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Monday, 28 September 2015

[Media Invite] Brunch at Barnacles by the Sea @ Shangri-La Sentosa

101 Siloso Road, Beach Level (level 1), Shangri-La's Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore 098970
Tel: 6371 1966

Sunday Garden Party at Barnacles by the Sea is an exciting weekend concept by Shangri-la's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa.  This special brunch event is available till 15 December 2015, taking place every Sunday from 12noon to 3.00pm, and includes a sumptuous buffet spread, pool access as well as exciting activities for the kids (magic shows, balloon shows, etc).

Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa may be situated on Sentosa Island itself, on the outskirts of the cityscape, but this hotel has an all-time high occupancy rate over the weekends, a huge portion of which is made up of staycation-ing locals. This is a haven for a weekend escapade, therefore facilities are suited for the entire family.

Within walking distance to the serene sea, Barnacles by the Sea is as close as you could get to the beachfront, boosting the concept of  "seaside dining" alive.  Besides the beautiful views it offers to patrons, the interior of the restaurant is spacious as well.

Tastefully and cosily furnished, it costs a mere SGD$138.00 per adult to enjoy this "Sunday Garden Picnic" brunch affair.  The first child aged 12 and below gets to attend FOC; subsequent child only need to pay SGD$28.00 to enjoy this special dining concept.

A stunning wine display greets the guests at the entrance, and there's a three-piece band belting out good songs throughout the 3-hour brunch to entertain the guests while they are dining.   Service is impeccable and attentive here at this family-oriented restaurant, making dining feel like home literally.

The one thing that caught our eyes was the Kids' Section - a counter specially catered to the kids in decoration and food choices.   It was a delightful discovery, and I am sure that the kiddos must have been excited helping themselves to the food on display.

As for adults, there is a wide array of food done in international cuisine - a huge selection, such as Japanese fare (sushi and rolls), salad, cold cuts, poached eggs etc, all made up of fresh, quality ingredients.

There was also a good fruits and cheese spread, as well as bread selection. One counter alone, and there was already so much to choose from, I have yet to move to the other counters to check out what were in-store.

For the BBQ lovers, the barbecue station is thoughtfully stationed just outside the restaurant, with hardworking chefs busy preparing roast beef, lamb, Peking duck, curry etc.   You could also get your rice and satay out here.

The most tempting station for me was of course the Seafood section, filled with fresh and scrumptious-looking catches from the sea - lobster, Fin de Claire oysters, mussels, shrimps and Alaskan crabs etc, neatly organised to show off their best sides.

An ice-cream cart containing interesting ice-cream flavours such as Pandan, passionfruit and raspberry cheesecake etc was situated to the beverages station, giving us an idea of what was in the meal's lineup.

Finally, the other counter that made me weak in the knees - Desserts! It was a massive selection, consisting of chocolate fondue, chocolate cakes, cheesecakes, panna cottas, tarts, macaroons, fruits and Chinese pastries (kuehs). The colourful assortment posed the "Should I start with desserts first" question throughout the photo-taking ordeal, but I did not succumb.

White wine, juices, tea, coffee and sparkling water (Pellegrino) accompanied us throughout the meal - sorry but note that alcoholic beverages are not included in the SGD$138.00 price list.

Anyway, I started with a plate of Seafood - reveling in their luscious flavours and springy flesh. The Fin de Claire oysters and lobster left the deepest impression on me, providing instant gratification.

I also experimented with some Sushi, Salad and Poached Eggs. It might have sounded weird to dip the sushi rice into the cascading poached egg yolk, but I did - and it was very delicious! I also loved the ham-wrapped melon.

But eventually, I returned to my love for the creatures of the sea - more saccharine lobsters, oysters (with the various sauces they have prepared at the seafood station), as well as the popping caviar and rich, creamy foie gras. A wrapped Peking duck stole its way to this plate as well.

I was very full by then, but greed for sweets gave me the will to carry on -  lovely Pistachio macaroon, chocolate cakes, marshmallows and strawberries (later) draped in chocolate fondue, as well as some ice-cream. The cakes were moistened and not cloyingly sweet; the ice-creams were lovely, especially the Pink Guava flavour (we all concurred that the "passionfruit" label was erroneous, because there was no mistaking the redolent pink guava taste of the pink scoop).

Overall, this was a fabulous dining experience, and I must reiterate again that the seaview was truly a very enticing factor. For families, this is the perfect place to be - an afternoon of palatable brunch with lots of variety to choose from, activities for the children, as well as entrance to the gorgeous pools for some well-deserved fun thereafter.

Thank you Barnacles by the Sea / Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa for the wonderful experience, as well as Tina for hosting this meal.  Thank you Hungrygowhere for the invite.  Other attendees included Epicurean,  Desserting Beauty and Prayerfullmum.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Song of the Senses

The swirls of colours, the taste of valour,
The pale pallor of your face, blood red lips;
The feel of stardust upon my cold skin,
The lash of the wind like a wakeup call -
The opening of hazel eyes to the reality,
The hazey tantamount of fogged fantasies.

