NN Header

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tea Break at Lobby Court @ Swissôtel The Stamford

2 Stamford Road, Lobby Level, Swisshotel the Stamford, Singapore 178882
Tel: 6338 8585

After a long day of helping out with a voluntary organisation, *Charmaine and I decided it was time for a little pampering and catching up, hence we headed to the nearby Lobby Court cafe lounge at Swisshotel the Stamford. I have enjoyed meals at the hotel's Prego Italian restaurant and Cafe Swiss before, and had drinks at New Asia Bar, and Jaan, so Swisshotel the Stamford is no stranger to me.

Lobby Court is a small but cosy, and tastefully decorated with plushy couches and lit pillars on polished wood panelled floors.  I always feel rather halcyon-ic when I am here in this quiet setting, whether for tea or drinks.

The first thing that caught  my eye was the desserts cabinet, as usual. I had a hard time deciding on what I wanted. I have never tried their pastries before.

I remember they serve TWG tea, so that was what we ordered for this cooling Saturday afternoon. I had a pot of Choco Mint Truffle tea (SGD$12.00) - a creamy and rich luscious tea with two of my favorite favors incorporated into a dessert tea.

*Charmaine had the White Knight tea (SGD$12.00), a light flavored white tea.

We both loved their Biscottis so much that we actually ordered more (SGD$2.00 for 3 pieces), because the crunchy, buttery cookies were just so tasty. It was the first time we both paid such attention to biscottis before, since usually they were just accompaniments to a hot drink.

She had the Pie of the Day (SGD$9.00) - a puff pastry consisting of chicken and a side salad. The puff pastry was deliciously flakey, filled with minced chicken. It was served lukewarm initially, then we had it reheated and it tasted better.

I had a slice of Raspberry Pistachio cake (SGD$8.90) - chosen amongst three choices. The cake came with a crunchy tart texture, and was richly infused with a nutty and chocolately deliciousness; the texture was a little hard on the outside but tender within, hence balancing the tart to a perfection. The raspberry cream and pistachio combination was brilliant - imagine flavors burst of sour sweetness amongst the more steady base of nuts and chocolate. We both agreed that this dessert was a brilliant choice.

It was a great afternoon well spent lounging on their comfort seats, people watching, enjoying good pastries with quality teas, and catching up on the endless stories we have to share / gossip about.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Lunch at Sleeping Rhino Restaurant @ Klapsons Boutique Hotel

15 Hoe Chiang Road, Level 1, Tower Fifteen, The Klapsons Boutique Hotel, Singapore 089316
Tel: 6521 9001

Besides enjoying drinks at Fabrika @ Klapsons Boutique Hotel,  I also decided to try the lunch at their restaurant, Sleeping Rhino.

Donned in a lovely contemporary decor, this tiny bistro-style restaurant consists of a bar counter, a salad bar and some rows of seats (booths and tables). The twinkling lights above the salad bar looked elegant at first but after a while it seemed to cause headache. Service was nothing to speak of as well.

Nonetheless, *Sidney and I browsed through the limited menu and decided to go for the All-you-can-eat Salad Buffet (SGD$16.00). The ala carte menu did not leave us a lot of choices and we did not have much appetite - not like there was anything eye catching anyway.

The salad counter was rather small as well, and as we circulated it in one small circle, we realized that the variety was limited too. For the price, we expected a better variety - the salad counter does not have to be as extensive or sumptuous as LeVel 33's, but the spread here was really unappetizing. Read on as to why.

Besides a whole load of very normal vegetables (lettuce, etc) and other greens - one of which made up a Caesar Salad - the tiny cubes of watermelon, papaya and peaches appeared they were just simply chopped and served.

There were loads of tiny items such as olives, beans and nuts to choose from if one pleased.

One of the only saving graces was the ham spread - proscuitto, salami etc, and the thin slices of pork contained no fatty meats (a rarity) and were not too salty.

Next in line would probably be the Potato Salad, which deserves a little praise, because the taste was quite good and the potatoes were soft enough to be enjoyable. 

The greens and other colorful vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes were fresh, don't get me wrong - but just too common for an all-you-can-eat buffet at that price. 

I did not eat the sesame rolls served with butter,  but the Buddy did, and it tasted rather all right despite being a tad hard.

