Carousel’s Award-winning Buffet – At Royal Plaza on Scotts

I had lunch today with my pals at Carousel Buffet at Royal Plaza on Scotts. For the price I paid, I felt it was a really good lunch, though 2 hours seemed like too little time for makan and catching up with my friends. :D

Here’s the buffet price list (accurate as at 15 Sept 2014)..

Carousel Buffet - Pricing [Source: Carousel's website]


Menu Description:

Carousel Buffet - Menu Description

I really liked their sashimi, which was really fresh. The prawns and shellfish were good as well. What blew me away was the Black Chicken Ginseng Soup – I’ve never visited a buffet that served Chinese soup. It was nothing short of amazing! After you’ve been eating the sashimi and drinking cold water, that little bowl of hot soup just hits the right spot and make you want to go “Aahhhhh”. :D

Carousel Buffet - Sashimi

And of course, dessert was flawless. One chocolate fountain might need company. So why not have three of them? :D (The middle one tastes the best)

Carousel Buffet - Dessert

They also had what looked like a giant lava cake (which they called chocolate pudding, or something along those lines) with an amazingly chocolately centre, which I paired with their Chocolate Obsession ice cream. It was a nice mix of warm cake and cold ice cream, and lots of chocolate. I died and went to dessert heaven.

I didn’t eat any of the salads or cheese, nor too much seafood. But I really love the selection of Asian cuisine at Carousel. I just DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME!

I’ll definitely be back. For dinner in future. So I can eat for three hours instead of rushing to complete my meal in two. :D

If you’re heading there, do make a reservation first! The easiest way to do this (the hotline’s really busy) is to head online – to the Carousel Buffet website: http://www.carouselbuffet.com.sg/.

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot Clarke Quay 海底捞火锅: It’s All About The Service

Hai Di Lao

Some time back, I went with my pal, Steven, and one of my trainers, to Hai Di Lao at Clarke Quay. It’s apparently fully booked most of the time, unless you go for an early dinner, for instance.

I was curious to find out how this place draws the crowds. The answer is simple: the impeccable service.

A waitress constantly hovered near our table to attend to our needs. The staff are also generous with their compliments, and they were happy to call us “美女” and “帅哥”. It always makes me feel uncomfortable when a PRC man or woman calls me 美女. Case in point – the other day at the MRT station:

Me: (engrossed in the fb newsfeed on my phone)

PRC lady: “美女”

Me: (Giving her a look that asks “What do you want? My money or my phone? Or both?!)

Turns out she just wanted directions.

~

Dinner that evening at Hai Di Lao was passable. Two soup bases (tomato and chicken), lotsa meat, a fruit platter, some vegetables and the bill came up to S$122 for 3 pax. There’s also a fruit buffet corner where you can eat all the fruit you want.

Too bad I didn’t get to experience the free manicure. But we were given plastic ziplock bags for our handphones, warm towels, cloth to prevent splashes onto my bag, wiping cloths for handphone screens (which the guys took home).

I’m not exactly impressed with the quality of the food. It just ranks as ‘normal’ to me. But if you order some noodles, a guy will come by your table and stretch and swing the dough around your head like a super long whip, crafting noodle strands out of it while you wonder if the dough touched your hair, or the floor, or the back of that chair. Clapping is optional.

If you’d like to impress a visitor with the awesome service standards in Singapore, then head to Hai Di Lao. If not, just eat anywhere else. ;)

Address: 2nd Floor, 3D Building, River Valley Road, Clarke Quay,Singapore
Tel: +65 63378626 / 63378627

Opening Hours: 10.30am to 3am (yes, 3am! Supper for you?)

Factory Tour: Julie’s Biscuits, Malacca

Julie's Biscuits

Thanks to Julie’s Biscuits / Perfect Food Manufacturing, I had the opportunity of touring one of their factories in Malacca and also bringing home lots of their yummy biscuits! :D

I’m doing a giveaway of the biscuits in a LINE collectible tin. So if you haven’t participated already, hurry on over to my facebook page:

Julie's Biscuits

The company, Perfect Food Manufacturing, was established in 1981 and since then it has exported its biscuits to countries all around the world, been accredited with ISO 9001:2008, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), HACCP, OHSAS, etc. Also, many awards have been won – recent ones include the ‘Industry Excellent (Food Industries)’ award at the Malaysia Business Awards 2013, Gulfood Highly Commended Best New Baked Product 2013 and Best New Bakery Products 2013 by Fine Food Australia.

I love their Peanut Butter Sandwich and Cheese Sandwich biscuits. And the Le-Mond Puff Mango Flavoured Sandwich has been my favorite for a very long time. My Dad has also been purchasing their Oat Cookies recently. I guess we each have our favs because of the stunning variety of baked goods in the Julie’s Biscuit range!

All of us bloggers were met with a really warm reception at the factory…

Group Picture with all the other bloggers:

Julie's Biscuits

Lunch was Malaysian style and nothing short of amazing. I loved the sambal prawns. I really need to learn how to cook those. And though we were all starving from the long coach ride, we still took the necessary pictures first. Hahaha. As I couldn’t get near the food, I gave up and took this picture. LOL…

Julie's Biscuits

We also sat through a very informative session after lunch and got to learn more about the company. What impressed me most was not the emphasis on baking with love (‘cos we know that already, don’t we?) but the care for their workers. Those who joined the company and were deemed “too skinny” were given 2 eggs everyday with their meals at the staff canteen, for an entire month! Also, there’s a hostel for them, and they get free food at the canteen everyday (unless they get sick of the food and venture outside for meals).

Here I am with Regina and HP, two of the nicest bloggers in the group. :D

Julie's Biscuits

And one final picture… from the presentation. At the launch event of their Julie’s x LINE biscuits, they had the awesome mascots go on stage for photos and some fun. However did I miss this?!

Julie's Biscuits

Thank you Julie’s / Perfect Food Manufacturing! :)

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