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Meat Smith Little India @ Campbell Lane

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Meat Smith Little India finally found its way into our weekend meal plans and I cannot be more thankful I remembered them. This other outlet located in one of the most happening districts around is so different from their other outlet at Amoy Street.


From afar, I heard the booming music and then I get greeted by an outlet dressed in loud colours. Not jarring but a place I would notice because of the colour combination.




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Seating arrangements spill over to the pathways overlooking the ever busy Campbell Lane, those without reservations are usually given wall counter seats.


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The rustic décor with lots of wood and bare edges makes it so welcoming and charming at the same time.


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Spot them saddle chairs that the other Meat Smith outlet also sports.


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Chalkboard specials on the wall!


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Happy hour is always the right hour when the company is right, music vibes are strong and...we sense a good meal in the making.


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Duck Hearts with Dry Dhal ($7)


Black Wattle's duck hearts were memorable until I was told it may be removed so imagine my joy when I found this on their menu! Tender hearts with a dash of dry dhal for more texture, fragrance and together with the yogurt dip - I crashed straight into an oral orgasm.








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BBQ Corn and Curryleaf Za'Atar ($8)


I had high hopes for corn but these reminded me of the Bali street snack - charred and spiced but after the stunning duck hearts, this was really ordinarily good.






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Madras Pork Cheeks ($8)


Sold on pork cheeks, my brushes with it has been mostly Thai dishes and they tend to be sinewy, chewy and comes charred.










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These were so fatty, melt in the mouth and best of all deep fried till crispy, I was eating lard but so blissfully relishing every bite. And did you know gherkins with pork cheeks go so well together, it is the yummiest other way to have gherkins apart from in my burger.


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Bone In Short Ribs ($75)


Think dry rub chilli ribs with a toothsome slaw.






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My pretty slab of ribs that was a miss somewhat for me, it could have been the uneven marinate that caused some parts to be tastier than the others. That said, the slaw was amazing. I should have ordered that as a side than the corn.








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Briyani Stuffed Suckling Pig ($48) made the meal so worth it and threw all my diet plans out of the window. Such is a travesty having suckling pig on the same meal as biryani, but both were legit courses. Briyani gets my vote for favourite rice dish after fried rice and theirs was perfumed with herbs, raisins and a touch of saffron. Whereas the suckling pig itself was the best ever eaten, that greasy, crunchy, Jell-O and meaty bits that made this so darn good.


I've had good suckling pigs and briyanis but never together. We have plans for a whole suckling pig - but when, is always the big fat question.








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Smoked Cashew Butter Chocolates ($3)


By this point, I almost regretted ordering dessert and was so  happy it was down to these two morsels. Sea salt, cashew butter and chocolate does make a perfect recipe for that must needed savoury sweet finale.


I loved every bit of my meal and am totally raring to return. There's a lot more character and charm in this outlet - the waitress did a little victory dance when I mentioned that - and to many more of these diet busting meals, adios!


Meat Smith Little India
33 Campbell Lane

Champagne Brunch @ Melt Cafe, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

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Melt Cafe at the Mandarin Oriental boasts one of the best buffet lines in Singapore. I've been there several times already for both lunch and dinner, but somehow I never got the chance to try out their champagne brunch.
 
As the name itself suggests, the Melt Cafe offers a tremendous range of international cuisine here; local delights, Cantonese roasts, Indian curries, fresh seafood, Italian starters, I could go on and on.
 
What is new, however, is the expanded range of seafood they have started bringing in.
 

DSC_4340 Checkout the Taylor Pacific oysters! You can hardly find them in Singapore
 
First up, oysters. A perennial favorite (and mine!), I was pleasantly surprised that they brought in Canadian (though it wasn't specified exactly what) and Taylor Pacifc (one of my favorites!). I like my oysters just with a dash of lemon juice and nothing else; the Taylor Pacifc were plump and juicy with briny sweetness and was just a treat! 
 
They have also expanded extensively on their Japanese range, and the selection there is certainly generous!
 
DSC_4354 Checkout the amazing assortment of sushi! This monster of a sashimi platter certainly whets my appetite!
 
I had my fill of swordfish sashimi. These were replenished very quickly even though it was certainly a crowd favorite. I stood there for around 5 mins and full platter of sashimi was actually replaced once. Gone in just 5 mins! I was amazed.
 
Time to fill up on other food! Melt Cafe is known for its range of food and today's selection does not disappoint either.


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Local Chinese favorites
 
The great thing about Singaporean hotel buffets is that there is always some pretty good Indian food there. You can always be assured that the Indian food will be of a pretty good standard and Melt Cafe is no exception too.

