Akari Japanese Dining Bar: Winter Kaiseki Set

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One of my best meals this year had to barely fit into the schedule of things. Coming to a close shave with the end of the year is Akari's Winter Kaiseki Set meal;  conceptualised by Chef Hirotaka Murata of Nkano, Tokyo. A quick glance at his credentials and you'll be assured that you're in for rollercoaster ride of epic gastronomical revelries. 

The best part would probably be the price tag that doesn't threaten to cast a looming shadow over the meal. Let's be practical here, but sitting down to the idea of a $500 tagged omakase meal does bear a weight of unreasonable expectations and impending misery should things go sour. Akari Japanese Dining Bar is offering two kaiseki set course choices, priced at $100++ and $150++ per pax respectively for a 9-course kaiseki menus. Set to mystify even the most regular of Japanese food gourmands, Chef Hirotaka Murata provides several twists and turns throughout the flight with seasonal ingredients and winter-bound flavor pairings.

Cajun on Wheels: Louisiana seafood truck @ Pasarbella

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I can't quite recall the last time I had crab. Honestly, I really don't have it to often. The challenge of retaining a stain free shirt at the end of the feasting often the more intimidating factor that would steer me clear of that option. I would say that being a klutz has been a major deterrent in my choice to partake in crab, but the more poignant reason would be plain laziness. However, Cajun on Wheels isn't just your standard zi-char style Chili Crab or Black pepper crab, hence its worth the mess. In true American gourmet fashion, mussels and crabs are piled high on to a waterproof plastic sheet layer that hides the wonderfully decorated table tops of the new Pasarbella at Suntec City. A shame really, but the umami-laden galore of seafood that greets the eye is equally attractive.

The menu at Cajun on Wheels is kept simple, staying true to its roots of imitating a Louisiana seafood truck with Cajun influences. Seafood is simply boiled in bags with herbs and spices till just cooked and served with a variation of local-fusion sauces such as Salted Egg Yolk, Thai Red Curry and the kid-friendly Cheesy Cream.

DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe: Festive Season Menu | Better late than never

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Christmas celebrations at The Shopped at Marina Bay Sands veers away from the usual posh nosh fare with the festive season 3-course menu at DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe swooping in to the rescue of all the daddy and mummies in distress, fretting over where to bring the kids to for Christmas celebrations.  

Dishing out American cuisine with a heavy inception of Superhero charm in every aspect - cocoa powder stenciled patterns on drinks to batman shaped carrot cutouts in your soup;  DC Comics Super Hero cafe is perfect for the young ones or perhaps those still flagrantly young at heart. 

Christmas Rhapsody @ Orchard Central: Food Trails, sugar hits and more...

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I'm sorry to have left you in the lurch regarding the Christmas issue but hey I'm back from the grave (where I've witnessed many macaron shells died a unsightly death) and here to tell you about some crazy X'mas specials happening in Orchard Central itself - delicious deals that are dispensed only because of the generosity of the owners themselves during the festive period. So grab it now or forever hold your peace.

'The Future of Us' x 2am: Desserts of the future.

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Ever wonder what Singapore will be like 50 years down the road during SG100? Here is the chance to postulate with “The Future of Us” exhibition, a multi disciplinary platform that brings about experts from all walks of society onto one communal “think tank”.
                                      
One of the subjects that intrigued me the most was the future of food. I had the pleasure of attending a talk given by patisserie chef, Janice Wong at her 2:am dessert bar. Being an avant garde in the  confectionery world, she is the first to start a scientific laboratory for edible sweets in the Biopolis research hub before relocating it to the Japanese capital a few years back.

Angelina: Dishing out a warm rustic French Christmas | Festive special menus

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For those celebrating Christmas in sunny Singapore... my heart goes out to you. Sure, we don't have white Santas on every street corner, nor reindeers or even the slightest chance of snow. What we do have is food and plenty of it. My next few blog posts will display the lucrativeness of this festive period, covering everything from burgers, festive sundaes to gorgeous terrarium creations; some good, some bad and some down right ugly. With Christmas only coming in once a year, and people marginally more generous and good spirited, why not cash in on this holiday season? There's no debating this annual mandatory plot.

Let's kick off the merrymaking with a trip down to Angelina which promises a warm rustic French Christmas with its festive menus. Available daily till the 31st of December, it's 3 course set menu priced at a wallet friendly $60++ comprises appetizers such as the Chestnut and Maderia Veloute or the Pan-Seared Foie Gras with rhubarb compote and fruit toast. The former, perfumed with the warm aroma of toasted chestnut does bring to mind a joyous celebration in front of the fireplace, the slight tipple of Madeira into the smooth concoction bestowing the dish with a silky rich edge. Those seeking something a little heavier on the palate should veer for the latter, reinforced by a sturdy slab of perfectly seared foie gras that would have left an oil slick in your mouth if not for the puckering sour rhuarb compote. Baked Angus beef au poivre with Forest Mushroom Fricassee fills in as an excellent main, though I admittedly would have loved a little more salt rather than black pepper crusting my steak as the overall combination of peppery mushroom fricassee rendered the whole dish a pepper wasteland. Other options include the walnut crusted halibut or baked duck breast. The ominous glare from the words 'Dessert of the Day' throws everyone off guard; I honestly can't vouch that you would receive a lovely surprise package. All you can do it hope and pray that there would be a citrus cheesecake of sorts that miraculously finds it way to your table.

