Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cooking / Baking : Christmas 2006

Tis the season for cooking and baking! Ever since I posted about the food I cooked for Halloween, I've had many requests to cook for pot-luck parties... which is how I ended up cooking furiously this Christmas season.

First cooking frenzy was for Christmas at Karen's place... I made Buffalo-Style Chicken Fingers (recipe here). Picked this recipe because it could be prepared the day before, left in the freezer overnight and baked in just 20 mins. I think my freezer container wasn't quite air-tight enough and all the cripsy bits got soggy. Sigh.

I also made Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms recipe (here). This was pretty effortless... but I was a bit annoyed as one packet of mushrooms were mouldy so I ended up only making half the amount that I was planning to make.

And inspired by a friend's suggestion, I decided to try making Baklava (recipe here). For those who have never heard of Baklava, it's a Greek dessert with alternating layers of filo pastry and chopped nuts with honey syrup poured over it. This was extremely time consuming - chopping the nuts, buttering each layer of pastry, doing laying the nuts and filo pasty one layer at a time... I would rate the end result as just barely decent for a first attempt. Not sure if I would try it again though...

Second cooking frenzy was for Christmas Eve dinner at Victor's house. By request, I made Shepherd's Pie which I've made many times before with relative success. And I've made it so many times now that I don't really follow any one recipe strictly... This is real comfort food on a rainy X'mas Eve :)

Also did a portion of Spicy Chicken Wings which I've made many times before... seems to get less spicy each time round as I get lazier with measuring out the ingredients for the marinade... and made more Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms (which were all eaten up before all the guests arrived!).

Christmas baking this year didn't turn out as well as last year. I attempted to make Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (recipe here).

The recipe sounded easy enough... but the biscotti turned out to be more like cookies (i.e. it didn't have the dry-ness that biscotti is supposed to have) so I decided not to give any away... which means that I'm stuck eating a whole container of Cranberry-Pistachio all by myself!

Seems like all the stuff I made this Christmas falls under the category of HKBHJ (ho kua boh ho jiak) - Hokkien for "doesn't taste as good as it looks"...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Food Republic (VivoCity)

This is the second in a series of posts of eating places in VivoCity. I went through a phase of coming here really often... but that was before the festive season set in. I love this place! It's got everything in one place (the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon :) and it's in the West (yay!). The trick in coming here is to come during non-peak hours - like on a Wednesday evening - but of course that only applies during non-festive season :)

I love the Food Republic at Wisma Atria so I was quite excited to check out the latest Food Republic outlet at VivoCity. I read in a newspaper article that one of the most famous bak chor mee stalls had a stall here and I was looking forward to trying it out - but of course with my arse-luck, the stall was closed that day... I was there again recently and it looked like the famous bak chor mee stall has been replaced by an unknown bak chor mee seller... Crap!

No bak chor mee so I ended up trying the famous Depot Road Claypot Laksa $6.50 instead. I've had it once years ago at the original Depot Road stall with C, who used to call it the stomachache-inducing laksa...

Not as spicy as I would have liked it, it was great how there was so much liao (ingredients) in it :) I thought it was a bit expensive though...

We also had Wu Xiang (Ngoh Hiang) - and I haven't had this in ages!

Forgot how much I like the prawn cracker thingy... and the deep fried tofu here is amazing - crispy on the outside and soft on the inside...

Lots of other stalls worth trying here including the Pu Tien Restaurant located inside Food Republic... but I'm not going anywhere near VivoCity till the whole festive season is over!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dian Xiao Er

Chinese food was something I only used to have with family - until a few years ago, when I started going to tze char places and Chinese restaurants with friends. Never noticed this restaurant at Marina Square before, but saw an outlet at Vivo City and decided to try it out...

We ordered individual servings of Double Boiled Winter Melon Soup $6++ to start. It never fails to amaze me how much soup can cost, but having had soup every day while I was growing up, this is real comfort food to me...

Another of my favourite dishes which cannot be found all that often is Seafood Mee Suah $9++ so I jumped at the chance to order it when I saw it on the menu here. It was not too bad but I found it just a tad too oily.

