If you enjoy feasting on hot and spicy Sichuan food, then why not head over to Xiao La Jiao Restaurant (literal translation: Small Chilli Restaurant!). I guarantee you it’s worth a visit.
Managed by the Creative Eateries Group, this casual dining restaurant specialises in spicy Sichuan dishes, blending sweet, sour, bitter, hot, salty and aromatic effortlessly into a range of dishes.
Highly recommended dishes to try include the Chuan Style Spicy Chicken, Sichuan Boiled Beef and Ma Po Tofu. The restaurant also serves street vendor-style offerings like Sichuan Guo Tie (this is the Chinese version of the Japanese Gyoza. Well, kinda), Sichuan Wantons and the Rainbow Dumplings.
And if you’re confused by the extensive menu, fear not! The restaurant has a top 10 section in its new menu to help you out! Alternatively, the restaurant manager can also lend you a helping hand.
This is what we had for dinner:
Above: Pork Steamed Dumplings
Above: Sichuan Guo Tie (to dip in Vinegar Sauce with Ginger)
Above: Dumplings in delicious gravy. Sorry I forgot the exact name of this dish.
Check out the full Menu here: http://www.xiaolajiao.com.sg/content/menu.pdf
Most importantly, the food is reasonably priced too. What’s more, Sichuan cuisine is world-famous. Read the paragraph below extracted from the Restaurant’s official website:
“So famed is the cuisine of Sichuan, that its capital, Chengdu was the first Asian city to win a UNESCO listing as a City of Gastronomy in 2011. With Sichuan cuisine gaining significant momentum in large cities like Beijing, Shanghai and even London, Creative Eateries has endeavoured to make Xiao La Jiao an authentic showcase of this distinctive, yet versatile style of Chinese cooking. With its bright interior décor and floor to ceiling windows, the restaurant has the ambience of a humble teahouse restaurant which makes dining at Xiao La Jiao a comfortable and casual affair”
Personal Rating for Food: 4.5/5
Personal Rating for Service: 4.5/5
Would I recommend this eaterie? Yes! You’ll surely love Sichuan food.
Xiao La Jiao Restaurant
#03-05 112 Katong
112 East Coast Road
Telephone: +65 66363736
Bus Lines: 15, 16, 31, 36, 43, 48, 76, 135, 196, 966
MASONS is located within the beautiful and historic grounds of the Gillman Barracks. Situated near the Alexandra Retail Center (near the Labrador Park MRT), it is a great place to chill, enjoy the art galleries within the Gillman Barracks or just relax and unwind. A great escape from the doldrums of city living.
MASONS pays tribute to the rich history and heritage of Gillman Barracks. Taking styling cues from the area’s historic past, the 1935 building has been restored to re-capture the essence of colonial luxury, offering a stylish yet relaxed dining experience. The restaurant has four sections - the main restaurant, the verandah, the bar and the alfresco area.
This place came highly recommended to me via my sweet German colleague, Jessica who’s a true epicurean when it comes to the art of dining at rad places in Singapore, Germany and around the world! It’s great to have friends like her around ;-)
Inspired by the colonial heritage of Gillman Barracks, Masons provides a stylish and elegant dining experience. Masons offers high quality yet affordable European cuisine with a strong French influence and a Singaporean touch. You can choose to dine inside the luxurious main dining room, or dine outside - in the alfresco verandah. On a lovely day, I’d definitely prefer to dine outside on the verandah! (See photo below)
So, the three of us - a German, a Mexican and a Singaporean dined here on a lovely but boiling hot week day for lunch. A United Nations team feasting on delectable French cuisine. How nice! ;-)
Above: Inside the luxurious Main Dining Room area. We were the first diners here at 11.30am! ;-)
Above: The Bar area….
if you come here on a week day for lunch, you can choose their 2-course Executive Set Lunch (S$28.00++) or their 3-course Executive Set Lunch (S$38.00++).
Above: We marveled at the way the table was set, including the interesting way they set their dishes! Noticed it’s shaped like a man’s shirt? With Tie? Kewl much?
Above: We love their table mats!
Above: The Menu! Here’s a clearer view of their All-Day Menu http://www.masons.sg/menu_allday.html
Above: The warm basket of bread was delish!
Above: Appetiser - Moules Marinières aka Mussels in Creamy Broth. My Mexican colleague loved this dish!
Above: My German colleague’s Main Dish - Pork Cheeks with Bacon Mash & Apple Sauce. She said it was yummy!
