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r e l e v a n t X s t y l i s h X i n s p i r i n g

the most celebrated festival

unique chinese customary eats

%%%% CHIC & CHEERFUL

best bar bites

For Art’s Sake JANUARY 2011 S$5.00 O RM10.00

city guide

Seoul, South Korea

New York’s iconic six

WEEKNIGHT EATS

low-carb dinners

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Florence, Italy

FOODIE STOPS

PPS 1621/05/2011 (028578)

Join the great recipe swap & win!


special feature

cooking with Check out ToTT Cooking Studio’s exciting lineup of cooking classes!

UPCOMING Cooking Classes CHINESE NEW YEAR SPECIAL:

Traditional Goodies —Pineapple Tarts & Dumplings

Jan 15 (Sat), 10.30am to 12.30pm COURSE STYLE Demo (S$58) BY Vivian Pei

FLAVOURS OF VIETNAM:

Caramel Pork with Egg, Fried Fish with Dill & Coconut Caramel Flan

Jan 23 (Sun), 2.30pm to 5.30pm COURSE STYLE Hands-on (S$118) BY Jeremy Cheok

INDIAN FAVOURITES:

Gobi Masala & Butter Chicken

Jan 15 (Sat), 3.30pm to 5.30pm COURSE STYLE Hands-on (S$108) BY Milind Sovani, Song of India

CHINESE NEW YEAR SPECIAL:

The Valentine’s Day Chocolate Box

Jan 29 (Sat), 2pm to 4pm

COURSE STYLE Hands-on ($S98)

BY Derrick Wong, 2am:dessertbar

CROISSANTS:

Jan 30 (Sun), 3.30pm to 5.30pm COURSE STYLE Hands-on (S$98) BY Celeste Chew

COURSE STYLE Demo (S$78) BY Annette Tan

SOUS VIDE AT HOME:

48H Pork Belly, Black Angus Tenderloin & Drunken Pineapple

COURSE STYLE Demo ($58)

COURSE STYLE Demo (S$58)

Jan 23 (Sun), 3.30pm to 5.30pm BY Eric Low

Baked Cod Fish Fillet with Truffle Mushroom Sauce in Filo Pastry, Stewed Mee Pok with Home-made XO Sauce & Fresh Prawns & Traditional Yu Sheng

Jan 30 (Sun), 10.30am to 12.30pm COURSE STYLE Demo (S$58) BY Eric Low

Sweet (Raisin, Chocolate) & Savoury (Ham & Cheese)

Jan 22 (Sat), 9.30am to 12.30pm

Fish Maw Soup, Coffee Pork Ribs & Traditional Yu Sheng

CHINESE NEW YEAR SPECIAL:

COOKING TO SEDUCE:

CHEESE CAKES:

New York Cheese Cake, Oreo Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake

INDIAN VEGETARIAN FEAST:

Jan 29 (Sat), 10.30am to 12.30 BY Stephan Zoisl, Novus

COOKING TO SEDUCE:

Breakfast in Bed — Eggs (Poached, Omelette, Scrambled), Pancakes/Waffles/ French Toast & Homemade Baked Beans

Jan 30 (Sun), 11am to 1pm

COURSE STYLE Hands-on ($ 108)

BY Daniel Sia,The Disgruntled Chef

COOKING TO SEDUCE:

Naan, Dhal, Chutney & more

Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiac Dinner for Two

COURSE STYLE Demo (S$78)

COURSE STYLE Hands-on (S$108)

Feb 12 (Sat), 9.30am to 12.30pm BY Devagi Sanmugam

Feb 13 (Mon), 9.30am to 12.30pm BY Iskander Latiff, Tiffin Club

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contents

COOK IN

22

14

TABLE TALK

16

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

18

PANTRY BASICS

22

WEEKNIGHT EATS

Food News Up close with Eric Teo, plus other foodie tidbits

What’s new, useful and stylish to have

32

It’s A Toss Up A look at our favourite salad greens

Low-Carb Dinners You won’t miss the carbs with these flavourful and easy-to-make dishes

28 EAT WELL

Food For The Eyes Eat well for good eye health

32

RECIPE FEATURE

Readers’ Showcase II The second set of winning recipes from our Great Recipe Swap

44 COVER FEATURE

The Most Celebrated Festival Foods and customs behind Chinese New Year

58 KITCHEN SMARTS

Table Manners A guide to fine dining etiquette

Turn to page 14 for our chat with Eric Teo

Turn to page 28 for tips on eating well for eye health

STYLING & ART DIRECTION DENISE R. LOWEM PHOTOGRAPHY CALVIN TAN, FLAME PRODUCTION STUDIO

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62 ABOUT TOWN IN SINGAPORE & KUALA LUMPUR Gourmet updates from the two cities

70 CHIC & CHEERFUL

Best Bar Bites It’s happy hour! Where to for decent drinks and good bar bites?

74

70

FAB BITES

Fabulous Festive Bites Add cheer to your reunion meals with these delicious Lunar New Year treats

82 62

DINE AWAY 82 FOODIE STOPS

New York’s Legendary Six The Big Apple’s iconic nibbles and sips, and where New Yorkers get their fix

86 TRAVEL FEATURE

Florence, For Art’s Sake Art makes the world go around in the Tuscan capital, even if you have got to share the views

98 CITY GUIDE

Seoul Searching A whirlpool of pungent street foods, kaleidoscopic neon lights and eclectic boutiques awaits in Asia’s heart and soul

REGULARS 109 SUBSCRIPTION

Subscribe now to receive a Tanita 3kg Digital Kitchen Scale (worth S$88/RM212)!

112

CLASSIFIEDS

118 RECIPE INDEX & STOCKISTS This issue’s recipes and stockists at your fingertips

120 THINGS WE LOVE Fond Of Fondue A most delicious chocolate fondue

70

PROMOTIONS & PRIZES 27 THE GREAT RECIPE SWAP PROMOTION Share your favourite recipe and win a Lodge Cast Iron Double Play Reversible Griddle/Grill pan and leather gloves!

42 COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY The Best of Asian Cooking: 300 Authentic Recipes

80 TOAST THIS!

Win a bottle of Pares Balta Mas Petit (worth S$37/RM88) from Booze Wine Shop

119

CONGRATULATIONS!

Find out if you’re one of the lucky winners for our November issue’s contests!

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EAT OUT

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NELLIE HUANG

A Singaporean travel writer based in Spain, Nellie is a modern-day nomad in search of unusual experiences. In her quest for adventure, she has climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, reconstructed a school in rural Tanzania, followed the trails of sea lions on the Galapagos Islands and dived to the depths of Borneo.

SIM EE WAUN

A Singapore-based freelance journalist, Ee Waun is a veteran in food writing. Formerly an editor, she now writes and develops recipes and is trying to turn her young daughter into a fledgling gourmet.

ANNETTE TAN

An avid eater and cook, Annette Tan writes restaurant reviews and develops recipes for magazines and newspapers in Singapore and the region. She spends her free time trawling the world’s markets and absorbing cooking techniques from any mother, chef or fellow cook who’s willing to share their secrets.

CALVIN TAN

Calvin has been in professional photography for the past 15 years and is one of Singapore’s most sought-after food photographers. This month, he goes behind the lens for our festive cover and accompanying feature stories.

Kitchen Culture Food & Travel MICA (P) 152/03/2010, ISSN 1793-2120, PPS 1621/05/2011(028578), is published by Regent Media Pte Ltd. No part of this publication is to be reproduced, stored, transmitted, digitally or otherwise, without the prior consent of the publisher. The information contained herein is accurate at time of printing. Changes may have occurred since this magazine went to print. Regent Media Pte Ltd and its editors will not be held liable for any damages, loss, injury or inconvenience, arising in connection with the contents of the magazine. Prices quoted exclude government and miscellaneous taxes. Regent Media Pte Ltd will not accept responsibility for unsolicited contributions. Printer: KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd (197801823M)

Member of Magazine Publishers Association, Singapore

PUBLISHER Cecilia Woo EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR Joyceline Tully ASSISTANT EDITOR Josephine Soh JUNIOR WRITER Sheena Chen ART ART DIRECTOR Denise R. Lowem GRAPHIC DESIGNER Pearl Lim CONTRIBUTORS Mervin Chua, Eu Hooi-Khaw, Angeleigh Khoo, Cerina Kng, Nellie Huang, Sim Ee Waun, Annette Tan, Calvin Tan SALES SINGAPORE SENIOR BUSINESS MANAGER Tan Ann Nee BUSINESS MANAGER Rose Koh BUSINESS EXECUTIVE Andy Chan MALAYSIA SENIOR BUSINESS MANAGER Wendy Fong BUSINESS MANAGER David Choo MARKETING MARKETING MANAGER Tasmin Chua MARKETING EXECUTIVE Jovy Chay DISTRIBUTION CIRCULATION MARKETING MANAGER Jolyn Lim FINANCE FINANCE MANAGER Julie Khong PRODUCTION PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE Veronica Teo CUSTOMER SINGAPORE SERVICE CUSTOMER SERVICE EXECUTIVE Beth Kwok MALAYSIA CUSTOMER SERVICE EXECUTIVE Hertina Bt Bulating DISTRIBUTORS SINGAPORE MediaCorp Pte Ltd MALAYSIA MPH Distributors Sdn Bhd FOR ENQUIRIES EDITORIAL food&travel@regentmedia.sg DISTRIBUTION & SUBSCRIPTION subscription@regentmedia.sg MARKETING marketing@regentmedia.sg ADVERTISING SALES sales@regentmedia.sg HOTLINE 65/6543-3681(SINGAPORE)/ 603/7954-8989(MALAYSIA) REGENT MEDIA PTE LTD 3 LOYANG WAY SINGAPORE 508719 TEL: 65/6543-3681 FAX: 65/6543-3719 REGENT MEDIA SDN BHD B-3-21, SECTION 8, BUSINESS CENTER JALAN SUNGAI JERNIH 1, 8 AVENUE 46050 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN, MALAYSIA TEL: 603/7954-8989 FAX: 603/7954-8979

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contributors

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PHOTO MANDARIN ORCHARD

Between spring cleaning and shopping for new clothes,

P.S. Join us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/ foodntravelmagazine

…the new year is also one of the best times of the year to host dinner parties. With friends and relatives back in town for the fast approaching Chinese New Year, what better way to celebrate than by gathering your favourite people and cooking up a storm? To help you get cooking and travelling, we’ve lined up a solid selection of recipes as well as food and travel stories for the coming months. This month’s Chinese New Year cover feature pays tribute to three minority Chinese dialect groups in Singapore: the Hainanese, Heng Hwa and Hakka. Coming from a family of Heng Hwas, Hainanese and Hakkas, the subject is something close to my heart as this is a time when the extended family gathers for rounds of feasting on traditional festive eats. Top on our list is Heng Hwa mee sua (see pg 52 for

Putien Restaurant’s mee sua recipe), Hainanese kuehs, Hakka abacus seeds, and of course, sis-in-law’s buttery pineapple tarts. On that note, if you’re planning on whipping up some homemade Chinese New Year goodies, try our recipe (see pg 40) for dainty, melt-in-themouth kueh bangkit cookies. Along with all that festive feasting comes the oft-heard new year resolution: to lose some weight. If that’s part of your to-do list, check out our Weeknight Eats feature (pg 22) for delicious low-carb dinners to keep you satisfied while you’re busy planning, cooking and cleaning up. Here’s to a joyful, healthy 2011!

Assistant Editor, Josephine Soh

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editor’s note

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cook in

PHOTO CALVIN TAN

Whip up sumptuous Chinese New Year dishes at home. Turn to page 44.

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13


table talk

UP CLOSE with Eric Teo What’s new at the Mandarin Oriental? We have a new executive pastry chef Cassian Tan, who brings with him more than three decades of culinary expertise. We are all very excited to have him on board and we’re sure guests will enjoy tasting his innovative and elegant dessert creations. Where to next, for your culinary travels? Come March, I will be judging at Oceanafest, an international culinary competition held biannually in Perth. What will you be doing this Chinese New Year? I am looking forward to spending plenty of time with family and friends. As a chef, my hours can be long and irregular, and Chinese New Year is always such a treat. I particularly enjoy the visiting sessions as I get to catch up with everyone I have lost touch with during the year.

What’s your must-eat reunion dinner dish? Chap chye (braised vegetables with fermented beancurd), as it is a dish that I grew up with. For as long as I remember, I’ve ushered in each Lunar New Year with a bowl of chap chye in hand. It is also a dish that all the women in my family have prepared according to their own unique recipe — beginning with my grandmother, then my mother and now, my wife. I love the earthy, comforting mix of black fungus, cabbage, beancurd skin and vermicelli. What do you consider the best thing about being the President of the Singapore Chefs Association? Being able to help grow the voice of the culinary industry here in Singapore and abroad. We have a vibrant culinary industry, with much to offer, and the Singapore Chefs’ Association is the perfect vehicle to aggregate the resources and networks to do just that.

IT’S A GOLD! More than a decade after winning the Expogast Culinary World Cup championship 1998, and after five months of intensive training, the Singapore National Culinary Team has done themselves and Singapore proud again in this year’s championship held in Luxembourg as part of the 11th International Gastronomy Show. Led by team caption Yen Koh (executive chef, Unilever Food Solutions S.E.A and Singapore) and team coach Ivan Yeo (corporate chef, Park Hotel Group), the team, comprising Nicole Wong (pastry sous chef, Fairmont Hotel), Lim Boon Seng (sous chef, Osia Restaurant), Eric Chua (sous chef, Unilever Food Solutions Singapore) and Yew Eng Tong (sous chef, The Cliff Restaurant) beat 26 international teams to clinch the gold medal in the best national team category. Kudos to them.

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PHOTOGRAPHY CALVIN TAN, FLAME PRODUCTION STUDIO

Executive Chef of Mandarin Oriental, Singapore and President of the Singapore Chefs’ Association


WORDS ANGELEIGH KHOO & SHEENA CHEN

WE’VE MOVED!

DBS CHEF’S SIGNATURES MASTERCLASSES

DBS cardholders will be happy to know that the Asian Food Channel has collaborated with the local bank to present an exclusive series of exciting monthly ‘Chef’s Signatures’ masterclasses just for card members. Conducted by renowned chefs the likes of Scott Webster, Kunio Tokuoka and Emmanuel Stroobant, DBS cardholders will not only get to meet the culinary legends but also participate in the cooking demonstrations, too. To find out more, visit www.asianfoodchannel.com/dbs One of Singapore’s well-loved culinary schools, Palate Sensations has relocated to a 2,000sqft cooking wonderland at Biopolis. Decked out with state-of-the-art tools and appliances from Brandt, Mastrad, Scanpan and Henckels, the larger studio now accomodates up to 40 people each session, so you can look forward to a shorter wait-list for their popular hands-on cooking classes. The new fully air-conditioned studio also doubles up as a venue for private parties where you can have Chef Christopher Bell prepare your dinner. #01-03, Chromos, 10 Biopolis Road. Tel: 65/6478-9746

Foodie Gifts

Still mulling over what to buy for dinner party hosts? Then check out Jones The Grocer’s new collection of Gourmet Hampers, which should please chocolate lovers, cheese connoisseurs, barbecue aficionados and budding chefs. To win hearts, get the Picnic Hamper that flaunts the finest cheeses, homemade biscuits, and premium antipasto amongst other delectables! Block 9, #01-12 Dempsey Road, Dempsey Hill. Tel: 65/6476-1512

KOREAN FEVER In the wake of Singaporeans’ love for Korean dramas, NTUC FairPrice has stocked its shelves with an exciting new range of premium Korean food products. Look forward to the exclusive Sooran free-range fresh eggs (S$2.40), Korean red ginseng drink (S$19.50), CJ sliced kimchi (S$5.95), Samyang seafood and chacharoni noodles (S$4.50) and Green Peace Korean Eryngi mushroom (S$3.45). Studies have also shown that Korean kimchi is ranked among the healthiest foods in the world due to their low fat and high fibre content. Here’s to indulging for good health!

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WORDS SHEENA CHEN

DE DIETRICH CONTINUUM HOB No more unpredictable heat control for induction hob users. De Dietrich has introduced the Continuum, an elegant full-glass induction hob that has three pre-programmed heat settings that give you immediate access to precise temperatures. Its 4600W hob is the most powerful in the market, and is engineered to reach your desired heat with minimal downtime. Simply hit a button to start flash cooking, simmering or boiling. Its new boil function even maintains water at boiling point for as long as required, making cooking pasta an absolute breeze. Available in five sizes. XFrom S$3,890, available at La Galerie De Dietrich Showroom

freddy The technology of flash freezing is now available to home cooks with the introduction of Freddy, the world’s first domestic “Shock Freezer”. Engineered for optimal food preservation, it reaches freezing point rapidly to stave off bacteria and ensure that your frozen food stays fresh. Freddy boasts a blast chiller function that lowers the temperature of food 20 times faster than refrigeration, preserving freshness and extending the shelf life of meats and produce. You can also safely flash freeze hot leftovers, locking in the nutrients for your next meal. XPrice on application, available at Kitchen Culture Showroom

Philips Saeco’s Xelsis Enjoying a professionally made cuppa at home is now a reality, thanks to Xelsis, Philips Saeco’s latest and most advanced espresso machine. Aesthetics aside, this espresso powerhouse dispenses nine different beverages, memorises up to six unique profiles and — get this — remembers nine favourite coffees of each profile. There will be no need to sweat over how Mum likes her latte; or that Dad enjoys an Americano in the morning and an espresso at 3pm. The Xelsis does it all for you at a touch of a button. Daunted by cleaning up? The detachable milk carafe boasts an automatic milk cleansing function that also performs a quick cleaning round after each cup of espresso is dispensed. Each machine comes with free delivery, installation and demonstration. XS$3,599, available at leading department stores

MIELE DG1450 FREESTANDING STEAM OVEN

Sheathed in a sleek black finish and measuring 50 cm wide, Miele’s DG1450 freestanding steam oven is one of the thinnest ovens around. Equipped with a state-ofthe-art steamer that cooks food while retaining more than 50 percent of their vitamin value, it is perfect for the health- and aesthetic-conscious urbanite! XS$2,088, available at Miele Boutique

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kitchen essentials

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pantry basics

MÂCHE

IT’S A TOSS UP Up close and personal with our favourite salad leaves

ARUGULA ENDIVE

BUTTERHEAD LETTUCE

SPINACH

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STORY SHEENA CHEN ART DIRECTION PEARL LIM PHOTO CALVIN TAN, FLAME PRODUCTION STUDIOS

FRISEE

ICEBERG LETTUCE

ROMAINE LETTUCE

OAKLEAF

RADDICCHIO

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pantry basics FRISEE

ROMAINE LETTUCE

Also known as curly endives, the frisee has thin frilly leaves with pale yellow stalks that are rich in anti-cancer phytonutrients. As it bears an intense, bitter flavour, it should be used sparingly to accent the texture and taste of a salad.

The primary component of a Caesar salad, the Romaine has large crispy leaves that wrap around an elongated head. Also known as Cos, it has a thick crunchy stem and boasts the highest nutritional value of all lettuce. A popular base for salad, its leaves are sweet, with a hint of bitterness.

ENDIVE Specifically known as the Belgian endive, its elegant spoonshaped outer leaves are often used to serve hors d'oeuvres. Sharp and bitter tasting, it is often chopped and added to salads to lend an extra depth in flavour.

MÂCHE Also known as lamb’s lettuce, the mâche has sweet, clovershaped leaves. It is primarily used in tidy amounts to balance aggressive greens in a salad as forming a bed with these small leaves can be expensive.

RADDICCHIO Also known as red chicory, it has red-purplish leaves that wrap around a compact head. Pleasantly bitter and peppery in taste, the raddicchio is loved for its bright colour that adds contrast to a green salad.

ARUGULA Also known as rocket, its leaves are dark green, slender and lobed at the edges. A member of the mustard family, arugula has a strong peppery flavour and a nutty aftertaste. It is a popular finish for pizzas and pastas and is also used to make pesto. Baby arugula is milder than mature leaves and is a popular base for salads.

SPINACH Jade green with a mild bittersweet flavour, its leaves can be fleshy or crinkly. Spinach is a versatile green packed with iron and Vitamin C, and is great enjoyed raw in salads or cooked. Look out for those with darker leaves as they pack more nutrients.

