Good eats

26 04 2011

“ONE IS enough.  Two is too much.  Three is a poison that can kill a person.”  That’s one of the rhymes that my mother would tell us whenever we would try to push our luck in getting our ways.

I got reminded of it once more as I recollect my gastronomic adventure in Singapore.  For specific dishes and places, I think I could o.d. before I get satiation.  I could get to “three is a poison…” easy.

Here they are, in no particular order.  (I forgot the details of the hawker center that Partner brought me to, where I had this amazing Fish Head Curry dish!)

CareShop de Café

70 Bendemeer Road, #01-05 Luzerne

Singapore 339940

Tel: +65 6293 9298

www.careshopdecafe.com

Will go back forMushroom Soba with lots of steamed Japanese Rice

Mushroom Soba, CareShop de Café

 

 

Culina Bistro

Blk 8 Dempsey Hill,Dempsey Road#01-13

Singapore 249679

Will go back forDe Cecco Penne Crab Meat (with the penne replaced by angel hair) , and all the complimentary bread rolls I could handle!

De Cecco Capellini Crab Meat, Culina Bistro @ Dempsey Hill

 

Complimentary Bread, Culina Bistro @ Dempsey Hill

 

 

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

B2-89/89A, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972

Tel:  +65 6535 1837

Fax: +65 6221 1837

Will go back for1837 Black Tea (tea number T6033), French Onion Soup, and all the complimentary bread rolls I could handle!

1837 Black Tea (tea number T6033), TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge

 

French Onion Soup, TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge

 

Complimentary Bread, TWG Tea Salon & Boutique on the Bridge

 

Fou de FaFa

168 Robinson Road

#01-05 Capital Tower

Singapore 068912

Tel: +65 6327 9418

www.foudefafa.com

Will go back forPizza Fou’d Flewed, and that bluish green drink that’s a concoction of pineapple, grapes, and mint

Pizza Fou'd Flewed, Fou de FaFa

 

My fave drink, a concoction of pineapple, grapes, and mint, Fou de FaFa

 

Jumbo Seafood Gallery

20 Upper Circular Road

#B1-44 to 48 The Riverwalk

Tel:  +65 6534 3435

Fax: +65 6536 3836

Will go back forChilli Crab with lots of Deep-Mini Bun, Cold Fresh Barley Juice

Just the apron!, Jumbo Seafood Gallery

 

Wee Nam Kee

275 Thomson Road #01-05

Will go back forHainanese Chicken Rice, Cold Fresh Barley Juice (which they always run out of!)

Hainanese Chicken Roasted and Steamed, Wee Nam Kee

 

Hainanese Chicken Rice, Wee Nam Kee

 

Cold Fresh Barley Juice, Wee Nam Kee

 

Tung Lok Seafood OC

#11-05 Orchard Central

181 Orchard Road

Singapore 238896

Will go back forBraised Shark’s Fin with Fish Maw Soup, Poached Baby Kai Lan served with Chinchalok

Braised Shark’s Fin with Fish Maw Soup, Tung Lok Seafood

 

Poached Baby Kai Lan served with Chinchalok, Tung Lok Seafood

 

Marché at 313@somerset

313@somerset, 313 Orchard Road

Provisional Unit No. #B1-39-45

Singapore 238895

www.marche-restaurants.com

Will go back forMushroom Soup, Calamari, Calamansi Juice with Sour Plum

Mushroom Soup, Marché at 313@somerset

 

Calamari, Marché at 313@somerset

 

Calamansi Sour Plum, Marché at 313@somerset

 

Food Opera at ION Food Hall

Basement 4, ION Orchard

2 Orchard Turn

Singapore 238801

Tel:  +65 6509 9198

Will go back forOyster Omelet (FattyWeng Fried Oysters, #B4-04M), Fishball Mee Kia Noodle Soup (Li Xin Fishball Noodle Soup, #B4-04B)

“FattyWeng Fried Oysters” Oyster Omelet, Food Opera at ION Food Hall

 

"Li Xin" Fishball Mee Kia Noodle Soup, Food Opera at ION Food Hall

 

4 FINGeRS Crispy Chicken at ION Food Hall

Basement 4, ION Orchard

2 Orchard Turn, #B4-06A

Singapore 238801

Tel:  +65 4274779

Will go back forChicken Wings

Crispy Chicken Wings, 4 FINGeRS Crispy Chicken at ION Food Hall

 

