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Funsiamo, Suntec City

Go!!!

If you’re ever out of birthday cake ideas, why not bake one your own? At Funsiamo, you choose your preferred cake, turn up at your reserved time slot, marvel at how everything has been prepared nicely for you, and bake away!

When I visited on a weekday afternoon it was empty so I had the whole place as well as the staff’s attention to myself.

The interior is bright, clean and neat. The working stations are on one end of the studio while the mixers and ovens are on the other end. You can leave your belongings in the lockers provided. Remember to take your phone because you’ll be taking pictures throughout the session.

I chose to bake the Rarity Unicorn cake ($130).

Depending on your selection, the staff would have prepared all necessary tools and ingredients before your arrival. For example, if the recipe calls for just egg yolks, you’ll find separated yolks in their fridge. No fuss about separating them on your own and making a mess out of it.

Before starting work, you’ll first have to watch a video of how the cake is made. The video is customised by Funsiamo, so everything you see in the video is similar to what you’ll experience later on.

Let’s start!

Detailed, step by step instructions (including which tools you’ll need at which stages) are all available so it’s really quite foolproof.

Whisking the egg whites.

If you have baked before, you’ll know how difficult it is to get the soft peaks/ hard peaks correct. Here at Funsiamo, the staff generally lets you do your own mojo, but at critical junctures like this they’ll be there to assist. I got the perfect egg white texture with their help.

Coloured the egg whites.

My unicorn cake is actually a rainbow cake within! Pretty excited at this point to see how it’ll turn out in the end.

Letting the cakes cool down.

The baking process was fuss free. I think I was too easy on the colouring here, couldn’t really tell which was what colour till I took them out of their trays.

Preparing the buttercream for the unicorn mane.

While the buttercream was already provided (i.e., you don’t do it from scratch), you have to colour the buttercream separately before combining them into one huge tube. By the way, do you see those three little squeeze bottles at the back? Those were used to draw the eyes and ears!

Stacking the cakes together.

After stacking the coloured cakes on top of each other (haha they even instruct you which colours to stack first so you get that nice contrast in between the colours), you can slap on the soft cream and freeze your cake in the blast chiller before decorating.

Stuck on the eyes and ears.

Piping the buttercream twirl by twirl. This was so much fun.

The end product! Love how this cake turned out.

Cake, box with ribbon and a fitted paper bag.

Funsiamo has got you covered till the very end. They would pack your cake into a box with an ice pack so you have enough time to travel home without the cake melting. If you prefer to shop around or have your meal in Suntec before leaving, do let them know as they will let you to store your cake with them if there’s enough space.

Had a pleasant surprise after cutting the cake. The colours were so pretty! Taste wise, it wasn’t too sweet as well. Not a single piece of cake was left that day.

My experience at Funsiamo was great for several reasons. At Funsiamo, you don’t have to wash anything except your hands! You know how many bowls you will use in baking? Every ingredient one bowl, 10 ingredients 10 bowls. The staff will also constantly clear your workspace for you so that you have more space to do your stuff.

What stood out for me was the staff’s attentiveness. You don’t get the feeling that someone is eyeballing you yet at the same time the staff will appear when you need help. For instance, I was super nervous when piping the mane because I was afraid that I’ll screw it up. In this split second a staff showed up and helped me to pipe the first one!

3 Temasek Boulevard, #02-458 Suntec City North Wing, S(038983)

Daily: 10am to 10pm

+65 6910 0890

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SKAI Lunch Menu, Swissotel The Stamford

Go!!!

Taking over the space of Equinox on the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford is SKAI, a contemporary grill helmed by Chef Paul Hallett. As with all atas places with a ceiling to floor view of the CBD area and a great ambience, the hack is to have their lunch sets which promises you all the frills without burning a hole in your pocket.

As soon as the lift door opens you are greeted with the warmth of overflowing natural sunlight. The super high ceiling gives this place a feeling of grandeur, lifting your spirits instantly.

