Sunday, 31 January 2010

Valentine’s Day – The Prettiest Places for a Date

Kids needing homework help, tuition centres to drive them do, and the rest of the family insisting on you doing your CNY duties….shall we pretend we are still dating? Here’s our picks for some of the prettiest places for VD dating.

Krish. A newcomer to Rochester Park, Krish has a really gorgeous alfresco bar, with a pretty greenhouse where the drinks are made, and surrounded by lush greenery. Very romantic, with swings, tatami seating and loungers in addition to wrought iron garden furniture that came straight out of ‘Little Women’.

Indoors, the restaurant, set in a colonial black and white, is cosy, homey, with different settings to choose from: downstairs for a more formal, Anglo-Indian feel, and upstairs where it is brighter, more informal and almost Scandinavian in looks. The cuisine here is refined Indian-European. Sounds odd, but it works and the food is really quite good and creative. Their 5-course VD menu ($280 per couple) includes a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne. Dishes include Tandoori Hamachi served with fish head curry consommé, Pongal with white truffles and wild mushrooms, spice-crusted prawns with tangy citrus chutney and avocado salad, Kobe Sirloin and Valrhona Chocolate Frangelico Molten served with pink peppercorn sauce and mint yoghurt sorbet. Nice! VD menu available throughout February.

9 Rochester Park
Tel: 6779 4644

Halia. This restaurant is not new, but well worth revisiting simply ‘cos it’s so magical, especially at night. Walk through the darkening, winding ginger garden and see how the restaurant pops out among the greenery like a surprise. The food is good and the setting is absolutely fab – it’s a lovely tropical escapade, and for a bit of CNY, you can pretend there are tigers in the dark. (“Ooooo, save me, darling! My hero!”) Thing is, Halia is sticking to celebrating VD on 14 Feb itself, but even if you can’t do it that very day, their usual menu is perfectly delightful as well.

The five course VD set menu ($260 nett per couple) highlights premium foods: angel hair with truffle, scallops and caviar; foie gras, roasted figs and yuzu sorbet (interesting combination), trout and langoustine in sake soy glaze, wagyu sirloin and onion tart, and lemongrass manjari, kirsch strawberry and passionfruit macaroon. But if hubby is chubby and wants to feast up (never mind the romance), they’ve got an extensive and pretty swish dinner buffet going on too ($200 nett per couple) with dishes like leg of lamb, beef shank, foie gras parfait, saffron basmati, crab bisque and lots of dessert.

1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden
(park and enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Reservations a must: email or call 6287 0711

COVA Pasticceria – Confetteria Singapore. We like the extravagantly cocooned feel of COVA, and their whimsical all-pink VD menu ($88 per person, available 8-12 Feb). The five courses includes lobster medallion served with pink pepper scented béchamel sauce, pink risotto with strawberries, pink peach sherbert and prosecco, salmon with tomato coulis or beef tenerdoin with raspberry sauce and a dessert of passion fruit and strawberry bavaraese with choc sauce. You also get a glass of prosecco and chocolates. But you know what, I’d rather save this menu for dinner with the girlfriends after a credit card-smoking afternoon of shopping!...And anyway, I’m not sure about dating a guy who likes pink that much.

Interestingly, don’t bother to go to Cova on Valentine’s Day itself. You’ll find it shuttered all day. Just makes you go, “Huh?!”

#01-20A Paragon
Tel: 6733 0777
Cova is closed from 5pm on 13 Feb; and all of 14 Feb
- Ee Waun
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Saturday, 30 January 2010

Besotted - Cruising On The Rolls Royce of the Seas

How about a mental escapade? We get sent lots of gorgeous destination pictures and we're starting a new tag called 'Besotted' - photo-led postcard-type posts which makes us which were were there!!

Starting off our first Besotted post, here are some gorgeous pictures from Silver Seas, the seriously high end cruise which people say is the 'Rolls Royce of the Seas'. We are KIV-ing this for when (more like 'if) we are rolling in the moolah, or when we finally retire. 

I wanna sail into Venice that way too.

Lazy lunch by the Amalfi Coast, anyone?

