Sunday 31 October 2010

Paradise Dynasty @ ION Orchard

Located on the top floor of ION Orchard, Paradise Dynasty is the latest addition to the Paradise Group of restaurants by the founder Mr Eldwin Chua. This young entrepreneur is often spotted in the restaurant walking around to make sure that things are going on well in operation. And this restaurant is aiming to sell their signature Xiao Long Bao such as Black Truffle, Foie Gras, Garlic and Cheese pricing between $8.80 and $12.80 for six pieces.

Upon entering the restaurant from the front counter, there is a very unique entrance path that leads you passed their glass view open kitchen into an incredible modern and beautiful dining area with 206 seats. Eating at this restaurant definitely give you a feeling like having a “royalty meal” at the palace especially with the backdrop Qing Dynasty Emperor’s throne.

I was captured by a poster on these colourful Xiao Long Bao (XLB) near the bus-stop outside The Hereen at Somerset some weeks ago. And also with some good recommendation from friends who have tried, we decided to pop by and try out their “Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao - 皇朝小笼包” which consists of eight different flavour in a basket. Each flavour is represent by an unique colour such as:-

White: Original taste featuring fresh pork filling in sweet soup broth.

: With Ginseng smoothing herbal soup broth with pork filling but too bad the herbal taste is not strong enough for herbs lover like us.

: Foie Gras with a touch of French luxury combine with Chinese delicacy.

: Black Truffle stands out with a fantastic aroma soup broth with pork filling which makes us tempted to order another basket full of just black truffle XLB.

: Cheesy with a hinge of the silkiness of cheese with pork filling which I think is a very interesting combination.

: Crab Roe are finely minced and mixed with the pork filling which bring out the freshness of seafood taste.

: Garlic infused soup broth with pork filling for those garlic lovers, but not me.

: Szechuan flavour consists hint of spiciness when sipping the broth and it gives out a light aroma from the Szechuan peppercorn.

In order to get the correct and finest taste from each Xiao Long Bao, you would have to start from the original flavor, follow by the sequence ending with the strongest taste from the Szechuan Xiao Long Bao.
Price: S$13.80 per basket (8 assorted pieces)

"Pork Dumplings with Chili Sauce - 油抽手" is one of our all time favourite whenever we visit Din Tai Fung or Crystal Jade Kitchen. But today after trying the one served at Paradise Dynasty we declared that they have won our vote for this dish compared to the other two restaurants mentioned above. The Pork Dumplings are indeed more tender and juicy with its filling wrapped by a thinner layer of wrapper which is smooth and soft when bite. The accompany chili sauce is also not too salty or spicy and it goes perfectly with the dumplings.
Price: S$4.80 per plate(6 dumplings)

Mum and I both love this "Scallion Pastry - 葱油饼" which is so crispy on the outer layer and fragrant in its filling with the chopped scallion (spring onion). This is sure to be a great tea-snack if you are looking for some snacks for tea time to accompany with the Xiao Long Bao.

Each mouthful of this you ccould taste the flaky pastry that is well wrapped with generous amount of scallion mixture that makes you crave for more.
Price: S$2.80 per plate (2 pieces)

For those who fancy La Mian, Paradise Dynasty has prepared 18 different types of La Mian freshly made from their open kitchen. Each strand of noodle comes with fine and silky threads that are served with different pairing soups and ingredients. And for your information, their soup broth used ingredients such as pork bones, pork ribs and whole chickens that are simmered over slow fire for at least 12 hours before being served.

Out of so many La Mian in their menu mum chooses this "La Mian in Signature Pork Bone Soup with Pan-fried Chicken Chop - 煎鸡扒拉面" as she preferred something light instead of seafood or beef. Overall their pork bones broth taste just as good compared to the others and their noodle's chef definitely has done a good job in making such tasty and springy noodles to go with the broth. I am sure after this La Mian we would definitely come back to try out more on the other 17 choices soon.
Price: S$9.80 per bowl

After all the savory food that we had now it’s time for some dessert and after looking through their dessert column, I decided to get a bowl of this “Rice Ball Dumplings -酒酿丸子” which I believe not many youngest would order unless they like the taste of rice wine.

This is one of the common Shanghainese sweet desserts where the cooked mini glutinous rice balls are added into the distiller’s grains sweet soup together with fragrance candied osmanthus(桂花). When consumed you would find it a bit sweet and sour due to the distiller’s grains leaving it with a mild alcohol and
floral aroma.
Price: S$4.20 per bowl

To avoid long queue and waiting time during weekends, lunch/dinner timing maybe you could call for reservation or try to reach slightly earlier.

