8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Fantasìa by Escribà

I had the pleasure of attending the media preview of Fantasìa by Escribà at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre Halls D & E. It truly is every chocolate fan’s dream come true. There’s just so much to taste, so much to see, and so many pictures to take! I’ll try not to spoil the experience for you by presenting only a sneak peek, so you can go check out the rest with your friends and family. :)

Here are 8 reasons why you should visit Fantasìa by Escribà:

1) Callebaut Falls – At 8.5 metres tall, it is likely the World’s Tallest Chocolate Fountain!

Fantasia by Escriba

And when you are given some of that chocolate to sample, ooh-la-la. *Be careful though, the lights in this area can be dim and there are some raised platforms you need to be aware of or you’ll trip over them.

2) Safari of life-size edible animals, including a 5-metre tall elephant, 4-metre tall giraffe, etc

The oh-so-colorful zebra:

Fantasia by Escriba

And the croc with the ‘sweet tooth’ LOL

Fantasia by Escriba

3) *Just for the adults* Saturday night ‘Midnight @ Fantasia’, featuring leading deejays and performers from Ibiza, and lasting from 10.30pm to 2am. The press release said to expect “dark titillation”, “evocative performances by go-go dancers” and “potent cocktails”. ;)

Fantasia by Escriba

4) For macaron fans: A 3-metre tall Macaron Eiffel Tower. I could not resist taking a selfie here.

Fantasia by Escriba

5) Lots of treats everywhere you go. Guess what this is:

Fantasia by Escriba

6) Masterclasses! More than just a feast for the eyes, you can also join in the classes such as Create with Innovation, Create with Chocolate, Create with Desserts and Create with Sugar. The Masterclasses are priced at S$188 each.

7) Head to the Royal Cake Theatre for theatrical performances with spectacular acrobatic feats.

Some performers we met:

Fantasia by Escriba

8) And of course, don’t miss visting the gift shop:

I bought 3 of these:

Fantasia by Escriba

Also, check out items like the Candy Glam Rings and edible heels:

Fantasia by Escriba

Fantasia by Escriba

This confectionery theatre extravaganza will only be here for 3 days (ending on Sunday) so hurry and get your tickets now!

Purchase your tickets here: http://fantasiabyescriba.com/

~

Regular Prices: Child $88, Adult $128, Family Bundle $388 (Free entry for children aged 3 and below)

Midnight@Fantasia: $188 / $68 / $38 (For adults aged 21 and above)

~

Bee Cheng Hiang: Signature Bakkwa Mooncake and Plain Lotus Mooncake

I received a pretty pink box of mooncakes from Bee Chang Hiang at a media conference this week, and was shocked to find Bakkwa Mooncakes inside. I really should have expected it – Bee Cheng Hiang is famous for bakkwa. So it should come as no surprise that they would incorporate their bakkwa into mooncakes. :)

Bee Cheng Hiang Bakkwa Mooncake

It was a little bit difficult to cut a piece from the palm-sized mooncake using the plastic knife provided. I had fully expected to find a slice of bakkwa in the middle of the mooncake. But alas, it was little pieces of bakkwa with chunky almonds and melon seeds that I found. The crust is delicate and not too thick.

The verdict: This is one tasty, savory mooncake that does not make the mistake of including too much bakkwa. It is fragrant, possibly due to the sesame seeds. Overall, it’s quite enjoyable. And family and colleagues alike will be thrilled at receiving a bakkwa mooncake! :D

Within the box are plain lotus mooncakes as well. I like the version without salted egg yolks. Bee Cheng Hiang’s is surprisingly good – not too sweet and the crust is just thin enough to contain the filling, and retains its softness without being cloying.

I definitely wouldn’t mind buying their plain lotus mooncakes this time next year. :)

Bee Cheng Hiang Plain Lotus Mooncake

Nestlé Fitnesse Chocolate Cereal

Nestlé Fitnesse has a new chocolate cereal with wholegrain and chocolate-covered flakes. I enjoy them as a ‘light’ breakfast together with some of my favorite fruits. The cereal alone has about 110 calories per 30g serving, and the number goes up, of course, with the addition of fruits.

