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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Dinner at Catalunya Spanish Restaurant (Revisit)

82 Collyer Quay, The Fullerton Pavilion, Singapore 049327
Tel: 6534 0188

Catalunya is a contemporary Spanish restaurant situated along Fullerton heritage, with an exotic, exquisite interior and the iconic orange-canopied lounge area. I visited it once before (read my review here), and the impression is still deep even though it has been about 2 years since the last visit.

Tonight's catching up dinner with *Cheyene was arranged at Catalunya again.  I was glad for the chance to reminisce and be refreshed again on the good service, splendid settings and vivacious views outside the glass windows.

We started the meal with tapas - appetisers, basically. The first one was Estrellados Con Chorizo (SGD$18.00) -  scrambled eggs on a bed of potatoes and chorizo (cured pork sausages) slices. The sausage was very salty, but balanced beautifully with the soft potato cubes and scrambled eggs. This feels very much like a breakfast / brunch item to me.

Next, we had the Cod Fritters (SGD$20.00) , 4 bite-sized pieces of this favorite Calatan bites. Sadly, it wasn't crispy as expected, and the interior was kind of mushy instead of the sweet, loose texture of cod fish.

The final tapas was has was the Suckling Pig Tapa (SGD$22.00) - the 2-bites version of Catalunya's famous suckling pig. The skin crackled deliciously beneath our teeth and the meat was light, succulent. It was undeniably delicious.

Time for the mains. *Cheyene went with the Beef Ribeye (SGD$98.00) at 400grams and an enormous portion at that! Easy on the blade and easy on the teeth, this juicy slab of beef was nothing short of tender. It wobbled ever so slightly in its medium-doneness, and tasted very good.

I ordered the Lobster Rice (SGD$80.00) again, luxuriating it its flavorsome simplicity. It was simply just that - paella rice cooked with grilled lobster. The chewy rice itself was infused richly with lobster broth, and the grilled lobster was saccharine in its freshness. Best of all, there was plenty of the tender, smooth lobster roe which enhanced the meal another level altogether.

Too full for desserts, we settled for drinks to end the meal with.

*Cheyene had a hot Peppermint Tea (SGD$8.00) since she was on the recovery stage of a bad flu / cough. It came in a very pretty holder that reminded me of a vintage oil lamp holder.

I decided on a glass of Cabernet Merlot (SGD$18.00) which was suitable for this cool evening, magnificent view and an early nightcap.

It was another beautiful dining experience here once again, and I look forward to be back again soon.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Lancome Party at BHG Bugis

Following the Lancome Christmas in Wonderland event in December (read review here), I was rather excited for another Lancome event, especially when this one promises a 15% discount off products and an additional SGD$10.00 voucher. It was time to top up some of my Lancome skincare products anyway.

230 Victoria Street, Level 1 Makeup Hall, Bugis Junction, Singapore 188024
Tel: 6338 6380

So, the event commenced at 7.15pm, but some of us registered earlier. A sticker bearing the signature Lancome rose was affixed to our hand, and we were given a small bottle of Evian as well as a Red Velvet cupcake from Twelve Cupcake.  I love Twelve Cupcake, fine-textured and great-flavoured besides looking so pretty always.

Some of us walked around checking out Lancome's products, spotting potential purchases for later; others gathered around the makeup desk waiting for the party to kickstart with national makeup artist Lina Tock working her magic, demonstrating how to have younger-looking skin.  That's Lina Tock in the photo above with the model of the evening (no offense, but we seriously thought that they could have easily found a better-looking model for this demonstration - Lina herself looked so much better).

Anyway, the first step of the younger-skin routine began with Lancome Genefique Youth-activating serum, which Lina applied to the model's face by gently patting it on and then lightly massaging it in. This was supposed to soften, smoothen and moisturize the skin.

Next, it was followed by the Lancome Genefique Eye Light-Pearl Illuminating Youth-activating Concentrate. Lina showed that the correct way to apply this was to do it in small circular motions around the lower eye area, using the "pearl" on the applicator to do so, then lightly sweep up with fingers. Pressing the pearl-tip against the upper inner eye corner also helps to open up the eyes.  There was a cooling sensation to this concentrate, and the Lancome representatives went around to let us have a feel on the hands as well.

Then, Lina used Lancome Genefique Youth-activating Eye Cream on top of the concentrate, to further protect, hydrate and firm the eyes area.

The next step was Lancome UV Expert BB Complete - consists of properties that help to shield, correct and unify, with its high SPF 50 protection. This may be used as a makeup base as well.

