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Thursday, 30 April 2020

Dinner at English House by Marco Pierre White @ Mohd Sultan

28 Mohammed Sultan, Singapore 238972
Tel: 6545 4055

Inspired by colonial Singaporean heritage, the English House is perfect for people who appreciate an antiquated era of classical food and drink, presented simply as nature intended; orchestrated and conducted by England’s greatest chef Marco Pierre White.

The artistic interior makes the place almost gallery-like. Its like the golden age revived, touched by elegance and eccentricity. Stilted, symmetrical lines of light lead you into the evening; glimmering candles, intimate shadows, walls embellished with the iconic English greats, immortalized through the eyes of Terry O’Neill.

We came on the fourth of July for our independence day dinner cum Wine Night. Within the long and spacious restaurant is a private dining room that you can book with mininum SGD$1,000 spending. The room is adorned by Rolls Royce table and chairs.

Service was excellent and polite, exactly the way we expected it to be.

We started with Parfait of Foie Gras au Raisin Sec, on Toasted Sourdough (SGD$35.00), a decadent delicacy I could probably eat 10 servings of. Very refreshing coupling of foie gras with sweet, crunchy raisins.

Then there was the scrumptious Potted Scottish Salmon with Fennel on Toasted Sourdough (SGD$36.00); a hearty starter that tugs at heartstrings.

Moving onto the mains, we had the Roast Rack of Lambs, a la Dijonnaise (SGD$55.00). It was tender and tasty, without the strong gamey notes. Sides comprise of Chantenay carrots, petit pois a la Francaise, Gratin Dauphinois and rosemary roasting juices.

Followed by another palatable creation- Braised Ox Cheeks in Red Wine a la Bourguignon (SGD$48.00), where the teeth tore through melty meat so fine, its coat of fine fats gently wobbly on the tongue. Other accompaniments were mashed potatoes  fumet of red wine, pork back bacon, button mushrooms and pearl onions. Luscious!

Another memorable delight was the Prime Fillet of Beef Wellington (SGD$145.00), beef slab so rich, moist and tender against the texturized puff pastry that wrapped around it. Gratin Dauphinois, fumet of ceps, beech mushrooms and butterleaf spinach were great accompaniments.

Final mains was the Wheelers Classic Fish Pie (SGD$55.00), served with mashed potato. The pie itself was composed of salmon, halibut fish, diced carrots, peas, diced potatoes and cream. Despite the distinct tastiness of the fish, we thought that the pie was too creamy, and had a strong sour hint to it. The latter itself was disappointing.

Desserts were up next. Traditional Apple Crumble (SGD$22.00) hit all the right notes - fragments of well textured crumbs paired with caramelized sweet juicy apple cubes. It was topped by a single scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Then we had the Sherry Trifle Wally Ladd (SGD$22.00), a dessert that paid tribute to a London chef named Wally Ladd. A rich and bold concoction made of black cherry jam, Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry, sponge fingers dipped in Sherry, creamy smooth whipped custard, and topped with Chantilly Cream, almond flakes and roasted pistachio. A beautiful balance of fluffy cream dream and nutty flavours.

Finally, finishing off the beautiful night with another classic English dessert, the Box Tree Eton Mess (SGD$22.00). Beautiful in red and white, made of hand whipped cream, meringue studs, cranberry compote, strawberry slices and scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Mint leaves adorned the tasty dessert with aromatic hints.

Overall dining experience at the English House by Marco Pierre White was very enjoyable and delightful; definitely looking forward to being back for more English goodness.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Seafood Bak Kut Teh @ Old Street Bak Kut Teh

3 Jurong Gateway #B1-25 Westgate Building, Singapore 068532
Tel: 6438 8866

Old Street Bak Kut Teh has many stores in Singapore (as well as Malaysia and Indonesia), and I usually passed them by, thinking that it was enough that I had my own favourite Bak Kut Teh stalls that I would frequent.

Well, to share a little about them- a local Singaporean brand that started in 2010,  with an interesting concept of serving Bak Kut Teh (a traditional pork ribs soup), You Tiao (fried doughstick) and Soy Milk. Besides the traditional soupy Bak Kut Teh, they also serve Dry Bak Kut Teh, Seafood Vermicelli, Seafood Porridge egg.

What caught my attention these days were the Claypot Frog Leg Bak Kut Teh ("tian ji") and Seafood Bak Kut Teh. I decided to pop in to try the latter.

The staff crew members were very warm and friendly at this outlet, especially this particular lady in her 50s (I think), who was very hospitable and cheerful. She seated me, pulled out the electronic tablet menu from a drawer under the table, and showed me how to place my order.

When my Seafood Bak Kut Teh (SGD$14.00 for small) came, it was in a squarish pot which the friendly service crew set on the electronic stove on my table. She pulled open another drawer under the other side of my table and got utensils for me - super modern concept for such traditional cuisine; I was impressed.

I dug into the peppery soup when it boiled, enjoying the blend of pork ribs and sweetness of fresh seafood in generous servings - crab parts, fresh succulent prawns, clams and a piece of pork rib of course.

