Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Asia's Dining Destination Package - A Gastronomic Discovery at Marina Bay Sands

Recently Marina Bay Sands(MBS) and United Overseas Bank(UOB) has come out with a epicurean adventures at Asia's Dining Destination(ADD). For a year, this ADD programme comes with a luxurious stay at Club or Suite floor; champagne on arrival, a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour at the renowned SANTI , Guy Savoy and Waku Ghin; as well as breakfasts, cocktails and dinner at the celebrity chef restaurants and other participating outlets.


THE CLUB ROOM


The Club Room is located in Tower 2, on the 35th to 49th floors. It has a room area of 62-square meter space, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, calming contemporary decor, executive work desk, 42” interactive flat-screen television, iPod docking station, DVD player and Nespresso machine and etc.

On top of the above guests from the Club Room also entitled privileged access — to The Club at Marina Bay Sands which is situated 57 stories above the ground, the famous Sands SkyPark and the Infinity pool. Enjoy complimentary breakfast at The Club at Marina Bay Sands, a beautiful venue that offers airy seating, wide-open city views and attentive service.

Breathtaking view from our hotel room at level 39 which is facing the city view. The room at Tower 2 has a great panoramic view of the city which you could admire at all time of the day.

Beautiful night view of the city from our room.


INFINITY POOL @ SKYPARK


The 150 meter Infinity pool is located at SkyPark which is the world’s longest elevated swimming pool that is 200 meter above ground level. Although the SkyPark is open to the public access via ticket sales (for the Observation Deck) but the use of the pool is only available to hotel guests where they have security guards in between the gate of tower 1 and 3 to check on the flow coming in and out of the pool area.


OBSERVATION DECK @ SKYPARK


With an impressive 12,400 square meters of space that stretching longer than the Eiffel tower laid down, the Sands SkyPark can host up to 3900 people. At the Observation Deck which is located at Tower 3, visitors can feast their eyes on the unforgettable panoramic view of the city landscape (click HERE for the observation view points) as well as a choice to dine-in at Ku De Ta Restaurant.

The Sands SkyPark Public Observation Deck, which is open to members of the public and is a ticketed area, is accessible daily from 9:30am and closes at 10pm (and at 11pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday). For more details on purchasing the ticket(s) you can click HERE.


THE CLUB @ SKYPARK


As The Club Room guests we also get to enjoy complimentary sumptuous Afternoon Tea and refreshing pre-dinner cocktails from The Club located at level 57, Tower 2 . As you can see from the above there is quite a selection of English style tea snacks which is enough to fill your tummy before dinner.

The Club also served American Breakfast from 6.30am till 11.00am daily with wide selection of pastries, harm, cheese, bread, salad and etc. They even have a egg station at the counter to prepare your desire choice of egg dishes. According to the service waitress, if you are an early bird you could even catch beautiful sunrise at about 6.20 - 6.30am in the morning too.


RISE @ LOBBY AREA


For guests who purchase the Asia's Dining Destination package it also includes 2 complimentary breakfasts from either The Club at SkyPark or RISE at lobby area. In this case, guests get to try out two different concept of breakfast and dining experience in two different environment too.

At RISE guest would have more selection of their food  compared to The Club as they usually served international style of buffet items ranging from western pancake, omelette, sausage, salad to Asian dimsum, fried noodles and etc. And there is a also wide selection of pastries and bread plus fresh cut fruits too. But if you prefer more quite environment plus bird eye view of the city landscape from the SkyPark, The Club would be definitely your choice.


