Latteria Mozarella Bar: Would Return Just For The Desserts

Southern Italian restaurant, Latteria Mozarella Bar, on Duxton Hill may boost their cheese specialty but it will be their desserts that will bring me back. Last night, between my two friends and I, we had THREE desserts: two Tipsy Tiramisu Cups and the Raspberry & Pistachio Meringue Cake. Considering the size of the Tiramisu “Cup”, we went to town with our sugar intake. We were definitely not proud of our glutton behaviour  last night. Since we are unable to control each other, we resorted to promising not to have dinner together until six months later. 

The Tipsy Tiramisu Cup was first-bite magic. One cup between three of us just seemed inadequate hence the second order. The creaminess paired with the seriously-boozy sponge fingers topped with the most generous Coco Powder ever, made for a highly addictive sweet ending to our meal. We also liked that the dessert was devoid of any sickening-sweetness. Every bite tasted so fresh and home-made. Every spoonful a perfect contrast of luscious mascarpone cream and soaked fingers.

Equally spectacular was the Raspberry & Pistachio Meringue Cake. If not for the waiter swearing by this dessert, we would not have considered it. A thick crunchy meringue disk topped with generous and whipped-like-air cream, fresh raspberries, whole toasted pistachios, and a tangy raspberry compote. We were enamored by the perfect contrast of tangy berry components and only-slightly-sweet meringue. Heavenly. 

The savouries were not poor but just not outstanding. Out of the four we shared, only one savoury was spectacular and warranted a return visit. The handsome Grilled Whole Seabass Amalfitina was marinated in a salty green pesto. A triumphant highly unusual marinade! Although the kitchen was a little heavy-handed with the seasoning. The fish was cooked to perfection. The flesh so juicy and sweet, it literally melted away from the bones. A couple more dollars more expensive than the other dishes in the same category, I reckon given the portion, the most value-for-money.

There was no doubt our single plate of pasta for the evening: Linguine with Crab & Mascarpone was delicious. Generous crab shreds with al dente pasta combined with a tomato mascarpone sauce was spot-on! But it lacked oomph.

However our two appetizers could have been better. The Deepfried Calamari with Mayo & Arrabbiata may have been fried to perfection with a still-juicy and crunchy squid. But it was the weak batter that fell away from the squid so easily and quickly that was my biggest gripe. This made me miss the Calamari Fritti from Mozza in Epicurean Market last September.

Our second appetizer, a mammoth Burrata with Sweet Peppers Peperonata did not live up to its description on the front glossary page. My third time having Burrata, it lacked a juicy creamy center I had twice earlier. However praises for the sweet peppers peperonata! If sweet peppers tasted like this naturally, I would have it daily. 

We had a lovely house White wine to go with our dinner. I say, order the mains but remember to save tummy space for the desserts. You won’t regret it. 

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The Green Corridor Run 2015 Race Recap

Two Sundays ago, I ran in the second wave of the The Green Corridor Run. Although only a 10.5km run, it was by far my hardest run to-date. The thought of the run two weeks later still scares me a little. Unbelievably, the run was even more difficult than the Stand Chart Marathon back in December! Not kidding. Below is a recap on my first ever TGCR experience.

First up, let’s talk about the race.

Held at the old but charming Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, the second wave began about twenty minutes later due to the water bucket carriers in the earlier wave taking longer than expected. No big deal and not the fault on the part of the organizers. But it also meant the race began at 9.40 am. No joke. Unfortunately this year the Singapore weather was a COMPLETE contrast to last year’s race. The Sun was shining so proudly on us. It rained last year, I heard. The twenty plus-minute wait at the start pen under the blazing sun was tiring enough.

The route where the train tracks used to lie was treacherous. Obviously because trains don’t need shade, there were barely any trees along the route. The only respite from the sun was underneath the flyovers or bridges. There are no words to describe how uncomfortable running under the blazing sun was. The hot weather also make the trail route another major challenge. Rocky at my many parts, the rocks were loose thanks to the dry and cracked up ground.