Nando’s @ Tanglin Mall

163 Tanglin Road

#01-14/15 Tanglin Mall

Singapore 247933

Tel:  +65 6235 3555

Fax: +65 6235 5581

Will go back forPeri-Peri Chicken, Portugese Rice, Grilled Vegetables

Peri-Peri Chicken, Portugese Rice, and Grilled Vegetables, Nando's @ Tanglin Mall

 

White Dog Café

No.1 HarbourFront Walk

#02-131/132 Vivo City

Singapore 098585

Tel:  +65 6235 3555

Will go back forLobster Pasta

Lobster Pasta, White Dog Café

 

Shimbashi Soba

290 Orchard Road

#B1-41 The Paragon

Singapore 238859

Tel: +65 6735 9882

Will go back forGoma Tare Seiro Sesame Soba

Goma Tare Seiro Sesame Soba, Shimbashi Soba

 

Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

25 Scotts Road

Singapore 228220

Tel:  +65 6589 7788 / +65 6589 7819

www.royalplaza.com.sg

gourmet@royalplaza.com.sg

Will go back forEVERYTHING in their international buffet

Soon Kueh, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

 

Roasted Tomato, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

 

Bowl of Noodles, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

 

Macarons, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Farewell my Merlion

25 04 2011

Yes, I shall see you again.

 

WITH UNINTENTIONAL peremptory shortness, I told Brother, “Bittersweet.”

He had just asked me how I was feeling.  It was the eve of my departure from Singapore after what I would play down – cliché as it may sound – as a two-week whirlwind affair with the city, an intimacy that could put “isang linggong pag-ibig” (one-week love affair) to shame.  I truly had a great time in the Lion city that with every second I took to sip the potent miso-flavored broth of my ramen, I knew it was one second that inched me closer to daparture time.

Farewell dinner was at Aoba Ramen Restaurant at Ion Orchard.  While it was yet another recommendation by Friendship, it was I who insisted on the place.  I’ve been meaning to devour their ramen from when Friendship first pointed the place out to me from our vantage point at Muji, a level below.

It being a Friday night, I knew all those I would’ve wanted to partake a meal with me could be off to other plans.  But it wouldn’t hurt to wish to have them all there – Friendship, Partner & The Boy Wonder, Rizzie & Bom, Giant Paulo, Brother, and Green Lantern.

Three of eight showed up, a pathetic batting average you may say.  But I couldn’t do anything about Partner having to leave a couple of days prior for business in Connecticut, Bom being in his own trip in Idaho, Giant Paulo choosing to spend quality time with his visiting wife, and Green Lantern having to get on that redeye to Manila, the night before, to surprise his mom on her birthday.

But I couldn’t ask for more, being surrounded by Friendship, Rizzie and Brother.

Corn Miso Ramen

 

Agedashi Tofu

 

Takoyaki

 

Wakame Seaweed Sushi

 

Ebi Mayo

 

Japanese Rice

 

Brother's Salmon Steak

A couple of weeks back, I waxed nostalgic about my time in Singapore, going to as far as describing how I felt to be a mix of bittersweet…  and incomplete.  In hindsight, I find this confusing convolution of emotions to have been brought about by the pleasant surprise that was the Lion city.  I find it to be exactly what my bowl of Corn Miso Ramen turned out to be.

I’ve favored miso-based broth for quite a while, and have always expected it to be quite thick, robust, and even tangy, compared to soy- and salt-based broths.  But it was pleasant to find in front of me at Aoba, a thinner broth that was less salty than what I’ve been used to.  But a change in consistency and relation to seawater didn’t take away from it being hearty.  And – Surprise! Surprise! – there was a lot of corn (it was “corn” miso after all), something I’ve never had in my ramen before.

I’ve always associated Singapore to what enterprising individuals have reduced it to in souvenir items – “Singapore is a ‘fine’ city.”  A kind of structuredness that I thought I would find hard to fit in.  But surprisingly, it was exactly what I need at this point in my life.  And while this is true, much like the burst of color and sweetness that came from corn kernels swimming in my miso-based ramen broth, I came to realize that options to improve myself and may I say, “strive to be happy” are within my reach.

I can’t wait to be back.

Dinner time!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Through pastel-colored macarons

24 04 2011

Five pretty little macarons all in a row – hazelnut cream, green tea, coffee, pistachio, and caramel.

ONE OF the songs I vividly remember being sung to me as a kid was “La Vie En Rose.”  My now 89-year-old grandmother would sing the first few lines, or hum the melody, then would tell me, “It’s seeing the world through rose-colored glass.”  I don’t remember if it was glass or windows.

