As an SMU Alumna, there is a whole list of perks that can be enjoyed! From food and beverages to electronics, clothing and spas, we can get these items and services at discounted pricing!
Kindred Teas is one of the merchants under the SMU Alumni Privileges. And did you know that it is the brainchild of an SMU alumna, Madelene Poon?
I was gifted a sample which consisted of a tea glassware and three tins of teas – Rooibos Orange, Genmaicha Matcha-iri and Endearment Tea!
I have always been a tea person and these comes just in time! I brewed and tried the teas. They are amazing, fragrant and strong in their flavours. The Rooibos Orange comes off citrusy and refreshing while the Matcha-iri tastes of earthy notes.
The floral Endearment Tea totally floats my boat. It is best to put it in a tall flask, add some hot water in and then watch it blossoms into a flower. How beautiful is this!
Speaking of which, you might even fall in love with these classy tins lovingly filled with loose tea leaves and/or individual tea bags, perfect for any gifting occasions.
When it comes to local delights, there are quite a few restaurants that serve a variety of local favourites. This season, in celebration of Singapore Food Festival, Mercure Singapore Bugis brings to you the Rasa Sayang BBQ Buffet at Royale Restaurant!
Here, you would find that it’s got a hearty local and international spread with popular items such as the seafood on ice (clams, scampi, prawns), assorted sushi, DIY Rojak, Fried Kway Teow, Snapper Fish Head Curry and Kampung Nasi Goreng!
On the plus side, the restaurant’s layout is superbly enchanting, furnished in an elegant vintage style!
Upon sitting down, the cordial staff served us a Bandung drink with pandan leaf (love this little detail!) It had just the right tone of milkiness, served chilled and was really tasty! A great start to this Rasa Sayang buffet, we believe!
Milky bandung drink with pandan leaf! Stylo.
Instead of a typical salad bar, we were pleasantly surprised with a DIY Rojak corner! There, you can make your own rojak with pineapples, apples, dried you-tiao pieces, grated peanuts, and more. We had our own mixed in with a gargantuan portion of assorted fruits, vegetables and sweet sauce too!
We were very excited about the outdoor live Asian BBQ station. It was also the first time that Royale Restaurant is launching this.
We tried the Grilled Sambal Stingray which was crispy and coated well with sambal sauce that turned into a crisp around the stingray – sounds odd, but it’s actually really good!
The Grilled Mini Crawfish with homemade spices was full of flavour, though the texture could be softer. It was also the highlight of the buffet that we would keep going back for!
Foodiegram Sundays is an event organised by #MSQeats, Marina Square, where diners get to enjoy special lunch deals worth over $40 at an affordable price of only S$25! With every ticket purchase of $25, diners also receive a $5 Voucher to Cake Club – a pop-up store at Marina Square Glasshouse from 14 July 2018 to 26 August 2018 which showcases a range of yummy cakes and desserts.
In collaboration with Foodiegram Sundays, interested diners can sign up from a list of 10 participating restaurants. Tuck into quality set lunches that won’t burn a hole in your wallet!
There are times when I get the occasional hunger pangs for durians. And all I could do is wait for weekends to come so that dad could drive us out to the popular durian spots.
Now with Durian Delivery, I don’t have to wait nor fret anymore! Durian Delivery is an online platform which allows us to select the types of durians we like to be delivered straight to our house. Great thing is that the last delivery service leaves at 11PM so you can still get durians for supper!
Durians delivered are de-husked and sold at minimum 400g. Options include the Hand-Picked Old Tree MSW Durian (TSW, PAHANG AAA+), Mao Shan Wang and Red Prawn.
Ordering online is really simple!
Choose your desired durian and add to cart
Select your delivery time period (whether it is a same-day, next-day or within 2-hour delivery)
Make your payment
Fuss-free and you can get your durians within two hours of ordering!
I got the TSW and MSW. Both had small seeds and were superbly fleshy!
Tiong Bahru Bakery is like our local bakery with a French dressing.
Taking kopi and toasts one notch higher, the humble bakery offers a range of homemade French pastries and artisanal breads alongside freshly brewed cuppa where the beans come from Common Man Coffee Roasters.
In the early years, Tiong Bahru Bakery was known more for their flakey croissant and Kouign Amann. I still remembered tearing apart my first croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery and the layers came off beautifully as little rings. Voted by locals as the best in Singapore, the croissant truly lives in my heart till now.
Fast forward a few years later, Tiong Bakery Bakery has sprung up in several areas and seen an uplift in its menu. The newest and forth outlet is nestled along 43 Jalan Merah Saga in Chip Bee Gardens. Besides an express lane that boasts a fuss-free grab-and-go, the outdoor is lavished with bar top seats, wooden tables and chairs surrounded by greenery.
