Review: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore – A Night’s Stay At One of The Best Hotels In Asia

With its towering skyscrapers and vibrant lifestyle scene, Singapore is a nice place to visit. Now if only their exchange rate vs the Malaysian ringgit wasn’t so high, I’d go every weekend. 😩

As it is, my last visit was in 2016 for a travel assignment – so it was nice to be back again, even if it was just for a short trip. I stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, located close to the Orchard Road shopping district. Founded in 1971, it is one of the country’s oldest hotels, but has managed to keep up with the times with splendid yet classic decor and modern-looking rooms. It has also been consistently voted as one of the best hotels in Asia, with the annual Shangri-La Dialogue being hosted here since 2002.

CHECK IN

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The lobby’s high ceiling and towering pillars evoked a sense of space. Check-in was a breeze, as we were given welcome drinks and were attended to by friendly and professional concierge staff.

ROOM FACILITIES

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My Deluxe Room was located in the Tower Wing, which had a nice view of the surrounding skyscrapers, as well as the swimming pool and parts of the garden below. The room itself is spacious and well furnished, with a comfortable king-sized bed, large screen TV and minibar. The fact that they have a large work desk and also plenty of charging ports (both USB and standard) seemed to indicate that they’re geared towards business travelers – but then again we’re so reliant on our gadgets these days that a couple of ports just won’t cut it. I loved that they had a tall window to let in natural light in the day, and warm, ambient lighting when you need to cosy in at night.

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A Nespresso machine, complimentary water and a well-stocked minibar.

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I know alcohol is fairly common in most if not all five star hotels (that’s why they call it a minibar!) but coming from Muslim-majority Malaysia, it’s still interesting for me to see every time I visit a foreign country.

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I was surprised to find a welcome gift on the table, which was a box of delicious chocolates. I might have finished the entire box by myself lol.

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A space saving wooden dressing table, complete with pop up mirror and a compartment for the hairdryer.

I don’t have a picture of the bathroom, but it was very spacious as well, with a bathtub and a rainshower. Guests will also find the usual luxury amenities such as bathrobes, in-room slippers, shaving kit, toothbrush and toiletries.

IN ROOM DINING 

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Hadn’t had anything to eat since the morning, so I ordered room service. They had an extensive menu offering both local and Western dishes, such as nasi lemak, laksa, pizza, fish and chips, salads, pizza and the like. I opted for a Seafood Marinara Tagliatelle, which was delivered promptly (complete with table setting!) in 30 minutes. They also give you a glass of water and bread rolls with butter.

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Presentation was a little messy, as  sauce was splattered on the sides. Taste wise, the pasta was done al dente but the scallops were overcooked and rubbery. Maybe skip the in room dining and dine in at any of the hotel’s 11 restaurants and bars instead.

Didn’t manage to explore much of the hotel as I had an event to attend and left early the next morning, but they offer many other top notch facilities as well, including a pool, health club, spa, meeting rooms and conference halls, ballrooms for events, and a children’s club.

Prices average from RM1,000 onwards.

SHANGRI-LA HOTEL 

22 Orange Grove Rd,  Singapore 258350

 

Go ‘Island Hopping’ At Native Kitchen @ Village Hotel, Sentosa Singapore

Go on a gastronomical “island hopping” adventure with Native Kitchen, the latest islander-inspired restaurant to open at Village Hotel at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore. Serving up wholesome and authentic cuisine from the tropics, the casual setting is ideal for sharing meals and conversation, over dishes that use fresh ingredients and culinary techniques to bring out their natural flavours.

Grilled Seafood Platter

Under Executive Chef Patrice Godino’s direction, expect iconic dishes from Southeast Asia as well as the Polynesian islands, on top of well-loved local favourites and international food. Chef Patrice’s philosophy is simple: a good meal should be easy to appreciate, and the flavours of fresh produce must stand out without being masked by heavy sauces or extensive plating.

Island Ceviche

Fruits, meats and seafood prepared with a tropical twist are part and parcel of island dining, and feature prominently in Native Kitchen. Some of the restaurant’s signature dishes include appetisers such as the Watermelon & Feta Salad ($14), served with cherry tomatoes and cucumber in a lime dressing and tossed with chia seeds, and the delicious Island Ceviche ($18) (above) with Barramundi, cucumbers and carrots marinated in lime juice, coconut milk and ginger.

