Friday, August 22, 2014

Communal Feast @ The Halia | Raffles Hotel, Singapore

I wished I have 48 hours a day (or maybe not...) or just one thing lesser that will spare me of some brain juice but that seems incredibly impossible at the moment so here goes yet another post that's way over due!

Communal Feast | The Halia, Singapore
Communal Feast by The Halia!

After a long long long hiatus, I finally agreed to go for one invited session out of the blue! Thank goodness the company and food were relatively good and it was a good break from all that work I was on daily!

The Halia | Raffles Hotel, Singapore

The Halia | Raffles Hotel, Singapore

The 100-seater restaurant, housed in the premises of the former Seah Street Deli, is an inviting space with lush foliage complemented by wood-carved tables. And what's interesting is that the dining concept of The Halia's outlet at Raffles Hotel is different from the others. Here at the Raffles Hotel outlet, they ride on a new concept which encourages flexibility and communal dining.

Communal dining is a well-loved tradition in Asian culture where several dishes are placed in the middle of the dinner table and shared among the family members gathered. It actually symbolizes abundance and happiness in a family as the table is laden with a variety of dishes that seem to flow endlessly and there are warm interactions and happy conversations as everyone at the dinner table partake together from shared dishes.

Anyway, here's what you can find on the menu of the Communal Feast!


Chef's Soup | The Halia, Singapore

Chef's Soup
Cream of potato and leek

Goats' Cheese Mousse | The Halia, Singapore

Goats' Cheese Mousse
with heirloom tomato, olive, wild honey and dried brioche

Oriental Pulled Duck | The Halia, Singapore
Oriental Pulled Duck
with gherkin, caper, micro herb salad, soba noodle and sesame oil

House Smoked Salmon Pate | The Halia, Singapore

House Smoked Salmon Pate | The Halia, Singapore
House Smoked Salmon Pate
with Hendrick's Gin, crostini and cucumber

Chilli Crab Dip | The Halia, Singapore

Chilli Crab Dip
with toasted baguette

Honestly, I kinda lost count of how many dishes we had for a start and kept wondering when are the mains going to come 'cause I am already almost up to my brim with all these starters! 

But among all the dishes, what I thought was really noteworthy is the Oriental Pulled Duck! Okay, that might be a personal opinion because I really love my soba noodles, especially when it is served like a salad, but I really enjoyed how the pulled duck was so succulent and the flavors of both miso and sesame oil combined!


Baked Kingfish Collar | The Halia, Singapore
Baked Kingfish Collar
with pickled vegetable, miso, orange and ginger

Wagyu Beef 'Zhajiangmian' | The Halia, Singapore

Minced Beef 'Zhajiangmian'
with iberico chorizo, oyster sauce, carrot, bean sprout and spring onion

Twice-cooked spatchcock of Spring Chicken | The Halia, Singapore

Twice-cooked spatchcock of Spring Chicken
with spiced cabbage slaw, paprika and mesquite

Mayura Sation (Sinature Series) Full Blood MBS 9+ 'Gunpowder' Wagyu Ramp Cap | The Halia, Singapore
"Gunpowder" Wagyu Rump (Mayura Station Signature Series 9+)
with spring onion mash and pepper sauce

It surely took me a while to realise that the chef had very thoughtfully made sure that there was a good variety of meat choices on the menu; from kingfish collar to spring chicken to wagyu beef.

The dishes were right on but to be more specific, I think I can have two portions of that Twice-cooked spatchcock of Spring Chicken all by myself! Love how it is all fork tender under that layer of paprika and mesquite seasoning! Also, the chef had brilliantly replaced the usual handmade noodles with blanched cabbage in the Wagyu Beef 'Zhajiangmian' dish and I thought it was really refreshing together with the carrot, bean sprout and spring onions. Probably this makes up as a vegetable dish in the meal too!


Sticky Toffee Pudding | The Halia, Singapore

Sticky Toffee Pudding
with date, butterscotch sauce, sea salt and vanilla ice cream

Coconut Parfait | The Halia, Singapore

Coconut Parfait
with pineapple, gingerflower and chocolate

Sweet choice of moist brownie topped with sea salt and butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream or a refreshing coconut parfait on sticks that resembles our old-school 'potong ice cream' for you? :)


Communal Jug (Iced Lemongrass) | The Halia, Singapore

Communal Jug
Choice of Lemongrass or Iced Tea

Halia Infusion | The Halia, Singapore

Halia Infusion
house specialty of sun-dried ginger and wild mountain honey

Cardamom Milk Tea | The Halia, Singapore

Cardamon Milk Tea

Get a complimentary communal jug of either lemongrass drink or iced tea of your choice along with the feast. Alternatively, there are other drinks on the ala carte menu like the Halia Infusion or Cardamon Milk Tea that you should really try too!