Above: My Mexican colleague and I chose this as our Main Dish - Leek & Cheese Fondue Ravioli with Spinach Porée & Crisp Leek. It was truly mouthwatering. But I felt the portion was quite small. I was still hungry about this!
Above: For Dessert, my Mexican colleague and I chose the Panna Cotta with Jus de Fraise aka Panna Cotta (like a milky custard with raspberries). My Mexican colleague loved it whilst I felt it was too milky. O.K„ O.K., maybe because I don’t quite dig milky stuff?
Above: My German colleague had the simple Lemon Tart for Dessert. She gave a thumbs up for this dish.
Coffee costs S$5.00++ and Tea is S$6.00++. Here’s the entire Beverage Menu - http://www.masons.sg/menu_beverage.html
If you’re coming for Dinner, here’s a peek at their Menu: http://www.masons.sg/menu_dining.html
Personal Rating for Food: 4/5
Personal Rating for Ambience: 5/5
Would I come back again? For sure!
Masons (Gillman Barracks)
8 Lock Road
#01-17 GIllman Barracks
Tel: +65 66942216
1130am to 11pm daily
If you are an artsy person (like ahem, moi!), this is definitely a great place to come visit. Gillman Barracks has been touted as the new contemporary art destination in Asia. Distinguished as a creative and intellectual center, it will become a center for the production, discussion and distribution of contemporary art in Asia.
Check out the official website of Gillman Barracks:
There are some fine exhibitions which I wish to catch…and some cool galleries in Gillman Barracks on my must-see list!
Restaurant info courtesy of Masons Official Website
This restaurant came highly recommended to me by my Mexican colleague cum BFF. And I wasn’t disappointed with her recommendation. Hm, it seems that my BFF has become quite an epicurean ever since she was posted to Singapore with her hubby! ;-)
Trattoria Pizzeria Cugini at Club Street serves authentic Southern Italian food, combining the unique taste of Sardinia with the spicy flavours of Sicily and the aroma of the Southern Italian regions.
The menu is rounded off by rad desserts & a good selection of Italian wines from the regions of Piedmont, Tuscany, Sardinia & Sicily in Italy.
We were here for dinner on a week day evening and chose to dine outside on the verandah. Yes, at times, we wished the waiter was more attentive especially when we have finished our San Pellagrino bottled water (the restaurant leaves a bottle of still water on every table. You are charged S$7.00 per bottle!). It would be great if the waiter could pop out occasionally to check on the tables outside on the verandah. My friend had to go inside (!!) to personally summon the waiter to our table. Tsk! Tsk!
But the quality of the food compensates for the less than stellar service. HOWEVER, the prices at this eaterie are priced at an up-market restaurant’s pricing (read: It’s a little on the expensive side). If this were the case, then customers DO expect better service.
Here’s a run down of what we ordered and its prices:
Above: The delicious bread with an interesting dip which the restaurant serves all guests. Try dipping it in their inhouse Olive Oil with Chilli! Ooh, yummy!
Above: This is the first Italian restaurant that I’ve eaten in that serves Olive Oil with Chilli (as a dip). It tastes AMAZING and I CAN take hot/spicy food.
Above: Kewl dish(es)!
Above: Huge Capricciosa Pizza (S$26.90++) with ingredients like tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, roasted ham, artichoke, salami + we paid for an extra ingredient (sausages). S$3.00++ per extra topping.
Above: Here’s another mouthwatering glimpse at the Capricciosa Pizza (S$26.90++).
Above: This is possibly the BEST and most unique Pasta that I’ve tasted in Singapore! Spaghetto alla Bottarga Gamberetti Peperoncino (S$27.90++). It is a Sardinian style spaghetti with mullet (fish) roe, prawns, olive oil, garlic and chilli. Even my BFF said this is such an amazing dish. If this is what Sardinian food taste like, I’m heading to Sicily and Sardinia! Too delish for words!
Above: A closer look at the Spaghetto alla Bottarga Gamberetti Peperoncino (S$27.90++) dish.
Above: Gelato Artigianale (S$6.00++ per scoop) - Italian homemade ice cream. My friend chose Pistachio flavor.
Above: This is my mouthwatering dessert - Souffle al Cioccolato con Gelato Artigianale alla Vaniglia (S$15.90++). I didn’t like Vanilla Ice Cream and had it changed to Gelato alla Cioccolato (chocolate ice cream) instead.
