L'Espresso: Victorian English Afternoon Tea

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Known for its premium durian desserts, Goodwood Park hotel holds the realm of being one of the best dessert makers, where hotels are concerned. L'Espresso is proud to be dishing out a Victorian English theme high tea buffet till the 22nd July. Boasting a huge variety of savoury pastries, fresh fruit, sweets and bite-sized pastries, you'll feel the imminent tug of your waistband. Here are some of my favourites.

Plum and Toro: Not so much a meal spot as a fun night out of town, literally.

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Looking to avoid jostling with the crowds in the mainstream part of town? Meet Plum and Toro, a secret enclave of a Japanese restaurant located in InterContinental Robertson Quay. A little devoid of the usual Japanese izakaya vibe - cue the words, homey, unpretentious and perhaps a little dingy - Plum and Toro swings into the contemporary jive of things with a tastefully designed food menu and an intimidating full fledged list of alcoholic tipples.

Bacchanalia goes the Seasonal route with their New Menus

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There isn't any fancy pleasures more profound than a good slice of sourdough in the affable company of room temperature butter. The new Bacchanalia and I, got off to a good start with the impressionable introduction that involved one, too many bubbly slices christened with a firm crispy crust, singing a resounding sour note to the salty harmony of seaweed butter. And this was no ordinary seaweed butter, it's textural landscape undulating with pops of umami, as if with the hum of sea grapes. If you're one to judge a fine-dining establishment by its complimentary bread, Bacchanalia will you make you very very happy.

Lewin Terrace takes matcha beyond the mug with [Oh! Matcha Dessert Buffet]

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Following the highly popular Ichigo Delight Strawberry Buffet, Lewin Terrace introduces another cult favourite dessert choice, Matcha. Going at just $38++ per pax, diners can enjoy unlimited servings of premium matcha desserts that are reimagined into different shapes and forms.

Alma by Juan Amador sprouts from a series of cosmic events

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Publications company owned? The Birds of America reprints on the walls? Chef Haikal who previously helmed the Water Library in Bangkok? The first ever four-hand kitchen collaboration with Chef Dan Barker of Upstairs at Mikkeller? Wait. How does three-Michelin-starred German chef Juan Amador even come into the picture?

Dining at Alma was as much a palate titillating experience as it was enlightening - the stories that unfolded over lunch extending to all facets of business. And despite the mind boggling series of cosmic events that have resulted in this manifestation of this Michelin-starred restaurant located with direct access to the car park of Goodwood Park Hotel (a bonus when hosting VVIPs ), I was intent on displacing the romanticism of the stories overheard and focusing on the food itself.

Twenty Eight Cafe: for the early birds.

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There's something about the imagery of piping hot coffee, rivulets of milk froth working with tangles of hot coffee forming intricate patterns that is synonymous with the basic necessities of the working man; newly opened Twenty Eight Cafe would know. Opening it's doors at 7 30am in the morning to pander to the needs of the Mount Sophie and Mount Emily residents. High ceilings, white washed spaces interspersed with bits of foliage, and modish hanging light fixtures; it's not a surprise to see that the cafe has amassed quite a following even in the first few weeks of its opening. Wi-Fi does help, of course.

Ichiban Boshi's Newest Outlet (Century Square) unveils Kyushu Ryori specialty menu

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Said dish above looks pretty tasty, but do not be fooled. After all, Instagram isn't reality, so we implore you to come armed with NO expectations.

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Ichiban Boshi makes its mark on the newly renovated Century Square, sporting the spanking brand new feels and voguish looks of an open concept kitchen.

At this new outlet,  we were egged on to try the new menu which highlights Kyushu cuisine. There was The Mentai Hakata Nabe Gozen ($26.90), a deceptively bountiful looking set meal that features thick folds of mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and kurobuta in a chicken broth served with silver-striped round herring. To complete the meal, there are sides of fresh sashimi, deep-fried shishami and vegetable tempura. Blame it on my ignorance but this might just be the first time I've encountered mentaiko served in this form; usually an ingredient widely cherished, it's appearance strike me as obscene - not at all appetising. The chicken broth, however, is fresh and light, sparingly seasoned so much so that it's positions itself as the perfect cold remedy.

The Jigokudaki Udon ($14.90) is a warm dipping style udon served with black pork, poached egg and vegetables. Worlds apart from the usual udon dishes at Ichiban, which aren't transcendent but reliable at the very least - the new udon is not quite the case. The dip, so cloyingly salty that it rendered the plain boiled udon inedible. Have you ever ingested sea water by accident? - Yes, I would liken my experience with this dish to an unfortunate accident such as that. Needless to say, I left more than half the serving untouched. What a waste.

Perhaps the chefs were having a bad day in the kitchen, however, it is not my place to be making excuses for their inadequacies. Here's a piece of advice: Stick to the classic menu. Your stomach will thank you for it.


Ichiban Boshi
Century Square
#02-17/18/29
2 Tampines Central 5
t: +65 6260 1273

Operating Hours:
Daily: 11am - 10pm

Words and photos by Belinda Yong who wishes that every time of the day is food o' clock. She loves trying new cuisines and creations,  and prays hard for a higher metabolism.

Yellow Pot: Six Senses Duxton's Modern Chinese Outpost

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Enter Yellow Pot, nestled in the lobby of the new boutique hotel Six Senses Duxton. The menu is straightforward Chinese, with no special emphasis on particular provincial cuisine - yet it's parroting of modish ingredients and ethical sustainability practises brings it into the 21st century. As you would expect of any Six Senses project, the decor is dynamic - an eclectic little enclave that's bedecked in lavish tones of black, gold and yellow; it's marbled table tops, the pedestal for 3 yellow pots of varied height - yes, you guessed it, the fountainhead. Soundtrack is techno vibe-d, and oddity for a six senses property, and much less a Chinese restaurant.

Full of Luck Restaurant: Gone with the Fortune Cat

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It's 2pm on a Saturday. Full of Luck restaurant in Holland Village is far from doing a roaring trade. Perhaps it's due to the lack of knowledge that the restaurant has opened its doors once again, after recently pulling up the hoardings to mask renovation works. Gone are the heavy doors, sensible automated doors put in place; the second floor ditching its kitschy hipster image in favour of a more serious Chinese restaurant. Change isn't just physical, the menu has been overhauled with more traditional dishes reinstated and the voguish Baos displaced together with the expulsion of the word 'club' from its name.

Otto's Deli Fresh: Premium steaks to be washed down with fine wines

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Otto's Deli Fresh is an all-day restaurant inspired by the vision of Chef Otto Weibel, who has won multiple awards in International cooking competitions and has had vast experience working in various prestigious hotels.

This time around, Chef Otto has taken to introducing a whole new range of premium steaks at head-turning attractive prices. All done to perfection to please the discerning palates of meat-lovers.

Did it make the cut though? Read on to find out.