One of their specialities is the Xiao Er Beancurd $6.80++. Always a very healthy meal when I'm eating out with S :)

The real speciality of this place is the Herbal Roasted Duck, but we weren't quite in the mood for duck so settled for the Hunan Chicken $9++ instead.

I don't know what Hunan Chicken is supposed to taste like, but this tasted a lot like Thai-style chicken. That said, I did finish up most of it while S looked on in amusement :P

A good alternative to the usual Crystal Jade or Imperial Treasure - mid-priced and tasty. The downside, there's always a queue so be prepared to wait at least 15 mins during peak hours. Hmm, must remember to come back here to try the Herbal Roasted Duck...

Dian Xiao Er
1 Harbour Front Walk
#02-137/138 Vivo City
Tel : 6376 9786

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tandoor Restaurant

M requested for Indian food for his birthday dinner which is how we ended up here. It was a little more upmarket then I expected, but then I should have guessed since this restaurant is located in a hotel. While the furniture and fittings did look a little jaded, the place still had a very ethnic, exotic feel to it.

Erm, let me pre-empt by saying that the photos are quite blurry due to the dim lighting, and my extremely shaky hands...

We weren't terribly adventurous that day, mostly ordering stuff that we were familiar with - starting with the Chicken Makhani $21+++ (top right), Mutton Curry $24+++ (left), Chicken Vindaloo $21+++ (bottom right).

Ok, to be perfectly honest, I can't really remember which picture is of what dish and I'm just making a wild guess - don't they all pretty much look the same??

The curries all look really spicy right? Not at all! Even the most amateur of curry eaters will have no problem with the curries here... While curries were good, it's not quite my cup of tea. For me, curry means Samy's stomachache-inducing, 'eat till your mouth is burning and you're sweating like crazy' kind of super spicy curries. Different strokes for different folks :)

We also ordered the Chef's Special $40+++ which was a tasty selection of various tandoori meats. I'm not at all a tandoori connoisseur, but then again, it's hard to do bad tandoori...

And we also ordered my recent favourite Indian dish - Palak Paneer (spinach with cottage cheese) $14+++.

I've had Indian food so much recently that the names of the dishes are starting to totally roll off my tongue :) M liked the food here so much that he brought his mum back here a few weeks later!

Tandoor Restaurant
11 Cavenagh Road
Holiday Inn Park View
Tel : 6733 8333

Friday, December 08, 2006

Botak Jones

This place has been featured extensively in the newspapers, IS Magazine and pretty much every food show on TV. Their hook is "damn good food at a damn good price" - American food served in a coffeeshop at heartland prices. Botak Jones himself is Bernie Utchenik, the former owner of Bernie's BFD at East Coast Park and Bernie Goes to Town at Boat Quay.

Because of all the publicity, and as you can expect with kiasu Singaporeans who are always swarming the newest eating places, this place has really been packing it in...

Our first attempt at eating here was abandoned as there was a really long queue snaking around the building and we were way too hungry to wait for our food. On the second attempt, we came here at 6 plus to try and beat the crowd. Not much point though - there was still a 15 minute wait to place our orders and about another 30 minute wait for food. The staff do try to manage customers' expectations by telling them that the food will take at least an hour to be ready...

I ordered the Botak Burger at $4.50. There were add-ons but I just thought that $2 for 2 rashes of bacon was a ridiculous price to pay, and with add-ons, the price of the burger would end up being more restaurant than heartland priced... so I ended up with this -

It doesn't come with any sides, so it looks kinda sad all by itself on that big plate... and the taste of the burger was not at all worth remembering...

We also ordered the NZ Ribeye Steak (200g) $13.50...

... which was a decent size but again taste-wise, it wasn't anything fantastic.

The Cheese Fries $7 were a huge disappointment!

By the time it got to us, the cheese had already hardened... and when I pulled a fry out, the cheese pretty much stayed where it was. Erm, isn't the cheese on cheese fries supposed to be gooey and melted all over the fries, and you're supposed to get some melted cheese when you pick up a fry??

