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Thursday, 30 March 2017

[Poem] Modern day Havisham

I miss the days when 
The winds listened to my orders; 
With a simple sweep of my arms, 
They were summoned. 
I reckoned 
I could beckon the Sun too. 

I now sit in rooms molded 
By time that stopped, 
While the world moves on, 
Dressing me in cobwebs 
Vintage wine and lace, 
A modern day Miss Havisham.

Copyright © WinePoetess 2017

Afternoon Tea at Segafredo Zanetti Espresso @ Telok Ayer

51 Telok Ayer Street #01-06 China Square Plaza, Singapore 048441
Tel: 6222 6629

A chillax cafe-bar franchise from Bologna, Italy - Segafredo is decorated in bold tones of siren red and black. With everything done strictly the Italian way, you can be sure that the brews here are terrific.

Besides coffee though, they also serve up a large variety of other drinks, including wine, so this is a place suitable for unwinding anytime of the day. Food like sandwiches and salads are available as well, and their cheery staff are so patient and courteous, it is hard not to leave them tips!

My Iced Green Tea Latte (SGD $6.50) was velvety in texture, and redolent of green tea's lightly grassy notes. Smooth and soothing on a hot day as such.

The Giandua Latte (SGD $6.70) was luscious ad indulgent creation, boosting the lovely mixed notes of chocolate and hazelnut into the coffee. It was utterly pleasurable on the palate, perking up the mind for a fresh day ahead.

I can see why my boss enjoys heading here, as he was the one who recommended us this place. I shall drop by more often too, maybe for food and wine sometime soon too.

Outfit of the Day - gray dress with roses neckline

"My fashion advice is to have a flattering mirror and then forget about it." — Vivienne Westwood 

Banking on some flower power today. Roses neckline, rose belt and gray roses earrings (hidden from view). Dress is tight-fitting and a lovely cotton-suede blend.

Dress: Bought in Hong Kong (SGD$89.00)
Belt: Author's own
Necklace: Tiffany and Co
Watch: Rado
Bangle: Hermes

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Dinner at Hua Ting Steamboat at Claymore Connect @ Orchard Hotel

442 Orchard Road, #01-08 Mezzanine Level, Claymore Connect @ Orchard Hotel, Singapore 238879
Tel: 6739 6628

Located at the new wing is Orchard Hotel is an elegant-looking Chinese steamboat restaurant, Hua Ting Steamboat, under the Millemium Hotels group. This is not to be confused with the Hua Ting Cantonese restaurant located in the same hotel.

Hua Ting Steamboat Restaurant offers an array of live seafood in its aquariums and serves up a large variety of delicious Cantonese-style quality, unique broths made from scratch daily. The settings is sophisticated, donned in Chinese decor, and comfortable. Private dining rooms are available for large groups. Service surpasses excellence, with rapt attentiveness and efficiency being at the very heart of it.

The restaurant also prepares a good assortment of own-made sauces and dips, leaving us spoilt for choice. I carefully selected only the ground chilli powder and sambal paste, as I am usually not a dips person.

Pots of Chinese Tea were also served, in gorgeous tea-ware. Some of us enjoyed glasses of Red Wine to enhance the dining experience, perfect for celebratory events.

They had a very good selection of different steamboat soup broths - divided into steamboat broths, Chef's Creations broths, hotpot broths and Yuan Yang (duo) broths. We were a large group of about 10 persons, so we shared 3 types of broths.

The Superior Fish Soup with Winter Melon and Conpoy (dried scallops), (SGD$34.00), was from the Chef's Creations list, and is easily one of their signatures. Identified by a large, jagged-edged winter melon in the middle of the rippling clear soup, this soup was simply brimming with luscious flavour of its superior ingredients.

From the Yuan Yang selections (SGD$26.00 for 2 soups), we chose Sichuan (Sze-chuan) styled Mala Seaweed Soup with Beansprouts and Shark's Bone Cartilage Soup with Fresh Beancurd Sheets -the former was spicy, flaming the palate up deliciously whereas the latter soup base was more saccharine in taste; the 2 of them made for a good contrast.

