Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore...

What makes a good buffet? Cheap? Variety? Ambiance? Quality? Quantity? I believe many people have their own definition of what constitutes a good and solid buffet but in my opinion, a decent buffet shouldn’t be too expensive and it must have at least 4-5 dishes that are unique to the buffet place itself. Of course, the food should have some standards as well.

For people who aren’t big-eaters like me would think that a buffet is a waste of money since we will never ever eat enough to cover the amount we paid for the buffet. But seriously, we can still enjoy a buffet as long as it fits the criteria I mentioned above. But where can we find such a buffet in Singapore that offers a wide selection of high-quality dishes and at the same time still very affordable? Yes, you can, at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore!

Buffet will never be boring again with Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore's launch of its latest dining promotion at J65 restaurant that allows guests to Eat Through The Week with a series of dining options from Monday to Sunday. Everyday for dinner, J65 will introduce a different theme, from Crab! It's Monday..., Tuesday's Beef Yourself Up!, Wednesday's Lobster Rock 'n' Roll, Thursday's His Majestic the King Prawn, Hooked! Seafood Mania on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday's Let's Go Local. There's bound to be one theme that you will be interested in.

J65 promises to deliver a wide array of dishes for guests to choose from, be it local or international. Like what J65's Excecutive Chef Federick Kho said, "We want to give Singaporeans something to look forward to every night, and to unwind after a long stressful day at work!" Definitely a buffet that is worth trying!

Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab & Oysters! Isn't this buffet pretty awesome and tempting? Also, ladies get to enjoy a complimentary Sangria on Wednesday!

The beef was really tender, but it will be better if it was not too dry! Perhaps some marinated sauce would do the trick!

Prawns were also well-marinated!

Wednesday Lobster Rock 'n' Roll Buffet

A huge spread at the Lobster's Buffet on Wednesday. My favourites were definitely the lobster bisque (Creamy with huge chunks of tender lobster meat) and the baked cheese lobster (So freaking addictive). The appetizers were pretty good as well.

But my favourite was still this Singapore Laksa with Lobsters that blew me away! I could already smell its fragrance 50m away from my table. The gravy was thick and creamy which exceeded way beyond my expectation because I had some really very bad experience with the laksa elsewhere but this laksa is so on point. The assam was well-used, not so overpowering or spicy which I could comfortably enjoy without flushing myself with huge amount of water. The lobster was fresh, and the meat was sweet and tender! This is definitely one of the station to go!

This is one of the popular station. Should take some of these before it's gone!

Yummy! Lobster Rolls!

Besides the so many amazing lobster dishes, J65 also offers a wide range of beautiful-looking and delicious desserts! 

This is the station that will let the girls go heart-throbbing!

Thank you Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore for the great hospitality and Sophie for the extended invitation! I had a wonderful experience at J65 and would definitely be back for the buffet again!

The Eat Through The Week promotions are available for dinner (from 6:00pm to 9.30pm from Sunday to Thursday and 6:00pm till 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday). It is priced at SGD 55++ per person (Sunday to Thursday) or SGD 60++ per person (Friday to Saturday).

Nearest Mrt Station: Orchard
Location: Level 1 of Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore
Restaurant Ratings: 4/5
Food Ratings: 8/10
Contact Number: 65 68314374

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping) 

First 25 Café...

Working in the CBD area? No idea where to have your lunch? Having lunch in the CBD area is always so expensive? Don’t feel like eating in the hawker centre because it’s too hot? Fret not, First 25 Café is one place you can rely on for wallet-friendly meals, especially their set menu priced at $13.90 for 1 main and a drink. I wouldn’t say that the food is super delicious, neither is it too shabby, but at least I was satisfied and the food served at First 25 did exceed my expectation. So if you want to have a good lunch before facing the huge pile of workload back at work but at the same time doesn’t want to burn a hole in your pocket, then perhaps you can consider having your lunch at First 25 Café.

In frame, Pan Roast Salmon Fillet, Roasted Mix Herb Chicken and Garlic Twister Fries. Do note that the Pan Roast Salmon Fillet and the Roasted Mix Herb Chicken is available in the lunch set menu priced at $13.90 and it comes with a complimentary drink.

Garlic Twister Fries // $9.90

To be honest, it tasted exactly the same as the twister fries that Mcdonald sells but the portion is bigger and it comes with a cheesy nachos dip. The fries were not too bad, fragrant and has a subtle garlic taste that is not too overpowering. It gets a bit addictive towards the end, especially the dipping of the fries into the cheesy nachos sauce which is really very tasty.

