Fortnum and Mason's celebrates Chinese New Year of the Rat!

Wow! Fortnum and Mason The Queen’s grocer celebrates Chinese New Year!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Traveling Gourmet TM

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The resourceful and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM is astonished by HM The Queen’s grocer celebrating the…

MERRY Chinese Lunar New Year of the Rat! Fortnum and Mason has been around since 1707. I always go there when I am in London…One of my most favourite places.


There is the FU Dai Hamper! Fu Dai which translates as “Fortune Bag” and is packed with Fortnum’s favourites including Champagne, tea, biscuits, chocolates and honey, The Fu Dai Hamper is now available at Fortnum & Mason’s store in Piccadilly, London at 168 pounds.

Or how about the Plum Blossom and Eau de Nil Gift Box at 50 pounds with “Fire in the Hive Chocolate!




From L to R
Lunar New Year Musical Piccadilly Biscuit Tin £5.00
Lunar New Year Milk Chocolate Gold Coins £14.95

Auspicious Lunar New Year Glacé Clementine’s in Wooden Box £30

Fortnum and Mason

since 1707  and where HM The Queen buys her food!

181 Piccadilly London W1A 1ER


Tel:+44 (0) 20 7734 8040.

The nearest Tube station is Green Park, a short stroll away past the Ritz.


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Be Square! Novotel Clarke Quay CNY Prosperity Buffet

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The indomitable and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM finds it is yummie to be square at…

MOUTHWATERING The Square’s Prosperity Chinese New Year Buffet in Novotel Clarke Quay…The Square is on the 7th floor with a chic and hip ambience and decor. I confess that I love buffets, but the most hazardous part of buffets is over-indulging. C’est la vie as the French always say, n’est pas. Chinese New Year is coming and the first day of the Lunar Chinese New Year of the Rat is on 25 January 2020!

Appetizers include the Assorted Chinese BBQ Platter which had Chicken Bak Kwa which I dislike but the slippery Marinated Tangy Jelly Fish and and Baby Octopus was to my liking. Healthy Salad Bar with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamico is something I always have in a buffet. I love salads and vegetables. The Charcuterie of Salami and Ham, as well as Smoked Salmon and Japanese Sashimi of Salmon was good. Singaporeans actually put lots of Wasabi in the Soy Sauce for their Sashimi BUT in Japan, the natives put very little Sashimi because it would cover the natural flavours of the fish. At the Seafood on Ice there was also Gong Gong or Sea Whelk, Mussels, and Oysters which I relished with some freshly squeezed Lemon Juice and Mignonette Sauce. One observation, the chopped onions in the Mignonette were too big. They were paysanne instead of brunoise!

Salmon Sashimi and more!

I spied the hard working Head Chef Kishen busily chopping the Roast Pork, Roast Duck and Roast Chicken…all looked very delectable. I decided to try all three, and I must say the Roast Pork Chnese Style was outstanding. No regrets! Juicy, tender with an ueber-crispy crunchy crackling to shoot terrorists for. Never ever say ‘to die for’ because when you are dead you cannot eat or taste anything, Right! I drank to that with my Pina Colada cocktail!

Scrumptious Roast Pork, Roast Duck, Roast Chicken, Scallop Tim Sum…

Head Chef Kishen

Affable Head Chef Kishen told me, “I am from Johor..nearby. For the Prosperity Buffet we try to have the auspicious foods for Chinese New Year like pineapple and pomelo.”

The Travelling Gourmet TM & Head Chef Kishen

My next degustation was home made Romano Tomato and Fava Beans Soup with a slice of wholemeal bread and butter.

I liked the Square Signature Chilli Crab with cute little golden Man Tou buns to dip in the spicy and sexy sauce which is full of flamboyant flavours of sweet, spicy and sour. The crabs are good with very firm and sweet meat, although they are not the big Sri Lanka crabs. Messy but fun to eat! You must use your hands. I liked the small sign explaining the history of Chilli Crab. It mentioned the mother of my good friend, Roland. Roland’s restaurant in Marine Parade is where I go for the Original Chilli Crab. Roland’s mother, Cher Yam Tian was the creator of the Chilli Crab dish with some input from his father in the 1950s. His father was the Security Officer (bodyguard} to Deputy Prime MInister Dr. Goh Keng Swee many years ago.

