Thursday, 30 September 2010

Binge - Spooky Eats for Halloween in Hong Kong

There is a difference between 'horrible' food and food that is dressed up to look 'horrible'. Here in Hong Kong, the restaurant's take Halloween pretty seriously and if you are looking for some devilish fun that extends from the costume department onto the palette, then don't miss out on these ghoulish meals. 

We could not resist publishing the pictures! This one above is called MONSTER FINGERS (of grilled Biloela Australian Lamb Tenderloin with Mint Pesto and Mashed Potatoes) and you will find it served at BLACK STUMP at G/F, One Knutsford Terrace in Tsim Sha Tsui from 25 to 31 October, T: 2721 0202. The restaurant normally serves modern Australian cuisine but for the occasion, it will be transformed into a creepy dungeon of gloom! 
If the above doesn't get you in the mood, then maybe the TARANTULA VENOM PIZZA (Seafood and Squid Ink Pizza with Salmon, Barramund, Scallops and Calamari topped with Fresh herbs) will do the  trick. 

If you find yourself on the Hong Kong end, then head to breezy and lively Stanley where SAIGON AT STANLEY at 1/F, Murray House, T: 2899 0999 has some wickedly delicious grub and a special ‘Trick or Treat’ set just for kids at only HK$88 packed with tasty treats like Chicken Skewers with Spider Venom Peanut Sauce (2pcs) and Mummy Brains Fried Rice. Available from 25- 31 October. 

If you are feeling adventurous you can have this meal of FRANKENSTEIN'S EYE BALLS , a delicious dinner combo of Crispy Soft Shell Crab and Rice Paper wrapped Foie Gras with Monster Eyeballs. 

Also kid-friendly, ROCK SALT at 25 Stanley Market Road T: 2899 0818 also pulls out the stops to bring you a Howling Halloween Dinner Menu, available from 25-31 October at HK$258 per person. 

Try the BLOOD AND GUTS FISH (Skate-wing served with mashed eye balls and the Chef's scary sauce).

If it's more about fast food then head to SHAKEY'S PIZZA where a 'Spooktacular Halloween Menu Set for 2 with devilishly delicious selection of dishes – all with freakishly fun names is available from 25-31 October 2010. Every diner gets Halloween themed transfer tattoos too!  

Whilst you are there, try the Creepy ‘n’ Crispy Platter of Buffalo Chicken Wings, Prawn Tango and Shakey’s Famous Mojo served with Sour Cream and Ranch Dip. There is also the Hellish Hot Pizza of Texas Barbecue Chicken with Jalapeno and Mozzarella Cheese and a choice of Ghostly Pan-seared Shrimp and Scallop with Black Ink Pasta and Lobster Butter or Witch’s Pesto Pumpkin Risotto with Smoked Salmon. 
Dessert is this BLACK DEATH Chocolate Mousse with Wicked Raspberry Coulis.

If you prefer to stay on high ground, the haunting continues at The Peak Tower where the BUBBA GUMP RESTAURANT has themed up with Madame Tussauds in an "Eerie, Eats and Treats' promo that includes an admission ticket and a 4R photo at Madame Tussauds. A special menu at HK$380 is served from 29 to 31 October at the restaurant. There is also a "Spooky Thrills and Spills" 2 way ticket aboard the Peak Tram at HK$418. Call: 2849 2867. Above picture is a shot of their 'Surprise Halloween Dessert'.

- Elaine
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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Binge - New Eats in Kowloon and Hong Kong

New restaurants make their debut this quarter.

In KOWLOON, check out PRIME Steakhouse and Wine Bar which opened early September. 

Spread over two levels of the 3/F Garden Rooftop of the Elements’ Shopping Mall's, Civic Square, expect prime steaks including their signature M-9 Wagyu Top Sirloin Rump 24oz (a serving for two) priced at HK$778 and USDA Tenderloin Chateaubriand 14oz (also for two) at HK$498. Appetiser specialties include grilled foie gras with warm seasonal fruit (HK$138), freshly-shucked oysters (HK$150 for six, HK$280 for 12) and a range of seafood, charcuterie and cheese platters. 