Some of you might think it is too pricey for just a plate of Twister Fries but I beg to differ. I mean Mcdonald is selling their ala-carte twister fries at $3-$4, so the difference isn't really that very big. The portion at First 25 is bigger, and it comes with a sauce, plus you are also paying for the ambiance and service. 

Roasted Mix Herb Chicken // $15.90 (Ala-carte) & $13.90 (Lunch Set Menu with a Complimentary Drink)

The chicken was very fragrant, could already smell it when the waiter took it out from the kitchen. It was also well-marinated and the herbs were not too overwhelming (Those who dislike the taste of herbs could probably try this because I hate food that reeks of strong herb smell and taste). The meat was quite tender. 

One thing that I dislike about the dish was the side vegetables that comes with the chicken. I thought it wasn't well-cooked or well-marinated because it was a bit hard for me to chew and the flavour was kind of weird to me. But overall, it was not that bad.

Pan Roast Salmon Fillet // $15.90 (Ala-carte) & $13.90 (Lunch Set Menu with a Complimentary Drink)

This was one of my favourite dish at First 25. The salmon was really well-marinated and it was well pan-fried because it wasn't dry at all. Really wished the salmon was a bit bigger because it was so delicious. A must-order at First 25. Again, the side vegetables could really be improved. Cooking it a bit longer would probably helps.

Nearest Mrt Station: Tanjong Pagar
Location: 7 Hoe Chiang Road, Singapore 089313
What To Order: Garlic Twister Fries & Salmon
Cafe Ratings: 3/5
Food Ratings: 7.5/10

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)

House of Roasted Duck...

Hong Kong has always been a very popular tourist destination because of its justifiably famous cuisines and restaurants. Even for myself, I have been dying to visit the country after hearing countless stories as well as seeing the huge variety of Hong Kong cuisine that are simply so alluring and mind-boggling. But sadly, I never had the chance to stay in this place that offers a wide arrays of delicacy.

But it’s okay. The perks of staying in Singapore, a modernised and cosmopolitan city, would definitely be the extensive variety of food that we have in this small country of ours. From Korean, Japanese, Chinese to Indian cuisines, you name it and we almost have it all. So for people who didn’t get the chance to travel to Hong Kong or have a sudden yearning for Hong Kong food, fear not, House of Roasted Duck is one restaurant you can visit in Singapore to satisfy your cravings for Hong Kong delicacies.

Just recently, House of Roasted Duck opened its second restaurant at Sultan Plaza. It promises to deliver the familiar taste of Hong Kong with its traditional and authentic Hong Kong style roasted delights such as Signature Peking Duck, Peking Duck – 2 Styles, Crispy Roasted Pork, an assortment of Cantonese Dim Sum and the list goes on. I can’t compare it with the restaurants in Hong Kong since I’ve never been to Hong Kong but I dare to say that House of Roasted Duck is probably one of the best Hong Kong restaurant that I’ve been to so far in Singapore. 

Crispy Roasted Duck and Peking Duck are perpetual favourites in Hong Kong and are the signature dishes of House of Roasted Duck. But do you know that the process of making delicious Crispy Roasted Duck and Peking Duck is tedious and requires many years of experience?

In order to prepare a delicious Crispy Roasted Duck or Peking Duck, the Chef has to first pump air under the skin through the neck cavity to separate the skin from the fat. The duck is then soaked in controlled boiling water before it is hung up to dry. While it is hung, the duck is glazed with a layer of maltose syrup, and the inside is rinsed once with water. Having been left to stand for 24 hours, the duck is then roasted in a closed or hung oven until it turns shiny brown.

The whole process is complicated and it requires the Chef’s good management of time and temperature. In this case, you can expect the Crispy Roasted Duck and Peking Duck at House of Roasted Duck to have high scores because Executive Chef Lai Wai Keung is a native Hong Kong-er with close to 40 years of local and overseas experience. He was also previously Barbecue Cook No. 1 with the renowned The Excelsior Hotel & Convention Centre Hong Kong.

I have always wanted to try the Roasted Duck at Joy Hing Roasted Restaurant at Wanchai because of its affordable price and delicious roasted delicacies. No doubt why it is always packed with so many locals everyday. But I guess with House of Roasted Duck, I don't have to travel all the way to Hong Kong to satisfy my cravings for roasted cuisines.

