All hope is not lost in the world, and contrary to popular belief, there is still such a thing as a free meal and you're looking right at it!
Complete the quiz over at this address , do a quick share on your facebook page and claim your free burger at Overeasy!
Thanks to his skinny jeans fetish, the partner got his due present, the Famous Beef Sliders ($16). Perfectly bite size morsels of surprisingly soft buttery mini buns encasing silvers of grilled beef steak in between, with an ethereal dollop of cheese sauce. I had some issues with the bread to filling ratio, but that's a diminutive issue that I quickly dismissed especially with such a great deal at bay!
As for me, of course I muscled in on the Big Blue Burger ($26)! The burger is kept simple, with just smears of chunky Kikorangi Blue cheese (of Kiwi origins) on the pillowy soft buns that don't crowd your palate, allowing it to fully bathe in the glory that is the explosion of natural sweet beefy juices from the wagyu chuck blend patties when you chomp down. The sear on the medium rare patty was perfect, contributing a slight charred flavor in contrast to the delicately saccharine sauteed onions. My only gripe would be the lukewarm haystack fries which I had came to love after my previous visit; these were hard and underwhelming at most times.
Well, you can't get everything right with zero budget, can you?
pssttt...promotion only lasts till this Saturday 29th November, so do get a move on it!
Daunting. That was the word that first popped up in my head when faced with an invite to a buffet restaurant. For starters, I do not have a small appetite. However, when greeted with such a lavish spread of pabulum, my brain feeds on the matter way quicker than my stomach; and before you know it, I'm stuffed. *sulks*
Thankfully, I approached the Momiji Japanese Buffet with a different strategy in mind. Spurred on by the Oyster Festival (promotion available till 1 Jan); there was no beating around the bush, I went straight in for the kill.
Of course, with Christmas just round the corner; for those looking for something a little more festive, there's the Christmas promotion as well available from the 19 Dec to the 1 Jan which includes some specials such as Honey Glazed Turkey Ham with mushroom sauce, turkey breast teppanyaki, Turkey Ham tempura with nacho cheese, Baked Salmon Lasagna and Christmas Log Cake - not my cup of tea but perhaps some of you out there might enjoy basking in the Christmas spirit with this Japanese take on the traditional classics.
Moving back to the oysters, the buffet features 8 different oyster dishes prepared with various methods at the different stations (only 5 if you're doing lunch). My favourites of the night were by far the Goma Oyster and Ponzu Oyster. Served chilled, these babies had a fulsome, almost meat like texture, accentuated by their accompanying dressing. The former, a thick robust sweet sesame sauce that helps to enhance the oyster meats flavor; and the latter with a racy acidity that cuts through the slight fishiness of it.
There was also the Hot Plate Oyster which attempts to semi-cook the oysters with a mixture of mushrooms, cabbage and tomato based sauce. To be honest, not the most successful of ideas but it helps to sustain the curious peckishness of us, diners.
A better pick would be the Oyster Lobster Mayo Yaki which have quite a following as judged by the long line of clips that have congregated on the food stands (fyi, you place your orders for 'cook-to-order' food by attaching the mini clips with your table numbers to the stands with the food item you're interested in), tender and juicy with a crisp crust that shatters to reveal a creamy mixture of lobster mayo; this, my friends, was the loot of the evening. And while you're at it, be sure to order the rest of the grilled items, like the mentaiko scallop; warm and comforting, each mouthful draped with the richness of cream, milk, and butter.
The spread continues with Panko Fried Oyster, Oyster Shabu Shabu, Japanese Apple Dressing Oyster and Miso Teppan Oyster. Some of which I never got down to tasting, mostly because of the other distractions on the line. At Momiji, you can expect a busting Japanese marketplace with an extensive selection of food such as sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, tempura, shabu-shabu, yakitori, hot food and dessert, so long story in short; there's something to indulge everyone. And obviously I had my eyes on the sashimi and oysters. Some other dishes that I would recommend include the seafood chawanmushi and some of the tempura items (word of advice: Ignore the piles of golden feed on hot-hold, instead keep a close eye out on the chefs as they fish out fresh batches from the deep fryer. That's when they are the most glorious.) Merry makers, rejoice in the free flow Sapporo beer that is available from 6 30pm - 7 30pm daily (12 30 - 1 30pm on Sundays).
