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We’ve been away for quite a while, and it’s only right we return by sharing some awesome Christmas treats!

This year, how about taking your mind away from preparing for the festive dinners, and still enjoy some quality selections from Mandarin Orchard Singapore? They’ve never been a hotel to shy away from festive treats and this year is no exception.

A Delectable Debut & More

It’s time to jio your friends and loved ones to a lavish feast of Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s Christmas roasts and other savoury delights. One newcomer this year is the Chicken Ballotine ($98, 2kg), which is oven-roasted and stuffed with buttery fois gras and generous shavings of black truffle (!!)

Other Christmas classics, such as the (one of our favourite) Premium Honey-glazed Gammon Ham (from $318), Roasted U.S. Turkey (from $228), and specials like the Roasted Australian Beef Prime Rib (from $428) and Braised Australian Lamb Shank with Port Wine ($88) are also available for your selection.

Watching the weighing scale? There’s also some guilt-free indulgence in their Baked Norwegian Salmon crusted with Scallop Mousseline and Mushroom Sauce ($188, 1.5kg). Moist and tender within and topped with a layer of scallop mousseline, the dish brings healthy goodness in every bite.

Sweet Tidings We Bring

No Christmas feast is complete with your exquisite sweet treats. Who’s up for some Yule Logs? We are! With FOUR types of Yule Logs ($80, 1kg) available to choose from, Yule be spoilt for choice with their intricate decorations.

Accompanying these are also a WIDE range of specialty desserts by Mandarin Orchard Singapore. From Festive Macarons ($12, 4pc) and Festive Pralines ($35, 12pc), an entire Gingerbread House ($38) and Gingerbread Figurine ($12), Fes- there’s too many to name! Let the pictures speak for themselves:

Bring The Merry Moments Home

Have a feast in the comfort of your own home. These tempting Christmas treats are now available till 31 December 2019.

Download their festive brochure here and the order form here.

Retail Collection:
Coffee and Crust, Level 5

22 November to 31 December 2019
Open daily from 11am to 9pm

Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s Festive Counter, Level 1
6 to 31 December 2019
Open daily from 11am to 7pm

For orders or enquiries, please call +65 6831 6320/6272 or email festivedesk.orchard@meritushotels.com.

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

Cake Avenue Bistro

Cake Avenue to many, is probably synonymous to its bespoke cake designs, such as the unicorn cakes and designer cupcakes; basically any elaborate design you want on/of a cake, they will be able to do their magic. Recently, they have expanded their operations from their cosy store along Lorong Kilat (near Beauty World MRT station) to also include a full-service bistro with American and Italian cuisine.

Cake Avenue Christmas Menu

I was invited to sample their 2017 Christmas menu just last week, which will be available from 25 November (today) all the way till Christmas! In true Cake Avenue bespoke confectionery fashion, Chef ET has come up with a range of Christmas-themed desserts, from the conventional Yule Log, macarons and cookies, to the adorable entremets and a signature reindeer cake. They have also created a menu of savoury dishes which include braised lamb shank, chicken lasagna, and a selection of canapés.

Diner Dessert Menu

We also were treated to a new addition in their menu, to introduce their bistro to customers: the Diner Dessert series. At first glance, they look like your normal run-of-the-mill western diner food, such as burger and fries, nacho chips, alphabet tomato soup, and meatballs. But on closer inspection, they’re actually creatively designed with cakes, ice cream and the likes. For example, the “Diner slider and fries” were actually dark chocolate ice cream ‘patties’ sandwiched between vanilla butter cake ‘buns’ and topped with raspberry ‘ketchup’ and passionfruit ‘mustard’, served with warm cake ‘fries’. Such deceptive, so confuse. Nevertheless they were delightful to take pictures and enjoy after!

Sweet Deals!

From now till Christmas, Cake Avenue’s Christmas menu will be available for dine-in and takeaway in a few value-for-money festive packages! They’re pretty good for a small to medium gathering such as your office parties or pot lucks at your BFF’s place. Do give at least 3 days notice if you would like to order these special menu items though. Check the whole list out here and call/message/email them to make your order early!

More Information

Cake Avenue
33 Lorong Kilat
#01-01/02
Kilat Centre
Singapore 598132
Email: sales@cakeavenue.com
Phone: 6877 9008 or  9666 2022 (Whatsapp)
Operation hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 8.30pm
Closed on Mondays
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They are Halal-certified!


