Wednesday Shenanigans at The Exchange, Asia Square Tower

Wednesday nights is a god’s gift to women who love a good drink. That’s because it’s Ladies Night in Singapore!!! Well, in most Raffles Place-area bars at least. However some like the Vault have theirs on Thursdays. The Exchange at Asia Square Tower was one of the first bars to supply a FREE flow of Martinis just for ladies on Wednesday Nights. They didn’t just supply, they brought out the works. There are always three different flavours of Martinis and one could always be assured of them ready to refill your plastic glasses from 6 to 9pm. Always. I first went in 2012 and it was this exact bar that honed my drinking skills. After a while, I could drink six Martinis and still walk straight. I can assure you those Martinis alcohol were not weak.

For such a good deal, it did not take long for smart girls to catch on for the Bar is is now jam packed every Wednesday. And surprisingly a lot of men. A lot. More men than women. Even Boys Night Out at The Exchange doesn’t draw these boys out as much as Wednesdays.

The concept here is simple. Go to a small outdoor table near the huge entrance and grab a martini glass with a stamp X on your left wrist. Then make your way to the opposite bar to queue up and choose from three flavours.

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Martinis here are weirdly and sometimes scarily coloured but they taste surprisingly good. This evening’s selection was Cosmopolitan (the bright pink) and Melon (yellow), there was a bright blue drink that was lime-flavoured. It tasted better than it looked.

By the way, The Exchange is also a restaurant and food served here is surprisingly good! I celebrated my birthday here last year and my friends and I were so satisfied with our steak. But these days, I’m always too full up with the drinks to eat any of the Truffle Parmesan Fries or the deep-fried Chicken Wings with a nice healthy batter surrounding it.

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This evening, I hit up the Bar with my girl, Wid. I called her out for drinks in the late afternoon and she quickly agreed; spontaneous – my type of good friend! It was a good night for us girls :)

Around the Internet: Midweek Recap

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Hello my friends, I have been reading so many wonderful articles around the internet in the past few days that I simply can not wait until the end of the week to share them with you.

A review on Blogshop at Home by one of my favourite London Bloggers, UrbanPixxels. An online class on working with Photoshop to create the chic-est blog templates and pictures. Each class cost close to US$300 and I am soo tempted to sign up for the August 23/24 class. Should I?

The Pressery: a cold pressed juice company in London dedicated to just cold pressed Almond Milk. It sounds delicious and the packaging of the bottle is so chic!

Need a baking inspiration? How about a Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberry Glaze?

Not into baking, how about homemade white cardamom & lavender milk jam?

Cold off the Press: The Spicy Gazpacho sounds scrumptious!

Summer Hostess Gifts - I’m hosting a brunch this Monday, is it greedy to secretly wish my guests will get something off this list for me?

Stunning.Swimming.Pools.

A sumptuous lunch @ Enoteca L’Operetta

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This afternoon, I was taken to Entoca L’Operetta where my companions and I indulged in a three-course fine-dining French delight. All the dishes were rightly seasoned with harmonious contrasting textures and flavours aplenty. What a treat! The restaurant, along Boat Quay, is narrow but long with some unusual art pieces adorning the walls. The seats were luxurious and comfortable! We were led to a table at the very end of the restaurant but right underneath an air-conditioning unit. I was quickly freezing to my bones. I tried to take my mind off the cold by concentraing on the middle-eastern-looking table runner but it was not very successful. In my mind, I was begging to be let out into the unbearably warm weather outside.

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When a basket of fresh toasted homemade foccacia bread finally arrived on our table, I nearly yelled out with joy but this is a fine-dining restaurant y’all so I took a slice and channeled my spurt of energy on to the bread in front of me.

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This place serves some very fine complimentary bread. This photo was taken at a bad angle because on the other side was cheese baked on top of the bread. This bread was divine and not because it warmed me up very quickly. The salty cheesy crust on top and the bottom were so crunchy but the middle was all herby, soft, tender, and fluffy. Beautiful contrasting textures! I made full use of the spongey middle by moping up all the olive oil and vinegar on my little side plate. You would have thought I haven eaten in a month! It was very hard to resist a second slice but I had three more courses to go so I resorted to staring longingly at the last slice in the basket.  

Next up was a small complimentary plate of salad to further whet our appetite.

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Some simple arugula and salad leaves lightly dressed with olive oil and shaven cheese. Cute plate but really, just bring on my lunch…

Which was quickly served… For starters, a Salmon Tartare with Sour Cream

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The neatly cubed salmon was marinated lightly in olive oil and was all smoky and salty. Contrasting the tartare was the thick and rich disk of sour cream filled with herbs. Accompanying the two stars of the dish were finely-sliced radish and citrus fruits which provided some sweet tanginess. All in all, a very exciting starter that left me very impressed.