My first thought when I saw the Egg Salad $5 was - "Damn, that's a lot of onions..."

As you can probably tell by now, I think this place is highly over-rated - prices seem reasonable, but they do add up if you want a decent burger... long long wait for food... and I'm willing to overlook all that if the food was good, but sadly that is not the case here. I suspect that all the business they've been getting has caused the quality of food to suffer...

If you want to have very good steaks and burgers at extremely reasonable prices, go check out Aston's instead - watch out for an upcoming post, I ate there again recently :)

Botak Jones
Blk 608 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5
Tel : 6755 1225
Operating Hours : Tuesday - Sunday 12:00 noon til 10:00 pm, Monday closed (check website for other locations)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brazil Churrascaria

Another birthday and yet another meal at a churrascaria! By pure coincidence, both birthday boys wanted a meat fest so I had churrusco twice in a span of just one week - much to the detriment of my waistline... Ah, the sacrifices I make for my friends :P

This churruscaria has been here at Sixth Avenue for ages but I've never made it here besides one feeble attempt years ago. Feeble attempt as in I was in the neighbourhood and decided to see there were any tables available, but it was full. Nowadays I try to make reservations, which was a good thing since the place was packed - and it was a Monday night!

This is going to be another post without many pictures. It's hard with the way food is served here - waiters come to the table and slice pieces of meat onto your plate... and you eat straight away, right?

Well, in order to get a decent picture of what is offered here, I had to wait patiently for my plate to be relatively full. Took quite a bit of discipline on my part, but here it is -

I cannot for the life of me remember what the different cuts of beef were - but they were all good :) I got to indulge in my love for processed meat and had lots of sausage again... the ham was good too, and the chicken was just so-so.

I have to rave about the salad bar here - huge variety and everything I tried was yummy! In particular, I loved the Fried Spinach Leaves (at least I think it was spinach leaves) - the green leaves were fried to a crisp and just melted away like nothing in your mouth. One of the few times when vegetables are not necessarily healthy :)

There was also Banana Deep Fried in Batter - they were unidentifiable lumps at the salad bar and was pleasantly surprised when I took a bite into it. I'm not a big fan of bananas but LOVE them deep fried - been craving goreng pisang for a while now...

True blue buffet-eaters will say that it's a waste of space to fill up with things like salad and side dishes, but the salad bar here is really too good to pass up. It's a must try! But beware, not everything at the salad bar is veggie - we found one side dish that had what resembled tripe in it!

After a few rounds of meats, we were totally stuffed but the waiters kept coming round to offer us more food and it got a bit annoying having to tell them over and over again that we didn't want anymore. And after such a huge meal, you just wanna sit there and let all the food settle for a while before attempting to move...

At $38+++ for dinner, it was a good meal with a really fantastic salad bar. How does it compare to Vibe? The meats here were just ever so slightly better in quality. But if you're going for variety, Vibe is probably the better choice.

Brazil Churrascaria
14/16 Sixth Avenue
Tel : 6463 1923

Friday, December 01, 2006


If I had an eating theme last month, it would have been Buffet / Churrasco - I went for three buffets, two of which had churrasco. Churrasco refers to the Brazilian style of cooking meat on the "churrasqueira" - an oven with supports for skewers. In "churrascarias" (restaurants where churrasco is served), waiters will go around with the skewers, slicing the meat directly onto the patron's plate. Yup, a real meat lover's heaven :)

No pictures for this post - most hotels don't allow photography of the buffet spread so I decided not to even attempt it here. All you get is a generic picture from the hotel website... and I'll just have to let the words do the talking...

The birthday boy, requested for lots of meat which is why we ended up here - the unique feature of this buffet is that it includes a selection of Brazilian churrasco.

Before you can even get started on the buffet proper, the waiter will ask you for your choice of soup - between one Western soup and one Chinese soup. Great way to start off the buffet as this restaurant does tend to get a bit chilly...

There's a pretty good range of cold seafood here - oysters, prawns, mussels... all very decent-sized and surprisingly fresh too. I started off with a round of oysters and cold prawns, which was not the best idea as the waiters started coming round with the churrasco, and I didn't think it was a good idea to mix the cold dishes with the cooked meats.