It also has 8 vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron and Vitamin E.

*buried under fruit*

Nestle Fitnesse cornflakes for breakfast

Nestle Fitnesse Chocolate

Retail price: S$6.70 per pack.

If breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, what are you putting into your body as fuel for your day? ;)

Swenson’s Ice Cream Mooncakes: Early Bird Special of 15% – 20% Off!

Swensons Ice Cream Mooncakes

Every year, without fail, I get my mooncake fix at Swenson’s because I simply love their Sticky Chewy Chocolate ice cream. :D

I’ve already *ahem* eaten two of the SCC ice cream mooncakes this week. OOPS!

Swenson's Ice Cream Mooncakes

A set of 4 mooncakes comes with a gift box and a cooler bag, with dry ice. Take the mooncakes out of the freezer and let them thaw for a bit before sinking your teeth into the icy cold treat. :)

I paid a total of S$27.89 for 4 mooncakes – sticky chewy chocolate for me and durian royale (made with D24 durians) for the people at home. Best to get yours before 29th August so you can enjoy the 15% early bird discount! Swenson’s Cool Rewards & Kids’ Club members get a cool 20% off!~

S$18 Organic Mooncakes! *Gulp*

Organic Mooncakes

I received this EDM in my email today, and was shocked by how much these organic snowskin mooncakes cost.

They don’t contain premium fillings like truffle or alcohol or bird’s nest. In fact, these are available only in Berry, Pandan or Sesame flavors. Why the scary price tag then?

I guess we have to pay more for anything that’s ‘vegan’ and/or ‘organic’. ;) Would you buy them?

These mooncakes are sold at Bud of Joy http://budofjoy.com/rangeofMooncakes.htm.

Khong Guan vs Kong Guan – Do You Know The Difference?

I’d initially thought the ‘Kong Guan’ pau I bought at the supermarket was from the famous Khong Guan company which manufactures biscuits such as my favorite Iced Gems biscuits. When doing online research, I found there are differences between the two.

Khong Guan specializes in the manufacture of biscuits. Think cream crackers, wafers, cookies, etc.

Khong Guan biscuits

Meanwhile, Kong Guan specializes in the manufacture of dumplings and pau! I love how I can get steaming hot pau anytime I want. Just take the packet out of the freezer and without even having to defrost the pau, just stick them into the microwave or steamer and I get yummy pau in about 10 minutes! :) I’ll do a review on them next.

Kong Guan Pau and Dumplings

The two companies have somewhat similar looking logos and sound exactly the same in Mandarin but… try to spot the difference:

Khong Guan Logo

Kong Guan Logo

So now you know. Kong Guan is not Khong Guan. But both are really good at what they do. So you really can’t go wrong with either. ;)

Khong Guan’s website: http://khongguan.com.sg/

Kong Guan’s website: http://www.kongguan.com.sg/

Häagen-Dazs’ Ice-Cream Mooncakes 2014

Every year without fail, I’ll get Swenson’s ice-cream mooncakes. I love the sticky chewy chocolate ones! This year, I might give Häagen-Dazs’ a try. :)

haagen dazs ice cream mooncake [Blossoms of Tranquility S$25++]

“Featuring four of Häagen-Dazs’ most favoured flavours – Macadamia Nut, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Chocolate – each ice cream mooncake comes topped with unique chocolate appliques, the mooncakes are printed with designs that represent the blossoms under the full moon (月圆花好/ yuè yuán huā hǎo), wishing a blissful and tranquil life. For a burst of freshness amidst the rich ice cream, a bright amber ball of Mango Sorbet is nestled within its center, symbolising the wholeness of the full moon. Adding crunch and texture, the ice cream mooncakes sit atop either a sweet meal or peanut-butter chocolate malt ball base.”

*Available in three various gifts sets as well as an exquisite Häagen-Dazs Creation, these limited edition mooncakes will be available at all Häagen-Dazs Cafés, and selected Mid-Autumn events from 21st July to 14th September.