BUTTERHEAD LETTUCE A loose lettuce with tender, creamy leaves, the pale green butterhead has an unassertive flavour, which makes it ideal as a salad base. Common varieties include the Boston and the more expensive Bibb.

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ICEBERG LETTUCE Also known as crisphead lettuce, the iceberg lettuce resembles a small cabbage and is famed for its crisp leaves, which are juicy, very light in taste and valued more for its crunchiness than flavour. It also has a long shelf life in the crisper.

OAKLEAF Also known as a salad bowl lettuce, its large tender leaves come in green and red hues and are lobed at the borders. Bland with a delicate green taste, the visually stunning oakleaf is commonly used as a garnish or as a salad base. X


weeknight eats

LOW-CARB DINNERS

You won’t miss the carb with these flavourful and easy-to-make dishes PHOTOGRAPHY MERVIN CHUA/APERTURE INK RECIPES & STYLING ANNETTE TAN

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;=<2/G

pulled chicken in lettuce cups



EASY Prep 5 mins Cook 1 hr Serves 2

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23


Pulled Chicken in Lettuce Cups This is a great make-in-advance dish that can be enjoyed with just about anything. The sweetsmoky flavour of the meat and delicious sauce traditionally work well with wraps, so we’ve cupped them in butter lettuce leaves for bite-sized morsels of low-carb heaven. 2 chicken legs or breast fillets, skinned 1 cup Coca Cola or diet cola ½ cup tomato ketchup 1 Tbsp minced onion 2 Tbsp mustard 2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce 2 stalks spring onions, chopped 2 heads butter or romaine lettuce

1 ) Preheat oven to 160ºC. 2 ) Place all the ingredients, except the spring onions and lettuce leaves, into an ovenproof pot. Cook over high heat on a stove till the mixture comes to a boil. Transfer pot to the oven and cook for 1 hour. 3 ) When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred or pull it apart. To assemble, separate the lettuce leaves, wash and pat dry. Spoon a portion of the pulled chicken onto each leaf and top with spring onions. Serve immediately. (The meat will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.)

Almond-Crusted Fish with Caprese Salad Almond meal makes a fine carb-free crust for this fish and turns beautifully golden in the oven. This is one of those dishes that require such little effort to turn out something so wonderfully good. 2 sole or snapper fillets (or any firm white fish) 3 Tbsp olive oil 1 egg ½ tsp salt 1 tsp paprika ½ cup almond meal

BC3A2/G

Salad: 1 cup basil leaves ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ tsp salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved ½ cup buffalo mozzarella, torn

1 ) Preheat oven to 190ºC. Line a baking



EASY Prep 5 mins Cook 15 – 20 mins Serves 2

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tray with greaseproof paper or foil. Oil the paper or foil. 2 ) Place egg, salt and paprika in a bowl and beat. Set aside. Place almond meal on a plate. Dip one fish fillet into the egg to coat and then into the almond meal to coat evenly on both sides. Set on the lined baking tray. Repeat with the second fillet. 3 ) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the fish fillet, or until golden brown. 4 ) Meanwhile, make salad dressing. Place basil leaves, olive oil and salt in a food processor and blitz till smooth. Place tomatoes and mozzarella in a bowl and pour dressing over. Toss to combine. Serve alongside the fish.


weeknight eats Ham and Cheese Zucchini Pasta Zucchini strips make a surprisingly satisfying substitute for pasta. The sauce may sound a little rich, but when coupled with the vegetables, turns out a remarkably light dish. 4 zucchinis, peeled 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 tsp minced garlic ⅓ cup julienned ham 100 g light cream cheese ⅓ cup cream ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper 1 Tbsp chopped parsley

1 ) To prepare zucchini “pasta”, use

3 ) To make the sauce, heat 1 Tbsp

a potato peeler to peel thin strips of zucchini (make sure they are not too wide) until you reach the seeds. Once you reach the seeds, stop and discard the rest of the zucchini. 2 ) Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add zucchini strips and fry till they turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

olive oil in a pan and fry garlic till fragrant. Add ham and toss for 30 seconds before adding the cream cheese, cream, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well. 4 ) Add zucchini “pasta” to the sauce and stir to mix. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.



EASY Prep 10 mins Cook 10 mins Serves 2

E32<3A2/G

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weeknight eats

Honey Soy Prawn Skewers with Cucumber Salad The flavour of the marinade permeates the prawns as they sit in it for several hours. Once done, it’s a simple matter of bunging them in the oven and tossing your salad just five minutes before you’re ready to eat.

12 prawns, shelled and de-veined 1 Tbsp sesame oil 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce 2 Tbsp honey 1 Tbsp lime juice Cucumber salad: 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced 3 Tbsp white vinegar 1 Tbsp sugar 1 Tbsp water A handful of chopped dill

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ingredients in a bowl and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. 2 ) When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a baking tray with foil. 3 ) Rinse 4 bamboo skewers in water, then skewer 3 prawns to each. Place skewers on the foil-lined tray and pour over the remaining marinade. Bake for 15 minutes. 4 ) To make cucumber salad, place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss. Serve alongside the prawn skewers. ◆

EASY Prep 10 mins + marinating time Cook 15 mins Serves 2



B6C@A2/G

1 ) Place prawns and the rest of the


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eat well

eyes food for the

Eat well for good eye health 28

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WORDS JOSEPHINE SOH MAIN IMAGE PHOTOLIBRARY IMAGES 123RF.COM

E

yesight is one of the most important senses we have. As we get older, our eyes become more susceptible to damage and age-related issues like degeneration of the macula (the sensitive part of the retina essential for sharp vision), glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve from increased pressure of the fluid in the eyes) and cataracts (clouding of the lens). Besides age, common eye problems such as dry eyes, blurred vision, tired eyes or poor night vision could be caused by our lifestyle choices. Overuse of contact lenses, eye strain from staring at the computer screen for extended periods of time, reading lengthy fine print, marking papers with illegible handwriting, consumption of certain medication, fat blockers and antacids, and a poor diet could contribute to poor eye health. If your eyes are often red and itchy, then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to springclean your space. Clean your office desk regularly with antibacterial wipes or spray, give the fan, furniture or car interior a good vacuum perhaps every two to four weeks, wash or air out-of-date clothes that are lurking at the back of your wardrobe, and give those month-old bedsheets a good wash and sun.

Other than taking regular eye breaks, doing eye exercises, reading in good light while sitting upright with the book no less than 30cm (and computer screen no less than 50cm) from your eyes, and scheduling your eye examination, make sure your daily meals consist of these protective nutrients:

XCAROTENOIDS such as lutein and zeaxanthin are yelloworange pigments that impart colour to foods (e.g. green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, eggs, papaya and corn) and help protect the eyes from developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

XBILBERRY, a pigment that not only makes blueberries blue but also protects the retina and helps improve night vision. XOMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are essential for the body and for vision development in infants. For adults, studies suggest that they help prevent dry eyes. XVITAMIN C, found in good amounts in citrus fruit, strawberries, kiwi and guava, is essential for normal growth and development. Its antioxidant properties have been found to be helpful in delaying macular degeneration and reducing the risk of cataracts. XVITAMIN E, another strong antioxidant, can help prevent cataracts and slow the aging of the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cells and tissues. Avocado, seeds, nuts and cereals are good sources. XZINC is an essential mineral found in every cell of the body and good sources include seafood, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

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eat well

RECIPE JOSEPHINE SOH RECIPE PHOTOGRAPHY JOYCELINE TULLY



EASY Prep 10 mins Cook 10 mins Serves 2

Salmon, Salad & Avocado Wrap Packed with omega-3, vitamin C, E, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin, this delicious wrap makes a light yet nutritious lunch Olive oil, for brushing 280 g salmon fillet, skin removed Salt and freshly crushed black pepper, to taste Dash of ground paprika 1 ripe avocado, pitted, skinned 1 small handful cilantro, chopped Juice of 2 limes 1 red chilli, de-seeded, chopped (optional) 2 soft flour tortillas, warmed Handful of baby spinach leaves (or your favourite salad greens) Fresh ripe mango flesh (optional)

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1 ) Brush salmon fillet with olive oil and place skin-side down on a heated pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika, and cook until the flesh is just done, about 4 to 5 minutes each side. Remove from the pan and break the flesh into 1-inch pieces. Set aside. 2 ) Mash avocado flesh with cilantro, lime juice and chopped red chillies, and season to taste with salt and pepper. 3 ) Place each warm tortilla on a plate and spread with avocado mixture. Top with salmon pieces and scatter with salad leaves. If you fancy, slice some fresh ripe mango over, then roll up and serve immediately.


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READERS’ SHOWCASE II A big thank you to all of you who contributed cherished recipes for food&travel’s The Great Recipe Swap! Here’s the second set of winning entries for the sweet-toothed. Enjoy! PHOTOGRAPHY & STYLING JOYCELINE TULLY

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Jean Yim’s chocolate red wine cake



EASY Prep 25 mins Cook 50 – 60 mins Makes One 10-inch bundt cake

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EASY Prep 15 mins + churning time + freezing time Cook 5 mins Makes 500 ml

Lynn Limâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soy chocolate ice cream

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Chocolate Red Wine Cake JULY’S RUNNER UP:

JEAN YIM, 39

“Many times, there is left-over wine after dinner and rather than let it go to waste, what better way than to make it into a cake!” 280 g plain flour ½ tsp baking powder 2 tsp baking soda 1 heaped cup cocoa powder 200 g butter 400 g soft brown sugar 4 eggs, beaten well 400 ml red wine

1 ) Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan and lightly dust with flour. 2 ) Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder thrice. 3 ) Cream butter and sugar till creamy, then lower speed and add beaten eggs very slowly. Continue beating and gradually incorporate wine and flour mixtures alternately, until well mixed. 4 ) Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 50 to 60 mins until a cake tester inserted into the cake centre comes out clean. Allow to cool before unmoulding.

Soy Chocolate Ice Cream AUGUST’S RUNNER UP:

LYNN LIM MUI LING, 38

“I was inspired to make this for my friend’s daughter who has multiple allergies. It saddened me to see her walk away or look on each time she saw others enjoying a dessert she couldn’t have. She was so delighted when she tried this ice cream and couldn’t stop describing how it tasted. Seeing how joyful she was brought tears to my eyes. I hope this recipe brings others much joy, too.” 250 ml unsweetened soy milk 125 g dark chocolate (64 percent cocoa), roughly chopped 100 g sugar 150 g silken tofu

1 ) Blend silken tofu until smooth and set aside. 2) Heat soy milk and sugar over a low flame, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and pour mixture over chocolate. Let it rest a little, then stir to get a smooth chocolate mixture. 3 ) Add silken tofu and mix evenly. Use a blender if necessary. Strain the mixture into a container, cover and chill in the fridge for about 10 mins. 4 ) Transfer to an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer back to the container and freeze till firm before serving.

Kueh Talam APRIL WINNER:

EDDY KHOO, 50

“This recipe belonged to my late aunt who lived in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. We’d gather and wait at my aunt’s home for this dish to be prepared and fight to see who would get a second helping. This kueh brings such lovely memories and brought our entire family together.” Green layer: 11 to 15 pandan leaves, washed and cut into small pieces 280 ml + 280 ml water 140 g sugar 70 g finest rice flour, sifted 28 g green pea flour, sifted ½ tsp alkaline water White layer: 28 g tapioca flour, sifted 28 g rice flour, sifted 453 ml coconut milk (from 1 fresh coconut) ½ tsp salt

1 ) Prepare the steamer. Lightly grease and line the bottom of a 8-by-8-inch tin.

2 ) Prepare the green layer: Whiz pandan leaves in an electric blender with 280ml water to make 280ml of pandan juice. Strain and discard pulp. 3 ) Heat sugar with remaining 280ml water in a clean pan till sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside. 4 ) Combine rice flour, green pea flour and pandan juice. Add the alkaline water. 5 ) Add flour mixture to sugar solution and heat over a small-medium flame, stirring constantly until the mixture

turns starchy. Once it starts to thicken, transfer into baking tin. If necessary, strain the mixture to remove lumps. Steam for 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. 6 ) Prepare the white layer: Combine all the ingredients in a pan and heat up over very low heat, stirring constantly. (If heat is too high, the mixture will become lumpy and the resulting kueh surface will not be smooth.) 7) Once the mixture thickens slightly and the coconut milk sticks to the bottom of the spoon, remove from heat. Strain, then pour over the cooked green layer. Steam for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely before attempting to unmould from tin. The kueh is best enjoyed on the same day.

Matcha Cupcakes SEPTEMBER’S RUNNER UP:

JUSTINE ONG, 28

“We recently went to Japan for our honeymoon and went on a craze with everything matcha. These cupcakes have a strong matcha taste and a hint of sweetness, and are a reminder of our wonderful experience in Japan.” 70 g all-purpose flour 2 tsp matcha powder 1 tsp baking powder Pinch of salt 3 eggs, separate the whites and yolks 50 g caster sugar 60 ml vegetable oil 60 ml water

1 ) Preheat oven to 150ºC. Line a 12-cup pan with cupcake cases.

2 ) Sift flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

3 ) Combine egg yolks and half of the sugar. Add the vegetable oil and water, and mix well. Set aside. 4 ) In a clean mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and gradually add remaining sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, then gradually fold in the sifted ingredients. 5 ) Add egg yolk mixture prepared in step 3 and stir to combine. 6 ) Pour the batter into the prepared cases and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, then enjoy!

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Eddy Khooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kueh talam



ADVANCED Prep 40 mins Cook 50 mins Makes One 8-by-8inch kueh

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Justine Ongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s matcha cupcakes



EASY Prep 20 mins Cook 15 mins Serves 12 cupcakes

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Yoyo Biscuits JUNE’S WINNER:

LEE LOI SHEE, 32

170 g butter 56 g icing sugar, sifted 170 g self-raising flour, sifted 56 g custard powder

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1 ) Preheat oven to 160ºC. 2 ) Prepare biscuit dough: Beat butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy.

3 ) Fold in sifted flour and custard powder, and mix well. Roll into balls and set on baking tray, then flatten gently with the back of a fork. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. 4) Prepare icing. Beat all the ingredients until smooth and spreadable, and then spread some icing between two yoyo biscuits. Enjoy!



“Baking these biscuits always brings back memories as they were my comfort food when I was studying for exams in Australia. Many in Singapore might not have heard of or tasted these little morsels but they can be easily whipped up using readily available ingredients in your pantry.”

Icing: 42 g butter 170 g icing sugar 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

EASY Prep 25 mins Cook 15 mins Serves 20 – 25 biscuits


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Rustic Favourites These dainty tapioca flour cookies scented with coconut are a must-have at Chinese New Year and other festive occasions



MODERATE Prep 45 mins + cooling time Cook 15 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 17 mins per tray of cookies Makes About 80 pieces

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RECIPE CERINA KNG & JOYCELINE TULLY PHOTOGRAPHY JOYCELINE TULLY

Kueh Bangkit 300 g tapioca flour 3 pandan leaves, cleaned and knotted 100 g icing sugar 1 large egg yolk 125 ml + 25 ml thick coconut milk

1 ) Gently fry tapioca flour and pandan leaves over a low fire until fragrant, about 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely, about 2 hours. 2 ) Sieve the cooled flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. 3 ) Add egg yolk and gradually pour in 125 ml coconut milk to make a soft dough. Knead the dough a little on a lightly floured work surface; it should be pliable and smooth, and not shiny.

4 ) Preheat the oven to 170°C. 5 ) Divide dough into two portions. Reserve one portion in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Roll out the other portion till it’s about one inch thick. Cut the dough with biscuit cutter and using the pincher, decorate the cookies as desired*. Repeat until all the dough is used up. (Moisten the reserved dough with some of the remaining coconut milk when you are ready to roll it out.) 6 ) Bake each tray of cookies for 15 to 17 minutes each. Leave to cool, then enjoy! * Alternatively, press the dough into a floured traditional cookie mould and knock it out.

cook’s tip: These cookies are notoriously temperamental. The trick is in getting the dough right — adjust the amount of liquid until you get a pliable dough that can be easily rolled. The cooking time is also important when it comes to achieving that melt-in-your-mouth goodness. A higher temperature and slightly longer cooking time yield crispier cookies, but your cookies may crack if the dough is even a tad too dry.

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the most

celebrated festival

PART ONE

Chinese New Year is not just about celebrations and ang pows. Behind the feasting are foods and customs rich in auspicious symbolisms, deeply felt by the collective Chinese consciousness for thousands of years. WORDS SIM EE WAUN MAIN IMAGE PHOTOLIBRARY RECIPE ART DIRECTION DENISE R. LOWEM RECIPE PHOTOGRAPHY CALVIN TAN, FLAME PRODUCTION STUDIO

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To this paramount end, there is ❝ one thing that reigns supreme the —

overwhelming role that food plays, be it to enliven the realm we live in or to sweeten the spiritual world that we hope would provide us with largesse.

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cleaning and dusting, for that would be taboo on the first day of the new year, and putting up of decorations. We’d usually still be awake at midnight finishing up, all lights turned on to welcome in the Lunar New Year. Breakfast on New Year’s Day would invariably be a vegetarian one — Chinese chap chye and white porridge. I gather it is a token nod to the Buddhist beliefs and customs my paternal grandmother had of refraining from meat for that one meal. Thus nourished, we would change into our new clothes, go through the little ceremony of paying respects to our parents, and lighting joss sticks for our ancestors, with three bows and holding the incense sticks, followed by another three. Our extended family is enormous. My maternal grandmother had 11 offspring, and my paternal granny had eight. My first cousins alone number beyond 50. Needless to say, it was a riotous “open house” on the first day when everyone seemed to descend at the same time for lunch. A tradition for the last 40 years that carried on even now, the

From top: Wide array of sweets to tempt the children; Melon seeds

IMAGES HOBBES YEO, IRUM SHAHID & 123RF.COM

he biggest, most important festival for over a billion people on earth, or a quarter of the human race, is the Chinese or Lunar New Year. Even to those of other races, it is well known for its abundant splash of auspicious red everywhere, lion and dragon dances, chain fireworks and red packets (or ang pows) bearing money for good luck. With the centuries of Chinese migration throughout the globe, the festival also proliferated and it now takes place all over the world, from the Chinatowns of London and San Francisco to the homes and villages of Southeast Asia, and of course, the “Motherland” China. As with all living customs, it has further evolved within the diverse Chinese communities around the globe and it takes somewhat different forms everywhere. But even before the Chinese went overseas, the gargantuan mass of China’s geography had already led to variations among the communities within the country, demarcated along the lines of dialect groups. Are you Teochew? Cantonese? Shanghainese or Hainanese? The groups observe slightly different customs, but all with one common focus — to celebrate the coming of the new year, carry out all manner of customs, and appeal to the gods and ancestors for a happy, healthy and of course, wealthy year ahead. To this paramount end, there is one thing that reigns supreme — the overwhelming role that food plays, be it to enliven the realm we live in or to sweeten the spiritual world that we hope

would provide us with largesse. Growing up in a middleclass Singaporean household that walks a balance between Western education and Chinese traditions, Chinese New Year always saw the latter coming to the fore where we not only celebrated the festival but also our heritage. The eve of the New Year was the reunion dinner, the most important meal of the year where the entire family would gather for a hearty, formal feast at home. While being a Teochew household, the menu, however, was Cantonese — that being my mother’s dialect group. The dining table, a large round one that seated 14 easily, would be laden with neatly sliced raw food waiting to be cooked in the hotpot bubbling and steaming in the middle. Slices of ikan kurau — regarded among the most desirable fish in our household — pork slivers, beef fillet, large "angka" and king prawns, squid, fish maw, fish balls, large scallops, liver slices and chicken were on the menu as well as long uncut strands of vermicelli, cabbage and tang oh (amaranth). As a dipping sauce, my sister, when she was old enough, created a family speciality of oyster sauce, sesame oil and sugar thinned with soup stock and mixed with great heaps of coriander and spring onions. Delicious. Preparation for this meal would start from the morning, with the kitchen buzzing with bubbling vats of stock and busy people chopping away at the myriad ingredients. Dinner itself required a gathering of the entire family — five in all when we were young. A leisurely and exceedingly enjoyable affair with plenty of dinner conversation, our meal could stretch till past 10 in the evening. After that, there would always be unfinished chores to be done before midnight struck — ang pows to be wrapped, last minute


lunch menu, too, has always been the same — and indeed, expected by every guest who made their yearly visit. It is a typical Teochew spread of white porridge or "muay” as it is called — numerous cauldrons of it — accompanied by all manner of delightfully salty Chinese pickles, fermented beancurd and a gaggle of braised geese that my father used to slice expertly, all delicate slivers of uniformly sliced boneless meat. Together with this would be braised beancurd, gizzard, liver and taupok, drowned in a slow-cooked dark soy sauce. At times, there would also be chilled pork and crunchy, finely sliced pig ears served with