Big Kahuna Burger

Misoyaki Butterfish

For mains, choose between comfort food items such as a Big Kahuna Burger ($28) filled with chopped steak, grilled pineapple and thick bacon, or a Mojo Pork Cubano Sandwich ($18). Other delectable options are Misoyaki Butterfish ($40) and Bebek Goreng ($25), a Balinese-styled deep fried duck served with jasmine rice.

Chicken Rice

Dig into familiar classics such as the Native Kitchen Nasi Lemak ($20) with home-made sambal, and a Hainan Island Chicken Rice ($24). Other exotic island cuisine to tuck into include the Aloha Fish Tacos ($22) from Hawaii to the Maldivian-styled Sticky Island Wings ($16).

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Dessert lovers can round up the meal with the Pineapple Upside Down Cake ($22) and the Hula Pie ($20). A wide selection of Cocktails, Mocktails, Spirits, Beers, Wines and other refreshing beverages are also available.

Island fare aside, Native Kitchen serves a Breakfast Buffet for families, travellers and staycationers staying at Village Hotel at Sentosa. Guests can look forward to a wide variety of Asian and Western delights, fruits, cereals, juices and hot morning brews to kickstart their day.

For reservations, email enq_nativekitchen@refineryconcepts.com or call +65 6722 0818.

*Photos courtesy of Native Kitchen

NATIVE KITCHEN 

10 Artillery Avenue, #02-02, Sentosa Island, Village Hotel at Sentosa, Singapore 099951

Opening hours: Breakfast Buffet (6.30am to 10.30am), A La Carte Menu: 12pm – 10pm (last order at 9.30pm)

Website

Experience An Italian Affair This Spring @ Bar Cicheti, Singapore

Say goodbye to winter and hello to a spirited spring, as Bar Cicheti, Singapore’s first homegrown pasta and wine bar, brings to diners the sweet, hearty harvests of Italy. The new menu is a tribute to springtime in Italy, from driving through the hills of Tuscany to the seaside sunsets in Sicily. Handmade pastas are perfect to showcase the season’s best produce, paired with a beautifully eclectic wine list to satisfy all palates. Chef Lim Yew Aun’s rich, comforting dishes give way to fresher, brighter tastes that celebrate the bounty of spring, while sommelier Ronald Kamiyama’s new floral-forward wine selections are delicious on their own, each with a story to tell.

 

 

 

 

SPAGHETTI - housemade jalapeño pesto, grated ricotta salata, chopped pistachio, toasted pine nuts

For a limited time only, tuck into Chef Aun’s four Spring-inspired specials, dressed in vibrant colours and flavours of the season. Twirl up forkfuls of Spaghetti (S$28) done one of two ways – the first coated in a creamy, housemade jalapeño pesto that’s tossed with chopped pistachios, toasted pine nuts and a generous grating of ricotta salata.

 

 

 

 

 

2015 CVNE, Monopole Clásico. Rioja, ES (Viura blended with sherry) - 2

 

 

SPAGHETTI ALLE VONGOLE - burnt leeks, peperoncino, parsley, garlic chips

Pairing perfectly is the 2015 CVNE, Monopole ClĂĄsico—fresh, fine and bone dry—a peculiarity of a Spanish Rioja which sees manzanilla sherry introduced to the barrel aging process, resulting in a nutty characteristic that lends itself beautifully to the roasted flavours of the pesto. The other is a classic Spaghetti alle Vongole (S$32), where the sweet leek of Spring gets a fresh coat of char, adding an irresistible aroma to the clams’ briny tang.

 

 

 

CORZETTI - porcini and button mushrooms, marsala wine

Hand-stamped medallions of Corzetti (S$28)—a Ligurian specialty dating back to the middle ages—need nothing more than earthy slices of porcini and button mushrooms sautĂ©ed in a flavourful Marsala sauce. The dish is best enjoyed in between sips of the 2006 Tenute Sella, Lessona, a lost expression of Nebbiolo from Alto Piedmont that’s making its way back into vogue. Vibrant aromas of leafy underbrush, moist soil, berries and herbs, along with a shared provenance, bring out the earthy undertones of the moreish mushroom ragu.