Som Tam @ Orchard Central: Modern Thai Fusion Cuisine

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When it comes to food, the possibilities are endless. The prospects of fusion and implementing the basic fundamentals of natural selection into the flavor structuring of its signatures is indeed limitless and awe-inspiring - as a result, many food establishments jump on the bandwagon in order to invigorate and tease their audience's palate. In fact, it's funny how Orchard Central plays hosts to several of these rogue identities - 49 Seats, Joie by Dozo and Tanuki by Standing Sushi bar among others. New to the scene is Som Tam - a modern Thai fusion restaurant bent on giving Thai food a new lease of life. It's grand gesture beginning with its ambitious placement in the hip hangout Orchard Central.

Fort by Maison Ikkoku: Raise your glass this holiday season

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When I first heard that the trio behind Maison Ikkoku bar was opening a bar on Fort Canning, it got me really really excited. Afterall, this new bar would be highly perched on quiet grounds, far away from the usual drinking holes down south of the river. More importantly, it was an effort of Maison Ikkoku, one of the pioneers and shakers of the local bespoke scene.

For this project, the folks at Maison Ikkoku also decided to rope in F&B veteran Ethan Leslie Leong who doubles as one of Fort's directors and master mixologist. Many might have heard of the world's most expensive cocktail, but they might not know that Ethan was the one that conceived the recipe for "The Jewel of Pangaea" which is sold exclusively in Club Pangaea for a whopping $35,000 per glass. Still, holding the reigns as the world's most expensive drink.

A celebrity in his own rights, he had done countless collaborations with international renowned brands such as Chanel, Montblanc and Polo Ralph Lauren, among others. Ethan was also appointed the Brand ambassador for Martell, in line with the celebration of Martell's 300 years anniversary earlier this year.

With so many accolades to his name, it was hard not to pin my hopes high.

Megumi Japanese Restaurant @ Upper East Coast Road: Japanese nosh with a local spin

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I'm just going to dive straight into the food. Because that's mainly what it is about at this no-frills Japanese eatery tucked away in the Upper East Coast Road region, flanked by the ever-so crowded Perle Noire and Strictly Pancakes on the other side.

Focus on the sashimi, and not the stiff faces of the floor staff, whom not once in my time spent at the joint even lifted the corners of their lips. Since the ordering is done through an IPAD system, it more or less lessens the interaction between these drones and the diners, so I'm not complaining. It just bugs me a little that the kitchen which bears so much soul in its cooking is cold and barren on the outside.

My orders of Mekajiki ($14 for 5 slices) and Salmon Belly ($12 for 5 slices) was inspiring. Thick slices of omega-3 laden treasure pots on a single dish definitely is a sight for sore eyes. We could have eaten 5 of these and begged for more. The Ebi Tempura ($15) was your run off the mill regular fare, the light batter not possessing as much crispness as I would like, however, the stiff, crystal snap of the prawns within, do make a difference. 

[GIVEAWAY] Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove: Celebrate the Magic of Christmas

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There's nothing quite as magical as sipping on some champagne by the harbor at sunset. With a view to die for, and a coldish breeze adrift, this is pretty much as good as gets here in Singapore. 

The developers behind Quayside Isle have nailed it; killer views matched with a formidable force of food and beverage establishment lining the picturesque wooden docks - this is the place you want to be on an anniversary, a birthday celebration or even just for Friday chill out sessions with the homies.

This Christmas season, Quayside Isle is spreading the joy of giving with exclusive promotions and dining options that promise a one-of-a-kind experience. Sure, bright lights, joyous cheers and plenty of good food to savour is one thing, but congregating the loved ones where the magic unravels is another more important reason to congregate at Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove. Expect roving acts on deck as whimsical angels on stilts and dynamic LED jugglers make special appearances on the 19th and 25th December.

The Knolls @ Capella: Sunday Brunch featuring Nespresso Pure Origins Journey

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Escape the madness of the city with a quick drive across the waters to Sentosa , where the peacocks roam the grounds with a streak of haughtiness in their stride (and a bit of viciousness when food is in plain sight); Here at the luxurious sprawling expense of Capella, a deep dark intense secret is brewing.

To bid farewell to the remaining months of 2015, Capella presents their usual Sunday Brunch at The Knolls with a twist. Working in sync with Nespresso to feature their Prestige Range of Pure Origins Grand Crus in an enticing range of coffee-infused canapes. 

So, if you have plans to navigate their crowd-pleasing Sunday Brunch, do make a detour from the usual sashimi and oyster bar and ensure a good fill of the new canapes which not only pack a big hit of caffeine, but also exhibit high levels of finesse and attention to balance of sweet and savoury flavors.

OverEasy (Orchard): you make it so easy to love you

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Sweet redemption.

The instant gratification that washed over me as he nodded in agreement to the reinstated goodness of the 'to-die-for' burger. 

