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Dim Sum @ Royal China, Raffles Hotel: So good!

Hello, happy Monday my friends! How was your weekend? I had two good eats over the weekend. First was Dim Sum at Royal China in Raffles Hotel, it became the perfect post-run nourishment, and the other was a superb Sunday Roast that defeated me from Level 33 at Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1.

Have you guys had Dim Sum from RC before? My go-to dim sum spot had always been Imperial Treasure (be it at the Paragon Peking Duck branch or Noodle & Congee at 100am or Ion Orchard). Until Royal China, I did not think dim sum could be sublime. Obviously, I had been living in a hole. RC disproved my narrow-minded view. Having said that, not every piece of dim sum at RC was stunning and the Tiffany-blue decor could not have been more unappetizing. Quite frankly, the colour cheapened the restaurant. But there was some seriously good exquisite pieces that would make me ignore the decor, and return in a heartbeat.

The most stunning dish that afternoon was the Baked BBQ Pork Puff (two sets in the picture). For our table of 7 persons, we ordered four sets of it because this shiny golden pastry, with its crispy flaky exterior and generous fragrant pork filling, was so.damn.good! I still dream about this.

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Deep-fried yam puff with Scallop in Portuguese Sauce (two portions) was surprisingly DELICIOUS! Expectedly crisp and light crust, it was the utterly appetizing portguese sauce embracing the whole scallop inside that will make me order this again!

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Other notable dim sum pieces we had were the: Steamed Bun With Salted Egg Yolk and Fresh Mango Juice (the mango juice was notably absent but the bun was so damn tender and fluffy with the generous strong salted egg yolk, definitely a must-order. In any case, isn’t the pairing of salted egg yolk with mango juice equally as strange to you?), the Royal China Dough Fritter Chee Cheong Fun (the rice noodle roll was a tad thick but paired with the thick deep-fried dough fritter, heavenly), the Har Gow (steamed prawn dumpling was snappy and with two prawns, another stunning eat), and, not pictured, the Pork Siew Mai with a wolfberry adorning each pork piece was another must-order. Chockful of pork, prawns and mushroom, kudos to RC for not only NOT screwing up this classic but made it remarkable.

IMG_6345A surprising miss was the Baked Egg Tarts. Neither sweet nor decernible in any taste, it was a waste of calories.

A surprising hit was this fried fishling/ seafood thing topped with crispy batter and spring onions and chilli. A wrong order but so addictive. We could not stop picking at it. I still have no idea what this is but do show this picture to the waitress and she will most likely know. 

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For dessert, the Red Bean Pancake was like what the food blogs have been saying for ages, not good with its thick skin. But it seems RC still stands by their rendition of this classic Chinese dessert. I did enjoy the rich and smooth red bean filling though.

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A great meal at Royal China, my tired legs certaintly recovered quickly and I can’t wait to go back for more.

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Sear 50RP: I Love It!

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There is a new steakhouse in town!! OBVIOUSLY my usual busybody self had to check it out ASAP. Just across the road from my office on the 45th level of Singapore Land Tower, you might have heard of the extravagant $6,000 Steak with Caviar? Obviously I wasn’t having that. Sear has a great set lunch menu: 2 courses for $29 or 3 for $36. When I read about the set lunch last Sunday in the newspapers, I immediately changed the location of my business lunch and reserved a table.

What a good decision! Us five girls thoroughly enjoyed our meal! Flavourful well-executed dishes and the service staff were so, so eager to please. I am returning next Wednesday and I CANNOT WAIT!

Reporting from lunch today. The Set Lunch Menu.

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Two of us got the Chopped House Salad to begin with. We were impressed with the gold cutleries.

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I loved my perfectly seasoned salad. The rectangular-shaped potatoes were coated in fragrant Wholegrain Mustard. There was a beetroot jus underneath the lettuce which provided a beautiful sweet quality.

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One of us got the Dry Aged Steak Tartare (Supplement $8). Raw beef lovers will thoroughly enjoy this with seasoning separated to adjust to your own tastebuds.

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Another two got the Pira Grilled Foie Gras. With NO supplement required, this was so worth it!

