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February 2018

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Freehouse

Right at the middle of downtown is Freehouse, a bar opened in 2016 that “was birthed from a thirst that could only be quenched by good beer and cider”. With up to 16 rotating taps of craft beer (they’re usually almost at full capacity), you can be sure that you’ll only be thirsty for that guy/girl down the bar 😉 Situated in a shophouse in the Telok Ayer area, its intimate settings ensures you that there’s definitely “no strangers here”.

Week of the Dog at Freehouse

Yo Dawg, so I heard it’s the Year of the Dog, so Freehouse’s got some (hot)dogs at the week of the dog, so you can dog while you dawg!

Just over the last week, while basically half of the bars you frequent were closed over the Chinese New Year week, Freehouse started the year of the dog with a week long event starring their very own bar manager, Christian!

The Week of the Dog featured a special event-only menu made of gourmet sausages, corn dogs and more importantly (to me), TATER TOTS “smothered in homemade meat/beach chilli! With Christian in the kitchen (no sandwiches today), we devoured most of the brutally-named menu, such as the Brat-tallica, a Bratwurst topped with home-made braised red cabbage, Sauerkraut, Bacon, Hefeweizen Cheese Sauce, Spicy Mustard and Devil’s Ketchup; or if you’re in camp Dave Mustaine, there’s The Megadeth Corn Dog, that’s dipped in a special honey-infused buttermilk batter and deep fried to golden glory!

We also checked out good ol’ Trogdor the Burninator, our favourite strong-armed winged beast represented with Tater Tots smothered in molten Cheddar Cheese (that’s enough to make Torbjorn breathe heavily), Home Made Stout Bean/Meat Chilli, Srircha, Sour Cream and Devil’s Ketchup. Beware of the fire-breathing dragon!

No Strangers Here

Beyond the special menu for the week, Freehouse also offers a pretty wide range of bar snacks and dinner items (they’re usually not open for lunch). Favourites include the Cereal Frog Legs, Grilled Eggplant and Japanese Curry Fries just to name a few. Food menu may also change time to time, so find out the latest while you’re there!

Of course being one of the increasingly popular craft beer bar in Singapore, Freehouse offers a rotating selection of delicious craft beer from around the world, as mentioned previously having a capacity of 16 taps in full view of their white tiled display wall. New and seasoned craft beer enthusiasts are more than welcome, as your friendly neighbourhood bar guy Christian will surely put the right beer in front of you. Events and tap takeovers from particular breweries (such as the recent Battle Royale of Vietnamese breweries Pasteur Street and Heart of Darkness) also happen regularly, so be sure to like their Facebook page to keep yourself updated. For a good deal, head down to their Pint & Grub Mondays, where any pint with a side from a selected list go for only $20++!

 

Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
Price:
Quality:
Overall:

More Information

Freehouse
21A Boon Tat Street
Singapore 069620
Email: info@freehouse.com.sg
Opening Hours: 5:00pm to 12:00am (Tuesdays to Saturdays), 3:00pm to 12:00am (Fridays only). CLOSED MONDAYS.
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It’s 3 more days to Chinese New Year. 2 more days to Chinese New Year eve.

Haven’t managed to find somewhere nice to have your reunion dinner yet?

Amara Singapore Chinese New Year Feast

Enjoy a fortuitous feast by Amara Singapore’s team of dedicated Chinese chefs, all ready to serve you dishes symbolic of prosperity, fortune and happiness to your family and relatives. 欢庆福满人间!

On the 15 February 2018 from 6pm at the Grand Ballroom, the one-time reunion dinner is opened to all guests celebrating this Lunar New Year’s 2018 Earth Dog. Guests can look forward to the tossing of salmon yu sheng (鱼生), where the ingredients are exquisitely arranged in the shape of a dog.