To sum up the whole thing, my experience was a good one! The food were really delectable and served in big portions that is enough for everyone. And, not forgetting that the service was sincere and friendly. By the way, the Communal Dinner Feast serves up to 4 persons and is currently available for both lunch from 12:00pm to 2:30pm and dinner from 6:00pm to 10:30pm daily in two options: Light ($160++) and Hearty ($270++).

And also, kudos to The Halia and Foodnews for having me! I guess I will be returning for the spring chicken some time soon! Hehe!

The Halia
1 Beach Road, Raffles Hotel
#01-22/23, Singapore 189673
Tel: +65 9639 1148

Friday, July 18, 2014

Foto Friday: Foodilicious week on my Instagram! 2

I know exactly how this space lacks updates and I cannot remember how many times I promised I will be back on this space anymore but it's not that I have got any choice!

I was pretty confident that I was going to get better after my last post and then I was hit with the third wave! Woah... this is the first time I feel like an absolute weakling with totally no defense against anything at all. And all these really left me so out of sync!

But life still goes on! I am still eating as usual so here another seven of the random good finds!








If you will like to know more details of the food featured in each photo, click on it and read it off the comments section! And thank goodness I am so so so much better already and I can't wait to let all the feasting begin again! :D

Meanwhile, follow me on Instagram (@lobsterpaints), cheers and don't give up on me please!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lee Kum Kee's Brand New Teriyaki Marinade + Giveaway

Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro 亞美打利庇盧大馬路 | Macau, China

Lee Kum Kee had been a regular brand in my household for as long as I can remember. And I had always assumed it to be a local sauce and condiments brand to a point that when I saw a huge Lee Kum Kee store, that kinda looks like a flagship store, across our hotel in Macau, I am actually quite surprised! Spot it in the photo above! :D

You can call me ignorant or what but I never knew that the brand originates from Hong Kong and it is a reputable icon and established brand with over 200 sauces and condiments available worldwide! Woah... I guess Lee Kum Kee ain't just a common brand to me alone. Hehe!

Anyway, my apologies for digressing...

Can you believe it? According to market research, teriyaki sauces are one of the top 10 fastest-moving products in the food sector. So of course, Lee Kum Kee, being a trusted purveyor of premium sauces, has launched its first-ever Teriyaki Marinade to cater to the demand.

The Teriyaki Marinade is filled with white toasted sesame seed which gives you nutty notes that enlivens the flavors.

Additionally, Lee Kum Kee introduced new packagings for their tomato ketchup. It is now available in squeeze bottles cladded with adorable designs of either a boy or a girl to appeal to children and inspire creativity and get the young chefs excited about preparing their own meals too!

To celebrate the introduction of the new products on to their comprehensive line of sauces and condiments, I have 3 sets of Lee Kum Kee hamper worth $30 each to give away!

Lee Kum Kee Hamper (Worth $30)

  • Tomato Ketchup - Girl     x 1
  • Tomato Ketchup - Boy     x 1
  • Teriyaki Marinade     x 1
  • XO sauce     x 1
Here's how you can win:
  1. 'Like' the Lee Kum Kee Giveaway photo on my Facebook or click here... 
  2. Leave a comment under the comments section and tell me in which country did I spot the huge Lee Kum Kee store that left me rather surprised!
Closing date: 18 July 2014 at 2359h
Winners with the right answer will be randomly selected and announced within 48hours of closing date and valid for readers in Singapore only.

Good luck! :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Doong Ji Korean Restaurant | East Coast Road, Singapore

I had been down and out for a couple of weeks and counting, from migraine to diarrhea to the current running nose. Yeah you name it all! Sigh. The body's immune system is at its all time low but life still goes on despite the lack of appetite, I had to feed my hungry eyes myself no matter what!

And so I had some Korean food to encourage the appetite to come back!

Budae Jjigae 부대찌개

When we picked the budae jjigae off the menu, little did we expect that it is actually so power-packed! Yes, power-packed in terms of both flavors and the portion! I dare say that the portion is really good to feed maybe 4 - 5 persons if you are intending to get other dishes to share across the table!