~

Citibank and DBS/POSB Card Promotions:

Enjoy 15% off any purchase of Single, Petite or Classic sets and Blossoms of Tranquillity at any Häagen-Dazs Café

Häagen-Dazs Card Members:

Enjoy 15% off any mooncake purchase and:

  • Receive a free pint of the flavor of the month when you purchase 2 Classic Sets OR
  • Receive 1 free scoop of the ice cream of your choice when you purchase any 2 mooncake sets

Barbie Cafe in Taipei – An Explosion of PINK! :D

barbie cafe taiwan

When I visited Taiwan in May this year, I wanted to visit the Barbie Cafe as I’ve already been to the Hello Kitty Cafe, Jay Chou restaurant, Modern Toilet Restaurant, etc. And… it was pretty amazing! I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

The cafe was rather quiet at 12noon when we visited. According to the staff, it is busy mainly during tea-time. I wondered if that meant the food is not very good.

My worries were unfounded. The food here is better than at the Hello Kitty Cafe! And the customer service was good too! We ordered two set meals for lunch. :)

*For the menu and pricing, click here.

barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

barbie cafe taiwan

barbie cafe taiwan

In case you are wondering why there is a Barbie doll in the pictures above, well, I bought it in Taichung! :D

barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

Barbie Cafe Tel: 02-27528311

To get there:

Take the train to Zhongxiao Dunhua station -> Take exit 8 -> Upon exiting, turn back and cross the (immediate) first crossing you see. The Barbie Cafe is diagonally across the road and you can get there within 1 minute. :)

Alternatively (especially if it is raining), you can also take exit 12 of the station, via the underground mall. You’ll pop out right outside the cafe!

*Check out the Barbie Cafe menu :)

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House at Sentosa Cove

Blue Lotus

Tucked away in one corner of Sentosa Cove is Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House. I love the lanterns, really! :D

Their Signature Chili Pomelo Crab is apparently a must-try dish here! Compared to my previous crab dinner at Dancing Crab, an atas location like Sentosa Cove means you can’t really feel at home unless, well, you actually stay at Sentosa Cove. :P

Here’s what we ordered:

Blue Lotus

We ordered the lemongrass prawn sticks (S$18) for starters [bottom right in the picture above]. I thought it was unimpressive. It’s just oddly bland on its own and depends on the citrus spicy sauce for flavor. Like I said, I’m not impressed by this dish at all.

Similarly, the fried french beans with minced pork in xo sauce (S$22) was nothing to shout about despite its promising name. This dish was also a tad too salty. Thankfully, we’d ordered white rice.

The wok-fried kagoshima wagyu beef tenderloin with peppercorn (S$48) was lovely. The beef was tender and juicy and my only complaint is that for S$48, I should have gotten more of those bite-sized chunks of beef! I want more!

The signature chili pomelo crab (S$7.80/100g) was really good though. The pomelo added an interesting touch to the dish – I found it strangely addictive when slurped up with the saue! :D The crab was fresh (how delightful!) and the sauce they made from fresh tomatoes (not ketchup, mind you), chili padi and a host of other ingredients was yummy, if not a tad too spicy.

To end the meal, we had lemongrass gelo with lime sorbet (S$9), which was simply wonderful! A great mix of sweet and sour, it will leave you craving for more! Possibly the most intriguing jelly dessert I have ever eaten! #MustOrder

Where drinks are concerned, I liked the fresh coconut juice (S$8). The iced honey & lemon (S$6) was not the most pleasant. I guess I really should have gone with their iced lychee tea (S$6) which comes with real lychee! #IfThereIsANextTime

~

I’m very impressed by how their menu and prices(!) can be found on their website, albeit without stating which are the recommended dishes to try – you can only find this on the physical menu at Blue Lotus.

Promotion: There is a 1st Anniversary Giveaway going on from 2 July to 29 September. Receive a S$50 Blue Lotus voucher with every S$200 spent in a single receipt. Check in-store for details!

