Author: Alex Chua
When you’ve got warm company and unagi what more do you need. Opened by one of Tokyo’s most well-known unagi restaurants with a stellar 125-year history, Unagi Ichinoji surely can satiates your unagi wants with ease. Located at EAT At Seven at Suntec City and Riverside Village Residences, the premise looks like an izakaya with traditional wood panelling, superb customer service and authentic Japanese vibe. It is probably the next best place to dine and unwind if you don’t have the luxury of time to fly to Japan.
One can’t say they have stepped into Unagi Ichinoji without tasting unagi – that’s what they are specialized for. The Unagi Kaisen Hitsumabushi Set (small S$25.80 and Medium $33.80) comes with a slab of freshly grilled unagi fenced by a chirashi-style array of fresh sashimi including salmon, tuna, squid and octopus, all air flown from Japan. It is absolutely a gratifying experience chopping down the luscious piece of fish. Even the fluffy rice is well taken care of. The Japanese Hokkaido rice is coated with a special in-house marinade to give off that exquisite flavour.
The Unagi Wagyu Set (S$36.80) uses A5-grade wagyu imported fr Kagoshima Japan & restaurant’s signature freshly grilled unagi. Accompanied with unagi chawamushi and Japanese pickles. Tender charcoal grilled beef & umami unagi, a bowl I would surely grab when I am feeling indulgent.
For the non-unagi lovers (is there any really?), there is the Chicken Hitsumabushi Set ($26.80). Fresh organic chicken (Sakura Chicken) is used to give it a more succulent texture. Charcoal grilled elevates the palate with a smoky note. For me, however, it would be unagi anytime.
Now, if you don’t know what is Hitsumabushi, there are actually 3 special ways of eating it to experience different flavour profiles. First, divide the bowl into four portions. Enjoy the first portion on its own and relish the depth of flavour of the eel. Then, for the second portion, add nori (seaweed), wasabi and green onions to the Hokkaido rice and eel. For the third portion, add the clear dashi to the abovementioned mix. The final portion can be enjoyed however you fancy. Personally, I very much prefer to enjoy by its original form without any condiments.
Address: 01-05 Riverside Village Residences, Robertson Quay Singapore 238251
Operating Hours: daily 11.30am to 3pm; 5.30pm to 10pm
I just came back from a media trip to Getting Highlands recently and to my surprise, there were a lot of changes from my last trip 2-3 years ago.
So here are some stuffs which you should keep a lookout for!
1) Good Food
There are so many good food at Getting Highlands, so much so that we were so well fed.
Here are my top 2 picks from the entire trip – Wanhoi Yamcha and High Line Roof Top Market.
Just when I thought cute food doesn’t really taste very good, Wanhoi Yamcha proved me wrong! The cute baos taste as good as they look!
Other than dim sum, their main courses and side dishes were delectable too! I don’t mind eating all the food in this restaurant everyday. This restaurant has just become my top favourite in the entire Genting Highlands!
My second favourite would be the Prawn Noodles from High Land. Instead of the usual prawns, the dish is served with a lobster. The soup was also nicely cooked and you can taste prawn in every sip. Even though the portion is big enough for 2 person to share, I finished the entire bowl myself!
The seafood in a bucket is also one that shouldn’t miss! Good for 2 pax to share too.
2) The VOID
While you are at getting, be sure to visit The VOID at Resorts World Genting. We were separated into groups of 4 and played 2 rounds of games. One of which, the Star Wars experience. James is a Star Wars fan so he was very excited about the game. We were gunned down as Stormtroopers in the VR game and it was quite realistic!
It was so realistic that I could not bring myself to finish the Haunted VR Game (I can’t remember the exact name). Some of the buddies on the trip stopped the game halfway because it was too scary. Think you got the guts to try them out? Go on!
3) Skytropolis Funland and Adventureland
Just enjoy yourself thoroughly when you are there – from their indoor theme parks to the different adventure lands. I felt as though I went back in time and all I had to do for that day was PLAY.
The indoor theme park did not disappoint me. I was expecting kiddy rides but there were some really thrilling rides. I did not have the balls to ride on some of the rides too. Can’t wait for their outdoor theme park to open!
I even went up the zipline and flew from one end of the mall to the other! That feeling was super shiok! I could smell the scent of freedom as I fly~
Also, how blessed was I to have met my favourite Lee Kwang Soo at their 4D Tricked Eye Museum too?!