When I grew up and became the foodie wannabe that I am, I would get reminded of this song every time I would see macarons.  But it’s beyond seeing the world through rose-colored glass.  It’s seeing the world through pastel-colored windows.

Macarons are the love.  They’re those precious little biscuits made from ground almonds, baked to a crisp outside, with the center kept rather soft and pleasantly chewy.  Two pieces are put together to make a sandwich with a creamy filling put between them.  Macarons take up the color of the flavor they are infused with.  So you can say that a spread of these confections make for a rainbow of yummy colors.

Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts’s international buffet restaurant, always has a wide selection of freshly made macarons on display at their pastry section, situated right at their entrance.  So imagine the kind of good mood seeing these macarons would put me in, every single day – for fourteen days.

On one morning after breakfast, I thought about getting a box of five – one each of hazelnut cream, green tea, coffee, pistachio, and caramel.  I brought it to work as a present for Green Lantern.  He’s a photography enthusiast so it’s like saying I’d want him to see the world through pastel-colored lens.

Gotta snap this shot of the macaron box and Carousel's elegant paper bag before I hit the door to go to work!

 

A closer shot of the box. It does say "five macarons." I'm lovin' the color!

 

Five happens to be my favorite number!

 

Once more with feelings – hazelnut cream, green tea, coffee, pistachio, and caramel.

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





For love of free gift with purchase

24 04 2011

After four hours of shopping, this plate was my reward.

I DIDN’T realize just how much of a sucker for free gift with purchase I am than when I was standing in front of the cashier supervisor at Takashimaya on Orchard Road, and was flatly told, “No, we’re already closed.  You’re past store hours.  He (the sales associate assisting me) should’ve called in your purchases before 9:30 PM.  We could’ve left one register open for you.”

Takashimaya on Orchard Road

So with the lone sad face I had to make in Singapore in about a couple of weeks, I stared at large bottles of Ralph Lauren Big Pony Scent #4 – declared by leading fashion magazines as the best-selling male fragrance in the country – and Ralph Lauren Limited Edition Polo Blue.  Worse, I had to bid the “gifts” adieu – a weekender duffel bag embroidered with a multi-colored polo player and big pony and a toiletry bag in navy blue.  My love for these freebies is warranted.  I have an all-black Kenneth Cole weekender that has been with me to three countries and served me well for over eight years now.

And my love for these freebies made me spend almost half an hour deciding which between the two scents to get, only to end up settling for both.

The doorman cordially bid me good night and the sales associate told me to come back the following day.  I just managed to crack into a shy smile.  Because the very moment I turned around on my way out of their humongous doors, I knew it would be close to impossible to keep any promises.  The following day was already full of plans, it was practically bursting at the seams.

I found my way back on Orchard Road and with one quick glance on a couple of pages of my kikki.K Daily Notes, I told myself that I wasn’t doing well on my pasalubong (homecoming presents) list.  I knew that shops close at 10:00 PM, so to make the most of the last half hour, I crossed Orchard Road, went into Paragon Mall, and ran like crazy to Longchamp.  I could at least get Mama’s present finally.

When I went into Paragon Mall that night, they were setting up what appeared to me as a stage. A couple of days back, Friendship took my photo beside that "public art" and the floor was so clear.

Something about beating a deadline – in this case, the last 30 minutes of mall hours – could make the the last nudge to move me from indecisiveness to unusual resoluteness.  “I’ve got to get that last piece of the Longchamp LM Metallic in gold, small tote.”  I navigated the escalators only to find out that Longchamp closes an hour ahead of the mall.  Bummer!

My shopping night started at Ion Orchard, then Takashimaya, then Paragon. This shot is up the escalator ride. I just find the view, in person, to be breathtaking. I love malls, I can't help it!

 

Armani Exchange. Went here for a leather bag.

 

G-Star Raw is my nephews' favorite T-shirt brand.

 

I was so surprised to find Alessi, a personal favorite, at the top level of Ion Orchard. Of course I went straight to the wristwatches.

By that time, the grumbling of my tummy could no longer be drowned by the excitement over a still tick-free shopping list.  So, with the last 15 or so minutes, I ran from Paragon to Ion Orchard, praying frantically that there would still be someone open among the 22 stalls at Ion Food Hall, home of my newfound favorite, Food Opera.

