The hairy crabs are back at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore's Shang Palace between now and 30 November 2016 and they are available for lunch and dinner - diners may opt of for the special prix fixe six-course hairy crab menu or from a selection of nine a la carte items. Known for it furry claws, the Chinese mitten crabs are only available for a few months each year, making the famous golden roe a seasonal delight.
The first dish that I sampled during lunch was the Braised Bird’s Nest, Hairy Crab Meat and Roe (砂锅蟹粉燕窝) which was served with a special vinegar on the side. You can definitely taste the creaminess of the hairy crab roe and the bird's nest is actually quite generous but the taste definitely on the lighter side - add in a little vinegar as they will recommend and you will be fine.
The second dish that I have sampled was the Braised Tofu, Meatball, Hairy Crab Meat and Roe (蟹粉扒狮子头豆付) - this was perhaps my favourite dish amongst all four a la carte dishes that I have sampled. That hair crab meat and roe sauce was delicious - the creamy roe of the crab definitely helped to thicken the sauce to some extent. The tofu itself was perhaps the winner though - they are not silky but the firm texture helped to cradle some of that delicious sauce inside.
If I had to pick a favourite that came in at a close second, the Pan-Fried Hairy Crab Meat Stuffed Shell with Shrimp Paste and Pork (南翔煎酿蟹盖) had to be it - served in a crab shell, this dish is eaten with a spoon and some light vinegar on the side. The texture is similar to the Thai tod mun pla but the shrimp paste and pork provided the dish with an interesting contrast of different textures and flavours.
Finally to end off the meal with a carbohydrate, we sampled the Crispy Noodles with Sea Caracol, Hairy Crab Meat and Roe (大闸蟹粉螺片两面黄). Even though I did find the noodles to be quite delicious, I wish there was more of that sauce to go around - some of the noodles were actually not completely covered and soaked in that sauce. It could be a personal preference but I actually do like them soaked up in that delicious hairy crab roe.
This was an invited Media Tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.
Shang Palace (Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore)
22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
Jade at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has unveiled a refreshed interior in May 2017 alongside a refocused culinary direction. Following the success of this revitalisation but more importantly, to concentrate on serving quality food and great service, Jade has steered away from the two-seating weekend dim sum buffet menu to introduce the one-seating Gourmet Dim Sum Treasure menus set instead.
One of the most highly-anticipated hotels to open in Singapore this year is the Sofitel Singapore City Centre. The flagship Sofitel property will officially be opening her doors on 02 October 2017 (even though there are paying guests staying in-house already) and alongside this opening will be the introduction of a brand new restaurant, Racines, which is helmed by the award-winning Executive Chef Jean-Charles Dubois.
Singapore is a foodie heaven and especially so if you enjoy Cantonese food - there are no lack of restaurants here that offer quality dim sum. When I stayed over at the ONE°15 Marina Club in Sentosa Cove last month, I was surprised to find out that the WOK°15 Kitchen actually offers a really affordable weekend a la carte dim sum lunch buffet for only S$38++ per adult (half price for children). I have passed by the ONE°15 Marina Club on multiple occasions (like when I last stayed at the W Singapore - Sentosa Cove) but I never knew the restaurants were actually open to public - you do not need to be a member to dine in them!
If you have been following me on Instagram, you would have already known that the season for mooncakes (i.e. Mid-Autumn Festival) is coming up really soon and in the spirit of good fun, I have compiled what I would like to call a Mooncake Price Index (even though if we were to be pedantic, it is inaccurate to term it as that) for 2017. What I have done is basically gone through the price lists of all the hotel mooncakes that I have tasted so far to find out what the average price (GST inclusive) per baked and snowskin mooncake is - I have included both normal-size and mini-size ones for the sake of completeness. Do note that when there are multiple prices for different flavours, the cheapest price is utilised in this calculation.
When I visited Beijing last month in the summer, I stayed at the newly-built Hotel Jen Beijing which is a 5-star property located in the heart of Beijing's Guomao Central Business District (CBD). If you are thinking about getting from Singapore to Beijing, I highly recommend the SQ802 flight (check out my experience in Business Class HERE!) which will get you there by 2:40PM. One of the things that truly impressed me during my stay was the existence of a microbrewery within the hotel - these beers are then served in the Beersmith Gastropub ((鲜啤吧) which is connected to the main lobby of the Hotel Jen Beijing.
The Tower Wing of the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has only quite recently completed a massive refurbishment that saw the re-introduction of a newly-designed lobby, new restaurants (including the impressive NAMI which I was at a couple of weeks ago) and brand new rooms. During my recent stay at one of the brand new rooms in Tower Wing, I decided to check out the Lobby Lounge after hearing quite a bit about it.
Ash & Elm at the InterContinental Singapore has just relaunched a new Sunday Champagne Brunch experience that spans over three culinary theatres. Apart from an array of fresh seafood selection, a caviar bar, an extensive selective of charcuterie and cheeses as well as mains and desserts, diners over at Ash & Elm will also be able to enjoy unlimited orders from the special Tasting Platters menu which integrates the different components of breakfast into a la minute dishes.
The Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has quite recently unveiled a refurbished Tower Wing with a striking new lobby, rooms, Horizon Club lounge as well as the introduction of a couple new dining concepts. The long-standing Japanese restaurant, Nadaman, which has been opened since 1984, has now been removed from the property and a brand new Japanese fine-dining restaurant, NAMI, is now open on Level 24 of the Tower Wing.
Having just spent a weekend at The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, I dare say that it is one of the most luxurious hotels that I have ever been to in Singapore. Offering spectacular views of the iconic Marina Bay waterfront through 10 metre-high floor-to-ceiling windows, La Brasserie has just recently undergone a refurbishment process to to feature refreshed furnishings and new drapery by the famous Jim Thomson. The interiors have been revitalised with a more contemporary influence and a brand new Set Dinner menu has been unveiled to showcase some of the restaurant's best dishes.
It has been slightly under a year since my last visit to the Hilton Singapore's rooftop Italian restaurant, il Cielo, and so I was very excited to check out the new dining experience with newly-appointed Chef de Cuisine, Yohhei Sasaki. Chef Sasaki has culinary experience across one-to-three Michelin-starred Italian restaurants in Tuscany and Lombardia where he perfected his skills to combine the seasonal Italian and Japanese gourmet produce to create unique Italian dishes with a touch of Japanese flair. Two degustation menus (wine-pairing available) for dinner (also available during lunch) have been created by Chef Sasaki to showcase some of his signature dishes.