You can also order premium burgers prepared from blended dry aged USDA prime sirloin and chuck steak, including the signature 8oz prime beef burger with lettuce, tomatoes and onion (HK$88). Apart from prime beef, the menu also includes seafood options and grain-fed Australian lamb chops “Scottaditi” (HK288), Milanese farmhouse chicken (HK148), “Gypsy” style pork loin schnitzel (HK$148) and veal jaegar schnitzel (HK$198).

If you are there on a Weekend or public holiday, try their brunch featuring an antipasti buffet of cheeses, salads, prosciutto, grilled vegetables and smoked salmon, with main course choices of Lobster and Bacon Eggs Benedict, USDA Select Sirloin “Steak Frites” with Béarnaise or 1/2 Dozen Oysters with Condiments, plus dessert buffet. Served from 12-5pm at HK$248, with free-flowing Prosecco and wine for an extra HK$108.

PRIME Steakhouse | Wine Bar 
Roof top garden, Shop R008, 3/F Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon. 
Reservations: (852) 2311 3108.

Meanwhile over at The One, Tokyo's legendary Teppanyaki restaurant from Ginza, Kaika has   opened in Tsim Sha Tsui.   The name Kaika comes from the Cultural Enlightenment period or Bunmei Kaika that took place in Japan during the 19th century. With the upholding of the movement, Japanese started to assimilate new western culture including eating meat. This eventually led to the development of its distinctive Teppanyaki cuisine. 

Chef Masahi Shirafuji from Ginza Kaika will lead the culinary team as Japanese Executive Chef with other key team players being the former Chief Teppanyaki Chef of Island Shangri-La, Lawrence Mok as Executive Chef; and Chef Lau Chun Wai as Sushi Head Chef. The restaurant will seat 60 and has 2 VIP rooms for up to 6 to 8 guests. 

Must haves at Kaika are their A5 Wagyu Chateaubriand, a small roast extravagantly cut from the center of the Wagyu tenderloin and teppanyaki dishes that feature foie gras, fresh abalone, spiny lobster, scallop and Japanese organic vegetables. Watch the chefs showing off their skills when grilling. Another must try is their one-bite chilled pasta with caviar, a seamless integration of western ingredients and classic Japanese culinary skills that embody the Kaika spirit.

Level 19, The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon
Reservations(852) 2972 2888

Over in HONG KONG, go for GOLD this November as Entrepreneur ‘chef to the rich and famous’, Harlan Goldstein gets ready for a big comeback with a hot new restaurant in Wyndham Street called (you guessed it) Gold by Harlan Goldstein. Located in the LKF Tower, above the LKF Hotel, the new restaurant marks a return to the spotlight for the larger than life New Yorker who created and gave his name to Harlan’s, but is no longer associated with it.

Goldstein’s current restaurant, Tuscany by H, will close on October 15th so that he can fully focus his efforts on his latest venture. Gold by Harlan Goldstein will take the colour gold as its vibrant design theme and showcase a diversity of ethnic and international cuisines which are inspired by the ethnic diversity of his Lower East Side New York roots. The establishment will be more than a restaurant as the space will be transformed into a sophisticated lounge after dining hours. 

Goldstein established his name in Hong Kong at Aberdeen Marina Club, followed by the signature restaurant Harlan’s and the offshoot three-venue concept at IFC, H One, The Box and G Bar. He sold his shares in the business in 2008 and is no longer affiliated with any of the branches including Harlan’s at The One in Tsim Sha Tsui.

- Elaine
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Monday, 27 September 2010

Buys - Drive home your (piece of) Ferrari today!

With the F1 fever raging this season in Singapore, what better time than now - to open a Ferrari Store in grand style? Ferrari luminaries and local partners welcomed guests together with the Scuderia Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. Word has it from SIMPLYFAB readers who attended the event is that the mighty man is small on words and even smaller than expected in stature. I was not surprised. You would have to be to the size of a prancing pony to squeeze behind the wheel and sweat it out in that suit! (Evil) LOL!

