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The last Nando’s meal that I had was many years ago at Plaza Singapura and recently, my love for Nando’s flame-grilled chicken rekindled after a lunch visit to their outlet at Tanglin Mall.

First things first. I honestly did not know that Nando’s originated from a small Johannesburg suburb in South Africa in 1987. This was new information to me and it was only after my most recent experience there that I realised just how much I didn’t know about Nando’s.

Many things have changed since my last visit but what has not changed is their tantalising signature PERi-PERi sauce that pairs so well with their flame-grilled chicken. Mealtime will also now look and taste so much better thanks to bigger and hotter bottomless offerings. For just SGD$17.90, you can enjoy a 1/4 chicken with bottomless drink and bottomless chips or rice and if you’re a student, you get an even better deal because there are student meals inclusive of bottomless drinks that are priced as low as SGD$11!

Nando’s is a company with a purpose!

One thing that I really admire about Nando’s is their hot pursuit towards quality and sustainability. You can be rest assured that meals at Nando’s are freshly made with no added MSG or additives and made with 100% natural ingredients. Nando’s chickens are marinated for at least 24 hours in a special PERi-PERi marinade and because every Nando’s restaurant adopts an open kitchen concept, you can excite your taste buds with the visual pleasure of watching each piece of chicken meticulously grilled to perfection by Nando’s master grillers.

Nando’s also grows their own African Bird’s Eye Chilli straight from the source in Southern Africa. These chillies are essentially what Nando’s signature PERi-PERi sauces are made of.

What’s more? Nando’s has a taste for art! They are the biggest collector of South African art in the world and every Nando’s restaurant will have a unique collection of South African decor.

I also had a hands-on experience learning how to make my very own PERi-PERi sauce. If you want to try and make your own PERi-PERi sauce, here are the base ingredients that you will need:

Lemon Wedges, Diced Onion, Chopped Garlic, African Bird’s Eye Chilli, Oil, and Salt.

Take a few pieces of African bird’s eye chilli, and pound them together with some diced onion and chopped garlic. Then add a teaspoonful of oil and squeeze approximately three wedges of lemon before adding some salt to taste.

I am so going to be a loyal fan of Nando’s! Join their loyalty programme and be rewarded with awesome perks such as 1/4 chicken, half chicken, and whole chicken on the 3rd, 6th, and 9th visit! You can also enjoy additional privileges with every meal on the Nando’s Loyalty Mobile App.

With Nando’s taking its bottomless deals to the next level with free-flow of chips or rice on top of their usual free-flow drinks, sauces, and frozen yoghurt alongside their flame-grilled chicken; this is absolutely the reason why you should make a trip to Nando’s!

Singapore-based F&B start-up, The Kettle Gourmet is going two for two with the launch of their Limited Edition CNY Gift Box Combos and their Valentine’s Day Box Combos.

For just SGD$24, you can usher in the Year of the Water Tiger and enjoy freshly air-popped Halal popcorns in 8 different savoury and sweet flavours that are inspired by local delights such as Nasi Lemak, Chilli Crab, Fish Head Curry, Chicken Floss, Pulut Hitam, and Kaya Butter Toast! 

The Limited-Edition CNY Gift Box comes with a commemorative CNY 2022 sleeve and a customised handwritten card to personalise your blessings.

The Valentine’s Day Box Combos start at SGD$14 with two mini-sized (30 grams) and two regular-sized (65 grams) packets of freshly air-popped popcorns that are perfect for sharing with hot dates or your loved ones! Along with a customised handwritten card to put in words that you might be too shy to say, the commemorative Valentine’s Day sleeve also has a cut-out in the shape of a heart for you to mark the special day in style.

Founder and CEO of The Kettle Gourmet, Zac Chua, and his team have been working meticulously to distil the myriad of local delicacies into each bite of their popcorn and their latest creations, Pulut Hitam, and Fish Head Curry are a huge success. One interesting flavour which is in the works is Peking Duck so be sure to look out for it.

Personally, I enjoy the popcorns from The Kettle Gourmet because they are flavourful and highly addictive. Being the health-conscious person that I am, I appreciate the fact that the popcorn kernels used by The Kettle Gourmet are non-GMO and that their snacks contain no trans-fat! Available in mini-sized packets of 30g, it has been a breeze for me to practise self-control while indulging in snacks that contain no more than 140 calories per packet.

