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P14 Fast Track: Explore Scenic Taiwan by Rail


Healthier Recipes And They Aren’t All About the Greens Four Chefs, Four Themes, 12 Recipes To Try



Feel Good Food: A Brave, New and Tasty Dining Conscience

Eco Choices: Staying Sustainable in the Kitchen

P6 Bar-roque Grill: Stephane Istel fires up French Flair at this rotisserie and bar

P10 Dishing Out Romance: Where to Dine this Valentine’s

P26 Stylish Tomes: Literary Picks to See and Be Seen With



PUBLISHER Jasmine J. Goh EDITORIAL Associate Editor Jasmine Tham SALES Business Director Joey Tan

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The pros and cons of detox and how to improve your health, post-festivity binges.


SPOTLIGHT – Sustainable Dining

Dining with a conscience and how it enhances your eating experience.



Executive chef Stephane Istel gets obsessive about cooking and hearty French fare at Bar-Roque Grill.


Yenn Wong shares what it is like doing business in Hong Kong.



Cupid’s arrow takes aim at dining spots this month.


Four chefs serve up 12 honest-togoodness recipes with juices, salads, super ingredients and gluten-free sweets.



New this month for the home and pantry




Simple changes to green up your kitchen space.






Singapore’s largest gourmet festival returns from 6th to 9th March at The Promontory @ Marina Bay Taiwan’s extensive web of railways makes hunting down scenic spots a breeze for tourists.


The best reads during solitary lunches. Here’s our pick of the literary crop.


Plug into the social scene with a Broadway musical, jazz festival and Flower Dome exhibition showing in the coming weeks.



Senior Sales Executive Tasha N. Sim DESIGN Art Director Han CONTRIBUTORS Alwinn Oh, chef Alan Chia, chef Agnetta Lew, Joy Fang, Yip Jieying, executive chef Sven Capon, Toety Liang, corporate chef Tony Tan FOR ENQUIRIES, E-MAIL US Information | Advertising Sales | Tel: 6295 0810 THE FOOD JOURNAL is published by RedTree Group Pte Ltd. MICA (P) 088/12/2013. Copyright is held by the publisher. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. The views expressed in The Food Journal are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by The Food Journal. The Food Journal welcomes new contributions but assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Distributed and circulated by Region Periodicals Distributor Pte Ltd. Printed by Colourscan Co. Pte Ltd.

The Food Journal is available at leading restaurants, cafes, hotels, salons, and retail stores. We are also on the following digital platforms: Facebook ( thefoodjournalsingapore) and Starhub’s Booktique Magazines (for Android devices)

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Senior Media Manager Michelle M. W.

A list of celebrated retail, café, restaurant and hotel gems around Singapore

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There’s no time like the post-festivity period to bring up feelings of guilt at having overindulged. It’s easy then to turn to quick-fixes and promises of a healthier (and leaner) new you. By JASMINE THAM


ad diets, such as detoxification is the unsupported belief that a drastic change to the diet can help to remove toxins in the body,” states Sarah Sinaram, senior dietician at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre. Such a diet is unnecessary because our bodies are capable of ridding toxins on its own, through the lungs, livers, kidneys and digestive system. While the medical community generally

echoes her view, there are also holistic practitioners who argue the point that after years of piling the body with additives, chemicals and refined sugar, our organs can use some support to facilitate the elimination of toxins. “No matter how efficient our bodies may be in their natural detoxifying process, they need a push and reset button. Like going on a wholesome diet to allow your digestive system and liver

some rest,” says Li Lihui, managing director of hic’Juice, whose cleansing programme promotes going on juice fasts that range from one to five days. We know for sure that our livers and kidneys, the main workforce behind detoxing, are designed to process and rid toxins in the form of perspiration, for example. But if we view prevention as better than the cure, then holistic diets may teach us a thing or two about getting healthy.

Hic’Juice delivers raw, organic and cold-pressed juices to your doorstep.

The Food Journal • 1

SPOTLIGHT Raw Phad Thai from Living Cafe & Deli

fulfils the prerequisite nutrients for the liver to perform detoxification well. The logic behind this practice is that “the liver needs vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B complex, D and C, and magnesium, calcium and zinc to properly function,” shares Heather. Living Cafe & Deli by Dana Heather


“There are no quick fixes. People are kidding themselves if they think that a three-day diet will clear up all the toxins inside,” points out Dana Heather, Master Nutritionist with a Medical Science Degree in Pathology at Balanced Living, a wellness centre that offers holistic health support, from health consultations and detox programmes to yoga and healing retreats. “True detoxification isn’t a crash diet, and takes longer than three days. Cleansing diets, on the other hand, are shorter in duration and useful for internal maintenance, by giving your overloaded liver a chance to rest and catch up with the backlog of toxins built up in the body,” she explains. Li echoes the same sentiments: “Juice cleansers work more as a routine maintenance while ensuring that the

body gets sufficient nutrients.” The consumption of foods like lemons or celery are believed to shift the body from an acidic to alkaline state, boosting immunity and helping in detoxification.


As a start, cut out unhealthy substances. This refers to a list of most people’s diets: ingredients and foods like refined sugar, white flour, processed foods, and red meat and dairy. Then comes what you can eat. According to Heather, these are foods with proper nutrients that are needed to support detoxification. Nutrition plays a vital role in detoxification. Most practitioners will advise participants to undergo a screening test for suitability before embarking on any detox programme. They are then placed on a diet that

Is Your Liver Overloaded?

The aim of detoxification, it seems, is to give the good nutrients to the body first. But, choose your own battles and if the idea of detox doesn’t appeal to you, there’s always the fallback as Sinaram suggests – exercising.

“There are no quick fixes. People are kidding themselves if they think that a three-day diet will clear up all the toxins inside.” - Dana Heather, Master Nutritionist at Balanced Living

Feel bloated?

If you answer yes to most of the questions below, chances are, you’re in need of a healthier diet. Do you experience fatigue? Have trouble falling asleep?

Feel irritable and angry all the time? Do you have bad breath?

2 • The Food Journal

Poor memory?


Healthy Servings If a full detox programme still intimidates you, know that you can still improve your health with these tips. JUICE IT Instead of sugar-laden soda drinks, juices are an easy way to bulk up on the recommended two servings each of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Keep the sugar content balanced, by adding greens such as celery, cucumbers and spinach.

SKIP THE RED MEATS Carried out over a week, it’s an acceptable way to abstain from fatty meats, as long as you still get your iron from other food sources, says Sinaram. Try spinach, kale and broccoli.

MAKE TIME FOR BREAKFAST The morning meal provides us with much needed energy and nutrition to start the day. It also helps keep your focus at work and prevents overeating at lunch. If you’re in a rush, grab a digestive biscuit for convenience.

GOT MILK? If you’re unable to cut down on morning coffee, pay attention to what you add to

your cuppa. Avoid creamer, full-fat, evaporated or condensed milk. Use low fat milk instead and limit your sugar intake to one teaspoon a cup. Also applies to tea drinkers.

CHOOSE THE HEALTHY FATS Good fats are essential to any healthy diet, such as nutrient-dense avocados, bananas, brown rice, seeds and nuts.

COLOUR CODE A variety of colourful vegetables ensures that you’re getting the best nutrients for your body. Red, purple or blue-pigmented foods like blueberries and purple sweet potatoes contain water-soluble anthocyanin pigments that provide antioxidant protection.

DELAY GRATIFICATION Pick your moments to indulge, especially at the buffet table. For example, have a salad before consuming dessert. Give the good stuff to the body first, says Heather.

The Food Journal • 3



Keeping our resources sustainable and how it enhances your dining experience. By JASMINE THAM


ne can say that responsibility is very much at the core of sustainability, especially in a society where dining out has become the norm. To eat with a consciousness of sustainability requires us to mindfully consume such that it does not undermine health, energy and finite resources, with the aim of averting that much dreaded breakdown in the complex food eco-system.


Whether a cuisine is “sustainable” can be traced back to its food source. Most restaurants in Singapore import their ingredients, which result in a considerable carbon footprint from the usage of non-renewable fuel, coupled with carbon emissions. Richard Lee, who owns Table 24, which serves contemporary American-Asian cuisine, hesitates to import ingredients and wines from California. Instead, he chooses to source 50 to 60 per cent of produce from local hawkers. One of his most admired companies is US-based organic purveyor Whole Foods Markets, who in his view, goes beyond dollars and cents to fulfill a broader social purpose. “I believe that there’s a lot more we can do than just cook delicious food. We also do what we can to make things better by making conscious choices on ingredients,” shares Lee. Another way to reduce carbon footprint is, well, to grow the ingredients. Kerbside Gourmet, aka Asia’s first social enterprise food truck, grows its own thyme for its signature dish, pea puree with 62-degree egg. Owner Ee Poh Luan believes that it is best that the produce “This year, we are trying to see how we can improve on reducing usage of plastics, if possible, in our takeaways,” says Ee Poh Luan.

