‘Tis the Season to be Feasting at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone!

As the year draws to a close, many of us are getting into the holiday spirit by decking our houses with Christmas and New Year decorations.  At the same time, we may also take this opportunity to gather our loved ones for a memorable reunion. But no reunion would be complete without great food that puts everyone in the festive mood and what better place to experience both simultaneously than throwing a little party at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport where you are able to enjoy a wide selection of delicious and hearty meals? 😉

If you’re intending to play host to this year’s Christmas or New Year celebration but don’t feel like sweating your butt off in the kitchen and yet have no idea where to hold it, Crowne Plaza has rolled out a variety of dining options this yuletide season that centres around conversations and connections. The inspired fusion of flavours and menu items offered at their Lobby Lounge (Yuletide Takeaways) and Azur Restaurant (Festive Buffet) are sized to suit smaller more intimate gatherings among close friends and immediate family members.

Yuletide Takeaways @ Lobby Lounge

From 1 to 26 December 2015, guests can tuck into a series of delights from the Lobby Lounge specially created for this festive month at the comfort of their home. Feast your eyes and stomach on a gourmet paradise of beef, turkey and lamb, as well as a mouthwatering lineup of cakes and pastries to tantalise your taste buds.

But before I go into those, let’s kick things off with some appetisers!

Pumpkin salad

Pumpkin salad – a mix of pumpkin and chestnut

Fruit salad

Fruit salad – a mix of apple, tomatoes, melons, strawberry and nuts

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Scallop topped with salmon caviar (price not available)

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Salmon cavier

Salmon caviar

The scallop was well-seared on both sides with a fleshy, juicy and fibrous middle. It was drenched in salty gravy and paired with a layer of spinach at the bottom. The salmon caviar gave an additional burst of flavour. However, you may need to request for this dish because it’s not listed on the order chit.

The highlight of the Yuletide Takeaways is the Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib which is sous vide (sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a hot-water bath of 70 degree Celsius, the same reheating method if you’re planning to eat it at a later time) for 24 hours before being roasted in the oven.

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib (S$120+, 1kg)

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib (S$120+, 1kg)

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

The ambrosial yet not-too-overwhelming flavour of the beef short-rib comes mainly from the BBQ gravy which sweetness is melded with the natural fragrance of the meat. The short-rib itself was incredibly soft with a gorgeous pink centre and perfectly rendered fat. And because it was so tender and buttery, none of it got stuck in my teeth! However, due to the time factor in the preparation of the Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib, an advance order of 3-4 days is required prior to collection.

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Of course, when it comes to a Christmas get-together, the dining table needs to have some sort of a roast bird, usually turkey. Having eaten it about twice in my life, I had come to a conclusion that turkey meat is not my cup of tea because of its awfully dry and tough texture. I assumed it was the same for all turkey meat in general. But Crowne Plaza has managed to prove me wrong once again!

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices (S$135+, 1 kg)

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices (S$135+, 1 kg)

Doused in rich and delectable Spicy Coconut Cream Sauce that tastes like sweet curry, the Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices is a classic example of when East meets West. The turkey itself is roasted for 6 hours at 70 degree Celsius to a golden yellow and, although somewhat thicker than chicken meat, was an absolute joy to eat for it was so succulent and chewy! The thin savoury skin (the closest description I can think of is that it is quite similar to the roast chicken skin at Poulét) was the winner for me because it was what got me hooked! I just couldn’t resist getting more servings of the turkey meat XD

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices

If you prefer a more traditional take on the turkey, the House Special Roasted Turkey Marinated with Maple Glaze and Chestnut Stuffing served with Cranberry Sauce (S$135+, 5 kg) might just be what you’re looking for! Each whole turkey can serve approximately six to eight guests comfortably.

When it comes to celebrating Christmas, one cannot forget the lamb due to its significance in the bible (and symbolism of Christ). The Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Garlic & Caramelised Shallot Sauce ($160+, 2.6 kg) is soaked in orange brine overnight before being marinated in a fragrant combination of rosemary and garlic, and finally slow roasted at 70 degrees Celsius for over seven hours. If you’re game to try something new this Christmas (since lamb is more commonly served on Easter), you might want to give this dish a go!