Located at the Marina Bay Sands Resort, this is the 38th stand alone store to be opened worldwide so this weekend, post roar - go check out the 170 square feet filled with products from the prancing horse including miniatures and models of cars from past and present, a display case showcasing a crankshaft, valves and a piston, and the Cavallino collection of leather accessories and sportswear.

Now the question really is "What would you get your Honda driving husband for Christmas?" Our choice (drummm rollll pur-leese...): 

The ultimate gift for the wanna-be Ferrari driver. 

Who says you can't have it all? At least if you can't drive it, you can (giggle) still steer a piece of the magic. We dare you to unlock his power steering and send him reeling with this baby!

Is there such a thing as Ferrari dollars? There should be judging from the fact that one car costs the size of a pricey private condo. 

At the gas station make sure that your man whips out nothing less than his Calfskin wallet embellished with logo and in Ferrari red. 

Along with these accessories there are also coin purses, credit card holders, business card holders, cell phone covers, key rings, golf bags, matching bespoke luggage designed by an artisan leather maker in Italy, ties, belts, baseball caps and even a 35-cigar cedar wood-lined humidor and playing cards. Mahjong set no where in-sight (!)

For Mr Understated yet Practical, this will do it. Just enough to subtly announce "I have arrived!". 

Perhaps as they say - its all about owning a slice of the dream. For your Ferrari fix, see:

- Elaine

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Saturday, 25 September 2010

Buys - F1 Widow Seeks Life’s Little Luxuries

Today, I am in the midst of my daughter’s fevered exam preparations. But we ran out for a quick lunch, not to the hawker centre but a French bistro for a meal of duck confit and French onion soup for her, spaghetti vongole and a glass of Chardonnay for me. We had to eat after all, so might as well eat well, before hitting the books again. Add to the fact that this is my annual ‘F1-Widow Weekend’, I think we deserve it. In the past two years since F1 started here, she and I would go out at least once during the F1 weekend for a mother-and-daughter dinner at a fine dining restaurant – bill to be picked up by the hubs, of course. Especially when there is much work to be done, I like to weave in a little indulgence.

Luxuries, for most of us, cannot always be grand splurges, if not we’ll all be wallowing in abject poverty after a while. Small personal treats weaved into the everyday can be just as delicious, a concept which an author – I can’t remember her name – described as the Art of Abundance. In my recent potterings around, I spied with my little eyes some tempting (and very doable) treats that add a little Christmas to our busy ‘every days’.

TWG Glamour Tea Bowls and Fine Teas. Fine teas are the thing for an injection of old world glamour…But they must be fine, mind you. Not those with the yellow paper labels! I have been sipping on all manner of such teas on a daily basis lately (and even as I write!), mainly ‘cos it’s really quite heavenly, but all the better to sooth my cholesterol and calorie count. Fragrant libations, I am currently quite taken by TWG’s early Darjeelings (which I have hoarded for a while in my cupboard, though not ideal), high altitude, single-estate teas like Tukdah, and heady blends like Caravan,  Miraculous Mandarin (a lovely, lightly spicy blend perfect for Christmas), all so fine and aromatic it's best appreciated without addition of milk or (God forbid!) sugar! What would top it top it off perfectly would be a set of Glamour Tea Bowls. Coming in 16 delicious candy colours, they are fine, curvaceous porcelain vessels handcrafted in Limoges and hedonistically inlaid with shimmery mother of pearl for private enjoyment! Not cheap, this little precious comes at S$98 each…..but if you compare it to the diamond earrings you have been eyeing, this is even more unique and luscious, no? (Available soon and in time for Christmas)

9 Raffles Place,
#01-22 Republic Plaza 
Tel: 65381837

Crabtree and Evelyn’s Iris Range. Luscious! Here’s a preview of Crabtree and Evelyn’s brand new Iris fragrance for body and home. I take one whiff of the eau de toilette and it’s floral, refreshing, mellow, yet full of sunshine and sophistication. I love it. Makes me think of morning walks in early spring in the English countryside, minus the cowpats. And having lived in the UK for a number of years, I do know how the English countryside smells, thank you. Plus I used to buy bunches of iris, buttercups or freesias (35p per bunch) from the village market every Saturday morning for my window….