“My greatest wish for 2014 is to have reliable and affordable sources of wild-caught salmon and include more organic whole grains such as faro and quinoa on the menu,” says Richard Lee.

is acquired as close to the source as possible. This ensures that food is fresh and chemical-free. Another restaurant that has its own garden space is The Waterfall at ShangriLa Hotel, Singapore. It cultivates over 70 culinary and medical herbs, including the basil leaves that go into the watermelon salad and drinks available during their Sunday brunch spread. Sustainability is also about letting nature take its course. It preaches against perverting the feed of animals; for instance, the digestive system of cattle

is geared towards grass, instead of grain. “The objective of the farming practice to feed with grain is to fatten the cow faster and speed up the ‘harvesting’ process. But I can’t imagine cows like eating grains very much, just like if humans were only allowed to eat, say, pork fat,” shares Lee. And with six in 10 people eating out daily, according to a 2010 National Nutrition Survey, the food industry is increasingly feeling the pressure to ensure resource management and in turn reduce food wastage. The latter is also something that Unilever Food Solutions, who provides ingredients and services to chefs around the world, is trying to encourage among chefs and restaurant owners.


Pleasing the palate has been the end-all and be-all for gourmands. But it’s now as important to pay attention to food as nourishment, not extravagance. You are what you eat, so the first step to healthy living is all about ingesting fresh rather than processed foods. “Processed foods have a lot of added chemicals which can cause chronic inflammation. There’s also growing evidence that refined carbohydrates, as a result of processing, is a primary factor for heart disease,” says Lee.

4 • The Food Journal

White Tuna Tartare from Table 24

Wild Mushroom Risotto from Table 24


SPRING to drive sustainable dining from various angles such as the Seductive Nutrition service in 2012, followed by the Healthier Dining Program in 2013. Working in collaboration with Unilever Food Solutions, under the “Seductive Nutrition” service in early 2013, Grand Copthorne Waterfront was one of the first major hotels to launch a healthier Chinese banquet menu for wedding guests. This translates into a menu using less salt and oil, and healthier cooking methods. The Waterfall’s alfresco area

The pros of dining sustainably spill into the big picture. Nicola Coccia, executive chef at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, cites examples like Mugaritz in Spain, Noma in Denmark, and D.O.M. in Brazil. “In the case of D.O.M., its push for certain ingredients from the Amazonian Forest has thrown new crops of food into the spotlight. This has spawned a true food revolution and made more food options available to people in Brazil.”


Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Meanwhile, what does one make of sustainable dining in Singapore? Insights can be found in journalist and food activist Michael Pollan’s article, How Change Is Going to Come About In The Food System, published in 2011. Persuading the media or political groups on the merits of sustainable dining may

not necessarily translate into change, he warns. And if change does come about, it is likely initiated by other organisations like the grassroots and institutions that stand to gain from this approach.

Chef Coccia, for one, is optimistic about the future: “The key is for it to be a collective, group effort.”

Unilever has embarked on the globalscale Sustainable Living Plan in 2010, a 10-year journey towards sustainable growth from a holistic angle - all the way from sourcing for sustainable raw ingredients to helping to improve the health and nutrition of diners. So that by 2020, it will have achieved its three goals to improve health and well-being, reduce environmental impact and source 100 percent of agricultural raw materials sustainably. Locally, it has partnered government bodies like Health Promotion Board and

Executive chef Nicola Coccia

The Waterfall’s herb-inspired cocktails

In countries like Brazil, the push to use certain ingredients has spawned a food revolution and made available more food options.

The Waterfall at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

The Food Journal • 5


SOME LIKE IT HOT Chef Stephane Istel

Bar-Roque Grill is where executive chef Stephane Istel conjures up his hearty French comfort fare. By JASMINE THAM French master chef Michel Royer, Maitres Cuisinier de France, at his restaurants throughout St Tropez on the Riviera to St Martin in the Caribbean. Before leaving France in 2003, Chef Stephane also had a quick stint at l’Auberge de l’Eridan with Marc Veyrat. It was his first experience working for a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux association and a Michelinstarred restaurant. In 2004, he joined chef Daniel Boulud at DB Bistro Modern in New York, following him to Canada in 2008 for DB Bistro Moderne. More recently, in 2010, Chef Stephane found himself in Singapore to helm Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.


rama. Grandeur. Exuberance. Such extraordinary concepts not only set the baroque era of the 17th century apart as an enduring stylistic movement, but also contributed to the emergence of the dining room, which was reserved strictly for the enjoyment of food. And as the name implies, Bar-Roque Grill co-owner and executive chef Stephane Istel subscribes to these idealism. His adventurous spirit showed early in life – the Alsace native discovered his love for cooking at just 15 years old, and had already begun working alongside

6 • The Food Journal

Flavours are wondrously contradictory: refined yet hearty, traditional yet innovative. Results are superbly tasty, as indicated by menu highlights like rotisserie free-range chicken, Australian pork knuckle, crisp tarte flambé, house-made and house-smoked charcuterie. Oh, there’s even a special apple pie recipe inspired by his mother.


Last year, Chef Stephane left DB Bistro Moderne to set up Bar-Roque Grill, a modern rotisserie and bar, with business partner Kori Millar. Rustic and eclectic, the interior charms with cosy accents such as handsome wood-top tables built for lavish, boisterous feasts. And getting personal is what Chef Stephane does when he arrives in the kitchen. “I enjoy classical cooking methods, from rotisserie to traditional braising,” he lets on. “These are mainly classical techniques to bring out the best in the produce, with the addition of love!”

Charcuterie board

Merrymakers can quench their thirst at the bar. It’s stocked with artisanal cocktails like infused rums with refreshing flavours of lychee and ginger, red, grape, pear and cinnamon; and pineapple, chilli, star anise and vanilla. Let’s get the fire up, someone said?

I’m always cooking – at work, at home, or with friends. I went on a vacation and did not cook for two days – I was so depressed! What would you recommend to first-timers at Bar-Roque Grill?

I was born in Alsace so I do a mean tarte flambe and choucroute garnie. I also love making charcuterie from scratch, and I do several types at Bar-Roque since we have our own smoking machine.

You described Michel Royer as having “awakened your hunger for life and success”. What important lesson(s) did you learn from him?

He always encouraged me to be stronger in the kitchen, not just physically but also mentally. Everyone must have a dream – to believe in it and commit to it so that we can achieve it. I decided that I wanted to have my own restaurant when I turned 35, and I spent a long time working towards it. Indeed, when I opened Bar-Roque Grill last year, I was 35!

You also worked alongside Daniel Boulud for over eight years. Describe the experience.

He is the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my profession. It’s not just culinary techniques he’s taught me – from Daniel, I learnt to wake up every morning and look forward to pleasing our guests at the restaurant, to be generous with what we offer and to be sincere in our cooking. He is strict and firm but also big-hearted, always willing to impart and share his vast knowledge. When I was convalescing at the hospital due to an accident in the kitchen in 2005, Daniel presented me his book A Letter To Young Chefs. I still value it for all the lessons it contains.

Any thoughts on the local culinary scene?

Absolutely fantastic! It feels like a little New York here. It is so easy to find good food here. I love the variety – local, European, Asian and Australian. It is indeed a food paradise!

The key culinary trend for 2014?

Diners are rediscovering the classics so more restaurants will offer dishes that reflect cooking methods authentic to the place of origin.

What’s the greatest satisfaction about being a chef?

I look forward to making my guests happy through my cooking. I’m always cooking – at work, at home, or with friends. I went on a vacation and did not cook for two days – I was so depressed!

How do you try to stay ahead in an industry as tough as this?

I started cooking 20 years ago. Today I am the only one in my culinary class of 20 classmates who is still cooking. When I began, I had no idea how long the road ahead would be. But I held on to my dream, despite the gruelling training, long hours and busy weekends, because I wanted to keep learning. I am passionate and I work hard, so I know I will arrive at my destination.

Since it’s the season for love and romance, what would you cook in order to win a woman’s heart?

As my partner is from New Zealand, I would prepare her favourite abalone ingredient from New Zealand, Alsatian style.

