NOVOTEL Stevens Festive Buffet!

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

Copyright all rights reserved

The debonair and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM goes to fabulous Food Exchange to savour the…

MERRY Festive Buffet featuring international specialities to tempt even the most jaded palates. Apart from the delicious food, I also like the spacious and cheerful ambiance of the restaurant. It is also “coool” to feast beside the swimming pool al fresco. The hazard of buffet dining is over-eating…so my humble recommendation as The Travelling Gourmet TM is:

Be selective and do not eat big portions. If you eat slowly, savouring the food and have degustation (tasting) portions, you will be fine. Practice “Mindful Eating”!

Carving Satay Turkey!

SATAY Roasted Turkey!

Classic Traditional Roast Turkey and Boneless Honey Baked Ham are some of the stars of the show. The moist and tender ham was excellent.

Satay Turkey with Root Vegetables and Brussels Sprouts

However, there is a new star…Satay Roasted Turkey! Most innovative! The turkey is marinated and seasoned with Satay spices like Lemongrass and galic…Turkey meat with the mildly spicy Satay sauce is very yummie. There is also Schweinshaxe or German -style Pork Knuckle with crispy crackling which I love.

SEAFOOD on Ice!

I always like that old joke: I am on a seafood diet…when I see food I eat it! Ha! Ha!

Scallops, Snow Crab and more!

The Seafood on Ice section is always appealing with big Prawns, Scallops on the half shell, Mussels, Oysters au naturel, Clams, Snow Crab and more!

The Travelling Gourmet TM and Executive Chef Panniammurti

Lovers of Indian cuisine will find Tandoori Chicken lovingly cooked in the cylindrical clay oven called…the Tandoor. This dish was created by Punjabi Kundan Lal Gujral in Delhi in 1947. Marinated in yoghurt and Masaal spices which comprise Pepper, Paprika, Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic and more…I like to enjoy it with green Mint Sauce and Sweet Mango Chutney. With Naan Indian bread…

Ooo-dles of Noodles!

At the live Noodle Bar Station, traditionalists always enjoy good ol’ Prawn Laksa and Tom Yam Seafood Noodle Soup freshly cooked for them. There are several types of noodles for your choice. There is Char Siew, Roast Pork with Crunchy Crackling and Roast Duck with sweet gooey Plum Sauce too.

Satisfy your sweet tooth!

Sexy Christmas Sweeties Santa Claus is edible Wahahah! 🙂

Desserts! I love desserts especially Christmas desserts. Sweet treats are an integral part of Christmas.

The goodies include luscious Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce, rich Christmas Log Cake, Lemon Meringue Cake, Potong Ice Cream Bars, yummie and rich Christmas Fruit Cake, aromatic Festive Lebkuchen or Gingerbread Cookies and more! The Chocolate Lebkuchen in the shape of Gingerbread men and cute Tannenbaeume (Christmas trees) are very delicious. Lebkuchen are very big in Germany and Austria.

Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes Neues Jahr! (Joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year in German)

Food Exchange on Level 2

Novotel Singapore on Stevens

28 Stevens Road, Singapore 257878

Tel: +65 6491 6100

Hours: 6.30am to 10pm

Festive Buffet !

  • Weekday Festive Lunch Buffet, Mondays to Sundays , 12:00pm – 2:30pm, $56++
  • Weekday Festive Dinner Buffet, Sundays to Thursdays, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, $72++
  • Weekend Festive Dinner Buffet, Fridays to Saturdays , 6:00pm – 10:00pm, $82++
  • Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet, Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, $98++
  • Christmas Day Brunch Buffet, Wednesday, 25 Dec 2019, 12:00pm – 3:00pm, $98++

Top up $50++ for unlimited flow of beer, white wines and red wines.
An additional $10++ will be required on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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Venice and Venissa and floods!

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

Copyright all rights reserved

The indomitable and audacious Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about one of…

MY favourite places to stay and dine in Venice called Venissa the only home of the ancient Dorona grape of Venetian nobility. Now suffering from the terrible floods that have hit Venice. However, Venissa on Mazzorbo Island is very resourceful and is making the best of it!