Chinese New Year festive decorations and gifts

a dip of chopped chilli, garlic, sugar and vinegar. Teochew food was always fine, uncomplicated and elemental but lest you think it is a baser form of cuisine for all its simplicity, rest assured the flavours were always intense and delightful; the mark, I would say, of a well-honed cuisine as with the other great regional cuisines of China. It was imperative to have a morethan-generous spread during the festivities and especially during the key meals where family were expected. The feeling of excess, generosity and largesse rules the day as it is considered auspicious, expressing the hope for a new year of abundance and good fortune. Meat, too, is essential, especially for an agrarian society often none too well off in the old days. Having meat on the table is not only a luxury saved for special occasions, it also becomes a symbol of wealth and fortune. The Chinese love finding symbolisms in homonyms and nomenclature, and thus certain foods are symbolic and must feature on the menu — prawns (“har” in Cantonese) for laughter and happiness, fish (“yu”) for abundance, noodles for long life, and nian gao (Chinese New Year cake) for progress and advancement. And there’s of course the oft-told story of how this sticky glutinous cake laden with brown sugar would sweeten the mouth of the Kitchen God, and ensure his favourable report on the household to the Jade Emperor. And if all else fails, at least it will hopefully fill his mouth so much so that he is unable to say much. ³ F&T

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HAKKA DELICACIES Lunar New Year food and customs (which usually revolve around food, too) vary among households and dialect groups, with each having their own specialty. For Chef Hiew Gun Khong, Executive Chef at Cherry Garden Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore, there must always be leftovers, especially fish, after the reunion dinner as it signifies abundance for the coming New Year. “On the first day of Lunar New Year, my entire family will go on a vegetarian diet. This is a tradition passed down from my ancestors, in the hope of blessings for the family for the upcoming year,” he says. According to Chef Hiew, homemade glutinous rice wine is essential in every Hakka family. “Every family has their own recipe of glutinous rice wine and this is commonly used in their dishes due to the cold weather during the Chinese New Year,” he says. Leek is another essential ingredient as it is pronounced as “suan”, which translates to “count” in English; and eating fish balls is a must as it sounds like “never ending food” in the Hakka dialect. Perhaps the most well known of the Hakka New Year dishes are poon choy, which has since been elevated to a gourmet indulgence served

by every quality Chinese restaurant in Singapore; and suan pan zi, also known as “abacus seeds”. According to Chef Hiew, it originated long ago among the poor Hakka farmers who often cooked leftovers in a single pot for the families to enjoy. During the Chinese New Year — or the Spring Festival as it is called in China — the leftovers would be replaced with more premium and auspicious ingredients such as chicken, black moss, roasted meat, leek and seafood. “This dish is also important during the Chinese New Year as it signifies a family gathering together to enjoy the meal,” he adds. These days, poon choy is a luxury item even on Chinese New Year menus, filled with the most desirable ingredients in Chinese cuisine — from scallops to shark’s fin, bird’s nest, dried oysters, shiitake mushrooms, sea cucumber, abalone and more. Over the years, it is enjoyed by the Chinese across all dialects. Suan pan zi, another Hakka delicacy, is actually “flattened pieces of yam” and signifies an abundance of money to be counted (“suan” being “to count”) in the new year. Like all traditional Chinese families, the Hakkas also prepare offerings for the ancestors

Clockwise from top: Chef Hiew's family; Having a Chinese New Year lunch with his cousins

Lunar New Year food and customs (which usually ❝ revolves around food, too) vary among households and dialect groups, with each having their own specialty. ❞ so that they too may be part of the family celebrations. Steamed salted chicken features at the Hakka ancestral alter, offered in reverence and later, partaken by the family as well for blessings. Sadly, a dish he no longer sees these days is the elaborate double-boiled pig stomach stuffed with chicken and glutinous rice. He describes it thus, “The chicken is first stuffed with glutinous rice soaked in homemade glutinous rice wine, ginger, pepper and spring onion. The stuffed chicken is then stuffed into the pig’s stomach and boiled with Chinese herbs. The dish has a warming effect and is popular in China during Chinese New Year due to the cold climate.” ³

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double-boiled pork ribs & white radish soup with fish & meat balls



RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF HIEW GUN KHONG, CHERRY GARDEN

EASY Prep 10 mins Cook 2½ hrs Serves 10

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Hakka-Style Steamed Chicken

Yu Sheng Sayings If you’ve decided to toss the yu sheng at home, make sure you do it right with all the necessary auspicious sayings. Don’t know them? Here’s what you need to do:

1 When the dish is placed at the table, greet your guests with the main Chinese New Year greetings: “Gong Xi Fa Cai” and “Wan Shi Ru Yi”. 2 Next, squeeze the lemon over the raw fish slices, and say “Da Ji Da Li” (good luck and blessings). 3 As you place the fish over the salad on the platter, say “Nian Nian You Yu” ‒ a wish for abundance and good fortune. Some may also say “Long Ma Jing Shen” (wishing you the health and strength of a dragon or a horse). 4 As you sprinkle pepper over the salad, say “Hong Yun Dang Tou” (may good luck appear at your door). 5 When the cinnamon powder or fivespice powder goes in, say “Qing Chun Chang Zu” (wishing you everlasting youth and long life). 6 When the peanut oil is being poured over, say “Rong Hua Fu Gui” for wealth and prosperity. 7 This is followed by the sweet plum sauce. Say “Tian Tian Mi Mi” (may the year be sweet and happy). 8 As you scatter in the golden crackers, say “Man Di Huang Jin” (may gold fall at your feet). 9 Finally, the invitation to toss comes with the phrase: “Yue Lao Yue Qi”, “Lao Dao Feng Shen Shui Qi” (toss the higher the better, until the winds and waters rise up for a good year ahead) . 50

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Chef Hiew’s version of steamed chicken is tender and redolent with the aromas of ginger, garlic and spring onions. It’s lovely eaten cold, too. 1 kampong chicken, washed and drained Salt 3 Tbsp glutinous rice wine 3 Tbsp minced ginger 1 spring onion, chopped Ginger and onion dipping sauce: Vegetable oil 2 Tbsp minced garlic 3 Tbsp minced ginger 3 Tbsp glutinous rice wine 1 spring onion, chopped 1 Tbsp salt Sesame oil, to taste 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp light soy sauce

Double-Boiled Pork Ribs & White Radish Soup with Fish & Meat Balls Nourishing and wholesome, this soup gets its natural sweetness from the pork ribs, chicken feet and honey dates. Here, the fish balls are added for symbolism, as “eating fishballs” sound like “never ending food” in the Hakka dialect. 300 g pork ribs 10 chicken feet 6 Chinese mushrooms, soaked in warm water and stem removed 5 g sweet almonds 600 g radish, cut into pieces 3 honey dates 20 white peppercorns 4 L stock or hot water 10 fish balls 10 pork balls Sugar and salt, to taste

1 ) Cut and wash the pork ribs and chicken feet. Blanch them in hot water.

2 ) Place all ingredients (except the fish 1 ) Make the dipping sauce: Heat some oil and saute garlic and ginger till fragrant. Add rice wine and deglaze, scraping up all the aromatics in the pan. Turn off the fire and add remaining dipping sauce ingredients. Gently mix together and set aside. 2 ) Rub the chicken with some salt, rice wine, ginger and spring onion. Place some green onion and ginger into the chicken cavity and let it marinate for about 20 minutes. Prepare steamer. 3 ) Steam the marinated chicken for about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest in the steamer for 10 minutes before removing. Set it aside to cool, then chop it into serving portions and serve with the dipping sauce.

balls and pork balls) in the soup pot. Add hot water or stock, cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer for about 2 hours. 3 ) When done, add the fish and pork balls and bring it to boil. Season it with sugar and salt, and serve.


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RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF HIEW GUN KHONG, CHERRY GARDEN



MODERATE Prep 30 mins + cooling time Cook 45 mins Serves 8 – 10

hakka-style steamed chicken

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Mazu Mee Sua A truly delicious dish, the Heng Hwa version of mee sua brims with sweetness from the clams. The dried seaweed and peanuts lend extra bite.

1 ) Heat up some oil in a wok and stir-fry the kai lan, then set aside on a plate.

2 ) In a wok, bring the stock to a boil,

MODERATE Prep 30 mins + time for boiling stock Cook 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 40 mins Serves 4

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF XIAO LIANG RONG, PUTIEN RESTAURANT

add stock powder, mushroom, sweet pea pods, prawns, clams and deep-fried tofu puffs, and allow to cook about 10-15 minutes. Set aside. 3 ) In a saucepan, cook the mee sua in boiling water. Meanwhile, heat peanut oil in a wok. When mee sua is cooked, about 1 minute, toss the noodles in the hot peanut oil along with the broth. Stir to mix thoroughly. 4 ) Pour the mee sua and soup in a serving bowl, arrange all the cooked ingredients neatly on top of the noodles, sprinkle over with fried peanuts and seaweed, and serve immediately.



150 g dried Heng Hwa mee sua Oil, for frying Small bunch of kai lan 100 ml stock made from pork and chicken bones 1 tsp chicken stock powder 4 dried Chinese mushrooms 6 sweet pea pods 4 prawns, shelled 4 dried Putian clams (may be substituted with dried scallops) 5 to 6 deep-fried tofu puffs 5 Tbsp peanut oil 1 egg, fried into an omelette 2 tsp fried peanuts Dried seaweed, broken into smaller pieces

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cover feature HENG HWA OFFERINGS & HAINANESE TRADITIONS

the atmosphere of anticipation and knowing that the Chinese New Year is just days away keep us all excited,” he reminisces. For this Henghwa, these two snacks are indelibly connected with Chinese New Year, not just because they are treats for the family but also because they are used as offerings to the ancestors. “Ang ku kueh’s bright red sheen symbolises prosperity, good fortune and good luck. Its round shape also represents a happy reunion for the family,” he explains. This dialect group, which comes from the coastal town of Putian in Fujian, uses two types of fillings for ang ku kueh: sweet and savoury. “Brown sugar for the sweet; shredded mushrooms, spring onions and pounded fried peanuts for the savoury,” says Master Xiao. They are mixed with main ingredients such as green beans, glutinous rice and sweet potato. “Sweet potato is a staple food for many Putian residents as life was poor back then. Fillings made using sweet potatoes bring back fond memories of the family’s simple and frugal lifestyle,” he explains. With people becoming more affluent, this frugal lifestyle is becoming less common. “When I was a child, there was always a plate of cooked salted pork on the altar. This was an offering to the ancestors

For Master Xiao, Executive Chef at Putien Restaurant, Chinese New Year brings back memories of his mother spending days preparing ang ku kueh and sweet potato dumplings from scratch. “Everyone in the family helps out and

Braised Sea Cucumber Dumplings in Soup This dish is high in protein but low in fat. It has a light, refreshing texture and the distinct taste of sea cucumber. 80 g sea cucumber, finely chopped Sufficient white vinegar for rinsing sea cucumber 100 g fish paste 100 g good quality, store-bought squid paste Pinch of ground white pepper 10 ml hua tiao jiu (Chinese rice wine) 1 egg white 10 g sweet potato flour 1 Tbsp diced Chinese ham 500 ml chicken stock 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp minced ginger 4 stalks pak choy

1 ) Rinse chopped sea cucumber in vinegar. Prepare steamer.

2 ) Combine fish and squid paste in



a food processor and blend till the paste has a sticky, but not watery, consistency. (Do not add water into the fish paste and sotong paste.) Add chopped sea cucumber, a pinch of pepper, Chinese rice wine, egg white, sweet potato flour and diced ham. Mix well, then shape into dumplings, each about the size of a ping pong ball. 3 ) Steam the sea cucumber dumplings for 4 minutes, and then set aside. 4 ) Add the steamed dumplings into the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add sugar, ginger and pak choy, heat through and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF XIAO LIANG RONG, PUTIEN RESTAURANT

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MODERATE Prep 20 mins Cook 40 mins Serves 4

Chef Mervyn Phan

Chef Xiao Liang Rong with his family

during the new year,” he recounts. “After prayers, we would get to eat the salted pork with our rice. That was considered a sumptuous meal. Now that the community is more affluent, this dish is no longer being cooked. I have very fond memories of how delicious it was.” For the Hainanese, meanwhile, it is their famous chicken rice that features most prominently. “The most important dish for us would probably be the communal steamboat where the family gathers around at Chinese New Year. Grandma would cook up chicken rice that we will enjoy with the soup base,” says freelance chef Mervyn Phan. This dialect group has carved out a formidable reputation as some of the best chefs in Singapore. Tightly woven with the island’s history, Hainanese chefs ruled the kitchens in colonial Singapore, from wealthy households to grand institutions, having learnt the basics of "Western cooking” and later in the restaurants, giving Singaporeans their first taste of "Western” cuisine. It is only natural that Chef Phan also remembers his granny serving up oxtail soup and Hainanese pork chop at the festive dinner. However, he laments the disappearance of cold braised noodles served in a ginger sweet soup, something he remembers having as a child but no longer sees. ³

cook's tip: Do not add water into the fish paste and sotong paste

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Oxtail Stew

1 kg oxtail, cut into pieces Salt and pepper 5 Tbsp oil 1 large onion, diced 4 cloves of garlic, skin removed 1 celery stalk, diced 2 large carrots, cut into wedges 3 Tbsp tomato paste 3 Tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting 600 ml chicken or beef stock 1 cinnamon stick

1 ) Season the oxtail with salt and pepper,

5 ) Preheat the oven to 150째C. In a pot or

and dust with some flour. 2 ) Heat up oil in a pan and sear the oxtail until brown on all sides. Set aside. 3 ) In the same pan, fry the onions with some oil until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, celery and carrots and fry until slightly soft. 4 ) Stir in the tomato paste and 3 Tbsp flour and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil.

casserole dish, lay the oxtail in a single layer and top it with the braising liquid. Add the cinnamon stick and cover. Cook in the oven for about 2 to 3 hours. When done, serve with bread or potatoes.



EASY Prep 15 mins Cook About 3 hrs Serves 4

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RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF MERVYN PHAN, COOKYN WITH MERVYN

A rich beefy stew, this tastes better left overnight, so for best results, prepare it the night before.


cover feature

A WORD ON TARTS Memories of spending time with the family to prepare pastries and biscuits for the festivities are common across most dialect groups in Singapore. Women and children of the household often gathered for days to work on all manner of new year delectables, and in smaller, more close-knit communities, neighbours too would do the same. A communal activity, it certainly took the chore out of the task. Confections such as paper-thin

Jin Dui filled with Peanuts These aromatic sesame-studded, peanut-filled dough balls make lovely teatime snacks, and are good not just for the Chinese New Year! 150 g glutinous rice flour 35 g plain flour + extra for dusting 2 Tbsp sugar 120 ml water Canola oil, for deep-frying 100 g white sesame seeds Filling: 75 g roasted peanuts, ground 3 Tbsp sugar A pinch of salt 2 to 3 Tbsp water

1 ) Prepare the filling: Place all the filling ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix into a paste. Set aside. 2 ) Combine the two flours and sugar in another bowl. Set aside. 3 ) Place the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Gradually stir in the flour mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a ball of soft dough is formed. Remove from the heat. 4 ) Dust your fingers with some flour before pinching out some of the dough and flattening it out till thin. Add a spoonful of the peanut mixture onto the flattened dough, pinch up the edges to cover the filling, and roll it into the shape of a ball. 5 ) Dip each ball briefly into cold water, then roll it in the white sesame seeds to coat. 6 ) Heat the oil in a large pot and deepfry the balls until they turn golden brown. Move them around constantly to prevent them from burning. Allow to cool slightly before serving.



love letters grilled over a charcoal fire; crumbly sugee biscuits; kueh bangkit, which called for the slow toasting of flour to achieve the powdery soft texture; kueh bolu painstakingly moulded and baked; almond biscuits pumped into flowers and decorated with a red cherry dice would all slowly emerge after the gratifying toil. These were all de rigeur at the coffee table to welcome guests, as were platters of candy, all to sweeten the new year. Perhaps the queen of all New Year confections would be the pineapple tart. Still much sought after, people will go through lengths to find or bake the best ones, and they can command high prices. Housewives would secretly compare their tarts with those made by their friends, and guard their recipes jealously, handing them on like a family heirloom only to fellow women in the gene pool. It becomes understandable when one realises how painstaking it was to make these confections in the olden days before electrical kitchen appliances became available. Baskets of pineapples would be peeled and grated by hand — often resulting in stinging pains — then stirred slowly over gentle heat with sugar until it became a stiff, dry paste. This could take long, tiring hours of stirring over the stove to ensure it didn’t burn. Then the pastry would be made, and each tart rolled or shaped by hand and baked. These days, it is still a significant task though the trusty food processor is available and if you are not fussy, commercially bought pineapple filling from the packet. ³

From left: Delectable kueh bolu & pineapple tarts

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF MERVYN PHAN, COOKYN WITH MERVYN

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MODERATE Prep 25 mins Cook 15 – 20 mins Serves 6

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cover feature the new year festivities. Closing on a high note, even this day calls for special foods, the most well known of which is tang yuan, or glutinous rice balls in a ginger soup. Glutinous rice flour is made into a soft dough; coloured pink and white, they are filled with sesame, peanuts or red bean paste, moulded into balls, boiled in the syrup and served hot. They symbolise familial harmony and togetherness. With that ends 15 days of auspicious feasting, only to be repeated again the next year. While this seems like a lot of food, it just touches on a few highlights, common in Singapore yet not too well known. The two millennia of Chinese history has

Tang yuan symbolises familial ❝ harmony and togetherness. With that ends 15 days of auspicious feasting, only to be repeated again the next year.

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yielded many, many more Chinese New Year dishes prepared by dialect groups from the north to the south of China, and too vast and wide ranging to discuss in a single story. What gives food for thought is that beyond the eating, the Chinese New Year, with all its symbolic foods and customs, pays homage to the history of an amazing civilisation who still keeps alive a festival dated and decreed by Han Wu Di, an emperor who reigned a long time ago in 140 – 87 BC. ◆

BEYOND THE FIRST TWO DAYS Celebrated over 15 food-filled days, the festivities die down on the third day when most are fatigued from days of frantic eating and visiting. More importantly, it is the Chi Gou Re — a day the Chinese believe is easy for people to get into an argument, and hence spoil all the good fortune and auspiciousness they had worked so hard to garner for the year. Older folk may not go visiting on such a day, and may even get angry should you have the audacity to appear at their door. However, things pick up on the seventh day, widely referred to as ”Everyone’s Birthday”. It is believed that the Goddess Nuwa created man on the seventh day, and so in true Chinese fashion, the feasting begins again! The dish for the day is yu sheng, an impressive salad of raw fish with all manner of vegetables and aromatics, finely shredded and tossed in a sweet, plum dressing. Unique to Singapore and

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Malaysia, it has evolved greatly and all manner of variations appear — from yu sheng platters served with tropical fruits to crustacean, Japanese sashimi, berries… it gets more creative every year as chefs vie to be more innovative. But pivotal to the yu sheng platter is raw fish, for abundance; crackers representing gold ingots and therefore, wealth; sesame seeds for copious progeny; and the sweet dressing for a blessed year. Once again over food, the call for more good luck takes place. Each aromatic is tossed over the salad as the server calls out auspicious sayings and when it is ready, everyone digs in with their chopsticks and tosses the salad — the higher it goes, the better your luck. Needless to say, the table ends up in a bit of a mess, but that’s a small issue when there’s so much good fortune to be had. The fifteenth day of the lunar new year is yuan xiao jie, which marks the end of

From top: A bowl of tang yuan; Dumpling making; Chinese New Year lion dance


kitchen smarts

8b 1

8a

7b

2a

6b 3a

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WORDS SHEENA CHEN ART DIRECTION PEARL LIM PHOTOGRAPHY CALVIN TAN, FLAME PRODUCTION STUDIO CUTLERY TOTT

TABLE MANNERS A guide to fine dining etiquette

7a

6a 2b 5

4 3b

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kitchen smarts 1 BREAD PLATE & BUTTER KNIFE

5 SOUP SPOON

2A & B SALAD FORK & KNIFE

6A & B FISH KNIFE & FORK

3A & B ESCARGOT TONGS & FORK

7A & B DINNER KNIFE & FORK

4 OYSTER FORK

8A & B PASTRY FORK & DESSERT SPOON

WHAT: The bread plate is a small saucer set at the top left corner of the service plate, with a butter knife placed diagonally across it. HOW TO USE THEM: When served bread rolls, always break the bread by hand instead of cutting it. Where communal butter is available, use the butter knife to transfer an appropriate amount onto the bread plate before buttering your rolls with it.