To end your meal on a sweet note, there's the D-I-Y waffle station with free flow Haagen Dazs ice cream. Instructions make the process fool proof, and the results are quaffable but not exceptional, the waffle a little chewy and dense in the middle; the Matcha and Macadamia nut ice cream filling in the gaps.
Buffet Prices range from $24.80++ to $29.80++ for lunch and $37.80++ - $39.80++ for dinners. Note that additional charges will be applied for the Christmas promotions.
First time round, Saveur at Far East Plaza was an absolute sweet talker. (you can read about it here). With humble beginnings from a coffee shop in Ali Baba eating house, the boys from Shatec have pushed their earnest attempts at serving up fashionably austere cuisine to a new level, with their recent opening of Saveur Art located at Ion Orchard. Since crowds were diverted to the new establishment, the partner and I took the opportunity to visit the original branch, the fears of being greeted by obscene queues significantly lowered.
For starters, we got the Saveur's Pasta ($4.90): chilli oil, finely chopped kombu, minced pork sauce, chives and sakura ebi. Having had all of a forkful on my first visit, I was instantly smitten by the different dimension of flavors presented; this time round, not so much - the strands of pasta congealed and starchy, perhaps from pre-cooked pasta taking a dip in not so hot water. This dish got a lukewarm reception from the both of us. If not for the minimal price tag, this would probably have induced some angst over the table.
My Sea Bass ($14.90) came with a haphazard curtain of limp french beans overhead. The fish cooked to perfection within, lacked the desired crisp crust that it's skin-on presentation suggests. The pan seared potatoes could have benefited from some browned crusty edges, the savoury mix of crab meat it is tossed with pleasing my jaded taste buds.
The partner's Duck Confit ($12.90) translates in such a way that you get what you pay for. Results would be more felicitous if the chefs paid more attention to the rendering of fats on the duck. The sight of a smashing thick layer of white fat trimmings on the side of the bird sending shivers down my spine. The orange scented confetti of citrus segments and sauteed shitake elevates this humble dish and was an excellent accompaniment to the succulent flesh.
Saveur's noble attempt to make usually 'atas' fare more approachable to the general public is commendable. However, with lack of attention of detail paid to execution, the eminent fear of a case of cuisine 'lost in translation' surfaces.
Under the same roof of Ramen Champion Dining comes Shabu Shabu Ramen, targeted at ramen lovers whose cravings can't be satisfied with just one bowl of ramen. Think about it, what's better than indulging in an ambrosial spread of shabu shabu ingredients with bowlfuls of aromatic flavoursome soup on a rainy day (which happen more often than I like it in December)? To top off the experience, a tray of tantalising home-made ramen noodles accompanies the feast instead of the conventional white rice.
The unique selling point of this concept is the residence of so many different dining options on common ground. Giving families a larger range of selection; everything from award winning ramen to mouth-watering snacks such as gyozas, crispy tebasaki, and now, the shabu shabu experience. Since its launch in April 2014, constant R&D have resulted in fair-valued sets and a variety of soup base choices targeted at pleasing the most finicky of palates. I put this to the test today.
We ordered the Shabu Shabu Set A for 3-4pax ($59++) and settled for Paitan soup and Spicy Soup upon recommendation (the other choices being Miso, Tom Yum and Kelp Soup). This set comes with 2 boxes of Pork Loin, Pork Belly and Beef Loin, 1 box of chicken, the seafood platter and a plate of assorted vegetables.
The Seafood Platter ($14.80 ala carte) is essentially a mix of prawn, scallops, crabsticks, cuttlefish ball and salmon ; I skipped the prawns, choosing to dunk its sweet but somewhat dubiously unfresh flesh into the paitan broth to kick it up a notch. The scallops and crabsticks attracted my attention with its rufescent hues, these were delicious, it's delicate soft texture accentuated by the racy tang from the spicy soup base.
If you know me well, you would know that i'm a huge sucker for meat. Shabu Shabu Ramen has my heart with a commodious spread of carnivorous grub procured from around the globe. My favourite would be the Pork Loin from Australia. It possesses the right amount of fats that render the thin slices absolutely besotting after a quick swishing action in the scalding soup. Perfect with the accompanying condiments of ponzu, goma and spicy chili sauce. Not to be missed is the Australia beef loin, so expertly sliced that it curls with silent resolute, ready to be eaten within a few seconds.
