Posts Tagged ‘Alexandra’

Saturdays at Portico

Last Saturday, instead of my usual binge and binge some more routine, I spent an interesting afternoon at Portico restaurant at Alexandra. Portico is helmed by illustrious 28 year old Head Chef Nixon Low and his culinary team. I’d missed out on a couple of previous tasting sessions held, and heard that the food was exemplary. Didn’t want to miss out again this time round, even though this time round the focus would be on the upcoming events that Portico will host on the weekends.

Portico Singapore (5)

Stepping into Portico is like stepping into a relaxing and lush garden. If you peer closely enough, you’ll realise that the plants flanking both sides of the seating area are no normal plants, but edible ones. You’ll be reacquainted with them again when they appear in the dishes that you order. I’ve always been a supporter of the farm to fork concept and the organic movement and it was really nice to be able to witness upfront how the plants outside the restaurant are incorporated into the food.

Portico Truffle Fries

Truffle fries and a ton of cheese to keep the bloggers at bay before the event started proper.

Deconstructed Black Forest Cake (1)

For Saturdays at Portico, diners who come to Portico for lunch on Saturdays are invited to stay back and join in their activities held at 3pm, known as Saturdays at Portico. I was told, even if you do not dine there, you are also welcome to join in as well for free! The above deconstructed Blackforest cake was my creation during the hands on plating class! Well the one in the round bowl is Chef Nixon’s model answer, but I think mine ain’t too bad either??

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Harry’s Bar at MapleTree Business City

There isn’t all that much to eat at the MapleTree Business City where my office is located. The opening of the Labrador Park Circle Line Station doesn’t really help because it’s at least a 10 minute walk away and if you include the time taken for the return journey plus the train ride itself, you soon realise why venturing out is not for the faint hearted.

We are all quite looking forward to the opening of the Alexandra Retail Centre (ARC) next to the PSA building. At least there will be a few more restaurants to choose from, and McDonalds! But I can tell you, no matter how many restaurants sprout up around this area, it’s never going to be enough, because that’s just how the human mind works. You want to know you have choice, even if you don’t ever exercise the choice.

For now, if we don’t want to leave MBC, we have a grand total of 3 restaurants to choose from: Crystal Jade, Astons Specialities and Harry’s Bar. Other non-food court options would be Cedele, FoodBarn, Starbucks, Subway and Killiney. You could make a lot of money if you opened up an eatery here. You would have a captive audience!

Anyway…

When we feel like we need a bit of cheering up, we head to Harry’s Bar. No we don’t go for the drinks, we go there for lunch. I have to say, the food there is surprisingly good. One doesn’t normally associate a bar with good food, but Harry’s strives to be different. It’s not greasy pub grub you get here, although of course you could if you chose the deep fried items.

Harry's - Daily Breakfast (2)

Harry's - Daily Breakfast

All of us like the Harry’s All Day Breakfast. It costs only $14 and comes with back bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and egg. The food tastes fresh and isn’t too oily. You can choose to have pork sausage or chicken sausage. The crusty bread goes very well with the breakfast.

Harry's - Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips $16 – Also one of their signature dishes and I’ve tried it twice already. The fish is usually of a substantial size. It moist, flaky and very fresh tasting. The fries are also pretty good too, the crunchy type that I like.

Harry's - Baked Fish (2)

Harry's - Baked Fish

For a healthier option, you can go for the Atlantic Salmon baked in a packet $16 – Not sure how this tastes but my colleague who tried this had no complaints.

Harry's - Satisfied Customer

A very satisfied customer

I like going to Harry’s at MBC for lunch. Going to Harry’s for dinner however is a totally different thing. It usually means I have to stay back late in the office and that sucks!

Harry’s @ MapleTree Business City

Address:
20 Pasir Panjang Road
#02-14 Mapletree Business City
Singapore 117439
Tel: 6570 5207
Fax: 6659 4511

Operating Hours:
Mondays to Fridays: 11:30hrs to 12 midnight
Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays: Closed

http://www.harrys.com.sg/ (you can check out the menu here)

Hosted on the Patio

There aren’t that many restaurants and chill out places in the Pasir Panjang area so we were all quite happy to chance upon the existence of Hosted on the Patio. It’s so tucked away in a former old school now turned office block (I think) that unless you work there, you would not know it existed!

