31.12.10

Christmas Buffet Lunch

Christmas this year in the office was a simple affair with a buffet spread from Kriston for lunch. What The Firm saved on renting a locale for Christmas festivities, they allocated it to the lucky draw budget. There was actually 2 iPads up for grabs and a Canon camera. And no, I didn't win anything. Sob!

The saving grace was that this buffet was better than the Deepavali and Hari Raya one. Kriston is, afterall, reputed to be one of the better and more value-for-money caterers around. 


I liked the Tandoor Gourmet Sausages set on a bed of Rosti best of all, in particular the cheese (middle) and pepper (top) flavours. The satay (bottom) was also not bad, but the distinctive nutty accent of satay was too faint.


The Braised Vermicelli and Vegetables Nonya Style was my next favourite, with its dried shrimp and vegetables based stock. This reminded me of the Chinese New Year dish, Luo Han Zhai, with its sweet and shrimpish flavours.



I also liked the Sauteed Hoisin Prawns, topped with crispy breadcrumbs. This was sweet, as tomato ketchup was added. Prawns were fairly fresh and crunchy, and I loved the abundance of straw and Chinese black mushrooms in the dish.


I quite liked the White Fish Tempura with Kamquat Pommery, dory fish was light, fresh and flaky, even if the batter was a little soggy and thick.


The Wok Fried XO Rice with cubes of BBQ chicken was surprisingly good, even if I couldn't really taste the XO in the rice. The BBQ chicken was actually moist and tender. Rice was flavoursome, well-fried and not too oily.



The Roasted Bulgogi Turkey was also not bad, it was moist, tender and had a nice Asian twist with the classic Korean marinade lending sweetness to the meat.



A closer look at the turkey.



Desserts were fairly good. The Mango and Fruit Pudding was smooth, wobbly and light.


The classic Christmas Strawberry Log Cake was moist, rich and balanced.


I was ambivalent about the Salads, but the vegetables were crisp and fresh enough.


I wasn't a fan of the Scallop on Shell with Spicy Chicken Floss, mostly because it was really tiny and drowning in such strong flavours that it totally overwhelmed the delicate taste of the scallops.


The Wheat Spaghetti Pasta, while a healthy, waist-friendly option, was a little boring and too plain for me.


The Fried Chicken with Plum Sesame was too dry, tasteless and tough. I took a bite and spat it out.


The Christmas Epicurean Platter was really not to my liking, the cold cuts were a little sourish. 



Kriston Food & Beverage
Website: www.kriston.com/

30.12.10

China Square Food Court

The Fiance and i usually make our own plans for lunch to go out with our colleagues and friends, but every once a blue moon, we'll actually meet up for lunch. We agreed that we'd meet at China Square Food Court because it's quite the middle ground between our offices.

Although a number of food stalls in this scaled-down food court has been replaced, the stall selling Korean food has been consistently popular. And no, it's not because of the K-Pop wave that's causing every prepubescent schoolgirl's heart to go a-flutter. It's really due to the serving of fresh and authentic Korean cuisine that's gotten repeat customers.

We shared a Tofu Soup ($6 without rice, $6.50 with rice), steaming hot, spicy and rich. Classic Korean comfort food for a cold, damp, drizzle-filled day.

Silken plain clear beancurd is mixed with a little seafood (prawns, squid and clams) and kimchi.


The Fiance thought the Kimchi was pretty good. Fresh, piquant and spicy.


The Anchovies were also not bad, a great nibble.

The Store Front, it's run by Koreans, which explains the quality and authenticity of the food.



BBQ Seoul
China Square Food Court
Unit #01-10

29.12.10

Lao Beijing, Novena Square

Ms PR and I drove out to Novena Square for lunch as we needed to get our final cervical cancer vaccination at the clinic there. We both wanted something quick and light so we headed to Lao Beijing, a Tung Lok restaurant specialising in Shanghainese and Beijing cuisine.