Chilli Crab and ManTou!

I could not help but laugh when I saw a very horizontally-challenged (fat) Chinese lady eating a huge and unbelievable amount of Chilli Crab the whole dinner! It was scary!

My tummie was getting full but I managed to try the Laksa cooked to order a la minute with many Quail’s eggs that I adore. When I was a boy, my beloved Mum gave me lots of yummie Quail’s eggs to make me brainy. The spicy soup was delightful. I like to sprinkle a lot of finely chopped Daun Kesum or Laksa leaves on top before I tuck in!

There is also a Pasta station but I was getting full, and so I just tried some tasty pink-in- the-middle Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce and Red Wine Sauce.

Keep calm and say CHEESE!

Assorted Cheeses like Brie and Petit Reblochon from the Thônes region of Haute-Savoie in France and powerful Goat Cheese. Walnuts, Cranberries, Honey, Apricots go well with cheese. There are also caramelized walnuts and almonds and raisins.

No meal is complete without delicious Desserts!

Pandan Egg Tart, Mandarin Orange Cake, I found the Cute dome shaped Pomelo Pudding very yummie and also the Pineapple Crumble with Pineapple Chunks inside. Taro Butter Cake, Pineapple MOusse Cake, Pan-Fried Nian Gao are other tempting treats.

Top right is Pomelo Pudding and next to it is Bak Kwa Swiss Roll

I approached the Bak Kwa Chicken Floss Swiss Roll with trepidation as it was such a wierd combo…but it was actually yummie…with a salty aftertaste. I could not resist my favourite The Square Signature Durian Pengat made from the noble Durian, the King of Fruits. I put some Coconut and Thai Milk Tea Ice Cream on top! I must mention the Robot Pancake Maker. Two small boys from Australia about 10 years old, had lots of fun making their own pancakes with the robot. Coffee and Tea is DIY.

Chinese New Year Prosperity Dinner Buffet from 6pm to 10pm
Sunday to Thursday except 26th Jan, 2020
Adult – $68++, Child (5 – 12 years old) – $39++, Senior Citizen – $58++

Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
177A River Valley Road, Singapore,
Singapore 179031
Tel: +65 6338 3333

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Michelin Star Chef sues Michelin Guide!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The irascible and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM tale of a disgruntled Chef suing the…


31 December 2019

Cheddar, Saffron and Soufflé

A French court on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit brought by star chef Marc Veyrat seeking to force the prestigious Michelin restaurant guide to hand over its reasons for stripping his restaurant of a third star just a year after he won it.

In its verdict, the court in Nanterre, outside Paris, said Marc Veyrat had offered no “proof showing the existence of any damage” caused by the Michelin guide’s demotion of his prestigious restaurant, Maison des Bois, in the Alps to a two-star rating in January 2019.

Image result for michelin chef souffle case

The shock demotion came just 12 months after Veyrat’s remarkable comeback after years of personal struggles, with the furious showman chef accusing the Michelin inspectors of making a “mistake”.

He wanted the court to force Michelin to hand over its judging notes — a ruling that could have upended the world of fine dining by opening the door to lawsuits from other disgruntled chefs.

A saffron – not English Cheddar – yellow  

The case, which came to be called “Cheddar-gate” in France, was sparked when the celebrity chef discovered at the start of this year that he had lost one of his three stars – the maximum number of stars that can be awarded – when the 110th edition of the respected guide was published at the start of this year.

Veyrat claimed the downgrade came after a Michelin inspector mistakenly thought he had adulterated a cheese soufflé with English Cheddar instead of using France’s Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme varieties.

“I put saffron in it, and the gentleman who came thought it was cheddar because it was yellow. That’s what you call knowledge of a place? It’s just crazy,” Veyrat told France Inter radio earlier this year.

No proof of losses, says court

Veyrat, 69, had sought a symbolic one euro in damages, not least over his claimed depression after losing the star, but the court said he had not provided any documented proof of his losses.

