Monday, 5 July 2010

Cameron Highlands Trip - Day 2

After a night of good rest, we were be heading to quite a number of places to cover our sightseeing tour on the second day of visit. Apart from the Strawberry Farm and Tea Plantation that we are looking forward too, we are also keen to explore the Rose Valley which consists of 400 over varieties of roses in all shapes and sizes from the 'Black' rose, 'Green' rose and etc.

Breakfast was served a local restaurant 5 minutes away from the resort that we stay. According to the tour guide, this restaurant which is known as “Country Lodge Restaurant” is also owned by the owner of the resort. Breakfast menu was light and simple countryside dishes with fried bee hoon, sunny side-up egg, minced meat porridge, bread (butter and homemade strawberry jam are available for spreading) and coffee.

After breakfast, we set off to our first stop at “Rose Valley” which is a few minutes from Brinchang town. This valley is basically a beautifully landscaped rose farm with hundreds of rose varieties and you can also find some tomato, white radish, Cameron apple and etc that occupied a small portion at the far end of the farm. Entrance fee: RM$4.00

Other than the lovely roses and local vegetables you can also find some other flowering plants that bloom beautiful around the valley. Take a look at these beautiful Daisy plants, I am sure they do put on a smile on you.

Outside the Rose Valley, there are a lot of stalls selling all kind of local grown vegetables, fruits, snack and souvenir. While most of the tour mates are busying with their shopping, we stop at a stall and enjoy the steam sweet potato and tapioca which is a good enjoyment during cold weather.

Cameron Highlands Bee Farm is the second attraction on the list while waiting for the transportation to visit the BOH Tea Plantation (click HERE) up hill. EeFengGu is situated 5km from the central of Cameron Highlands. It is a must to visit when you are in Cameron and it opens from 8:00am to 7:00pm daily. Upon visiting the farm you will realise that Bees are not confined but roaming freely from flower to flower around the sanctuary to collect nectar. In this case, do not provoke the bees while touring around the sanctuary unless you wish to be sting by it :p

Lunch was at “Kea Farm Strawberry View Café Restaurant” that is located at the center of the Kea Farm market after our discovery tour from the BOH Tea Plantation. The dishes are consider as good "at sight” but rather average "in taste" and most of the dishes are “cold” when served due to the cooling weather. For this reason, the tour guide always suggests that we shall have steamboat for dinner instead of the usual 8 course meal.

Kea Farm is not just about vegetable markets, there are also various stalls selling roses, carnation, freeze dried flowers, etc. Souvenirs ranging from simple key chains to T-shirts with Cameron Highlands prints are also available at most of the stalls. And the vegetable markets in Kea Farm are no exception. The roadside vegetable markets nearer to the T-Junction are priced higher; you can check those prices but refrain from making any purchases till you explore the vegetable markets located further in. Another interesting items is the delicious looking bi-coloured sweet corns that comes in several grades; such as grade A, B, C based on the size of the sweet corns and will be priced accordingly.

After lunch, we are all excited and getting ready to explore the long waited Strawberry Farm (click HERE) which is one of our main attractions on this tour. But before entering the Strawberry Farm, we stop by at the "Time Tunnel" (click HERE) and Cactus Valley which is just beside it. This valley is the newly built tourist attraction with numerous types of cactus on show. Its hillside location makes for interesting viewing of the cactus and other plants which include Strawberries, Roses, Apple & Peach trees, Orchids, Cherry Tomatoes etc.

Other than resting at the resort while waiting for dinner time after the strawberry farm visit, we decided to take a short walk to the Brinchang Market to grab some fresh fruits and souvenirs before heading back home on the next day.

From the photo above, you can see that their coconut outer skin is toward "Black" in colour instead of the normal "Green" that we have over here. Along the roadside, we also spot a stall selling "durian" which makes us so tempted to try some.

At the fruit stall, we bought some “Pepino Melon” which is also known as “Cameron Apple” because it was planted in Cameron Highland. When we first heard about Cameron Apple, we are still looking for that “red” usual apple until we realise that actually the physical “Cameron Apple” is not what we thought of. We bought 2 of it for RM$1.00 and surprisingly it taste great with a sweet scent like honeydew taste.

Dinner was at another local steamboat restaurant known as "Restoran Highland" which is different from the previous day. The steamboat at the restaurant are served using Charcoal and traditional steamboat pot which long vessel to prevent the ashes of the charcoal from dropping into the soup.