The Saturday afternoon saw a huge crowd indoors. Dainty cake and bakes tucked behind glass casings while merchandises bearing the words ‘Save the Croissant’ on T-Shirts and Tote Bags designed to stuff your baguette in were displayed overhead.
Here, whether you are in for a Smoked Salmon Squid ink Baguette $9.50, a slice of the Lemon Drizzle Loaf $3.50 or a real fudgey Chocolate Brownie $6.50, you won’t be disappointed at the selection!
Showing love to Chip Bee Gardens, the Merah Saga Tart $9.50 makes an appearance with fresh raspberries studded on vanilla cream. Sitting on a crumbly sable breton crust, it is then dusted with gold leaves which further enhances its elegance! Available till end of July.
Other tarts and cakes include Chocolate Tart $7.5, Lemon Tart $6.5, Coconut Cheesecake $8, Tropezienne $7, Tiramisu $9.5, Apple Crumble $6.5, Millefeuille $7.2, Chocolate Marble Loaf (Slice) $3.50, Lemon Drizzle Loaf (Slice) $3.50, Berries Crumble $6.5 and Yuzu & Praline Petite Gateau $9.50.
There is also the huge gooey slab of Chocolate Brownie $6.5, Scone (Raisin $2.5 / Jasmine $3) and Hazelnut Financier $4.5.
The savouries are not to be missed too!
Catering to different palates out there, look out for the Ham & Cheese Croissant $5.30, Roast Beef Croissant Sandwich $8.50, Roasted Vegetables & Mozzarella Baguette $9 and even the Quiche Lorraine (Plain $8.10 / With salad $11.10).
I had tried the Ham & Mozzarella Foccacia (Plain $9.50/ with salad $12.50) before and it was one of my favourites back in school days.
Croissant starts at $3.20 for a plain, $4.20 for almond and $4.50 for green tea almond.
Bread lovers can even dine in and/or takeaway breads like Cereal Baguette $4.80, Wholemeal $8, Rye sourdough Bread $8.50 and Apricot Nut & Cinnamon Loaf $9.50.
Help yourself to the free-flow jam and spreads too!
Listed as Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant,Ministry of Crab is a Sri-Lankan restaurant serving dishes, which Singaporeans would be very familiar with – crabs! Founded by Dharshan Munidasa, Ministry of Crab whips up signatures such as the Chilli Crab and Pepper Crab, alongside gigantic Freshwater Prawns accompanied with rice and vegetarian dishes back in their home country.
Lovers of these sea creatures now have the chance to savour Chef Munidasa’s creations. Ministry of Crab will be cooking at Shangri-La Hotel over a 3-day pop-up event from 11 to 13 July 2018.
Sit through a five-course meal that will take you on a culinary journey led by Chef Munidasa and his team from Ministry of Crab.
Start with the Crab Liver Pate – a unique spun from the pates you would find in French restaurants. This was blissfully tasty with crab and the ultra-smooth and creamy consistency made a heavenly spread across the crunchy melba toast.
The second course was Baked Crab which was likened a crab risotto. Served in a crab-shaped bowl specially brought in by chef Munidasa, the portion was surprisingly more filling than it looked, with superbly generous crab meat.
The much anticipated Garlic Chilli Prawn caused a commotion with its ginormous size. These Sri-Lankan freshwater prawns were meaty and firm. Cooked with Italian olive oil, Japanese soy sauce, garlic and chilli flakes in Ministry of Crab-style, the flavours were delicate on the meats and subtle. There’s hint of spice and a little garlicky taste. Paired with the rustic bread made by Shangri-La Hotel, I can’t imagine that bread could actually go well with the broth. Speaking of details, the butter imprinted with a crab on it got me admiring it for a moment and more.
The forth course was another favourite of mine, and probably everyone else’s at the table too. The popular Pepper Crab made its appearance prepared in a special concoction of pepper corns and pepper stock. It was a peppery affair with really tender and sauce-soaked crab meat. Addictive. Even the pincers were as huge as my hand!
Dessert was a deconstructed lemon tart. Lemon curd were squeezed onto crumbly biscuit base and stuck with meringue chips. Somehow these tasted sweeter than the yuzu strawberry sorbet on the side, which refreshed my palate instantly with its acerbity.
Free-flow alcohol will be served throughout the meal.
Durian, the king of all fruits, is no doubt a household name in Singapore. Growing up with durian-loving families and relatives, every little occasions call for a durian feast where someone would dabao several of these spiky fruits back for all to enjoy.
From the typical 3 for $10 durian near my marketplace to travelling all the way to popular durian spots for Mao Shan Wang, I have to admit that my palate has been calling for quality durians as opposed to a wailing wallet.
Le Méridien Singapore seems to have heard my echoes. This durian season, Latest Recipe restaurant from Le Méridien has launched a Du-licious Discovery Durian Buffet where diners get to enjoy unlimited durians from the durian pop-up stall on top of the durian desserts in the international buffet!