The showman chef, known as much for his ubiquitous black Savoyard hat as his “botanical” creations from local herbs and produce, had already said he had no need of any Michelin accolades.

“I really don’t need them,” Veyrat told AFP shortly before the ruling, saying business was up seven percent over the past year.

“Even between Christmas and New Year’s Day, we’re fully booked. We’ve never been this busy,” he added.
“At this rate, I wish they’d take away all my stars!”

Michelin lawyers slam ‘narcissistic diva’

Veyrat’s stunning return to the world’s restaurant firmament in January 18 was hard won, coming nine years after he was forced to stop cooking because of a skiing accident, and three years after his restaurant was destroyed in a fire.

After his demotion, he demanded a meeting with Michelin’s international director Gwendal Poullennec, who had been named just a few months before the 2019 listings.

The chef said he was told a scallop’s texture was “cottony” — Veyrat says it was in fact a dish of local fish — and accused of using English Cheddar cheese in a soufflé.

“I have a lot of respect for Michelin in France… but they made a mistake in my case, and they need to recognise it,” Veyrat told AFP.

Michelin’s lawyers denounced the lawsuit as an abuse of the legal system by a “narcissistic diva” and demanded €30,000 (nearly $34,000) in damages and compensation.

“It’s a question of respecting the freedom of criticism and opinion in our country,” Michelin’s lawyer Richard Malka told AFP last week.

That claim was rejected by Veyrat’s lawyer Emmanuel Ravanas, who said the chef has long since grown accustomed to being judged severely over his pricey creations.

“We’re not here to forbid criticism, we want to check that criteria exist and that they have been applied correctly,” he told the court.

“You don’t have the right to write whatever you want using the excuse of freedom of expression,” he said.
The self-taught Veyrat has spent most of his life cooking in his home village of Manigod, 1,600 metres (5,200 feet) up the Alps near Annecy.

Just days before the November hearing, Veyrat was named one of the 10 immortals of haute cuisine by the rival French Gault & Millau guide, alongside legends like Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy.

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Pleasing PUNJAB Grill

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The suave and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM goes to the Punjab Grill…

MY favourite Indian restaurant. Arguably the best Indian restaurant for fine Indian cuisine in the modern style. Spacious and warm with test tubes of the myriad spices in Indian cuisine decorating the walls. Try the stimulating and unusual spicy Guava Cocktail with Cumin and Chilli!

Naan, Tikka, Barramundi and more…

Tasty grilled Chicken Tikka with aromatic perfumed Truffles that you can smell…as the dish is on its way to you, is outstanding. I love it! Lamb Kofta and tender, moist Barramundi Fish Tikka are superb too. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on it and enjoy!

Top left is Chicken Tikka with Truffles, Lamb Tikka looks like a sausage. In between is Barramundi

I love to savour the dishes with Garlic Yoghurt, Sweet Mango Chutney and Mint Sauce.

Beautiful Butter Chicken!

I find the sexy, luscious Butter Chicken and appetising Dum Biryani simply irresistable. The sauce for the Butter Chicken is just perfect in taste and texture. Enjoy with fluffly, slightly chewy piping hot Naan bread! The Dhal Makhani is also excellent with the lentil seeds cooked until they become mushy.

Butter Chicken Naan, Dhal Makhani and more…

Dum Biryani from the days of the Moghul Empire is served in a big bowl covered with a chappati. This melange of yummieness has lovely chunks of tasty chicken, plus flavoursome herbed long grain Basmati rice with fragrant spices and caramelized onions. Basmati rice is much more healthy than Jasmine rice due to its lower Glycaemic Index.

Simply Sweets!

A lovely finale is Dessert of Alphonso Mango Kulfi and Lychee Milk Pudding. Kulfi is like the Italian Semifreddo and is akin to ice cream.

Alphonso Mango Kulfi and Pistachio Lychee Pudding

Talented Executive Chef Javed and modest GM Ramesh are ever helpful.