We got the Braised Spinach Beancurd ($12) to share. Even with the starchy oyster-based gravy, this still felt light and healthy.  The beancurd was soft, clear and silky, complemented with mashed spinach and topped with yummy matured shimeiji mushrooms.


We also each got a serving of the Double-Boiled Royal Nourishing Soup of the Day ($10), Chicken Soup with Fish Maw.


This was incredibly delicate, but with great depth of flavour. Pure comfort soul food. 


While we're on the topic of cervical cancer vaccination, I would strongly encourage every woman to get it. This is THE ONLY cancer that women can get protected against because cervical cancer is caused by viruses, unlike other forms of cancer that are really just the acting up of cancer cells already in our bodies. Oh, and although the vaccine is ideally for girls aged 10 to 25, women above the age of 25 can still receive the vaccination. So no worries about being too old to get vaccinated.

The vaccine is given via injection in 3 doses, and it is likely that your arm will be really sore for about a week after each injection. But, what a little discomfort compared to being protected against the cancer? Chemo is far worse and way more painful and with a lot longer side effects than not being able lift your arm properly (The Fiance had to change me out of my clothes for a week!).

For more info, check out the Health Promotion Board website here.


Lao Beijing
238 Thomson Road
#02-11
Velocity @ Novena Square
Tel: 6358 4466
Opening Hours:
Lunch 11.30 am – 3 pm
Hi–Tea 3 pm – 5 pm (only for Sat/Sun/PH)
Dinner 6 pm – 10 pm
Website: www.laobeijing.com.sg/

Thai Restaurant & Catering Services, Phuket Airport, Thailand

After checking in, we had about 2 hours to laze around the Phuket Airport so we headed to the only restaurant we always go to whenever we're at the airport. This is the place where airport employees themselves eat at, so you know it's gotta be good.

We've never encountered a hotter Tom Yum Gai (240THB) than this one. One spoonful of this spicy soup with lemongrass and chicken and it burned all the way to my stomach. The Fiance, who eats chili padi, was sniffling away while desperately trying to finish this up.


We had to get the Ice-Cream Sundae (65THB) to cool us down, standard chocolate ice-cream but I liked the addition of the gummy sweets to liven up the monotony of fudge and chocolate.


The entrance to the restaurant on the 3rd floor




Thai Restaurant & Catering Services
Phuket Airport
Level 3
Thailand

28.12.10

Tin Mine, Indigo Pearl, Phuket, Thailand

Yes, I know I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of buffets. But the buffet breakfast at Tin Mine in Indigo Pearl is worth every sinful calorie. Trust me, this is one breakfast you'll want to wake up for and enjoy at a leisure pace. Breakfast at Tin Mine is complimentary for most stays at Indigo Pearl, so you get to indulge in decadent morning glories.

Everything, well almost everything anyway, in the buffet is unbelievably delicious. And so, I won't bore you with repetitive descriptions of the good stuff. I'll only point out the stuff that you shouldn't bother loading your already stuffed tummies with.

We'll start off with the mind-boggling amount of Pastries.


Another view of the pastry section.


Chocolate Mini Muffins


Chocolate Fruit Mini Muffins


Mini Muffins


Strawberry Quiches


Madeleines


Chocolate Madeleines


Chocolate Danish


Chocolate Chip Danish


This was one of my fave pastries, the Chocolate Chip Danish


Apple Danish


This was my other favourite pastry, the Apple Danish


Dragonfruit Danish


Crossiant


Almond Crossiant


Pound Cake


Chocolate Pound Cake


Brownie


We move on to the Bread Counter.


Another view of the Bread Counter


Multitude of Breakfast Rolls, they were a little "lao hong" but a round through the toaster and voila, they were as good as new!


White and Wholewheat Sliced Bread


Baguettes


Sunflower Seed Crusted Bread


Rye Bread and Ciabatta


Various Jams and Spreads for the Bread and Pastries, including coconut, guava, strawberry, butter, margarine, mango, orange, blueberry and sugar-free strawberry and sugar-free orange jams.


