CoCoICHIBANYA, Curry never tasted this good!
When I was first approached to be the master of ceremony for the media launch and grand opening of CoCoICHIBANYA’s 5th outlet in Singapore, I was ecstatic for many different reasons. The fact that the best Japanese curry house was expanding on this tiny little island and that the fifth outlet was located at one of the most accessible malls, Plaza Singapura, was all too good to be true.Meeting local Director of CoCoICHIBANYA, Ms Jessica Lim, made clear how the high standards of service and quality of all the outlets here have been achieved. Ms Lim, who runs the business with her husband Mr Khun Torphong, was warm, humble, detailed oriented, conscientious and extremely committed to the comfort of both her customers and staff alike.
The media launch held on 29th October, was graced by celebrity bloggers, food reporters, radio presenters and celebrities who participated fully in all the exciting activities lined up that afternoon. Some were even daring enough to take part in the spicy level game in which participants were made to guess the spice level of the curry served to them by gorgeous models. Things got really hot then!
The highlight of the evening was of course the food tasting session. CoCoICHIBANYA did an impeccable job feeding their guests just about everything on the menu. Crowd favourites included the Goma Tofu and Fried Fish Salad, Miso Soup, Spring Baby Horse Mackerel Karaage, Pork Cutlet Omelette Curry and Wagyu Beef Steak Curry to name a few. It was no surprise that the feedback was fabulous and most could not resist ordering more than they got, despite the extra generous servings. To everyone’s delight, Japanese Director of CoCoICHIBANYA, Mr Kenji Tanaka, went from table to table answering questions and mingling with all his guests. It felt more like a family gathering than a launch with lots of warmth and laughter.
The grand opening which was held the very next day, commenced with a literal bang by the Japanese Taiko Drum Performers, followed by an astonishing blindfold painting demonstration by Singapore’s first female finger-painting artist, Ms Adeline Yeo. The strong and uninhibited finger strokes on her paintings, speak of uninhibited courage and confidence. Her works are often vibrant, refreshing and one-of-a-kind like the one she painted on the spot in front of a large audience and auctioned off for charity to the Make-A-Wish foundation for children battling with life-threatening medical conditions. Ms Yeo also dedicated a heartwarming poem to Mr Kenji Tanaka written beautifully with her magical art piece in mind.
Other highlights included champagne popping to officiate the opening by Directors Ms Jessica Lim, Khun Torphong, Mr Kenji Tanaka and Mrs Rasri Tanaka as well as welcome speeches by Ms Lim and Mr Tanaka expressing their appreciation for the large turnout and their plans to set up as many as 20 outlets in the near future. Having a CoCoICHIBANYA outlet just around the corner is certainly something we can all look forward to!
The next time you’re in town and looking for something to eat, head to CoCoICHIBANYA. You will be more than satisfied.
For more information on CoCoICHIBANYA, check out the following:
Arteastiq Boutique Tea House
The moment I stepped foot into Arteastiq, the stunning new boutique tea house located at Plaza Singapura, all my senses were immediately awakened and aroused. The openness of the entrance is so inviting that you can’t help walking in. Even better is the exquisite interior, designed to make you comfortable and important at the same time.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by AT Marketing Consultancy and amongst good company while enjoying the many delectable dishes on the menu. The diverse revamped menu launched this year is a collaborative result of three chefs who have been traveling around the world garnering key secrets of the best recipes. Chef Jason Vito, an author of the Onaka Cookbook, is a master in the modern European cuisine. Chef Benson Tong, a celebrity guest judge on Mediacorp cooking variety shows, is an Asian cuisine specialist. Chef Jack Tan, formerly the executive chef of Brewerkz, is a Pan American foodologist. Together, they joined forces to create a tantalising menu selection so delicious and individualistic that you can’t find elsewhere. Needless to say, it was more than satiating.
Lychee Tea ($7.4)
Ode To Nectar ($12)
Say goodbye to traditional molten lava cakes served with vanilla ice cream, this Vanilla Gelato served with Honey Chocolate Mi- cuit and Coffee Syrup definitely takes the cake! This is a rich and heavily formed chocolate cake that is served with coffee syrup, taking away the over-bearing chocolate after taste that most chocolate desserts have. Some may consider it to be too rich as an after-meal dessert, so it might work better as an afternoon tea delight to put those sugar cravings at bay.
Airy Fairy ($13)
This Varlhona Choc mousse with vanilla crème parfait may look overcoming to those who are not chocolate lovers, but it in turn makes you fall in love with chocolate all over again. This light mousse is extremely subtly sweet and the berry toppings add a tangy zest to each mouthful of mousse.
