Tag Archives: Singapore

Gyu Bar, Stevens Road

Go!!

Gyu Bar sits within the premises of Novotel and Mecure Hotel along Stevens Road. It can be easy to miss if you’re driving quickly along the main road, so I hope with the picture below you’ll find it easier to locate it.

As the name suggests, Gyu Bar specialises in beef. The main attraction of this place is that it brings in A4 Kumamoto Wagyu from Japan, which they proudly serve during dinner along with a glass of sake. Unfortunately, I visited this place for lunch and it only offers rice bowls during daytime.

Interestingly, the menu has Korean starters, and some of the rice bowls are rather Korean-ish.

Assorted Namuru, $16.

Kimchi, $10.

Signature Beef Salad, $26.

Signature Roast Beef Don, $35.

This bowl lives up to its signature title. Slices of slow roast beef alongside a special gravy by the chef, need I say more? The beef slices had that melt in your mouth texture and the gravy was simply delicious.

Sukiyaki Don Set, $30.

I’ve honestly never eaten sukiyaki in a rice bowl before. The sukiyakis I’ve eaten thus far were all cooked in those shallow sukiyaki pot, a bit like hot pot style. So this was definitely interesting for me.

Yakiniku Chicken Don Set, $24.

This rice bowl came infused with truffle! What a pleasant surprise. The chicken pieces were also juicy and tender, just the way a good yakiniku chicken should be.

Ishiyaki Bibimbap Set, $22.

For the bibimbap, the staff will actually help you to mix the rice and spread it against the hot stone bowl. You are to wait for a couple of minutes for the rice to “chao ta” before digging in. Super fun to watch.

All rice bowl set comes with salad and miso soup. Each bowl also comes with an onsen egg which you have to mix into the rice, making the whole bowl really creamy. Now imagine having that with the slow roast beef slices (Signature Roast Beef Don). Oishii!

That said, Gyu Bar is not a place where you would have lunch at everyday because of the price, and also because the lunch menu is pretty much as above. I would definitely drop by for dinner one day if I feel like indulging though.

30 Stevens Road, #01-08, S(257840)

Closed Mondays.

Tuesdays to Sundays: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

+65 6732 0702

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Song Fish Tiger Prawns

Just a quick post about Song Fish’s frozen Tiger Prawns since I’ve been using them for my CNY dishes this year.

Not good.

I have a big family, and they are all prawn eaters. Naturally, I would want to serve them big, fresh, tiger prawns for my CNY meals (mee sua, steamboat).

The prawns were huge, no doubt. It’s a conversation starter, no doubt. But the skepticism started when someone peeled the prawns. Finally, it’s confirmed when someone took the first bite.

Not fresh.

Fresh prawns should be crunchy and juicy. Song Fish’s prawns were powdery and lacking in the sweet prawn juice.

My choice next year? Back to basics – Chinatown tiger prawns. To avoid the crowd, I’m going to buy them two to three weeks in advanced and freeze them.

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5D4N Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort, Maldives

Maldives – the highly sought after tropical country with crystal clear blue waters and soft white sand. While I’ve always wanted to visit this place, I have remained undecided about which island to choose from (because to be honest, the price tag ain’t cheap)…

Until I had my wedding at Regent Hotel Singapore.

Signing up with Regent Hotel Singapore allowed me to book their Four Seasons Maldives resort at a package rate. So after my wedding I packed my bags, brought my husband along, and headed to Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Maldives for 5D4N.

The Flight There

I took Scoot because it was the cheapest option but the timings were bad (the kind where you reach Maldives at 9pm Maldivian time) so I touched down a day earlier and stayed at Hulhumale for a night. Any inn along the beach would do; you are there only for the night. For details on how to get from Velana International Airport to Hulhumale, you may refer to this site written by a fellow Singaporean.

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa can only fix the speedboat schedule a day before your check-in. For me, because I arrived a day earlier but stayed on the mainland, Kuda Huraa very kindly informed me of the speedboat departure timing via the inn I was staying at.