Peking Duck – 2 Styles // $52 for whole

Peking Duck or Crispy Roasted Duck? Can I not choose which one I like the most out of these two? It’s really hard for me to decide because both tasted really delicious. For people who are extremely fickle-minded, or simply want to try both (like me), House of Roasted Duck is nice enough to solve this problem for us which is to combine both of their signatures together.

I was really very impressed with this dish, especially the crispy skin that makes many crunchy sounds when chewing in my mouth as well as the flavoursome and tender meat which complements very well with their home-made dipping sauce. No wonder it is so well-received by the public. Seriously, I’m not saying this because it is a sponsored tasting but they were deep down really good!

There are so many ways to eat Roasted Duck. You have Duck Pancakes, Duck Salad, Roasted Duck Porridge, Roasted Duck Noodles or even the Roasted Duck by itself. But the best way and my all-time favourite to enjoy Roasted Duck would be to pair and wrap it with a flour crepe, throw in some vegetables and eat it with the special dipping sauce. My life would be complete!

Four Heavenly Kings Platter // $48

The dish comprises of 4 signature roasted delights which are Crispy Roasted Duck, Soy Sauce Chicken, Barbecued Pork and Crispy Roasted Pork. Again, this dish is meticulously created for fickle-minded, greedy people or roasted delights lovers.

The Crispy Roasted Duck was on point, nothing else to pick on. The Barbecued Pork was well-marinated and tender. Give me a bowl of rice, I would freaking finish it all. The Crispy Roasted Pork was probably the best out of the four. The skin was crispy and the fats were not disgusting. I was thrown aback when I tried it. Damn good! The Soy Sauce Chicken, however, did not stand out as compared to the rest. 

Fried Rice with Diced Duck & Egg // $14 per plate

Wok-fried to perfection, this down-to-earth but yet extraordinary dish provides a twist to the usual fried rice and promises to let you experience phenomenal delight and pleasure to your taste buds with its “wok hei” flavour and distinctive rice grain texture.

The rice was fragrant and on top of that, I could taste the flavour from each and every grain of rice. They were not very sticky (I hate fried rice that sticks to one another) which shows the Chef’s good control of the wok’s temperature. Together with the diced duck and egg, it is a force to reckon with even though it is such a simple dish.

Congee with Abalone & Roasted Duck // $12.80 per bowl

To be honest, I thought the porridge was a bit tasteless. Everything else, the abalone and roasted duck was good. Probably I’m used to eating porridge that are stronger in flavours but this dish would be good if you are feeling unwell.

I was having a conversation with one of the management team when she told us about one of their Hong Kong regular telling her that the porridge tasted like the ones in Hong Kong which she couldn’t find elsewhere in Singapore except at the House of Roasted Duck. If you are keen to find out what Hong Kong-style porridge tastes like, then you really have to make your way down to this restaurant.

Shrimp Wanton Noodles // $6.80 for Soup Version; $7.80 for Dry Version

The noodles were really springy and flavourful. The Shrimp Dumplings were stuffed with huge chunks of shrimp, bits of pork and strips of black fungus to ensure the delectable crunch. A tad expensive but I’m telling you, it is worth it!

Shrimp Wanton Soup

Look at the size of the Shrimp Wanton! They are really generous and the broth is really tasty!

How can we not have Dim Sum after our meal at a Hong Kong restaurant? My favourites were the Steamed Siew Mai with Tobiko at $4.80 and the Steamed B.B.Q Pork Bun at $4.50. The rest were not too bad but these two stands out the most for me!

Thank you Gerald, The Influencer Network and House of Roasted Duck for inviting me down for a food tasting. I think I can forget about visiting Hong Kong when I can have authentic and delicious Hong Kong Cuisine in Singapore. House of Roasted Duck is definitely the best place to spend some good quality family time together over some seriously succulent Hong Kong cuisines.
House of Roasted Duck is a prestigious restaurant by Gao Ji Food, a popular local heritage brand with 62 years of experience in the F&B industry.

Sultan Plaza Address
100 Jalan Sultan, #01-08 Sultan Plaza S(199001)
Tel: (65) 6297 5490
Operating Hours11am to 11pm
Nearest MRT Station: Nicoll Highway Station (CC5)

Restaurant Ratings: 3.5/5
Food Ratings: 8/10

Bugis Village Address
233 Victoria Street, Bugis Village S(188026)
Tel: (65) 6339 6817
Operating Hours: 11am to 11pm
Nearest MRT Station: Bugis MRT Station (EW12 / DT14)

For more information, check out 

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)

Rise & Grind Coffee Co....