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House
31 Ocean Way, #01-13 Quayside Isle
Singapore 098375

Lunch: Fridays – Sundays
11.30am to 3pm (last order 2.30pm)

Dinner: Mondays – Sundays
6pm to 10pm (last order 9.30pm)

Closed on Tuesdays

http://www.bluelotus.com.sg/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/bluelotusrestaurant

Dancing Crab at The Grandstand: Why Do People Like Eating There?!

Initially, I wanted to title this blogpost ‘I’m So Glad You Are Alive!!!’ because of what happened before yesterday’s dinner at Dancing Crab. :D To cut a long story short, due to a mis-communication and an iPhone which decided to hang at the most inopportune moment, we waited for each other for over an hour at different spots outside the Botanic Gardens (but were just, maybe, 150m apart). LOL! When Max, Kelly and myself finally got “reunited” with Steven, after nearly starting a nationwide manhunt for him because this guy is never late, we were just so glad he’s alive. :D

Dancing Crab The Grandstand

[From left: Max, Kelly, Me, Steven]

I guess the fact that we very nearly didn’t make it for our Dancing Crab dinner meant we relished it even more.

And the place was about 70% full on a Tuesday evening. At a location like The Grandstand, it is nothing short of astounding!

5 Reasons Why I Liked Dancing Crab:

1) Dining Off The Table – No Cutlery Needed: It is probably not that novel an idea anymore but it was my first time being forced to eat in public without any cutlery. It truly makes more sense to peel a prawn with your bare hands (and eat the prawn while it is still hot) than try to de-shell it with a knife and fork.

Dancing Crab The Grandstand

[Server pouring a bag of seafood onto our table... and 1 prawn landed in front of me. It was evidently mine. :D]

I really dislike those atas events where I have to keep my elbows off the table while eating, try not to cut up my steak too violently, and dab at the corners of my mouth with a napkin every so often.

Needless to say, Dancing Crab, I will be back again. It’s just like eating at home, where I can eat with just my fingers and no one thinks it is rude. :D

2) An Interesting Visual Feast

Unless you are allergic to prawns, you definitely have to order the Flaming Moonshine Tiger Prawns, because of, well, the flaming spectacle when the prawns are cooked right before your eyes by the server who wheels the portable stove over.

Dancing Crab Grandstand

The prawns are sweet and juicy, and taste really good with the sauces provided.

*Prawns – S$8/100g, with a minimum order of 500g

3) No Usage Of Handphones – Not A House Rule

I can safely say that all 4 of us are handphone addicts. We just CANNOT help but fiddle with our phones during mealtimes, catch-up sessions, and just about any other time during the day.

At Dancing Crab, because our fingers got filthy, we had no choice but to concentrate only on eating and chatting. And it was a LOT of fun!

You know how some people go to restaurants with their friends, and everyone puts their handphones in a pile and promise not to use the phones, with the person who breaks his/her promise first footing the bill for everyone else? At Dancing Crab, there is no need for that. We can’t wait to drop our phones into our bags so we don’t get them dirty. LOL!

4) Yummy Food

I did not expect the crab cakes (just S$13) to taste so good! The prawn dips and the crab did not disappoint either.

The lobster roll was nothing fantastic, though, so I won’t order it again.

I do suspect that it’s because we were eating without using any cutlery, that the food tasted exceptionally good. Imagine eating at KFC but instead of using your fingers, you have to use a knife and fork. It will no longer be “Finger Lickin’ Good”!

5) Affordable

Our meal for 4 (including drinks) came up to about S$170+ after tax. It was pretty reasonable.

*A note about the drinks: The homemade iced lemon tea was VERY sour. I think they remembered to add the lemon but forgot about the sugar. Healthy but cringe-inducing.

Address: 200 Turf Club Road, #01-20/21

Tel: 64663303 [Call to make an appt, but if it's a weekday, no matter what they say, just turn up anyway. We were told there were no tables till 8pm, but went in around 7pm and got seated. :D Don't try this during Public Holidays and/or Fridays. I take no responsibility whatsoever :P]