Boston Love Boat – Ciponio ($29)
This seafood and saffron stew is topped with a light puff pastry covering the soup bowl and comes with a side of crispy sweet potato fries. As you cut down on the pastry, each spoon of stew is accompanied with pastry and the tomato and saffron tinged flavours make the seafood ingredients simply enjoyable. The bright golden sweet potato fries go absolutely well with the seafood, and the different elements of this dish simply work together without leaving you over-satiated.
The French Affection-Ribeye ($35)
Tuscan Sun-Porcine et Polenta ($20)
The Royal Princess-Salmon Wellington for 2 ($38)
Aphrodite-Carbcake Benedict ($25)
Both food and ambience also make for a perfect business meeting. My husband clients’ have been nothing but grateful for his introduction to their favourite new meeting spot. The beautiful space is able to accommodate 68 pax in the dining area and 24 pax in the art jam studio totaling to a 92 head capacity hence you need not worry about being in a big group. In it’s own unique way, the whole concept of social interaction through the expression of painting and gathering whilst overlooking the busy life of orchard road from above is truly an exquisite experience.
The new Arteastiq outlet is located at:
Plaza Singapura, #03-70/72, Singapore 238839
10am to 10pm daily
68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
For Boutique Tea House reservations: 6336 0951
For enquiries and reservations for Social Painting: 6336 0952
“BEST OF SINGAPORE” In Casual Dining and Tea 2012
“GOLD PLATE Women’s weekly” for Lunch and Tea 2011
Museo Foodbar Award:
“Excellent Award for Shanghai Area” International Space Design Award Idea Tops 2014
For more information on Arteastiq, check out the following:
Facebook (For Social Painting): https://www.facebook.com/ArteastiqSocialPaintingStudio
AT Marketing Consultancy – http://www.atmc.com.sg/
Nassim Hill Bakery & Bistro
It was our anniversary and since my beloved husband Sean is not a planner, (probably his only flaw), I googled places to go to for brunch and stumbled upon many. It was the gorgeous pic of Nassim Hill Bakery & Bistro that caught my attention. I love cafes which look ‘open & friendly’ and Nassim Hill Bakery appeared to be just that.
It took me 2 hours to doll myself up. I only did so because it was our 1st anniversary which warranted a nice dress, heels and enough makeup to look made up. As soon as I was done, we got into our Uber and off we went. My son Cassius joined us because he loves eating, just like his Mum. When we arrived, we were pleased to see that it was packed. Why pleased you must be thinking? Well it’s usually the case that if a place is crowded, the food is good or great.
We didn’t have to wait more than upon arrival 10mins to be seated at a decent table. When I took a look at the menu, I knew I made right choice. There were many good options to choose from. I ordered the Spicy Huevos (Where-Voz) Benedict, Cassius ordered the Brioche (Bree-Oh-Shey) French Toast and Sean ordered the Wholemeal Belgian Waffles. The pronunciations are there because not everyone knows how to pronounce these foreign words.
Sean’s dish came about 10mins before ours perhaps because it was packed and some dishes take longer than others to make. As soon as we took our first bites, wide smiles instantaneously appeared on each of our faces.
My Spicy Huevos Benedict came with poached-perfect eggs drizzled with Hollandaise sauce (an emulsion of egg yolk and liquid butter, usually seasoned with lemon juice, salt, and a little white pepper or cayenne pepper), just the right-amount-of-fried Spanish chorizo (coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with pimentón – a smoked paprika – and salt) and ciabatta (Italian white bread).
It was perfect yet I couldn’t help but to steal of piece of my son’s French Toast which was delightful in a sweeter sense. Although it’s pretty easy to go wrong with French toast, they went all-RIGHT. The toasted almonds, whip cream and blueberries made it complete.
Now for the Belgian Waffles…they were certainly light and crispy as described in the menu. But just our luck that they ran out of the beerbeiser sausages which didn’t upset us at all because the bacon and maple syrup sufficed nicely. I noticed that my husband looked more in love with his waffles than his wife on our first anniversary date.
No meal is a meal without coffee and desert. I ordered the Brownie Parfait (Puf-fay) served with caramelised cornflakes, salted peanuts, salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream. I carefully took small scoops, mixing all the ingredients together to ensure that heavenly explosion in my mouth each time. Brownie + Cornflakes = HEAVEN. Unfortunately I couldn’t have more than a few sips of my cappuccino which was pretty alright. I did however take a sip of Sean’s Berry Blitz and what I liked most about it was the obvious taste of banana. Banana’s have a way of making all things better, even your mood.
