How to say Goodbye: Version 2018


A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I called it a day. Threw in the towel, tossed in a couple of hurtful remarks just for dramatic exit effects, left that to sink its roots into each others bruised hearts for a couple of hours, and then we did the inevitable - discuss the custody of the cherished bottles we each had in our possession. Conciliatory, and it seemed horribly contrived too, as if it's been in the works for a while now. At least the lack of clichéd emotional upheaval aided to ease the sadness.

This being the only piece of melancholy in an otherwise good run through the year 2018. Few hours into the crossing over and here I am, wistful, sentimental. But mostly, grateful. After all, it's been a wildly fortuitous year from being named World's 50 Best Tastehunter to the enthralling work trips to bustling Tokyo, fashionable London, cutting-edge Berlin and exotic Cambodia. In casting my nets further and wider, I've been blessed with a journey like no other. 2018, you've gifted me with unrelenting opportunity, fulfilment and unforgettable memories. Some of which I'll cherish for a good long time.

I admit. It wasn't all easy. In 2017, I entered the year, broken, that feign image of a normal person barely recognisable in the mirror. Every inch and every piece, every nook and cranny of my entirety, crushed into smithereens. There were the constant tears that fell thick and hot, and the relentless pain that never seem to subside, only blurring into the background with the encouragement of a good old friend - alcohol. I was careful - safe-guarded my heart with fortified walls like a guarded citadel, only lowering the drawbridge when a bearded knight appeared at the front.

Undeniably, my previous encounter left me a doleful creature. But just like Rose who clung on so desperately to the bobbing door frame in the icy seas, I latched on like it was the only air to my lungs. We had our good days, I learnt to lean on his level-headed nature for work advice and his chirpy nature as a docking hub to rebuild my wings. Still, my traumatic marriage (which thankfully was absolved in the eyes of the law) had inadvertently left me determined never to need anyone again, to never be a hostage to emotional fortune. Perhaps I'm to blame. This hardwired screen accompanied by incredibly wilful behaviour and a lack of accountability leading to a fundamental distrust. Our bad days took us through plenitude of silent treatment, blame and superficial apologies. And when this drags on long enough, even the strongest of communication highways and its weathered sinkholes will crumble to result in the emergence of two separate thought islands. Such was the story of us. The long distance didn't help either.

For what it was worth, it was real. I will not discount the fact that in the aftermath of such emotional devastation, his love and concern were the treasured crutches that got me back on my feet. He opened up this family and home to me, blending me into the hearts and minds of some of the kindest, most genuine folks I've ever met. However, it became evident that the both of us lived in fear of putting ourselves at risk. The months and the days passed mindlessly without further assurance, without future investments. I've never been in a relationship and felt so lonely. Perhaps that was for the best, the long drawn moments of quietude allowing for healing and self reflection.

We split up a day after his and my birthday. A move I considered tactful (I did foot my fair share of the bill), but he deemed cruel and insensitive on the wallet. At least there was no time for agonising, the distance forming a natural blister to protect the underlying layers from infection.

2018, thank you for closing some doors. Its gutting, but its paving way for fate to clear away what's not meant for us. Divy, thank you for co-writing this chapter of my life with me, one that involves transition, soul-searching and strengthening A part of me will always love you. Now, it's time to focus on the relationship I've had with this person I've known for 32 years of my life - Me.

And in the case that love finds its way to my doorstep again... I won't live in fear that letting myself be loved automatically means putting myself at risk. I will allow my heart to love completely - not simply in pieces out of desperate self-preservation. It won't define my worth, instead, its course determines the magnitude of my love for you.

A wise man once told me the thrill behind wakeboarding lies therein the fact that it commands a ton of bravery because it inevitably ends with a fall. Truthfully, most things that are worth it in life are required a little risk somehow. I'll embrace the imminent fear of pain, if only in hope of the rewards after. I won't carry all the emotional baggage I've been holding on to. I won't keep beating myself up over things about me that aren't perfect.

Next year, I will allow myself to be loved.