Okay, so here's a recap, I've always been a big fan of Overeasy's burgers as seen from here and here. It's succulent patties matched alongside divine pillowy soft buns, attaining some sort of legendary status in my books, that I would happily expound fairytales about, to friends enquiring about my favourite burgers.  However, the story goes that that a recent trip to their new joint at Orchard Road (here), resulted in some very distraught sentiments after the jump. The lacklustre sear and uneven seasoning in the patty left a good three-quarters of my burger left untouched on the plate. Fortunately, after a bit of damage control, reparations were made and faith restored.

The 'To Die For' burger is a passionate contender for the best burger with its beautifully charred patty exterior and perfectly cooked medium rare innards. Simple does it here at OverEasy and their signature burger is done in good ole' diner style. slapped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and a special burger sauce. Set in a potato bun that helps to keep the juicy mixture intact as you lift it to your lips, the bun is the perfect candidate, hard on the outside, a spongy, soft natured on the inside. I couldn't have done it better.

Weekend Haunts: Places worth checking out for their [NEW MENUS] part 2

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Happy Sunday Folks!

If you're enjoyed our part 1 of the "Places worth checking out for their NEW MENUS" then, you're gonna love our second instalment.

More places to wine and dine this weekend without bursting the budget. We've got everything from 
fish tacos to the jumbo breakfast burrito, and even a Chia Seed coconut rose yogurt with homemade maple granola and berry compote for the health freaks. Loud and rowdy, with loads of laughter and way too many empty plates. That's how you know you're doing your weekends justice.

Let's start the ball rolling with the familiar Oriole Coffee + Bar stationed under the big ass fans in the vicinity of the Pan Pacific suites in 313Somerset. Under the influence of head chef Randy Torres who is a true blood Texan; the menu has taken a sharp curve in a South American direction with inspiration drawn from many comfort dishes in that region. Breakfast for examples sees two newcomers, the Jumbo Breakfast Burrito ($16) and the Humble Baked Egg Skillet ($16); both of which are real treats except that my allegiance falls with the latter. The lovely amalgamation of flavors you get when churning your spoon through the hot cast skillet of tender roast stew, sweet potatoes, and the piece de resistance - caramelised emmantal cheese forming chunks of savoury shards throughout the full bodied mixture. This disappears way too easily, as so does the jumbo breakfast burrito which so happens to be the perfect kind of hangover cure. Stuffed with Spanish chorizo, scrambled eggs, chipotle puree and smoked cheddar cheese, these tight rolls are then seared on all 4 sides till a desirous shade of brown; abetting the eating experience, where you'll gratefully avoid the situation of burritos that fall all over your plate instead of your mouth. Oriole does it right, and they know it.

Weekend Haunts: Places worth checking out for their [NEW MENUS] part 1

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With a whole slew of restaurants/cafes being opened every week; diners are being spoilt for choice whenever the weekend rolls in and the hellish decision as to 'where to eat' has to be made. Take our advice and commit to visiting the oldies (but goodies). Here are some of our picks for the newest menus in town, discounting the fact that these joints have been stationed there long enough to prove that they have a certain amount of substance to survive the gruelling trials of the F&B scene in Singapore. These joints are dishing out heavenly fried chicken, tender beef cheek rendang and outstanding eggs benedict, all guaranteed to make your weekends a whole better.

Oxwell & Co.: Christmas Fabulous Feast

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Christmas kind of snuck its way into our calenders once again, the entire year passing us by like a whirlwind affair. Now, its time to line your stomachs with traditional Christmas roasts and prepare for the assault of one, too many alcoholic beverages in the course of merry-making. Naughty or nice, I'm sure Santa's too busy overworking his minions to tell.

So, moving on, Oxwell and Co.; the British inspired gastro-pubs rolls out its festive menu in true English style, with traditional roasts and pork crackling to foster the spirit of sharing and caring with a convivial communal dining practice. 

Oxwell & Co. resides in this over-trodden neighborhood of Ann Siang Hill being knocked around mercilessly by the well-heeled crowd, bar-crawling their way through the vicinity and punishing their livers in the midst. Walk in the front door and you're in a wood sheathed interior with minimalistic walls decorated with twisted piping, similarly defiant lamp shadings bouncing off the walls in a free spirited disarray. It's a bohemian space, like a dingy pub gone rogue; and the food here is equally manic.

Masizzim: Heart Warming Korean stews in the heart of town

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I may not be the most up to date when it comes to imported Korean establishments nor am I the most enthusiastic. But when something as good as Masizzim washes ashore and you get the privilege to try it for the first time, during which the dining experience brings on a rhapsody and chimera of narratives; you share it.

And not just in terms of words or preachings, but very soon I was back at the joint, with boyfriend in tow. And boy did we enjoy the food, apart from the mishap that occurred when we realized that we got charged for rice balls that never quite made it to the table. *hic*... rookie mistake... too much cocktails before got us all muddled up. Looking past that, you can't quite fault the food, especially with a menu as tight and well focused as the one at Masizzim.

