Infrared Therapy and Remedy at Rexults medSpa

SPONSORED

Hello everyone!

In this day and age of fast-paced lives, we are constantly confronted with overwhelming responsibilities and workplace challenges, so much so that it may be too much for our body to handle and gradually, it starts to show signs of distress. But more often than not we choose to turn a blind eye to these symptoms, perhaps because of commitments, and put ourselves at risk of many health problems such as depression and heart diseases. Hence, it’s important that we reward our body the good lovin’ it deserves before our health takes a turn for the worse.

How, you may ask. Of course, there are many ways in which you can unwind that doesn’t cost a single dime, like taking a peaceful sunset walk along the beach or going for a swim. But this one is for the sun-hating professionals who are ever feeling lethargic from work and in dire need of some reinvigorating. If that describes you, then be sure to check out Rexults medSpa at Orchard Road.

(If the name rings a bell, that’s because I had earlier reviewed its sister company Rexults Clinic, just directly opposite Rexults medSpa on the same level of Tong Building. Read my Liposonix experience at Rexults Clinic here!)

Rexults medSpa

Rexults medSpa

Walking into Rexults medSpa instantly gave me a feeling different from what I experienced on my first visit to Rexults Clinic. The dimly-lit interiors of the medSpa, in contrast to the illuminated waiting area at the clinic, provided a calming effect even before I embarked on any therapy. Although the doors of Rexults medSpa were only recently opened by its founder & director Mrs Elizabeth Wong in 2014, the venue was home to Renewal Day Spa which had occupied the same premises since 1994 (the first of its kind day spa in Singapore introduced by Mrs Wong).  In observing that today’s generation of people are subjected to high levels of stress, have unhealthy eating habits, and are exposed to a more polluted and ozone-depleting environment, Mrs Wong thought it was the perfect time to let people into a place that would address these bad effects of modern city living.

Rexults medSpa

Rexults medSpa

With more than 20 years of experience under her belt, Mrs Wong is truly considered one of the pioneers in Singapore’s spa industry. Her expertise, knowledge and understanding of the various types of spas worldwide has paved the way for the first-ever unique medSpa concept in Singapore. Using the latest scientific breakthroughs in ingredients and medical-grade equipment to boot, it provides specific set of therapies that focused on advanced aesthetics and bodyworks – all designed to combat health issues resulting from stressful urban lifestyle and at the same time help you enhance your skin health and well-being.

Rexults medSpa

Rexults medSpa

Be treated to a luxurious and therapeutic medSpa experience accompanied by the unparalleled skill and expertise of the therapists who uphold a high benchmark in service skills, grooming and etiquette – a hallmark of professionalism that Rexults medSpa prides themselves in possessing. You can rest assured that you will be well taken care of by the therapists, so just sit back and let them do their magic.

Consultation room

Consultation room

Following a consultation with one of the Client Care Manager at Rexults medSpa who wanted to know more about my lifestyle, healthy habits (or lack thereof) and concerns, I was scheduled a week later for a 30-minute Infrared Therapy for the body and a 90-minute Remedy for the skin (i.e. face). Do allow up to an hour of buffer time for changing, showering and other post-therapy activities.

Corridor of rooms

Corridor of rooms

Ah, yes, I was required to shower before and after the Infrared Therapy in a very spacious restroom. They have practically everything one would need to clean and prink herself there – hairdryer, hairbrush, cotton pads, moisturiser, cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and more I haven’t discovered.

In the restroom - changing room (left) and shower room

In the restroom – changing room (left) and shower room

Huuuge dressing table

Huuuge dressing table

Thereafter, I was brought to another room to have my blood pressure checked to ensure that I was fit enough for the Infrared Therapy. I like that everything was done in a systematic manner because not only do I feel that my safety is of the medSpa’s utmost importance, it also speaks volumes about their professionalism.

The Infrared Therapy (u.p. S$95) heats the body directly (as opposed to the air) in a sauna that uses soothing dry far infrared heat, a treatment that is completely safe and will never inflict burns to the skin.  Since the (naked) body would be sweating excessively, the body eventually feels a tad lighter because calories are burnt throughout the 30-minute session. Besides, it also removes toxins and reduces inflammation and is proven to assist in pain relief as well as improving blood circulation and skin rejuvenation.

