1872 Clipper Tea Hand-Tiered Bouquet Workshop

Went for my first hand-tiered bouquet workshop last weekend organised by 1872 Clipper Tea and MyFloralLoft at Yellow Cup Cafe in Clarke Quay. I didn’t expect myself to be attending a workshop like this and even my mum was surprised when she learnt I was going to a floral arrangement workshop. I think she secretly thought I was experiencing mid life crisis. HA. Anyways, I’m glad the workshop is restricted to a small group so it doesn’t feel so packed and rushed

While waiting for everyone to be here, we savoured some tea time snacks prepared by 1872 Clipper Tea

Freshly Baked Croissants

Eclairs from Dulcet & Studio

Set of 3 Orchid Blend $38

Orchid Bloom, Halia Blossom & Dragon Eye Bouquet

They recently launched their Singapore Orchid Collection and it comes in a set of 3. Orchid Bloom – a twist of cranberry and orchid is my favourite with the base of black tea, Halia Blossom – their take on Teh Halia is a ginger-infused black tea and Dragon Eye Bouquet – with longan and rambutan with base of green tea needs just a few more sips before the flavour comes through and the you can taste the lingering sweetness in your mouth

Timeless Earl Grey (cold)

They also did a cold brew version of their tea using their Timeless Earl Grey

Lemon Yuzu Eclair (left) Venezuelan Eclair (right) $5.80 each

I liked the lemon yuzu eclair, a nice balance of sweetness and sourness without being too overpowering. The dark chocolate choux with Venezuelan chocolate cream will be a delight for chocolate lovers though I think the cream can be a bit more gao

Earl Grey Tea Puff $3.20 each / 4 tea-infused puffs for $12

1872 Clipper Tea has also recently launched their tea puffs on 1st August after much anticipation. Comes in 5 flavours –  Earl Grey, Eternal Garden (Rose), Milk Tea, Matcha and Vanilla, they are available for sale at Ion flagship store

I like the texture of the puff, sweet and crispy and the puff pastry wasn’t thick. The cream inside though can be a little overwhelming since when you bite into these larger than normal puffs, the cream tends to run out from the bottom. On top of that, if you don’t eat gracefully, this is just one messy snack to deal with. On a side note, the flavour of the earl grey was really fragrant and I enjoyed digging into it

Matcha Tea Puff

Other than the colour being different, the inside is a rich Matcha cream with a deep green tea flavour

Moving on to the workshop, we have Rachel from MyFloralLoft conducting the session together with blooms of Hydrangeas, Kenyan Roses, Cotton flower, Dried Lavender, Dried wheat, Eucalyptus leaves, Orchids, Vibumum (aka Blackberries) and Eustomas

Rachel from MyFloralLoft

Teaching us the basics on selection, trimming and arranging

Picking your flowers! My pastel theme🙂

After lots of trimming and arranging and snipping and agaration

img_2356_zpslwfatvlb

Coming in shape! (not bad right)

img_2363_zpsraafngmu

The final step! Moving on to how to wrap the flowers using craft papers

img_2369_zpsdoqjtzys

Ta-da! My first hand-tiered bouquet!😀

I think I’m talented. hee

img_2366_zpsthjfknl2

Each participant also get to bring home a goodie bag containing a box of 1872 Clipper tea and postcards. You can hop off to 1872 Clipper Tea’s webpage/facebook page to see what upcoming workshops they have. I thought this was a pretty interesting session. Well at least I discovered a secret talent of mine😉

Tempura Kohaku – Tempura Bowl Worth The Wait

One of the newest into the Tempura scene is an one month old Tempura Kohaku at Suntec City. The tiny place occupies the same space along Eat at Seven, alongside other Japanese eateries. The only difference is, the queue is never-ending. We went at 1.30pm, assuming it should be less crowded since it’s post lunch but only to be surprised with still a queue. Well, not that we complained since we caught a number of pokemons while waiting. Yeah, they have lures there😉

Since the menu is pretty standard with choice of chicken, vegetables or seafood, you pick of the options and choose if you want to go with the set meal complete with udon, which in my opinion is too much food

Kohaku Tendon $15

We picked the prawn & seafood; choice of spicy or original sauce

Honestly the bowl is so full we don’t know where to start. Now I understand what’s the point of the small plate inserted into the bowl

The execution of the tempura was good with the batter slightly thicker yet crisp and satisfying. The prawns were huge and sweet and gave a crunch when you chew into it