Punjab Grill
B1-01A, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands,
South Podium, 2 Bayfront Avenue.
Singapore 018972
Reservations:  66887395

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Melt Cafe in Mandarin Oriental

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The resourceful and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM goes to feast at a MEGA Buffet in…

MANDARIN Oriental in Melt Cafe. My first stop was the Seafood Collosseum…reminds me of the Collosseum in Roma…

Boston Lobster split in half and the separated Claws! I adore Lobster Claws! Yummie! Snow Crab, Canadian Oysters, Clams, Green Lip Mussels. I liked the Mango Mayonnaise, Tartare Sauce, Mignonette and fresh lemon juice with the seafood plus a dash of Tabasco!

Boston Lobster, Snow Crab and more!

Lots of Cold Cuts too like Smoked Salmon, Champagne Ham, Proscuitto di Parma (Parma Ham), Salami, Snow Fish and more with Capers, Pickled Baby Onions, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Grilled Zucchini.

Healthy Salads!

The Salad Bar is very lavish! Baby Arugula, Iceberg Lettuce, Mesclun Mix, Romaine, Corn Niblets, Quinoa, Beetroot, Heart of Palm, Kidney beans, Broad Beans, Parmesan, Almonds, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Hazelnuts and lots more! I especially like the speciality Vinegars like Red Wine, Champagne, White Wine, Apple, Balsamico and also the Walnut, Hazelnut and Avocado Oils. Of coourse, there is Extra Virgin Olive Oil too and the usual suspects like Caesar Dressing, Thousand Island, Italian…

Japanese Sushi and Sashimi is on offer too and lots of variations like Kanisarada (crab), Unagi (eel), Prawn and more. The best thing about this mega buffet is that Melt Cafe is very spacious so you do not feel cramped and enclosed but quite liberated as you wander around choosing your personal favourtites to feast on.

Outside in the garden is an Al fresco BBQ where there is freshly grilled Lamb Chops, Angus Beef, Prawns, Lobster, Capsicum, Thai Style Pork Neck…

Wagyu Beef, Roast Pork, Honey Baked Ham and more…

The Carvery

has Wagyu Beef with Red Wine Sauce, Honey Baked Ham, Chinese Style Roast Pork and Steamed Chicken. The Indian Section has Naan Bread, crispy Poppadum, Tandoori and Seafood Curry, Dhal and I liked the Beetroot Tandoori very much. The Executive Sous Chef Eric Tan kindly make a special Truffle Naan and a Cheese Naan for me to try! 🙂 Very fluffy and yummie! Perfect for dipping into curry.

The Travelling GOurmet TM and Executive Sous Chef Eric Tan at the Carvery and Roast Meats section
TRuffle and Cheese Naan!

Say Cheese!

Gourmet Farmhouse Cheeses with Jams, Mostarda, Apricots, Almonds are sure to please the cheese afficionado…

For sweet DESSERTS there are lots and lts of sweet treats including ice cream like Madagascan Vanilla and Strawberry…and the signature luscious gooey MELT Chocolate Cake. indulge in the Valrhona Chocolate Fountain! Dip Marshmallows and Pineapple chunks into the chocolate! Freshly made Waffles with Maple Syrup delight as well!

Sweets for the sweet!

Mega Buffets! OMG! So much food, so little time…My taste buds melted in ecstacy in Melt Cafe 🙂

Melt Cafe

Mandarin Oriental

5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square

Singapore 039797

Tel: 68853500

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Conrad Centennial Weekend Festive Afternoon Tea!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The debonair and dashing Travelling Gourmet TM savours a…

MARVELLOUS elegant Weekend Festive Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Lounge of the Conrad Centennial. The teas are by the famous German company Ronnefeldt and you can also have coffee like cappuccino or machiato, if you prefer. This yummie Afternoon Tea is served course by delicious course…but before the food…your welcome cocktail is brought to you. Called the “Grinch”, the psychedelic cocktail has Blue Curacao Liquer, Lime Juice and is topped with Star Anise petals. A most colourful and refreshing cocktail. When you stir the orange Mango Puree at the bottom of the tall glass, the colour changes to jade green. The reusable environment-friendly straw is made of steel. Years ago, I was in the finals of Bols Cocktail Competition with my Cocktail called “Paradorian Poona” made with Blue Curacao. I came in third place competing against professional bartenders.