If not for the weather, the race would have been good because it was so well-organized (the delay only a slight blip)! Hydration stations were placed at easy-to-remember marks: 3.5, 5 and 7.5km. At each hydration station, a lot of volunteers standing in front of the tables of water handing out to runners. Don’t expect cold water in the weather man. I was just grateful for the water. At the same time there were clear distance markers at every half or full km mark. I was well-impressed! (Note to Brooks Marina run organizers…) At the end, us runners were rewarded with a cheap plastic medal. I finished the race at a snail timing of 1 hour and 2 minutes.

At the end of the race, there was a HUGE spread of isotonic drinks, cold water, bananas AND apples. Thank you organizers for spoiling us! Plus loads of fun photo-taking opportunities. I did not hang around after grabbing the refreshments. I bolted right out of there and headed home to stand under a cold shower.

The logistics of the race needs a mention too.

If you study the map fo the race route, it is clear the start and finishing points could not be further away. On the morning of the race, like many, I parked my car at the finishing point next to the late King Albert Park MacDonald. My intention was to cab to the starting point. At the main road, after failing to grab a cab, a lorry with the The Green Corridor logo horned for us. It was picking up runners and driving us straight into the car park of the old railway station. FOR FREE! How amazing and kind are the organizers?! I could not stop counting my lucky stars! I can’t comment on the baggage drop system as I did not bring anything more than my phone and car keys.

Despite the tough run, next year I will definitely run this race again. Although I will bare in mind to sign up for the first wave and train under the sun more prior.

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A Juicery Three Day Juice Cleanse

Last week, I completed a three day juice cleanse with A Juicery and it went swimmingly well! At no point during the cleanse was I ever hungry and I finished the cleanse strong. Even more surprisingly, I ended the cleanse feeling satiated with no “brain caving-in” symptoms. A clear sign of nourishment from the juices.

Here’s how I got into it. Right before Chinese New Year, someone offered to buy me a a juice cleanse from A Juicery. I must have harped on too happily about cleanses to her. The offer was simply too irresitable for me to refuse. You see, with the longer-than-usual four days CNY celebrations, I knew my greedy self would eat everything in sight. Sure enough, I was right! With all the house visits, plus a quick trip to Penang at the start of the week, I put on an eye-watering 4kg. I almost fainted on the scales. Thank goodness I got the cleanse delivered right after CNY. 

Some of you may already know how obssessed I am with juice cleanses. My go-to juice clease company is always Daily Juice Singapore (“DJ”) for their unbeatable prices with delicious satisfying juices. The new Matcha Nut Mylk is the bomb! A Juicery differs from DJ in many many ways. From the order procedure to juices, I could not resist comparing at every step of the way. Here is an account of my whole experience (with comparisons sprinkled in.)

Placing The Order

Right from the get-go, I was dead impressed with A Juicery. They were so professional, energetic and the brand’s pink watercolour scheme so pretty. My heart rejoiced whenever the pastel pink logo popped up. Unlike DJ, this company offered three types of three-day cleanses: Rookie, Fanatic, and Junkie. From cleansing virgins to experienced cleansers, everyone was provided for. The repeated green variety but intense Junkie cleanse was enticing. But the lack of variety and content necessary for this blog led me to choose Fanatic. Three day, eight flavours, eight 400ml glass bottles, bring it on!

Immediately upon submitting my choice, I received several emails. This ensured confirmation of my order. At the same time gave me a feeling that during the cleanse I was not alone. Thanks Girls!

ajuicery confirmation order

 

ajuicery welcome email ajuicery pre cleanse download  ajuicery pre cleanse manual

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delivery

Unlike DJ which delivered the juices daily for the duration of the cleanse, A Juicery delivered all 24 bottles in the evening before the cleanse. If I had a complaint, this would be it: the inflexible delivery option. Delivery was only limited to twice a week. The company outsources their delivery so this could account for the inflexible timing.