Finally, the skincare routines were completed, and it was time to move on to makeup application. The first step here was the Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation, which was easy to apply and could be brought out for touchup anytime. Lina used a brush to apply, for a more natural effect, and she says to always start applying from the inside of the face (not from outside in, if not there would be a mask-like effect).

The finishing touch was loose powder was up next, to complete the look.

Following that, it was time for the Lancome Grandiose Mascara, another beautifully product that comes with a curved wand for more accurate application to enhance and lift the lashes. It was amazing - we watched the model's already-long lashes being extended threefold in terms of length and thickness, and it stayed up.

Finally, some colours were added to the model's lips with Lancome's lipsticks. Two different shades were being used here, seemingly the trend of late - to blend a darker and lighter colour. Lina also used a lip brush to define the shape of the model's lips.

The Blush went on next, a gently tint to give a healthy glow and youthful looks, nothing that is set too hard or definitive. Lina emphasized on working on the apples of the cheeks here.

Lina also dabbed on some Hightlighter to the "C" outer areas of the eyes, as well as the T-zones so that it gives a 3-D effect when photographs are taken, and it sharpens the coutours of the face. The model was finally transformed - prettier, but nothing dramatic or overly made-up.

A dash of Lancome La Nuit Tresor between the wrists completed the entire session. This perfume is one of Lancome's latest, with notes of raspberries and all things alluring. On top of it, the bottle is incredibly beautiful as well - mysterious and seductive with a soulful depth.

Time for shopping and getting up close and personal with Lina Tock. But before that, the registered attendees got to receive a lovely door gift set comprising of precious samples for Genefique serum, eye cream, sunblock and La Nuit Tresor miniature perfume.

Disappointingly, when I was about to go pay for my Lancome Genefique Eye Cream (SGD$90.00) and Lancome Teint Visionnaire foundation, then they informed that for every SGD$100.00 spent, we would get the SGD$10.00 voucher. On top of that, the 15% discount was for offsetting next purchase, not for this event itself.

Well, thanks for the makeup tips, Lancome!

In comparison, the Guerlain event I attended a while back was so much more exciting - manicure, caricature, lots of Champagne, and extremely personable makeup artist Jose. No wonder everyone shopped like crazy after the event. Read review here.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Dinner & Drinks at Lantern Bar @ Fullerton Bay Hotel [Revisit again]

80 Collyer Quay, Rooftop Level, The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore 049326
Tel: 6597 5299

I am back at one of my most favorite chilling out spots again, bringing *Katherine there for her birthday celebration, catching up and chilling out session.  The Lantern Bar at Fullerton Bay Hotel has been an allure for me since the day it opened, and even until now it still appeals greatly to me.  Read about a couple of my previous visits here and here.

The views were still seductive, and the ambience was still alluring; the only thing I wish wouldn't remain consistent was the service (while polite, it was hard to get their attention no matter which part of Lantern we sat at).

*Katherine started with a Fizz and Bubbles cocktail (SGD$24.00) comprising of vodka, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, cane syrup and champagne, giving the drink a bubbly refreshingness as the name promised, as well as a citrusy dose of sweetness.

I had my Classic Mojito (SGD$24.00) with rum, fresh mint, la perruche, brown sugar, club sugar and bitters.  I love this drink, saccharine balanced with the right amount of mint.  I was grateful that it was rather a tall glass, fulfilling my craving for Mojitos.

Food-wise, we began with the Truffle Potato Salad (SGD$12.00) which boosted of soft-boiled potato cubes tossed in truffle-infused dressing, tantalising the palate with its piquant aroma while the teeth made contact with the smooth potato cubes.

Next, the Cajun Tuna Spring Rolls (SGD$24.00), served with togarashi aioli.  We were expecting mashed tuna stuffings within the crackling spring roll skins, but we were very pleasantly surprised to discover entire slabs of smoked tuna texturized between sashimi and smoked fish. This was definitely a keeper for us.

Finally, a Pizza Slab (SGD$31.00); we chose the one that comprised of forest mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, ricotta cheese and sprigs of fresh baby spinach. The crust was crispy and biscuit-like, the way I remember it, while the ingredients brought out all the various umami and sweet flavours naturally.

Lantern Bar surprised *Katherine with a very luscious and rich Chocolate Cake - there was a crunchy base and a creamy mousse body to this elegant dessert topped with fresh berries.

We concluded the evening with drink each. I had a glass of Pinot Noir (SGD$23.00), which had a sleek texture and light note. *Katherine chose the Classic Margarita (SGD$24.00) that was a burst of flavours - sweet, sour and salty from the sodium-rimmed glass.

Another great night passed by, with equally fantastic music to soothe the ears and laser shows livening up the enchanting night scene.