Above: Another look at the warm Chocolate Souffle!
Above: My BFF’s Italian Pinot Grigio i.e. White Wine (S$15.00++ per glass).
Above: Filtered Coffee (S$6.00++ per cup). It was thick and good! Exactly how coffee should taste like!
Above: The Menu.
Above: The bill for dinner for 2 pax.
Personal Rating for Food: 4.5/5
Personal Rating for Service: 2.5/5
Would I return to this restaurant again?
Above: The lovely restaurant… Trattoria Pizzeria Cugini
Trattoria Pizzeria Cugini
87 Club Street #01-01
Tel: +65 6221 3791
Daily Noon-3pm, 6:30-11 p.m.
Above: Inside the quaint eaterie.
Above: The street view from outside the eaterie…
This amazing Thai eaterie came highly recommended by my Mexican colleague cum BFF who’s a regular at this fine dining restaurant.
Truly, this restaurant lives up to its reputation. I have tried Tom Yum Goong soup at many Thai restaurants…but the Tom Yum Soup at this eaterie is par excellence! Yes, beyond excellent.
We ordered four dishes + dessert + wine/ coffee and the bill came to S$180++ for 2 persons. It’s a tad on the expensive side BUT it is amongst the cheapest restaurants located around the area!
This is what we’ve ordered. My friend has tried quite a lot of the dishes here and also gave top marks to their Green Curry dish! So, please take note!
Above: ตมยํากุง, ปลา ๏ Dtom Yam Gung, Pla (S$20.50 per pot. Good for 4 bowls)
Spicy and sour prawns or fish soup with lemongrass, galangal, chilli, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce and fresh lime juice. Yum!
Above: ผัดฉาหอยเชลล ๏ Pat Chaa Hoey Shell (S$32.00)
Stir-fried scallops with fresh chili, peppercorns, wild ginger and holy basil leaves or with chilli jam and sweet basil leaves.
Above: ผัดผักรวม ๏ Pat Pak Ruam Nahm-mun-hoey (S$17.70)
Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables with Oyster Sauce.
Above: ผัดไทยกุง ๏ Pat Thai Gung (S$19.30)
Sabai’s “famous tasty Thai Fried Noodle”. Stir-fried noodles with prawns, chicken, yellow bean curd, eggs, grounded peanuts and sweet tamarind sauce.
Above: ขาวเหนียวมะมวง ๏ Kao Niew Mamuang (S$14.50)
Sabai’s famous Mango with sweetened sticky rice. Ooh, this is my absolute favorite!! I can’t find the words to describe it. Just ORDER IT! You won’t regret it!
Above: ทับทิมกรอบ ๏ Tap Tim Grop (S$7.00)
Water-chestnut in syrup and coconut milk. This is just average. It didn’t “wow” me as much as the Mango with Sticky Rice dessert.
Above: Wine anyone? Per glass of white wine (Savignon Blanc) cost S$18.00++
Above: The Coffee is great here! (S$6.00++ per cup)
My personal opinion?
I LOVE this eaterie. The Thai food here is indeed deserving of praises. It’s truly one of the best Thai food I’ve tasted in a long while. I am referring to the Sabai Thai Restaurant at the Customs House branch. Not the other one at Ngee Ann City. The Sabai Fine Thai on the Bay Restaurant has a million dollar view of the Marina Bay.
And you can even catch the WonderFull Sound and Light Show (a nightly event) from your table if you dine al fresco - which is my recommendation!
Personal Rating for Food: 5/5
Personal Rating for Ambience: 5/5
Personal Rating for Service: 5/5
Sabai Fine Thai on the Bay Restaurant
Authentic Fine Thai Cuisine
70 Collyer Quay
Customs House #01-02
Tel: +65 6535 3718-9
11:30 - 14:00, 17:00 - 22:00
Information about the Restaurant
Majority Thai female chefs
Nickie Sangngampal/ Jan-Peer Lehfeldt
Valet parking at Fullerton Bay Hotel/ Hourly Parking at NTUC buidling
One of my BFFs is a Mexican expatriate on a 2-year stint in Singapore. Many a times, she told me she misses a good mean Mexican meal. So far, her verdict for good Mexican restaurants in Singapore are Cha Cha Cha Mexican Restaurant and Pedra Negra Mexican Restaurant. The rest of the so-called Mexican restaurants in Singapore have failed her taste test.