The design of their packaging is also top-notch, and it makes each unboxing an experience unto itself which is perfect and presentable for corporate gifting too!

I really like the creative cover designs on the popcorn packs, and they even have popcorn mascots for every flavour that is reminiscent of the NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that I am trading online. Maybe the folks from The Kettle Gourmet should consider venturing into NFTs; I am sure their popcorn subscription will complement the NFT (if they ever come up with one) as a form of utility!

The CNY Gift Box Combos and Valentine’s Day Box Combos are available here and orders will be delivered within 1 day and what makes the deal even sweeter is that if you spend SGD$30 and above, you get free island-wide delivery!

The Lunar New Year is fast approaching and if you are scrambling to straighten your plans and prepare for the festive season, you should consider getting the #cnygoodies from ONE°15 Marina because they taste really good and is perfect for gifting!

No Chinese New Year celebration is complete without the quintessential cookies and snacks and ONE°15 Marina has added modern touches to traditional favourites to give them a unique taste.

ONE°15 Marina’s traditional all-time favourite Organic Pineapple Rolls is both savoury and sweet in taste. With generous flakes of Himalayan pink salt sprinkled on, the Organic Pineapple Rolls is a treat for folks who enjoys a good time at the cinema with their sweet and salted popcorns mixed together.

Traditional Organic Pineapple Rolls

The selection by ONE°15 Marina also includes a limited edition spicy Hei Bee Hiam Pineapple Tarts, which features crusty pastry made with luxurious Elle & Vire butter from France and topped with organic pineapple paste flavoured with bird’s eye chilli and dried shrimps. Among the three treats, the spicy Hei Bee Hiam Pineapple Tarts is my personal favourite and it has an Assam-like taste. Although it says spicy Hei Bee Hiam, I honestly do not think it is spicy at all. With a unique combination of sweet, spicy, sour, and sweet tastes; the spicy Hei Bee Hiam Pineapple Tarts tops my list.

A European take on Chinese New Year snacks, the Parmigiano Reggiano Cookies is made with premium French butter and 24-month aged Italian Parmigiano Reggiano cheese that gives it a rich, sharp and nutty flavour. I personally found the Parmigiano Reggiano Cookies super cheesy and it has a very distinct flavour which cheese connoisseurs will appreciate. With a crunchy bite, the Parmigiano Reggiano Cookies has a balanced savoury and sweet taste and is a treat to behold.

24-Month Aged Parmigiano Reggiano Cookies

If you are not able to decide which of the three to get, you can order The Auspicious Trio, which is a bundle of all three cookies including the Organic Pineapple Rolls, spicy Hei Bee Hiam Pineapple Tarts, and 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano Cookies at just SGD$78+. But if you plan to just get one, I highly recommend the spicy Hei Bee Hiam Pineapple Tarts which costs just SGD$28.80!

Spicy Hei Bee Hiam Pineapple Tarts

Place your orders here – https://one15marina.com/shop/festive-specials/ today!

Do note that orders will be taken between 3 January 2022 and 15 February 2022 and they must be made three days in advance. Self-collection is available from 10 January to 15 February 2022.

Enjoy free delivery island-wide with a minimum order of SGD$60 but do note that delivery is available from 10 January to 15 February 2022, except 31 January and 1 – 2 February 2022.

When you are looking for a pizza oven, there are many different things to consider. Size, material and fuel type all come into play when it comes to how well the oven performs in your kitchen. In this article, we will talk about what you should look for before making a purchase decision so that you can find the perfect pizza oven for your needs!

When looking for a pizza oven, the first thing you should consider is size. How much countertop space do you have? Will your oven fit in this area and still leave room to work around it? What about if there are people who will be working with or near the oven frequently? You want them to be able to move easily without bumping into the oven. How much space is available inside the oven? How many pizzas at once do you need to be able to fit in your oven? Remember that bigger is not always better when it comes to pizza ovens. The type of fuel used and the material the oven is made out of can often lead to a faster and better-cooked pizza compared to just having a bigger oven.

When buying a pizza oven, it is important to understand that the material the oven is made out of is often more important than its size or brand. There are many materials that pizza ovens come in, but you want something that will last and stand up to years worth of use in your home without showing signs of wear or failure. Stone and brick ovens are great and known for their robust and rustic qualities. They can retain heat for longer while cooking your pizzas faster than steel or aluminium options. With that being said, there’s a tradeoff between these materials and size when it comes to the availability of space in your kitchen. Steel and aluminium options are often smaller than their stone and brick counterparts and usually heat up much faster because these materials are great conductors of heat. You should consider your available space and the size of pizzas you want to make before choosing a material for your oven.

