Posts Tagged ‘Vivocity’

Rumah Rasa at Bay Hotel

*Media Invite*

When you think of hotel restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French cuisine tends to come to mind. So it was quite refreshing to discover that the newly opened Bay Hotel just opposite Vivocity boasts of an Indonesian restaurant! If you ask me, a tourist searching for local Singaporean food would find more similarity in Indonesian cuisine than say Japanese cuisine, so having an Indonesian restaurant in a hotel sounds like the most logical thing to do.

It was a pretty cosy lunch as there were only 3 other bloggers (Yumyumformytumtum, HoChiak and Oyster Diaries) and Dennis She of Publicist PR Communications who hosted the lunch. OH btw, I discovered after lunch that both Yumyum and Oyster Diaries hail from the same JC as I. Is it a small world or what?!

Anyway, back to the food. Rumah Rasah believes on delivering authentic and ibu-esque flavours. Therefore, short cuts go out the window. The rempah paste is made from scratch. Rempah is the building block of any dish and how good the rempah is will dictate how great the dish is. Also, if you order the belado dishes (belado is a chilli-based sauce), you will notice that the belado is laboriously-prepared using a variety of fresh ingredients like chillies, chilli padi, garlic, red shallots, calamansi and toamtoes.

Rumah Rasa - Soto Ayam Madura (A hearty chicken broth with Shredded Chicken, Bean Sprouts and topped with a Potato Croquette) $8 Soto Ayam Madura (A hearty chicken broth with Shredded Chicken, Bean Sprouts and topped with a Potato Croquette) $8

We started the meal with this Soto Ayam Madura. It’s a thin broth that packs a punch. Kind of reminded me of French onion soup, where one doesn’t find many onions in the soup yet you know it’s distinctly onion soup. I find it to be quite different from those you get at the hawker centres, in that this doesn’t taste oily or fattening. The begedil/potato croquette was very tasty as the potato was super fluffy.

Rumah Rasa - Udang Petai Belado (Prawns Stir-Fried in Chilli gravy with Petai Beans) $18 Udang Petai Belado (Prawns Stir-Fried in Chilli gravy with Petai Beans) $18

Here you can see the Belado, which looks very similar to sambal, yet isn’t quite. The prawns were fresh tasting and succulent. I personally don’t like the Petai Beans aka smelly beans, but I found that the bitter flavours infused into the prawns and complemented the sweet prawns.

Rumah Rasa - Ayam Korma (Chicken simmered in Mild Yellow Curry) $14Ayam Korma (Chicken simmered in Mild Yellow Curry) $14

Believe them when they say it’s mild, cuz the curry really was very mild to the extent that it tasted more like spiced up gravy. I did like the chicken however, which I found to be very tender.

Rumah Rasa - Ayam Panggang Berkakak Jakarta (Grilled Chicken served with Rumah Rasa's Spicy Sauce) $14 Ayam Panggang Berkakak Jakarta (Grilled Chicken served with Rumah Rasa’s Spicy Sauce) $14

Love the grilled chicken! The chicken didn’t even need the spicy sauce on the side as it had been marinated in a sticky sweet sauce itself. Very tasty and tender. Finger licking good, if I may borrow the phrase.

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The Queen & the Mangosteen

I think I might have mentioned before that I have a soft spot for cafes and restaurants with quirky names? Tell me if you don’t think that the Queen & the Mangosteen sounds cool. The Queen & Mangosteen is a modern interpretation of the quintessential British gourmet pub with a whimsical flourish. Rumour has it that the mangosteen was reputedly Queen Victoria’s favourite fruit. Hey whaddya know, the mangosteen is my favourite fruit too!!!

There’s something about a place being known as a “pub”. I think in the Singaporean culture, we think of pubs as sleazy places where good people don’t go to. It’s not the same case in the UK. After watching Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay on TV, I’ve come to realise that families can go down to the pub for dinner. It just happens to be a place where you can also get alcoholic drinks.

Ah well, despite me saying that I like quirky names, this is only the 2nd time that I’ve been to the Queen & the Mangosteen. The 1st time being just after they opened a few years ago. Do you recall before this, in its place was Corduroy Cafe? I loved going to the Corduroy Cafe, it had such a nice ambience, and you had to walk past a long display of tasty jams and cakes! Wish the Corduroy Cafe was still around!