BAR-ROQUE GRILL 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-00 Tel: 6444 9672

Rotisserie Chicken

The Food Journal • 7


COSMOPOLITAN FLAVOURS Yenn Wong offers insights on doing business in Hong Kong, and according to her latest venture, sherry, is the drink du jour. By JASMINE THAM


enn Wong, the Singaporean entrepreneur who gave us casual Thai eatery KHA, Australian cuisine-based Graze and Spanish paella bar, Bomba, has closed her slew of eateries operated by Epicure, a subsidiary of JIA. “Singapore is my hometown and holds a special place in my heart. But for now, I am focusing on my businesses in Hong Kong,” explains the 36-year-old who also founded boutique hotel JIA in 2004 in Hong Kong.

Chai. The eatery is conceptualised in true Spanish bodega style – as a bustling intersection for socialising over good food and drinks. Specifically, the tipple of choice is sherry in over 50 varieties and styles. Guests can sip upon world-class favourites including sherries from the nonpareil elBulli cellar. “I love creating places that are eclectic, and warm yet infused with a sense of fun, where you can enjoy delicious food,” adds Wong.

The new mother, who recently delivered her first child, a baby boy, will turn her business acumen to Hong Kong where she is currently based with her husband.

The design pays homage to Spain’s flamboyant culture, and features vibrant Spanish-style tiling on its interior and exterior. As with most of Wong’s hotels and restaurants, expect no less from the design. The 1,300 sq ft space is designed by awardwinning Shanghai-based architectural design practice Neri&Hu, and features vibrantly-coloured Spanish tiles in the restaurant’s interior and exterior.

In Hong Kong, her latest coup in a string of dining establishments is Ham & Sherry, a jamon and sherry tapas bar which opened last year and that is situated at 1 – 7 Ship Street in Wan Ham & Sherry

8 • The Food Journal

Ham & Sherry is also her second collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton in Hong Kong. The first is 22 Ships, a tapas bar located at 22 Ship Street, along the same street as Ham & Sherry.

How does running restaurants in Singapore differ from that in Hong Kong?

The people in Hong Kong and Singapore have different expenditure patterns and expectations of restaurants. In Hong Kong, foodies are usually looking to find a couple of hidden gems, not necessarily expensive cuisine, but simply delicious food. In Singapore, you can get great food at almost every corner. There are

“Success comes from forward thinking and staying ahead of your customers’ needs.” numerous culture precincts where foodies can venture out to. They tend not to pay more than the average price, unless it is to dine in a celebrity chef or Michelin-starred restaurant.


implementation and understanding of the market is high. Success comes from forward thinking and staying ahead of your customers’ needs.

What were the lessons you learnt from the closure of Bomba, Graze and KHA?

I learnt how to accommodate and work with people from all cultures and backgrounds. I also learnt that the food and beverage industry could be very different in different countries.

What are some dining/nightlife trends in Hong Kong now?

I expect to see more independent restaurant entrepreneurs, setting up more focused and smaller menus, with strong characteristics. I think there will also be quite an influx of foreign celebrity/Michelin starred chefs coming into the market and aiming to open in more interesting pockets/locations.

What’s your advice to would-be entrepreneurs?

If you truly believe in something, take a risk and go for it. HAM & SHERRY G/F, 1-7 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2555 0628

El Bulli Selection

You’ve managed collaborations with celebrity chefs and designers successfully – what’s your secret?

22 SHIPS 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2555 0722

Communication. It sounds simple but having partners you can communicate with openly and honestly, by sharing and listening to ideas, is key.

In your partnership with Jason Atherton, what does each of you bring to the partnership?

We both will only work on projects that we are passionate about. When people hear his name, they know what quality of dining to expect, and that’s always a good thing to have by your side. On my part, I have several years of running business operations under my belt, so the collaborations work well.

Pan Con Sobrasada & Fried Quail’s Egg

Chef Director Jason Atherton

What are the challenges that you now face, basing your food empire in Hong Kong?

Hong Kongers are getting more creative with their restaurant concepts and the dining scene is improving, from say, five years ago. Coming up with something eclectic and fun yet hits the mark food-wise can be difficult, but it’s always more satisfying when it turns out to be successful.

How are you trying to overcome these challenges? I have an incredible team. Many of us have been working together for a few years now so the

The 22nd Ship Bespoke Sherry Paella Arincini Chorizo & Pepper Puree

The Food Journal • 9


DISHING OUT ROMANCE Cupid aims his arrow at dining spots this February.

Let Them Eat Cake

For those who adore saccharine treats, sink your teeth into The Icing Room’s exclusive cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. We love the Red Cupid ($18.80), a creative heart-shaped twist on the red velvet cake stuffed with blueberries and white chocolate ganache. Be My Valentine ($18.80) is irresistible with fluffy vanilla sponge cake and a kiss of chantilly cream. #B1-58/59, Serangoon NEX, T: 6634 4486 for full outlet listings, visit

Laws of Attraction License to Thrill

The Whirlwind Romance package from Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel (from $2,288) comes close to celebrity-style celebrations its extravagance. Other than a two-way limousine transfer, couple’s massage and rose bouquet, there is also a romantic poolside dinner complete with personal butler, from 14 to 16 February. If you prioritise feasting, drop by 10 at Claymore on 14 February for dinner ($98/pax) to savour dishes like Australian beef tenderloin infused with marmite pinot glaze. 10 Claymore Road T: 6831 6626

Visual appeal is always a plus, so naturally Da Paolo BistroBar is pulling out all the stops with its rainbow-hued four-course Valentine’s Day menu ($128/pax) for lunch and dinner on 14 February. Hokkaido scallops tempt with a vivid dash of pumpkin mash, while pan-fried cod fish mingles with truffled white beans – truffles being a prized Roman ingredient for masculine potency – and cauliflower foam within a minimalist white palette. 3 Rochester Park, T: 6774 5537 Homemade Heart-shaped Pasta stuffed with Alaskan Crab Meat in Saffron

Chocolate Love Affair


Pleasure Seeker

Get the ultimate aphrodisiacal high at KU DÉ TA restaurant this Valentine’s Day with executive chef Frederic Faucheux’s enticing lineup from 7 to 16 February ($168/ pax) to tempt taste buds. Expect to slurp on caviartopped fresh oysters and rose jelly as well as a decadent Chocolate Love Affair (rose macarons with Nepal pepper chocolate marshmallows).

Love on Top

Whisk your beau away for a dining experience under the stars at The Lighthouse Restaurant and Rooftop Bar. The six-course Valentine’s Day menu ($800/couple) wows with Southern Italian delicacies like Alaskan crab-stuffed pasta, and marinated strawberries with ricotta ice cream. Sweeten the deal with an accompanying bottle of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne.

SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3 T: 6688 7688 Tuna Tataki

10 • The Food Journal

L8 The Fullerton Hotel, T: 6877 8933


There’s nothing like a hearty meal together for good bonding. Hotfoot it to Lawry’s The Prime Rib Singapore on Valentine’s Day for a scrumptious fivecourse feast ($118/pax) with delectables like the signature succulent Roasted Prime Ribs of Beef and juicy Lamb Rack with Honey Pistachio Crust. Seafood lovers, be sure to order the mouthwatering Atlantic Lobster Tail that’s guaranteed to please.

Eat Your Heart Out

Roasted lamb rack with honey pistachio Crust

#04-01/31 Mandarin Gallery T: 6836 3333

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food,” shared playwright George Bernard Shaw. Foodie couples can earn their gourmand badges with a threecourse Valentine’s Day dinner ($108/ pax) at the resort-style restaurant Pool Grill. Executive chef Kevin Thomson delivers a velvety smooth Duck Foie Gras Terrine while the Wagyu Beef Tenderloin simmered in bone marrow juice is a slab of pure indulgence. Be prepared to shed your culinary inhibitions. L5 Singapore Marriott Hotel T: 6831 4605

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse

French Kiss

Nobody conjures up romantic adventures better than the French, making Balzac Brasserie & Bar the place to be this Valentine’s Day for a dinner celebration ($98/pax). Dine on dainty bites like Mozambique prawn tartare and black truffle tarte flambée amidst the Parisian-style decor. Round off your memorable gastronomic jaunt with the Light Balzac Opera Cake with Homemade Hazelnut Ice Cream. Tartar of Mozambique prawns with caviar

Flammekueche with black truffle

#01-01 Rendezvous Gallery T: 6336 0797

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Find your culinary inspirations at ToTT The 36,000 sqf kitchen wonderland comes complete with two cooking studios, a Bake&Go corner, a bistro, Lil' ToTT area, a well-stocked retail section and Jasons The Gourmet Grocer. Sign up for a cooking class or host your event at ToTT! Shop online now and look forward to ease of shopping anywhere, anytime while enjoying exclusive deals! Visit

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SIME DARBY CENTRE 896 Dunearn Road #01-01A S589472 Tel: 6219 7077

Ends 31 March 2014

The Food Journal • 11


Tippling Club, one of Singapore’s most imaginative dining cum bar concepts, has moved from its Dempsey location to larger premises at Tanjong Pagar Road. Rather than a facsimile of its old premises, chef Ryan Clift conjures up a refined version of the previous menu and décor, which still showcases his imaginative flair. The cosy restaurant occupies three shophouses, with separate areas for drinks and dinner, including a yet-to-be unveiled second storey for private dining occasions and an R&D kitchen. Guests are greeted by colourful bottles of spirits hanging overhead at the 32-seater bar – one of the few touches reprised from Dempsey. The restaurant also now caters to lunch, as well as the dinner crowd in the bar snacks, cocktails, lunch, tasting and pretheatre menus. If you enjoy cuisine that pushes the taste boundaries, you’ll love it here. Cocktails and dishes are a deconstructed and textural experiments; perfect for impressing your dining companions. From $8 for bar snacks, $18 for cocktails and $70 for a threecourse Pre-Theater menu.