Furthermore there was only one time slot of 6 to 9pm. This wide time slot meant I got it delivered straight to my home with my intention to drink them in the office. Big mistake. The box of eight 400ml glass bottles of juices was heavy! Imagine lugging them to work every morning. A huge chore. Plus much to the chagrain of my Mum, the three boxes took up a lot of fridge space. My Mum was only too elated to see a box removed every morning.

The Packaging

Having said that, the whole package was just so pretty. (I can not stop repeating that word. You will also see a lot of it below too.) The shade of pink was just so endearing and feminine. The branded-on-all-sides rectangular box made me want to open it and examine the contents immediately.

With the order of boxes clearly labelled, I opened to find a silver cooler bag containing the juices with the oh-so-pretty A Juicery sticker enclosing the bag. At the side of the first box was a brown envelope containing three *pretty* cards and three bags of Clipper Camomile Tea bags. The double-sided cards contained pre and post-cleanse instructions, how-to guide for cleansing, how-to care for the juices, as well as detailed ingredients and purpose of each juice.

 With all these detailed care instructions, I felt secure and ready to get juicing!

Unwrapping the silver cooler bag, I was delighted to find all the bottle caps labelled in sequence. Awesome! I ain’t gonna get lost with the juices in my hazy-non-solid-food state. Plus the glass bottles were fad! Although heavy, they were sturdy. I filled them with hot herbal tea in between juices.

The Juices

Here are the eight flavours for the Fanatic Cleanse. Look! Even the cooling pack is embossed with the logo… **Pretty**

My quick review of the flavours:

Dr. Green Tonic – Oh yuck! The greens were deceptively strong. The flavours failed to compliment each other so this was least appetizing drink. It was also easy to forget apples and lemon were included. I had a tough time with this flavour.
Marmalade Skies – First-sip magic! The drink may be bright orange but tasted more pineapple than carrot. I was floating on a cloud of juicy happiness throughout this drink. Definitely my second favourite drink of all.
Smells like Green Spirit – The taste of fruits was strong and the coconut water aftertaste was incredible! My only complain for this drink: not enough!
Never Miss A Beet – You can’t have a juice cleanse without beetroot. It’s detoxifying power ensures at least one drink will be beet-based. A Juicery’s take is to complement the root vegetable with the surprising additions of Kai Lan, Pear and Pineapple. The result was beautiful. Who knew Beetroot and Pineapple go so well together?! I thoroughly enjoyed every sip of this drink. It also helped that the colour was a **pretty** purple. My favourite drink of all.
Evergreen Potion – Strong celery taste – this was an acquired one. I was surprised by the lack of aloe vera or orange flavours. Devoid of any sweetness, this drink felt super clean.
Lemon Drops – Spicy! A strong ginger taste hit me at first sip. This will no doubt pull you out of that dreaded afternoon slump. I kept going back for that “kick.”
Super G – Very green…
Coco Cloud - Hallelujah!

One of the biggest difference with A Juicery from the other companies is its use of Asian vegetables in their juices like Bak Choy, Sweet Potato Leaves, Kai Lan and Chye Sim. Usually western vegetables like Kale and Spinach will be commonly used. But A Juicery drinks were more fusion. Western and Asian vegetables were paired with largely positive results. Kudos to A Juicery for recognizing the similar benefits of Asian vegetables. The presence of these vegetables made a huge difference to the taste of the drinks. For one thing, they were stronger in flavour. This made the green juices taste outrageously green. Like if you want to be part of the #eatclean movement, these juices were made for you! I had no problem with them. I liked the grassy notes.

Compared to DJ, A Juicery’s juices were appreciatively less sweet. When one begins with DJ’s Barnie and Krypto, a sore throat would inevitably creep in from the sweetness. Not for A Juicery’s offerings. Hints of bitter notes were more discernible with their green juices. It was definitely refreshing! Even the perennial favourite nut drink at the end of every juice cleanse, Coco Cloud, was noticeably mild in sweetness. This was surprising as Coconut Sugar was listed as an ingredient but it was hard to recognize when drinking. The less sweet aspect meant the coconut meat was more distinct. At first sip, the “blandness” took a while to get used but the coconut aftertaste was addictive. I wanted more! 400ml was definitely not enough.

