[LUNCH BUFFET] Element @ Amara Singapore

Hello everyone!

As the saying goes, all work and no play eat makes Jack a dull hungry boy so when the offer to attend a tasting session at Element Restaurant came, I jumped at it – even if it meant to forgo an entire afternoon of catching up on work.

Conveniently located within a few minutes’ walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station in the heart of the Central Business District, Element Restaurant – or rather, Amara Hotel where the restaurant is set – instantly comes to mind as one of the ideal dining destinations for a hearty meal with colleagues or business partners. The restaurant caters to lunch crowds and dinner patrons with a lavish international buffet spread from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm as well as the contemporary Sicilian cuisines in à la carte menus from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm on Monday to Sunday (except Friday) – the latter of which I had to regrettably give a miss to when it was launched due to a flu bug.

Element Restaurant

Element Restaurant

We ordered a couple of cold beverages (separate charges apply) to whet our appetites at the bar within the restaurant since only coffee and tea are offered as part of the buffet. As far as I am aware, not many buffets allow you the opportunity to order such drinks but Element has their own bar so that alcoholics wine connoisseurs can drink and make merry at the same time.

Mocktail: Shirley Temple (S$13++)

Mocktail: Shirley Temple (S$13++)

Alcoholic: Bailey (S$14++)

Alcoholic: Bailey (S$14++)

Great tasting food is my Achilles heel. But as much as I love to eat, I do have certain standards when it comes to dining at buffets due to the fact that there are many buffets out there masquerading as nothing more than overpriced and over-glorified economical rice dishes.

Amongst all my expectations, a decent variety of food is a must and the spread during the lunch buffet at Element Restaurant was, to say the least, exquisite. According to the staff, the wide assortment of dishes changes daily. From local classics such as Laksa to crowd favourites such as Japanese sushi, sashimi and fresh seafood, there is bound to be something that appeals to your taste buds. To save you from the agony of having to sit through my babbling, the pictures will do most of the talking instead.

— Appetisers —

This section serves an array of bread, soup and dim sum

This section serves an array of bread, soup and dim sum

Assortment of bread

Assortment of bread

Siew Mai

Siew Mai

Soon Kueh

Soon Kueh

Char Siew Pau

Char Siew Pau

— Japanese cuisine —

Sushi spread

Sushi spread

Apart from these Japanese staples, this stop also serves sashimi freshly prepared by the chef stationed there.

— Salad bar —

Mix and match your own salad and toppings!

Mix and match your own salad and toppings!

— Cured and smoked meat —

Selection of cured and smoked meat platter

Selection of cured and smoked meat platter

Cold cut salami

Cold cut salami

Marinated Black Fungus

Marinated Black Fungus

Tuna Tataki

Tuna Tataki

The tuna tataki was one of my favourite! It has a slightly chewy texture that leaves a sourish and slightly spicy aftertaste, leaving my palate refreshed just after a bite. It was my first time trying Tuna Tataki and I absolutely love it because of all the different flavours rolling around on my tongue. Doing a little research, I discovered that Tataki or tosa-mi is actually a Japanese method for preparing fish that has been briefly marinated in vinegar, sliced thinly and seasoned for taste. I strongly recommend this dish to anybody who is a lover of Tuna sashimi – you will surely go back for seconds!

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

— Seafood —

Seafood aplenty and regularly topped up

Seafood aplenty and regularly topped up

White Clams

White Clams

Moreton Bay Bug

Moreton Bay Bug

I pointed out excitedly to Fiona that there was crayfish at the seafood section and was eagerly adding several pieces of the tasty crustacean onto my plate when I noticed the name of the dish.

Moreton Bay Bug.

BUG? I momentarily froze as that word registered in my head. Thinking that it was a typo error, I quickly whipped my phone out from my pocket to (what else?) Google for more information. It turns out this ‘bug’ is actually a species of slipper lobsters resembling the crayfish which explains my initial confusion (because why would anyone name a delicious food after something so off-putting?). The meat was firm and moist, which means that it was incredibly fresh! While it was my first time eating it, I know it won’t be my last ☺

— Live station —

This is where the chef takes orders from buffet-goers and prepares the food on the spot

This is where the chef takes orders from buffet-goers and prepares the food on the spot

The menu at the live station changes every day. When I was there for food tasting, traditional laksa was the dish of the day. If noodles aren’t your thing, you may also opt for a small portion of claypot rice next to the live station.

Wax Rice with Chinese Sausage, Roasted Meat and Mushroom

Wax Rice with Chinese Sausage, Roasted Meat and Mushroom

— Light snacks —

Mostly cooked food

Mostly cooked food

Japanese Salmon Croquette with Spicy Mayo

Japanese Salmon Croquette with Spicy Mayo

Crispy Chicken Wings so good, Fiona ate about 8 pieces

Crispy Chicken Wings so good, Fiona ate about 8 pieces

— Desserts —

Sweet and savoury desserts to conclude your buffet experience

Sweet and savoury desserts to conclude your buffet experience

Pandan Pudding

Pandan Pudding

Cempedak Creme Brulee & Blueberry Panna Cotta

Cempedak Creme Brulee & Blueberry Panna Cotta

THIS is the star of my entire meal in my humblest and honest opinion. Element’s Cempedak Creme Brulee is out of this world! I am quite sure even Gordon Ramsay would not have anything negative to say about it. Do not be deceived by the small unassuming saucer for it packs a punch in its delivery of flavours. The Cempedak is the smaller cousin of the Jackfruit. Compared to the Jackfruit, the Cempedak is sweeter and has a stronger aroma when ripen. I caught a whiff of the aroma while I was walking past the dessert section which was what led me to try it. I had no regrets at all but if there was one, it was not helping myself to more servings of the dessert before the buffet service ended. It is a seasonal fruit and as such I do not expect this dish to be available all year around so I highly recommend you to try it if you get the chance.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience dining at Element. The servers were very friendly and responsive – our plates were cleared constantly and the warm smiles they carried on their faces increased the pleasure of our dining experience. And no, our tables were not cleared all the time because we were there on a media invite. Looking around, I also noticed that other guests were also the subject of such excellent service and hospitality.

Thanks for reading!

Element at Amara Singapore
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088539
Tel: 6879 2607
Nearest MRT station: Tanjong Pagar

International Lunch Buffet
Monday to Friday, 11.30 am – 2.30 pm
Adult: S$49++
Child (6-12 years old): S$25++
Reservations: Chope | Quandoo

The writer is a glutton who occasionally allows his appetite free rein and steals food from Fiona’s plate. Among some of his favourite food are a good steak and meaty crabs doused in chili sauce. Read more posts by Alphonsus here.