The interior is simple yet classy. Love the woody textures overlaid with various greens scattered around the place.

The view from my table. Protip: if you’re there to impress, do request for a table by the window prior to your reservation.

For lunch, a 2 course set menu will set you back by $39++ while a 3 course set will set you back by $45++. Needless to say, I went for the 3 course set because you get one more dish for only $6++!

Freshly baked sourdough served with mushroom butter.

Hehe, one of the things I look forward to at such posh restaurants is the bread basket. The bread was so crusty! Left a whole trail of breadcrumbs on my table.

Appetizer: Yellow Fin Tuna with Kohlrabi Remoulade, Watercress, Rice Crisp

The rhapsody of elements in this dish makes every bite a different and refreshing experience. You wouldn’t think that some of the components would make a big difference because they seem so innocuous.

Appetizer: Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Eggplant, Enoki and Truffle

If I were to give a name to this dish, I would call it The Girl Next Door. The whole dish looks really plain and simple, until you take the first scoop. The soup was extremely smooth and you could tell that it’s filled with the natural sweetness of the cauliflower. Also, check out the amount of truffle shavings!

Main: Stanbroke Wagyu Petite Tender with Endive Salad and Asian Spice

Did you know that tenderloins are the most tender part of the cow since this muscle does very little work? It’s perfect for grilling and has that melt in your mouth texture. Super pleased they serve this part for lunch because again, this 3 course meal is only $45++!!!

Look at that pinkish, juicy meat!

Dessert: Exotic Trifle — Coconut, Mango Compote, Lemongrass Sorbet

This dessert is served as a mini show. The staff will pour water into the glass dome containing dry ice in front of you. I knew what was coming but I couldn’t help feeling like a little girl feeling excited and in awe. A pity the dry ice ran out too quickly.

Dessert: Earl Grey Parfait — Raspberry, Citrus Jelly, Yoghurt Ice Cream

Where is the earl grey you wonder? It’s in that hexagonal biscuit looking thing! Because of the sweet and sour details of this dish, you’ll find yourself wanting more and more after every bite.

SKAI lunch sets are a really good deal given the amount of creativity and variation going into each dish. I had a great experience there, and so will you.

2 Stamford Road, Level 70, S(178882)

Lunch: Mondays to Fridays 12noon to 230pm, Saturdays 12noon to 330pm

+65 6837 3322

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Weekend High Tea Buffet, Ritz-Carlton Millenia

No.

Surprise surprise. I left Ritz-Carlton feeling full, but very unsatisfied and unimpressed. Their Avant-garde high tea buffet just did not hit the correct flavours and balance.

Grand entrance to the place. Just wished they could have made better use of the layout as the tables were all rather close to each other.

Refreshing welcome drink to get your taste buds going.

Varied choice of tea and coffee with some unique flavours like Pai Mu Tan & Melon. Unfortunately, they limit their selection to one flavour per person. Erm, choose wisely?

From top right clockwise: Chicken Mayonnaise with Chestnut in Cranberry Roll, Egg and Cheese Sandwich with Forest Mushroom Mayonnaise and Garden Cress, Smoked Salmon with Sauerkraut in Carrot Bread.

From top, clockwise: Pan-fried Wagyu Beef Patty with Melted Cheese and Tomato Salsa, Pan-fried Vegetarian Gyoza, Filo Prawn Roll with Thai Mayonnaise Chilli Sauce.

Egg Cocotte with Mushroom Ragout in Onion Marmalade.

Hmm I had a bit of the expectation versus reality moment here. Egg cocotte sounds really sophisticated and I was all looking forward to trying this jar, but on first slurp, I wished they had used onsen eggs instead. Just didn’t get that full on creamy texture.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken with Orange Basil Sauce.

This is hands down the best item at the high tea fare. Juicy, flavourful and saporific.

From top, clockwise: Seared Tuna with Cauliflower Mousse, Quail Egg with Cocktail Sauce, Poached Pear with Roquefort Cheese, Goose Liver Parfait with Port Wine Jelly.