Care for some Afternoon Tea?

Afternoon Tea is typically British and has a long history. In 1840, it was Anna, the Duchess of Bedford who always felt hungry about 4pm…so Anna decided to have some makan because it was 4 long hours before dinner at 8pm!

The Duchess asked for a tray of tea, cake, bread and butter vis a vis the Sandwich to be brought to her room. John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718 to 1992) was a gamblerholic and profligate (dissolute and recklessly wasteful person) who invented the Sandwich because he did not want to stop gambling for dinner! Anna’s brainwave caught on and she began inviting her posh pals to join her. Afternoon Tea thus became a fashionable social event. Upper-class hoity-toity society women in the 1880s would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea…usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock. Necessity is always the Mother of Invention, n’est pas mes amis…Top hole old chap!

Sexy SEAFOOD Platter!

Wow! A huge platter of Meeresfruechte was set before me…there were Irish Oysters au naturel, Boston Lobster poached to perfection and fresh Prawn on Ice with fresh cut Lime and Lemon and super-cute minature bottles of Tabasco! There was of course, the Mignonette Sauce too. The classic Mignonette is made with Red Wine Vinegar, Shallots Brunoise and Cracked Pepper. Excellent with Osters and seafood. Yummie!

There are many different flavours of Ronnefeldt tea to enjoy. I tried several and started with Sweet Kiss which has strawberry, pineapple and kiwi flavours. Very nice with a spot of honey. I also liked Granny Garden with fragrant vanilla and fruity rhubarb. A healthy Green tea is Morgantau Sencha. For exotic Whiskey and Cocoa aromas try Assam Autumn tea.

The ambience of the Lobby Lounge is very cosy and soothing with warm wood panels and pillars. A live pianist plays mood music while you savour the yummies. The next yummie was tender Beef Brisket slow cooked with Mushroom on Caramelized Onion Toast. Partaking Afternoon Tea is a really civilised way to spend the afternoon in a leisurely way with good food and nice teas, plus the company of friends and family.

“Tree” of Goodies!

A huge silver “Tree’ arrived! On its branches were many delightful SAS – Sweet And Savoury treats! The exquisite Santa’s Sleigh made of chocolate is outstanding as well as the Chestnut Mont Blanc which is not overly sweet. The green Christmas Gift Box wrapped in silver ribbon conceals a mousse cake. The cute rotund Snowman and Christmas Speherical Bauble were irresistable.

The “Tree” of Food! Top right is Santa’s Sleigh

There’s also a salad in a bowl…Pomegrate, Roasted Beetroot, Cherry Tomato, Green Frisee and Feta Cheese. A Roggen Brot (Rye Bread) open sandwich is topped with Roast Turkey Cubes Paysanne, Orange Marmalade and Brie Cheese. The rectangular Multigrain Tartelette filled with Chicken in BBQ Sauce was tasty too. Tortilla Wrap filled with Cream Cheese spiked with Lemon Zest was quite filling; I would have liked more Lemon Zest for thatzesty citrus bite. After relishing all that yummie food in between drinking Granny Garden Tea, I thought: “No dinner tonight for me, I am getting quite full!”

Super Scones!

After a nice rest, a giant glass dome arrived before me. OMG! It was filled with hot Cranberry Scones and regular Scones pls Spiced home-made Apricot Jam and home-made Strawberry Jam. Yummielicious! I really must praise the Duchess of Bedford for inventing Afternoon Tea in 1840! Bon appetit! 🙂

Scrumptious SCONES!

Conrad Centennial Singapore

2 Temasek Boulevard

Singapore 038982

Tel: 63348888

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Man’s BEST friend!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The audacious and resourceful Travelling Gourmet tells you about…

MAN’S BEST friend…the noble dog.

L’animale e il miglior amico dell uomo:

non fa domande e non critica!

Translated from Italian:

Animals are the best friends of Man:

not so demanding and not so critical!

Conan the Canine Commando! Conan is a Belgian Malinois.

Conan at the White House on Monday.

De Oppresso Liber!

Who Dares Wins!

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