The stove kept my soup piping hot throughout the meal, optimising my enjoyment. Peppery flavour was strong enough but not overpowering. Best of all, Seafood was fresh, albeit being a little hard to eat without using hands).

I was glad I stepped into Old Street Bak Kut Teh and had a good meal in vintage settings, and I can't wait to be back to try the Frog Leg Bak Kut Teh and perhaps their soy milk.

(i) Founder Bak Kut Teh
(ii)  Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
(iii) Lian Peng Bak Kut Teh

Monday, 27 April 2020

Lunch at VENUE By Sebastian @ OUE Downtown

6A Shenton Way #01-02 Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815
Tel: 6904 9688

Remember Restaurant Ember at Hotel 1929 (review here) along Keong Saik Road? Well, if you love Chef Sebastian's culinary creations and was saddened that he left, fret not. He has set up his own VENUE now, a chic restaurant exuding understated elegance, at the new swanky OUE Downtown.

The current menu comprises mainly contemporary European dishes with selective Asian influences. Service was excellent despite the peak hours- attentive crew still ensures that water glasses were filled, and orders were served in timely fashion.

Since "communal" is the ideal concept here, we decided to order some dishes to share between us, relying heavily on the crew's recommendations.

Starting with Cauliflower Florets Fritti (SGD$10.00), served with spicy Mint Aioli, definitely raised expectations high for us. Who would've thought that simple cauliflower could taste this good in a crispy state? With the dip, flavour was further enhanced.

We also had the Grilled Asparagus with Poached Egg (SGD$12.00) and crackling Parma Ham, glazed with Miso Butter. Another texturized dish bursting with flavours.

Next, Burrata Cheese with Batard Toast (SGD$14.00) served with le jardin de rabelais tomatoes and drizzled with Basil Oil for that fragrance. Needless to say, the creaminess of cheese paired with crunchy toast was definitely palate pleasing.

From the mains, we enjoyed the Grilled Octopus (SGD$27.00) with White Bean Puree, Capers and burnt Butter. Smokey hints and light, chewy bites had us debating if we should get another plate of these.

There was also that saccharine Chilean Sea Bass (SGD$32.00) served with an appetite-whetting Mushroom-Bacon Ragout, and truffle yuzu butter sauce. The flavours of the sea and the Earth have united beautifully, at long last.

Our final mains to share was the 36-Hour Duck Confit (SGD$19.00) with Truffle Emulsion, Mesclun and Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette. Loved the crackling exterior giving way to tenderness within, tantalising with flavours of its accompaniment.

Moving on to desserts, Texture of Coconut (SGD$12.00), with crispy Mung Beans. Interesting grated coconut flakes dessert served chilled, sweet not but cloying.

Following that, Chocolate Fondant Cake (SGD$14.00) with Vanilla Ice-cream, and a chocolate centre lava that actually flows. Decadent and delicious!

Finally, a surprise for *Yvonne. I asked for a birthday candle, and the crew expertly walked covertly behind so the birthday girl (and others at the table) were totally caught off guard by the surprise.

Presenting the Pistachio Financier (SGD$14.00), served with Grand Marnier Ice-cream and Raspberry Yogurt, ticked the palate immensely with its multitude of flavours.

Overall dining experience at VENUE By Sebastian was excellent, ticking every box in terms of ambience, service and quality of food!

Review on Aqua Filler Facial @ Bionn International

190 Clemenceau Avenue #04-20 Singapore Shopping Centre, Singapore 239924
Tel:  6100 0661 / 6338 8096
Website: http://bionn.biz

Bionn International was my go-to place for my facial issues, the very first facial treatment centre I signed up for. Due to personal reasons, I have stopped visiting them but was surprised to receive their call to return now, after a decade.

Founded in 2003, Bionn International uses a suite of facial services and house-brand products to provide solutions for customers' skin issues. This award-winning beauty centre has upgraded its services to medi-aestbetics level now, having their own doctors and are able to provide even fillers and boosters, etc.

They have 3 outlets now, at Singapore Shopping Centre, Peck Seah Street and One KM Mall - I returned to the SSC branch. Still donning its corporate colors of blue and white, the outlet seemed to have undergone a facelift, looking even more comfortable and professional now.  The centre manager, consultant and therapists seem to be more well-spoken and customer-oriented now (in the past they were very huge on hard-selling and up-selling).

I changed into the gown and the therapist removed my makeup before doing cleansing. Then a machine was uses remove dead skin cells using some kind of suction tube.

Following that, extraction and eye brow shaping. Next, another device was used to kill bacteria using some infrared light - made a buzzing sound and had a strong door but gentle on the skin.

Moving on, facial massage which felt very good and lifting. Then a generous layer of Hydraulic Acid was spread over my face. Another equipment was brought into the room, attached with a black nozzle that produced suction to open up the pores for better absorption and deeper penetration of the hydraulic acid. There was water being sprayed with each contact on the skin as well, extremely quenching sensation.

Both photos above no-filter, and no makeup. Look at how
clear and moisturised my skin fared, after the treatment.

Finally, the application of a cooling Stem Cell mask over my face as well as Protein Eye Treatment Mask while I tested for 20-30 minutes. Brand finale was toner and moisturizer, followed by a consultation.