Isn't this so Audrey Hepburn? Quick, put on your shades and black little outfits and pretend hubs is Cary Grant. So old world glamour! We like.

Check me in for a cruise to Alaska please!
What's accommodation like?....

Something simple and cosy would do.....on the Silver Whisper.

Silverseas is mainly for the silver-haired, I'm told, but who's to stop anyone having a great time on board. You get free flowing champers from the time you board to the time you totter off, plus gourmet food and seriously swanky tours when you stop off at your ports of call. All very glamorous and romantic. I'd rather pay for that, than fork out $25K for 7 hours on board some cramped airline first class suite.

- Ee Waun
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Friday, 29 January 2010

Breaking News - March Launch for the Apple iPad!

Gadget girl says: "Get out your wallets .. the Apple iPad officially launches in late March and at only US$499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model." The new ipad is 127mm thick and weighs just 68 grams and has a touch screen that is 24.6cm diagonally and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store.

If you are curious, here is what this new baby can deliver: 

Web Browsing
The iPad comes in two versions—one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G. iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G versions support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks. The device has a Bluetooth function, a 10 hour battery life and you don't have to charge it for upto a month if it is left on standby mode.

Read and send email through a touch screen pad (same as the iphone)
Reading and sending email will be fun and easy on iPad’s large screen and almost full-size “soft” keyboard. Apple has also introduced a new version of iWork® for iPad, the first desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch. With Pages®, Keynote® and Numbers® you can create beautifully formatted documents, stunning presentations with animations and transitions, and spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas. The three apps will be available separately through the App Store for US$9.99 each.

View photos at the flick of your finger, watch videos
Import photos from a Mac®, PC or digital camera, see them organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad’s elegant slideshows. Watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD,

Read a book
Flip through pages of an e-book you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore while listening to your music collection. The ibook store will rival the and Kindle ebook store with titles from Penguin, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, the Hachette Book Group and Macmillan with other publishing houses soon adding up to the glossary of branded names in the who's who of the publishing business.

Listen to music
iPad syncs with iTunes just like the iPhone and iPod touch, using the standard Apple 30-pin to USB cable, so you can sync all of your contacts, photos, music, movies, TV shows, applications and more from your Mac or PC. All the apps and content you download on iPad from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically synced to your iTunes library the next time you connect with your computer.

Play games
The iPad will have an accelerometer so gamers can tilt the device to control what is happening on the screen.

One App fits all
The iPad will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps on the App Store, including apps already purchased for your iPhone® or iPod touch®. The iTunes® Store gives you access to the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over 11 million songs, over 50,000 TV episodes and over 8,000 films including over 2,000 in stunning high definition video.

Recyclable and Environmentally friendly
Each iPad enclosure will be made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy-efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iPad contains no brominated flame retardants and is completely PVC-free.

The Wi-Fi + 3G models of iPad will be available in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. Look out for details on the sale where to's and how to's in Asia - only available at a later date.

- Elaine
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Thursday, 28 January 2010

Binge - CNY Festive Eats Part 3 - Swoon-Worthy Porkilicious Bites, Etc...

Ooh – this spells added excitement to the bak kwa wars out on Singapore streets during the lead up to CNY. Kim Joo Guan, a long time supplier of bak kwa to ‘leading bak kwa outlets’ (hint hint!) and F&B establishments is muscling in from being a quiet back-end supplier to front line presence, just in time for the Tiger Year. Wraow! Having been around since 1977, looks like they finally got tired of working behind the scenes and setting up its first shop to finally grab some credit where it’s due.

In its press release, the company also promises that we “will be swooned over” by their tasty bites of fully handmade barbecued pork slices, 100% grilled over charcoal and freshly produced at the retail outlet on a daily basis.

We can’t wait “to be swooned over” by their Traditional Sliced Pork ($43 per kg), Traditional Sliced Pork Chilli ($45.00 per kg) and Premium Pork Belly ($63.00 per kg). Hopefully, the queue won’t be too long either, or there’ll be another reason to swoon.