Then the main course arrived and I was blown away by the plate presented before me: Australian Wagyu Beef Tagliata with Potato, Rucola and Rocket Salad.

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Don’t the beef slices look absolutely stunning to you?!?! It was an arresting sigh to behold! How could I have ever thought about becoming a vegetarian or go vegan just for a week? Criminal thoughts. Presented on the plate were two types of salt, pepper, a wedge of lemon, and lightly drizzled with sweet balsamic vinegar. With these extra DIY seasonings, the main course was no doubt going to be tasty. But all that prettiness, I did not even want to start eating for fear of destroying it but I did and I was glad. The beef was all tender and smoky, and no surprises for the perfectly char grilled beef which resulted in a crusty side. It was a delicious memorable plate. I reckon this course alone was worth the $38++ price tag.

For dessert, a simple Italian Tiramisu.

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The portion was tiny and the ratio of mascaporne cream to soaked biscuit was 3:1 but my friends, this dessert was a heartbreaker! The mascaporne cream part was thick, smooth and luscious; it danced in my mouth. The well-soaked savoiardi ladyfinger biscuits had gone all velvety – a deep contrast with the smooth cream; every mouthful picked at my senses. Oh what a delightful dessert! The perfect sweet ending to lunch. 

And at the end of lunch, look what I spotted?!

20140722-141202-51122595.jpgThe tablecloth being ironed straight by a wireless iron. Now, that’s impressive!

The Good Films Weekend

Grand budapestHow was your weekend? I was at home relaxing and lazing around for most parts. However it was not a wasted weekend as I rented two movies and watched both on each day; The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Monuments Men. Both were very very good. My Mum and I specially rented Wes Anderson’s latest film; she had not watched it before and was very keen after hearing good reviews. Despite my second time, I am happy to write that it was still as good as my first time. I felt the same merriment from the quirky film with its whimsical music and beautiful costumes! The Zubrowka Policeman’s grey uniform is still my favourite of them all.   grand-budapest-hotel-edward-norton-1And of course, this delicious scene was my favourite. :)

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The Monuments Men was surprisingly captivating and now I regret not watching it in the cinema. I really should not have trusted the poor reviews. The film follows an allied army group nicknamed the “Monuments Men”, who were tasked with finding and saving pieces of art and other culturally important items before their destruction by the Nazis then later the Soviets during World War II. Watch them run around most of Europe risking their lives to protect the art from being taken away, figure out the ingenious hiding places, and at the same time having to beat the Soviets who wanted the precious art as reparations for having lost 20 million soldiers. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and was profoundly affected by the last-ditched efforts of the SS officers to destroy the art work when Germany surrended!

The film is loosely based on a non-fictional book but did you know the movie is almost true to the real life? There is a National Geographic documentary on the true story with scene from the movie and interviews by George Clooney and Matt Damon as well! Do watch Hunting Hitlers Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men below, if you are as obsessed as me!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2MSmogbyC8

 

For my family’s Sunday lunch, we took away hawker food to eat at home. This was a wise choice as it was a warm and humid afternoon in Singapore.

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My sister went to Shufu Road Market and Food Centre and got us delicious Fried Hokkien Noodles and a trio of traditonal Cantonese roast meat: duck, pork belly and char siew. The Hokkien Mee, a dish of egg noodles and rice noodles in a fragrant prawn stock with the addition of shrimps, squid, and pork, was so satisfying! I had plates of it. The Roast Duck, from Fu Shi Traditional Roasted, was delicious with it’s crispy fatty skin. My Mum went to Toa Payoh and got us the famous Carrot Cake. It was cold by lunch but it was still tasty. :)

On another note, have you given out Almond Milk as gifts?

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Well last week I did. I got the new The Dark Knight Nut Mylk from Daily Juice Singapore and the usual Nut Mylk for my Mum. Both recepients thoroughly enjoyed my gifts. Did you know Almond is high in magnesium and is great for insomnia? No wonder I usually feel so drowsy after drinking a whole big bottle (500ml) of it. :)

That’s all from me today. Hope you had a good, relaxing and educational weekend too!

 

Pick-Me-Up Music

This morning my tummy was hurting and I was feeling all weak and spiritless. Then I came across ex-British girl band Girls Aloud singer, Cheryl Cole, newest single and video, Crazy Stupid Love ft. Tinie Tempah. This unabashed pop tune was so upbeat and catchy, almost immediately it awoke me and filled me with energy – an instant mood lifter! Did you discover any new music this weekend too? If not, that’s ok. Hope you are having a good weekend so far. :)

PS: This Baked Chocolate Mousse & Cherry Whipped Cream looked too delicious to not share!