Mikuni: Fugu (Puffer Fish) Grand Tasting Menu

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Walking past obscure doorways, one's eyes will take just over a few seconds to accustom to the ridiculously dim lighting in Mikuni, all in sharp contrast to the bright white lights that stream in from Raffles Shopping Center. For most, Mikuni is synonymous with the best sort of Japanese food in Singapore. Well, even if you arrived totally ignorant, the meal unfolds in such gustatory waves of pleasure that it convinces you of that fact persuasively. Such is the case of my recent meal at Mikuni where I was treated to an 8-course unique menu that delves deep into the perilous world of Globefish aka Fugu aka Puffer Fish.

Diners can be assured though, with the skillful and safe preparation of the Fugu by Executive Chef Moon Kyung Soo and his team, coupled with the stict food handling laws that AVA has put into place; that this meal would be completely and utterly safe (not to mention heavenly!).  Available from now till the end of Jan 2016, Mikuni will be featuring a grand tasting menu flaunting the versatility and natural flavors of this delicacy; priced at $220 for 8 courses with the option to pair it with 4 varieties of premium sake for $330, this proves to be such a steal. Diners who just want to live on the edge a little without going full fledged into the degustation can opt for the Fugu a la carte items such as the Fugu Sashimi ($88), Fugu Tempura ($38) and Fugu Hot Pot ($48); each dish suitable for 2.

iO Italian Osteria: True Italian Style

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iO Osteria has a few problems. For one, service is a nightmare, the dining grounds akin to a battlefield soaked with the grievous stares of diners turned away at the door when trying to snag a seat without making a reservation. The enthusiastic Italian staff exchanging a flurry of heated conversation over a wrong order at the bar whilst chiding a local young girl who asked us twice about dishes that didn't belong to us. I hope these issues get resolved. I really do. Because food at iO Osteria is unbelievably good, and if you close your eyes amidst all the chaos, you will feel that a part of you is zipped away to Italy.

Sprigs: European Restaurant ventures out of the box with its New Menu

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It seems as if Sprigs had gained enlightenment; its bid to strike off heavier European flavors in favor of a newer and more adventurous stance, littered with the pungency of Asian flair; manifesting itself in the form of a revamped menu

While the previous menu sported a more rustic images, Titus Tiong, one of the founders of Sprigs was quite to notice the change of trends in the dining scene and made the mandatory call to overhaul the menu. Focusing on driving a more contemporary direction with more emphasis on the visual appeal of the dish. I hear you, sir.. with so many camera touting hipsters around, you might just want to work on making your dishes just a little prettier.

The meal kicks into gear with most dishes pushed out at a comfortable pace. The Friday night crowd just a little less intimidating than expected. Roasted Veal Carpaccio ($22) and the Baby Squid 'A la' Plancha ($22) whets the appetite -  the seemingly popular Northern Italian dish combines veal with a mayonnaise like sauce flavored with tuna. Sounds like a stretch, but the oddball configuration actually works out perfectly, the sluice of broken egg yolk flooding the slightly chaotic plate with more juices than desired. I would strongly recommend the baby squid instead, presented in a cast iron pan, this Spanish inspired dish with tender baby squid served over a sunny side up egg and decorated with lomo iberico, panzanella (a Tuscan bread salad) and a sprinkle of freshly chopped chili was a top notch dish that could have seen a flawless transition into breakfast form with the addition of chorizo.

[GIVEAWAY] Morganfield's: Christmas feasting with more than just Sticky Bones

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With Christmas just around the corner, the long enduring relationship between food and booze is reaffirmed again. No, this ain't a post about the merits of pairing alcohol with food, because sometimes I prefer to turn my focus to the former. Food, especially Christmas feasts refers usually to a massive, horrendously dry bird perched unceremoniously on a tray with side condiments of dull roasted vegetables and lumpy mashed potatoes, which you'll usually proceed to drown in processed brown gravy and store-bought cranberry sauce on the side to sweeten the appalling deal, before turning to the host to say, "This is lovely, (fill in victims name), we should do this again next year.". Fake smiles fill the awkward space in the room.

We all the drill. The intensive efforts it takes to plan a Christmas feast, much less prepare one from scratch. This year, cut yourself some slack and head on down to Morganfield's for some Christmas joy both in-store as well as take home packages for your home or office parties. Starting from 16th November onwards till 31st December, tuck into an enticing range of Christmas eats such as Bourbon Marmalade Glazed Leg of Ham, Christmas Roast Chicken and Pork Roast amongst a slew of other regulars. 

Food Snippets: [NEW OPENINGS] COCOIchibanya, Populus Cafe, Confetti, Seattle Pike Chowder,The Rotisserie

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Here's how we like doing it this Tuesday. Fast and furious.

Often stumped by the question, 'so, what are we eating later?,'  We round up several hot new venues that have just opened, veering towards the more family friendly style that perhaps have existed in a different forms before being reincarnated in new landmark. So whether you're craving a soul-satisfying roast chicken and gravy, a trendy instagrammable brunch plate or simply a bread bowl filled with chunky clam chowder, there's a Singapore restaurant that will satisfy. The scoop, below.