HRVST Vegan Restaurant and Bar


Healthy vegan food. Never have I in my wildest dreams would have imagined signing up for something like this and eventually coming out from the other end of the tunnel, convinced that this is a much needed subculture movement.

HRVST restaurant and bar located on the 5th floor of the OUE downtown gallery shares its space with Kilter Avenue, a gym that's driven by movement. In the big picture , the restaurant is a holistic extension of the healthy lifestyle concept - touting vegan food and beverages to both gym users and the general public alike.

Ash & Elm Sunday Champagne Brunch: The British Edition


If you're looking for an orthodox hotel buffet brunch with the likes of laksa, roast meats, naan and curries; turn around, there's nothing for you here. Instead, Ash and Elm in Intercontinental Singapore have decided to go full fledged English, celebrating the United Kingdoms' milestones this year (*high five* if you, like me, were glued to your screens during the royal wedding) and if you're asking me (the girl who has been dating an English bloke for the last year), nothing says 'Sunday lunch' more than a roast with all the trimmings.

Nami: Dainty set-lunches that champion the Art of Dashi


It's easy to build a killer menu from a bunch of gastronomical accessories and premium ingredients. But to build a restaurant's menu on the backbone of Japanese cuisine - dashi - is anything but derivative. Nami in Shangri-La Singapore does so with guns ablazing, and in doing so, challenges culinary boundaries of the eating out folk.

Botanico: Bon viveurs, we've got a game-changer on our hands


Wine-lusters looking to up their game when it comes to food and wine pairings can now look to Botanico's revised wine program for sure-win epicurean dreams. Not that there's anything wrong with a medley of cheeses and cold cuts, but when occasion calls for a little bit of spice, Botanico steps up to the plate; literally, with Chef Sujatha Asokan visiting the spice pots often in an effort to match up to the burgeoning vino activities in the lush space.

[Tipsy Tuesday]: Newsletter for the Thirsty

Pick your poison: from locally distilled gin from Mandai to epic wine pairings and alcoholic mooncakes. We round up our favourite drink-related events this autumn. All the better to prime your livers with before the holiday season.


Wine Lust 2018, 10 Aug - 10 Sep

The much beloved oenophiles dream experience makes a comeback for a second edition this year from the 10 August to 10 September. The month long wine-filled celebration will feature a variety of wine events at 15 award-winning restaurants across the island.

Here are some of my top picks:

4-Hands Manjimup Truffle Dinner with Renato Barolo Wines
14 Aug, 7 - 10pm

Here's a match made in heaven - decadent fresh Manjimup black truffles from Australia meets the best Barolo wines from Renato Corino.

For one night only, tuck into a sensuous 6-course dinner featuring the peak produce of the winter truffle season in Australia. With Chef Christopher Millar from Stellar at 1-Altitude and Chef Felix Chong manning the stoves, rest assured that your palate is in for a treat. The cream on the cake: each guest will enjoy 30 grams of the prized fungi paired with the finest ingredients such as Black Onyx Angus beef and Live Jade Abalone.

Alan Blakers, the founding family member of Manjimup Truffles will be on location to further drive the inception of the delectable treat amongst the diners.

This indulgent truffle themed dinner will be beautifully complemented with barolo wines as is priced at $168++ per head.

Tickets available here:


Wine Lust Brunch Affair
18 Aug, 12 - 3pm

Free flow wines at brunch just found a whole new meaning with Botanico's Wine Lust Brunch Affair this coming Saturday. Besides the delectable food by Chef Sujatha Asokan, diners get a choice to top up $55++ per pax to enjoy a complimentary tasting of over 96 unique wines from around the globe. Guests can continue to enjoy their favourite tipple at home for a special price if they decide to purchase by the bottle or case.

Facebook event:


Le Donne Del Vino
30 Aug, 7 - 10pm

Tucked away in the heart of Botanical Gardens is Botanico, a spot of tranquil beauty and immaculate lush green surroundings. Escape the city buzz with Le Donne Del Vino (Women of Wine) on the 30 August where the contemporary bistro will be honouring three of Italy's finest female winemakers alongside home-grown powerhouse Chef Sujatha Asokan who will be fastidiously preparing a memorable six-course menu featuring recipes disclosed from the winemakers' families themselves.