Rounding out the Christmas menu from the Lobby Lounge are two festive log cakes handcrafted by the hotel’s pastry chefs because… what’s Christmas without log cakes? Indulge in either the Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse or the more conventional Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake (or both, to get the best of both worlds 😉 ). Featuring a light and tangy raspberry yoghurt mousse overlaying juicy lychee bits and rose-flavoured jelly in the cake centre, the former is the answer to guilt-free (not 100% but still…) log cakes. The slightly tart (acidic) overall taste helps to relieve a bit of the bloatedness from the hearty meal.

Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse (S$65+)

Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse (S$65+)

The chocolate log cake, on the other hand, has a wafer-like hazelnut centre that has got that crunchy going on every bite.  It is not excessively sweet too as there was a tinge of bitterness in the chocolate. Designed to resemble an actual log from an enchanted forest, it comes topped with seasonal decorations like a mini Christmas hat. How cute!

Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake ($65+)

Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake ($65+)

Since Crowne Plaza is conveniently located at Terminal 3 of Changi Airport, guests can, upon returning from their travels, pop in the Lobby Lounge for a quick takeout before heading home. But as most of these dishes require time to prepare, you are encouraged to place your orders at least 3 days in advance to avoid disappointment! To place an order for Yuletide Takeaways, visit the hotel’s Festive Desk (24 Nov – 24 Dec 2015, 9am – 9pm), call +65 6823 5367, fax your order to +65 6823 5301 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm) or email christmas.cpca@ihg.com. The last collection for all Yuletide Takeaways are on 26 December 2016.

Psst.. festive hampers are also on sale if you’d like to build stronger networks with your clients *winks* More information can be found here.

Festive Buffet @ Azur

Otherwise, if you dislike waiting, Azur Restaurant also has an array of Christmas-themed selections for their festive buffet that’s catered to both Asian and Western taste buds, available from 1 to 30 December 2015. Buffet items are served in small portions to allow sampling of all the different food offered at the international buffet. Looking for ways to reward your staff for their hard work and effort throughout the year? There are round tables for larger group dining reservations for everyone to bond and laugh over brunch, lunch and dinner.

Dessert spread at the buffet

Dessert spread at the buffet

Gingerbread man atop white chocolate and cinnamon

Gingerbread man atop white chocolate and cinnamon

Santa Claus atop raspberry puree

Santa Claus atop raspberry puree

Pricing plan

Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner (24 December 2015)*
Adult $ 70 ++ Child $ 35 ++

Christmas Day Brunch (25 December 2015)*
Adult $ 65 ++ Child $ 32.50 ++

Christmas Day Dinner (25 December 2015)*
Adult $ 75 ++ Child $ 37.50 ++

Boxing Day Brunch (26 December 2015)
Adult $ 65 ++ Child $ 32.50 ++

Festive Buffet Lunch (1 – 23, 27 – 30 December 2015)
Adult $ 45 ++ Child $ 22.50 ++

Festive Buffet Dinner (1 – 23, 26 – 30 December 2015)
Adult $ 55 ++ Child $ 27.50 ++

New Year’s Eve Lunch (31 December 2015)
Adult $ 45 ++ Child $ 22.50 ++

New Year’s Eve Dinner (31 December 2015)
Adult $ 75 ++ Child $ 37.50 ++

*Spot jolly ‘ol Santa on 24 and 25 December 2015 and receive a little blessing of joy. Santa will be roving around during meal times at Azur Restaurant

To make a reservation, please call 6823 5354 or email azur.cpca@ihg.com. Reservations are highly encouraged. Visit the Crowne Plaza Dining website for more information.

That’s all, fellow foodies! Get feasting! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Crowne Plaza @ Changi Airport
75 Airport Boulevard
Singapore 819664
For reservations: 6823 5367 (Yuletide Takeaways) / 6823 5354 (Festive Buffet)
Or you may email christmas.cpca@ihg.com (Yuletide Takeaways) /
azur.cpca@ihg.com (Festive Buffet)
Please visit their website or Facebook for more information

May is the Month of Weddings!

