Saturday, December 27, 2014

Antoinette @ Mandarin Gallery Orchard

Located at Level 2 of Mandarin Gallery. One could take the outdoor escalator up or via the lift, which may take forever to arrive.

Was there on a Friday evening, for a late dinner. Food choice was an all-day breakfast of Classic Eggs Florentine, with a cup of Cafe Viennois. Such decadence.


Was actually pretty cold inside especially if it had rained earlier. Brrr~

Classic eggs Florentine @$16.50++
perfectly runny poached egg

Eggs Florentine came with two beautifully poached eggs, drizzled with ample Hollandaise sauce and sitting atop of plenty of salty serrano ham with some wilted spinach (also salty!). Brioche was thick but a tad too browned/burnt?

Cafe Viennois with chantilly cream @$6.80++

Do let the staff know if you prefer the coffee to be served later as by default, they will bring it to the table along with your dinner.

Colleagues ordered some desserts to go along with their tea.

The younger service crew was pretty friendly.

Expect to spend between $20 to $30 for a desserts or for a meal here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Travel | Seoul 28 Oct - 2 Nov 2014 | Lounge Dawon 라운지 다원 @ SamcheongGak 삼청각

Located at 3, Daesagwan-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 성북구 대사관로 3 (성북동). Took a free-shuttle from Gallery Hyundai stop. There's a cafe nearby, so one could chill while waiting for the bus. Bus stops for just a minute or so, and bus ride to Samcheonggak takes about 10 minutes.

waiting for shuttle bus in cold temperature *brrr*

Samcheonggak is located at the mountaineous area of Mt. Bukak. Very quiet, very nice environment.

entrance to tranquility

Unfortunately, we did not manage to secure a reservation at its restaurant even though we arrived around 11+am and the place was fairly empty. Next best option, was to dine at Dawon Lounge but with limited menu. But the mountain view, more than made up for the slight disappointment.

simply beautiful
abit too hot for al-fresco dining, but look at the gorgeous scenary!

Just 2-3 options for Korean menu and another 2-3 options for Italian dishes. I took the beef bulgogi set while friend had vegetarian bibimbap.

complimentary barley tea

As the sun was shining really strong that day (and also we were at higher grounds!), we figured it wasn't worth the UV rays and decided to move to its indoor area.

Dawon Lounge

They seemed understaffed as there were just two whom we could see, and they do everything from taking orders, serving and cashier. Hence, service was slow.

beef bulgogi set @16000₩(~USD16/SGD20)
tasty kimchi
 The beef bulgogi was very tender, sweetish and healthy tasting. Kimchi was ripened just the way I liked it. Yum.

rice mixed with millet

Rice was soft and fragrant. Not too sticky and goes well with the kimchi.

Was pretty full after the meal, hence we went exploring Samcheonggak's compound.

in life, we'll encounter many crossroads so which way you'll go?
sometimes, there'll be many steps and we may not see what's ahead
and sometimes, the view alone will be worthed it

There were some halls around that area that seemed to be dining places as well. Quite cool, if I may say so.

for more private dining

It was pretty dangerous to walk from Samcheonggak to Samcheongdong so do take the shuttle bus or hail a cab or something. Samcheongdong by car is about 10 minutes away.

Links to previous posts on Seoul travel:
Gwanghwamun & Namdaemun Market | Tosokchon | Seoul Arrival

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Esmirada @ Orchard | The Entertainer App

Located near Orchard Hotel, it was quite a distance from Orchard MRT. Head towards Shaw at Lido, and along Delphi. Christmas season, so it was time for gatherings!

Place was dark and cosy. Thursday nights were fairly relaxed.

candelight dinner?

Happy Hour (HH) sees 1-for-1 drinks, so got myself a Sangria. Margarita and mojitos qualify for HH promo as well. Their version of Sangria is less sweet.

Sangria @$17++ (1-for-1 during HH)

Since there were just the three of us, we ordered 2 mains and 2 tapas to share.

Chorizo Sausage @$14++
Grilled Squid @$14++

Am not a fan of chorizo, so no comments. Salty sausages with wine, was alright. Squid was slightly tough but had an enjoyable flavour, with a touch of salt.

Next up, Paella Valenciana. Portion was ok to be shared comfortably amongst 2 pax.

Paella Valenciana @$35++

There were prawns, mussels, chicken bits and pork. Rice grains were moist. Those at the bottom would be slightly scorched, so do mix it up earlier. Flavours were pleasant and not too sourish. Appetizing and lines the tummy.