As the first and only durian-inspired buffet on Sentosa Island, it is exciting yet peaceful to dine away from the hustle and bustle of city life, while the stylish interior adds an additional comfortability on a Friday night.
The much-anticipated Durian Pop-up Stall showcases a range of premium durian such as the Mao Shan Wang, Red Prawn, D24 and XO. Limited to 1.5 hours, you can eat till shiok seeds after seeds. The durian fruit will be cut apart on the spot upon request so you can be assured that the durian flesh are fresh as day.
My favourite was the Mao Shan Wang and Red Prawn. No prize for guessing it right, I love the Mao Shan Wang for its ‘alcoholic’ aftertaste; for those who eat Mao Shan Wang, you would know what I mean!
As for the Red Prawn, it had a lingering bitter-sweet taste and smooth creamy texture that was neither fibrous nor cloying. It was a tough choice between Red Prawn and Mao Shan Wang. But here, you can simply have countless rounds of both.
Besides durian, the buffet also consists of a BBQ Alfresco.
The Grilled Lamb Chops were nicely seasoned and fortunately, not gamey. There were also Grilled Fish, Prawns, Corns and Cheese Tomatoes.
Other buffet items include the Seafood on Ice, Singapore Laksa, signature Char Keow Teow (must-try!), Roast Meats and Fried Finger Food. We spotted the Durian Pizza and Durian Doughsticks too!
Furthermore, the Durian Prata could be found at the Indian section, and even more exotically, Durian Green Bean Soup.
Singapore has no lack of beverage stores, especially when a tropical country like ours always make us crave for something cooling to have.
Fruit teas in Singapore are abundant and amidst a demand that constantly feeds the supply, new outlets continue to spring up in every corners offering more varieties and healthier choices.
So when MuYoo, a Shanghainese beverage brand, landed in Singapore armed with a series of cheese teas and fruity teas aim at the health conscious, you know that the tides have changed.
MuYoo takes pride in creating drinks with only the freshest ingredient. It offers a wide selection, ranging from the Cheese/Rose Cloud Fruit Tea, Fun Fruit Tea, Fruit Smoothies to Tea Latte and MuYoo’s Tea Pot. We tried five drinks and they were generally less sweet and pleasant on the palate.
Even its iconic Cheese Cloud, more commonly known as “cheese cap” — a sweet or savoury creamy froth topping — is made with naturally derived milk powder from New Zealand, pure cheese powder from Holland, real sea salt from Bolivia and other natural ingredients that are derived from a premium recipe instead of the commonly used and less-preferred creamer, which contains trans-fat and artificial flavouring.
MuYoo’s addition of a dreamy Cheese Cloud as a topping is a rich, chunky and creamy comfort that elevates regular cold-brewed tea like the toasty Roasted Oolong ($3.50 for a medium cup; $3.90 for a large cup) and the smoky Lapsang Souchong ($3.90 for a medium cup; $4.50 for a large cup) as well as its fruit-based drinks.
Forget the cheese tea from a particular ‘L’ brand. MuYoo does it smoother and lighter with their Cheese Cloud It’s Just Peachy $5.50 and Cheese/Rose Cloud Roasted Oolong $3.5/$3.90. The Cheese Rose Cloud boasts a pinkish hue and is less cheesy than the Cheese Cloud. I was glad that the cheese also blends well with the tea without one overpowering another.
What makes this Cheese Cloud so unique? MuYoo reveals that it is made with naturally derived milk powder from New Zealand, pure cheese powder from Holland, real sea salt from Bolivia and other natural ingredients. Wow.
The Fun Fruit Tea presents tea made from different combination of fruits. Peach + Kalamansi + Passion Fruit Fun Fruit Tea $4.90 is not as acerbic as I thought and the profile of peach sets in quickly and lingers in my mouth. The Passionfruit + Aloe Vera + Cucumber $4.90 on the menu looks equally quench-thirsting as well!
Purple Potato + Pumpkin $3.90 comes in a beautiful shade of pastel purple. If you are a fan of root vegetables, this is the drink for you with a thick consistency that’s not overwhelmingly cloying.
Look out for the menu board on drinks special displayed at the counter. This time round, MuYoo has the Cocoa Tea and Matcha Tea series such as The Simply Matcha + Green Tea Jelly $4.50/$5.50.
Here’s a guide on how to drink your Cheese Cloud drink too!
With such a variety of cuisine in Singapore, it is no wonder that many of us are tempted to explore beyond the confines of our houses. Yet food is not just limited to the dishes churned out by award-winning chefs nor Michelin-starred restaurants. It can be enjoyed in a setting as cosy as your homes, with meals that taste like what your family have when you dine in.