I’ve been to Hosted on the Patio a number of times for lunch. It’s a pretty cool place. Right at the entrance, there is a little swing to greet you. There are some al fresco seats but obviously sane people will not choose to sit outside in the mid day heat, especially when dressed in office clothes.

I will blog about lunch at Hosted another day. Instead, I shall blog about our drinks and nibbles session last week. Last Wednesday was one of my colleague’s last day at work so she hosted us to drinks at Hosted. Here are some of the pictures of the bittersweet event. Happy for her that she is moving to a better place, but sad that I’m losing a close colleague who has been with the company for 13 years!

Hosted on the Patio -  (5)

Hosted on the Patio -  (2)

In the evening, it becomes lovely to sit outside. The cube tables can be rearranged into any configuration that you like to suit the size of your group. The staff are really patient and will help you to shift stuff around on request.

Hosted on the Patio -  Rambutan Freeze

Rambutan Freeze $9 – Rambutans blended in with the ice. Good for a hot day but just a tad too sweet for my liking. I don’t really know where the red colour comes from either.

Hosted on the Patio -  Lychee Freeze

Lychee Freeze $9

Hosted on the Patio - Angus Tenderloin

Angus Beef Tenderloin $18

Hosted on the Patio - Crispy Kurobota Pork Belly

Crispy Kurobota Pork Belly $14

Hosted on the Patio -  Garlic Prawns with crusty bread

Garlic Prawns $16

Hosted on the Patio -  Pizza Skins

Pizza Skins $8 – Yes you heard right. Fried pizza base. Quite good actually. Tastes like chips, just more substantial. And they come with side dips which are pretty good too.

Hosted on the Patio - House Chicken Wings

Fried Chicken Wings $12 – Fried with prawn paste. Tastes very good. Of all the appetisers, this is the best in my opinion.

Hosted on the Patio - Hoegaarden

One for One beer from 6 – 8pm!

Hosted on the Patio -  (4)

Hosted on the Patio -  (3)

Quite cool to have an office above a bar. Anytime you feel stressed can come down for a drink and go back upstairs happy. Better still, invite your boss to join you and you don’t have to go back to work.

Hosted on the Patio

Mon – Thu:     11:30am – 2:30pm  |  6:00pm – 11:00pm
Fri – Sat:         11:30am – 2:30pm  |  5:30pm – 12:00am
Sun:                Closed

Happy Hour:   6:00pm – 8.00pm (Mon – Thu)

991B Alexandra Road #01-10
Singapore 119970

Tel: (+65) 6276 7337
Fax: (+65) 6276 7336

Email: bookings@hosted.sg

http://www.hosted.sg

http://www.hosted.sg/menu.html

Himawari Japanese Restaurant

Found this restaurant “near” to my office. Well, near enough if 10 minutes walk is considred near, 5 minutes of which were under the hot sun. Seriously, the sun at City Hall isn’t that hot! (okay I know City Hall is shaded)

The place looks pretty authentic. The chef is Japanese and the wasabi here is the real kind, not the pasty kind you get at the cheap chains. During the lunch hour, they offer 3 types of daily set lunches as well as the perennial set lunches.

Himawari - Sashimi Rice box

Sasmhimi rice box with udon $21 – This is only available on Fridays. Love the very generous and huge slices of fish. My favourite is undoubtedly the swordfish, followed by salmon. They are quite obliging in substituting the types you don’t want with the types you want.

Himawari - Sashimi Rice box (2)

Look how fresh and huge they are!

Himawari - Grilled Cod FishCod fish set $18 – $20 (can’t remember!) Available every weekday.

Himawari also offers ala – buffets at about $33/pax for lunch. Dinner is slightly more expensive. With the fish tasting this good, I really want to go for the buffet! My colleague’s husband tried it recently and proclaimed the buffet to be quite good!

