Category Archives: Food

Beauty in the Pot, The Centrepoint

Go!

Opened by the brains behind your colourful multi flavoured Xiao Long Bao, Paradise Group has once again expanded its fan base with Beauty in the Pot. To give a quick summary, my friend referred to this as “an alternative to Hai Di Lao” — great food, great service standards. I haven’t tried HDL before because I really don’t fancy the idea of queuing indefinitely but I’ve definitely heard raving reviews about the service and quality of food. So when I heard that this was an alternative, I was hopeful! Best thing about this place is that they have two seatings for the dinner crowd so you can make a reservation for either 530pm or 8pm. 

Look ma, no more tapping toes and waiting endlessly for your turn (I.e., you can go gai gai until 8pm). I got my table at 8pm sharp.

Long table of sauces.

Let’s start with the sauces. You’ll be charged a condiment charge of $3.50 per head so why not make the most out of it right? Before you go on and say “huh so ridiculous to be charging for sauces pfffft”, I want to let you know that Beauty in the Pot takes their sauce business seriously. 

Instructions on the board that will teach you how to make the best combination sauces. I liked their crispy garlic! 

Spoilt for choice? Not confident that you’ll be mixing correctly? Their service staff will volunteer to concoct one for you. 

(Left to right) Spicy pork broth, tomato with sweet corn, cooling coconut, shark’s cartilage (also known as the famous collagen broth).

Beauty in the Pot allows you to choose up to four soup bases. Of course, each soup base is priced differently, and whether you choose 1/4 portion or 1/2 portion, the pricing is proportionate. 

On first sip, the cooling coconut was most mediocre but by the end of the meal, my friends were all going for the cooling coconut. They felt that the rest of the broth were too thick after boiling for so long. I personally preferred the tomato with sweet corn. 

Meat platter. Pork and beef slices with beef cubes.

An assortment of pastes. 

I liked the one with the fish roe one the most. It’s chewy and “Q”. Do ask the service staff for help to scoop these into your soup.

Dumplings, meatball with cheese, Chinese cabbage.

No idea what this is, but it was so good! The trick is to dip this into the pipping hot soup for just three seconds. What you’ll get is a soft yet crunchy texture with a souperlicious mouthful of soup. So awesome we ordered another helping to share.

Mushroom platter.

 Don’t forget to eat your fruits!

Yuzu crushed ice, complement of Beauty in the Pot.

I was told they rotate their desserts. I really like yuzu so I’m going to count myself lucky. Don’t be shy to ask for more than one serving!

My experience at Beauty in the Pot was great. For the amount of food above, we paid in total about $200. Slightly pricey, but for the quality and service, I would say it’s worth it.

Beauty in the Pot is currently running a promotion. You’ll get a 20% discount on all food orders if you order after 1030pm every night. Be sure to make your reservations in advanced though, I called at 9pm on a Saturday night to make reservations but was told that the next available table was only at 1230am. Haha, my friend remarked that I had until 6am to try… (the Centerpoint branch is open until 6am whut.)

176 Orchard Road, #05-16, S(238843)

Daily 1130am to 630am

+65 62353557

Website here

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Himawari, Alexandra Road

Worth a try.

Himawari is one of the better quality ala carte Japanese buffets in Singapore. Its menu variety is extensive, but there are little pockets here and there which I thought could have been done better.

Sashimi platter. Large chunks of fish.

Natto Maguro. Remember to season it with lots of soy sauce!

Agedashi Toufu. Very light batter, but the sauce could be more flavourful.

Teriyaki Salmon. This was good! I think they added something to their teriyaki sauce. It’s not the commercial teriyaki that you can find outside.

Chicken Katsu Toji. This was good too.

Mixed Tempura. Lightly battered which made it really crunchy and not jelat at all.

Beef fillet. Skip this. It was too beefy and cold when served.

Amaebi. All time favourite.

California Roll.

Crab Patty.

Sukiyaki. The sweetness was not too overwhelming, which kept us asking for more beef.

Sukiyaki beef. Yums!

They offer sushi as well and I know what you’re thinking. Why eat sushi at a buffet right? I forgot to take a picture but their sushi is done Japanese style, meaning, toppings are more than the rice. I get super frustrated with Singapore sushi because the rice is always more than the topping so I was quite pleased with Himawari’s sushi.

Himawari at Alexandra also serves Shabu-Shabu and Teppanyaki but we were too full to try their Shabu-Shabu. As for the Teppanyaki, you have to proceed to an outdoor seating area and dine there. Visiting for lunch, it was scorching hot and not a single soul went outside for the Teppanyaki. Time for Himawari to rethink their Teppanyaki?