Tickets are priced at $110++ per pax and are available via


Barolo Wine Dinner with Giovanni Oliva
The Summerhouse
31 Aug, 6 - 10pm

If you've got a soft spot for the huge reds, this dinner might pique your interest. The full-bodied red from the historical Cordero di Montezemolo family winery will take centerstage in a five-course dinner in the cosy realms of The Summerhouse dining room.

Tickets are priced at $120++ per person and are available here:


Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival with Regent Hotel's NEW Whiskey-infused Snow Skin mooncakes

Summer Palace Dim Sum guru Chef Leong Kwok Sing partners with bar Manger Philip Bischoff of Manhattan, Asia's Best Bar to present an exquisite collection of perennial favourite alongside two new spirited snowskin variants: Barrel-aged Sazerac 6-year-old Rye with coffee and chocolate and Barrel-aged La Lousiane Cocktail with Yuzu and Green Bean Paste.

The former combines the likes of rye-whiskey aged in 10 year old tawny port washed American oak barrel for 25 days, with coffee and chocolate paste for a play on nuttiness, chocolate earthiness and a risque sharpness. For those who like your cocktails a little less serious, the barrel-aged La Louisiane Cocktail with yuzu and green bean paste will hit the spot. Based on a classic Creole cocktail, the snowskin representation of is no less complex, perked up with notes of overripe oranges to awaken the senses.

Guests have the option to purchase the Manhattan Mid-Autumn box which comes with an assortment of Manhattan exclusive snow skin mooncakes and limited edition four-set whiskey tasting box (2 cl bottles of specially curated American whiskies and two exclusive barrel-aged blends from the Rickhouse in Manhattan) for $168. Definitely a gift worthy of any serious imbiber.

Enjoy early bird discounts till the Aug 19, where all 4 or 8-piece mooncake box purchases are entitled to 30% discount. Regular orders from 20 Aug to 24 Sep will enjoy a 15% discount with the use of the following credit cards: Bank of China, Citibank, Diners Club, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC and UOB.


Uniquely Singaporean: Tanglin Gin

It's about time that Singapore has its first Gin. Presenting to you, Tanglin Gin, Singapore's only handcrafted spirit, batch distilled in Singapore (Mandai, no less). The secret ingredient - Orchid; seemingly befitting since it's our national flower. The tipple heroes 11 botanicals, with some less usual suspects such as Amchoor (Indian Dried Green Mangoes) and Dendrobium Orchid. The result is a modern gin with a subtle floral fragrance and a slight citrus backdrop. Best enjoyed neat.

Find out more here:


The Bar Awards
is back in Singapore for its 2018 edition this weekend and it beckons you to get your crazy on!

Origin Bar
16 Aug
6pm onwards

The weekend of debauchery is starting off with a bang at Shangri-La Hotel's Origin Bar. Eight esteemed bartenders from all around the region will be doing rotational shifts behind the bar, dishing out the cheekiest of concoctions. So, don't expect to be standing straight at the end of the night.

Featured bartenders include
  • Aili Nguyen of Employees Only Hong Kong (The Rising Star, Hong Kong)
  • Angel Ng of PS150 (The Ada Coleman Winner, Kuala Lumpur 2017)
  • Backstage Cocktail Bar (Best Hospitality, Bangkok 2018)
  • Coley Cocktail Bar (Bar of the Year and Best Hospitality Team, Bangkok 2018)
  • Please Don't Tell (Best Hotel Bar, Hong Kong 2018)
  • Ponn Kitiphum (Mekhong's Brand Ambassador)
  • Vesper (Most Creative cocktail program, Bangkok 2018)
  • Yes Please (Manila)

Other guestshifts worth looking out for:

PS150 (KL) at HRVST/ 17 Aug/ 6 - 10pm
Coley (KL) at The Spiffy Dapper/ 17 Aug/ 8 - 12am

