A Luxurious Afternoon Affair with The Westin Singapore’s Seafood & Champagne Tea!

When your heart desires for a short mid-day getaway, or a weekend afternoon spent simply chilling in the luxurious comforts of a five-star hotel lobby bar, The Westin Singapore’s Seafood and Afternoon Champagne Tea at the Lobby Lounge is one escapade to go for.

Priced at an attractive $85++ for two (and an additional 10% off for the month of October), guests can tuck in to a three-course Afternoon Tea set which includes a whole Lobster Thermidor to share over a glass of champagne. Seafood features strongly on the menu with highlights including the Lobster and Mushroom Torchoon, Trio of Sashimi, Crab Salad sandwiches, and the fiery and peppery Black pepper and Sesame Crust Tuna.

Without a doubt, the Lobster Thermidor was the highlight on the menu. Nothing but short gasps ensued around our table. Elegantly plated, the lobster and the gorgeous topping of melted torched cheese was simply a visual spectacle. In addition to the Lobster, each diner will enjoy (unfortunately) 1 oyster each served with a choice of three sauces – champagne dressing, lychee bourbon, and lime and shallot vinaigrette. With three dressings, you would have expected three oysters per person. Wouldn’t want to let that beautiful sauces go to waste, would you?

To wrap up the afternoon of decadent delights, indulge in an assortment of sweet treats. I was particularly struck by the Truffle Cupcakes. Aromatic and with truffle bits scattered throughout, this would have been a delight if the cupcake didn’t stick so much to the wrapping. I thoroughly enjoyed the other options of Pistachio Cherry Cheesecake, Tiramisu Shooters, Baked Chocolate and Walnut Brownie and the Duo of Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. Needless to say, the Blueberry Lime-Scented Mango Tart was a particular favourite for tart-loving me.

My guest and I enjoyed the Seafood and Champagne Afternoon Tea. It was a decadent afternoon, and the very comfortable ambience was perfect to catch up with old friends. $85++ for two is a worthy amount to pay considering that one would get quite a lavish spread. That said, the deal would probably be sweetened further if complimentary tea/coffee was also part of the afternoon tea set. Guests do have the option, however, of swapping out their choice of champagne for tea or coffee. In all, a delightful afternoon, with delicious tidbits to heartily keep one satiated along the way.

Thank you The Westin Singapore for the invitation.

The Westin Singapore
Level 32

12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2
Singapore 018961

Reservations: 6922 6988
Website 

Seafood Afternoon Champagne Tea
$85++ for two persons, inclusive of a glass of champagne each

$130++ for two persons, inclusive of a bottle of champagne

Available Mon to Fri 2.30pm to 5pm
Weekends 2pm to 4pm; 4.30pm to 6.30pm

Reservations required

Promotion:
10% off on weekdays till 31st October 2017

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Singapore’s First Premium Japan Farmers Market Now Open At Changi Airport!

If you are at Changi Airport and are set to return home or make a trip aboard to visit some friends or family members, and are contemplating a little gift or sourvenir from Japan, the Premium Japan Farmers Market located at Terminal 3 might just make it on your pre-departure or arrival itinerary.

I was recently at the grand opening of the Market, and there was much fanfare throughout. With taiko drums heralding the start of the festivities, all guests were treated to an assortment of the shop’s produce, each in bite-sized portions. I was certainly piqued to the store’s offerings!

Pitched as an authentic Japanese farm-to-table concept, with authentic and premium Japanese produce, sake, and beautifully wrapped Omiyage for sale, this is one store that will leave visitors a little more delighted after a visit. In additional, there will be a petite selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables such as Kyoho grapes, Shine Muscat grapes, radishes and apples. Meat lovers must look forward to a special selection of vacuum-sealed Wagyu beef from Zen-noh Wagyu, Saga Gyu, Tochigi Wagyu and Hokkaido Snow Beef.

Customers who are also keen to build their own Go-Zen box (aka Bento box, premium style) can choose 4 items from a variety of 25 dishes – a dizzying 12000 combinations! Tuck in to items such as A5 Sagagyu-katsu, shirobuta pork, scallops, ikura, Hokkaido potato salad, Kagoshima pork tonkatsu, Avocado gratin, Snow beef croquette, Snow beef cube steak, Snow beef hamburger with egg, and more! A definitely exciting concept, and perhaps best for that pre-departure meal – though I wonder how filling the entire Go-Zen box would be.

The Market is certainly an additional reason to swing by Terminal 3 if you are ever at Changi Airport. It is now open at the public departure area of Changi Airport Terminal 3. I guess that this is one more stop I will make on the itinerary before I fly off later this month.

Premium Japan Farmers Market
Changi Airport Terminal 3
#02-94

Enquiries: 6581 2667

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LeVeL 33 Teases A Promising New Menu Inspired by Brewing Techniques!

A stunning view, gorgeously plated dishes, delicious beers brewed in-house, and maybe a glass of sweet wine to end the night: LeVeL 33 at Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1 is probably one of those places in Singapore you would want to visit for that great night’s out to impress and unwind!

