Author: Alex Chua
There’s nothing sassier than a homely, nicely-wrapped crepes, the French affair not to be missed!
With a love for French food and with good business acumen, Le Cordon Bleu-trained owner and Executive Chef Daphane Loke opened SAYBONS, a restaurant that serves affordable French food 10 years ago. Now, the brand has expanded to 3 eateries, housed at Plaza Singapura, Junction 8, and OUE Downtown.
The recent revamp has included a refreshed logo, new store interiors, and vibrant product packaging to showcase a style that is reflective of a modern, chic French eateries. The eateries now possess a cosy and relaxing ambience that is conducive for guests to dine in and unwind!
Apart from SAYBONS intimate environment, its new and upsized menu is likely to entice you to come back repeatedly. Like the 10 Years in Shots ($10), Chef Daphne cleverly serves up soup shots to customers to experience the taste of SAYBONS over the years. I would give 100% for its creative presentation to the otherwise plain soup-in-the-bowl. The ten soups featured are Watercress Chicken, Red Capsicum, Cauliflower, Carrot Coriander, Golden Pumpkin, Potato Leek, Broccoli Cheddar, Tomato, Seafood Bisque and Wild Mushroom.
The Escargot Gratin with 3 Cheeses ($11) is surprisingly good. Served as an appetiser or snack, the six plump escargots are well-seasoned, rich, buttery and flavourful. Blue, Gruyere and Gouda cheeses lends a different taste profile to the escargot, and giving it a nice gooey texture as well.
The new SAYBONS menu features a selection of 5 risottos. The heartiest of the 5 is the Curried Pumpkin Risotto ($12.90). This al dente risotto features a natural pumpkin broth with a hint of curry powder to lift the flavour of this humble vegetable. It is well-spiced up enough and had some texture and bite, which fits just right for my palate.
Next is my personal favourite, the French Galettes. With a total of 6 French Galettes to choose from, ranging from the Cajun Croque Chicken Madame Galette ($14.90) to Grass-fed Sirloin Steak Galette ($17.90+), you would be spoiled for choices on which to choose from. As for me, I zoomed in straight to their popular Norwegian Salmon Aurora Galette ($14.90), which features succulent smoked Norwegian salmon and quenelles of cooked salmon with mayonnaise. Coupled with a robust galette and selected greens, it is simply a matchmake in heaven!
You might wonder what’s the difference between a galette and a crepe. A galette uses a mixture of buckwheat and wheat flour, unlike just the wheat flour used in crepe, this provides a denser texture and nuttier nuance to the galette.
For the 10th anniversary special, Chef Daphane creates a dessert that truly encapsulates and celebrates its French-inspired cuisines properly – Rum & Raisin Flambeed Crepe ($9). Soaked in Myer’s Rum for 18 days straight, the golden raisins are wrapped together with generous slices of banana and toasted slivers of almonds. Topped with a smooth vanilla ice cream, just one spoonful would sway you to the charm of this cosy, unpretentious French eatery.
SAYBONS – C’est Si Bon
SAYBONS OUE Downtown
6 Shenton Way, #01-24, Singapore 068809
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am to 5pm, closed on weekends and public holidays
IF you have been to Japan before, I am quite sure that you may have stepped into Don Don Donki before!
I took a media tour today and I must say that I am amazed! Their price points are not a lot higher than the Japanese store itself! You will also feel as though you are stepping into Japan once you step into the store.
Don Don Donki Orchard Central is their first flagship outlet in Asia and they aim to position the store as a “Japanese Brand Specialist” by offering products that are either made or designed in Japan.
The double-storey retail space is also open 24/7 so you can always pop by and do some late night shopping there.
They carry a wide variety of goods including food, household items, cosmetics and novelty goods.
My favourite sections have got to be the beauty section and party section!
It really does feel like an amusement park here! And I swear that I will never come out of the shop empty handed ever. There is simply too many things to buy!
They are also partnering with Hokkaido Marche for a Hokkaido-themed retail and dine-in space that features unique product offerings and successful tenants from the region.
“No other Donki store carries such a broad diversity of food choices, and the partnership with Hokkaido Marche will further elevate the dining experience here. We hope this will be a refreshing retail concept that Singaporeans can look forward to and heartily enjoy,” said Mr. Okada.
