Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spice Brasserie @ PARKROYAL Hotel, Kitchener Road

Remember to state Parkroyal Hotel at Kitchener Road, failing which, the taxi uncle might just bring you to the other Parkroyals in Singapore. Was invited to Spice Brasserie, to try out their Penang Affair buffet, as well as a sampling of crabs from their popular Crazy Crab buffet.

enter to experience
new buffets

Been ages since I last had any buffets. Was interesting, going around exploring the spread. Let's start from the cold seafood section.

cold seafood section
sushi counter

Probably it's psychological, but when one sees a sushi counter, then automatically we'd be looking for sashimi. Fresh blocks of tuna, swordfish, salmon and tako (octopus) are sliced upon order. The boyish looking and amiable chef at the sashimi counter said that during weekends, he'd be slicing up the pieces non-stop for close to two hours at one stretch!

swordfish and salmon belly

How about starting with something light to warm the stomach? Teochew porridge, perhaps?

pick your pickles
how about savouries for the porridge?
pork ribs~

Really liked how they made the dishes that bit saltier to go well with the plain sweet potato porridge. The braised pig trotters was good. Gelatinous but not 'jelak'.

just the right stuffs for the porridge

There's also an Indian food section, where there are naan, Palak Paneer, Chicken Tikka Massala to name a few.

a pot of flavours

There isn't a lot of everything but there's a bit of something for most. How about western food, you might ask?

salad ingredients
cold cuts, dressings, cheese and breads
just liked the way these were laid out, don't ask me why

But of course, the highlight, is the Penang Affair by Chef Frederick Kho and a sampling from his 'Crazy Crab' spread. Chef Frederick has over 20 years of experience, and is now overseeing the culinary operations of the hotel.

Penang hawker fare dished up from this space

Penang Assam Laksa

This dish uses the local mackerel (ikan kembung) where its flavour had definitely been cooked down till infused into the thick flavourful broth. It was actually much sweeter than what I had expected from a bowl of Penang assam laksa and there wasn't any of those sourish tamarind taste. This broth will surely appeal to those who prefers that little bit of sweetness in their food.

Penang Hawker food would not be complete, without Penang Char Kway Teow. The version here was nicely fried with the thin, not so wide kway teow gentle on the mouth. Soft, almost silky and accented by the lap cheongs and chives.

who ate my char kway teow?

Of course, one mustn't forget the Penang Prawn Noodles. The prawn soup was light and tasty. If you prefer more spicy, then one can add/request more chili to it.

Penang Prawn Noodles sampler

The general advise is to eat the soupy stuffs while they're still hot!

Did someone ask for popiah? They have it here too.

Penang popiah

Not in the mood for popiah? How about some Pasembur?

Pasembur (Indian Rojak with sweet and spicy peanut sauce)

Want something more? Had the chance to try two styles of crabs; Black Pepper and Salted Egg. Did you know that there are up to 12 styles/flavours of crabs during their Friday Crazy Crab buffet!

Sarawak Black Pepper Crab

The Sarawak Black Pepper Crab was peppery spicy (really spicy) and Chef said it has glutinous rice wine in the sauce. But personally, much preferred the Salted Egg Butter crab. The sauce was loaded with a chockful of salted egg goodness! Super heavy duty type. Mud crabs were used and the good ones were quite meaty, firm and subtly sweet. Watch out for those tiny tiny little red fiery chili padis, though. Finger licking good.

Salted Egg Butter Crab

If you're ever here on Friday for the crabs, do try their other recommended styles including Chili, Kam Heong, Golden Cheese and Nonya Chili amongst others.

Having food with such strong flavours demands for a drink to wash it down. Orange juice was my choice. The juice here has minimalistic amount of ice and tasted naturally sweet.

orange and watermelon juice

Main courses, more or less done. So it was time for desserts!

steamed glutinous rice and durian pulp
durian pengat

According to their friendly staff, the durian pengat is popular amongst their diners and after having tasted it, can understand why. The durian paste/pulp was nicely fragrant, sweet yet not overpowering so.

DIY ice kachang?
oh, chendol

Try to go easy on those green coloured stuffs. But ply more of the ice-cream, durian pengat and gula-melaka yums.

dainty little sweet things
nonya kueh selection

A hot drink to go with the cakes and kuehs?

coffee machine
tea selection

Just a little bit of this and that was enough to fill the stomach up pretty quickly.

petite cakes and kueh to end the meal

Thank you HGW (Chiew Mei and Hong An) for the invite and Parkroyal Kitchener (Simon and Cleo) for hosting us, and not forgetting, Chef Frederick for crafting the buffet spread, and whom has generously shared with us on some of the ingredients used.

Spice Brasserie Information

Breakfast: 6.30am to 10.30am (daily)
Lunch: 12noon to 2.30pm (daily)
Dinner: 6pm to 10.30pm (daily)
PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
181 Kitchener Road, Lobby Level

Telephone: (65) 6428 3160

Buffet Price List* (correct as of date of blog posting):


Per Adult
Per Child
Penang Affair
Mondays to Thursday

Crazy Crab Night
Sensational Seafood
International Buffet
Fridays to Sundays


*Prices are subject to service charge and prevailing government taxes. Child prices are applicable for children aged six to 12 years old.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Nan Xiang @ Novena Square 2

Located at Level 1, and in between the pathway that links Square 2 and Novena Square. Wanted a fuss free dinner, so tried this.