The variety of meats included a few different cuts of Beef (rump was really good), Sausages (I love sausages, had about 8 :), Chicken, Chicken Heart (decided to be adventurous and try it - it was horrible!), Fish and a Chinese-style Char Siew. Everything was grilled to perfection and incredibly tasty.

The waiters can be a bit pushy and slice you a serving that's more than you can handle or insist you try what they have (they were really pushing the chicken heart), so be firm and tell them when you've had enough or don't want to try what they're offering. You can also ask for the meats you like and they will bring it round for you.

What I loved was the Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon Sugar - I liked it so much that when I was at a BBQ recently, I replicated it without much problem... YUMMY!

The rest of the buffet looked pretty good - a huge spread of cheese and crackers, salads, a pasta station, a few cooked dishes - but I decided to dedicate what precious stomach space I had to the churrasco :)

The dessert selection was surprisingly extensive. Since it's all served in shot glasses and tiny plates, it's easy to just get a little taste of everything. And if you can still eat some more, have a go at the chocolate fountain with a wide spread of dippers available (fruit, marshmallows and biscuits).

The usual price for the Dinner Buffet is $39+++ for Adults on Weekdays, but there was an offer of 50% off for ladies on Mondays that made this buffet a real bargain for us ladies there that night. Sad to say, ladies, I think the offer ended on 30th November 2006.

For that matter, even at $39+++, I still think this buffet is very worth it for its fantastic spread of churrasco.

Meritus Negara Singapore
10 Claymore Road
Tel : 6831 6686

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The V Tea Room

I've walked past this place a few times and always thought that this was a perfect place to have tea so I suggested this place to S when we were arranging to meet up one Saturday afternoon.

This is such a girly place! The decor is Victorian-style decadence with an eclectic collection of antiques... and the waitresses are dressed in weird maid-like outfits with very pouf-y sleeves - I thought they were quite hideous!

The day we were there, there was a table of girls women playing with dolls - they were dressing up the dolls, seating them on the chairs and having tea with them. Really cute, or incredibly creepy - depending how you look at it...

After ploughing through the menu and finally deciding on one of their Signature Liquer Cakes, we were told that they only had the cakes that were on display. Sigh... so we settled on the Blueberry Yoghurt Cake $13.50+++.

It was a pretty moist cake but then I expected it being a yoghurt cake and all. A bit too sweet for S's taste but I thought it was ok (me and my sweet tooth :) so I ended up eating most of it. In any case, I didn't feel it was worth $13.50+++ - it really wasn't all that great and I've had way better cakes for much less!

Of course we had to order tea since we were at a tea room, so I had the Peach Melba Tea $7.50+++ (with Ice). Was quite impressed with the service - the waitress offered a much appreciated re-fill of hot water for my pot of tea. S had the Chai Latte $6.00+++ and proclaimed the one at Coffee Bean was better!

Don't think I'll be headed back here anytime soon - unless for some bizarre reason I'm stuck here at the Esplanade and have time to kill.

The V Tea Room
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-02/04 Esplanade Mall
Tel : 6333 1965

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gorkha Grill

I've had Nepalese food before, in a restaurant in Little India - but K & M swear that the food here is much better... but never brought me here to eat! Finally got M to bring me here recently :)

And the Momos here are really as good as K & M raved about! Momos are the Nepalese version of fried gyoza - dumplings with minced meat and vegetables. An order gets you 8 pieces - it's so good that I had 4 :) It's a blend of so many amazing flavours in one tiny little package... yummy!

We also ordered some of K & M's all-time favourites dishes from here.

Starting with the bowl on the left : Palak Paneer $8 - spinach and cottage cheese cooked in Indian spices. Reading that description on the menu, I somehow imagined the spinach to be creamed, but it turned out to be ao mashed up till there was no sign of spinach left except for the colour and slight taste. Didn't think I would like it, but it went really well with the cottage cheese.