Infrared therapy sauna room

Infrared therapy sauna room

What sets the Infrared Therapy from other spas are the added features of LED lighting for improved skin rejuvenation benefits and music to make the experience most enjoyable.

Blue lighting

Blue lighting

The sauna is equipped with a countdown timer, a semi-hard bed and a towel to dry yourself. Heat is generated through the mesh panel at all four corners to guarantee perspiration within the first 5 minutes. Being rather tolerant towards heat, my first beads of sweat only formed after the 15-minute mark and before I knew it, my whole body was already engulfed in perspiration. In spite of that, the whole session was painless and relaxing and I found myself taking a short nap soon after.

I was only awoken by a staff who checked on me from outside the room to make certain that I didn’t faint midway through the process. The sauna experience was phenomenal – I was more refreshed and my skin also felt more supple after the therapy.

Post-Infrared Therapy

Post-Infrared Therapy

After taking a quick shower, I was ushered to another room for my next therapy, Remedy (u.p. S$220). Remedy is a full service face therapy that protects the skin from negative effects of pollution, stress and sun damage which would lead to acne, early aging, dehydrated skin and dull and sallow complexion. Prior to your face therapy, your therapist will invite you to select from a menu ranging from cool jazz to cool exotica to play while the therapy is under way. On top of that, you also get to bask in your preferred colour of LED lighting in the treatment room. I wanted a beach-like atmosphere with not-so-glaring light so I opted for blue LED lighting and spa sense music (sounds of crashing waves and seagulls).

List of songs to choose from:

cool jazz – instrumental jazz ballads
beatitude – music for the soul and heart
romance – soft instrumentals for romantics
spa sense – lush soothing spa music
cool exotica – slow world music beats
chill out – calm ambient contemporary slow beats

List of colours of LED lighting to choose from:

blue, bluish-green, yellow, orange, purple, red, green

Face treatment room

Face treatment room (with blue lighting)

That blissful look which plastered my face when the therapist massaged and cleansed my face at the same time

That blissful look which plastered my face when the therapist massaged and cleansed my face at the same time

 

 

Remedy begins with double cleansing and followed by Microdermabrasion to exfoliate and suck up dead skin cells. This was done so that the skin would be more receptive to the deep infusion of a high performance antioxidant Rexults moisturising serum. Unlike my previous Microdermabrasion experiences, the suction power of the system was strong enough to make me feel that my pores were being unclogged.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion

No matter which beauty parlour you visit for facials, you are bound to be subjected to some form of discomfort from the dreaded extraction process. Rexults medSpa is no exception, but the pain I felt was especially bearable and there wasn’t a single time I flinched in agony. This was definitely unexpected considering that the last time I had extraction was four months ago (that’s how much I hate it) which I believe is more than enough time for tons of blackheads to accumulate on the face. The process was done professionally, chop-chop, so it went by in a blink of an eye.

With my pores emptied, they were now virtually ready to absorb anything that is applied on my face. The therapist proceeded to lay a piece of penetrable fabric and a thick coat of green-coloured mask above it. The application process was so enjoyable (imagine having your face caressed with a feather – the exact same feeling) that I drifted off to sleep once again.

The last part of the facial therapy

The last part of the facial therapy

Face mask application

Face mask application

Throughout the entire therapy, I was repeatedly surprised with soothing massages on the face after each segment was completed. Still, nothing beats the ultimate neck and shoulder massage I received towards the end to effectively relieved my tense muscles. Eye serum and tinted sunblock were finally applied on my hydrated face to conceal any redness (there was close to none in the first place, very surprisingly). Although the therapy lasted for a little more than 2 hours, I felt no time had passed at all.

Immediately after the face therapy, with tinted sunblock on. Notice the redness? Me neither!

Immediately after the face therapy, with tinted sunblock on. Notice the redness? Me neither!

Bare-faced, taken on the day after the therapy (pardon my just-woke-up look)

Bare-faced, taken on the day after the therapy (pardon my just-woke-up look)

The next day I woke up to a much softer and smoother face. My skin was just recovering from an acne outbreak (hence, those awful scars) triggered by my previous menstrual cycle and the therapies had visibly reduced most of the pores.