THIS ULTIMATE GASTRONOMIC DISCOVERY PACKAGE OFFERS:-


  • a 2-night stay in a Club Room or Orchid Suite
  • an exclusive behind-the-scenes kitchen tour through a selection of Celebrity Chef restaurants
  • a 5-star dinner at the Celebrity Chef Restaurant of your choice
  • daily breakfast at either The Club/RISE
  • complimentary Afternoon Tea
  • complimentary Sunset cocktails at The Club at Marina Bay Sands and more
  • complimentary Airport Shuttle Bus on arrival

You can to select a 5-star dinner from one of these restaurants:
~ CUT
~ db Bistro Moderne
~ SANTI (review coming up soon)
~ Guy Savoy (review coming up soon)
~ Osteria Mozza
~ Sky on 57

For more details, pricing and reservation of the Asia's Dining Destination Package, you could refer to Marina Bay Sands official website HERE. Or related photos about this post can be found at Cuisine Paradise Facebook Page HERE.


BEHIND-THE-SCENES KITCHEN TOUR
(Upcoming post)


Behind-the-scenes Kitchen Tour of the Celebrity Chef Restaurants is one of the key focus in the Asia's Dining Destination(ADD) package where the guest(s) has a chance to tour and go behind the kitchen to meet with the chef and get to know the process of food preparation. Although the kitchen tour is only available for SANTI and Guy Savoy from the ADD package,  but we are also glad that we could managed to get into Waku Ghin's kitchen too.

So stay tune for more updates on the Behind-the-scenes Kitchen Tour(updated on 05 Dec 11, HERE) plus review on SANTI and Guy Savoy. Lastly I would like to thank Venetia and Philicia from Marina Bay Sands for the invite to experience this Asia's Dining Destination Package.

Monday, 28 November 2011

{GO GREEN} Basil, Chilli and Garlic Spaghetti, Pistachio Crumbed Chicken plus Avocado Milkshake

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Now till end of December 2011 is our annual end year school holidays where most of the kids get to enjoy a long holiday break before the new school term starts in 2012. Since we often had late breakfast during this period of time, I would cook something rather simple, fast and in small portion just enough to fill our stomach till tea-break or dinner.

Here we have some really quick to prepare spaghetti with nutty oven baked pistachio chicken plus a cup of smooth and creamy avocado milkshake for our brunch.


BASIL, CHILLI AND GARLIC SPAGHETTI


Nothing beats a plate of freshly cooked spaghetti which is infused with garlic fragrant olive oil. This Basil, Chilli and Garlic Spaghetti is something quite similar to Aglio e Olio(spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilli peppers) but with twist of changing the usual chilli peppers into fresh chilli. The addition of the Basil leaves also adds in extra peppery and mint flavour to this simple dish.

(serves: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
200g Spaghetti
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Small Red Chilli, chopped finely
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
50g Fresh Basil Leave


Method:-
1. Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water until tender. Drain, reserve 40ml of the cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile, combine oil, chilli and garlic in a small frying pan; heat gently for about 5 minutes on low heat until fragrant.

3. Return pasta to pan with the chilli oil, reserved cooking liquid and basil leaves; stir gently to combine.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with extra lemon wedges if you like to have some zesty taste.


Overall this pasta dish is not as spicy as it sounds like according to the ingredients used. But if this is to be served for kid(s), you could either reduce the number of chilli used or omit the adding of chopped chilli for the kid(s) portion.



PISTACHIO CRUMBED CHICKEN


I have tried sesame seeds or herbs crumbed chicken as well as pork in some of the local restaurants but making some using pistachio nuts would be something new. This dish requires minimum time and effort to prepare if you get ready the nuts before hand by using a grinder or pounder.

(serves: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 25 minutes)

Ingredients:
120g Roasted Pistachios
1 Egg White
6 Chicken Tenderloins/Fillets


Method:-
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Process pistachio nuts until finely chopped; transfer to wide shallow bowl and set side.

3. Beat egg white in another wide shallow bowl with fork. Dip chicken in egg white then nuts to coat.

4. Place chicken on oiled wire rack over oven tray; lightly season with salt and pepper.

5. Bake chicken for about 25 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with Spaghetti above or as finger food.