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“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

Cheong Chin Nam Road is a popular supper place where most would associate with local fare, like Roti Prata, Teochew Porridge or Chicken Rice. There are even Korean BBQ restaurants now! But sitting in plain sight is a steakhouse that’s definitely punching above its own weight.

Stirling Grill

Having been opened for a few years, Stirling Grill dutifully serves up charcoal-grilled meats and delicious desserts in a casual diner setting. The deliberately mismatched furniture and crockery, together with the colourful chalk drawings, emits that cosy ‘at home’ experience that owner Elwyn sets out to give to his customers. There’s both an indoor seated area (with a comfortable couch booth available for a bigger group) and an al-fresco area that screens football matches live sometimes!

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What isn’t casual about the place though, is their steaks. Faithfully charcoal grilled, the meats retain more flavour and nutrients all while reducing all that oil and fats. What it results to is juicy, and tastier cuts of goodness! What surprised me was that the sirloin steak burger is in fact an full cut of sirloin, perfectly grilled to your liking, wedged between toasted burger buns! Usually you’d expect a minced beef patty (sometimes dubiously) labelled as Wagyu/Angus Ribeye/Sirloin, but Stirling decided to put their foot down to this disparity.

Thanks to the Entertainer app we managed to get a bigger portion of steak for less, so we didn’t manage to try the other specialties of theirs that are well-raved online: the Crispy King Salmon and stirling sliders, good for a quick bite with a pint from their selection of beer, including Archipelago Beer on tap!

We couldn’t agree more with @teojimmy 😀💯👍 #repost ・・・ Chunky salmon steak with skin pan-seared ’til chips-like crisp yet retaining its juiciness, served on mashed potatoes with creamy dill! . . . #stirlinggrill #stirlingsg #crispykingsalmon #norwegiansalmon #pansearedsalmon #salmonsteak #salmonfillet #mashedpotatoes #creamydill #archipelagobrewery #archipelagobeer #belgianwit #wheatbeer #tagsforlikes #foodgasm #foodphotography #foodporn #sgfoodie #sgfoodunion #sgmakandiary #singaporeeats #sgeats #setheats #burpple #burpplesg #hungrygowhere #whati8today #8dayseat #8dayseatout @stirlinggrill @archipelagobrewery

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It’s sliders galore this Easter Sunday! 😁 #charcoalgrill #stirlinggrill #medium rare #juicybeef #igfood #sgfoodie #burrplesg #tops #meatporn #grill #grilling #grillporn #sgrestaurant #beauty world #dtl2 #moo #sgfoodporn #whati8today #sgfoodies #sgfood #buzzfeedfood #eatoutsg #singaporeinsiders #8dayseat

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We’re not done yet after the main course! Stirling also serves a good selection of ice cream (yummy) and other desserts also served in-house by their sister brand DessertSplash. Don’t you find that holy union of a belgian waffle, ice cream AND a cone tantalising?

Verdict


hole-in-the-wall-ness:
What used to be a relatively remote enclave for the west is now made more convenient with the Downtown Line, but the diner remains quaint amongst the hustle and bustle in the Cheong Chin Nam Road supper scene.

Price:
Be prepared for a premium, but the prices here are still affordable for the quality of meat you are served. It helped that we got the Entertainer app too. Best if you go in a small group so that you can try more of their signatures!

Quality:
Quality without compromise, at least that was what I felt. Good progress in his business will only help motivate the team to do even better!

Overall:
Looking to wind down without breaking the bank, but still want some good meat and beer at that? Try this place out.

More Information

Stirling Grill (aka Stirling Bar & Grill)

15 Cheong Chin Nam Rd
Singapore 599739
(Nearest MRT: Beauty World)
Reservations: (65) 97882583
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A Bagel is a Doughnut with the sin removed – Anon.

Random fact: contrary to some beliefs, the bagel was not created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King John III Sobieski over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. It is however, thought to have appeared at around the same century with it being mentioned as a gift for women in childbirth. Whatever the truth of its origins, the bagel (believed to be derived from the transliteration of the Yiddish ‘beygl’, which came from the Middle High German ‘böugel’ or ring) made its way from western Europe to the North America by means of Polish Jew immigrants, it developed into a totally different food culture with the round staple in New York (read: Bagel Brunch in New York).

