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madamechewy
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madamechewy  Level 4
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Hotel | Dim Sum | Seafood

A couple of months back, my family visited Cherry Garden for dim sum brunch to celebrate Mother’s Day. Located at Mandarin Oriental, this sophiticated Chinese Restaurant offers Cantonese Cuisine with an artistic modern touch. It’ impossible not to be impressed by the decor of this place. The entrance itself is very grand while the main dining area is classically designed with charcoaled teak panels to resemble an Oriental courtyard. We loved the tranquil ambience as well as the warm, attentive service.

Most buffets think they can get away with quantity and neglect quality. Cherry Garden sets itself apart by using fresh premium ingredients to elevate the standard dim sum fare. In addition to their drool-worthy morsels, the dim sum buffet brunch offers a selection of appetizers, soups, mains and desserts. It takes a while for dishes to arrive, so do exercise caution when ordering in between dishes to prevent over-ordering.

For quality dim sum in an exquisite setting, Cherry Garden is your best bet! My In-laws, hubby and myself enjoyed ourselves immensely. While prices a veer a little towards higher end, the ingredients, cooking skills and technique is well worth the $68++.

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/08/06/cherry-garden-dim-sum/
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 10, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $80(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Sunday Champagne Brunch Smile Aug 02, 2014   
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Categories : Fusion | Hotel | Buffet

Start your Sundays right with a scrumptious brunch! Located at Capri by Fraser at Changi City, contemporary designed Caprilicious sits modestly without airs. From now until the end of November, the restaurant whips up an impressive range of quality offerings at wallet-friendly $58++. We ate so much that I nearly rolled home, but there were still so many dishes I wanted to try!

What’s Sunday brunch without bubbles? Diners can enjoy free flow champagne (Laurent Perrier), house pour wines (Indomita), cocktails, plus juices and soft drinks along with the buffet spread.

Every self-respecting buffet will offer fresh seafood and Caprilicious is no different. Choose from Baby Lobsters, Crabs, Tiger Prawns, New Zealand Green Mussels, Peruvian Half Shelled Scallops, Canadian Oysters. Hubby is a huge fan of the sea and particularly enjoyed the Norwegian Salmon, Ahi Tuna and Octopus Sashimi. My personal favourite was the crabs-juicy succulent and very sweet. Ooolala!

A short stroll across the lobby leads to the Outdoor Live BBQ Station. Select from Otak Mackerel, Sambal Stingray, mini Wagyu patties (served with sesame bun, teriyaki sauce, coleslaw) and Garlic Rosemary Lamb Cutlets.

I know most people will skip pasta at a buffet but the pasta station here is worth a go. Omelettes, scrambled and fried eggs with a variety of toppings are prepared upon request.

Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth with an array of sweet treats! My favourite was the flavorful Durian Pengat. Ah yogurt, FRESH yogurt! Yummmsss! Yes, I am that blatant for my love of this healthy dessert. Don’t forget to try the chocolate fondue and waffles too!

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/08/02/caprilicious-sunday-champagne-brunch/
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 27, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $68

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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Consistent, quality dim sum Smile Jul 16, 2014   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Dim Sum | Roasted Meat

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/07/16/taste-paradise-dim-sum/