We love the nutty fragrant release from the pistachio crumbs when goes with the tender chicken fillets. You can eat them plain together with the spaghetti above or served it as a finger food with some lemon/wasabi mayonnaise to draw the flavour of this dish.



AVOCADO MILKSHAKE WITH GULA MELAKA


Avocado is one of my favourite fruit when doing my shopping list in the supermarket. I love to use them in Main Course, milkshake, desserts or serve as one of the ingredients in salad. This fruit has a delicate flavour and buttery texure which make them great in salads, sandwiches, desserts and etc. If you are interested you could read more about this fruit HERE.

(serves: 2 | Preparation: 10 minutes)

Ingredients: 
2 Ripe Avocado, halved
2 Cup of Fresh Milk
50ml Gula Maleka Syrup
Some Crashed Ice, optional


Method:-
1.Simply put all the ingredients into a blender and pulse it for 20 seconds till smooth.

2. Pour into serving glass and top it with 1 tablespoon or more of the gula melaka syrup, give is a swirl and serve.

There are many different ways of making this avocado milkshakes where some likes to add honey to sweeten the taste while others add in Milo or melted chocolate for more enhance flavour. Do share with us if you have another great way of making your very own Avocado milkshake which we could try too.



BOSCH STYLINE MCM 4100 FOOD PROCESSOR


For an early Christmas Gift, I got this Bosch MCM 4 Compact Food Processor which is a real space saver in modern cubic form with a one coupling position for the bowl and blender. Its compact design is perfect for smaller kitchens with tight worktop areas, while its integrated drawer allows storage within the appliance so accessories do not get misplaced.

So for the 1st test I have use the juice blender to make my Avocado Milkshake which could be done in just a few seconds. I would be sharing with how to make some pie dough, pizza or even bread dough using the food processor function on this product. So stay tune for more updates.

And for those who had recently bought the Bosch kitchen products (Bosch MUM8, MUM5 kitchen machine or MCM 4 food processor) remember the closing date for the "Original Recipe Contest" is on 30th November 2011.Or you could read more on the contest HERE.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Asia's Dining Destination At Marina Bay Sands - db Bistro Moderne

db Bistro Moderne is a contemporary French-American restaurant where traditional French cuisine meets the flavours of the American market. Just a few days back, I had a chance to dine-in this celebrity chef restaurant (opened by Chef Daniel Boulud) which is one of the 6 selected restaurants for the Asia's Dining Destination Package (ADD) organized by Marina Bay Sands.(I would share with you more about this ADD package in the next few posts.)

db Bistro Moderne also includes a stylish 15 seats counter bar, as well as an informal lounge area for causal dinning, 2 private rooms sitting 8 guest each or 20 when used in combination are also available for personal or business entertaining.

Before our dinner, we had an exclusive kitchen tour and interview with the Executive Chef, Mr Stephane Istel of db Bistro Moderne where he shared with us his experience and team in the kitchen as well as how he co-ordinate with Mr Daniel to oversee db Bistro in Singapore. Mr Stephane mentioned that he always believe good food comes from heart and the one who cook must put in "heart and love" while preparing he/her dishes in order to perfect the dish.

As you could see from the above photos, the kitchen area is quite spacious and surprisingly "clean" and neat which is rather different from what we usually see from the TV shows. The kitchen is divided into  a few area such as Burger station, Fish and Pasta, Soup, Salad, Dessert and etc.

Upon seated, we are served with some fresh daily homemade bread from Marina Bay Sands in-house bakery which is located inside their central kitchen. These bread are made and distributed to most of the restaurants and cafes in the hotel. Example:- db Bistro Moderne, Santi, Rise and etc

For Appetizers, Chef Stephane has specially prepared this Mushroom Tarte Flambee with White Truffles which is an Alsatian Flat Bread served with Fromage Blanc, Onion, Mushroom and shaved white Truffles. It has a crispy base similar to thin crust pizza and the combination of the toppings makes it a great starter to go with some wine or sparking drinks.