Meat Liquor Sin: EATs, BEATs & TREATs aka F*#< Brunch

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The moment these words 'free flow of legendary burgers' rolled off the screen, there was no way I was going to back out from a trip to Meat Liquor Sin's infamous Eats, Beats and Treats brunch. The lovely introduction - encompassing a holistic experience endorsed by the likes of free flow food and booze whilst being serenaded by DJ Oliver Osboune, followed by the final flourishing of a goodie bag packed with a handy visor, useful for playing the vampire role when faced with harsh sunlight after - was terribly enticing in its being. But, nothing prepared me for the actual sordid, grubby debuachery of an affair that was about to unfold itself, the moment you stepped into the shade; the thick smell of bacon fats hanging mid air.

The Waterfall @ Shangri-La Hotel: New Salumeria Menu & other heirloom signatures

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Don't get chasing waterfalls...
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to

Classic TLC lyrics that teach us not to get ahead of ourselves. Chef de Cuisine Marco De Vincentis threads on safe grounds with his expertise spreading to the new salumeria menu of exclusive imported cold cuts and cheese as well as 26 new a la carte heirloom creations that highlight his Southern roots, seeing that he hails from Naples - a scenic city hugging the Southern coasts of Italy.

What's that? - salumeria consisting of exclusive, imported cold cuts and cured meats, as well as artisanal cheeses from the counter. We hearsay they have a creamy Burrata Pugliese Pomodori Marinati stashed somewhere in there too!

Contrary to popular belief, The Waterfall is not a buffet restaurant (thought I might get that assumption out of the way first to avoid some quizzical looks as I dive deeper into the mechanics of the Italian feast that we indulged in here) - residing in the lovely enclave of the hotel poolside, the rustic charms of the colonial decor takes one back into a seemingly different era, where its acceptable to be sipping on mai tais in broad daylight while trying to make a white plastic pool deck chair look sexy. 

None of that nonsense for now. Let's talk food.

Tin Hill Social: Dreamboat of culinary expectations

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After looking through the menu at Tin Hill Social, you'll immediately start to formulate ways to squeeze in more nosh in your tummy. The mesmeric carte du jour heralding several choices of  meat cuts presented in abstract ways such as the hay smoked pork ribs and sous vide octopus leg served with romesco sauce and hazelnuts. Making a choice, may just be the toughest part yet; the resistance to wipe out all of the wasabi fries in the mess tin coming in a close second.

Crab-Hunting @ 姑妈家 & Joyden Treasure

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You don't have to have a mother who can remotely cook a single dish in the kitchen without catching the corner of her frilly apron on fire (a bit of a stretch, I know) to appreciate the charms of the food being served up at  姑妈家, located at the far end of the food-centric Macpherson Road.

The storefront and interior are kept minimal and simple as if to preserve high strung days where the establishment grounds were packed wall to wall with hungry diners. Nowadays, the rare family occasional rolls in on a weekday night; the lazy susan bearing significantly lesser burden than in those hay days. That being said, 姑妈家 with its homey environment and earnest sit-down diner experience is something suited for the large family get togethers. 

House @ Dempsey: High Tea Party goes green

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To cut to the chase, popular vintage high tea at House @ Dempsey has seen a face lift. Currently donning a more herbaceous look with the kitchen taking a conscious effort to incorporate fresh herbs into their signature comfort food.

It's all about making the prettiest plates here for that ultimate flat lay to be exhibited with the intentions of braggadocio or accidental evidence that you've skipped work for a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon to have high tea with the girlies. carelessness. TSK.

Merdandy Raffles Place: let's focus on the grub.

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'It's a daily struggle, especially the part where we have to turn down guests who come in looking for an after-work tipple,' Alvin says, 'initially, it's heartbreaking, but after a while, it becomes normalcy.'

I hear you Alvin. 

Merdandy, Haji Lane's biggest player alongside the groovy Blue Jaz cafe has decided to venture out of its comfort hipster zone and don a business suit instead. Situated on Chulia street in the midst of Raffles Place, the 2nd outlet retains its too-cool-for-school alfresco settings, but ramps up the front in the food department with a more concrete menu. Unfortunately due to a certain sort of recklessness, the granting of the alcohol license has been severely delayed, hence a trip to the joint would mean giving your liver a lovely respite from the daily damage. I speak on my part mostly; but for one, I was glad to be able to savor the quality of bar grub in absolute clarity.

Tamarind Hill: VITAGEN Less Sugar celebrates SGWeekendFeast

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The persistent haze has not stopped Singaporeans from dining out, judging from the turn out at the staggering number of food events in the last few weeks - we deduce that Singaporeans clearly live to eat.

Last weekend, we had the honour of attending the finale of Vitagen's fun-filled #SGWeekendFeast held at the pristine new Tamarind Hill, a modern Thai-Chinese Bar restaurant atop Labrador Hill.

As part of the unique collaboration, celebrity chefs Sam and Forest Leong were both present at their live cooking counters and the couple also came up with a special menu, together with Vitagen inspired drinks and desserts for their guests. Besides having food meticulously prepared from the counter by the duo, we were also supplemented with an endless food supply from the BBQ and buffet station! Talk about a feast...