To be swooned over, swan on to:
257 South Bridge Road
Tel: 6225 5257

Another long standing brand, our beloved Polar Puffs have rolled out a new version of their super soft Swiss Rolls. Called Prosperity Rolls, they are coated in halal chicken floss and freshly delivered to Polar Puff outlets only once a day. Then of course there are their traditional CNY cookies, with a few new (yet traditional) offerings this year: cornflake cookies, frosted coffee cookie, melting almond cookies, and honey hole sesame cookies (hmmm….I must admit to having some brow-raising reservations about the latter name). Cookies range from $11.80 to $15.80 per container.

Delivery is free for orders above $160, or $12 per location of less than that. The last day for advance orders is 6 February.

Visit or call 6269 5877 for details.

For more contemporary bites, I have always liked the macarons at Gourmet Carousel, at Royal Plaza On Scotts. They do unique, seasonal ones throughout the year. For CNY, they have whipped up Yam Ganache, Mandarin Orange Ganache and Pandan Ganache macarons for a local/Chinese touch ($11.50 for 5). There's also a pineapple galette ($48), no doubt a take on the pineapple tarts, with a suitably Chinese-y red 'chop' on the top, and an orange semolina (aka sugee) cake ($55). For yu sheng, Carousel is offering a Japanese twist to welcoming the great ‘hu’. Consider mekajiki (swordfish) and salmon accompanied with tatami iwashi (sheet of processed baby sardines), salmon roe, bonito flakes, tonsaga seaweed and deep-fried baby shrimps. This is tossed with a goma miso (sesame miso) sauce. ($60 for a small; $90.00 for large).

Tel: 6589 7788 or

Another Yu sheng of note, the yu sheng platter at Hai Tien Lo, Pan Pacific Singapore's sky high fine dining Chinese restaurant, is one of the most decadent. Good if you want to impress your gazillion-dollar, goldbar-bedecked Chinese businessman client. The Golden Harvest Yu Sheng gets you tossing toro sashimi (tuna belly - the best part of the fish), sharks fin, birds nest, abalone, Japanese Hokkigai scallops, live lobster (hope it's not still moving!!), salmon and silver anchovies. Cost $388 for 10. Best downed with Remy 'Hey Big Spender' Martin cognac and then off to Volvo karaoke club. (errr....or at least that's what I think it's called, no?) Available all February.

Tel: 6826 8240

Low-key Conrad Centennial Singapore also has some quaint offerings this time. Pastry Palette, their deli store, has a lotus seed pound cake ($8.80 for 300g), Hong Pao Mandarin Orange Chocolate Gâteau ($38 Nett for 500g) and Prosperity Nian Gao ($38) in 18 mini versions. The Lobby Lounge also lets you do a little CNY afternoon tea (30 Jan - 28 Feb), a dainty blend of east and west, with festive goodies either in buffet style ($28) or as a restrained afternoon tea set ($24).
CNY takeaways available from now until 28 Feb.

Tel: 6432 7309

- Ee Waun
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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Babies - Precious Baby Gifts for the Tiger Baby!

Here is a cute gift for a baby born in the Year of the Tiger - Poh Heng launches a limited edition Year of Tigger Medallion in 22K yellow gold featuring the fun loving, charismatic and vivacious Tigger from Poh Heng’s Disney Babies series. Known for his exuberant and boisterous nature, Tigger is captured beholding a gold ingot, which is regarded by the Chinese as a symbol of prosperity and abundance. Flip the medallion to the back, and you will see the 福 symbol engraved – an expression of good fortune. Note the purposely ‘kitschy’ special packaging in vibrant hues of red, green and pink with a cheerful and energetic Tigger on the glossy cover dressed in Oriental finery. Available at all Poh Heng outlets from January 1 2010 onwards for S$208.

If you are looking for an exceptionally cool baby gift and are feeling particularly generous, head to Loang and Noi and get something from their MiniMe collection of anklets, rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and even cufflinks for junior. 

