NN Header

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Lunch at The Black Swan @ Raffles Place

19 Cecil Street, Singapore 049704
Tel: 8181 3305

The Black Swan is situated in an art deco building in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD), a distinctive building that has changed hands a few times, including having housed the exclusive all-females only W Law Firm some years back. The cafe, restaurant and bar concept evolves around muted gold settings, giving the place a sophisticated feel; they serve European classics dishes.

*Kalista and I had a 2-course set lunch (SGD$38.00) each, so that one of us could choose an appetiser and the other could choose a dessert to share.

For starters, we had the Farmer's Salad, comprising of arugula, apple, celery, red onions, walnuts, cranberries, Fourme d'Ambert and balsamic vinaigrette. The lightly-tossed salad was devoid of sauces, so it was light, crispy and refreshing with rocket leaves and dices of cheese.  It was a lovely starter.

For mains, *Kalista had the The Black Swan Burger, consisting of seasoned chuck, matured cheddar, bibb lettuce, sunny side up egg, streaky bacon, toasted buns and fries. The thick-pattied burger was coated invitingly with melted cheddar, a succulent and juicy slab. The tall burger made for a good lunch meal, every bite luscious with the natural flavour of beef and egg; clasped between crispy buns.

I chose the Pan Roasted Red Snapper with egg sauce and leeks two ways.  The snapper was pan-roasted to a crackling texture, peaking its texture and flavour. The creamy egg sauce gave the crispy fish a smoother edge, making for a sumptuous dish.

Finally, we concluded the meal with Dark Chocolate Dome.  The beautiful cake had a glossy, sticky layering of dark chocolate, and a soft chocolatey interior with a vanilla heart. It was saccharine without being overly sweet, bringing out the richness of chocolate very well. The velvety texture melted easily in the mouth as well.

Overall, The Black Swan is a lovely place for meals and drinks; basking in its beautiful interior and quality food items. Service was very slow - we believe they were short-staffed during lunch hours, when the restaurant was packed with executives type lingering over their meals packed with harried conversations.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Review on Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation

Another Lancome sample for my discretion to use or toss - and being a rather staunch Lancome customer, I chose to use it of course. It would help determine my next shopping avenue once my current liquid foundation runs out. The product I shall be reviewing today is the Lancome Mat Miracle 24H liquid foundation.

I did not know what to expect from this tiny little 5ml sample that promises "long wear and comfort" and "satin light creator" as well as designed for Asian skin.  The regular-sized 30ml bottle would cost SGD$65.00 here in Singapore. I was given shade O-01.

A little glob of the smooth, lightly-creamy liquid foundation is enough for the entire face. It goes onto the face rather smoothly, evening out easily as well. Without using any concealers at all, I'd say the coverage of this liquid foundation is 4/5. The effect is like a second skin on my skin, and it felt lightweight indeed.

The foundation lasts for more than 8 hours. I do run around the island for work, and I have this foundation on for more than 8 hours every working day. At the end of the day, the makeup is still rather intact (comments by colleagues); it looks natural and gives a slight touch of radiance despite its claim of matt-ness. I do not think it lasts 24 hours though, and I am not keen to try.

Overall, I am quite happy with this liquid foundation -it is so easy to apply and remove, lasts well, my skin can breathe in it, and it does not cause breakouts. I should be getting the regular bottle of this very soon, to add to my ever-growing collection of good Lancome products.

Friday, 22 May 2015

[Media Invite] Ultimate Seafood Experience at The Kitchen Table @ W Hotel

21 Ocean Way, Level 1, W Hotel @ Sentosa Cove. Singapore 098374
Tel: 6808 7268

I am back at the beguiling W Hotel @ Sentosa Cove, this time headed for The Kitchen Table for Seafood From the Heart buffet featuring Celebrity Chef Peter Kuruvita. This is available every Friday and Saturday from 6.00pm to 11.30pm at SGD$85.00++ per adult.

This is also a media invite attended by representatives from Hungrygowhere and other media representatives / bloggers and graciously hosted by the lovely Geraldine and colleagues.

If one sits by the window, they would get the killer views of the waters, yachts and some pretty buildings looming ahead. However, do not overlook the beauty of the restaurant's interior decor itself - simple but elegant and clean-cut, with overturned tables and glasses suspending from the ceilings!

Even the table settings were not spared from beautiful tableware and glasses that gives one a very "in the sea" feel. Look at the interesting lemon water holder - artistically beheld; as well as the thoughtful gift of an ingredients mixer (also shaker) with a curry recipe within!

Random shot of the water jugs shaped like watering cans

The welcome cocktail was a mixture of Champagne and passionfruit, containing a piece of fish-shaped jelly which was speared through by the straw. The aesthetics was a bonus to the delicious and refreshing thirst-quencher.

Before we dug in, we were invited to the Banquet Kitchen (they have 3 kitchens in all) for an up, close and personal live demo session with Celebrity Chef Peter Kuruvita, as he and Lawrence (or Laurence) prepared a delectable-looking curry fish dish from scratch.   I actually took about 3 videos but the files were too huge to be uploaded :(

Anyway, the huge kitchen was very well-kept and sparkling clean. During the cooking demo session, Peter introduced the different spices that go into preparing an authentic, good curry and shared a lot of tips with us. We watched them turn the slab of raw fish into a golden crispiness, and an assortment of unique-odored spices into an aromatic curry gravy. The end result was fabulous; it made us famished.

Hence, time to attack the various buffet stations back at the restaurant area.  There are many stations serving different types of cuisine and food, centred around seafood dishes. 6 of these stations have chefs preparing food on the spot - such as create-your-own pasta, soup station, etc.  The desserts section kept beckong to me throughout the evening hmmmm.....

I started with some seafood as usual - some very juicy and delicious Oysters made my day, as well as thick, springy pieces of Sashimi!

Then there was the Chef's Special of Cocktail Shrimps with a really yummy gravy- love the plump and succulent prawns!

Next, the Prawn Mousse Roll that was a special mention by the Chef himself during the demostration session as well.

Following that was another must-try, because we had been tempted during the live demo earlier - food from the Indian station. I had a little basmatic rice, my favorite Papadum chip, some Curry Snapper and Tandoori Chicken. The Curry Snapper was aromatic and flavourful without being too spicy. The Tandoori Chicken was utterly tender and smooth, much to my surprise; and boosting of a distinctive smokey hint to its sweet flavour.

Finally, time to respond in kind to the colourful desserts and a hot tea (I squeezed lemon juice into it).

There were many different flavours of Maracons, soft but not cloyingly sweet or creamy. There were also Chocolate Panna Cotta (tasted too milky it was more like Milo unfortunately), Lychee Pudding, a pretty little Cupcake etc.

We also had another Chef's Specials for dessert - made with ground coconut and pineapple, wrapped in pancakes and served with ice-cream on the side. It was sticky and lovely, just sweet enough to sweeten the night ahead.

Overall, it was a wonderful dining experience here at The Kitchen Table, though I felt that for the price, there should be more variety of food. Other than that, quality, ambience and service were definitely superior. Join the Starwood Group Membership and receive 15% off your bills on the spot :)

This sums up another excellent dining experience - thank you The Kitchen Table for the impeccable reception and recommendations; and thank you Hungrygowhere for the invite.