During lunchtime on weekends, it’s the norm to spot crowds lingering at the entrance of award-winning Taste Paradise. The interior is grand; it simply looks like no expense has been spared to make this place look as opulent as it can be. Occupying the span of an entire wall are life-sized portraits of China’s illustrious Qing emperors.
Generally, Taste Paradise’s dim sum are excellent in quality, with a handful of drool-worthy items what I shall describe in more detail. We had quite a number of dim sum so here goes!
I can’t say no to anything fried!
Crispy Spring Roll with Smoked Duck Meat ($4.80). Amongst the fried dim sum, the spring roll stood out from crowd, thanks to its aromatic savory duck stuffing. Plus, the skin is so crispy you can hear the crunch in your head!
Deep-fried Prawn in Bean curd skin roll ($5.80).
Deep-fried Taro Puffs with Diced Chicken and Prawn ($4.80) was well-fried, not at all oily, and packed with filling.
Deep-fried Prawn Balls with Almond Flakes ($5.80). Loved the combination of springy prawn balls, crunchy almond flakes and burst of flavor from the caviar.
Deep-fried Prawn with Mango Roll ($5.60) was a tad too oily.
Steamed morsels will now take centre-stage.
Ahhh…my one true love- Liu Sha Bao. Pillow-y buns encasing intensely-flavored salted egg yolk custard that oozed endlessly. I always order 2 baskets of Taste Paradise’s Steamed Custard Bun ($5.80).
Steamed Prawn Dumpling “Har Kau” ($5.80) and Steamed Pork Dumpling “Siew Mai” ($5.80) were ok, nothing to shout about. Royal China’s Har Kau scored better compared to Taste Paradise for fresher, juicer and larger prawns.
Steamed Bean curd and Bacon with Black Truffle Sauce ($5.80).
Steamed BBQ Honey Pork Bun ($4.50). Peel open the light and fluffy bun to reveal chucks of lean pork meat which were not overly sweet.
For something more filling, Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken wrapped in Lotus Leaf ($4.60) is your best bet. The glutinous rice was sufficiently steamed and hence soft and lightly sticky.
Baked BBQ Honey Pork Bun ($5.40) is a bit of a misnomer. I believe most would expect smooth brown buns instead of snow-capped ones like these. A better name would be Polo baked BBQ Honey Pork Bun. These addictive buns are a combination of sweet, savory, crispy and crumbly.
Bite-sized Mini Egg Tarts ($4.20) were satisfactory- wobbly egg custard nesting in flaky puff pastry.
Beautifully flavorsome, slightly spicy and ethereally soft is the XO Carrot Cake ($7.80). The dish just the right amount of bean sprouts for contrasting crunch. Taste Paradise’s XO carrot cake is the best I have had so far. A must order!
Steamed Cheong-fun with Dough Fritter ($4.80)
Steamed Cheong-fun served with Deep-fried Eggplant and Minced Pork ($5.80) looks aesthetically alarming. The rice roll’s pink tinge reminded us of red/pink plastic bags from convenience stores. The eggplant and mince pork filling was moist and tasty; personally, I wasn’t too fond of this item

Baked Fillet of Cod with Chef’s Miso Recipe ($16/portion), one of Taste Paradise’s signature dishes, easily won me over. The melt-in-the-mouth cod tasted slightly fatty and saccharine at the same time. I’ve got to hand it to the chef for the splendid miso paste, which was a fine companion to the firm and flaky cod. This dish is part of the main menu and is available during lunch and dinner.

I love dramatic entrances!
Chilled Mango Puree with Sago and Pomelo topped with Coconut Ice cream ($6.80) – a luxe rendition of the popular dessert.

Mention-worthy is the Chilled Avocado Puree topped with Coffee Ice cream ($6.80) – a unique combination, which worked execeptionally well. A must try!

You can count on Taste Paradise for consistent fine quality dim sum. On weekends, dining here is a harried affair as there are 3 seatings (11am, 12.30pm, 2pm) and diners need to vacate their table 15 minutes before the next time slot. Reservations is a must if you do not wish to be turned away.
Taste Paradise used to be my go to place for dim sum, but not anymore because of a recent unpleasant experience. Because diners in the first seating were late, we had to wait for 30 min for our table, despite having a reservation. I don’t mind waiting for 15 mins, but half an hour is ridiculous.
 
Table Wait Time: 30 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jun 21, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $50(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Wholesome and healthy dinner Smile Jul 10, 2014   
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Categories : Teochew | Seafood | Kids-Friendly

We’re back at Chui Huay Lim again, this time for dinner. Service has taken a plunge compared to our previous visit. Staff were overwhelmed by the crowd; it was so difficult to catch their attention, such that I had to fetch the menu myself. If this was just an eatery, I wouldn’t have minded at all. But prices at Chui Huay Lim are steep, hence this standard of service is appalling. We made a mental note to avoid this restaurant on weekends.