Paradise Dynasty
2 Orchard Turn
#04-12A Ion Orchard
Singapore 238801
Telephone: (65) 6509 9118

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday: 11.00am - 10.00pm
Satursday - Sunday & PH: 10.00am - 10.00pm

Friday 29 October 2010

Spooky Halloween Trick or Treat

What are you planning on this year Halloween which is just two days away on Sunday, 31 October 2010? This year there are a lot of exciting Halloween activities found in most tourist attractions such as Singapore Night Safari, Sentosa (spooky event) or even some restaurants or pubs are having Halloween parties and special dining menu to brings up the spooky atmosphere.

For this coming Halloween, I would like to share with you our quick and easy "not so" spooky Halloween treat which is the "Pumpkin Soup" and "Spooky Pizza".

Thursday 28 October 2010

Fish & Co. New 4Fs Dining

Recently in September 2010 Fish & Co has launched their new 4Fs in dining which are “Fresh healthy food, Fabulous service, Family-friendly environment and Fun”. And in order to serve healthier food to their customers they also introduce some new dishes prepared by cooking methods such as bake, poach or grill which are approved by the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice.

At our recent visit to their flagship Glass House outlet at Park Mall on the “Halloween Set”(read more HERE), we also tried out one of their new items on the Grilled menu section which we find it rather a good choice from the usual deep-fried stuffs.

To complete the set meal, you can always top up another S$5.50 for an additional soup of the day and complimentary drink or coffee. On that day we are lucky to have our favourite “Clam Chowder” served as the soup of the day. We love the thick and cream soup with chunk of vegetables and lovely seafood taste in it. But we felt a little pity that it would be great if it does serve with some toast which we could dip them with the soup.

For those who frequent Fish & Co I am sure there is definitely one condiment that suits your taste out from the range that they served. For us their Sambal Chili and Tatar Sauce are always the two items that we are to grab for more. Here are some of the condiments that they would usually served:- Tatar Sauce(White), Sambal Chili, Minced Garlic, Sweet Chili Sauce and etc.

We have "Pasta & Shrimp" as starter because we love its light and refreshing taste with a tinge of cold noodle and crunchy bites of shrimps and salad green that are toss with the special dressing and sesame seeds. For your information, this starter is also one of dishes with the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice symbol.

Our family loves fish especially when they are grilled with herbs or spices as this method retains the freshness and sweetness of the fish. And for those who love their fish with a hint of spiciness, I would recommend this New “Grilled Red Fish Fillet with Peri-peri Sauce”. The peri peri sauce used in this dish is not those extreme "spicy” type and I find it blends quiet well with the grilled fish that you could still taste the freshness of the fish.

This set also comes with 2 sides of your choice which you could choose from either mashed potato, mixed vegetable, homemade coleslaw, rice and etc. As for me I find their butter rice goes well with the fish and you can also pair them together with either mixed vegetables or coleslaw to balance the meal.
Price: $15.95 per set (serve with 2 sides of your choice)

As usual after you have made the payment, their friendly staffs would always offer you some mint sweets depending on the number of person. And this is also one of their signature items that even some patrons would love to purchase some extra to bring home. For those who are interested, Fish & Co NEW healthier menu is available at all Fish & Co outlets around Singapore or you could join their exciting Facebook Page for more upcoming contests at this link HERE too.

Fish & Co. Special Halloween Treat & Event

What are your plans for this coming Halloween weekend? If you are not intend to scares yourself by going to the Night Safari Halloween Horror or Sentosa Spooktacular Adventure, perhaps a pan of this “Las Vegas Fish & Chips” at the Glass House will be a great choice for you.

This Halloween Fish & Co. flagship Glass House outlet at Park Mall is having a game competition in collaboration with CapCom and SoftSource that is open to all ages. The competition is held on two consecutive Saturdays, 30 October and 06 November from 6.00pm – 9.00pm. And whoever that kills the most zombies would be the overall winner to walk away with a Xbox console (worth $499 before GST) and Dead Rising 2 game pack (worth $74.90) too.

Before serving the main course, I was shocked to see the waitress placing a glass of sparking water on the table while passing me a syringe filled with “red” liquid that seems like blood. According to the rules we have to be vaccinated against the undead with a dose of this Fish & Co’s Zombie-fied Drink. To do so, we have to inject the syringe of red granadilla into sparking water and it would infuse it with a beautiful tinge of red. This drink comes with a mixture colours such as orange(at the base which is some mango syrup), red(granadilla) and white(sparking water). This is indeed a very beautiful and refreshing drinks to go with the main course.