But what impressed me was the huge piece of chicken which was so tender despite its size. We could see the glistening in the meat and it was piping hot and juicy. Other seafood fared pretty well. My favourite was the squid with texture similar to fish cake. It was rather different

Side of ginger with yuzu sauce, for those who need to cleanse your palate

I feel like these are life savers. Cos after so much oily and fried stuffs, you just wanted something refreshing down your throat

The spicy sauce might not fit well with everyone. It’s not exactly spicy with a strange bitterness. My choice would be the original sweet sauce. Stay safe, cannot go wrong

By the time we left, it was 3 plus pm, and there was still a queue:/

Pretty amazing I would say, people really queue for food, no matter what strange timing it is. That aside, I thought this bowl of tempura is definitely worth the wait in terms of portion, freshness and execution. And I like it when there are more dishes than carbs on my plate though I think it gets pretty overwhelming towards the end of the meal. Still, I thought it was pretty value for money

Tempura Kohaku

Eat At Seven

3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-310/311, Suntec City Mall Tower 1, Singapore 038983

Crystal Jade Golden Palace – Serving Quality Food with A Star

Since the friends wanted some dim sum for brunch, I thought we could give Crystal Jade Golden Palace a try, given it was just awarded recently the Michelin One Star. The restaurant limits your dining time to 1.5 hours which makes sense given that amount of time is enough to finish your meal and probably due to the popularity of the place. The restaurant does a mix of Cantonese and Teochew cuisines so you can get the best of both worlds, but since we were in the mood for dim sum we didn’t really give their main dishes a try

Peking Duck $78 (whole)

Not the most flattering picture since they started to slice the duck before I could get to the table

The staffs wrap it up for you. You can add more sauce to it if you want to. But I think I still find enjoyment in doing my own

The skin was crackling and sweet and the fats were thin. It was a rather decent Peking duck with a smooth and powdery crepe

BBQ Pork Pastry $5.80

A rather popular dish among the table, the pastry was crisp, flakey and buttery and the barbecue pork was fragrant, tender and sweet

Baked Crispy Pork Buns $5.80/portion

I thought the buns were pretty decent too, though we all agree the pastry was better

Mini Baked Egg Tarts $5.20/portion

I love these egg tarts! The pastry was delicate and delicious and the egg custard melts in your mouth. They were baked to perfection

Fried Carrot Cakes with XO Sauce $11.80

I thought the fried carrot cake could have been more fragrant and flavourful but still worth a try

Pan Fried Carrot Cake $4.80

I think we went a little overboard with carrot cake. ha

Deep Fried Mango Prawn Roll $5.80

Deep Fried Shrimp Dumpling $6/portion

Fried Beancurd Skin with Prawns $6.20/portion

The beancurd skin was evenly thin and crisp and the prawns were succulent and juicy. Served piping hot, they were really delicious

Scallop Rice Roll $7.80

Thin and smooth rice rolls with huge, sweet scallops wrapped in it

Har Gao $6.80

The har gao skin was thin and a little sweet and complements well with the prawns in it

Siew Mai $6.80

I like how the minced meat is firm yet not too bouncy and the siew mai skin thin, yet able to contain everything in it

Xiao Long Bao $5.50

Rather normal

Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce $4.80

Sautéed Beef with Garlic $30

Beef was tender and flavourful but I think the addition of more garlic to bring out the fragrance would taste even better

Add on $20 for noodles

The quality of the duck doesn’t just come from the skin, but also from the preparation of the meat. We were pleasantly pleased that the meat was really tender and it went well with a hearty bowl of ee fu noodles

So I asked the friends what they thought of the meal, and if they deserve a star

Friend A: This is definitely better than THW (in HK)

Friend B: Okay lor

Friend C: huh? okay?! you everything very nice very nice leh!

I burst out laughing. Sometimes le friends are even more difficult to please than me. Not everything is fantastic but the quality of the food here speaks of its own, and so is the service. I used to think ITSPD and Paradise Pavilion (which has since closed) serves good Peking duck, but hey, I just found another place. And I’m also glad to say this is probably one place that serves decent dim sum without having the need to fly all the way to Hong Kong, and we agree it’s worth coming back

Crystal Jade Golden Palace

290 Orchard Road, #05-22 Paragon Shopping Centre, S(238859)

Izakaya Nijumaru – Discovering Another Izakaya at Cuppage Plaza

Cuppage Plaza is probably home to lots of Japanese restaurants, hidden or conspicuously hidden at the least expected place. The friend suggested this place for dinner and I thought we could do drinks there as well. The restaurant requires all party to arrive before they could sit you. Crowd on a weekday night is thin, so I think you can easily get a seat there

img_2024_zpsns6z6xho

Hakkaisan $78

Their list of sake is meagre and there is probably not much to choose from, in terms of quantity and quality