Another noticeable difference with A Juicery’s cleanse is the quantity. Eight 400ml juices works out to be bladder-bursting 3.2 litres of juice. On my first day, I could not finish more than five bottles. But this could be partly due to my unusually busy day. However at the end of the cleanse, there were five bottles left unfinished.

My Juice Cleanse Experience

On my first day, I cruised through the cleanse like a detox warrior! I was floating blissfully at work. With all the liquid, it was hard to get hungry. At the same time, in between the juices, I was downing water and green tea like no other. This only reiterated the point that our body needs a lot more water than we need.

At the end of the second day, I notice a brain fog settling in. I knew this fogginess. When my brain lacks fat, this will inevitably set in. My energy was also lower than my usual-hyper self. But I have to admit, this was great! I dealt with low moments at work with so much ease. I just keep smiling and floating on a blissful cloud of juices.

On the third day, I awoke to find the brain fog setting in more heavily. Even after two glasses of water, it would not go away. I had to pop in two iron supplements. My energy level increased measurably. Towards the end of the day, my energy remained constantly high. I did not even notice the end of the day. Even at the very next day, instead of waking up to usual post-cleanse-hungry-savage-self, I was calm and satisfied. Woah, what a remarkable difference!

Overall, I really enjoyed this cleanse experience with A Juicery. While the packaging and branding were heart-melting, it was the overall positive effect of my body during and post cleanse that I would return to the company for. Thanks Girls for the job well done!

A French-Asian Wedding Banquet @ Capella: WOW

Last night, my dear friend from way back in Secondary School got married at Capella Singapore in Sentosa. Her husband is Italian so it seemed natural for a fusion-course wedding banquet. Also needless to say, half of the ballroom were Italians. They sure were passionate! Days before the wedding, my friend asked us to choose between “Quail” and “Beef”. I went for Beef because her “money was on it” What a way to build up anticipation! During the banquet, she spoilt us all with a scrumptious 7-course French-asian fusion wedding banquet. Us guests were blown away with everything. To top it off the band, 53A, played us upbeat music that got us dancing for hours. It was a fantastic evening!

The table setting. 

We began with a bread basket containing a surprising wide assortment carbohydrates. We couldn’t get enough of the bread sticks and crisps.

Our first course was an extremely fresh and light Hamachi Carpaccio with Asian Slaw and Sesame Ginger Dressing. Thinly sliced Hamachi with a light dressing – perfect start to the huge dinner.

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Next up was a rich Potato and Leek Soup with Truffle. As the soup bowl lid was lifted, a burst of truffle hit us in the face. You will either love or hate this dish. This turned out to my least favourite dish of the evening. I could not get on board with the textureless thin soup. Although savalged by the generous truffle bits.

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Next up was a superb Oven-baked Soy-Glazed Cod with Braised Daikon Raddish, Hon-Shimeji and Bonito Sauce. It still hurts whenver I recalled I did not finish this dish. But there were a lot of courses including a supposedly-epic Beef course so holding back was the way forward.

Refreshing palate-cleanser Mango Sorbet to prepare us for the meat course… (Excuse the blue photo from the spotlight)


Finally, the mind-blowing Pot-Braised Beef Short-Ribs Ala Bourguignon with Carrots, Caramelised Figs, Roasted Yam and Mushrooms. Fork-tender beef in a heavenly thick sweet-savoury sauce. The Bride was right, this dish was perfect in every aspect. Everyone raved about this dish. It was rude not to finish the perfectly-braised beef despite our stuffed bellies!

My friend’s stuffed Quail Roasted Papeton of Quail Stuffed with Potatoes Parmentier with Green Vegetables and Natural Poultry Jus looked good too.

For dessert, we were served a Pandan Creme Brulee with Lychee Sorbet and Coconut Tuile. The addictive strong pandan flavour paired with a crisp tuile with shredded coconut bits – so good!