As mentioned before, Teochew cuisine sets itself apart from most other Chinese cuisines by being light-handed on flavourings, salt and oil. Commonly regarded as being very healthy, cooking methods often involve poaching, steaming and braising, depending much on the freshness and quality of ingredients for taste and flavour. While dishes are competently executed, Chui Huay Lim did not rock my world. Certainly did for my FIL though, who is Teochew and loves the authenticity of cooking here.

Slow braised in earthy aromatic spices, the Teochew Braised Duck ($16/per portion, $28/half, $54/whole) exudes a mouth-watering aroma. Nesting on a bed of silky tofu, the tender meat oozes flavour with every bite. I like to pair this with the Teochew chilli, garlic and vinegar dipping sauce to add a tangy punch.

It’s hard to go wrong with salted egg yolk. Wok fried Salted Egg Yolk Prawns ($20/$30/$40) were conveniently deshelled so one will not have to waste precious time, and dive straight into the dish. Each succulent prawn was generously coated with a thick layer of salted egg yolk paste, with diced capsicums that added a delightful crunch.
The highlight of any Teochew meal is always the Steamed Pomfret (seasonal price). The flavourful broth was light, which accentuated the fish’s freshness. It’s simplicity at its finest.
Plump and juicy scalloped graced our greens. Spinach with Scallops ($24/$36/$48) was a refreshing change from the common broccoli rendition.

The unassuming Si Ji Dou/French Beans ($12/$18/$24) was an unexpected surprise. Stir fried with minced pork and preserved black olives, your taste buds will reveal in the abundance of flavor.
I was excited to see Sugar encrusted Deep Fried Yam Sticks ($10/8 pieces) on the menu. It’s new to me, and as fan of taro, I was eager to try them. It’s essentially smooth and creamy yam, with a thin crisp crust, coated with sugar. The quality of the yam makes or breaks this dessert. If you’re fond of natural, unadulterated flavor of yam, you’ll love these warm sticks of comfort. Do note that the kitchen needs 25 minute prepare this dessert.

Other popular desserts we had were Sweet Yam Paste with Hashima ($7.80), Sweet Yam Paste with Pumpkin and Gingko Nuts ($4.50) and Almond Jelly (3.50), which were all lovely, especially the Orh Nee.

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/07/07/dinner-chui-huay-lim/
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 10, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $50(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 2  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Brings back childhood memories Smile Jun 30, 2014   
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Categories : Hainanese | Restaurant | Chicken Rice

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/06/30/pow-sing-restaurant/
I have always wanted to drop by Pow Sing for a hearty meal, but because it too far from home and parking is a nightmare, I refrained from asking Hubby to take me there. In my teens, my family often had our weekend dinners at this humble Hainanese chicken rice and Nonya cuisine restaurant.
The place looked almost the same as I remembered 11 years ago. But nobody cares much about the décor when the draw is delicious and reasonably priced food. Be warned, this place is not for you if you cannot stand crowd and noisy chatters. Service is efficient, albeit a little abrupt.
Hainanese Chicken ($5/serving) and Fragrant Rice ($1/serving) were fantastic, but not the best I had tried.
If you are craving for something for spicy, give the flavorsome Nonya Otak ($3/pc) a go. The tantalizing otak is thick and very substantial.
I wish we didn’t order the Sweet and Sour Fish ($12/$18/$24).
I have an unabashed love affair for Har Chiong Gai, and Pow Sing’s Crispy Fried Chicken Wing with Prawn Paste ($10/$15/$20) didn’t disappoint. Oh yes, it was C-R-I-S-P-Y, no doubt about that. The tender oily meat pulls out with ease.
Although not the most photogenic, Nonya Tauhu ($8/$12/$16) was another highlight. The delicately crisps exterior encases smooth egg tofu. Definitely a dish that will please most palates.
Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce ($8/$12/$16). Crunchy vegetables done just right, in a savory sauce.
There is no service charge and our total bill came up to $60.75 for 4 pax, which include 3 cups of Lime Juice ($2 each). This works out to be $15 per pax. Value for money, tasty dishes, I’d come here again and again if I could.
Valet service is available on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and PH after 6.30pm.
 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 17, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $15

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 4

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