Kawahagi Himono $9

A nice side to accompany your alcohol. Japanese fugu fish, the texture is somewhat like cuttlefish though I would still prefer stingray fins anytime

Shitake Mushrooms $8

Taste like mushrooms, nothing notable to mention

Agedashi Tofu $13

Ika Sugate Yaki $9

I thought their squid was nicely grilled

Ika Butter Yaki $9

So much that we ordered another version of squid to try. The friend said this tasted like popcorn but I think the taste of butter overwhelms the dish a little too much

Unagi Kabayaki $20

Asked the friend, how’s the eel? She replied, hmm, tasted like unagi. I think it’s very hard to go wrong with unagi, unless you over or undercooked them

Yakitori $6 (left) Tori Tsukune $7.50 (right)

I prefer the chicken balls to the yakitori. More flavourful and moist and you could taste the slightly burnt fragrance

Tori Kawa $6

I think the chicken skin is a little too thick and chewy

Buta Bara $7.50

A recommendation by them, I thought it was just so-so. It could afford to be more crispy, tender and moist

Beef Teriyaki Set $20

Their rice dishes fared a little better but the beef can be more tender. It was slightly too chewy

Katsu Curry Rice $12

Probably the best dish of the night, but then again, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with Japanese curry

Wanted desserts, but they only had icecream, so we moved on to Kazu. Speaking of Kazu (I know it’s not related to this review, but still). We had went in as walk-in customers at 9pm but they were displeased cos we were just ordering desserts and sake. We wanted to leave and they say we can’t cos they already sent in our orders (when we barely sat down) -.-  The service and attitude was down to the drains that night. Kazu, I love you leh, but why you like that! #toomuch

Back to point, honestly, the food here ain’t impressive. I had gone with no expectations but it was rather disappointing. The only comfort here, if any, is probably the rather reasonable pricing. I believe there are many more izakaya out there, with probably better food as well

Izakaya Nijumaru

5 Koek Rd, #02-02-10/12 , 10 Cuppage Road S(228796)

Hai Tien Lo 海天楼 – Fine Cantonese Dining at Pan Pacific Singapore

Hai Tien Lo, means literally Stairway to Heaven and is headed by Chef Lai Tong Ping with more than 10 years of experience in Cantonese cooking. The restaurant sprouts traditional design of Chinese architecture in red and black and occupies level 3 of Pan Pacific Singapore

Platter of Trio Dim Sum $5.20 – $6.20 per portion (3 pcs)

img_2052_zpslljx8uzo

Steamed Spinach with Prawn, Fried Beancurd Skin with Prawn and Steamed Prawn Dumplings

We had some dim sum to start. Usually dumplings with spinach in them don’t usually interest me but I like how thin the skin of the dumpling was, and with the combination of spinach and prawns that provided a balance to the overall dish. The rest of the platter was decent as well

Double Boiled Bamboo Pith with Fresh & Dried Scallops in Supreme Chicken Stock $18/pax

The soup was infused with a rich and deep flavour of chicken stock. The bamboo pith was well-cooked, soaked with goodness of the broth and you can still taste the sweetness of the scallop when you chew on it

Crispy Prawn with Watermelon $30/portion (Serves 4)

I believe there was supposed to be wasabi, no idea where it went. That aside, the prawn was well executed. The sauce might be a little too sweet for some, which is why the topping of wasabi will give the dish a rounded balance. Not sure if the addition of watermelon was necessary given this dish is pretty sweet by itself but it did give a refreshing aftertaste

Steamed Sea Perch Fillet with Shredded Ginger in Abalone Sauce $18/pax

Deep Fried Sea Perch with Fish Roe in Champagne Sauce $18/pax

The fish was nicely done with the texture smooth to taste and somewhat reminds me of cod fish. The sauce was a little too overwhelming for both, with flavours so rich that it was just a little too impactful

Braised Beancurd with Crab Meat and Enoki Mushrooms in Supreme Chicken Stock $24/portion (Serves 4)

The beancurd were deep fried and braised with the skin to a nice golden layer and the beancurd itself silky smooth. I like the combination of the crab meat and enoki mushrooms as well, that makes this beancurd a very homey dish

Stir Fried Pork Shoulder in Black Truffle Sauce $24/portion (Serves 4)