Choose from a Baby Dino ID tag pendant (S$380) a pair of earrings in 925 silver (S$980 a pair), cufflinks in 925 silver (S$1,150 per pair). Also available in the Hirafu Bear designs, every purchase comes in the signature Loang and Noi gift box and specially-embossed ribbon. See

- Elaine
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Sunday, 24 January 2010

Binge - From Soymilk to Tofu Right Before Your Eyes

CNY is a time to indulge in new clothes, like all the ‘rad rags’ we have been highlighting. But deep dark secret, it’s also a time to give in to one’s more ‘auntie’ inclinations – like buying dried mushrooms, queuing up for bak kwa, baking pineapple tarts and making red dates and dried longan tea! So when I encountered this new contraption called the Banrai-Nabe tofu maker set, the auntie side of me was so impressed. But let me say that I was not the only one, and many a fellow food writer at the launch were I think similarly piqued.

Essentially, it is a double steamer that turns liquid soy milk into soft, smooth tofu in 15 minutes. All you do is pour some water into the outer pot, their high-protein soymilk into the inner pot together with a packet of Nigari coagulant, and steam it for 15 minutes. The resulting tofu has the consistency of chawan mushi, and a rich, dense flavour of soybean. The soymilk itself is special - made from 100% Fukuyutaka beans and with over 11% soy protein, among the highest concentrations in the market. The tofu is served with green tea, yuzu or wasabi seasoning on the side, or topped with some tuna floss, all of which are provided as part of the set.

The flavour of the tofu probably takes some getting used to because of its richness, but I think it’s particularly good for little kids, babies and the elderly who need a super nutrition fix. And with CNY coming round, it’s something nifty to serve at the table since it can be cooked with solid fuel for more added drama at the table, or as a CNY gift to some fave auntie. Apart from tofu, the pot can be used to steam other dishes like porridge, vegetables, seafood and even dim sum.

The small gift set ($148) comes with the small Banrai Nabe pot and stand which serves 2-3 people, two 1-litre packs of soybean milk, 10 packets of coagulant (brine from the Seto Inland Sea), 10 packs of the flavouring salts, two packs of ground tuna floss and 10 pieces of solid fuel. The large set comprising a large pot serves 8 people, and costs $198.

Available at Nihon Mura and Suki Sushi outlets, or directly from Toyo International Trading (tel: 6844 4269 or
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Bling - Big Ticket Bling!

In the mood to splurge on some bling? Check out these big ticket beauties that will set you back a couple of zeros. I always say .. no harm drooling!  

I fancy some Icy Jade dangling off my decolletage, don't you? Loang and Noi have just the fabulous fancies that pair traditional Jade pieces with diamonds and pearls in intricate and fascinating designs.

This is a Jade, Pearl and Diamond necklace with a detachable pendant brooch suspending an oval cabochon icy jade cosseted by two feline creatures embellished with radiant diamonds, articulated by a fringe of pear shape diamonds of 3.6 carats, supported by a necklace composed of icy jade cabochons of matching shapes and translucency, finale with keshi pearls, mounted in 18K white gold. The description warrants the price tag as this baby is only a staggering S$98,800. 

A less pricey alternative and no less lovely are these Jade and Diamond Earrings at $9500 a pair, each set with a translucent icy jade cabochon, highlighted by a flower composed of brilliant diamonds, mounted in 18K white gold. Love how these shots were taken to story tell the size, quality and workmanship. 

Maybe you want something to gently pin down that Hermes scarve that you just bought? This Jade, Pearl and Diamond Dragonfly brooch at a mere S$31,500 features intricately carved wings embellished by pave-set diamonds, the thorax set with an oval cabochon icy jade of 19 carats, tail set with circular-cut diamonds, with cultured pearls eyes, mounted in 18K white gold. 

Goldheart also goes premium. They have launched a new fashion line called Goldheart MODE with two new collections, TRES BRUNE (Cognac Brown Diamonds)  that feature a sultry hue of cognac-coloured diamonds set in elegantly crafted rose, white and black gold. 

From $5063! 

$3509 for this beauty! 

Their other collection, POSY (Spherical Jewellery) is made out of latticework using white gold, rose gold and adorned with round brilliant diamonds. From S$688 onwards. 

- Elaine

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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Buys - Red Hot Alert!