ACQUA ALTA

Il 12 novembre rimarrà nella memoria di molti a Venezia, la seconda acqua alta più grande di sempre ha colpito la laguna. La vigna è stata completamente sommersa e solo in primavera sapremo se le piante saranno in grado di sopravvivere.

Lo spirito di Venezia ci ha portato a rialzarci velocemente, dal 13 novembre l’Osteria Contemporanea di Venissa, le camere del Wine Resort e quelle di Casa Burano sono regolarmente aperte, la situazione nelle isole è tornata alla normalità e siamo pronti a proporvi un calendario di eventi per questa stagione.

Amiamo queste isole quando il turismo rallenta, l’autunno è il periodo ideale per scoprire una laguna silenziosa e dai colori tenui.

Meanwhile, mio buon amico Gianluca Bisol and his son Matteo are trying to save the ancient Dorona grapevines which were also flooded…

Large parts of central Venice are under water again, including Piazza San Marco, as another exceptionally high tide inundated the Italian city.

Three of the worst 10 floods since records began in Venice, nearly a hundred years ago, have now happened in a week.

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White Truffle from Alba in AURA!

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

Copyright all rights reserved

The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM attends the XX Anniversary World Alba White Truffle Charity Auction dinner in…

MERAVIGLIOSO Aura ristorante in historic Singapore’s National Gallery which used to be the Supreme Court. Aura is a fine dining Italian ristorante helmed by mio amico Chef -Owner Guiseppe “Beppe” de Vito.

The Travelling Gourmet TM and Chef-Owner Beppe de Vito

Amuse bouche featured 3 types of tiny cute canapes…Baby Carrot with Vermouth Gelee, Baby Radish with Anchovy Crema and Baby Zucchini with Hazelnut Panna Cotta. Really whet my appetite! These were paired with a energising sparkling wine made by the metodo classico which is also used to make champagne. The Millesimato Pas Dose (no dosage of sugar added) Contratto Giuseppe from Canelli in Italy.

White Truffles come from Alba in Piemonte in sunny Italy and is coveted by gourmets worldwide. The Governor of Piemonte, Alberto Cirio, told us all about White Truffles and how they are all natural and cannot be cultivated. Tuba magnatum Pico is the scientific name and to put it very simply, the Truffle is an underground mushroom or hypogeous fungus! They are found by Trifolao or truffle hunters with special dogs who can smell the Truffle.

The Travelling Gourmet TM and Alberto Cirio, Governor of PIemonte

The antipasto was appetising Crapaccio of Tuna Belly Rolls with Onion Cream, crunchy air-flown Piedmonte Hazelnuts and with lashings of White Truffle which Chef-Owner Beppe kindly personally grated for me! Truffle has amazing aromas of honey, hay, garlic, spices and more…A lovely red Barbera d’Alba DOC 2012 by Filippo Gallino from Piemonte.

Carpaccio of Tuna Belly Rolls!

Pasta was next…mouth-watering Delica Pumpkin Tortelli, Cheese Fondue and lashings of aromatic Alba White Truffle. A youthful medium bodied piedmontese Barbaresco DOCG 2106 by Bruno Rocca with red fruit expressions.

Mio buon amico Chef Beppe kindly shaving White Truffle for me

Before the main course, it was the World White Alba Charity Auction of Truffles and Wines. A gigantic White Truffle of 1005g was auctioned simultaneously in Moscow, Hong Kong and Singapore by Livestream web-link and shown live on TV monitors. It was finally bought by a Hong Kong buyer for 120,000 Euros!

My main course was a medallion of tender and juicy Smoked Grass Fed Beed Tenderloin done medium with Seasonal Vegetables Bagna Cauda. The beef went hand in glove with a classic Barolo with fine tannins, very smooth on the palate and lots of “fruitti di bosco” (fruits of the forest) flavours. It was Barolo Carobric DOCG 2000 by Paolo Scavino of Piedmonte. This wine impressed me!

