Posts Tagged ‘Raffles City Restaurants’

Salt Tapas & Bar– Surprisingly affordable brunch menu!

Salt Grill & Sky Bar has always been on my list of restaurants for special occasions thanks to the good food, exquisite presentation and amazing near 360 degree views of Singapore from the 55th floor of ION Orchard. But to dine here costs a pretty penny which is why it is reserved for special occasions. But did you know that Salt Grill & Sky Bar has a “sibling” in the form of Salt Tapas & Bar located at Raffles City shopping centre, which offers dishes at much more wallet friendly prices?

Salt Tapas & Bar is an extension of the existing “Salt” Brand by celebrated Australian Chef Luke Mangan. The menu has recently been revamped and now presents quality modern tapas with an Australian twist, at affordable prices. I am always wary about tapas places as the portions tend to be miniscule while charging full appetiser prices. Not so at Salt Tapas & Bar. Quite a number of the dishes we tried, in particular the brunch menu items, are large enough to be considered as mains. And the amazing thing is that the pricing is comparable to cafes you find in Singapore, and we are talking about food from a celebrated brand name located in the heart of town! This is probably one of the best kept secrets and I wish I’d known about it earlier!

The brunch menu is particularly worthwhile checking out for its affordable prices. For example French toast with clotted cream and Okinawa ice cream at $15, or scrambled eggs with ratatouille on toast at $15 or even the grilled sirloin with mash, salad and poached egg at $18!

Salt Tapas Bar - Egg berentine with bonito flakes - $14

Egg berentine with bonito flakes – $14 

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Dim Sum at SzeChuan Court

Checked out Sze Chuan Court 2 weeks ago with my parents after my luxurious massage session at the Fairmont Singapore Willow Stream Spa. I’d forgotten that I have the FAR card (Feed at Raffles Card) privileges tied to my AMEX card so I was pleasantly surprised to be told that I could enjoy a 33% discount since there were 3 people at the table.

You don’t often hear of Sze Chuan Court being mentioned when it comes to dim sum, so I was quite keen to see what they would dish up. They also have a dim sum buffet going on for about $45 but we decided not to stuff ourselves too much this time round. On the whole, Sze Chuan Court serves up pretty good dim sum if you know which are the good items to order. There were some hits and misses when I went with my parents since it was our first time, but when I went back with the Partner again a second time, I knew to order my favourites. Best part is that if only 2 pax are dining, the discount is 50%! Only thing is, we kinda splurged and the bill ended up $20 more than when I had dined with my parents!

Sze Chuan Court (1)

So, the must orders are the Braised Bean Curd Skin Roll with Enoki Mushrooms, the Fried Beancurd Prawn Dumpling with Celery and Water Chestnut and the Young Bamboo Shoot Prawn Dumpling. The char siew bao is not too bad too, but they put some almond essence (or similar) into the fillings and I don’t particularly like anything with almond essence. Pity they don’t have any rice rolls, those being our usual order at Cantonese restaurants. I suppose that’s a HK/Cantonese dish.

Sze Chuan Court - Braised Bean Curd Skin Roll, Enoki Mushrooms, Superior Broth $7.80

Braised Bean Curd Skin Roll, Enoki Mushrooms, Superior Broth $7.80

Sze Chuan Court - Fried Beancurd Prawn Dumpling, Celery, Water Chestnut $8.80

Fried Beancurd Prawn Dumpling, Celery, Water Chestnut $8.80

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Wooloomooloo Steakhouse

I hadn’t been to a steakhouse in a while so I was really pleased to receive an invitation from Wooloomooloo/Sixth Sense Communications to come sample the latest steakhouse in town named after the Australian town of Woolloomooloo in Sydney.

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, an independent group of celebrated premium steakhouses from Hong Kong, comprises of 300sq ft of wining and dining space. Premium steaks, Australian-inspired offerings, as well as an outstanding range of wines and cocktails can be found at Wooloomooloo. The restaurant touts itself to be comparable to other steakhouses like Mortons and Cut.

Wooloomooloo - (15)Wooloomooloo Steakhouse Lounge Bali Suar Wood Table   view 2

The restaurant is really stylish and you can’t help feeling like you’re in for a treat the minute you step into the restaurant. Apart from the elegant furnishings and leather upholstered seats, the restaurant is also decorated with neat wood piles – a design synonymous with all Wooloomooloo restaurants.