Two Men Bagel House

Not to be confused with two other guys nearby, Two Men Bagel House started what they claim to be Singapore’s first out and out bagel house since 2014 “located in the depths of Icon Village“. Bros Jerome Lam and Jereborne Lam (real bros or not, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re good bros)  dish out freshly baked, handmade rings of different flavours.  From caramelised onion (my favourite) to multi-grain or melted cheddar cheese , they don’t make that many for each variation (about 9 usually, check their menu for a list), so on busy days some could run out before you can even smell (if you smell…) any trace of bagel goodness!

A usual favourite of mine whenever I’m there would be their all-day breakfast selections, endearingly named with porcine names like Porky, Piglet or even Babe, with one aptly named spam because of the namesake topping. The “bagelwiches” are served piping hot to order and cut in half for easy devouring. Although you have to get ready some napkins because it WILL get messy.

Hold your piggies everyone. Other than some ham, they also have a fuller-bodied menu with pork ribs, beef briskets and more. From time to time, they also have random special edition creations whenever the bros feel inspired! Also , as long as you’re someone who sell bagels,  you MUST have ‘schmears‘, or basically spreads if you so prefer something a bit less savoury and voluminous. Like cream cheese for example!

The Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
You’ll need to wind around the back wing of icon village, away from the main walkway of big chain restaurants and outlets to find the corridor they’re at, but nothing too challenging if you follow your nose!

Price:
A small premium to pay (about $10-12+ for the regular bagels, and $4-6 for schmears) for freshly baked bread and made to order bagelwiches, but nothing too surprising given its CBD environment

Quality:
The breakfast bagelwiches could get a tad oily (expected), but otherwise I’ve got nothing on them!

Overall:
They ain’t no jabronis, they’re got thick rings!

Bonus: Watch a video made by some NYP mass communications students!

More Information

Two Men Bagel House
16 Enggor Street
#01-12
Icon Village
Singapore 079717
Tel: +655094125
Email (orders in advance/catering): hello2men@gmail.com
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I am (hehe) pretty sure most of the cafe-hopping crowd in Singapore would be familiar with I am… Cafe (yes, the name includes the ellipsis) and their signature red letter blocks at the corner of Haji Lane:

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Living on the better side of the island and don’t want to join the throngs of poor west-siders in queuing for ages? Now you can just stay in paradise!

I am… Cafe (Our Tampines Hub)

Just opened on 28 February 2017, I am… Cafe now brings all that burger and fries (with some pizza) goodness right to our doorstep in the East. Situated on the third floor of Our Tampines Hub right next to the HomeTeamNS clubhouse,  where there are already plenty of fun things to do, it takes a little bit of eyeballing but you won’t miss their trademark signage even from level 1.

Interior wise, it does remind you of Haji Lane, and I very much prefer an air-conditioned experience, although it does contain the noise of the hustle and bustle going on (it is a family casual restaurant after all so don’t expect classical music and hush-hush conversations).

I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines

Likewise, the menu still consists of old favourites such as their side of truffle fries, which is topped off with thick and creamy truffle mayo. Burgers, pizzas, and their fish & chips are also available, along with their signature mocktails (they’re halal certified). Don’t forget their desserts like the RAINBOW CAKE! Call me nitpicky, but while my ‘the boss’ burger is definitely scrumptious, I’d wish for the patty to be at least the same diameter as the buns so that I can pick it up to chomp down on it (hehe) without risking it popping out of the buns mid-bite.

I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines

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Waitrr Pls

One new addition since I last ate at I am… Cafe is the use of a mobile app called “Waitrr“. From browsing the menu, all the way to ordering and paying for your meal, it’s a seamless process that’s quite frankly a well-designed user experience. No more hems and haws when your service staff probes whether you are ready to order, or yelling through to them during busy weekend dinners and hoping he/she read your order right. Just scan the QR code, pass the phone down the table and pick your food and drinks! What’s also good I realised, is that you don’t have to make one person pick up the tab or get service to split your tabs (a horrible experience for large groups, please don’t do this to wait staff…). Just use your own phone(s) to order separately and pay immediately after! EZPZ!

Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
This is in (what’s becoming) a very popular hangout in Tampines, so it’s not something too out of the way. Also the brand is already a staple in halal Cafes.

Price:
Prices are still pretty fair, nothing out of the ordinary for cafes (I spent about 20 per pax).

Quality:
You probably need to order dessert if you’re really hungry, but portions are not scrimped on here.

