THE MARMALADE PANTRY

With The Marmalade Pantry All Day Weekend Brunch starting from 9am, there’s another good reason to crawl out of your cozy bed over the weekends. For an early bird like me, there’s one more bistro in the heart of town to satisfy my brunch craving. After all, brunch is our nation’s favourite meal.

The usual suspects formed the brunch menu. It was a close fight between the Bananas and Berries Hotcakes and French Toast. The downside of eating pancakes is they turned cold and stodgy really fast. French Toast on the other hand is more forgiving as it comes coated with a layer of egg. Slather on some vanilla bean ice-cream with sweet caramelized pear and your palate will thank you for that. The Chorizo Frittata served with Wood Roasted Red Piquillo Pepper and Baby Potatoes fared much better than the Eggs Benedict both in terms of taste and plating.

Apart from the brunch items, the glutton in us surfaced and we split the calories over 4 more ala carte dishes. The Marmalade Caprese is an antipasto to tantalize the tastebud before the mains. Tomatoes, Buffalo milk mozzarella and basil was made to resemble the colours of the Italian flag. Lightly seasoned with salt and olive oil, it was a simple yet refreshing starter. Perfect for cheese lovers, The Marmalade Mac and Cheese is a classic American dish. Served on a skillet, the macaroni covered with a combination of mozzarella, parmesan, emmental and gruyere melted into a gooey cheesy delicious mess.

Truffle oil as a modern culinary ingredient is often over used in most dishes to enhance the flavours after preparation. Sadly, most truffle oils are not made from actual truffles, but are chemically enhanced. The Truffled Field Mushroom Risotto with Herb Oil didn’t wow my pants off. Without the synthetic flavour of the truffle oil, the smooth and creamy risotto would work just as well. The Oriental Grilled Salmon is a predictable dish. The soba on the side provides the carb intake, but didn’t do much to elevate the dish.

How can we ever forget dessert? For the sweet tooth, running through the cakes, cookies, puddings, tarts and cupcakes on the menu is enough to give one a sugar high. Having something sweet to round off a great meal is indeed a happy ending to a lovely brunch. To further sweeten the deal, gather a friend or two this coming weekend for brunch at the Marmalade Pantry and enjoy the 4th dish* with every 3 orders.

*Only valid for brunch items till 26 Oct 2014.

THE MARMALADE PANTRY
2 Orchard Turn
#03-22 ION Orchard
Singapore 238801
Tel: 6734 2700
Email: enquiry.city@themarmaladepantry.com.sg

This was an invited tasting.
Thank you Shena from Refinery Concepts for the kind hospitality and casual banter.

CRYSTAL JADE KOREAN GINSENG CHICKEN AND BBQ RESTAURANT

From fine dining to casual dining, Crystal Jade has no lack of restaurants under its culinary belt to cater to different taste buds. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken and BBQ Restaurant shifted to their new home, taking over the spot vacated by their sister restaurant Crystal Jade Kitchen. Korean foodies are in for a treat with the expanded menu offering healthy wholesome home-styled Korean food within a traditional “hanok” inspired dining environment.

The Korean appetizers in a set of 6 ($10) is a great tummy filler before the mains arrive. The variety changes daily to keep things refreshing. After tantalizing my taste bud with the spicy appetizers, the Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup provides a totally different experience. Fresh whole young chicken is stuffed with glutinous rice, red dates and gingko nuts and steamed for 1.5 hours with ginseng and ginseng water before simmering for another 3 hours with chicken stock. The whole laborious affair resulted in a ginseng infused chicken meat that tears apart at the prick of a fork. This traditional summer time dish with rejuvenating and detoxing effects is chicken soup for the soul indeed.

When the stewed top grade beef short rib arrived simmering in a claypot, I knew it will be a show stopper. Prime Australian chunky beef ribs are massaged with an assortment of pepper, sesame, ginger and garlic before braising with rock sugar, apple, pear, carrot and radish. The vegetables and meat are totally infused with the thick stewed sauce packed full of umami flavour. Throw in some of the fresh Korean handmade noodle for a delicious carbo intake.

The Korean Imperial Hotpot ($39/serving) came beautifully arranged with assorted vegetables topped with fresh pork belly in a kimchi broth. I’m not a fan of kimchi and prefer my hotpot to be purely chicken or pork broth to fully appreciate the natural flavour without the enhancement of something spicy.

What’s a Korean meal without BBQ? To complete our Korean dining experience, the beef short rib ($28/serving) comes into play again, glistening over the hot grill, after being marinated with a secret recipe. The ox tongue ($25/serving) and gorgeous marbled pork collar ($22/serving) are both juicy and succulent with just a few short flip over the grill.

Ironically, the dessert is the most memorable dish for the night. Double boiled Snow Pear with Chuan Bei and Dried Longan ($5/serving) Affectionately known to many Koreans as “baesuk”, this simple home-styled dessert is a remedy for colds and coughs. Served icy cold, it is a refreshing end to our delightful BBQ meal.

CRYSTAL JADE KOREAN GINSENG CHICKEN AND BBQ RESTAURANT
391 Orchard Road
#B2-36A Ngee Ann City
Tel: 6733 3229

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri: 11am to 3pm (Lunch) 5.30pm to 11pm (Dinner)
Sat to Sun: 11am to 11pm

This was an invited tasting.

Thank you Samantha and Lucas from Crystal Jade and Joh Ju from Pinstripes Communications for the kind hospitality.

THE LONG WEEKEND

FINALLY! The long weekend is here. Some time alone to regain a little bit of my sanity back.

SIN LEE FOODS

Hot on the heels of the nostalgic trend to convert old shops into hipster cafes, Sin Lee Foods revived an weather-beaten kopitiam in Jalan Bukit Ho Swee famed for its lor mee and prawn noodle since 1963. Apart from the aged signboard and original wire grille painted black to match the distressed industrial interior space, traces of the past were barely noticeable.

I came with high expectation for the fried chicken and waffles. The generous slab of chicken thigh is juicy and evenly seasoned, but was let down by the stodgy waffle. The cold slaw and diluted maple butter on the side were both too insignificant to make much of a difference. While the croissant royale (Smoked salmon and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce) fared better, it is common café fare that one can easily get elsewhere. Perhaps some fusion spin to leverage on its predecessor food offering like Lor Mee pasta could inject more creativity for the menu. Food prices are also on the high side for a neighbourhood café, even without GST and service charge.

Although it’s heartening to see aspiring F&B owners trying to preserve heritage by taking over aged shops within matured estates , it takes much more for a café to survive the heat, after the initial retro hype wears thin, especially at the rate new cafes are sprouting up like wild shrooms all over the island.

SIN LEE FOODS CAFE
Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee #01-164 Singapore 162004
Tel: 6377 3170

Opening Hours:
Tues to Sun – 10am to 9pm (Closed on Mondays)

SINGAPORE BLOG AWARDS 2014 (BEST PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG FINALIST)

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ORAL PLEASURE is stoked to be shortlisted as one of the top 10 finalists for Singapore Blog Awards 2014 Best Photography Blog. If you love drooling at saliva inducing food, pets and random things in-between, your vote will be greatly appreciated.

HOW TO VOTE?
Click on the link:
http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2014/vote/fb-login-voting.html

Select Photography Category – ORAL PLEASURE

Voting can be done daily, so exercise those fingers now.

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LIFE IS SHORT. DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!