Still not convinced that RED is in? You must check out Starlet selling a collection of stylish, sophisticated cocktail dresses and evening gowns from New York. Recently launched in December, Starlet’s Spring and Summer 2010 collection features brands, Flip and Faviana, both new to Asia. 

From short beaded chiffon dresses, stretched satin dresses to long luxurious chiffon gowns with intricate details, they carry not only scarlet reds but also intoxicating cobalt blues all the way to the classic black and white from size 0 to 14. Cocktail dresses start from SGD$220 onwards and evening gowns from SGD$390. See the collection at Odette and Shuu 30 Raffles Place #02-29 Chevron House, Tel: 6438 8380 or see: where there is a pre-Lunar New Year promotion at 15% discount off online purchases.

The Hour Glass and Hublot also launch the Big Bang in Red. This quartz watch has a crimson dial decorated with a diamond bezel with 126 diamonds (0.87 ct), a white ceramic case and an alligator leather and red gummy alligator rubber strap. See below. 

Top Shop steps up with this Geranium Top Cut High Shoe (below) at S$119. 

- Elaine
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Friday, 22 January 2010

Binge - Festive CNY Feasts – Part 2

Time to hunt for goodies, gifts and gourmet menus for the coming CNY! So here’s another overview of the nibbles and novelties in the restaurants for your pre-CNY prep:

Peony Jade. Why would you knock the animal for which the new lunar year is named after? Inexplicably, that’s what Peony Jade Keppel Club’s CNY dish, Beat The Tiger ($288.88) gets you to do! Their piece de resistance calls for diners to bash the tiger shaped crust to get at its stuffing of braised African sea cucumber (I hear they lie around the beach and shallows waiting to be picked), roast pork, sea whelk, braised duck, glutinous rice, sliced abalone, water chestnuts, white radish, quail eggs and red dates. A little savage, if you ask me. No wonder the poor tiger looks kinda sad! 

I prefer the sound of the Roasted ‘Abundance of Wealth’ Golden Crackling Skin Suckling Piglet with Foie Gras Jus ($388.88) which serves 8-10 people, and the takeaway goodies like their kueh lapis and sinful Mao Shan Wang durian nian gao, called Prosperity Gold Bar Nian Gao (pictured below).

If you fancy a festive reunion with your girlfriends but can’t make it for dinner, try the restaurant’s Reunion Dim Sum high tea (1-16 Feb, 2.30pm – 5pm) instead. At $28 per person, you start off with Prosperity Yu Sheng, followed by an array of 10 dim sum and bite-sized items paired with Chinese tea. Or there’s Weekend ‘Fa Cai’ Dim Sum Brunch served from an old fashioned novelty – push carts! $32.80 per adult and $20.80 per child (5-10yrs), including yu sheng and free flow soft drinks. This runs from 1-28 Feb except Feb 13 & 14, from 10.30 am – 2.30 pm.

Tel: 6276-9138 or 9181 8467

Ritz Carlton Milennia. For the well heeled and
swanky, where else can you go but to the Ritz? Head to their beautiful Summer Pavilion Chinese restaurant and you’ll be tossing up clams. Yes that’s right; the yu sheng there features clams this year – a quaint departure from the usual salmon and abalone. It’s also available for takeaways, as are goodies like pineapple tarts, pineapple balls, walnut and red date cookies and crunchy sesame cookies. But if you’d rather take yourself away from the crowds and live it up, the Prosperity Package gets you a deluxe Kallang Bay View room with breakfast for two and 15% discounts at the hotel’s F&B outlets. $338++ per night from 8-21 Feb.

