Saturday, January 19, 2019

[Media Invite] Spring Arrives @ Ellenborough Market Café Swissôtel Merchant Court

As one gets busy in de-cluttering and re-organizing our homes in time for the lunar new year celebrations, there will be a need for a comfortable and fuss-free environment to dine (after all the work is done, of course).

Ellenborough Market Café at Swissôtel Merchant Court has prepared a Prosperity Buffet for us. Enjoy a toss to good health, prosperity and happiness with their DIY Yu Sheng to celebrate new beginnings in the Year of the Boar.

dine in comfort

let there be an abundance of good tidings
higher~ better~

The Prosperity Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng is available for takeaway at $68 for a 10 pax portion. Kurobuta or Abalone yu sheng are available as well at $88 and $98, respectively for takeaways. I like how the sauce for the yu sheng was just right.

Prosperity Smoked Kurobuta Pork Yu Sheng

For something soothing to warm the tummy, we had the Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Cordycep Flower and Sliced Abalone. Feels nourished just by looking at the name of the dish. The soup was light, flavourful and had a homely feel to it.

Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Cordycep Flower and Sliced Abalone
tasty ingredients

For fans of roast, be delighted by the Chinese Roast Combination Platter; Roast Chicken, Roast Duck and Roast Pork and served with a side of prawn crackers. Nostalgic feels. Roast pork (烧肉) should really be served in this thick cut manner. Only in this way, one could get that firm bite which oozes natural juice from the meat and that satisfying crunch from the crackling skin. 爽 (pleasurable).

Chinese Roast Combination Platter
For our elderly who may prefer something lighter, I would recommend their Steamed Garoupa "Teochew Style". Oh so tender sweet flesh from the garoupa steamed just to the right texture. Sauce was so yums. Now give me that bowl of fragrant steamed white rice.

Steamed Garoupa "Teochew Style"

Another definitive or auspicious dish for Lunar New Year, would be the Braised Dried Oyster with Black Moss (蠔豉髮菜). Those braised dried oysters were full of umami and such a plump one.

Braised Dried Oyster with Black Moss in Tianjin Cabbage

Braised Buddha's Temptation Claypot

To luxe up the quotient, one could also order the Braised Buddha's Temptation Claypot for $428 (takeway). Light savoury broth, with overflowing of precious ingredients such as sea cucumber, scallops, abalone and prawns. Don't forget to aim for the vegetable in the pot as these have been thoroughly infused with the essence of all the ingredients. One vege to bind them all!

come to me now

For dessert, the steamed nian gao in grated coconut and the orange pound cake would be befitting to the theme.

steamed nian gao with grated coconut

so life-like, and these are mochi and can be eaten~
orange pound cake

Of course, not forgetting Ellenborough Market Café's famed dessert, the durian pengat as finale to any meal there.

Durian Pengat, in a cone

Thank you Ms Jennifer Yeo for the invite and Ellenborough Market Café Swissôtel Merchant Court for hosting the dinner. Thank you Executive Chef Louis Tay and team for preparing the feast for us.

May 2019 brings us happiness and good health.

Prosperity Buffet at Ellenborough Market Café

Address: 20 Merchant Rd, Singapore 058281
Contact: 6239 1847/1848 or 

Buffet Lunch:

S$68++ (adult) S$34++ (child)

Buffet Dinner

S$88++ (adult) S$44++ (child)
(Individual table will get a plate of Salmon Yu Sheng on Lunar New Year eve, 4 February 2019).

Weekend Buffet High Tea

S$48++ (adult) S$24++ (child)

Prosperity Takeaway Treats

18 January to 19 February 2019
Early Bird Offer: Enjoy 20% discount for orders made before 31 January 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

[Media Invite] Joyous Spring Reunion @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront

With Lunar New Year just round the corner, are we ready for it? Who still does the cooking for the reunion dinner? Let's see a show of hands. Perhaps most still do, and likely steamboat would be the preferred style. If you are considering of eating out, let's see what Grand Copthorne Waterfront's Food Capital has in mind for their diners.

Spring is here!