Needless to add, when this new Mexican eaterie opened its doors recently (this March 2013), I excitedly brought it to her attention. It so happened that her hubby was on a business trip that weekend and I too was free that weekend (in a long time!)…and that means - a girls’ night out! Yay! We were bent on scouring the BEST Mexican restaurants in the city!
We decided to give Mex Out Mexican Restaurant at Far East Square a try (after reading all those rave reviews from The Sunday Times to Epicure magazine et al!).
To say we were disappointed is an understatement. Even I (who ain’t Mexican) can tell you I have tried better Mexican food! It is also not cheap to dine at this casual eaterie.
My Mexican friend and I both had the Rice Bowls. She took the Beef Rice Bowl whilst I settled on the Chicken Rice Bowl. We shared the Nachos and a Jug of Margarita and the total bill came to S$67.00!
Above: The Menu written on the chalkboard.
Above: The Beef Rice Bowl (ordered by my Mexican friend). S$13.00
Above: This is my Chicken Rice Bowl with Guacamole on top. S$16.00
Above: Do you believe this Nachos cost S$13.00? The Salsa dip was tasteless and the chips were soggy (like it had been left out in the open for a long time). My Mexican friend returned the dish and insisted that they serve us with warm crispy fresh Nachos! They did. It was better the second time round. The Nachos was warm, crispy and fresh.
Above: The 2 Rice Bowls + Nachos we ordered…..
Above: …together with this jug of Margarita (good for 4 glasses). S$25.00 per jug.
The ordering process… Chipotle style!
For this kind of price, we can dine comfortably in a lovely restaurant. This eaterie is not what I would call a “restaurant” or a “cafe”. It has more of a McDonald’s feel to it.
I guess they wanted to emulate the Chipotle chain of eateries in the United States. Except that the food at Chipotle tastes way, way better.
My Mexican expat friend was sorely disappointed with the food (and the price). I am too.
I really doubt if we would return UNLESS the owners decide to do something radical and re-look at improving the quality of food served at this place.
Personal Rating for Food: 1/5
Personal Rating for Ambience: 2.5/5
Above: The view from the restaurant. We chose to dine al fresco that evening.
#01-01 Far East Square
39 Pekin Street
Located at the atrium lobby of the hotel, The Courtyard at the Fullerton Hotel serves classy English High Tea… Perfect for your afternoon tête-à-têtes over a glass of Earl Grey or brewed coffee. Oh, and be serenaded by live music over your afternoon tea.
I love the plush sofas here. Coupled with an idyllic ambience, and fine service, I felt almost pampered! Seriously.
Yes, I do agree that the English High Tea served here is a tad on the pricey side. S$50.00 (*inclusive of taxes).
We were here on St Patrick’s Day and were given the 2nd seating (that’s because we arrived at 4.30pm). The English High Tea here has been split into 2 seatings: 2.00pm to 4.00pm (for the 1st seating) and 4.30pm to 6.00pm (for the 2nd seating). The afternoon when we were there, it was packed. There was an even mixed of guests - 50% locals and the other 50% were either expats or tourists. The lovely couple who sat next to our table were from England. So there you go: The Courtyard serves an international clientele.
This is the English High Tea served at Fullerton Hotel’s The Courtyard:
My personal take?
The High Tea here is just average (sorry, Fullerton Hotel!). For a swanky place like this, I kinda expected them to serve unique varieties of sandwiches and cakes like Salmon or caviar! ;-) Alright, at least I expected Smoked or fresh Salmon! The cakes served included the very Singaporean “Kueh Lapis” (Multi-Layer Cake), the Fruit Cake (nooo!!) amongst others. The mini-sandwiches were very dry (the bread, I mean). Felt like it had been left out in the open for hours…that kind of dryness. The sandwich fillings were pathetic :-( Come on, please put in more fillings in the sandwiches!
The service however deserves full marks. The waitresses were very attentive in spite of the crowd that late afternoon. They replenished my food without me having to ask them to. So kudos to the 2 waitresses. The Malay waitress deserves special mention. She was the one who gave us first class service. I wished I had taken down her name! Sigh.
Personal Rating for Food: 2.5/5
Personal Rating for Ambience: 5/5
Personal Rating for Service: 5/5
If you are a foodie/ epicurean, this High Tea might disappoint you. BUT, if you’d prefer to come here for the ambience and the tea/coffee, then this is a highly recommended place to be.
I’ll let you be the judge!