Anyway, my colleagues and I went down to the Queen & Mangosteen last week to celebrate someone’s birthday. After perusing the menu, most of us got the set-lunch as the prices were almost similar to the ala carte menu but with an additional soup/dessert and drink thrown in.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Coke

Free-flow of coke! Not that I need free flow coke. One glass is more than enough for me per meal.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Green Pea and Scampi Soup

Green pea and scampi soup – This was the soup of the day. Everyone chose this except for me. The soup colour may put you off, but based on the slurps and grunts of approval, everyone enjoyed the soup very much. There were chunks of scampi (prawns) in it too. Darn, I regretted not ordering this!

Queen & the Mangosteen - Fish & Chips

I had the fish and chips with their home made curry sauce. The fish is pretty good. It doesn’t taste oily and goes well with the curry dip. Only grouse is, 3 pieces isn’t really enough to fill you up if you didn’t already have the green pea soup! The fries were also very good. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Pot of Mussels

My colleague didn’t get the set lunch. Instead she ordered this pot of mussels in thai curry sauce with crusty bread. I managed to snag 2 mussels from her and I tell you, the broth was AMAZING! There’s a hint of Asian spice flavours to it so it’s even better than the usual mussels in wine. I could have slurped up the entire pot of broth if I’d ordered this! I bet the restaurant knows how good the broth is that is why bread is also served on the side. The mussels were also very fresh tasting to me, although it seems in the end, my colleague had to discard 5 mussels as they were unopened. I’m definitely coming back soon to try this dish again. Not cheap at $30+.  

Queen & the Mangosteen - Cottage Pie

Cottage pie (beef) – Not sure how this tasted but I don’t think my colleague had any complaints.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Panna Cotta

Ok this was the ickiest thing of the lot, and alas, it was my order! Instead of having a soup from the set lunch, I chose to have the dessert of the day. It happened to be panna cotta which is something that I like. I had in mind something like this from Gunthers, but obviously Gunther’s is in a far different league. I should have known better. Even the presentation itself was a failure. Look at the icky liquid covering the sides of the glass! Well I suppose the only good thing is that if you like the flavour of this panna cotta, there is lots of it to enjoy.

Promotions

Drink until he looks cute! Don’t you think that is so cheekily creative? I’ve a good mind to gather some of my male friends for a drink now. Ha. And I’ll pay if it works.

Queen & Mangosteen

Queen & Mangosteen Seating Area

Here are some more pictures I took off the Queen & Mangosteen’s website. As you can see, there is indoor seating as well as outdoor if you so choose.

Queen & Mangosteen - Mini burgers and onion rings

I tried those mini burgers the 1st time I went there. Pretty good and definitely pretty cute.

The Queen & Mangosteen

#01-106/107 Vivocity 1 Habourfront Walk, Singapore, Singapore 098585

Mon – Thu:11:00 am-11:00 pm

Fri – Sat:11:00 am-1:00 am

Sun:11:00 am-11:00 pm

Sentosa Boardwalk

Finally managed to find some time to go check out the new Sentosa Boardwalk. It really felt as if we were tourists in Singapore, with our hats, sunglasses, sunblock and camera. As you know, there is the vehicular bridge linking mainland Singapore to the island of Sentosa. There is also a footpath running the length of that bridge as well, and has been in existence since forever.

The Boardwalk isn’t on the bridge itself. You can see from the pictures below that the boardwalk is on ground level. It runs parallel to Sentosa’s vehicular bridge and offers an experiential walk amid lush landscapes. It is the only garden-themed boardwalk in South-East Asia, and features five tropical landscapes that are indigenous to Singapore.

I was amazed to find out that there are travelators almost the entire way. It seems like a luxury, but trust me, you don’t really want to be walking the entire distance (more than half a kilometre) under the hot Singapore sun. The travelators were great. We spent our energies looking at the scenery. Huge cruise vessels parked at HarbourFront, Vivocity and the Resorts World Sentosa. The mechanical cranes were also there, but sleeping. I don’t really think I would fancy watching mechanical cranes doing their dance performance at night, it looks weird and scary if you ask me.