WHAT: A salad fork consists of four prongs that sometimes feature a wider tine for cutting into greens. It is always set at the far left of the service plate. In the event where a salad knife is served, it will be set on the right of the service plate. HOW TO USE THEM: The primary cutlery used should be the fork. As it is inappropriate to cut greens into pieces, the knife is used to fold larger greens into quarters to facilitate eating. When encountering fruit such as a tomato, slicing it is appropriate.

WHAT: A specialty tool to clamp onto snail shells, the escargot tong is set at the left, in order of the course served. The escargot fork is a small, twotined instrument used to spear and pick the snail flesh out of its shell. It is set at the right, in order of the course served. HOW TO USE THEM: Always grasp shell with tongs on the left hand and remove flesh with the fork on the right.

WHAT: A petite three- to four-pronged fork used to remove oyster from its half-shell. It is set at the furthest right of the service plate. HOW TO USE THEM: Always hold the oyster shell with your left hand and remove flesh with the fork on your right. Do swallow the flesh whole and sip the juices from the rim of the shell.

WHAT: It flaunts the roundest bowl of all spoons, and is set at the far right of the service plate. HOW TO USE THEM: When eating soup, always spoon from the centre to the rim of the bowl. Sip from the edge of the spoon and note that it is inappropriate to slurp or place the entire spoon in the mouth.

WHAT: The fish knife has a spatula-shaped blade that is designed to cut and scrape flaky flesh, and is set at the right of the service plate. The fish fork has four tines with a deep indent in the middle to better grasp flaky fish. It is set on the left. HOW TO USE THEM: The fish knife should be held like a pen and pressed into the flesh for portioning. It should never be used in a sawing motion.

WHAT: The largest cutlery on the setting, these are used for entrées such as meats, poultry and pasta, and are always set closest to the service plate. HOW TO USE THEM: When eating meats and poultry, always cut enough for one bite at a time. For pastas, it is considered rude to twirl strands on fork tines against a spoon. Instead, gather and twirl the pasta with your fork against the dinner plate. As with all salad and entrée cutlery, signal that you have finished your meal by placing your fork and knife parallel on the plate at the six o’clock position, with fork tines facing down.

WHAT: A pastry fork has three prongs with a wide tine for cutting. Both dessert cutlery are set horizontally above the service plate in opposing directions. HOW TO USE THEM: The pastry fork should be used for eating cakes, pies and fruit while the dessert spoon is appropriate for mousses and puddings. Other settings may replace a pastry fork with a dessert fork, which is versatile and can be used with most desserts served.

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eat out

IMAGE CARLTON HOTEL

Toss up and tuck into Wah Lok’s ‘soon tak’-style yu sheng. Turn to pg 74.

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paradise pavilion The latest addition to the Paradise Group’s growing restaurant empire, Paradise Pavilion in the city’s new finance hub, Marina Bay Financial Centre, serves up a fine culinary experience for discerning palates. The signature apple tree wood-roasted Peking duck (S$88), prepared by a former chef from Quan Ju De, China’s top restaurant for Peking duck, is a must-have. Roasted upon order in a specially constructed brick oven, the duck is served no later than two minutes fresh out of the oven. The duck breast skin, artfully sliced and served before the rest of the duck is carved, is exquisite. Crisp, wafer-thin and oozing silky duck fat, it is best enjoyed dipped in a little sugar. Savour it fully as there are only a few slices to go around.

Another two recommended dishes to try are the poached chicken in new Szechuan style (S$9.80), where the tender chicken is dressed in a lip-smacking sauce of goma dressing, crushed peanuts, sugar and olive oil; and the wok-fried ramen with six-headed abalone (S$28), with springy noodles coated in a most delicious abalone sauce. If you fancy some wine, try the Penfolds Koonunga Hills 76 Shiraz Cabernet (S$13.80 per glass, S$75 per bottle). Full flavoured with excellent fruit on the palate, it is a lovely accompaniment to these stellar dishes. X#02-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre, Ground Plaza, 8A Marina Boulevard. Tel: 65/6509-9308

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WORDS SHEENA CHEN & JOSEPHINE SOH

Oozing industrial chic with its raw finishing and graffiti-adorned walls, this coffee joint in a quaint, quiet corner of Tiong Bahru is fast gaining a following for its specialty coffee (from S$2.50). A partnership between Aussie barista Harry Grover and Singapore’s Spa Esprit Group, 40 Hands is all about promoting the Third Wave Coffee movement, which champions artisanal coffee appreciation (ask them about coffee bean farming, harvesting, roasting and brewing), single-origin coffee (as opposed to blends) and even latte art. Try the Jamaican jerk pork (S$9.50), Mediterranean lamb (S$9.50) and truffle mushroom sandwiches (S$8.50) if you’re craving a bite. Come weekends, tuck into brunch favourites like eggs cocotte (S$12) and Big Boy breakfast (S$15). The retro-style plates, milk tins turned sugar pots, and kopitiam-style plastic soy sauce bottles that hold their flavoured syrups are pretty cute touches, too. X#01-12, 78 Yong Siak Street. Tel: 65/6225-8545

SOYATO

Head over to Soyato and get a whiff of the latest dessert craze in Japan — frozen soy. Made from 100 percent soy milk, this icy treat is designed to taste just like ice cream, giving you the same indulgent pleasure but with a healthier touch. Available in yummy flavours such as chocolate, honey lemon and peanut butter (from S$3.60 a scoop), Soyato’s frozen soy is low in fat, contains no cholesterol and is chockfull of heart-friendly isoflavones. Also suitable for vegans, this icy dessert contains no dairy milk, cream and eggs. Think your pint of frozen soy might not survive the journey home? Ask and the lovely staff will blast-freeze your creamy treat just so that it can last the extra mile. Now that’s what we call a healthy nosh with a heart! X#B1-K5, Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street. www.soyato.com

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40 hands


TAB

Looking for live music, great food and creative drinks? TAB should be your port of call this weekend. In lieu of the usual pub grub of soggy fries and trail mix, this double-storey live music gastrobar dishes up luxurious bar bites such as cinnamon-sugar cheese tortilla (S$10) and pan-fried whitebait with citrus mayonnaise (S$13). For cocktails, prep yourself for anything but the ordinary as their specialties include vodka-spiked peanut butter concoctions (S$18) and artisanal cocktails with hints of lemon meringue pie (S$16) and black forest cake (S$18). Savour delicious nibbles while enjoying tunes by local musicians who take to the stage every evening. X#02-29, Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road. Tel: 65/6493-6952

Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill

Quality steaks at friendly prices is what Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill, a casual French steakhouse with 130 outlets in France, is all about. Fortunately, there is no need to traipse to Paris for a bite of this French heritage as Hippopotamus is now in Asia, with their first outlet in Singapore. Look forward to generous cuts of tenderloin, ribeye, rump and sirloin, perfectly grilled to your preferred doneness, as well as authentic beef tartare, escargots, foie gras and bone marrow. Discerning palates will be happy to hear that the rare hanger and skirt steaks are also available here; as are traditional French desserts like profiteroles (S$14.90) and crème brûlée (S$8.90). With all that decadence, it is almost hard to believe that their all-day set menus (from S$19.90) get you a steak, a side and a dessert. What’s more? The lunch set is only going for a delicious S$15.90! X#01-204/205, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard. Tel: 65/6338-5352

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Award-winning Sichuan restaurant Min Jiang has unveiled a new menu dedicated to vegetarians, an oftdisadvantaged group when it comes to fine dining. Master Chef Tan Ah Teng has created a lavish set of vegetarian delights that will satisfy guests looking to indulge in a meatless feast. Expect a remarkably realistic rendition of “sharks fin” made from a blend of vegetable extracts, seaweed and starch; braised beancurd with winter melon and lingzhi mushrooms; and a scrumptious curry of mock chicken among other creative vegetarian dishes. This six-course set menu (S$45 per person) is also available for wedding banquets. X22 Scotts Road, Goodwood Park Hotel. Tel: 65/6730-1704

vintry wine bar and restaurant

Love tasting different tipples but frustrated by the limited selection of wines by the glass at most restaurants? Then Vintry Wine Bar & Restaurant may just be just the place for you. It offers 32 different wines by the glass (the widest choice in Singapore) through four enomatic wine-serving systems that are engineered to dispense single portion vinos in perfect condition. Simply purchase a pre-paid wine card, take your pick from the collection and proceed to redeem a tasting portion, a half or a full glass of wine against your card. If you are still lusting for more, check out their cellar that boasts over 1,000 wine labels; or tuck into the restaurant’s nasi lemak maki (S$12), Vintry roast pork (S$12) and sotong kia (S$14), crispy baby squids coated in Thai sweet chilli jam. X#01-01, Block 3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay. Tel: 65/6338-2808

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MIN JIANG


MALABAR PALACE

Leg it down to Malabar palace for fine Indian cuisine from chef-owner Shinith Palolathil. It’s a small restaurant, so reservations are highly recommended. For a start, sample the mild and tangy paneer fingers (RM6) and the wonderful cauliflower tandoori in the vegetarian sizzler (RM15), which also features paneer tikka and bhara potatoes. The non-vegetarian sizzler (RM24) offers Kerala grilled fish, chicken tikka and lamb kebabs. A must-try is the house speciality of malabari kalan (RM7.50), raw bananas cooked with coconut and yoghurt — just heavenly. Other tasty eats include the hot and sour kannoor prawn curry (RM15), which goes well with bhatura, as does the okra masala. XG-13A, GF Hartamas Shopping Centre, 60 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 6-012/264-5045

Gu Yue Tien

Chef-owner Frankie Woo keeps pushing the boundaries in his cooking, and there’s always something new and unexpected at Gu Yue Tien. Try signature dishes such as the Mo Mo duck roll (RM12), panfried foie gras on scallop and prawn paste (RM36), pig’s stomach soup (RM12) and grilled Iberico pork ribs (RM105 for 700g). Or check out the RM99 menu that includes a choice of giant clam with spicy kumquat sauce, Iberico ham rolled with rock melon with Avruga caviar, or smoked salmon and onion crabmeat roll with sweet basil sauce as starters. You can also choose from any of the three shark’s fin soups (double-boiled pig’s stomach with golden coin shark’s fin, double-boiled golden coin shark’s fin with jin hua ham and cabbage, and braised golden coin shark’s fin soup) and a main of either the wok-fried pineapple rice with prawn and bacon, or braised abalone rice with assorted meat. End on a sweet note with lovely desserts such as sweetened almond cream. On Sundays, there is also a RM55 all-you-can-eat lunch menu that features 62 dishes. XLot 5A, Chulan Square, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 6-03/2148-0808

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WORDS EU HOOI-KHAW

Richwell Restaurant wants to serve the best sang har noodles and it’s got diners rooting for it. Must-tries here include the famed noodles with udang galah (giant river prawns, RM10 per 100g), Shatin-style crispy roasted pigeon (RM35), yummy black pepper crabs with tunghoon in claypot (RM5 per 100g), tangy and spicy Thai-style fried pak choy (RM15), Chinese cabbage with yam in claypot (RM20), braised pork in soy sauce with crispy rice crusts (RM20) and red garoupa in claypot (RM10 per 100g). You dine in cool, pleasant surroundings with attentive service. There’s even a private karaoke room for enthusiasts. At night, set dinners are priced from RM288, RM368 and RM618 for six people. X24G & 26G Jalan 19/3, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 6-03/7955-5855

Old Fuzhou Restaurant

PLAN B

It’s the newest kid on the block and it promises to be a runaway success. Boasting a New York industrial feel with raw cement floors, a panel of old black switches, exposed pipes and a garage-like door, the chic café also has a Malaysian touch — it screens P. Ramlee movies while diners tuck into mushroom ciabiatta (RM23), spicy crabmeat linguine (RM19), nasi dagang (RM24), Nonya laksa (RM16) and fisherman’s catch (RM22). Drool over the cakes, petit fours, tarts and muffins displayed temptingly on the counter. The chorizo gruyère cheese muffins (RM10) make great savoury bites. Or try the apple pecan muffin for a tasty breakfast takeaway and carrot cake (from RM9) for a tea-time indulgence. XGround floor, Bangsar Village 1. Tel: 6-03/2287-2630

The Foochows who have settled in Sitiawan, Kuching, Sibu, Yongpeng and Batu Pahat have brought over many traditions from their homeland, including the brewing of the distinctive red wine that they are renowned for. Accordingly in Old Fuzhou Restaurant, a favourite with the Foochow community in KL, there is red wine in several dishes including red rice wine chicken soup with mee sua (RM17.90), the delicious Fuzhou red wine paste fried rice (RM7.90), and sliced pork fried with salted vegetables in red wine mash (RM10.90). Other winners here include the homemade Fuzhou fishballs in soup (RM15.90), which pack a flavourful minced pork filling; the fluffy oyster omelette (RM14.90) that comes with crispy edges and is served with the famous Kampung Koh chilli sauce; and the black vinegar pig’s trotter (RM18.90). They also serve Hakka dishes such as Hakka stewed pork (RM18.90), Hakka yam ball (RM14.90), fried nam yee pork tenderloin (RM14.90), and other hearty favourites such as paper-wrapped chicken drumstick (RM4.90) and pig’s stomach soup (RM15.90). X81 Jalan SS20/11, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 6-03/7725-5527

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richwell restaurant


SERAI @ EMPIRE

Serai @ Empire is a Malay restaurant that surpasses expectations with its tasty beef, chicken and lamb satays (from RM14 for half dozen). There is also the Serai platter (RM24) that comes with an unusual oxtail assam pedas, honey squid, ayam berempah and achar. Not just Malay staples, Serai also serves popular Western dishes with an Asian twist (e.g. beef rendang pasta, RM21.50) and Malaysian favourites such as fried beef kuay teow (RM15) and sang har yin yong (prawn noodles, RM19). You can also order a la carte dishes to share, such as deep-fried salted egg squid (RM16), and sweet and sour prawns (RM20). Serai draws you in with its soothing café-style décor that goes all the way to the back “garden”. Drool over the cakes at the counter. Must tries are the hazelnut brittle and almond strudel, and of course, their signature bestseller, the light and crumbly pavlova (RM10.90 per slice, for all cakes). XLevel One, Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang. Tel: 6-03/5637-0706

fukuharu

Fukuharu at the Terrace at Hock Choon may be barely a year old, but it’s considered by some to be the city’s best Japanese restaurant. It has much to do with the innovative menu and the very reasonable prices, even though the eatery is situated in a prime location. A kaiseki menu is priced at just RM118 and may include panfried cod, sea scallop, clams, yuzu yoghurt and salsa garnished with salmon roe; spinach and fish paste noodles in dashi soup; Coffin Bay oysters with zingy grated radish and chilli topping; minced chicken with tofu served with a sweet spicy tomato salsa; simmered wintermelon with superior shark’s fin and crabmeat sauce; minute steak glazed with teppanyaki reduction; and fried persimmon atop beancurd skin and some mango mousse. Alternatively, try other set menus that are priced between RM47 to RM55. X241-B Lorong Nibong, off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur (behind Hock Choon Supermarket). Tel: 6-03/4253-2051

elegant inn Fine Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine is what Elegant Inn’s all about. Begin with a double-boiled pig’s stomach soup (RM88, medium portion), before moving on to the perfectly cooked salt-and-pepper Hong Kong silver fish with homemade tofu (RM16) and the exquisite vegetarian rice roll or chooi pei fun cheong (RM9.80). Also try the flavourful smoked duck breast with orange salad (RM33), mud crab in signature salted egg yolk style (RM88 per kg), dancing fried rice (RM22) and braised estuary grouper in claypot (RM63). End your meal with a delicious steamed custard cake (RM6) and almond milk with dumplings (RM8). The restaurant also serves excellent dim sum at lunch, such as the steamed Australian scallop dumpling (RM10.50), char siu pau (RM6.60) and glutinous rice parcel with dried scallop and duck (RM8). There are three private rooms that can be opened up into one, with a balcony view of the Twin Towers. XUnit 2.01, 2F Podium Block, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 6-03/2070-9399

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Hop In To an Auspicious Rabbit New Year 17 January - 17 February

This Lunar New Year, celebrate the gathering of family and friends at Si Chuan Dou Hua with a line up of specially prepared set menus and our signature Tropical Fruits Yee Sang! Yee Sang priced from RM48++ (half portion) and RM88++ (full portion). Set menus priced from RM988++ per table of 10 people. For groups of 4 people, set menus are priced from RM568++. 20% savings for PARKROYAL Prestige members and major credit cards holders. Call +60 3 2782 8303 now or email douhua.prkul@parkroyalhotels.com for reservations or enquiries. Vegetarian set menu is available.

PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia T: +60 3 2782 8303 F: +60 3 2145 2352 www.sichuandouhua.com

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chic & cheerful

best bar bites It’s happy hour! Where to for decent drinks and good bar bites?

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atering holes continue to sprout up on the island but it is the bars serving up the clever combination of good happy hour deals and tasty tummy fillers that are winning patrons over. Sure, we have our favourite hotel-bar hangouts

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(such as Hyatt’s Martini Bar for its lychee martini and delish crab cakes) but when we’re in the mood for somewhere more laidback and with cheaper parking, we have a list of go-to places that are cosy, comfy and with good food, to boot.


STORY JOSEPHINE SOH MAIN IMAGE PRIVÉ WATERFRONT BAR

Clockwise from left: Celina’s Gastrobar’s pork pickle and laksa pasta; Moroccan lamb shank; Sarong Grill & Chill’s red hot martini; nasi tumpeng beef; assorted sate

cheerful CELINA’S GASTROBAR Cast aside misconceptions of the Duxton area as an unsavory hangout and head on down for a unique (and respectable) taste of Singapore, one that appeals to foodies and book lovers. Besides established eateries like Buko Nero and Pasta Brava, the area now boasts a little bookstore named Littered with Books, and Celina’s Gastrobar, a gem of a chill-out spot. Opened by former engineer Kok and his wife Celina, the cosy year-old spot serves up scrumptious eats alongside reasonably priced drinks. The Sicilian meatballs (S$9) and chicken liver pate with pistachio nuts (S$9), both served with slices of fluffy homemade focaccia, are a joy, as are the juicy pan-fried lum yu chicken wings (S$6), the sweet and sticky honey spare ribs (S$12) and the prawn and minced pork pie tees (S$10), served with an addictive chilli dip. New bites include the parsee fried chicken (S$9); arancini (S$8), breaded and fried risotto balls with bacon, cheese and mushrooms; and slow-roasted pulled pork on focaccia squares (S$9).