There was nothing particularly outstanding in any of the above bites, but the Goose Liver Parfait with Port Wine Jelly was the worst! Here’s a good example of Avant-garde gone wrong. Either that, or my poor man’s taste buds are to blame. Come on, foie gras should remain in its patty form, served warm. Not cold, and certainly not in a super dense mousse form. Urgh.

From top, clockwise: Olive Oil Biscuit with Rhubarb Moouse, Strawberry and White Chocolate Tartlet, Carrot Cake Verrine.

The Carrot Cake Verrine is a must try item here at the high tea. Who can resist something with a pretty little flower on top?

Assorted chocolate truffles.

The truffles were one of the best bites at this high tea I kid you not.

Ice cream and sorbet counter. They have Baked Alaska Flambe too.

I tried the Baked Alaska Flambe which was quite unpleasant tasting. They lighted the baked Alaska right at the counter, meaning you gotta carry the scorching hot plate all the way back to your table. Almost burnt my finger doing so. The sorbet that accompanied the dish had a super bitter taste. We couldn’t figure out what sorbet it was, but it definitely deterred us from taking a second bite.

From top left, clockwise: Dark Chocolate Mousse with White Coffee Chantilly, Pistachio Cream Citrus Tartlet, Mango and Raspberry Clafoutis, Banana Cream Pie with Milk Chocolate Chantilly.

There were also a couple of tarts that I didn’t get to try because I was too full and unmotivated based on track record, but my guests who tried them didn’t rave over them too.

I get that the food at Ritz Carlton’s weekend high tea may not resonate well with me, but when my party of 5 other guests feel the same, something is not quite there, right? The buffet costs $68 after taxes, not worth it in my opinion.

7 Raffles Avenue, S(039799)

Weekend high tea buffet: 230pm to 5pm

+65 6337 8888

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Beach Road Kitchen, JW Mariott South Beach

Go!!!

We can never have enough of good buffets, right? So when my colleague highly recommended South Beach Kitchen for dinner, I immediately said yes without even asking about the price. (It’s $78++ btw.)

Floor to ceiling glass panels are just a hint of what’s to come.

Introducing the cold room. Literally it’s a room with all your cold appetizers. You now the Heineken advertisement where the guys went crazy after stepping into a room full of beer? I had that same feeling here. Feel free to pick out lobsters, crabs, prawns, oysters (freshly shucked on the spot!!), sashimi, carpaccio and more.

Oysters are freshly shucked on the spot. Really fresh!

Their salad section is grown to impress. On the top shelf, you can use the scissors provided to snip off your favourite veggies for the freshest greens.

Right next to the salad bar is the noodle bar. Pick your noodles yong tau foo style and have it with their Laksa soup.

Roasted beef was good! Most places do not do their roasted beef right but Beach Road Kitchen passed my standards.

They have a pizza oven can you believe it? Sadly though, their famous truffle pizza was a total disappointment. No truffle taste at all.

Grill station! Grill your favourite dishes like seabass or promphet here. It takes about 15 minutes, so do order early.

If you can’t wait for the grilled fishes, go for the grilled meats! They use iberico pork and galbi beef. Very good textures for grilled meat.

Small but sufficient Indian cuisine station. At the very end of the station is the Hainanese Chicken Rice station with roast meat. I think you can give that a miss. The chicken was too dry and the taste was forgettable.

The following pictures are Beach Road Kitchen’s dessert station. It was super impressive.

There are so many variations of ice cream! Soft serve, ice cream in cups, cookie ice cream sandwiches… You will really be spoilt for choice here. If you had to forgo one however, skip the ice cream in cups. The flavours look tantalizing, but it was overly creamy. You’ll be done after the third scoop.

They also have a waffles and pancake station. Feel free to ask for bananas in your pancakes. Top it up with Nutella and you’re in heaven.

End off your buffet with coffee or tea. I liked that they use TWG tea, really fitting for the quality of the buffet.

