Sis Surprised Me with Lunch at JAAN for My Birthday!

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As some of you may know, I celebrated my big three-o last week! My sis (@hungrybaker) who is in a habit of bringing me to surprise locations for my birthday, brought me to JAAN, which has been at the top of my must-try list ever since I saw a picture of their “smoking egg” on Instagram.

JAAN first appeared on the food scene when Chef Julien Royer was at the helm. Thenceforth, the restaurant has gone on to receive many coveted awards and accolades, such as (just to name a few):

  • Best Degustation Menu, Wine & Dine’s Singapore’s Top Restaurants 2013
  • KitchenAid Chef of the Year at The World Gourmet Series Awards of Excellence 2014
  • Ranked 74th at The World’s Best Restaurants 2015
  • Ranked 29th at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016

Furthermore, Chef Kirk Westaway, who succeeded Chef Julien Royer, won last year’s San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year and was named 2016 Rising Chef of the Year at World Gourmet Summit Awards.

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To get to the restaurant, we needed to access the 70th floor through a separate entrance at Swissotel The Stamford. Also, my sis had to book months in advance for us to score a window seat, affording us a bird’s eye view of Singapore’s landmarks.

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We decided on Epicure Lunch (7 course menu at $158), which is kind of like a degustation menu, where Chef Westaway will serve seven of his greatest signature dishes, crafted using high quality seasonal produced from around the world. However, it was only after lunch that we realised we were served a total of 13 dishes!

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Sis’s Birthday Surprise: Skyline Luge Sentosa, The Knolls and Corner House

If you can remember, my sis threw me a wonderful birthday celebration six months ago by getting me a humongous helium balloon bouquet, bringing me to lunch at Tanuki Raw, then a macaron baking class at The Kitchen Society by Bonheur Patisserie (my absolute favourite macarons), followed by dinner at Basilico (you can read more about it here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). I knew it was not going to be easy but I had to do something to top her awesome effort for her birthday.

Hence, I had a full day planned for her special day. She had totally no idea what I had in store for her. We woke up early on Sunday and headed for Sentosa. Our first stop was Skyline Luge Sentosa, where I had gotten a Three Luge & Skyline Combo for $25 from their website. My sis loves the Luge, so we were off to a great start!

As it was pretty hazy, so we did not have to queue for our turns! We had fun taking the Skyline up to the top of the Luge track and zipping our way down on the speedy ride.

Our second stop of the day was The Knolls at Capella Singapore. I enjoyed my first visit so much (read more about it here), that I decided to bring my sis here for their Sunday Brunch. What I like about this place is that they pride themselves not only on variety but quality, so you can be rest assured that you are getting your money worth in spades.

My sis was impressed by the food and service there! The dessert spread is as extensive as their appetisers and main courses. If you are a dessert lover like me, this is a buffet that you should not miss. Also, I would recommend that you make reservations in advance as the restaurant is usually packed!

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Birthday Surprise (Part 3): Basilico @ Regent Singapore

After a long day of food, the last part of the birthday surprise was guess what? Still food. Sis brought me to Basilico because it:

  1. Scored a whopping 85% on Hungrygowhere, one of the highest rated Italian Restaurant,
  2. Was awarded Chope’s Diners’ Choice Awards 2014 “Best Hotel Buffet”, and
  3. Was awarded Certificate of Excellence for 2014 on Tripadvisor.

All high praises. The restaurant serves a semi buffet where you get to order a main course and enjoy a buffet spread of antipasti and desserts for $88 per person.

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Birthday Surprise (Part 2): Macaron Baking Class @ The Kitchen Society

After Tanuki Raw, we headed behind Orchard Central, cut across Killiney onto River Valley Road, and then turned right onto Kim Yam Road. I was being a child, asking “are we there yet?” every so often. It was quite a walk after a filling meal and under the scorching hot sun. The doors to The Kitchen Society were a welcoming sight.

Apparently my sister signed us up for Frutti Macarons baking class by none other than Lin Weixian, the master behind my favourite macaron shop, Bonheur Patisserie (read about my posts about his character macarons here, here and here)! I learnt afterwards that the baking class cost $180 per person!

During the class, Chef Lin and his lovely wife, Carline, taught us how the difference between French and Italian macarons, how create a macaron batter with proper folding techniques, the right way to pipe a macron and lastly, how to decorate them.

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Birthday Surprise (Part 1): Tanuki Raw @ Orchard Central

This post is quite dated since my birthday is on 26 April, but I had a backlog of blog posts, so I am only uploading it now. My sister (#bestsisterintheworld) planned a whole day of surprises for me. I honestly had no idea where we were going the whole day. Our first stop that day was at Tanuki Raw (by the people behind Standing Sushi Bar) and its Truffle Yakiniku Don I had been yearning to try.

But, not before I received a balloon bouquet from her! Did I ever mention how much I love helium balloons? She specially made a trip down to Holland Village to inflate these balloons before asking me to head down to Somerset MRT Station.

Anyway, Tanuki Raw is located on the second floor of Orchard Central and offers both alfresco and indoor seating. Since the weather had been humid lately, we decided to enjoy the aircon indoors.

The Truffle Yakiniku Don is part of their lunch set which is available from 11.30am to 3pm daily. The items on the lunch menu range from seafood to beef to curry and are priced less than $18. In addition, you may top up $2 for a bowl of miso soup, some side salad and a cup of green tea.

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Tatsuya @ Goodwood Park Hotel

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It is a family tradition to find a restaurant with good reviews, serving the birthday boy/girl’s favourite food and to bring the person there on their birthday. As my parents were in Italy, it was up to me to bring my sis for her birthday meal.

I celebrated my sister’s birthday at Tatsuya at Goodwood Park Hotel, as it serves her cherished chirashi don. What is exceptionally cool about the restaurant is that you get to sit in front of the chefs preparing your food for you!

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Watching chefs at work definitely trumps any other way of passing time while waiting for the food to be served!

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26 and becoming more intellectual (hopefully)

I turn 26 today! Yes, time flies. Just a while ago I was 25. I’m past a quarter of a century. The day was made great by my friends and family.

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Woke up to a surprise from my sis. She crocheted an owl hat for me! So cute and quirky! On top of that, she got an owl pouch and owl earrings from Etsy for me. I hate birds but I can’t resist those cute images of owls. Really made my day.

When I reached school, my colleagues tried to play a prank on me but failed. I think I’m too oblivious. They attached a recorder with a sensor to the ceiling above my seat and every time I sat on my chair, the sounds of rooster crowing could be heard. I had no idea that the sensor was right above my head and I was the one “causing” all the noise in the staff room. When I left for my lessons, they switched the sensor to underneath my chair and still, when I came back, I could not tell the sound was coming from my table. Then, they admitted defeat. Haha!

After that they had a birthday celebration for me. I was actually pretty touched that they went through all the trouble in spite of their packed schedules. Feeling lots of love all around!

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I ended off the day with a meal with my mum and dad at Jumbo, Dempsey Road. I will spare you the excruciating pain of viewing pictures of food taken in the dark.

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The 25th year ended with a bang and 26th seems off with a great start. Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrated my birthday!