Wednesday, December 13, 2017

[Media Invite] Christmas Feast at Ellenborough Market Cafe @ Swissotel Merchant Court

Come celebrate the festivities by indulging in a wonderful feast with your loved ones at Ellenborough Market Cafe from 15 December till 31 December 2017. This year, Chef Louis Tay (Executive Chef, Swissotel Merchant Court) has crafted a delightful menu for the festivities. Did you know that Chef Louis was part of the Singapore National Culinary Team that had won Singapore's first Culinary Olympics back in 2016? Singapore was the only Asian country that had struck double gold for the Cold Display and Hot Cooking categories. Read about it here.

Christmas Highlights at Ellenborough Market Cafe

Start with the deliciously sweet Pumpkin Soup with Crab Meat. Followed by an excellent Oxtail Stew that has been lovingly braised for many hours to achieve the fork-tender texture. So good with all those collageny tendons. Must-not miss the bone-in Champagne Ham with Pineapple Glaze and truth be told, this was one of my favourites. Ellenborough Market Cafe is well-known for its Peranakan spread, so do leave some space for brinjal prawn sambal, ayam buah keluak and durian pengat.

Pumpkin Soup with Crab Meat
Oxtail Stew braised in Red Wine
can't get enough of this!
a festive plate consisting of champagne pineapple glazed ham, Tom Turkey in Cranberry and Szechuan sauce, baby brussels sprouts

Kudos to the Chef who had crafted such an excellent festive menu for diners. The Roasted Szechuan Flavoured Tom Turkey was moist and a joy a eat. The Szechuan sauce had familiar flavours yet remained slightly mysterious. This was one of those rare occasion when I actually enjoyed the turkey.

is that you, Santa?

Not forgetting the Peranakan spread that Ellenborough Market Cafe is famed for. So many choices, so little tummy space!

ayam buah keluak
buah keluak sauce
terung sambal udang
deep fried tenggiri
dessert counter
And, for the festivities, Christmas log cakes and Christmas Stolen. It's interesting on how Christmas Stolen is made. Essentially, a loaf of bread that's dipped into liquid butter before coating it with sugar. Then, it is kept in a cool dark place like a cellar for quite a while before having it as a tea-snack.

The version at Ellenborough Market Cafe is of a reasonable sweetness and the fragrance of the dried fruits increases as you chew.

Strawberry Yoghurt Yuzu Yule Log, Christmas Stolen
The Strawberry Yoghurt Yuzu Yule Log was refreshing and it actually felt rather light even when it was eaten towards at the end of a heavy meal.

Strawberry Yoghurt Yuzu Yule Log @$65
Strawberry Yoghurt Yuzu Mousse, White Crunchy Pearls and Almond Sponge
Noisette Chocolate Yule Log @$65

Thank you Swissotel Merchant Court; Jennifer and team, and Chef Louis for the delicious preview of the Christmas Feast at Ellenborough Market Cafe.

And for the nightcap, how about a warm alcohol-inspired ginger tea concocted of rum, spice and all things nice? Get yours from Crossroads (bar).

'tea' making
from the bar: mocktail with gula melaka (left) and rum-based ginger tea (right)

Christmas Feast @ Ellenborough Market Cafe | 15 – 31 December 2017

PRICE: $58 per adult and $29 per child for lunch, and $68 per adult and $34 per child for dinner.

Business Hours (Mondays to Sundays)
Lunch: 12.00pm - 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm - 10.00pm

Christmas Takeaway Goodies | 1 – 25 December 2017

Roasted Tom Turkey with Ginger Flower Chilli,  Honey Glazed Champagne Ham

Early Bird Promotion for Christmas Takeaway Goodies

  • Enjoy 25% discount on orders made from 1 to 17 December 2017
  • Enjoy 20% discount on orders made from 18 to 22 December 2017

For enquiries and reservations, please call Ellenborough Market Cafe at 6239 1847/1848.

Ellenborough Market Cafe @ Swissotel Merchant Court

Address20 Merchant Road, 058281
Contact+65 6337 2288

Sunday, December 10, 2017

[Media Invite] Element and EOTS @ Amara Hotel

Christmas is round the corner so let's suss out the spread at Element and EOTS at Amara Hotel Tanjong Pagar. Element and EOTS Christmas highlights included Turkey Buah Keluak, Cognac Lobster Bisque, Tajima Wagyu Foie Gras and Amara’s Signature Chempedak Yule Log Cake amongst others.