The Courtyard, Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
Tel: +65 6877 8128
Daily English Afternoon Tea: S$50.00 (inclusive of taxes)
Mon to Fri: 3.00pm - 6.00pm
Sat & Sun: 2.00pm - 4.00 pm / 4.30pm – 6.00pm
Hotel Website: http://www.fullertonhotel.com
Above: The famed Linguine Alla Modesto (flat spaghetti with fresh prawns, squid, mussels, whole crab, anchovies, capers, olives, fresh tomatoes, garlic and white wine cooked in the traditional Italian Cartoccio style).
If you are looking for a lovely place to unwind in an al fresco environment, watch sports on a huge TV screen over beer, pasta, pizza and seafood, may I recommend you - Modesto’s at the Orchard Parade Hotel? This is the only outlet we love (there are a few other outlets runned by Modesto’s).
The ambience is perfect. Lots of tourists but the crowd is generally fun and casual. Service, though, could be improved. It took us a while (after waving frantically) before a waiter/waitress came to our table!
This eaterie specializes in wood-fired pizza and homemade pasta. Their menu is pretty sizeable catering to just about every taste. One of the must-try dish is the Linguine Alla Modesto (Seafood Linguine in traditional Cartoccio style). Truly mamma mia!
Do note that the food portions are large - like those you’ll find in the USA. In a way, it is value for money.
One of my gripes in dining here is their coffee. Even their thickest coffee is too bland and diluted for me. Maybe I’ve grown accustomed to drinking Italian coffee that anything else seems too diluted to me eg the Americano.
Enjoy my recommendations for a rad dinner at this al fresco restaurant!
Above: Crema di Funghi (S$12.00). Home-made Cream of fresh Mushroom Soup, topped with cream.
Above: Fritto Misto (S$24.00). An assortment of deep-fried soft shell crab, squid, silver bream and prawns - served with tartar sauce.
Above: Quattro Stagioni (Regular size: S$26.50). Ingredients include Tomato, Cheese, Mixed Seafood, cooked Pork Ham, Mushrooms and Black Kalamata Olives.
Above: Capricciosa (Regular size: S$24.50). Ingredients include Tomato, Cheese, cooked Pork Ham, Mushrooms and Artichokes.
Above: Yup, this is the house speciality pasta! Linguine Alla Modesto. I love crabs but I wish they had removed the crab shells ;-)
Above: Warm bread with Olive Oil, anyone?
Above: Double Espresso (S$6.50).
Above: The House Blend Coffee (S$4.50). It is very diluted!
Above: Watching sports on TV!
Personal Food Rating: 4/5
Service Level: 1.5/5
Modesto’s (Orchard Parade Hotel)
1 Tanglin Road
#01-09/10 Orchard Parade Hotel
Tel: +65 62357808
** All photos shown on this page taken using the iPhone 4S (late last year). I didn’t bring along my bulkier Canon Powershot G15 camera. Excuse the bad lighting and grainy photos. Thank you! **
Yeah, this was the amount of food we ate! A 10-course dinner.
I had a really delicious Chinese New Year “Lo Hei” dinner at the lovely Lei Garden Restaurant with my colleagues. It is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Singapore serving first-class Cantonese cuisine. It’s a tad pricier than most restaurants (eg Jumbo Seafood Restaurant) but the food you get here is par excellence!
We booked a huge Private Room for our Chinese New Year dinner. To get a private room, you need to order a minimum sum of S$1,600 for dinner. And the room is yours (together with a waitress/waiter) for the evening.
We chose the S$1,600 menu for 10 pax per table; 4 tables in total. This amount does not include the government tax and service charge. With drinks (wine, cocktails and Chinese Tea) included, our bill doubled up pretty quickly!
What makes this Cantonese restaurant stand apart from the rest of the chinese restaurants is its location. As you enter this bustling enclave of retail shops, restaurants, and nightspots, it’s difficult to imagine this was once a convent which, at its founding in 1854, consisted of a lone, simply constructed bungalow. After decades of buildings and add-ons, this collection of unique yet perfectly blended structures — a school, a private residence, an orphanage, a stunning Gothic chapel, and many others — was enclosed within walls, forming peaceful courtyards and open spaces encompassing an entire city block.
An evening out at CHIJMES is exquisitely romantic.
A note on the name:
CHIJMES is pronounced as ‘Chimes’; the ‘Chij,’ as noted, stands for Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, and the ‘mes’ was just added on so they could pronounce it ‘Chimes.’