Don Don Donki will officially open its store to the public on 1st Dec.
For more information, please visit: http://www.dondondonki.sg/
Author: Sandra Koh
After months of rigorous renovation, Shangri-La Hotel’s iconic Tower Wing now features a brand new lobby, lounge and suites, along with various interesting flavours that satisfy even the most pernickety eater. The NAMI Restaurant and Bar situated at Level 24 is certainly one such place.
Helming the restaurant is Head Chef Akiba Shigeo, who culinary experiences include managing restaurants owned by Iron Chef Koumei Nakamura, along with preparing the wedding banquet the wedding banquet of Japan’s Prince Akishinomiya and Princess Kiko.
Credit: Shangri-La Hotel
We were presented with the Kitano Daichi Omakase- a 7 course meal dinner on our night of visit. First on the omakase set was the dual appetisers-Hairy Crab with Tosa Vinegar, and Yuba Tofu & Sea Urchin. We really enjoyed the latter, for its half-chewy texture and fragrant soy flavour. We could literally felt the layers slowly opening up and faint soy flavour spreading through our mouths with each bite (it’s really therapeutic). The addition of the creamy uni added a hint of sweetness to the otherwise bland tofu.
Next on the table was the Dashi, a traditional dobin-mushi with Matsutake mushroom, along with pike conger, ginko, homewort and sudachi. Don’t you agree that the presentation is too adorable? We were told to first squeeze the lime in the soup, then drink the soup, and eat the ingredients last. Thankfully, the mushroom flavour was not overwhelming, rather it provided a refreshing aftertaste (thanks to the lime). The soup was really easy on the throat, and comforting to drink.
The third course is probably every Singaporean’s favourite- a Sashimi platter which included 5 curated selection of premium sashimi (tuna, amberjack, scallop, botan ebi and flounder) that is air flown into Singapore 4 times a week from Tokyo. Be surprised to find wasabi leaf as one of the accompanying condiment! We tasted the sashimi without any condiments, and were amazed by its freshness. They were unexpectedly crunchy, and exploded in our mouths with natural sweetness. We learnt from the chef that the white meat sashimi are best paired with Himalayan salt to bring out the natural flavours.
Fourth on the set was Tempura consisting of capelin fish, pumpkin, kidney beans and lotus root. I was utterly glad that the dish did not carry any rancid smell or cloying oily. Unlike the usual tempura, NAMI’s rendition provided a much lighter and fluffier batter, which was really crispy to bite on.
The main dish was none other than the Saga Beef Sirloin Steak with Seasoned Grilled Oita Shiitake. The steak was really tender, and literally melted in our mouths. Each mouthful was accompanied by wonderful waves of sweet and buttery flavour that sent a small but puddle of pleasure through our spines. We felt that the sweet-savoury sauce did a great job in balancing out the fatty flavour of the dish.
Next, Matsutake Mushroom Rice along with miso soup and pickles were served. The pairing of the steamed rice and mushroom was indeed brilliant, for the latter imparted its sweet nutty notes and transformed the rice into a delicately flavoursome dish. Instead of the usual beige coloured miso soup, NAMI’s version skewed towards the brownish side. We particularly love the soup for its rich toasty malt and caramel flavours, in fact it reminded us of the Misokatsu from Yabaton at Nagoya Station. The Chinese yam might look harmless, yet it’s really spicy, so do take small bites!
Our dinner was completed with a plate of seasonal fruits made up of melon, crystal pear and grapes. All we could say is, till now we’re still reminiscing the sweet taste of the melon.
The omakase dinner is only available from 16 November 2017 to 31st January 2018 at a price of $180 ++ per person. Be quick to make your reservations. Click here for the full menu: https://d2jzxcrnybzkkt.cloudfront.net/uploads/2017/10/Kitano_Daichi_Omakase_Dinner_M_1509357066.pdf
NAMI Restaurant & Bar
Shangri-la Hotel Singapore
22 Orange Grove Road
Tel: 6213 4398
Opening Hours: Daily, Noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10.30pm (restaurant), till midnight (balcony)
Author: Sandra Koh
Though the Japanese food enclave may be nicely tucked away at Shaw Centre’s Food Republic, yet it is definitely no less of a gem. Not to be mistaken as part of Food Republic, Japan Foods Garden (JFG) is actually a cluster of authentic Japanese concept stalls that offers all foodies the opportunity to relish an array of yummy and affordable dishes at a go!