Yet for all that is already exciting, LeVeL 33 has refreshed its menu lineup! Starting this month, the microbrewery, already famous for its crafts beers made in house by its resident brewmaster Gabriel Garcia, is taking a leaf out of the brewmaster’s handbook to incorporate brewing techniques within each dish that is created.

Executive Chef Jimi Tegerdine akins this move as a revisit to the “heart of LeVeL 33’s DNA”. Dishes are inspired, and crafted, out of the brewing process, with an idea to elevate the accompanying drinking experience. It is in essence a marrying of the two key strengths of the microbrewery and restaurant. With visions for such harmony, high expectations are set. Yet for the deep talks about harmonizations being highlighted, there was still little clarity on how the incorporation or inspiration of brewing techniques have necessarily made things different. Nevertheless, in terms of the dishes’ flavour, presentation styles, the accompaniment of delectable drinks, LeVeL 33 definitely does not disappoint!

Impressive Starters – Go for the Japanese Deep-Sea Crab

Dinner got off to a great start with the Japanese Deep-Sea Crab ($28++; tasting portion depicted) that featured a play on both flavours and textures. The crab legs were poached in butter and served alongside variations of corn. With inspiration taken from the microbrewery’s brewing tube, one variant saw the creation of a corn cannelloni sitting alongside nicely with slices of charred corn and a smattering of popped corn. A wonderful presentation! In particular, I found the use of intense, acidic rich lime-gel beautiful. It was gorgeously paired with the sweet crab, cutting through the flavours every now and then. The toasted curry leaves sprinkled over the top also lifted the dish a notch, and lent a delicate spice to what would otherwise be a different dish altogether.

The Hokkaido Scallop ($27++; tasting portion depicted) that was served next looked like something that was served straight out of a landscape painting. Presented in bold strokes, and layered with two to three tones of colour, the scallops invoked pause for appreciation. Lighty poached in dashi, and then served with orange caviar made from agar and blood orange juice, together with a sprinkling of bonito flakes on the top, the scallops were left meaty, sweet and clearly the highlight of the ‘painting’.

Leaping forward with a delightful Kangaroo beetroot main!

Before I get into the what was a personal highlight of the meal, vegetarians would be delighted to know that the Truffled Kumara ($28++; tasting portion depicted) is one main that they can look out for. In fact, the needs and sensitivities of special diets can largely be catered by the restaurant’s kitchen – one would simply need to ask and inform the staff beforehand. That said, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the Truffled Kumara. Although the idea of Kumara sweet potatoes served three ways with trumpet mushroom, sake-fermented leek and truffles sounded exceptionally appetizing, I did not take to the oily sweet potato leaf. The ‘ravioli’ made from sweet potato was also a touch uninspiring, and rather ‘flat’ in my opinion.

I am glad that the popular Kangaroo dish from LeVeL 33 will be left on the menu ($37++; tasting portion depicted)! Kangaroo loin is firstly sous-vide for 10 hours, before it is removed and char-grilled. The portion of meat is then garnished with slivers of beetroot leather, drops of beetroot vinaigrette and puree, and then served alongside a turnip puree. There was a nice smokiness from the grill, and the sous-vide method of cooking ensured that the kangaroo loin remained juicy and tender. Not exceptionally gamey and yet brimming with a subtle intensity of savouriness and the occasional rooted sweetness, I marvelled at the simplicity of this dish. Just a slight shame that the tasting portion and the overt use of beetroot vinaigrette made it all look a touch ‘bloody’. Rest assured that the original portion is much more vibrant and delectable!

One main to share amongst a table of 2-3 is the NY Strip ($135++; original portions depicted). 8-weeks dry-aged French sirloin is lightly roasted to a beautiful medium-rare and then sliced into meaty portions which are then recommended with sides of Butternut Squash ($15++; original portions depicted) and Spinach ($15++; original portions depicted). I am an advocate of LeVeL 33’s butternut squash: sweet, wholesome; and utterly satisfying, it was a perfect accompaniment and staple to the steak.

Desserts kept simple and satisfying!

For the new menu, LeVeL 33 has also crafted, specially, a selection of desserts to lend a sweet smile to diners around the table. Cereal ($13.50; tasting portion depicted), made from shaved macadamias, beer malt praline, almond milk mousse and lemon curd, has been touted as a must try at the restaurant! Light but decadent, the dessert was a homely affair in rounding up the meal with notes of delicate sweetness, and, a satisfactory creamy indulgence.

Alternatively, if you are in the mood for something along the lines of refreshing clarity, go for the Strawberry ($15++; tasting portion depicted). Bits of home-made meringue is plated with a strawberry syrup glazed around a scoop of sorrel ice cream. However, as I was lactose intolerant, the kitchen kindly created for me a portion of sorbet and berries dusted with icing sugar as a sweet treat to finish the night!

Beers, Cocktails, or Wine?

Being a microbrewery, LeVeL 33’s has quite a good selection of craft beers, all made in-house. My favourite had to go to the Session Pale Ale – a creation that though low on alcohol, was remarkably crisp and exceptionally delicious to savour. For the dinner, we had a flight of beers to partake in: Lager, the seasonal Session pale ale, the English IPA, the German Wheat Beer, and the English IPA. A remarkable range, and exceptionally heartening to know that the beer is fresh straight from the tap.