For the lunch time price of $57 after taxes and service charge, I felt that Himawari lacked that premium feel to its buffet. Though the variety was arguably excellent, the whole buffet felt very basic. The sashimi variety was very limited, no ikura (salmon roe), no cha soba, no fancy sushi rolls, limited grilled dishes, budget ice cream, and more.

What irked me really was how they would impose a tonne of additional charges on you if you chose different options. For example, if you wanted to change your Shabu-Shabu soup to a better flavoured one – additional 5++. Fresh wasabi – additional 1.50++. Free flow soft drinks and one scoop of premium ice cream – additional 8++. Even wanting a cup of coffee would set you back by another 4++. Any desire to visit Himawari a second time has been killed by this.

991B Alexandra Road, #01-08/09, S(119970)

+65 6272 1110

Daily 1130pm to 230pm, 6pm to 10pm

Website here. You can download their buffet menu from there.

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Filed under Food, Japanese, review

Sa Yum, Club Street

Worth a try.

A Friday evening dinner at Sa Yum seemed too quiet for the busy street outside. You wonder if the food is nice. Perhaps people are more willing to indulge in their cold fizzy beer than a bowl of warm tom yam soup?

Look for the bright yellow Sa Yum sign!

Tom Yam Soup with Chicken ($12. You can choose the prawn option for $15).

Being a tom yam soup fanatic, it’s always the first thing I order at any Thai restaurant. I have very high expectations for tom yam soups. I rate the standard of a Thai eatery by how delicious it’s tom yam soup is, because it’s like eating chicken rice from Boon Tong Kee. If you can’t even get it right, then what are you here for?!

Sa Yum’s tom yam soup was delicious. The sweet, spicy, and sour were perfectly balanced. Their serving portion was rather generous too. I expected to see just a few pieces of meat but no, Sa Yum makes sure it’s reasonable for you.

It doesn’t come with rice (erm the rice costs $2, seriously…?) but I was rather pleased with the soup that I finished the entire bowl without the need for rice. 

Pineapple Fried Rice with Chicken ($12. You can choose the prawn option for $15).

This was disappointing. They already prepared the fried rice beforehand, presumably they produced it in a large quantity and set it aside for the dinner crowd. It was warm, but not straight from the wok piping hot and fragrant. Very obvious that it was not freshly prepared. Really disappointing. Well I guess I would recommend skipping this dish when you’re there.

Fingerbites.

Mains.

If you look at the prices carefully you’ll see that it’s actually quite pricy (really? samosas for $10? rice for $2? mango sticky rice for $10?) but if you’re ordering to share, the price might not be that expensive per pax after all. 

42 Club Street, S(069420)

Open daily from 11am to 12am, closed on Sundays

+65 6221 1180

Website here

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Face to Face Noodle House, City Square Mall

No.

City Square is your typical heartland mall which tries to be a notch higher than the others. With Din Tai Feng and Astons on the menu, eateries here can get quite competitive in terms of selection and pricing. 

Chanced upon Face to Face Noodle House one evening and decided to give it a try since the vibe looked quite promising.

You have to order at the cashier before finding a seat. Yay to no service charge!

House Specialty Pan Mee ($8.90).

Erm… I think Qiu Lian ban mian is nicer. Actually normal hawker ban mian is comparable leh, and way cheaper.

Traditional Sarawak Noodles ($10.90 with a drink and side dish).

Upgrade your noodles to a set meal for a nominal fee to get a drink and a mini side dish. I say mini because, well, spot my two wontons!

The noodles itself were ordinary. Not particularly tasty and actually rather dry, but at least the chilli didn’t disappoint. It probably saved this whole dish. 

For the price, I would say that Face to Face Noodle House is not worth wasting your money and calories for.

180 Kitchener Road, City Square Mall, #02-23/24, S(208539)

+65 65090182

Daily 11am to 10pm

Website here 

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Ice Lab, Orchard Shopping Centre

Go!

I’ve eaten a lot of Bingsu before but could never  really tell the difference or justify why it’s so popular, until I tried Ice Lab.
Brought my mom there on a weekday afternoon and it was rather empty except for pockets of students here and there.

So cute right! Artificial snow constantly drifts down on their in-house friendly polar bear. You can choose to sit around the bear while having your Bingsu for that added winter country feel.

After payment at the counter, you’ll be given a buzzer which cues you to collect your Bingsu atop this flight of stairs when it’s ready.

My mango and banana Bingsu! I rarely see bananas being paired with mangoes (should not come as a surprise then, that Ice Lab doesn’t have chocolate banana on their menu) but this combination was not bad at all. 

Upon my first spoon of the Bingsu, I can see why this place is usually packed to the brim at night. The texture of the ice was super soft and smooth! Arguably the best Bingsu I’ve eaten thus far. The mango chunks were sweet and just sufficient to last till the very last bit of ice. Oh, bonus points here as they keep their place very clean and tidy. No sticky tables!