I also ordered an Iced Melon Tea (SGD$8.00) - in which the iced tea was just pure unsweetened tea, and I could pour the melon syrup into it to adjust the level of sweetness to my desire.

So I had a little antipasto and Caesar Salad to start the meal off - nothing to rave or rant about.

We decided to share a main course of Steak Sandwich (SGD$9.00 for top-up, ordered with Salad Buffet) which looked decidedly good when it was served - all golden and crispy. Well, the fries were nice and crispy anyway - with light sprinklings of fine chilli powder.

The "steak" sandwiched between the crispy slices of bread were really just thin pieces of beef, tender and delicious, but the name "steak" seemed to be laying it a little too thick. The tiny strips of onions enhanced the flavor with tinges of spiciness, and added some sweet crisps to the chewy texture of the beef.

I had some cubes of fruits and beans. The papaya and watermelon were dry, and the papaya actually clumped to each other (being left outside for too long?), but nonetheless refreshing enough after a few saltish bites of the sandwich and fries.

The potato salad was not bad, as mentioned, as were the ham slices, paired with feta cheese and green peppers I'd taken.

The two of us spent SGD$33.00 each, enjoying a seemingly light but unsatisfactory lunch. The spread of the salad could really improve, if not in variety then in quantity please. Or if they choose to retain this standard of the salad buffet, then perhaps they could have an optional "add on salad buffet for $10.00" for main courses ordered instead of making it the main ticket with an add-on entree option.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Review: Laneige Water Supreme Primer Base

Having been accustomed to another brand of minerals makeup base for years, I finally broke away and tried the Laneige Water Supreme Primer Base - a gift from a friend who visited Korea recently. I think it costs around SGD$55.00 in stores.

It is 35ml in volume, and comes in a lovely reflective silvery box. The primer base I have is in a pale green shade (No. 60) - for correcting redness. From my understanding, this range has the lilac and pink shades as well.

For easy application, the creamy primer base comes in a pump-form.

After applying my usual skincare routine and moisturizer, the next step would be to press a tiny amount onto the fingers and smoothen over skin before piling on the foundation / makeup.

The primer base is smooth and creamy, but not overly rich. There is no greasy feel, and upon application over the skin, the redness is visibly toned, and the skin feels smoothened out, all ready for the foundation to glide on. There is a light sheen of dewy brightness - not oily shine or extreme matte, so it makes the skin look more radiant too.

I am happy with Laneige's Water Supreme Primer Base, and so far has no complaints with it. I like how it prepares my face for makeup and also offers a little protection against the harmful rays of the sun.  It also comes with a sweet, pleasant scent by the way.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Tea Break at Le Chocolat Cafe @ The Club Hotel

28 Ann Siang Road, Level 1, The Club Hotel, Singapore 069708
Tel: 6808 2188

I finally went to Le Chocolat Cafe after much deliberation - for the sake of their famous Rainbow Cake. The small boutique hotel was rather easy to locate on Ann Siang Hill, and the tiny cafe was done in clean, white shades with Neo-modern furniture.

We moved from this comfortable couch area to a proper table as it was too low for eating (need to keep bending over). The only menu was the one on the board , and rather limited to just burgers and sandwiches.

They do have many delectable looking pastries and cakes though, and I was at a loss of what to order. My colleague had already decided he wanted savoury item, leaving me to the sweeter aspects of this meal.

I started with a Pink Sky drink (SGD6.90) - water melon blended juice. It was delicious, and definitely thirst-quenching.

Then the Strawberry-Tofu Cake (SGD5.00) - a soft slab of sweet pastry with a chocolate topping and real strawberries. It was a little sweet, and the texture was a cross between meringue and marshmallows. The red gooey strawberry syrup sauce around the cake added a touch of color and sweetness to the already saccharine dessert.

Now the long-awaited Rainbow Cake (SGD7.00) - I could almost smell its chiffony aroma as I am posting this picture now! This chocolate-coated delicacy was soft, and every melt-in-your-mouth layer was tasty. It was not too sweet, but retained a fragrance that was a cross between butter, chiffon and fruits amongst the rich flavor of cream. I loved it.

My colleague and newfound friend had The Club Burger (SGD$19.00) - tender strips of smokey beef between crusty bread and served with crispy fries. He said it was a scrumptious burger.