The type of fuel used with your particular pizza oven is another consideration to think about when purchasing an oven for your home. Wood-fired options are great because the authentic taste from cooking with real fire is unmatched when compared to gas or electric options. That being said, most ovens are not designed to be used with only wood. For the best possible pizza cooking experience, you should use a blend of different types of fuel in your fire chamber so that you have more control over the heat inside your oven during cooking times. Something else to consider is how easy it will be for you to find and purchase the type of fuel you want to use. Wood is not always the cheapest or most convenient choice, but will bring added flavour and pizzazz to your cooking sessions!

When you buy a pizza oven, you will also need to consider the accessories needed to make your Italian masterpieces the best they can be. Two essential accessories needed are a high-quality pizza stone as well as a pizza peel. A pizza stone allows you to cook your pizzas evenly on the bottom of the oven while keeping them crispy and delicious. A pizza peel is what you will use to slide your mouthwatering pizzas into and out of the oven without burning yourself or ruining their shape by using a fork or other utensil. You should also consider investing in an electric stand mixer if you plan on making pizza dough at home. If you aren’t that into creating pizzas from scratch, then you can also buy pre-made or frozen dough

Finally, when looking for a pizza oven think about how often you are going to be using it in your daily life. If you are just an occasional home cook who enjoys making pizzas on the weekend, you might not need to invest in a top of the line oven. But if you are an avid home cook who enjoys pizza-making daily or multiple times per week, it might be worth your while to spend more money on a high-quality oven that will last and perform well over time.

As you can see, there are many different options to consider when looking for the perfect pizza oven for your needs and kitchen. If you follow these tips when purchasing an oven for your home, you will have a high-performing and long-lasting piece of equipment that gets the job done.

Going on a plant-based diet twice a month got me looking out for more options other than Impossible, Beyond, and the oily deep-fried gluten-rich vegetarian dishes from the hawker stalls; and the BamNut Noodbox got me super intrigued when I found out about it. Hence, the launch of WhatIF Foods’s instant noodles at FairPrice Finest stores came rather timely and I was raring to give it a go.

Before I dive deep into my personal take on their instant noodles, let me share more about WhatIF Foods, the company behind the BamNut NoodBox.

About WhatIF Foods

Founded on regenerative principles and with a mission to reinvent the food industry category by category, WhatIF Foods is permeating being a responsible company through all aspects of its product and service delivery.

WhatIF Foods offers an authentic, nutritious basket of regenerative foods – foods that replenish the nutrients we need throughout an active day; foods that regenerate land and reconnect us with our values and communities; foods that appreciate the interdependency of our wellbeing because we need nature in cities, life in food, and a purpose in communities. WhatIF Foods aren’t designed for baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, or Gen Z – but for the Regeneration.

The Very Interesting Thing About BamNut Noodles

What really caught my attention is the fact that the BamNut Noodles are made from highly sustainable crops like Bambara groundnut and are packed with plant-based protein. It also does not contain any artificial colouring, artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, palm oil, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Appearance

Depending on the flavour of the noodles, they will come in 4 different colours; orange, black, yellow, or green and they do look super colourful and delectable when cooked. With an attractive packaging that is both modern and stylish, its look and feel is certainly more premium-looking than that of the usual instant noodles. Then again, anything that looks premium probably comes at a premium price.

Texture

The texture of the noodles is springy/chewy and it has an al dente bite feel. As the noodles are meant to be served dry (with no soup), people who fancy their noodles with some wetness/soup might probably be disappointed.

Taste

I had the BamNut Charcoal noodles that come with the Shroom Pepper Seasoning while Jacqueline had the BamNut Moringa noodles that come with the Sesame & Garlic seasoning. 

I found the BamNut Charcoal noodles to be pretty salty so the next time I have this, I will just reduce the amount of seasoning. However, having said that, the BamNut Charcoal noodles are flavourful and has a tinge of spiciness.

As for the BamNut Moringa noodles that come with the Sesame & Garlic seasoning, I actually like the taste better and the colour is more appealing than the BamNut Charcoal noodles. There indeed is a hint of sesame and a vegetal aroma that may remind you of green tea.