Waterloo Street Luau Party/ 17 Aug/ 7pm onwards **

Tropic like It's Hot Featuring Bali's Best Bars at Lucha Loco/ 18 Aug/ 6pm - 12am
Employees Only Hong Kong at Highball/ 18 Aug/ 9pm - 12am
Please Don't Tell Hong Kong at Native/ 18 Aug/ 6 - 10pm
Vesper at Origin Bar/ 18 Aug/ 8pm - 12am

More details here


[KL] Knowhere Bangsar opens with some excellent boozing options


Dining options may come and go in the Bangsar precinct, and with the spectrum of international cuisine offered, diners are spoilt for choice. It's the same in the boozing scope of things. However, a new kid on the block might just pique your curiosity. In fact, the azure of luminescent lights will cajole you into the debauchery of the drinking den. For which I implore you to take the plunge.

Zafferano presents New Dishes by Chef Emanuele Faggi


If there is anything more alluring about dining at Zafferano, is the fact that the new Head Chef Emanuele Faggi possesses the same charisma, in and out of the kitchen - both to bedazzle your tastebuds and to charm your socks off when he out working the dining room.

The young budding talent is a Tuscan native, who interned at the famed L'Albereta Resort led by legendary late Chef Gualtiero Marchesi. Following that, his culinary journeys whisked him away to 2-Michelin starred Cracco Ristorante where he honed his skills for five years under the wings of Chef Carlo Cracco. One precious value that is heavily emulated through the meal is the conscious effort to reduce food wastage, with various food discards or "trash" reappearing on dishes such as carrot skin powder and onion skin powder repurposed as flavouring agents. Meaningful, and I might add, brilliant all at once.

Surf + Turf at The Westin Singapore's Seasonal Tastes


Located in the heart of Singapore's Central Business District at Asia Tower, Seasonal Tastes at Westin Hotel overlooks the best of Singapore's sights - the Marina Bay Sands, Merlion and the likes. Known to offer a premium buffet spread at a reasonable price, guest chef, James Marshall of W Taipei is here with flavours close to his heart.

JYPSY: Casual Japanese restaurant with nomadic island life vibes


Opened this July, JYPSY is PSCAFE'S newest cafe concept -  casual Japanese restaurant peddling a nomadic island life which you'll find expressed in its immaculate decor of hanging ferns, traditional Japanese paper lanterns and wind bells. It's a gorgeous space that touts an equally breezy menu of sushi rolls, sashimi and more in sharing plate formats. Despite the upmarket vibes, price remains easy on the wallet.

[Friday Date-Night]: Rosso Vino


Located along the banks of Robertson Quay, Rosso Vino prides itself as being one of the best Italian restaurants in the island. Being relatively new to Italian cuisine, we were thrilled to be invited to try out some of the classics on their menu.

To start, we had the Bruschetta Rosso Vino and Carpaccio Di Manzo. The Bruschetta Rosso Vino is a trio of Smoked Salmon, Diced Tomato and Mozzarella and Anchovies Bruschetta. As someone who usually strays away from tomatoes due to its distinct taste and smell, the diced tomato was surprisingly refreshing and easy to swallow. I never thought I would say this, but that was delightful and pretty addictive. Contrastingly, the smoked salmon piece was not outstanding and the mozzarella one was way too salty for my liking. Perhaps a better ove would be to order the Brushcetta Rosa, where you can better indulge in the Diced Tomato Bruschetta, which really helps to whet your appetite for the upcoming feast.

The Carpaccio Di Manzo had unbelievable thin slices of beef tenderloin served with parmesan cheese and mixed salad. The beef was so thin and moist that they broke apart easily while the cheese added a nice subtle touch of saltiness to the beef.

For our mains, we ordered the recommended Cavatelli Ragu di Maiale in Salsa Di Pomodoro and Branzino alla Toscana. The homemade pasta's name was a handful, but the reason behind its popularity was clear. The Cavatelli pasta itself was firm, with a slight bite to it, yet easy to chew through; quite the perfect al dente if I would say so myself. The addition of red wine imparts a light oaky fullness to the sauce. Each pasta piece enrobed in the rich sauce made for a very pleasant experience.