 

BUCATINI - hokkaido scallops, saffron, spring peas, citron zest

For a taste of the lush Lazian countryside, the final seasonal special is Bucatini (S$30), where thick, hollowed strings of pasta are tossed with spring peas, citron zest and a seared Hokkaido scallop, in a hearty saffron broth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANOLINI - taleggio, ricotta, parmigiana, caramelised onion, hazelnut, butter sauce

Adding to the new permanent menu is an update of Bar Cicheti’s tight, confident rotation of pastas – offering more vegetarian options, new pasta shapes and in-season ingredients. All available in either starter and entrĂ©e size – pretty purses of Anolini (S$18/28) stuffed with taleggio, ricotta and parmigiana are finished in a decadent brown butter sauce, topped with caramelised onions and a sprinkling of hazelnuts. The ever-trendy Cacio e Pepe gets more bite than before with slippery strands of hand-rolled Pici Cacio e Pepe (S$18/28) – spiced with Sarawak black pepper, fresh marjoram and a squeeze of lemon to cut through the rich parmigiana.

Linguine (S$22/35) is an uncomplicated toss-up of handpicked blue swimmer crab and treviso radicchio—an Italian chicory that together with the crab, release sweet flavours of land and sea— brightened with orange zest. On the other end of the spectrum, thick, stubby tubes of Paccheri (S$20/34) are paired with slow-braised polpo and given the Puttanesca treatment – fresh tomatoes simmered long and slow, folded with fiery flavours of chilli, anchovies and capers, and to finish, a sprinkling of toasted bread crumbs. Here, the 2016 ChĂąteau de Trinquevedel RosĂ© is ideal for the bright, tomato flavours in the feisty sauce. This is a fourth-generation gem from the Tavel appellation of Southern Rhone, France–where only rosĂ© wines are allowed–made with mostly Grenache and other native varietals such as Clairette, Mourvedre, and Cinsault.

Tagliolini Nero (S$22/35) is chef Aun’s way of reimagining Bar Cicheti’s reigning darling, Fusilli Nero (S$19/32). While the original is a feisty umami bomb of squid ink fusilli, crab lump, Japanese uni and basil and anchovy crumbs; the latest contender is an ode to the sea at its seasonal best. By folding freshly harvested squid ink deep into the dough with military precision, each strand is unabashedly black and briny and lends itself to an ocean-fresh medley of Hokkaido scallops, local squid, and Japanese uni – all coated in a bisque reduction that tastes like the sea.

All these dishes are available in two sizes, for a little bit of everything, along with a selection of new and signature antipasti and desserts that have been updated for Spring. Wines at Bar Cicheti are available by glass, quartino and bottle. 

For a taste of everything, opt for the menu’s new “Feed Me” options (S$68 or S$88), which includes 1 antipasti, 4 pastas and a dessert to share. Add a S$58 supplement for wine pairing. 

*Photos courtesy of Mango PR. 

BAR CICHETI 

10 Jiak Chuan Road, 089264 Singapore

Phone: +65 6789 9801

Opening hours: Lunch Tues – Sat 12PM – 2.30PM, Dinner Mon – Sat 6PM – 1030PM. Close Sundays

Website 

One Night Only – Ohmi Wagyu Pairing Dinner @ Fat Cow, Singapore

If you love Wagyu and happen to be in Singapore this November, then don’t miss out on an immersive, one-night only event at Fat Cow, to savour and learn more about some of Japan’s finest Wagyu beef, paired with sake, gin and wine from the region.

Fat Cow is one of Singapore’s most exclusive steakhouses, specialising in bespoke meats – Japanese wagyu beef in particular. The latest instalment of the establishment’s series of experiential dining events will have diners looking forward to a night of good food, hearty conversations and endless tipples.

For one night only on November 15 at 7PM, indulge in an exquisite seven-course meal featuring beef cooked in various styles, paired with a variety of specially selected alcohol to further elevate the dining experience.

Two iconic names in the F&B industry – Noriyuki Shintani (Japanese Wagyu expert), and Jamey Merkel (Whisky ambassador of BEAM SUNTORY) – will also be present to share their professional insights and advice for diners who are keen to learn more about pairing wagyu beef dishes with alcohol.

The experience is available at SGD238++ (food only) and SGD333++ (inclusive of beverage pairing). Mastercard cardholders are entitled to 10% discount when they pay by Mastercard.

For reservations, call +65 6735 0308 or book through www.chope.co/singapore-restaurants/restaurant/fat-cow-singapore. 

Fat Cow

1 Orchard Boulevard, Camden Medical Centre #01-01/02, Singapore.

fat-cow.com.sg

facebook.com/fatcowsg/

**Images courtesy of Fat Cow

Ding Dong Across Asia – An Asian Gastronomic Tour

Widely recognised as a melting pot of Asian cuisine, Singapore is a gateway to the eclectic culinary flavours of Asia.

