Peach Blossoms at Marina Mandarin hotel has a promotion menu of claypot dishes this month that are just right for the current wet weather.
There are eight dishes on offer, including Braised Mixed Vegetables and Glass Noodles with Fermented Bean Curd ($22), a Cantonese vegetarian dish that was always served on Chinese New Year day in my family when I was growing up.
Another homey dish to try is Braised Pork Spare Ribs with Bitter Gourd in Black Bean Sauce ($24).
But those who want something more deluxe can try the Braised Fish Maw with Fish Lips ($38) or Braised Kampung Chicken with Baby Abalone ($38).
Pair the dishes with a bowl of rice as they may be a tad salty eaten on their own. Also, the gravies are delicious spooned over rice.
WHERE: Peach Blossoms, 6 Raffles Boulevard MRT: Esplanade WHEN: Till Oct 31, noon to 3pm (Mondays to Fridays), 11am to 3pm (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays), 6.30 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6845-1118
JUST FOR CARNIVORES
Meat lovers are in for a treat again at The Carvery's The Great Meat Feast, which is back this month after a successful one-month run a year ago.
The buffet restaurant at Park Hotel Alexandra focuses on grilled meats, but during the promotion period, it offers more premium selections and interesting cuts.
This year's offerings include a wonderful roast pork belly with crackling from Bangalow Sweet Pork in Australia. It tastes good and has a good proportion of fat and meat.
For beef, look out for the Black Angus prime rib from the United States. I love beef that comes on the bone because it usually boasts better flavour. Add to that the fat around the ribs and this becomes an irresistible cut for me.
Other types of beef available include John Dee (left, background) and Mayura Full-blood Wagyu, both from Australia.
WHERE: The Carvery, Level 7, Park Hotel Alexandra, 323 Alexandra Road MRT: Queenstown WHEN: Till Oct 22, 6.30 to 10pm TEL: 6828-8880
OMAKASE AT BAM
Bam, the tapas bar in Tras Street which opened in late 2013, expanded to a full-fledged restaurant last year after taking over the shop space next door.
Now it has also dropped its a la carte menu and offers only omakase menus. There are three to choose from: four courses ($98), six courses ($148) and eight courses ($188). There are also options for vegetarian (from $78) and dessert ($48 for three courses) omakase menus.
For lunch from Tuesdays to Fridays, however, a more budget-friendly four-course set lunch at $40 is available.
The menu has a strong Japanese slant, with dishes such as Shiso Leaf and Tomato Tartar Tempura as well as Tuna Noten "Gazpachuelo" with Sago and Tobiko. Gazpachuelo is a thick fish soup from Spain, but the use of tuna noten (parts of the head) and tobiko (flying fish roe) makes it taste rather Japanese, which is not a bad thing at all.
All the menus come with sake pairing as well, at additional cost.
WHERE: Bam, 38 Tras Street MRT: Tanjong Pagar OPEN: Noon to 2pm (Mondays to Fridays), 6 to 10.30pm (Mondays to Thursdays), 6 to 11.30pm (Fridays and Saturdays). Closed on Sundays TEL: 6226-0500
STAND-OUT CARROT CAKE
The expanded Malaysia Boleh! Food Court in Jurong Point has 15 new stalls and many of them are good.
But my favourite is Penang Carrot Cake, which dishes out what looks like typical carrot cake in Singapore, but tastes very different.
The rice cake used for the dish is smooth and soft and cut into wedges. It also has a distinct rice fragrance, which is not masked by the dark soya sauce the cake is fried in.
What also makes it stand out is that it is fried in lard, giving it extra aroma, as well as the crispy lard bits nestled here and there on the plate. Beansprouts are added for a bit of crunch too. A plate costs $3 or $4.
WHERE: Malaysia Boleh! Food Court, 03-28 Jurong Point, 1 Jurong West Central 2 MRT: Boon Lay OPEN: 10am to 10pm daily