Overall, I liked the presentation of the food and the layout of the place. The seating capacity is huge, so I would advise you to start your buffet as early as you can to avoid the crowd. There were more hits than misses, and in my opinion, Beach Road Kitchen is worth the money. Definitely within top 5 on my list.

30 Beach Road, S(189763)

Weekdays: 630am to 10am, 12noon to 230pm, 6pm to 10pm

Weekends: 630am to 11am, 12noon to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

+65 6818 1913

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Unagiya Ichinoji, Robertson Quay and Suntec City

[Edited on 31 October 2018] Skip Robertson Quay and head straight for Suntec City.

I’m a huge unagi fan. I highly raved Man Man Unagi at Keong Saik so when I heard that another unagi specialty restaurant with a long list of credentials (125 years of history, Bib Gourmand 2018 awardee, Tokyo’s famous unagi Restaurant with 20 outlets across Japan) opened it’s first overseas outlet in none other than sunny Singapore, I was stoked.

Expecting a super long queue like Man Man, I was there slightly before 530pm for its dinner hours. Not much people, and I was seated rather quickly.

The layout is similar to Man Man’s. There’s a tank of live eels swimming around and a counter overseeing the kitchen via glass panels. If you want to see the chef in action, pick the counter seats. It can be a little hot though.

Chef starting to grill the eels. I read that they steam their eels before grilling them to give that crispy texture.

Hitsumabushi (small), $19.80.

Hitsumabushi (medium), $26.80.

The Hitsumabushis can go up to $77.80 for the XL size. While that makes for a good family size, I prefer having my own set to indulge in. For those who need a refresher, you can eat the Hitsumabushi in three ways: Plain old unagi and rice, unagi and rice with the side condiments, and unagi and rice with dashi (provided in a little jar). My favourite is the one with side condiments because it gives the unagi an added layer of taste.

Close up shot of the unagi.

On to the taste of the unagi, the reason for this post. The unagi was horrible. Although it was grilled, there wasn’t any char taste, not to mention any decent crispy texture. The meat itself was rather tough and it felt like I was eating a gummy candy. I dreaded eating piece after piece. Thankfully I ordered the small portion. I also drenched my meal in the separate unagi sauce provided to give it more taste.

I just noticed that the difference between a small and medium is just two slices of unagi and more rice. Not sure if this justifies a $7 difference.

The Suntec City one was so much better.

Hitsumabushi (M), $32.80.

No idea why the difference in price for the medium portion. Perhaps it’s because the Suntec eatery is a “dining” concept with a bigger space and better ambience.

The unagi standards at the Suntec outlet were so much better. They were not as rubbery and definitely more flavourful. The portions were generous as well; I finished my mixed grain rice (good choice, go for it) before I was done with my unagi! That said, I still prefer Man Man because the unagi texture at Man Man is really quite unique and hard to replicate.

30 Robertson Quay, Riverside Village Residences, #01-05, S(238251)

+65 6732 1970

Daily: 1130am to 3pm, 530pm to 10pm

3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City #03-307, S(038983)

+65 6268 8043

Daily: Same as above

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Kai Garden, Marina Square

Go!!!

Okay so in my world of dim sum I’ve only regarded Imperial Treasures Nan Bei Takashimaya as the place to go to for great dim sum. I can now add another place to that — Kai Garden.

Kai Garden at Marina Square is opened by chef Fung Chi Keung, previously from Paradise Group, the people behind the famous colourful Xiao Long Bao. The Cantonese restaurant prides itself on their Peking Duck, known for different flavoured wraps and dips. I was excited to try it, until I saw their executive set lunch.

Without second thoughts I ordered Set Lunch A to share with my partner. No point having two of the same set, plus, Kai Garden’s dim sum menu looked too appealing. So I added some dim sum to the lunch.

Honey BBQ Pork, Deep Fried Beancurd Roll with Prawns, Sliced Peking Duck with Condiments.

Daily Double Boiled Soup.

