Sunday, January 27, 2019

[Food Tasting] Happy Chinese New Year @ Café Lodge YWCA Fort Canning Lodge

Café Lodge is located in YWCA Fort Canning Lodge which is near Dhoby Ghaut MRT. It is walkable if you head towards Singapore Shopping Centre direction, go past Innotel and turn left and walk past Haw Par Glass Tower. All in all, about 10 minutes leisure walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT.

Was there to get acquainted with the food offered at Café Lodge, and their Lunar New Year menu. Café Lodge has curated an 8-course “Fortune Menu” and the 9-course "Prosperity Menu" which are priced at $498++ and $698++ respectively, to celebrate the Year of the Boar.

More information below:

Had the good fortune to sample some dishes from the Prosperity Menu. The bowl of Superior Broth with Four Treasures was generously loaded with fish maw, crab meat, conpoy (dried scallops) and chinese mushrooms. Chef Vincent shared with us that the food at Cafe Lodge is cooked with reduced salt concept. Oh my, I could not tell as the broth tasted seriously good with the ingredients' flavours melded well together into a bowl of yummy goodness.

Superior Broth with Four Treasures
look at those maws

When the plate of braised Chinese mushrooms with dried oysters with black moss (fatt choy) was brought out, first impression was "wow...such plump looking mushrooms". The shrooms were tender and easy to eat, with overall light flavours from this plate.

Braised Chinese Mushroom with Dried Oysters, Dried Scallops, Fatt Choy with Spinach
Pumpkin Rice

Loved the crispy fried silverfish garnishing the pumpkin rice as it gave a good contrasting crunch against the soft pumpkin flesh and firm grains.

The dessert in the Prosperity Menu is fried Nian Gao with yam. All handmade by Chef Vincent Lee and his team. Squares of the treat were deep-fried to golden brown. Each bite into those crispy skin was like music to the ears and the yam was light in flavour till it meet the thin layer of the delicious nian gao. This dessert is available for take-away too.

Nian Gao  (年糕)

For reservations:

Tel: +65 6333 0487

There is a promotion of 15% early bird discount for take-away of Lunar New Year Goodies if  you order before 31 Jan 2019. Hurry! 

The order form can be found at YWCA link:


Café Lodge has a daily buffet for lunch and dinner, hence I couldn't resist sampling it's local and Asia's favourite dishes that night such as beef rendang, fried chicken, steamed fish with soy sauce, braised duck that came complete with fragrant yam rice. How cool is that!

Here are some photos of the buffet items:
fruits salad
appetizing vermicelli
fried chicken
stir-fried french beans
beef rendang
braised duck
yam rice
braised egg and tofu

Here is what my plate looked like:

fried chicken, lor bak, steamed fish, braised duck and yam rice, stir-fried green beans
For dessert, there is a small selection of kuehs and hot dessert such as green bean soup or pulut hitam. If you see any kueh kosui on the buffet table, do get some. It was delicious!

must get kueh kosui

In my opinion, Café Lodge serves homely comfort food with a touch of rustic flavours.

The Café is able to seat 180 people and good for large group functions. The profits from the Café will be used to funds YWCA community services for the poor and needy.


Thank you HGW for the invitation, Sharon and Jonathan for hosting the dinner. Special thanks to Chef Vincent Lee and Cafe Lodge for feeding us.

Café Lodge

Address: Level 1, YWCA Fort Canning Lodge, 6 Fort Canning Road 179494 Singapore
Tel: +65 6333 0487

Business Hours:
Daily: 07:00am - 09:00pm

Saturday, January 26, 2019

[Media Invite] Celebrate Lunar New Year 2019 @ Amara Singapore

Come celebrate the Lunar New Year at Amara Tanjong Pagar. Enjoy festive Royal Set Meals from Silk Road, where their team of chefs from different regions of China are ready to whip up auspicious and tasty dishes during from 21 Jan to 19 Feb 2019, and for reunion dinner. Call +65 6227 3848 for more details.

On 5 Feb 2019 morning (11.38 am), there will be lion dance performance so come on down with your loved ones to enjoy an energetic show to usher in the New Year.

roaring for Lunar New Year~

Was invited to sample selected dishes from Silk Road's Abundant Spring or Opulent Spring Set. To begin, we did the  捞鱼生 (lou hei) to toss for a year of abundance. Abundance of wisdom, good health and good fortune! Huat ah!

Prosperity Salmon Yu Sheng 大吉大利  三文鱼鱼生 
let's toss to good fortune and good health!

The spicy sauce for the Yee Sang at Amara gave a stronger flavour to the salad and an interesting change from the typical sweet plum sauce.

yee sang

The Braised Pumpkin Soup with Superior Fish Maw was sweet, smooth and flavourful yet light on the palate. Loved it.

Braised Pumpkin Soup with Superior Fish Maw 招财进宝  金瓜鱼鳔羹 

lovely soup
And I heard that there is a tradition where Chinese eats dumpling on Lunar New Year. Dumplings signify wealth. Let's eat alot of these! The dumplings had minced meat fillings and tasted good with black vinegar.

饺子 (dumplings)
dumplings with vinegar and fried garlic

Soy Baked Sea Perch with Spinach in Bonito Sauce 年年有余  日式焗鲈鱼 (from Opulent Spring Set)

Gosh, if you see the Soy Baked Sea Perch on the menu, please do not hesitate to order it. We had a sampling of it, and it was fantastic. A very good fish with texture that is similar to cod but firmer. Put a piece in the mouth and when you start to chew, there were bursts of delicious fish oils. Lovely.

delicious piece

Besides the celebratory dishes, we also sampled some of the dishes from Silk Road's ala-carte menu such as the Traditional Beijing Roasted Duck, Braised Pork Ribs in Black Beer and Lap Mei Fan (Fragrant Rice with Chinese Sausage and Mushrooms).

Traditional Beijing Roasted Duck  传统 北京烤鸭 

The chefs worked like clockwork in preparing the Beijing Roasted Duck. Slicing it efficiently, and placing it neatly on the plate before the next person moves to place it onto the crepe that has been brushed with sweet bean sauce and garnished with spring onions and cucumber.

slicing it up
Beijing Roasted Duck crepe
Braised Pork Ribs in Black Beer

We ended our main course of Lap Mei Fan (腊味饭 ) and Chef ordered a side of  辣子雞 (laziji or spicy chicken), a famed Sichuan dish. First time having the spicy chicken and it was so shiok!

Fragrant Rice with Chinese Sausage and Mushroom 腊味饭   
辣子雞 (spicy chicken)
The spicy chicken will sting at first and there'd be a slow burn that gets worse, before it cools off. Best part, it tasted of peppercorn hence we get the 麻辣 (mala) with a tinge of numbing effect. Eat one piece at a time and enjoy it with a glass of juicy red wine. Yummy.

For the sweet treats this year, Amara is showcasing beautiful cakes befitting the occasion. The Cherry Blossom Sugee cake was captivating with the 3D flowers. We heard that the Gold Ingot Fruit Cake is very popular for this season, hence do order early if you would like to get your hands on one. There is a 20% off festive goodies for selected cards. Please enquire directly from the hotel.

Cherry Blossom Sugee Cake
Gold Ingot Fruit Cake
Lychee cake
poached pear

My favourite dessert would be the cheesecake. It was not too rich, yet it was 'enough' to satisfy some cravings.

Thank you Lindy for the invite, Chef Charles for your insights and Amara Hotel for hosting the dinner. Keep up the good work!

For enquiries, please call +65 6879 2607 or email

Here is the link to Amara's Lunar New Year Dining promotion:

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

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