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Staycation at Naumi Liora

Hey everyone!

Planning a birthday celebration for your boyfriend can be really tricky especially if you’ve been with him for years. No matter how creative you are, there will come a time when you’d completely run out of fresh and unpredictable ideas to surprise him. Having dated mine for close to 6 years now, it was one of the biggest struggles I faced while trying to think of ways to make his birthday memorable a few weeks back. From portrait painting to handmaking a Pooh plushie (his favourite cartoon character) to taking him out for a luxurious meal, I had practically done everything my brain was capable of coming up with for the past 5 years.

But this year, after exhausting my brain cells, I decided to be lazy and ask him what he wanted for his 29th birthday directly. It was a no-brainer question. After all, we’ve been together for so long. I knew he had always wanted another staycation but apart from the dreaded packing process and the unnecessary money spent which could be put aside for our year-end trip, I hated to be away from my own bed. Hence I tend to avoid that subject. But since it was already his final year of his 20’s, I relented on the condition that he jointly organised the staycation with me 😆

(Plus a surprise gift – a Braun Buffel wallet – presented to him at midnight of his birthday. Yeah, couldn’t resist buying a present for him in the end #byebyemoney)

We shortlisted a few hotels and finally settled on Naumi Liora, a four-star 3-year-old boutique hotel smacked right along Keong Saik Road near Chinatown and Outram Park MRT stations. What caught our attention was its oriental-themed interiors, its 24-hour gym as well as its close proximity to amenities like cheap foot reflexology parlours (at People’s Park Complex) and hip eateries such as Lime House and Three Buns (review comin’ up after this). Ann Siang Hill is also not very far off from the hotel as it’s just a walking distance away.

Hotel Naumi Liora

Hotel Naumi Liora @ Keong Saik Road

Naumi Liora corridor

Naumi Liora corridor

Comfy orange guest chairs near the entrance

Comfy orange guest chairs near the entrance of Naumi Liora

Relaxation corner near the registration counter

Relaxation corner near the registration counter

We were greeted with a lovely scent and an array of tidbits when we entered the hotel lobby. Called The Nibbles, the little snack bar offers a great selection of complimentary treats which guests can help themselves to anytime of the day. There were crackers, jelly, miniature ice cream (choices may change from time to time), hot beverages and even alcohol (chargeable though) to wallow in when hunger strikes in the middle of the night. These snacks are also replenished daily to ensure optimal freshness.

Newspapers to keep you in the know about what's happening in the world

Newspapers to keep you in the know about what’s happening in the world

Nibbles

Complimentary nibbles

Ice cream

Ice cream. Not from a well-known brand but it was still quite nice according to my boyfriend 🙂

Coffee machine which also serves Milo, Mocha, Cappuccino, Latte and Teh Tarik

Coffee machine which also serves Milo, Mocha, Cappuccino, Latte and Teh Tarik

Vodka

Vodka

More alcohol

More alcohol

Payment was made using credit card at the time of booking but the money was not deducted from the bank account until we arrived at the hotel reception desk for check-in. We were also told to place an additional deposit which would be refundable upon check-out (to cover any damages caused to the hotel room).

Being a small boutique hotel housed in a 155-year-old heritage shophouse, there was only one (slow) elevator servicing 79 rooms across all three storeys. Our Liora Quaint room (the cheapest one because we’re poor students 😥 ) was a window-less room located on the uppermost floor. The corridor leading to it was narrow and dimly-lit with blue-tinted lights, sometimes giving me the creeps when I had to take the elevator down to the lobby alone.

Liora Quaint

We had the choice of a Queen bed or 2 Super Single Beds in this 15-18sqm room

Work desk

Work desk

Hangers

Hangers

Electrical sockets on both sides of the bed, plus a pair of complimentary bottled water

Electrical sockets on both sides of the bed, plus a pair of complimentary bottled water

Lovin' the hotel's generosity: here's 4 more cans of complimentary canned soft drinks in the refrigerator

Lovin’ the hotel’s generosity: here’s 4 more cans of complimentary soft drinks in the refrigerator

Oh what's this? Is this a wardrobe?

Oh what’s this? Is this a wardrobe?

No, it's the bathroom!

No, it’s the bathroom!

Body lotion and soap

Body lotion and soap. Shavers, toothbrush, toothpaste and other bathroom necessities available upon request

Shampoo and body wash but of course, we brought our own

Shampoo and body wash (replenished daily as well) but of course, we brought our own

At S$140 per night, the room met my needs and expectations and was more spacious and comfortable than I thought. I loved the high ceiling that created a light and free atmosphere and the relatively strong Wi-Fi signal (even though it was only two bars of coverage at most throughout our stay). But the television reception was very weak and the picture quality of all channels was poor and grainy. Boyfriend also wasn’t very pleased with the type of shower faucet used in the bathroom. He was expecting the same ceiling-mounted shower head he saw on other blog reviews (which in fact is only available in Liora Porch, the highest range of rooms in this hotel) but was given the standard kind -_- Well, he has no one to blame but himself for not making sure before booking the room 🙄

Another perk of staying in Naumi Liora is the free access to its 24-hour fitness room as mentioned earlier. In order to avoid the morning crowd (assuming that there was any), we usually go to the gym during unearthly hours like 1 or 2am to burn some fats. The fitness room is hidden beside the stretch of hotel rooms on the ground level (turn left the moment you exit from the lift). It’s pretty small with only one set of every common exercise and workout equipment so unless you don’t mind waiting for other people to be done with the machine you want, you should only go there during weird timings when it is guaranteed to be vacant.

Naumi Liora gym

For more privacy, you may even LOCK the door as you work out. But of course, it can always be opened by any hotel room access card from the outside hahaha

Bottled water and towel

Wow at the hospitality of the hotel. Free-flow of bottled mineral water and clean towels for everyone who uses the gym!

Weights of all sizes

Weights of all sizes! I can only lift the lightest one sadly. Damn weak sia me 😦

Fitness ball (reflections don't count) and yoga mat

Fitness ball (reflections don’t count) and yoga mat

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One treadmill and elliptical trainer (yes only one. The other is merely a reflection on the mirror hehe). There’s also a stationary bike at the other side, not shown in this picture. All of them are equipped with a TV screen 🙂

I hardly work out in the gym but after this experience, I still prefer to jog around in the park where I get to bask in the morning sun and enjoy the natural breeze and greenery.