I hit the escalators and was instantly hit by the sad metaphor of my life – everybody was on their way up, I was on my way down.  Hoping against hope that there was still something to grab and bite.  I made about at least a couple of rounds of the place trying to convince myself there would still be one noodle place open.  By the second time, I couldn’t ignore anymore the polite offer of the elderly man at the Tian Tian Hainanese Curry Rice stall.  All the others had closed.  So many of the chairs and tables had been folded up.

I ordered a plate of three of their “specials”.  I asked for fried rice, braised beef with shiitake mushrooms, and chili tofu (which to me could have very well been “mapo tofu”).  I was really famished so an extra helping of plain steamed white rice was a must, along with curry chicken.  I asked that my rice be topped with curry sauce, the one the chicken was in.  Instead of ladling it onto the rice, the man took a small bowl and with one swift motion of his wrist, made a fresh concoction from six wide-mouthed stainless steel bowls that contained different sauces that ranged from some form of oil, to some form of concentrated curry.  The resulting sauce?  Awesome.

A plate of three specials – fried rice, braised beef with shiitake mushrooms, and chili tofu topped with sautéed Vidalia onions.

 

Curry chicken. Do you see the flecks of crushed fresh red chili?!

I asked if they had drinks and was told, “No.”  Fortunately for me, one of the “Aunties” overheard me, and gestured for me to follow her.  Once at her stall, she removed the covers from the cash register and from some of the fruits and asked what I fancied.  I asked for fresh lime juice.  She made me a tall glass.  She was so kind I wanted to hug her.

Finally, a drink!

In the middle of all the cash registers ringing (everybody was tallying up the day’s sales), all the mopping, and all the wiping, I had my meal.  They would steal glances at my way.  But they let me be.  I found it funny that four hours onOrchard Roadyielded nothing.  Because of too much comparison shopping.  Because of my indecisiveness.

So in between bites of the curry chicken, the crunch of the Vidalia onions that topped the tofu, and chews of the shiitake mushrooms, I resolved to take a vengeace on shopping.

After a dismal night of shopping, I came home to this sight at the lobby of my hotel, Royal Plaza on Scotts. This arrangement of votives and pillars never failed to soothe me.

 

I loved these light installations made from paper. I think it was paper.

 

This grand staircase, left of the lobby, leads to the business center and the hotel's lounge/bar named Heat.

 

What I wore to shopping. The T-shirt is at least ten years old! Got it from Bossinni. The navy blue golf shorts is eight years old. Got it at a Ross outlet in the States.

 

In my multi-colored "not shoes" Sanük, I stopped at this huge mirror in front of Havaianas, and snapped a shot. I wouldn't say I... struck a pose. Hahaha!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Two superheroes, a brother, friends, an opera, and green tea

23 04 2011

Three Philip Steins and an iPhone 4. I shared this dinner with Brother, Spongebob's best friend, and Green Lantern.

A LINE is always a good sign.  Rachael Ray told me so.  Friendship told me so.  And for the few times I did get another one of Friendship’s recommendations – 4 FINGeRS Bonchon Crispy Chicken at Ion Food Hall at Ion Orchard – there was always a line.

Sometimes, it took quite a while to get to the front especially when some couple would choose to take their sweet time debating on the merits of soy garlic against hot & spicy, with total inconsideration of the people down the line.

Now serving one of Korea's influences on Singapore, Bonchon Crispy Chicken!

Whenever that happened, I’d whip out my camera and would just take photos.  With much care I must say, especially after being told to stop taking photos at a couple of establishments.  So when I noticed that someone was slowly approaching me right when I was trying to establish focus on the restaurant sign, I hurriedly took the snapshot and pretended to just be reviewing my camera’s photos.

“eNTeNG!  Having dinner here?”  the slowly approaching someone asked.  I lifted my head up from my pretend business with the camera, and smiled at the familiar face now in front of me.  The Boy Wonder!

“I’m here with friends.  I’m treating them to dinner.  I’m just here to get chicken and fries.  Care to join us?  No, join us!”

Finally, 4 FINGeRS Crispy Chicken has landed! This was one of three boxes.

 

Clever marketing ploy all over the box top.

So after The Boy Wonder was done with his dinner at 4 FINGeRS, he moved to Food Opera, Ion Orchard’s high-end food court, where my friends and I were at.  It was the second time I was picking up the tab.  I had such a great time having lunch with them at CareShop de Café that I felt we had to have a repeat.  And yes, on me.