321 Orchard Road #01-01/02 Irchard Shopping Centre, S(238866)

Daily 11am to 11pm

Facebook here

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The Courtyard, Fullerton Hotel

Go!

Having tried the Landing Point at Fullerton Bay Hotel, I really wanted to try the other high teas at the rest of the Fullertons to see how different or similar they were. Finally got down to trying The Courtyard at Fullerton Hotel.

Your senses are immediately heightened by the sight of a sun warmed high ceiling plus live harp performance. Immediately you feel like you’ve entered the high society life, and you’re happy about it even if it’s just for that two hours.

You get a three tier set, two tea or coffee flavours, and of course warm and fluffy scones. 

Food wise, it’s largely similar to the Landing Point, so I wasn’t particularly wowed when the tiers were served. My favourite was the creme brulee. The caramelised sugar layer on top was super sinful (read: thick layer) which balanced really well with the custard. 

My next favourite was the cheese on a biscuit (second tier, left hand corner). I’m not a fan of cheeses, but this one had a sweet layer of jelly (not sure what’s that) which was just so yummy! 

My third yummy was the otah with bread topped with quail egg. You know how otahs at such posh places usually taste weird because they have to cater to non chilli eating guests? The otah here at The Courtyard was excellent! Right amount of spice shiokness.

The staff would walk around 30 minutes into the meal to top up your favourites. I had six of the cheese biscuit thing haha. 

Tip #1: Come early. Although they only start dishing out the tiers at 3pm, I think they try to do it in order of guest arrival. One family next to my table had to wait pretty long till they got impatient. 

Tip #2: Ask for the macaroons. They don’t volunteer the sweet treats as much as they volunteer the bread items. I presume it’s because the sweet treats are more expensive. When they do walk around with the tray of sweets, the macaroons are conspicuously absent. 

Tip #3: Try to take the public transport, or do your homework and find out the parking rates of nearby places beforehand. Parking charges at the Fullerton is crazy. $1.07 per 10 minutes, which means $6.42 for an hour. Staying for a leisure two hour high tea will set you back by about $13 bucks. 

1 Fullerton Square, S(049178)

Afternoon Tea at $43++

Monday to Friday: 3pm to 6pm

Weekends: 2pm to 4pm (1st seating)

430pm to 6pm (2nd seating)

Website here

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Rise Buffet, Marina Bay Sands

Go!

This post is going to be a picture spam. Rise buffet at Marina Bay Sands Tower 1 is well stocked with full stations that makes your buck worth every penny. It’s a feast for both your eyes and taste buds.

Freshly shucked oysters. The oysters were big and juicy. While it was a feast for the eyes, the oysters lacked the sweet tinge of seawater. A pity, but compensated for by the size.

Prawns were really fresh!

Sashimi counter. Bellies in my belly.

Noodle station (laksa and prawn mee) plus cooked food at the far end. The laksa lacked the oomph. Prawn mee was good. Cooked food was unremarkable.

Roast meat station. They only had roast chicken. The meat was a little dry, but overall not bad.

Loved their pasta with homemade meatballs. Homemade meatballs, as easy as it sounds, can definitely go wrong. I’m glad Rise did it well. The sauce however, had a burnt texture. I think it’s because of the constant heating throughout the night. Ayee I should have taken of the end product. The pasta was served in a very nice plate. Definitely feels atas. haha.

Do not miss the bread counter. There’s more bread at the back! 

I don’t normally go for the chocolate fountain at buffets, but this, is pure fun. Cleaning this monster should be an enormous task though. 🤔

Desserts! Their creme caramel was not too bad. Do try their lemon tart with meringue. 

Bread pudding and ice cream. Try their bread pudding. I also had passionfruit banana sorbet, which was too sour for my liking. Would have tried the rest of the ice creams (they also had apricot sorbet) but I was a goner by then. If only I had a third stomach for desserts.

Cotton Cindy! Tell me this buffet isn’t winning. 

What I liked about Rise is that they have the luxury of space and creativity to play around with their flavours and sauces. Apparently their dinner buffets are themed and for Wednesdays it was supposed to be American theme. Don’t think they made a big deal about it because all the food there were pretty expected international buffet food, except maybe for the buttermilk fried chicken which was sitting at one corner…
Every now and then they run credit card promotions, so do call and enquire about the deals. For me, I applied to be a Sands rewards member on the spot (free membership) and they gave me a 30% discount for the table. Bill came out to be about $60 per pax. Really worth it.

10 Bayfront Avenue, S(018956)

+65 66885525

Daily lunch buffet: 12pm to 230pm

$52 per adult, $24 per child

Daily dinner buffet: 6pm to 1030pm

$72 per adult, $38 per child

Very informative website here 

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