Rexults medSpa has kindly offered a special rate for my readers who are interested to try out BOTH therapies featured above. Trust me, the price is not going to be anything that will make you scrimp and save for the rest of the month. In fact, I think even tertiary students who are earning a decent amount of income would be able to afford it too.

**FIONASEAH.COM READER PERKS**

Enjoy your first trial of Remedy face therapy (U.P. S$220) with a complimentary 30-minute Infrared Therapy worth S$95 at only S$68.

(That’s a ridiculous discount of S$247! You wouldn’t be able to find such a price at a renowned medSpa especially in a prime location like Orchard Road)

Limited to new clients only. Offer is valid until 31st December 2016. Prior appointment and booking is required. 

To make an appointment, please call +65 66532979. Remember to quote my blog to enjoy this irresistible offer!

Should you have any enquiries, do not hesitate to raise them with the friendly therapists who are always very happy to clear your doubts 🙂

Thanks for reading, gorgeous people!

Rexults medSpa

302 Orchard Road ⋅ #17-02 ⋅ Tong Building ⋅ Singapore 238862
(Beside Paragon)
For appointments and enquiries, please call +65 66532979
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KUVO @ Orchard Shopping Centre

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone! *waves deliriously*

It has been close to a month since my last update so I thought I should swing by to break the silence of this blog, as well as to apologise for my sudden hiatus due to my school (mainly my final-year project) and work commitments. Owing to my hectic schedule, I had to turn down quite a number of collaboration opportunities over the past few months but somehow when the invite came from the friendly folks at Media Flair to experience the new food menu and bespoke cocktail pairings at KUVO, my heart screamed for me to accept the invitation. After days of not eating well, perhaps it was about time to feed my body with some decent food!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Discreetly nestled on the second floor of the outmoded Orchard Shopping Centre located next to the H&M building, KUVO is almost inconspicuous to the casual observer. Unless you are in the know about the latest food and beverage offerings in town, or are extremely attentive to your surroundings, it is highly unlikely that you would have heard of this multi-concept restaurant and bar. In my years of walking back and forth between Orchard Cineleisure and Somerset MRT station, I had never once noticed their signage along the walkway of Orchard Shopping Centre due to their (pardon my frankness) poor visibility and lack of attention-grabbing flair. Nevertheless, even if they did catch my eye, I honestly don’t think I would be inclined to dine at KUVO at all given the uninviting look of the building’s façade.

Signage along the walkway

Signage along the walkway

Entrance of KUVO

Entrance of KUVO

But boy, the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” couldn’t have been more apt here because the restaurant looks nothing like the frontage of the building. Marked by a vast floor area of 9,500 square feet, KUVO comprises a bar and a large dining area offering afternoon tea at one end and all-day international menu at the other, complete with velvet sofa, soothing lighting and live music towards the end of the week. Evidently, the whole restaurant was designed with comfort and sophistication in mind, making it the perfect place for office workers to unwind after a long day at work. Furthermore, it’s easily accessible as it’s smacked right at Orchard Road!

The helmsmen at the bar in KUVO, Yutaka Nakashima.

The helmsmen at the bar in KUVO, Yutaka Nakashima.

The bar is helmed by award-winning Japanese mixologist and culinarist, Yutaka Nakashima who serves up novel and quirky individual bespoke cocktails at S$21++. To further illustrate his unique creativity, he uses a coffee mixer to create his cocktail concoction!

Concocting alcohol with a coffee mixer!

Concocting alcohol with a coffee mixer!

Live band area

Live band area – it would be a challenge to carry out conversations when the live band performs because they can be pretty loud

Have a sweet tooth? Get your sugar fix here! Chocolates and cakes are sold in this little space between the Ambrosia and the dining area

Have a sweet tooth? Get your sugar fix here! Chocolates and cakes are sold in this little space between the Ambrosia and the dining area

Dining area

Dining area

A wide selection of wine to choose from at the dining area

A wide selection of wine to choose from at the dining area

The Gazebo, catered for private functions

The Gazebo, catered for private functions

Despite its prime location, KUVO serves great food at reasonable prices and are constantly looking at ways to enrich the dining experience through the expansion of food choices and recently the introduction of the concept of pairing food and custom-made cocktails.