Getting to Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

At Velana International Airport, you’ll see a lot of booths which can be confusing.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Four Seasons’ huge lounge where you can help yourself to biscuits and beverages. Talk about the start of luxury.

The speedboat itself takes about 30 minutes and while it is really pricy per pax for a two way trip (USD$250 before taxes), the interior of the boat was pretty comfy.

Checking in

Upon arrival there’ll be a few staff singing a welcome song and before you know it, check in is done and you’re ready to see your room!

I stayed at the Beach Pavillion with Pool. It’s the least expensive out of all the other bungalow options, but I was lucky to be housed near the activity and food area.

Entrance to your pavillion.

Private pool with Pavillion (unicorn’s mine!)

Every bungalow leads to the beach. This means that there are two entrances to your bungalow, and one of it is open to anyone who wants to walk in. Not a cause to be concerned though, I felt very safe in my 5 days here.

Short 30 seconds walk to the beautiful beach facing the sunset.

Activities

There are many activities available at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa. Take the opportunity to do complimentary non-motorised water sports such as stand-up paddling or snorkel at the snorkel trail at your own time. If you’re feeling more adventurous, go for their motorised water sports such as wakeboarding, dive at one of their many curated sites, or go on a snorkeling adventure for a fee.

Kuda Huraa offers guided snorkeling experiences such as Kuda Huraa House Reef or Turtle Adventure Snorkel (USD$25 and USD$75 before taxes respectively).

Feel free to snorkel on the sunrise side of the island.

Love the open waters but diving and snorkeling are not your favourites? Join Kuda Huraa’s cruises to get a chance to see wild dolphins putting on their best spinner shows.

Managed to catch some dolphins on camera!

If doing activities is not your thing, you can visit the various swimming pools on the island, head to the gym, or chill in your own villa pool.

Serenity Pool is an adults only pool. It is located at the Reef Club.

The gym is fully equipped and a personal trainer is available if you need one.

The resort also has a separate spa island which you’ll have to take a quick boat ride to get there. I didn’t do their spa but I’ve been advised to book my preferred treatments before my trip.

For the period I was there, I estimated the occupancy rate to be an average of 180 pax. Curiously however, I hardly saw anyone during the activities or using their facilities. It’s almost as if you were the only one on the island.

Restaurants

Kuda Huraa has four main restaurants for dining – Cafe Huraa, Reef Club, Kandu Grill and Baraabaru.

Cafe Huraa is your main restautant to go to. It’s where you’ll go to have your buffet breakfast in the mornings. The breakfast spread here is awesome!

Entrance of Cafe Huraa.

Reef Club serves Italian food. I’m not a fan of Italian food but their food and plating were very well done. Plus the view is to melt for.

Entrance of Reef Club.

Dining by the sea at Reef Club.

Kandu Grill, as the name suggests, is a place for your grilled seafood and meats. It’s only open for dinner. We tried the Mixed Seafood Grill and were surprised that we were full from the platter fairly quickly.

Kandu Grill. The entrance to this place is via Cafe Huraa.

By recommendation, I also tried the Indian food at Baraabaru. I ate their Reef Fish Briyani and Murgh Makhani, which tastes like butter chicken. This dish was super nice.

Entrance to Baraabaru.

Service

I really appreciate the meticulousness of the staff at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa. Their attention to detail is amazing. For example, they noticed that I dried my wet clothes by the bathtub and thoughtfully placed towels underneath the clothes to help dry it faster. On another occasion, my husband’s clothes were flipped inside out and placed messily on the bed. When we returned from breakfast, they had flipped it back and folded it nicely as part of their housekeeping!

Talking about housekeeping, this resort does housekeeping twice daily, once during breakfast hours, and once in the evening. It’s really very comfortable to come back to a clean and neat place.