Cheat Day’s dinner at Tomi Sushi, Velocity Novena Square

It was a splendid cheat day which ended on a scrumptious note with dinner at Tomi Sushi; ever reliable for authentic Japanese food. This eatery is about as authentic as one can find outside Japan. Japanese wait staff, filled to the brim with Japanese expats, and like a typical Japanese, they take their food very very seriously. Only KOSHIHIKARI rce is served here. I am no Japanese rice expert but the most striking difference about the rice compared to other Japanese eateries is the fragrant and sticky but still plump rice grains. My usually-waistline-conscious-family always struggles NOT to finish it. Tomi Sushi is also incredibly proud of their separate soy sauces for sushi and sashimi. Apparently both cannot share the same sauce. It is very hard to mess with them.

Tonight I did not need to take note of any soy sauces because I had my heart set on their Unaju don on promotion for $30+. I have been dreaming about this freshwater eel bento since Tuesday when I saw the advertisement on WAttention magazine. When my sharp eye spotted the little box carrying the promotion, I knew deep down inside those grilled eel and I were meant to be together. It will sit very happily in my belly, I was sure. So immediately I rounded up my family and well before our 7pm reservation tonight, we were comfortably seated and ready to ORDER! The three days’ wait was painful so we made it up by ordering our weight’s worth of Japanese food. 

For starters, we ordered an Ike Ni Anago Tempura. Fresh anago eel battered and deep-fried until crispy. Instead of a dipping sauce like one would expect from a normal Ebi tempura order, a bowl of large salt crystals accompanied it. Mmmmm.. what’s next?! The lack of instructions did not deter me from using my big fingers to grab a bunch and sprinkle all over the tempura. I love my food salty but I love anago even more. Oh you guys, whoever knew eel could be so good? When you first bite into it, you will feel the layer of crispy batter then all of a sudden a gush of juicy oily meat fills your mouth. You will be all confused by the sudden change in texture but that delicious meat in your mouth will also excite you. I could not stop exclaiming the wonderfulness of it. All night.

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Here’s what the intersection looks like…

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My mother and I each ordered an Unaju don and boy did they not disappoint. In our bento boxes, a fat luscious slab of char grilled eel lay ever so seductively on a bed of that prided rice and it was glistening from the sweet and savoury teriyaki sauce slathered all over. Get out of town, that was food porn right in front of our eyes! Absolutely divine in flavours too.

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However I did note the less generous eel. Smaller portion due to a $15 discount? That is fine because less only means more space for dessert. Everyone wins here at Tomi Sushi.

My sister ordered a usually-snooze-fest Tempura Udon except those udon are so freaking addictive. The piping hot tempura was merely for show because those white noodles were cooked to perfection – chewy yet retaining a bite.

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Tomi sushi also serves up man-friendly sets. My father ordered the Wafu Steak Gozen. This set had everything and was served in two parts. First up were the ebi and vegetable tempura with sashimi.

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Then an explosive second part. Get a load of that! My parents loved the char grilled beef topped with deep fried garlic pieces. The little bowl with brown bits next to the pink ombre nigiri sushi was fried salmon skin. Safe to say, my dad was very very stuffed after this.
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My brother-in-law ordered a slightly smaller set with his tempura and nigiri sushi platter served with Soba and a vegetable salad with Japanese sesame dressing. Burp!
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Finally we had dessert. A light and refreshing Yuzu sorbet that I could taste bits of yuzu rinds.
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It was a satisfying cheat day!

Dim Sum Lunch at Peach Garden, OCBC Centre

A delicious and luxurious traditional Chinese-Cantonese lunch at Peach Garden Fine Dining this afternoon.

We started off with cubes of Roast Pork Belly with Mustard sauce on the side.

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Steamed Creamy Custard Bun

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Hot salted egg yolk custard oozed out of the bun

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Long Deep-fried Spring Roll with Crabmeat and Salted Egg Yolk and Deep-fried Bean Skin Roll with Seaweed
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Deep-fried (Bo Lo) Roll with Pineapple, Cheese and Prawn
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Steamed Shanghai “Xiao Long Bao”
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Steamed Siew Mai with Phoenix Prawn. Divine.
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Deep-fried Wasabi Prawns with Salad Cream from the À la carte menu
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Then we ended the delicious meal with a simple but fragrant Stewed Ee-fu Noodle with Chinese Straw Mushrooms
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:)