, and now, for the 1st time, you will be able to purchase Aurora Salmon exclusively at all Kuriya Fish Market outlets. The fish is air flown fresh into Singapore within 2-3 days of harvesting, so you can be assured of Aurora Salmon’s freshness.

Aurora Salmon Sashimi Slices (1)

I had the privilege to be amongst one of the first few Singaporeans to taste the amazing Aurora Salmon at the launch of the Aurora Salmon at Kuriya. The pricing is the same as if you were to buy the “normal” Norwegian salmon. With salmon being a good source of protein, vitamins D, A and B12, iodine, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, the salmon is really our wish come true for great tasting yet healthy food.

I’m not lying when I say these salmon taste different from what I’m more accustomed to. They really do have a deeper flavour and you can taste the richness and fattiness of the flesh! If only I could have the entire tray!

Aurora Salmon (11)

Watching these chefs slice through the salmon was like watching hot knives slice through cold butter. Blink and you miss it! In a matter of minutes, they had reduced the whole salmon into numerous sashimi slices!

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