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Sunday, 26 March 2017

[Media Invite] Dinner at Artemis Grill @ Raffles Place

Photo Source: Artemis Facebook Page

138 Market Street #40-01 CapitaGreen (Rooftop), Singapore 048946
Tel: 6635 8677

Photo Source: Artmis' Facebook Page

Located right at the top of a beautiful "forestry" office building in the Raffles Place region, Artemis Grill is the destination to head to for dinner and drinks with stunning cityscape views overlooking the most vibrant business district in Singapore.

Helmed by Chef Fernando Arevalo using fresh, organic and sustainable ingredients in the creation of a menu comprising interesting Mediterranean dishes with a mild Asian twist, coupled with impeccable service from the crew, it is no wonder that dining here leaves one a memorable experience. Food items range from items from the raw bar to cooked tapas dishes to pasta, meaty mains, and delectable desserts.

Photo Source: Artemis Website

Stunning settings set off the mood for a relaxed evening out in town, dimmed romantically for an intimate ambience suitable for dates, catching up or simply unwinding. An outdoor terrace and private dining rooms are available as well, depending on what your preferences or requirements are. On top of that Artemis is also part of the Whole World Water Initiative.

A tray of 4 diferent types of bread was brought to the table, with Rye and Poppy ones among them, served with olive oil and herbs dips.

We started with Freshly Shucked French Oysters (SGD$6.00 each), the St. Vaast ones and also the Tasraskaya ones, served with their own-made sauce which was a nice tangy flavour. 

The Chargrilled Spanish Octopus (SGD$22.00) - smokey hints among luscious natural flavours, crispy on the exterior and gently chewy on the flesh. Served together were cherry tomato confit, preserved lemon, pickled Padron peppers and olives.

Then we had the Lobster Tagliolini (SGD$48.00),  beautifully delicate in taste - a colourful arrangement made up of springy pasta, bouncy lobster chunks, quail egg, Valetta and Sturia caviar, a decadent dish that orchestrated a delightful dance in the waiting palate.

For mains, we chose the Black Cod (SGD$56.00) - pearl white slices of melty, luscious cod, flaking like snow upon the tongues. Grilled Japanese leeks, white Chervil root puree, and a yuzu pork broth completed the dish excellently.

Desserts rounded up the meal. A small platter of poached pears, cheese, raisins, dried apricots and walnuts left the palate thoroughly satisfied, one of our favorite indulgences.

Drinks were enjoyed througout the meal too, starting with Cocktails. The Tongue in Cheek Cocktail (SGD $22.00) was a lovely concoction of Reposado Tequila, Pink Guava Juice, Lime Juice and Cointreau.

My The Grape Divine Cocktail (SGD $22.00) was a beautiful composition of G'Vine Floraison, Rose Wine, Grape and Berries, a feminine and nectarous delight.

For wine, we had a bottle of Barbera (SGD $25.00 per glass / SGD $120.00 per bottle) - Barbera D'Alba 'Affinato In Carati' Piedmony, Italy 2012. It was smooth and luscious.

Overall we enjoyed our dining experience at Artemis very much, where every bite was a mind-blowing experience and drinks were concocted splendidly; where service was exceptional, and settings, stunning. Thank you Anant and crew at Artemis, as well as Marina from Chrysler Commumications for the invite.

Outfit of the Day - dark brown toga dress

"Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds." - Coco Chanel 

I always go wild over toga tops / dresses - there is nothing like shrugging off one shoulder, shrugging off the people who disappoint. This deep brown toga dress with flare skirt is suitable for work and play, anytime.

Dress: Bought in Hong Kong (SGD$68.00)
Bag: Christian Dior
Necklace: Tiffany and Co
Bracelet: Tiffany and Co
Watch: Rado

Outfit of the Day - mint green off-shoulders dress

"Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick." — Gwyneth Paltrow 

An afternoon out at Sentosa, decked in a green off-shoulders dress. Yearning for those high-tea afternoons all over again.

Dress: Warehouse (SGD$99.00)
Belt: Author's own
Bag: Christian Dior

Lunch at The Daily Cut at Tanjong Pagar

7 Wallich Street #b2-16 Tanjong Pagar Centre, Singapore 078884
Tel: 6386 6160

The Daily Cut is another salad bar in Singapore, serving fresh greens with delicious grilled meat / fish of choice. It's flagship outlet is at One Raffles Place's basement, always filled with queues of eager diners waiting to pick and choose their customized salads.   There are basically 4 sizes to The Daily Cut's salads - Petite (SGD$9.00), Regular (SGD$12.00), Large (SGD$15.00) and X-Large (SGD$18.00).

I chose the Romaine Lettuce Base, with beef, cherry tomatoes, cheese, almond flakes and asparagus. I also chose Yuzu sauce but it wasn't too zesty. The beef was a little tough for our liking, and the asparagus so overcooked it took me a long while to realize it was asparagus (I wondered if it was boiled lady's fingers).

The Romaine Lettuce base with Grilled Salmon, asparagus, edamame and quinoa - fared slightly better. Salmon was still a little dry, but ingredients were fresh.

