Archive for Family and Friends

Christmas Day Lunch with Mum at Da Luca

For Christmas Day this year, and to enjoy the time with my mum who was returning back to the UK on Boxing Day, we booked up a table at Da Luca Italian Restaurant – in Novena.

It is still a little surreal to enjoy Christmas in the tropics, but we knew we were in for a good meal. It wasn’t massively busy, but we had a nice meal of Beef Carpaccio, Pizza and a Mixed Salad which we shared – certainly different from the Christmas Turkey and the trimmings – but delicious all the same.

It was great to spend it with my mum, rather than eating on my own, so I am glad I was able to spend it with her, and to ensure she had a relaxing trip back (on a full stomach).

Da Luca Italian Restaurant
1 Goldhill Plaza #01-19/21
Goldhill Plaza
Singapore
309012
Tel: +65 6258 4846
URL: http://www.daluca.com.sg

Culina Dempsey Dinner (23 Dec 2014)

Dempsey is growing one me as an area. Not only is it closed to where we live, it actually has a number of enjoyable drinking and eating experiences.

This time around, we decided to book a table at Culina which is a nice restaurant establishment…one that has a butchery and fish bar (servicing a delightful selection of oysters) – the steak selection is very tasty, you go and select your cut of meat and then tell them which sauce from the menu you want with it – yummy indeed!.

So we started with a charcuterie board – it was a nice selection, but a wee bit pricey for what you get (like most Mediterranean food in Singapore!), then we had mussels, and crab cakes – all in all a nice selection of dishes to fill our bellies.

I certainly would recommend Culina – not only is it a nice and relaxing place, it’s not too pretentious or over the top – but is a delightful setting with a nice delicate mix of good food, good service and relaxing surroundings – and if you want to buy stuff to take home – they have a deli shop in-built within the restaurant as well.

Culina Dempsey
8 Dempsey Road #01-13
Dempsey Hill
Singapore 247696
Tel: +65 6474 7338
E-mail: info@culina.com.sg
URL: http://www.culina.com.sg

Paradise Dynasty at ION Orchard

To enjoy a cheapish (sorry I mean ‘cost effective’) pre-Christmas meal with my mum and girlfriend, I decided to take them to ION Orchard and to the Paradise Dynasty restaurant there. We intended to enjoy the fusion xiao long bao that they serve specifically at this restaurant. Paradise’s xiao long bao are quite different – as they serve a mixed plate of 8 xiao long bao of different types: original, szechuan, ginseng, crab roe, cheese, garlic, and the kings-among-kings – foie gras and black truffle. Delicious and very tasty!

We ordered a few dishes and enjoyed the fine and relaxing company – and it was a great meal and experience overall. It wasn’t too expensive and we were able to enjoy it with a nice discount – as I had some vouchers to use up. I think I managed to use $40 of the $50 I had, and provided the difference in cash – something like S$7 – not bad, hey?

Paradise Dynasty at ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
#04-12A ION Orchard
Singapore 238801

Tim Ho Wan Dinner with Mum (16th Dec 2014)

Another day, another eating opportunity – and this time, I found myself around Plaza Singapura in Dhoby Ghaut.

After some shopping in and around the shopping mall, I decided to walk by the Tim Ho Wan restaurant, to see if the queue was very long – unfortunately, it doesn’t allow bookings, and it is difficult to gauge how long the wait will be in the queue. Luckily, the queue was quite short – and so we decided to give it a shot.

It is a little bit over-rated, but with a limited menu selection – it is focused on quality (after all it is a Michelin Star place after starting in Hong Kong) and quick service – and it does meet this objective – just about! I wouldn’t say it is the best dim sum I have had in Singapore – or even in the Hong Kong or the UK – but it was still an enjoyable dinner with mum, and I can see why it remains a popular choice. The price is good though – so this ensures we can enjoy a Michelin Star experience, for very acceptable prices.

This place is growing quickly – starting with this first location, and now having 5 restaurants across the island.  Would recommend it – but it is going to be one of those places that you do it a few times or on special occasions only.

Tim Ho Wan
68 Orchard Road #01-29A
Plaza Singapura
Dhoby Ghuat
Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6251 2000

Early Christmas Pressie (for mum) – iPad Air 2

After much consideration, I decided that I should get my mum an iPad, as she was very keen to get one to use when she is on her travels, and also make it easier to read websites and digital newspapers etc…oh and to play her games 🙂 haha!

I was looking at the latest model and version – so it would be the iPad Air 2 – and I decided that the 16GB version would suffice.

I had done a bit of research and found that in HK, it would cost HKD 3,888 (about £330), whilst in Singapore it would cost S$688 (£340), whilst in the UK, it was £399. All of these prices were from the Apple website. So I decided to get it from Singapore, but used my Amex True Cashback card to get an extra 5% discount on top, which made it pretty reasonable 🙂

Definitely worth the purchase, and I am glad that my mum has something ‘new’ rather than a pass-me-down, for a change.

Sunday Lunch at Keisuke Tokyo

A colleague from work was retiring after spending an enjoyable tenure with American Express – mainly around SE Asia. As he was returning to his native US, my mum and I arranged a nice farewell lunch with him and his wife.

He suggested a venue in Suntec – which was called Keisuke, which was a nice no-thrills place serving Japanese Ramen – and it certainly was a yummy meal.

We found the place pretty easily, and tuck into a delicious dish of Ramen – this place was certainly a great find, and we certainly enjoyed the meal.

Keisuke Tokyo
#02-391/392 Suntec City Mall
3 Temasek Boulevard
Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 6337 7919

Wing Seong Fatty’s Restaurant Lunch with Mum (8 Nov 2014)

My mum told me of this place that a friend of her (an air steward / cabin crew) had suggested, it was called Fatty’s near Sim Lim Square. It is actually a non-discrete place, but it is the quality of the food that matters.

