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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Outfit of the Day - deep purple half-sleeved blouse

"Eating is my main hobby now, and most of what I do on the weekend 
revolves around that." -Daniel Bruhl 

Back here for weekend chillout with friends, admiring my Zeffer Apple Crumble Cider before slurping it up.

Blouse: Guess
Camisole: Zara
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

[Invited Tasting] Festive Buffet at AquaMarine @ Marina Mandarin Hotel

6 Raffles Boulevard, Level 4, AquaMarine, Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore 039594
Tel: 6845 1111
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marinamandarinsg

"It's beginning to look like Christmas..."  so here we are, back at the gorgeous AquaMarine Restaurant @ Marina Mandarin Hotel, watching the festive specials of 2017 unravel. Besides the usual widespread of food items displayed on the many food counters at AquaMarine Restaurant, do keep a lookout for the Christmas Specials and New Year's Specials in December 2017.

What to expect this Christmas at AquaMarine? From 1 to 30 December 2017 (excluding 24 and 25 December 2017), look out for Festive Roasted Turkey with Cinnamon and Orange. The turkey is moistened, tender and tasty. Other specials include Wagyu Brisket with Smoked Onion Puree and Crispy Wild Rice, as well as Bouillabaisse Pot Pie.

The price for the above buffet dinner starts from SGD$60.00 per adult and SGD$30.00 per child (6 - 12 years old).

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Christmas Buffet Spread just got better! Keep your tongue out for festive exclusives such as Oyster Degustation offering a selection of 5 premium oysters, as well as the Boston Lobster Risotto served in Whole Parmesan Wheel. Also, the Festive Roasted Turkey with Cinnamon and Orange will of course form part of the feast. An assortment of Christmas cakes and Cookies will also be available for the dessert lovers.  I especially loved the Manjari Raspberry Rose Lychee Buche Logcake.

The price for the Christmas Buffet Spread is only available on 24th and 25th December, priced from SGD$88.00 per adult and SGD$44.00 per child (6 - 12 years old).

Not a Christmas person? No problem. Welcome the brand new year with AquaMarine's New Year Buffet, featuring tantalising dishes such as Pan-seared Hand Dived Scallop with Cauliflower Espuma as well as Chilled Capellini with Abalone and Caviar. The latter was so good, I had 2 servings. For dessert, try the special Chocolate "Nitro" Ice Cream with Raspberry from the liquid nitrogen station - what a unique way to kickstart the brand new year!

The New Year Buffet is available on 31 December 2017 and 1 January 2018, priced from SGD$88.00 per adult and SGD$44.00 per child (6 - 12 years old).

Festive Delights for takeaways are also available; here's the catalog. Early Bird discounts apply for selected credit cards; please place orders at least 3 days before collection. The Santa Chocolate Yule Log (SGD$60.00 for 1kg / $35.00 for 500g) was delectable as well - chocolate butter cream with banana confit chocolate coated with almond chocolate.

All in all, looks like the holiday season just looked better at AquaMarine this year! Thank you Marina Mandarin for the invite!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Lunch at The Wine Company @ Dempsey

14D Dempsey Road, Dempsey Cluster, Singapore 249688
Tel: 6479 9341

Our usual monthly Wine Friday fell on a public holiday, so we decided to meet for brunch at The Wine Company @ Dempsey area.

Interior was dim and intimate, adorned with tasteful art decor items such as vintage lampshades, huge wineglasses and carpets. The alfresco area looked serene as well, surrounding the front and back of the bistro, amongst greenery.

Service was pleasant and as efficient as one man could manage. Menu items was a surprise assortment of both Western and Asian dishes, from vinegar trotter to spam fries to melon with prosciutto to pasta dishes; a contemporary fusion concept at play.

We started with Pepper Seared Tuna (SGD $9. 90), thick slices of succulent tuna with robust black peppercorn coating, giving it a fiery kick.

Salt and Pepper Calamari (SGD $9.90) was another personal favorite, gently fried till golden brown and crackling in texture.