Baked Cod Fillet with Teriyaki Sauce with Enoki Wrapped in Kurobuta Pork.

Pan Seared Glutinuous Rice with Egg and Black Truffle.

Chilled Fresh Coconut Puree.

I looked forward to every dish, and for sure I wasn’t disappointed. Every dish was well executed and tasty.

While the dishes sound ordinary, it was the little touches that really made the dish a notch higher. For example, the baked cod fish was placed on a crispy biscuit of sorts. Very innovative.

I particularly liked the fresh coconut puree because this was my first time having something like that at a Chinese restaurant for dessert. It was refreshing and cooling, perfect way to end the meal on a light note.

Deep Fried Scallop with Mango Roll, $6.80.

The mango roll was really light and crispy! The sauce within also complemented it really well, not too much not too little. Highly recommend this dim sum.

Steamed Prawn Dumpling (Ha Gao), $6.50.

The skin of any Ha Gao is always the hardest to get right. I gave this a thumbs up because of that reason. The prawns within were big and crunchy as well but the skin was the winner for me.

Crispy Cheong-fun with Minced Mushrooms, $5.60.

When I saw crispy cheong-fun I immediately thought it was you tiao wrapped in cheong-fun skin and topped with minced mushrooms. Nope, it wasn’t like that. Instead, the insides of the cheong-fun were filled with fluffy and crunchy bits alongside the minced mushroom. To help maintain the crispyness, the cheong-fun sauce is left by the side and you should only dip a piece into the sauce before eating. I highly recommend this dish as well.

By now you would have noticed that Kai Garden comes with a steep price tag. It may seem that a $6.50 Ha Gao is too much for dim sum but think about the other dishes. For its creativity, exquisiteness and ambience, I’d say Kai Garden is worth every penny and calorie.

6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, #03-128A/128B, S(039594)

Weekdays: 1130am to 330pm, 6pm to 11pm

Weekends: 11am to 4pm, 6 to 11pm

+65 6250 4826

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Kuro Izakaya, Suntec City Tower 3

Worth a try.

Everybody loves to chill over bar bites and beer after work. Bonus points added if a place that has this combi is situated at the heart of town. Located at Suntec Tower 3, Kuro Izakaya easily attracts the working crowd when the sun goes down.

To find Kuro Izakaya, you’ll have to walk to Suntec Tower 3 (where Oppo, Harvey Norman, Timberland, GV movie are situated) and exit towards the taxi stand. It’s located outside of the building.

They have a huge range of Japanese whiskeys and beer, perfect for pairing with your bar bites (well they do have staples such as ramen and Japanese curry, but it’s really out of the place to be having those items here).

Pork Jowl, $5. Scallops wrapped in Bacon (Tare and Shio versions), $6. Pork Belly (Tare and Shio versions), $4. Enoki wrapped in Bacon, $4.

Chicken Breast with Mentaiko, $4.

The best kushiyaki? Pork Jowl, followed by Scallops wrapped in Bacon (Tare version). I tried both the tare (sweet sauce) and shio (salted) versions and I very much preferred the tare one. The scallops were huge and juicy, which I really appreciated. As for the pork jowl, I do think that it’s quite difficult to go wrong with it as the texture of the meat is excellent to begin with.

I thought I would like the Chicken Breast with Mentaiko, but unfortunately the breast meat was way too tough. Wrong choice of meat, Kuro Izakaya. Chicken thighs would have been much, much better. Either that, or you make sure you cook your breast meat well.

Kuro Izakaya is a nice and cozy place to chill, but I don’t think I’ll be back again as their kushiyakis aren’t well executed, and the place is seriously lacking in variety. Once is enough for me.

6 Temasek Boulevard, #01-604, S(038986)

Mondays to Thursdays: 1130am to 230pm, 5pm to 11pm

Fridays: 1130am to 230pm, 5pm to 1130pm

Saturdays and Sundays: 1130am to 230pm, 5pm to 10pm

+65 6235 1066

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