There are bigger plates, too, if you’re after heartier fare. Have the Moroccan lamb shank (S$32) and laksa pasta (S$13), or check out their off-menu specials and desserts. Besides monthly drink promotions — we love the rose and calamansi Champagne cocktail (a steal at $18 for two) — there are also monthly hands-on bread-making classes (S$78) held in the shophouse’s loft. Check it out if you like their homemade focaccia. Happy hour is from 5pm to 8pm from Monday to Saturday. 51 Duxton Road. Tel: 65/6220-1684

SARONG GRILL & CHILL The name might be somewhat odd, but what makes this hangout unique is its selection of lip-smacking Indonesian-influenced bar bites. The casual three-month-old outfit is the brainchild of the folks behind Pepes Indonesian Restaurant. Here, you’ll find specialty bottled beers, wines and interesting cocktails such as the red hot martini (S$16), made with chilli padi-infused Malibu rum

(we think), alongside well-executed Indonesian-inspired eats. Think tauhu goreng isi (S$7), deep-fried panko-coated taupok puffs stuffed with a popiah-like filling; juicy fried chicken drumlets (S$7.80) marinated with Indonesian spices; and charcoal-grilled Jakarta-style sate (from S$1 per stick, minimum two sticks per order) served with a delicious satay sauce made with kecap manis, fried shallots and chillies. For heartier appetites, there’s nasi tumpeng (S$14.80), aromatic yellow rice served with urap (cabbage mixed with grated coconut), sambal tempeh, sambal telur and a meat or vegetable; and a delish beef rendang burger (S$9.90) served with onions, rocket and keropok. Desserts-wise, there’s panna cotta with palm sugar (S$5.55) and brownie with peppery pineapple (S$6.20), a most unusual combination but one that works really well. Wash them down with hot ginger tea, or more martinis. Happy hour is from 5pm to 9pm daily. #01-03 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard. Tel: 65/6837-2728

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chic & cheerful Clockwise from left: KPO’s nasi lemak; interior; Chivas cocktail; Privé Waterfront Bar’s mini Wagyu burger; bacon scallop

chic KPO So named because it sits between the junctions of Killiney, Penang and Orchard Road, it is also the abbreviation for Killiney Post Office, its former incarnation. The loft-style architecture, high ceilings, use of teak wood, steel beams and raw concrete walls lend the space a varied feel, depending on the hour of the day. It’s a sunlit haven to escape to for drinks and bites during the day, but come sunset, the place takes on a sexier vibe, with local celebrity deejays taking to the console on the upper floor. Grab a seat on the comfy sofas on the ground floor or escape upstairs and find a spot by the windows or at the outdoor terrace. Then proceed to while your night away over reasonably priced drinks and pretty tasty eats. The menu is pretty extensive. Besides the usual beer food such as sausages (S$13) and calamari (S$14), it also serves a good mix of local and Western eats. Think abalone noodles (S$55) alongside steak sandwich (S$15), lamb chops (S$45), mentaiko pasta with soft shell 72

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crabs (S$26) and tender barbecued pork ribs (S$25). There are also all-day breakfast items like eggs Benedict (S$13), buttermilk pancakes (S$6) and steak and eggs (S$25). Drinks-wise, the selection doesn’t disappoint. There are decent house pour wines (from S$7), Kronenbourg beers on tap (from S$10) and Chivas whisky cocktails (from S$16) to keep you and your pocket suitably happy. Happy hour is from noon to 8pm daily. 1 Killiney Road. Tel: 65/6733-3648

PRIVÉ WATERFRONT BAR We love the Keppel Island for its exclusive, relaxed, resort-style ambience. Linked to the city by a bridge and a stone’s throw from Sentosa, it is also where you can find Privé Waterfront Bar, an alfresco chill-out spot anchored by a glittery 10-m mosaic-tiled bar, with a lovely view of the tranquil bay. It’s a lovely spot to unwind, especially on balmy evenings when flickering candlelight transforms the place into a

twinkling, dreamy waterfront hangout. Kick back on the comfy lounge sofas and order up some tipple and bar bites to share. The food menu’s short but the eats should leave you pretty satisfied. We like the beef meat balls with tomato sauce and basil (S$10), the spicy chicken wings with chilli and shallot dip (S$12), crispy white bait with arugula and paprika (S$10), prawn cakes with wasabi mayo (S$15), and trio of mini Wagyu burgers (S$18) with caramelised onions, truffled mushrooms, and melted English cheddar. If you’re after cocktails, you might fancy the blackberry lychee and mango mint mojitos (S$16 each), or the refreshing Keppel Bay Breeze (S$50 per jar) made with vodka, cranberry juice, fresh grapefruit and mojito mint syrups. Otherwise, drink up the real stuff. Wines start from S$13 per glass, and bubblies from S$15 per glass. It’s happy hour from noon to 8pm daily and alcoholic drinks (by the glass, excluding Champagnes) go for 25 percent off listed price. 2 Keppel Bay Vista. Tel: 65/6776-0777


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Mandarin Orchard

The symbol of growth and prosperity, nian gao is a popular gift during the Lunar New Year. Taking centrestage at Mandarin Orchard’s Mandarin Court Chinese Restaurant is Chef Sunny Kong’s exquisite nian gao creations. Delight in the sweet and refreshing floral fragrance of green tea and osmanthus nian gao (S$33) or savour the distinct aroma and chewy bits of bak kwa in the bak kwa nian gao (S$38.80). Fans of black sesame desserts will enjoy the black sesame nian gao (S$33), beautifully speckled with gold dust. Possibly the most lavish poon choy in town, Mandarin Court’s premium fortune pot (S$468) boasts 20 premium ingredients including the finest five-head abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, pacific clams, live prawns, goose web, roasted duck, pig trotters and more. Available from 17 January to 17 February. For a taste of Chef Kong’s signature Cantonese creations, check out his nine Lunar New Year set menus (from S$88 per person to S$1,888 for a table of 10), which showcases specialties such as dried oyster braised with sea cucumber, black mushroom and black moss filled in beancurd bag; and king prawn noodles stewed with superior stock. Set menus available from 24 January to 17 February. X333 Orchard Road. Tel: 65/6831-6266

fabulous festive bites

Add cheer to your reunion meals with these delicious Lunar New Year treats

MARINA MANDARIN

This year, Peach Blossoms has created a fortune gold coin nian gao (S$68 per box), comprising four mini “coins” in new flavours such as radish cake with preserved meat, yam cake with Japanese sweet potato, kumquat and Shanxi red dates, and a large traditional nian gao with coconut milk. Also tempting is its imperial sea treasures pot (from S$188, serves two to six) packed with goodies including eight-head quality abalones, dried oysters, fresh scallops, sea cucumber, fried fish maw, dace fish balls, live prawns, black moss, roast duck, Japanese mushrooms and Tianjin cabbage. From 24 January to 17 February. X6 Raffles Boulevard. Tel: 65/6845-1111

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WORDS JOSEPHINE SOH

Peony Jade @ Clarke Quay’s fa-cai dowager duck (S$168) sounds absolutely delicious. A boneless 2kg duck stuffed with wild forest barley, whole golden conpoy, fatt choy, shiitake mushrooms, whole Amidori abalone, pork tendons, red dates, lotus seeds, South African sea cucumber and broccoli, then braised to succulent perfection — just reading about it makes one hungry. Available for dine-in or takeaway, from 12 January to 17 February. XBlk 3A, #02-02 Clarke Quay. Tel: 65/6338-0305

MIN JIANG

Tuck into Min Jiang’s luxurious take on the traditional Jiangsu braised pork belly with sea cucumber (S$218, serves six). Braised for eight hours, then steamed for another four hours, the pork belly is exceptionally tender and an absolute delight paired with whole abalones, dried oysters, black moss and flower mushrooms. For more deluxe feasting, get their golden fortune treasures egg (S$198, serves six), which features lotus leaf-wrapped pork knuckles, whole abalone, dried scallops, dried oysters, black moss and black mushrooms, encased in a beautiful egg-shape salt crust and oven-baked for four hours. Available for dine-in or takeaway from 24 January to 17 February. Also available at Min Jiang@One North. X22 Scotts Road. Tel: 65/6730-1704 X5 Rochester Park. Tel: 65/6774-0122

Copthorne King’s Hotel

For a taste of tradition, make your way to Tien Court for its festive set menus (from S$62.80 per person) that feature all-time favourites including braised lobster noodles with young ginger and spring onions; braised superior shark’s fin soup with fresh crab meat; double-boiled shark’s cartilage three treasures soup; and braised dried oysters, sea moss and pig’s trotter with lettuce. From 5 January to 17 February. X403 Havelock Road. Tel: 65/6318-3193

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SHANGRI-LA To herald in the Year of The Rabbit, Master Chef Steven Ng of Shang Palace has created new, delectable Chinese New Year goodies such as Mandarin orange cookies with pork jerky (S$38.80 for 24 pieces) and crispy cookies with sesame (S$38.80 for 24 pieces). If you wish to purchase exquisite gifts for family and friends, the wealth fortune fish and ingot nian gao (S$38.80) and the fortune happiness New Year cake gift set (S$58), comprising delectable nian gao in four different flavours â&#x20AC;&#x201D; pandan, red date, almond and sweet corn â&#x20AC;&#x201D; make perfect presents for the season. Apart from new cookies and gift sets, a selection of classic Chinese New Year goodies such as reunion turnip nian gao with preserved meat and lotus root (S$28.80), reunion taro cake with preserved meat (S$28.80), pineapple cookies (S$38.80 for 24 pieces) and Shang Palace prosperity treasures (S$298.80) are available for takeaway. From 18 January to 2 February. X22 Orange Grove Road. Tel: 65/6213-4448

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advertorial

small oven, big pleasures

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Rommelsbacher’s Maxi Oven and Pizza/Bread Baking & Grill Stone offer versatile cooking solutions for your next party

hether you’re having friends over or simply making a meal for the family, serving up tasty grilled, baked and roasted treats is a lovely way to treat your guests. Be it stone-baked pizza, your stellar home-made chocolate butterscotch cookies, sardine pies, cheesy beef lasagne or honey baked chicken, an oven is a kitchen essential in the modern home. Choices abound in the market, but when space is a premium, the selection of an oven with versatile functions requires more than just dough. Rommelsbacher’s Maxi Oven ($599) is considered the XXL version among mini ovens. With a volume of 40 litres, the Maxi Oven accommodates baking tins up to 36-cm in diameter and reaches temperatures of more than 300°C. When grilling, fill the roasting tray with water. It acts as a collecting tray for grease drippings while the oven stays clean and the rising steam makes the grilled food especially tender. For those who love making your own breads and pizzas, consider Rommelsbacher’s genuine Italian pizza/bread stone ($228) made of natural, food-safe fireclay. As the clay stone absorbs heat and moisture and maintains an even cooking temperature from the centre to the edges of the dough, you will enjoy wood-baked style bread — crusty on the outside, and aromatic and fresh on the inside. With pizzas, toppings stay juicy while bases take on a restaurant-worthy crackly crust! Sold at all leading department stores.

For enquiries, call Mittel Marketing (S) Pte Ltd at 6842-1818 or email enquiry@mittel.com.sg

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CARLTON HOTEL

There are definitely many interesting eats this Lunar New Year at Carlton Hotel. Top on our list of take-away goodies are their chilled mango and pomelo tart (S$22 for six), and teh tarik macaroons (S$18 for nine). From 3 January to 17 February. For some sumptuous reunion dining, check out Wah Lok’s reunion set meals (from S$228 for four persons) that include highlights such as salmon and hamachi yu sheng ‘soon tak’ style — thick, succulent hamachi and salmon sashimi served with shredded cucumber, shredded ginger, ground peanuts and a light lemon-soy dressing; double-boiled shark’s fin in shark’s bone cartilage soup; sautéed lobster with superior soup; and poon choy with lobster, baby abalone, prawns, suckling pig, sea cucumbers, scallops and dried oysters. From 17 January to 17 February. For light bar bites, swing over to Gravity Bar for its Prosperity Set (S$16) that features gold coin bak kwa, chicken floss crepe and Chinese sausage vol-au-vent. X76 Bras Basah Road. Tel: 65/6311-8188 (Wah Lok), 65/6349-1292 (New Year goodies), 65/6311-8839 (Gravity Bar)

Royal Plaza on Scotts

The pineapple galette (S$52), a clever local twist on pineapple tarts and the traditional French galette, is the star offering at Carousel every Lunar New Year. Just think delectable almond frangipane cream and sautéed pineapple filling sandwiched between crispy puff pastry, fragrant with vanilla, star anise and cinnamon, and dusted with gold flakes. A perfect gift when visiting and a lovely dessert to serve guests. From 24 January to 17 February at Gourmet Carousel. X25 Scotts Road. Tel: 65/6589-7788

mandarin oriental Add decadence to your reunion spread with Cherry Garden’s spring festival takeaway menu that includes cherry wood charcoal roasted duck (S$80); countrystyle double braised pork trotters with chestnuts and mushrooms (S$68); treasure pot packed with Chinese delicacies (S$238); and nian gao dumpling stuffed with macadamia nuts and coconut crumbs (S$38 for 16 pieces). From 8 January to 17 February. X5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square. Tel: 65/6885-3538

Four Seasons Gourmet Market Tastier and better looking than the China Lukan mandarin, gift with Ponkan, the Taiwan Mandarin orange this Lunar New Year. Get 20 percent off the retail price when you order the ABC Taiwan Ponkan in bulk (min. 10 cartons) from Four Seasons Gourmet Market at Marina Bay Link Mall. The ponkan is also available at leading supermarkets. Price on application. X#B2-49 Bay Link Mall, 8 Marina Boulevard. Tel: 65/6634-4629

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promotion

JAN 2011

food & travel X BOOZE WINE SHOP PROMOTION

To win, simply pick the correct answer and send your details by mail to: food&travel/BOOZE WINE SHOP Promotion, Regent Media Pte Ltd, 3 Loyang Way, Singapore 508719 (for Singapore residents) or Regent Media Sdn Bhd, B-3-21 Section 8 Business Centre, Jalan Sungai Jernih 1, 8 Avenue, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia (for Malaysia residents). Alternatively, email to marketing@regentmedia.sg CLOSING DATE: 31 JANUARY 2011 Q) The Pares Balta Mas Petit 2006 is made with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache grapes. A) True

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dine away PHOTO NELLIE HUANG

For a taste of Seoulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vivacious street food culture, turn to Pg 98.


New York’s Legendary Six The Big Apple’s iconic nibbles and sips, where New Yorkers get their fix

JAZZ If names like Arturo Sandoval and Gato Barbieri get your pulse racing a little, we promise you will be in for a jolly good night at Blue Note, Manhattan’s shrine for jazz lovers. Opened in 1981 and helmed by music mogul Danny Bensusan, Blue Note has hosted a throng of legendary musicians — from pianist extraordinaire Tyner McCoy to the late Elvin Jones, John Coltrane’s powerhouse drummer. The simple interiors belie the famous talents that play here, and the place can get really packed. The gastro bar operates on a first-come-first-serve basis so do arrive earlier to grab the best view in the house — and also to savour their delectable menu. Chase a cold starter of shrimp

cocktail (US$14) with their specialty of pan-roasted sesame chicken wings (US$11), and round out your night with their extensive list of drinks. Worldrenowned musicians take to the stage from Tuesdays through Sundays, with Mondays reserved for showcasing local talent. A US$35 cover charge and a minimum order are required for table reservations, while a US$25 cover charge is applicable for bar seats. An additional US$5 atop the usual cover charge is applicable for Friday and Saturday late night sessions. Daily sets play at 9pm and 11pm. X131, 3rd Street, New York. Tel: 1-212/475-8592

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WORDS SHEENA CHEN

With appearances in hit movie, The Devil Wears Prada and cult TV series, Sex and the City, Magnolia is arguably Manhattan’s most lauded bakery. This pint-sized shop perched on a sleepy cobblestone street in West Village packs a mean selection of deliciously addictive homemade cupcakes. Said to have ignited New York City’s cupcake craze with their vanilla with pink icing cupcake debut in the 1990s, Magnolia has since expanded their repertoire to include chocolate (US$2.75), banana (US$3.25), red velvet (US$3.25) and a plethora of other yummy flavours. Pop by this charming bakery in the morning to catch their busy pastry chefs frosting the day’s offerings and beat the snaking queues that form every afternoon. X401 Bleecker Street New York, USA. Tel: 1-212/462-2572

bar

For a bar that holds as much history as a museum and drama as a theatre, look no further than White Horse Tavern. Since 1880, this bohemian watering hole has hosted a slew of celebrity patrons including Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison. Perhaps the most famous of them all is Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who allegedly died after pounding 18 whiskies at the bar. Once upon a time, it was revered for the literary crowd that came to drink, plot and argue; today, its clientele is a lot less academic. Expect a blend of tourists, yuppies and locals savouring a fine selection of beers — 14 by the bottle and seven on tap (including San Francisco’s famous Anchor Steam at US$6). X567 Hudson Street, New York. Tel: 1-212/989-3956

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STEAKS

Peter Luger is not exactly the swankiest steakhouse in New York City, what with its unvarnished wood tables and surly staff who look like they’ve been waiting tables since the restaurant’s opening in 1887. But they do have two prized assets that elude trendy joints to cement its status as the city’s best steakhouse: their familyselected, dry-aged, USDA Prime Porterhouse steaks that boast the perfect alchemy of blood, fat and butter; and 26 consecutive years of Zagat’s vote as the best steakhouse in New York City. Indulge in their signature pre-sliced Porterhouse steak that comes in portions for two (US$84.90), three (US$130.35) or four (US$173.80), and pair that with a side of creamed spinach (US$9.50) that is equal parts delicate and rich. A heated rim on the otherwise unfussy serving plate allows you to add more sizzle to the steak, if you prefer. To up the satisfaction, order a round of their famed Holy Cow sundae (US$9) that arrives with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. X178 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Tel: 1-718/387-7400

Pizzas

Ask a New Yorker for the best pizza in the city and you are unlikely to get a straight answer. The number of pizza houses that wrestle for the title of being New York’s finest are like auburn leaves in fall — gloriously aplenty. But if you can only afford to hit one spot for the Big Apple’s staple munchie, make sure it is Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. Nestled under Brooklyn Bridge and a skip away from the tourist path, Grimaldi’s serves up one of the crispiest coal-fired pizzas and counts Bill Cosby and Mike Myers among its fans. Begin with a lightly charred skinny crust and build your perfect pizza from two sauces — garlic or pesto (from US$10) — before topping them with a smorgasbord of goodies including artichoke hearts (US$4), pepperoni (US$2), kalamata olives (US$2) and Italian sausage (US$2). Legend has it that Frank Sinatra once had Grimaldi’s pizzas flown to him in Vegas. Now how’s that for a vote of confidence? X19 Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Tel: 1-718/858-4300

bagels To experience a quintessentially New York bagel breakfast loved by locals, Ess-a-Bagel is definitely your best bet. One of Manhattan’s finest cafés for this chewy bread, it is founded by Austrian bakers Gene and Florence Wilpon in 1976. Ess-a-bagel (or Yiddish for “Eat a Bagel”) is famed for their generous portions and dizzy variety of cream cheese. Swing by this cosy, untidy and utterly charming wood-panelled shop to tuck into their signature bagel sandwiches (from US$1.35 for a simple buttered spread). For more adventurous palates, do try their bagel sandwich with lox cream cheese (US$3.35), apple cinnamon cream cheese (US$3.30) and berry berry cream cheese (US$3.50). X831, 3rd Avenue, New York, USA. Tel: 1-212/980-1010

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Join us www.facebook.com/labodega.my or visit our website at www.gastrodome.com.my

T +603 2287 3808 18-1 Jalan Telawi Dua, Bangsar Baru


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florence, for art’s sake ART MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND IN THE TUSCAN CAPITAL, EVEN IF YOU HAVE GOT TO SHARE THE VIEWS WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY JOYCELINE TULLY ADDITIONAL IMAGE PHOTOLIBRARY

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travel feature

counts. Florence is home to some of

Florence draws all types, from rich American tourists to artists and musicians

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e were en route from Paris to Florence, chugging along most languorously on an overnight sleeper train from one grand dame of Europe to another. Florence, or Firenze, as the Italians call it, was our first stop on Tuscan soil. Established as a Roman colony in 59 BC, it flourished over the centuries to become one of Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beautiful cities, reaching a glorious peak during the reign of the Medici family in the 15th century, when it became an important political seat. While its importance on the political side of things may have since diminished, its appeal clearly has not. Today, Florence probably has the same hypnotising effect on first-time visitors as it did in its Renaissance heydays â&#x20AC;&#x201D; perhaps more so, as its beauty is now glazed and fired with the iridescent patina of time. But back to D. He was right on both