Apart from taking you from the Vivocity side to the Resorts World Sentosa side, there are also 3 F&B outlets (2 restaurants, 1 ice-cream shop – Gelateria Venezia) and 1 retail shop, as far as I can recall. Apart from these, and stopping to admire the view, there isn’t that much to do there. It may actually be a better idea to go at night, then at least you can enjoy the crane show as well as the beautiful lights at night.

Sentosa Boardwalk is also having a carnival of sorts called Footsteps to Fun 13, 18-19 March 2011. Check out their Facebook and click on like to win prizes!

At the end of the Sentosa Boardwalk, it costs $1 for entry into Sentosa. Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios are what you will find first if you venture in. The place is pretty huge so make sure you have stamina to navigate the area before you enter. It’s still 5 – 10 minutes to get to the F&B area at Resorts World.

Sentosa Boardwalk (3)

Sentosa Boardwalk (4)

Sentosa Boardwalk (6)

Sentosa Boardwalk (8)Sentosa Boardwalk (7)

Sentosa Boardwalk (9)

Sentosa Boardwalk

Sentosa Boardwalk (2)

White Dog Cafe

White Dog Cafe (2)

Minestrone Soup

White Dog Cafe

Chicken Chop with Mushroom Sauce

Met up with a group of ex-class mates some weeks back and someone suggested eating at White Dog Cafe in Vivocity. Had vaguely heard of its existence but I had never tried it out before. It was totally full when I got there on a Sunday afternoon at 1pm. Luckily I wasn’t the first, so I didn’t have the task of getting a table for everyone!

Everyone chose the set lunch because it sounded pretty affordable at just over 10 dollars. Yes the set lunches are available even on weekends. For the price, you get a soup, a mains and a drink. The soup arrived all nicely plated and I was pretty impressed. It was only after the 1st sip that we all unanimously found the soup too salty. It wasn’t just the minestrone that was salty, even the other soup, I forget it was clam chowder or corn soup, was pretty salty too. Otherwise, I found the soup nice with just the right level of sourness, and the vegetables still had some bite to it. I liked the coleslaw salad on the side too. It tasted refreshing and had body to it. Coleslaw has had a bad reputation thanks to a certain fast-food chain that offers lifeless coleslaw.

I ordered mushroom sauce chicken chop. The chicken was nice and tasty, and it was quite nice to be able to eat it with fragrant rice rather than with the usual fries. I really liked the mushroom sauce. It was thick and mushroomy, I finished it all! The only thing is, when the mains arrived, everyone was a little taken aback at the size. It’s okay for me I guess, I was full at the end, helped along with the earlier soup and garlic bread I had. Big eaters may have to order more sides in order to feel full.  Well I suppose this is the reason why White Dog is able to keep its costs low.

White Dog Cafe

Vivocity 1 Harbourfront Walk #02-131/132
Singapore 098585

ToastBox VivoCity

When times are lean and you have to make every penny count, it pays to know where the cheapest deals are. Price doesn’t always have a correlation with quality. Today a few friends and I decided to forgo the $3.50 dessert cafe for ToastBox at VivoCity. It only cost us $2.50 each to enjoy a cuppa each plus buns and toast.

ToastBox Boluo Yao

Boluo Yao – A crunchy top bun with kaya and butter

ToastBox Kaya Toast with Butter (2)ToastBox Kaya Toast with Butter

Kaya Toast with Butter, only 2 slices though. Yakun serves up a bigger portion. I think I still prefer the kaya at Yakun, only problem is, at Yakun, they tend to give you a very thin layer of kaya, whereas I like my toasts to be richly covered with kaya!

ToastBox Thick Toast with Butter and Sugar (2)ToastBox Thick Toast with Butter and Sugar

Thick toast with butter and sugar – ToastBox is still my favourite place to have this after all these years. They are one of the few places that spread the butter evenly on the bread, such that each square of bread tastes good. Other places give you lumps of unmelted butter and expect you to do something with it.

ToastBox Chocolate Cherries CakeToastBox Banana Cake

Chocolate Cherries cake and other sponge cakes. Have never tried them although the price looks very tempting. It’s good to know that we can still enjoy cake for only $1.20 in Singapore.

ToastBox Seating Area

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