Jiang-Nan Chun @ Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

The award-winning Jiang-Nan Chun at level 2 of Four Seasons Hotel Singapore has finally reopened its doors after almost a year of renovations. Illustrating its new concept of “享乐主义” – which means the principle of enjoyment and happiness, the signature Chinese restaurant promotes the pursuit of culinary pleasure with intimate attention to the finest of details such as ambiance and service, elevated by curated wine and tea pairings.

Accessory touches such as subtle story-telling through the background music and deliberate furnishing of the interiors, and interactive engagement with the service team further enhances this holistic “享乐” paradise experience.

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Jiang-Nan Chun is one of the rare places in Singapore that roasts its Peking Duck in a mesquite-wood-fired oven instead of regular apple or lychee wood. The wood in this specialised oven burns at a higher temperature so as to increase the smokey flavour yet retain the succulence of the meat that underlies a layer of superbly thin and crisp skin, which crackles on your first bite. The duck too undergoes 14 hours of marination and preparatory work before it is roasted- almost 6 more hours then the usual methods of cooking Peking Duck.

Signature Jiang-Nan Chun Peking Duck $98

Travel: Montserrat Guided Hiking Experience to Sant Jeroni

Montserrat, which literally translates to saw/serrated mountain in Catalan, is one of Barcelona’s most spectacular attractions for both Catholics and Non-Catholics alike. For the former, Montserrat is a pilgrimage site where the Virgin Mary was believed to have made her first apparition in the late part of the 800s, whilst for the latter, the stunning Basilica with its rounded arches and golden decadence, which marks the transition from the Gothic to Renaissance periods, is a sight worth making the trip for.

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Located in the mountains about an hour drive from Barcelona city, Montserrat is accessible via the train/ cable car or by driving. If you are planning to take the train there, you can do so via the FGC line from Barcelona Placa d’Espanya station to Montserrat-Aeri station. Do note however that the first train only leaves from Barcelona at 8.36am.

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As we were feeling a tad more adventurous, we decided that it would be grand to catch the sunrise at the Montserrat. We trawled through the internet and found ‘Scenic Walking Barcelona‘ via TripAdvisor which seemed promising from the reviews we read. We took the chance and emailed the company to check if there was a possibility we could head up early before everyone else and catch the sunrise. True enough, they replied and told us that as the sun would rise at 6.30am, our guide would have to pick us up at 5.20am. We gamely agreed to it, not really knowing what to expect.

Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Opens @ Changi Airport Terminal 3

Flooding the news feed of almost every social media channel is Singapore’s highly anticipated character themed café, Hello Kitty Orchid Garden, which made its first debut at Terminal 3 of Changi Airport. Huge queue and long waiting time are to be expected as fans of the iconic white cat have been patiently waiting in line since the restaurant’s grand opening on 12 May 16. Having said that, Hello Kitty Orchid Garden operates on a twenty four-hourly basis, and visiting them during the odd hours may perhaps negate the dreaded wait and net you a table for the coveted “kitty-fied” dining experience!

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Similar to the other Hello Kitty cafes where each features a different theme, unique to the café is their concept of emulating Singapore’s garden city vibe through the incorporation of our national flower, orchids, within its rustic, colonial setting. From cascading orchids to hanging swing sofas and other classy yet subtly themed kitty furniture, it creates the perfect oasis for both travelers and diners to fuel up and feel rejuvenated after their long journey. Not to forget are also the kawaii 3D life-sized Hello Kitty figurines where fans can look forward to pose and take numerous selfies while waiting for their food to be served.

Spago by Wolfgang Puck @ Marina Bay Sands (MBS)

Anchoring itself on the SkyPark of Marina Bay Sands (MBS), Spago is one of the latest additions to the list of celebrity restaurants that have landed on the shores of Singapore. This is celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck’s second restaurant in Singapore and also the first international outpost to be introduced in Asia. Famed for its top-notch Californian cuisine, diners can enjoy the same signature dishes served at the original Spago of West Hollywood, as well as other modern fusion delights inspired by Puck’s travels in Asia.

With an image of a “garden in the sky” in mind, New York-based designer Tony Chi has collaborated with Chef Wolfgang Puck and MBS on the design of Spago. Featuring an elegant, modernist garden home, the restaurant was built on a warm palette of architectural materials that includes basalt stone and fumed oak, imparting visual resemblance to a colonial-style bungalow. Blessed with the grandeur of the iconic infinity pool and a million dollar sky view of Singapore’s landscape, it sets the mood for the perfect dining experience.

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Spago offers two distinct dining spaces catered for the lunch/dinner crowd and the merry bar-goers. For a more sophisticated dining experience, diners can make reservations at Spago’s 90-seater fine dining restaurant where an extensive selection of international wines is available for the meal pairing. Next to the fine dining restaurant is a terrace lounge with an alfresco bar centerpiece that is able to accommodate 200 guests. Low tables, patterned cushions and abstract ceiling fans exude a vibrant, casual vibe for diners to mingle and socialize amid the perpendicular sofa arrangement. If you’re one of those who might be slightly more introverted, Spago’s open kitchen concept will keep you entertained with an exclusive view of the dynamic kitchen team in action.

Bōruto | Japanese Tapas & Sake Bar

Three years ago, I blogged about one of my most memorable Robata experiences which was forged at Tamashii Robataya. Three years later, the same people behind the quaint Japanese establishment along North Canal Road have since opened a new dining concept a street away serving up Japanese-fusion tapas and sake.

The name Bōruto, which translates to “vault” in English, pays tribute to its former occupants of the space- which was formerly a bank. The gated safe that was once used to keep locked safety deposit boxes, now stores the restaurant’s most valuable sake bottles which can easily cost up to several thousands each.

Notwithstanding the hype surrounding all the alcohol that is served in this bar however, Bōruto does also serve up some fancy fare that has both looks and substance. While Spanish tapas has already made a name for itself here in Singapore, Japanese tapas on the hand, is a novel idea that has not quite been explored yet.

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Helmed by Head Chef Angus Chow, who has a fairly extensive culinary background in both Japanese and Spanish cuisine, we knew we were in good hands as we watched him deftly and skilfully plate each dish, from our front row seats at the bar counter.