:

the most spectacular art collections in Europe. Indeed, throw in its beguiling combination of medieval and Renaissance architecture, churches et al and the city itself is a veritable work of art. As for the overwhelming American presence, well... Florence is one of the key study abroad locations for American universities, and since before the world wars, has been popular with American tourists embarking on Grand Tours. Although the thought of loud Americans on holiday â&#x20AC;&#x201D; our holiday â&#x20AC;&#x201D; was daunting, Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pronouncement did nothing to dampen my growing excitement as we inched towards Florence. That night, I could not sleep â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I, too, wanted a grand European tour, and by most counts, Florence is where it all starts. With narrow, atmospheric cobblestone streets, stately homes hewn out of massive stone blocks and lavish churches in its historic centre, Florence wears an Old World beauty. But it is not a pretty city of romantic nooks and crannies. Instead, it is a majestic one, with grand flourishes for buildings and a quiet, imposing air. The Medicis were lords, and they wanted to impress their friends, family and enemies. Accordingly, the city of Florence was built to impress. But on a good day, with clear skies, sunshine and crisp, fresh air, it still inspires romance and it delivers a picture-perfect holiday worthy of the best amateur photographers. We rolled into Santa Maria Novella, Florenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main train station, on such a morning. It had been an uneventful train journey, a comfortable if somewhat


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From top: Not quite a pretty face, Florence was built to impress; The Uffizi is housed in a sprawling 16th century building laid out in a U-shape

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travel feature till, that did not stop us from following the tourist horde and soaking up the requisite sights and sounds, the must-dos on a tourist trail. And Florence has plenty of those. It took some strategising though, as Florence, we discovered after our first quiet morning, was a heaving hotbed of tourists in the summer months of June, July, August and sometimes, spilling into September. That meant that every major museum, stately home and attraction is packed every day and at all hours, with tourists of all variety, from tour groups to backpacking students, proof indeed of the city’s enduring appeal. Along the Ponte Vecchio, the famous medieval stone bridge built in 1345, shops are doing

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Built in 1345, Ponte Vecchio remains a stunning icon of the city today

³ clangorous roll past glittering lights and silent stations in the night. It was 6.30am when we stepped out of our very cosy cabin and caught our first glimpse of the sleeping city just awakening to glorious azure blue skies. The only sign of life was the station itself, which was spilling over with dishevelled travellers in wrinkled clothes. English, Americans, French, Europeans, Japanese and Chinese — they came in all shapes and sizes. Florence has an almost universal appeal, although D was proven right almost immediately; the Americans outnumbered the rest of us even at the station. It was already late July, but the morning air was fresh and most rejuvenating, not humid and murky as Florentine summers can sometimes get. There were four of us in the group and we took a unanimous decision to hang back from the crowd, who had rushed towards the few scattered taxis waiting outside the station. Instead, we had coffee. More accurately, we sipped strong, dark espressos and foamy cappuccinos, accompanied by rich, buttery pastries filled with almond custard and kissed with icing sugar. One does not merely have coffee in

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Italy; it’s an honoured ritual, and one enjoyed devotedly throughout the day — beginning with breakfast. What a salubrious introduction to Florence. Over the next few days, we filled up on cappuccinos in the mornings and espressos throughout the day, with some of those most addictive pastries sneaked in somewhere in between. Perhaps that was why our days in Florence passed in a vibrant, technicoloured daze, fuelled as they were by sugar and caffeine. Whenever we tired of pounding the cobbled streets of central Florence, where most of the attractions are conveniently located, we’d slip in and sip a dainty espresso. We took our shots standing up by the coffee bar flanked by gleaming machines, and straight up, chased down with a little water. Sometimes, we were restrained but most times, we indulged in a morsel or two for the road, usually in the form of cornettos in the mornings, and the rest of the time, other equally irresistible Italian pastries. When in Rome, do like Romans. We were some 230km from the capital city of Italy, but we were determined to sip and savour our way through Florence as any local would.

a bustling trade mostly selling exquisite silver and gold jewellery. But despite the fact that tourists throng this ancient thoroughfare that links the banks of the River Arno, if you can shut out the white noise, distance yourself mentally from

7GHRHR@M@QS KNUDQ}ROK@XFQNTMC {ATSXNTCNM}S MDDCSNAD@ BNMMNHRRDTQSN @OOQDBH@SDHS the madding crowds, it makes for a most atmospheric ramble. As the capital city of Tuscany, Florence is also one of its largest, sprawled over several kilometres down the Arno Valley, and home to some 350,000 people. Most of the tourist action in Florence concentrate in the historic centre clustered by the River Arno, with many major sights within walking distance from each other. Of these, the Uffizi is undoubtedly the shiniest jewel in Florence’s tourist crown. It is home to Italy’s greatest art collection and where you’d see iconic gems such as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in living colour. But that, regrettably, also made it one of


the most crowded museums we’ve ever visited — the snaking line to get in was just the beginning. Inside, the crowds persisted. But the vast, spectacular collection of the museum demanded rapt attention, even as the guy next to us jostled us to move along and the incessant chatter around was inescapable. Reubens, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio… the masters are all lined up on the walls, their muses immortalised in gilded frames. This is an art lover’s playground — but you don’t need to be a connoisseur to appreciate the experience of coming face to face with a painting like Michelangelo’s Tondo Doni, featuring Madonna, the infant Jesus and Joseph, its faded glory alive once again under our inquisitive stares, an experience I found humbling. There are some 45 rooms at this sprawling 16th century building laid out in a U-shape, each boasting their own masterpieces. To get the most out of it, prepare yourself mentally for crowds, devote time, and sneak in some Snickers or energy bars if you have to. (Living up to the reputation of museum bars and

cafés around the world, the drinks here are expensive; the food, average; but the views overlooking the city with the fortress-like Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall, in the background are supremely congenial.) We spent a full day wandering the crowded labyrinths of the Uffizi, mildly irritated by the human company and utterly intoxicated by the art on its walls. There was small consolation in the fact that Michelangelo’s Madonna and Botticcelli’s Venus breathed the same stuffy air as we did at the Uffizi… and hopefully, long after we are gone. ³

The famous bronze doors of the Bapistry; Il Salviatino boasts a fine collection of Renaissance art

$CCQDRR%NNJ PALAZZO VECCHIO X Piazza della Signoria Uffizi; Piazzale degli Uffiz Tel: 39-055/213-560 X ACADEMIA GALLERY Via Ricasoli 58-60. Tel: :39-055/238-8609 X BARGELLO Via del Proconsolo 4 Tel: 39-055/238-8606 X BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE Piazza Duomo Tel: 39-055/215-380 X PALAZZO PIATTI Piazza Pitti 1 X PALATINE GALLERY Piazza Pitti 1 Tel: 39-055/238-8614 X GALLERY OF MODERN ART Piazza Pitti 1 Tel: 39-055/238-8601

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From top: The famous Duomo that dominates the old city centre; The fortress-like Palazzo Vecchio; Florence can be admired out of doors as well as indoors

³

e spent the rest of our time in Florence with plenty of company. The tour buses kept coming and unloading their motley crew of art students, rich middle-aged tourists and holidaymakers. But while it made entry into the museums tedious, it did not lessen our pleasure and experience of this medieval city. Among the tourists, and it will be mostly tourists you meet wandering around the centre of Florence, there was a certain camaraderie implicit in our gathering at this ancient city. And that brought on a carnivalesque mood, one that we revelled in as we moseyed from the Piazza del Duomo, the busy square that’s the seat of the city’s famed Duomo, crowned by Brunelleschi’s stunning dome; to Palazzo Pitti, Florence’s largest, grandest palace south of the River Arno. The latter was formerly the seat

:

of the grand dukes of Tuscany, and then the King of Italy. These days, it’s where you’d find several museums such as the Palatine Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, and the Boboli Gardens, famed for its lovely fountains and grottoes. I wanted a grand art tour of Florence ³

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Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the chance to soak up the sunshine and watch the world go by in one of Florenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s many piazzas

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travel feature

$ANTS7TRB@MX Sprawled over some 22,000 sq km along the eastern coast of Italy, facing the Tyrrhenian Sea, Tuscany is one of Italy’s most scenic regions, immortalised variously in art, books, films et al. Here’s where you will find the classic Italian landscape of rolling hills capped by medieval hill-towns, and lush vineyards and olive groves. But it’s not just for Nature’s bounty that Tuscany is celebrated throughout Europe. This sublime land of gentle hills and misty morns is also the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and some of its most celebrated sons — Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Gallileo, Dante. Tuscan cities such as Firenze, Sienna, San Gimignano and Pisa, too, shared in the great artistic and cultural awakening, hence the stunning art that survived in the aged stones of these cities more than five centuries later. In fact, these Tuscan historical town centres have all been designated UNESCO heritage sites.

GETTING THERE Florence is

CURRENCY Like many parts

easily accessible via train and plane from most major European cities. However, there are no direct flights from Singapore and Malaysia. On most major airlines, you will need to transit at other key European cities such as Milan, Paris and London before flying to Florence’s Aeroporto Amerigio Vespucci in Peretola (about 30 minutes from the city)

of Europe, Italy uses the euro. 1 euro = S$1.73/ RM4.13/ US$1.32

factbox:

VISA Singaporeans and Malaysians do not need visas to Italy for visits of up to 90 days

TIME ZONE GMT +1 hr CALLING CODE Italy’s country code is (39) and Florence’s city code is (055)

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travel feature ³ and accordingly, had planned an itinerary focused on conquering one museum an hour at a time. To an extent, it proved wise, for the museums are often so crowded that a little planning and calling ahead saved us many dreary hours waiting in line. But what we were unprepared for was the amount of time we would spend at each. The luxury of time, above all, is what it takes to fully soak in the art of Florence. The Uffizi was just the glistening tip of the iceberg. There was also the Accademia, home to

Clockwise from left: Splurge out at the many goldsmiths located along Ponte Vecchio; Florence is also home to lovely food markets; The Uffizi is one of the city’s top attractions

the most famous sculpture in the world, Michelangelo’s David; the Bargello, with its vast collection of Renaissance sculptures; the Bapistry, which dates back to the sixth century and boasts a spectacular mosaic ceiling and floors, and famous gilded bronze doors. The list runs on. In between, we snatched precious moments wandering the streets of Florence with our pricey, icy gelatos in hand and espresso breaks cleverly interspersed. Florence boasts an impressive collection of Italian Renaissance architecture, so the city can be admired out of doors if you tire of the crowds within. Although it has been variously rebuilt throughout the centuries, its medieval character remains evident, coexisting as a nebulous rift alongside Renaissance and other newer, more modern structures. Come sundown, at the magic hour perched on the edge of dusk, the cityscape transforms into a living tableaux, a work of art that’s still in

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progress after all these centuries. On our last evening, we perched ourselves on some steps in the Piazza del Duomo, arguably the heart of Florence, to catch the day’s last glimpse of the famous multi-coloured dome. Before us, the bustle was grinding to a halt as fellow tourists scattered into the many expensive cafes and restaurants located around the town centre, and street vendors packed up for the day. Elsewhere in the city, things were just livening up in bars, night markets and such. We were not quite alone — you never are in Florence at the height of tourist season. But we got exactly what we came for: an ethereal moment as the sun dipped and the scene magically slowed to a still. A middle-aged Japanese couple shuffled to a stop a few steps in front of us, eyes sharp and cameras ready. We probably did not see the same scene but I am sure it was a picture of Florence that’s etched firmly in all our memories. ◆


special feature

FOODIE FLICKS Don’t miss these exclusive TV premieres on Asian Food Channel this January!

Chuck’s Day Off You’ll be glued to the screen from the get-go, we promise. Chuck Hughes, one of Old Montreal’s hottest chefs, is as natural in front of the camera as he is in the kitchen. Watch as he reveals what really happens behind closed doors and whips up lip-smacking dishes such as his signature snow crab bloody Caesar, a wacky take on the Bloody Mary; a “no-barbecue” BBQ baby back ribs; and super-easy fried red tomatoes. Honest, good food made with simple ingredients, minimal steps, and with a pretty hot chef behind the stove — we’re sure you’ll be inspired to get cooking right after. PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2011, 9.30PM

Dining with Death Eat snake, scorpions and tarantulas? Yes. In Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan, these deadly creatures are much sought after by uber adventurous diners. Seek out cobra adobo and cobra soup if you’re in Tarlac in northern Philippines, or snack on fried snake meat, washed down with snake wine laced with snake venom when you’re in Vietnam’s Lemat village. Got a bad back? Head to Okinawa, do like the locals and sip on snake-infused habu liqueur for some relief. From looking for these dangerous creatures to studying the craft of preparing these deadly delicacies, you’ll be kept on the edge of your seat. PREMIERES MONDAY, 10 JANUARY 2011, 10PM

Mexico: One Plate at a Time Chicago-based chef Rick Bayless takes you to the best local spots in Mexico for some mouth-watering Mexican dishes and plenty of inspiration. Watch as he breaks down complicated Mexican recipes and demonstrates recipes for red chile chilaquiles with fried egg, and seared beef a la Mexicana. If you’re planning a trip to the land of guacamole and enchiladas, start taking notes on where to find the best tamales, shrimp burgers and pork tacos. PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, 12 JANUARY 2011, 8.30PM


city guide

Seoul Searching A whirlpool of pungent street foods, kaleidoscopic neon lights and eclectic boutiques awaits in Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart and soul

Banpo fountain

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WORDS NELLIE HUANG IMAGES KOREA TOURISM ORGANISATION & NELLIE HUANG

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eoul — jam-packed with plundering skyscrapers, brightly lit neon signs and an explosive culinary scene — is truly a city of epic proportions. With a population of over 10 million people, the dynamic South Korean capital is one of the largest cities in the world. For decades, it has been coyly hiding behind the shadow of its neighbouring sister, Tokyo. Today, Seoul has come into its own, emerging as the latest Asian powerhouse. For the uninitiated, Seoul is a sensory overload: its gastronomy, culture and architecture evoke expressions of superlative magnitude. The most colourful street food scene, the oldest temple and the raunchiest red-light district — it’s all here in Seoul. Amidst its futuristic buildings stand ancient palaces and pine-fringed park, and tucked between massive malls are sprawling night markets. Within 10 steps into Seoul’s frenzied streets, I am seduced by its diverse undercurrents. As the epicentre of the country, it is bursting with all that the region has to offer. An old Korean saying goes, “Even if you have to crawl on your knees, get yourself to Seoul!”

FAB EATS Korea’s gastronomy scene takes centre stage in Seoul, keeping true to traditional local flavours, be it in modern Michelinstarred restaurants or back-to-basics street-side food carts. Chowhounds will surely be aroused by the vivacious street food culture in Seoul. Ubiquitous food carts around the city serve up typical local snacks like odeng, boiled fish rolls that resemble intestines, and tteokbokki, rice cakes dipped in a sweet spicy sauce. Nothing says Korean more than the traditional tatami-style barbecue restaurants, where guests get first-hand experience in grilling red, fresh meat. An interesting feature of a Korean meal involves a series of gaudy side dishes that complement the main platter. Hungry? Here are some essential places to dig into authentic Korean fare.

NAMDAEMUN MARKET A labyrinth of old-style street stalls, Namdaemun Market is South Korea’s biggest and oldest open-concept bazaar. For a first taste of Seoul’s street fare, nothing usurps Namdaemun. Here, raw red meat glow under the bright neon

lights, while live seafood wriggle with vigour before being washed down hungry revellers’ stomachs. Sample raw oysters drenched in a rich, spicy pepper paste, mixed with kalguksu (knife-cut noodles) and flush them down with a bottle of soju, Korea’s firewater boasting 30 percent alcohol. Grazing is the best strategy and arriving with an empty stomach is a must. Jung-gu, Namchang-dong 49

HANCOOK The Korean BBQ is a quintessential culinary experience: grilling your own meat and pairing that with a myriad of side dishes. Besides being lauded as one of the top traditional Korean fine dining restaurants in Seoul, Hancook offers one of the best panoramic views of the city atop the N’Seoul Tower. Try the modum gui (grilled beef), tong galbisal (ribs) and the naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles). Although slightly pricey, lunch set menus (22,000KRW/US$19 for adults and 9,900KRW/US$8.70 for children) give you the best bang for your buck. Yongsan-gu, Yongsandong 2-ga. www.nseoultower.net

Clockwise from left: Street food from Namdaemun market; Seafood; Traditional side dishes; Hancook barbecue; Street vendors from Namdaemun market

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city guide BAEKNYEON TOJONG SAMGYETANG In the last years, the Korean chicken ginseng soup, or samgyetang, trend has swept across Singapore. This specialty restaurant often touted as Seoul’s best restaurant for samgyetang only serves genuine flavours. Charmingly simple and basic, the restaurant features floor-seating and traditional wooden furnishing, giving plenty of authenticity. In addition to the samgyetang, sample the kimchi jiggae, a rich, savoury kimchi stew that packs a punch. A pot of stew for two costs 12,000KRW/US$10. Seogyo-dong 354-12, Mapo-gu. Tel: 82/2-335-6688

BON JUK If Seoul were to be a dish, it would be bibimbap. An outrageously flavourful mixture of rice with seasonal vegetables, a fried egg and thick chilli pepper paste, it is one of Korea’s national dishes. For some of the best bibimbap in Seoul, head to the international restaurant chain, Bon Juk. The restaurant’s specialty lies in porridges, or juk. The myriad of congee on its menu is impressive: ranging from sweet pumpkin to oyster flavour. The menu is in English and Korean and prices are under 10,000KRW/US$9. Bon Juk has also recently opened up new chains in Singapore and Malaysia. Apgujeongno Gangnam-gu. Tel: 82/2-514-6233

Chancery / Vulcan Lane

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Clockwise from left: Chicken ginseng soup; Kimchi stew; Bon Juk’s bibimbap; A night of shopping in Seoul; Mall in Dongdaemun Market; A scene of Insa-Dong; Hongdae Free Market; Interior of Baeknyeon Tojong Samgyetang


city guide

SHOPPING From high fashion shopping boulevards to charismatic indie boutiques, shopping in Seoul is a hedonistic affair. Whether you’re hunting for vintage goods, unusual souvenirs or the trendiest fashion, the multitude of products on offer is astounding. What’s best: prices in Seoul are reasonably affordable and bargain buys abound.

DONGDAEMUN MARKET If you can only fit one shopping stop into your packed itinerary, make it the Dongdaemun Market. A jumble of massive shopping complexes mashed within a warren of fashion alleys, Dongdaemun is a one-stop shopping district for people of all ages. Multi-storey fashion malls such as Migliore and Doota are packed wall-towall, crammed with the latest in fashion, electronics and lifestyle products. These malls stay opened until the wee hours of the morning for those who need to do a last-minute dash. Jogno, Cheongyejenon-no Jongno-gu. Tel: 82/2-261-2192

COEX MALL

HONGDAE FREE MARKET

Imagine over 85,000 sqm of retail therapy. Asia’s largest underground shopping mall stretches across the Gangnam district in Southern Seoul. Catering to the new urban shopper, the complex is home to over hundreds of international brand names the likes of Zara, and also houses a 16-screen multi-cinema complex, a massive marine aquarium and a kimchi museum. Beware: you might just not be able to find your way out! World Trade Centre Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu; www.coex.co.kr

A new urban movement for art expression is taking to the streets of Seoul. The Hongdae Free Market is not a flea market — instead of second-hand goods, the products on sale here are eclectic, creative, handcrafted artwork. It is a playground for young, talented artists who need a platform for free expression. Mingle with local talents and scour through quirky knickknacks, handmade jewellery, leather pouches and artistic porcelain. For those with an eye for the unconventional, you’ll surely sniff out some valuable art pieces here. The free market is held from 1pm to 4pm every Saturday from March to November. Hongik University. Tel: 82/2-325-8553; www.freemarket.or.kr

INSA-DONG For a peek into Seoul’s past, weave through the atmospheric streets of Insa-dong laden with antique stores, art galleries, Buddhist shops and teahouses. It exemplifies a traditional Korean lifestyle and is a treasure trove of antiques (particularly those from the Chosun Dynasty), original calligraphy work, paintings and artefacts. You’ll also find several Buddhist temples and stores tucked away in the quiet alleys in this area. Insa-dong, Jongno-gu. Tel: 82/2-732-2240

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Gyeongbuk Palace

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city guide ATTRACTIONS

N’SEOUL TOWER

DRAGON HALL SPA

For those with just a few days to spare, Seoul provides a palatable feast: timeenduring palaces, temples and emerald parks. From essential tourist stops to off-the-radar gems, here’s our pick of attractions that make Seoul stand out from the rest.