Plates of Crispy Fish Skin (SGD$4.00 for half / SGD$8.00 for full) started us on the meal, utterly addictive and appetite-whetting - shattering wonderfully in the mouth.

We also had an assortment of lots of smaller items including those from the Hand Made category - starting with Fresh Bean Curd Sheets (SGD$3.00 for half / SGD$6.00 for full), Bean Curd Sheets stuffed with Salted Egg Yolk (SGD$6.00 for half / SGD$12.00 for full), Tau Pok Stuffed with Fish Paste (SGD$7.00 for half / SGD$14.00 for full), Fresh Prawn Dumplings (SGD$8.00 for half / SGD$16.00 for full), and Luncheon Meat (SGD$3.00 for half / SGD$6.00 for full).

Vegetables consisted of Enoki Mushroom (SGD$4.00 for half / SGD$8.00 for full), Shimeiji Mushroom (SGD$4.00 for half / SGD$8.00 for full), Tianjin Cabbage (SGD$3.00 for half / SGD$6.00 for full), Baby Spinach (SGD$3.00 for half / SGD$6.00 for full), Tong Hao (SGD$3.00 for half / SGD$6.00 for full) also known as Chrysanthemum Coronarium, and Lettuce (SGD$3.00 for half / SGD$6.00 for full).

Seafood items comprised Japanese Fresh Scallops (SGD$13.00 for half / SGD$26.00 for full), Fresh Shrimp Pasta Ball stuffed with Minced Pork and Chinese Rice Wine (SGD$8.00 for half / SGD$16.00 for full), Dace Fish Paste Ball stuffed with Preserved Tangerine Peel (SGD$6.00 for half / SGD$12.00 for full), Fresh Squid (SGD$6.00 for half / SGD$12.00 for full), Sliced King Garoupa (SGD$13.00 for half / SGD$26.00 for full), and Prawns (SGD$8.00).

Finally, the meat items, which we had the most, I believe - Fresh Pig's Intestines (SGD$5.00 for half / SGD$10.00 for full), Fresh Sliced Chicken (SGD$5.00 for half / SGD$10.00 for full), Fresh Sliced Pork Neck (SGD$6.00 for half / SGD$12.00 for full), US Kurobuta Pork (SGD$6.00 for half / SGD$12.00 for full), US Kurobuta Pork Belly (SGD$7.00 for half / SGD$14.00 for full), Minced Pork Meatball with Water Chestnut (SGD$7.00 for half / SGD$14.00 for full), Sliced US Angus Beef (SGD$12.00 for half / SGD$24.00 for full) and US Prime Beef Rolled with Enoki Mushrooms (SGD$14.00 for half / SGD$28.00 for full).

We ended the extremely enjoyable meal with Seasonal Mixed Fruit Platter (SGD$6.00), made up of colorful fresh cut fruits such as grapes, rock melon, dragonfruit and water-melon served on a bed of ice, juicy and sweet.

It was a fabulous dining experience here from start to finish, from service to quality of food items as well as ambience. We would be happy to return for more, or just to enjoy some of these unique handmade delicacies again.

Outfit of the Day - blue pantsuit

"I want everyone to wear what they want and mix it in their own way. That, to me, is what is modern." - Karl Lagerfeld 

Monday blues never got bluer. Feeling comfortable in this wide-legged pantsuit.

Pantsuit: OAMC (SGD$89.90)
Belt: Author's own
Necklace: Tiffany and Co
Bangle: Hermes

Review on Lancome's Genifique Yeux Eye Cream

This is my review on Lancome's Genifique Yeux Eye Cream, also known as the "Youth Activating Eye Cream".  An elegant cream with gel-like texture enriched with Genifique patented technology, this amazing eye cream helps protect the delicate eye area against the visible signs of ageing and fatigue.