Purple Drank





38 Tanjong Pagar Road, T: 6475 2217

French Layers

Life doesn’t get sweeter than this. Our favourite paper-thin mille crepe cake, Lady M®, expands its presence at One Fullerton, with the location offering a sweeping view of the Marina Bay Skyline. The new CBD location will mirror the brand’s original cake boutique on New York’s Upper East Side – clean lines, sophisticated interiors and minimalistic tones – offering a perfect setting for romantic post-dinner dates and girlie night outs.

Mom’s Cauliflower Cheese

Pisco Before the Breakdown

#01-10, One Fullerton

Stock Your Bar

5 tips from a world-class bartender

Kae Yin

12 • The Food Journal

A Walk in the Clouds

Having worked his way up to his current position as head bartender at Marsalis Home, Taipei, Kae Yin is no stranger to the fine art of cocktail concoctions. We glean some tips from the Pacific Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2012 from his recent trip in town.

INGREDIENTS: 30ml Zacapa 23® Rum

• • • • •

5ml Coffee Liqueur

Fresh fruits, instead of those from a juice box, make a world of difference to your drink especially for ingredients like oranges and limes. Invest in a bottle of bitters; they add that extra bit of flavour and are versatile enough to be used in any cocktail. My favourite spirit? Tanquery No. TEN for its fresh and citrusy undertones. I use it in my classic Dry Martini recipe. Up the trend factor with local ingredients like chilli padi or preserved orange peel. Oolong teas and Chinese herbs are also my go-to ingredients. My signature cocktail is A Walk in the Clouds. As a finishing touch, I garnish with dried longan or dragoneye to bring out the smoky flavours of Zacapa 23® Rum, which is famous for being aged above the clouds (2,300m above sea level to be exact).

15ml Talisker 15ml Cynar 2 dashes of plum bitters

GLASS: Tea Cup GARNISH: Dried dragoneye and orange zest METHOD Stir, strain over rocks in a teacup, express and discard orange peel, and garnish with dried dragoneye.

DINING OUT Durian Fever

Goodwood Park Hotel’s annual durian fiesta is back; popular for its sweet confections brimming with D24 durian flesh. Four newcomers join the lineup at its Deli this year: the swiss roll-inspired Durian Gula Melaka Roll, a Durian Malay Cake, the petite Mini Durian Charlotte pastries and Mini Durian Doughnuts. The scrumptious creations are available from 24 February to 13 July. Deli, Goodwood Park Hotel, T: 6730 1786 Durian Malay Cake

Sake Twist

Who knew that sake and ramen, together, could taste so good? Compared to their previously refreshing Beer Ramen, the Sake Ramen ($15.80) is a markedly more robust, with the lingering taste of sake. A seasonal dish of the restaurant till end March, each steaming bowl is laden with mouthwatering broth that’s been cooked for a minimum of eight hours, combined with grilled cha-shu and made in Hakata-style. #02-23, Alexandra Retail Centre, T: 6276 5708, for full outlet listings, visit

The Food Journal(FAp3).ai

Mini Durian Charlotte



4:33 PM

Mini Durian Donut

The Food Journal • 13



GOODNESS Healthy foods can taste good. Don’t believe us? Go on and try out these 12 recipes whipped up by four restaurant chefs. By JASMINE THAM


Chef Alan Chia of Hilton Singapore’s Glow Juice Bar & Café is a health buff who believes in regular exercise and a daily glass of fruit juice. Little wonder then that the sprightly 50 year-old takes pride in his pesticide-free, organic and natural ingredients menu. Like his menu at Glow, these easy juices are aimed at well-being. (p15-16)


Images by ALWINN OH PHOTOGRAPHY. Styling by TOETY LIANG. Bosch Experience Centre, 11 Bishan Street 21, #04-01, Singapore 573943. Tableware, stylist’s own.

Salads, another great way to eat well,

Chef Alan Chia

14 • The Food Journal

have evolved past a limp greens. Chefs like Tony Tan from the Salad Stop! are luring meat lovers to the lighter side with creative and colourful renditions using tasty herbs, fresh fruits and seafood. (p17-18)


As executive chef of The Westin Singapore, Sven Capon oversees the hotel’s restaurants and its SuperFoodsRX menu that is created according to recommendations from doctors and

Chef and co-owner Agnetta Lew

nutritionists. Super ingredients like buckwheat and endamame feature in his recipes here. (p18-19)


Chef and co-owner Agnetta Lew is the tour de force behind Jonathan’s, a cafe that comes equipped with a purely gluten-free and allergenfriendly kitchen. Her gluten-free recipes are delicious guides on how to have your cake and eat it, without flour. (p19-20)

Chef Tony Tan

Here’s what the chefs used from the Bosch Experience Centre: the 1600-watt MUM86R1 machine with attachments for crushing ice and blending functions, Juice Extractor MES3000 for whole fruit juicing, MUM57830 HomeProfessional Kitchen Machine for cake mixing and salad dressings, and the HBC36D754B 45cm Stainless Steel Built-in Combination Steam Oven for baking.

Chef Sven Capon



A good source of vitamin C and dietary fibre. Celery also helps to lower blood pressure. Tip: Soak fruits in warm water for an hour to rid any remaining pesticide. INGREDIENTS • 1 green apple, halved • 4 stalks of celery • ¼ lemon, peeled • 1 handful of baby spinach • 1 handful of parsley Optional: 1 spirulina capsule, which helps to cleanse and boost your immune system with proteins and amino acids.


• Wash ingredients thoroughly, blend them in a juice blender. • Pour juice over crushed ice and serve.


A rejuvenating juice that is packed with antioxidants and vitamins to safeguard against cancer and diseases. Tip: Use pineapples on the verge of ripening, so that the sugar levels are just right. INGREDIENTS • 1 cup of strawberries • 1 cup of blackberries • ¼ pineapple, peeled and sliced Optional: 1 dandelion root capsule which improves digestion and prevents viral infections.


• Wash all fruits, blend and mix them in the juice blender. • Pour juice over crushed ice and serve.

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Detox and enhance your immune system with an excellent mix of Vitamin A, C and minerals which lowers your blood pressure and fight against viruses. INGREDIENTS • 1 medium-sized beetroot, halved

• ¼ of peeled lemon • 3 carrots, chopped • ¼ ginger root


• Wash all ingredients thoroughly and blend them in the blender • Pour over crushed ice and it is ready to be served.


Drink up for a healthy glow from inside out. Hydrate and replenish your body with an abundant source of nutrients rich in antioxidants, minerals, Vitamin B and C which shields your body from bacteria and diseases. INGREDIENTS • 1 cup of Thai basil • 2 Japanese cucumbers, chopped • ½ mango, peeled and seeded • 6 asparagus stalks • 2 oranges, peeled and halved


• Prepare and wash all ingredients. Blend them together in the juice blender. • Pour over crushed ice and serve.

