Monday, 15 September 2014

Buffet Review: 10 at Claymore at Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore 229540

For $62++ on weekdays, enjoy all of these at the award-winning 10 at Claymore restaurant at Pan Pacific Orchard. I've had the pleasure to try out most of the items on the buffet line-up, and here are my recommendations!

1. Go for the oysters. As much as you can possibly eat. Fresh, and from all over the world!

2. The USDA certified 1855 Angus Beef steak. So tender, soft and beefy. I really loved it. Why go to a steak restaurant when you can pay the same price and get a buffet to go along with it?

It will be served in little portions, which you can always take more of.

3. The Plates of Pleasure such as the Executive Chef Andy Oh's Penang Char Kway Teow - authentic and so very good! Also the assam laksa - tangy but satisfying. With these you don't have to go to Penang anymore!

3. The Lobster Thermidor. Done in a super complicated manner which Chef had explained but I've forgotten, all I know is it involved a lot of work, some white wine, cream and lobster meat. What it resulted, was the best lobster concoction I've tasted. It was succulent, creamy, sweet and seafood-y. All in an easy to eat shell.

4. Everything else, from their desserts (including durian crepes) to the cheeses. There's also fresh sashimi, other carbs, local and international delights and everything else.

For $62-68++ (weekdays to weekends), 10 at Claymore is definitely a contender for the Best Hotel Buffet in Singapore award, if there is one. I will recommend you give it a try if you just want to reward yourself or loved ones to a satisfying and decadent meal.

10 at Claymore
10 Claymore Rd, Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel, 229540
+65 6831 6686
Breakfast - 6:00am to 10:30am, Lunch - 12:00pm to 2:30pm, Dinner - 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Brunch - 12:00pm to 3:00pm (Weekends)

Dinner : $62 (Monday to Thursday)
Dinner : $68 (Friday to Sunday)
Brunch : $72 (Sundays only)


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Brunch Review: Souper Sarnies at #01-07 Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link Singapore 078867

I was invited on a lazy and rainy Sunday afternoon to try out the 2-month old establishment Souper Sarnies (not related to the Sarnies at Telok Ayer!) at Orchid Hotel, facing Tanjong Pagar Road. I was treated to a feast of their staples, as well as some new items which the two friendly and young Singaporean owners are trying out, for their Weekend Brunch menu. What luck! I had been slightly wary about another new brunch joint, but actually there really isn't that many of them during weekends that you can eat comfortably at which is not packed to the brim, so maybe it's a blessing that another one opened?

They open during weekdays lunch to cater to the business crowd in the area with affordable and generous sandwiches. I read about some complaints on other places about slow service, but c'mon, give them a break if there's a thousand and one things to handle things will take a bit more time!

The interior's cosy and hipster enough. Not many seats, since it is a small place. Still, the place didn't smell very much of food or grease, which is great. Ventilation, very important!

Here's the menu on a regular day.

And the weekend all-day brunch menu I was privy to. 
Prices are so reasonable! Call the police! 

First I had the Summer Salad ($10.90), which was probably one of my favorite salads I've had this year. It had all my favorite ingredients such as bits of cranberry, roasted pumpkin, avocados, watermelon (refreshing) and cherry tomatoes! The dressing was light and inconsequential since there's so much original flavor exploding all over the fresh greens already. Plus it makes for a pretty Instagram photo!

Then the Roast Beef Sirloin Sandwich ($14.90) which was priciest among the lot, since it had slabs of thinly sliced roast beef in there. To me this was alright, but as I have feedback to the owners, it was quite difficult to eat since the sandwich is so big!

My favorite, which I had raved all over Instagram, was the BLAT ($10.90) sandwich instead. It stands for Bacon Lettuce Avocado and Tomatoes, and boy oh boy were they great together! The panini was soft and the ingredients so complementary, it was difficult to find any fault with it. I would highly recommend ANYONE to try the BLAT.

I also tried out the Souper Brekky ($16.90), comprised of the standard stuff. Good enough -- as you can see it has all the ingredients required. I must say though, I used to really love these Big Breakfasts, but over time I kinda outgrew them slightly and found it rather unchallenging. Still, a good meal if you are looking for brunch!

The Eggs Benny ($14.90) was the cousin of the BLAT, since it had avocado spread, lettuce and bacon as well. The difference though lies in the poached eggs and homemade hollandaise sauce. The proof of the pudding really comes from the sauce. This was light, not too tart or creamy, and just right to balance out the runny eggs on toast. Thumbs up, eggs benedict fans rejoice!