As the hotel does not have its own dining room, breakfast is served at two separate places along the same street until 10am everyday. Based on reviews, if you have opted for Western style, you would receive coupons for The Study beside the hotel. However we, perhaps being guests of a lower-range room (don’t know about you but the clear-cut difference in treatment doesn’t quite jive with me here because I don’t like to be deprived of the freedom to choose when it comes to food 😳 ), didn’t get to choose so we were automatically given Asian style. Therefore our breakfast for both days were fixed at Tong Ah Eating House (a coffee shop) just three shops down the walkway outside the hotel, which… okay lah, was quite good too 🙂

Breakfast coupons

Breakfast coupons

Tong Ah Eating House

Tong Ah Eating House

We got to pick between two popular Singaporean breakfast choices – Nasi Lemak and the traditional Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs. Tourists who are planning to accommodate at Naumi Liora may consider opting for the Asian style to have a taste of what the locals eat for breakfast 🙂

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak with Iced Milo

Very fragrant rice and meaty fish

Very fragrant rice and meaty fish

Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs with a cup of Teh

Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs with a cup of Teh. Kaya was thick and sweet!

Ended up only eating half of it because boyfriend accidentally poured too much dark sauce :cry:

Ended up only eating half of it because boyfriend accidentally poured too much dark sauce 😥

I personally enjoyed the meal a lot and it’s honestly one of the most generous portions I’ve ever had for a hotel breakfast. Seeing how pathetic the spread of food for the Western style is on other reviews, I’d most likely opt for the Asian one anyway so alright I forgive you Naumi Liora 😛

View from the hotel lobby

View from the hotel lobby

Next up, I will be reviewing Three Buns where we dined at on boyfriend’s birthday so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Naumi Liora
55 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089158
Booking: (+65) 6403 6003
Enquiries: (+65) 6922 9000
Email: iora.aide@naumihotels.com
Website: http://www.naumiliora.com/

Durian Fiesta 2015 & Taiwan Porridge Buffet @ Goodwood Park Hotel

Hey everyone!

It’s the time of the year again when the familiar pungent smell of durians fills the air of Geylang and many neighbourhood centres. Lovers of the world’s smelliest fruit crowd around durian stalls island-wide, looking to sink their teeth into the creamy, sweet (or bitter, if you’d like it to be) and fibrous flesh. Many businesses have also joined in the craze by incorporating the king of fruits into their menu – typically in buffet style – to entice durian lovers like myself who want to try something different. However, prices for such durian feasts tend to be on the high side so I had to narrow my choices down to one. And after much deliberation (RWS’ durian buffet looks really tempting too but is unfortunately way beyond my budget), I decided to give Durian Fiesta at Goodwood Park Hotel a go!

Incepted in 1983, the Durian Fiesta returns annually to much fanfare. This year, to commemorate Singapore’s 50th year of independence, it has also introduced 6 new creations made with D24 durians to the line-up of the durian-centric goodies, twice as many as usual. They are the Instagram-worthy Durian Rainbow Ice Cream Cake, Durian Carrot-Walnut Cake, Mini Durian Chocolate Wafer Rolls, Durian Macarons, Durian Egg Tartlets and “Mao Shan Wang” Horn which can be purchased at the hotel’s Deli starting from 16 March 2015.

The highly-anticipated dessert buffet with durian pastries was only available from 30 May during dinner and lunch at the Coffee Lounge. It was so popular that tables on the first week were fully snapped up when I tried to make my reservations. I had to wait ’til the following Friday to successfully get one :\

For S$35.80++ per person (or top-up S$28.80++ for Dessert Buffet with Durian Pastries with any a la carte main
course order), patrons would be treated to a nice selection of food at the buffet table, including some of the new creations that can be quite expensive if bought à la carte (à la carte prices in brackets).

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Durian puffs, one of the signature items offered at the buffet (U.P. S$8.55 for 2 pieces; S$21.40 for 6 pieces; S$51.35 for 20 pieces)

A signature at Goodwood Park Hotel, these pretty puffs have lavish swirls of creamy D24 durian carefully wedged between fluffy choux pastry cases.

I loved the thick and intensified durian puree and it’s such a fun pastry to eat because you can easily pop a few of these into your mouth due to its small size! But I felt that the puffs would be a lot nicer if they were refrigerated. Those I had were kept in room temperature for some time so it kinda lacked the shiok factor.

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Durian Mousse Cake (U.P. S$11.75 per slice; S$68.50 for 1.3kg cake; S$128.40 for 2.5kg cake; S$176.55 for 3.5kg cake)

The star that launched the inaugural Durian Fiesta in 1983, this legendary cake is ultimate indulgence with generous lashings of pulpy D24 durian mousse.

Probably the main highlight of this buffet, the cake scores high on presentation (love the little cubes of durian pastry studded on it) and taste. Described by my boyfriend as thick, moist and delicious, the cake was 100% pure rich durian which can be quite gelat (Singaporean slang for flavour overdose caused be having something overly sweet, salty, spicy and etc.) after a while so unless you’re obsessed with durians, you wouldn’t want to go beyond one slice.

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Durian Cappuccino Cake, back by demand after a 3-year absence (U.P.  $11.75 per slice; $62.05 for whole cake weighing 1 kg)

Back for the first time since its inception in 2011, this alluring cake is a 30cm-long stack of cappuccino
mousse, lush durian mousse and chocolate sponge ensconced in yellow-gold crumbs of vanilla sponge.

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Durian Macarons (U.P.  S$22.45 for 6 pieces)

Given a local slant are these French confections comprising creamy, pulpy durian sandwiched between crisp dark chocolate shells – simple, but satisfyingly decadent.

As a macaron lover, I was really looking forward to the durian macarons at the buffet! But they left me rather disappointed because I didn’t think that the (mild taste of) dark chocolate complemented well with the durian center. Boyfriend, on the other hand, felt that he was overdosing on sugar. You know, as boring as it may sound, I seriously wouldn’t mind if the macarons were made entirely of durians. Wouldn’t that be awesome?! 🙂

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Durian Wafer Roll (U.P. S$32.10 for 10 pieces)

Delicate in size but brimming with flavour, these thick wafer cylinders curled around pulpy durian cream are blanketed in dark chocolate and finished with chopped nuts for extra crunch.

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Making of Durian Crêpe

Making of Durian Crêpe

Making of Durian Crêpe

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Durian Crêpe (U.P. S$9.65 per piece; S$68.50 for 8 pieces)

Featuring creamy durian pulp neatly enveloped in ultra-thin crepe, this stellar dessert makes for a simple yet satisfying treat.