As one who is particularly averse to fishiness, I was amazed at how subdued the dish of Branzino all Toscano was. The fish was moist and flaky fresh and the tomato based stew providing relief from the fishy qualities. What's left was a really fragrant, juicy and fat fillet of white meat, it's sweetness further enhanced by the layered tomato stew.

Pair your mains with a glass of wine or rose, both giving additional dimension to the dishes ordered and adding brownie points to the romantic night out.

Rosso Vino
15 Merbau Road
Reservations: CHOPE

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sun: 3pm - 1am

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.

Ding Dong releases 18 new dishes that incite wanderlust in Southeast Asia


I've always had a soft spot for Ding Dong (read my previous extolments here) and its representing unbuttoned Asian-trendy-comfort-food virtues. In a commitment phobic world, it's always refreshing to see a restaurant so enterprising in the spirit of introducing an ever-changing spectrum of Southeast Asian dishes and flavours to its diners, yet still retaining a contemporary edge that's party-ready (it's always tempting to hit the cocktails and bubbly hard). This season, Ding Dong puts on its thinking cap once more and derives a spread of eclectic offerings that will have you at the edge of your seat.

[Messed up Mondays]: Newsletter for the Thirsty

As we are deep in the third quarter of 2018,  new year resolutions start to wane, and you find yourself pressing against the gas pedal on the topic of 'debauchery'.  Don't fret if you're haven't had the chance to indulge in all the good things the city has to offer - the rest of the year's wine and dine line-up is just around the corner.

Here are some of my favourite events of the season (mostly alcoholic related). So if you're on a pursuit of drinking pleasure, this might just be your shtick.


Damilano Wine Dinner at Zafferano Italian Restaurant and Lounge
on 26 July from 7pm

"Not all grapes are destined to become Damilano wines", and to only represent the 'King of Wines and the Wine of Kings', Barolo, is to take it one step further in exclusivity.

On the 26th July and for one night only, experience the jewels of Barolo's terrior in a five-course dinner curated by Head Chef Emanuele Faggi at Zafferano together with wine pairings from Damilano Wine Company. You'll be placed in the good hands of Brand Manager, Thomas Cuni, who will guide you through the beautiful journey of heritage wines, which include the Barolo Lecinquevigne 2013 and the elegant Barolo Cannubi 2012.

Dinner highlights include delicate pillows of veal tongue Raviolo and the well-executed pan roasted venison served with oven baked quince apple and broccoli.

The Damilano Wine Dinner is available on 26 July 2018 from 7pm at $98++ per person
Events Page: Zafferano
Reservations: here


Tippling club launches its first ever Sons of Tippling Gin

The craft distillery boom has recently tainted the youngest, most talented minds in the Food and Beverage scene in Singapore. While some wait three years to distill their whisky, some are dabbling in gin - cue, the newest gin to grace the market,  founded by three experts in the field, Ryan Clift, Joe Schofield(recently awarded International Bartender of the Year at the 12th annual Spirited Awards) and master distiller James Young.

Made from Botanical ingredients such as juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, liquorice, aniseed, cardamon, lemon and orange peel and lemon myrtle - this does sound like a typical modern gin with a crisp citrus edge, but when does Tippling Club ever the trod the path of the commoners?

Come Saturday 28 July, the inquisitive will be treated to a sneak preview of the small batch gin (limited quantities of 300 bottles only). Tippling club will be dishing it out in 3 signature cocktails priced at $22+ each. Peripheral activities included complimentary canapes and complimentary tattoos by Joe Wang from 8 Volts Tattoo.


Global Bartender Exchange: CK Kho of Coley guest shifting at Cin Cin
on 25 July from 7 - 11pm

Here's where you should go to get your midweek fix this week.

Gin specialist bar, Cin Cin will be playing host to CK Kho of Asia's Best 46th Bar 2018, Coley in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From 7 to 11pm, be entertained with quirky mannerism (if you see him breaking out the angostura bitters, RUN!) and a quick show of hands stirring up two exclusive cocktails using Bulldog Gin - an English gin that advocates wanderlust in its global sourcing of botanicals.