Lamb chop skewer was a sight to behold. Very medieval looking kind of dish, with the chops hanging off the skewer. Served with 3 dipping sauces (tomato, yoghurt and tartar/sour cream?) and one baked potato.

Lamb chop skewer @$38++

Lamb chops were just seasoned simply with salt, and its meat was so tender. Nice. I think I like Josper grilled food~

The baked potato was nicely done and good for those whom are still peckish.

hanging tender

Redeem one main course when requesting for the bill.

redeem the free main course

Thanks to The Entertainer App, we saved $35.

Seafood Valenciana was free~

Thanks Gina and Flo for the lights, otherwise, the photos would be too dark! Have a Merry Christmas!

Total spend was $45+ per pax, inclusive of the 2 drinks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bornga @ Star Vista

Last visited in December 2012. Not that my memory is good, but the previous visit was documented in this post. Haha!

Ordered the same thing as previous; Woosamgyup (beef brisket - marinated) and Samgyupsal (pork belly - unmarinated).

ready to grill

One noticeable difference is the hood to suck away the smoke from the grill. This time round, opted for the staff to grill the meat for us.

vegetable platter for BBQ
radish kimchi
sweet and sour kelp soup

Le's bring out the meat and start grilling~

samgyupsal pork belly @$22++
woo samgyup beef brisket @$28++
put 'em on, grill 'em~
Here's a short video:

How about BBQ and beer? Yums.

cold Hite and warm tea
wrap it up with fresh greens

Thanks to the service staff whom helped us grill the meats, it was a rather relaxed lunch.

woo samgyup - tender slices
samgyupsal - chewy

Samgyupsal in Seoul was much much better. Not sure why but the meats here are tougher. Woosamgyup was enjoyable but gone too soon.

End with a bowl of omija.


Expect to spend about $35 per pax.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Cornerstone @ Bishan Park 2 | The Entertainer App Singapore

Located at Bishan Park 2, just a short distance from the carpark. Was there on a wet evening. With a few more minutes remaining on Happy Hour (HH), we got ourselves a glass of red (Chilean wine).

Cabernet Sauvignon @$12++ and Merlot @$10++ during HH

Ordered a mushroom risotto and a half BBQ chicken. The risotto was pretty creamy and liked that the grains were adequately cooked. Good to share amongst two pax, otherwise could be quite 'jelak'.

mushroom risotto (vegetarian) @$23++

country style smoked BBQ chicken (half) @$18++

The chicken was quite enjoyable, especially the dark meat portion. Also had an extra order of french fries with 3 dips. Think there were tartar, mayo and one with cheese. But french fries taste better, if eaten with ketchup.

The place is pet friendly and patrons were seen with pet dogs at the al-fresco area.

Expect to spend about $45 per pax. With The Entertainer Singapore App, we saved $18 from our bill.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Spageddies @ JEM

Located at Level 1 of JEM, this restaurant is at the same level as Starbucks. Had a late lunch there. For set lunches, one gets a complimentary cup of coffee/tea and to top up $2++ for soup of the day. Yes, we took the set lunches as there were quite a good choice to select from.

been a few years since I last ate at any Spageddies

fairly empty

Parents and aunt got additional soup, and it turned out to be pumpkin soup. Not bad.

soup of the day - pumpkin soup @$2++ (top up of set lunch)

Though we were the only table left during that hour, the drinks took forever to arrive and in fact, it was forgotten till we reminded.

Allow at least 20 minutes for the food to cook.

fish & chips @$14.90++

Fish & chips looked impressive with its huge slabs of fish. Tried a bite and the fish was firm and nice.

Tenderloin @$15.90++
medium rare

With blood oozing in that manner, am guessing that the beef was still a tad frozen prior to cooking. The Princess Chicken or the Fish & Chips were the better choices.

Princess Chicken @$13.90++

The aglio olio served alongside with the chicken roulade was quite good. Noodles al-dente but not undercooked, evenly tossed and flavourful. The chicken roulade made of thigh meat was tasty and everyone was happy with this, though the meat could be more.

Service was very erratic and raw. The young staff whom we requested to serve the hot drinks, went and came back with two empty cups. Thought she would be back with the tea or something but she ended just loitering around and the tea didn't materialize until we requested the supervisor to check on the whereabouts of the drinks...

nice teapot
Great that the tea came thereafter, but the coffee were still no where to be found. Seemed like no one bothered to check the order ticket? Informed the staff again, and the coffee was served without sugar sachets. Hmm. Perhaps 3pm is the time for the afternoon siesta? Don't bother asking for the milk, just go to the drinks counter and get it yourself. It's faster that way.

Expect to spend less than $20 per pax for a set lunch.

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