Once settled in my seat after having ordered my Fishball Mee Kia Soup (with extra mee kia!) and a tall glass of Fresh Lychee Juice, I made a belated realization that among those sharing the table with me were two of my superhero best friends – The Boy Wonder and Green Lantern – and Brother!  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

My friends, on the escalator ride that would take them to the subterranean foodie heaven that is Food Opera, the high-end food hall at Ion Orchard.

 

Queuing up in front of the Teochew Fishball Noodle Soup stall. The Boy Wonder snapped this shot.

 

Brian's "bee hon" noodle soup was chockful with tofu!

 

Brian and that big bowl of noodles!

 

Patrick, Brother, and Brian

 

The Boy Wonder is in the house!

 

Green Lantern's "mee kia" noodle soup had a lot of vegetables and seafood rolls and meatballs.

 

Green Lantern and that big bowl of noodles!

 

Exactly where I wanted to be... Sharing the dinner table with friends, including two superheroes and a brother! Food Opera was full that night but we seemed to have perfect timing and found this long table just when it was being freed up.

We capped the night off with coffee at Starbucks on the second basement level of Ion Orchard.  “Coffee” actually turned out to be Green Tea Latte over ice for everybody.  Green Lantern asked for it – it’s his favorite! – and everybody else ended up wanting to try the same, save for Syvil who had the lone hot drink.

The verdict on the green tea latte over ice?  Unanimously favorable, with a high chance of repeats.  As to the night overall?  Priceless.

Dinner's done! My friends and I now head from Basement 4 to Basement 2 for Starbucks!

 

That's a lot of Green Tea Latte over ice! It's Green Lantern's favorite Starbucks drink.

 

I clipped the newspaper article that announced Starbucks's re-design of their cups. Before I left Manila on the 13th of March, the cups weren't changed yet. It was in Singapore that I got my hands on the new ones!

 

Patrick, Brian, John & Syvil, Green Lantern, and Brother

 

What I wore to dinner. And how I wore my hair!

 

I met up Brian and Green Lantern at Muji first. Then, we picked up Brother and the rest of the group at Havaianas.

 

Green Lantern and Patrick on their ride home.

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Next espresso shot please

22 04 2011

They come in threes. Nespresso coffee capsules in Ristretto, Vivalto Lungo, and Decaffeinato.

 

I LOVE coffee so much that there are days I wish I could have it on an IV.

So whenever I check in a hotel, the first thing I raid is the free coffee in the mini bar.  Which, for the life of me, has always been a couple of sachets of granulated instant coffee.  If I’m lucky, it’s the 3-in-1 kind.  I’m lousy with electric contraptions so after I’ve taken the time to figure out how to plug in the pot for boiling water, I’d get started on my caffeine binge.

It’s the kind of binge that will last the whole duration I’m billeted.

At my recent stay at Royal Plaza on Scotts – it’s been weeks and I thought my love affair with the place has waned with time, but apprently, not so – I had my caffeine cravings satiated 24/7 with not only the requisite free instant coffee in the mini bar, but also with my very own in-room Nespresso coffee maker!  It was unassumingly placed on top of the credenza right below the flat screen TV that it took a real coffee enthusiast, Friendship, to sense its presence within our breathing space.

My very own in-room Nespresso machine!

The most amazing thing about this Nespresso coffee maker is that it is a single-serve machine that does exactly what it is intended to do, and amazingly so.  Of course, being the lousy person that I am when it comes to gadgets, I had to first quietly observe Friendship make one cup before I even had the courage to work the machine myself.

Nespresso is the most convenient coffee maker you’d ever find.  You don’t need to fuss anymore about putting coffee filters in place or scooping the right measure of ground coffee every single time.  All you have to do is lift the chrome top cover, place a capsule of ground coffee, replace the cover (you’d feel the action will plunge the capsule in place), select either an espresso shot or a full cup of drip coffee, and you’re seconds away to caffeine heaven.

An excellent brew starts with simply lifting the top cover, called the "lever", into an upright position.

 

All you have to do is insert a capsule of your choice into the machine. As you shall see, the capsules fit only one way.

 

After the coffee capsule is inserted, the lever is replaced, plunging it (the capsule) in place.

 

I hit the button with the image of a coffee cup (against the other's espresso shot cup) and wait for freshly brewed coffee to drip to the cup on the (drip) tray.

 

Wherever I am in my hotel room, the first whiffs of freshly brewed coffee is hard to miss!

 

Just seconds away from the perfect cup!

 

Done! I take mine with creamer and sugar. I think the hotel provided me with reduced non-fat milk creamer.