Basically, I think Le Chocolat Cafe is more of a desserts place, given its lack of / limited savoury mains. I heard their brunch is all right too, so you might like to pop by over the weekend.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dinner at Noodle Place Restaurant (云吞面世家) @ Orchard Gateway

277 Orchard Road #01-17 Orchard Gateway, Singapore 238843
Tel: 6733 3171

It was time for dinner with the girls again... and the chosen venue was Noodle Place Restaurant (under the Prima Taste Group), serving authentic Hong Kong cuisine such as noodles, etc. Having dined at other restaurants under Prima Taste Group before - such as Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant and Prima Taste Restaurant - and liking them, I supposed that Noodle Place Restaurant should uphold the standard too.

I started with a soya milk (SGD$3.00) - diluted, but had to suck it up since they claimed they didn't serve hot / warm soya milk by nightfall. Three of us shared a platter of Roast Meat (SGD$28.00) - consisting of crispy roast pork, sweet honeyed char siew and roast duck, while waiting for *Chantal to reach. The meat were tender and tasty, making for a very appetite-whetting starter.

We also shared a bowl of Dumpling (Wanton) soup - that came with rather succulent minced meat wrapped in dumpling skin, and a tasty clear broth.

For mains, I had the Dumpling Noodles, dry (SGD$9.80) - wherein the noodles were crispy and springy in texture, and the gravy was a light but flavorful taste. As for dumplings - the shrimps within were huge enough to occupy half the dumplings, and were bouncy fresh. I could do without the black fungus and have just normal minced meat for the other half, though.

*Nadine had the Zha Jiang noodles (spicy pork noodles) - which came with the same crispy and springy noodles as my dish had. However, instead of the usual minced meat, they served the dish with pork slices - rather tender, and the gravy was sweet with an underlying saltish overture. There was no spiciness factor at all.

*Sharona had the Spicy and Sour Dumplings dish (SGD$7.00)  for her mains, laying off all carbo. The dumplings were same as mine - large juicy shrimps and black fungus with minced meat. The gravy was scumptious though - made more explosive with the chopped chilli padi - I borrowed a fair bit of this scrumptious soup for my noodles.

*Chantal chose the Seafood Hor Fun (SGD$9.00) - the portion was humongous and ingredients were eaped to the brim of the plate. The prawns were fresh, as well as the tender fish slices. The hor fun were smooth and she mentioned the egg gravy was nice (fyi, to add egg, there's additional charges).

Overall, the simple meal was well-received and something different for us, usually choosing European / Western cuisines for our meetups. Service was all right - a little slow, but tnothing that had much negative impact. We spent a total of around $100.00 in total.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Lunch at SMITHS Authentic British Fish & Chips

271 Bukit Timah Road #01-02 Balmoral Plaza, Singapore 259708
Tel: 6737 9313

Smiths' is an eatery serving authentic British fish & chips - fresh fish in a crisp batter, alongside with thick chips and a splash of vinegar and salt. I love Fish & Chips, and have a list of favorite restaurants to visit for my F&C cravings -  hence this definitely piqued my interest (thanks to colleague and newfound buddy for suggesting to go there for lunch!)

Done in a simple bistro concept, with friendly service crew with their ever-ready recommendations and smiles, Smiths' offers a comfortable dine-in environment and welcomes take-aways too.

We decide to sit outdoors, where the breezes constantly came in to caress our skin while we dined in a relaxed manner at this porch-like setting. See the vinegar and salt holders on the table? A pity none of us thought to try splashing some of that onto our fish.

I had the North Sea Cod Fish & Chips (SGD$14.90 for small) and a Diet Coke. The serving was wrapped in paper - simple and not fussy at all. We simply unrolled the sheets of paper and spread the crispy food on the table, and dug in.

My Cod was tasty - the usual fresh sweetness of cod was preserved despite its fried state, and the skin was crispy of course. The fries were sweet as well, because of the sugar that it was fried with (hence some of the edges had darkened edges) - I prefer my salty fries.

The Buddy had the Haddock Fish & Chips (SGD$13.50 for small) - since I was passing him nearly half my Cod. Well.... haddocks being haddocks, there was a slight acidic overture to the flesh amongst the fresh sweetness of its taste. All I could say is I was glad I ordered my Cod.