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.