In less than 10 minutes our main course the "Las Vegas Fish & Chips Set" is served in the usual Fish & Co. long handle sliver pan that is filled with a huge portion of fish fillet and their special fries. The fish taste great with its crispy batter and cheesy herbs sauce which makes it a excellent choice for cheese lovers like me. But we find the batter seems to be a bit salty and we thought this be better if it can be served together with some salad to balance the taste and at the same time promote healthy eating life-style with more “Green” too.
Price: S$18.95 per set (comes together with the Zombie-fied Drink)
Available: 20 October 2010 to 07 November 2010 (all 16 Fish & Co. outlets)

From today to anytime before 07 November 2010, you can always pop-by any of their 16 outlets(HERE, check under fish world) to get yourself feed and vaccinated with their Special Halloween Treat. And if you want some spooky or gaming environment perhaps you can go down to their “Glass House” flagship outlet on either 30 October or 07 November (between 6.00pm - 9.00pm) and who knows you might be one of their “Weekly Winners” to win $50.00 Fish & Co. dining vouchers. More Details about the competition are on Fish & Co. Facebook link HERE.

Fish & Co @ The Glass House
9 Penang Road
Singapore 238459
Telephone: 6334 1858

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Cafe Indulge

Talking about Café Indulge that is located at the basement of The Cathay, perhaps you would be more familiar with it’s former name known as “The Indulge”. This three years old bistro has a wide fusion-style of European cuisine with an Asian twist that makes every dining experience filled with excitements.

Last Saturday, we have an early Birthday Celebration for one of the friend in our usual outing group. And we have an enjoyable lunch with great companies at Café Indulge with all these dishes shown below that are recommended by Alvin who is in our group too.

Alice who loves Sashimi was very curious about this dish when she saw its name in the starter column. Since we cannot figure out the taste of this “Chinese-style Salmon Sashimi”, we decided to give it try while waiting for the rest to arrive. When the dish is served, we are amaze by its styling with the combination of salmon slices resting on top of the avocado wedges. The salmon is lightly infused their special Chinese-style sauce that pairs pretty well with the avocado. And the extra dose of black and white sesame seeds also gives this dish a great finishing touch.
Price: S$7.90 per plate

Having Crispy Prawn with Wasabi Mayo is definitely a great starter before the meal. These lovely golden brown prawns are drizzled with a layer of wasabi mayonnaise sauce and roasted pumpkin seeds. Each bites on the prawn is so crunchy and it goes well with the mild wasabi mayo sauce and a bit of nutty taste from the pumpkin seeds.
Price: S$7.90 (4 pieces); S$12.90 (8 pieces)

This "Spicy Sausage Pizza" has a perfect crispy thin crust base that comes in 6 slices serving. We recommend this to be one of the quick lunch fix or afternoon tea snack with 2 - 3 friends together with some other small bits from their menu. The thin crust and generous amount of ingredients make you feel lighter rather than stuffing yourself with the usual thick pan crust that is full of carbs.
Price: S$8.90 per plate

How would you like your steak to be done? Medium Rare or? I guess most of us who loves steak would usually order Rib Eye with either black pepper or mushroom sauce served in Medium Rare preference. The portion of Rib Eye Steak served in Café Indulge was quite reasonable with its thickness and texture. And you will be surprise by their self-made mushroom sauce, which is so different from other cafés or restaurants.

Their mushroom sauce taste some how or rather similar to our Asian braised Chinese mushroom sauce which used dark soya sauce and some other Chinese spices such as cinnamon stick, star anise and etc. This is sure to be one of their distinctive sauces to go with their dishes. If you like a strong Asian taste, perhaps you can consider taking this Braised Mushroom Sauce to go with your choice of dishes when ordering.
Price: S$15.90 per set (comes with 2 choices of sides)

I love both lamb and mutton dishes so when this “Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank” was served, I am very excited to try its taste and texture. Although the meat is very tender while cutting but it seems a bit dry and required more chewing. The sauce was quiet ok and it infused the meat with a slight fragrant of spice taste and you can also serve it with their mint butter.
Price: S$14.90 per set (comes with 2 choices of sides)