Perched on the peak of Mount Namsan in downtown Seoul is the flashy N’Seoul Tower. The tower was given a complete overhaul in 2005 and now boasts several stylish restaurants (including a revolving restaurant) and boutiques offering the best panorama in town. If snapping shimmering night shots from the highest point of a city is your thing, then make sure you visit. The view from the T3 observation deck is worth the entrance fee (8000KRW/US$7 per adult and 4000KRW/US$3.50 per child). The easiest and most picturesque route to N’Seoul Tower is by taxi from Insa-Dong to the Namsan cable car. From the cable car, it’s a short walk to the base of the tower. 1-3 Yongsandong 2-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Like Japan’s obsession with the onsen, Koreans are addicted to jimjibang, a traditional bath practice. Dragon Hill Spa is a glorified jimjibang designed to suit the needs of young urban Seoulites. Reminiscent of an all-rounded entertainment centre, the seven-storey establishment comes complete with in-house restaurants, cinemas and an Internet cafe. The traditional bath area offers an assortment of treatments from the popular perspiration rooms and conventional charcoal-fuelled saunas to pyramidal-shaped baths and mineral crystal rooms. What’s more, the entertainment complex is open round the clock and an entry ticket (10,000KRW/ US$9) allows you all-day access. Yongsan Gu, Hangang-ro Dong 40-713. Tel: 82/2-798-0114; www.dragonhillspa.co.kr

GYEONGBUK PALACE Top on the list of most visitors’ itinerary is the legendary Gyeongbuk Palace. As the largest palace built during the Joseon Dynasty, the Gyeongbukgung is comparable to the greatest palaces in the world. Gyeongbukgung translates to mean “Palace of Shining Happiness”; for its iridescent frescos and lavish carvings blanketed in resplendent colours. First constructed in 1394, the palace withstood the destructions by the Japanese government in the early 20th century and is slowly undergoing restoration to attain its original glory. Set aside at least two hours to visit the entire palace. Gwanghuamun. Tel: 82/2-732-1931; www.royalpalace.go.kr

NAMSANGOL HANOK VILLAGE Steal a peek into the traditional Korean way of life at Namsangol Hanok Village, an open-air cultural museum. To revive the atmosphere of times past, hanoks, or traditional Korean houses, have been moved here from different parts of Seoul. A valley was also created to let water flow and trees planted to create a traditional garden. Try to time your visit here on a weekend, when you’ll find weavers, cooks, calligraphers and kite-makers demonstrating their craft; rice wine brewing and traditional music take place on some evenings. English-speaking tour guides (10am to 5pm) can be hired. Chungmuro subway station, Jung-gu. Tel: 82/2-2266-6923; www.fpcp.or.kr

Clockwise from left: Namsangol Hanok village; A view of N’Seoul tower; Gateway of Dragon Hall Spa, Interior of spa; A look at traditional Korean spa practices

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city guide NIGHTLIFE With the advent of swanky, slick urban bars, Seoulites are ditching their soju and makgeolli to swirl Jack Daniels on the rocks. The lure? These uber chic bars in Seoul have the secret recipe.

WOO BAR Designers alert! With a setting fit for sci-fi movies, the 10,000 ft Woo Bar is best known for its outlandish, futuristic decor. Featuring egg-shaped chairs hanging from a neon-lit ceiling, a spaceship-shaped DJ booth and glassedin mezzanine lounge, the rooftop bar

Cheongdam-dong 89-20. Tel: 82/2-516-1970; www.coffeebark.co.jp

SKY LOUNGE For a feel of this century, head up to the 30th floor of COEX Intercontinental Hotel in Gangnam district. Don’t be fooled by the luxury hotel chain’s glossy and anonymous appearance — the characteristic rooftop bar, Sky Lounge, retains a degree of personality. Helmed by Australian chef Nick Flynn, Sky Lounge also dishes up modern pan Asian fare and an impressive roster of cocktails in an aviation-inspired setting. 524 Bongeunsaro, Gangnam-Gu. N’Seoul Tower Tel: 82/2-3452-2500

MR CHOW BAR

acres of forest greenery. The hotel’s AWAY Spa is also taking the wellness industry by storm, drawing in spa fans with a unique Turkish hammam and outdoor hinoki soaking tubs overlooking the Han River. Rooms and suites come with quirky names such as the Wow Suite and the Extreme Wow Suite. Double room rates start at around US$185. 175 Achaseong-Gil, Gwangjin-Gu. Tel: 82/2-465-2222; www.wseoul.com

IP BOUTIQUE HOTEL Uber chic, trendy and stylish, the IP Boutique Hotel gives a feel of the newgeneration Seoul. With a cyber, digital exterior, the hotel is best suited for edgy, urban travellers seeking creative surroundings. Once inside, you’ll be engulfed by the all-white minimalistic interior décor, slick lines and avant garde design. The contemporary design of each room features mirrored walls, transparent bathroom doors and flashy paintings. Conveniently located within walking distance from the Itaewon subway station, the hotel brings the city closer to you. 37-32 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu. Tel: 82/2-3702-8000; www.ipboutiquehotel.com ◆

of the highly acclaimed W Hotel woos the senses with pulsing sounds and an eclectic Asian fusion menu. Drinks and menu might be pricey (set dinner prices start from 20,000KRW/US$18), but remember that you are paying for the best panoramas in the city. 21 Kwangjang Dong A, Walkerhill. Tel: 82/2-465-2222

The legendary designer, painter, actor and art collector Michael Chow has now opened an exclusive restaurant/bar in downtown Seoul, adding tasteful glitz to the capital. Chow’s fourth bar after his flagship stores in Beverly Hills, London, and New York is a three-storey entertainment centre furnished with paintings, sculptures and dark wood tables. Here, you get the sensation of joining an exclusive society party, and if you’re a perfectionist, be sure to try a tipple here. Few bars get it right like Mr Chow Bar. 91 Nonhyun-dong, Kangnam-ku. Tel: 82/2-517-2100; www.mrchowseoul.com

COFFEE BAR K

STAYS

Anyone with a penchant for high quality liquor will be impressed by the planetspanning array of whiskies and cocktails at K Bar. Despite its name, coffee takes a backseat to alcoholic concoctions at this Japanese franchise. It holds the largest selection of single malt whisky in Korea, so exclusive that only whisky society members get to savour them. Bartenders here really know how to mix a drink; one of them has even won the first place in Korea’s mixing competition with his innovation, ‘Walking in Space’.

Plush luxury hotel chains or funky boutique hotels? You decide.

Singaporeans and Malaysians who stay in South Korea for less than 30 days.

W SEOUL

TIME ZONE Seoul is one hour

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If you’re looking to splurge and indulge, W Seoul provides opulence at its finest. It is the newest addition to the city’s range of luxury hotel offerings, and is already setting the golden standards. Poised on the slope of Mount Acha overlooking the Han River, W Seoul is a hop and jump away from the bustling Gangnam financial district, yet a world away on 180

GETTING THERE Singapore Airlines flies direct from Singapore to Seoul while AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines fly direct from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul.

CURRENCY South Korea’s currency is the Korean Won. 1000KRW = S$1.15/RM2.80/ US$0.88

VISA No visa is required for

ahead of Singapore and Malaysia, GMT +9

CALLING CODE South Korea’s country code: 82; Seoul’s city code: 2.

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letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s get cooking! Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a look at our recent Italian Culinary Class held at the stunning Kitchen Culture showroom

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PHOTOGRAPHY STEFANIE YUAN

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o kick-start our series of culinary workshops, 60 food&travel readers and guests of Mittel Marketing were treated to a leisurely afternoon of Italian food and wine in the stylish design kitchen showroom of Kitchen Culture at Leng Kee Road. Taking the spotlight that day was Italian chef Michele Pavanello of Otto Ristorante, whose easygoing manner and deft ways in the kitchen captured the audienceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention for over two hours. Besides learning how to prepare an assortment of thin crust pizzas and delicious beef tenderloin using fresh ingredients from gourmet purveyor Indoguna, guests also picked up useful tips on the finer points of Italian cooking. The session was complemented by luscious fine wines from Booze Wine Shop, and light snacks provided by Mittel Marketing, whose automatic home breadmaker won over many with its ease of use and functionality.


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Age Group

TSenior Management Annual Income Group

T20 & below

TProfessional

TBelow S$50,000

T21-25

TBusinessman

TS$50,000 - S$100,000

T26-30

Education Level

TS$100,001 - S$150,000

T31-40

TSecondary

TS$150,001 - S$200,000

TAbove 40

TTertiary

TS$200,000 & above

Date: TERMS & CONDITIONS: • This subscription offer is non-refundable and is valid till 31st January 2011. • The above subscription rates are only applicable to readers residing in Singapore and Malaysia. • All prices are inclusive of GST and taxes. • Please allow 2 to 4 weeks for processing. • A notification letter will be sent before the end of your subscription. This service can be terminated with a one-month written notice, otherwise, the subscription will be automatically renewed for your convenience after 12 issues. • Lucky draw prizes must be taken as provided and are neither transferable nor exchangeable for cash. • Winners will be notified by post and prizes are to be collected at address stated on notification letter.

Simply complete the form and mail it to our respective country offices: SINGAPORE food&travel subscription Regent Media Pte Ltd 3 Loyang Way, Singapore 508719 MALAYSIA Regent Media Sdn Bhd B-3-21 Section 8 Business Centre Jalan Sungai Jernih 1, 8 Avenue 46050 Petaling Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia Readers can also subscribe by logging on to www.e-shopping.sg or email subscription@regentmedia.sg For other enquiries, call 65/6543-3681 or 6-03/7954-8989

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X forlino

X nectar restaurant

15% OFF TOTAL FOOD BILL

A COMPLIMENTARY GLASS OF RED/ WHITE WINE FROM THE SOMMELIER’S SELECTION WITH EVERY SET MEAL

O All offers are not valid on public holidays and as well as on other special occasions such as Secretaries’ Week, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, unless otherwise stated. O Not valid with other promotions, discounts or set value items.

privilege card

#02-06 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road. Tel: 65/6877-6995

Wangz Hotel, 231 Outram Road. Tel: 65/6595-1388

X kim choo kitchen

X krish the restaurant

COMPLEMENTARY KUIH KUIHS (FOR DINE IN)

15% OFF FOOD AND BEVERAGE AT KRISH RESTAURANT AND GREENHOUSE BAR

O Minimum spend of S$50 required. O Valid at Kim Choo Kitchen’s East Coast branch only.

109 East Coast Road. Tel: 65/6741-2125

Your passport to a world of benefits Subscribe to food&travel magazine and enjoy exclusive dining and travel promotions. With the food&travel Privilege Card, you can look forward to a range of special privileges at Krish the Restaurant, DH Nyonya Café, Marmalade Café plus exclusive cooking classes and a whole lot more!

O Not valid with other credit card promotions and discounts.

9 Rochester Park. Tel: 65/6779-4644

X razorsharp

X bigfish seafood grill

45% OFF WUSTHOF KITCHEN KNIVES. 35% OFF OTHER PRODUCTS

FREE DESSERT OF THE DAY WITH A MINIMUM SPENDING OF $50

O Valid for regular-priced items only.

O Not valid with other credit card promotions and discounts.

#01-03, Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road. Tel: 65/6227-7512 www.razorsharp.com.sg

X reveplanner FIRST TIME CUSTOMERS WILL GET A COMPLIMENTARY CUSTOMISED PHOTO ALBUM AS A KEEPSAKE OF YOUR VACATION (U.P.: $92) O Valid till 31 October 2011

85 Upper East Coast Road. Tel: 65/6441-6981

X villas

indonesia resort

STAY FOR TWO NIGHTS AND GET THE THIRD NIGHT FREE FOR A VILLA WITH YOUR OWN PRIVATE POOL IN SEMINYAK VILLA, BALI

Contact RevePlanner for your next customised holiday! Phone: 65/6409-3016 Email: info@reveplanner.com www.RevePlanner.com

O Free third night stay only available until 19 December 2010. O Terms and conditions apply. O Valid till 10 May 2011.

X red house seafood

X private affairs

restaurant & red house at the quayside

10% OFF A LA CARTE FOOD MENU O Not valid on Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day and 15 days of CNY. O Not valid with other privileges, offers and promotions.

To join as a participating merchant of food&travel privilege card, email: marketing@regentmedia.sg

O Offer cannot be used with other promotions or during special occasions.

Blk 1204, #01-05 East Coast Seafood Centre. Tel: 65/6442-3112; #01-13/ 14 The Quayside, 60 Robertson Quay. Tel: 65/6735-7666

#02-02, 734 North Bridge Road. reservations@villasindonesia.com

kitchen & bar

COMPLIMENTARY GLASS OF HOUSE POUR RED/WHITE WINE FOR ANY SET MENU ORDERED O Not valid for special selection wines of the week or wines already on promotion O Not valid with other in house promotions or promotions by banks O Card must be presented first to receive the entitlement.

45 Joo Chiat Place. Tel: 65/6440-0601

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Xbijou

Xbisou bake shop

15% DISCOUNT ON FOOD BILL

A COMPLIMENTARY CUPCAKE ON CARDHOLDER’S BIRTHDAY

ONot valid with other promotions, discount or set meals. ONot available on public holidays or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and similar occasions

Xbianco

A COMPLIMENTARY BANOFFEE PIE IF THE MEAL EXCEEDS RM75. ONot valid with other promotions, discounts or set meals. OWhile stocks last.

Xichiban boshi

japanese restaurant

OA photo ID with birthdate must be presented with card. OWhile stocks last.

Xfit for 2

15% DISCOUNT OFF TOTAL FOOD BILL ONot valid with other promotions, discounts or set meals.

For list of outlet addresses, visit www.bijoux.com.my

Xpan café 15% DISCOUNT OFF TOTAL BILL FOR DINE IN ONLY

ONE-FOR-ONE OFFER ON ANY DESSERT

ONot valid with other promotions, discounts or set value items.

Lot 1.14 Pavilion, Pavilion Shopping Centre, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang. Tel: 6-03/2141-6621 Sunway Giza Shopping Mall, Jalan PJU 5/14, PJU 5, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 6-03/6148-1844

#D-G-36, Pusat Perdagangan Seksyen 8, Jalan Sg. Jenih 8/1, 46050 Petaling Jaya. #8-12A, Jalan 15/155B, Taman Explanad Bukit Jalil, KL. Tel: 6-03/8993-9316

Xgood taste café

Xsecret bun f&b sdn bhd

15% OFF ANY MAIN COURSE, AND COMPLIMENTARY KUIH OR DESSERT OF THE DAY IF THE MEAL EXCEEDS RM30.

COMPLIMENTARY DRINK OF THE DAY WITH ORDER OF ANY PAN MEE

OValid for dine in only. OCard must be presented before payment.

#16-01, Jalan Kenari 18A, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor. Tel: 6-03/8075-0699

Lot 2-09, Second Floor, Tropicana Mall, 3 Jalan SS20/27, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 6-03/7722-4266

X restoran peranakan place

X marmalade café

10% DISCOUNT OFF TOTAL BILL

10% DISCOUNT FOR DINE-IN ONLY, EXCLUDING PARTY PACKAGES AND TAKEAWAYS

ONot applicable with other on-going promotions & discounts.

Lot F221C, L1 Promenade, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 6-03/7728-8728

#1F-18, L1 Bangsar Village II, 2 Jalan Telawi Dua, Bangsar Baru. Tel: 6-03/2282-8301 #E-01-02, Ground Floor, Block E, Plaza Mont Kiara. Tel: 6-03/6201-1743; www.ilovemarmalade.com

X seoul garden restaurant

X sister’s kitchen (mk)

& breeks cafe

10% OFF BUFFET LUNCH & DINNER AT SEOUL GARDEN RESTAURANT. 10% OFF ALA-CARTE FOR BREEKS CAFE ONo joint promotions allowed.

1 Utama Shopping Centre, Lot LG345, Lower Ground Floor, High Street. Tel: 6-03/7722-1339 IOI Mall, Lot EG9 & E10, Ground Floor, New Extension. Tel: 6-03/8076-8726 Lot C1.27 & D1.26, Ground Floor, Plaza Pantai (Kerinchi LRT Station). Tel: 6-03/2283-1888

ONE ROLL OF POPIAH FREE WITH ANY A LA CARTE PURCHASE OEach privilege card is entitled to only 1 complimentary roll of popiah. ONot valid with other promotions, discounts and voucher.

First floor, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P. Ramlee. Tel:6-03/2142-6988. LG-07&08, Lower Ground Floor, G Tower. 199 Jalan Tun Razak. Tel:6-03/2161-8997 www.sisterscrispypopiah.com.my

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MODE R N E U ROPE A N

G OU R M E T GRO C E R S

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CULINA Nestled in the lush greenery of Dempsey Hill, Culina is a food haven stocking over 70 food and wine brands from America, Europe and Oceania. On top of artisanal cheeses from France, fresh produce from Australia and an overwhelming selection of spirits and wines from

FXcWPR^]cX]d^dbV^P[c^RaTPcTd]U^aVTccPQ[TRd[X]Pah\^\T]cb TPRWXcT\^]cWTbTPb^]P[[hX]U[dT]RTS\T]dQaX]Vbc^cWT_P[PcTP Q[^bb^\X]VTg_TaXT]RT^UR^]cT\_^aPah4da^_TP]U[Pe^dab

around the world, the store also features a butchery and a delicatessen.

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X#01-13, Block 8 Dempsey Road. Tel: 65/6474-7338;

Sit down to a meal at the adjoining restaurant Enoteca by Culina and be inspired by its menu featuring ingredients from the storeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portfolio. www.culina.com.sg

MODE R N E U ROPE A N

PE R A N A K A N

ELLENBOROUGH MARKET CAFE FRIENDS RESTAURANT & CATERING

Opened in 1997, Ellenborough Market CafĂŠ at the SwissĂ´tel Merchant Court lobby level serves up Ă la carte or buffet menus. The cafĂŠ

Situated in an idyllic locale just three minutes from Holland Village,

features popular Peranakan, local and international specialties, and the

Friends Restaurant specialises in modern European cuisine with a twist

renowned durian pengat, a durian mousse dessert. A delectable spread

of Japanese ingredients and sauces on their latest menu. This 70-seater

of international fare is available during High Tea on weekends, plus

restaurant is also an ideal venue for private functions for weddings or

ad hoc themed food promotions to spice up the

birthdays. Catering Services is also available. Call for enquiry.

dining experience.

XL2 Cold Storage Jelita Building, 293 Holland Road.

XSwissĂ´tel Merchant Court, 20 Merchant

Tel: 65/6463-1011 www.friendsfoodandwine.com

Road. Tel: 65/6239-1848

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G OU R M E T GRO C E R S

GREENGROCER.COM.SG

FOUR SEASONS ORGANIC MARKET

This gourmet grocer was launched in 2007 to bring Singaporeans a

Four Seasons Organic Market is the largest chain of natural and organic

greater variety of the finest produce at very reasonable prices. With the

specialty stores, offering a wide range of organic fresh fruits and

growing interest in fine food and dining, this is an excellent avenue to

vegetables, meats, health foods and supplements, and other grocery

purchase ingredients normally seen in restaurants or culinary shows on

products. Grown without pesticides and chemical fertilisers, organic

television, right from the comfort of home. Free delivery provided for

food is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Choose organic, for your

all orders above $100. From truffles to Wagyu tenderloins, this online

health and your family’s.

grocer has something for every palate and pocket!