Dessert Dome of Kalingo Chocolate was very yummie with Raspberry and Caramel Chantilly. A sweet sparkling Asti Spumante Dolce (sweet) DOCG matched well as the chocolate flavour was not overpowering.

Aura has good food and wines. Aura also has fabulous views of the historic Padang and the Singapore City skyline, as well as the “Two Durians” (Esplanade Theatres by the Bay) and the Surfboard of MBS.

Keep calm and enjoy White Truffles! Buon appetito! 🙂

AURA

Level 5 National Gallery

1, St. Andrews Road

Singapore 178957

Tel: 6866 1977

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Pan Pacific Singapore’s Christmas Goodies!

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

Copyright all rights reserved

The audacious and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about Pan Pacific Singapore’s…

MANY yummie Christmas goodies! Much worthy of mention is the big Pear William and Caramel Nut Log Cake inspired by the humble Snickers candy bar. Made with sexy Jivara Milk Chocolate plus chunky Pear cubes, there is also zesty Pear Curd. The velvety pear fruit is very yummie. Valrhona’s Jivara milk chocolate has 41% Cocoa with pleasing flavours of vanilla and caramel. A lovely crunchy texture comes from the caramelised Hazelnuts! Hazelnuts, like almonds, are very healthy and raise up your good cholesterol. Aesthetically, the hazelnut-studded Log Cake is very pleasing with Chocolate garnishes like wafer-thin chocolate Tannenbaeume/Christmas trees.

For a local touch, they also have the Mao Shan Wang (Gold Mountain) Durian and Gula Melaka Log Cake, as well as the Coconut Mango Calamansi Log Cake.

From top left to bottom right – Hazelnut Chocolate Tart, heavenly Jivara Milk Chocolate Pear William and Caramel Nut Log Cake, Mao Shan Wang DURIAN and Gula Melaka Log Cake, Tangy Coconut Mango Calamansi Log Cake

Another goodie is the German Marzipan Stollen. Germans love stollen at Christmas time. Try too the Christmas Homemade Chocolate Pralines!

For savouries, tuck into unusual Baked Tamarind Turkey, sweet Honey Glazed Ham and meaty Roasted Kurobuta Pork Belly and more!

Left to right – Meaty Roast Kurobuta Pork Belly with Paprika and Kalamata Olive Stuffing, Traditional Roast Turkey with classic Chestnut Stuffing, Coconut Mango Calamansi Log Cake, Slow-roasted Ribeye of Australian Beef

Orchard Road put up Christmas decorations in September so here is wishing you an early Merry Christmas! OMG! It is only November!!! Bon appetit! 🙂

Festive Goodies from Pacific Marketplace

7 Raffles Boulevard Marina Square

Singapore 039595

Tel: 6336 8111

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RAFFLES Reborn…

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

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The audacious and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM goes to La Grande Dame…

MAJESTIC Raffles, and finds many delights…The Raffles officially re-opened on 1 August 2019, after the very expensive makeover of this historic hotel in sunny Singapore. Raffles was named after the founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. I was privileged to be brought on a VIP Tour…

Historically, the Sarkies brothers came to Asia from Isfahan in Persia (now Iran). In 1887, Tigran Sarkies opened the Raffles while his brother, Aviet, went to Rangoon (now Yangon)in Burma (now Myanmar) to open the Sarkies Hotel in 1892. In 1901, Aviet opened The Strand. I visited The Strand recently; the General Manager is my good friend.



Raffles Hotel’s familiar Main Building opened with great fanfare on 18 November, 1899. Another landmark year was 1915 when A. Dietz composed ” The Raffles March” and dedicated the song to Tigran Sarkies. 1915 was also the year when the iconic Singapore Sling was created by Hainanese Bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. He also created the Million Dollar Cocktail.