We ordered a few dishes, and tucked it. The food was simple but very delicious, and we certainly enjoyed our lunch It wasn’t that busy when we went (it was just after opening for lunch), but we did enjoy the ambiance of the place.

I certainly would recommend this place, especially for the simplicity, price (very reasonable) and quality of the food.

Wing Seong Fatty’s Restaurant
175 Bencoolen Street
Singapore 189649
Tel: +65 6338 1087

My Birthday Celebration at Equinox

Well we had decided to schedule a family birthday dinner (with my mum and dad) at a nice restaurant in Singapore – so we decided to do a brunch at Equinox within the Swissôtel The Stamford (City Hall) – which also allows me to utilise my Far Card discount card – which results in 20% of food (as we had 5-10 adults), and 25% of drinks. My aunt and cousin also decided to come across, and I invited my girlfriend too – so there was 6 of us in total.

The Sunday Brunch at the Equinox was pretty good – a great location at the 74th floor of the Swissôtel The Stamford, and we did certainly enjoy the Singapore views from up above.

As it was the last Sunday of the month, there was a Pink theme to the brunch – so the usual Brunch price of $158++ per person was increased to $178++ per person – but with unlimited Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial, house red or white wines, specialty cocktails and a selection of beers (instead of the classic Moët & Chandon Impérial). Anyway, I tried to get the normal price, as I wasn’t really keen to go pink for my birthday, but they said there was no choice as it was a special pink theme. Anyway, at least I would get a discount about 1/5 off (with the Far Card), so it wasn’t all bad.

The food was pretty good – however, the selection was as good as a couple of hour brunch places (St Regis and Mandarin Oriental seemed to be better), but it was still very tasty and very enjoyable!

What was a dampener was the Roast Beef, a couple of us got a couple of slices and we tucked in, however, there was this really funny taste too – as if it the meat was rotten or gone off. I am not sure why, but never smelt or tasted beef as bad as this. Anyway, I went to speak to the chef servicing the hot meat table, and he summounded the head chef, whilst we waited, we enjoyed the rest of the meal. After a few minutes, we noticed that head chef came, tasted the meet, and then took the whole slab of meet away back to the kitchen, whilst they replaced it with another (which tasted far better). The Equinox restaurant manager then came to speak with us, and apologised for this and stated it must have been the supplier etc. I explained that unfortunately it doesn’t matter, as it is the Swissôtel was the one cooking and serving it to the public. Anyway, we relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the meal and then we requested the bill.

After a few minutes, the bill arrived, but there was nothing provided as a gesture due to the off meat. I asked to speak to the restaurant manager and asked him that they should offer something as a way of apologising, he asked me what I wanted, and I told him that it was for him to determine. He agreed and I left for them to consider the offer. After a while the he came back and returned my Amex credit card and stated that the meal was on him – wow! That was not what I was expecting, but I felt it was a great gesture, albeit too much to accept. He apologised again for the issues with the meat, and the F&B also turned up to offer an explanation and also apologised – I did state that all it required was for one customer to complain to the NEA, and they would come and shut down the place – so I sense they realised the severity of it. I just hope no one gets ill because of this – as I know there was other tables eating the meat.

I accepted the offer, but did give about $200 tip for the servicing staff, as I know it wasn’t there fault and they would not receive any service tip from our table otherwise. He accepted it, and said he will make sure the staff received it.

It was a bit of a weird birthday meal – but unfortunately, these things do happen. At least they did the honourable thing and accepted the issue – at the same time, we made quite a saving off the whole meal – wow! What a birthday meal that was!

Swissôtel The Stamford
Equinox Restaurant
2 Stamford Road
Singapore 178882
Tel: +65 6338 8585
Reservations: +65 6837 3322
URL: http://www.equinoxrestaurant.com.sg

Dad’s Marina Bay Tour (25th Oct)

It was great that my dad was able to enjoy his Singapore holiday so far whilst I was away, but now that I was back, I decided to take him for a tour of Marina Bay and the area where I work.

I met them at my place, and then we took the MRT from Novena to Marina Bay, we then visited the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) complex and visited Tower 2 – where I work. We rested for a few minutes, before venturing into the Marina Bay Link Mall, and then across the road to the Marina Bay walkway. We took a few photos, and then we continued walking around to the Marina Bay Gallery, which gave an insight of what the vision is for the Marina Bay and new Financial Business District area – it implies that every bit of grassland in the area will be a skyscraper within the next 5-10 years. It is amazing how much the area has changed, and how much it will continue to change, and I am glad we were able to enjoy the vision as it stands today.

We continued the tour and then headed to the Lau Pa Sat market, and we rested with a drink. After some time we decided to go to Satay Street alongside the market, and enjoy a nice Satay dinner – with nice vegetables and sting-ray fish – what a delight to enjoy it with both of my parents.

Dad Arrives in Singapore (25th Oct)

Well whilst I was on my way back from my holiday, my dad arrived in Singapore.  I arrived back on 25th October, and was able to meet my mum and dad and start the Singapore Tour with them both.

I took my dad around the Marina Bay area, visiting my office location and taking the sights and sounds of the area, as well as visiting some well-known landmarks in the area.

I didn’t want to venture too far, as it would involve a lot of walking, so after a couple of hours venturing around, we decided to go to the Lau Pa Sat (Telok Ayer) market, to relax, grab a drink and chat a bit.  After this, we then went to get some food – so we decided to try out the Satay Street, and get some sting ray, and a selection of delicious satay to enjoy and watch the world go by.  It was a great occasion, and it was a nice way to spend the weekend.

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