The pot of curry at the top of the picture is Murgh Makhni $10.90+ - boneless chicken cooked in tandoor in creamy sauce - another classic North Indian dish. Not surprisingly, half the menu here is made up of North Indian food. Besides North Indian, Thai influence also makes up a big part of Nepalese cooking - which I noticed at the other Nepalese restaurant that I went to.

The plate in the front is a Nepalese dish, Piro Khasi Ko Masu $11+ - mutton cooked with capsicum, onions and tomatoes. This was a recommendation from the waiter... it wasn't too bad, but not good enough for me to want to order it the next time I'm here.

And of course Naan $2.50+ to mop up all the yummy sauces with :)

I have no idea how this gem survives when it's blocked by the row of hawker stalls along Smith Street... but it's been here for a while so I think it's going to be fine. Come here if you're looking to try a different cuisine!

Gorkha Grill
21 Smith Street
Tel : 6227 0806

Friday, November 24, 2006

Day Trip to JB

The first time I drove to Johor Bahru was about 5 months ago... Then I had friends in the car who knew exactly where to go, so all I had to do was follow instructions. Last Sunday, we ventured to JB on our own... armed with just a Singapore street directory that had a section on JB, and some excellent directions from Daphne - Thanks Daphne! :)

We left Singapore at around 10am and after getting just very slightly lost, we made it to Jusco Terbrau City Mall at about 11am. It was getting pretty hot outside so we were quite happy to have breakfast/lunch here in cool air-conditioned comfort. Settled on a Cha Chan Teng type cafe called 'Food & Tea Hong Kong'.

I had the Wanton Noodles RM5.90++ (S$2.80). Sorry about the photo, it was a piping hot bowl of noodles and the steam made it all blurry. The soup was kinda bland and the wantons were only so-so... but at that price, it's a bit hard to complain.

What totally made up for it was the toast that we ordered to share. The normal French Toast RM3.60++ (S$1.80) was already pretty sinful with all the butter and syrup...

but that was nothing compared to the Toast with Condensed Milk & Peanut Butter RM2.60++ (S$1.30). It was sweet like you would not believe... and it was as if peanut butter was free - there was at least an inch of peanut butter slathered on top of it. It was so gooey that I could barely talk after taking a bite. Yes, my peanut butter obsession continues...

Terbrau City Mall has most of the same shops as the malls in Singapore so we decided to head to City Square instead. The shops were quite similar to those in Far East Plaza so I had a pretty good time shopping here... With some time to kill before dinner, we then headed to the very dodgy Holiday Plaza. Quite pointless buying any pirated DVDs coz these guys have downloaded more movies and tv shows than we can ever try to smuggle into Singapore :)

Despite the drizzle, we were quite intent on having some hawker food so we headed to Taman Sri Terbau Hawker Centre just 2 mins away from Holiday Plaza. After exploring the hawker centre, we settled on Stall No. 59 where we ordered...

Cereal Prawns for just RM24 (S$10) - impossible to get for that price back in Singapore and the four prawns were just ginormous!

Grilled Sambal Sting Ray for RM16 (S$7). The reason for the smaller picture is because I totally forgot to take a picture until we had started eating... but I just had to have a picture to show how big the sting ray was.

Hot Plate Tofu RM8 (S$3.50) - one of my favourite cze cha dishes of all time...

And we also ordered this vegetable that I've never heard of in my life - Si Jiao Cai (Four Sided Vegetable) RM8 (S$3.50). It was interesting... crunchy, like ladies' finger. Any one know what it's called in English?

Tried the Penang Char Kuay Teow from a stall nearby that was pretty good too. Yes, it was as spicy as it looks...

After stuffing ourselves silly for just about S$6 per person, we decided to head back to Singapore. Would you believe that we made it from the Malaysian side (near the petrol station) to Singapore (after clearing immigration) in just 40 mins? We noticed that the right lane was moving really quickly so I grabbed the chance to get into lane when I saw one and it was so much faster!