You don’t need a “for dummies” guide to operate Nespresso.  The coffee capsules – available in a range of blends so there’s always one to suit your of-the-moment liking – fit only one way, and the only other thing you actually have to worry about is if there’s enough water in the see-through carafe conveniently located at the back of the machine.

The Nespresso coffee capsules are contained in this box, which when opened doubles as a stylish display box that can also hold two coffee cups.

 

The hotel's complimentary selection has Ristretto (intensity 10), Vivalto Lungo (intensity 4), and Decaffeinato (intensity 2).

 

A closer look at Ristretto.

I couldn’t help waxing nostalgic about having a two-week affair with Nespresso.  It was there for me for the many personalities that make me up.  And believe me, it’s quite a wide spectrum.  When I had to pull all-nighters, I popped in Ristretto.  For when I was passing time, waiting for dinner plans or invitations to come to fuition, I would have a cup of Vivalto Lungo in hand.

And when it was time to call it a night, I’d just lounge around in bed, having only the hotel’s luxurious robe on, put the TV on TLC (where the cooking shows are), and sip through at least two cups of Decaffeinato.

One for each mood... Ristretto, Vivalto Lungo, Decaffeinato.

 

Ristretto turned out to be my favorite!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Hainanese chicken vice

22 04 2011

Royal Plaza on Scotts's Hainanese Chicken Rice

WHEN ALL dinner plans suddenly fall through, what does one do?  Order room service, that is.

I didn’t even bother checking out the in-room service dinner menu.  I just picked up the phone and ordered Hainanese Chicken Rice.  I was in the island of chicken rice so I sure expected it to be in the all-day dining menu.  So I ordered that, and oh, extra chicken rice!

I get weak in the knees at the sight of Hainanese chicken rice.  So to say that I love it is clearly an understatement.  It’s the one dish I’ve had all over, the most memorable ones being from the Penang Mutiara Beach Resort and Shangri-La Hotel in Malaysia, and Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Penang Hill, and Banana Leaf Curry House here at home.  And of course, Wee Nam Kee at Novena Ville in Singapore.

I’m adding Royal Plaza on Scotts to this short list.

The Hainanese chicken rice has arrived!

 

It was quite hard putting this tray on the table and enforcing my shoot-now-eat-later policy.

 

I couldn't wait to fill this out!

 

I loved the cutlery that came with the meal.

 

Finally, the cover is lifted and the Hainanese chicken rice is revealed!

 

I knew I wouldn't get enough of it so I made sure I asked for two cups of rice.

 

The set meal has half chicken breast portion. I found it generous enough, as the really tender meat was infused with so much flavor!

 

Slices of Hainanese chicken rice is usually served on top of slices of tomatoes and cucumbers. So I make sure I get those too. I actually dip them is the thick sweet soy before having them with the rice.

 

Hainanese chicken rice traditionally comes with three sauces, one of which is this sambal chili.

 

Grated ginger in oil

 

Thick sweet soy

 

The most flavorful broth on the planet! I can have this all day. Everyday.

 

Me and my Hainanese

 

Super loved my meal!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





White Dog Café

20 04 2011

Green Lanterns Lobster Pasta. Photo taken with his Canon IXUS 220 HS.

“WESTERN CUISINE.”  That was all Green Lantern said when I asked where he’d want to get dinner.  Dinner that was on me.  And when you treat a friend to a meal, the principles of customer fulfillment dictate that it’s best to allow them to pick the place too.

I imagined that having covered as much real estate as we could on what seemed to be our walking saga of Sentosa, it would just be a matter of time before my superhero friend or I would immediately succumb to the gnawing pangs of hunger and pull the next available stool at a sushi bar or a dimsum place in Vivo City.  But quite obviously, being the driven person that he is, Green Lantern wouldn’t hear any of it, except if it was Western style cuisine.

“Yes, Sir, we serve Western cuisine,” the seating hostess-cum-server said in between bursts of smiles interspersed with chuckles.  “Give us a try, Sir.”

I glanced back at Green Lantern who still at the time had his stare fixed on the menu board on display.  All I needed was for him to nod and we were on our way to a comfortable seating at a corner with a view.  This was the first surprise to hit me about White Dog Café, I mean, besides the fact that I kept wondering what a restaurant so quirkily named could offer.

The menu was pretty, and pretty extensive too.  Green Lantern asked for the Lobster Pasta and the dessert drink called Mangolicious.  I, who at the time thought that the pasta I had at Culina at Dempsey Hill days before was so good it could only be lobster, settled for the Seafood Medley Pasta and Iced Lemon Tea.  We both started with a generous portion each of the Mushroom Soup.