16 • The Food Journal



Avocados not only add flavour to the salad, they also contain carotenoid antioxidants that improve the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. Walnuts add a delicious crunch to the salad and are rich source of healthy fats as well as vitamin E. Tip: make crosshatch patterned cuts in the avocado flesh to make it easier to scoop out the avocado cubes. INGREDIENTS • 200g mesclun greens • 3 to 4 pieces fresh prawns • Salt • Pepper • Cajun spice • 2 tsp olive oil • 4 to 6 strawberries, quartered • 4 to 6 grapes, halved • 1/6 of an avocado, cubed • 40g feta cheese • 4 to 6 walnuts, roughly chopped

• In a bowl, combine ingredients for dressing and blend well. • Leave dressing in the fridge for later use. • Marinate the prawns with salt, pepper and Cajun spice and set aside for 10 minutes. • Heat up a pan and add 2 tsp of olive oil. Swirl pan to coat with oil. • Grill prawns on each side for approximately 1 minute, until golden and nicely cooked. • Remove pan from heat and set aside. • In a large bowl, combine mesclun greens, strawberries, grapes, avocado, feta cheese, walnuts and grilled prawns, and mix well. • Just before serving, pour citrus honey dressing over salad and toss well.

CITRUS HONEY DRESSING INGREDIENTS • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice • 3 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp honey • ½ tsp salt


• Wash and thoroughly soak mesclun greens in cold water for 5 minutes. Repeat. • Drain and store in the refrigerator.


Quinoa provides high quality protein and contributes to heart health and sugar regulation. Beetroot’s unique pigment, betalain, gives antioxidant and antiinflammatory support. INGREDIENTS • 100g uncooked quinoa • 40g cucumber, seeded and diced • 40g tomato, seeded and diced • 20g freshly grated beetroot • 1 small stalk of Chinese parsley • 1 small stalk of Italian parsley • 8 to 10 mint leaves • 2 tbsp finely chopped onions • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

• ½ tsp salt • Crushed black pepper


• To cook quinoa in a steam oven, pre-heat oven to 85°C. • In an oven-safe pot, place 100g of uncooked quinoa and add 100ml of water. • Cook quinoa in the oven at 85°C for 15 minutes. • Remove from oven and set aside to cool. • Roughly chop the parsley and mint leaves. • Transfer cooked quinoa in a large bowl. • Using the finer side of the grater, grate peeled beetroot over quinoa. • Add remaining ingredients and toss salad until evenly mixed.

The Food Journal • 17



A healthier version that replaces the traditionally used mayonnaise with sour cream. Potatoes, being a source of complex carbohydrates, give a longerlasting energy source. INGREDIENTS • 200g new chat potatoes • 2 tbsp sour cream • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard • ½ tsp yellow mustard • Salt • 1 to 2 stalks of spring onion, chopped • ¼ capsicum, seeded and chopped


• After washing, boil or steam the potatoes in a pot with salt for about 15 to 20 minutes of until soft. • Remove potatoes from pot and set it aside to cool. • Cut the potatoes into wedges. • In a large bowl, combine chat potatoes, sour cream, wholegrain mustard, yellow mustard and salt. • Toss salad until evenly mixed. • Before serving, garnish with chopped spring onions and capsicum.


A protein packed and tasty combination of endamame and tuna. Tip: Keep the total salt to under 1/8 of a teaspoon. INGREDIENTS • 650g tuna steak • 5 slices of focaccia bread (10 x 7cm each) • Handful of arugula • 1 large tomato, sliced • 3 pieces of bacon, cooked till crisp • Ground black pepper, to taste ENDAMAME AIOLI • 230g endamame, shelled • 1L water • Black pepper • 60 ml olive oil • 60ml lime juice • 60ml mayonnaise • Sea salt • Fresh mint leaves, chopped • Fresh basil leaves, chopped

18 • The Food Journal


• To prepare endamame aioli, bring water in a pot to a boil. • Add endamame and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. • Drain and place in ice water. Strain when cooled. • Place in blender with remaining ingredients. Puree and strain. • Remove and place in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. • Toast focaccia bread and spread endamame aioli evenly. • Arrange arugula and tomato slices on top of each slice of bread. • Season with black pepper. • Season tuna steaks with pepper and salt. • Grill on each side for less than a minute if you like it rare; grill for about 2 minutes for a medium-done steak. • Slice tuna into 5 thin slices, place on top of tomato and garnish with bacon.



Tip: Add 1 tbsp of sugar while beating the egg whites to help the whites firm up. INGREDIENTS • 60g ground almond • 50g sugar • 4 egg whites • 1 tbsp sugar WHIPPED CREAM • 125g whipping cream • 1 tbsp sugar


Hailed as a super ingredient, buckwheat contains more protein than rice and wheat but less sugar. It fills you up quickly and helps maintain a healthy digestive and cardiovascular system. INGREDIENTS • 1 garlic clove, crushed and skin intact • 3 sage leaves • 80ml extra virgin olive oil • 20ml vincotto FRESH PASTA SHEETS • 350g farina flour • 350g buckwheat flour • 15ml olive oil • 5g salt • Egg yolk, for brushing ROASTED PUMPKIN • 2kg pumpkin • 15 ml olive oil • 2 stalks of thyme leaves • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed • 5g pepper PUMPKIN FILLING • Roasted pumpkin • 100ml extra virgin olive oil • 250g mascarpone cheese • 100g Parmesan cheese • Sea salt to taste • 5g black peppercorns, crushed


• To prepare paste sheets, use a dough machine and mix all of the above ingredients. When the mixture becomes less sticky, knead into a ball. • Continue kneading the dough until well-mixed and firm. Place the ball under an inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.


• Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. • Preheat oven to 135 °C.

• Put ground almond and 50g of sugar in a bowl and mix well. • Beat the egg whites to a soft peak and add in 1 tbsp of sugar to help egg whites firm up. • Fold beaten egg whites into the ground almond in 3 batches. • Scoop into a piping bag and pipe out circles onto the prepared trays. • Bake for 1 ½ hours. • Beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. • Lay one piece of cake and spread the beaten cream topping over. • Top with berries or nuts. • Lay a second piece of meringue over the top to form a sandwich.

• After the dough has rested, divide it into approximately 3 smaller balls to fit into your pasta machine. • Start your pasta machine on the roller farthest apart. Run the pieces through the rollers, about 5 times on the widest section, folding the pasta top to bottom or side to side the achieve a long sheet slightly narrower than the machine rollers. • Make a long pasta sheet and divide into half. • Portion the pumpkin filling one by one on the pasta sheet and brush the pasta sheet on the edge with egg yolk. • Cover it with another layer of pasta and softly press to seal the ravioli. • Portion the ravioli by using a round cutter. • To make pumpkin filling, arrange the seeded pumpkin halves in a baking tray. Sprinkle crushed garlic clove, olive oil, thyme and pepper over. • Roast the pumpkin at 150 °C for 40 minutes. • Scrap out the pumpkin flesh. • Wrap the pumpkin puree with a cheesecloth and chill overnight in the refrigerator. (to remove the excess moisture in the pumpkin puree) • Mix the pumpkin puree with mascarpone cheese, Parmesan cheese, and extra virgin olive oil; season it with sea salt and pepper. • To cook ravioli, blanch them in boiling salted water for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. • Heat up the sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil, add in crushed garlic clove and sage. • Sear and toss the blanched pumpkin ravioli in the sauté pan. • Arrange the ravioli on a plate and drizzle with vin cotto before serving.

The Food Journal • 19



Tip: Boiling the orange increases the flavour of the cake. Choose thicker-skinned oranges as the flavour comes from the rind. INGREDIENTS • 1 large orange • 200g ground almond • 3 large eggs, separated • 125g sugar


• Line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper, and oil or butter the sides and base. • Submerge orange in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and reduce fire to simmer for 1 hour. • Blend the orange, seeds included, and pour out into a mixing bowl. • Preheat oven to 160°C. • Add 100g of sugar to egg yolks and beat till pale and smooth. Make sure to beat at an angle and ensure that the mixer goes all the way to the base, so that the liquid is fully mixed. • Add yolk mixture to blended oranges and mix till smooth. • Add 200g of ground almond to the mixture and mix in. • Add remaining sugar to egg whites and beat till fluffy. • Fold egg white and sugar mixture into the orange mixture and pour into the prepared cake pan. • Bake for 1 hour at 160 °C. • Slice and serve.


A creamy, smooth and sweet dessert option made versatile with toppings of choice. INGREDIENTS • 250g cream cheese • 50g sugar • 125g yogurt MIXED BERRY JAM • 500g frozen berries of choice • 100g sugar • 60ml water


• Beat cream cheese and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is creamy. • Add in the yoghurt and beat further until well mixed. • Place mixed berry jam ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. • Once boiling, bring down to a simmer for 10 minutes. • Serve in clear glass layered with berries, nuts or granola.