Overall

If you’re going for a plant-based diet and are experimenting with what is possible, this might just be it. There are a couple of vegetarian instant noodle brands out there but in terms of nutritional content, BamNut Noodles pack a punch.

WhatIF Food’s plant-based noodles are lower in saturated fat, high in plant protein and deliver substantially more fibre content than comparable brands, and they are packed with flavours that do not make use of MSG, preservatives, or artificial colours. 

Founded with a mission to reinvent the way we create our favourite foods, with the insight that sustainability is not enough, their idea is to create plant-based foods that will replenish both us and the planet.

FairPrice Finest will carry a colourful array of noodles (orange, black, yellow, and green) which you can sample in the BamNut NoodBox, or buy a box of each flavour.

The BamNut NoodBox and all flavours of WhatIF Foods Noodles are exclusively sold at FairPrice Finest for the special price of $7.90 (instead of $8.90) in the months of July and August.

My journey with craft beer started way back in 2013 at Pasarbella and since then, I have tasted all sorts of craft beers and even went as far as New Zealand for some beer tasting. What you probably might not know is that the local craft beer scene is bustling and there are many local craft breweries here in Singapore!

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Sunbird Brewing Company is Singapore’s latest craft beer brewery that opened in April this year and what truly piqued my interest about this new local craft beer brewery is its name, “Sunbird”.

Do You Know?
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Starting off with a capacity of five hectolitres across a full-grain, three-vessel system; Sunbird Brewing Company currently offers a range of four beers that are aptly named – the ‘Fly in Light’ Pale Ale, ‘Birds of Paradise’ White IPA, ‘Eclipse of the Sun’ Scottish Ale, and ‘Fluff Up’ Belgian Witbier.

More recently, Sunbird Brewing Company launched its very first seasonal brew, the Ondeh-Ondeh Porter, in celebration of Singapore’s 55th birthday, and it is now my personal favourite as well.

The Ondeh-Ondeh Porter has a very bold and robust taste and it has a roasty flavour that resembles a burnt toast. The body is creamy and it pairs perfectly with spicy dishes. While some may find the aftertaste bitter, I personally found it just perfect. The initial sweetness likely comes from the Gula Melaka and the subtle hints of coconut and pandan are really unique.

We were very privileged to have an online interview with Clive Tan, Head Brewer and Director at Sunbird Brewing Company and it was an inspiring one as he shares his thoughts about his entrepreneurial journey.


Interview with Clive Tan, Head Brewer, Sunbird Brewing Company

What is Your Typical Day like as a Head Brewer?
I start work at 7 am for cellaring work and brewing and in the afternoon, I will work on the packaging and deliveries, and followed by paperwork at night.

What’s Your Favourite Beer Right Now and Why?
My favourite beer right now is still our Birds of Paradise White IPA. It’s refreshing and hoppy; so it’s really suitable as a day/night beer.

What Upcoming Trends will You Foresee in the Beer Industry?
We are currently in the hop-centric trend and I foresee that there will be more classic styles of beer that our team at Sunbird Brewing Company are prepared to brew.

What is Your Personal Take On 0% Alcohol Beers?
0% alcohol beers have certainly become more popular in the market these days. However, as Singapore’s exposure to craft beer is still at the entry-level, 0% beers might not take off in the next 5-10 years.

How did Your Journey as a Head Brewer Started?

I graduated from University with a Bachelor in Economics and Finance and with no working experience, I was jobless for 6 months. I then decided to take a leap of faith and purchased a ticket to Beerfest Asia where I went from booth to booth seeking for a job.

Fortunately, Innocence Brewing Company (which is now defunct) gave me an opportunity to become an Assistant Brewer and that was my first step forward in the craft beer brewing industry. A year into my job as an Assistant Brewer, I was poached by Archipelago Brewery and I became the youngest professional beer brewer in Singapore. 4 years later, I decided to embark on my plan to start Sunbird Brewing Company.

Coming from a business-oriented family, the conversations that I often have with my dad revolves around cash flows, ROI, and leadership skills; and that has greatly impacted me as an entrepreneur as the most important lesson that I have learnt from my dad is about business fundamentals.

How did the Ondeh-Ondeh Porter come about and How is it Made?
This seasonal beer started off as an idea during a brainstorming session with my team. It later became a serious project for us to showcase our skillset in curating a beer that is truly Singaporean. Since we are a local brewery, it is only natural for us to celebrate National Day with a Uniquely Singaporean flavour.

