Monday, January 23

Visiting the new Da Paolo Gastronomia, Raffles City

One Friday evening, we decided to take the kids out at the the new Da Paolo Gastronomia at Raffles City. Located by the water fountain (which has the migical powers to entertain kids for eons), the eatery spots an organised casualness that makes it kid-friendly without being overtly childish. This is one of those places we can always count on; the food is not exceptional but we always seem to have have a great time there.

Apart from the dry overcooked salmon, we enjoyed favourites such as smoked salmon pizza, wild rice salad, brussell sprouts and creamy mushroom penne, before ending things on a sweet-salty note with peanut butter chocolate chunk.

Friday, January 20

Celebrating J & A at W Hotel Sentosa

My dear friend and ex-colleague got married to his sweetheart and we shared their joy in a celebration that spoke volumes of their personality. The wedding was held at W Hotel, which was where they had their first date and when J proposed to A.

The invitation and wedding decor was inspired by the groom's loud and flashy flowery shirts. Not jiking. And clearly, someone was a mambo princeling back in the day.

We were fed a 4-course Western lunch. Apart from the eerily-neon dessert, the rest of the dishes were pretty good. I particularly loved the cod with its crisp skin and fleshiness.

Ahh, it was great seeing the couple and my ex-colleagues!

Wednesday, January 18

Oozy molten cookies at KOOKS Creamery

When it comes to desserts and ice cream pairing, I prefer cookies and brownies over waffles and pancakes any given day. Thus you can imagine my excitement when I discovered KOOKS Creamery and we made it a point to try it out on our regular Tuesday-ice-cream day. 

I got to say it was quite underwhelming as the cookie was pretty small (though yes, delectable) and served in a cast-iron-wannabe plate. Perhaps it would be much more satisfying to serve up skillet cookies... Mmm!

Monday, January 16

Getting crabby at Crab Kingdom Bedok South

Team lunch at the not-very-regal Crab Kingdom, which is located at a coffee shop at Bedok South. I am more of a chili-crab-kin-of-person but this broth was so so good! One of my colleagues remarked this is a very popular hangout for Chinese New Year reunion meals and Mothers' Day. One shall not try and make any direct connections between the dish and occasion. 

Thursday, January 12

Celebrating Kennth & Chern Harn, Capella Hotel Sentosa

Our first wedding of 2017 was in honour of Kenneth & Chern Harn. It took place at the lovely colonial grounds of Capella Hotel. I have such mixed feelings of Capella Hotel; it is a beautiful hotel but the food and service were really nothing to shout about. That said the highlight was definitely being able to share their joy - and swooning over little boys with bow ties.

Monday, January 9

Swept away by Jaan, once again

KW and I scored some time off at the end of 2016 and we decided to celebrate the year with a treat at Jaan. Admittedly, with Chef Julian Royer’s departure, I kept my expectations in check and wished for nothing more than a relaxing fine meal. It is quite obvious from the title that we had a great time.

At this point, I would like to make a note of their service, which initially borderlined on unacceptable for a fine dining establishment. Specifically, those white and in management positions need to work harder on their EQ – hey, everyone is working hard to make Jaaan an amazing restaurant, don’t let your team down. Kudos to the local staff who made our visit a pleasant experience.

Ok, onto the happy stuff.

Knowing that there would be amuse bouche, snacks and pre-dessert, as well as a heavy dinner at Basilico later, we opted for a moderately modest 5-course option. As soon as we settled down, a bevy of amuse bouche were served. Nice. I can’t think on a stomach. They were all interesting one-or-two bite snacks that made us go “Mmm, we are off to a good start.”

Tapioca chips with hummus and yogurt

 Foie gras truffle macarons

Cheddar Sticks  

JAAN’s version of fish & chips  

Truffle mushroom consommé with potato espuma and crunchy potato bits  

Bread basket 

Wheat, sourdough, milk brioche and walnut raisin (my favourite), served with unsalted butter and a very interesting seaweed butter.

Heirloom tomato  

Stuffed heirloom tomato, served alongside burrata espuma, basil sorbet, pesto and foam. A refreshing start.

Watching over our hatch like proud parents

Soft Organic Hen’s Egg  

This is a Jaan signature that we also had under Chef Julian Royer. Gimmicky and theatrical. Perfectly poached egg poured into a silky potato mash and crunchy chorizo iberico cubes. Yet another warm-thy-heart dish.


Roasted fillet of turbot, cuttlefish and pumpkin puree. The turbot and cuttlefish were perfectly made (fresh and toothsome), and the company of pumpkin puree was unexpectedly good.

Guinea Fowl

Guinea fowl with potato fondant and rillette, drizzled with an unctuous foie gras and chicken jus. Once again, an elegantly plated dish that tasted as good as it looked.

Cucumber sorbet

Ivory Caramel

Go big or go home. I love my chocolate desserts bold and intense, and this was an arresting assembly of chocolate. They need to start selling that caramel white chocolate ice cream in pints. Chef Westaway came out personally to serve the chocolate foam, so this would be a good time to thank him for the meal.

Mignardises: Lavender jam biscuits, amalfi lemon tart and chocolate truffles 

The mignardises were a lovely end to the meal. It's hard to get the balance right with one-bite desserts and they are usually overwhelmingly sweet, but these were all perfect.

The dishes at Jaan are beautiful and elegantly plated, on top of that, the flavour profiles are varied, punchy and bold. You would probably have guessed from the title, we were not disappointed and this is arguably my favourite 'fine dining meal / special occasion meal' of 2016!

Thursday, January 5

Lucas // two years old

Lucas, you are two. What a wonderful time it has been.

Your Chinese name means "to bring about great change" - huge expectations to live up to. While it might seem lofty or even unrealistic to expect so much from you, I feel you have done exactly that with the time we have spent with you. You have changed us all with your gentle innocence. I will readily admit I am not the most maternal of people, yet with you, I feel an overwhelming surge to protect you, to care for you as if you are a precious gift.

With your elder brother, I didn't have to worry about milestones, but with you, .I feel as if I subconsciously ask you to slow down. Every milestone you hit is a reminder of an experience I might never have again. 

There is little doubt you put your brother on a pedastal and we hope you and your brother will be there for each other for life. Though you are alot more easy-going, compared to your elder brother, you have shown a side not to be trifled with, especially when your favourite books are in questionable custody.

You may be two but you will always be my baby. Mama, Papa and your gorgor love you very much.