Lo Hei/ Yu Sheng: Yusheng or Yee Sang (Chinese: 鱼生; pinyin: yúshēng) aka Prosperity Toss or Lo Hei (Cantonese for 撈起 or 捞起) is a Teochew-style raw fish salad. It usually consists of strips of raw fish (most commonly salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients. Yusheng literally means “raw fish” but since “fish (鱼)” is commonly conflated with its homophone “abundance (余)”, Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, Yu Sheng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor. It is a mandatory dish that the Chinese partake in during every Chinese New Year.
And now, please seat back and enjoy the dishes!
Above: The Treasure Platter “Yu Sheng”
Above: Raw Salmon. This is to be added into the Treasure Platter “Yu Sheng” just before tossing!
Above: With all the additional ingredients added in to the Treasure Platter “Yu Sheng”, everyone at the table will now stand up, speak a few words of blessings and prosperity wishes…before tossing the ingredients sky high with their chopsticks. This symbolizes Good Luck ;-) Seriously.
Above: Doubled-boiled Sea Treasure in Deluxe Clear Soup.
Above: Panfried Live King Prawn with Light Soya Sauce.
Above: Live Sea Grouper Prepared in Two Ways
Above: Braised Sliced Abalone with Dry Oyster and Black Moss
Above: Baked Venus Chicken in Lei Garden Special
Above: Poached Seasonal Vegetable with Silver Mushroom
Above: Braised E-Fu Noodle in Abalone Sauce
Above: Chilled Fresh Mango Juice with Pomelo and Sago (Dessert).
Above: Specially Prepared Chinese Golden Pastry. It is rice crackers actually.
Above: White wine, anyone? The Oyster Bay white wine is not cheap here. S$200++ per bottle at this restaurant!
Personal Food Rating: 5/5!
Above: The huge Private Room that could accommodate 40 persons!
Lei Garden Restaurant - Chijmes
30 Victoria Street #01-24
Tel : (65) 6339 3822
Restaurant’s URL: http://www.leigarden.hk/English/local_detail.asp?id=5635AF31-4625-4400-8949-9BB92E13E1B9
Lunch : 11.30am to 3pm
Dinner : 6pm to 11 pm
We were at the luxurious Capella Hotel for a business meeting in mid-January 2013. As you can imagine, this all-suite cum villa hotel blew me away with its class. We took a look at their 1-bedroom villa (complete with a plunge pool) and outdoor shower and were nothing less than impressed.
And for lunch, their Spanish chef whipped up a delightful (and delicious meal for us). It is truly one of the best Spanish lunches I have ever tasted. It is on par with the lunch I had at the Ritz Madrid Hotel in Spain.
Above: A basket of warm bread with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, anyone? Really tasty!
Above: Chilled Gazpacho with Crispy Croutons and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Ooh la la! I had chilled Gazpacho in one of the restaurants in the La Mancha region in Spain and it made me hate cold soups after that. But this…this Gazpacho at The Knolls is sooo different!
Above: Macaroni Land and Sea with Wagyu Meatballs + Seared Scallop. Oh my, this dish was so delicious, I licked the plate clean. Well, kinda. I’m sure you caught my drift!
Above: Crema Catalana with Seasonal Berries. Another heavenly concoction!
The Knolls also served some amazing Western dishes. The chef impressed us with this set lunch the following day:
Above: Baby Romaine Salad with Grilled Asparagus, Cherry Tomato Confit, Parmesan Crisps and Lemon Aioli.
Above: Steamed Cod Fish with Vegetable Risotto and Yuzu Emulsion. I am not a Risotto person but my goodness, this risotto was cooked to perfection! I finished the entire dish!
Above: My colleague chose Sirloin Steak as his main dish. He mentioned it was cooked too rare. I saw blood still oozing out of his steak. Er… Maybe ordering the fish is a better idea. He had to wait for another 20 minutes for them to re-cook his steak. Sigh.
Above: Sorbet Trio for Dessert. Mango Lime, Wild Strawberry, Citrus Orange & Crisp Meringue.
All the above dishes which we have tried can be ordered a la carte style from the restaurant’s menu.
You can also dine outdoors at the Knolls. The Hotel’s resident peacocks will entertain you with their antics for sure ;-) Don’t worry. They are harmless.
Above: Al fresco dining.
Above: This is the RAD view from the restaurant.