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We all got the Classic Steak Frites for the main course. Some of us enjoyed the peppery gravy but some did not. Some liked the Fries seasoning, some didn’t but we ALL LOVED the smoky charred steak. My juicy medium-rare steak was perfection.

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We shared a Chocolate Mudpie that was served with Cinnamon Ice-cream. Not the best dessert in town but who cares, the steak was SO GOOD!

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The restaurant was beautiful!

The Bar area upon walking in…

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The first part of the dining area…

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Turning into the corner…

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So much light, good food, great service, can’t wait for next Wednesday!

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Lunch @ Google Singapore & An Office Tour

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I had lunch at Google this afternoon!!! How exciting is that?! I, like everyone, have heard sooo much about their offices around the world. It is supposed to be fun, totally unique to each country it is located in, and un-corporate-like. Google Singapore definitely lived up to the reputation. It is funny because the Singapore office is located in Asia Square Towers 1 where Citibank is a dominant tenant. I am sure both offices are a complete contrast.

Google Singapore was everything I expected and more! The staff facilities were OUT OF THIS WORLD, and the air was densed and heavy with the smell of freedom and carefree vibes! But first, the main reason why I was there: Lunch.

You might have heard of the legendary cafeteria food at Google Silicon Valley. Well apparently Google provides very well for their staff around the world too. There is even a Chef in the Google Singapore’s cafeteria! My newfound friend works in Google and one day he asked if some of us would like to lunch at his office. WELL HELLO, why yes!!! I cleared my whole week’s calendar just so he could choose whichever day was good for him. He picked today, the date was set, and I eagerly awaited Google-day!

This little Android greeted me at the lobby!

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I signed up at a machine in the lobby, got a badge printed out and my friend led me to the cafeteria. I nearly passed out! It was BUFFET-style!

IMG_6278A large island for Salad and Cheese…

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Salad options…

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The variety was INCREDIBLE! I would return just for the Salad Bar.

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On one side was the open-plan kitchen and a line of hot dishes…

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Another side was Indian food and Noodles Soup.

IMG_6279There was a good mix of Chinese and Western food, and the selection rotates daily. To be honest, the food wasn’t the most delicious but the variety more than made up for that flaw. Google staff are fed very well and healthily too. Both brown and white rice were served and there was a good mix of animal proteins and vegetables. The dishes (save for the fried potato waffles) neither felt oily nor heavy.

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Of all the cooked dishes, I did took a liking to this Chinese Spiced Pork and Eggplant stew and Bak Kut Teh soup!

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There was a bread corner with a toaster at the side and all-you-can-eat President butter.

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For dessert, all you can eat cut fruits, mini pastries and cakes, and…

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Ice-cream!

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For drinks, there were fresh vegetables and fruits just for the Blender or Juice Presser. They were next to the fresh Orange juice presser.

IMG_6276If fresh juices are not your thing, pick from the chiller of canned and carton drinks.

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Then make your way to the Kopitiam-style sitting area and enjoy your lunch.

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This was my first plate.

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And my second (with the de-bonned Pork ribs from the BKT Soup). I definitely enjoyed the Salad Bar the most!

IMG_6277After lunch, we tried to burn off some calories by embarking on an office tour. It was incredible!!! Every space, wall and ceiling was spared no expense and decked out!

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 The “Mini” Gym…

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Printing areas were named after drinks like Kopi-O and Milo-peng! Too funny. This Office Navigation Map just showed how much fun Google staff must have everyday – there is even a Napping Corner!

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Meeting rooms were not spared and humourously-named too.

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And there were different types of “meeting rooms” like these Google Orient Express. Again, so much fun!

IMG_6296The pantries were a right killer with the divine Cookies! We incurred more calories here…

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I would return just for the cookies.

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Then lo and behold, we walked into another Cafeteria! This was smaller and Park-themed. Sandwiches with hotdog buns were the dominant food here.

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Oh, and this heavenly Spread-shelf was spotted.

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My friend had a good time with the Tuk-tuk!

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Anyone thinking of changing jobs too?

