Tag Archives: central

Little Bao – Best Brunch in Hong Kong?

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Fusion food is in in Hong Kong, and Little Bao still remains as hip as ever since its opening in 2013. This swanky diner gives western food an Asian spin, with the focus centered on the Chinese bao. They’ve also started to open for weekend brunch.

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No coffee here at Little Bao unfortunately, but they do have a rather good cocktail selection. For something more pleasant and less strong, opt for the Chris Lemonade (HKD$85, SGD$15.5) – 42 Below vodka, chrysanthemum, honey, rhubarb bitters or Yakult Fizz (HKD$85, SGD$15.5) – Broken Shed vodka, absinthe, Yakult, egg white.

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I’ve always thought that only truffle fries which are heavily laden with truffle oil and truffle salt make a good plate of truffle fries, but Little Bao’s take on Truffle Fries (HKD$98, SGD$17.9) has opened a new dimension of what a good plate of truffle fries can actually be. Their version involves shitake tempeh and truffle mayo paired with shoestring fries and resulted in an addictive side dish. And I usually do not eat mushrooms, mind you. The fries are also served with pickled daikon on the side.

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We also had another side to share – the Roasted Pork Cheek (HKD$128, SGD$23.4) which was cumin-spiced and came with fennel and burnt apple puree. The pork was sufficiently tender and moist and not fatty at all.

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Pork Belly Bao (HKD$78, SGD$14.3) – slow-braised pork belly, leek and shiso red onion salad, sesame dressing, hoisin ketchup

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For myself, I had the Szechuan Fried Chicken Bao (HKD$78, SGD$14.3). The Szechuan fried chicken may be a tad oily, but was slathered in a delightful combination of sweet Chinese black vinegar glaze and slightly spicy Szechuan mayo.

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Beef Bao (HKD$88, SGD$16.1) – grass-fed organic beef, tomato jam, roasted onion sesame mayo, shiso, cheddar cheese

Just as we were finishing our baos, a family with children sat on the bench outside the restaurant, ordered the ice cream baos, and devoured them without complaint in the light drizzle (restaurant was running full house at that time). A reminder that dessert here should never be skipped.

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The LB Ice Cream Bao (HKD$48, SGD$8.8) comes in two flavours – green tea ice cream with condensed milk and salt ice cream with caramel. Personally, I preferred the green tea bao for its distinctive green tea flavour. The salt ice cream felt more like vanilla ice cream with a muted vanilla taste. Nonetheless, the warm, crispy fried mini buns, together with the ice cream, ended the meal on a high note.

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Generally the baos are pretty small so it’s highly recommended to get some sides to share, followed by the savoury and the dessert baos for the full experience. Best brunch in 2015? Yes, I conclude.

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G/F, 66 Staunton St

Mon to Fri 6pm – 11pm

Sat 12pm – 4pm, 6pm – 11pm

Sun 12pm – 4pm, 6pm – 10pm

Sheung Wan MTR Exit A2

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Catalunya: Classic Spanish

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Spanish tapas bars are making their way into Singapore with no small affair. With new names like Bomba, Los Primos and La Cicala popping from areas near the CBD, I took quick (or a little less than quick) action to one of the most lavish Spanish tapas bar and restaurant and also the talk of the town, Catalunya.

Location: fab. It is a lone yet sleek glass dome separate from the usual line of restaurants along fullerton bay, across the marina bay sands. It comes to this close of imagining yourself dining out at sea. Interior: high-end. Wooden furnishings coupled with the glass walls of the dome and complete with symmetrical patterns lining the entire place.

Catalunya is helmed by former elBulli chef Alain Devahive Tolosa and serves more as a tapas bar for late drinks nowadays with a cocktail, wine and tapas menu. The place was not as packed on the Saturday afternoon we went compared to weekday or weekend nights. Still, the food from the restaurant menu is worth every penny you pay and I can see why the media was running high on this place.

First up we definitely had to have items from the tapas menu. Pictures of the Tomato Tartar Confit ($18) on reviews were playing on my mind so I went with it. Seemed a little mysterious initially but it was refreshing and a great start to our meal.
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Also we had the Roasted Suckling Pig w/ Lemon Puree ($18) from the tapas menu. One word: tenderness. Each bite was tenderness and I fought hard to savor the meager portion. Forget about roast pork belly, I want to have roasted suckling pig all day. My only regret was not getting the entire traditional suckling pig ($125, feeds 2-3 pax) from the main courses.
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For our main course, we had the Braised Lamb Rack ($55). Not too bad except I find the meat a little tough for a medium cooked meat.
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Not to forget the desserts, which I found both as exquisite altogether. The Torrija with Milk Ice-cream ($12) is essentially fried milk bread with spices served with smoked milk ice cream. The “bread” seemed more like a sponge cake to me and it was soaked with sweetened milk so fully that I loved it so much. You can literally taste smoke while having the smoked milk ice cream. I found it a little eccentric but I guess it’s worth the experience.
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On the other hand, the Warm Creamy Almond Tart ($12) was like the conventional molten lava cake, only much more special. The almond “cream” flowed out with much less viscosity compared to molten chocolate and it sure took me by surprise. The distinct almond cream was the limelight which made this dessert unforgettable.
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Let me go all out and say that this was my blockbuster meal for the year. My only pity was not ordering more hot favorites from the menu… Guess that means another trip back there.
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82 Collyer Quay