Above: The restaurant also has an impressive wine list.
Above: The Main Entrance to the Knolls Restaurant.
Personal Rating: 5/5!
This is truly one of the best restaurants that I’ve dined in that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. If you order a soup/salad, main dish, dessert and coffee or tea, it would cost slightly less than S$80.00 per pax… with an unbeatable ambience and view of the pool and ocean! The main dishes cost between S$34.00 to S$38.00.
Would I return to the Knolls to check out their famed High Tea? Yes, Yes, Yes! Even though it’s located on Sentosa island, I’d still come!
The Capella Hotel
1 The Knolls
Hotel Website: http://www.capellahotels.com/singapore/default-en.html
Restaurant Website: http://www.capellahotels.com/singapore/the-knolls-,dining_viewItem_14-en.html
Wisdom of the Foodie Crowds
Yelp Inc., which provides local listings and user reviews of businesses online, compiled lists of top-rated restaurants in the U.S. and in 19 other counties in which it has an active user base. The ratings are based on user reviews, adjusting for volume of reviews.
Please click on the TITLE HEADER for the full restaurant listing in the various categories:
Do you agree with Yelp’s assessment?
For me, I don’t quite agree ;-) I am basing this on the “Singapore” category. Some of the eateries listed under “World’s Cheapest Restaurants” - Singapore - are not even restaurants! And under the “World’s Most Expensive Restaurants” category for Singapore, I see hotels listed in there - but no restaurants. Some of the top hotels listed in there have several restaurants operating under one roof. It is just so vague. For eg Raffles Hotel (Singapore) have several high-end eateries. Which ones is the Yelp list referring to?
Please take a look and see if it’s the same for your city/country.
Inspired by the standing sushi bars in Tokyo, the original branch of Singapore’s Japanese restaurant opened in August 2009. A true standing concept, it received a warm welcome and with the emphasis on quality it was voted the #1 sushi bar and #1 for sashimi by the HungryGoWhere community.
Such rave reviews which I have been reading online! So, we finally made a pilgrimage for dinner one lovely evening at the Standing Sushi Bar - Queen Street Branch. For the lazy bums, no worries… there are plenty of tables and seats available! You don’t have to stand (as in, literally stand) to feast on your sushi and sashimi! ;-)
The Queen Street branch (where the Singapore Art Museum is located) is their largest branch here in Singapore. We arrived for dinner slightly before 7.00pm on a Friday night and that means, we were able to beat the dinner crowd. Yes, it can get crazy! We were there during the Singapore Night Festival. If you can get a table during the Night Festival, consider yourself - blessed!
Above: They also have bento sets for hungry diners like moi! Yup, this is my bento set - consisting of Unagi (eel) and Mackerel Fish. Yum! ;-)
We were also pleasantly surprised by the daily deals that they offer to customers. For example, S$3.00 for a plate of Salmon Sashimi (on Monday nights)?!!! Yes, it is extremely worth it.
o Monday - S$3 salmon sashimi, S$1 sake, S$5 beer, wine, hot sake, and umeshu
o Tuesday - 50% off sushi, sashimi, maki and alcohol
o Wednesday - S$1 robatayaki, S$25 freeflow Japanese alcohol (sake, shochu, umeshu, and wine). Please also see their Wednesday robatayaki menu.
o Thursday - S$3 salmon sashimi, S$2 sake, S$5 beer, wine, hot sake, and umeshu.
Above: Salad - our side dish.
Above: Vegetable Tempura. Soo crispy!
Above: Miso Soup
Above: Water Melons.
Have I also mentioned that if you are a Foursquare Mayor of the eaterie, you can 2 free sushis too! How cool!
Generally, the food here is not as inexpensive as we’d expect - if it’s not part of the daily deals/food on promotion.
Food Rating: 7.0/10
Standing Sushi Bar - Queen Street Outlet
8 Queen Street
Unit 01-03 Singapore Art Museum
Tel: +65 6333 1335
Lunch: 12 PM - 2:30 PM, last order 2:15 PM
Dinner: 6 PM - 11 PM, last order 10:30 PM
Parking available at Hotel Royal @ Queen
and the SMU Admin building
Tanuki by Standing Sushi Bar
181 Orchard Road
02-03 Orchard Central
Open Daily from 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM
Standing Sushi Bar - Marina Bay Link Mall Outlet
8A Marina Boulevard
B2-51 Marina Bay Link Mall
Tel: +65 6634 7068
Monday - Friday: 11:30 AM - 9 PM
Saturday: 11:30 AM - 6 PM
Closed on public holidays and Saturdays following a public holiday on a Friday
I have tried many types of Fried Kway Teow (aka Char Kway Teow) here in Singapore. The usual ingredients in a Fried Kway Teow are bean sprouts, cockles (my favorite!), chinese sausages and fish cake - mixed - and fried together with yellow noodles and kway teow in a very hot wok with plenty of garlic and black sweet sauce.