Tips

Some tips for you:

  • It is important to make reservations for dinner as the restaurants can get quite packed during dinner time and you would want the best seats (such as those by the seaside).
  • You might want to ask if the food you’re ordering is too much for your party. We didn’t know the portion size and ended up wasting a lot of food for some of our meals. 😦
  • Some activities such as the Turtle Snorkel Adventure and Dolphin Cruise have limited seats, so do make your reservations a day at least in advanced.
  • Bring seasick pills along just in case. The boat ride out to certain sites for snorkeling may take up to 45 minutes across choppy waters.
  • The resort provides beach bag, bikini cover-ups, and after-sun gel. Sunblock is available throughout the island for that must needed replenish when you’re out playing.

I love Four Seasons Kuda Huraa for its excellent service and intimate island experience. Although the whole island is rather small (you can easily walk from one end to another in 10 minutes), most of the activities and facilities are empty as majority of the guests prefer to stay in their bungalows. I constantly wondered if there was some activity unknown to me that everyone else was at.

I told my husband we would come back here for our 10th anniversary. Let’s see what happens then. For now, sun out!

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Strawberry Watermelon Cake Recipe

The Strawberry Watermelon Cake from Black Star Pastry is my all time favourite cake. I tried it once when they came to Singapore for The Great Food Festival in 2017 and it has been on my mind ever since. On and off I would have cravings for it, but never quite knew where to get them in tiny little Singapore.

So I decided to bake one myself.

The results blew my mind. Pretty decent for a first timer, and helluva impressive. Thought I should share the recipe with some tips so that you guys can make one yourself too!

Recipe from Her World (http://www.herworld.com/solutions/recipes/recipe-learn-how-make-famous-strawberry-watermelon-cake-sydneys-black-star-pastry), reproduced in whole here:Serves 12

INGREDIENTS

For the almond dacquoise:

150g almonds, coarsely chopped

150g pure icing sugar, sieved

5 egg whites

135g caster sugar

For the rose-scented cream:

300ml thickened cream

30g caster sugar

2 tbsp rosewater

250g seedless watermelon, thinly sliced

60ml rosewater*

4 tbsp caster sugar

40g almond meal

500g strawberries, halved

10 seedless red grapes, halved

1 tbsp slivered pistachios*

1 tbsp dried rose petals*

*Available at Phoon Huat stores including #02-01 Buona Vista MRT Station (6776-0153)

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the almond dacquoise, preheat oven to 200C. Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground, then combine in a bowl with icing sugar.
  2. In another clean mixing bowl, whisk egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 3-4min. Next, gradually add caster sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form, for 1-2min. Gently fold the almond-icing sugar mixture into the egg whites.
  3. Line a 30cm x 40cm tray with baking paper, and spread the almond dacquoise mixture evenly. Bake for 10-15min until golden. Set aside to cool on the tray, then cut in half lengthwise. Leave it to rest for at least 4h, or overnight.
  4. Arrange watermelon slices in a single layer on a wire rack. Sprinkle with 20ml rosewater, then sprinkle with 2 tbsp sugar. Let it soak for 30min, then pat dry with kitchen towels.
  5. For the rose-scented cream, whisk cream and sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks forum. Gradually add rosewater and whisk until you have stiff peaks. Do not over-whisk.
  6. Spread 1/3 of rose-scented cream evenly over half the dacquoise. Sprinkle with half the almond meal, and layer watermelon over the dacquoise, You might need to trim some of the watermelon slices to fill the gaps.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining almond meal over the watermelon. Spread half of the remaining rose cream. Layer with the rest of the dacquoise and rose cream. Refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.
  8. Combine strawberries with the remaining 20ml rosewater and 2tbsp sugar in a bowl. Toss to combine and set aside for 15min. Carefully arrange the strawberries onto the cake, gently pushing into the cream. Trim the edges of the cake, scatter it with grapes, pistachios and rose petals. Serve.