The mini durian crêpe was prepared in full view of the patrons and regularly replenished because they ran out so quickly. But we personally felt that they were nothing short of ordinary. The palm-sized crêpe was thin and not crispy at all (the chef could perhaps leave them on the pan for a little longer). Its only saving grace was the generous amount of durian puree wedged in the middle.

The above pastries pretty much constitute more than three-quarter of the durian dessert buffet. As you can see, not all the much-hyped new creations were included in the buffet. The food choices were indeed very limited too (in fact I was kinda astounded to see the limited selection of food the first time I entered the restaurant) and I wouldn’t recommend paying close to S$40 (seriously, with that kind of price for a substandard buffet, I’d rather spend it all on a few kilograms of 红虾 durians) for it despite the presence of regular sweet treats to make up for the shortcoming. Don’t expect to leave the place with a satisfied tummy if you’re merely there for the dessert buffet.

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Other food items available: Chocolate Banana Cake

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Sour Sop

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Rocher Roll

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Cheesecake, if my memory doesn’t fail me. It’s actually not bad!

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Ang Ku Kueh

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Kueh Lapis Sagu

Knowing that the dessert buffet wouldn’t fill us up, Boyfriend and I had opted for the Taiwan porridge à la carte buffet which is also inclusive of the dessert buffet with durian pastries. Although slightly more costly at S$49.80++ per person, the price difference of S$14++ gives you full access to free flow of sweet potato porridge and classic dishes so that you can eat to your hearts’ content. Furthermore, each guest also gets to enjoy 1 serving of D24 Durian Ice Cream with Rainbow Bread, created in celebration of the nation’s golden jubilee. Without a doubt, this buffet steals the limelight with its much wider variety and bigger portions of food as compared to the dessert buffet and it would be foolish not to settle for this buffet option when you’re there. After all, it’s what Goodwood Park Hotel is well-known for!

All dishes were freshly prepared in the kitchen and served to our table. Here’s what we ordered:

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Taiwanese Sausage (appetiser)

Apart from Taiwanese sausages, there were also Salted Fish with Salted Egg, Baby Squids in Sweet Oyster Sauce, Fried Taman Fish with Sesame Seeds and Shredded Bamboo Shoots with Chilli Oil that you can order for appetisers.

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Fried Omelette with Prawns and Onions

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Fried Omelette with Chye Poh

“When in doubt, choose both.” Hence, we got two different types of fried omelette because we simply couldn’t choose. Both were good and loaded with generous servings of prawns and chye poh. The omelette itself was thick and perfectly golden too!

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Wok Fried Beef with Black Pepper

Tender and tasty, the beef slices were sublime with the right chewy texture and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It would be better if more black pepper was sprinkled onto the beef though.

Another beef dish on the menu was Wok Beef with Spring Onions and Ginger which sounds absolutely mouth-watering, I know. I would order that as well if my stomach hadn’t filled to maximum capacity. 😐

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Stir Fried Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce

I ordered some greens to complete the meal and to hopefully relieve some of my body heat (from eating too much junk food recently). The Kai Lan was fresh and super crunchy. I loved it so much that I even called for a second serving.

Not a fan of Kai Lan? No worries. There are also other vegetable dishes to choose from including Stir Fried Broccoli with Garlic, Stir Fried French Beans with Dried Shrimps, Stir Fried Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish, Stir Fired Eggplant with Minced Pork and Stir Fried Kang Kong with Sambal. With so many varieties to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like or excites your palate 🙂

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Sautéed Chicken with Dried Chilli (宫保鸡丁)

Soft and savoury, the diced chicken glistened with the tangy coating sauce. The dried chilli also gave it an added tinge of spiciness. Yummy! 🙂

Also available are Sautéed Chicken with Spring Onions and Ginger, Fried Chicken with Prawn Paste (虾酱鸡) and Stir Fried Chicken with Black Beans. The menu also includes pork dishes such as Muy Choy with Pork, Steamed Minced Pork with Prawn Paste, Braised Pork Belly with Dark Soya Sauce and Shredded Pork with Preserved Vegetables.

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Steamed Sea Bass with Crispy Bean Paste

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Steamed Sea Bass with Crispy Bean Paste

The highlight of the meal, we had our money’s worth out of this steamed Sea Bass. The fish was reasonably big for 2 people and had incredibly fresh and tender flesh. The layer of fried garlic enhanced the overall flavour of the fish and gave it an extra crunch (saying this even though I absolutely detest fried garlic because I accidentally took a bite of the fish with some fried garlic and actually liked it!).

Unfortunately, fish dishes are only limited to one order per table so we didn’t get to try the other fish item on the menu – Deep Fried Pomfret with Black Soya Sauce. However, you get to enjoy unlimited serving of the Sautéed Prawns with Dried Chilli which is also on the seafood menu.

As we were already partially satiated from the durian buffet, we didn’t have the stomach space for more porridge dishes such as beancurd (boyfriend’s favourite). Beancurd lovers would be ecstatic to know that there are 4 different types of beancurd dishes to choose from namely Chilled Beancurd in Japanese Soya Sauce and Pork Floss, Braised Beancurd with Minced Meat, Braised Beancurd with Chicken and Salted Fish and Home Styled Tofu.

Towards the end of the meal, we were served the D24 Durian Ice Cream with Rainbow Bread but to our disappointment, it turned out to be entirely different from what we had expected.

We got this:

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D24 Durian Ice Cream with Rainbow Bread (S$7.50++)

..when we were actually expecting this:

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Durian Rainbow Ice Cream Cake (S$11.75++)

Imagine our surprise when we were served the actual Durian Ice Cream with Rainbow Bread. I couldn’t help but feel slightly cheated. 😦

Granted, it was probably our fault for misreading the name but surely Goodwood Park Hotel could have done a better job at coming up with a more distinctive name for the rainbow bread, right? Or perhaps, place a picture of the product somewhere on the menu to avoid confusion (especially) among first-timers like us because I’m sure we weren’t the only ones being misled.

But anyway, we tried the one with the rainbow bread (a scoop of D24 durian ice cream sandwiched between bread) and subsequently bought a piece of the Durian Rainbow Ice Cream Cake (a layer of vivid-coloured cake hugging the core of the D24 durian ice cream) before we left the restaurant. Countless photos of the latter have been making the rounds on various social media platforms so it was absolutely necessary to try it or my durian buffet experience would be incomplete. Both of them contain luscious D24 durian ice cream but of course, the one embedded in the Durian Rainbow Ice Cream Cake was bigger, richer and more satisfying which tasted a lot like the actual fruit. For S$11.75++, you’re actually paying for the novelty. It’s delectable but a little too expensive for a cake slightly bigger than the size of my.. palm? Still, I’d recommend durian lovers to give it a try 🙂

On the overall, the dessert buffet with durian pastries was a hit or miss and definitely not worth the price tag. But the Taiwan porridge à la carte buffet was commendable and certainly warrants a second visit.