Hello everyone! School is officially out for me so I would be updating this space more regularly until the new school term starts in August! (Yup, a 3-month break for me)

I haven’t been writing about my life so here’s one about some happy events I had been to this month although May hasn’t ended yet.

Last month, I received a surprise Facebook invitation from a secondary school classmate whom I had not spoken to for a long time (if you don’t include birthday wishes on her wall). Syamilah and I were in the same class for the last 3 years in Hillgrove before we graduated. The last time I saw her face-to-face was on the day we received our ‘O’ level results in 2008 when we were only 18. Blessed with good looks and pretty deep dimples on both cheeks, I remember her as a very prim and proper, prudent, refined and faithful Muslim girl who hasn’t changed a bit (in terms of character) through the years. Now 24, my dear “Mylah”, as I affectionately call her, has found her lifelong partner and was ready to transition into her next phase of life :’)

The wedding reception was held at the block beside Teck Whye LRT on 4 May and only a handful were invited from my cohort. It was a wedding celebration not just for one couple, but three (the other two were Syamilah’s brothers’)! Apparently it’s normal to have more than one couple in the same Malay wedding reception but held at different time slots – how cool! But I almost went for the wrong session if not for my mom’s reminder haha. All of us arrived about 10 minutes late but we were in time to catch the kompang performance which we would always hear from a distance away and never had the chance to watch it (unless you’re some thick-skinned aunties like those we encountered at the wedding, “crashed” the wedding, see-see-look-look for a long time and walked away -_- Pretty sure they ate some food at the buffet too).

Arrive in time to catch the Malay kompang performance, an important part of a traditional Malay wedding.

Arrived just in time to catch the Malay kompang performance, an important part of a traditional Malay wedding. The bridegroom and bride are king and queen for the day!

A wedding reception for 3 couples!

A wedding reception for 3 couples!

A make-do photobooth for us to take polaroid pictures! We took 2 pictures, one of which had to be pasted in the newly wed's guestbook.

A make-do photobooth for us to take polaroid pictures! We took 2 pictures, one of which had to be pasted in the newly wed’s guestbook.

Group shot, first take.

Group shot, first take. With the rest of the ex-Hillgrovians from the same cohort: Isabel, Veron and my bff Xiaoqing! We were given props as you can see.

Group shot, second take!

Group shot, second take!

Oh, did I also mention that it was the first Malay wedding I had attended? I had no idea what to wear, how much to give and what to expect at the wedding thus I did my homework prior to the wedding and found this really useful site! Click here to read if you’re going to attend your first Malay wedding as well 🙂

Even though the minimum sum to give as stated on the site is $10, I gave more than that because being Chinese Singaporean has taught me to be less buay pai seh (shameless) and more generous. Also, contrary to Amy Cheong’s belief, it is equally pricey to have wedding at the void deck with each typically costing about $10,000? Because most of the money goes to the decorations. Oh gosh! Want to have simple wedding also cannot. So yeah, giving $10 is being really cheapskate.

Also, unlike Chinese weddings, the money (in small paper envelopes) should only be given before you leave or after you are done eating! I totally forgot about it and gave it to the hosts (bride’s parents) when we arrived. This eat-first-pay-later tradition gives me the impression that Malay weddings are not out to make profits, though it may not be the case.

I also spent like an hour in front of my closet deciding on what to wear to the wedding. Bearing in mind that it was a traditional Malay wedding where you’d expect other Malay guests to be in their baju kurungs, you definitely can’t go in provocative outfits because it’s just showing disrespect to the hosts. Well, not saying that I have many revealing clothes… The most revealing one I have just bares 1/4 of my back ^___^ And I haven’t worn it out yet cos I’m rather conservative myself -_- I picked the most cheerful and conservative dress which wouldn’t make me sweat buckets in this extremely hot weather – a Lilypirates number purchased 2 years back! Never got the chance to wear it cos it’s too flare for my liking (tends to make me look fatter than I already am) but I couldn’t bear to sell it cos the colours are so pretty!