Littlemissramen’s tips

  1. The recipe at best serves only 8.
  2. The almond dacquoise was way too sweet. Try cutting down the amount of sugar incorporated.
  3. Let your watermelon dry out for as long as possible. Mine wasn’t dry enough and after I assembled the cake, water started to seep into the cream and almond dacquoise. Had a super soggy cake base as a result. 😦
  4. HerWorld said that the rosewater, silvered pistachios and rose petals could be found at Phoon Huat. I found none of those and thus had to improvise.
  5. For rosewater, Phoon Huat sells rose flavoured water for $13 a bottle which you would need to dilute generously with plain water, about 1 part to 8 parts of water.
  6. For silvered pistachios, you can actually get those small packet pistachios from the supermarket and finely chop them.
  7. For rose petals, head to your nearest TCM shop. Besides getting yourself a liang cha to drink, ask for rose buds (the kind that you can make tea with). It costs only $2.50 for a huge tub. Back at home, chop off the stems and separate the petals.

I wish you fun and may your cake turn out great. Happy baking!

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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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Chye Seng Huat Hardware Cafe, Tyrwhitt Road

imageYou’re wondering: how on earth does the name of this place sound any good for brunch and coffee?! Read on to find out if it’s worth going!

Sitting right in the middle of Tyrwhitt Road, Chye Seng Huat Hardware (CSHH) hardly looks popular on the outside. I was wrong, so wrong. In fact, this was my second attempt at pinching a bite there. The first time I was there, the queue had formed all the way to the entrance. Boo.

The interior was bustling with people. People sitting around the counter overlooking the many baristas preparing fresh, aromatic coffee, and people waiting to place their orders. It’s free seating, so you’re lucky if you managed to find a place in the packed air conditioned area. If not, it’s up to you to decide if you want to sweat it out outside while sipping your piping hot coffee.

imageLooks quite out of place in a well developed Singapore, right?

Unfortunately, I had to munch down my brunch in the heat. It’s sheltered though, just really, really warm. The fans were of no use at all.

imageHam omelette with baked beans and toast, $9.

In my opinion, I belive that everyone can make this at home. The least I would expect is for them to use French toast. Toast that’s slightly thicker, and not the usual Gardenia bread.

image
Smoked chichen wrapped with mango and Thai chilli sauce with salsa nachos, $12. Freshly squeezed orange juice, $5.

Now this is so much better! Lovely favours from the wrap, matched with delectable mild spicy salsa for the chips. I made sure nothing else was left on the plate. Thumbs up for this!

I’m not really a coffee drinker, so I doubt I would be back again anytime soon as ther food menu was rather limited. Plus the crowd.

…. Nonetheless, worth a first try!

Where: 150 Tyrwhitt Road
Tel: 63960609
Opening hours:
Monday CLOSED
Tues – Fri 9:00am–7:00pm
Sat – Sun 9:00am–10:00pm

Visit their facebook here!

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Paw Pet-radise Cafe, Balestier Road

GO!

My favourite dog cafe to date!!!!
image 

My dog interacting with a jack russel while a bored husky watches on…

Upon entering, i was greeted by the resident husky and labrador, who eagerly and excited came over to sniff my dog’s ass (and at the same time mark their territory, by peeing on the floor haha).

Everyone, not only the dogs there, were super friendly. I loved how there was this sense of familiarity and comfort in this place.

Food wise, the selection was rather wide which I liked: sandwiches, pasta, baked salmon, lasagna, finger-foods like nachos and cheese, and many more. Price wise, quite reasonable because well, they have to maintain the place, keep it clean and comfy for dogs and visitors alike. $13.90 for lasagna, $10.90 for mushroom olio, $3.90 for iced lemon tea.

The good thing about this cafe? The staff wasted no time in cleaning up your dog’s poopoo or peepee. To me, the onus is upon the owner to clean up after the dog. For someone else to do that for you, would be a bonus. Good job, Paw Pet-radise.

I really enjoyed my visit today, and I’m sure my dog had fun too. Parking wasn’t a problem at all as there were sufficient lots at the HDB carpark opposite the place.

Must go!

Where: 530 Balestier Road Monville Mansion #01-07

Opening hours:
Monday 5:00pm–11:00pm
Tuesday CLOSED
Wed – Thurs 3:00pm–11:00pm
Friday 3:00pm–2:00am
Saturday 11:00am–2:00am
Sunday 11:00am–11:00pm

Visit their facebook here!

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