Panseared Salmon with Kung Pao Sauce is something that a few of us quiet interested in because of its pairing of such exotic Asian combination of Kung Pao Sauce with Salmon. But when the dish is served we are kind of disappointed with its taste. Although the salmon is fresh and juicy but we can’t really pick up that distinctive “Kung Pao Sauce” taste which should be slightly spicy and fragrant that come from the dried chilli and etc. Perhaps they can improvise a slightly stronger flavour for this Kung Pao Sauce to perfect this dish.
Price: S$17.90 per set (comes with 2 choices of sides)

Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce comes with 2 side dishes such as Fresh Salad and Coleslaw. Although the chicken is slightly salty but it still blends well with those refreshing salad and “Special” Chinese Braised Mushroom Sauce.
Price: S$12.90 per set (comes with 2 choices of sides)

Finally comes the highly recommended dish by Alvin, which is the “Whole Lobster Pasta” that is cooked in his favourite Pesto Cream. This is indeed a MUST try dish in the ordering list, the texture of the spaghetti is great which is neither over nor under cooked. The Pesto Cream sauce goes very well with the lobster and noodles which makes them a prefer paring. Almost all the 7 of us gives thump up for this dish and we all agreed that the price for this 250g of lobster pasta is definitely a great Catch.
Price: S$15.80 per plate (promotion price)

This is a behind scene of how food bloggers are at work before we gets to enjoy our food. And with the modern technology now, you can see that everyone is busy uploading the photos with the hand phone to either their facebook or twitter account even before the blogpost is up in the website.

Tucking at a comfortable corner in the basement of The Cathay, Café Indulge is indeed a “hidden gem” in this building. With another two similar western restaurants available in the same buildings such as “Billy Bombers American Diner” and “Astons Specialities”, Café Indulge sure has its charm with it's unique dishes and reasonable pricing to stand an equal shares with the two restaurant mentioned.

For more reviews on this cafe or outings, you can read it from "miss tam chiak" and "lobsterpaint" website or more food photos on Cuisine Paradise Page HERE.

Cafe Indulge
2 Handy Road
B1-25/26 The Cathay
Singapore 229233
Telephone: (65)6732 3952

Operating Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 12.00pm - 10.30pm (last order by 9.30pm)
Friday, Saturday, PH & Eve of PH: 12.00pm - 11.30pm (last order by 10.30pm)

Monday 25 October 2010

Seah's Emperor Herbs Chicken

Steam Herbal Chicken either with steam rice or blanched noodles where we could drizzle those delicious sauce over it. Whenever we unwrapped the chicken parcel, the dining room will be filled with wonder aroma of the herbs. And with the usual tight working schedule, preparing a simple and yet delicious meal is always something challenging for me. So often I would need to settle some of our meals with those quick and easy ingredients or products which can be easily purchase off shelf from the supermarket.

Since most of us are craving for herbal chicken, I decided to fix one over the weekend using one of my favourite Seah’s Emperor Herbs Chicken Spices. This is definitely a quick and easy meal and the main ingredients that you required would be either some chicken parts or the whole chicken plus a packet of ready spices. This recipe I only used half of the chicken for steaming while the other half for making “Chicken, Longan and Burdock Soup” (recipe HERE).

1/2 packet of Seah's Emperor Herbs Chicken Spices
1/2 Whole Chicken, around 500g
Aluminum Foil and Wrapper(included in packet)
3 Red Dates, cut into thick strips
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Drinking Water

1. Trim, rinse and use some kitchen paper towel to pat dry the chicken.
2. Rub the spices on the external skin and internal of the chicken.
3. Top with red dates and wolfberries then drizzle the water over the top.
4. Wrap the chicken with the wrapper(tie a knot) then follow by aluminum foil.
5. Steam for about 1.5 - 2 hours depending on your preference of the meat texture.

~ The purpose of adding water is to have more gravy for the end product.

~ Red dates and wolfberries will further enhance the taste and fragrant.

~ For stronger taste, you can also drizzle a spoonful of D.O.M Benedictine Liquor over the pipping hot chicken before serving.

You can get this Seah's Emperor Herbs Chicken Spices at any leading supermarket or provision stalls near your area. And if you would like to try something different, perhaps you can try this less than 30 minutes oven baked "Salt-Roasted chicken Spices" too.

Friday 22 October 2010

Sugar Fix @ Ah Chew Desserts

Look at these!!! I am sure there is something that you can pick up to quench your thirst during these hot days. From the icy cool “Mango Sago And Pomelo” to the all time favourite such as “Gingko, Barley with Beancurd Skin” or the smooth and silky “Ginger Fresh Milk Steam Egg”. Either one of these or other choices from their menu will definitely attract you into their shop.