Seriously, there was no lack in variety of complements in that pot! Aside from the usuals in any Korean Army Stew like ramen, mushrooms, sliced canned pork meat, sausages, sliced onions, cabbage and soybean sprouts, there were also fish cakes, cheese meatballs, sliced tofus and all sorts in that pot!

Ddukbaegi Bulgogi 뚝배기 불고기

The flavors of the soup was really robust and so savory with a distinctive sweetness that made me think that this is the Korean equivalent of sukiyaki! Yummy! And oh by the way, this beef soup in a hot stone bowl is one of the rare few non-spicy dish you can find on the menu! 

Kimchi Jeon 김치전

I have had more flour than anything else every time I ordered any kind of jeon and this is the first time the equation went... Kimchi > Pancake! Definitely enjoying this kimchi pancake with generous amounts of kimchi in it!

And I know no excuse can make up for these poor quality photos but I had to write this post and give credits to Doong Ji for all the other little details they took care of aside from the food! Though small, the seats were spaced reasonably apart and they had very considerately tuned down the volume of the music in the background when the crowd filed in during dinner service! 

My experience at Doong Ji was completed with the friendly and prompt service rendered by the staffs together with the company I was there with! Thumbs up! :)

Doong Ji Korean Restaurant
222 East Coast Road
Singapore 428919
Tel: 6345 4264

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Ujong | Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Ujong | Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Told you, I am still very much a human; I haven't stopped eating or I didn't stop being curious about food and new food joints here in Singapore. And what's worse is that sometimes I tend to repeatedly see a certain dish or food from a certain place over a certain period of time. Well, talk about trends and the power of social media. Haha!

Nasi Lemak with 5 Spice Roast Pork

Anyway, there was a couple of other factors aside from pure curiosity that drew me to Ujong eventually. The fact that I heard so much about Madam Tan's nasi lemak and I didn't had the chance to try it even before business at Wok & Barrel shuts, the fact that I walk pass this place on my journey home every evening and the fact that there's someone (a good friend, Ellena from Cuisine Paradise to be exact!) equally curious and willing to go check out the place together! :)

Well, enough said... here's what we had during our visit over a weekday lunch!

Nasi Lemak with 5 Spice Roast Pork

Nasi Lemak with 5 Spice Roast Pork

Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken

Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken

Fish Curry Laksa
Fish Curry Laksa

Puloh Hitam Pudding with Gula Melaka Butterscotch served with Coconut Ice cream

Puloh Hitam Pudding

Honestly speaking, the food was rather underwhelming to me. I cannot tell if I am disappointed because I was expecting too much because of the reviews I had read prior to my lunch there or it was really because of the food.

Food was quite heavily seasoned in my opinion. And perhaps they were prepared to suit a general taste preference (especially tourists) but I was really looking forward to a reasonable level of spiciness in the dishes that I can distinguishably relate to the familiar delicacies that I grew up with.

But, not all is bad. I thought both the sweet sambal chilli and sambal belachan chilli that came together with the nasi lemak platter, was pretty awesome. It seemed like it was freshly made and gives the bit of extra kick of spiciness that I thought was lacking. 

Well, this is probably my two cents worth. And I think I am better off with food at the trusted hawker stalls at a more pocket-friendly price.

328 North Bridge Road, Raffles Hotel Arcade
#01-10, Singapore 188719
Tel: 6635 6502

Friday, May 16, 2014

Foto Friday: Foodilicious week on my Instagram!

O..kay. So it sure seems like it was a foodilicious week for me for a good 7 days according to Instagram. And although the appetite was poor, I am taken aback at how I end up eating so much more and more enthusiastic in terms of shooting and posting these photos of food for the past week too. Haha!








I know I haven't been writing much about food here in Singapore but that doesn't mean I stopped eating all in all (Never possible!) and these photos are pretty much self-explanatory! Anyway, I hope the fervor for eating and writing comes back soon so that I can share something decent on this space again!

Meanwhile, follow me on Instagram (@lobsterpaints), cheers and don't give up on me please!

Friday, May 09, 2014

10 things to do in Macau, China

With the countless of integrated resorts and casinos in Macau, the country is naturally and inevitably deemed as Las Vegas of the East. And that image overshadows a lot of what others that the country has to offer.

Though small, stretching across a small land area of only 29.5km2, there are one too many things that you can see and do altogether in Macau. From history to culture, to art and food, you name it all! Here's my compilation of 10 things to do in Macau!

1. A-Ma Temple 媽祖閣
Kick off your trip to Macau with a visit to A-Ma Temple, to ask for a blessing or even just start off your adventures at the place where it was said that the country was named after.