4) Empire by Zouk
I was never a party or late night person but I must say that it is quite nice to hangout at RedTail for games & Karaoke. Friends who enjoys partying or drinking would pick Zouk Getting any time 😛
However, I realized that the crowd seemed to disperse by 1am, which was quite a rare sight as the Zouk in Singapore is only empty after 3-4am.
5) Plenty of choices for your stay.
There are a few hotels there – Awana Hotel, First World Hotel, Resort Hotel and many more. We stayed in the Theme Park Hotel, which was designed to be fun and quirky. I was expecting the rooms to be small but they were spacious enough for me to lay my luggages around!
We did more than just these activities but I will leave it for you guys to experience it for yourself when you are there.
Thank you Resorts World Genting for the hospitality. We certainly had a good getaway from the hustle and bustle of Singapore!
Author: Alex Chua
Pig out this New Year at Butcher’s Kitchen to welcome the Year of the Pig. Known for using fresh, safe and healthy ingredients, Butcher’s Kitchen team of experienced chefs unveiled their latest CNY menu for all to ogle, salivate and go oink oink. The restaurant’s latest cutesy 3 Treasures Porky Yusheng comes in the shape of a pig, fashioned with roast pork belly, pork lard and char siew. The Instagram-able lo hei is generously lashed with a tangy house-made plum sauce to toss for a sweet new year. Also, freshly-made chips – Butcher’s Kitchen very own creation – is topped on the pig as the alternative to the traditional golden crackers. The generous portion of the yusheng is suitable for 8 to 10 pax.
Besides the yusheng, The Butcher’s Kitchen has also introduced two pork-based pasta – Char Siew Pasta with Truffle, and Mala Pasta with Roast Pork Belly. I particularly fancy the Mala Pasta Pork Belly dish, which has that savoury roast pork belly with perfect meat-to-fat ratio which I can easily over-indulged! The crunchy crackling is not too hard with a heavenly mouthfeel to it.
But for my personal favourite is the Herbi Hiam Pizza. Cormprising of cheese, fried crispy pork lard marinated with prawn chili, and heaped with snow of dried sambal prawn, it is sinful beyond the nth degree yet understandably delicious. To give that powerful spicy punch, prawn chili is drizzled on top. Great for dinner with friends or for supper, which I am still mesmerizing it as I was typing about it.
Beyond the pork dishes, the restaurant has also launched the Original Fresh Chips. Fried daily, these all-natural, freshly made and highly addictive chips come in beautiful designed bottles for you to share and gift the goodies to your loved ones for a perfect CNY crunch. Better keep this away from me or else my new year resolution dissolves in bubbles.
The Butcher’s Kitchen
#02-472 Suntec City, North Wing, 3 Temasek Boulevard
Operating Hour: Tuesday to February 19, 10am to 10pm daily. Closed from February 4 to 6
Seating Capacity: 120 pax
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
Author: Alex Chua
Pig out this Chinese New Year at Ginger, Park Royal on Beach Road as Executive Chef Vincent Aw serves up extensive auspicious culinary delights. The all-day dining restaurant features an array of delicious dishes up for kiap-ping like Braised Pig Ear Terrine with Chinese Herbs at the Salad station, Baby Lobster with Abalone Sauce, Abalone Fried Rice, and Braised Dried Oyster with Sea Moss on the Hot Food isle. What is special is the D.I.Y Yu Sheng station. Perhaps the first in Singapore, you can create your own Prosperity Yu Sheng at the Yu Sheng counter to toss up a good fortune.
Here are a few dishes that I’ve kiap-ed (or grabbed) and enjoyed thoroughly, so if you’re here for the CNY buffet you can go straight to hog these yummies out.
As an unrepentant carnivore more often than not I will just fly towards the meat station, but the pot of Broccoli with Dried Oyster is just visually desirable. The green broccoli possessed that nice crunch, soaked in a rich oyster broth to give off that distinct umami taste; very flavorful and back of my mind patting myself for being a healthy picker for a change.
Priding themselves on serving consistently good quality crabs throughout the year, this Baby Lobster with Rich Abalone Broth is a dish I will indulge over again and again. Cooked a la minute at the live station, the lobster meat is fresh with a good springy bite, and pretty easy to peel off the fresh from the shell. Just remember to drink it hot as the taste will be slightly off when it’s cold.