In March 1989, the old Raffles was demolished. Following a titanic renovation, Raffles was reopened on 16 September 1991. IN 2017, the 130th Anniversary, Raffles closed for another gigantic renovation and restoration! On August 1, 2019, the reborn Raffles officially opened.

La Dame Pic

What used to be the Raffles Grill is now a joint venture with my friend 3 Michelin Star Chef Anne-Sophie Pic. It is called “La Dame Pic” and serves haute cuisine. The Writer’s Bar has been enlarged and now has a dedicated selection of fine SCotch Whiskys. I also went to see the Long Bar at its previous location. I liked the motorised rattan fans on the ceiling. The bags of peanuts are still there and custom has it that you can litter the floor with the husks for good luck. Here in the Long Bar, the best sellers are the renowned Singapore Sling and also the Million Dollar Cocktail.

The Grand Lobby

To the left of the Grand Lobby, I went to take a peek at the Tiffin Room where I would later have lunch. Talking a walk to the Raffles Arcade, I toured the new Raffles Boutique and Gift Shop that has a mural depicting the history of the hotel. Lots of souvenirs from wearable T-shirts to magnets and Kaya Jam abound.

From the Grand Lobby, I climbed 36 steps up the curving staircase to level 2 to begin my tour. I saw the new Fitness Centre and Gym and also the enlarged swimming pool on level 3. The pool is now 20 m long and you can have an al fresco breakfast there in the morning.

I had a look at the luxurious Palm Court Suite 318 with its four poster bed, big bathtub and minibar in a chest of drawers. The suite faces the Palm Court.

BBR by Alain Ducasse

The Bar and Billiard Room is now renamed BBR by Alain Ducasse and serves mainly Meditteranean cuisine with many Spanish dishes and Tapas for sharing. This is another joint venture with Raffles. The friendly French Chef Louis Pacquelin is from the South of France.

The Travelling Gourmet TM dines like a Maharajah in...The Tiffin Room

I was happy to see my cheerful friend, Kuldeep Negi, who is the Chef de Cuisine of The Tiffin Room. The mainly North Indian cusine with some South Indian cusine from Kerala is very tasty and yummie!

Lucknowi Morgh Biryani

North Indian cuisine is the food of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Lucknow, just to name a few. The cuisine is characterised by the generous used of fragant spices like Cardamom, Cloves, Fennel, Turmeric, Cumin, Ginger and more. A big collection of Tiffin carriers decorate the brightly lit restaurant while wooden floorboards bring back the nostalgia of bygone days. Almond shaped chandeliers dangle from the high ceiling. There is an Appetiser Section with Indian style salads like PAP – not the political party, but Prawn and Pumpkin, Ha! Ha! Spicy Punjabi Style Chana (Chickpea) Salad, Onions, Kerala Style Prawns and Cooconut are other delectables. There are also lovely Chutneys and Pickles like Mango, Date and Tamarind, Mint and more. I especially like the Gooseberry I tucked in with gusto into goodies like Nalli Roganjosh. This macho and aromatic dish boasts lamb shank caressed with dried red chilli paste and Kashmiri Indian spices. SAS -Sweet And Sour Mango Chutney, goes well with this, believe me. I also love Lucknowi Murgh Biryani with healthy Basmati rice from a gigantic copper pot. Boneless Masala Chicken Curry too is yummie. Then a Mera Dabba (my box in Hindi) tiffin box was brought to my table with succulent Tandoori Chicken sans skewer and…Cheese, Garlic and Plain Naan (Indian bread). The Naans are de rigeur for dipping into the delicious sauces and curries. Savouring the food, mais oui, I felt like a Maharajah, wahahah! I had a wine made in India by my friends, the Secci fratelli (brothers) of Masi winery in Italy, whose winery I have toured. Aptly named Fratelli, the light palate-friendly wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Sweets for the Sweet!

Indian Desserts are usually very sweet! A delight for thse with a sweet tooth! A variation of the classic Gulab Jamun Balls (which are milk dumplings) is that they are laced with Bittersweet Chocolate and delicate Saffron. Tropical fruits like Melon, Pineapple, Dragonfruit and more are also on the Dessert table. I always like Mango Kulfi which is Indian Ice Cream.