Durian Fiesta Price Options (16 Mar 2015 – 2 Aug 2015)

$35.80++ per person (Dessert Buffet with Durian Pastries only)
$28.80++ per person (Top-up of Dessert Buffet with Durian Pastries with any a la carte main course order)
$49.80++ per adult, $24.90++ per child (Taiwan Porridge A La Carte Buffet, inclusive of Dessert Buffet with Durian Pastries)

Dine-in prices are subject to 10% service charge and prevailing GST. Child price is for children aged 6 – 11 years

That’s all I have for this review!

Thanks for reading ❤

Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
Singapore 228221
Durian Fiesta: 16 March 2015 – 2 August 2015
Deli operating hours: 9:00am to 9:00pm
Coffee Lounge operating hours: 12:00pm to 2:30pm (lunch),
6:00pm to 10:30pm (dinner)
Tel: 6737 7411
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A Tribute to Mum @ Café Brio’s (Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel)

Hey everyone!

It’s the start of a brand new month again and we are fast approaching midyear 2015! But like the month of December, May is another month of endless spending for me. Not only is Mother’s Day around the corner, my Mom’s birthday happens to be in May too. And because my Mom enjoys being pampered, I usually don’t hold joint celebrations although both days are just a week apart.

Coincidentally, my boyfriend’s mother was also born in May – more than one year and a day before my Mom. Thus it makes remembering her birthday a cinch because she would celebrate hers on the following day of my Mom’s. However, due to our conflicting schedules, very seldom we would celebrate her birthday on the actual day. It’s often done in advance so as to avoid the Mother’s Day crowd and surcharges (and also because being Chinese, you know, belated celebrations are usually frowned upon). This year we had it at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel because of a two-week long Mother’s Day buffet promotion going on at Café Brio’s.

For just S$48++ per person, you get to treat your beloved Mom to a pre-Mother’s Day hi-tea cum local barbeque buffet on 2 May and 9 May (basically, the two Saturdays prior to Mother’s Day), or a Mother’s Day lunch or dinner cum seafood barbeque buffet for S$68++ and S$78++ per person respectively on 3 May and 10 May.

Café Brio’s A Tribute to Mum

Thank Mum for her dedication to the family with a gratuitous buffet spread, featuring Osaka crab salad with Champagne gelee, jumbo king prawn with asparagus spear and mild spicy tomato cream sauce and seafood on ice. She’ll love the beef steak, slipper lobster, scallop on half shell, salmon fillet and stingray at the barbecue station. Sweeten her taste-buds with lovely peach melba roulade and mini chocolate glazed cupcakes.

All Mums will be presented with a heart-shaped cookie.

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Here are some highlights of the hi-tea buffet last Saturday 🙂

Pastries and Desserts

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Mother’s Cup Cake Tower

I was instantly drawn to the colourful display of the cake tower upon entering the buffet. They’re so adorable, don’t you think? But for the longest time, these red velvet cupcakes were left untouched, probably no one wanted to ruin their nice arrangement. It was interrupted by me in the end, haha. The cupcake was moist and sweet. Would help myself to more servings if not for being weight-conscious.

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Chocolate Brownie

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Nonya Kueh

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“Lovely” Peach Melba Roulade

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Chocolate Cream

Topped with golden chocolate pearls, these chocolate mousse were so alluring, I couldn’t resist taking one for myself. I only ate half of it (it was so hard stopping myself) because the thickness of the chocolate made me feel so sinful, oh my God. It was good nonetheless!

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Durian Swiss Roll

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Ice Cream – Mango, Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate flavours

They were surprisingly soft as the scoop glided through the ice cream with ease. There are also waffle cones for you to scoop the ice cream onto them. I took 2 scoops – mango and vanilla 🙂

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Chocolate fondue

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Not sure what this is but I think it’s a kind of Nonya kueh

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Mini Nine Layer Kueh 九层糕

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Mini Egg Tarts

The egg tarts were a little tasteless in my opinion, and it would be better if the crusts were a little crispier and more flaky. It was a shame because I really love egg tarts and was looking forward to devouring most of them. But I really like how shiny the egg custard looked 🙂

Japanese Cuisine

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An array of sushi

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Sushi again

I kinda shunned this section because it’s rice overload. I wished there were Sashimi! But most of the sushi were gone by the second hour of the buffet so I guess they are decent.

Local Delights

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Wok-Fried Vegetables

Don’t judge me – this is one of my favourite dishes that afternoon, so much so that I actually went back to the buffet table thrice for it. I’m really not much of a greens person but the bok choy was really delicious and soft.

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Glutinous Rice

I took a small spoonful of the rice and was actually yearning for more. It was really nice and well executed 🙂

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Stir-fried Tiger Prawns

Probably the most popular dish on the buffet table, the tiger prawns were gone in a flash shortly after we took our food, thanks to the convenience of shelled prawns. Seriously, I doubt they would be so sought after if they had their shells intact. They were scrumptious, fresh and slightly bigger than normal prawns though (which is a bonus for buffets). But replenishment was kinda slow so we actually had to wait a bit before we could go for a second serving.

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Wok-fried Singapore Chilli Clams

The clams were generously huge and meaty for a buffet. Not to mention, they were pretty fresh too. The chilli gravy was divine. If you’re a fan of chilli crab, you would like this as much.

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Mantou

I suppose the steamed buns were meant to be dipped into the gravy of the chilli clams above. But they were a little too tough for my liking.

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Fried fish

Dim Sum

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There were mini Bao and Siew Mai (not in photo)

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Fried crab meat sticks

You know that the buffet is extremely kids-friendly when they have a section dedicated to simple fried food like the above. Apart from crab meat sticks, there were also fried tapioca. Fried crab meat sticks are also my personal favourite which I often snacked on during my secondary school days so I was really excited to see them at the buffet.

Sandwiches

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Focaccia Bread filled with Tuna Mayo and Green Salad

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Mini Soft Bun with Chicken Floss… and some tortilla chips?

The mini soft buns tasted like BreadTalk’s Flosss lah with the sweet cream and generous layer of floss, just that instead of pork floss, it’s chicken. The bun itself was soft. Not bad! But I wouldn’t binge on bread at a buffet.