District 10 Bar & Grill: Dry Aged Meat Nirvana

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'God, I could just live here,' I cooed in between fat-filled bites of the fiorentina steak. And it isn't just the plantation dark rum talking, it's easy to be charmed by the deadly smells of charred meat coming from the small window exposing the bustle and heat from the grill, adjustable by crank wheels; all that in between being smitten by the breezy chef Luca Pezzera, Co-owner and Executive chef of the Bonta Group who wields the larger-than-life cleavers with feign intimidation. 

Situated at the ground floor lobby of the newly revamped Suntec City Tower 2, its hard to miss the dry-aged meat nirvana. The ominous highlight of the diner, clearly evident the moment you step onto establishment's grounds - the European meat showcase with massive displays of proteins and delectable cheese teasing your visual senses. Then, there's the dedicated chiller behind the bespoke butchers block filled with choice cuts, dry-aged in house that scream business. So, let's get down to the bottom of things, why does dry-aged meat encompass so much more luxury than usual? - that's because dry ageing allows for enzymes to break down connective tissues in the muscles which soften and tenderises meat; resulting in a higher concentration of natural flavors in the protein. This usually involves a slightly extravagant price tag, but its all worth while in my opinion.

Mitzo: $100Gourmet Michelin Dining || Swiss harmony.

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You'll probably know Switzerland as one of the world's safest and most neutral nation, possessing some of Europe's most open gun laws. Hence it's no surprise to find Chef Rolf Fliegauf, hailing from 2 Michelin Stars ECCO Ascina and Ecco St. Moritz working in peaceful unanimity with Chef Nicky (previous head chef at Michelin-starred Hakkasan NYC) for the November's edition of $100Gourmet collaboration happening from the 6th to the 9th.  The meeting of minds resulting in some visually arresting plates deserving of media attention as well as the congregation of gourmands.

Quick Picks: Roll-Up & Ramen Bari-Uma

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Once again, its time for a couple of quick picks around town. Spots where you can jump in and out for a meal on the fly, yet still emerge with a stomach full of contentment at the end.

Roll-Up, an unpretentious little joint dishing out kebabs along the riotous boat quay area is a good time. You'll smell it before you experience it, thanks to the fumes of Indian spices floating from the tandoor oven within the kitchen. Despite the spoken affiliation to most late night kebab stands, the lack of grime and inherent insipidness in the decor, made it hard for me to build those connections. Needless to say, my stay in Sydney itself, housed right smack on George street in the city, saw me breeding familiarity with the neighbourhood kebab shop - a filthy 24 hour outlet churning out huge platters of grilled meats for the drunkards late into the night. Truth be told, Roll-Up was none of that, the finesse in the final product further proving this point.

Idaten Udon: where you are your own boss.

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If you're looking for a quick place around town for lunch,  then Idaten would fit the bill perfectly. Both in light of the time aspect as well as where monetary finances are concerned. RE&S branches out their power chain of Japanese establishments with yet again another winning concept - Idaten Udon, adding to the enterprise's successful portfolio of quintessentially Japanese restaurants. 

Here at the casual diner located at the sharp bend of the citylink mall leading up from the escalator, you can be the ultimate decision maker for your own Udon meal. Bent on providing a no-frills self-serve concept that specializes in udon, diners don't have to worry about meddlesome service staff hanging around tables or footing the extra service tax. 

DOMVS @ Sheraton Towers: A Seafood Fête from Norway

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An email popped up in my browser, 'A Seafood Fete from Norway...' and instantly I was sold. Big Whoop! No ways I was letting a fresh seafood catch slip through my fingers. The potential mercury poisoning stemming from the copious amounts of pippies, oysters, cod, turbot and flathead I've consumed during my last few days in Australia, not holding me back as I indulged in a full-fledged seafood fiesta courtesy of the kind folks from Sheraton Towers. 

From 1st Nov to the 8th Nov, Sheraton Towers Singapore in collaboration with Guest Chef Markus Peter Dybwad, from Norway will present a Norwegian seafood extravaganza, riding the delicacies of various Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified produce to cook-up culinary excellence. This demonstration will be displayed over at DOMVS, the Italian restaurant (1-4 Nov) and The Dining Room (5-8 Nov) through specially curated menus.

Craftsmen Specialty Coffee: Far East bites.

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I concur that the East-siders have it better when it comes to food. It has always been an unspoken rule where nobody debates the East-siders choice when it comes to dinner options, their exposure to unearthly delicacies at a young age grooming their intelligible taste buds to ultimate snobbishness. I recall my first boyfriend (hailing from the better side, of course), who spent the first 3 days of our lives together looking at me as if I were a complete alien; our journey to the Joo Chiat area for dinner bringing an oddball glow to my face as we trod the well beaten eaten paths. Well, my ignorance has long gone, my frigidity with the eastern munchies gradually bridged over the years.

As do most cuisines, well , needless to say, the cafe scene on the flipside have a slight edge over us west-siders too. Craftsmen Specialty Coffee located at both Siglap Village and Eastwood is a contender for this myth. It's recent dabbling into sourdough on the menu pulling off a healthier image with quiet subversion.