Rooms Tel: 6434 5118 or

Meritus Mandarin. They tend to do Chinese festive foods in a big way here, so we’re not surprised when they announced a purple behemoth, the Celestial Nian Gao ($68), made of dried lavender, almonds and walnuts and designed to raise eyebrows among the in-laws and business associates. To ring in the luck, the Roselle Lo Hei ($68 - $998) is pretty original without going overboard, featuring roselle flowers (good for hypertension), tuna, grapes and mandarin oranges; and the Fish Nian Gao ($30) is still a pretty, sweet little gift to bring back to Mom. (Available from now till 28 Feb)

Tel: 6831 6262 or email

Four Seasons Singapore. I like the pretty CNY gift boxes from here. Always tasteful and elegant and understated. The Prosperity Box ($38) includes four suitably auspicious pastries: gold coin with water chestnut and sweet corn; gold ingot with pineapple; rose-flavoured lotus paste, and fortune pastry with black sesame. The bulbous looking nian gao is so cute too. Four mounds of nian gao in Red Bean, Pandan, Corn and Coconut flavours, to be eaten as is, steamed or fried. Buy both the Prosperity Box and Nian Gao as a set and you pay $68. Set menus at Jiang Nan Chun start from $88 per person for 6 courses to $1699 for 10.

Tel 6831-7220

Min Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel & Min Jiang@One North. This is a good place to get sweet, high-end, delectably pretty Chinese confections. The Nian Gao Sugee Cake ($48 for 1 kg, takeaway only) is something new at the takeaway deli this year, which marries two festive favourites – nian gao cubes are embedded in the sugee cake encased in white icing and printed with a festive CNY picture (see the pretty photo). I like the Prosperity Fish Duo ($68, serves 10, takeaway only) made of mango with pomelo and sago pudding, and pungently luscious durian pudding. If you choose a durian duo instead, the price goes up by $10.

For savouries, the Hamachi Yu Sheng ($88 for large dish, dine in only) stands out as being very unique among all the restaurant ui sheng so far and features a mix of hamachi (yellowtail), flying fish roe, wasabi ebiko (prawn roe), seaweed, mesclun greens, shredded red and white carrots, Buddha’s hand citron, jellyfish, onions and pomelo, tossed with chef’s secret sweet sauce and lime juice. The braised Prosperity Fa Cai Duck ($138 for 6 people, for dine in and takeaway) is back by popular demand, so it must be good. The 2 kg boneless duck is stuffed with fresh mushrooms, sea cucumber, dried scallops, lotus seeds, fox nuts, black moss, chestnuts and water chestnut.

Min Jiang Tel: 6730 1704
Min Jiang at One-North Tel: 6774 0122
The Deli Tel: 6730 1786 for takeaways
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Thursday, 21 January 2010

Beauty - Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!

Its hard to admit but a full head especially after 40 and all in your God-given natural shade is a tall order, especially after you hit 40! I was born in what I term the “Sunsilk generation” and I believe that your mane should be your crowning glory. Even if you lose your girlish figure, at least your gorgeous and great smelling hair should still get a head or two to turn.

So what’s a grown up girl to do with her tresses?

Prevention is better than cure so if you are losing it, try The Mane Project by Unisense Global Concepts for hair regeneration and restoration that employs a cutting edge technology called CRTS (capilliary regeneration trans-dermal system) which is non-invasive, preventing and treating hair loss. Partnering with NEXT Salon at Ion Orchard (#03-24a) for only S$168, you can enjoy a professional consultation, 3 hair and scalp analysis sessions, 3 CRTS hair regeneration treatments and 3 hair wash, blow and style sessions. Call +65 9688 9891 or email for more details.

If you are constantly touching up the greys or changing shades and want to keep that colour glowing, try Hoyu, Japan’s number one hair colour brand (think gorgeous Japanese hair that you see in the hair salon magazines). They have launched a new Promaster Color Care LX shampoo and treatment that promises to sustain the colour, gloss and freshness of your hair colour restoring it to its natural pH level of 4.5 to 5.5. Use immediately after a colour treatment and it apparently coats the hair cuticles evenly to prevent color pigments from washing off, keeping your hair colour in tip-top shape.

If you have flat limp hair, try the Promaster Stylish Line for that freely cascading waves look. Fruity and refreshingly floral.

The Promaster Rich Line is good for fly-about tresses. An effective hair-tamer this shampoo makes your hair more manageable from the roots to the ends. Alluring floral musk scent.