Lastly, we had the Salted Caramel Buttermilk Waffles ($12.90) which was again quite perfect. It's amazing how all these food actually came from the two co-owners of this place in the span of an hour in a little kitchen behind the counter. The salted caramel was generously spread over the fluffy light and not too sweet waffle, and the New Zealand vanilla ice cream added the extra indulgence.

Great brunch or lunch place with hearty, delicious and fresh food made sincerely from scratch. Get the Summer Salad, BLAT and the waffles. The owners are constantly looking to better themselves so give them a break and support their food-preneurship will ya? I'll definitely be back for more of their sandwiches and desserts!

Souper Sarnies
#01-07, Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, Singapore 078867
Mon - Sat: 08:30 - 21:00
Closed on Sundays


Friday, 5 September 2014

Healthier Lunch Delivery with

I'll like to introduce you to something good today. In fact, if you work around Marina Bay area, this is probably the best news you'll hear this week, if you haven't heard about it already. There's a new lunch delivery service called GRAIN which makes healthy, tasty, gourmet lunches delivered to you in less than 15 minutes (their record was 2 mins). How incredible is that?

I've had the pleasure to try out 2 of their daily lunch boxes last week. By the way, they've already served more than 5,000 meals and was featured on SoShiok, Tech in Asia and the Business Times.

Everything is packed nicely for you, and I like that the packaging also contains nutritional information about what you are having! That makes counting calories so much easier. It's a pity both meals were just slightly over the 500-calorie limit, or they could have been in the HPB Healthier Dining Programme

There was no doubt in my mind that they are healthy though. Just look at how fresh the ingredients are!

The Hickory Smoked Chicken with orange couscous is made with chicken, couscous, tomatoes, orange juice, french beans, portobello, button mushroom, shimeiji mushroom, capsicum, olive oil, peanut, basil, parsley, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Phew! It has 558 calories, 12g of fat, 39g of protein and 72g of carbs. Not bad for a huge portion!

FYI from this site:
The reference value for fat for an average adult is 70 grams. 
The reference value for protein for an average adult is 50 grams. 
The reference value for carbohydrates (both complex and simple) for an average adult is 310 grams. 

It was really tasty. I loved the exploding tomatoes, which was confit for 4 hours. The couscous was light and not too dry, and a perfect replacement for your typical white rice (too processed!) The chicken itself was tender and juicy, though I had preferred if the chicken was breast meat as it had a stronger chicken taste which I am not a total fan of.

Next was the asparagus risotto with seared scallops. There's brown, white and black rice, milk, parmesan, water chestnuts, spinach, onion and salt in there. It has lower calories at 537 calories, 5g of fat, 25g of protein and 98g of carbs.

I really enjoyed the asparagus risotto, so much so I finished the whole box, while eating half of the Smoked Chicken! The scallops were juicy and sweet with their goodness. The risotto (Western porridge!) was not too creamy or overly salted, though the asparagus taste can come out more. The french beans were quite shriveled up too, come to think of it. I might have preferred if it was long beans instead. Still, overall it was a satisfying lunch that was healthy, tasty and fun.

Like I said, I'll definitely for you to order on if you are in the Marina Bay area. For those less fortunate, write in to them and they might consider serving the area if the demand gets stronger. Kallang folks anyone?

I'm also giving a special code for my readers because you guys are awesome, and Grain folks are awesome. This code will be live for a limited time only so get your lunch orders in soon!


Sunday, 31 August 2014

Brunch Review: Seasons Bistro at TripleOne Somerset, Singapore 238164

In town for some shopping and feeling meh because there's nothing GOOD to eat? Well fret not, because there's finally something decent for you to have for brunch, lunch or even dinner! The answer lies in Seasons Bistro, a modern American restaurant that replaced the rather quiet Applebee's at TripleOne Somerset (just behind the Cineleisure carpark), offering seasonally-fresh dishes. I was invited to try out their brunch menu one day and I was just really satisfied and impressed with what Chef Benjamin have created in a bid to win over people's tastebuds (and hearts).

I really liked the decor and the space. Naked light bulbs, well-lit with big windows, and some paintings of the New York cityscape. There's also a big bar at one side of it where you can sit at for a drink.

This was the brunch menu we tasted from. Prices are very very reasonable for the portions and location.

Of course, some moscato never hurt. The Brunch Specials feature the 2+1 Moscato promotion at only $35++.