Brunch at Nassim Hill Bakery and Bistro left us all happy and extremely full. I would recommend it for any occasion because it’s not about how fancy or romantic, but how GOOD! And Nassim Hill Bakery was YUMS!
Gu Ma Jia restaurant, situated at 45 Tai Thong Crescent Sennett Estate, has the perfect setting for dinner out with the family. Gu Ma Jia, which means Auntie’s House, serves you the type of food you would expect from an aunt who cooks exceptionally well.
Thanks to AT Marketing, Food & PR Consultancy, I got to try most of their mouth-watering dishes in one sitting and I am looking forward to returning with the family as often as I can.
Fruity Enzyme Jelly – $4.80
This welcome drink was the perfect start to dinner. Not too sweet or sour, a refreshing aperitif to get your palate ready for the rich, flavourful main courses.
I’m not a fish or curry lover but I couldn’t stop myself from numerous servings of the Assam Snapper. The meaty flakes of the Snapper go so well with the curry and steamed rice if you feel like it.
Move aside, Chili crab. Salted Egg Yolk crab is the way to go. You could munch on the shell without even getting to the meat and be satisfied. But as soon as you get a taste of the crabmeat coated with the salted egg yolk you will not stop till the plate is squeaky clean.
XO Sauce Prawn Noodles – $28
Don’t leave Gu Ma Jia without trying this classic Cantonese dish. From the Prawns to the noodles and the XO sauce, the best quality of ingredients come together so flawlessly that you won’t want to share.
‘The taste of childhood’ was the first thought that came to mind when I tried the Ubin Lala Bee Hoon. Gu Ma Jia has successfully maintained the authenticity of this dish, which tastes almost exactly like the best Lala noodles you could find across the island back in the day.
No dinner is complete without Kai Lan. The Yuan Yang Kai Lan has the right amount of crunch & crisp for a vegetable dish. The simple sauce and condiments give it the clean, fresh taste you relish.
I believe the picture says more than enough. The tender, tantalizing rich taste of the pork ribs complements the mild, natural flavor of the yam ring like cheese does on fries. Finger-licking good!
Taking a bite of the toothsome crunchy chicken cooked with shrimp paste made it impossible to stop at 1 or 5;) Yummy is all I have to say.
Healthy, soothing and palatable. With all the rich dishes served, this traditional bean curd soup comforts the taste buds nicely.
Mango Pudding – $3
The silky texture of this mango pudding dessert completes the scrumptious dinner wonderfully.
Needless to say, Gu Ma Jia is at the top of my list for a nice, wholesome meal with loved ones.
Check out this links for more info:
TIONG BAHRU BAKERY @ENG HOON
My best friend told me about Tiong Bahru Bakery a couple of months ago when her fiancé and her came down from Perth for a visit. Her fiancé, originally from Italy, built a successful F&B business in Perth when he moved there hence his opinion on all things F&B is taken quite seriously. This is a guy who knows his coffee and croissants. I knew I had to check it out because my best friend said it was their favourite place to grab a good cup of coffee when they’re down.
But I got busy and forgot all about it till my husband’s friend recommended it to him as well. THEN I remembered. So after stalling for so long because of work and all the other excuses we give ourselves, my husband & I finally decided to go yesterday.
It was pretty crowded for a Sunday evening in a not-so-convenient location. As we pulled up, both of us felt like we drove back in time, into old Singapore. The cafe is nice and cozy while at the same time vibrant. A cool unique combination, if you know what I mean. It was easy to order and our orders reached us almost immediately, which is perfect for busy people who like it fast.
However, to our surprise, we weren’t as blown away with the coffee or food as we thought we’d be. Don’t get me wrong, it was all good but it was not as fantastic as we made it out to be in our heads. I think we had unrealistic expectations. Maybe because it came highly recommended by 2 foodie couples. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the experience and would go back for sure. It’s good for a date with the spouse or close friend.
Oh and by the way, have the MAGIC coffee if you need to pull an all nighter. I haven’t slept since.
Found this cool diner online last night. With my baby sister/best friend leaving the country, I really needed a nice dinner out with the family & boy was I glad I found Kombi Rocks. It’s got a good location, the menu was interesting, the food palatable and the atmosphere comforting. It’s one of those ‘let’s do something different tonight’ places. Do check it out.http://www.kombirocks.com