Overall: I
Joining the fray with other cafes showing up in Tampines, like one I previously visited, I am… Cafe banks on its already solid reputation in dishing out relatively affordable premium western cuisine that’s halal-certified, right in the heartlands! Surely, a #newbeastfromtheeast!

More Information

I am… Cafe (Our Tampines Hub)
51 Tampines Ave 4
#03-04
Our Tampines Hub
Singapore 529684
​Tel: 6295 5509
Email: enquiry@iam.com.sg
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When I’m not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.

-Snoop Dogg

With an annual average temperature in the tune of 26-27 degree Celsius and even more sometimes, it’s no wonder ice cream and other frozen desserts are much coveted here in sunny Singapore. From classic stalwarts like Swensen’s and Häagen-Dazs, to heartland favourites like Wall’s Cornetto Cone or King’s Paddle Pop, and even the newcomers like llao llao, Udders, and many other small cafes; the list is seemingly endless! It seems nothing out of the ordinary that another ice cream store joins the fray right?

Dofu Black Soy Ice Cream

dofu ice cream

Dofu is a pretty new entry into the dessert market, just opening August 2016. Tucked away in the temporary Yishun Bus Interchange, you may need a little bit of eye-power to spot it when you arrive. At first look, you will wonder what sort of concoction is being served. I mean, grey ice cream?!

dofu ice cream

Turns out the grey colour of the ice-cream comes from the bamboo charcoal added into the mixture. It has many claims of health benefits such as improved blood circulation and improving metabolism, with some studies showing that a diet including activated charcoal (i.e. what bamboo charcoal is essentially) reduced LDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and improving HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol) levels in the blood.

Dofu also prizes its ice cream as no added fats, no artificial colouring and flavouring. It also naturally contains (from the soy beans) alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid essential for normal human growth and development, and is suggested to promote cardiovascular health.

Vegans rejoice, for their ice cream and pudding does not contain gelatin and is vegan-friendly!

027_5670x4508_all-free-download-comSo what do you get in a cup? The beancurd pudding (also grey) is filled at the bottom, followed by soft-serve ice cream made from premium dehulled Non-GMO soya beans. There are three ‘sizes’ available, which actually only varies in the number of toppings you get; from the more conventional chocolate products and other sauces to their signature flavoured ‘popping balls’, which burst into flavours when you chew on it. For the uber health buffs there are also granola and nut toppings, as well as fresh fruit bits.

Can’t make up your mind? Then you can try out any 6 of their ‘Dofu Creations‘ crafted for maximum pleasure!

dofu ice creamdofu ice cream

For my creation, it has chocolate flakes, and mango-flavoured popping balls. The ice cream itself does not taste overly sweet and mixes well into the toppings’ flavours. So in my opinion it’s important that you have your favourite toppings on it!

Right now, they also have a promotion where you can choose to purchase a pre-paid loyalty card for $12, and they will give you additional $5 value! On top of that you get a FREE ice cream upon purchase of the card! Such dofu, much ice cream, so wow!

The Verdictdofu ice cream

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
A store smack in the middle of a temporary bus interchange, it takes a little bit of footwork to locate.

Quality: 
Ice cream is smooth and well-made with plenty of toppings to choose from. I probably should have picked more fruity and nutty options though.

Price: 
Prices start at $4.90 for just 2 toppings to $6.90 for a whopping 7 toppings. With big servings, it’s not your paddle pop pricing but definitely a good bang for the buck!

Overall: 
If you’re in Yishun, heck even if you live in the east like me (#eastsidebestside), come check it out!

More Information

Dofu
20A Yishun Central
#01-05
Yishun Temporary Bus Interchange
Singapore 768830
Open from 11:00am to 8:30pm daily.
Website: http://dofuco.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dofu.sg/

Dofu’s ice cream and chilled pudding are labelled as vegan.

Author’s note: When you enter the bus interchange from Northpoint’s direction, turn right and walk along the path until you see Dofu’s store!


GIVEAWAY

Dofu has kindly given me a limited edition membership card with $17 ($12 + $5 free) value stored in it, together with some coupons. I have decided to pass this on as a giveaway on my facebook page. Read the post below and find out how to win yourself some free black soy ice cream!

Contest starts on 16 Nov 2016 12:00pm (Wednesday) and closes on 20 Nov 2016 11:59pm (Sunday). Open to residents of Singapore only.


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