Himawari Japanese Restaurant

Tel: 6272 1100      Email: yoichi.nakaoka@himawari.com.sg

Alexandra Road Branch – 991B Alexandra Road, Blk 4, #01-08/09 Singapore 119970

Changi Branch – 1 Changi Business Park Crescent, #02-19 (Plaza 8) Singapore 486025

Himawari Japanese Restsaurant Facebook

Stranded in Singapore

In my entire time in Singapore, I have never felt so lost and helpless as what happened yesterday.

6.30pm: It all started with us having to leave the office at about 6.30pm yesterday. The boss was going to City Hall and offered me a lift. I had a dinner appointment with the Partner at Tanjong Pagar. At first I agreed, which meant I would have to meet the Partner at City Hall MRT, before taking the train to Tanjong Pagar. In the end, I declined the boss because the journey would involve a detour and I would rather take a straight bus down to Tanjong Pagar instead from our new office. This proved to be the biggest mistake of the day.

6.35pm: When I got down to the ground level. I was shocked to see the massive jam along Pasir Panjang Road. The traffic was literally stand still. My hopes of taking the public bus flew out the window. Couldn’t see a bus for miles and I didn’t want to have to squish like a sardine in one either. Decided to take the shuttle bus to Harbour Front MRT station instead. Somehow the shuttle arrived quickly even though it seemed the traffic outside the office hadn’t moved an inch. Alas, the shuttle was full after having picked up a load of passengers from the building before us. If this one is full, the next one would likely be full as well given the frequency of the shuttle!

6.45pm: Once again, I changed my mind and dragged myself towards the bus stop. A hoard of people were there, all looking anxiously at the stand still traffic. The one and only bus that would take me to Tanjong Pagar came and left without stopping. It was now 6.50pm. Worse still, a shuttle went past to, and I could see there were a few empty seats at the back. A colleague who was with me when I was at the shuttle stand told me a 2nd shuttle arrived within minutes, empty. DAMN!

6.55pm: Told myself, just take the next bus that comes! It’ll take you somewhere! So I took the next bus, and it happened to be heading towards Bukit Merah. In my haste, I translated Bukit Merah into Red Hill, and immediately assumed this bus would take me to Red Hill MRT station. Of course it was not the case, and I immediately realised my mistake. To make matters worse, I was still stuck in the almighty jam since the bus was still due to travel down Pasir Panjang Road! So not only was I still stuck in the jam, I had boarded the wrong bus!

It was at this point where I truly felt stranded. Even if I had money, nobody would be able to save me and make me get to where I wanted to go any faster. Even if I were to hire a taxi, it would also be stuck in the jam with me having to pay for it dearly.

7.03pm: Adversity gives rise to desperation which gives rise to wacky ideas.  After 5 minutes on the bus, I told the bus driver I was getting off! It was fine because in all that time, he hadn’t even crossed the traffic junction, let alone reach the next bus stop. I felt a rush of hope after getting off the bus and leaving the oppressive jam.

7.10pm: I walked towards the Alexandra bus stop. There was a crowd there too, but lesser than the one at Pasir Panjang. More importantly, the roads were clear. Thankfully, the bus that would take me to Queenstown MRT arrived and I was one of the last passengers up. This bus didn’t stop at the next bus stop so I was lucky to be able to get on. I even managed to get a seat when a load of people got off at the Queensway Shopping Centre.

7.19pm: Finally, I arrived at Queenstown MRT station. Next train to town, 5 minutes. For a peak hour period, 5 minutes was way too long. But hell, if it’d said 10 minutes, I would somehow have not been surprised. Still, I had to be glad that I was finally on firm ground, where I knew I would definitely get to Tanjong Pagar within 10 minutes once I boarded the train. Interestingly, my colleague only arrived at Harbour Front MRT 5 minutes earlier.

7.33pm:  I arrived at Tanjong Pagar. A journey that would normally have taken 20 minutes by bus from my office saw me having to jump through hoops in order to reach my destination 1 hour later.

Moral of the story: Never say no to your boss!!!!!!!

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