Overall the food over at this restaurant is far much fresher and better than the one we had yesterday. Guess having steamboat on cosy weather is always a good choice and everyone of us enjoys our meal heartily with the extra local green vegetables too….. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 3 July 2010

No Signboard @ Vivo City

No Signboard! Finally we have scheduled our visit to “No Signboard Restaurant” at Vivo City after some brainstorming ideas on where to go for our usually weekend gathering. Since most of the members in our family group loves to eat “Chilli Crab” we decided to choose this restaurant due to their good feedback on their White Pepper Crab and Chilli Crab dish.

According to those who frequent this restaurant, reservation booking is always recommended to avoid the crowds or waiting time. As we are pretty late for lunch after church service around 2pm, they are barely any large crowds in it. Upon stepping into the Vivo City branch, we are captured by it beautiful interior design with crystals lighting, full-length windows, paintings, dragon statues coiling the pillars and etc. And you can also notice from the photo, even their restaurant name “无招牌” is uniquely engraved on the chopstick as well.

In total we ordered about 6 dishes, the first to be served is this "Steamed Japanese Beancurd with Diced Seafood". Each beancurd is stuffed with fresh seafood like prawn, squid, fish and some mushroom. It is served together on top of the steam egg custard with some green vegetables. The texture of the egg is so smooth and silky that makes it goes very well with the seafood beancurd.

Garlic Steam Bamboo Clam served shortly after the above seafood beancurd. Personally I don't really like this dish as I find that the amount of garlic used is too much and it actually mask the taste of the Bamboo Clam itself.

Other than the usual “Oatmeal Prawns” we decided to try out their “Deep-fried Butter Prawns” instead of “Deep-fried Butter Crayfish”. The prawns served are relatively big and most important they are fresh to taste. Each bite of it is so firm and crunchy…… and the butter crumps make it so fragrant and tasty to go with the prawns.

Yes! This is "Yee Fu Noodles" which is one of our favourite noodle dish that we usually order during any eat out. The Yee Fu Noodles here are fried with chives and buttom straw mushroom.

These are the two crab dishes that we have which is the "White Pepper Crab", the flesh of the white pepper crab was succulent, firm and well-infused with their special concocted white pepper powder seasoning and spring onion which makes it finger licking good. This dish will taste rather a bit spicy for those who can't take spicy food.

The Chilli Crab was fantastic at least it didn’t have the distinct tomato ketchup taste and it is served with the fried mantou. The fresh Sri Lanka crab is cooked in their signature robust chilli sauce flavour with prawn paste, garlic and other ingredients. Everyone loves to dip the deep-fried mantou with the egg sauce which make the taste even better. Since I am not really a crab love and it find it too time consuming eating each parts of it, I rather go for a few deep-fried mantou in the egg gravy. Posted by Picasa

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant
#03-02, 1 HarbourFront Centre Walk
Vivo City
Singapore 098585
Tel: 6376 9959

Sakae @ Wheelock Place

This is our 1st time dining at Wheelock Place Sakae Branch that is located at a corner of level 2. The setup of the place look bright with some full-length windows facing the road that shows certain view of the ION building across the road. The last round when we dine at Wheelock Place was during last year December where we went over to eat pasta at "The Pasta Shop" by Sakae too.

As we are planning to have some small meals in between our shopping trip around Orchard area we decided to grab a few colour plates on their sushi belt. I am not sure what is the name of this sushi, but it seems like some diced shittake mushroom with sauce and topped with spring onion. Taste rather refreshing if you love mushroom.

Recently it seems that Sakae has replaced their usually "Red" pickled ginger to this normal "yellowish" type. Em... wonder what is the reason behind it :)

Soft Shell Crab Roll is the second item of our list which we find it rather normal.

This new Ebi and Salmon Mango Roll is one of my top choice because it consists 3 of my favourite ingredients into 1 dish. Imagine when you put into your mouth, the combination of the crispy fried ebi wrapped with rice and topped with salmon and mango. Em.... the sweetness and mango fragrant….really makes you crave for more.