Maggie Joan's: Backlane Dining

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Hidden in a once decrepit corner on the back alley of Amoy Street facing Gemmil Lane is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, well hidden from sight but promises to wow diners with the overall eating experience exemplified by the likes of Loh Lik Peng's Hua Bee and Jack & Rai's The Flying Squirrel. Not surprisingly this location was intentionally chosen by Glen and Daniel Ballis, the father and son duo behind the successful Moosehead modern tapas a few blocks down the road. Occupying a disused kitchen space of the old Gold Leaf porridge in a century old shophouse, this small and cosy establishment retained a lot of old world charm; the bricks that were stripped bare of its paint are the original's while Victorian floor tiles restored by Maggie Joan's in the inner quarters contribute to the ambiance of the place. Owner, Daniel also specially commissioned aged metal drum shades to evoke a sense of the bygone era.

Weekend Haunts: Bar Bites @ Spiffy Dapper + The Hotel Vagabond Bar

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Yes, we can

Friday is upon us. Naturally, some of us would gear up for a tipple or maybe two as the work day draws to an end and the anxiety weighs less heavily on the mind. It's the freakin' weekend people, let loose, and live a little.

Not so visible to the naked eye, Singapore does a few things very well, one of them being their cocktail bars. With such fabulous options in the city, we, Singaporeans have become quite discerning with our tastes and it takes something extra special to impress us.

I'm not about to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous Group meeting now, but I must admit to drinking a little too much for my own good. The gnawing pain at my back area suggesting some kind of liver inflammation from the copious amount of craft beer I've been ingesting over the past few days at Sydney Craft Beer Week. So here I am, ready to spread some of my love for my current two most outstanding cocktails bars of the moment. That's right, Ladies and Gentlemen, the vote is in.

The Benjamins: More than just milkshakes

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If you haven't heard of The Benjamins Cafe in Forum Shopping Center, I'm going to say this... Where have you been?!? Not that the Benjamins has a sterling menu but if you're even present on Instagram, you would have caught a glimpse of these outrageously over the top, extraordinary milkshakes that threaten to fill up every inch of your square frame. 

For most of us, a trip to The Benjamins would be a group of friends huddling over a couple of these babies, but I was bent on trying their food, especially after sipping on an outstanding mug of  cappuccino made by owner, Pearlyn. There must be more to it than meets the eyes. The burgeoning queues snaking its way around the corridors of the shopping mall urging me to warm my seat a little more.

Bridge: Weekend free flow Brunch

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A world of excellent truffle honey french toast exists in the same universe as the posh lobster croissant in this quaint eatery along gentrified Seah Street.

Brunch, is the ultimate meal to have when the weekend comes around and has eclipsed every other meal when it comes to where diners are spending their dollars. Bridge restaurant and bar, joins in the masses, offering up this popular, affordable luxury with a different twist.

[ANYMAP] The 10 Best Burgers in Singapore

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I've been writing about burgers. Plenty of times. Desolate looking burgers, dry burgers, larger than life burgers, black burgers, gourmet burgers. We love them all, the way a mother loves all her children; but as a middle child would tell you, we detests it when mum pretends to love all of us equally. In fact, we all know that it should come to this. Finally, a definitive list or ranking of my burger obsessions - napkins required.

D'Good Cafe: Deutsch Skillet Pancakes and Birthday Wishes

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D'Good Cafe celebrates its 3rd birthday today, and to spread the joyous mood, everybody will enjoy a whopping 30% off the total bill only today, the 15th Oct' 15. Now, that's worth a trip down. You know what else warrants a visit? The new menu headlining D'good's foray into the Dutch Skillet Pancakes, that's what is.

[ANYMAP] Top 5 most affordable Chirashi Don in Town

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In Singapore, you'll find the locals preference for food walking the thin line between brunch-fare and Japanese food. Or perhaps that's just me vouching for my own demeanour. More often than not, we see the soothing technicolour spread of donburi bowls permeating our instagram feeds; the notion of been satiated by a one-bowl meal so obliquely wholesome in a way. 
Shifting our focus to the beloved Chirashi Don; "chirashi"  which means scattered in Japanese by enlarge would get you a bowl of seasoned rice topped with scattered slices of raw fish, fish roe and the occasional tamago, if you're lucky. Sounding seemingly simple, the mark of a good chirashi bowl is balance. Quality sushi rice should be evenly seasoned with slicks of tangy, alkaline sweetness from the rice vinegar. Different types of fresh fish layered on top - bonus points granted for textural diversity and attention to colour variation. It's deviously simple constitution paving the way for huge success on some parts and epic failures for others. Read on for 5 of our favorite most affordable chirashi bowls in Singapore.

1. DSTLLRY (21 Media Circle, #01-01, Infinite Studios, 138562)

DSTLLRY needs no introduction, especially among the die-hard chirashi loving fans. Though highly inaccessible, this placidly shaded den is a multi-level temple to the glorious bowl that is their infamous Bara-Chirashi Don ($16.90) - hipster Asian eateries don't come much cooler. Super bang-for-buck, the sublime bara-charashi don is jammed pack with salmon, maguro and hamachi tossed in their secret sauce of mirin, dashi and soy sauce over a comforting bowl of rice.