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A Sunday Roast Lunch @ The Tavern, The Tanglin Club

Get a load of that, my friends! A Sunday Roast lunch on a Friday. I can not think of a better way to end the long week!

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A slab of Roast Beef (Lady’s Cut, medium-rare) – I graciously slurped up the fats, baked potato complete with as much sour cream and bacon bits as you like, an airy Yorkshire Pudding, two huge dallops of Horseradish (whose pepperiness caused me to tear) and Dijon Mustard. Pure heaven!

Before that, we hit up the Bread Table…

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Grabbed a handful of the flat Bread sticks, heated some slices of bread (the cranberry was divine).

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My lunch companion got this local Kway Teow Noodle Soup. The fish cakes in the chalky soup looked most inviting.

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Then we had dessert. The famous Apple “Pie”. Arrives with a flaky pastry lid on a glass bowl of apple compote.

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The impossibly light and flaky lid was lifted up to be set aside.

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Then the apples poured out and it will be ready to be eaten.

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Delicious!

I am so lucky to have a mentor who is a member of the club.

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Kisses Bakery’s Cupcakes: I’m Obsessed!

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Before my obsession with Doughnuts, it was Cupcakes. My first love. I still hold fond memories of my cupcake hunt in New York City years ago. Back then I devoured 18 cupcakes in a single week. On one particular morning, I had three Magnolia Bakery cupcakes for my first breakfast. Good times!

Last night, my love for Cupcakes was definitely unfailing despite the trend dying off (in the USA, at least). My dear Mother and Sister kindly took away three cupcakes from Kisses Bakery for me. It was my sister’s company’s Anniversary party and 48 cupcakes were at the party. Thank goodness I could not make it! If I were to put my paws on them, there will none left for anyone else.

When they picked me up after the party, I squealed with delight at the tupperware containing the three cupcakes. In the space of less than half hour, I devoured the Red Velvet, Strawberry White Chocolate, and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. What first struck me was how moist and velvety tender the cupcakes were! I felt as if I was biting in to a fluffy cloud. On my first bite, I was immediately transported back to my NYC-days when every cupcake was divine in texture and spot-on in flavour. And the next amazing component was the Buttercream. ALL THREE were smooth and light. Seriously good whipping effort there. Every bite of the fluffy cupcake was beautifully contrasted with the light airy buttercream.

My favourite was the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. Described as a “peanut butter cake studded with dark chocolate chips topped with peanut butter buttercream and dark chocolate drizzle“, on first bite, it felt like Skippy Peanut Butter exploded in my mouth. I was swooning at every bite; in love with every bite. I have, officially, a sick obssession with Cupcakes, and I am not afraid to proclaim it. You can all move on to the Cronuts, Doughnuts, and other sweetlings. I will be right here enjoying my cupcakes.

Furthermore with such good cupcakes, I can just save my effort in baking and head down to their Tiong Bahru Bakery or, even better, GET THEM DELIVERED!

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Yummy Nonya Peranakan @ Golden Shoe Food Centre: Yums Indeed!

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This was YUMMY!!! Lunch from Yummy Nonya Peranakan saved me from a Green-Juice-rut. One afternoon, after days of slurping down home made green smoothies, I swore I would puke if I ingested any green stuff. I needed brown food so I rushed to the closest Hawker Centre near my Office: Golden Shoe. The smell of lard and smoke overwhelming the Hawker Centre immediately comforted my soul. If you work in Raffles Place, you will know that lunch hour means long queues at every popular stall in the two-storey hawker centre. I was so desperate for food, I headed to the stall with no queue: Yummy Nonya Peranakan. I was too hungry and short of sugar for “warning” signs – that the stall might not be good – to be raised. It turned out to be my lucky afternoon!

Displayed on two shelves were the most enticing variety of Peranakan food; distinctive from their multi-coloured curries. All the curries looked arrestingly thick and rich – my kind of food. I took one look at the hunky Chicken Drumstick and knew it was mine! What a great choice. It was HUGE, impossibly juicy and tender, and so steeped with the flavour of the curry! I had a tough time choosing the accompanying vegetables but settled on a Sambal Goreng (deep-fried Tempeh: fermented soybean cake, with tofu and green beans), and a Green Stir-fried Kailan. Extra sambal chilli was demanded. 

