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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Dallas Restaurant & Bar Celebrates 10th Birthday @ Suntec City Sky Garden

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Dallas Restaurant & Bar has been a popular expat and tourist haunt at Boat Quay since 2006 and as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, they have opened a second outlet at Suntec City Sky Garden. The glass house-style restaurant is located between Tower 1 and 5 and you will save time getting there by taking the long outdoor escalator from the ground floor.

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The bar is an ideal place to catch sporting events on large screen TVs, either at the island bar or al fresco area, while chilling out over drinks. With over 40 carefully curated wine labels, a variety of chilled brews on tap, followed by an extensive cocktail list, you are spoilt for choice.

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Grilled Corn ($6). Perfectly roasted sweet corn topped with Chipotle mayonnaise (with a strong emphasis on the word ‘perfectly’), sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Talk about starting with a bang! I like corn, but I am not one who will obsess about it. That said, I could not get enough of this. For that reason, if you are a fan of corn, I heartily recommend that you order this.

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Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt @ The Arts House and Buona Terra @ Chateau TCC

I make it a habit to return to places that I like and thus, this is not my first visit to Olivia Cassivelaun Fancourt. The restaurant is located on the second floor of one of Singapore’s most historically significant buildings, The Arts House.

The building was a Court House during the colonial years and then used for other official purposes in the years thereafter. It was only in 2004, that the building was transformed into The Arts House.

We started our meal with Le Veloute de Topinambour. Jerusalem artichoke veloute with parmesan emulsion and truffle. The artichoke is a pretty popular ingredient with restaurants at this time of the year as it is harvested from October to March.

Le Poulet Jaune d’Origine Francaise. Corn fed chicken from Landes, served with green peppers, cumin and carrots. The serving size was pretty measly. The chicken thigh and breast while tender, were as small as the mushroom that came with the dish.

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Flavours of Hakodate at Kuishin Bo @ Suntec City (Media Tasting)

When someone asks about Japanese buffet in Singapore, Kuishin Bo will usually be the one that comes to mind. This restaurant as been a part of the Singapore food scene since 2001 and has been recognised for both its range and quality of food. The brand currently has two outlets, one at Jurong Point and the other at Suntec City.

The ongoing year-end installment of their quarterly thematic food fairs features specialties from Hakodate, a port city in Hokkaido (one I originally intended to visit for my trip later this month, but it s a eight-hours round trip from Sapporo). You will find an additional 17 seasonal food items to its existing range of food.

Some of the food items from the Hakodate collection are:

Tori Zangi, (a term exclusively used in Hokkaido) which is a type of fried chicken typically known as karaage in other parts of Japan.

Pumpkin Zenzai, highlighting the most common ingredient in Japanese traditional desserts… Red bean! Hokkaido is famous for its red beans due to its rich volcanic soil. The dessert here is paired with pumpkin and mochi.

Hokkaido Jaga Butter Cake. A fluffy cheesecake infused with potato butter. This is just one example of the many snacks and confectioneries in Hokkaido made using potatoes.

Tonyu Ishikari Nabe, which is a dish of salmon and assorted vegetables cooked in miso soymilk broth that originated centuries ago in Hokkaido. It is also named after the Ishikari-gawa River which is famous for salmon.

In addition to this, we enjoyed their usual spread of seafood, sashimi, sushi, paper hotpots, grilled and fried foods, as well as desserts.

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A Guide to Palette Restaurant & Bar @ Capitol Piazza (Media Tasting)

Many bloggers and foodies have been talking about this new multi-brand dining concept called Palette Restaurant & Bar by BreadTalk Group, located at Capitol Piazza. Some liken it to a high-end food court, while others rave about having ten specialty food brands all under one roof. Over here, you can find over 400 different dishes on one menu, from street food from around the region to gourmet delicacies.

The ten food brands are:

  1. Huat Huat BBQ
  2. Delhi 6
  3. Ah Koong Restaurant
  4. Yong Xin Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle
  5. Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant
  6. Hok Kee Authentic Hong Kong Noodle & Congee
  7. Balestier Bak Kut Teh
  8. IndoChili
  9. Little Nanyang
  10. 90 Gastro Bar

You will not have to worry about finding a seat because the dining hall seats 420 guests comfortably as it spans 12,000 square feet. Also, ordering is done through an iPad, so you do not have to stand at a stall and wait for your food.

Each table comes with a jar of fruit and herb-infused water ($3, free flow), which is as good as ordering a drink from a stall.

1. HUAT HUAT BBQ

Famous for its BBQ chicken wings for about 14 years, Huat Huat BBQ has also set up stall here at Palette.

Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wings (half a dozen for $12). Chicken wings marinated with Chinese rose wine, barbequed and served with chilli sauce. The special marinate added fragrance and sweetness to the meat. I wish I had more space for this!

2. DELHI 6

Other than local food, you can also find North-West Indian cuisine by Delhi 6. The dishes are cooked with two electric tandoors (Indian clay oven).

Paneer Ke Sholey Roll ($11.90). Roomali (thin flatbread) roll with spiced Calcutta cottage cheese and vegetables. According to the staff there, this is a must try because it is very good. The flavours melded together brilliantly and it is a good option for vegetarians.

Lahori Boti Kebab ($16). Boneless mutton marinated for three to four days with green mango and papaya, then tandoori-grilled with masala spices. I would have preferred if this was chicken because the mutton was rather gamey.

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Millenia Walk: Tart Blanc and Marco Marco

I got a good deal when I bought a Groupon voucher for four at Tart Blanc, Millenia Walk. According to some of my friends on Instagram, this place is “underrepresented” on social media. The outlet located next to Starbucks is rather small and we actually missed it once, literally walking past it.

Some of the tarts on display were the same as the ones I had seen on Instagram. I was actually hoping to get the ones created to look like cute animals, but I guess I missed the period. The tarts that we ordered were a combination of what we wanted to try as well as recommendations from the staff.

Blueberry Lavender Chocolate Tart ($7.50). Lavender chocolate ganache, homemade blueberry jam, lavender honey soaked joconde and blueberry mousse.

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[Newly Opened] Tuk Tuk Cha @ Suntec City Tower 3 (Media Tasting)

The first thing you will notice about Tuk Tuk Cha is its namesake located at the front of the kiosk.The tuk tuk with its headlights on is something that will draw your eyes. The cafe/ kiosk, a sister outlet to Thai Boat Noodles at Bedok Point, serves mainly finger food and drinks, which have been specially imported from Thailand.

We tried as many cold drinks as we could! From left (medium $2.80, large $3.20):

  • Homemade roselle (high Vitamin C content)
  • Homemade lemongrass (refeshing)
  • Thai milk coffee (thick enough)
  • Thai green milk tea (a hot favourite)
  • Thai milk tea (superb!)

You may add $0.50 for toppings like pearl, coconut jelly, aloe vera, etc. Some of the drinks like the Thai milk tea and coffee also come in hot versions for less than $2 each.

Golden Toast, Tuk Tuk Cha’s signature food item.

The basic Golden Toast ($3), comes in the following flavours:

  • Condensed Milk
  • Maple Syrup (if you want to play safe, this definitely goes well with the toast)
  • Blueberry
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Orange

You can also opt for more premium flavours for $3.80:

  • Homemade pandan kaya (this is my favourite!)
  • Homemade taro kaya (flavour needs to be more distinct)
  • Homemade Thai tea kaya (flavour not strong enough)
  • Nutella
  • Condensed milk + milo (for the sweet tooth)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey

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