If you're one to inhale the peanut snackage when at bars, the Nutjob made to replicate that bar snack will be up your alley. Otherwise, Paradise Lost is set to tickle your palate with its effervescent mix of Strawberry and Ginger Shrub and Bulldog Gin finished with a healthy splash of sparkling wine for good measure.


Bartenders battle it out for the Black Cow Vodka Gold Top Cup
on 1st August from 6 30pm onwards at Fancy

Forget about conventional bartending competitions, the Black Cow Vodka Gold Top Cup finals is happening on the 1st August and you'll be able to get up close and personal with the ten finalists as they battle against each other for a chance to compete in the world finals where a trip to UK, home of the Black Cow Vodka is up for grabs.

The ten finalists are:

Michael Mendoza - 1864 Bar and Lounge Sofitel
Tim Chew - 1180
Leonard Lim - 1880
Bannie Kang - Anti:Dote
Russell Ong - Atlas
Dave Koh - Bar Stories
Sashi Satiyaseelen - Pollen
Nina Kong - Sugarhall
Yadhaven Santheran - The Guild Singapore
Don Henry Miranga - The World is Flat

The finalists will be shaking up a storm at a public event on August 1st at Fancy, 35 North Canal Road from 6 30pm. So come show some support!


The Last Shake: Farewell party for Sugarhall on Amoy Street
27th and 28th July (all night long)

If you follow my feed on @thedrinkseeker, you would know of my devote penchant for rum. And its with the heaviest of hearts that I have to bid farewell to my favourite bar in Singapore (Yes, I said it) If you haven't heard (which rock have you been hiding under?), Jigger and Pony as well as Sugarhall will be uprooting themselves from the Amoy street precinct as of this weekend. Come by, eat, drink and be merry.  No tears allowed though. Afterall,  it's not goodbye. It's farewell.


Mikuni's "Doyo no Ushi no Hi" or Summer Unagi Festival Menu hopes to boost your vitality


A time-warp happened within the first few seconds of being seated in the darkened inner sanctums of Mikuni. Flashbacks to my last "Doyo no Ushi no Hi" menu in 2016 under the tutelage of Chef Moon Kyung Soo and that glistening coat of sticky glaze on charcoal grilled eel. I coo-ed. It was superb. However, a lot of things have changed over the last two years. One of the most major - Executive Chef Keisuke Uno taking over the reigns and breathing new life into the extensive menu of kaiseki, sushi and sashimi, teppanyaki and robatayi offerings. Another would the addition of outlet manager and sommelier Ryuta Yamada to the team. Fortunately, I was extremely blessed to be able to experience his prowess in wine and sake through a rather intriguing wine and sake pairing that was purposed to sing in harmony with the Summertime Unagi Treat.

L'Espresso: Victorian English Afternoon Tea


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.


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


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]


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


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.


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


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.

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
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


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


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


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.

The Salted Plum joins the leagues of the Dirtyyy Late Night Eats.


Last year, Five Ten's achingly hip temple to home cooked fare basking in Taiwanese pedigree, set the pace for Singapore's new restaurants. Even after its reincarnation as The Salted Plum along the uproarious Circular road, it's still in a league of its own.

Rakuya at East Coast: Affordable Omakase to put you in high spirits. That, and Sake!


If you've heard rumours about a joint up in the East that does a 8-course Omakase at just $48 (also available at $88 and $128 options), chances are that it is newbie, Rakuya. And boy, do they do it with pizazz.

Upper Place hosts a clever menu, perfect for those looking to escape the noise


Set on the highest floor of WANGZ hotel is Upper Place, a humble dining place that dishes out ambitious plates congealing Asian influences with European techniques.

Here's what our writer, Belinda has to say after a delectable multi-course meal at the Upper Place.

