Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ellenborough Market Cafe : The Amazing Crab Feast

This June, be excited! That's because Ellenborough Market Cafe at Swissotel Merchant Court is bringing to you The Amazing Crab Feast! One can expect a wide variety of crab dishes that will be selected and served on a daily basis, alongside their spread of usual international buffet that comes with it.



To start, the Japanese counter offered a fairly modest selection of sashimi, sushi and fresh seafood served on ice such as poached prawns and cold crab. There's also a live station that has a chef pan frying generous foie gras portions that melts in your mouth. There isn't a limit to the number of rounds you can take, so be sure to head for second servings if you like your foie gras!



The crab dishes are bound to spoil you silly, with many cooking styles offered. We tried the Kam Hiong Crab, we gave off a little spice and kick, and we enjoyed it. The Black Pepper Crab on the other hand, reminds you of the local flavour that we would all be familiar with. Other crab dishes included a very nice and thick Corn and Crab Bisque, as well as Crab Meat Fried Rice. Despite being a buffet, we were pretty impressed with the sizeable crabs that were used, as well as the freshness that tagged along with the quantity.


Apart from the crabs, you can find quite a fair bit of Peranakan dishes on the buffet spread as well. We really enjoyed the Ayam Buah Keluak that came with super tender chicken meat, as well as the soft and geletinous Babi Chin, paired with freshly steamed coconut rice. The Peranakan counter was easily one of our favourites from the buffet spread.

Chinese dishes including Baby Lobster in Black Bean Sauce, a full on Red Snapper with Nonya Sauce and freshly made Pork and Seafood Spicy Wanton were also present on the spread, giving the whole buffet a pretty good balance of each cuisine.



For desserts, be sure to try their signature Durian Pengat if you are a love the king of fruits. If you don't - fret not, there are also a few traditional desserts for you to choose from (and something every mother would probably approve of) such as Pulut Hitam, Peanut Cream, White Fungus with Pear and freshly made on-site Muah Chee. There's also a selection of cakes, in case your sweet tooth doesn't get enough.


With Father's Day just round the corner, it's the perfect place to be at for that special celebration for the daddies out there. There's definitely something for everyone in the family, and lots of crab, of course. And if you need another reason to be at the crab buffet - just think that we are already almost done with half of 2017 and it's time to gather the friends for a mini celebration!



Ellenborough Market Cafe
Swissotel Merchant Court
20 Merchant Road
Singapore 058281
+65 6239 1847/1848
www.swissotel.com/singapore-merchantcourt

This was an invited media tasting.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Coastes

I have to admit that i love my brunch, but i hate having to squeeze with the crowd. Most of the popular places in town are either over-hyped, or crazy crowded to the extent you lose your appetite before your food even reaches the table.

Pretty glad to have found Coastes at Sentosa which serves up an extensive brunch menu which you can indulge in while soaking up the sun. Coastes (which probably derives from the word, coast) is smacked right in the middle of Siloso Beach. The location is away from the city, where only chill vibes exist. 



From their all-day menu, you can expect to select from brunch items, as well as fusion dishes including interesting ones like Green Curry Pasta - which might tingle a bit of your Asian tastebuds. We had the Seafood Platter to share and it came with a wide variety of grilled seafood which was pretty apt, considering we were dining just beside the sea. It includes an assortment of crayfish, fish stew, crab salad, tiger prawns, clams, as well as calamari. The portion is pretty huge, so it's best to have it for sharing between 3-4 people, or 2 if you are really hungry.


If you like your protein, dive straight for the Bourbon-Glazed Pork Ribs. One can choose between a half or full slab - i recommend the full, of course. Slightly sweet from the maple glaze, the ribs fell apart from the bone easily, flaunting a fork-tender consistency. It's something you would want to be indulging in if you are a meat-lover.



Coastes also offers light bites that you can look forward to pairing your cocktails, beer or even mocktails with. The Coastes Club is packed with flavours from the roast chicken and bacon within, stacked with fresh greens and a sunny side up. Another on the menu that's worth trying is the Duck and Arugula Pizza which comes with a slight Asian twist to it, resembling something like a hoisin sauce base with roasted duck chunks.


We loved the different kind of drinks available, apart from the usual beer selection. The Shades of Summer features a refreshing peach, vanilla and mango flavour, but we still enjoyed the Coconut Kumquat most, which had a good mix of fresh coconut juice and citrusy calamansi.

Coastes is a great place to hangout over drinks and food with friends. It's away from all that crazy crowd you get in the city, which is probably the reason why i like it even more. And with that, i guess that leaves no guesses where i'll be hanging out on the weekends in the weeks to come.



Coastes
50 Siloso Beach Walk
Singapore 099000
www.facebook.com/CSideSingapore


This was an invited media tasting.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square

To visit Bangkok isn't a holiday, it's more like an annual tradition for me. Everyone loves the city for it's shopping, food and warm hospitality. Needless to say, your accommodation for the trip is very essential, especially if you are there for a short trip and want to explore as much as possible in this most convenient way.

Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square is located just a stone throw away from Siam BTS Skytrain Station. It's one of the most, if not the most centrally located station in Bangkok, with lots of malls filled with shopping and entertainment.



Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square boasts a revamp recently, with a quirky fun lobby to welcome you upon check-in. Guests that stay at Executive rooms also get a fuss-free check-in that's expedited for you. At the newly revamped lobby, take time to enjoy a cup of coffee, or choose from a selection of European and Thai dishes from burgers to classic Thai dishes such as the Phad Thai. We had lunch there right after check-in and thoroughly enjoyed every dish, accompanied by some fancy cocktails with a hint of Thai element such as fresh coconut juice.



With more than 400 rooms, Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square offers a selection of different rooms, making sure that there's always one to suit you. We stayed in the Executive Premier Room, which had a view overlooking the city's skyline that came with a comfy king-sized bed and a well prepared room with a stocked mini-bar and superb wifi connectivity throughout our stay. We even asked for more pillows and they sent 4 more up during turn down service just so that we were comfortable during our stay.


Staying at the Executive Premier Room also entitles you breakfast daily at the Premier Lounge, as well as cocktails in the evening. Instead of being with the crowd, you can enjoy breakfast served to you fresh upon ordering, and unwind over a hectic day with cocktails in the evening with friends. Refreshments are also available all day at the Premier Lounge.


The hotel also has facilities such as a fully equipped gym if you need a workout or two after indulging in lots of good food, and also a swimming pool. For those who prefer a more relaxed trip, Tammachart Spa is a good way to unwind after a long day of shopping. They have a full range of massage choices for you to choose from at very affordable prices, unlike hotels that charge a premium. We went for a full body massage after a long day and it exceeded our expectations.


You wouldn't need to worry about getting hungry at Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square with 3 restaurants in the hotel! Apart from GourmetBar at the lobby, they also have an award winning Chinese restaurant that serves up authentic Chinese food. We went for lunch and was served an assortment of handcrafted dim sum dishes that impressed. Despite being in Bangkok, we were happy to be able to find comfort food of such excellent standard. They also have a promotion for their dim sum lunch buffet which is really value for money!

Of course, if you like your buffets international, head straight for The Square, which serves up an array of international buffet spread for lunch, as well as dinner. The selection will definitely spoil you for choice, so be prepared to head there with an empty stomach!

I have to admit i love Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square. The location is very accessible, and the service is on point. If you are looking for a fuss-free holiday at a hotel that is near to all the attractions and shopping in the heart of Bangkok city, you'll definitely be finding yourself in Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square!

Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square
392/44, Siam Square Soi 6
Pathumwan, 10330
Bangkok, Thailand
+66 (0) 2209 8888 
www.novotelbkk.com 


This was an invited media session.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Daring to be different with Olympus

Change is constant. And with technology, that is always the case. I've been in so in love with my OM-D E-M10 for the past year and it has travelled to many countries and went through countless number of food tastings with me, always promising to deliver shots that i never will never doubt.


After a year, I've finally decided to upgrade it an E-M5 Mark II. The truth is (and I have always repeated this on Instagram), I absolutely love Olympus - their cameras are always has such user-friendly interfaces and their lenses are affordable, giving you endless options and possibilities with every shot!

I wasn't exactly sure model of camera was going to be my next, but was instantly sold when I found out that I could customise my very own E-M5 Mark II to my preference on the Olympus website! The customisation process allows you to choose your preferred colour of the camera body, lens of your choice with your preferred matching colour, as well as a leather neck strap!


I went for a silver with black body paired with a 12mm lens, as I felt it was a good change from my all-black E-M10. Having been invited to countless food tastings over the years, here's some camera tips when it comes to choosing the right lenses for your camera. The prime lens allows me to shoot with a wider angle and it not at all heavy, unlike zoom lens. It also captures a good depth of field and is perfect for taking flat lays, or even when the best friend needs an OOTD photographer - pretty versatile I'll say!


Here's a shot I took at a recent food tasting session. 


One of my favourite part of the customisation process is choosing the accessory of my choice. Going for the safer option, I picked the Classic Brown Neck Strap. There was also an option to pick a brown wrist strap but I'm used to hanging my camera around my neck, just because it makes me feel more - secured.


Having toyed around with the E-M5 Mark II for a week now, I cannot emphasise more that the upgrade was the right choice. Apart from the enhanced technical features such as the 5 Axis IS, it also has a LCD screen that can tilt 360 degrees - perfect when taking flat lay shots! The camera features a more substantial grip when you are taking a photo, and has a bigger body, although not adding much to the weight. Can't wait to start my journey with the E-M5 Mark II, and because it's also weather-sealed, it just means it will be with me anywhere, everywhere!

For more information on the Olympus E-M5 Mark II,  do visit www.shopatolympus.com.sg!