Dinner commences with a delectable selection of affordable 8-course menus, such as the Golden Prosperity or Joyous Abundance sets at S$68 to S$88++ per person respectively (with a minimum of six persons per table). If you prefer a private dining experience with your family ,you can take up the Imperial Fortune reunion package at S$1,888++ for a table of 10 persons. Each room comes with a fully equipped family karaoke system. For this package, the menu includes delicacies like sea urchin, black chicken ginseng soup and cod fish. To mark the customary occasion, everyone will get to enjoy a special rendition of the Chinese festive dessert – Pomelo Tangyuan, a unique tangy glutinous rice ball sprinkled in edible gold leaves.

Some of the favourites in the selection spans from the traditional Drunken Chicken, Roasted Chicken with Spicy Sichuan Sauce, to more modern cuisine like Beef Bourguignon, Chilled Angel Hair Pasta with Truffle Oil and Kombu, Homemade Beetroot Salmon, and to top it off, Amara Singapore’s very own Vegetarian Treasure Pot (Pen Cai; 盆菜).

Highlights of evening will include a lion dance performance where the rambunctious lions will perform “Cai Qing” (采青 – the plucking of the greens), and you (and/or the kids) can get wefies with the adorable God of Fortune mascots distributing gold ingots of chocolates!

Cempedak Delights

During the media event we were also treated to a surprise festive addition to Amara Singapore’s menu: the Cempedak collection. A (personally tasting) “breadier” and less pungent cousin of the jackfruit, the hotel now serves an array of desserts themed to the fibrous fruit:

  • Chempedak Cake
  • Chempedak Crème Brulee
  • Chempedak Swiss Roll
  • Chempedak Agar Agar
  • Chempedak Pudding
  • Chempedak Butter Cake

Out of all, I like the Crème Brulee and Swiss Roll the most. Get yours at their cafe and restaurants and try it for yourself, trust me.

More Information

Amara Singapore

165 Tanjong Pagar Rd
Singapore 088539

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Get your reservations ONLINE HERE. Seats would be filling up fast so don’t procrastinate anymore!

Stand to win one of the 8 lucky draw prizes at the CNY reunion dinner on 15 Feb!

Alternatively, call: +65 6879 2598 or email: events@amarahotels.com

Chinese New Year Happenings

CNY Goodies Booth

15 January – 15 February 2018, 11am– 8pm, daily

100AM mall, atrium

*Refer to CNY Goodies Order Form

Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

15 February 2018, 6pm

Grand Ballroom, level 3

CNY F&B Promotions (1 Feb – 2 Mar 2018)

Element, and Element on Tras Street- Buffet

Buffet Time Adult* Child*

(6 -12 years)

Reunion Dinner 15 Feb 2018, Thu

6pm – 10.30pm

$88 $43
Lunch Mon – Fri

12pm – 2.30pm

$58 $29
Dinner Mon – Sun

6pm – 10.30pm

$78 $39
Hi-tea Sat – Sun

11.30 am – 2pm

2.30pm – 5pm

$42 $21

Silk Road

Set menus with choices from S$108* per person, minimum 2 persons to dine, S$368* for 4 persons and above, S$838* or $968* for 10 persons.

*All prices quoted are in Singapore dollars and subject to service charge and prevailing government taxes.

For dining reservations and enquiries:

call: +65 6879 2610

email: fnb.sg@amarahotels.com

Also known as the fifth season in Germany, Karneval is a traditional German festival that can be traced back to the 13th century. It marks the beginning of Lent, and entails copious amounts of eating, drinking and merriment, and usually accompanied by a huge parade combining elements of a circus, masks and social satire.

Fun fact: Depending on the region of Germany you’re at, the same festival takes on different names: KarnevalFasching and Fastnacht. Read more here.

Karneval @ Brotzeit

From now till 25 February 2018, Brotzeit is bringing the flavours and Gemütlichkeit (a feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer) of Karneval to Singapore! While you can’t get a parade here, Brotzeit has launched a specially-curated Karneval menu, featuring festival favourites and exclusive Karneval-only craft beers from Germany during this festive season.