To end it off the night, an assortment of Petit Fours comprising of Shortbread biscuit coins, mini Dark Chocolate Tart, Fruit Pastilles, and Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle. It was wayyy tooo much.

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With amazing Italian Red Wine, we danced our heart’s out into the early morning. :)

Chocolat N Spice’s Hummingbird and Pistachio Lover Cake – The Happiest Valentine’s Day to You All!

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My first and best discovery yet of 2015, Chocolat N Spice, this morning once again surprised me with a cake still rarely found in Singapore and at an unbelievable price point. A Hummingbird Cake was the last cake on earth I expected to find at a hawker stall/ bakery in Shunfu Market. At $5 a slice or $40 for the whole cake, the discovery made my morning!

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Less popular than its cousin, Red Velvet, this U.S. Southern classic consists of a banana cake fused with coconut and chunks of pineapple paired with cream cheese frosting. Wonderfully tropical and light, it’s one of my favorites that I have baked many atimes and converted many to the flavour at the same time. So far in Singapore I can only think of one other place that serves up this flavour: Cake Spade in Tanjong Pagar. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I saw this huge cake bordered with crushed walnuts priced at $5 a slice. I had to get it! Even if it meant after a huge plates of noodles and an embarrassing amount of deep-fried accompaniments.

On first bite we all squealed out “so fresh!” It really was. The clean crisp moist texture and flavours were unmistakable. Replacing the cream cheese frosting with a cost-saving airy-whipped cinnamon buttercream, thinly spread around the sponge cake and in between three layers. This could not have been more appreciated especially by my 1.5 years old nephew who would not stop picking at it. Generous chunks of pineapple found throughout and crunchy walnuts perfectly contrasted the banana sponge cake and buttercream.

Yet another wonderful find. But wait there is more. Look what I got for lunch from the same stall?!

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A slice of Pistachio Lover y’all! Because it’s Valentine’s Day and this singleton needs a lover. Chocolat N Spice certainly hit a pistachio-home-run with three layers of pistachio sponge interspersed with chunks of the same nut to provide texture. To bring home the message that this was a pistachio cake, a beautiful green and thin pistachio buttercream and the best part of it all: salty pistachio crumble bordering the entire cake.

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If you can finish this mammoth slice, be prepared for a pistachio-coma to hit you swiftly. I did and am now deeply worried for myself. I have better advise my parents to eschew this hawker centre for breakfast here on now if I want to save my waistline!

Before signing off, I wish you the happiest and most loving Valentine’s Day ever! <3

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Brooks Marina Run 2015 21k Recap: Best Race Ever!

This was my best race ever just because the weather was amazing! An evening race that began after the sun set: 7.30pm (Woohoo!) The Singapore evening air could not be more breezy and cooling. At no point did my body heat up. It also helped that the route was super easy! Due to some last minute hiccups, the route was slightly changed. The new 21km route was essentially made of two 10kms. The 10km loops made strategizing my speed easy. I knew exactly where to pick up pace and ended with a splendid sprint. This is my new favourite way to end a race after I read an article on Runner’s World. You have to do it too! Sprint at the very end. I swear you will be so high immediately after the race and no matter how disappointed you are with your timing, you will still be so pleased. Thanks to Safari Zoo Run last week, I gave myself ample rest beforehand. There was an afternoon nap and I borrowed tons of fashion magazines from the library to keep me on the couch the entire afternoon. It worked like a charm. My legs felt “fresh” in the evening. Tons of water were also drunk. I swear I drank litres during the day. At no point during the run did I ever dehydrated. I only sipped some water at certain hydration stations. Wonderful! You have no idea the power of water for runners.

Having said that, the race was not as well organized as the Safari Zoo Run the week before. There were NO isotonic drinks provided at the hydration stations. And the volunteers at some point could not cope at the hydration stations. In addition there were no bananas left at the finisher station although red apples were available.