Tiffin Room

Raffles Singapore

1 Beach Road

Singapore 189673

Tel: 63371886

Hours: 12pm to 2pm daily for Lunch

6.30pm to 10pm daily for Dinner

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Super SKY22

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

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The indomitable and intrepid Travelling Gourmet TM goes to the new Courtyard by…

MARRIOTT…all the way up to the 22nd floor…to taste delectable dishes like Curry Capitan with Roti Prata & Poppadoms with Achar (Nyonya Pickles), mildly spicy Chilli Crab Pizza, tangy and zesty Penang Style Assam (tamarind) Laksa, tender & moist Pork Satay with Red Onions, Fresh Cucumber, Ketupat (rice cake) with yummie Peanut Sauce, Nasi Goreng (literally translated from the Malay language as ‘fried rice’) with Egg Sunny Side Up and more! Good food, good service and good ambience makes bright and spacious SKY22 one of my favourite restaurants. Portions are very generous for those with big appetites. There is also an excellent Semi-Buffet “eat as much as you like” Dinner with your choice of main course. I like to dine early so as to see the sun setting over the Novena area. Easy access because the Novena MRT station is just a hop, skip and jump away.

Deconstructed Cendol

A lovely dessert is Cendol Deconstucted with Nuggets of fragrant Gula Melaka and Ice Cream that is not ot sweet but very yummie! The seductive Gula Melaka flavours pleasure your taste buds endlessly as you bite into the nuggets. The Dessert Buffet is also noteworthy. Splendid SKY 22 is helmed by modest and talented Executive Chef John Chye who is one of the nicest Chefs I know. In Urbana there is 1 for 1 Cocktails from 5pm to 8pm daily.

SKY22

Level 22

Courtyard by Marriott Novena

99 Irrawaddy Road

Singapore 329568

Tel: 62500303

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Mooncakes – Shangri-La sticks to old favourites

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

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The resourceful and audacious Travelling Gourmet TM tastes Shangri-La’s classic…

MOONCAKES…like Plain Lotus Seed Paste, Lotus Seed with Single Yolk, Lotus Seed with Double Yolks and Chicken Ham & Mixed Nuts. These four come in a chic and elegant shocking crimson Box with auspicious Peony flowers….Shangri-La’s Four Treasures Box! After you enjoy scoffing the Mooncakes, you can re-use the box for your jewellery, cosmetics nd knock-knacks. There is even an almond shaped mirror in the lid. Yes, the box is environment friendly…all the rage now. Reduce, re-use, recycle goes the “greenies” mantra…

Go nuts over Mixed Nuts Mooncake!

There are those who do not like Mixed Nuts Mooncakes but I confess that I actually love them for the taste, texture and the crunchiness. Not to forget the numerous health benefits of nuts like almonds that raise up your good cholesterol! I shall always remember one routine yearly Medical checkup, when I had been consuming lots of almonds; my Doctor told me, “Wow! Your cholesterol is very good!”. When I told him I ate a lot of almonds, macadamias and other nuts, he exclaimed, “That is it! Almonds raise up your good cholesterol.” The melange of melon seeds, almonds, sesame seeds with sugar glazed winter melon and orange has a good balance of SAS -Sweet and Savoury tastes. There is also chicken ham. I really prefer REAL ham but chicken ham is not too bad. Put pork on your fork as the Aussies say…

Forever young…with Lotus seeds

Stay forever young with the anti-aging enzyme L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase enzyme found in Lotus seeds. The enzyme with the very long name repairs damaged proteins. Lotus seeds also have protein, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, while being low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Good to know when you savour Lotus Seed Mooncakes with or without salted Duck Egg Yolks. Shangri-La’s Lotus Seed paste is made with reduced sugar. There is 30% less sugar than the old recipe. Excellent news for the health conscious!

Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

22 Orange Grove Road

Singapore 258350

Tel: 7373644

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