X#B2-07, Great World City outlet. Tel: 65/6836-1855 X#03-46/47, City Square Mall outlet. Tel: 65/6509-6683 X#B-83A, Parkway Parade outlet. Tel:65/6345-3828

SPA N ISH

T R AV E L

SERENITY SPANISH BAR & RESTAURANT

CUSTOMISED HOLIDAYS BY REVEPLANNER

Located in Singapore’s prime district, Serenity’s Mediterranean-style

It’s Your Holiday, Travel Your Way! Custom travel specialist RevePlanner

ambience greets you with strains of catchy Spanish tunes that set the

has just launched Gourmet Trails — food inspired itineraries that are

mood for dining. Savour a wonderful selection of authentic Spanish

100% personalised to your food preferences, budget and travel style.

cuisine (tapas, paella, etc.) as you enjoy the harbour view.

Enjoy culinary delights from local street foods to fine dining, join a

X#01-98/99 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk. Tel: 65/6376-8185

cooking class and more... explore a destination through your senses!

www.serenity.com.sg

Contact us. XTel: 65/6409-3016. Email: info@RevePlanner.com www.RevePlanner.com

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GOURMET GROCERS

FRENCH

JONES THE GROCER

X 40C Harding Road. Tel: 65/6475-1976

X #01-12, Block 9 Dempsey Road. Tel: 65/6476-1512 X #04-21/22/23 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road. Tel: 65/6836-6372 www.jonesthegrocer.com

THE CELLAR DOOR DELI & WINE CAFÉ

X #01-108/9 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk. Tel: 65/6463-5296 www.thecellardoor.com.sg

AU PETIT SALUT (DEMPSEY)

GUNTHER’S

X #01-03, 36 Purvis Street. Tel: 65/6338-8955 www.gunthers.com.sg

LES AMIS

X #02-16 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road. Tel: 65/6733-2225 www.lesamis.com.sg

SAINT JULIEN LE RESTAURANT

CAKES & PASTRY

X 3 Fullerton Road. Tel: 65/6534-5947 www.julienbompard.com

CANELE PATISSERIE

SAINT PIERRE

X #01-09 Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street. Tel: 65/6738-8145 X #01-01A, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road. Tel: 65/6738- 9020 X #B1-25 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road. Tel: 65/6733-8893 www.canele.com.sg

LAURENT BERNARD CHOCOLATIER

X #01-11 The Pier at Robertson Quay, 80 Mohammad Sultan Road. Tel: 65/6235-9007 X #01-02, 5B Portsdown Road. Tel: 65/6475-4182

OBOLO

X 452 Joo Chiat Road. Tel: 65/6348-9791 www.obolo.com.sg

THE PATISSIER

X #01-01, 18 Ann Siang Road. Tel: 65/6220-5565 X #01-01, 4 Mohd Sultan Road. Tel: 65/6737-3369 www.thepatissier.com

CHINESE CHERRY GARDEN

X Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue. Tel: 65/6885-3538 www.mandarinoriental.com

JIANG-NAN CHUN

X Four Seasons Hotel, 190 Orchard Road. Tel: 65/6734-1110 www.fourseasons.com

TUNG LOK SIGNATURES

X #01-57 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk. Tel: 65/6376-9555 X #02-88 The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street. Tel: 65/6336-6022 www.tungloksignatures.com

X #01-01 Central Mall, 3 Magazine Road. Tel: 65/6438-0887 www.saintpierre.com.sg

THE FRENCH KITCHEN

X #01-03 Central Mall, 7 Magazine Road. Tel: 65/6438-1823 www.thefrenchkitchen.com.sg

INDIAN RANG MAHAL

X #03-01 Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard. Tel: 65/6333-1788 www.rangmahal.com.sg

SONG OF INDIA

X 33 Scotts Road. Tel: 65/6836-0055 www.thesongofindia.com

SPICE SUTRA

X #01-13 Thomson Imperial Court, 200 Upper Thomson Road. Tel: 65/6255-4730 www.spicesutra.com

VINTAGE INDIA

X #01-21, Blk 10 Dempsey Road. Tel: 65/6471-3100 www.palatevine.com.sg

Tel: 65/6836-5286 www.lavilla.sg

OTTO RISTORANTE

X #01-02 Red Dot Traffic Building, 28 Maxwell Road. Tel: 65/6227-6819 www.ottoristorante.com.sg

PASTA BRAVA

X 11 Craig Road. Tel: 65/6227-7550 www.pastabrava.com.sg

JAPANESE INAGIKU JAPANESE RESTAURANT

X Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road. Tel: 65/6431-6156 www.fairmont.com

TAKUMI TOKYO

X 2 Keppel Bay, Marina at Keppel Bay. Tel: 65/6271-7414 www.takumitokyo.com

X #01-03, 341 River Valley Road.

X #01-09, 17 Lorong Kilat. Tel: 65/6465-1811 X #01-02, 7 Dempsey Road. Tel: 65/6465-2811 www.don-quijote-restaurants.com

SERENITY SPANISH BAR & RESTAURANT X #01-98/99 VivoCity Tel: 65/6376 8185 www.serenity.com.sg

WINE BARRESTAURANTS THE WINE COMPANY @ DEMPSEY X Blk 14D Dempsey Road. Tel: 65/6479-9341

X Blk 14E Dempsey Road. Tel: 65/6473-5428 www.thewinecompany.com.sg

PERANAKAN

KITCHEN WARE & APPLIANCES

BABA INN

X #01-103 Frankel Avenue. Tel: 65/6445-2404

CHILLI PADI NONYA RESTAURANT

X #01-03, 11 Joo Chiat Place. Tel: 65/6275-1002 www.chillipadi.com.sg

TRUE BLUE CUISINE

X 49 Armenian Street. Tel: 65/6440-4548 www.truebluecuisine.com

SEAFOOD BIG FISH SEAFOOD GRILL RESTAURANT

RED HOUSE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

LA VILLA

DON QUIJOTE

WOODS

BONTA ITALIAN RESTAURANT & BAR

X #01-02, 36 Purvis Street. Tel: 65/6837-1468 www.garibaldi.com.sg

X #01-29 Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road. Tel: 65/6735-3476 www.esmirada.com

X #12-02 Orchard Central. Tel: 65/6509-4222 www.res.com.sg

ITALIAN

GARIBALDI ITALIAN RESTAURANT & BAR

BODEGAS Y TAPAS

KURIYA PENTHOUSE

X 85 Upper East Coast Road. Tel: 65/6441-6920 www.bigfish3.com

X #01-61 UE Square River Wing, 207 River Valley Road. Tel: 65/6333-8875 www.bonta.com.sg

SPANISH

X Blk 1204, #01-05 East Coast Seafood Centre, East Coast Parkway. Tel: 65/6442-3112 www.redhouseseafood.com

THE SEAFOOD INTERNATIONAL MARKET & RESTAURANT X Blk A #01-01 Playground @ Big Splash, 902 East Coast Parkway. Tel: 65/6345-1211 www.lobster.com.sg

HEAP SENG

X 36 Liang Seah Street, Heap Seng House. Tel: 65/6338-1343 www.heapseng.com

KITCHEN CULTURE

X #01-02/05, #01-07 Thye Hong Centre, 2 Leng Kee Road. Tel: 65/6473-6776 www.kitchenculture.com

MITTEL MARKETING (S) PTE LTD X 4 Kaki Bukit Place, Eunos Techpark. Tel: 65/6842-1818 www.mittel.com.sg

N & I ASIA PTE LTD

X #04-11 Tat Ann Building, 40 Jalan Pemimpin Tel: 65/6299-1116

TOTT STORE

X #01-01A Sime Darby Centre 896 Dunearn Road. Tel: 65/6219-7077 www.tottstore.com

WORLD KITCHEN (ASIA PACIFIC) PTE LTD

X 3 Clementi Loop. Tel: 65/6468-2008 www.worldkitchenasia.com

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KOR E A N

JA PA N E SE

SEOUL GARDEN

Seoul Garden is an authentic Korean-styled buffet restaurant focused on providing a cheerful dining experience with its engaging self-serve concept. With its huge spectrum of food choices at value-for-money prices in a friendly environment, Seoul Garden is indeed the perfect eating joint for the family. X5, Persiaran Pantai Baru, Lot C1.27, Ground Floor Plaza Pantai,. Tel: 6-03/2283-1888 & 6-012/609-7385 XBatu 9, Jalan Puchong, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Lot EG9 & 10, Ground Floor IOI Mall New Extention, Puchong. Tel: 6-03/8076-8726 & 6-012/609-7385 XLot LG345, Lower Ground Floor HighStreet, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya. Tel: 6-03/7722-1339 & 6-012/609-7385

ICHIBAN BOSHI

Ichiban Boshi has been specialising in Japanese food for over 20 years and produces the freshest handmade soba in Malaysia, overseen by Japanese chef Yamamoto san. Soba is very nutritious and is a traditional food to have on New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve as the Japanese believe it will herald a good start for the year ahead. Our menu selection includes a variety of sushi (from RM2 per plate), set meals and also ala carte and kushiyaki grill stick items. X168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Lot 1.14, Pavilion KL. Tel: 6-03/21416621 XL1 Sunway Giza Shopping Mall,Block D, F.01, 2, Jln PJU 5/14, PJU5, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 6-03/6148-1844

K U NG F U PA N M E E

CAFĂ&#x2030;S

PAN MEE SPECIALIST

For springy lip-smacking homemade pan mee in myriad permutations, head on down to Kung Fu Pan Mee in Puchong. This pan mee specialist makes its noodles fresh daily, so you can be assured of quality. Chef David Cheng pairs his springy noodles with over 30 varieties of toppings and broths. Try the house specialty, Zhan Fei pan mee (RM7). Topped with tender pork belly slow-braised in a gravy flavoured with star anise, cloves, cinnamon et al, it is truly slurp-worthy. Another must-try is the pork chop pan mee (RM5.80) served in a milky broth and topped with crispy, yummy slices of pork chop, tofu and pickled vegetables. Open 11am to 10pm, Mon to Fri; 10am to 10pm, Sat & Sun. X 16-01, Jalan Kenari 18A, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Selangor Darul Ehsan. Tel: 6-03/8075-0699; kung fu pan mee; www.kungfupanmee.net

Zhan Fei Pan Mee

MBUJI CAFE

Your coffee adventure begins here! Mbuji Cafe features first class coffee, scrumptious desserts and gourmet style Asian and western fusion food. This exciting new cafe offers various handpicked coffees imported directly by our coffee and tea traders, exciting and delightful daily dessert specials, and food that is bound to satisfy and leave you sated. XLot 15, Block B, Sunway Giza, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 6-03/6148-1267. Email: askmbuji@gmail.com

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BREAD STORY

X 87, Third Mile Old Klang Road, 58000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7980-0155; www.breadstory.com

KING’S CONFECTIONERY SDN BHD

X A25, Jalan Kuang Bulan, Taman Kepong, 52100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/6272-3633; www.kingsbakery.com.my

ROTIBOY BAKESHOPPE SDN BHD X Lot 159, Jalan Industri 2/2, Rawang Integrated Indusrtial Park, 48000 Rawang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/6091-7202; www.malaysiarotiboy.com

Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7956-2330; www.whatisnagomi.com

SAKAE SUSHI

X#G212, Ground Floor, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama City Centre, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7726-6428; www.sakaesushi.com.my

SUSHI GROOVE

XLower Ground Floor, OB3, LG2, Jalan PJS 11/145, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/5622-1343; www.sushigroove.net

PASTA DE GOHAN

X Centre Court (K35), Suria KLCC, 50350 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/2166-5525; www.bisou.com.my

X#LG2.126, No.3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/5621-8166; www.pastadegohan.com

PATCHI

PASTA ZANMAI

BISOU BAKE SHOP

X Lot 2, 285, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Bukit Bandaraya, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/2096-2091; www.patchi.com

CHINESE THE MING ROOM

XL3, 285 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Bukit Bandaraya, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/2284-8822; www.orientalrestaurants.com.my

TAMARIND SPRINGS RESTAURANT

XJalan 1, Taman Tun Abdul Razak, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/4256-9300; www.tamarindrestaurants.com

IMPERIAL PALACE RESTAURANT XL1, Jalan Kenari 12, Casa Square 1, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/8076-6882

VINTRY

XGround Floor, PG-02C, Jalan Semangat, Jaya 33, Section 13, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7960-6737; www.thevintry.com.my

ORIENTAL PAVILION

XL1, Jalan Semangat, Jaya 33, Section 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7956-9288; www.orientalrestaurants.com.my

JAPANESE NAGOMI SHABU-SHABU

X#PG-02B, Jalan Semangat, Jaya 33, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya,

XGround Floor, G210B, No.1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7728-1210; www.supersushi.com.my

WESTERN THE LOBSTERMAN HOMARUS AMERICANUS X 51 & 53, Jalan SS2/30, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7877-6772; www.lobsterman.com.my

LAS CARRETAS RESTAURANT & BAR X22, Persiaran Ampang, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/4257-1668; www.lascarretas.com

JACK’S PLACE

X#OB-K4C & D, No.3 Jalan PJS 11/15, Oasis Boulevard, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7491-0681; www.jacksplace.com.sg

PICK N’ BREW

XL1, F233, Lebuh Bandar Utama, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7726-0102; www.pickbrew.com.my

CHALET SUISSE

X#C-11, Jalan Ampang Utama 1/1, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/4252 4589; www.chalet.com.my

ITALIAN AVANTI ITALIAN-AMERICAN

RISTORANTE

XLobby Level, Persiaran Lagoon, Sunway Resort Hotel, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7492-8000

ITALIANNIES

XLot OB3-G-5, No.3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, Ground Floor, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/5631-8661

BRUNO’S RESTAURANT AND BAR

XLot 33-3, Seksyen 13, Jalan Semangat, Jaya 33, Ground Floor, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7960-2663

INDIAN SHEESH MAHAL RESTAURANT

X33, Jalan SS15/5A, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/5621-3671

GEM

X1, Jalan SS21/60, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7725-2080

MAYA MAHUURI CURRY HOUSE

X11, Jalan Dato Kaya Kecil 5, 42200 Kapar, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/3250-9968

RESTORAN LETCHUMY VILAS

XLot 13A, Jalan PJU 8/5G, Perdana The Place No.1 Damansara Perdana, 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 603/7726-2713

MALAY SERI PINANG IKANO POWER CENTRE

XGround Floor, G2, No.2 Jalan PJU 7/2, Ikano Power Centre, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7725-7387

KAYU NASI KANDAR SDN BHD X23-1, Jalan USJ10/1, 47620 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7877-4767

KOPI TIME CAFÉ

XLot G-06, Jalan SS22/23, Atria Shopping Centre, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/6276 4248

KOREAN WINTER SONATA RESTAURANT

X#Ground Floor, No.25, Jalan Sulaiman 3, Taman Putra Sulaiman, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/4253-2010

IL MIGA

XAmpang Avenue, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/4256-1004

X22, Jalan Batu 3 Lama, Taman Rasna, 41300 Klang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/2070-2828

SPANISH

KRISHNA CURRY HOUSE SDN BHD

X38, Jalan USJ 9/5P, Subang Central, 47620 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/8023-2395; www.la-cocina.com

X18, Jalan 222, Section 51A, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7876-7469

THAI RESTORAN CHAREON THAI

XAxis Industrial Park, No.13 Jalan Sepadu C 25/C, 42450 Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/5121-0853

LANNA THAI

X3, Jalan SS23/15, Taman Sea, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7880-7268

JUST THAI

XLot LG351, Lebuh Bandar Utama, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Lower Ground Floor, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7729-4708

GOOD EVENING BANGKOK

X#G343A, 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Ground Floor, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7727-8708

KHUN LI

LA COCINA RESTAURANT & TAPAS BAR

BAR MADRID

X52, Jalan Telawi Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/2282-0232

WINE CASA VINO SDN BHD

XSD 6, Jalan KIP 11, Taman Perindustrian KIP, Bandar Sri Damansara, 52200 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 6-03/6273-4589; www.casavino.com.my

CASA VINO CELLAR

XLot 158 Level 1, The Curve, No.6 Jalan PJU7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 6-03/7724-2007; www.casavino.com.my

W WINE ROOM

X58 & 60, Jalan Doraisamy, Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50300 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 6-03/2691-8672; www.asianheritagerow.com/ wineroom.asp

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CAKES & PASTRY

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117


recipes 24 ALMOND-CRUSTED FISH WITH CAPRESE SALAD

53 BRAISED SEA CUCUMBER DUMPLINGS IN SOUP

35 CHOCOLATE

RED WINE CAKE

50 DOUBLE-BOILED PORK

RIBS AND WHITE RADISH SOUP WITH FISH AND MEAT BALLS

24 54

50 HAKKA-STYLE

STEAMED CHICKEN

25 HAM AND CHEESE ZUCCHINI PASTA

55 JIN DUI FILLED

35

WITH PEANUT

52 MAZU MEE SUA 59 KUEH BANGKIT 35 KUEH TALAM 35 MATCHA CUPCAKES 54 OXTAIL STEW 24 PULLED CHICKEN IN LETTUCE CUPS

30 SALMON, SALAD

& AVOCADO WRAP

35 SOY CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

38 YOYO BISCUITS

OOPS!

The L’Entrecote menu featured in our December issue’s About Town in Singapore (pg 66) includes a glass of Kir aperitif, a side salad, two servings of steak with secret herb based sauce and unlimited fries for S$29.

30

KITCHEN CULTURE X#01-02/05, THYE HONG CENTRE, 2 LENG KEE ROAD. TEL: 65/6473-6776

MIELE BOUTIQUE X#B1-01, WINSLAND HOUSE II, 167 PENANG ROAD. TEL: 65/6738-6286

LA GALERIE DE DIETRICH X#01-04, THE CANDEX, 120 LOWER DELTA ROAD. TEL: 65/6508-4600

TOTT X#01-01A SIME DARBY CENTRE, 896 DUNEARN ROAD. TEL: 65/6219-7077

stockists

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index & stockists

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F&T


congratulations!

Lucky Winners for november 2010 Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris Rotenburg 2003 BOOZE WINE SHOP PROMOTION AGNES LEE ****4801G

LEANNE KOH YU JUN ****4982A

CHEW KHIM SONG ****3495E

LENA TAN ****4644D

JACQUELINE LEE ****7203G

LIM KON HONG ****8714I

KENNETH PANG ****4229D

ONG AI KHIM ****5462Z

Le Creuset Oven & Large Spatula Spoon THE GREAT RECIPE SWAP PROMOTION AGNES LEE ****4801G

Zojirushi’s Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker

COOK IT RIGHT WITH N&I PROMOTION ANG YEW HOON ****3717G

Cooking Classics: Korea (A Step-By-Step Cookbook) by Chun Nam Won COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY

CHEONG QUEE LIAN HELEN ****1410G ERINA LIM ****9394B JIMMY ONG ****3988E LEE BOON KIAT ****9442A TANG KIM ENG JENNIFER ****1323A OWinners will be notified by post, email or phone and prize is to be collected at address stated on notification letter. OThe management reserves the right to replace items with those of similar value. OThe management’s decision is final and no further queries will be entertained. OEntry information, including recipes, may be used for future marketing and promotional purposes.


things we love

fond of

fondue I

t is all in a day’s work for the food&travel team to imbibe glorious pickings that make their way to our office. From cookies and chocolates, to cakes and candies — you name it — we’ve feasted in the name of research (sometimes all within an hour). Most treats that cross our path are excellent but once in a while, we stumble across the extraordinary — something so addictively delicious that it will have us wrestling one another for the last bite. This month, our obsession lies in the Dark and Fleur de Sel chocolate fondue (S$15.50) from www.tothefair.com. Sourced from a little artisan chocolate shop in Paris, this dark melted cocoa teases our taste buds with contrasting

notes of sweet and salty. A perfect hit of sugar on lazy days, the fondue also comes in a pretty stoneware jar that takes away the fuss of prepping. Simply remove the lid, pop the jar into the microwave oven, and let it heat up for 30 seconds (you might want to do this in spurts to avoid burning the chocolate). And voilà! Ready-to-eat fondue. The mug keeps your chocolate warm for at least 45 minutes, just about the right time needed to dunk chunks of fruit and marshmallows in gooey goodness before slipping into a chocolate-y coma. If there are leftovers, simply remember these three words: refrigerate, reheat and repeat!

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WORDS SHEENA CHEN

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F&T


Food & Travel - 2011 Jan  

An inspiring food magazine for modern foodies who love to cook, dine and travel. In every issue there are easy, seasonal recipes plus featur...

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