Had the Single Combi Set of white chicken rice. The set came with a small plate of blanched bok choy with oyster sauce, and prawn dumpling soup.

Single Combi Set (@$7.90+)

The chicken rice itself was a tad oily and garlicky. The vegetable was slightly overcooked so it was more soft than crunchy. Liked the soup as it has a mild cabbage flavour but the single prawn dumpling, although was filled with a good ratio of minced prawn, it had an artificial taste to it. Not sure why.

steamed white chicken

The chicken had a bit of jelly formed under its skin and it's nicely cut up in not too big chunks.

This meal costs about $8.60.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

&MADE By Bruno Ménard @ Pacific Plaza, Scotts Road

Curiouser, curiouser and that's what brought me there. The place was quiet on a Sunday afternoon, way past lunch time.

red napkin

It was no fun being a lone diner. The only table for two was smack right in the middle of the restaurant, surrounded by tables meant for four and more...

casual diner

Anyway, tried the 'B' burger (@$19++) and had an iced tea (@$6++). Think my mind had a brief disconnect at that moment as I had mistakenly thought iced tea as iced lemon tea...ya, I know...I know...

The osmanthus sancha (sencha?) was a novelty, in terms of the way it was served. Osmanthus flavoured tea frozen in ice cubes and then dissolved with hot water to release the flavours. It has a sweet smell in the beginning but in terms of taste, it tasted like an extremely light green tea, or plain water. Should've just added $2++ to get a half pint of beer. *sobs*

iced tea (osmanthus sancha)

The burger looked quite manageable as it arrived on the table.

The 'B' Burger (served with garlic & vinegar fries)
shoestring fries

The fries tasted more of garlic than vinegar. In fact, hardly any vinegar taste at all.

dry aged beef patty, caramelized onions, comte cheese and garlic mayo

First time having comté cheese and thought it had melted quite nicely on the patty. According to wiki, comté cheese ought to have a certain grading for taste in order for it to be called as what it is, otherwise, it'll just be gruyère. Interesting.

thick patty

Quite liked the texture and the thickness of the beef patty. The overall flavours were surprisingly subtle, with just that hint of sweetness from caramelized onions, and that occasional whiff of garlic mayo and probably that bit of melted butter on the bun surface.

Felt rather stuffed by the end of the meal.

For the month of July, there's a sure-win lucky dip after one has settled the bill, and this is in conjunction with &Made's 1st Birthday Celebration. Apparently one might win a burger (a Rossini, perhaps?)

mini sundae redeemable before 15 August 2013 (terms & conditions apply)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mado @ JEM

Located at Level 1 of JEM, and saw that they're having a Wednesday Special for $13.90 nett, and one can choose either roast lamb or salmon, served with soup of the day and a drink. Sounds reasonable so went in to try.

dessert menu
looks comfy

First up, the ice apple tea and soup of the day. Mushroom soup was pretty thin, and tasted somewhat like a watered down version of canned soup.

ice apple tea and mushroom soup

The main course was served right after the soup was finished. Liked the way it was plated. However, the fries was cold, and the meat was just lukewarm.

roast lamb rack

Thankfully, the lamb itself was tender and not too gamey. Just wished that it had more flavour and abit more charred on its outside.


Perhaps its desserts would fare better? Maybe ice-cream (and/or turkish desserts) plus italian coffee would be a better choice?

Service staff was generally friendly but further training would be beneficial to their operations.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Din Tai Fung @ JEM

Located at Level 2 of JEM, this eatery was always busily churning out steamers after steamers of xiao long bao or chinese pork dumplings.

full house
chefs at work

Visited on a Saturday for late lunch around 2.30pm and still needed to queue for another 15 minutes. For those rare first timers to this eatery, do take the queue number from the counter staff before waiting.

beancurd appetiser
Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing

The beancurd appetiser was nicely sweet and has good texture. Ordered a bowl of ramen soup with vegetable wanton to share, and we could portion out 5 tiny bowls with one wanton each.

vegetable wanton ramen soup
single portion

The ramen soup was rather bland and the tangy appetisers were partly to be blamed as well. Didn't like the vegetable wanton either.

stir fried spinach
pork chop fried rice
well fried pork chop
egg fried rice

Somehow, the fried rice here doesn't seem as tasty as other branches that I've tried. It's pretty toned down. But my sister likes the pork chop very much.

The star at Din Tai Fung, is still its xiao long bao (小笼包).

regular pork dumplings!
vinegar and ginger

Also tried specialty dumpling; Chili Crab Xiao Long Bao (4 pieces @$6.80++).

chili crab dumplings with one regular pork dumpling in the middle for size comparison
chili crab dumpling

The chili crab dumplings are touted as 40% larger than regular ones and it was flavourful, with its sweet and not quite spicy chili crab broth.

The restaurant was rather busy and hence, getting tea refills requires some patience.

The meal costs about $83 and fed a family of five adults.
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