Other Chinese favorites I raved includes the very tender, very juicy Braised Pig Trotters, Abalone Fried Rice (wok-hei power strong in this one), as well as the Pineapple Salad with Sliced Bak Kwa and Braised Pig Ear Terrine with Chinese Herbs at the Salad station.
Besides these yummy CNY specials, also available at the hot isle are the surefire hit Baked Salmon topped with deep-fried fish skin – a good source of protein and omega 3 which I have many helpings.
Chinese New Year is never complete without stuffing yourself aplenty with decadent treats and delicacies. Make Ginger the go-to restaurant for your CNY indulgence and book today!
Park Royal on Beach Road – Ginger Resataurant
7500 Beach Rd, Singapore 199591
Available from 21 January to 19 February 2019
Lunch: 12pm to 2.30pm, from $48 – $68 (for adults) | from $22 – $34 (for child)
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm, from $68 – $108 (for adults) | from $34 – $54 (for child)
Dining reservations at Ginger can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at +65 6505 5710
Author: Alex Chua
Have a luxurious start to the year with Chef Chen Kentaro at Shisen Hanten – the highest Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant in Singapore for three 3 years in a row. Located on the 35th floor at Mandarin Orchard Hotel, this elegant restaurant, with its opulent chandeliers and dramatic flowers arrangement, is set to impress diners and guests alike. For the year of the pig the acclaimed Szechuan restaurant features seven auspiciously-themed set menus – from the eight-course Prosperity menu at $538++ for four persons, to the Splendour menu that features Braised Four-head Australian Abalone among its courses, at $2,588++ for 10 persons.
If you’re mesmerized by the 90’s original hit Jap TV show Iron Chef since young like me, be delighted to know that this swanky restaurant is started by the ‘Father of SzeChuan Cuision’ Iron Chef Chinese Chen Kenmin. You wouldn’t want to give this place a miss now would you?
The signature Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup is simply seductive and excellent. What is noteworthy about this is the subtle foie gras aftertaste which paired so well with the hot fresh crab roe chawanmushi soup. It is also a refreshing change from the double boiled shark’s fin soup that we see on so many menus nowadays. The Deep Fried Prawn Balls with Yuzu Sauce is executed superbly, crispy with a burst of mellow citrusy. You could definitely tell how fresh the prawn is from the first bite.
The ultimate gastronomic experience I have is the sizzling Sichuan delicacy Wok-fried East-spotted Grouper with Shishito Pepper. The succulent flavors are accented by accents of Shishito Pepper and while mildly spicy it wasn’t overwhelming so. Bathed in golden broth that numbs the tongue and satiate the senses, this fiery signature is not to be missed.
Have the best of both worlds with a duo of Braised Baby Abalone and Black Moss with Beancurd. A CNY must-have, the tender baby abalone is perfectly braised and the beancurd soaked up that rich umami broth. When eaten together with the black moss there’s a nice contrast of textures from the tender abalone, the slightly drenched moss and soft beancurd. Flavors well-balanced, this dish is purely a match-make in food heaven.
What I am anticipating most is perhaps the Stir-Fried Iberico Pork with Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce. The prized iberico pork slices are layered on one end of the plate, the sauce and accompany veg placed on another end. While the presentation of this dish has a touch of western interpretation, the taste of the savory pork is very much Szechuan.
Ending the sumptuous 8-course dinner is the visually pleasing Double-Boiled Hashima with Yam Paste served in Young Coconut: a delight to look at, a delight to spoon it up and enjoy. I expect something light but the taste is much stronger. Nevertheless, to me anything coconut and creamy is addictive.
Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro
333 Orchard Road, Level 35, Orchard Wing, Mandarin Orchard Singapore, Singapore 238867
Author: Alex Chua
If you are a food aficionado (and especially one who fancied Japanese cuisine), then Millennia Walk could well be one of your favourite destination to satisfy your insatiable craving. Organized by Pontiac Land, Millenia Walk’s developer and mall management, this swanky behemoth hosts a festive 9-course reunion meal for media guests and influencers to dine and unwind in its spacious Grand Hall atrium. There’s a lot of rousing, posing and snapping during the event, with four long tables joined together making a cross smacked right in the center of happenings. There were also occasional activities like lucky draw (dining vouchers!) and tossing of yu sheng (courtesy of Poke Doke – one of Millenia Walk’s tenant – for their Poke Doke Original Yusheng). With all the excitement and chattering going on, food is nevertheless the reason why we were all gathered here. Here’s some of the Instagram-worthy dishes I’ve sampled and love it.