I was shocked to find my lunch cost me $5. A tad expensive considering other Vegetable Rice stalls in Golden Shoe charge between $3 to 4 for the same number and type of dishes. But what the heck, I should not be complaining! Every component on my plate was so beautifully aromatic and downright delicious. Definitely returning!

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The Pelican: O.K. Food But Great Date Spot!

If you have been reading Thateconomist for a while, you may have noticed that updates recently have been slow and few. It is as if my epic trip to Europe last month rendered me intolerant to gastronomic food. Not exactly. I do apologize for the lack of updates for these days I have been preoccupied with Dating.

Yup, for the first time ever (and at a grand old age of 27 years old), I have decided to dive head-on into the world of dating and engage in this “game” I normally only experienced as an audience of Television Shows. At the same time, I realised the quest to get to know someone means the need for sublime food has also (shockingly) taken a backseat. The atmosphere of an eatery to encourage chatting is of paramount importance. I know. This may slowly turn into a food blog that features subpar food. But I promise you, crap food that evidently “cheats” our hard-earned money will not be featured here.

If there is one thing I learnt so far is that spontaneity and flexibility are crucial elements for a successful date. One Friday evening, my initial plan to have a quiet night in was, in the last hour of work, overturned and I found myself arranging for a dinner date with someone. But it seemed in Singapore, no reservations meant an almost zero chance of scoring a nice dating spot. The dining scene in Singapore does not seem to support spontaneity but it sure does not hinder flexiblity. 

That Friday evening, my date night at The Pelican was a perfect example on how my priorities have shifted. The food was o.k. and bordered on lacklustre but I still made a mental note to place the Restaurant on my “Date Spot” list.

When my date, pleased with the website and google results, at 6.30pm called the Restaurant, it was unable to take our 8pm reservation. But we threw caution to the wind and continued to make our way there at 8 to “try our luck”. The Restaurant did reiterate the lack of available tables but upon spotting the stunning bar with its long row of empty seats, they happily obliged with my delight to settle for that. Sitting higher up and with an overview of the whole indoor restaurant, I could easily observe all the diners AND available tables. Yes, there were available tables. Throughout the night, three(!) two-persons tables were unoccupied. That was puzzling. Why didn’t they suggest we move down at any point throughout our four-hour dinner?

Whatever! I was sitting in a beautiful luxe restaurant with a date who enjoyed the view of Marina Bay Sands. The evening could not have gone better when I realised my date firmly believed in “sharing” food too. Score for Miss YYC!

That night, we had The Pelican Burger (chopped steak, smoked ketchup, fries), Old Fashioned Crab Cakes (with quick pickle slaw), and a Blue Cheese Creamed Spinach. Another score for sharing the same preference for food!

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When the food arrived, immediately I noticed something “missing”. They looked stark on the serving plates.

The Pelican Burger was not a bad burger with its perfect medium-rare and juicy steak patty and the two plushy buns. However the patty was a tad thin and bland. It was patently clear condiments were needed since the flavours could not match up. If I (or my date on his company’s account) was going to fork out $35 on a burger, a hulky and messy affair was to be expected. The accompanying fat chips stacked up like Jenga blocks were beyond cute but could have been more crisp. Plus it got a tad heavy after just one.

Not Burger Perfection.

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The petite Old Fashioned Crab Cakes with quick pickle slaw definitely fared better and on our good books for the evening with its chunks of crab meat and crisp exterior. But the aioli below was forgettable and puny crab cakes seemed as if the $24 was for the pickled slaw.

The Blue Cheese Creamed Spinach was, in my opinion, poorly executed. I missed the smokiness of the blue cheese terribly and the large unevenly melted cubes looked coarse and unappetizing.

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We skipped dessert as the savouries did not encourage us to be more adventurous.

The food at The Pelican may have been less than stellar but the service behind the bar was so efficient and the restaurant so so beautiful with the scenic outdoor seating. It was so hard for me to fault them for the food. I will return but will you ever read my blog again?