SUNDAY SPREAD AT W SINGAPORE
Brunch at W Singapore has grown.
Now called Sunday Remix - 2.0, the buffet spread stretches over the hotel's two eateries - Skirt and The Kitchen Table.
The hot grill section at Skirt is what I home in on, drawn by its selection of well-marinated pieces of chicken, skirt steak, lamb chop, chorizo sausage and prawns.
Over at The Kitchen Table, I like to nibble on the Asian offerings, which range from tandoori chicken fresh from the oven to babi pongteh to a bowl of laksa that I customise to my liking. There are no cockles, so I add raw oysters from the seafood bar instead.
Servers also go around the tables with fun-filled cocktail desserts, such as Bellini Jell-O Shot and Caramel Vodka, which is worked into the shape of mahjong tiles and tastes like alcoholic kueh. These are not for children, though.
WHERE: W Singapore, 21 Ocean Way, Sentosa Cove MRT: HarbourFront OPEN: Sunday, 12.30 to 4pm PRICE: $128 to $178 a person, depending on choice of drinks TEL: 6808-7268
PEPPERY BAK KUT TEH
The Riverview Hotel in Havelock Road has been renamed, with the four-star hotel now managed by the Starwood Group. So, guests who went to sleep in the hotel on June 30 woke up the next morning to find themselves staying at the Four Points by Sheraton Singapore, Riverview.
The cafe, too, has a new name - Four Points Eatery - and a new look. It looks brighter and more modern, but the concept stays pretty much the same, with an offering of a la carte dishes and a buffet.
Next month, the buffet will change from an international array to one focused on seafood. However, fans of the previous River Garden Coffee House will be glad to know that some of the old Singapore favourites are still on the a la carte menu.
I am not a fan of peppery bak kut teh, but will make an exception for the Old Time Bak Kut Teh ($22.80, photo). That is because the broth is not mere pepper water, but a robust brew that gets its flavour from pig trotter and bones that have been simmered for hours. It comes as a set with yam rice, you tiao (deep-fried dough sticks) and salted vegetables.
Another good dish that has remained is the Slipper Lobster Laksa ($20.80). The gravy is not very chilli hot, but so delicious you want to drink up every drop. This comes with tau pok (dried beancurd), fishcake and a hard-boiled egg. WHERE: Four Points Eatery, 382 Havelock Road, Four Points by Sheraton Singapore, Riverview MRT: Outram OPEN: 6am to 11pm daily TEL: 6349-4872
NEW MENU AT THE CLAN
The Clan Restaurant, which moved to PoMo from Bukit Pasoh Road last year, has changed owners. With a new chef as well, the menu has changed from fusion to contemporary Western.
It is not fine-dining, but it is not casual either. It sits somewhere in between - somewhat uncomfortably.
The problem, I feel, is its location in the Selegie Road mall, which is filled with mass-market eateries targeted at the budget-conscious.
However, you can easily spend $100 a person at The Clan. For that, you get pretty good cooking, though.
The Charred Octopus ($24, photo) is tender and has a pleasant smokiness. Roasted piquillo peppers perk up the flavours without adding much heat, while delicious crushed potatoes complete the dish.
The Iberico Pork Pluma ($40) is a good main course boasting succulent and flavourful meat. Another good meat dish is the Magret De Canard ($40). The duck is not as tender as home-grown birds, but is superior in terms of flavour. It is served with honey fig, fennel jam and kale powder.
WHERE: The Clan Restaurant, 1 Selegie Road, PoMo, 02-01/08 MRT: Dhoby Ghaut/Bras Basah OPEN: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6 to 11.30pm daily TEL: 6222-2084
HALAL PENANG FARE
Penang Culture's halal Penang food got a tweak recently with new additions to the menu.
Some are good, such as the Premium Lobster & Scallop Noodles ($16.50, photo), which turns the humble Penang Hokkien prawn noodles into a gourmet version topped with scallops, slipper lobster, chicken pieces. fishcake, a hard-boiled egg and kangkong.
What is important is that the broth is as rich as in the original hawker version, with the complex flavours of the prawns, crabs and chicken bones used to brew it.
Another interesting dish is the Salmon Assam Laksa ($11.95), with slices of Norwegian salmon topping the noodles. Here again, the stock stays true to the original recipes, in which ikan kembong (mackerel) forms the base.
What does not work for me is the Premium Crab Meat & Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow ($15.95). The mashed salted egg makes the dish too salty. A regular chicken egg works much better, in my opinion.
WHERE: Penang Culture, three outlets at Changi Airport Terminal 2, Jem and Century Square Shopping Mall MRT: Changi Airport, Jurong East, Tampines OPEN: 10.30am to 10pm daily (Changi Airport), 11am to 10pm (Jem and Century Square) TEL: 6546-7793 (Changi), 6734-8006 (Jem), 6789-8180 (Century Square)