Was invited for a preview of Food Capital's Lunar New Year buffet spread. Helmed by Executive Chef David Toh, he and his team will be presenting a heartwarming feast for diners to enjoy during this festive season.

Besides the popular items such as seafood on ice, tempura and sashimi, one could enjoy special CNY dishes such as bountiful treasures pen cai, fish maw and seafood soup, braised fatt choy, dried oysters, lotus roots and chinese mushrooms, stewed pork trotters, drunken herbal prawns, signature char siew marinated whole baby lamb, and crystal tang yuan amongst others.

For an auspicious start, let's begin with a prosperity and fun toss of Fa Cai Yu Sheng 发财鱼生 . As 2019 is the Year of the Boar, the yusheng was in this likeness, albeit a cute version of it. One could choose to add on as à la carte order while dining at Food Capital or enjoy it as a takeaway.

Fa Cai Yu Sheng 发财鱼生
huat ah~

As the saying goes, if you manage to 'kiap' slices of raw fish from the plate, it means you'd be lucky for the rest of the year. To ensure our continuous good fortune, there is nothing to stop us from topping up the yusheng plate with more salmon from the sashimi counter. Yay to buffet!

yusheng 鱼生
seafood on ice

For something hot to warm the tummy, do try the fish maw and seafood soup. Flavourful, silky smooth and with shreds of dried scallops and crab meat in it. Yums!

Fish Maw and Seafood Soup
silky, umami

For fans of the popular baked oysters, it is available for the buffet for this Lunar New Year. From our past experience, this is one of the popular item where the oysters get taken very very quickly and there is a wait time for the next batch.

baked oysters
Prosperity Crispy Whole Seabass with Sweet and Sour Sauce

The char siew marinated whole baby lamb was interesting. The meat texture was almost like a chewier, firmer version of kurobuta collar.

signature char siew marinated whole baby lamb
roasted meat; signature char siew marinated baby lamb, roast pork, roast chicken

Also look out for delicious treats from the starters line-up, where one could get Japanese baby squid that has great light crunchy texture.

has abalone texture with sesame dressing

Also tried the mala crawfish and drunken herbal prawns. The mala was pretty spicy and I adore the herbal broth of the prawns.

The highlight of the night would have to be the impressive bountiful treasures pen cai. Everyone went ooohs and aahhhs when the pen cai in the 1m wok was brought in. Its layer consist of 娃娃菜 (wawa cai), mushrooms, braised dried oysters, dried scallops working its way upwards with sea cucumber, beancurd skin, roasted duck, roasted pork, roasted chicken, abalone, big head prawns and fa cai (black moss). The pen cai will be available for the Lunar New Year buffet at Food Capital, albeit with some modifications in the presentation for buffet line.

盆菜 (pen cai)

Leave some stomach space for the dessert as Chef David has a few surprises for us. My favourites are the sweet citrus fruit jelly in the shape of a fish, and the crystal tang yuan. Have the cold dessert first then the hot ones.

Here's a glimpse of the dessert spread:

refreshingly sweet citrus jelly

so pretty
crystal tang yuan 水晶汤圆

The crystal dumpling was rather mesmerizing to look at. It has the ginger base soup served warm and the insides of the dumpling could be sweet potato (purple dumpling), and black sesame (yellow dumpling).

It was a full-filling dinner, and great to have celebrated an early Lunar New Year with friends at Grand Copthorne Waterfront.

Thank you Gilbert for the invite, team Grand Copthorne Waterfront Singapore for hosting the event and Chef David Toh and team for the abundance of good food.

Wishing everyone a Happy Lunar New Year 猪年大吉!