BTW, the restaurant and bar offer a fantastic view of the F1 race track. Unfortunately, Wooloomooloo is completely booked for this year’s F1 races. Better luck next year. Or you could try catching the fireworks here too.

Wooloomooloo - (7)

Wooloomooloo - (11)

Wooloomooloo - (28)

Our dining area for the evening was in a semi-private area. Quite like the semi-private area as it makes you feel like nobody can see you, even though they can if they choose to walk past. Private rooms tend to be very cramped and dark, which may be claustrophobic to some. The downside is that you can still hear the noise coming from the patrons in the restaurant.


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Tiong Bahru Bakery

Is now also open at Raffles City Shopping Mall. No need to brave the long queues in Tiong Bahru or a long walk from the Tiong Bahru MRT station. Now you can sample Tiong Bahru Bakery products in the air-conditioned comfort of the basement of Raffles City.

Actually, this visit to the Raffles City outlet was my 1st visit ever to Tiong Bahru Bakery. I was quite surprised to find the sit-down area practically empty when I was there around 7-9pm on a Sunday. A number of people were doing takeaways though. I’d heard mixed reviews about the place but most people seem to at least agree that their croissants are damn good. Read on and you’ll be able to find out if I agree. Meanwhile, check out the photos of the place. It’s sprawling! It’s in the basement, opposite Din Tai Fung, at the site that used to be Aerins.

BTW, did you know that Tiong Bahru Bakery is owned by Spa Esprit? They are the people behind House @ Dempsey and they also own/co-own many dining establishments like 40Hands, Open Door Policy and Skinny Pizza.

Tiong Bahru Bakery (7)

Tiong Bahru Bakery - Cakes and Pastries (3)

Tiong Bahru Bakery - Cakes and Pastries (8)

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Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant at Raffles City

Watami is another one of those Japanese casual restaurants so prevalent in Singapore. Their special niche is that they offer up quite a number of interesting hot pots. They also have some Korean dishes such as Bi Bim Bap! The restaurant at Raffles City is pretty big, but you don’t find it cavernous, as it kinda occupies a long and narrow strip, previously occupied by Kushiya. It’s right next to Din Tai Fung. I find the lighting a bit too stark bright. As you can see, my photos have suffered due to the harsh lighting.


Watami - Cream Croquette

Cream Croquette Balls $6.80 – These came piping hot and were so delicious. I loved the creamy inner core while the outer shell was crispy. They were excellent while hot. Unfortunately I left 1 on the plate while I devoured my mains. When I got back to it again, the inner core had sort of mushed together with the outer skin such that it was no longer liquidy inside.

Watami - Gyu Eringi Kushi

Gyu Eringi Kushi $4.80 – Mushroom stems wrapped in thin beef slices. Very tasty and the mushrooms had a good crunch. I wonder who first developed the idea to wrap meat or bacon around mushrooms. Seems to be a match made in heaven.

Watami - Mixed Sashimi Rice

Mixed Sashimi Rice $13.80 – This was an absolute star. Firstly, the sashimi rice was flavoured with some sweet vinegar so it was more tasty than usual. Just eating the rice alone without anything else was already quite fabulous. 2ndly, they were quite generous with the amount of seafood provided. There was salmon, squid, sweet prawn, egg and something else which I forgot. Absolutely loved the prawns, they were so flavourful and I could just taste the strong “sea” flavour in them. Still dreaming about it now actually. If there’s one thing wrong, it’s that I would have liked just a little bit more rice since it was so nice.

Watami - Unagi Pot RiceWatami - Unagi Pot Rice (2)

Unagi Pot rice $12.80 – The Partner ordered this. The waitress asked us if we minded waiting 25 minutes. It was a bit long but we said okay. After 15 minutes, they brought out this contraption. We thought, “hey that didn’t take too long after all”. To our horror, the waitress proceeded to tell us to THEN wait 25 minutes for the rice grains inside to cook from scratch! While the unagi pot rice did taste very good in the end, I wouldn’t want to have to wait 40 minutes just for this! Is this some new tactic to save on employing extra chefs?

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