We were greeted by Brotzeit’s Group Executive Chef Wolfgang Ranner, who gracefully brought us through some of the common menu items that you can get at the actual Karneval in Germany. After starting the party with hearty “prost” over a refreshing pint of Karneval-exclusive Gaffel Kölsch, we were presented with a really long sausage on an equally big bun. #thatswhatshesaid

The Gaffel Kölsch a fresh speciality beer from Cologne with a delicate blend of a bitter yet pleasant and slightly hoppy taste. Brewed according to a time-honored family recipe and the German Purity Law of 1516, Gaffel Kölsch is clearly distinguished from all other Kölsch brands.

Brotzeit’s Half-meter Sausage Challenge

Ready your stomachs, and test your might to take on their Half-metre German Sausage Challenge. Teams of two will each have four minutes to finish a half-meter of Brotzeit’s Deutsche Halbmeter Wurst, featuring classic Nürnberger sausages, served with sauerkraut and potato salad in a baguette. That’s about as long as an entire adult forearm, or about 2.7 banana for scale. Any team that completes the challenge within the stipulated four minutes will enjoy the sausage on the house, and being able to have bragging rights to have TESTED YOUR MIGHT and be called Brotzeit’s Wurst Champions.

We were lucky that there were 6 hungry people to wolf it down, and we probably took longer than four minutes anyway. Accordingly to a manager from the team, the record at that time is(maybe was) 3 minutes 44 seconds!

Another feature of Brotzeit’s Karneval menu is Zweierlei von Huhn (Duo of Chicken), which is basically chicken served two-ways; a tender oven-roasted chicken, and golden fried chicken (done like chicken schnitzels). Marinated generously, the roasted chicken was as tender and juicy as you can imagine, while the fried chicken was on point with the amount of batter and crispiness to it without being dried out. Served with potato salad and Fries, it’s a good sharing dish!

Ever been in the situation where you have a big party and everyone wants everything? Or conversely, you really want that one dish in a platter, but you got to deal with the others that make you go ‘meh’? Brotzeit’s Deutsche Tapas (German Tapas, 3 for $15, 6 for $28, 12 for $45) is the solution for all diners! Choose from a list of TWELVE different tapas items, totally customisable to your liking below. Want 12 meatloaves? Yes please!

Bierbeisser (sausage), super food salad (Chef Ranner lol’d), spicy chicken sausages, currywurst, golden fried chicken, cheese spätzle, meatballs, seabass filet, fried mushrooms, meatloaf in a mini kaiser roll, chicken schnitzel in a mini kaiser roll, and their meat patty in a mini kaiser roll.

To finish off the evening, we were given special off-the-menu Berliners (German doughnuts with fillings), but you can check if you can get lucky too 😉

More Information

Brotzeit Singapore
Outlets in Singapore: 313@Somerset, VivoCity, Raffles City, Katong, Westgate (click to see opening hours and reservation info)

Anyone who’s heard of Kah Hiang Restaurant (嘉香餐馆) at International Plaza would remember their homely Cantonese cuisine that kind of reminds you of the stuff that grandma makes during the big reunion dinner every Chinese New Year. Now, after more than 40 years of serving delectable signature dishes at their quaint little corner along Anson Road, they are ready to move this household name towards modern times.

Myo Restobar

To be honest, when I first received the email invitation for a hosted dinner, I thought it was another one of those Japanese-fusion restaurants that’s pretty trendy nowadays. Then I realised that the “Myo” in “Myo” Restobar has a couple of meanings to the owners; one being a play on the Chinese words “妙嚥” (miào yàn) which is to “swallow/consume wonder or delight”, and another as I learnt from 2nd generation owner Mr Ng Kia Jin, a reflection of their Buddhist beliefs. He quotes:

“Myo restobar aims to reach out to new audiences while supporting our International Plaza flagship. We realise that while the older generation may be very familiar with our brand, the newer generation is not. Myo plans to introduce Kia Hiang’s recipe of traditional Cantonese cuisine, values and our high standards to the 21st century.”