Next appetizer we had Gillardeau Oyster which is serve with Lemongrass Coulis and Caviar. Interesting combination of using Asian lemongrass to combine with western cheese, cream and caviar to create this appetizer. I love the lemongrass coulis which is not too overpower on it's lemongrass fragrant or taste and it really brings up the taste of the fresh oyster with that extra caviar on top.

Japanese Kagoshima Beef Carpaccio is something quite refreshing which is thin slice of Wagyu top with capers, mizuna(a Japanese water greens), Aged Parmesan and a good drizzle of Extra Virgin Tuscan Olive Oil. 

For Main Course, we get to try 3 different types of dishes such as Ravioli(a pasta dish), Roasted Dory and Ribeye. First to be served is Braised Beef Cheek Ravioli which is sort of similar to our Asian minced pork dumplings(wanton). Here the Ravioli is wrapped with some flavorsome ground beef and cooked together with cheesy sauce and veggies.

Personally I prefer dishes with Fish compared to Meat and before I tried this Roasted John Dory, I actually have in mind that the fish might have a fishy taste. But to my surprised, the Chef who prepared this dish definitely has done a great job with it. The fish taste great with a crisp outer layer and yet soft and juice when bite and it goes well with the aged truffle risotto and extra shaved white truffle. 

This is my first time trying Kagoshima Ribeye and it texture is definitely a great different from those ribeye steak that we had in normal restaurants. Each cuts and bites release a different sensation and taste while chewing in the mouth. Most of us love that char-grilled taste and almost "Fatless" feel whenever it goes into our mouth. The accompany Agria mashed potato is so smooth and creamy but yet it does not have that greasy taste and it goes well with the spinach and lettuce too.

Array of French dessert to satisfy our sweet taste buds ranging from Araguani Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Souffle, White Truffle Clementine, lie Flottante, Raspberry Souffle, Malt, Pomme, Profiteroles.

Out of all the desserts served above, my favourite choice is this Profiteroles Au Cafe. Love the whole combination and it makes you crave for more after each mouthful. The profiterole is filled with praline ice-cream and top with smooth and luxury melted chocolate.

For more related photos of the food tasting and kitchen tour on db Bistro Moderne, please refer to Cuisine Paradise Page album, HERE.


THANKSGIVING SPECIAL
(until Sunday, 27 November 2011)



Usher into the Thanksgiving holidays, db Bistro Moderne will be serving up some "Thanksgiving Specials" just for this festive season. This menu is available only till Sunday, 27 November 2011. The Thanksgiving menu will feature delicacies such as Alaskan King Crab Cakes and Duo of Organic Turkey. The three-course menu is priced at S$85++ and each item is also available separately on the ala carte menu too.

db Bistro Moderne 
2 Bayfront Avenue B1-48, Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Singapore 018956

Reservation: +65 6688 8525
Website: HERE

Monday, 21 November 2011

IKEA - Our All-times Family Favourite

About two weeks ago I was invited to attend a "behind scene" tour at IKEA, Tampines to get to know more about their showrooms, store operations, restaurant and etc. It was a very wonderful trip where each and everyone of us was given a chance to know and see IKEA store in another aspect of view apart from what we used to know.

We were all very excited while stepping into their showroom on level 4 as we were all enlighten by their range of Christmas Dining setup at the entrance which brings out the the warm festive feelings in our heart too.

When process further, we were introduced to these IKEA showrooms where you could find lots of inspiring ideas and furnishings in realistic room settings which are similar to our living environments. For example most of the furnishings ideas from IKEA, Tampines emerged from the flour area and layout of the newer estate near their area such as Sengkang and Punggol.

And it is in these showrooms that we can try out their furniture; fall asleep in a bed, stretch out on a sofa, or even let our kids make their own decision to choose furniture for their rooms.

