Trying Out Harry’s New Menu @ Clarke Quay (Media Tasting)

I have always enjoyed visiting Harry’s since it was introduced to me by my aunt who used to work for the company. While it is more commonly known as a bar, what most people do not know is that they serve good food there too. Harry’s latest menu update promises 50 dishes and also comes with helpful beverage pairing tips. This revamp was done under the consultation of The Disgruntled Chef, which is under the same management as Harry’s and Pind Balluchi.

Eye Candy ($16), and you can see why this is named so. A pretty pink “girly” drink consisting of vodka, watermelon liqueur and lemon juice. A good balance of sweet and sour.

Fish Cracklings ($13). Crackling fish skin tossed in a spice mix, served with aioli. Over here, there is no one particular kind of fish skin that is being used and it is dependent on the catch of the day. The garlic based mayonnaise is so potent (in a good way)!

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Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria @ Binjai Park (Media Tasting)

The only reason why I used to frequent Binjai Park, along Bukit Timah Road, is because of Ivins, one of my favourite places for Peranakan food. This time around, another restaurant drew me to this street lined with shophouses, tucked away in a residential estate.

Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria is a small neighbourhood restaurant which opened in 2011 and went through a change in management in 2014. This restaurant prides itself on authentic Italian preparation and cooking methods, as well as its monthly regional specials menu.

The first sight that greeted us was homemade pasta drying on a pole, which accounts for the light and springy texture in the pastas we had later on. Also, you can also smell the aroma of freshly baked bread and pizzas from the brick oven behind the row of pasta. Both the bread and pizza bread were fresh!

The owner, Fabrizio, was very friendly and even dined with us. We found out that he is very accompanied. Not only is he a Dive Master, he is a judo instructor and a sports enthusiast as well. During the course of the meal, Head Chef Domenico, also made appearances throughout the meal to introduce dishes to us.

Before we got started with our meal, we were offered a drink, Spitz ($15). The beverage is a mixture of Prosecco (Italina sparkling wine) and Aperol (Italian aperitif), and usually served before or after a meal. The alcoholic drink is then infused with sweet oranges, cinchona bark and gentian root.

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Long Weekend Tunch at Indulge at Park @ Grand Park City Hall (Media Tasting)

After having the dumplings from Park Palace, also located at Grand Park City Hall, I could not wait to see what Indulge at Park had in store for us. We were invited to try their Long Weekend Tunch (which stands for lunch and tea), available every Saturday and Sunday afternoon till 28 September 2015.

The weekend afternoon buffet costs $45++ for adults and $22.50++ for children (4 to 12 years old). The spread encompasses 80 items, carriying both lunch and tea favourites, such as Hong Kong roast duck, Penang rojak and kueh pie tee.

I planned to reach early to take undisturbed photographs of the food and it was a great call because the desserts looked so pretty!

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Singapore Favourites Inspired Dumplings from Park Palace @ Grand Park City Hall

With Park Palace introducing localised dumplings, we Singaporeans have something to look forward to this Dragon Boat Festival! This restaurant located at Grand Park City Hall has introduced three new rice dumplings based on some of the most well-loved local dishes in Singapore.

Singapore Chilli Crab Dumpling ($8.80), served with chilli crab sauce, complete with egg white and crab meat. Many people equate chilli crab to our national dish and thus, this was not missed in the series of newly inspired dumplings. However, I found that the dumpling lacked the sweetness and spiciness normally found in this local dish.

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[Newly Opened] Hvala Waffle Bar at 313@Somerset

Everyday I’m waffling! Just joking. The waffle craze is apparently not dying yet, seeing that another form of waffle has just popped up. Hvala Waffle Bar is offering not round waffles, not square waffles, but thin waffles on a stick! While the waffles do come with a stick, you may request for it to come without or even cut into smaller pieces for sharing.

This waffle bar at the basement of 313@Somerset is operated by a husband and wife pair, Benmin (featured above) and Lynette. The waffle batter is mixed by hand and are categorised into “Fruitalicious” and “Timeless Desserts.”

We ordered every flavour that they had! However, if you would like to be creative, you may customise your own waffle, starting from $2.50 for a basic waffle and $0.50 to $1 for each topping.

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FYR Cycene Ond Drinc @ Boon Tat Street (Media Tasting)

Initially, I was not really looking forward to this tasting at FYR Cycene Ond Drinc as my friends who went for the previous one said that the food looked good but was not very tasty. However, they were invited in a huge group and I reckon that the food quality might not be very good when orders were going out at the same time. Also, general reviews online have been quite good, so I decided to give this a try.

FYR Cycene Ond Drinc is pronounced as FIRE Kitchen and Drink (I have no idea how they got ‘kitchen’ from ‘cycene). The walls are filled with vibrant murals and as the name suggests, fire is an important element in their cooking. All of the dishes are cooked using the Jasper Charcoal Oven with lychee wood to ensure that dishes have a smoky note tinged with sweetness. The dishes here are European with a Southeast Asian take on them.

Although I went there for dinner, the interior is quite brightly lit, so I did not have to worry about the lighting for photo-taking. The tables are rather small and if you are in a huge group it can be quite cramped.

Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea ($4.50) and Lime & Mint Soda ($4.50). The hibiscus drink came with hibiscus tea, fresh apple juice and is infused with mint syrup. For me, the tea was too overpowering and the fragrance of the hibiscus was lost. As for the soda, it reminded me of a virgin mojito.

Apple Rosemary Soda ($4.50), infused with lemon syrup. This soda was a perfect balance of fruit and herb. Unlike the hibiscus drink, this was pleasantly refreshing.

We also tried the Grilled Fresh Orange Juice ($4.50, not featured here), it was really interesting! The sweetness and smokiness were a winning combination. While we did not try the pineapple version of this, others said that the pineapple one was a pale comparison, which was unexpected since the caramelisation of the pineapple would have brought the flavours out more.

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Authentic Portuguese Restaurant BOCA @ Bukit Pasoh Street (Media Tasting)

BOCA opened in January 2015 and is probably the first authentic Portuguese restaurant here in Singapore. The restaurant is owned by a group of Portuguese and helmed by two young (and good-looking) Portuguese chefs Luca and Francisco. The two chefs who had graduated from the renowned Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies in Lisbon, Portugal, have 10 years of cooking experience under their belts. Thus, you can expect truly classic and home-style Portuguese dishes here.

BOCA is nestled in a three-storey shophouse and each of the floors has their own names and “characters”. The first floor features bar seating by the open kitchen and is called Pesticos which means ‘small bites’. The second floor is the main dining area and its called BOCA, which means ‘mouth’. The top floor is still undergoing renovations but it is meant to be a wine cellar and it is called Adega. As the name suggests, we dined on the second floor, but the lighting was so much better on the first floor.

The first thing you will notice about the interior are the ceramic black swallows adorning the walls. There are a total of 700 of these birds and they are famous for their migratory journey to Portugal every spring where they nest with their life-long companions. The decor of this restaurant was carefully curated and many of the fixtures were specially imported from Portugal.

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