A TOUCH OF DECADENCE
This Christmas, The Fullerton Hotel is offering two types of panettone or sweet Italian Christmas bread. One is more traditional, with lemon peel and zest, orange peel, sultanas and almonds, while the other is a chocolate version - its rounded top is coated with lush Amedei chocolate and speckled with toasted macadamias and granules of crystal sugar.
The hotel's chocolate panettone ($33 each) is glorious. Not only is the chocolate topping a decadent touch, but the bread itself is also soft and light, with swirls of chocolate throughout the loaf and flavours of citrus peel.
Eat it just as it is or lightly toasted and served with cream, ice cream or a vanilla sauce.
Festive hampers, which include a panettone, start at $198 nett.
Where: The Fulleton Cake Boutique at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, 1 Fullerton Square, lobby level MRT: Raffles Place When: Till Christmas Day, 8am - 9pm (Sun - Thu), 8am - 10.30pm (Fri & Sat); last day for orders is Dec 21. Order at least three days in advance to avoid disappointment Tel: 6877-8943/6877-8943 Info: E-mail email@example.com
Majestic Restaurant, an award-winning modern Cantonese restaurant in Bukit Pasoh Road, has a great value-for-money six-course set dinner.
If you are a Citibank card member, it costs $98 a person (minimum of two people), otherwise it is priced at $128 a person.
It includes an appetiser of pan-seared foie gras with a slice of Peking duck and fruit salad, followed by a choice of either Double-boiled Sea Treasures Soup With Black Truffle or Braised Majestic Claypot Shark's Fin Soup With Crabmeat.
Then there is Steamed Giant Grouper Fillet with vermicelli and garlic oil, followed by a choice of either Pan-seared Ribeye or Stewed Pork Rib With Sweet And Sour Sauce.
The highlight is its chef and co-owner Yong Bing Ngen's signature dish of Stewed Boston Lobster Noodles With Ginger And Spring Onions, an aromatic dish of springy lobster and braised noodles.
Save space for dessert too. You can order anything from the dessert menu, including crispy fried durian ice cream.
Where: Majestic Restaurant, New Majestic Hotel, 31-37 Bukit Pasoh Road, lobby level MRT: Outram/Chinatown Open: 11.45am - 3pm, 6 - 10.30pm (Tue - Sun), closed on Mon Tel: 6511-4718 Info: Go to www.restaurantmajestic.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
CUSTOMISED COCKTAILS D.
Bespoke is one of the newest additions to Singapore's growing cocktail bar scene. The 28-seat bar has a gentlemen's vibe with warm, soothing lighting, wood interiors and chestnut-hued leather seats. There is a lot of attention to detail here, from the hand-crafted wire lampshades to the 15m-long teak bar counter.
The "D" in D. Bespoke is for the name of owner and head bartender Daiki Kanetaka, who is also an expert on sherry, calvados and Armagnac. Tasting flights start at $25.
Mr Kanetaka can tailor a cocktail (from $27) to suit your taste. Or order one of his signatures drinks, such as the Adonis, made with Fino and Amontillado sherry, sweet vermouth and orange bitters, with a maraschino cherry served separately.
Once a quarter, the bar also teams up with a top chef (local or from overseas) to offer a cocktail-pairing menu.
Mr Kanetaka will be working with chef Andre Chiang of Restaurant Andre to create a menu next year.
Where: D. Bespoke, 2 Bukit Pasoh Road MRT: Outram Open: 6pm - midnight (Mon - Sat), closed on Sun Tel: 8141-5741 Info: Go to www.dbespoke.com.sg. Reservations recommended. Minimum spend of $60 a person, but can be consolidated and put towards total spend of drinking party
BERRY GOOD FRUIT CAKE
Baker-owner Geraldine Wang makes wholesome cakes without additives or preservatives. Her butter and sugee cakes are made the traditional way.
But one cake of hers that keeps for weeks is the brandied fruit cake.
It is rich and moist with a generous amount of brandy-soaked fruit. including figs, prunes, raisins, sultanas, cherries and orange peel. It is boozy and not too sweet. The fruit is gorgeously plump. Feel free to drizzle more brandy or sherry over it to keep it moist and preserve it longer.
These splendid cakes ($30 each, $32 for a cake topped with glace fruit) make great Christmas presents.
Besides, what is a Christmas dessert spread without the requisite fruit cake?
Where: Berry Gerry Bakes, Thomson V One, 9 Sin Ming Road (off Upper Thomson Road), 01-04 MRT: Marymount/Bishan When: 10am - 6pm (Wed - Sat). Last day for orders is Dec 19. During the Christmas week, 10am - 6pm (Dec 23, 24, 26 & 27), 10am - 2pm (Christmas Day) Tel: 6457-0274/9018-6432 (SMS only) Info: Go to www.berrygerrybakes.com or e-mail email@example.com