28 July, 2009

Singapore Flyer - Dining in the Sky

Imagine you enjoying a stylish three-course dinner, coupled with bird’s eye view of the CBD’s skyline, along with the world’s first full butler service in the sky?

Yet even better, top it up with this year’s NDP fireworks as a setting when you dine? You might think this is too good to be true – but this ultimate gastronomic experience can be yours at the Singapore Flyer.

Launched at the beginning of this month, this out of the norm dinning experience is available for just $199++ per couple till 31 July (U.P. $299++). Being HFB’s virgin experience at the Flyer, it was daunting and exciting at the same time. An exclusive media event, 8 of us were all seated huddled together at the same table, but in actual fact, each capsule can take up to 5 couples with separate tables. Each couple package includes 2 express boarding flights, 2 rotations (approx 1 hour) of the observation wheel, complimentary VIP Lounge Access (subject to availability).

The dinner was kick-started with the refreshing Fresh Summer Berries in Ginger Ale, along with some Diced Tomatoes on Toast – the former caught me by surprise, in a good way, but the latter, insipid.

The appetiser of Cured Norwegian Salmon in Medley of Spices though was palatable. Topped with Petite of Apples and Silver Onion on Fresh Salad, HFB found the Citrus Herb Dressing toothsome, akin to the familiar Thai dressing.

The Complimentary Bread though was cold and as uninspiring as the toast. Even a dip of the Olive Oil and Vinaigrette didn’t help.

After the first rotation of the wheel, the action begins – you see, the butler and staffs have 3 minutes to unload the appetisers, and dished out the entrees, and the next few moments was a flurry of activities (that explains the blur images, Hah)!

Diners have an option of Pan-seared Fillet of Chilean Sea Bass Topped with XO Sauce, coupled with a bouquet of Asparagus OR the Roasted Duck Confit, served with Mashed Sweet Potato and Pumpkin, with a medley of Mediterranean Vegetables.

HFB managed to have a nibble of the fish and thought it was fairly exceptional – it was clean, smooth and rid of muddy taste. Note forgetting the crisp exterior was also delightful. Although HFB did thought that the pairing of XO sauce to be a little uncanny for western fine dining.

The duck was flavoursome and would have been exceptional if not for the fact that its skin was not fully crisp. A flame of the blowtorch would have sealed the deal. Also, the dish might be too heavy on the palate for some, as the flavours of the meat were really intense and robust! Yellow Squash was a little undercooked.

It was around this time that HFB was told that the fireworks would be going off across the sky at the floating platform.

The next few moments were spend enjoying the view, snapping photos, and recording a video of the fireworks (stay tuned to the end of the post).

The sunset ride ended with the sky darken and us making our way to the VIP lounge for the partaking of our dessert of Warm Chocolate Cake, together with a choice of freshly brewed coffee or specialty tea.

Their version is probably one of the better chocolate cakes HFB have sampled – it was moist and not too overbearing in the sweetness level. Although an additional topping of homemade vanilla ice cream made from real vanilla beans would be ideal.

HFB would also like to point out that the service provided by Mr Ryan Marc Pereira, also known as Deal or No Deal Hunk #24, and once nominated as Cleo Bachelor, on our capsule that evening was immaculate to say the least. Bravo!

And girls, before you drool all over the keyboard, here’s the video of the fireworks.

30 Raffles Avenue, #01-07
Singapore 039803
For Bookings, call 6734 8829 / 6333 3311
A Special NDP Sky Dining Fireworks Package is available.
Speak to their sales team for details

Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Julie and Sabrina from Asia PR Werkz, Adval Group and Singapore Flyer for their generous hospitality.

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21 July, 2009

Fish Mart Sakuraya @ The Village Centre - Pictographic

Fish Mart Sakuraya @ The Village Centre

Japanese Groceries

Sake By The Bottles

Sashimi Fresh Off The Counter

Snack Before The Dinner

Hungry! All Ready For Dinner

Edamame ($5.00)

What's Sashimi Without The Sake! Reishu ($51.00)

Oyster, Muki Kaki ($12.50)

Well, If One Ain't Enough... Order Another Serving

Scallop, Muki Hotate ($8.00)

Red Snapper, Tai Sashimi ($12.15)

Yellow Jack, Shima Aji ($16.65)

Japanese Half Beak, Sayori ($9.00)

California Maki ($7.00)

Negitoro Temaki ($5.00)

Pumpkim Croquette ($10.00)

Cross Section

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14 July, 2009

Fa Ji Minced Pork Noodles @ Kovan Hougang Market & Food Centre

How often do you get a big bowl of noodles cooked by a handsome and macho hawker? Chances are not very high, although HFB spotted one located at Kovan Hougang Market & Food Centre.

It always makes me wonder why there is always such a long queue outside Fa Ji Noodles stall – are the noodles really that great-tasting or are they simply adoring fans of the hawker himself?

If you don’t believe, you can see it for yourself (In fact HFB thought he distinctively like look an older, more macho copy of Krisandro – are you guys related?).

At $3.00 for a bowl or Minced Pork Noodle Dry, HFB thought the noodles and ingredients were really generous – Minced pork, Fishcake, Pig Liver, Meatball, and dash of Braised Mushrooms!

Although HFB did felt that the Vinegar was slightly overpowering, the Chilli within more than made up for it. Noodles were cooked just right, thus making the whole bowl of minced pork noodles an instant gratification!

Being a glutton, HFB wouldn’t stop at just a bowl of noodles (of course). A bowl of Meatball Soup ($3.00) was added to the order, but somehow it kinda missed the mark. The meatballs are the softer, none the chewy, meatier type.

Somehow HFB is more of a sucker for those supermarkets off-the-shelf meatballs (tip: look out for the ones with the lion dance packaging, they taste really awesome!!!).

Food: 4/5 (Noodles are cooked just right, good harmonious of ingredients)
Service: 3.5/5 (A good 15-20mins wait during peak hours)
Ambience: 3/5 (Food centre, seats outside are better ventilated)
Price: 4/5 (Value for money - Generous serving of ingredients)
Total: 14.5/20
Blk 209, Hougang Street 21
#01-05, Kovan Hougang Market & Food Centre
Singapore 530209

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08 July, 2009

Cheok Kee Asam Curry Fish Head & Curry Chicken Noodles

Note: The photos for this post certainly didn’t do justice to the food and the stall as it was taken in poor lighting conditions in the evening.

When one mentioned Cheok Kee, chances are they will be chatting about their duck rice. Once helmed by Louis, a fourth generation Cheok Kee chef, his sister and brother-in-law have since took over at the current stall located at East Coast Lagoon Food Village.

After a short hiatus, Louis, with his renewed vigour, opened a new stall diagonally across – dishing out Cheok Kee’s Curry Fish Head, one of the specialty formally sold at their famous Macpherson Cheok Kee duck rice location (which is currently closed).

At $18.00 per claypot, one will get a good serving size of Red Snapper Fish Head, a steal if you ask HFB! The meat was really fresh and rid of the muddy taste that many have an aversion to. One wouldn’t needlessly worry that there wasn’t enough fish meat to go around.

Moreover, Cheok Kee’s unique version tasted really full-bodied, with the liberal use of coconut milk. With generous ingredients of Ladyfinger and Brinjal, along with what perceived to be Assam, the tangy, sweet, yet slightly sour curry may be loath by some due to its richness or taste, but not HFB, he simply loved it – especially when paired with steam white rice!

In fact, if not for the additional dish of Curry Chicken Noodle (yellow mee please!) that goes for only $3.00 per serving, HFB would probably had gone for another helping of rice.

Like the fish head, the gravy of the noodle was robust and full-bodied, although HFB did find the gravy a tad salty.

However, the thick chunk of steamed chicken pieces certainly didn’t disappoint.

To avoid disappointment and long waiting time for the fish head, Louis recommend one making a reservation before going down.
Stall 27 East Coast Lagoon Food Village
1220 East Coast Parkway
Singapore 468960
Tel: 6244 2522
Business hours: 1100hr to 2200hr

Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Louis and Princeton for their generous hospitality.

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