Made possible with Dine Inn, a platform that ropes in more than 500 home chefs, these chefs come from a diverse background whom not only bake and/or cook, they allow deliveries and dining in at their place for a meal with their family or like-minded kakis.
For this Singapore Food Festival, use the promo codes ‘HOME10’ for $10 off your next order with a minimum of $30 spent or ‘HOME20’ for 20% off with no minimum spending. Available till 31 July 2018!
Top 5 selected hosts:
Soo Leng: Asian fusion course meal with whisky gelato (from $39 per guest)
1place1dream: See Food Seafood in a pair of travellers’ den (from $20 per guest)
Minjiya: Korean food in the heart of Tampines (from $19 per guest)
Shirley Goh: Signature Wagyu Dinner with a pet Chow Chow (from $30 per guest)
Janan Kwek: New host with tasting menus and dessert specialties (from $50 per guest)
My friend and I went for a meal at Chef Janan Kwek‘s house. It was a one-off promotion at $19.90 per pax (U.P $50) on a Saturday night. The supposedly four-course meal also turned into a six-course filled with lots of anticipation.
Located at Bukit Timah, Chef Janan’s house has an alfresco where the dining experience begins. We dined with four others at the same table amidst tranquil music and small talks.
The starter was served at the table by Chef Janan, where 10 kinds of seasoning and herbsspread across a large plate. This became the sauce for dipping the ciabatta bread and it was a good mix of flavours with neither overpowering another. Interesting presentation too!
The tomato soup was thick and creamy, tangy with textures. The soup could do with less salt but otherwise, it was a hearty portion for the generous amount given.
One of my favourites was the seared Hokkaido scallops that were supernaturally tender. Surrounded by a garden of frisee salad, chopped grapes and then drizzled with mustard vinaigrette, this dish executed complexity in taste.
A surprise we had was when we were served these beautiful disco balls of mocktail – non-alcoholic fruity frizz.
Made in house, the prawn ravioli was amazing with a thick prawn broth boiled mainly from prawn shells. I was glad that the fillings were chunky with prawns and I could taste the crunchiness with each bite. Again I would have prefer less salt.
Sous vide chicken breast was well-executed with tender meats lightly coated in panko crumbs and served with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes.
Dessert was much look forward to. Specially made by Chef Janan’s fiancée, Sherry, this pavlova was an eye-opener with its less sweetened version, light whipped cream, berries and roasted chopped nuts. Pavlova is not an easy dessert but Sherry nailed it right!
For all you spicy-seekers, this dish is the one to beat!
Seoul Yummy has launched their brand new Level 5 Dak Bokkeum Tang (Spicy Braised Chicken Stew) to challenge spicy-lovers everywhere for one day only, on the 30th of June 2018! This Level 5 Dak Bokkeum Tang comes in a set ($49.80++) that includes a free appetizer (Kimchi Pancake) and a free dessert (Patbingsoo).
Wait, but what about the other levels? Before there was a level 5, there were levels 1, 2, and 3. Some of our friends had felt that level 3 was meh, which was exactly why they needed to try this and see if it doesn’t leave them panting and slurping away from glass(es) of juice!
The Level 5 challenge was available for one day only, but it definitely was an exercise to humble us Level 3 “boasters”!
At first sight, it doesn’t look that spicy!
But we definitely underestimated this dish as we confidently took a small bowl’s worth of noodles and slurped it up.
I barely ate the noodles and was already clamouring for the Korean Iced Yuzu Tea ($3.90)! This tongue-killing dish gets down to business fast! The stew contained ingredients like carrots, chunks of onions, chicken pieces, leeks, and potatoes. Even though the highlight was the chicken pieces, we felt that the ingredients could have a little more variety!
The spicier the level, the bigger the discounts!
Guess what? There’s always perks to being someone who can hold up your spicy-tolerance levels! Seoul Yummy rewards you for your gungho-ness:
Level 1 – 10% off this dish set
Level 2 – 20% off
Level 3 – 30% off
Level 5 – 50% off! – this challenge was available on 30th June 2018 only!
Our table took a really long 10 minute break afterwards… as we were cooling down, we turned our attention to the next dish!
This is the Korean Kimchi Pancake (worth $7.90++ and comes with the Dak Bokkeum set) which was really delicious – a relief from the mad-hot stew.
The cold CNGREEN Patbingsoo was the perfect end to the spicy chicken stew! It has a green tea ice cream nesting on top of Korean red bean and fluffy ice shavings, surrounded by a moat of cornflakes! We really welcomed this dish, having finished the chicken stew (thank God for spicy-eating gods at our table).
What about you? Are you up to the challenge for levels 1 to 3?
Date and Time: 11 June – 11 July 2018 (Level 5 challenge only available 30th June 2018. You can still try the levels 1 – 3!)
Price: $49.80++ per stew (includes appetizer, one patbingsoo of your choice)