Definitely feel more confident about driving in JB now... now thinking of venturing a little further - maybe Malacca soon? :P

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Johnnie Walker - F1 Team Mclaren Mercedes Event

My friend asked me to go for a Johnnie Walker event on Friday night... and despite the fact that there was going to be free-flow of alcohol, I was still a bit hesitant - until I heard they were going to show off the F1 Team Mclaren Mercedes car for 2007.

No way I was going to say no to that! After all, how often do you get to see an F1 car in Singapore?? Much less one that my fav driver Fernando Alonso will be driving for Team Mclaren Mercedes next year!

Also thought it would be a great opportunity to check out the newly-opened St James Power Station... but I didn't really get to coz it turned out the event was held in a tent just outside the club. It was quite a sight though, as the tent was in the shape of a gigantic Johnnie Walker bottle... Extremely weird mix of people turned up - your requisite expats, some girls who looked suspiciously like badly-dressed hookers, so-called celebrities... and not much eye candy.

The only person I was really excited to see was Jade Cole from America's Next Top Model (the season that just ended its run on Ch5 last nite). Didn't really like her on the show but she makes for really good TV. Read recently that she was modelling in Singapore for a few months and was a bit of a star-struck fan when I saw her that night... not star-struck enough to ask for a photo or anything though. She's surprisingly short in person - she was not that much taller than me, and she was in heels!

Anyway, here's a picture of the car with the models draping themselves over it and Jade's on the right in the slinky black dress...

And here's a close-up picture that I'm currently using as the wallpaper on my phone...

Pretty decent pictures considering I had three drinks by this time :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tim Tam Creamy Truffle Temptation

I've always loved Tim Tams so when I saw the different varieties they had at Candy Empire, I just had to try at least one. So I ended up picking this one...

Finally caved and opened the packet yesterday... and I had to use all the willpower I had not to have more than one. It tastes exactly like my favourite chocolate candy, Twix, just a bigger version of it - chocolate biscuit with a layer of caramel, wrapped in a layer of milk chocolate.

Have to really hold back on eating this as I don't know if I want to go back to Candy Empire again... not to mention how many calories there is in just one little Tim Tam...

Additional note : I was told last nite that it's humanly impossible to eat more than three Tim Tams in a minute... anyone want to test that out? :)

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

This is something I keep hearing about in movies and TV shows but never had the chance to try it. My sister got her friend to bring back some from the US so we finally got to try it :)

Talk about a sugar rush! Even for someone with a sweet tooth, this was mind-numbingly sweet... it's basically a milk chocolate cup with a peanut butter filling. It's not as good as the Peanut Butter Kit Kat, but definitely hits the spot when you have a sugar craving... for some reason, the peanut butter smell is really strong even though it's inside the chocolate.

Have a few more at home if anyone wants to try, but once my stash is gone, the only way to get more is to bug people travelling to the US to buy some back :)

Kit Kat Chunky Peanut Butter

Went to the Candy Empire at Vivo City recently and I was literally like a kid in a candy store. My sister could not resist buying this...

There's a layer of peanut butter in the Kit Kat and it's really good! I cannot get over how amazingly well peanut butter goes with chocolate. That's my new obsession... as you can tell from this and my next post :)

It costs $2.50 a bar at Candy Empire, but I suspect it's much cheaper when you buy it overseas.

I'm still undecided about patronising Candy Empire - they banned wheelchairs at their new outlet at Vivo City (read about it here). They have since apologised and now allow wheelchairs in their stall but I'm not quite ready to patronise them again...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chicken Murtabak at Food Republic (Wisma)

Was in town when I had a craving for prata, and heard that the prata stall at Food Republic was pretty good so decided to try it out.

I ordered the Chicken Murtabak... watching the guy cook your prata is probably not the best idea especially when you see how much lard goes into it. Depressing, but not enough to stop me from eating it :)

Such a huge serving for just $5! Comparable to other prata stalls - I remember paying $5 for the one at Jalan Kayu.

Stuffed with chicken and onions, it's impossible to finish it on your own. Even for a big eater like me :)

That's why I love going to Food Republic... for a food court, it's got pretty good food at very reasonable prices. Have a post on the newly open Food Republic at Vivo City coming up... erm... soon!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mezza9 Sunday Champagne Brunch

Every once in a while, my group of girlfriends will find a reason to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon indulging in the Champagne Brunch at Mezza9 - this time the flimsy excuse was a farewell party for J who is moving to HK.