Food Capital

Location: Grand Copthorne Waterfront, 392 Havelock Rd, Singapore 169663
Contact: 6233 1100


Early Bird Discount for Lunar New Year Eve
Reunion Buffet Dinner and Fa Cai Yu Sheng Takeaway
30% discount (Reserve by 20 January 2019)
20% discount (Reserve by 3 February 2019)

28 January to 20 February 2019

Lunar New Year Festive Buffet Lunch

Monday to Friday Saturday and Sunday
Adult: $66++ Adult: $66.60++

Lunar New Year Festive Buffet Dinner

(excluding 4 February 2019)
Monday to Sunday
Adult: $88++
4 February 2019

Lunar New Year Eve Reunion Buffet Dinner

Adult: $98++/ $138++ (includes free flow of
bubbly, house wines, soft drinks and juices)

Note: please refer to hotel's website for latest updates

Sunday, January 6, 2019

[Food Tasting] Jia Bin Klang Bak Kut Teh 嘉宾 巴生肉骨茶 @ 62 Rangoon Road

嘉宾 巴生肉骨茶 (Jia Bin Ba Sheng Rou Gu Cha) originated from Seremban (Negeri Sembilan Malaysia) but serves Klang-style bak kut teh. Malaysian bak kut teh (pork ribs tea) has the characteristic of dark coloured broth, herbal (药材肉骨茶) and has a mix of ingredients such as stomach, intestines, pork ribs, pork belly, golden mushrooms and deep fried beancurd skin.

The typical herbs in herbal pork ribs soup are 玉竹 (yuzhu), 甘草 (gan cao), 肉桂皮 (gui pi), 北芪 (bei qi), 八角 (ba jiao / star anise), 党参 (dang shen), 川芎 (chuan xiong) and 当归 (dang gui). But I don't recall my parents ever did cook bak kut teh at home. But I do remember having delicious memories of enjoying bak kut teh when I was a kid when we ate out.

Was invited by Hence recently to try out Jia Bin. Located close to Farrer Park MRT Exit B (about 10 minutes walk) or about $7 cab-fare away from Novena.

shop front
menu (2)

The default bak kut teh pot came loaded with pork belly chunks, small intestines, stomach, and tail. If you do not want any of the default ingredients or would like to have more of this or less of that, do inform the staff when ordering.

The soup was pleasant and not overly strong with the herbal taste. The dark coloured soup was easy to drink with just a tiny hint of licorice. Soup is refillable upon request.

Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶 @$15

Of course, there must be sides like preserved vege, you tiao (fried dough sticks), tao pok and the customary vegetables in order to have a balanced meal.

salted vege 咸菜 @$3.50

油條 (fried dough sticks) @$2.50
生菜 lettuce with oyster sauce (@$5
to fu bo @$2.50

Klang Bak Kut Teh is also synonymous with dry-bak kut teh. For me, who is from Kajang, my preference is still the soupy bak kut teh.

干肉骨茶 Dry Bak Kut Teh @$8.80

I heard from the boss that one of their best sellers Hua Diao Wine (花雕酒) Chicken. So we got one of that to try. The fragrance is noticeable when this dish is served. The sauce goes well with the rice. One could eat copious amount of rice with the sauce alone. Chicken was tender, with mostly the upper leg or thigh meats.

花雕酒鸡 Hua Diao Wine Chicken @$8.80

Another favourite, we heard is the Spicy Pork Belly dish. This was confusing to me because it wasn't spicy at all. Maybe the chili was not put in? If you like dry style bak kut teh and prefers just pork belly in the pot, then this may be to your liking.

火爆肉 Spicy Pork Belly @$8.80
If you want something softer, go for the braised pig's hock. Full of collagen (read skin) that's soft to chew and meat that just collapses in your mouth. Yums. Not overly seasoned and goes well with white rice and a dab of chili padi, minced raw garlic with dark soy sauce. Yums.

猪元蹄 Pig's Hock @$10

Overall, it was a meaty meal at Jia Bin Klang Bak Kut Teh. Tea is $1.50 per pax. Prices are nett price. Expect to spend about $10 to $15 per pax.

Thank you Hence for the invite, Ivan and Tracy for sharing the calories. Special thanks to Alvin and Jia Bin Klang Bak Kut Teh for hosting us.


Here's a video of the food:

Jia Bin Klang Bak Kut Teh 嘉宾 巴生肉骨茶

Address: 62 RANGOON ROAD 218352 Singapore
Contact: 6900 7708
Business Hours:
Monday to Fridays 10am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Sat and Sundays - 10 am to 10pm
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