If, however, beers are not your thing, the restaurant does offer quite a decent selection of cocktails. For the night, I partook, first, in a glass of Sundown ($23++). Made from Canadian Club, passion fruit syrup, fresh kumquat and soda, this was probably one refreshing drink to beat Singapore’s sweltering heat. The Skylight ($23++) was made from Ketel One, spicy mango syrup, fresh lime, white sugar and soda. Indeed, as the ingredients would have suggested, this concoction definitely had a lot more zing and zest in each sip.

And if the desserts on the menu doesn’t strike your fancy, there is always the option to tuck in to, and to my surprise, a beautiful selection of sweet wines. I ordered the Zweigelt Tschida ‘Schilfwein’ ($20++ per glass/ $92++ per bottle). Hailing from the Neusiedlersee region in Austria, this particular selection of fruity dessert wine was remarkably crisp, luscious, with just the right balance of honeyed notes and floral scent. Even though LeVeL 33 is hailed as a microbrewery, I would definitely pay a closer attention to the wine list the next time round!

Verdict: Deserves a return visit!

LeVeL 33 at MBFC Tower 1 certainly has my seal of approval as the place to visit for great food, great drink, and great scenery. Though not all the dishes on the new menu were distinct hits, the overall quality and flavour makes the dining experience notable. And the best part to complement the entire meal? A sublime selection of desserts and drinks. An overall package that the restaurant can be proud to say is their own!

Thank you LeVeL 33 for the invitation.

LeVeL 33
8 Marina Boulevard #33-01
Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1
Singapore 018981

Reservations: 6834 3133
Website

Opens Daily
Mon to Thu 11.30am to Midnight
Fri to Sat 11.30am to 2am
Sun 12pm to Midnight
Eve of PH – Restaurant closes at 2am
PH – Restaurant opens at 12pm

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Decadent Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet at Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Singapore!

Seasonal Tastes at The Westin Singapore is proud to launch their weekly decadent, gourmet buffet delight – the Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet! With a stunning view of Singapore’s Marina Bay and the South China Sea through the restaurant’s ceiling-high windows from the 32nd floor of Asia Square Tower 2, diners are promised a spectacular afternoon away from the crowds.

Featuring a smorgasbord of mouthwatering delights, tuck in to a generous selection of fresh seafood, roasts, classic international brunch dishes, local and regional favourites, all on top a free-flow selection of champagne, wine, beer, selected cocktails and soft drinks! The champagne brunch buffet is available every Sunday at $148++ or at $88++ (with only one glass of champagne or drink of your choice). And without further ado, here are some gorgeous pictures to whet your appetite further.

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Yantra – A Shining Gem of Fine Indian Cuisine Crafted by Chef Hemant Oberoi

A Wonderful and Happy Lunar New Year to all my readers! After a snazzy 2016 and a month’s break in January, there is certainly much to look forward to in this year ahead. The past one year has been great for this website. After about 9 years running, I am pleased to formally welcome three new contributors to this website. There is Elliot who is both skilled in his writing and as a chef in his personal kitchen. There is Benjamin who delivers fresh insight and a new-found appreciation for food that speaks to his values as he sails the seas. And there is Tom who simply wishes to savour the moment and introduce the best just for you. Look out for their articles as we make our way through 2017! It brings me with great pleasure then to also start the new year with one of the finest contemporary Indian restaurants that I’ve discovered here in Singapore.

Yantra, the eight year old fine dining Indian restaurant at the Tanglin Mall, is now a proud partner with the famed Chef Hemant Oberoi, the former Grand Executive Chef of the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai. After a series of chefs that were part of the Yantra mantle, Chef Oberoi has now entered and revamped the menu to feature a more artisanal, contemporary Indian fare that is refined and layered with flavour. For the prestige and nuanced touch that Chef Oberoi inspires into the menu, it is no wonder then that one must be prepared to pay a premium. But for the experience to taste a repertoire that has once graced the plates and palates of dignitaries like the Clintons and the Obamas, this might be a journey well worth it.

Continue reading “Yantra – A Shining Gem of Fine Indian Cuisine Crafted by Chef Hemant Oberoi”

Sumptuous Hokkaido Harvests Buffet Returns to Triple Three, Mandarin Orchard!

hokkaidoharvestmorchard2016

Triple Three at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore is set to bring back, for a limited time only, its gastronomically amazing Hokkaido Harvest buffet! From 19 to 30 October 2016, be enthralled with some of the freshest sushi and sashimi specially flown in from Hokkaido. Look out for favourites such as the scallop and hamachi, and of course indulge in portions of King Crab (Taraba-gani) and Snow Crab (Zuwai Gani).

New on the menu this year are mouthwatering items such as the luscious Onsen Tamago with Uni (Soft Boiled Egg with Sea Urchin) and the Kani Miso Gratin. And this is not forgetting robtayaki dishes from the Wagyu, Hokkaido Beef Curry, to the Madara Agedashi Shirako.  Continue reading “Sumptuous Hokkaido Harvests Buffet Returns to Triple Three, Mandarin Orchard!”