The pork shoulder was really tender and the black truffle sauce enhanced the overall flavour with its fragrance and sweetness without being too overpowering

img_2071_zps1ps2g5lx

Wok Fried Fish Noodles with Scallops and Sea Cucumber, Price Unavailable

The fish noodles required a long preparation time, from mincing, stuffing, slicing, boiling, frying and baking. The sea cucumber is soaked overnight before it is braised in stock and baked with the fish noodles for the flavours to fully bind together

The result? Pretty impressive. You can taste the sweetness of the fish and the wok-hei in it. Even though we were pretty full by then, we made an effort to clean off this bowl of fish noodles

Pan Fried Pancake with Red Bean Paste $12

A dessert which you can find in most Chinese restaurants. The uniqueness of this dessert was its exceptionally fragrant taste of sesame with the sweetness of the red bean paste that provides that crunch and texture

Generally the main dishes at Hai Tien Lo were pretty decent, with its use of superior ingredients. The place also serves weekday dim sum buffet and weekend dim sum brunch. Do check out Pan Pacific’s website for more details

Thanks to Dave and Pan Pacific Singapore for the invite!

Hai Tien Lo 海天楼

Pan Pacific Singapore

7 Raffles Boulevard, Level 3, Singapore 039595

Patissez – The Freakshakes Creator Serving Brunch at Holland Village

Freakshakes, or what we called as over-the-top shakes aren’t new in Singapore. Patissez, the creator of Freakshakes have a found a home here finally, which makes me wonder why it took them so long. Located at Holland Village, it is easily accessible by the mrt and also close to the heart of Holland V

The place was surprisingly empty even though it was close to lunch time

Muddy Pat $16

They have 4 to choose from but given there are only 2 of us and we have other stuffs to try, we decided to just share one. For the chocolate lovers, the Muddy Pat is a like denser version of ice chocolate, topped with brownie and a slightly torched marshmallow that melts in your mouth. I thought the sweetness was acceptable. Though nothing fanciful, it was a decent and sinful milkshake

Get Pig’d $22

18hr Slow Braised Pulled Pork, Bacon Jam, Crusty Sourdough, Spinach, Poached Eggs

Packed with flavours, the pork was tender and juicy. I like the addition of the bacon jam that gave a little sweetness now and then

Eat it together with the yolk, it was a delicious combination

Tropical Hot Cakes $15

Buttermilk Hotcakes, House Made Honeycomb, Caramelised Mango & (A Big Scoop of) Vanilla Icecream

The hotcakes were hot, light and fluffy and they tasted good even without the icecream. The honeycomb was confusing, I’m not too sure how it fits with the pancakes since they are so hard to bite into. Perhaps they might want to consider garnishing with smaller pieces instead

I was surprised by the overall quality since I went without much expectations. I thought Patissez served some decent brunch and milkshake, and they were so filling it kept me full for the next few hours. Give it a try if you are in the area

Patissez

118 Holland Avenue #01-06, Singapore 278997

Tempura Tsukiji Tenka – Tendon & Donburi at Japan Food Town

Supposedly famed for graduating from Tokyo Sushi Academy and honed for their skills in making the best Tempura and Donburi, this academy opened its first at Japan Food Town. I went during their pre-opening period so the crowd was just minimal

They recommended the tendon over the chirashi don cos it is what they are famous for

Fresh and hot pieces of tempura

Sea Eel Tendon $26.80

My first thought? Where’s the eel? And apparently I’m not the only person who thought like that. The Japanese customer sitting next to me asked the chef if he was given the wrong order, but to be told this is the sea eel tendon. I mean you can tell from the photo, the tempura has already soaked in the sauce which makes the appearance less than appetising

img_6109_zpsytoqvuy5

The prawn was thin, but it had firm and crunchy texture. It was a pity the tempura were soggy already given I could taste (of whatever crispy parts I had) the batter was pretty good. I’m not sure if they had poured too much sauce to start with, or it is meant to be eaten like this. And even if they had poured little sauce, leaving the bowl at the counter and not serving to customers straight is a no-no. I was literally counting down the seconds before the bowl finally got picked up to be delivered to another customer

The almond pudding dessert was good though, probably the only side that provided any comfort to the meal

The tendon probably isn’t the most fantastic here, but given I went during their pre-opening period, hopefully things will have picked up and improved by now. Still, there are many more other restaurants at Japan Food Town which I would love to give it a try, before I conclude if there is anything that is worth going for there

Tempura Tsukiji Tenka @ Japan Food Town

Wisma Atria Level 4, 435 Orchard Rd

Singapore 238877