This is my favourite place to go for Champagne Brunch... ok, so I've only gone for two - the other being the one at Four Seasons where we were pretty much chased out of our seats as soon as the next seating started (FYI - There are two seatings for the Champagne Brunch at Four Seasons : 11am and 1pm).

Here at Mezza9, you can start your Champagne Brunch from 11am... take your time to eat until 2pm... enjoy some coffee or tea at your table or adjourn to the Martini Bar and chill out till 4pm. Now that's the way to enjoy a Champagne Brunch!

I had a feeling they wouldn't allow people to photos of the buffet spread so I decided to just take pictures of the food instead... and I was right - saw a guy taking a photo of the food on display and he was told by the staff that photography was not allowed.

So for this post, and the upcoming posts on buffets I've gone for the past few weeks, you will have to bear with photos of poorly plated food - what do I know about food styling?!?

Any self-respecting Champagne Brunch would have the requisite seafood spread of Freshly Shucked Oysters, Lobster, Prawns, Mussels - I always start off my buffet here...

The oysters here are really fresh - shucked right in front of your eyes... but that also means that a queue always forms here as the guy can only shuck that fast. The lobster is really good too! Had about two servings of seafood :)

On to the next course!

Had the Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce, Sausages, Devilled Eggs, Codfish, Smoked Salmon and another serving of Lobster.

The Japanese section here is one of the best I've had at hotel buffets...

I had the Tuna and Salmon Sashimi, a few sticks of Yakitori, and some random Dim Sum from the Chinese section just to fill up the plate.

After a few rounds of food, I finally made it to dessert and I was so happy to see so many desserts that I seldom get to eat!

Meringues, Pavlovas, Chocolate Macaroons, Brownies, Cherries and Strawberries... I was so stuffed I didn't even manage to try the Chocolate Fountain!

All that gorgeous food and free-flow of Taittinger champagne (I had 4 glasses :) makes this brunch at $108+++ one of the best Champagne Brunches in town... and one of my favourite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road
Tel : 6732 1234

Friday, November 10, 2006

Muddy Murphy's Irish Pub

Read about the Sunday Roast Lunch here many times and finally had the chance to try it during one of the F1 races... actually, this post is a culmination of two separate visits here. Once was in the evening and we only had bar food, and another time was for the Sunday Roast Lunch.

The Sunday Roast Lunch $20++ consists of 3 courses:

A Starter which you get a choice between a soup and a salad...

Your choice of a Main Course - either Lamb...

Or Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding...

And your choice of Dessert - a Brownie...

Or Apple Crumble.

The soup and starter were ok... as you can see from the pictures of the Roast Beef and Lamb, they both had the same non-descript brown sauce. The Lamb was a bit fatty though... The brownie was HOR-RI-BLE. It kinda tasted like particle board... either the cook had an off-day or they have a very different idea of what brownies should taste like. Didn't think the Sunday Roast Lunch was that great, but the price is pretty reasonable.

The two things we tried from the Barfood Menu were really good! The Whitebait $11++ was sprinkled with a spicy Cajun-type seasoning. Just could not stop popping them into our mouths and before we knew it the bowl was empty! We tried to order another serving but was told it was sold out :( And on the day we had Sunday Roast Lunch, we were told Barfood is only served after lunch and by that time we were just way too full...

The Lamb with Mint Sauce was also really yummy... dunk the huge chunks of lamb in the mint sauce - perfect bar food! The couple sitting next to us were eyeing our food and asked us about the lamb and we gave such rave reviews that they proceeded to order it too!

This place was mentioned in last Sunday's LIFE! as a place to have authentic English (or should it be Irish?!) pub grub... which would explain the preponderance of English men hanging out here. One of the better places to watch F1 so I'll probably be back here once the season starts up again next year...

Muddy Murphy's Irish Pub
Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade
Tel : 6735 0400