Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Tim Ho Wan – Has the Standard Dropped?

3 years have passed since Tim Ho Wan 1st landed on our shores. Now, the Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant has expanded its presence to 8 locations across the island – 112 Katong, Aperia Mall (Lavender), Atrium@Orchard (Plaza Singapura), CityLink Mall, ERA Centre (Toa Payoh), Pacific Plaza, Tai Seng and Westgate. Last weekend, I visited its newest branch at Pacific Plaza and ordered my favourites. The Steamed Egg Cake was as airy-light, soft and fluffy as the 1st time I tried it though the caramelised taste was more muted than the ones in Hong Kong. Skin of the Steamed Prawn Dumplings was not as springy and translucent-thin as I remembered, and a tad mushy but did not stick to the paper on the bamboo steamer basket. I preferred the succulent and well-marinated prawns in Singapore to Hong Kong's. While Spring Roll with Egg White seemed oilier, the skin was still crackling-crispy thin and went well with the egg white, prawns and chopped carrots. By the way, breakfast sets are also available at CityLink Mall's takeaway counter.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

What to Do During This March Holiday

School's out! The 1-week March holiday for most students started yesterday. While some parents took leave to bring their children overseas, not all have the luxury of time and money. If you do not like being stuck in long car rides or the hassle of rushing for flights and ferries, why not consider a staycation in Singapore? Fret not over forgetting to pack your toddlers' favourite toys and what-nots because you are not too far from home. Many hotels offer family rooms with comfortable space for two adults and two children under 12 years old. One of them is Furama RiverFront whose colourful family room comes with complete children-friendly amenities (upon request) to keep your kids entertained during your stay. You can check in from 2pm and as part of the FuramaKids bundle, children will receive surprise goodie bag and a packet of milk before bedtime. Children under 12 years old also dine for free when ordering from The Square @ Furama's special ala carte kid's menu.

Family Room, photo courtesy of Furama RiverFront

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

What and Where to Eat in Hong Kong (Part II)

...continued from What and Where to Eat in Hong Kong (Part I)

Roast meat and wonton noodles
You cannot go wrong with roast meat and wonton noodles. Have tried at random places on different trips and not come across unpalatable ones. Maybe we were lucky but the one that I like and always go back to is Yung Kee  recommended by a local during our 1st trip to Hong Kong many years back. Its signatures included charcoal roasted goose and crispy roasted pigeon, which I fell in love with and never failed to order. Thin crisp skin with tender meat that was neither too dry nor oily, its taste was accentuated when dipped in the accompanying salt though some may find this combination too salty. Fret not if so since it is just as good as-is. A travel companion found the dim sum here the best that we had during our trip. Hong Kong's wonton noodles are not served with char siu and the wonton consists of prawns, not meat. At Mak's Noodle, the noodles were springy and wonton succulent but a tad salty and of the same standard as Singapore's.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

What and Where to Eat in Hong Kong (Part I)

Do not leave Hong Kong without eating at a cha chan teng or dai pai dong. The former can be found everywhere while there are only a handful of the latter left as the government stopped issuing licenses for them due to congestion and hygiene problems. Both, and cooked food centres similar to our hawker centres, sell anything from po lo bao to cart noodles (or instant noodles with egg, ham/luncheon meat/sausage) and rice. In Singapore, we may have shared table with strangers at a coffeeshop, food court or hawker centre. But here, it is normal to be seated with strangers at restaurants especially at crowded places. Now…what should you eat in this former British Colony that justifies the almost-four-hours flight? Having been here a couple of times over the last few years, these are my recommendations:

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Seta – Two Michelin-starred Restaurant in Milan

According to Mandarin Oriental's website, the "number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the group's portfolio is more than any other hotel group in the world". Other than its two hotels in Hong Kong, the list includes Shanghai and Tokyo in Asia as well as four in Europe  Barcelona, London, Milan and Paris. Upon arrival in Milan, we made reservations for dinner at Seta which has been awarded a second Michelin star in the 2017 guide and were delighted that a table for four was still available despite it being a weekend. Rain throughout our stay in the fashion capital meant the weather felt more like winter than spring and we could not sit at the courtyard. As much as I would like to try the black truffle tasting menu, it is suggested for the entire table and my dining companions would be compelled to eat the same. For democracy, we decided to order from the à la carte menu and everyone could choose what they wanted.