20 • The Food Journal



The latest products and gadgets for entertaining and daily cooking. TAP INTO ORGANIC

There’s nothing better than an ice cold beer to unwind. Better yet if it’s been brewed with wholesome and organic ingredients. Swiss Beers offers a range of tasty ales, and among them, the Voisine Blond Ale is brewed with 100 percent pilsen organic pale malt. A thirst-quenching and crisp beer, it was originally developed for sale in mountain chalet restaurants in the Saint-Croix region. Other interesting beers: the sweet and subtly herbaltasting Fraîcheur Basilic (with the addition of basil; perfect accompaniment for Italian dishes) and the velvety Espresso Stout. $8 to $25, available at The Straits Wine Company.


Hate chomping on veggies? Blend healthy goodness all into one yummy glass with Mayer’s P-12 power blender, which speeds up to 38,000rpm with its carbon stainless steel blades. The one-dial auto function key is easy to operate, with a manual control option. Pick from cheery colour options like purple and yellow to spruce up your kitchen pronto.


When it comes to love, say it with a sweet treat like the exotic macarons (72 or 96 pieces/box) by celebrated Swiss chef Gerard Dubois. With delectable flavours like earl grey, salted caramel and passion fruit, these moreish bites go well with a bottle of Philipponnat Champagne Royal Reserve Rosée Brut, which seduces with its distinct hints of cherries and wild strawberries.

$726, available at all Mayer showrooms and authorised dealers.

From $74.80 for macarons and from $94 for Champagne at

THE TASTE OF ASIA Imagine reliving the fantastic taste of a world-class fare right at home. Now, you don’t need to be a chef to make a cuisine so scrumptiously unforgettable yet healthy. With HAI’S, even you can easily cook up healthy dishes of gastronomic delight daily to melt palates and taste buds without going through any hassle.

Hai’s Pte Ltd Block 15 Woodlands Loop, #03-02/04/05/06, Singapore 738322 • Tel: 6752 8588 •

The Food Journal • 21

LIVING Muji’s stainless steel pots conducts heat efficiently and comes with easy grip handles.

Make your kitchen tools multitask A box grater can help you peel vegetables, make breadcrumbs or slice cheese, while a mixing bowl can also hold freshly washed vegetables. A food processor is pricey but worthwhile in the long run, as it can re-texturise almost anything from pureeing to grinding when you cook complex meals at home. This way, you will keep your drawer free from the accumulation of single-use items.


While clever tools may seem like the perfect solution to every whimsical need, they may also end up as clutter in your kitchen. Need to tenderise meat in a pinch? Think out of the box and use a pestle instead of buying a specialised hammer.


Simple changes to green up your cooking space.


hen it comes to saving the planet, the kitchen space is one of the easiest places to start. And for hobbyist or serious cooks where the kitchen is the workhorse of the home, there’s no full remodeling required; just small steps to integrate into daily living.


Recycled wood adds a touch of warmth and naturalness to a home, and is a greener alternative to non-recyclable plastic utensils. Wooden cabinets and tableware are functional ways to add a touch of sustainability in the kitchen. It is essential to ensure that products are from sustainable sources. Ethnicraft is one such online retailer that is fully certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for its use of plantationsourced and recycled teakwood.



Big ticket kitchen appliances like the refrigerator tend to use large amounts of electricity. While shopping for one, look out for appliances that carry the Energy Label ticks given by the Singapore Energy Labelling Scheme for smarter choices. The labels denote the energy consumption per hour; the higher the consumption, the more

22 • The Food Journal

electricity it uses. They also rate energy efficiency in terms of the number of ticks; the more ticks, the more efficient the model.


If you can’t reduce the use of raw materials, try to recycle some of them. Have more than one trash bin to make disposable more hygienic and convenient. Sort the bins into recyclable and non-recyclable waste.

skillet comes in handy for dishes that need to be fried or sautéed. Likewise for knives; a paring knife and a chef’s knife is plenty enough for most cutting needs. If your household is childfree, sticking the knives onto a magnetic strip will reduce wear and tear on the blades.


No need to splurge on a fancy range of plates and pans from the get-go; buy the essential items you use on a daily basis and add to your collection or upgrade when the need arises. For a start, invest in three quality pots: a large pot, a small pot and a big skillet. Use the large pot for cooking soup and boiling pasta, and the smaller pot for boiling small amounts of food. The

Ethnicraft’s 100% FSC certified tray and coaster

The Stabil Steamer from IKEA cleverly stacks inserts within the pot, so only one pot is needed to steam and boil food at the same time.


Resist the urge to acquire every new kitchen appliance on the market – especially that sous vide cooker – unless you plan on using it often. An oven, a stovetop and a refrigerator should cater for a wide variety of recipes. If you are looking to buy appliances, do your research and buy durable models that will serve you well for at least a few years.


For amateur cooks, start off with inexpensive basic foods such as flour and spices when you are experimenting in the kitchen. They are versatile and can be used in almost any dish. Do not buy a cupboard’s worth of ingredients just to have it on hand. Once you have mastered your recipes, go on and splurge on the exotic truffle oil.


ARE YOUR FAVOURITE CHEFS PART OF SAVOUR 2014? Savour 2014 presents an exciting line up of international and local culinary talents who will be conducting complimentary master classes from Thursday to Sunday. The selection of chefs include:

STAR-STUDDED FÊTE Where else but at Savour, can you be on the inside scene of what’s hot and new in dining?


ack for the third time, Singapore’s largest gourmet food festival, Savour takes place from 6th to 9th March 2014 to unite the best in food and drink. Where last year, over 16,000 foodies turned up at Savour’s alfresco venue, this year is shaping up to present an even more dazzling line up of Michelin-starred chefs and newgeneration culinary trendsetters. There’s always plenty to sample at Savour and the 2014 showcase is no different. Local and international chefs

will whip up over 50 signature dishes, priced from $6 to $18, over the four-day event. Look forward to names such as Bruno Menard, Ryan Clift, Emmanuel Stroobant, Michael Caines, Margot Janse, as well as the new movers and shakers in the culinary world like James Knappett and Mark Sargeant.

exhibitors, master classes, hands-on cooking studio, wine workshops and other themed areas. If you enjoy watching the live filleting of large sea catches, or sampling over 100 variants of cheese and wines, be sure not to miss out on the popular gourmet market.

Held at a brand new venue at The Promontory @ Marina Bay (11 Marina Boulevard), Savour 2014 takes its cue from a rustic village, and transforms to stage a gourmet market, food and drink

Tickets are available at SISTIC from $45, with a credit of $30 to spend at the event. For more information, visit or

International-based Chefs • Christophe Paucod, Lugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais, Japan • Henrik Yde, Kiin Kiin, Copenhagen, Denmark • James Knappett, Bubbledogs, London, UK • Margot Janse, The Tasting Room, Cape Town, South Africa • Mark Best, Marque, Australia • Mark Sargeant, Rocksalt, London, UK • Michael Caines, Gidleigh Park, Devon, UK Local-based Chefs • Bruno Menard, La Cantine • Christopher Millar, Stellar @ 1-Altitude • Emmanuel Stroobant, Saint Pierre and Blue Lotus • Ivan Brehm, Bacchanalia • Kentaro Torii, Forlino • Moon Kyung-Soo, Mikuni • Ryan Clift, Tippling Club Presenting Chefs • Andre Chiang, Restaurant Andre • Claudio Sandri, Spathe Public House & Lower East Side • Daniel Chavez, Ola Cocina Del Mar Classes are based on a first-come-first-served basis, book yours at

The Food Journal • 23

CULTURE Teapot mountain at Jinguashi

The Taiwan High Speed Rail shuttles you between Taipei, Kaoshiung and west Tainwan.


The country’s extensive web of railways makes hunting down its scenic spots a breeze for tourists. By JOY FANG


e’ve all been there before: Rising bright and early, rushing from attraction to attraction with minutes to spare, barreling through the sights, wolfing down your meals, snoozing in the tour bus until you reach the next destination, furiously jostling others aside and anxiously taking pictures before going back up the bus again… Ah, the “perks” of travelling with a tour group. It’s no surprise then, that Singaporeans are increasingly eschewing the fast pace of such tour packages, opting to conquer foreign cities on their own through the free and easy way. The flexibility of your own itinerary means you can fully soak in the essence of the country you’re visiting at a comfortable pace. And you get to choose to go to the places you are interested in. Enter Taiwan. This compact island destination is a perfect place for Singaporeans to travel independently by rail. The sweet potato shaped nation has an extensive network of railways, linking cities seamlessly so travellers can get around with relative ease. Taiwan currently has two intercity railway operators – the Taiwan Railway Administration which connects most of the major cities, and the Taiwan High Speed Rail for travelling between Taipei and Kaohsiung as well as around the Western side of the island.

