Monday, May 14, 2012

Celebrating Mother's Day at The Line Restaurant, Shangrila Hotel

After countless calls to popular restaurants around the island, we ended up celebrating Mother's Day in The Line at Shangri-la Hotel along Orange Grove Rd. It was not my first choice as I heard mixed reviews about the buffet in this restaurant. However, those that I preferred were all fully booked and can hardly accomodate us. The restaurant was likewise full-packed when we arrived considering that we were booked on a second seating (1:30 pm - 3:00 pm). Oh well, this day must be really busy then for the celebration.

Of course there's an on-going promotion for moms...

The restaurant is well lit hence, it doesn't have a claustrophobic ambiance. However, it's still not spacious enough. The alleys are quite narrow that it's relatively difficult to move around hopping for food. 

As I passed by the meat carving station, my eyes caught this real big roasted lamb.

A number of appetizers to choose from..

One of my favorites, the noodle station..

 Fresh fruits although most of them are a bit bland.

The station that was a sure hit with the kids..

The champagne that was served on that day..

This was my seafood plate. I didn't try the oysters but generally, everything was just ok. The shrimp was juicy and fresh. 

This is what I enjoyed best - the desserts! The Line got a relatively wide array of selection to wash your appetite with sweets. Most of the baked goods are really nice. The texture and overall melange of flavors deliver well.

Overall, there's nothing extra special to shout about this buffet. I know it's considered one of the most popular buffets around town but it's not something that I will crave every now and then. It won't be a top of mind whenever I'm on a quest for a special place to dine. It was nice to try but relative to the price and the value of food you'll experience, this is definitely pricey. The mother's day lunch was valued at S$98++ per adult. If I would round up the worthy ones to try from the 16 culinary stations, that would be the noodle, cold seafood, dimsum and dessert stations. As for the rest, you can save the space for your other favorites.

The Line
Shangri-la Hotel
Lower Lobby, Tower Wing
22 Orange Grove Road, 258350, Singapore
(65) 6213 4275

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Soup Restaurant

Since my tastebuds met Soup Restaurant's famous "Samsui Ginger Chicken", I've been continuoulsy haunted by its delicious, succulent taste. It's really so good that I can eat it as it is, without any rice. So imagine my delight when my colleagues and I visited the restaurant's branch in Clementi Mall a few days ago; it's absolute excitement! As we partake in the sumptuous lunch, all of us agreed that the chicken was indeed the star of the feast. The ginger sauce is a good condiment that perfectly blends with the chicken. It provides a characteristic note to its overall taste. Instead of a la carte choices, we tried one of their set menus and the foods were relatively good. This restaurant is definitely on my list for satisfying a craving for a great tasting chicken. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Malaysian Food Street at Resorts World Sentosa

Interested on a gastronomic journey of authentic popular Malaysian hawker fare? Look no further, Malaysian Food Street in Resorts World Sentosa promises just that to its patrons. This food haven was open to public not so long ago. I heard a number of raves about the place. Since we have a family visitor to bring around town, we decided to head over at Resorts World Sentosa last weekend. There, we had a chance to experience what this increasingly becoming popular food street has to offer. 

The ambiance inside the dining hall mimics the architecture and street decor of Malaysia in the 1970s. It elicits an old town feel a bit dimly lit.

It houses the famous and heritage hawker brands of Malaysian origin such as these...

One of the stalls that really captured my wandering appetite was the Penang Lim Brother's Char Koay Teow. The queue was relatively long and the waiting time is 20 mins minimum. I patiently waited to have a taste of this.

It's generally oily and spicy. There's really not much deep taste into it though. I was expecting for a good smokey charater in the dish but it wasn't there.

Some other foods that you can try...

For those who are missing the taste of Malaysian Street Hawker Fare, you may want to drop by at this place. As for me, it was just ok to have tried it.

Malaysian Food Street
8 Sentosa Gateway Singapore
Tel. No.: 6577 8888

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Caramel Cake

Initially, I was having some second thoughts on whether I will make a post on this cake recipe or not. But in the end, I decided to do so since there are some learnings that I gathered from the baking experience. It's my first time to be baking a Caramel Cake. I remember back in the Philippines, there's a popular bakeshop - Red Ribbon that makes a very good caramel cake. It's specifically called Dulce De Leche. It's a light chiffon cake with a combined caramel and custard filling. It's one of my favorites actually. I was craving for a similar kind so I thought of preparing one for a dessert at home. However, there's not much caramel cake recipe that you can find. There are only a few online much less in cookbooks, so I just trusted Martha Stewart's version. Generally, the base for this recipe is nice. However, I was not wowed by the butter cream frosting. You can opt to substitute it with any other type. The taste of the melted butter was too overpowering that it elicited more of an oily character instead of a creamy one. I also substituted the caramel syrup with a ready to use, as there are so many school of thoughts in making it. Likewise, I'm trying to lessen the steps of the preparation. If not for the failed frosting, it could be another winning recipe from Martha Stewart. 

What you need:

1/2 cup (1 stick unsalted butter)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup caramel syrup, plus more for serving (I used Smuckers)
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
caramel frosting

How to make:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degress F.
2. Beat butter in a bowl of an electric mixer. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in syrup.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix flour mixture into the butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Beat eggs until foamy in another bowl of an electric mixer. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until thickened, about 5 mins. Stir into the cake batter until well combined.
5. Pour batter evenly on an 8-inch non stick round cake pan and bake for 50 mins or until cake springs back when gently touched in the center.
6. Cool cake in pans for 10 mins. Invert into a wire rack and let cool completely.
7. Divide the cake horizontally into two using a serated knife. Spread the top of the first layer with frosting. Top with the other half of the cake and spread entire cake with frosting. Drizzle with remaining caramel syrup.

Caramel Frosting:
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
16 ounces confectioners sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color (about 8 minutes). Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind. Let cool. In a bowl of an electric mixer, add confectioner's sugar, vanilla, salt and butter. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream. Beat until smooth. If it turns out to be too thick, stir another tablespoon of cream into the mixture.

I had some reservations on the heating of the butter. The recipe calls for an 8 minutes process, but I noticed that there's already a fat separation after. Hence, the taste became too oily, rancid. If you have other options on improving this frosting recipe, just do so.