Sunday, August 17, 2003

weekend doings

had a rather packed weekend! on friday, had dinner with a couple of RGS friends at Ember, located at Hotel 1929, this funky new hotel in Keong Saik Road. apparently owned by a rich family and it's known for its branded furniture and ridiculously low rates. (well not ridiculously low, but for this kind of boutique hotel, pretty decent).

Ember is a fusion-type restaurant. Very popular from the looks of it. It was full, but the restaurant can probably only hold 30 odd people. But my friend had to make a reservation a week ahead, so that says something. (but probably doesn't say as much as the fact that she couldn't get a table at Buko Nero at all....not for the rest of august. same thing happend to me several months ago, i called early in the month but all the friday, saturday and sunday slots for that month were taken up!)

anyway, the food was great!

I started with a mushroom soup and my friend had a crabcake, somewhat asian-style.

And for the main course, a delicious chilean seabass which came with a delightful butter-fried array of fresh mushrooms (it was mushroom heaven that night!!). My dining companions (!) had: lamb loin, which came with spinach; and chicken which came with a mashed potato with a blood orange sauce (it looked pretty good but she mentioned that it tasted a bit like soap)

and speaking of soap, we had a pretty soapy dessert. it was a warm banana tart with lavendar ice-cream. tastes a whole lot better than it sounds, trust me. but a little soap-like!

we did also share a lemongrass martini. it sounded good, somewhat different and refreshing. we decided to give it a try and if it was as good as it sounds, to order one each.

but we were wrong!

the lemongrass part was great. all of us thought it was a nice refreshing taste, although a little sweet. but we were left wondering... where's the alcohol? you had to think about it a little and then would realise, that there is a hint of alcohol. whatever alcohol, i'm not sure. but i presume vodka.

a virgin martini??

we hung around in the restaurant until we were the last ones and started to feel a little bad at making the staff wait for us (they had already started setting the tables for tomoro)

verdict: definitely will go back again but have a feeling i'll give the set dinner a try. It sounds like a decent meal. 4 courses for 38++. my dinner came to about 40+

the next day (saturday) had bit of hi-tea at Raffles Hotel (empire cafe). where they sell local food at wince-worthy prices ($15.50 for chicken rice!!) so popped into ah teng's bakery for their $6 scone set (scone + jam and a coffee - in my case a cappucino...mmmm...)

the eating wasn't over yet! for dinner, headed over to east coast to have a yummy seafood time. we had:
fried baby squid (always a fave of mine! crispy, a little sweet)
scallops with veg
steamed prawns
crayfish with sambal - which seriously was not sambal. it was more like the gravy that comes with chilli crabs
chilli crabs of course!

its thanks to the presence of my sis' two friends (from japan and the netherlands) that we get to eat seafood... always seems to be reserved for visitors. but that's good as it's way too rich to be a regular meal. anyway, always leaves me craving for more. if i ate it too often, i'd definitely not enjoy it as much (and also be WAY TO FAT)

On Sunday, we made some mooncakes (snowskin kind) for the japanese friend to try.
for lunch, we headed to Lao Beijing (probably my fave chinese restaurant?) at Novena Square where we had to wait for about 25 minutes before getting a table.

ordered a set for four, which includes some tofu, san(1) bei(1) ji(1) - some chicken cooked in a claypot, guotie (chives version), xiao(3) long(2) bao(1) - which unfortunately didn't seem to be made too well that day, as they collapsed a little and some of the meat juice got wasted; popiah; dessert (aboling and redbean pancake)

but the day was still young and we attended the Ballet Under The Stars (which included a russian-style classical ballet, a modern dance called Stamping Ground and The Graduation Ball) and picnicked under a cloudy sky.

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