Thursday, 26 February 2009

Quality of Life - Recession Style

The sad state of the world’s economy is beginning to hurt. I’m switching from Cold Storage to Sheng Siong, champagne to new world sparklers, and drinking my bubbly at home rather than at some swanky over a $100 Champagne brunch. But waist-high in the deepest economic crisis which some say could pip even the Great Depression, there is a silver lining for us. We’re looking not just for ‘good’ but real, genuine value, serious-no-nonsense bang for the buck, and we’re finally getting some. Where? Seek and ye shall find….


Smart Chinese Feasts
In our maiden posting, we wrote about Fullerton Hotel with its seven-course duck menu and that was great value in very posh surroundings. Min Jiang at One North, while not quite as swish, isn’t shabby either. They’ve just rolled out a seven-course menu for $58++ (per person) to celebrate their 3rd anniversary and it looks pretty good. Here we go: Min Jiang Trio Platter (Chilled Abalone with Soy-White Truffle Oil Sauce, Crispy Cereal Prawn and Duo of Beijing Duck); Double Boiled Chicken Consommé with Wanton and Bamboo Pith; Pan-fried Kurobuta Pork with Goose Liver; Braised Bailing Mushroom with Vegetables; Stir-fried Diced Chicken with Assorted Chillies; Green Apple Jelly with Lime Sorbet and Custard Sesame Seed Dumpling. Compared to what you may have to pay at equivalent western restaurants – and speaking of which, I had to fork out over $400 for two and a half people at a Western restaurant I reviewed recently! No fine dining, nor linen….al fresco eating over a coffee table to boot! – Min Jiang’s offer is pretty darn good. Foie gras included some more!

Available at:
5 Rochester Park
Tel: 6774 0122 to ‘chope’ seats
27 Feb–29 March

Honest, unpretentious and just downright good
Spice Queen, Devagi Sanmugam’s new restaurant at Race Course Road, is a comfy, simple, friendly eatery with such warm service that will surprise you. It’s also not just an Indian restaurant – she serves up pretty creative Singaporean dishes here too – like Nonya omelette and laksa prawns. We pottered over within the first week of its opening and had a great time. The mutton briyani was very tasty, but lighter than in most Indian restaurants so you don’t leave with that overstuffed heavy feeling; the kampong fried rice with local herbs and ikan bilis was superb, and the belachan chicken wings, a signature dish, was very good – juicy and steaming hot inside, crunchy outside, and no stinging on the flavour. Must haves for dessert is the banana gula melaka ice cream. There’s a bar that turns out mojitos and other cocktails, good fresh beer and very reasonable wines by the bottle…around $40 if I remember correctly. Cheap and cheerful, she also serves yummy set menus ranging from $10.90 to a princely sum of $12. I’m hungry already just writing about this! Must go back for the briyani.

Available at:
24 & 26 Race Course Road
Tel: 6255 2440
(Park at the temporary KK Market car park and walk – less than 5 mins away.)
Closed Mondays


Ye can still swirl that stirrer with your manicured fingers, prop up the bar at these places and not feel too much of a pinch in your pocket…..

Best Sangria, Cheap Brunch
Shuffle off in your slippers to The Tapas Tree at Changi Village for Happy Hour with 1-for-1 sangria ($9+) until 8pm. To me, it’s one of the best in town, fortified with brandy, nicely chilled every time and lots of fruit. Must have! Their traditional paella is also really excellent. What’s more, Sunday brunch is priced only at $48++ with free flow bubbly, wines, beers, sangria and Spanish buffet which includes great lamb rack, meatballs and of course, paella. Non-alky brunch at $25++ and kids under 10 eat for free. How good is that? How much more inexpensive does it get? Nice and laid back, you eat in al fresco surrounds, it’s kinda breezy at night, and hardly any crowds. I’ve been a regular there for some time already. Heaven!

Available at:
5 Changi Village Road
Tel: 6546 0180

Stylo-Mylo Martinis
Have to imbibe in branded surrounds? Head to the Martini Bar at Grand Hyatt. Not only is it an award-winning bar in a fancy-schmancy hotel with a pretty cute young manager to boot (wave at him – he’s called Franz…nice smile), Happy Hour (6pm to 8pm) there knocks 50% off the price of cocktails and housepours. That translates to cocktails starting at about $8++. And with over 40 martinis on their list, libation can be so sweet! 

Available at:
10-12 Scotts Road
Tel: 6738 1234

Budget Bottles in the Breeze
Where? At Wine Garage, sitting pretty along the Singapore River. Prices for a large selection of bottles tumble by as much as 40% during Happy Hour – weekdays from 4pm to 8pm and all day Sunday. (Lah! Aren’t we excited already!) I am no wine expert, but a few good buys I think I spied are: Pierro Semillon Blend ($70), Paul Buecher Reserve Gewurztraminer ($58), Pascal Jolivet Pouilly Fume ($69). Sit by the river, shoot the breeze, nibble on their gourmet bar snacks and enjoy the little pleasures in life. Can you feel the buzz yet?

Available at:
30 Merchant Road
#01-07 Riverside Point
Tel: 6533 3188
Log onto for full happy hour bottle menu.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Simply Fabulicious Copyright © 2009 Cosmetic Girl Designed by Ipietoon | In Collaboration with FIFA
Girl Illustration Copyrighted to Dapino Colada