Anyway, hungry me devoured the buffet lunch before I realised I hadn’t taken a picture of it, so no pictures of the food I’M SORRY!!! Haha but it was great with the right amount of spiciness! Malay cuisine has always been one of my favourites! If I were in a canteen with only a Malay and a Chinese stall, I’d definitely go for the former! Drinks however were a little diluted with too much artificial flavourings though but that’s not a huge problem for me.

Stayed for about 45 minutes and left before the next session began! 🙂

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Rusydi!

Congratulations once again, Mr and Mrs Rusydi!

On 10 May, which was yesterday, I attended my cousin’s wedding lunch and dinner reception at Chijmes and Hilton Hotel respectively. Jiamin 姐姐 was the bride and is also one of my closest maternal cousins who tried to coach me in badminton and Math when I was 12. Despite my constant failure in both, she had never once lost her patience and temper at me 😀 I doubt she remembers any of this now since it happened a really long time ago but yup, it’s still etched in my mind! She has an older sister who got hitched 3 years ago on the special date 11 November 2011 and I got to be one of her bridesmaids. Didn’t blog about that as I wasn’t that active on the blogosphere then (i.e. lazy), oops!

Back to her wedding at Chijmes, the wedding procession was held at the multi-purpose hall which was really breathtaking! The arched ceiling and stained glass window fit into my description of my ideal church wedding. After that, we had our lunch at the French restaurant beside it. It was a French buffet and boy, all the dishes were really good! Boyfriend kept going back for the dessert – not sure what it’s called but it’s like a small cup of mango pudding – while I really loved the lemon butter cod fish. Enjoyed the couscous as well!

Boyfriend was having a massive cough so I told him to put on a face mask. Imagine the solemnizer asking if anyone on the ground disapproves of the marriage and then he coughs. That's be super awkward.

Boyfriend was having a massive cough so I told him to put on a face mask. Imagine the solemnizer asking if anyone on the ground disapproves of the marriage and then he coughs. That’s be super awkward.

Half-awake smile. Someone told me that I looked gloomy that morning :(

Half-awake smile. Someone told me that I looked gloomy that morning 😦

Chijmes chapel. We came late so we were seated at the back.

Chijmes chapel. We came late so we were seated at the back.

Most of my pictures are taken using camera and I’m too lazy to transfer them to my phone so…. #benjiamin

Nice, fairytale-like wedding photos!

"I now pronounce you man and wife."

“I now pronounce you man and wife.”

Signing the certificate of marriage

Signing the certificate of marriage

Getting ready to be photographed with the official marriage cert!

Getting ready to be photographed with the official marriage cert!

Marching in once more with cute Kiera (flower girl) in front.

Marching in once more with cute Kiera (flower girl) in front.

"Thank you new dad and mom for raising such a wonderful and beautiful daughter. To express my gratitude, I want to reward you with a pair of plane tickets..." "to other parts of Asia.." "...Southeast Asia." Lol.

“Thank you new dad and mom for raising such a wonderful and beautiful daughter. To express my gratitude, I want to reward you with a pair of plane tickets…” “to other parts of Asia..” “…Southeast Asia.” Lol. As one of his friends said, spoil market groom!

The loving stare.

The loving stare. Congratulations once again, Mr and Mrs Ben Tan!

Awesome French food at Chijmes!!

Awesome French food at Chijmes!!

Returned home after lunch to get changed into my evening outfit (lol I know). I picked a Love Bonito dress which I bought in January during my short stint in the company supposedly for Chinese New Year. But knowing that many girls would be wearing it since it was such a popular piece, I abandoned the idea. I bought the petite version because I like my dresses to be above-knee length but it turned out a little too short for my height HAHA. I had to remind myself not to bend forward as doing so would expose my butt huggers (even though I was wearing safety shorts… you know guys’ imagination can be really wild sometimes).

Unpleasant face of the day. Leftover breakouts from exam period *cries*

Unpleasant face of the day. Leftover breakouts from exam period *cries*

A rare #ootd shot that wasn't taken by myself. Had to persuade boyfriend to take for me coz he is always so reluctant to do it -_-

A rare #ootd shot that wasn’t taken by myself. Had to persuade boyfriend to take for me coz he is always so reluctant to do it -_- In Petite Parisse Neoprene Dress from Love, Bonito. Please pardon my frizzy hair.

