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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Brasserie Astoria @ Victoria Theater & Concert Hall

When it comes to celebratory dinner, as with birthdays and anniversaries, we usually spend some thoughts on where to go. We want something unique, higher end with great ambience, but won't break the bank. Fantastic cocktails are definite plus as Lady M and I are suckers for this. This year, she brought me to Brasserie Astoria, located at Victoria Theater and Concert Hall. Just six years ago, in the spring of 2018 (ok, summer in Singapore), we were lining up in front of this place taking our actual-day wedding photoshoot. As we walked past, we savoured a sweet memory.

Brasserie Astoria had huge doors. Thank God they are automatic. And as they opened, an inviting space with high ceilings lined with chandeliers, albeit dimly lighted, welcomed us. The friendly service staff guided us to our seats and introduced their menu to us. The menu was concise, but we took awhile to choose our orders, mainly because we wanted to try everything.

For starters, we had their Oyster au Naturelle (SGD$8/each), and trust me on this, it was one of the best. Hands-down. The size wasn't overwhelming but it was plump and juicy. Paired with the shallot vinaigrette and a nice squeeze of the lemon, we joked we could just had the oysters as mains next time.
Not long after, the Snails (SGD$18) came. It was a crude but apt name. Drenched in roasted garlic butter, lavender and a hint of thyme and parsley, this was again finger-licking good. I never thought lavender in such a buttery dish would work, but it was SUPERB. We found ourselves dipping the bread in it and literally spooning the sauce into our mouths. If you're here, please do yourselves a huge favour and order this. 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Hathaway - Modern Southeast Asia Fare @ Dempsey

Dempsey Hill is no stranger to us, it's a great, secluded place in the city, perfect for celebrations, dinner dates, or weekend brunches with the children. When the lovely Lady M told me we are going to Dempsey Hill for my birthday breakfast, I was thinking about the many place we been there (but usually we don't do repeats). Nearing the destination, I was asking for the restaurant's name so I can find a parking spot near there, and especially since it was drizzling. 

"Hathaway". To be fair, Anne Hathaway came to mind straight, so I was pretty sure it was a Western restaurant serving the usual egg benedicts, waffles and usual ang-moh (Western) brunch. In fact, the whole place exudes Western vibes, with marble counters and long wooden benches and lush sofa seating. When I looked at the menu, "EH? Apa ini? Kuih Pie Tee? Bergadil? Chap Chye? Kiam Chye Duck??" Yup, so you know.

Just a heads up, they do not serve their brunch menu on weekends, and since it's too early for heavy mains (like their beef cheeks, fried quail and yes, Kiam Chye Duck), we treated ourselves to some of their other signatures. The waiter recommended the Mussels (SGD$24Galician mussels cooked in a mohinga broth). Aside from my lack of understanding of what the heck is "Galician" and "mohinga", these dish is MHMM SEDAP. Mussels, soft and plump. The broth is another level. It tasted like the whole ocean being condensed into a bowl of broth. Something like lobster bisque on spicy steroids. Needless to say, I finished it to the very last bit.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

3D2N IMPERIAL SUITE EXPERIENCE at Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson

Lady M and I were considering a few places when it comes to going for our first trip of the year. We thought of Yunnan, but the air ticket was slashed to half if we were to postpone the trip just by two weeks. We considered the resorts in Langkawi, Bintan and Batam as well, but we chose Port Dickson in the end, due to the accessibility. As with our Desaru trip last year, we opted for a private hire car that brought us directly from our homes to Port Dickson straight. Due to its distance from Singapore, the cost would be approximately $350 (one way) and $600 (two way).

Here's the pros of getting a Private Hire Car.

1. Convenient and fuss-free. Additional pick-ups (chargeable, but only approx $10/location) and breaks can be arranged.

2. You don't have to worry about getting the necessary documents to clear the checkpoints. 

3. They have a way to drive past the snaking queues when it comes to clearing custom.

4. You don't have to worry about your SG-registered car in Malaysia.

Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson

After researching a heck lot on the accommodation in Port Dickson, we decided on Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson - a luxurious 5-star oceanfront resort nestled along the pristine Pasir Panjang Beach and the Straits of Malacca. Considering the name, the formation of 639 pool villas of Lexis Hibiscus is shaped like the national flower of Malaysia - the Hibiscus. You know what's great? Every room has its own private pool and sundeck! Talking about privacy and convenience! Considering the sheer number of villas, you can choose amongst the different rooms and suites.
Here's a fun fact: Lexis Hibiscus has two Guinness World Records for the most swimming pools (643) and overwater villas (522)!

Monday, February 19, 2024

OUMI Modern Japanese Kappo @ CapitaSpring

In yet another blink of an eye, Lady M and I were celebrating out 6th year wedding anniversary. Here' s a fun fact! The traditional gift for six years of marriage is actually iron - a symbol of hardiness and strength. Marriage is a huge topic to be covered for another day, but for starters, don't belittle celebrating the little milestones of your marriage! So for this year, I decided on OUMI - a modern Japanese Kappo restaurant with a western twist. Located at 51st level of CapitaSpring, it is probably (if not) the highest omakase restaurant in Singapore. We later noticed that we came to Artemis two years ago, also located within CapitaSpring.
For starters, we had the Kabocha Uni Tofu (S$30), a perfect rendition of pumpkin, homemade tofu, and a generous portion of uni. The staff was meticulous in describing the ingredients and steps involved into preparing this dish. We had doubts on combining soy, pumpkin, and a strong tasting seafood, but this was a perfect, melt-in-the-mouth combination.
Besides the tofu, my favourite was the Foie Gras Monaka (S$15), crispy wafer filled with a heck load of goodness - a culinary masterpiece boasted a luxurious foie gras ganache, complemented by the briny pop of salmon roe and delicate seasonal flowers. It's a whole explosion of flavours and it looks like art. I mean, would you just look at this.