Grilled Octopus (S$16++)

Grilled Octopus (S$16++)

Up close: Grilled Octopus

Up close: Grilled Octopus. Shout-out to Chubby Botak Koala for loaning me his awesome photography light.

This Spanish-inspired dish was among the first few starters delivered to our table. Sous-vide and served with slow-cooked potato and smoked paprika, the slices of octopus leg were chunky and chewy with a slight charred taste. The unsuspecting potato was soft, expertly prepared and strangely more appetising than the octopus. Even though this was recommended on the menu, I didn’t think it was tasty enough to leave a lasting impression.

Calamari Ajilo (S$16++)

Calamari Ajillo (S$16++)

In this yet another recommended dish with a Spanish influence, the calamari is sauteed in garlic and extra virgin olive oil and topped with pork chorizo. While the calamari rings were indeed tender and well-cooked, they were poorly seasoned and hence were disappointingly bland on the palate. It was a shame because I had thought this dish would be a pleasant change from the classic fried version everywhere else was offering. Rather than being a star on its own, I had to ingest it with something else to make up for the lack of flavour.

KUVO Atlantic Cod Meuniere (S$20++)

KUVO Atlantic Cod Meuniere (S$20++)

In spite of the rather unsatisfactory start, things were fortunately picking up from the third dish – a sweet pea-crusted fresh cod medallion garnished with pearl barley fricassee and citrus nutty-brown butter alongside some asparagus and carrot. The sides revealed a smooth and melt-in-your-mouth texture as delicate as snow and it had such unforgettable freshness and sweetness that kept me wanting more! The creamy and viscous sauce married well with the cod too – absolutely delightful!

Brandy Flambéed Beef Cube (S$22++)

Brandy Flambéed Beef Cube (S$22++)

Before we transitioned into the cocktail pairings segment, we had beef cubes flashed-seared to give it a vividly pink centre, flambéed with brandy and finally glazed with red wine sauce for an added acidic touch. The portion was relatively generous for a starter and it could easily pass off as a main course. Still, it would take a herculean effort to stop at one serving because those beef cubes were a mouthful of thick, hearty and luscious mellowness packed a punch of flavours. They were thoroughly easy on the teeth and the bite-size makes them all the more convenient to eat. I opted for another serving because I couldn’t get enough of the tenderness and the mouth-watering blend of succulence and piquancy of the beef cubes. Needless to say, this dish stole the show that evening and I wouldn’t mind going back just for this.

KUVO Coffee Hot Wings (S$14++)

KUVO Coffee Hot Wings (S$14++)

Up close: KUVO Coffee Hot Wings

Up close: KUVO Coffee Hot Wings

Since KUVO opens late into the night every day, you can expect to find people who are just there for the alcohol and supper-goers because they serve fantastic choice of finger food, or foods that help to satisfy any hunger pangs. An example would be the coffee-flavoured spicy mid-joint wings with baby carrot crudites and blue cheese dip.

Despite not being a coffee drinker at all, I found myself diggin’ this seemingly weird combination. It didn’t have the brutal taste of coffee and the added heat made it even more enjoyable. The blue cheese dip was surprisingly nice, had little to no hint of the rotten sour cream taste that is typically associated with blue cheese and it helped heaps to neutralise the spiciness (which, by the way, was quite a kick on its own). The wing, together with the condiments were by and large fantastic. I liked how the coffee flavour had a good blend of sweet and bitter which goes perfectly well with beer or the recommended Brewski Yen.

Brewski Yen (S$21++)

Brewski Yen (S$21++)

The Brewski Yen has the thirst-quenching properties of Kirin beer as well as an added tang of Suze, lemon and ginger ale. I personally found the ginger taste a little too overbearing for me (what’s more, I’m not even a ginger fan to begin with) but I took a leap of courage and managed to down everything to the last drop. Woohoo!