Back to Crabtree, according to the notes, the professionals describe it as having ‘top notes of natural Italian bergamot, cassis added to the base notes of sandalwood, patchouli, fresh vetiver, natural cedarwood and creamy musk to create a modern alluring bouquet’. Available from December, my shopping list will include the eau de toilette (S$65 for 100ml), the triple milled soap (I just love old fashioned soap - S$28 for three), and drawer lining papers (S$45). There’s also reed diffuser, candle (S$45), body cream, body lotion, room spray and shower gel. I like! Oh, how about a bit of useless trivia? King Edward IV liked to scent his wardrobe with the scent of Iris….I guess you would need to if you bathed only once a year….

For Crabtree and Evelyn outlets, log onto  
Love, Chloe will be launched next month and SimplyFab, too, got a whiff of this new perfume before it hits the stores. Packed in a nude pink bottle with delicate gold chain, it’s a feminine fragrance, all fine and light and floral with a slight powdery scent. Top notes are orange blossoms with pink pepper, and a heart of iris absolute and a blend of lilac, hyacinth and wisteria, all pulled together with a touch of powdery notes. It’s not too sweet nor overwhelming, something you could wear everyday….I could do with this as a Christmas prezzie. The scent comes in shower gel (S$63), body lotion (200 ml, S$74) and eau de parfum (from 30ml, S$95).

Will be available at leading department stores including Robinsons Centrepoint and Raffles City, Takashimaya, Tangs Orchard and Vivocity and Chloe Boutique 
- Ee Waun
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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Bytes - Bose® launches new Home Entertainment System!

I remember the late 90s when everyone I know was rushing to buy Bose's space-saving jewel cube speakers in favour of the big bulky ghetto blaster speakers. Well quality lasts and after a decade, the tiny jewel cubes have proven to be gems as they are still around and have been updated and integrated into the new range of home entertainment options that Bose has just launched as their new Lifestyle® V-Class® series.

The new series has a new Unify™ intelligent integration system − a breakthrough technology that overcomes much of the growing complexity of setting up and using home entertainment systems. It allows you to watch your favourite movies, music, and television shows in high-definition visual and sound quality, seamlessly with only one remote! The system is able to detect new connections and alert the user if the equipment is not attached properly and presented in a simple and fool-proof manner, this allows even first-time home entertainment system owners to follow and set up successfully.

The Lifestyle® universal remote control is in itself a sophisticated device that helps to connect all the various devices and features a two-line display on the remote that allows users to see what radio station or iPod song is playing without the need to turn on the TV. Simply aim the remote at the Lifestyle® system’s console, follow the onscreen instructions and the Unify™ technology will automatically program the Lifestyle® remote to operate the source.

Expect crystal clear sound that can be callibrated to the size, shape and furnishings of any room, providing greater freedom for speaker placement, ensuring the best sound quality for the room. There are six high-definition (HD) inputs including four HDMI and two component inputs, a built-in AM/FM tuner, a dock for iPod®, Videostage® 5 decoding circuitry, video upscaling (even to 1080p over HDMI), Digital Dynamic Range® compression circuitry and active stabilization.

The Bose® Lifestyle® V25 is available at S$5299 and the V35 at S$6899 from Atlas Sound and Vision. See:

- Elaine
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Monday, 20 September 2010

Buys - Shanghai label BROADCAST launches at BHG Bugis

We have all heard of the quality of Shanghai tailoring and the skilled seamstresses there. Well time to check out one of the first Shanghai fashion brands to hit Singapore's sunny shores. Introducing Chinese fashion label BROADCAST which launches its second store in BHG Bugis in mid-September, just two months after its debut at concept store ALT at The Hereen.