Despite of dealing with furniture and food, I didn't know at IKEA whenever we purchase "soft toy" at any of their outlets (Alexandra/Tampines), the IKEA foundation will actually donates €1.00(S$1.75) to help educate kids from UNICEF (The United Nations Children's Fund) which is a very meaningful contribution that we could help and take part in.

And for the month of November till 24 December 2011, IKEA will also donates €1.00(S$1.75) whenever we purchased soft toy or kid's meal(chicken nuggets) to the UNICEF in order to help more children to have quality education.

IKEA Restaurant is located at level 4, beside the Children's IKEA where you can take a break from shopping with some coffee and cake or even breakfast/dinner. And in the restaurant, you'll find healthy Swedish and local daily dishes at really low prices too. In order to cater families with kids, the restaurant is child-friendly with high chairs and a play area as well as special menu just for kids.

For your information, IKEA Restaurant is serving Christmas Dishes such as Christmas Platter, Marinated Herring Gratin, Mini Log Cake and etc where you can take a look at the menu on their website HERE.

Located at the end of Level 3, Market Hall. I am sure most of you are familiar with these racks and boxes that are found in the IKEA, Self Serve Furniture Area. The concept of these self-pick up methods came from their very first store where the demand was so great that the furniture wasn’t being provided fast enough to the consumers. So in order to please their consumers, IKEA opened their warehouse and allowed consumers to take whatever they wanted to buy and proceed straight to the payment counter.

After we have completed the tour, the next excitement we had for that night was we were invited to dine-in at their Co-workers Restaurant which is located at the back alley of the main restaurant. The design, layout and food menu of their staffs restaurant are pretty similar to what we see at their IKEA restaurant too.

For dinner, I tried their Cheese Baked Saithe (from the 3 choices) which I think is not available on their IKEA restaurant menu. Saithe is also known as coley which is a white fish with firm flesh that is very popular in Germany. I love the taste  and texture of this dish which is served together with some potato and carrot, hope it will be available in their restaurant menu soon.

Lastly I would like to thank IKEA and Pearlin from one9ninety for this wonderful IKEA behind scene tour.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

{Real Spice} The BK Way of Chicken by Burger King

Photos courtesy of Burger King, Singapore

Almost every month or two Burger King(BK) will launched some new items on their existing menu to lure the tastebuds of their customers. If you are a loyal fan of BK I am sure you have tried their BK Chicken French and BK Chicken Italian treat which has ended recently. And now the new theme for November will be “Never chicken out on real spice” which is one part of a series of their “The BK Way of Chicken” lessons.

Here BK features two new spicy chicken sandwich such as:- "Spicy Panini Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich" and "Spicy Panini Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich" that will bring you spicy enlightenment.


SPICY PANINI TENDERCRISP CHICKEN SANDWICH


Photos courtesy of Burger King, Singapore

For chicken burger lover who demand a bigger crunch and spicier kick from their chicken sandwich, the Spicy Panini Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich with 100% thigh-meat patty wrapped in a crisp batter packed with a fiery spice mix of capsicum, garlic powder, rosemary and chili oil is a must to be in your ordering list.
*Price: S$5.50 for ala carte, S$7.65 with meal


SPICY PANINI TENDERGRILL CHICKEN SANDWICH


Photos courtesy of Burger King, Singapore

Or for something less greasy, try this Spicy Panini Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich and experience a flavour explosion that will make your tastebuds dance. In the quest for chicken perfection, the 100% succulent thigh-meat patty is marinated in a complex blend of spices such as cayenne pepper, black pepper and hints of mustard, onion powder and celery seed before the chicken patty is then flame-grilled to smoky goodness.
*Price: S$5.95 for ala carte, S$7.95 with meal

For your information, both sandwiches are topped off with whole-leaf premium crisp Batavia lettuce and fresh juicy slices of red, ripe tomatoes together with the real spice-marinated chicken thigh nestled within soft Mediterranean Panini bread, baked with quality herbs of rosemary and oregano.