This November, for the first time ever, JFG is introducing Japanese Sizzling Hot Stone Bowls. Being Don-lovers, we totally couldn’t our excitement, that’s why we ordered both the Curry ($7.80) and Oyako Don ($8.80) versions to share. Be prepared to squeal in delight like us when you see the generous amount of gooey cheese and runny egg yolks.
Between the 2, we definitely prefer the curry one for it provided a well balance between savouriness, sweetness and mild spiciness. Unfortunately, the Oyako Don was marred by it bland flavour, even dripping the teriyaki sauce over it did not seem to enhance the flavours at all. Moreover, the rice was a little too mushy for our liking. Perhaps the only saving grace was the chicken bits, which were cooked to tender perfection.
Despite that, do not let what we say deter you from trying the Sizzling Hot Stone Bowls, for taste is subjective. Do try out the other flavours such as Beef Curry ($11.80), Mentai Chaduke ($9.80), Salmon Egg ($10.80), Mabo Tofu ($9.80), Cream Sauce Dora ($10.80) and Gyu Don ($9.80) and let us know how they fare (:
Other than the Hot Stone Bowls, we also tried the signature Lemon Steak ($18.80) from the teppan range. Made from US Angus Beef, the thin slices of beef is doused in a delectable citrus sauce and carefully sizzled on a hotplate. We were really satisfied with the steak, for they were not only juicy and tender, but exuded an interesting smoky flavour with subtle hints of lemon, that lingered in the mouth with every bite. Do get the seats right in front of the counter to witness the mouth-watering show as the chef cook the meat on the flat iron griddle.
One word of advice: Be quick to capture the perfect foodfie and sink your teeth into the beef right away to savour the meat at its optimal tender state.
Since we were still feeling hungry after the teppan, we went ahead to try the Oyster Trio ($16.80), which consisted of oysters topped with mentaiko, butter seaweed, and garlic chips. The butter seaweed one was our favourtie, for it provided a sweet caramelised flavour with hints of seaweed that did not overwhelm the taste of the oyster like the other 2 flavours.
We completed our dinner with a plate of lip-smacking Pork Tonperi-yaki ($7.80). The omelette was filled with generous portion of beansprouts, cabbage and duo miao that not were not only crunchy but juicy to bite on. We especially love how well the sweet-savoury tonkatsu sauce blended with the mayonnaise, to provide a tangy flavour that did not overshadow the flavours of other ingredients. It was really a satisfying way to end our night.
Running out of dinner ideas? Why not visit Japan Foods Garden then?
1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #B1-01
Telephone: 6493 7300
Operating Hours: 11 am -11 pm (Daily)
Author: Alex Chua
The famed Michelin-starred ramen restaurant Tsuta has recently launched two brand-new ramen offerings: Kamo Abura Soba (dry – above) and Kamo Paitan Soba (soup – below). Served exclusively in Singapore, these two dishes are the original creations of Chef Yuki Onishi, who are inspired by a widely popular ingredient in Singapore – the duck. Spending a year on R&D, Chef Yuki experimented with various recipes and cooking method just to get the flavours right. This is the sort of dedication only a Michelin-starred chef would expect – perfection from kitchen to table.
While duck noodles are pretty common in Singapore, the Kamo Paitan Soba is unique in its own ways. Boasting a rich flavourful broth that’s slow-cooked for 5 hours straight under precise temperature control, and is made with shoyu and fresh duck oil. The normal portion comes with handmade noodles, baby leaves and tender poached duck breast slices topped with chopped cashew nuts for that wonderful crunch.
As for my personal favourite, the Kamo Abura Soba which feature well-marinated noodles in the same flavourful premium shoyu and duck oil. Paired with the same premium ingredients as the soup version, it comes with a bowl of clear soup with a slight hint of sea salt, just to balance out the strong umami taste of the noodles.