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Mini Croissant with Turkey Ham and Cherry Tomato

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Apricot and Rum

Salad

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Beetroot salad

I attempted to cleanse my bowels with some beetroot salad. Was apprehensive at first because I had only tried beetroot in juice form but this was surprisingly good and fun to eat.

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Fussili Pasta with Semi-Dried Tomatoes

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Glass Noodle Salad with Top Shell

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Garden salad

Barbecue

The barbecue corner can be found outdoors (near the section where the dim sum is) which isn’t very conspicuous if you’re not attentive enough.

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All kinds of freshly barbecued Satay

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Barbecued sausages

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Barbecued sausages

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Barbecued wings

Asian Desserts

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DIY Ice Kacang

It was a messy affair making my own Ice Kacang because I suck at using the shaved ice machine, but it was tons of fun! It was even more satisfying being able to decide how much of the syrup you want to drizzle over the mountain of ice (though mine was pretty much a hill.. or perhaps, a pile of gravel) because I totally went crazy with them. My creation was so sweet it could give me diabetes.

There was also a corner that served Laksa (prepared by a chef) and had several pots of western soup. I tried Creme of Mushroom but it was a tad tasteless (still decent and worth a try on the overall) so be sure to look out for those when you’re at the buffet!

Last but not least, if you’re going with your Mom, she will be given a heart-shaped cookie as mentioned in the blurb above!

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Aiya, a bit broken liao.

There will still be another (last) session of Hi-Tea cum Local Barbecue Buffet this coming Saturday before the café reverts to their normal menu so be sure to make a reservation for that one. After all, it’s only S$48++ for a wide spread of food (even though it’s only hi-tea). It’s a steal if you ask me. And I’m sure your Mom would have a whale of a time there too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Café Brio’s @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel (beside Zouk)
392 Havelock Road
Singapore 169663
For reservations, call 6233 1100 or email dining.gcw@millenniumhotels.com
Website: A Tribute to Mum at Café Brio’s

Staycation at Hotel Clover 769

Hey everyone!

Last Thursday marked the fifth year since my boyfriend and I got together and to celebrate that special day, boyfriend booked a room at a boutique hotel among the many quaint shophouses at Kampong Glam (Bugis) so that we could hang out ’til late that night without having to worry about our transport back home. He also wanted to take a break after his five-week practicum and since school is reopening the following week, he thought it’d be great to have a staycation this week before both of us get busy again!

We have stayed at numerous starred hotels (local and overseas) and we really enjoyed the experience because of the nice deco, room service and the comfort of the beds. We have even taken pointers from how the rooms are designed for our future home and the best inspirations have got to be from boutique hotel which rooms are about the same size as the bedrooms of HDB flats today. I swear, if we are financially fit to stay in hotels every week, we would!

Boyfriend stumbled upon Hotel Clover 769 while browsing Agoda and was attracted by the relatively low rates ($150/night after discount) for a four-star hotel near the city. He booked it immediately without seeking my consent -_-

The hotel is located about 10 minutes away from Bugis MRT station. To get there, you have to go by exit B of the MRT station (towards Golden Landmark) and walk straight ahead until you see Santa Grand Hotel. Turn right into the small road and you’ll see the two-storey Hotel Clover sitting on the other end.

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Definitely not as bright as depicted in the picture but yes, that’s how it looks like. The hotel looks a little run-down from the outside but it’s really not the case! 🙂

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Hotel entrance

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You will be greeted by a range of vintage memorabilia

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You can be rest assured about the cleanliness of the hotel (not literally.. you know, some hotels are meant for quick rendezvous, right?) because all occupants are required to check-in and register for the room. I didn’t know about this policy so I went without my identity card. But they were pretty flexible and accepted my student EZ-Link card because it also indicates my IC number.

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Found at the entrance of the corridor towards all the rooms

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Another piece of vintage ornament

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This place is filled with inspirational quotes (on walls) lol. I love the typeface, so artsy fartsy!

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The brightly-lit corridor

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Our room! It’s the first room along the corridor

Hotel Clover offers four types of room: Clover Single, Clover Select, Clover Plush and Clover Lavish. The first two are the smallest rooms in the hotel (but still rather spacious for two occupants) without window while the last two are more roomy with windows. The best is, no doubt, the Clover Lavish which has an outdoor Jacuzzi. We opted for Clover Select and was pleasantly surprised by the room layout:

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The mini bar. It has the usual essentials such as a safe box, hangers, good quality teabags, a kettle and plenty of cups with teaspoons. Hair dryer is also provided in the first drawer below – something I really appreciate because I hate requesting for it from the concierge coz I’d be obliged to give tips. #miser

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A TV big enough to watch from the bed

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There is a foldable table top at the bottom of the TV. Great if you’re planning to do some work on your laptop!

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Our double bed, crumpled because boyfriend decided to lie on it before this photo was taken.

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Right beside the bed hung two (vanity) mirrors on the wall! Now you know who slept on the left side of the bed! 🙂

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Simple yet elegant ornament on the wall to remind you where you are!

Now let’s check out the gorgeous toilet!

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There are two water sources for showering, one of which is ceiling-mounted! Can you see it in the picture? Boyfriend loves this kind of shower head coz he likes to imagine himself “singing in the rain” rofl. But I don’t unfortunately. I prefer to have full control of the water direction, so detachable shower heads (also in the picture) for me any time!

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The sink!

Oh by the way, the toilet door has no lock. So be sure to only sleep in the same room with someone you trust 😉

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Bedroom slippers made of THICK, QUALITY, STRUCTURED fabric (can’t tell what exactly that is) that won’t spoil so easily. I’m so impressed. It’s probably the best bedroom slippers I’ve gotten so far. (Psst, took one pair home)

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The only decent picture of us.. and boyfriend’s signature pose lol

I went to bed at 4am as I was immersed with tuition lesson preparation (yes, still had to work the next day) and got up at about 9am for breakfast! I expected breakfast buffet like any other hotels but when we went to the dining area, we were told to choose between “Western” or “Asian” breakfast. Puzzled, we took a quick glance at the buffet table and saw only bread, condiments, cereal, beverages and utensils there. So yes, the young chef was definitely going to make us breakfast! We chose the Western one.

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Cereals and beverages

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Branded teabags which can also be found in the room’s mini bar

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Bread and a small toaster. There are also three kinds of cheese (far left) to go with your toast.

We were excited because even at the cheapest hotel we had been to, breakfast was self-service. But when the food came, disappointment took over. The portion was miserably small for any adult, especially my boyfriend who is a pretty big eater.