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Remember to try their curries and naan! The garlic naan is awesome!
 
But, but, then I saw this:
 
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A whole Tandoori lamb!
 
Wow, I have never see anything like this ever in Singapore. One full-sized lamb, roasted to perfection. The lamb was certainly very flavorful; the meat was a little chewy but it was delicious nonetheless! The melt cafe was certainly pulling out all the stops to impress everyone here.


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If Indian tandoori roasts aren't your thing, you could go for the Western style roasts. They are located outside the restaurant, be sure to check them out!
 
I tried the roasted suckling pig that was carved from the outdoor spit and boy it was great. Melt Cafe sure does its roasts well.
 
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Don't forget the roasted leg of ham as well!
 
A trip to Melt Cafe can never be complete without its desserts. They are always changing the display and it is always nice to see them with new dessert sculptures.
 
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An edible sculpture! What a statement centrepiece.
 
The array of desserts is as usual stunning; I never knew when to start and started pacing along the dessert buffet line.

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Oh dear, how to choose?
 
And then my eyes fell on this:
 
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A croquembouche tower! 
 
I think this is possibly the first time I have ever seen it in a dessert buffet line in Singapore. Melt Cafe is really pulling all the stops here! I just couldn't resist trying it!

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And definitely a new addition here
 
While the ingredients does not seem special, Melt Cafe has added a first in Singapore frozen sabayon live station.
 
What's a 'sabayon'? Sabayon is the French version of zabaglione, a frothy, Marsala-based Italian dessert sauce that’s sometimes served on its own, usually served over juicy fresh berries and other fresh fruits. The contrast between the tangy fruits and the silky sabayon makes it a delicious combination. I highly recommend eating them with the strawberries and cherries, with Chantilly cream poured onto them.


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Dry ice is used to chill the cream very quickly into creamy flakes. Seeing the chef at work is a spectacle
 
Of course, which champagne brunch is complete without free flow of champagne?


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My favorite champagne house!
 
Runiart is the oldest established champagne house in history; in days of old they were pretty rare but these days I seem to see it everywhere now. We had the NV Ruinart Champagne "R" de Ruinart Brut and this one had lovely bread and green apple flavors with a slightly biting effervescence that went perfectly with the strong tasting foods we had today. I could not resist knocking back a few glasses of this, and it was free flow, and at S$178++ per adult, it was certainly well worth the money!
 
You could also opt for the S$218++ option to have the free flow Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne; that, is even better but if you are not too picky about your wines, the cheaper option will suffice.
 
I walked out (almost rolled out) so stuffed with food, but can't wait to go back there again!


Melt Café
Mandarin Oriental

Shuu Choux @ Raffles City Basement

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Raffles City's Basement is a gourmet hall with treats like these available at every turn. Finally I caved into these after checking out their grilled cheese sandwiches and every other treat there is - haha, finally choux puffs.




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Bulbous and beautifully browned, these choux puffs come in 4 different flavours, original, black sesame, earl grey and matcha.




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So flowy, oozy and luscious. Tampopo's cream puffs are hard to beat and Shuu's definitely ranks a close third. I love how finger licking good the custard is. Almost drinkable, if made into a liquid dessert.


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Another liquid dessert in the making with thick black sesame cream filling the light puffs. It is hard to decide a favourite, except these make really good post dinner treats.


$4.30 for each, slightly on the pricier side but worth the pennies I say! I didn't fancy Nesuto but I do like this other concept!


Shuu Choux @ 52 Sandwich Shack
Raffles City Basement B1-54

Hoshino Coffee @ Bedok Point

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I have known Hoshino Coffee for their realistic food display sets and thick fluffy pancake stacks but never quite ventured beyond their sweets menu.

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 Homemade Ginger Ale ($6)

This layered drink surprised me with the grated ginger layer that gave it lots of texture and more punch. I loved the slight heat that greeted the lips after every sip.

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Ice Coffee ($6)

And a surprisingly pretty legit cold coffee served in a gorgeous copper mug. Yeah, I am frivolous like that.

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Teriyaki Chicken Steak Plate ($17.80)

Their main course menu is pretty extensive with dishes spanning different cuisines with a Japanese touch. This Teriyaki Chicken comes with an onsen egg, thick cut fries and teriyaki sauce to complete the picture.

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I enjoyed this juicy patty and was admittedly blown away by how above average this ended up. My expectations could have been set a tad low after their average pancakes.

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Lobster Bisque Soup Spaghetti ($16)

Then comes lobster bisque which I was drawn to more than the pasta.