While waiting for the doors of the grand ballroom to open...

While waiting for the doors of the grand ballroom to open… Doing what we do best.

It was my second time at Hilton Hotel, which I remember for its super creamy and thick American Cheesecake. I felt that the banquet was not too bad, but not phenomenal at the same time. The dish that I enjoyed the most was the starters because the chicken in beancurd roll was really good! Actually I kinda love anything that is wrapped with beancurd roll.

Marital Bliss - Sesame Prawn Toast, Sze Chuan Garlic Pork, Jellyfish and Coralline Seaweed, Five Spiced Chicken in Beancurd Roll, Japanese Top Shell with Abalone Sauce

Marital Bliss – Sesame Prawn Toast, Sze Chuan Garlic Pork, Jellyfish and Coralline Seaweed, Five Spiced Chicken in Beancurd Roll, Japanese Top Shell with Abalone Sauce

Marital Bliss - Five Spiced Chicken in Beancurd Roll

Marital Bliss – Five Spiced Chicken in Beancurd Roll. MEGA LOVE!! Don’t tell anyone I took more than 1 for myself lololol.

Braised Lobster Soup - Enoki Mushroom, Shredded Chicken and Crabmeat

Braised Lobster Soup – Enoki Mushroom, Shredded Chicken and Crabmeat

Hilton Signature Empress Chicken

Hilton Signature Empress Chicken and many many herbs

A chunk of Hilton Signature Empress Chicken

A chunk of Hilton Signature Empress Chicken. One of my faves that night!

Steamed Live Marble Goby (Soon Hock) Teochew Style

Steamed Live Marble Goby (Soon Hock) Teochew Style. Don’t really like this fish cos there’s not much flesh 😦

Drunken Live Prawns in Hua Diao Wine - Served with Dang Gui and Wolfberries

Drunken Live Prawns in Hua Diao Wine – Served with Dang Gui and Wolfberries

Prawnssss

Prawnssss

Stir-fried Scallop with Asparagus & Honey Beans in Chef's Signature Sauce

Stir-fried Scallop with Asparagus & Honey Beans in Chef’s Signature Sauce

Braised Baby Abalone & Seasonal Vegetables with Bai Ling Mushroom

Braised Baby Abalone & Seasonal Vegetables with Bai Ling Mushroom

Fried Udon with Dried Shrimp & Black Pepper  & Golden Mushroom

Fried Udon with Dried Shrimp & Black Pepper & Golden Mushroom. By the time it came, it was already cold. I felt like I was eating Soba instead haha.

Flower girl and boy who happen to be the cutest siblings.

Flower girl and boy who happen to be the cutest siblings.. and of course, my niece and nephew. Seth is the most sociable, intelligent and likeable boy ever!

Boyfriend's ootd and his about-to-cough look. I bought him the skinny tie!!

Boyfriend’s ootd and his about-to-cough look. I bought him the skinny tie!!

My apologies that most of the pictures are of the food I ate and not of the newly-weds, because I couldn’t get a good angle from where I was seated 😦

There was also a photobooth (is it a trend nowadays at wedding receptions? Hehe) near the entrance of the ballroom. I wanted to take pictures there but there was a long queue 😦

The banquet ended near midnight with Or Nee (yam paste) as the final food item. It was the bridegroom’s favourite dessert which is coincidentally mine as well! In the hot dessert category at least… Ice Kacang is still the best. 😀

Warm Yam Puree  & Ginko Nuts with Pumpkin in Coconut  Jus

Warm Yam Puree & Ginko Nuts with Pumpkin in Coconut Jus. I actually loved it despite people saying that it wasn’t sweet enough. I think it’s very sweet leh!? And excuse me, I have a sweet tooth too! If only it didn’t come with so much ginko nuts!

And that’s about it! Now that most of my same-generation and older cousins are married, I am starting to feel the heat from relatives. I feel that marriage is a private affair and should not be anyone else’s business so I really hope and appreciate that people would stop asking me the question and pressurizing me into ending my bachelorette life!

“WHEN IS YOUR TURN??”

HOW ABOUT NO, NEVER HAPPENING??

Kidding. Later boyfriend scold me.