Words by Xinyas
Photography by Gninethree
I love hotels; not as much as I love food but there’s something fun and rebellious about checking in to a place where you are expected to make a mess and swipe the mini toiletries. You know what I’m talking about; don’t pretend you don’t love the frills of staying in a hotel – cable TV, comfy room slippers, crisp bed linen, bottled water, separate towels for hand, face and body…the list goes on.
And this awesome staycation with the BFF happened at the newly minted Hotel Clover 33 Jalan Sultan which only opened in July this year. Housed in a row of 17 two-storey conserved shophouses, the hotel is equipped with a total of 88 rooms and suites and everything I mentioned earlier plus unlimited internet access so folks can Google or Instagram their way around the quaint, café-spotted neighbourhood.
So I find it ironic that Hotel Clover’s tagline is “Simplicity in Luxury” because although everything may appear simple, if you stop to take it all in, an enormous amount of effort has been spent on the innovative room designs and the local-inspired décor which feature interiors of rich wood and intricately handpicked finishings and plush beds.
Keyaki, located at level 4 of Pan Pacific Singapore is probably one of the more scenic Japanese restaurants that I have ever dined at in Singapore. Spanning across an elegantly sculpted garden and fronted by a koi pond, this restaurant is classy yet traditional and forms the ideal backdrop to enjoy an authentic Okonomi styled kaiseki weekend brunch. Featuring a menu of perennial Japanese favourites curated by Chef Hiroshi Ishii, guests can look forward to customising their very own 8-course meal for $75++ ($125 inclusive of unlimited sake, Champagne, selected red and white wines and beer) as they experience the wide range of dishes Keyaki has to offer.
Starting with the Kobachi, better known as the amuse bouche course, choices include the Seared Beef with Ponzu Sauce, Sweet Miso-Glazed Konnyaku, Avocado Salad or Spinach in Goma Sauce. We picked the Unagi Omelette and thoroughly enjoyed the sweetness and fluffiness of the Tamagoyaki which was complimented by the grilled richness of the eel.
I am probably late to the party as Sin Lee Foods has been around for a couple of months now. But having heard so much about their food, especially their Fried Chicken & Waffles, late is always better than never. So Sin Lee Foods located at the void deck of a HDB block in Bukit Ho Swee used to be a former coffee shop selling Prawn Noodles and Lor Mee. The current owners who bought over the space chose to keep its name, signboard and much of its old school charm. Reminds you a tad of similar concepts such as The Dispensary, Chye Seng Huat Hardware and My Awesome Cafe but nonetheless, I do support the preservation of old buildings and architecture- adds a bit more character and soul to a place.
This place is not the easiest to find by the way. Your best bet would be to key in the postal code or address into your GPS and follow it. My advice? Drive or cab because unless you live in the area, you might find yourself making a few wrong turns and end up taking much longer than you are supposed to, to reach the place. If you need a landmark, the closest would probably be The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB).
Perched at the summit of ION Orchard is Salt Grill & Sky Bar opened by celebrity chef-restaurateur Luke Mangan. Known for serving Modern Australian cuisine, this elegant fine-dining restaurant boasts of a panoramic 360 degree view of the Orchard area which impresses both in the day and at night. Touted as one of the most romantic restaurants on our island with its sky high dining experience, Salt Grill & Sky Bar has recently launched a new Weekend Brunch menu for diners to enjoy its picturesque charm in the day as you dine by the stunning view unveiled by its floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Weekend Brunch menu here at Salt Grill is rather straightforward and simple. With just 4 items on the list- The Full Aussie Breakfast, Eggs Benedict, French Toast and Butter Milk Pancakes, the concept is a “Make Your Own Brunch Platter” for $40++. Essentially, you pick a main and 2 sides (roast mushrooms with garlic butter, bacon, baked beans, grilled wagyu sausage, avocado, house made crumpets, rocket & pear salad or grilled tomatoes with sea salt) to customize your platter. Each platter also comes with freshly squeezed fruit juice and a choice of coffee or tea.
The newest addition to level 1 of Orchid Hotel, Souper Sarnies is a sandwich cafe opened by 2 young aspiring girls who are passionate about making the best sarnies (slang in Australia for sandwiches) and serving it to their customers. Not to be confused with Sarnies at 136 Telok Ayer Street, this modest and cosy space which can seat approx 10-15 people, prides itself for using only quality ingredients and making all their sauces, mayonnaise and vinaigrettes from scratch. Most items on their menu are prepared a la minute which explains the slightly longer waiting time but do be patient because the food is quite worth the wait.
On weekday mornings from 08:30-11:30 am, Souper Sarnies offers affordable toast sets from $2.90 and up for the working crowd who simply wish to just grab and go on their way to the office. Top up $3 for a coffee to go. The beans used are from Highlander.