Hoyu Promaster Color Care LX shampoo ($34 for 200ml) and treatment ($36 for 200g) is available at Hoyu Professional partner salons. See:

- Elaine
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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Binge - Chinese New Year Feasts 2010 - Part 1

According to a press release I received, we will be expecting a “thunderous year of the Metal Tiger”. Perhaps this will bode well for the delicious cougar – closet or otherwise – in all of us SimplyFab ladies. And with optimism in hand and auspiciously ‘rad’ outfits to pave our way, ‘tis time to check out what the restaurants have rolled out for the season. Here’s Part 1 of our series:

Marina Mandarin Singapore. Peach Blossom Chinese Restaurant’s new Salmon, Tuna, Passion Fruit, Mango, Jackfruit, Rambutan and Kiwi Yu Sheng (from $68 nett) is truly yummilicious. Refreshing, fruity, delicately sweet and light, it hits the spot absolutely fabulously and I could eat it just for lunch with a nice chilled white. Their version of the traditional nian gao ($68 per box) is a humongous monster with a soft, delicate texture, made with coconut milk and less heavy than the ordinary nian gao. It was delicious cut into slices, dipped in egg and pan fried. (Just watch the calories!) There are also four other flavours of nian gao – sweet potatoes with lotus paste and coconut, radish cake with Chinese sausage, black moss with Chinese sausage, and pumpkin with Chinese sausage ($68 nett for a box with one large traditional nian gao and four smaller ones of the various flavours). All available for takeaway at the hotel’s Peach Blossom Chinese restaurant from now until 28 Feb.

Apart from that, the restaurant’s CNY set menus looks rather good value. The 8-course Contentment Set (from $288 for four people) includes salmon and tuna yu sheng, sharks fin soup with fish maw and conpoy, wok fried scallops, steamed cod, braised belly pork with yam and black moss (yums!) and their signature claypot rice with Chinese sausage and preserved meats. Lots more goodies in the offing, so check them out.

Tel: 6845 1118 or email

Fairmont Singapore. Szechuan Court’s Chef Sebastian Goh has a penchant for being adventurous with his cooking so even though it is traditional at heart, expect some surprising twists with your food here. Highlights include his Yin Yang Abalone, Salmon and Tuna Gold Ingot yu sheng ($188 large) which has a sprinkling of mini abalones (the symbolic gold ingot!); an unusual Two Way Duck, slow cooked with spices and crisp cooked, coated with minced seafood paste and Tang Fu sauce, and a supremely Chinese Braised Abalone, Dried Oyster, Thorny Sea Cucumber and Seafood in Saffron Chicken Reduction, all slurpy, snappy and chewy.

There are quite a number of rather good set menus for small groups (3-5 people) all the way to menus for groups of at least 6 with prices starting from $68++ per person. Just as an example, the menu for min. 6 people at $78 per person comes with 10 course, including salmon yu sheng, double boiled fish cartilage, sea conch with ginseng superior stock, steamed cod, tiger prawns, braised pork belly with fermented beancurd and spices, braised abalone clam with dried oyster and cream of red bean with black sesame dumpling and louts seed. Every menu ends with traditional and green tea nian gao. (Good to know, every $100 spent at Szechuan Court in the month of February gets you a $50 voucher.)

Tel: 6431 6156 or email

Fullerton. I just love the food at Jade, one of my favourite Chinese restaurants which is helmed by another super creative Chinese chef Leong Chee Yeng. Their Gold Rush Yu Sheng with apple plum dressing ($48 - $118) is one of the more unusual – 18 ingredients in all, including salmon or tuna, and gold-flecked Champagne jelly. Sounds good already. Their eight CNY set menus (from $68 per person) all start with yu sheng, and highlights include lobster with preserved olives and leeks, Braised Sharks Fins with Crabmeat Roe and Cognac in superior broth, Deep Fried Chicken Marinated with Five Spice and Port Wine with crispy lychee and shrimp paste, and for dessert (one of the chef’s fortes!) Shaved Coconut Ice and Honey Pineapple served with Panfried Nian Gao. (Yu Sheng available from 8-28 Feb, CNY menus from 13-28 Feb.)

Tel: 6877 8188 or email
- Ee Waun
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