The key ingredients are water, cyclohexasiloxane, bifida ferment lysate, glycerin, propenadiol and alcohol denat etc, a full list of powerful ingredients set to bring about younger, brighter eyes with softer contours within 7 days of use (do note that results differ with each individual though).

For 15g, the price is around SGD$98.00 per tub. The packaging is in stunning black, with the signature Lancome rose painted in silver on the top of the lid.  There is visible smell to this product.

The eye cream itself is smooth and velvety to the touch, very easy to apply. The correct way of application is to massage the cream gently onto the upper and lower eye contour areas with 2 finger tips. For extra measure, you can also tap lightly to let it "sink in". Use this once in the morning and once at night.

This is a "before" photo of me. The Eyebags were more prominent here due to late nights and early morning. I have tried several types of eye cream, eye gel and eye serum before, but to no avail.

Here is an "after" photo, where the Eyebags have been reduced over prolonged usage of Lancome's Genifique Yeux Youth Activating Eye Cream. The eye areas feel smoother, softer, and the flaws have reduced rather significantly. As you can see, makeup is minimal here.

Verdict is that this cream works like a wonder, just like its Youth Activating counterpart in the same series (review here). The price is a little steep at SGD$98.00 for a small tub, but it lasts around 1 to 3 months, so it is reasonable if you divide the sum out. I am in love and in awe with yet another of Lancome's wonderful products.

Outfit of the Day - black tiered tulle dress with spaghetti-straps

"Fashion has to reflect who you are, what you feel at the moment, and where you’re going.” — Pharrell Williams

The "Christmas Tree dress" that I only wear once a year - for festive reasons.

Black tiered tulle dress with low U-neckline and thin spaghetti-straps; body hugging but conceals bulges very well. Suitable for functions and outings.

Dress from OG (SGD$99.00)
Pearl Necklace: Chomel
Bracelet: Tiffany's and Co

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Dinner at Oasis Taiwan Porridge Restaurant @ Toa Payoh (Revisit)

303 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 Town Park, Singapore 319393
Tel: 6346 4418

Visited Oasis Seafood Restaurant a little over a year ago to celebrate my mother's birthday (review here) to revisit for a larger-scale family dinner,  because of the stellar service, pond surroundings and good food.

Oasis Taiwan Porridge Restaurant serves a menu primarily focused on Teochew cuisine, and this time, we decided to go for the Sweet Potato Porridge (free-flow). It was smooth and delicious, going very well with the other food dishes.

A plate of crispy mini Silver Fish started the meal, prepping our appetite.

Minced Meat Omelette was our first dish, fried to a lovely golden brown. The minced meat was tender and a lovely savoury flavour; each piece of egg was like a meat pie.

The Deep-fried Beancurd was also tasty, cooked in a luscious pool of dark sauce. Some crunchy, chopped vegetables topped the beancurd, adding texture.

Next, Braised Duck with Tofu, a traditional Teochew dish, also in a pool of sweet-savoury dark sauce. Meat was succulent and immersed with the sauce's delicious flavour; the tofu cubes were silken and lovely.

Following that, we had Steamed Garoupa Fish, in a clear light sauce tossed with carrots, button mushrooms, leek and spring onion. Flesh was flakey and springy, with a natural luscious taste.

Then Cereal Prawns was served, crackling with deep-fried oat flakes and the flesh was bouncy flesh. A light curry flavour blanketed the delicious seafood dish.

Minced Chicken was shaped like a pie as well, garnished with spring onions and chilli, gently redolent of a mild wine sauce.

Last but not least, Braised Large Intestines with their powdery-textured, murky-flavoured interior and a crunchy exterior.

For desserts, Mango Pudding with fragrant mango flavour and a satiny texture.

Longan Almond Tofu was cool to the touch and nectarous, soothing the palate after a tasty, savoury meal.

Chinese Tea and Red Wine accompanied the meal as well, quenching our thirst as we dipped into the dishes here.

Overall dining experience here was again, joyous, surrounding by waters and willows and warm service by the crew.