BROADCAST is currently one of the top 10 ready-to-wear brands in China today and started from humble beginnings in an office in Guangzhou in 1997 by Wang Wei Dong, a humble oil painter who started as an interior designer at his wife’s boutique. International designer Ms Wang Tao leads the design team and combines Asian culture with Western trends, creating a label that interprets fashion in its own unique design language to create oriental aesthetics of international style. See:

- Elaine
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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Breakaway – Frieze Art Fair in London

Haute-flying culture vultures and art lovers, flock to the Frieze Art Fair in London (14-17 October) this year and bask in contemporary art overload! Focusing on contemporary art and living artists, the fair at Regent’s Park will feature exhibitions from 173 contemporary art galleries from all over the world, showing works by over 1,000 of the world’s most innovative artists. There’ll also be talks, music and art education programmes for kids and adults.

If your interests are haute, might as well go all the way. During this period, Claridge’s and The Connaught are offering Frieze Art Special deals from 11-17 October, which include stays in a deluxe junior suite, two tickets to Frieze Art Fair and welcome bottle of champagne on arrival. This costs from £950 per night at Claridge’s and from £900 per night at The Connaught.

The Connaught


Bookings can be made at through and quote “Frieze Art Special". For more information on the fair, head to
(Art Fair images from Frieze Art Fair)

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Saturday, 18 September 2010

Bling - Feast Your Eyes On The Perfect Pink

Feast your eyes on The Perfect Pink, a rare 14.23 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond that will be sold on 29 November at Christie’s auction, Jewels: The Hong Kong Sale. This piece of candy is expected to go for a cool US$14-19 million and it’s named that way for a few reasons. It has no trace of secondary colour, which makes it a very pure pink. It’s colour is so rich that it carries the rare Fancy Intense colour grading from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)and it has a rating of VVS2.

According to Christie’s, only 18 diamonds over 10 carats showing a distinct pure pink colour have ever appeared for sale at auction, and none of them comes close to the intense shade of pink this one has.

If you want to see the real thing before you decide to buy it, the Perfect Pink will be on view in:
New York: 17-19 October Christie’s Rockefeller Center Galleries
Geneva: 14-16 November Four Seasons, Hotel des Bergues
Taipei: 20-21 November Fubon Life Assurance Building
Hong Kong 25-29 November Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
- Ee Waun
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Breakaway - A Whirlwind 48 Hours in Mumbai

For a weekend that is just five hours away, look beyond the usual hotspots of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Mumbai, the financial and entertainment capital of India oozes more than Bollywood glam. Its history, stunning architecture, old world charm, great bargains and lip smacking culinary gems at one go. Our guest writer, friend and Simply Fab reader, Mei Lin shares her whirlwind visit to Mumbai.

Dhoby Ghat
Hmmm - doesn't this name sound vaguely familiar? A manual laundry operation was the last thing we expect on an introductory tour of Mumbai so we were mystified when our guide Shilpa brought us to the Saat Rasta Dhoby Ghat - a slum converted into a remarkable open-air laundry operated by hundreds of ‘dhoby’ or laundry washers. What’s more amusing are the tourists peering and photographing these industrious ‘dhoby’ work thrashing their linens on flogging stones. “Their washing water is changed twice in a day. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. And yet, their laundry turns out sparkling white!” said Shilpa. Despite the thousands of clothes, uniforms, sheets etc, very few mix-ups occur.

Mani Bhavan - Gandhi’s Residence
Skipping a visit to Mani Bhavan, the residence of the ‘Father of the Nation’, Mahatma Gandhi is almost a sign of disrespect. Owned by his good friend, the house, located in a leafy neighbourhood, was Gandhi’s residence during his visits to the city between 1917 and 1934. Mani Bhavan is now a museum and reference library with over 2,000 books, photos, letters to various politicians, written musings and a dioroma chronicling his life. Even his old room is still intact with his charkha, or spinning wheel, and the three holy books from Islam, Hinduism and Christianity laid out in his simple spartan style.

