Tag Archives: Dinner

Esquina @ 16 Jiak Chuan Road

Esquina is no stranger to the Spanish scene in Singapore. Opening to much fanfare back in 2011, this tapas restaurant was the hottest place in town. It was after all, a collaboration between hotelier Lok Lik Peng (the man behind Ember, Cocotte, Majestic Restaurant, The Market Grill) and Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton (protege of Gordon Ramsay). Chef Atherton provided culinary direction for the restaurant while Executive Chef Andrew Walsh helmed the day-to-day operations.

Getting a good seat here was a treat, still is by the way 4 years on, with only less than twenty stools at the long bar counter, primed to catch the live action of Chef and his team. Yes, there were tables outdoors and upstairs but no visit to Esquina was complete without a front row seat of the kitchen commotion.

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Less than 4 months ago, Esquina welcomed a new Executive Chef- Carlos Montobbio, formerly from Fairmont Singapore’s Anti:dote Lounge. And of course, with new blood, comes a revamp of Esquina’s menu and Chef Carlos’ refreshing interpretation of Spanish tapas. Watching him manoeuvre slickly around the kitchen and handling the preparation and plating of each dish like a seasoned pro, we were definitely excited to get a taste of the new flavours that Chef Carlos had to offer.

Find out more about Executive Chef Carlos Montobbio in our interview HERE!

Lijiang Restaurant by Yunnan @ Science Centre Singapore

Inspired by the picturesque beauty of an old city in the Yunnan Province of China, Lijiang, which also means “beautiful river” in Chinese, is a restaurant that has been around since the 1970s. With its roots originating from the Yunnan Group, Lijiang first opened at Singapore Swimming Club before moving to Temasek Club when it was formally located at Portsdown Road and is now currently residing at the Singapore Science Centre.

Known for their quality yet affordable oriental cuisine, Lijiang has hosted many wedding banquets, birthday celebrations and Chinese New Year dinners over the years. And after having a taste of their food, it is easy to understand why this homely Chinese restaurant remains a favourite with both families and large groups.

We started our evening with a bowl of Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Ginseng and Cordycep $18 each. Evidently brewed and simmered for many hours, the chicken soup was not just brimming with superior ingredients such as fish maw, ginseng, scallops and cordyceps, but the clear soup itself was clean yet complex in flavour and delicate in nature. Every sip was comforting to the tummy and almost nourishing to the soul. This one warmed me up quite easily and satisfactorily.

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The Deep Fried Cod Fish with Thai Sauce $12 served in portions, is a great idea for corporate functions or dinners that would usually have a more formal note to it. We liked how the cod fish was lightly battered and fried to a crisp while the sweet and slightly spicy Thai sauce with its sourish nuances dressed the fillet both in colour and flavour.

Hairy Crab Grandeur @ Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

Hairy Crab season is back again and the team at Wan Hao is here to introduce up to four different ways to savour and enjoy this popular Autumn delicacy. Well-loved and hankered after for their sweet succulent meat and rich creamy roe, hairy crabs are only available for two months of the year- October and November. Needless to say, fans of these bristly guys will be rushing to the nearest Chinese restaurant to get their crustacean fix during this limited time period before the season ends.

Here’s why Wan Hao might just be the restaurant of your choice for this delectable experience:

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This year, Wan Hao is offering two Hairy Crab set menus, priced at $98 for six courses and $108 for seven courses. We tried their six course set meal and started with a trio of hot appetisers- Steam Hairy Crab Xiao Long BaoDeep Fried Hairy Crab Ball and Steamed Crab Meat Dumpling. It was difficult picking a favourite among the three because they were each individually textually interesting. The former had a lovely sweet milky broth snugly held by the thin dumpling skin while the deep fried crab ball was a crunchy sphere of crab meat chunks with an almond crusted exterior. The last dumpling too was an exquisite masterpiece and taste wise, just as satisfying.

Legendary Hong Kong @ Jurong Point 2 Shopping Centre

Located along the streets of “Mongkok” at Jurong Point, Legendary Hong Kong brought me back to the days of Hong Kong, where it serves up authentic Hong Kong cuisine spanning across four different themes – Roasted Meats, Noodles and Congee, Dim Sum and Bakery. Helmed by five accomplished Master Chefs, there were a few notable dishes during my visit, including the signature “Roasted London Duck”.

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Starting with the roasted meats, we ordered the Barbequed Twin Combo $16.80 to get the “best-of-both-worlds” – comprising of the signature roasted “Irish duck” from Silver Hill Farm and the extremely crispy pork belly, which was one of my personal favourites. Their specialty of “Roasted London Duck” is undisputedly one of their best-sellers, where they import “Grade A” Irish ducks all the way from Ireland.

Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay Opens @ Marina Bay Sands Singapore

The name “Gordon Ramsay” is no stranger to any foodie on the face of this earth. Some of us may have either dined at one of the numerous restaurants that he opened around the world- UK, America, Europe and more recently, Asia, or seen his face on the small screen- Hell’s Kitchen, Hotel Hell and most notably, MasterChef US and MasterChef Junior, or heard about the impressive 14 Michelin stars under his belt. One way or another, there is no denying that Gordon Ramsey’s culinary reputation far precedes him.

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The opening of his first restaurant in Singapore will be Gordon Ramsay’s second in Asia (the first being Hong Kong in September last year). Located amidst all the other celebrity chef restaurants in Marina Bay Sands, this British European restaurant which spans two floors- level 1 and B1, has a seating capacity of 149 and an amazing view of the waterfront.

While we were down at Bread Street Kitchen for dinner, we were extremely lucky to chat and even take a photo with the surprisingly affable and personable celebrity chef as he made his rounds to the different tables talking to diners and spontaneously taking a “wefie” with anyone who asked. He had been in town for the past few days for the official launch of Bread Street Kitchen and shares that he will try to fly in to Singapore as and when possible. The kitchen in the meantime, is run by Executive Chef Sabrina Stillhart whom Chef Ramsay has only full praises for.

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The food here at Bread Street Kitchen has a similar concept to that of the flagship outlet in London, featuring an extensive range of British classics and favourites. Starters start from $18, Mains range from $26 to $46 while Desserts are $15 and up. Not exactly very affordable but fairly reasonable for a celebratory splurge with family and friends.