To make the Ondeh-Ondeh Porter; roasted grated coconut, Pandan leaves, and Gula Melaka are added during the brewing process of the malt-driven Porter beer style.


If you are interested to check out the range of craft beers by Sunbird Brewing Company, do check out their online shop at https://sunbirdbrewingco.com/collections/all. You will also enjoy free islandwide delivery when you spend $65 and above.

For more information about Sunbird Brewing Company, Like their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Sunbirdbrewingco and follow them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/sunbirdbrewing!

My encounters with everything that’s Spanish has always been memorable and pleasant. From the first-ever Paella that I have tasted at PasarBella to my once-in-a-lifetime experience in Peru where the main spoken language is Spanish; I really do appreciate the rich Spanish culture.

If you want to experience a slice of the Spanish culture here in Singapore without having to burn a big hole in your pocket for a flight to Spain, there’s one place for it, Tapas Club.

Tapas Club

Tapas Club is a casual Spanish restaurant chain that first launched in Singapore in 2017. It brings Spain’s vibrant and rich culinary culture to diners at accessible price points.

Creating an immersive dining experience where guests are able to enjoy traditional Spanish food, Tapas Club offers hearty food, quality wines, and show-stopping musical and flamenco performances.

The restaurant also houses a mercado where customers can purchase authentic Spanish food products as gifts or for their homes. This includes a selection of beers and wines, as well as Spanish preserves, olive oils, preserved vegetables and seafood, and signature cold cuts like Iberian ham.

A Haven for the Wine Enthusiasts

Tapas Club is an ideal chill-out place for after-work wine and cocktails (last order at 10pm on weekdays). The wine list has over 50 different labels and features a wide variety of wines from key wine producing regions in Spain.

Prices start from SGD 38 and guests have the option of ordering their wines by the glass, carafes or bottles – perfect for wine enthusiasts looking to discover more Spanish wines as all varieties are fully covered.

At Tapas Club, there are over 20 varieties of grapes from different types of wines, including the renowned Tempranillo – a black grape variety that is natively grown in Spain. The wines available at Tapas Club covers the many regions of Spain, such as Rioja or Ribera del Duero, as well as up-and-coming regions like Manchuela or Ribera del Guadiana.

In addition, Tapas Club also arranges bi-monthly wine pairing dinners, taking guests on a journey through the different regions of Spain with an assortment of wines and tapas.

Our Dining Experience at Tapas Club @ VivoCity

Tapas Club @ VivoCity is Tapas Club’s second outlet in Singapore and we are really envious of the folks who work around the Tanjong Pagar area because Tapas Club is a wonderful place to dine at and chill-out. If Tapas Club opens an outlet in the heartlands i.e. Punggol, you probably will find us there downing jugs of Sangria every day.

The warm and rustic ambience replicates the look and feels of a Spanish tavern and recently, we were there for dinner and we had an enjoyable time because the service was impeccable, the food was excellent, and the Spanish live band entertainment was splendid ……

& the best part?

The food was reasonably priced and the portion was good enough for a group of 4!

The Tapas Menu

Highlights on the wine-friendly tapas menu include Berenjena Con Miel, eggplant chips fried in a light batter then drizzled with honey for a salty-sweet finish. Next, a hearty serving of Piquillos Rellenos, deep-fried piquillo peppers stuffed with a filling of seasoned ground pork, bechamel sauce and onions, enveloped in a savoury demi-glace sauce.

Another showstopper is the all-time Spanish favourite, Tortilla de Patata a traditional egg and potato omelette served with a soft, barely set centre.

The restaurant also serves signature Croquetas De Jamon – ham croquettes, a staple at any Spanish restaurant. These are encased in a puffed crumb and filled with oozy bechamel sauce and savoury Spanish Iberian ham.

The Tapas+ section of the menu offers more substantial dishes of great value. Each dish comes with one complimentary side (guests may take their pick from a selection) and is best enjoyed either as a main course or shared among friends.

Highlights include the Pulpo a la Brasa, a wonderfully charred grilled octopus, served on a bed of confit potatoes then drizzled with olive oil and pimenton (ground dried Capsicum annuum chillies).

A classic addition to any Spanish meal is the Arroz Negro, a rich and briny squid ink paella that is tossed in Spanish rice with cuttlefish and clams. Atop the al-dente rice sits hefty dollops of garlic aioli which is best enjoyed mixed into the rice for a creamy, savoury finish.