OverEasy (Orchard): I'll let it slide easily.

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Familiarity breeds contempt and in my case, too many good burgers made a food snob out of me. 

Overeasy used to occupy a top spot on the score board, right up next to the Black Swan's saucy pileup of seasoned chuck patty and mature cheddar plastered over head; however, my most recent trip to Overeasy's second venture onto the bustling streets of Orchard Road resulted in a rather distasteful burger experience. The drastic performance standards between the two outlets, somewhat of a mystery I couldn't quite comprehend.

Quick Picks: The Dessert Edition

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While healthy living and the benefits of staving away from desserts may be admirable, once in a while, it's just nice to sink your teeth into sugar coated treats. Waffles and ice cream, move to the side as more culturally diverse confections tickle our taste buds. So, from Korean originating churros to immaculate hazelnut swirled danish pastries, dig in to my quick picks guide to the freshest and newest dessert joints in town!

Churros 101


Yeah, you like that don't you? Well, hold on to your mind as Singapore is getting a glimpse of Korea's best loved churro brand, Churro 101 with its first outpost opening up in the heart of town, Bugis Mall.

The churro fueled menu is designed just the way we like it, true to its form with all ingredients used specially imported from Korea, and recipes followed strictly to a T , if that doesn't guarantee consistency and authenticity, I don't know what else will.

Red Eye Smokehouse opens in Jalan Besar

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If you're not addicted to smoking, then you haven't tried Red Eye Smokehouse - the newest kid on the block, a hipster homestead which carves up one of the city's best smoked delicacies.

Don Quijote: More than just Suckling Pig

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Time goes faster than you blink. Nothing's ever was like it was.

But you and me, babe, we still have a special thing going on.

Don Quijote, 5 years ago you stole my bleepin' heart with a plethora of goodies ranging from Squid Ink Paella to the much less ostentatious garlic wild mushrooms (read more about it here), this year on a surprise return trip to common grounds, I was equally dazzled. I refer to it as a surprise because I unknowingly trudged into the restaurant with no clue that the establishment had relocated to its new residing grounds located on Dempsey Hill. 

Swankier, with higher ceilings and mosaic tiled bar counters; Don Quijote seemed to have metamorphosed into something a little more upmarket. Falling in the footsteps of most of its next-door vendors, but still retaining the same humble and warm Spanish hospitality vibes throughout. This is highly evident from the framed photos documenting the food driven journeys of owner, Mr Ken Lim and his family though Spain. Each one of which withholding some lingering tale in its wake.

{Wordless Wednesdays}: Bottura

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Arancini al Ragu ($8)
I initially condoned this to the 'Shall keep mum' folder on my desktop, but what the heck.. it's better suited for my 'Wordless Wednesday' movement.. simply because that's exactly where a meal at Bottura left me. At a loss for words.

And not in a good way too.

Quick Picks: 5 places for a Swift and Scrumptious Lunch in S'pore

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It's not everyday that you have the luxury to sit down to a lavish lunch without having thoughts of impending doom from the stockpiling workload weighing heavily on your mind. But with this little window of opportunity to escape as far away from work as possible, its always a good idea to treat yourself to something a little more substantial, a little more gratifying, if I might add. Here are a few of my go-to places for a quick lunch with perks of enlightenment and spiritual healing afterwards.

Pick of the Precinct || Orchard Central - Joie, Shi Li Fang, 以利泡泡

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Whenever it comes to dining options in the Orchard area, my mind cognitively draws a blank. The maddening crowds and the lack of personal space driving me far away from the prospects of heading out to town on the weekday night, much less on a weekend.

However, on closer inspection, it becomes evident that the usual 70% F&B based occupancy in every shopping mall, straddling the strip would be able to feed the crowds. Now the real problem is identifying which are worth your while.

Orchard Central is home to several outstanding food establishments; though the life of a certain kind of restaurant, one is given to understand, can be nasty, brutish and short. Sumiya and Ootoya, some of my long time favorites have stood the test of time and gone on to expand their humble business concepts to other heartland malls. That aside, my knowledge in regards to the other existing tenants squirrelled away disparately among 12 floors of concrete was close to zilch. It was for that reason alone that, when recently approached to be led on a food tour of certain selected vendors in the building, I happily obliged.

[ANYMAP] Best 5 Waffles in Singapore

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A great waffle needs no diatribe. As long as the exterior's golden and crunchy, the gelato or fried chicken (whatever floats your boat) authentically flavoured/juicy, and the added bonus of having a kick-ass sauce; the ingredients speak for themselves. And yet, even as the emergence of new waffle types, reimagined as pizzas and waffurger push past stereotypes with their wacky toppings and remarkable condiments, its no getting past the fact that the proof is in waffle itself. The variance of options on our tiny island, allowing every man to momentarily assume the position as a waffle philiosphers; debating the merits of waffle crumb, gelato and yeast versions versus baking powder, put against the souffled forms. But in the end, as with so many things, what matter the most is how it makes you feel inside; and thankfully there's room for all styles, from buttermilk to Belgium-yeasted and even filled with macaroni and cheese. So, keep an open mind and waffle-on! Here's where to find the best, my best at least: