Rumours Comes to Jewel Changi Airport, and I met our PM too

Author: Alex Chua

Yes, the rumour is true. While we were just about to walk into Rumours Bar & Grill at Jewel Changi Airport last Tuesday evening, Singapore’s PM Lee and his entourage just passed us by. Wonder where he dined at? Rumours? Lauded as an awesome hangout spot for families and friends, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is true.

If you’re familiar with its first Holland Village outlet, this award-winning Bali casual dining restaurant packs the same lively vibe, same awesome food plus more open space. I always love the idea of al fresco dining to soak in the sunlight minus the heat, and its location at the top floor of Jewel just ticks that box.

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Okai, the store front is great and I got a lucky encounter with PM Lee, so how about the food? Let’s start with the proteins. Rumours is one of the few places in Singapore that serves the premium A5 Grade Kumamoto Wagyu Tenderloin ($87.80/ 200g). Their signature dish, this marvellous beef cut is moist, very tender and yet so flavourful. Coupled with Rumours’ specialty indulgent drinks, it would be the perfect dish to warm the hearts of the chatterers.

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We’ve got the Deep-Fried Chicken Wings ($8.80) and Calamari ($8.80) to share. The 6 mouth-watering chicken wings accompanied with spicy mayonnaise is a definite value-for-money dish for drinkers who just need something to munch into.

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The deep-fried squid, with its golden-brown and crispy exterior, isn’t that oily or chewy kind which I hate. They are pleasant to bite into without feeling oily and offensive to the tongue. For me the chicken and the calamari is a definite must-have if I ordered drinks here.

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Next is the Rumours Classic Cheeseburger ($16.80). Made up of sizzling beef patty, stretchy cheese and fresh greens, piled with loads of fat chips. The patty is rather soft yet thick and juicy, coupled with a rich drizzle of melted cheese, making it a sumptuous joy to munch into it.

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The Australian Baby Lamb Chops with Garlic Confit ($45.80) packs that meaty, flavourful punch, thankfully not overly seasoned but savoury with a tender bite. These are just that kind of high-quality proteins that I like, especially after a hard day’s work.

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Coming to Rumours’ signature range of tropical cocktails we had the aptly named Two Boyfriends ($18). This revitalising gin-based cocktail is infused with fruity notes of plum and apple, with a shot of Baileys on top. Why this name you say – its because you need to drink from 2 straws at one go.

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If you’re the kind that enjoys performances, then the Blowing Smoke ($18) should satiate your theatrical thirst. When the jar is lifted, a cloud of white smoke billows, perfuming the air with hickory smoky fragrance and unveil the rum-based cocktail. I enjoy the light hint of elderflower and its natural sweet cinnamon scent when drinking.

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Now coming to the almost obscene drink (depending on your state of mind). The Come Inside Me ($18) is a smoky whisky based ice-blend, which you use the syringe filled with smooth, creamy Baileys and shoot it straight into the cup (beware of spilling all over!). An alternative way to drink this is to first shoot it into your mouth and then drink the cup. Pure satisfaction guaranteed.

If you need an uplifting vibe, deliciously rich food and refreshing drinks, then Rumours is for you!

Rumours Bar & Grill @ Jewel Changi Airport
Operating hours: Daily 10am – 3pm

beGIN: Chic New Bar at Boat Quay for an Innovative Gin Fix

Author: Alex Chua

beGin takes a typical gin – usually drank in a traditional English-style habitat with upholstered furnishing – and gives it a chic new spin. Situated upstairs Singapore’s oldest traditional English Pub – The Penny Black, beGin is the only speakeasy bar that houses over 50 gins from different countries. Gin lovers can sample the vast selection in different ways (neat, with tonic or in fashionable cocktail) and pair it with savoury British-Indian small plates. Expect colours, delicious bites and upbeat music with friendly bartenders tucked inside this rustic, moodily-lit speakeasy.

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Starting off the course is the Royal Chatanee (S$4), which consists a medley of mild to punchy dips – Tomato, Chilli & Ginger Chutney, Asian Salsa and aromatic Spiced Cilantro Mint & Coconut dip. This grazing platter with refreshing dips is good to awaken the palate for subsequent courses.

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Popping into the Crab bomb-a ($13 for 5 pieces) has that savoury oomph of seafood satisfaction. The curry sauce, hidden within the light hollow crisp, is made with beGin’s in-house spice mix for that unique kick. Very addictive and easy to pop in a few.

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Appearance can be quite deceiving. BeGIN’s bestseller the Samboo-sa Pasties ($11 for 3 pieces) is a modern interpretation of the humble curry puffs. The chicken has that fiery tandoori masala taste, encased in a fluffy crisp choux pastry for that lovely crunch.

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A definite crowd-favourite, the nacho del goa ($15 for 5 pieces) is a twist to the classic butter chicken. Sitting atop nacho-shaped papadums, the prawns are coated with buttery northern Indian Sauce and onion yogurt. It’s not enough to pop in just one of these tasties.

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The Cheeky Nigiri is perhaps my personal favourite among the delectable bar bites, partly due to its tender meatiness. Made of beef cheeks, yellow sushi rice and vindaloo sauce, this can simply be a meal of itself.

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Enough with the food. Now for the drinks. LAVENDER ($25) is inspired by HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s luscious lavender garden. A dome once lifted releases smoke that unveils the dignified, feminine cocktail. Taste of floral and, with its opal pink, slightly girly drink, but I love it still. No judge.

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For those who are into adventurous drinks, the Jagmohan ($25) is a curry and clove spiced tequila mix. Essentially Northern India in a drink, this unassuming cocktail is exotic and tastes of spices, completes with the tomato, chili and ginger chutney on the side with fried crisps.

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KOKO ($23) is that decadently well-balanced cocoa-infused rum die-hard chocolate fans would find irresistible. Performed with a ‘fire’ show – igniting the dehydrated orange atop the rum – this fiery concoction is creamy, mellow-sweet cocoa and tastes just like a dessert by itself, which I simply adore!

beGin
27a Boat Quay, The Penny Black Upstairs, Singapore 049817
Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: 5pm – 1am

YOTEL unveils unique dining experience with chic drinks, KOMYUNITI

Author: Alex Chua

Tucked on the 10th floor of YOTEL is KOMYUNITI, a venue where people connect over nice food and drinks. It is a bar, restaurant, alfresco terrace and a co-working space combined together. KOMYUNITI means ‘community’ and this is evident in the furnishings and layout that invites guests to network, socialise, co-work, eat and drink. Helmed by Head Chef Mark Tai and F&B Manager, As’ad Isnin, expect yummy modern Jap creations crafted via their very own culinary and mixologist experiences and interpretations.

Being just recently launched on 1st November, I love the feel of having mod-Jap cuisines in these sleek, stunning surrounds.


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To start, we had the Salmon Poke – marinated cubes of salmon served with crispy fried onion crackers on the side. Very Hawaiian-vibe, very refreshing with a hint of spiciness (house-made Chili Sauce), the salmon has to be really fresh to be served as poke.


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Next, we had the Curry Corn Soup and Mama’s Tomato Soup. I particularly love the cream of corn, with its curry spices for a surprising touch without being too overwhelming. Comes in plate of 3 cups, these small plates are perfect for those having a small intimate gathering.


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It is so easy to pop this plate of Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I love the mouthfeels when bite into the cornmeal crusted skin, it is not oily at all yet so juicy and tender. Would be good if the sweet potato mash can be a heap too!


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Obviously, the high-quality proteins take the lead here. The pinkish Slow Roasted Duck Breast packs that meaty, flavourful punch even though they are thinly sliced, while the Roasted Pork Belly possessed a full-bodied taste, it is thankfully not salty but savoury. The meat-fat ratio is evenly distributed and the crispy crackling skin is a clear winner.


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If you don’t drink you haven’t been to KOMYUNITI. Just kidding, but the bar does mix pretty interesting cocktails that suits the style of refined, contemporary Jap. KOMpliment, KOMYUNITI’s signature cocktail, is fruity and fragrant, and made with butterfly pea flower-infused gin for that delicate touch of iridescent purple. We’ve also tried tropical cocktails like the vanilla-infused gin Tiki Chin Chin, sours like vodka-based Chaussettes, and bittersweet Benjamin Button. The one kicker for me is Fat Roger. Perhaps I overindulged so the fat-washed bourbon suits that occasion. To drink you will need to first roll the smoked ham with dried cranberries, eat it and then wash it down with whisky.

To sum up, KOMYUNITI hosts quite an extensive selection of delectable dishes and fancy cocktails with a welcoming, feel-good environment.