Enter Ding Dong, one of Singapore’s foremost restaurants to join in the Mod-Asian epicurean movement since opening its doors in 2013; the restaurant prides itself in continuously putting forth innovative dishes that meld familiar and traditional flavours of Asian cuisine with innovative plating, and modern, progressive culinary techniques.

Introducing 18 new exciting dishes to its ala carte menu, diners can expect a creative reimagination of Asia’s quintessential flavours through modern and progressive execution by newly appointed Head Chef, Miller Mai, as well as an equally inventive cocktail programme – Not So Lonely Planet, conceptualised and created by Group Bar Manager, Joe Schofield.

 

East Meets West

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Exploring a diverse blend of bold flavours in its cooking style, the restaurant takes diners on a taste journey across Asia that begins with Ding Dong’s rendition of Kuih Pie Tee, Singapore Chilli Crab, guaranteed to spice up the taste buds.

Tuna Tataki, Cucumber Carpaccio, Calamansi Sorbet_2

The meal continues with Tuna Tataki, Cucumber Carpaccio, Calamansi Sorbet, served with avocado sauce and topped with fresh Ikura. This seemingly modest dish will surprise you with its bold flavour from a healthy blend of Asian spices including coriander, lime, and chilli.

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An indulgence in both taste and sight, the Lamb Shank, Sauce Merah, Chickpea, boasts a bold yet delicate flavour. The lamb shank is braised for 12 hours to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness that falls right off the bone; paired perfectly with a rich merah sauce.

An equally intricate dish comes in the form of Beef Short Rib, Buah Keluak, Wingbean Salad. Capturing the rich earthy flavour of buah keluak, the tender Wagyu beef is doused in a generous serving of buah keluak sauce that will leave you wanting more.

Chef Miller Piping Dessert - Durian Alaska, Pandan Sponge, Kaya

Round off the culinary exploration across Asia with intricately designed sweet satisfactions including Ding Dong’s take on the king of fruits, Durian. The Durian Alaska, Pandan Sponge, Kaya comprises house-made durian ice cream paired with fluffy pandan chiffon cake; and coated with a light caramelised pandan meringue that forms the outer shell. The dessert is served atop a thin layer of biscuit, spread with a generous serving of house-made durian kaya.

Melon Sago, Rock Melon Ice Cream, Winter Melon Foam

Satiate your sweet cravings further with the refreshing Melon Sago, Rock Melon Ice Cream, Winter Melon Foam, Ding Dong’s play on the popular contemporary Singaporean dessert – Mango Sago.

Not So Lonely Planet

Inject your globetrotting culinary adventure across Asia with an intoxicating experience.

Staying true to its fun and quirky nature, Ding Dong’s latest bar programme showcases handcrafted concoctions that match up to the bold flavours in Chef Miller’s ingenious new menu creations.

The new cocktail menu, Not So Lonely Planet, features 12 unparalleled Asian-inspired cocktails conceptualised and concocted by Group Bar Manager, Joe Schofield; taking inspiration from various countries in Asia – Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, and China. The menu is conceptualised as a map of Asia, which guides guests to choose their cocktails primarily based on the destination that inspires them most.

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Toast to the night with a refreshing aperitif that is bound to whet your appetite and add a whole lot of fun to the mix – Butterfly, a blue Whiskey Ball made of frozen blue pea flower juice. Or take a sip and get transported to the Land of Smiles with Thai-inspired cocktail, Sabai Sabai, a vodka-based cocktail infused with a dash of Thai herbs, blue ginger and citrus.

China - Jasmine and Pear Bellini

China: Jasmine and Pear Bellini

The latest ala carte menu and cocktail programme is available now for lunch and dinner at Ding Dong.

For reservations, email enquries@dingdong.com.sg, or call +65 6557 0189.

DING DONG 

01-02, 115 Amoy Street, Singapore 069935

Mother’s Day Brunch @ Open Farm Community Singapore

Thinking about where to bring mum out for Mother’s Day? Singapore’s Open Farm Community – an urban community food project that brings together local farmers and chefs on a 35,000 sq ft plot of green land – is having a Mother’s Day Brunch to celebrate and honour the most important woman in our lives.

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The menu features new dishes andpairings by OFC’s new culinary team, head chef Oliver Truesdale-Jutras, sous chef Phoebe Oviedo, and Wine & Operations Manager, Phillippe Chin.