This race was also straight-up different. There were only two race distances: 10k and HM. No 5k. That and 10k commonly go hand-in-hand. Second and unusually, the 10k event began first. I don’t recall at any race the shorter distance beginning first. This meant 21k-ers lost the privilege of arriving first and “chopping” parking lots. Boo :(

Final timing is not yet but I ran a rather disappointing 2hrs 9 mins at a pace of 6:61. Definitely slower than last Saturday at the Safari Zoo Run. Still I have the year ahead to make magic happen. For now, Penang tomorrow!

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck @ Asia Square Tower: Raffles Place’s Gemstone

It must have been awhile since I dined in a fine-dining Chinese restaurant because there seems to be a particular dining procedure that will not sit well with hungry diners. Dishes will ONLY be served when ALL guests are seated. Satiate yourself with the candied sesame walnuts in the meantime. If Peking Duck has been ordered, the shiny crispy skin with pancakes will be served and enjoyed first as an appetizer. Thereafter the mains. Please bear in mind the duck needs time to be prepared. So the procedure last night went like this: 7pm – enter and sit down at the restaurant. 7:10pm – put down order. 7:50pm – last dining companion arrives, waitress promptly asked if dishes can be served? 7:58pm – hears tummy growling, looks at watch, asks for dishes to be served. Informed that Peking Duck takes time to be prepared and the rest will be served after the pancakes. Asks for others to be served at the same time, receive bewildered and ridiculous-request look. 8+ – dishes start flowing in… 

Of course, if you are pressed for time and waited a full hour for your food, you could always chase them to serve everything together. Peking pancakes and all. There might have been slight suffering but when the food arrived, we swiftly surrended to its goodness.   

Tucked in a corner of Asia Square Tower’s food court, Food Garden, Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck’s offerings make it a gemstone in Raffles Place. Every dish was sublime: exquisite and supremely tasty. I am in awe. It was not my first Imperial Treasure Peking Duck experience but I do not remember the Paragon branch being as good as the dinner we had in Asia Square. If not for the wallet-busting $52 per pax bill last night, I reckon I will be a regular.

Here’s what we had last night. 

The star of the evening but not the best dish because every other was equally as good! Beijing Style/ Peking Duck Pancakes.

First up was the shiny crisp skin.

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Then large pieces of the roasted fatty skin with some meat… Dunk it with the addictive thick sweet sauce provided and be prepared to swoon.

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You will be asked how the roasted duck meat itself was to be prepared: we chose stir-fried black pepper with onions. You could request to be fried with carbohydrates too. Each chunk of duck meat was coated with a thick uber-peppery sauce. Perfect.

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Double Roasted Meat Combination: Roast Pork Belly and Char Siew. Dunk the roast pork belly in the yellow mustard provided – heavenly. Both meat were equally juicy and every bite a joy. I was popping in those cubes of pork belly like popcorn.

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This golden Salted Egg Yolk Squid rendered us speechless. Large pieces of snappy squid and not the least bit overcooked. Swathed in a thick salted egg yolk batter, such deep-fried goodness should be declared illegal!

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Three individual portions of Steamed Egg White & Mixed Mushroom with Crab Meat were shared between the six of us. A surprisingly truffle taste hit us immediately beckoning the truffle-lover diners to squeal with joy.

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I never knew Braised Beancurd with Mushroom & Oyster Sauce could be executed so well. Imperial Treasure definitely blew us away! Those were some silky smooth beancurd. 

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For dessert: little dainty bowls of Sweetened Walnut Cream and Mango Sago with Pomelo. I am so embarrassed to admit that I have never had Chinese nut soup before. On first bite, the rich nuttiness tasted exactly like melted Skippy Peanut Butter. It was revelating and so so hard to stop at a scoop. Is it possible to fall in love with Peanut Butter again?! Yes because I sure did last night!

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Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck at Asia Square is now ranked high on my list of “special places” in my heart. Unfortunately during this festive season, Dim Sum will not be served in the afternoons. Opportunity to savour their baked pork pastry shall have to be delayed until next month. Boo. :(