I give White Dog Café mad props for the presentation of their Lobster Pasta. Each dish is guaranteed the meat from one live lobster.

 

My Seafood Medley Pasta

 

Look at that fat mussel!

 

Both pastas used the same marinara sauce as the base.  It was, to the superhero’s delight, not spicy at all.  We actually scrambled after our very friendly server to send word to the kitchen to ensure that not a single fleck – not a hint – of crushed red pepper flakes should make it to the lobster dish.  Fortunately, the recipe was free from such.  The sauce was tangy, almost with a hint of sweetness to it.  Which I thought, came from the fresh seafood thrown in the mix – fat mussels and tender squid rings in mine, and lobster and squid rings in Green Lantern’s.

I think the only slight disappointment I sensed at dinner was with the Mangolicious.  I’m guessing the mangoes paled in comparison to the ones we have back at home in the Philippines.  Though the superhero, ever the gracious one, didn’t say a word about it.  I’m no superhero but sometimes, I guess, I could just read minds.

Good thing that where we were seated afforded Green Lantern, himself a photography enthusiast, a nice panoramic view of the strait between mainlandSingapore and Sentosa.  When his eyes would squint from the sourness of the mangoes he could just lift his head up and check the view.

Green Lantern attacks!

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





In shorts at the harbour

20 04 2011

Finally made it to Sentosa!

 

Sentosa, in white, by the boardwalk.

THE SUPERHERO texted that I didn’t have to rush.  The weather forecast said it was going to rain until early in the afternoon and moving our plans to right around 6:00 PM would just be perfect.  So after that Peri-Peri lunch at Nando’s I still had time for a quick trip back to my hotel on Scotts Road near Orchard, then a shower.

And a quick change – to one of my worn-out classic Ralph Lauren pique polo shirts and my plaid shorts.  (I could here Captain America from miles away giving my ensemble the dressing down.)

The ensemble – worn-out Ralph Lauren pique polo shirt, Bench plaid shorts, Sanük sandals, Philip Stein Signature Large wristwatch.

Green Lantern told me to get on the purple line train and alight at Harbour Front, then go to Vivo City where he would meet me up.  I love saying “purple line” because purple happens to be Friendship’s and Rizzie’s favorite color.  And I so love malls.  Anywhere I go, a mall is my idea of a great time.  I’d never get lost finding my way to one.

"To the left, to the left..." ...to make it to the purple line!

 

I heart Vivo City

I’m unapologetic as a tourist.  I love to go on binges and would map out a plan around restaurant targets.  Sometimes, I’d channel The Tourist and with a pout would tell the waiter, “The scampi in champagne risotto please.”  Sometimes, my friends would distance themselves from me because the cam whore that I am would take photos of just about anything.  But beyond the food and the shops, I’d rarely go to see “the sights.”  As I’ve intimated above, the mall is my kind of trip.

But Green Lantern offering to take me around Sentosa in Singapore was too good of an offer to pass up.

Sitting on the dock of the bay...

 

...passing time.

We were able to catch up on each other’s goings on, walking around the island resort.  It was quiet time with one of my best friends who finally had time outside his 15– to 16–hour workdays.  We just walked and walked.  The two-kilometer stretch of the sheltered beach was a good place to start.  Then we made it to Resorts World and Universal Studios – but I didn’t feel the need to go inside.

So many street signs. But the first one I noticed? Food & Beverage. Ha!

 

This way to Universal Studios

 

I told my friend Michael Fisher that he has a hotel in Sentosa!

 

Another sign to lead me to the right path... to Food & Beverage!

 

Sentosa Visitor Centre

 

Singapore Seafood Republic

 

In front of the world famous Universal Studios globe. Clearly, Im not in MOA anymore. Hahaha!

 

Universal Studios globe

 

I liked this shot so much that I ended up using it as my photo for the essay I wrote for a coffee table book were publishing soon.

 

I didnt get to take note of the artists name. This merlion is one of his many works, scattered as "public art" all throughout the island resort. Theyre nice!

 

Lake of Dreams... At night it turns to a beautiful, breath-taking sea of blue.

 

See what I mean?

 

The Lake of Dreams is quite a view in the evening!

 

These steps lead down to the Lake of Dreams. Viewed from the top, the slope seemed steep, enough to make me tell Green Lantern that I felt we were going down the side of a pyramid.

 

The Thinker

 

I loved everything about this hallway, especially the wood treatment.