Mr Ng Kia Jin, 2nd generation owner of Kia Hiang Group

Just a stone’s throw away from their original place of service, Myo Restobar is similarly tucked away on the 19th floor of Oxley Tower, along Robinson Road. Unlike the boxy, retro interior of the first restaurant, Myo sports a chic modern look, complete with a decent city view and swanky furniture. They also serve a nice range of modern liquor, and even craft beer!

What’s not changed however is their dedication to bringing goodness of Kia Hiang’s signature dishes to the table. First in particular, the Kia Hiang Claypot Spring Chicken. Deep-marinated and braised in a claypot with their secret sauce for hours while being wrapped in exactly 5 full leaves of cabbage, what initially looks unappealing will convince even the harshest critics when you cut up the chicken. The tenderness of the meat is immediately felt as it melts in your mouth, not to mention the aroma of many hours of tender loving care during preparation.

To push the envelope, Myo has a “zhng-ed” (elevated/pimped up) variant. The Kia Hiang Claypot Organic Chicken uses premium organic chickens that grow up really comfortable and even listen to classical music (some of us don’t even get that treatment at work!) This variant is said to be even juicier and flavourful. Both versions come very limited daily as they are prepared in set quantities the night before, so call ahead if you want to ensure you don’t arrive disappointed!

Short story time: Mr Ng said his father initially cooked this exclusively for staff meals (which is a common perk for Chinese restaurants since back in the days, which many still perpetuate today), and when some regulars got to try it as well, they convinced him to put it on the menu. The rest is history!

Photo courtesy of Myo Restobar

Myo also chose to expand their menu to include modern restaurant fare, such as their Baked Hamachi Collar and Angus Tenderloin Cubes with Garlic and Broccoli. In fact do check out their full menu which also includes affordable yet luxurious lunch sets!

Another menu selection Kia Hiang is known for is their Dim Sum. We were treated to a wide range of Dim Sum with modern twists such as the Gold Foil Dumplings with Assorted MushroomsFlakey Angus Beef Pastry (basically same texture as a 叉烧酥 but with marinated beef; MUST TRY) and Healthy Walnut Buns.

As a Cantonese myself, I can tell you that no Cantonese meal can end WITHOUT any desserts. Without failing to weave tradition into modernity, Myo offers classics such as Double Boiled Peach Gum w/
Red Dates and a modern Young Coconut Stewed with Peach Gum & Egg White (which we tried), along with a Durian Mochi to end the evening.

Speaking of durian, short story no.2: Mr Ng explained that Kia Hiang is actually a big player in supplying mooncakes in Singapore, and is seen as the O.G. of durian mooncake, which is more synonymous with a particular hotel near Orchard Road to the younger crowd. So don’t be surprised that the mooncake you got as a gift or bought from the mooncake fair is actually supplied by Kia Hiang!Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
Despite being smack in the middle of the CBD, you will not find it easily. In fact I’ve met a group of invited media personalities at the building lobby and we all struggled to find the correct lift, as the lift panels have different floor buttons on each side! So when you’re there, go to Lift Lobby 1, and the button to level 19 is at the inner side of the lift.

Price:
While priced at a premium for sure, they are still considered quite value-for-money for the quality you’re getting, although it’s not what you might want to pay for every day.

Quality:
For the millennials, your parents would possibly have memory of this place (Mr Ng said they were a popular paktor venue for meals). You can be sure they will attest to the level of quality that the elder Mr Ng set out, which is dutifully continued by his son Kia Jin at their new venture.

Overall:
Now that Chinese New Year is round the corner, how about give your grandma/mum/whoever is in the kitchen a break, and give them a try for a change. They will thank you for it. Who knows, maybe the claypot chicken will bring back happy memories, or to make new ones!

More Information

Myo Restobar
138 Robinson Road
#19-01
Oxley Tower (access through Lobby 1)
Singapore 068906
Reservations: Website or Call +65 90260718 / +65 69311247
Opens Daily 11am – 9pm (Closed on Saturday & Public Holidays)