The Deep Fried Crispy Pork Belly (SGD $7.90) lent crunch to every bite, marinated in Nam Yee fermented red beancurd; served with pineapple cubes.

Cantonese-styled Nam Yee Chicken Wings (SGD $9.90) was average in taste - a blend of sweet and savoury from the fermented red beancurd marination; the inner area was still very red, probably from premature thaw?

For mains, we had the Pig Trotter Beehoon (SGD $6.90) - huge pieces of tender pig trotter marinated with a sweet sauce; the bee hoon (vermicelli) was immersed in tbe same dark sweet sauce. Not bad, but would have been much better with a savoury sauce.

The Yong Tau Fu Capellini (SGD $8.90) was composed of al dente capellini pasta and our local favorite yong tau fu pieces, such as beancurd, green chilli, bittergourd and surimi topped with fermented black bean sauce. This was pretty tasty and filling.

Following that, we enjoyed a Chacuterie Board (SGD $24.90 for half / SGD $34.90 for full) - comprising truffle salami, pancetta, prosciutto, chicken liver pate, cheddar cheese, morbier cheese, gherkins, olives, mustard, jam, walnuts, dried figs, crackers and sliced baguette. A good assortment of items for slow indulgence; immensely enjoyable.

Finally, the Chocolate Molten Lava Cake (SGD $12.90), a decadent and tasty cake with lava that flowed beautifully. Vanilla ice cream and strawberries were served on the side.

For wine, we started with the Steigelmann Gimmeldinger Meerspinne Riseling Kabinett Halb-tr (2014), at SGD $59.90 a bottle. Loved the crisp fruity notes of this semi-sweet wine.

Then we moved on to the reds - Bushmanspad Estate Shiraz (2015), also at SGD $59.90 a bottle, with delicious notes of cherries, dark chocolate and spiciness.

Overall dining experience at The Wine Company was not bad; food was decent but decor was pretty. Wine list was comprehensive and good enough too.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Chilling Out at Discovery Pub @ Raffles Marina

10 Tuas West Drive, Singapore 638404
Tel: 6861 8000

Always a fan of marinas and piers, I would shamelessly scout hangouts at the same, such as Prive @ Keppel Bay and Bistro @ One Degree 15 Marina. It is no wonder that I would traverse the miles to the other end of Singapore, landing myself at Raffles Marina.

I don't know - there's just something about watching them yachts that touches a raw nerve in me, eliciting a sense of tranquility.

Anyway, as marinas go, Raffles Marina lacks the beauty and gloss of the other marinas - think dimmed walkways and somewhat peeling wall paint. They have the Clubhouse, pool and of course the docking area for a variety of stationary yachts. For dining, they have the waterfront Marina Bistro and Captain's Table as well as Discovery Pub.

I hung out at the latter, time enough to grab a drink and snack before an evening event. The interior was pretty nice actually - the usual bar counter with upturned wineglassee, stage podium for the live band (at night? Weekends?), dartboard, and I liked the dark red drapes.

Alfresco area drew me more- to be able to sit and watch the yachts as well as clear blue skies. The lawn tables and chairs strewn across the grass would have been incredibly romantic and picturesque save for the scorching weather.

Menu items consisted of mostly finger food or sandwiches, and of course an array of alcholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Service crew was friendly enough though they had the tendency of hiding in the cool comfortable of air-conditioned interior despite the patrons all sitting outdoors. Complimentary wi-fi is available, a bonus for those seeking a deserted place to get work done.

I had a Beef Satay - served beautifully with carefully chopped onions , cucumber cubes and rice cakes, with thick ground peanut gravy on the side. I liked it that the beef was lean and smokey in taste, but moistened.

A glass of Red Wine accompanied the snack, crazy choice for a hot weekday afternoon in alfresco seating. But I enjoyed it immensely.

That was all. Quiet serenity, satisfaction of finally visiting Raffles Marina and decent food items (unfair for me to comment furthrr since I only had the Satay).