For the health conscious, there's a Mix-Your-Own-Salad Bar with lettuce, mesclun, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.


A Ham and Peppers Cold Dish


Fresh Fruits, chilled, including watermelons, guavas, papayas and pineapples


Another view of the Fresh Fruits, with honeydew
 

Dried Fruits and Nuts to complement the various Cereals, including dried mango, dried pineapple, dried papayas, walnuts, raisins and almonds


Yoghurt with different flavours, including strawberry, orange, guava and plain


Oatmeal, ready mixed for your convenience


Fresh Fruits and Sweeteners for the Yoghurt and Oatmeal


Various Cheeses, including from left to right, Brie, Blue, Edam, Gouda, Emmental varieties


Onto the eggs.I love love LURVE the eggs here. They are all cooked a la minute, so it's always fluffy and moist. My favourite eggs are Scrambled, with Ham and Peppers.


My second fave are Eggs Sunny Side-Up.


This is the Fiance's second fave, Omelette.


The Omelette with Ham, Mushroom, Onions and Peppers


They've got 2 varieties of sausages, Veal Sausage, very smooth in texture.


And Pork Sausage, which is more textured, and richer in flavour. I prefer this.


Tin Mine has 2 types of grilled meats, the first being Grilled Chicken, which is a tough and tasteless. Skip this.


The Grilled Pork is better, less tough and with a little more flavour, but not worth the stomach space.


I love Bacon, especially the Streaky ones! I remember a date who thought he was being sweet by removing all the fat from my bacon when he made breakfast for me. Seriously, the best part about bacon is the fat. And anyone who knows me knows that I love the fat on my bacon. Suffice it to say, that was the first and only date.


Baked Beans and Hashbrowns and Fried Potato Balls


Fried Potatoes with Baked Beans


Grilled Tomatoes


There's also a Waffles and Pancakes Station.


Waffles and Pancakes


Sauces for the Waffles and Pancakes, including maple syrup, honey, icing sugar, chocolate fudge, strawberry drizzle, and cream


I liked that the waffle was quartered so we conserve tummy space.


The pancake was similarly small-sized.


Moving onto the Asian selection, there was a small tray of Chinese Dim Sum, including Steamed Pork Dumplings "Siew Mai", Steamed Pork Ribs, and Steamed BBQ Pork Buns.


The tray with Steamed Prawn Dumpling "Har Gow"


Of all the Dim Sum, only the Steamed BBQ Pork Buns were worth eating. Soft fluffy buns with sweet sticky diced pork filling.


The Steamed Pork Ribs weren't fantastic. The soy was too mild and without depth and the pork ribs were not soft enough.


Surprisingly, I liked the Porridge. This was the Chinese Congee Soup with Pork


They provide a variety of condiments, including fried garlic, pickled radish, spring onions, sugar, soy, fish sauce, sliced chili, chili flakes, julienned ginger and white ground pepper.


A small bowl of the Pork Congee


Minced Pork rolled into a ball


Chinese Congee Soup with Chicken


I also liked the Fried Rice, it was well flavoured and evenly coated with egg and oil. I had a plate of this although I knew it would fill me up.


The Thai-Style Fried Flat Rice Noodles was even better than the fried rice. Smooth, soft and chewy, this was cooked a la minute as well.


I also liked the Green Curry Chicken, fragrant, rich and spicy.


The chicken pieces were huge and tender.



Optional add-ons for the green curry, including boiled eggs, matured sprouts, cucumbers, pineapples, long beans, bean sprouts, and pickles


Juices to quench the thirst, including Mandarin Orange, Pineapple, Mango and Papaya.


P.S. Yes we did eat all of that was shown above, BUT we did go to the gym twice a day. So the way I see it, the food intake balanced out the energy exerted.

Tin Mine
Indigo Pearl
Nai Yang Beach and National Park
Phuket 83110
Thailand
Website: www.indigo-pearl.com/
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