For starters, we had the Pan Seared Foie Gras ($16++) with pain de mie, chocolate ganache, bacon jam, caramalized bananas and granola crumbs. While it might seem to rich for brunch, the flavors actually played well together to make for an appetizing start. The foie gras was really yummy, especially when it melts in your mouth along with bits of granola. The bacon jam added the savoury sweet touch, accented by the bananas. Every bite is a flavour explosion!

The Grilled Portobello Salad ($15++) with St Maure Terroir, tomatoes, beans, candied walnuts, pickled onions, bacon crisp and red wine vinaigrette is a classic light salad for those wishing to watch their waistline, but also wanting to indulge (its the weekend!) with bacon. The greens were really fresh and crisp. 

Something which might have been odd, but definitely something you should try at will be the Season's Hot Wings ($12++) with blue cheese dip, mango & passion fruit catsup & veggie crudite. The wings were hot and sour - just the way I liked it. For some it might be not as spicy as they liked. To me its just right! I loved the hot wings. Probably can eat half a dozen by myself.

Then we got to the brunch mains. First, the Montreal & Lox ($15++) which is made with toasted bagels, cream cheese, capers, onions, smoked salmon, tomatoes and greens.

I really enjoyed the soft chewy bagel with little balls of cream cheese, and the contrast with the briney smoked salmon with little capers. At $15 it is also very value-for-money, in my opinion.

We also had The Lumberjack ($18++) which is eggs anyway, smoked bacon, sausage, pancake and maple. Sweet, savory and just all round comforting. This is the way pancakes should be consumed! I didn't find any fault with this again.

Then, the default Seasons Breakfast ($17++) with mushrooms, tomato, sausage, eggs any style, home fries, smoked bacon and toast. Classic American done with high quality ingredients that you can taste. I really enjoyed this and wish I can have it every other month!

Last of the brunch mains would be the Freedom Toast ($15++) with has egg-dipped bread, smoked bacon, brie and maple. Notice how they've Americanized the name? Still, good dish. I can't decide if this or the pancakes are better. I think they are pretty on par!

For desserts we also tried 3. There's the Season’s Deconstructed Banana Split ($12++) with battered and caramalised bananas, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, granola nut crumbs, fresh strawberries, nutella & fresh cream. A really simple dessert, but something that most people will enjoy. I sure did.

Something a little bit more special - try the Mojito Tart ($12++) which is toasted coconut tart with mint lime curd & rum cream. Even though I can't really taste much of the coconut or rum cream, the textures of the tart were well-mixed and baked.

Lastly, the Season's Carrot Cake ($12++) which as you can see, is a huge slice of goodness and choke full of walnuts. Even though $12 is a bit steep, when you have a carrot cake craving, you have to have this. Because it is so classic, you will guaranteed be satisfied with it.

Great brunch spot to go to next time you are in town. Affordable prices, super comfortable ambiance and just generally really good food in one of the most frequented locations in Singapore. For those hankering for some classic American breakfast or desserts, Seasons Bistro is the place to go. I know I'll be back.

Seasons Bistro
#01-11/12, TripleOne Somerset, 111 Somerset Road, Singapore 238164
+65 68365841
Mon - Thu: 11:00 - 00:00, Fri: 11:00 - 02:00, Sat: 10:00 - 02:00, Sun: 10:00 - 00:00


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Smartphone Review: Nokia Lumia 635 affordable entry-level phone

Want to get a smartphone for your second line? Want to buy one for your parents so they can watch Youtube on the go? Your previous phone's lost/broken/old? Or sick of queuing for XiaoMi and realizing that it hangs on you when you try to multi-task? Then get the Nokia Lumia 635. Retailing for S$239 ONLY, it is probably one of the most affordable touchscreen color 4G smartphone that has all the components you'll need. A 5 megapixel camera, bluetooth, 8GB internal storage with additional storage option, and standby time of 648 hours! If you sign up with a telco, it is $0.

A #Lumia635 unit was sent for me to review, and I was really impressed by a few things.

1. It's incredibly affordable for that amount of technology.
2. It is very light yet not 'plasticky'
3. The design is awesome - both the neon orange cover, and the user interface and design.

I played around with it for a few days, and while I found the camera to be rather basic compared to what I'm used to (HTC One M8, iPhone), the rest of the phone delivers superbly especially on speed. Did not hang on me at all, and scrolling up and down was smooth.

I really liked playing around with the Windows Tile on the Nokia Lumia 635.