I still don't know how to appreciate The Daily Cut after 2 tries, sadly. I find their salads seem more like a random toss of ingredients together without much coordination, and tastes really average - good for a quick fix but I won't queue 15 minutes for it.

[Poem] Rust of the Swings

The fresh breath of the air 
After rain, and the flower, 
The leaves, the familiar 
Scents so clear, 
Crisp and sharp, 
The rust of the swings. 

The slow pace 
Of a house 
Surrounded by stone, 
Grass, sand and time 
Passed by far too slowly, 
Smiles too, came easily. 

That was the life we had, 
And I want so bad; 
When the young and the old, 
Living hand in hand, 
So happy, 
And ghosts were still people. 

The turning of the pages, 
Of photographs with ages, 
Brings about heartaches, 
As memories 
Bring the past alive, 
Recounting our losses.

Copyright © WinePoetess 2017

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Brunch at The Dispensary Bistro @ D'Leedon Heights (Revisit)

19 Leedon Heights, #01-61 D'Leedon Condominium, Singapore 266227
Tel: 6493 2542

Revisiting this serene hangout with its poolside surroundings and vintage ambience, adorned with the loveliest knick-knacks. Read review on previous visits here, usually on their delicious cakes.

This weekend morning, I came again, this time bringing the Mom for brunch. The GM Freddy Wee was polite as ever - not overly personable, but nice in an old-fashioned way (you know, the reservation on expressing friendliness?)

Smoked Duck Pasta (SGD $16.00) - the spaghetti was rather springy in texture, soaking up the delicious olive oil and ground black pepper it was tossed in. The smoked duck slices gave the dish a savoury and chewy enhancement.

My Salmon Brekki Set (SGD $21.00) comprised succulent smoked salmon, lightly-crisped toast, wobbly Eggs Benedict and a salad of lettuce with halved cherry tomatoes. One of those breakfast choices that can never go wrong, and serves as comfort food.

For beverages, I had my Chai Latte and she had an Americano, both aromatic and satisfying, perking us up for the day ahead.

Lovely, lovely. I  will still be around more often.

Outfit of the Day - black dress with wide U-neck

"I design for the woman I wanted to be, the woman I used to be and to some degree, the woman I’m still a little piece of." – Diane Von Furstenberg 

The key to masking weight gains? No more skintight dresses obviously. Don a loose-fitting dark-colored (preferably) dress and cinch the waist with a belt to give the impression of a waistline.

Dress: Bought in Hong Kong (SGD$79.00)
Belt: Author's own
Bangle: Hermes
Bag: Louis Vuitton

Review of MTS (Subsicion) Facial Session at Kosme Aesthetics @ Boat Quay

41A Boat Quay, Singapore 049830
Tel: 6536 6954 / 9639 1745

Kosme Aesthetics is an aesthetics centre using the latest Korean Beauty technology to treat and target their clients' needs. Their range of services is wide and varied, consisting not merely facials and facial beauty treatments, but also LED teeth whitening, eyebrow embroidery, slimming services, etc.

Located on level 2 at Boat Quay shophouse, above an Indian restaurant, the venue is convenient and decor is simple, professional, with some floral touches of beauty here and there.

I had initially wanted to try their latest Cryolase Laser, which is claimed to be used many Korean stars for better skin. After consultation and understanding my concerns, *J. suggested that I should try Subsicion, and showed me many photos of their customers' results after the procedure.

As such, I was convinced to go for a customised MTS (micro-needle therapy system) Facial (SGD$388.00), also known as subcutaneous incisional surgery. It is a minor surgical technique that uses hypothermic needles to puncture through skin surface.

Hot floral tea was served before and after the session, including a lot of prep talk (they are really very detailed and willing to share skincare tips).

I was brought to the Treatment Room and changed into their pink robe. Therapist *A wrapped my hair up and did a round of cleansing and makeup removal. She took photos of my bare face but the odd thing was she asked me to keep my eyes open despite the overhead light being very glaring.

Then we proceeded with Extraction. I was surprised by the extraction because it wasn't done using the usual methods of squeezing with fingers or metal stick. Rather, there was a device used for extraction, a device that vibrates consistently and aids to loosen the impurities from our pores and spritzes small jets of water. As such, pain was reduced significantly; she also showed me the extracted substance as proof of this device's effectiveness.

A round of cleanser was used before a thick coat of Numbing Cream was applied to my face. *A then used clear plastic sheets to seal the cream in for 20 minutes. The residue was scraped off.

2 small vials of EGF Serum, said to soothe and aids in healing, were being shown to me. They were just mixed and poured into a small container and brushed over my face.

The Subsicion procedure began. *A showed me the cluster of 12 micro-needles, brand new and would be discarded after use. They were fitted to the device, which was rolled over my face to prick and stimulate skin renewal as well as collagen production.

Pain level was tolerable, there was no sharp piercing sensation as I had anticipated. The needles penetrated through the skin layer, leaving the injured surface red. Face also felt a little "swollen" afterwards. I was informed that there would be redness and peeling over the next few days, and that I need to moisturize intensely.