If you’re thinking of slurping up a bowl of Japanese duck noodles, stop by at Tsuta to indulge in this exclusive, special menu!
Tsuta @ Pacific Plaza
9 Scotts Road, Pacific Plaza, #01-01 Singapore 228210
While blogging for this blogpost, I actually thought of the song – Cool Kids.
An active post-paid number from another telco (e.g. your existing mobile phone plan that has a monthly billing)
A credit card
Contract ending before 31 December 2017
I wish that I could be like the cool kids
Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in
I wish that I could be like the cool kids
Like the cool kids
Why? You may ask.
Just because all the cool kids seem to be using Circles.Life right now and they seem to have more than enough data!!
I always end up using 15-16GB worth of data every month and I start panicking by the 2nd week of the month. 🙁
The real reason why I am blogging about this is because of a try-before-you-buy service from Circles.Life – Circles Switch!
Now I have my chance to test out Circles.Life for free. Yay!!!
And if your contract is about to end, you should read on. All you need is:
Most importantly, IT IS FREE!!
What exactly is Circles Switch?
Circles Switch is designed for people with contracts that are about to end. All you have to do is sign up for Circles Switch here, pick a temporary number for your trial SIM card and just use the free line. Do note that you may need a second phone, as your current number will still be active.
What do you get with Circles Switch?
– 20 GB of data
– 100 minutes of incoming and outgoing calls
– 20 SMSes
And if you do not wish to continue Circles.Life, all you have to do is to cancel the Circles Switch number that you are holding before 31 Dec 2017 in the CirclesCare app and there will be no charge.
However, after the last day of the year, if your plan is still active, your current number will be automatically transferred to Circles.Life network. This will also means your line with your current telco will be automatically terminated once your port in.
My experience with Circles Switch
I signed up for a temporary number with them on the 30th October 2017 and guess what? My SIM card was delivered to my doorstep the very next day! Do note that you will need your IC as a form of identification when you receive the SIM card from the courier. I followed the steps that were in this step-by-step guide and it didn’t take me more than 5 minutes.
I would definitely give them 2 thumbs up for their efficiency! Circles.Life, thank you for making things easier for us!
No more long queues at the telco stores anymore! Best thing is I don’t even have to pay a single cent for my SIM card. Hehe.
I have heard mixed comments about Circles.Life from friends and through my research online, so I’m glad I’ll be able to test it out for myself with Circles Switch. My experience with them is SO FAR SO GOOD. No lagginess or lack of signals issue for the last 2-3 weeks. If you are happy with the telco, there is no reason not to port over. If you’re not satisfied with the experience, you can also follow the instructions here to terminate.:
I’m considering porting over early to get the full plan. Circles Switch doesn’t offer users other awesome features like customization of my plan and boosts (data top-ups).
If I port over early (before 14th December 2017) I’ll get 3 months of 20 GB FREE (usually it costs $20 for the 20 GB Data Plus Add-On).
Look at the banner right on the top of my CirclesCare App, it is hinting me already!
Tell me which other telco in Singapore would let you TRY FIRST FOR FREE and PORT IN LATER?
Find out more on Circles Switch here.
I shop online SO SO much more than I shop on ground because of all the promo codes and exclusive online sales. But having said that, I still love shopping both online and offline! Haha. What’s more, I love my surprises!! Hehe.
Lazada gave me a box for their 11.11 and 12.12 sale and WOOHOOO. I got the Philips Box! Honestly, at this point of time, I was more excited to receive electric appliances than any other thing else because my new house is coming in Dec/Jan!
Thank you for your love for your galaxy, Lazada!!
As expected, when I opened it up, it is a box of electric appliances. YAY!! I can save some money for my new place!! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the box because SERIOUSLY? THIS BOX IS ONLY $29? NO WAY!!!.
But it’s true you know, all the Brand Surprise Boxes cost only $29 with products worth more than $100! I am not going to tell you what is the other item in the box but I think that it is obvious enough even though I tried to hide it with words. Lol!
My knight with shiny armor. Hahahaha.
One of the products received was the electric kettle! I am currently using electric kettle at home right now so I really do appreciate this! I can save the hassle of boiling the water with a single flick. Haha.
I went to check out the price of this kettle on Lazada, they are retailing it at $38 and it cost even more elsewhere you know! I really don’t know how does Philips and Lazada earn by selling the box for just $29!!
My box is already available for sale on Lazada and fastest fingers first!! I am super tempted to get another box of this also you know!
If you are not keen in electrical products, they have other products from other brands too!
Some participating brands: Acer, L’Oréal, Philips, Skinfood, Etude house, Maybeline, Delsey, Lenovo, Vichy, Giordano, Levis, Triumph, UAG, Mamonde, Durex, Laneige, Marshall, Colgate and more.
There are more than 110 Flash Deals and up to 90% off. Faster head over to Lazada and shop from their universe!
Sales and more sales everywhere! I see a lot of Single’s Day Promotion! I am someone who loves promotions a lot!! Not sure how you feel about it but I get ULTRA excited when there is a sale! I love shopping for stuffs I love like Bags, Shoes and Accessories. I am sure that all of you know me well and my love for eyewear. Even though I have already done lasik, I can still be seen wearing spectacle frames and sunglasses almost every weekend.
Let me get your excited and share with you some 1-day promotions only on EyeChamp. As seen on the image above, they are taking part in the popular 11.11 promotion too! However, if you missed the 11.11 promotion, you can also wait for their Black Friday Sale on 24 November! Mark your calendar and save the date!!!
Both promotions are going at 60% storewide!! Don’t share I didn’t share hor. They carry a lot of brands in-store! James and I had a hard time picking out a nice pair for ourselves because we were so spoilt with brands.
To find out more on some of the brands that they carry or the store, read our previous blogpost here: http://blog.myfatpocket.com/maybelinesim/2017/08/07/eyechamp-singapore-why-you-should-visit-them-this-national-day-sale/
On top of the 1 day promotion, if you happen to be EyeChamp’s member, you can also get to enjoy their Annual Members’ Day sale from 12 Nov – 19 Nov. Enjoy 50% discount storewide and double up your rewards during this period. That’s not all, you will also get EyeChamp $50 return voucher (Terms and conditions apply).
If you are still looking for a place to do your Christmas shopping, you know where to go now! *hint hint* Mr. James Aw Yong, I don’t mind a pair of new eyewear at half the price off! Hehe.
To find out more, you can visit: https://www.facebook.com/EyeChampOptometrists or http://www.eyechamp.com.sg
Adulting is hard when it comes to responsibilities and future planning. I would like to say that almost nothing about adulting is fun unless you enjoy the process. However, DBS just made banking less stressful by revamping their Novel “cafe and branch” at Plaza Singapura.
Although it is a “cafe and branch concept”, don’t worry, you can still expect the same high-quality banking and lifestyle services from DBS!!
The first thing you can see and smell once you step into the branch is the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from bettr Barista – a social enterprise supported by the DBS Foundation. I have also heard about plans for monthly latte art and coffee appreciation classes with DBS from the founder of bettr Barista. I bet all most of the coffee lovers out there are looking forward to this!
I really really REALLY love how hip the entire place looks. Take a look at the cash withdrawal and deposits machine. Does it make you feel as though you are in London withdrawing cash?
There are more Instagram worthy spots to be explored there and I am so going back for a second or even a third visit!
James, who is more into tech-y stuffs was naturally attracted to the VR corner for his retirement planning. Let’s just put it this way – no more boring surveys, no more time consuming Q&As just to know how to work towards your retirement lifestyle.
Now, how do you spell futurtisticcccc? Haha.
Pepper, the robot will be there to introduce you to the Video Teller Machines (VTMs). At any point of them when you feel lost at the VTMs, you can get help through the live video conference with the staff, which is a feature of the VTM. It actually provides you with non-cash banking service like issuance or replacement of internet banking tokens or debit cards.
I personally like this service a lot because I rely very heavily on my bank token and debit cards. Should I accidentally lose either of it and I need to replace it immediately, I do not have to wait for the bank to open just to get a replacement.
Fun fact: There are currently 13 VTMs in Singapore and you can expect 7 more by the end of 2017.