Old Mumbai
Architecture buffs would be totally enamoured by the rich heritage in old Mumbai. Although a little scruffy from wear and tear, the city’s legacy from the Empire is very apparent. The UNESCO World Heritage Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – formerly called Victoria Terminus and opened in 1887 to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee – is a striking example of Gothic architecture complete with its carved stone friezes, stained glass windows and flying buttresses, servicing a mindboggling average of three million commuters daily. The station may seem vaguely familiar as some scenes from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, were shot there. Another magnificent landmark is the Bombay University, with its impressive clock tower and beautiful lawns which boasts alumni like Miss World Aishwarya Rai and former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao. Other architecturally memorable buildings are Prince of Wales Museum, Town Hall, High Court and the National Gallery of Modern Art.

Gateway of India
Mumbai’s most prominent landmark, the Gateway of India on the waterfront is a major draw for tourists near and far. The monumental arch, complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone was built to welcome King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Ironically, this was also the gateway by which the last of the British troops left India in 1948 and it also earned an infamous place in history as one of the entry points by sea for the terrorist attacks in 2008. (Beware of having your photos taken by local enterprising youths and printed on the spot with a portable printer!)

The Taj Mahal Palace Resort and Tower
Cross the street directly to another equally regal monument, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, the 107-year-old grande dame, which has seen royalty, eminent political figures and celebrities passing through its doors. It was believed that owner Jamsedji Tata had built the hotel after being slighted by the ‘whites only policy’ when he tried to enter another hotel. The tragic site of the 2008 terrorist attacks, the hotel has been elegantly restored to its former glory and a wall memorial in the lobby pays respect to the 31 hotel guests and staff who perished in this calamity.

Luscious Shopping!
A few doors away is Fabindia, a local chain specializing in garments and home products made domestically and embodying the best of traditional and contemporary ideas. Made mostly of light cottons and linens, there is a superb range of table cloths, cushion covers and bed linen in various colours. It’s also a good store to try out fashionable Indian wear at reasonable prices before buying them. Being fans of chai (tea), this is where we stocked up on tulsi tea, ginger tea, marsala tea, pickles, chutneys, cashew nut butter, massage oils and other organic spices and herbs.

If you like haggling and street shopping, don’t miss the Colabar Causeway filled with carts and shops selling all varieties of clothing materials, accessories, antiques, jewellery and more. Fans of the Himalaya herbal healthcare range of toiletries, vitamins and skincare (found in our local Watsons!) made of natural products would do well to purchase their products here at prices lower than Singapore. Be wary of street beggars, fluent in English, who run a smooth operation on unsuspecting tourists. (Sorry no pic, cos she was too busy shopping!)

Food From Mughal To Coastal
The Mughal-themed Khyber restaurant chain serves delicious Northern Indian cuisine. The skewered prawns tikka marinated in Khyber’s classic spicy red masala, is divine. For the adventurous, there’s lamb’s brain coated with mild coconut and corriander chutney, basted with whipped egg whites and seared until crisp.

For yummy seafood in Mumbai, we were just thrilled to feast on excellent seafood at the Gajalee Coastal Restaurant of which there are several around city. There’s tandoori crab, huge pieces of Sri Lankan crab, perfectly spiced up for a finger licking experience and the popular Bombay Duck, which isn’t a duck but a local fish sliced and marinated in a lovely blend of turmeric and mirei powder before deep frying. Simple yet so delicious! For a repeat performance, Gajalee has opened at the Cuppage Terrace in Singapore.

Jet Airways flies direct to Mumbai daily from Singapore. Pictures by Mei Lin.
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Friday, 17 September 2010

Binge - Mooncake Handbags and Last Minute Mooncake Must-Buys

Can you believe this is a mooncake box? I just couldn't resist posting it here at the top. Read more about it below.....

Five days more to Mid Autumn Festival (22 Sept) and I notice – rather delayed I admit – that this year, marketers are pushing family reunions as a focal point for the festival and gifting of mooncakes. Cynics may say you can trust marketers to find any way to sell something, but through rose-tinted spectacles, it is not a bad concept. Considering families are getting so small these days, I’m all for adopting this notion…After all, ‘lo hei’ during Chinese New Year came about in the same way and see how entrenched it is now?