Wait. Tajima Wagyu Beef with Foie Gras, Truffle Mashed Potato and Port Jus for New Year Eve Buffet dinner? Oh yes!

Parma ham, pastrami, turkey ham and salami
Honey Baked Butter Squash with Honey Mustard and Pumpkin Seed (Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner)
Cocktail Prawn with Crab Meat Duo

For the Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner spread, do look out for the Platter Salad section, It features European dishes such as Burrata Cheese, Honey Baked Butter Squash, Cocktail Prawn and Crab Meat Duo. It's easy to mistake butter squash as pumpkin. Both are similar in colour and texture. The cocktail prawn is a favourite. Light, 'crunchy' bite of the prawn, and a scoop of those crab meat (yass!) followed by sweet melon.

Marinated Duck Rillette with Red Wine Dried Fruits Chutney and Gherkin Salsa

There's duck rilette and its flavour was pretty balanced. Yummy to spread on toast or cracker and with a bit of those red wine dried fruit chutney. Sweet.

First time encountering a lobster bisque in a buffet. A rare indulgence.

Cognac Lobster Bisque

Another dish that was executed well was the Roasted Chicken with Meat Floss. Crisp browned skin and moist well seasoned tender meat. Just like those old-school Chinese restaurants.

Roasted Chicken with Meat Floss

And of course, the highlight of the Christmas feast would be the Turkey Buah Keluak and the log cakes. Interesting fusion of flavour for the Turkey Buah Keluak.

Turkey Buah Keluak 
Liked all of Amara's Yule Log cakes. Which one would be your favourite? Would it be the signature Amara’s Signature Chempedak Yule Log Cake, or the alluring Pink Champagne Lychee Yule Log Cake or the classic Dark Chocolate Cherry Yule Log Cake? My votes went to the alcoholic lychee log cake and the signature chempedak log cake.

Amara’s Signature Chempedak Yule Log Cake @$65
Pink Champagne Lychee Yule Log Cake @$52
Dark Chocolate Cherry Yule Log Cake @$52
The cakes were simply delightful. There were bits of chempedak meat in the cake while the champagne lychee log was more of a mousse-like texture. Fragrance of lychee was refreshing and the taste of alcohol was noticeable.

chempedak and champagne lychee

The spread for New Year's Eve Buffet Dinner is impressive. So many favourites in the line-up! To start, go for the tuna tataki which was sliced with the perfect thickness, and seared just enough while its center remained raw. The seasoning was good and this is one thing that I can imagine myself eating everyday!

Oh, and I reckon that Stir-fried Moreton Bay Bug with Salted Egg will be one of the crowd favourite. I liked it a tad too much.

Tuna Tataki with Cucumber Ribbons and Puffed Quinoa
Stir-fried Moreton Bay Bug with Salted Egg
Personally, the main highlight of the New Year's Eve Dinner Buffet would be the Tajima Wagyu Beef Foie Gras. Would be crazy not to get a refill of these gems. Just wished that the meat was of medium rare doneness instead. Nonetheless, the rich flavour was strong and those blobs of foie gras were really good.

Tajima Wagyu Beef with Foie Gras, Truffle Mashed Potato and Port Jus

Of course, a second serving of the delicious beef is not an option. For me, it was almost mandatory.

second serving
For dessert, I was enticed by the colourful macarons. The blue macaron with salted caramel fillings was my favourite. The coconut shell was white like snow and the lime flavoured ones were also good.

Not forgetting, Amara's signature Chempedak Creme Brulee.

Chempedak Creme Brulee

Indulge in the many dishes that Element and EOTS at Amara Hotel had crafted for us this season. It is a season of festivities, merry making and eating deliciously.


Address: 165 Tg Pagar Rd, Singapore 088539
Tel: 6879 2607

24 Dec 2017, 11.30am to 3.30pm
S$68++ Adult / S$34++ Child

24 Dec 2017, 6.30pm to 10.00pm
S$108++ Adult / S$54++ Child
UP TO S$500!
*Children under 6 years dines free with 2 paying adults
*Add S$2++ to enjoy free flow beer, house pour and
sparkling wines

25 Dec 2017, 11.30am to 3.30pm
S$68++ Adult / S$34++ Child

31 Dec 2017, 11.30am to 3.30pm
S$68++ Adult / S$34++ Child

31 Dec 2017, 6.30pm to 10.00pm
S$108.00++ Adult / S$54.00++ Child
*Add SS$30++ for F.U.N.O.L.O.G.Y 2018 countdown party,
free flow draft beers, sparkling and house pour wines and

1 Jan 2018, 11.30am to 3.30am
S$68++ Adult / S$34++ Child

Terms and conditions apply.

The above buffet pricing were extracted from

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Fumée @ Millenia Walk

Fumée has a good deal going on for the 2017 festive season. Together with Hungrygowhere, diners could enjoy this HungryDeal where $38++ gives you a 3-course set meal with a complimentary glass of bubbly! 
Had tried the set meal and it was well worth the money. Say no more and let's look at the photos. The set meal has two items to choose from for each of its appetiser, main and dessert.

For appetiser, choose from the luxurious Foie Gras Salad or the Smoked Salmon Gravlax. The salad was nicely dressed so both were equally tasty. It was hard to choose one because the gravlax wowed with the generous amount of salmon but the creamy, sinfully wobbly foie gras won.

Foie Gras 
Smoked Salmon Gravlax

For the mains, one could choose the Chicken Roulade with Silky Mash or Prime Rib with roasted Butternut and Chestnut. Eh, sounds like turkey stuffings when I saw butternut and chestnut.

Chicken Roulade tasted healthy and the meat was rather gentle and not dry. The flavours from the mushroom sauce was good and the silky mash was truly enjoyable.

Chicken Roulade with Silky Mash
The Prime Rib was nicely done with a pink center. Only lightly seasoned to enjoy the true beefy taste of the meat. Those prized butter topping the meat was exquisite.

Prime Rib with roasted Butternut and Chestnut
Of course, all of these ought to be enjoyed with a glass of wine. We had a French Sauvignon Blanc. Drinkable and light.

Sauvignon Blanc
And, for desserts, there is a choice of Toffee Pudding or Christmas Cake. My preference was to end it lightly with the Christmas Cake. Toffee Pudding was nice and tasted akin to Sticky Date pudding but it was a tad heavy. A cup of coffee would pair so well with the Christmas Cake.

Toffee Pudding
Christmas Cake

Enjoy this HungryDeal where $38++ gives you a 3-course set meal with a complimentary glass of bubbly! Reserve now via HungryDeal. Terms and conditions apply.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

SAMA Curry & Cafe SG ( スープカレー SAMA ) @ OUE Downtown

Curry & Cafe SAMA offers the popular soup curry, hailing from Hokkaido Japan. Located at OUE Downtown 2 Gallery Level 2. If you have yet to try soup curry before, why not just head on down to SAMA to have a taste? Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT and OUE Downtown is within walking distance of about 8 minutes.


The shop is clean and spacious, and is open on Saturday as well. Place your order at the counter and choose the mains, then soup base and finally the spice level before making payment. Ice water is complimentary.

order at the counter

I had the shop's top two recommendation of Marathon Chicken with Japanese soup curry base and spice level 18. Any spice level that goes up beyond 15 is required to top-up $1++. I think most of us would go for above level 15 unless you are not a chili-person.

Having experienced the 'spiciness' level of Japanese soup curry in Hokkaido two years back, I've learnt my lesson to just go for mid-range and above. Hence, level 18 is still a safe level to try.

level 15 would be too mild for most of us

After which, feel free to sit any empty spot and the food will be delivered to your table.

how about window seats

The wait was short and the dish arrived within 10 minutes or less. Liked the plate used in serving of the Japanese rice. Portion of rice was not too much and the bowl of soup curry has adequate liquid in it.

Marathon Chicken with Japanese soup curry, served with Japanese rice
soup curry

The Japanese soup curry base has a strong herb aroma and spice level was detectable but it was pleasingly mild. It won't linger and thus makes the soup pretty drinkable. If you are looking for something like chili padi spicy, this is not it.

yummy vegetables

As with its Hokkaido counterpart, the vegetables took centrestage in the soup curry. The potato, green peppers, brinjal and broccoli were well cooked and has a slight smokey char to it. I preferred Soup Curry Lavi's version of the charred vege.

Lovely lava egg though in SAMA's version. The chicken leg was nicely fork tender. All in all, it was decent and definitely filling. This meal costs close to $20. This would be about $5 to $7 more than in Japan as usually the price would be between ¥1000 to ¥1250. Not bad considering we do not need to take airplane to Hokkaido now to enjoy Hokkaido famed soup curry.

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