Yam Ring with assorted Vegetables by Elemen features a highly stylized black yam ring with flecks of sprinkled gold. Ultra-luxe looking with resemblance of a bird nest, there’s a delightful crunch with a distinctive whiff of aroma when you spoon down to it core of healthy greens. Being a vegetarian dish, I am mildly surprised that I quite enjoy it! (Part of CNY set at $42.80++ for 8 course)
The Whole Fortune Smoked Corn-Fed Chicken with house-pickles by Plentyfull has that meaty mouthfeels full of delightful juiciness when you munch into it like a caveman. The meat peels off easily from the bones and its oh-so tender and simply delicious. ($48 and available from 14 Jan to 19 Feb).
Love the contemporary plating of Crispy Pork Belly on Potato Cucumber Salad with Parsley mousse and Paulaner Dark Beer Sauce by Paulaner Brauhaus ($18.90++). The pork’s crackling skin and fat just makes it irresistible not to keep biting it to satisfy that crunch. Dip with the dark beer sauce to give it a more sedate, bitter-sweet note. The portion size is just right if not making the diner feels too heavy.
Frozen S’mores by The Dark Gallery ($9) features a Graham Tart Shell with their signature 80% dark chocolate ice cream, dark chocolate ganache and torched marshmallow. Heavenly especially for those with a sweet tooth, its not overly sweet but subduedly so, and it’s pure joy spoon after spoon.
Bask in reunion celebrations across more than 20 acclaimed dining outlets and spend $88 at any shop to stand a chance to win lucky draw for amazing prizes. Only in Millenia Walk from now till 19 February.
1st Prize – Bedroom Makeover from Harvey Norman worth $3,000
2nd Prize – Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Tower Fan worth $899
3rd Prize – 2D1N Staycation at Conrad Centennial Singapore worth $500
9 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039596
Author: Alex Chua
The wallet-friendly Hong Kong Sheng Kee adds a contemporary touch to its tasty range of Hong Kong cuisines with the launch Truffle Wanton Noodle. Available from 7 Nov onwards, the new Truffle Wanton Noodle is a refreshing new touch to bring an already perfected dish to an elevated gastronomic treat. Helmed by the experienced Senior Executive Chef, Mr Chan Wing Kin, he had skillfully fused all the well-like qualities of the original HK Wanton Noodle with a contemporary ingredient in which Truffle-phile would surely approve.
The Truffle Wanton Noodle uses fresh egg noodle which is springy and tastes quite eggy. Made with 8 ingredients including old hen, pork bone and sole fish, the Jinhua Ham Broth is both savory and refreshing. What I really love about this dish is the wanton – the hand-beaten meat is mixed with fresh prawns, premium tender kurobuta pork air-flown from Japan, and black truffle oil. Meaty yet with a tender bite, the wanton truly elevates this dish to a wanton-ful level!
Besides staples like noodles and rice, Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert also offers many other delicious HK grub, including a Dim Sum menu featuring Fried Dumplings, Glutinous Rice Dumpling, Mini Yolky Custard Pau and Siew Mai. Affordably priced and not lowering the ingredient quality, the dim sum here is a decent treat for those who suddenly has got an urged to have a dim sum affair.
Not to forget their desserts. First off I am biased towards their desserts as I am a regular diner there. But with the correct pricing, the numerous accessible location and the delightful desserts who wouldn’t? The SK Mango Pomelo Sago is one refreshing bowl in which I come time and time again. The mango taste is real, not artificial sweet, and the plating is simple, almost zen-like. My other go-to desserts include the Rice ball in Paste, Almond Paste and Yuan Yang Paste.
To get more bang on the buck, from 24 Oct to 30 Nov, diners get to enjoy $2 off HK Wanton Noodle or Truffle Wanton Noodle on the Plus app!
Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert @ The Centrepoint
The Centrepoint #B1-14
Timing: 11am to 10pm (Last Order 9pm)
Author: Alex Chua
Known for its dim sum and mouth-watering egg tarts, Song Garden has been a favourite for many families. Located on level 2 of Mercure Singapore Bugis Hotel where Bugis Street meets Bras Basah in one of Singapore’s more authentic areas, Song Garden offers a trove of auspicious modern Cantonese dishes to user in a prosperous Year of the Pig. Reunion feast anyone?