Finally, take a look at this pile of bunnies here! They were ALL OVER DBS Plaza Singapura during the official opening!
The bunnies actually represents the new DBS Multiplier Account where the young adults, like both James and me who are busy preparing for our wedding and future home now, can qualify for higher interest rates with lower transaction threshold, with no minimum salary crediting amount and of course, no minimum credit card spend (YAY!!).
You only need to have your salary credited with DBS/POSB, and transact in one or more of the following categories: credit card spend, home loan installment, insurance or investments.
Both James and I qualify for this as both of our salaries are being credited to our DBS/POSB accounts and so is our home loan, we took up DBS Home Loan 2 years ago!
Let me give you an example of how Multipler works:
A university fresh graduate with a net salary of SGD2,700 and a credit card spend of SGD200/month will enjoy interest rates of 1.85% p.a. on his/her DBS Multiplier Account Balance.
If you are interested to find out more about the plan, you can visit http://www.dbs.com.sg/multi.
Author: Alex Chua
There’s something roasting at CHAR – the Cantonese cuisine specialist located along the trendy eateries and pubs of Jalan Besar. One, the new Head Chef, Chi Leung Tse, joined the restaurant in May this year, bringing over 20 years of culinary experience in Cantonese cuisine, with past stints at the famed Raffles Hotel, Imperial Treasures and more. Two, he revitalised almost 70% of the CHAR menu, adding his personal repertoire of Cantonese dishes, which includes the succulent Premium Slow-Roasted smoked char siew (above).
If there’s something that unites all insatiable carnivores, it’s the aroma of the slow-roasted meat, the texture and flavour when you bite into it. Using Kurobuta pork belly, this premium version has a higher amount of lean to fat and the marbling provides a firm yet moist bite. Prepared fresh daily, the whole process takes hours in low heat to render the fats and to retain its juiciness.
Do note that there is a limited number of portions (150g) served per day and will only be available during dinner. And with the tact that each reservation is only allowed one portion of the Premium version, so it’s best to reserve a table before it goes out.
With a signature recipe sauce that consists of over 30 ingredients, specially blended to pack as much umami as possible, the Signature Char Siew (above) achieved that perfect golden ratio of melt-in-the-mouth fat and tender lean meat. It took well over a year for the owners to perfect the sauce.
A little background on the CHAR owners. Launched in 2014 by Anthony and Alvin Ung, two Vietnam born brothers who managed to harmonize their different experiences to establish this restaurant. Alvin, a chef by profession, has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese cooking. Anthony, on the other hand, loves Western-style food preparation techniques but via Asian ingredients and produce. The bros put a unique twist on traditional Chinese roasts such as char siew, roast pork and roast duck, accompanied with a delectable Cantonese-based menu like the Charcoal Beancurd with Spinach and Wild Fungi (below).
Beancurd is one of my favourite go-to food, and this dish definitely tops as one of the best block of beancurd I’ve ever tried. Silky-smooth and savoury, charcoal powder is added to give this humble staple a subtle flavour and black appearance. The light broth consisting of oyster sauce, dried scallop and wild mushrooms, helps to infatuates the taste profile of this exceptional dish.
You can taste the freshness with that lovely crunch in Passionfruit Prawn Ball. Marinated in homemade mixture of seasonings before it is lightly dusted in flour and deep-fried to perfection, the prawns were then tossed in a sweet-tangy passionfruit dressing to give that luscious and creamy glace.
The thing I find about CHAR is its strong, robust play on flavours. Therefore, the Signature Double Boiled Chicken Soup came across as refreshing and balanced the palate well. The milky, collagen-filled broth is resulted from the hours of boiling chicken bones and cartilage. Inside this bowl consists of chicken, morel mushrooms, white cabbage and dried scallops which harmonizes the flavour fully.
Overall, CHAR could well be the one of the best spot for family or colleagues to indulge on modern Cantonese cuisine. The restaurant also serves a respectable selection of ciders and ales specially handpicked by the Ung brothers to complement the variety of roasts on the menu, so food-drinks pairing enthusiasts might want to check out this neat restaurant too.
363 Jalan Besar Road Singapore 208994
Operating Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (closed on Monday)