KOMYUNITI
Level 10, 366 Orchard Road, Singapore 238904
Breakfast 6:30am – 10:30am (11am on Sat, Sun, Public Holidays)
Lunch & Dinner: 12pm – 12am (1am on Fri, Sat, Eve of Public Holidays)

Rumours Bar & Grill First Debut in Singapore’s F&B hotspot Holland Village

Author: Alex Chua

Great food, wonderful drinks with an amazing live band, Rumours is the bar to chill and lay the day’s trouble to rest.

The popular Bali casual bar & restaurant has recently made its debut at the competitive F&B hotspot Holland Village. Renowned for being a favourite spot among locals and tourists, Rumours serves not just wholesome good food created by award-winning Chef Noor Azman, the fun-loving bar also entertains and serenades the customers with its week-round live band performances and live DJ on weekends. If you’re down on mood or want a quality bite to satiate your stomach, just head over to Rumours and all shall be well again!


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The fresh menu in Singapore boasts of delectable pasta dishes, sharing platters, grilled specialties and not forgetting Singapore’s favourite bar snacks. One of the must-try signature dishes is the 1.2kg Australian Black Angus Fiorentina Bistecca. Cooked sous vide style and lovingly grilled, the meat is moist, flavour-rich and tender to the bone. The meat is beautifully blush within and its surface and edges nicely charred. Coupled with Rumours’ specialty indulgent drinks, it would be the perfect sharing platter to warm the hearts of the chatterers.


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Another carnivore’s favourite, the German Platter is, as the name goes, everything German! Featuring crispy whole pork knuckles combined with homemade Wiener schnitzel and Bratwurst Veal Pork Sausages and sides of German potato salad and sauerkraut. With all the strong, meaty flavours in one plate, can you say ‘Ich bin richtig satt’ (I am very satisfied)?


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As a person generally unimpressed by crustaceans, it is a strange love at first sight when the Grilled Lobster Thermidor came to our table. One grilled whole Boston lobster topped with savoury cream cheese sauce and a toss of succulent pasta. The plump lobster is fresh and slight crunchy in texture, and the pasta – lovely!


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Exclusive to the restaurant, the Rumours Grilled Cheese Burger is made up of homemade patty lightly grilled, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese and crispy Old Dutch cheese, served with loads of fat chips. The patty is rather soft yet thick and juicy, coupled with a rich circle of Dutch Cheese, making it a sumptuous joy to munch into it.


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Putting a spin on the classic aglio olio, Rumours Aglio Olio Pasta is tossed in fragrant virgin olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, sliced mushroom and lightly doused in sake. The resulting taste is exquisite, rich and as all the Rumours dishes goes sinfully delightful.


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Of course, nobody could get on to the mood without some alcoholic drinks, and Rumours are one of the few bars that serve potently good drinks in town. With their concoctions skewed more towards tropical flavours, expect fruity delicious and summer of sweetness in their drinks menu.


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If you need an uplifting vibe, deliciously rich food and refreshing drinks with a group of party-loving friends, then Rumours is for you!

Rumours Bar & Grill
24A Lor Mambong, Singapore 277683 (Holland Viallage MRT Exit B)
Opening Hours: 5pm – 1am daily
Tel: 6463 5053

Customise Your Own Bespoke Cocktail at DRINK Cocktail Bar

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Author: Alex Chua

Finding the perfect drinking spot that your friends or colleagues will enjoy is easy, now with the opening of DRINK at the historic site of Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall. DRINK the cocktail bar is the brainchild of FOO’D by David Oldani, the latter of which was conceptualised by Italian celebrity Chef Davide Oldani, Chef-owner of the 1 Michelin-starred D’O in Cornaredo, Italy.

This stylish metropolitan bar is helmed by award-winning mixologist Mike Cheong, who had clinched 8 international and regional awards including Asia’s Grand Champion in the 2015 La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition. While you might be intimidated by the ‘bourgeois’ façade and think the drinks would be pricey, the reality is further than the truth – the drinks here are in fact more affordable than you could imagine. And guess what, you could create and name your own bespoke cocktail while enjoying free-flow of complimentary canapes too!


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Height is the first thing that arrests me when I first walk in. It’s high ceilings and Corinthian columns, coupled with the alcohol and wine bottles gloriously arrayed on tall glass shelves exudes the kind of modern sophistication that makes you feel taller and more confident than normal. The orangey orbs hanging above provide sufficient illumination for a private, cosy conversation without being too much of an obstruction. And you are free to move and sit anywhere you fancy– at the counter, sofa, or go alfresco.