The Fullerton Pavilion

Daily 1200 – 0200

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Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar

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A few months back I made the trip with my fellow companions to Skyve, located at a quiet corner in a lane at a distance from central Newton. Skyve is now the previous Monk’s Hill Secondary School and actually it’s school canteen to be exact. It has been gaining popularity since months ago and even though it may seem overrated these days, there’s nothing to complain about with its charming ambience and food.

Indoors dining is divided into two areas – a classy area with cool green upholstery and another bright, white and airy area. Even though mismatched, the entire restaurant had that magical touch.

On weekdays, breakfast items are available from 1000 to 1600 while lunch items from 1200 – 1500. A la carte main courses etc are only for dinner time. We had a few breakfast items that day, including:

Toasted French Soldiers ($16) – 2 french toasts with nutella & 2 soft boiled eggs
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Croque Madame ($16) – sunny side up with brioche sandwich with sliced ham, melted cheddar cheese, tomatoes and salad
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Skyver’s Breakfast ($22) –  2 eggs with choice of bread, mushroom, sausage, tomatoes and potatoes
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I’ve heard loads about the sous vide cooked dishes from Skyve so I had to have the Sous Vide Eggs Benedict ($18). The poached eggs have to be cooked at an exact temperature for evenness. It was different from the usual eggs ben I had and I loved this different style. I enjoyed the 2 poached eggs drizzled with what seems like a very good hollandaise sauce. The only complaint is that they were too small, easily slurped up within 30 seconds.
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For desserts we had the Ivory Dome ($12) and Valrhona Chocolate Fondant ($14). The former was unique. It was mainly a mango sponge cake but with touches of passionfruit, dark chocolate and marscapone. The creation was vivid. The latter was the traditional chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream but deserved a thumbs up as well for keeping it a good ol’ must-have.
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On another occasion I had their char grilled burger with truffle fries and it was good but not exceptionally tasty.

On another note, even wedding dinners have been hosted at Skyve hence the suitability of it for birthday parties and more.

Not only are their breakfast items good, their main courses for dinner are also given good reviews and high ratings, including the duck confit, spring chicken, seared beef tartare and crispy pork belly. Skyve is quite packed especially for this season so be sure to make reservations early.
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10 Winstedt Road

Block E

#01-17

Daily 1000 – late

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TWG Tea Restaurant

TWG has been around since God-knows-when with all their lovely tea products.

There are currently 3 locations of TWG Tea Salon & Boutique locally, namely Orchard, Republic Plaza and the Marina Bay Sands. I would have to agree that the location at The Shoppes is the most outstanding with its unique place on a “bridge” amidst the smell of designer shoes and bags. Yet, TWG at ION Orchard also deserves a shoutout for its convenient location among Singapore’s largest shopping belt. Despite it housing a dining area a tad small, it has attracted people especially for high tea among the area.

Tea is everything about TWG so the food here are literally infused with tea as ingredients as well. I would say that they were all worth a try even though it may be a little pricey.

Macarons here are $2 each and I had the Earl Grey Fortune & Chocolate. It was less sweet than ones without that special earl grey but definitely not lacking in any other way even though I would prefer the norms.

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The TWG Tea Lasagna ($20) came with 3 choices: Garden vegetables, bolognaise ragout or seafood.
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I did not expect the main courses here to be that satisfying as it turned out. The Wagyu Burger ($24) could be as good as a burger place. I loved the delicious “matchstick” fries that came along with it which reminds me of truffle fries. The “tea” element here is in the vinaigrette on the greens, it is said to be infused with a 1837 Green Tea.
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Smoked Scottish Salmon ($28)
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I was curious as to how a tea infused Creme Brulee ($12) would taste like, nearly regretting my choice. But then it turned out that I may even like it more than I do for the usual creme brulees. The taste of egg custard is milder but yet turned into something so unique. A great experience, I must say.
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Reservations are a must especially during peak hours given that it can only hold less than 20 diners. Besides the lunch and dinner menu, the tea time sets are truly popular and so gives me more reason to go back for its scones and tarts.

 

ION Orchard

#02-20/21

Singapore 238801

Operates daily 10am – 10pm

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