What can be more celebratory than a toss of Yu Sheng? The Prosperity Salmon and Fresh Fruit Yu Sheng has all the tried-and-tested essentials of Yu Sheng inside the giant bowl of auspicious red. The wooden chopsticks are much longer than usual to accommodate such a big bowl.
The simmering Lobster with Pumpkin Puree served in Hot Stone Pot with Bacon Scallion Pencil is popular with the diners. The delectable pumpkin puree is now enhanced with generous amount of lobster meat. It was so delicious that I slurped up every last drop. Careful don’t touch the rim because it is scalding hot.
Nothing shouts more CNY than Pen Cai. The Song Garden Supreme Fortune Pot is braised full of delectable delicacies like 8-head Abalone, Roast Duck, Crispy Pork Belly, Dried Oysters, Sea Cucumber, and the naturally sweet Scallop – which I fell in love with. One sip of the thick gravy will bring you to taste bud heaven.
Don’t leave without giving the Golden Pillow White Pepper Pork Ribs Bun a try. An absolute crowd-pleaser, this savoury peppery pork ribs suits perfectly with the white bun custodian of pillowy texture. Brought back childhood memories of my great-aunt’s version of this irresistible dish.
For those with a sweet tooth, a great end to the meal is the Double-boiled Peach Resin with Fungus and Red Dates. Cooling and refreshing, this traditional dessert screams Cantone-sia. You’ll find it hard to stop at just one sip.
Song Garden @ Mercure Singapore Bugis
122 Middle Road Singapore 188973
Lunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm
Weekends/ Public Holiday
Lunch: 11am to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm
Author: Alex Chua
Ash & Char is a chic gastrobar located at McCallum Street, just diagonally opposite Amoy Street Food Centre. It is situated in a busy CBD area where the PMEs flocked around in daytime and chill at night. Specializing in Modern Asian cuisine, since its revamp this cosy gastrobar now features an Instagram-worthy interior along with handcrafted cocktails and comforting fusion good food!
Formally a café, Ash & Char transformation adds a breath of fresh air to the premise. With 2 large lightbulbs ‘chandaliers’ mounted on the ceiling as centerpieces, laminating the tuxedo black tables that are matched with sleek black, gold and silver high stools, Ash & Char eases between a cosy venue for lunch during day time and a chill out place as the sun sets. It is so cosy I can literally hop onto one of the high chair with the refreshingly fruity Mixed Berry Bramble and people-watch.
With a name derived from the techniques applied to the cooking (mostly charring and grilling), the owner obviously takes pride on the food and you can expect the food to be good. The Signature Char Siu is one of the many dishes in the menu we’ve sampled and simply love it. The honey and soy glaze is easy on the palate. The meat slices with charred edges are extra delicious and easily melt away in the mouth.
The Creamy Smoked Duck Pasta is pleasing to slurp down. The duck slice is flavorful and got a bite to it, though I would prefer it to be thicker. Just remember to watch your waistline!
One of the mainstays in the menu, the tangy and fiery Tom Yum Seafood Pasta is obviously a popular favorite among the patrons here as it caters to the local preference of spicy and sour taste. The seafood-tom Yum Gong pairing is succulent and authentically Thai, reminding of the time I had a similar bowl in an upscale Bar at Asiatique, Bangkok.
A standard bar dish, the Fish & Chips here are quite different among other establishments is the herbs embedded within the batter that seasons the fish naturally. A lover of this English national pride, I can woof this fried goodies down with a good drink (alcohol preferred) anytime.
Speaking of drinks, Ash & Char has got a new fruity alcoholic drink that would make you instantaneously fall in love like starring into a Birkin – the Santa Cruz de Alpera Blue Frizzante. Mid-night blue in color, this is an easy to drink wine with tropical notes which makes it suitable for an afternoon lazy tipper. Taste somewhat like the dessert wines (think Moscato), the bubbles touch just makes it a refreshing sensation in this sweet wine.
Ash & Char
Address: 21 McCallum Street #01-03/04 Singapore 069047
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11am to 12am | Friday, 11am to 1am | Saturday, 5pm to 1am | Closed on Sundays
Contact Number: +65 8341 1951