Look forward to hot favourites such as OFC Flatbread and OFC Brioche Burger, and
discover new favourites with Watermelon Wild Honey Salad (above), a refreshing sweet appetizer. There’s also Mama’s Laksa Pappardelle (below) a local favourite executed with a contemporary twist.

Other dishes available on the menu include Braised Canadian Pork Belly, House Beer Battered Baramundi, Citrus Cured Hamachi, and for dessert, Coconut Waffles and Buttermilk Pancakes.

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Pair these delectable dishes with a glass of natural wine from OFC’s extensive natural wine list or enjoy a unique cocktail concoction by Group Bartender, Joe Schofield.

Mums will receive complimentary handcrafted chocolate bonbons on Mother’s Day.

OPEN FARM COMMUNITY 

130E Minden Road
Singapore 248819

openfarmcommunity.com

Lewin Terrace Singapore Introduces New Japanese Inspired Spring Menu

Spring evokes new beginnings and cherry blossoms, and the transition between the old and the new. With this in mind, Lewin Terrace introduces a new Spring menu featuring opulent multi-course menus, that translates the essence of Japanese springtime through the use of seasonal ingredients.

Lewin Terrace Spring Menu

Chef de Cuisine Hiroyuki Shinkai actualises the concept of new beginnings and the crisp feeling of starting anew by centralising his new creations on a play between contrasting flavours and textures. Rich overtones, commonly associated with comforting stewed winter dishes, are juxtaposed with lighter, more acidic notes. Just as the new year signals a time for spring cleaning and change, the refreshing flavours invoke a sense of being cleansed internally.

Starting off with the lighter flavours are the two seafood centred appetisers.

Lewin Terrace Spring Menu

For the Seabream Carpaccio, a sheet of carrot, paper-thin, acts as the base. Marinated in amazu, a sweet and vinegary marinade, it provides a welcome crunch and tangy flavour to the dish. Slices of seabream sashimi are then draped across, with gold flakes and sakura peel encased in drops of dashi-infused jelly, and pieces of pickled pink cauliflowers are expertly positioned on top. As a contrast to both the light flavours of the dish, and the use of colourful petals as garnish, a sprinkle of black sesame powder completes the dish by lending its creamier texture to prevent one from being overpowered by the dish’s otherwise refreshing nature.

Lewin Terrace Spring Menu

Bringing a similar level of textural complexity is the Inverted Crabmeat Sandwich. Crab prepared in two different styles surround a thin sheet of pĂąte brik, a Tunisian pastry that is similar to Filo pastry but less flaky and more robust. Topped with uni, caviar, and a sprinkle of dried crab roe, this added richness, a hint of what is to come, is balanced out by the burst of pomegranate seeds which decorate the dish.

Lewin Terrace Spring Menu

Making the transition to heavier flavours is the Foie Gras Terrine. The spiced bread crumbs and celery root cream served on the side draws one’s attention to the centrepiece of the dish, the triangular-shaped foie gras. Paired with an American cherry compote coated with a vegetable gelatin derived from a type of red algae, Kappa, its sweetness successfully counters the richness of the foie gras terrine.

Lewin Terrace Spring Menu

The Wagyu Beef, smoked in oregano, whose flavour and scent only further entices people to the dish, continues the pattern of contrasting bitter notes with flashes of sweetness. Celery root makes another appearance in purée form and contributes to the astringent flavour delivered using seasonal root vegetables. Meanwhile, the red wine cream sauce lends its tartness to revitalising the taste buds. Together with thin slices of crystallised potato, the components of the dish come together to create a parade of textures, from the crunch of the root vegetables to the velvety smoothness of the red wine cream sauce.    

Lewin Terrace Spring Menu

Rounding up this gastronomical journey that reflects upon the events of the previous year whilst welcoming in the new is the Matcha Parfait. The dichotomy of the lighter-flavoured matcha ice cream and irresistibly soft, deeper-toned matcha warabi mochi effortlessly highlights the subtle, natural notes of matcha. Steamed adzuki beans, a popular accompaniment to matcha, is hidden beneath the matcha ice cream and mochi, complementing the latter’s umami profile. Along with a shower of chocolate crumble and a hot chocolate sauce drizzled at the table, this intricacy of flavours and textures echo the complexity of life, shaped by past and present experiences.

Lewin Terrace’s Spring Menus will be available from now til May 2018. To make a reservation, call +65 6333 9905, or e-mail reserve@lewinterrace.com.sg.

**Photos courtesy of Lewin Terrace