My skin felt moisturizer and brighter, utterly soothed. The Aqua Filler Facial costs SGD$280.00 a session and is undeniably beneficial for my skin; I should come back more often.

Thank you Bionn International for taking care of, and pampering my face!

Friday, 24 April 2020

Review on Plushopedic™ Memory Fluff Pillow by SleepWiz [Sponsored]

I was honoured to receive the Plushopedic™ Memory Fluff Pillow to try on, it is a popular pillow of choice - affordable,  comfortable, and offering many health benefits. Before that, I have reviewed by other fantastic products that SleepWiz carries, such as the ErgoLush Gel Infused Memory Foam and the Luxurie Eye Mask.

Address: 11 Woodlands Close, #08-40, Singapore 737853

So how does this Plushopedic™ Memory Fluff Pillow work and why is it so special?

  • The Plushopedic™ pillow’s viscoelastic memory fluff cushions your head, cradles your neck, and disperses motion – like a hug from a giant teddy bear!
  • Special memory fluff filling sinks more in the centre where your head rests, while remaining comfortably supportive under your neck where you need it.
  • Adapts to back-sleepers, side-sleepers, and combination-sleepers.
  • Easily remove and store away filling to adjust pillow loft.
  • Can be fluffed to achieve your desired pillow loft and shape.
  • Super-breathable Coolmax® pillow protector allows airflow throughout the pillow, keeping you cool and fast asleep throughout the night.
  • Durable memory fluff maintains volume and support for years and years – unlike traditional fiber fillings – and even re-fluffs itself!

So many benefits, and yes, a luxury pillow that hugs my head regardless of whether I sleep on my back or side! Headaches be gone, comfort level maximum, and best of all it is an affordable SGD$84.00 only (plus free delivery islandwide!).

If you like it, or any products from SleepWiz, do use the code "elle2020" to enjoy 10% all products. Remember that your sleep is important as our health + skin repair themselves whilst we sleep, therefore create quality sleep for yourself with SleepWiz's range of quality, innovative products starting from today!

Thank you Sam and SleepWiz for the opportunity to enjoy a good night's rest!

Lunch at Mahota Kitchen (Lavender / Tampines)

809 French Road, Level 3, Kitchener Complex, Singapore 200809
Tel: 6299 6809

2 Tampines Central 5, #01-11, Century Square, Singapore 529509
Tel: 6260 8018

Mahota Kitchen is a stunning restaurant focusing on organic food items such as free range beef, and own-grown vegetables. They promise "value, variety and knowledge", and draws strongly on the belief that good food should be enjoyed in a communal setting. I fell in love with the spacious rustic, garden-themed diner.

Service is good - you are being greeted the moment you enter, and the crew attends to our requests efficiently. Besides the dining area, there's also the Mahota Market, TCM Clinic and Seminar Room. They also have another outlet at Century Square (Tampines), which I frequent as well.

Desserts are interesting, with items such as Vegan Black Forest Cake, Sweet Potato Cake, Salted Caramel Jelly Cake and Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse Cake, etc.

My Matcha Latte was unsweetened, enabling me to enjoy the pure aroma of green tea froth, a refreshing change from those cloying, too-milky ones that most cafes usually serve.

They have a variety of Tea served in pots as well. I like the quaint little black teapot they use, looking so raw and yet exotic.

They also have interesting blended juices and organic wine selection to choose from.

Starters comprised Honey Truffle Mixed Sweet Potato Fries (SGD$8.00). Crispy and sweet, making for good light bites.

The Baked Cauliflower with Parmigiano (SGD$6.00) were very good to eat, especially when paired with a good tea or glass of White Wine.

Crispy Milk Baby Octopus with Tartar Sauce (SGD$8.00) had a palatable charm of its own, melting on the tongue deliciously.

We also enjoyed the Crispy Mixed Mushroom in Bamboo Charcoal Powder (SGD$6.00), giving the earthy notes some hints of smokiness.

Kale Roasted Organic Lacto Chicken Salad (SGD$16.00) was a delicious and healthy dish made up of quail eggs, cherry tomatoes, avocado, sliced orange, Cumin organic quinoa corn, and roasted walnuts with pommery salad dressing.

Then we had the Aglio Olio Pasta with Grilled Miso Octopus (SGD$26.00); one could choose between handmade spinach tagliatelle or handmade pumpkin linguine. Palatable pasta dish bursting forth with flavours.

Another dish to be savoured was Red Wine Braised Beef Cheeks (SGD$19.00), served on a bed of truffle mashed potato and seasonal vegetables.

Then there was my long-craved Garlic Duck Leg Confit with Pineapple Sauce (SGD$18.00). Crackling exterior with tender flesh.

Last but not least, I really dug the Creamy Risotto with Grilled Scallops. Springy scallops redolent of the briny sea, creamy rice infused with parmigiano cheese, and mixed with sweet corn as well as mushrooms.

Dessert also includes the delicious and healthy Sweet Potato Cake, Yogurt Cake, etc.

Not hard to see why I keep coming back to Mahota Kitchen for their healthy, scrumptious food items, can you?