 

"Adam & Eve," sculpture by Fernando Botero, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore.

 

I really loved loved L-O-V-E-D these colorful lanterns that hang from the ceiling of Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore!

 

eNTeNG and the colorful lanterns... or are they chandeliers?

 

Can you pose with all the colors of the... ceiling? Yes. Me, my chin and I!

 

Like many others in Singapore, this mall hall is paved in luxury!

 

Blue happens to be Green Lanterns lucky color.

 

And green happens to be his favorite. Hence his superhero name!

We were able to squeeze in a little shopping for presents for our loved ones – he was pleasantly surprised to make a serendipitous find, Victoria’s Secret, for his mom whose birthday was coming up – and the best of all, he let me take my sweet time going over fine Swiss timepieces.  Sir, may I interest you on the Ballon Bleu de Cartier?

This day at Sentosa put my Singapore checklist in good shape.  But it wasn’t just a tick mark I put beside it.  It was a tick mark and a note, “must go back to.”

I glanced at Green Lantern’s huge TW Steel wristwatch and knew we had to grab a bite.  He was fancying good Western cuisine.  We went back toVivoCity and I let him decide on the place.

Thanks, Green Lantern.  And thanks for bringing your brand new, couple-of-days-old Canon IXUS 220 HS to take all the amazing photos!

It's time to go grab something to bite!

 

Got a lot of these shirts at Vivo City. Yes, I heart SG!

 

We walked through this play of lights on our way out of Sentosa.

 

Green Lantern, thanks a lot for the tour!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Chickening for pain and pleasure

19 04 2011

Flame-roasted vegetables... S-W-E-E-T!!!

BY MY eighth day in Singapore, I felt the need to check if what I had so far subjected my palate to – all the chilis I had gorged down – had scrubbed my tongue raw.

Apparently not.  So the masochistic facet of my personality gamely sat down for lunch with Friendship at Nando’s at Tanglin Mall.  Lunch had to be “hot” and I’m not talking temperatures here.

HOT... and I dont mean temperatures!

Nando’s, as their menu proudly suggests, is famous for their legendary Portugese Peri-Peri, chicken marinated for 24 hours in their special all-natural Peri-Peri spice and then flame-grilled to order.  Peri-Peri actually has African provenance as it is the name of the African bird’s eye chili.  And you know what they say about chilis – the smaller, the hotter.

Friendship and I spent quite a while deciding just how hot – or not – we’d want our food to be.  She cautioned me to “baste to my taste.”  For me it was easy, a toss up between “hot” and “extra hot”.  “Hot” translates to “treat with caution and respect” while “extra hot” was a no-nonsense “Beware!  Pyromaniacs only”

I was in no mood to channel Drew Barrymore circa early 80’s so “hot” Peri-Peri it was.

I asked for their combo meal of a quarter chicken and two regular sides.  From their considerable list, I picked the Portugese Rice and the Grilled Vegetables.

My quarter chicken combo, with Portugese Rice and Grilled Vegetables on the side.

 

The platter in the background is Friendship's lunch.

 

Friendship had the Chicken Kebab with Peri-Peri fries and Portugese Rice on the side. I think half of her rice went to me.

 

And oh, Friendship's kebab's grilled vegetables also became mine!

The meal came in a huge white serving platter, its pristine shade of mountain snow only disturbed ever so slightly by flecks of color in the many shades of the capsicum genus.  I couldn’t help but adore the cups that the two sides came in, their openings made by a beveled cut.  My cups runneth over, I told myself in a hushed voice, as the yellow-tainted rice and the glistening vegetables threatened to go overboard.  I prepared my fork to attack.

My grilled vegetables were threatening to go overboard!

 

Grilling sweetens vegetables. My appetite spared nothing from this cup – carrots, zucchini, capsicums, onions, everything!

And attack I did.  Though it didn’t take much effort to sink the tines of my dinner fork through the chicken breast.  The tenderness of the meat offered no resistance as the Peri-Peri sauce glided down with each piercing, in contrast to the steam that would escape.

I would take a piece of the meat, drench it even more in the hot sauce, spear a slice of carrot and a wedge of onion, and onto everything pile a little of the rice, some of the grains attemptiong to escape through the tines.  I put the whole thing in my mouth and immediately I felt transported.

To Africa by way ofPortugal, from a layover inSingapore.  Food can do that to you.

Nando's extensive line of special sauces are available at each table to allow you to continue to "baste to your taste" as you go through your sumptuous meal.

 

I really fell in love with the cups!

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.