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Western breakfast consists of a sausage, four potato wedges and a decent scrambled egg

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Trying to make the food look good coz the taste is a letdown

This does not justify the long waiting time of 10-15 minute, honestly. Furthermore, the potato wedges were served cold and the others were not steaming hot. They were in fact lukewarm which could suggest that they were already prepared beforehand. So what was taking them so long? Moreover, the kitchen was just right beside us :\

The breakfast didn’t leave boyfriend’s tummy satisfied so he asked if he could get another serving of sausage and eggs (he hated the wedges and gave some to me) but was told that each patron was only entitled to one breakfast plate. Feeling famished, he offered to pay for it but the hotel staff quoted him S$20++ just for ONE sausage and some scrambled eggs. Are you kidding me?! That’s tantamount to daylight robbery! Of course, we weren’t out of our mind so we politely declined the purchase. In the end, we had to fill out stomach with Honey Stars and orange juice (plus some pasta from Pastamania afterwards).

Anyway, the breakfast they served were of mediocre standard because they were served near-cold. They weren’t generous with the portions especially with that four sad-looking wedges over there, but that’s okay because they were so cold stiff and dry I wouldn’t want anymore of them. Most of the patrons left the dining area with only half of their portions eaten. I also caught a glimpse of the Asian breakfast on someone else’s table. It’s a rice dish which I’m sure is more filling than the Western one, but the taste could be equally bad because many people didn’t finish it as well.

I wouldn’t call that dining area a restaurant too because they don’t serve lunch and dinner. In other words, the dining place would be closed after they are done with breakfast at 10.30am. They had very limited tables and chairs as well so I’m not sure if it would fit everyone if the hotel is fully booked?

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Indeed, my hungry belly was telling me to be displeased

I’m certainly very satisfied with our room but I wouldn’t say the same for breakfast. 😦

UPDATE: They have improved their breakfast! Scroll all the way down for pictures! 🙂

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Saw this on our way back to the room. I have no idea what “The Powder Room” is but it must be somewhere cool to have its name listed on the wall. And that Er Hu is real! (Coz itchy-hand Boyfriend went to strum it)

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There is this relaxation corner beside our room! The roof isn’t covered (I think) so it’s open air.

All in all, it was a great staycation if not for the awful breakfast. I wouldn’t mind going back again but I will definitely prepare my own breakfast next time! I’d give this hotel a 3.5/5.

Hotel Clover was also recently featured on Groupon. Damn, we would have saved so much more if we had seen it! 😦

**UPDATE**

We decided to give Hotel Clover another chance (at our own expense)! We went back again in November and this time, it was for a birthday staycation.

And I’m glad they’ve improved their breakfast drastically since our feedback. Food came way faster than before too!

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Western breakfast! They added baked beans, ham, an extra sausage and more greens!

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This is so much better!

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I got myself Asian breakfast this time and looking at the Western one, I kinda regret my choice hahaha.

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Likewise, they added more greens and I think the sausage is new too! LOVE the runny egg! However I wish they told me it was going to be Bee Hoon (I thought it was gonna be rice) because I don’t really like Bee Hoon 😦 Still, overall taste was great!

Let’s take a look at their buffet table.

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This has no change. Not that I complained anything about it the first time haha.

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They added fruits to the buffet table! Whoopee!

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Open concept kitchen! Just right next to us.

Also worth mentioning is the excellent hotel service (which has been commendable since our first stay there). Our initial room had very weak Wi-Fi coverage so I requested for another room, which the concierge gladly complied! Everything was settled within 10 minutes. And we love our new room – it’s so bright and convenient (it’s the very first room near the entrance) and of course, the Wi-Fi signal was superb!

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The TV strategically covering the window because our room was on the ground floor and anyone walking past would be able to look in haha.

It’s always encouraging to know that business owners are listening and are constantly improving based on customers’ suggestions. With that, I will definitely be going back again!

Alright, that’s all for this post! Thanks for reading 🙂

Hotel Clover 769
769 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198737
Main: (+65) 6340 1860
Fax: (+65) 6340 1869
Email: sales@hotelclover.com.sg /
enquiries@hotelclover.com.sg
Website: http://hotelclover.com/

Short Batam Trip

Hello guys! Here’s a quick life update 🙂

Last week Bf and I went to Batam for a 3-day-2-night short vacation because it has always been our practice to travel during our school break. We wanted to visit Taiwan again but due to my financial constraints as a student, we opted for a nearer and more pocket-friendly getaway this time.

It was not a mutual agreement to go to Batam. Instead, it was Bf who wanted to go so badly because I was raving about it 2 years ago when I returned from Batam with my ex-colleagues. I didn’t think I was raving actually as I felt I was merely stating my observations.. like the obviously cheaper stuff there and the very cost-effective body massages. Despite that, I hated Batam, and I still do a little, because of a terrible experience at the ferry terminal and some xenophobic (towards Singaporeans especially) salesperson I encountered on my first visit.

For the curious, my ex-colleagues and I went to Batam 2 years ago for a short vacation as well and we were almost deported back to Singapore for talking and laughing at the ferry terminal. Our laughters might have been a little too much (because we were the only ones talking there so naturally it sounded loud) but being first-timers, we didn’t know Batam was so strict with their “Silence at Checkpoint” policy because my friends didn’t have this problem at all when they went to Bali (also in Indonesia). So then we were called out one by one (I remember vividly he said while pointing his finger at each of us, “you, you, you, you and you. Come out.”) by the immigration officer without warning in front of other passengers and were detained at the office for awhile because we were “noisy” and we kind of “irritated one of the officers there” wtfffff. I was damn furious partly because I felt they were picking on us for being all-girls and was ready to return to Singapore if told. But my calmer friends didn’t want to waste the trip and suggested to apologise to the officer when we met him at the customs. I was like, walao eh why should I but I didn’t want to implicate the others so I just had to lan lan suck thumb and apologise to that sour face. *shakes fists* But I’ve read several accounts on other blogs that some had to BRIBE the officers lest they would be given an “entry denied” stamp on their passports so I guess we were pretty lucky. They probably gave chance because one of us (Grace) was really pretty 😛

And the salespeople at Ralph Lauren Polo store spoke ill of Singaporeans in Bahasa Indonesia that we were stupid, while we were there wtf? Couldn’t they wait until we left? Excuse me but my friend could understand you because when Singaporeans pick up foreign languages, we learn the insults first. (lol)

I know not everyone in Batam is like this (the hotel personnel were friendly) but the experience really left a bitter taste in my mouth and I swore I wouldn’t go back again.