*Pricing varies at selected restaurants. Each meal comes with medium fries and a 16oz drink. BURGER KING® reserves the right to revise menu items without prior notice.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

{Guest Post} Quiche Lorraine by My Cookinghut

Today I am excited and happy to be able to invite Leemei from My Cookinghut to share with us one of her recipe on how to make a French classic, Quiche lorraine which is a rich open pie with a filling of custard baked with bacon and Gruyère cheese.

Leemei is a freelance recipe contributor, food stylist and photographer which is based in London. I love her wide collection of recipes which includes Italian, Middle Eastern, French and etc. And recently her new cookbook – Lemongrass and Ginger Cookbook: Vibrant Asian Recipes which contains a big handful of delicious Asian recipes is scheduled to be published in Spring, April 2012. Although it is still a few months away, but this fabulous cookbook is available for pre-order now and you could could refer more details HERE.


QUICHE LORRAINE


I was thrilled when Ellena asked me to be her guest blogger. Ellena is the author of a great food blog named Cuisine Paradise, which is one of the Top 10 Best Food Blog in Singapore. There is a vast collection of tested and tried recipes on Ellena’s blog. Bedies, there are some great restaurant reviews too!

I have been following Ellena’s blog for quite a while and I absolutely love what she has been sharing on her blog. Thank you very much, Ellena, for giving me this great opportunity to appear as a guest on your blog!

Today, I have decided to make a French classic, Quiche lorraine – a delicately wobbling, full-flavoured beauty that is really easy that everyone can make at home. Quiche lorraine is a rich open pie with a filling of custard baked with bacon. Gruyère cheese is commonly added too.

The bottom crust is a crisp savoury pastry. A good quality of pastry is important. You could make it yourself or get the best short crust pastry you could get at the supermarket. Most of the time at home, I will make it from scratch. Unless I am extremely busy, I will then grab a ready made one.

Quiche lorraine is best served at room temperature. I love to make it a day in advance and let the flavours develop for full impact to be enjoyed the next day.

[Soft Break]So, what do I normally eat with quiche lorraine? Personally, I like to serve it with a simple leafy salad - drizzled with extra virgin olive oil ,seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. It could be just be as simple as that to serve it as lunch or dinner!

Have I tempted you enough? Make it yourself, ideally including homemade pastry, and with fresh eggs and cream.



RECIPE FOR QUICHE LORRAINE



Shortcrust pastry:
225g plain flour
100g unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk
a pinch of salt

Filling:
300g diced bacon
230ml double cream
20ml milk
3 eggs
100g gruyere cheese
a pinch of grated nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

Method:-
1. To make the pastry, put the flour and salt into a bowl, add the butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture becomes like a breadcrumb consistency. Add the egg yolk and about 2-3 tbsp of water, mix until the dough just starts to come together. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry into a square on a lightly floured surface and line a 25cm fluted tin or a 35cm rectangular tart tin. Trim the edge and pinch up the pastry edge to make an even border raised slightly above the tin rim. Put in the fridge for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Then, line the pastry shell with a piece of greaseproof paper and baking beads. Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beads and bake for another 5 minutes or until the pastry is just cooked but still very pale, then remove from the oven. Reduce the oven to 180°C.

4. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the diced bacon for 1-2 minutes. Drain well and soak up excess moisture with kitchen paper. Discard extra fat of the bacon if necessary.

5. Mix together the cream, milk and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of grated nutmeg. Stir until combine. Scatter the bacon into the pastry shell, then pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set. Leave the quiche in the tin for until cool to handle. Serve at room temperature.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lastly I would like to thank Leemei for taking her time to prepare this wonderful guest post for Cuisine Paradise and you could find out more about her recipes and travel experience from here website, My Cooking Hut @ http://www.mycookinghut.com/

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