Slipper Lobster (S$15++)

Slipper Lobster (S$15++)

Top view: Slipper Lobster

Top view: Slipper Lobster

Those with a more refined taste can opt for sauteed slipper lobster adorned with habanero (a kind of chilli pepper), bell peppers and cilantro. Ease of eating is assured in this dish as the lobster meat is carefully deshelled and cooked before inserting it back to the shell again.  While it failed to impress me because I didn’t feel that the portion and the taste make up for the price, my boyfriend liked the flavours and how the juices were still exuding with each bite. The heat from the peppers was a delightful addition as well.

Hello Cel'lo (S$21++)

Hello Cel’lo (S$21++)

Complementing the slipper lobster is the Hello Cel’lo cocktail made with Bankes London dry Gin, limoncello liqueur, celery bitters and balsamico. Liquor connoisseurs who are familiar with the ingredients should already a rough idea how it’d taste like. If you don’t, recall the bitterest beverage you have ever drunk in your life and multiply the acridity tenfold. You seriously haven’t tasted the extreme end of the bitterness spectrum until you have tried Hello Cel’lo because, I swear, this takes the cake. So unless you have marvelous tolerance for bitter foods (or are already used to the pungent taste of alcohol), steer clear of Hello Cel’lo!

Wagyu & Camembert Sliders (S$17++)

Wagyu & Camembert Sliders (S$17++)

Wagyu beef patty

Wagyu beef patty

In an attempt at fusing Western and Eastern delicacies, KUVO had put together a pair of sliders featuring thick and succulent housemade wagyu beef patty topped with fresh lettuce and irresistible Camembert cheese and portobello sauce, accompanied by cheese rolls and shrimp wantons on a platter. Much as we would like to commend on the texture of the patty (not overdone and was incredibly moist), we thought it was totally unnecessary to mince such high-graded beef to make the patty because it had clearly lost its distinctive fat marbling and sweetness in the process. As beef lovers (especially of those obtained from Wagyu cattle), we had high expectations for the patty but were sorely disappointed by the execution. Having said that, if you’re not as fussy as us, you would most likely enjoy the sliders as much as many of the fellow food bloggers present at the event.

Sliced Wagyu & Camembert Sliders

Sliced Wagyu & Camembert Sliders

Moving on to the other elements on the platter, we had shrimp wantons deep fried to golden brown with wasabi mayonnaise drizzled over them. Delicious! I wished there were more of the wantons! Next to them were cheese rolls sitting atop a dash of truffle cream. Disguised as Chinese spring rolls, they crumbled crisply when I stuck my fork into the centre. Perhaps because remnants of the patty were still lingering in my mouth, I couldn’t quite make out the taste of cheese. In fact, I wasn’t aware that they were made of cheese until I read the description on the menu.

Green Iceland (S$21++)

Green Iceland (S$21++)

Paired with the sliders was the Green Iceland cocktail which combines KUVO’s Italian Antica Fratta sparkling wine, Japanese umeshu, lime, brown sugar and mint leaves for extra freshness. The tongue-tingling sensation it lent was refreshing and soothing on palate. The crushed ice melted rather quickly so it kinda diluted the bitterness after a while.

English Scotch Egg (S$14++)

English Scotch Egg (S$14++)

A peek inside the English Scotch Egg

A peek inside the English Scotch Egg. No yolk oozing out because I missed the middle part where the egg was, sorry!

Coated with breaded minced wagyu beef (oh dear..) and veal meat (choice of tuna available as well), then crowned with a layer of melted edam cheese and served with red wine onion au jus at the base, KUVO takes this classic British picnic snack to the next level. When cut through in the middle, the warm and sultry yolk from the inside oozes all over the dish, further amplifying the luscious richness of the sauce while providing a nice contrast to the crisp crust of the scotch egg.

Don’t underestimate the size of the portion (a little smaller than my palm) – the fillings were so monstrously loaded, I felt slightly glutted in the end. Nevertheless, this dish is definitely deserving of a share of the spotlight. Not only is it affordable (only S$14++!), it fills your tummy as well, so I highly recommend you try this when you’re at KUVO!

Captain B.R. (S$21++)

Captain B.R. (S$21++)

Adding to the British flair is the cocktail accompaniment to this dish called Captain B.R. – short for Captain British Rum – which is created with Earl Grey Infused Rum, fresh lemon and soda water. Laced with touches of floral notes and hints of citrus, this cocktail is an absolute delight to drink even for a non-alcoholic drinker like myself!

Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi (S$16++)

Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi (S$16++)

Finally, bearing in mind that there would be people who had to have some carbs in their diet, we rounded off the evening with a Japanese rice bowl dish humbly topped with a small serving of perfectly seasoned and grilled kurobuta pork loin as well as molten egg that serves as the sauce, and finished off with a sprinkle of chopped spring onion. The portion is certainly appetizer-sized, so don’t expect to feel satiated with this dish that can be devoured in 3 spoonfuls.

Tales of Shu (S$21++)

Tales of Shu (S$21++)

Brewed in the glass vacuum coffee maker as mentioned earlier, this cocktail is freshly prepared with ingredients that are beneficial to the health like genmai tea, saké, Lillet Blanc, and fresh orange peel. The concoction is subsequently poured into an ochoko (saké cup) to complement the Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi. Tales of Shu has an immensely sharp taste comparable to that of Hello Cel’lo. Therefore, one sip was all it took to make me cringe :-S But should you be able to handle strong bitterness, do consider giving this healthy cocktail a shot!

Midsummer Breeze (S$12++)

Midsummer Breeze (S$12++)

If alcoholic drinks are out of bounds for you, there is also an array of mocktails for you to choose from but you have to approach the waiting staff for assistance because mocktails are not listed on the menu. Midsummer Breeze, the only mocktail I was served, contains melon mangosteen tea, orange juice and passion fruit. Sweet and refreshing with the taste of passion fruit sticking out, it’s the kind of tropical mocktail that takes you to the beach side on a hot and sunny afternoon.

On the whole, KUVO is a hidden gem, that’s for sure! Although there are a few misses on the revamped menu, there are definitely more hits and hence worthy of a second visit. Now that KUVO is on my radar, I will certainly be returning to try out other dishes on the menu 😉

What are your thoughts? Do share them with me!

Thanks for reading!

KUVO
Orchard Shopping Centre
321 Orchard Road #02-01
Singapore 238866
Nearest MRT station: Somerset
Operating hours:
Sunday – Thursday & Public Holidays: 12pm to 1am
Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays: 12pm to 2am
Tel: +65 6733 8272
E-mail: reservation@KUVO.com.sg
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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
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Reservations

Tanuki Raw @ Orchard Central

Hey everyone!

Remember when Orchard Central used to be a ghost town? I remember how quiet it was when it first started despite its prime location along Somerset. Empty shops (mostly boutiques) that looked like they were on the verge of closure lined the mall and there was hardly any affordable eateries around. Most of the time, I would avoid going there because there was seriously nothing much to see. And it also didn’t help when the MRT exit was directly linked to its competitor Somerset313 which also enjoyed the bustle and attention brought by its anchor tenants like Forever21.

Fast forward more than 3 years and the mall began to show some improvements with more well-known F&B outlets occupying most of its commercial space. I like how Orchard Central has now become an international food hub, offering established brands like Dean & DeLuca and Lady M which were previously too out of the way for me.

Besides international brands, there were also a couple of local F&B firms that made their way to Orchard Central. One of them is Tanuki Raw, a sushi and tapas bar restaurant 🙂 As unusual as its name, this restaurant celebrates Happy Hour every single day, offering $2 oysters and $10 Martinis and cocktails from 5pm to 8pm when long queues typically start to form. There’s even an al fresco area where you could enjoy great live music while you dine!

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Shopfront, snapped with my phone.

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A picture of my resting bitch face to begin this post HAHA. We were given an outdoor seating on our second visit!

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Apple & Mint cocktail (S$10+)

The $2 oysters come with a catch – you can only order a maximum of 6 oysters per alcoholic drink ordered. So boyfriend and I (reluctantly because not in the mood for alcohol actually) ordered a cocktail so that we could get the oysters as well. After all, they were our reason for dining at Tanuki the very first time.

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Fresh oysters at S$2+ each.

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The oysters were remarkable – fresh, huge, clean and meaty. It’s super worth the price!

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5 slices of Salmon Sashimi at S$7+.

Like the oysters, the Salmon Sashimi can only be bought with purchase of any alcohol. It was great but nothing extraordinary; it didn’t leave an impression. Nevertheless it was fresh and adequately thick and fatty.