The best that I have tried thus far is at Heng Huat Fried Kway Tiao Stall (yup, the spelling is not wrong…) located inside the Pasir Panjang Food Centre. The owner of the stall cum cook adds in green leafy vegetables too! For the above dish, I ordered extra vegetables and cockles ;-)
Let’s just say,my American friends, who can be quite fastidious with local food, were bowled over by this dish! Even my American boss loves it!
BUT be warned: Don’t go during peak hours i.e. lunch time/ dinner time. The queue can be long! That’s because it is reasonably priced and the food is so tasty.
Cost of Above Dish (with extra Vegetables & Cockles): S$5.50
Food Rating: 8.5/10
Yeah, it’s seriously that awesome!
Heng Huat Fried Kway Tiao
121 Pasir Panjang Road
#01-36 Pasir Panjang Food Centre
Tel: +65 9735 5236
Mon - Sat: 11:00 - 21:30
One of my favorite eateries for breakfast/brunch and to simply just chill-out…is.„, (drum roll, please)…Jones, The Grocer Restaurant.
There are currently 2 outlets here in Singapore: One at Dempsey Hill and the other outlet is located inside the posh Mandarin Gallery. So this is the branch/outlet where we had our late brunch last Sunday, highly recommended to me by my awesome expatriate Mexican colleague.
Be warned - both outlets are perpetually crowded! The expat crowd come here to shop and dine. I bumped into Americans, Australians and some European expats here…..and a handful of hip Japanese who spoke excellent English (they must have studied abroad because most Japanese I have met thus far, struggle in speaking good English). There are also quite a few locals here. The bourgeois type, of course. This should give you a rough idea what kind of crowd frequent this place ;-)
So, here are just some of my humble recommendations…
First up: For soup, I had Potato and Leek Soup. And because it was the Soup of the Day, it cost S$11.50 per bowl. Otherwise, expect to pay approximately S$15.00 for a bowl of soup! And…oh my, it was such a huge bowl that I absolutely could not finish it on my own! Thank goodness I had the foresight to tell my friend NOT to order another bowl but that we could both share the soup.
For our appetisers, we ordered the house’s speciality i.e. Potato Wedges dipped in some awesome creamy sauce. We asked the waitress what type of sauce it was. She told us what it was but somehow, both my friend and I just couldn’t grasp what she was saying (she was from China). The next time when I come back to Jones The Grocers, I’ll be sure to ask the servers to spell it out for me.
Now, for our main course, I had the Full English Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs (S$22.00 per dish) whilst my friend had the Full English Breakfast with 2 Eggs cooked Sunny Side up (also S$22.00 per dish). My friend absolutely loved it whilst I felt mine was just so-so. Let’s just say that I have tasted better ones ;-)
Another time, I chose the above dish - an interesting Egg Benedict dish (S$20.00) for my main dish.
Above: If you like something less complicated, you can try this English Breakfast too (S$22.00) or….
Above: Scrambled Eggs with Toast.
To polish off your meal, Jones the Grocer has an extensive drinks menu (yes, including various types of coffee and tea!). I had a large cup of Long Black Coffee (S$6.50). It was really thick and good, exactly what I like. My friend had a large cup of Latte (also S$6.50).
Thinking of a good way to spend a leisurely breakfast/brunch…and just chill out with the hip crowd? Look no further! Head over to Jones The Grocer! My favorite hang-out for breakfast these days.
Food Rating: 4/5
Jones the Grocer (at Mandarin Gallery)
333A Orchard Road #04-21/23
Mandarin Gallery Singapore
Tel: +65 6836 6372
Jones the Grocer (at Dempsey Hill)
Block 9 #01-12 Dempsey Road
Tel: +65 6476 1512
For info, the branch at Dempsey Hill is near to all the major embassies e.g. the US Embassy, The outlet at Mandarin Gallery is right smack in posh Orchard Road. Take your pick, baby.