And then I went back last week. What the… I was really reluctant and Bf and I bickered about it almost everyday before and during the trip. To me, it was a waste of my precious time and hard-earned money. I could’ve saved a little more and it’d be enough for Taiwan.. or Bangkok. Anywhere but Batam.

Okay so back to the “review” but before that, let me share a bimbotic moment with you. We almost missed our ferry to Batam because even though it wasn’t my first time taking the ferry, I wasn’t exactly sure about the latest time we had to be in the ferry by. And Bf being a first-timer was also unsure; he just knew we had to be there 2 hours before. Our departure time was 11.30am and at 11.00am we were still happily having breakfast at ToastBox (LOL) because we didn’t hear any announcements (like in airport) for our ferry. After that at 11.20pm we went to check the flap display for the status and we saw “Closed” beside the ferry we were supposed to board. We were like, whaaaat it’s only 10 minutes away from departure and the gate is still not opened? UNTIL we skimmed to the lower part of the board where “Not Opened” was updated for later ferries. Well actually it didn’t ring any bell until I innocently questioned Bf the difference between “Closed” and “Not Opened”, thereafter followed by a short realisation pause LOL!! Anxious us quickly ran to check in and thankfully we were still allowed to board.

We bought the free-and-easy Spa~Sensation travel package from Five Stars Tours and stayed at Harris Resort, the same for my first visit. Being in Harris was a pleasant experience because the staff were really friendly, service-oriented and efficient. We had our full body spa on the first day in the hotel (a separate building on the topmost level, in a hut): 1-hour body scrub, 1-hour-30-minute body massage and 30-minute healing aromatic bath. The first 2 were something I had done before but the third one was totally new to me because it was technically bubble bath. Like, really thick foam bath. We were also served hot drinks during the process. It was fun but definitely didn’t do much to clean my body haha. No pictures because I forgot to take any 😛

Free pizza! Courtesy of Harris Resort :)

Free pizza! Courtesy of Harris Resort 🙂 We also ordered this super healthy and detoxing fruit juice which had banana, carrot, and pineapple I think.

We had hotel food for dinner on the first night. It was surprisingly good! I especially love their apple pie because the pastry that came with it has *insert MasterChef words here* finesse hahaha. I mean it was thick, chewy and it melts instantly in your mouth! I had this for dessert for 2 consecutive days 😀

My hot plate steak! Surprisingly good. I think it's slightly better than Aston's.

My hot plate steak! Surprisingly good. I think it’s slightly better than Aston’s. (140,000 Rupiah)

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Bf’s Texas Steak and he also said it was not bad. Must believe him because he is a steak fanatic. (140,000 Rupiah)

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The tart shell is to-die-for!! The apple pie itself is also very nice! This comes with vanilla ice-cream (so-so) and a chocolatey biscuit stick! (66,000 Rupiah)

The next day we went to Batam’s biggest shopping mall, Nagoya Hills and I regrettably bought a fleece cotton blanket on impulse -_- I already have one at home in Hello Kitty design which I bought 2 years ago in Batam. I didn’t think about having to lug it to the Love, Bonito sale (post up next) on the coming Friday. But I loved the design (Paul Frank) so that probably made myself feel better lol. Our purpose there was just to eat at A&W by the way.

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Enjoying my AUTHENTIC (LOL) A&W Root Beer Float. For non-Singaporeans, the reason why we get so excited when we see A&W overseas is because we don’t have it here in Singapore. They shut down their operations here a decade ago (I don’t know why but I thought they were doing pretty well) and we missed their food ever since!!

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Sorry about the gross-looking ice-cream! I LOVE THE WAFFLEEEEEE.

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Walking around aimlessly in the quiet Nagoya Hills.

We also had curly fries and their 2-piece meal but we forgot to snap pictures again haha.

Bf and I

Bf and I

#muotd

#muotd

One of the reasons why Bf was so eager to go to Batam was because of their DIRT CHEAP ARCADES. In Singapore if I’m not wrong, one gaming token is $0.50 but in Batam, one token is just 1000 Rupiah (12 cents omg). We played til our hearts’ content and unleash our inner child (because unleashing it in Singapore would be too expensive LOL). We caught a lot of stuffed toys on the toy catcher machine once again!

We did foot reflexology at our expense back at our hotel which was also very affordable. S$18* for a 1-hour massage, not bad right? But it gave me super sore thighs and calves for days!!! 😦 Probably because I hadn’t been doing foot reflexology so I wasn’t used to the pressure.

Oh sidetrack a bit, I really don’t like how people in Batam always quote us in Singapore dollars. Like the moment they see your face, they know you’re from Singapore and they quote you exorbitant prices (that’s another thing I don’t like but it’s hard to avoid getting ripped off as a tourist) in SGD. It’s like an obvious first sign of rip-off. Even when I was in China the tour guide I didn’t like also asked for tips in SGD. But hey I refuse to give you my currency. I’m in Indonesia so give me Indonesia pricing for goodness sake!!

At night we hired a cab which costed us SG$18* to go to Goldren Prawn 933/555 (don’t know which one as I’m equally confused LOL), about 30-40-minute drive away, to have our dinner. We wanted to order crabs initially but the price was like 10,000 rupiah/ons. We didn’t know what ‘ons’ meant so we asked the person taking our orders who apparently isn’t very fluent in English. He told us 10,000 rupiah PER GRAM. OUR JAWS DROPPED. So we only ordered my favourite Gong Gong, BBQ prawns, Kang Kong and the yuckiest and meatless fried squid with flour I’ve tasted. The rest were not bad.

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(Oops sorry for the bad quality) Kang Kong, Gong Gong and the fried squid at the bottom

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Not nice. Don’t order ah.

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Gong gong! You don’t really need the toothpicks to get the “meat” out because most of them were already near the opening! Use fingers can already 😀

It turned out that ‘ons’ actually means 100 GRAMS. We figured out when we saw the bill and the BBQ prawns, which was also charged “per ons”, were ridiculously cheap even though we ordered quite a lot. Bf was angry (at the server who gave us the wrong information) because he wanted the crabs but when we realised it we were too full to take in any more food lol.

On the final day, we woke up at 4am (Indonesia time which is an hour slower than Singapore Time) to take the first ferry back to Singapore because of the Great Love, Bonito sale I was invited to!

All in all, I still wouldn’t go back to Batam again unless it’s really necessary or unless my mom wants to go there in the future -_- I came back with lots of mozzie bites.

Stay tuned for the next post 🙂

*Prices have been roughly converted to SGD because I can’t remember how many zeros there were in the Rupiah we paid :/