Mum prefers this Prawn & Avocado slice because she doesn’t really fancy raw salmon as I do most. Overall we find the sushi served at this outlet is very fresh due to its colour and taste but on the other hand, we think they should really improved their customer services as it is quite disorganized when they took more than 10 minutes to serve the drinks and forget the items that I requested for at least thrice. Posted by Picasa

Sakae Sushi @ Wheelock Place
Orchard MRT Station
501 Orchard Road
#02-18 Singapore 238880
Telephone: 6737 6281

Opening Hours:
11:30am - 10:00pm (Mon - Thu & PHs)
11:30am - 10:30pm (Fri - Sat & PH Eve)

Friday, 2 July 2010

SKY Dining @ Singapore Flyer

I am sure most of you have heard about Singapore Flyer or even being on board at least once ever since it opened to public on 1st March 2008. Towering at 165 metres tall, Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel with unique day-to-night panorama of Singapore city and parts of Malaysia and Indonesia at every turn of the wheel.

On Wednesday evening, I was honor to be selected as one of the 5 winners from the OpenRice Singapore TweetUp contest at their facebook and twitter list on #ORTU. From their facebook page(here), you can participate in their weekly contest to be one of the winners to join the team to an exclusive meal with other fellow foodie in Singapore.

While waiting to board the flyer, Fulvia, the host from Singapore Flyer brought us up to the VIP Lounge via the private access lift to a plush atmosphere whereby there is a mini bar and house pour beverages.

We were in the fully setup private dining capsule at around 7.30pm and everyone of us are very excited to begin our dining journey on the Singapore Flyer with the OpenRice Singapore, Editorial team where they actually doing this event Live at the Ustream TV (click HERE).

After seated, we were being served a glass of “Fresh Summer Berries In Ginger Ale” as our Welcome Drink. I love this beverage, which taste light and refreshing which goes well with the starter.

For starter, “Marinated Tuna Seaweed Furuke” will be served. The Ahi tuna in Japanese spices was laced with kumquat pommery dressing and accompanied with olive honey tomato and daikon cress. The honey tomato and daikon cress was very appealing for both sight and taste. Overall, this is a great starter, which is also served together with some baguettes of two different toppings.

After the 1st round of rotation which is about 30 minutes, the capsule will stop at the starting point for the In-flight attendant to prepare serving the main course and getting ready for the 2nd rotation. While waiting for the main course to get ready, most of the participates are eagerly taking the opportunity to snap some photo shots of the food and etc.

The complimentary wine that is served during the meal is known as “Misha's Vineyard - High Note” from The Local Nose Wine company.(click HERE).

Sarah from “The Local Nose” was sharing with us some of the knowledge on select different kinds of wine to go with each type of main course. She also shared with the some notes of the Wine from Misha’s Vineyard.

There are 3 different type of Main Course available for the guest to select from either salmon, chicken or lamb. And my choice of for the Main Course is “Arctic Char Salmon Escalopes”. It consists of two pieces of salmon steak stacked on top of the mashed potatoes patty, asparagus and etc. Beside it, there is a shooter glass with some ginger soya gravy to accompany the dish. Overall the dish taste quite good except I find that the salmon seems to be a bit too try if you don’t dipped it in the ginger soya gravy.

According to the Singapore Flyer Host, Fulvia, not any single one of us has ordered for their “Slow Cooked Spring Chicken Coq Au Vin”. And to our surprised, we have the same number of person choosing Salmon and Lamb dish that makes it a perfect 10.

Stewed Lamb Shank Vindaloo” is simmered with scented Asian spices and served with chef accompaniment. Although it might look spicy due to its presentation but during the meal, those who had this dish don’t seems to have any complaint over it.

An hour or so after the two rotations, every one of us has enjoyed the wonderful night with great food and wine and after which we proceed to the VIP Lounge for our after meal dessert as well as coffee/tea.

The dessert for June/July menu is “Sticky Toffee Pudding” that is with dual sauce such as caramel and crème anglaise. For a dessert lover and baker like me, this is indeed a wonderful treat which is just well balance in taste which is neither too sweet nor too blend. I am sure having this with a cup of coffee/tea together with some great friends is indeed something memorable.

Thank you OpenRice Singapore for organizing this wonderful event, Singapore Flyer for their great food and excellent services as well The Local Nose for their complimentary of “Misha’s Vineyard - High Note” wine tasting. For information of the Singapore Flyer Full Butler Sky Dining can be found HERE.

P/s: More photos @ Cuisine Paradise Facebook Fan Page (Here)