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Having ordered too many pasta dishes from bistros and the likes, having my noodles overcooked seems like a norm. Lo and behold, the team places extra care on ensuring these are al dente, springy to bite and I surprised myself even for liking this way more than the Teriyaki Chicken. .

They are running a $60++ set meal promotion that comes with 2 drinks, 2 mains and a dessert. Great for budget friendly quality meals!

Hoshino Coffee
799 New Upper Changi Rd, #01-01, Bedok Point

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House Revisited @ Sentosa Quayside Isle

I am sucha chronic diner and I confess I have a bad habit of visiting a restaurant just to try all the dishes if possible.





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Char Siew ($32)

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Roast Pork ($16)


The original planned menu did not include these two but on the suggestion of the waitress and the fact that these need pre-reservations, I was sold.


Glistening plates of pleasure, both were so outstanding and fattening, I swear my week's calories went into a single meal. The char, the melt in the mouth fatty layer and marinate. For once I decided to wing it and whack both. Belly happy and so satisfied.

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Salt Baked Herbal Spring Chicken with Chinese Wine and Herbs ($22)


Chicken drumstick at best, this herbal number was a tad mild for liking. The least favourite dish to date.

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Sizzling Garlic Butter King Prawns in Hot Stone ($34)


Crunchy curled up prawns awaited me in this sizzling hot pot of mushrooms and capsicums. Theatrics aside, this was really the epitome of a wok hei laden dish.

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Poached Chinese Spinach with Superior Stock and Duo Eggs ($24)


My must order every time there are no stir fried greens on the menu. So far this dish has not disappointed me across all the restaurants I've been to.

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Claypot Beancurd with Shiitake Mushrooms and Bamboo Skin ($22)


Beancurd and bamboo skin actually makes such a delicious dish, I could just eat this with rice. Piping hot and something about this screams home.

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Braised XO "Mee Pok" and Jumbo King Prawns ($34)


I'm not sure if Mee Pok or Jumbo King Prawns got me sold. The mee pok itself was by no means your ordinary mee pok tah, except this came with a lethal hae bi hiam toss up that left a mouthwatering lingering spiciness. Those jumbo king prawns sure looked like lobsters but they were a tad overcooked and it is a huge pity given how the meepok was already so stunning!

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Chilled Durian Shaved Ice and D24 Durian Puree ($14)


Kiasuism got the better of me having missed this twice - I had to have it and the wait most certainly paid off. Durian shaved ice that had the right consistency, not too fine nor icy and the durian puree definitely made things stinkier and more indulgent. Worth the order and great for sharing!

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Crispy Fried Lotus and Redbean Pancake ($9)


This flaky, crispy pan fried red bean pancake is another must try. I like that it is not overly sweet, has a lovely density to it and damn, more stomach space would have been ideal.


Three times over and still charmed, I am clearly a fan and will be back soon enough!


Blue Lotus Restaurant
#01-13 Quayside Isle

Gastrosmiths @ i12 Mall

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Gastrosmiths have relocated to i12 and paying them a visit at their new premises sure brought back memories of their humble beginnings at Katong Shopping Center. I kinda grew up with them...




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Cauliflower Arrabiata ($7)



Burnt cauliflower topped with cheese shavings and a tomato based sauce made this a really delectable appetizer. I love my greens and usually cauliflower is not my top choice for greens but the kitchen definitely did this vegetable decent justice.


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Angus Cheese Burger ($14)



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Single patty sandwiched between two sesame buns and a side of pickles, this is my single patty angus cheese burger. I like the simplicity of it without the frills of too much sauce or fuss of side salads. Who said fries is a must anyway? Juicy charred patty and lots of love later, this needs another order in my revisit. 




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Fried Hiroshima Oysters ($9.50)



Oysters and caviar go straight into my order list and the batter was unfortunately too thick.


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Fried Oyakodon ($9.50)



Chicken karaage on rice with furikake and pickles is a crowd pleaser. 



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Fisherman's Mee Sua ($19)


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I opted for the spicy option and wish they had it more spicy - robust broth with crabmeat, mussels, prawn too! Mee sua's a favourite and the best part of this, it does not soak up all the broth and end up as soggy as the other dishes are.



If there's just one dish to order, make it this Fisherman's Mee Sua.



Bread is no longer the focus at Gastrosmiths and it is a pity because they used to do such awesome possome freshly baked bread. That said, the team is super talented and I cannot wait to uncover more gems on their menu!



Gastrosmiths
i12 Mall, #03-06