A-Ma Temple 媽閣廟 | Macau, China

When the Portuguese sailors first arrived at the coast just outside the temple and asked for the name of the peninsula, the natives replied "媽閣" (Maa Gok), making the Portuguese assume that that is the name of the peninsula and deriving at naming the peninsula "Macao" thereafter.

Read more about A-Ma Temple here...

2. Senado Square 議事亭前地

While the square has served its purpose as a civic hub for centuries, it is now paved and pedestrianized, complete with a fountain, shopping streets, cafes and space for public events like Feast of Drunken Dragon. Aside from being a popular meeting spot to locals and tourists alike, it is strategically located among numerous attractions of Macau!

Check out more on Senado Square and the other attractions around it here...

3. Ruins of St. Paul's 大三巴牌坊
One of the hottest tourist spot on the island of Macau, and of walking distance from Senado Square, has got to be the Ruins of St. Paul's! And it is so hot that it almost seem like you haven't been to Macau if you haven't got a picture with this UNESCO World Heritage Site after your trip!

Ruins of St. Paul's | Macau, China

The remains of the complex and shrine was restored into a museum lies right behind the facade wall. 

The crowd at the Ruins of St. Paul's can get really rowdy during the day and if that annoys you as much as I do, you should totally revisit the place again at night to have a more intimate time with the ruins.

Read more about Ruins of St. Paul's here...

4. History, Culture and Art
Although Macau is pretty much a gambling city in everyone's eyes, you shouldn't hide out in the air-conditioned vicinities of a casino all day! Take a walk outside, explore the streets or spend an afternoon in a museum and soak up in the rich history of Macau!

Museum of Macau | Macau, China

For a start, drop by Museum of Macau 澳門博物, the one stop destination to learn all about the rich history, traditions and diverse cultures from the former Portuguese colony to Special Administrative Region of People's Republic of China.

More on the Museum of Macau here... 

Mandarin House | Macau, China

Observe the significant influence of the Portuguese cultures starting right from the facade of the traditional Guangdong residences to the interiors at Mandarin House 鄭家大屋Read more about it here... 

Lilau Square | Macau, China
The area around Lilau Square 亞婆井前地 is one of the first Portuguese residential quarters in Macau. And there is a popular Portuguese phrase that expresses the local's nostalgic attachment to the square. Find out how the saying goes here... 

Taipa Houses Museum | Taipa, Macau, China
And in terms of residential areas, the houses in Taipa Village has got quite a lot of influence from the Portuguese, in terms of architecture and interiors too! Check out more pictures of Taipa Houses Museum here... 

Avenida De Cinco De Outubro 十月初五马路 | Coloane, Macau, China

Or you could take a walk down Avenida De Cinco De Outubro and the other streets of the sleepy village of Coloane for a more authentic feel of Macau! Read more on Coloane Village here...

The cobbled streets of St. Lazarus District...

Tap Seac Square | Macau, China
Sunsetting over Tap Seac Square 塔石廣場...

And not forgetting that every now and then, there are notable art-related exhibitions and events within the vicinity of St. Lazarus District that all the art junkies out there should look out for when traveling to Macau.

Read about St. Lazarus District and Tap Seac Square here...

Shutters | Senado Square, Macau, China
Anyway, aside from the museums, restored buildings or preserved districts, the streets of Macau holds much of their history and cultural remains if you look closely enough. And I am really so surprised when I find it so tough to come up with a quick summary of the noteworthy places. It sure seems like Macau has so so much to offer!

Find out more of what else you can find in Macau here...  

5. City Views of Macau
Unknowingly, the places of interests in Macau are great vantage points that offers panoramic views of the city and a great chance for you to feel like you are on top of the world. Well, that wee bit at least!

View from Guia Lighthouse...

Mount Fortress | Macau, China

View from Mount Fortress...

Good morning Macau | Macau, China

Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro 亞美打利庇盧大馬路 | Macau, China

View from Sofitel at Ponte 16...
See more shots here!

Macau Tower | Macau, China
View of Macau Tower from Penha Church 主教山小堂!

But why of course, at some 200m from sea level, the best aerial view of Macau has got to be the ones from the observatory decks of Macau Tower 澳門旅遊塔會展娛樂中心!

6. Bungy Jump with AJ Hackett

And speaking of the Macau Tower 澳門旅遊塔會展娛樂中心.... !