In any case, simply fab ladies are enjoying life too much to be bogged down by cynicism. So heave out the extended family this weekend and do a post-dinner, moonlight dessert thing with the moon cakes, lanterns and Chinese tea. We’ve discovered a few more mooncake options out there, so if you haven’t already bought or gifted any, give these lovelies a look.

We love this disarmingly chic mooncake ‘handbag’ by Tung Lok (background). Sling the silk handles over your shoulder and no one would know that its mooncake you’re carrying. So fashion forward on the outside, yet embodies a traditional ‘auntie’ soul inside! What lies inside? Four assorted mooncakes - mixed nuts, egg yolk pandan lotus with pistachios, egg yolk white lotus and egg yolk red lotus. ($52 at most Tung Lok restaurants)
Tel: 9088 8008

Speaking of handbags, this gorgeous red number just arrived at my doorstep yesterday evening and it’s the cutest thing ever! Doesn't it just remind you of some luxe designer handbag, right down to the metallic chain and name tag? This limited edition sweetie is the work of the chefs at Xin Cuisine Holiday Inn Atrium in Outram Road, with two neat tiers inside for four mooncakes. Well known for updating traditional local flavours, the restaurant offers a particularly interesting and workable range of creative mooncakes - Champagne and Chocolate mooncake with pandan-infused lotus paste and a white chocolate truffle; bird's nest and red lotus seed paste; kirsch cherry mooncake and mini green tea mooncake with chocolate pearls. Creative, but no out into orbit. Plus they have the traditional Teochew yam paste mooncake too. This is absolute lusciousness and a definite must-buy!
Tel: 6731 7173

Apart from traditional baked mooncakes – which is a flat out favourite anyway – Hilton Singapore’s highlights are the mini cheese mooncakes (left) based on their famous cheesecakes. New flavours are Peach Melba, Hazelnut Cream, Passion Fruit and Chilli, and Chocolate and Strawberry, but they have also brought back last year’s favourites - Mango and Pecan, Rose and Chocolate Pearls, Strawberry and Ivory, and Berry Treat. Eight of these dainty mooncakes go into an ‘imperial box’ and are on sale at Checkers Deli and Takashimaya Square.

Tel: +65 6730 3392

All Chang-Er wannabes, go get your birds nest fix with Tian Fu Tea Room’s Bird’s Nest with Egg Custard Snow Skin Mooncakes. Sounds like something that will give your skin a boost, and certainly something that grandma would approve of. Also for the girls is Passion Fruit with Rose Paste in Snow Skin, a new flavour this year. The mooncakes here are all with lower sugar content. Get it nicely packaged as a gift, either with or without matching teas at Tian Fu Tea Room outlets at PARKROYAL on Beach Road and TOP of UOB Plaza 1, or at the takeaway Counter at OUB Central.

Tel: 6505 5722

Finally, the Marriott Singapore has rolled out some new flavours: Peanut Butter Jelly Snowskin Mooncake mixed with lotus paste (above) and a zesty Calamansi Cheese Snowskin Mooncake. If that’s too weird for you, there’s also the more traditional White Lotus Seed Paste with Dried Figs mooncake.But for me, the one that’s really off into orbit is the Chicken Bak-Kwah and Assorted Nuts mooncake (above). Obviously it has its followers, but I’d rather stick to less creative combinations personally, foodwriter notwithstanding! Available at Forecourt Stall at the hotel entrance.

Tel: 6831 4708
- Ee Waun
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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Bling- Bangkok Watch Fair till 5 October

If you happen to be in Bangkok from now to 5 October, drop by at Central Chidlom in downtown Bangkok for the Bangkok Watch Fair where timepieces Worth US$150 Million are being showcased. About 180 leading brands will be showcased highlighted by two precious Piaget masterpieces valued at over US$2.5 million each. These are the one-of-a-kind Piaget Limelight Paradise, adorned with 46.1 carats of 1,756 garnet spinel and sapphire jewels and the 18 carat white gold Piaget LimeLight Sheika, made of, decorated with 64.7 carats of 550 diamonds, and took 600 hours to craft.