Tapas Club Specials

A group of musicians and dancers perform traditional Spanish flamenco shows one Thursday per month, while Saturday, Sunday and PH brunch sees the introduction of the communal paella pan. Guests may tuck into unlimited servings of paella cooked in a 1.2-metre wide pan for only SGD$10 between 12-3pm. This echoes the way Spaniards eat on weekends, where large communal sharing dishes enjoyed in a spirited, vibrant atmosphere are the norm.

For a slice of the Spanish culture, head down to Tapas Club this weekend and enjoy the great authentic feast that’s specially prepared by the chefs!

Recently, we were at Balestier Road and as usual, the whole stretch of road can get pretty busy as there are many budget hotels and eateries located in the area. We went to Oopen Pasta and Grill Restaurant (that is situated within the compounds of Ibis Singapore Novena Hotel) for a weekend lunch and we had their 3-Course Chinese New Year (CNY) Set Menu which is priced at $28.80 nett per person.

The 3-Course CNY Set Menu consist of the following:

Soup

Crab Meat Soup with Sweet Corn

The Crab Meat Soup with Sweet Corn has a rather homely taste and it is not the typical western-style sweet corn soup where milk and cream is added. Topped with some real crab meat (not the usual crab sticks), the soup is definitely a great way to whet the appetite.

Main Course

There are three different types of main courses that are offered for the set menu- fish, chicken or pork; and although most people would go for the Honey Char Siew Chicken Thigh or the Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs, I really enjoyed the crispy Deep-Fried Snapper.

Do note that all three main courses are served with Cantonese Rice, Chinese Sausage and Dried Shrimp.

Deep-fried Snapper with Stir-Fried Broccoli and Mushroom with Ginger Oyster Sauce

If you’re in the mood for some seafood, the Deep-fried Snapper is a good choice but of course, I also know that not everyone is a fan of fish. As for me, I really enjoyed it because it’s fresh and crisp and the batter is light.

OR

Honey Char Siew Chicken Thigh with Wok-fried Hong Kong Kai Lan with Shallot

The Honey Char Siew Chicken Thigh is a perfect choice and if you bring your children along, I’m pretty sure they will enjoy it too. The meat is juicy, tender and cooked to perfection with a smoky flavour to it.

OR

Sweet and Sour Pork Rib with Stir-Fried Capsicum with Onion and Pineapple

Sweet and sour pork is a pretty classic Chinese dish that one can commonly find at almost all Tze Char stalls and if you like to have something familiar, this is probably it. Tangy in taste, you can’t go wrong with the Sweet and Sour Pork Rib.

Dessert

“Tong Shui” with Glutinous Sesame Rice Ball

The “Tong Shui” with Glutinous Sesame Rice Ball is a sweet finish to the 3-course meal. The fragrant and sweet ginger-based soup is made with some brown sugar and it mellows down the spiciness of the ginger, giving the whole dessert a nutty caramel flavour.

Afterthought

Overall, the 3-Course CNY Set Menu is extremely value-for-money and if you are planning a CNY office luncheon with little budget, this is probably it! On a side note, Oopen Pasta and Grill Restaurant does offer takeaways from their a-la-carte menu.

If you don’t frequent Balestier or if you haven’t been there before, you can just pop by Oopen Pasta and Grill Restaurant for a quick casual meal before you begin to explore the rich heritage and culture of Balestier.

Some recommended places of interests in the area for first-timers include Go Cho Tua Pek Kong Temple and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, and if you’re game enough, you can try some durians in Balestier too. Having said that, Balestier is also the home of Singapore’s best Tau Sar Piah stores, so if durian isn’t your cup of tea, then you should get some Tau Sar Piah, a traditional Chinese baked pastry with green bean filling.

Fun Fact #1:

The area of Balestier was named after Joseph Balestier, Singapore’s first American consul from 1837 to 1852 and the owner of a 1,000-acre sugar plantation which was located in Balestier.

Fun Fact #2:

In the 1880s, several bungalows were constructed, with one still remaining at Tai Gin Road known as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (formerly the Sun Yat Sen Villa or Wan Qing Yuan).

Fun Fact #3:

The Chinese labourers, who settled in the Balestier area, built a temple which still exists known as Go Cho Tua Pek Kong, with the area having the last free-standing wayang stage in Singapore that was built in 1906.

