HERITAGE HAWKER FARE AT SHANGRI-LA HOTEL
The Lobby Lounge at the Shangri-la Hotel has a fabulous new hawker heritage semi-buffet lunch that I would eat again in a heartbeat.
The hotel has teamed up with well-known hawker stalls and restaurants, including Seng Kee Mushrooms Minced Meat Noodle and Beach Road Prawn Mee, to offer six dishes such as bak chor mee and prawn noodles.
With the semi-buffet lunch, you get a choice of one of these six items, which are also available all day on the a la carte menu.
Go for the bak chor mee and fish maw soup ($24). While the noodles could be a tad springier, it is authentic, complete with fried flat fish and stewed mushrooms. The highlight for me is the hearty and robust broth and soft pieces of fish maw soaked with flavour.
The buffet items change and include everything from made-to-order popiah and kueh pie tee to fish curry and stewed pork in vinegar and soya sauce. There is also a selection of kueh and hot dessert soups.
This is a great place to entertain and take guests from out of town to showcase Singapore food in a luxurious setting.
WHERE: The Lobby Lounge, Shangri-la Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road, lobby level, Tower Wing MRT: Orchard WHEN/PRICE: 11.30am to 10pm daily. A la carte items (from $20 to $26 a dish) are available all day, from 11.30am to 10pm, daily; semi-buffet lunch which includes one a la carte item ($38++ a person), from 11.30am to 2.30pm (weekdays) and 11.30am to 5pm ($45++ a person, weekends and public holidays); afternoon tea set, from 3 to 5.30pm ($30++ a set, weekdays only) INFO: www.shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila
FREE SWISS WINE APPRECIATION SESSIONS AT PARAGON
Learn more about Swiss grape varietals and the country’s three main wine regions of Valais, Vaud and Ticino at a series of wine appreciation sessions at The Paragon shopping centre from tomorrow.
The mall is celebrating 50 years of Swiss-Singapore diplomatic relationships with a special festival in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland and the Switzerland Tourism Board from now till Aug 13.
The casual wine sessions, limited to about 10 to 15 participants each, will be held every Saturday and Sunday until the end of the festival, from 3 to 5pm.
Participants can expect to taste indigenous Swiss grape varietals such as amigne, humagne and cornalin, as well as a sparkling white merlot. There will also be a gourmet area showcasing Swiss delights alongside local offerings.
Register at the counter in the atrium.
WHERE: The Paragon, 290 Orchard Road MRT: Orchard WHEN: Every weekend till Aug 13, from 3 to 5pm INFO: www.paragon.com.sg
CASTELLA CAKE AT ANTOINETTE
Chef Pang Kok Keong of Antoinette is now selling his Earl Grey Castella Cake at his patisserie-restaurants.
He has six versions of the light and fluffy Taiwanese-style castella, from Vanilla and Earl Grey to Nutella and Ondeh Ondeh (from $8 to $15 for a 20.5 by 10.5 by 5.5cm cake). The Earl Grey and Vanilla cakes can be topped with a cheddar and parmesan cheese glaze. My favourite is the Ondeh Ondeh cake ($11). Expect familiar flavours of fragrant pandan and coconut in a moist and spongy cake speckled with small chunks of heavenly gula melaka.
WHERE: Two outlets - 30 Penhas Road and Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, 02-33/34 MRT: Lavender and Orchard OPEN: Penhas Road: 11am to 10pm (Mondays to Thursdays), 11am to 11pm (Fridays and eve of public holidays), 10am to 11pm (Saturdays), 10am to 10pm (Sundays and public holidays); Mandarin Gallery: 11am to 10pm daily TEL: 6293-3121 (Penhas Road), 6836-9527 (Mandarin Gallery) INFO: Go to antoinette.com.sg. Advance orders are accepted one day before (before 3pm) for a minimum of six cakes. Call the Penhas Road outlet
GUNTHER’S SET LUNCH
I was recently reminded of French restaurant Gunther’s reasonably priced set lunch menu through one of its promotional e-mailers, which diners both love and hate to receive.
For $38++, you get a choice of appetiser, a main course and dessert. It also comes with coffee or tea.
I opted for a refreshing gazpacho with a dollop of burrata, satisfying tiger prawn angel hair pasta and the restaurant’s signature dessert – a fine apple tart a la dragee topped with chopped almonds and served with Havana rum and raisin ice cream (additional $8), which always hits the spot.
The restaurant also has a Chef’s Seasonal set lunch priced at $80 a person, which presently includes dishes such as a choice of roasted loup de mer, a Mediterranean bass, or char-grilled wagyu steak with Bordelaise sauce.
The lunch menus are updated every two to three weeks and there are also daily specials.
In a scene where swanky new restaurants seem to sprout like wild mushrooms, Gunther’s, by chef Gunther Hubrechsen, has remained steady. It opened a decade ago in August 2007 and continues to be popular among gourmands.
WHERE: Gunther’s Restaurant, 36 Purvis Street, 01-03 MRT: City Hall OPEN: Noon to 2.30pm (weekdays); 6.30 to 10pm (Mondays to Saturdays) TEL: 6338-8955/9010-3075 INFO: www.gunthers.com.sg