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Garlic Fries at S$7+.

I was craving for truffle fries that day but the restaurant doesn’t have it, so I settled for garlic fries! They came piping hot in a basket and in such generous amount which was impossible for me to finish. They were incredibly tasty, mildly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Bravo! Each piece was thick and sliced proportionately too 🙂

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Rockstar (sushi roll) – seared salmon draped over mozzarella, mentaiko sauce, at S$10+.

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Mozzarella in the middle.

This is an all-time favourite at Tanuki, and possibly mine too. I really love the torched taste of the seared salmon as well as the richness of the Mentaiko sauce. The entire thing was simply delicious. As most of you are aware, sushi traditionally has to be eaten in one bite but this is such a mouthful hahaha. It took me awhile to successfully chew every bit of it.

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Truffle Yakiniku Donburi – pan seared black angus short rib, onsen egg, truffle soy sauce, at S$18+.

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I’m in heaven~

This was the highlight of our dining experience because it’s the bomb. I couldn’t believe I finished the entire donburi when I was supposed to be on a low-carb diet. So if you’re on a diet, I suggest you forget about this dish altogether (pretty sure it’s more than 500 calories) because once you start, it’s gonna be so difficult to stop goddammit. IT’S SO GOOOOD.

Meltingly tender and extremely satisfying, the thick black angus short rib slices were an absolute treat. The eggs were cooked perfectly (just look how runny those whites are) and the rice (mixed with toasted sesame seeds) was phenomenal. Needless to say, this is a must-try when you’re at Tanuki.

That’s all for this food review!

Thanks for reading 😉

Tanuki Raw
181 Orchard Road
#02-03 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Operating hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm daily
Tel: +65 6636 5949
E-mail: tanuki@tanukibar.com
Facebook | Menu | Instagram | Twitter

Family Reunion @ Gion Dining

Happy Lunar New Year and 恭喜发财 to everyone, especially my Chinese readers! Also, 财源广进 to those who are still trying their luck on BlackJack and Mahjong! Lady luck clearly isn’t on my side this year as I kept losing money to my formidable banker and only managed to recoup some losses from playing Mahjong. Fortunately all my bets were small so I didn’t lose much. Plus, everyone had fun! And I guess that’s what matters most 🙂

Ever since the passing of my Grandma, my maternal relatives had always have trouble finding a place to host family gatherings because no one likes cleaning up the mess at the end of each session (either that or cooking for a large group of people is tedious). So gatherings after 2009 were either held at my cousin-owned restaurant or the function room at my aunt’s condominium. But the labour crunch during the CNY period meant that it would be impossible to hold gatherings at these venues. So to save us from racking our brains, my uncle very kindly booked a few tables on 初二 at Gion Dining to accommodate everyone.

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The Japanese restaurant, although conveniently located on the second level of Royal Plaza on Scotts (Orchard), didn’t quite draw the crowds because of Carousell Buffet on the ground floor, which serves as the main attraction for the hotel. So nobody else other than my family members walked into the restaurant the entire time, leaving the place entirely to ourselves! Shiok man!

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My #ootd from Love, Bonito. Boyfriend didn’t have time to go home to change because we had an impromptu Mahjong session the night before, so he just grabbed whatever shirt he left at my place.

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My adorable nephew and niece

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Niece and cuzzie

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One of my uncles, cuzzies and another little addition to the extended family!

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My niece, also boyfriend’s new god-daughter (his all-time favourite person. Yes, he likes her more than me)

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Qtipi

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Sake. Not really a wine drinker (especially Japanese wine) so I didn’t really take much of it. But beer works for me.

It’s now time to eat! What’s a Chinese New Year dinner without first making a mess on the table with lo hei?

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Look at the mountain of Salmon Sashimi..

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Full view of our Yusheng. For non-Chinese, Yusheng “usually consists of strips of raw fish, mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients” and it’s “often served as part of a multi-dish dinner, usually as the appetizer due to its symbolism of “good luck” for the new year.” (Wikipedia) Apparently, this CNY tradition is only applicable to the Chinese community in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Surprisingly not so in PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong even though it originated from the Cantonese community!