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The famed mixologist is known to create exquisite and visually-arresting (note: Instagram-worthy) cocktails. You can savour Mike’s latest exquisite cocktails like Guilty as Charged ($20) which is well balanced with sweetness, acidity and texture, or Court Adjourned! ($18) with its fruity punch and hints of melon and floral notes. Want a taste of Mike’s creativity? Simply spend $100 on alcoholic beverages and he will concoct a complimentary bespoke cocktail named after you!


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Ordering your own bespoke cocktail is simple – just fill up the form with the drink name, favourite spirit(s), preferred flavour(s) and texture(s) and slot it on the bar counter. I called mine ‘Kway Lapis’ and had the spirits section left blank for the creative mixologist to surprise me with the blend. The resulting is solid whisky mixed with hints of pomegranate – hitting the desired sweet and savoury taste.


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Pairing up with the cocktails and wines are the complimentary canapes, available every day from 6pm to 8pm – a time when pals and loved ones unwind over a glass of wine or light cocktail before dinner. The selection of canapes includes Duck Gelatin, Vol Au Vent Taleggio Cheese, Green Pea in Glass, Pea Shoot, Quail Eggs, Totmato with Crabmeat Zucca & Gambretto,, Mini Zuccotto, Assorted Jelly and more.


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Also available are the sharing platters good for 2 to 4 persons. For the self-professed carnivores, The Meat Platter ($48) is the ideal choice. Featuring mini sliders, chicken wings, lamb chops, pork sausages and fries. The Seafood Platter ($68) features a delightful spread of oysters, grilled squid, tiger prawns, battered halibut and fries. If you want you can add a whole lobster ($28) to the platter – fresh, fleshy with meat and de-shelled.
Currently, DRINK is offering Happy Hour from 4pm to 8pm (1-for-1 selected cocktails, wines, spirits and beer) and Complimentary Chef-curated canapes from 6pm to 8pm. No more excuse not to give this new establishment a try!

DRINK Cocktail Bar
Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall
#01-01. 11 Empress Place, Singapore 179558
Operating Hours:
Mon – Sat: 4pm – 12am
Happy Hour: 4pm – 8pm
Closed on Sundays
Tel: 63853424

The Royal Mail

This isn’t my first trip to the royal mail but the last round was to the restaurant. This round, we went upclose and personal with the bar side! Best part is they are introducing new specialty cocktail and British-inspired tapas to its menu!

Apart from the food, we were well-entertained by the interactive duet. In fact, they tried to drag couple of us to sing together with them.

This pic just scream Bliss!

Enjoying one of the their two signature drinks: Timeless English & old fashioned spice. J’s favorite was the latter as he has quite a few glass of it before i convinced him to try something else.

See! The result of having too much Old fashioned Spice.. now he has to share his cocktail with me!

This boy has always been there with me for all my events be it rain or shine! So i just had to reward him for his efforts with the all time favorite forehead kiss when he was super engross with his cocktail drink!  *Territory marked* Heh Heh Heh

My personal favorite was this Cubed Beek Steak accompanied by spicy crab tomato and Bearnanise sauces. Totally irresistible! You would never just stop at one serving after you tried the first!

The Bamboo Clam with cubed squid and Ah Char sauce was also great ! It went well with the cocktails we had that night.

Sweet Potato Chips served with Onion and Shallot Salsa. It definitely look as crispy as it tastes. without the sauce, the chips were already tantalizing. Dip it in, the enjoyment just increases manifold!

Me, on the other hand, prefer sweeter drinks. I gave almost all cocktails a try!!!

I can never drink with an empty stomach no matter how much or little the alcohol content is so I ordered my favorite Fish & Chips!

The fish was so fresh. It was crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside.

Pizzas are really good for group gathering!

Chilling at The Royal Mail isn’t as expensive as you think.

The Royal Mail Bar Daily Promotions (6pm to closing)
• Monday: $5 Dirty or Dry Martinis only
• Tuesday: 1 for 1 House Pour and Premium Wine
• Wednesday: 1 for 1 keys by the Glass
• Thursday: Half-Pint Draught Beer for $5
• Friday: $10 Champagne by the Glass

Happy Hour
Happy Hour at The Royal Mail Bar is from 5pm to 8pm, where all specialty cocktails go for $10 each, and 1-for-1 House Pour (Gentlemen’s Pour 45ml) go for $15.

The Royal Mail Restaurant & Bar:
The Ascott Raffles Place Singapore, 2 Finlayson Green, Singapore 049247

Contact: +65 6509 3589

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRoyalMailSG

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 3pm to 11pm