I also think the Windows Tile makes for a great user experience. The typing and navigation was really idiot-proof and easy to take up -- my dad took to it like fish to water.

Everything was thought of nicely. There's even a swipe down notification bar like all the other smartphones now for you to access shortcuts and etc.

There are also some great apps now on the Windows Apps+Games Marketplace that I've tried.

1. 6tag to surf and look at Instagram photos. Very nicely designed, so you don't miss the original version at all.

2. Nokia Glam Me to touch up your photos and make sure you look your best. Perfect for selfies!

3. Bing Health & Fitness to track your activity levels. Now you have no excuse not to do a few extra km when you jog!

If you are considering a new phone but not going to drop $900 to a k, consider the Nokia 635 at a fraction of the price. It is a simple, elegant and unassuming smartphone that does its job well.


Friday, 29 August 2014

Healthier Food Review: Saybons Singapore 4-course Skinny Crepe Meals

If you’ve been to Plaza Singapura or Junction 8, you must have seen Saybons, the casual French dining café. They have been around for a while now, but did you know that a Singaporean couple started it? They are truly entrepreneurs in the F&B scene! All along I thought this was a franchise from overseas. In fact, the lady boss trained at Cordon Bleu but decided to strike it out on her own with soup and crepes creations inspired by the French, who are so known for their thin pancakes. I reckon how the name Saybons comes about is from the French phrase, “c’est bon”, which means, “it is good”! And I think Saybons is not just good, it's also good for you.

Their soups and crepes are already quite healthy right (all soups fall between 30-170 calories on their own) but Saybons has joined the Healthier Dining Programme officially as a partner and as such offers 10 Healthier Meal Combos that is made with 4 skinny crepes and 4 soups, plus a banana and water all for $11 nett. That’s a really good deal for a well-balanced meal with quality ingredients.

Order one of these meals and get a stamp on your Healthy Go Lucky card too!

The skinny crepes are healthier because they only have half the amount of cheese used in the regular ones, and includes fresh ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes & potatoes. I tasted all 4 soups and 2 skinny crepes during my visit.

I really enjoyed the mushroom cheese skinny crepe and found it to be no less satisfying compared to a regular crepe with more cheese! The sautéed mushrooms are prepared fresh every morning at the shops and gave the crispy thin crepes a savory mushroomy flavor. The other ingredients, like greens, are also very generously packed into the slightly sweet and light crepe. The packaging also makes for very convenient munching -- no mess. Apparently the mushroom and cheese crepe is a perennial best seller among customers. I'm not surprised. Singaporean tastebuds are easy to predict.

Here’s a photo of what a 4-course Skinny Crepe meal looks like, in the flesh.

We also tried the vegetarian Margarita skinny crepe that comes with cheese, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce and onions. While this is good on its own, I'll suggest you make it a meal by also having a mushroom soup or the thicker carrot coriander soup. This way I feel makes for a more flavourful experience of Saybons.

For soups, we found out that other than the mushroom (1st in pic from left) and tomato soup (4th), the carrot coriander soup (2nd) and carrot (3rd) also has no cream in it, which helps lighten the calorie count.

I can't decide which is my favorite -- I think it might well be a tie between the thick and strong flavored mushroom soup and the tangy and light tomato soup. But I always order pumpkin soup if I'm in a restaurant, and Saybons' pumpkin soup does match up to restaurants. My least favorite I guess would be the carrot coriander, which is too much of a purée for me. That has its merits though because the ingredients are so... clean and healthy. See what I mean by I can't choose? If I were you, I’ll just go with what I am feeling that day.

I love that Saybons is offering affordable, quick and fuss-free French fare that is now healthier for everyone to try. View their menu here. I’ll definitely recommend that you check it out next time you walk past them! You can find them at:

Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road #B2-32
Singapore 238839
Tel: 6884 9018
Open: 930am to 10pm (Mon-Sun)

Junction 8
9 Bishan Place #02-27A
(above McDonalds)
Singapore 579837
Tel: 6258 3138
Open 10am to 930pm (Mon-Fri), Open 930am to 930pm (Sat & Sun)

KK Women's & Children's Hospital 
100 Bukit Timah Road #01-17 Singapore 229899 Tel: 63417890
Open 830am to 730pm (Mon-Fri), Open 9am to 330pm (Sat)
Close on Sundays & Public Holidays

This post is brought to you by HPB’s Healthier Dining Programme. For more info, visit