24 • The Food Journal

We take you on a trip to a few beautifully scenic places in Taiwan that can be easily reached by rail. No sweat.


Step into Jiufen, and you’ll feel like you’ve entered an old, period world where sword-wielding pugilists reside. It is one of my favourite little towns in Taiwan, simply because its quaint atmosphere and awesome mountainous location offer perfect photo opportunities at every turn. Its highlight has got to be the Old Street. The narrow winding street is a cacophony of sight and sound, with bustling shops selling knick knacks, and cramped eateries filled with snacks and local delicacies. Teahouses line the street, where you can have a nice cuppa brew beside stunning scenery of Mount Jilong. Here, you can sample Taiwanese pastries, such as melt-in-the-mouth sun cakes and pineapple pastries, or sink your teeth in its renowned huge fishballs, which have satisfying fish chunks in them and are eaten in a soupy broth with noodles. The renowned Ah Gan Yi Taro Balls serves the local delicacy of sweet taro balls – a mixture of yam and sweet-potato balls piled high in an iced soup with red and green beans.

A short bus ride away from Jiufen is Jinguashi, a historic gold-mining town nestled high on a mountainside. Here, you can visit the idyllic Gold Ecological Park, where you can admire views of green hillsides and tiny houses and tap your dancing shoes along its cobbled streets. Antiquated Japanese houses, coupled with old wooden plank signs and abandoned log carts, add to its charm. Look out for the adorable “Teapot Mountain” so named because a pile of rocks at its top resembles a teapot. A short walk away, the abandoned Shuinandong Smelter, is a majestic but chillingly empty infrastructure that is a bittersweet remnant of its glorious goldmining past. Standing at its base, you can’t help but marvel at what a force it must have

Lovely Nanya Unique Rock Formations near Jinguashi

been in its heyday. Nearby rests the intriguing Nanya Unique Rock Formations – one of my favourite photo spots. The naturally-sculpted rock structures are a grand sight amidst a backdrop of steep cliffs and an opal coastline. What’s unique are the structures that look like inverted ice-cream cones and flat oblong rocks that look like sleeping crocodiles. How to get there:  Take a 45-minute train ride from Taipei Main Station to Rueifang Station. Then, get on a Tour Taiwan Bus which heads towards Jiufen from the main road in front of the station. It takes 15 minutes to reach Jiufen’s Old Street. To get to Jinguashi, from Jiufen, take the same bus you took earlier to the last stop. The bus service terminates near the Gold Ecological Park.


This small rural town can be described with one word – unpretentious. Famous for its tea plantations and assorted tea products, the people there are generous and welcoming, warmly ushering you into their homes – which double as their workplace slash tea shop – without hesitation. In no time, between sips of fragrant tea and an offered biscuit, you’d feel right at home.


An eatery at Pinglin Old Street

From Pinglin Travellers’ Centre, catch a free shuttle bus to Nan Shan Temple, which is nestled on top of a beautiful mountain where enchanting green fields and rolling tea fields abound. You’d love the peaceful and quiet atmosphere here – a nice respite from the chaotic Taipei city. There, I made friends with a friendly couple who eke out a living as tea farmers. Their family has been growing tea leaves since the Qing dynasty and pride themselves on making tea that is free from chemicals. The trip was an eye-opening experience, and I made my way home with my arms full of purchases of Pouchong tea – Pinglin’s famous produce. But not without sampling tea eggs and rice with tea oil and minced meat from its Old Street first! How to get there:  From Taipei, head to the nearest metro station and take the green line towards Xindian. Get off at the last stop. From there, catch bus No. 923.


This is no ordinary farm ranch. If you were expecting a rustic and homely countryside farm, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Shin Kong Chao Feng is a polished and sophisticated man made theme park. Sprawling flower fields beneath mountains at Shin Kong Chao Feng Ranch and Resort

Tea plantations

The 726ha park’s well-manicured gardens are littered with European-styled statues and miniature models of iconic landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Arc de Triomphe. But these cultured gardens are juxtaposed with hectares of wild farmland further north, where animals such as zebras and goats roam free along pastures, and wild flowers bloom beautifully. Explore the park via its different modes of transportation. Drive a four-seater buggy around its sprawling lands (provided you have a valid driver’s license with you), or ride a tram which makes its rounds around the farm or rent bicycles. Have a ball at the resort’s mini petting zoo, where camels, donkeys, deers, foxes and more make their homes in wooden pens. An orchard lies to the north of the farm where you’ll be able to pick and eat fresh fruit – such as lemons, avocados, bananas and oranges, depending on the season – straight off the trees. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me. How to get there: Take a train from Taipei Main Station to Fenglin. From there, you can take a Tour Taiwan bus to the farm.

The famous annual hot air balloon festival at Luye Gao Tai.


Located at the South-Eastern region of Taiwan, this uncultivated and pastoral city is chockfull of surprises beneath its seemingly sleepy façade. It is also home to aboriginal groups such as the Paiwan, Rukai and Amis, which means the city retains a surprisingly unaffected charm. The Chulu ranch (accessible via the East Rift Valley line of the Tour Taiwan Bus from Taitung train station) is the more picturesque and unspoiled cousin to the Shin Kong Chao Feng Ranch. Perched on a hillside, you get views of cows grazing lazily in the sprawling grasslands, giving you the sense of an authentic farm experience. Ride ponies or if you’re with a partner and you’re in the mood for romance, sit in a horse carriage for a sweet sojourn around the farmland. Feeling more in tune with your kiddie side? Have a go and slide down the hillside atop plastic sleds, or play with calves bred by the farm. Dig into the farm’s very own products such as milk, yogurt and ice cream – nothing beats a fresh cold snack under the hot sun.

Thrill seekers take note: the quiet town has plenty of adventurous pickings. Take a white-water rafting trip along the Beinan Creek (to get to the starting point for this adventure, take a short train ride to Ruiyuan Train Station), where you get to plunge along the gushing waters while admiring jagged mountain cliffs, suspension bridges and the beautiful surrounding nature. If you’re travelling to Taiwan in the later part of the year, check out the Hot Air Balloon Festival, which usually runs sometime between June and August. During that time, a large field at Luye Gaotai – where you can do paragliding activities on a normal day – is a visual feast, dotted with colourful and eclectic hot air balloons. Accompanied by games stalls, stalls selling snacks and drinks, the cheery carnival and festive atmosphere is not one to be missed. How to get there: Take a train from Taipei Main Station to Taitung (new) Railway Station. For more information on Taiwan, visit or http://

The Food Journal • 25



A good book is the best companion for solitary lunches – here are our picks from the cream of the (literary) crop. PLUSSIXFIVE: A SINGAPOREAN SUPPER CLUB COOKBOOK BY GOZ LEE AND FRIENDS

Epigram Books

Pining for authentic Singaporean dishes in London, food enthusiast Goz Lee started the plussixfive supper club out of his Islington flat to spread the word of his country’s cuisine. The concept proved to be a hit, drawing celebrity chefs, television personalities and food critics to its oft sold-

out monthly dinners. Plussixfive’s signature dishes are chronicled in this 256-page book, which is also jam-packed with anecdotes from their gatherings and guest recipes from famous attendees like Momofuku Seiōbo head chef Ben Greeno. Instructions to rustle up long-time hawker standbys such as chwee kueh and kong bak pau are simple and concise, making it perfect for homesick Singaporeans overseas or those who just want to try their hand at cooking hawker fare in their own kitchen. Lee also pays homage to Singapore’s heritage with Peranakan recipes like ayam buah keluak and babi pongteh. As for the prized local dish bak kut teh, Lee advised: “The key ingredient is serious shedloads of garlic...enough, say, to make Dracula or your date wince at the sheer thought – which also means, this is probably not date food.” Available for $44.90 at



Belgian good-looker Casier sets out to dispel the myth that fashion models don’t eat – by including their own recipes in his ode to eating. “There’re so many cookbooks, but none written by a young model guy; I mean, people seem to be obsessed with models lately – the way we look and what we do when we’re not working,” explained Casier. The 224-page paperback is chock-full of food tips from Casier’s famous pals (like a baked salmon and asparagus recipe from supermodel Milla Jovovich) as well as Casier’s recommendations from his favourite restaurants. The only model giveaway about this book is that there is only one recipe with carbohydrates. “Everything is very healthy, low in calories and easy to cook,” Casier said. “I have a section called ‘Skinny Dipping’ with healthy dips.” And no model is more hands-on than the former face of Armani, who cooked all the dishes featured in the book and helped style the photographs. Casier rounds off his debut cookbook attempt with a chapter called ‘Guilty Pleasures’, entirely devoted to desserts. “We are humans after all; I think if you go for dessert, you should go all the way you know? Get the whipped cream, and get everything on top of it.” Available for $37.52 at