Central World anticipates sales of over US$20 million at the dazzling fair, being hosted for the 12th year running. Lange & Söhne will showcase its classic 1 Daymatic collection, Maitres du Temps unveils its ultra-limited edition ‘Chapter one Round’ – one of only three crafted and Sarcar debuts its golden-diamond masterpiece ‘The Twist’. See them on display or sit in on a watch fashion shows featuring young Thai celebrities and models.

- Elaine
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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Binge - Heston Blumenthal Opens In London This December!

Where to lunch after shopping all morrning at Harvey Nics? Why, at Heston Blumenthal's of course. The UK’s gastro-alchemist who cooks by science and made his name at The Fat Duck, his restaurant in the little town of Bray, Berkshire, is opening a new restaurant in London this December.

Called Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, you’ll find it at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, just across the road and a couple of steps from Harvey Nics and Harrods. Featuring his usual style of cooking and heavily influenced by his ongoing research and discovery of historic British gastronomy, feature simple contemporary dishes inspired by Britain’s historic gastronomic past and recipes dating as far back as the 16th century, such as Scallops with Cucumber Ketchup and Peas, Bergamot cured Mackerel Salad and Slow Cooked Short Rib of Beef.

Overlooking Hyde Park and featuring lots of wood, leather and iron, the restaurant’s physical set up promises to be quite an experience too. Look out for the one-of-a-kind pulley modelled after the 16th century pulley system originally designed for the Royal British Court’s kitchens and 16th century British recipes sourced from rare antique cookbooks on display at the bar.
Seating 140 guests, there’s a private dining room for 10 and a chef’s table for six within the kitchen. As with these celeb restaurants, the main man won’t be there, but group executive chef of the Fat Duck, Ashley Palmer-Watts, who’s worked with Blumenthal for ten years, will be.

Expect to pay a very decent £25 for a three course set lunch, and a three course a la carte dinner from £55! Reservations open on 15 October 2010. Rush and call at +44 (0) 20 7201 3833!

For details: 
- Ee Waun
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Buys – Naughty, Boozy Atomizers For A Spritz Of Glitz

You want to bring your bling to the extremes of fabuliciousness? Then you must have Laura Santinni’s alcoholic atomizers which she says, takes “the glamour of the boudoir to the table”. These tantalizing little bottles contain potent potions of alcoholic liquor with edible metals. One pump onto your food or drink and you'll turn from Ho-Hum Hostess to Madame With The Mostest. 

'Devil’s Breath' is a transformational mist of brandy liqueur with chilli and edible 23 carat gold flakes. Sweet yet fiery, a little spray turns steaks, pasta and chocolate mousse into tantalizing temptations, and makes a hot chocolate or coffee devilishly tempting. 'Angel Mist and Broken Halos' is no more angelic, combining heady grappa and edible silver flakes. Mist freshly shucked oysters or a trembling panna cotta with this wisp of wickedness, and dinner will never be the same again. There’s plenty more you can do – spray a cocktail with this breath of lusciousness, zip it onto carpaccio, sashimi or canapés…Sip with Champagne, perfectly matched with red stilletoes and racy teddy under a respectable outfit of perfect prudishness.

Santinni says you can bring the boudoir to the table, and SimplyFab says you can bring them right back into your scarlet chambers once again. With a simple push of a finger, what else can these little elixirs do to spice up the fun and games? Oooh – We can’t wait to find out!

And just in case you think the booze comes from less-than-luscious sources, rest, assured and inspired, that they are in fact produced by Distilleria Bottega, an award-winning Italian distillery that have been producing grappa for three generations, and based in the Prosecco area near Venice.

These culinary naughties are available at Selfridges in London, Birmingham, Manchester Trafford & Manchester Exchange Square or online at (tel: 0800 123 400) Each 100ml bottle costs £17.99 and contains a giddy 38% alcohol.

Just say it – “I Want!”
- Ee Waun
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