The observatory deck on Level 58 not only offers you the breathtaking and vast aerial view of the peninsula of Macau and the Taipa island, it has reinforced glass panels on the floor that allows a clear view of what's *gasps* 58 floors down! Very much breathtaking too. Haha!

Views aside, witness people falling off Macau Tower here too!
Oops, I mean watch people doing their bungy jump! Hehe...

Or take a chill pill, sit back and enjoy high tea at one of cafes on the indoor observatory deck...

You can also get an even better view from the outdoor observatory deck on Level 62 while feeling the tension and excitement of the adventurers taking on the various nerve wrecking activities!

And I don't just list Macau Tower just to encourage you to go up to the observatory decks for the views or have a high tea session only! I think everyone should challenge themselves to one of the activities if your body and soul allows!  

And of course, I do practice what I preach! I took on my virgin bungy jump right there at Macau Tower in year 2013. It takes 1% guts and 99% insanity to take on one of the world's tallest bungy jumps in the world for my first ever attempt at bungy jumping! Read about my experience with AJ Hackett here!

7. The House of Dancing Water 水舞間

House of Dancing Water | City of Dreams, Macau, China

House of Dancing Water | City of Dreams, Macau, China

The House of Dancing Water, that is said to be the world's largest and most magnificent water show, has got to be the most spectacular water-based show that I have ever caught.

With a massive crew of a total of 80 performers from 25 nations, from acrobats and gymnasts to divers, if this isn't spectacular, I don't know what else is! Do consider catching the show and experience it for yourself! Read more about The House of Dancing Water here...

8. Grab a Pork Chop burger 豬扒包!
With the countless of integrated resorts located in Macau that houses big names in the food industry and the influx of other cuisines and influences, it is inevitable that simple local street fare like the pork chop burger gets overshadowed!

While beautifully styled and shot dishes on the menus can get really enticing, I don't think you should miss a chance to grab yourself a pork chop burger while you are in Macau!

Pork chop burger from Tai Lei Loi Kei 大利來記


Pork chop burger from Bao Fu Curry 寶富全澳咖喱一哥

These are the two pork chop burgers that I had tried during my two visits to Macau. I, for that matter, preferred the ones from Bao Fu Curry! You can read my write up here to find out why...

9. Portuguese egg tarts!
Head on down to the southern end of Macau and visit Lord Stow's original store for your Portuguese egg tarts fix, fresh out of the oven!

Of course, you can surely get Portuguese egg tarts anywhere else aside from Macau or Lord Stow's for instance. And aside from the egg tarts being exactly how my taste palates prefers, I am very sold to the fact that I am eating it fresh out of the oven off a 30-year-old store in the sleepy village of Coloane.

Read more about Lord Stow's here...

10. Have a curry-licious supper!
Thanks to numerous attractions, things to see and do, and the fact that casinos in Macau operates around the clock, Macau is almost a city that doesn't sleep too. So of course, the last thing I am listing here in my compilation has definitely got to be the suggestion to grab supper (every night if you want) in Macau!

Well, I do not live in Macau to have explored every street and corner to be able to point out a popular supper joint but taking a look at places near Senado Square, there are places like Sam Un Loja De Canja 三元粥品專家 that serves up yummy meatballs porridge way passed the midnight mark on the clock or Loja de Doces Hang Heung Un 杏香园 with an elaborate menu of health benefits packed desserts to pick from.

Or you can enjoy Curry fish balls 咖哩魚蛋, yet another popular street food in Macau, at the following locations...

Heng You 恒友鱼蛋

Located on Travessa Da Sao Domingos (More directions here...), this curry fish balls joint is popular with locals and tourists alike! You pick out your choices from a wide array of complements aside from fish balls and get the stall tender to blanch it for you before adding their specialty curry sauce over to make up your supper. You can also opt for noodles if you are hungry rather than peckish! 




Alternatively, you can have a good bowl of noodles in curry soup at Bao Fu Curry!

Yep this is the second time I mentioned Bao Fu Curry in this post and I am probably doing it because I realized that the taste and flavor of the curry served as Bao Fu Curry resembles those served at Heng You or vice versa. A robust taste and flavor of spices combined together that I really appreciate! :)

With that, it's a wrap of the 10 things to do in Macau in my opinion! I hoped you had enjoyed my effort to compile a quick summary for you, I tried to share everything I could!

And with much regrets too, this is officially the end of my Macau March 2014 travelogue series!
Till the next travel escapade and more travelogue series to come!

More posts from Macau March 2014 travelogue series: