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Aunty Esther's Salted Egg Fish Skins and Chips!

With CNY done and dusted, I would've expected not to be tempted by the CNY treats making its way round the office. Turns out, it was a bottle of Aunty Esther's Salted Egg Fish Skins that got us all hooked and off we went ordering enough for free delivery.

$150 and 19 packets later, we have 7 very happy people.

Salted Egg Fish Skins ($8.80)

The bomb that got me so addicted. Strangely, with the same salted egg marinate, the fish skins were able to bring out that savoury mildly sweet but finger licking yummy salted egg finish. On point and hands down, best snack this year.

Salted Egg Potato Chips ($8.80)

Underwhelming as compared to the fish skins, the chips had a decent bite but lost the salted egg battle to overly sweet milk powder.

Thankfully my addiction only started after CNY - I cannot imagine the kilos I'd have piled on.

Dragon Bowl @ Marina Square

~Invited Session~


I've not actually checked out Marina Square fully after their revamp and there are quite a number of restaurants hidden in these snug corners! Dragon Bowl being one of them, they now have a total of 3 outlets.


Every outlet has a different vibe to it and at Marina Square, this outlet has private dining rooms and a bigger capacity to boot.


Dragon Bowl unveils 7 new dimsum dishes and an exclusive Peking Duck set!


Steamed Crystal Prawn Roll ($4.80)

I should have known better when it mentioned "prawn roll", the skin like cheong fun was a tad too thick and it was not sealed so the ingredients fell out. That said, not my choice dimsum.


Steamed Laksa "Cheong Fun" with Shrimp ($6.80)

I'd have given this top marks for creativity and this was more of shrimp cheong fan in laksa gravy. This was missing out on some curry leaves and belachan otherwise, worth an order to check out the hype!



Steamed Xiao Long Bao with Scallop ($5.80)

The tip to taking on a xlb is to first poke a hole on the top, sip the gravy then slurp the rest down. I have clearly burnt my lips one time too many and these scallop Xiao long baos were juicy enough for seconds.


Steamed Shark's Fins Dumpling with Shrimp ($6.80)

Spot the shark's fin topping on the dumpling which was similar to wanton.

Deep Fried Golden Prawn Ball ($5.80)


Deep Fried Honey Chicken Spring Roll ($4.80)

The general consensus is the filling was similar to a siew bao, except now it was rolled into a crispy deep fried spring roll.

Steamed Abalone Siew Mai ($7.80)

All eyes on that baby abalone that made this abalone dimsum extra tasty.


Roasted Peking Duck Done 4 ways ($98)

This Dragon Bowl signature is now served four ways and one can expect a gastronomical duck affair. DSC_1853 DSC_1855 DSC_1856 DSC_1857 DSC_1860 Chef comes along to deskin the roasted duck, wraps it for us and then serves it with cucumber and sweet sauce. I felt the wrap was a tad thick but there was no stopping me polishing off those greasy and crispy duck skins!


Diced Duck Meat with Special Sauce wrapped with Lettuce

This cold dish definitely had me at hello - the "special sauce" was infact sesame sauce and the refreshing crunch from the lettuce leaves made this a must try for appetisers!


Double Boiled Salted Vegetable Duck Soup

No Chinese meal is complete without soup, particularly for us Cantonese. Appetite whetting and this can be passed off as a meal with the duck meat and bones even!


Braised Duck E Fu Noodle

I gotta hand it to the Chef for cooking up a storm with the braised duck meat - springy, saucy and so al dente, bravo! The amount of duck meat in this was so generous, for the first time I felt the meat noodle ratio was right.

Duck Meat Fried Rice

There is a choice of rice or noodles as the carbohydrate option and I highly recommend the noodle over the fried rice. Wok hei was oddly missing though the noodle was so outstanding.

From 5 March to 30 April 2018, Dragon Bowl is offering a 30% dimsum promotion is on for both their Marina Square and Aperia Mall outlets.


Don't forget to check out their guava appetizer, we had so many refills of this refreshing one!
Dragon Bowl
Marina Square
6 Raffles Blvd, 03-129A

Henri Charpentier @ Tanjong Pagar Center

Henri Charpentier first opened their doors in Kobe in 1969 and has been bringing quality french sweets to the table and delighting thousands. Their first flagship opened in Dempsey and I never summoned enough resolute just for their desserts so happiness is me when I walk back and forth their glass display counter deciding what to order!


Strawberry Roll ($5.40)

With the amount of cream piled on top, I was expecting a soggy affair.  Lo and behold, it was far from that with a strawberry surprise hidden within too! We all agreed this was money well spent and calories well consumed.


Red Velvet Roll ($4.90)

I love my red velvets and while I found the best red velvet cupcake, finding THE red velvet cake or swiss roll was another cake game altogether.

The red velvet flavour was on point, I loved the deep red colouring of this and it made me feel almost nationalistic eating this - hurhur, the red and white! Normally swiss rolls are too light, filled with too much cream or too sweet, Henri Charpentier's version is just right with an addictive density to the swiss roll.

Red Velvet Cake 


Choux Puff ($4.90)

I once declared Tampopo's the best of its kind, until Henri's for sure. The delicate puff exuded a buttery charm from fragrance to that unmistakable aromatic first bite. I was sold through and through when the light whipped cream gave way to an equally delectable vanilla bean custard and almond sponge. So many layers but just so good. I felt almost bad for sharing this delightful little treat already.


Souffle Cheesecake ($6.40)

Light as a feather and almost melts into nothingness. This souffle cheesecake hardly tastes of cheese, but the joy is in its jellied exterior and marshmellow softness.


Double Cheesecake ($7.50)

This is a beauty to behold, with gold specks sprinkled over the cheesecake dust. The slice is tiny for a cheesecake but definitely not to be belittled. That creamy and rich flavours of this double  cheesecake left so much to be desired for. Exquisitely put together with so many different layers and boy, best cheesecake for sure. Move over, rich and heavy cheesecakes this one's in for the kill. No wonder, a best seller.


Apricot Tartin ($4.80) 


Apple Tartin ($4.80)

There's a limited range of baked goods sold too and apart from financiers and croissants, their tarts caught my eye. French style tarts are fruit baked on a very flat pastry base and in this case it was like pizza and the consistency was on the dense side. Between apricot and apple, I prefer the latter.

Financiers ($3.50)
Original, Matcha, Chocolate

These buttery slices are a tad sweet and chocolate's a favourite of the three!


Creme Biscuits


Dry cream sandwiched between the crumbly butter cookies. 

Desserts are on the pricey side but every item was spot on. They give extra care into their takeaways, ensuring even that the cakes do not collapse en route.

Henri Charpentier
Tanjong Pagar Center

St Clinton Baking Co. @ Purvis Street

St Clinton Baking Co and their fried chicken waffles and pancakes have long gained a queue and name for themselves as the brunch place. Finally brunch-lunch beckoned and what more a 50 off second mains on weekdays? Sold on the promotion as it is.


Smoked Salmon Scramble ($23)
Soft Scrambled Eggs, House-smoked Salmon, Scallion Cream Cheese, Dressed Greens


Chicken and Waffles ($21)

Honey-tabasco sauce, Vanilla Buttermilk Waffle, Maple Butter

I was bummed with the spongey and slightly soggy waffles yet maple butter and their signature honey tabasco sauce made up for it. Not to mention, the chicken.

I guess the song has been sung to death on what makes a good chicken, and strangely there isn't quite a full proof recipe on THE chicken. Yet, I have to admit being very pleasantly surprised with this crispy battered juicy chicken.

Yes, the battle of the waffle and chicken rendered me voting both. Only eaten together did it taste this awesome possum.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Plate ($25)
Honey-tabasco sauce, Slaw, Jalapeno Corn Bread


Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter ($19)

Banana walnut

Thick and fluffy yet the fans say this has seen better days. How though? I have them ricotta pancakes up on the pedestal and that would be ingenious to beat. So that said, this version is good enough.

St Clinton Baking Co
Purvis Street

Elements Hotel @ KL

My bad for not writing about our enjoyable staycay last December. We flew into KL for Christmas and with a toddler in tow, I had my eyes set on a serviced apartment accommodation - the space and kitchenette is ideal too.

Elements it was for being almost brand new and the reviews online about their 2 bedroom apartments were so sparkling, it was almost unbelievable how positive everyone's experience was.


I wish I have a full snap of the kitchenette, dining area and living room but yes, that idea was canned when the toddler ran in, started scooting through the rooms and...mayhem.


The spacious kitchenette, laundry area behind that closed door and entrance!


The master bedroom with such an inviting bed! The second bedroom was slightly smaller but three single beds fit really nicely inside so this apartment sleeps 5 really comfortably without anyone being master of the living room.


Marble tiled bathroom with some #bathroomgoals right there. Couple sinks, both a shower head and a bath tub and potentially I can go on forever.


The said rambunctious toddler who was so  busy scooting through the rooms - I guess he must've enjoyed the apartment really much.


We found time to go visit the pool not to waddle but well, chill. It's almost like an infinity pool. What wowed me was the daily complimentary yoga sessions available at the studio


TRACE is their only dining establishment within the hotel and while I wished we tried it out, there are simply too many dining options around the hotel. I even nabbed cakes from Intercontinental KL opposite!


The all day intercontinental buffet restaurant that was way over booked on Christmas Eve!

Elements Hotel
Kuala Lumpur

Sheraton Singapore: Shermay Lee x Dining Room

~Invited Session~


Cilicuka and Sambal Hijau

Shermay Lee, of Shermay Singapore Fine Food fame, has worked extensively in the Fand B scene in Singapore, providing food consulting services to big industry players (such as Fullerton Bay Hotel and Singapore Airlines). Largely regarded as a next generation doyen of fine Peranankan cuisine, her expertise is now tapped by Sheraton Towers Singapore in a collaboration with the buffet dining restaurant, The Dining Room.

After more than 11 years of operating, owning and teaching at the renown Shermay’s Cooking School, Shermay closed her school to focus on her food consulting and her brand of sauces – Shermay’s Singapore Fine Food. The brand owns and distributes its own range of four sauces (Cilicuka, a Peranakan chilli sauce based on her grandmother’s recipe) and dry spice mixes, such as, Nonya Chicken and Fish Curry Powders.

Presenting, Kuehntessentially Peranakan.


Platter of keropok to start


I had the pleasure to try the chili, the perfect foil to the crispy keropok. This came in 3 levels of spiciness. Her grandmother's original recipe was the one for level 1, a sweet tasting chili. This was pleasant and surely a crowd pleaser for many, but I like my chili strong and fiery. Next up was level 2, a blend of 25% chili padi and 75% red chillies. Deliciously addictive, this was a nice balanced of spiciness and sweetness with a tinge of garlic. 


But no pain, no gain. Level 3 it is. It is a 100% blend of chili padi, and is truly for those who are brave, or just love feeling of being burnt in the mouth. Boy that was hot. But it was sooooooooooo good. I just had to have it again and again and I finished 1/3 of the jar myself.


The Sambal Hijau was interesting; its almost a blended version of Chinese mei cai with sweet chili. This, to me, went well with something like prawn sticks, you know, the Calbee type? 


Kueh Pie Tee, a Nyonya quintessential!


We kick started the session with some deliciou kueh pie tee. Everything, down to the pastry, was handmade in house. The pork floss and prawn paste was just enough to provide a savory goodness to the dish, and not at all overpowering. What a great start!


Rojak Java, a not-so-common version of Rojak


This version had the ingredients soaking in generous prawn paste. Unlikely the other versions, whereby its drizzled on heavily, this one is eaten more as a dip. Turnip, Pineapple and Cucumber completes this seemingly simple but oh-so-hearty dish.

DSC_1461 DSC_1462

Over-baked snapper with sambal hijau baked in banana leaves


Now this was not a traditional Peranakan dish, since the main ingredient here is the snapper and not stingray. Shermay wanted to showcase dishes that was tasty, and yet easy enough to replicate in an everyday household kitchen. To her, this was merely marinating the fish in the spices, basting in generously, and then sticking into the oven. The taste, however, was much more complex than this and was just amazingly rich for such a simple dish (or so she claimed!).


Char Siew, with a wonderful charr


Peranakan char siew? This is certainly a cuisine that marries the flavorful roasts of Cantonese cuisine with the copious amount of spices in Malayan cuisine. This was done Cantonese style, with just the right amount of fats and chewy porky goodness. Super good.


Ayam Buah Keluak, simply divine!


I love buah keluak. So earthy, and fragrant, like our local version of black truffle. This version of ayam buah keluak is rich and gooey stew of a delightful mess. Best with copious amount of rice and a hearty appetite. When I was a teenager this was one of my go-to dishes whenever I saw it on the menu.


Udang Nanag Pedas, Prawn and Pineapples in spicy gravy


Next up was an ubiquitous prawn dish in Peranakan cuisine. This one was a tad too watery for my liking, and not spicy enough. If only the sauce was a bit more gao, perfect! Still, a very good version of this mainstay of Peranakan cuisine.


Coconut ice cream chendol that was very satisfying


We finished the meal with a delightful coconut ice-cream chendol. Just like what you get in Penang, this was light, not too sweet, and a little runny, just the right texture to me.


I was so full, that I did not even have space for the other items in the buffet line!


Such as this! Baked slipper lobster with chili and peppers


 And I did not have space for the wonderful desserts too!

This Shermay x The Dining Room collaboration is scheduled to run only on weekends in April, so only 8 days in a month. Seats are limited, so if I were you I would make my reservations very soon!

Dinner Buffet Prices at $68++ (Adults) and $34++ (Child).

The Dining Room
Sheraton Towers Singapore
39 Scotts Road


Souvenirs from Shermay's repertoire - keropok and cilicuka!


So much nostalgia in a single glass bottle. At heat level 1, this was barely spicy.


My keropok went skinny...dipping.


Like nachos to cheese, this is keropok to chilli and so darn addictive.


Don't say I didn't share, these were so addictive, the packet was gone in less than 2 seatings. Available online and selected outlets.