‘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

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Class gathering @ Nook

Recently I met up with some of my closest secondary school classmates (those that bothered to keep in contact) to have lunch at Nook, a D.I.Y. pancake place I had always wanted to go but the plan was always pushed back due to my laziness. No idea why I suddenly had this craving for pancakes when I always found them too plain for my liking. Probably it was because of the overwhelming photos of colourful home made pancakes that kept appearing on my Instagram feed -_-

Anyway I always had this impression that Nook was located at some secluded area of Bukit Timah (around the area where Choupinette is) which is only convenient if I drive. But no, Nook is just at Jalan Jurong Kechil and that is pretty near to where I live! I always head there for supper and my dogs get their check-ups at a vet there too. Hence I don’t understand how I could miss this place.

I made a reservation for 25th May for about 12 of us. Its spacious interior was also another reason why I chose Nook as our gathering place because it’d mean that we didn’t have to be separated. We sat around a table that has been elongated by adding another one and had 2 square pancake pans to ourselves. For the price of about $28 (without GST and service charge yet), we could choose two flavours for our batter together with 3 toppings of our choice. It was indicated on the menu that “each set serves 2” but Zhiyong having been there once before advised that it was enough to feed 3-4. So we got 3 sets instead which makes 6 batters and 9 toppings. Of course, we shared the 6 batters among 2 tables. My table got the strawberry, chocolate and original flavoured one while the other chose pandan, banana and another strawberry, I think. Toppings were basically oreo chunks, kit kat, banana slices, rainbow sprinkles, peach slices, chocolate chips, camarelised apples, chocolate sauce and raisins. They gave maple syrup but the amount was really, really, little. Had to “scrimp and save” on it to make it last as long as possible.

Pictures here were snapped using various phones, lol. Sorry no quality cameras used as our purpose there was to eat and have a great time together, not critique on the pancakes 😀

Nook signboard

Nook signboard

Yu Qi and Gerald and a bit of Xiaoqing doing her thing on the pan

Yuqi and Gerald and a bit of Xiaoqing doing her thing on the pan.

Xiao Qing and I

Xiaoqing and I. I look sleepy. Or maybe it’s just my tiny eyes haha.

1/2 of the group - Clockwise from bottom left: Xiaoqing, Yuchan, Adelene, Junhua, Mengkian, Zhiyong, Siawshi and Yushan.

1/2 of the group – Clockwise from bottom left: Xiaoqing, Yuchan, Adelene, Junhua, Mengkian, Zhiyong, Siawshi and Yuqi. Sorry for the terrible lightning! This was the best out of like 3?

The other 1/2 of the group. Clockwise from bottom left again: Yuqi, Gerald, Aloysius, me, Xiaoqing and Yuchan. Ok la not really 1/2 since there are repeats :P

The other 1/2 of the group. Clockwise from bottom left again: Yuqi, Gerald, Aloysius, me, Xiaoqing and Yuchan. Ok la not really 1/2 since there are repeats 😛

The toppings - rainbow sprinkles. banana slices, raisins and peach slices (which looked rotten so we didn't touch it at all)

The toppings – rainbow sprinkles. banana slices, raisins and peach slices (which looked weird so we didn’t touch it at all)

The other table's creation

The other table’s creation

Our creation by Xiaoqing

Our creation by Xiaoqing. Pretty obvious what these are?

Our creation by me. We had a mini inter-table pancake competition so this was our "entry" hahaha. Eyyyyy sexy ladaye

Our creation by me. We had a mini inter-table pancake competition so this was our “entry” hahaha

The other table's. Seeing how sexy our pancake was they decided to do a companion lololol funny people

The other table’s. Seeing how sexy our pancake was they decided to do a companion lololol funny people

Proper shot of our beach people - yay!! Erm by the way that's "5A1", our class, not "SAI" ok?

Proper shot of our beach people – yay teamwork!! Erm by the way that’s “5A1”, our class, not “SAI” ok?

"Class" photo! Nook has this perfect spot for photo-taking or camwhore. They even have photobooth props for us to hold haha. Great!!

“Class” photo! Nook has this perfect spot for photo-taking or camwhoring. They even have photobooth props for us to hold haha. Great!!

As you can see we aren’t good pancake designers lol.

It was a really fun experience creating our own designs but all of us left Nook feeling partially hungry and also sick of pancakes haha. We had some more batter left but we didn’t want to waste it, so some of the boys played scissors, paper, stone and the loser had to eat all the remaining pancakes – a forfeit that has been practised since our secondary school days to prevent wastage. Sometimes I just love that we still have that little tinge of immaturity in us. It makes our outings/gatherings even more enjoyable 🙂

Nook, in my opinion, is an ideal place to catch up with your friends. We spent close to 2 hours there (that’s how long how batters lasted). But I wouldn’t go back again as it’s pretty costly without the pancake buffet and you get tired of pancakes after awhile.

Til we meet again fellas!!

Nook
21 Lorong Kilat
#01-03
S’pore 598123
For reservations, call 6466 1811
http://nook.sg/