Shabu Shabu Ramen now offers 3 sets to feed 1-2 pax, 2-3 pax or 3-4pax at $29++, $47++ and $59++ respectively. With such attractive price packaging, good selection of soup bases to choose from as well as premium ingredients used, this Japanese hotpot may be a good venue to consider for your next big family or office outing!
Skyve wine bistro & bar was my destination choice for dinner after being arrowed the mammoth task of choosing a venue for our long awaited family gathering. With the rather lacklustre District 10 taking tenancy of the same spot before Skyve, I made the mental preparation to face the mediocrity of the food I was about to dig into, as if in sync with the mundane and somewhat accusational talk from the parents.
Skyve Wine Bar & Bistro sports a rather cliched look, low sofa seats strewed across the dimly lit room highlighted by incandescent spot lights that puncture the cold muted air. Pardon my antagonism, but conversations with the apprehensive mother just leaves me in shambles.
However, Skyve's food proved to be a diamond in the rough, shedding some light on the sombre atmosphere. The Herb dredged Calamari ($14) takes on newfangled flavors with its togarashi coating and a side serving of ancho malt aioli. Sure, there's no debate as to whether this is the better calamari in comparison with Hurricane Grills'; freshness issues being a big disadvantage, but points go to Skyve for attempting the novel. The malt vinegar in the aioli evoking memories of fish and chips in brown paper eaten on the sidewalk, the ancho paste busting out sea savouriness that heightens the dish.
My brother declares the Truffle and Thyme Fries ($12) to be better than the faddish rendition over at P.S cafe and that says a lot. For me, it is not jaw dropping but nonetheless clever techniques have reaped golden crisp fries with fluffy innards. And that remained, all the way through to the bottom of the basket. Kudos. The usage of truffle oil, restrained with a wise hand and a shower of grando padano over the top completing the picture perfect dish.
More commendable are the mains. The Confit of Duck Leg ($36) presents a study of textures against a background of sweet smooth pumpkin puree. The skin shatters with an inaudible crunch that causes food envy with every bite. Not to be missed is the Spicy Kalbi Beef Short Ribs ($36) that succeeded in pleasing the nit-picking taste buds of the folks at the table. Employing the sous vide method of cooking, the meat was meltingly succulent, the sticky kalbi glaze reminiscent of Korean barbecue flavors, injects a subtle note of heat into the mixture that grows on you exponentially.
And just like watching a circus act, you're waiting for the clown to come in and maybe slip on a banana peel, sending shots of awkward laughter to bring the show to a close. As sadistic as it sounds, we ordered desserts with a strong conviction that the kitchen was bound to trip up somewhere after such a flawless service.
Boy were we wrong...
The Snickers Bar ($12) with its provocative plating and even more magnetic flavors almost conjured up fist fights over the table. Layers of salted caramel pudding, peanut butter, chocolate ganache and a dainty band of crunchy feuilletine teases the eyes with its meticulous nature. The flavors melding perfectly with the caramelized banana and vanilla gelato - not the largest scoop I've had but it would suffice. Definitely one of the best restaurant desserts I've had this year.
Skyve Wine Bar and Bistro ain't exactly the talk of the town but with such a consistent performance on the food aspect and not dismissing the attentive and sometimes over-gregarious service, it is a food mecca worthy of special occasions and repeated visits.
Skyve Wine Bar & Bistro is one of the merchants featured on the Entertainer app 2014 and also for the 2015 version which has just been released. Purchase the app here to enjoy one-for-one deals at the many dining, travel and leisure outlets dotting the island!
Belgian Beer Cafe
Rostang at the Atlantis
Almaz by Momo
Le Pain Quotidien
Lime Tree Cafe
Fundamentally-flawed is Lee Sihan. 26 going on 27, she is a dessert enthusiast,
food nomad, wanderer of lands and a pastry chef currently working in Sydney.
Fueled by a lifelong addiction to all things sweet, and a burning desire to travel the globe
follow her as she embarks on delicious escapades both in and out of the kitchen