A customised soothing mask was spread over my face afterwards, soothing and hydrating the skin immensely. This was left on for 20 minutes.

The mask was removed and my skin was cleansed. I felt *A could have been more gentle when she removed the leftover bits of mask from my face, especially given the tender state of my skin. Then she applied some moisturizing lotion for me.

The entire session took around 2 hours. I was briefed on proper care-taking procedures by *J before leaving. My face is raw and red now, displaying the injuries like a trophy.

Here is a shot taken a day later - patches of red around treated areas (namely forehead, left and right cheeks). It is a little raw and very dry, vulnerable, so plenty of hydration is required. I am told downtime will take 3 to 5 days. I hope to see visible and good results soon.

Outfit of the Day - black dress with white lining

"Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live." - Gianni Versace 

Black dress with white linings, somberly perfect for work and functions.

Dress: VRG (SGD$89.00
Necklace: Tiffany and Co

Friday, 24 March 2017

Lunch at Joie by Dozo Restaurant @ Orchard Central {Revisit]

181 Orchard Road #12-01 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Tel: 6838 6966
Having visited Joie by Dozo (review here) before, immensely impressed by their beautiful dishes and elegant dining concept, as well as luxurious settings, I decided to revisit. Mr. Huang was as hospitable and personable as ever, ensuring that diners enjoy their dining here at Joie. Both the dimly-lit, glossy interior and tranquil exterior settings are breath-taking, and overall service was impeccable.

There were minor changes to the menu over the course of these 2 years, but most of them items were still consistent.  Lunch consists of 6 courses and is priced at SGD$38.00 whereas dinner consists of 7 courses and is priced at SGD$68.00.

We started with a zesty, palate-refreshing beverages with citrusy flavours, served in pretty tubular glassware, cooled by a vase of ice and stunning floral decorations. This paved the palate for more exciting treats to come.



A dainty platter of starters ensued, comprising of a most delectable Raspberry Sphere that filled with mouth with tarty delight, Carrot Roll made in uncanny resemblance to salmon sashimi in terms of looks, texture and taste, as well as Wasabi Cracker which crunched merrily between the molars.

For Side Dish, we both decided to go for Baby Root Vegetables Garden - made up of tasty su vie baby root vegetables on a soft bed of truffle mash potato. Some colorful and delicious fruit jelly plated the dish prettily and added flavours.

Moving on, we had Soups. The Pumpkin Veloute with Tomato Ciabatta was creamy, luscious and slid down the tongue smoothly. Loved how the "soup bowl" resembled a large halved egg white, so the whole presentation resembled a giant "halved salted egg" viewed from the top.

The Infusion of Cepes and Truffle broth was rich, made up of cepes mushroom and winter truffle oil and black truffles, so that it was robust, flavorful and aromatic.

Came the Cold Dish, were the Vegetable Sashimi on Ice with Seagrapes Shooter Glass was served - coconut, konjac, mountain yam (huai san), aloe vera sashimi and carrot sashimi were arranged beautiful like a snow mountain filled with colourful slices of raw vegetarian "seafood".

Next, onto the Mains, where we enjoyed the Duo Ravioli Platter - stunning pumpkin and spinach ravioli shaped like open tulips, with fragrant flower emulsion and cream sauce. A mouth-watering dish, from the silken ravioli pockets to the creamy fillings within.

Grilled Summer Mushroom Steak on "Pu-Ye" Hot Stone - the first dish that drew my attention to Joie and made me fall in love - was as good as ever. A bed of colored, tiny hot lava pebbles nestled giant dried leave, topped with succulent monkey-head mushroom grilled with subtle hints of smokiness. Even the tiny fan of branches lying across the mushroom steak could be eaten - made up of deep fried flour sticks.

We finally tried Desserts next. Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice-cream was moistened, decadent, and indulgent, surrounding the palate with melted chocolate gold whilst the eyes feasted upon the gorgeous plating.

Last but not least, Red Wine Poached Pear with Lime Sorbet -skilfully sliced so that the pear still looked whole and standing firm on the plate, wearing its leaf crown proudly. Not sure though, why it was yellow in hue and not deep red like that last time I ate here, but the wine infusion was lovely, lending a darker flavour to the sweet juiciness of the pear slices. The lime sorbet was a worthy accompaniment with its zesty tone.

Colorful tea concluded the extremely delightful meal. Hawaiian Blue was exactly that - capturing the very essence of the sea's aque hue. It rasted utterly refreshing, so drinkers could bask in its blueberry-lychee concoctiton.

My Hot Roselle Rhythm Tea had a striking scarlet hue, and was an explosion of flavours all in a glass pot - citrus peels, herbs and roselle flowers, beneficial and soothing.

Overall, we immensely enjoyed our dining experience here at Joie by Dozo once again, utterly posh dining on a good variety of creative, beautiful dishes made of finest ingredients and provides top-notch service.  Will be back, and glad to recommend more friends to try them out too.