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Everyone at the table would “then stand up and on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying various “auspicious wishes” out loud,” (Wikipedia)

That was my third Yusheng this year (you know, we Chinese really love doing things in abundance) and the one I had at Gion wasn’t the best out of all of them. Japanese-style Yusheng has always been my favourite because it usually comes with more fish (salmon) than those in Chinese restaurants and tze char. Although this came with really fresh Salmon Sashimi, they were in such big slices that they weren’t enough to go around. On top of that, the flour crisps were replaced by peanuts and bleagh, I dislike peanuts.

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Miso soup was nice but nothing special.

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The Chawanmushi was served hot thus I really enjoyed the smooth and firm texture (though still incomparable with my all-time favourite Chawanmushi from Itacho). If I remember correctly, there were diced chicken and artificial crabmeat. Perhaps it would appear more appetizing if it was topped with slices of Narutomaki (Japanese fish cakes with a swirl in the middle).

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The Sumuono Moriawase was one of my favourites that evening. There were prawn, octopus, crab claw meat and other meat (can’t remember the rest oops) with seaweed and cucumber in sweet vinegar sauce. They were all soooo fresh!

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Live oysters (shared among 6 people) was mad fresh too! Spritz some lemon juice onto it and you’re good to go! The coldness of the oyster made eating it even more enjoyable 😀

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Lobster sashimi (extreme bottom left) was MY FAVOURITE. It was so fresh and sweet! This dish was shared between 2 people but there were plenty of flesh on the claws so Bf and I didn’t have to compete against each other for it hehehe.

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This HUGE (I think it was as long as my arm) salmon was steamed to perfection. I’m not sure if it’s actually on the menu (or was it a special item requested by my uncle) because it tasted a lot like Seabass cooked Cantonese-style with all the sweet and savoury soy sauce. But the steamed salmon was so gooood and my jaw hung in stunned disbelief when it came. It was gigantic, I repeat, GIGANTIC.

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Close-up shot of the meat to make you drool!

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Tempura prawn and potato! Being a seafood lover, I’m surprised to find myself liking the potato more. It’s chewy and addictive!

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Okay, this is definitely not on the menu because it was prepared by one of my aunts – broiled mushrooms and chicken feet with abalone. #aufamilycancook!

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4 strips of Chicken Karaage because I forgot to take a picture of it when it was served. I don’t really like Chicken Karaage despite being a huge poultry lover because they tend to be really dry from my experience. But this was mildly juicy and very crispy! I believe this is a common item on their Groupon deals. Worth a try!

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I believe this was Gyudon (beef bowl) without the rice. It was a tad dry and I don’t think we managed to finish this. Kinda expected considering the amount of food we were served that night!

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These cheesecakes (I only had one slice of it anyways 😦 ) were the BEST I had tasted in my life, no joke! It was like a mixture of vanilla ice cream and fluffy cheesecake which literally melted in my mouth. IT WAS DIVINE OMG. If I didn’t have to rush off for a movie, I’d totally ask for another slice! This is highly recommended 🙂

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And the sumptuous feast ended with a bowl of porridge which I felt was a um… strange arrangement? But it was alright and the watery texture reminded me a little of KFC breakfast porridge.

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Let me conclude this post with a picture of Bf entertaining my bored nephew in between dishes with Clash of Clans.

All in all, the dishes served towards the end of the meal were a lot better than the entrees and appetizers. I personally think that this restaurant has potential if not for the steep prices. After reading some not-so-favourable reviews about the restaurant online, I can conclude that Gion Dining specialises more in seafood sashimi and makes better food when there is a smaller dining crowd.

Try avoiding Groupon vouchers (the dishes they typically include in their Groupon promos look awfully cheap to begin with anyway) if you can afford the regular prices and don’t dine there during the period of time when Groupon vouchers are accepted as I don’t think the restaurant, which is visibly facing a shortage of manpower, is able to handle the Groupon crowd.

So there, I’ve said my piece! Thanks for reading 🙂

Gion Dining
Royal Plaza on Scotts
25 Scotts Road
#02-01
Operating hours: Opens daily
Lunch: 11:30am to 2pm (lunch closed on Mondays)
Dinner: 5:30pm to 10pm
Contact number: 67356100
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