The deafening silence in the basement,
The shadows dancing beneath the streetlamps,
The kaleidescope of nothingness,
The chase for romance in the woods,
The pursuit of the storm's directions,
The enchantment that sought to haunt.

The touch was soft, cold, like falling snow,
The moon was held by a thin line in the sky-
The dream was for it to fall unto my bosom;
The awakening was a nasty hangover,
The pain was sharper than witches' claws;
The gnashes were darker than streams of blood.

The line separating the horizon was gone - 
The sun plunged right into the swaying waves;
The soft clinks of glasses being toasted,
The shattered smash of mirrors in the distance,
The murmurings of the leaves in the winds,
The singsong howl of wolves deep into the night.

The smile that broke into the gloom,
The torches of dawn coming to the rescue;
The gentle tears of heavens pelting the soul,
The first kiss that got past the heartbeat's skip,
The soft landing of the dream upon the land,
The stripping of the sensations so surreal....

Leaving no trails once they pass, like mortals,
Engaging the senses at their whim and fancy.

Copyright © ArcticStar 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 25 September 2015

[Media Invite] Dinner at Korean Fusion BBQ Buffet Restaurant

Block 3 Changi Village Road #01-131 Singapore 500003
Tel: 9232 2367

No. 5 Dunlop Street, Level 2, Singapore 209335
Tel: 9232 2367

This is a media invite attended by representatives from Hungrygowhere and some other familiar faces including Chubby Botak Koala.

Korean Fusion BBQ currently has 2 outlets, one in the East and one in a more centralised location in Singapore. Why is it called a "fusion" restaurant is because they have both the BBQ grill as well as a steamboat concept, giving diners the best of both worlds, in this all-you-can-eat buffet setting.

Opening Hours
Lunch daily:    11.00am to 3.00pm
Dinner daily:    5.30pm to 11.30pm

Korean Fusion BBQ does not charge GST for their buffet prices, so this means that you get to enjoy a wide-varietied meal at very value-for-money prices!

Furthermore, the service was impeccable - friendly Ms Lim and crew were always ready to chat customers up or assist cheerily. This, and the merry Korean music in the background gave the spacious restaurant a great ambience immediately.

Photosource: https://www.facebook.com/koreanfusionbbq/photos/p.

Besides a large array of fresh ingredients comprising vegetables, beancurd cubes, sausages, crabsticks, luncheon meat, beef, pork etc, there are also seafood items such as squids and bamboo clams. These ingredients are suitable for both grilling or cooking in soup, very versatile.

The speciality here, however, are the 10 different types of marinated Pork Belly, such as original, curry, green curry, black pepper, garlic, Mongolian, Thai spicy, herbal, laksa and Korean spicy - all rolled up beautifully in enticing colours.  These unique, exotic flavours are also the reason why they are a "fusion" restaurant - offering tastes of different cuisine in their pork belly marination.

They have different soup base for the hotpot as well - tomato, clams and herbal soup. The herbal soup was redolent of herbal's aroma and gave the ingredients an extra boost of flavour.

We started with the Prime Set (top up SGD$10.00) where we got Black Angus beef, Iberico black pork belly, Wagyu beef and NZ grain-fed beef - succulent and tasty meat for the soul.

I also enjoyed the pork belly selection tremendously, especially the curry, green curry and herbal ones - flavours were strong and sumptuous, teased beautifully with the slightly smokey hints.  Because Korean Fusion BBQ uses smokeless grills, we found that food got cooked faster somehow, and while the meats charred nicely, there was no grease.

We shared quite a few platters of meats - Bulgogi items, bacon streaks, cheese sausage etc, onthe grill and in soup. Either way, the meal was fun and tasty. Even the starters such as kimchi and raw mangoes were palatable - especially the utterly sweet mango slices.

Then we tried our hands at making Korean Pancakes with the pancake sauce. We placed the ingredients on the grill before dousing the milky pancake sauce over them to cook together, flipping only when the creations took form. Needless to say, it became a mess. But it was a fun experience.

Then experts showed us how to do it correctly - pour the pancake sauce to form the base first, before putting on the ingredients. Then another nappage of the sauce to form the top layer - this looked and tasted much better, as expected.

Finally, time for desserts! We already had some fruits - pineapple, water-melon and cherry tomatoes etc. The ice-cream selection was not a lot, but flavours were good - coconut, lime, double chocolate and green tea. I tried the latter, absolutely loving the creaminess of the ice-cream and rich flavours - the perfect conclusion to a meaty meal.

Thank you Korean Fusion BBQ for a wonderful experience and hosting, and thank you Hungrygowhere for the invite!