26 • The Food Journal


“Sometimes when I need answers I like to take my questions to Google. I have Googled ‘how long does heartbreak last?’” quipped Chung in her autobiography. “The result more popular than that was ‘how long does heartburn last?’” Equal parts confessional and humourous, the 192page volume reads like an exclusive peek into Chung’s scrapbook diary in which the British multi-hyphenate (leggy model-television presenter-style icon) waxes lyrical about life as an It girl. In between, Chung crams in lots of personal photos, doodles and musings about her sartorial heroes (classic beauties like Jean Shrimpton, Jane Birkin and Kate Moss). There are also tips on how to steal her much-copied rock star’s girlfriend style – think chic tousled hair, baggy sweaters and livedin eyeliner deliberately smeared with a few blinks. While Chung prefers to let her pictures do more talking (all 161 pages of it), she endears with her lighthearted conversational writing style. “The

other day a completely shocking thing happened,” she declared dramatically. “A man who wanted to ask me out for a drink actually phoned me rather than texting.” Despite being plagued with anorexia rumours, Chung unwittingly reveal in her first book outing that the secret to being cool is not to take yourself too seriously. Available for $21.30 at


After losing his job as a bond trader in Chicago, Stanton decided to move to New York City and pursue an ambitious plan to photograph 10,000 people. The result is Humans of New York, Stanton’s wildly popular website that now counts over 2.3 million fans on its Facebook page. His success led to an inevitable book deal – and what makes the 304-page hardcover tome buy-worthy is also its raw and honest interviews. Stanton is democratic in

his choice of interviewees, ranging from a 60-year-old haberdasher reminiscing about the death of a close friend to a wheelchairbound grandmother who protected prostitutes during World War II. Accompanying personal stories are Stanton’s portraits, which adeptly capture the colourful personalities of everyday New Yorkers - punks, artists in mink coats, sailors and kid-sized

fashionistas (which Stanton dubbed as ‘microfashion’). While the book focuses on heavier issues such as alienation in a big city and alcoholism, Stanton makes it a point to present an optimistic front. “It seemed like a stupid idea, just taking pictures of people on the street,” he shared. “But there’s a comfort, an affirmation, a validation in being exposed to people with similar problems.” Available for $47.99 at Books Kinokuniya

The Food Journal • 27



Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay

As part of its ‘Gardens by the Bay Goes around the World’ series, the waterfront garden whisks you away to United Kingdom in a floral depiction of the 15th century war between the royal houses of Lancaster and York. Other than 60 varieties of the national bloom of England, beautiful posies of hydrangeas, bellis, pansies and alyssums also round off this visual treat.


MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands

Catch the classic Broadway musical based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion when it comes to Singapore. Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle meets snobby Professor Henry Higgins, who unwittingly falls in love when he promises to transform Doolittle into a ‘proper lady’. Expect to be entertained by the whip-smart leading lady, who sings: “I sold flowers, I didn’t sell myself, now you’ve made a lady out of me I’m not fit to sell anything else.” Tickets available at

27 FEB – 2 MAR SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands

Jamie Cullum

Credits: Universal Music

Text by YIP JIEYING Savour the soothing sounds of jazz at this inaugural four-day concert event, which will bring big names together to take the stage like four-time Grammy winner India Arie, English crooner Jamie Cullum, as well as Natalie Cole (daughter of famed jazz pianist Nat King Cole). Psst, for those of you nostalgic for ‘90s music, here is your chance to catch guilty pleasure Earth, Wind & Fire in action. Tickets available at


Singapore Repertory Theatre

Homegrown composer Dick Lee draws on his father’s experience of World War II to create this play, a realistic portrayal of Singaporeans’ lives during the Japanese Occupation in the 40s. Sunny, an 18-year-old drafted paramedic, tries to protect his naïve sister Ruby from the horrors of war. When a young lawyer for the Japanese Army moves in next door, the siblings forge an unlikely friendship with their new neighbour. Tickets available at

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THE FOOD JOURNAL DIRECTORY The best dining experiences and foodie retail outlets across the island, organised by location and type.





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DINING 1. Checkers Brasserie Enjoy daily themed buffets or a decadent Sunday brunch at this spacious restaurant that’s decked our in deep green and coral décor. 581 Orchard Road Hilton Singapore, Ground Floor T: 6730 3390 Opening Hours: 6am-11pm (Daily) 1. Crossroads Café A perfect place to unwind in town, this sidewalk café serves a wide range of premium wines, and sumptuous local and Western cuisine. Signatures include their Wagyu Burger, Chicken Curry and Old School English Trifle. 320 Orchard Road Singapore Marriott Hotel T: 6831 4605 Opening Hours: 7am-1am (Mon-Fri); 7am3am (Fri and eves of PH); 9am-3am (Sat); 9am-1am (Sun and PH) 1. Glow Juice Bar & Café Imbibe natural organic food and juices at this contemporary Singapore café featuring bright colours and minimalist design. 581 Orchard Road Hilton Singapore, Level 2 T: 6730 3397

Opening Hours: 11am-6pm (Daily) 1. Il Cielo Savour handcrafted pasta and cured meats using the freshest and finest organic ingredients from Italy at this semi-alfresco stylish restaurant. Other signatures are made-to-order Burrata mozzarella and pastas made using organic flours such as the rare kamut and spelt. 581 Orchard Road Hilton Singapore, Level 24 T: 6730 3395 Opening Hours: Lunch, 12noon to 2.30pm (Mon-Fri); Dinner, 7pm-10.30pm (Mon-Sun) 1. Kaspia Bar Unwind at this classy bar where contemporary art is the décor du jour. Wind down with fine whiskies, cocktails or a cup of fine coffee brew against the soothing backdrop of the hotel’s live jazz performances. 581 Orchard Road Hilton Singapore, Ground Floor T: 6730 3391 Opening Hours: 11am-1am (Daily) 2. Marriott Café Indulge in the freshest international buffet spread at this café, where chefs also take centre stage to whip up a culinary feast a la minute upon request. An array of seafood, Tianjin delicacies, Asian fare and premium meat dishes await the discerning diner, along with signature

desserts like the Sticky Date Pudding. 320 Orchard Road Singapore Marriott Hotel T: 6831 4605 Opening Hours: Breakfast, 6am-11am; Lunch, 12noon-2.30pm; High Tea, 3pm-5.30pm; Dinner, 6.30pm-10pm 2. Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant Relish in award-winning culinary masterpieces that have garnered a faithful following since the fine Cantonese restaurant opened in 1995. Signatures include their Peking Duck, Stir-fried Lobster with Ginger and Superior Consommé and Spanish Iberico Pork Pork Shoulder, but don’t miss out on their delightful dim sum creations available on weekends. 320 Orchard Road Singapore Marriott Hotel T: 6831 4506 Opening Hours: Lunch, 11am-3pm (Daily); Dinner, 6pm-10pm (Sun-Thur), 6pm-11pm (Fri and Sat); Dim Sum lunch, 11am-3pm (Sat and Sun) RETAIL 3. ToTT Store Catered to anyone who cooks, bakes or hosts, ToTT (Tools of The Trade), located on an expanse of 36,000 feet, comprises of a bistro, a fine food store, children’s corner, DIY baking counter and a retail sector. As one of the

largest kitchenware and tableware retailer in Asia, they carry exclusive cooking, baking and hosting-related merchandises such as the Jamie Oliver kitchen utensils, Cuisinart and SousVide Supreme. Two on-premise cooking studios – one a demo studio and the other a hands-on studio – offers cooking classes on a regular schedule. 896 Dunearn Road 01-01A, Sime Darby Centre T: 6219 7007 Opening Hours: 11am-9pm (Mon-Fri); 10am-9pm (Sat, Sun & PH) 4. Mayer Marketing Established since 1987, Mayer Marketing is a leading distributor of imported quality home appliances in Singapore. Known for its complete range of quality and high performance kitchen appliances, Mayer Marketing has been catering to consumer’s needs for years. To date, it has successfully retained itself as the sole distributor for top quality brands like KitchenAid, Ariston, Indesit, Bamix, Delizia and Naturai. Mayer Showrooms are located islandwide at: Causeway Point #03-13 Great World City #02-25 IMM Building #02-10 Plaza Singapura #05-06

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