Lunar New Year 2019 is coming and in the days leading up to the eve of the Lunar New Year, most Chinese restaurants are usually very busy preparing and promoting their Lunar New Year specials and offers. If you have not made any reservations, you got to hurry because you don’t want to be caught in a situation where all the restaurants are fully booked.

If you are residing around Serangoon and Hougang and you don’t want to travel too far out for your reunion dinner, East Bistro is one Chinese-Hong Kong restaurant that you should consider because here, you can get 5-star quality dishes at wallet-friendly prices!

With renowned Lei Garden’s former Head Chef Tony Wong at the helm, East Bistro serves one of the best Dim Sum around and uses only the freshest ingredients to whip up some delicious Authentic Hong Kong Cuisine.

In this post, we will be sharing with you some highlights from our recent dining experience at East Bistro and what we think of it.

The Dishes We Had

Chinese New Year Menu
We tried some of their dishes from the Chinese New Year Menu and here are some of the highlights that we will like to share. If you are wondering which Chinese New Year Set Menus to get, we will actually recommend the 8-Course Set B ($528++ for 6 pax) Menu which includes Abalone “Lo Hei” Platter, Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Sea Treasure, Steamed Garoupa Fish in HK Style, and many more!

Steamed Garoupa Fish in HK Style

Personally, we love this dish and we wouldn’t mind having the entire fish to ourselves. Prized by the Cantonese for steaming, Garoupa is known for its delicate, tender and firm white flesh. The whole fish is steamed and then dressed with julienned green onion and ginger. Hot oil is then drizzled over the green onion and ginger. Light soy sauce is then dressed on the side of the fish. A clean and simple, yet incredibly delish dish.

Smoked Chicken in Ginger

Based off a traditional Hong Kong Recipe, the Smoked Chicken in Ginger has an exquisite and unique smoky taste. Using only Kampung chicken for its tender meat, the chicken is steamed to retain the moisture and its natural flavours. Having said that, it would really be lovely if the chicken was juicier as we felt that it was slightly dry.

Chilled Double Boiled Snow Lotus Seed

The Chilled Double Boiled Snow Lotus Seed is a rather special dessert and we really enjoyed it. Specially imported from Hong Kong and rarely found in Singapore, the high-quality Snow Lotus Seed is first boiled and then added to the dessert that is made from dried longans and large red dates.

Red Dates Cake, Price: $28.80 per KG

The Red Dates Cake is a traditional delicacy enjoyed during Chinese New Year. Using only large red dates, it is first boiled and subsequently made into a puree with some coconut added into the mix. The sweet fragrance of the red dates works beautifully with the creamy flavour of the coconut.

Normal A-La-Carte Menu
The dishes from East Bistro’s normal a-la-carte menu are really delightful and they are really good on its own. Here are some of the dishes from their a-la-carte menu that we tried and would recommend.

Crispy Rice with Crab in Soup, Price: Seasonal

A must-try at East Bistro. Keep your eyes peeled for the crackling of the golden fried rice crisps when they are tossed into the porridge. The broth is made up of chicken and pork bone, that is simmered for up to five hours. Chef Tony only uses Sri Lankan crabs for this dish, preferring their inherent tenderness and sweetness. The bright orange hue of the crustacean adds an extra sweetness to the clear soup. 

Iced Sweet & Sour Pork, Price: from $9 onwards

Unlike the typical Sweet and Sour Pork in Tze Char stalls that uses tomato-based sauce, the signature orange sauce at East Bistro is made from Hawthorne. The pork is first deep-fried to create the crispy skin, stir-fried with the Hawthorne sauce and presented on a plate of ice.

Chilled Mango Sago Cream with Pomelo, Price: $4 per serving

A refreshing chilled dessert using mango puree as a base enriched with evaporated milk for a creamier texture and served with a generous amount of freshly cut pomelo and mango

Overall

We had an enjoyable time at East Bistro and we will definitely be back for more. In fact, we are really glad to have found this hidden gem that’s quietly tucked away in Serangoon Garden because having tried their dishes, we really want to bring our family there for our usual weekend dinner gatherings.

Opening hours

Mondays to Sundays: 11.00AM –3.00PM, 5.00PM –10.00PM

Contact Details

Address: 1 Maju Avenue, #02-01, Singapore 556679

Telephone: 6634 2998

Getting There:

By bus –73, 136, 315 or 317

By car –enjoy free valet service every Friday evening from 6.00pm to 10.30pm and weekends and Public Holidays from 10.00am to 10.30pm.