Last Saturday after our lunch gathering at Porn’s (click HERE), we decided to drop-by “Ah Chew Desserts” to get our sugar fix from their wide varieties of home cook desserts. Below are the items that we have ordered and tried:-

They have a very special ordering menu placed beneath the glass top table in order for customers to have a clear view of their items before making orders at the counter.

My Choice of "Black Glutinous Rice with Vanilla Ice Cream(黑糯米湖加香草雪糕)". Ever since I read up the good review on I-weekly about this special dessert I have always wanted to try it. And finally today I get to eat what I have being craving for. The combination of cold and creamy vanilla ice-cream with traditional Black Glutinous Rice and a bit of toasted almond flakes was really a good hit. At least the ice-cream is not as greasy as the coconut milk/cream. and the crunchy almond flakes add extra flavour to the taste too. Worth trying like what is recommended or you can even make this dessert at home by adding a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to your homemade Black Glutinous Rice(Pulot Hitam).
Price: SS$3.00 per bowl

Susan (blog link) choice was her favourite "Mango Sago And Pomelo(杨枝甘露)" but while making order at the counter she was tempted by the toppings menu showing "Durian". Without hesitate she immediately ask for the extra durian topping into her Mango Sago and Pomelo. But while tasting the yummy combination, we find that the durian paste was rather a bit sour which caused some stir among us. Overall we find it is not really worth to pay S$5.10 for this combination as the taste was rather odd compare to the usual Mango Sago with Pomelo.
Price: S$4 per bowl + S$1.10 for durian topping

Audrey (Lobster) and Alvin shared this amazing "Black Glutinous Rice(黑糯米湖)" which we are all fascinated with it's "spider web" like design. This is definitely something unusual compared to the normal black glutinous rice that we used to eat at the food centre where the stall owner just drizzle a spoonful of coconut milk/cream on it. Audrey finds the texture of their black glutinous rice was rather grainy to her liking compared to those sticky and creamy type. For a chance, they also ordered extra glutinous rice balls to go with the black glutinous rice paste.
Price: S$2.10 per bowl + S$1.00 for extra 3 rice balls topping

Rae is the only person who prefers this slightly bitter and spicy "Ginger Fresh Milk Steam Egg(姜汁鲜奶炖蛋)". According to her, the texture is very smooth and silky that can just wobble down your throat. But for me I would rather go for something light which is their "Fresh Milk Steam Egg White(鲜奶炖蛋白) as I don't really prefer the ginger taste.
Price: S$3.20 per pot

Maureen (Miss Tam Chiak) settles for a bowl of her favourite "Red Bean Paste with Lily Bulb(百合红豆沙)" which she prefer the lightly infuse tangerine taste. But if for me, I would prefer this to be slightly sweeter and perhaps with more tangerine taste in it.
Price: S$2.10 per bowl

Yan Cai pick this "Water Chestnut with Egg(蛋花妈蹄露)" which comes with crunchy slices of fresh water chestnut that enhance the dessert with a extra refreshing fragrant. This is a simple and yet delicious sweet treat for hot weathers.
Price: S$2.10 per bowl

Kai's choice of "Gingko Barley & Bean Curd Skin(白果薏米腐竹)" which consists of generous amount of Gingko nuts. Taste wise was quiet alright which is not very sweet too. Friendly speaking I won't order this dessert from any stalls outside as I find they can't produce the taste that my mum's always prepared for us. I preferred those texture and taste that is similar to soya bean milk type.
Price: S$2.10 per bowl

Ah Chew Dessert is located in the middle stretch of Liang Seah Street where you can find all kind of yummy food along that street such as the famous Yu Kee Braised Duck Rice, Madam Saigon Vietnamese Cuisine, Around De World Café, Porn’s Thai Food, Crystal Jade and etc. With Ah Chew’s unique traditional furnishing of using brick and pairs of eye catching red couplet(春联) outside their shop. When you get into the shop you will be amaze by the Chinese traditional wooden chairs and tables that we can hardly seen in the modern household these days.

Ah Chew Desserts Pte Ltd
1 Liang Seah Street
Liang Seah Place
Singapore 189022
Telephone: 6339 8198

Operating Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 12.30pm - 11.30pm
Friday: 12.30pm - 12.30am
Saturday: 1.30pm - 12.30am
Sunday: 1.30pm - 11.30pm