Morton's of Chicago unveils new Spring menu


It's old school extravaganza at Morton's of Chicago, the moment you walk through those doors its drab carpeted floors, heavy red velvet curtain partitions and conservative hard-backed chairs. Honestly, it can be interpreted two ways by different schools of thought - stale and conservative or nostalgic, old-school steakhouse. This one is going to make many people, very cross, but to be honest, I, unfortunately was not too taken by the dated decor. The tired staff, trained to the same mundane standards of cruise ship waiters, adding to the sense of 'tradition'.

Fat Belly - Affordable luxuries at this speakeasy steakhouse


Not all steakhouses are created equal. Some come with the added luxuries of Japanese pure-bred wagyu and the accompanying bill that one would describe to be a 'highway robbery', and then some like Fat Belly, offer up standard, comforting steaks (usually secondary cuts) at affordable prices. Located in Serene Center, the 'speakeasy' steakhouse takes shape only at dusk when the spotlight is shifted from the gleaming ice cream case that houses the goodies for Sugarhaus, to the glowing embers of the binchotan.

[Hot off the Press]: Ash & Elm presents Michelin-starred Beefbar (HK) for 2 nights only


Three Chefs, Two Nights, One Michelin Star.

Here, the aim of the game is all in the name of guest restaurant, Beefbar from Hong Kong - get beefed up - with the restaurant's most iconic dishes alongside InterContinental Singapore's Executive Sous Chef Philippe Duc and Pastry Chef Ben Goh's sublime culinary efforts. In a collaboration with Fine Dining Lovers by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, the collaboration dinner will take place over two nights on the 1 and 2 June 2018.

The luxurious and elegant settings of Ash and Elm add to the sense of trendiness that the Beefbar conveys. Kick off the 5-course meal with the Amberjack Carpaccio, dressed with a vibrant wasabi dressing and sprigs of coriander cress and then graduate to Beefbar's Signature Beef Tartare "bistro style". You can't be so sure if the whole thing is deadly ironic or self explanatory. The mince on its own is brilliant, highlighting the freshness of the produce; sadly, this is topped with a dollop of cream that has a taste profile akin to thousand island dressing with bits and bobs of roughly chopped onions and pickles haphazardly folded through. Really, just stop it.

The next dish, the Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallops is ribbons of the same mediocrity. I yearned for a blistered crust but was greeted with a luke warm puck sporting a patchy seared exterior. The coloured florets of cauliflower pulled its weight in exciting the diner visually and the brown butter sauce while contributing to a slight textural contrast, was wildly normal.

Meatlovers will revel in the next course which offers up a half-portion selection of American prime Black Angus Tenderloin with Australian wagyu-crossbred striploin. This is served with velvety mashed potato, all ready to catch the drippings of those precious cuts from both ends. I do prefer the striploin, the marbling derived from its wagyu bloodline resulting in a tender cut that's full on flavour. Both slabs could have used a ton more seasoning before hitting the grill and temperatures were a bit spotty, but I supposed these are issues that can be rectified by Chef Andrea Spagoni, with more time spent in the visiting kitchen that is.

Revel instead in dessert, presented by award-winning Pastry Chef Ben Goh. Rouge as blatantly spelt on the menu is a a play on the colour red - almost as beautiful to look at, or photograph, as to eat. Hidden underneath a bunker of raspberry tuile is a rich chocolate crémeux made with Valrhona's single origin 68% cuvee Bali chocolate piped atop a chocolate biscuite, this is flanked by vanilla meringue, a quenelle of yuzu yoghurt sherbet, strawberry compote and a spectacular shard of dehydrated raspberry agar. It was so exceptional that I was tempted to sneak an additional order of chocolate crémeux. But I didn't.

The five course collaborative menu will be available at Ash and Elm on 1 and 2 June 2018, 6 00pm to 10 30pm at S$128++ per guest with a wine pairing option available at an additional S$88++ per guest. For reservations, please visit or email or drop them a call at +65 6825 1008.

Ash and Elm
80 Middle Road
Level 1
InterContinental Singapore
Reservations: CHOPE
Enjoy 20% off this 6-Hands menu when you book through the app. Use the promo code "20OFF"<20off> when making your reservation to enjoy the promotion.