From a stunning lion and dragon dance performance on the first day of the Lunar New Year (5 February 2019) at the hotel’s main driveway to a wide array of prosperous Lunar New Year delicacies and takeaway goodies, there’s something for everyone this Lunar New Year at Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

Looking for a unique place to have a memorable reunion dinner?

Well, make the Year of the Pig a memorable one for you and your family when you dine at Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro, Singapore’s highest Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant in Singapore! Featuring seven auspiciously-themed set menus; from the eight-course Prosperity menu at $538++ for four persons to the Splendour menu that features Braised Four-head Australian Abalone among its courses at $2,588++ for 10 persons; you can look forward to a fine epicurean experience that’s unlike any other.

Making a debut on the menus this year would be the Double-Boiled Free-Range Chicken Soup with Bird’s Nest, Sea Coconut and Snow Pear, Roasted Chicken with Szechwan Mala Sauce, and Deep-Fried Prawn with Yuzu Sauce.

Prefer to avoid the crowds and have an intimate reunion dinner at home instead?

If you prefer to celebrate Lunar New Year in the comfort of your own home and yet have a slice of what Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro has to offer, you can opt to take away delicious specialities such as the Baby Abalone Fortune Pot and Prosperity Salmon Yu Sheng. Perfect for cosy home gatherings, Shisen Hanten’s rendition of the classic fortune pot is a combination of 20 premium delicacies that include dried oyster, fish maw and Chinese sausage. All purchase of the Baby Abalone Fortune Pot includes a complimentary Salmon Yusheng and Glutinous Rice with Dried Sausages.

Also available are festive goodies such as Hokkaido Pumpkin Steamed Nian Gao, Golden Pineapple Ingots, and Steamed Yam Cake with Dried Scallop, alongside traditional favourites. A new addition would be the Crispy Caramel Treats with Pine Nuts, a delicious snack that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

For reservations and enquiries, call +65 6831 6262/6266 or email shisenhanten.orchard@meritushotels.com

Hungry for more?

A sumptuous feast awaits at Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s award-winning Japanese-inspired international buffet restaurant, Triple Three. Lunar New Year specials will showcase classics such as Buddha Jumps over the Wall, Braised Pork Trotters with Black Moss, Roasted Suckling Pig, and Glutinous Rice with Chinese Sausage wrapped in Lotus Leaf. For dinner, diners can also indulge to their heart’s content in grilled lobster topped with a decadent layer of salted egg yolk butter sauce.

Must-try dishes would also include Executive Chef Sam Chin’s Nyonya-Spiced Roasted Kurobuta Pork Rack where he incorporates flavours from his hometown, Penang. Other highlights of the buffet include the freshly-shucked oysters, seafood on ice, and sushi and sashimi.

No Lunar New Year festivity is complete without the tossing of the Yusheng for good fortune. On the first, second, and even days of the Lunar New Year, this ceremonial dish will be included on the lunch and dinner buffet spreads of Triple Three so that diners and their loved ones can toss their way to prosperity!

Also available are traditional sweets such as Love Letters, Pineapple Tarts, Kueh Bang Kit, and Cashew Nut Cookies. One other major highlight would be the coconut-flavoured jelly in the shape of a Koi Fish which symbolises abundance.

Buffet Pricing

Lunar New Year Eve (4 February)
Lunch: $88++ Adults $48++ Child
Dinner: $138++ Adults $48++ Child*
*Includes free-flow house-pour wine, beer, juices and soft drinks

First Day of Lunar New Year (5 February)
Lunch: $128++ Adults $48++ Child
Dinner: $118++ Adults $48++ Child

Second Day of Lunar New Year (6 February)
Lunch: $128++ Adults $48++ Child
Dinner: $118++ Adults $48++ Child

For reservations and enquiries, call +65 6831 6288/6271 or email dine.orchard@meritushotels.com.

Last but not the least, if you’re a tourist and you happen to be in Singapore during the festive Lunar New Year, you must check out Chatterbox because this is where you can feast on a scrumptious selection of local delights such as the Legendary Mandarin Chicken Rice, Chatterbox Lobster Laksa, King Prawn Fried Hokkien Noodles, and not forgetting the classic Salmon Yusheng for an auspicious start to the new year.

For reservations and enquiries, call +65 6831 6291/6288 or email chatterbox.orchard@meritushotels.com.

There’s really indeed something for everyone this auspicious Lunar New Year at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, so do make your reservations early to avoid any disappointments!