Travelling all the way to the West can be a hassle especially for those people who stays far away from the West. I wouldn’t unless there’s something worth travelling to the West for and I would, most willingly, visit Rise and Grind Coffee Co. for brunch even though it is very out of the way.

Located at Bukit Timah Plaza, Rise & Grind Coffee Co. is a small and unpretentious café that offers a wide range of affordable Western food (Brunch, Burgers & Pastas). As the name of the café suggests, Rise & Grind Coffee Co. also serves one of the nicer coffee you can find in Singapore. 

In frame, Scrambled Eggs on Toast, Avo-ka-dukkah, Sweet Potato Fries, RGC Honey Wings, Matcha Latte and Affogato.

Avo-ka-dukkah // $15

Cyprus haloumi cheese, dukkah, guacamole, cherry tomato confit, greek yogurt, poached eggs, sourdough toast. 
The perfect representative of what a brunch should be like - refreshing and not too oily. The poached eggs were on point, both were soft and flowy, definitely egg-porn worthy! The rich and flavoursome guacamole spread on the sourdough is brillant, and it also goes very well with the running egg and cheese. The salads were also well-dressed. Definitely a must-try at Rise & Grind Coffee Co.!

Scrambled Eggs on Toast // $9

Simple dish but quite impressive! I mean where can you find such a cheap brunch item elsewhere. Croissant was really crispy and the scrambled eggs were so soft and fluffy. You can also add another $4 to get the salmon.

RGC Honey Wings // $9

After trying so many honey wings elsewhere in Singapore, the honey wings at Rise & Grind is my favourite now. The wings were well-marinated and tangy, definitely crispy and the meat were quite tender. It is also very addictive - I think I can eat like 6 on my own. 

Sweet Potato Fries // $10

Another addictive snack from Rise & Grind! The mentaiko mayonaisse is really finger-licking good and it goes very well with the sweet potato fries. It would a tad salty if you eat the sauce alone. One thing to note though, eat it while it's hot! Soaky and cold fries are a 'No Go!'

Affogato // $6.50

As I have mentioned earlier, Rise & Grind serves really nice coffee. My favourite would still be the Matcha Latte priced at $6 because of its richness. 

A pity their desserts were not available that day but overall I had a good dining experience at Rise & Grind and I would definitely be back to try their other mains.

Nearest Mrt Station: King Albert Park
Location: Bukit Timah Plaza, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit #L1-CA1
What To Order: Brunch and Coffee
Cafe Ratings: 4/5
Food Ratings: 8/10

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)

L'etoile Café...

No fairy tale. No inspiring story. At L’etoile Café, they just want to serve their best to the customers. Under the new management team, L'etoile is totally revamped and is way different from the one back in 2013. From renovating to introducing new food items in the menu, the new management team has put in a great deal of effort to create a brand new L'etoile where customers can comfortably called it their 'second home'.

Taking over an existing café that has been long forgotten by the public is definitely not easy, but with the new owner's strong passion and knowledge about the F&B industry, business at L’etoile Café has finally picked up and they now have a huge pool of regulars. Also, they recently opened another outlet situated at Changi Village.

Decked in a quiet corner at Farrer Park, L’etoile Café is a modern, cosy and down-to-earth café that serves an extensive range of affordable Western staples. Their current in-house promotion of 1 for 1 for mains is also very wallet-friendly. Besides their mains, L'etoile is also known for their home-baked cakes and coffee. So be it the weekdays or weekends, L’etoile Café is a good place to unwind after work and hang out with families and friends.

In frame, Chicken Cutlet with Cheesy Mushroom, Creamy Salted Egg, Ribena Soda and Latte.

Creamy Salted Egg // $18

L'etoile's rendition of this salted egg pasta is a tad spicy as compared to the ones that we can find in other places. I wouldn't say that it is too spicy but at least for me, it is tolerable. If you are still worried, perhaps you could notify the staff not to make it too spicy for you or you could just skip the chilli padi in the pasta.

The salted egg sauce was rich and creamy, but not very jelat. The spaghetti was not too bad, quite springy but it would be good if they could add some salt into the spaghetti when it is boiling to give it more flavour. They were also very generous in the amount of prawns they give. Four prawns is really alot - I mean where can you find places that give you so many prawns that are also big and fresh. Overall, I was quite impressed with this dish.

Chicken Cutlet with Cheesy Mushroom Sauce // $18

I know some of you might say this is a pretty ordinary dish (I did also when it was served onto my table), but the sauce blew me away. This cheesy mushroom is rich, creamy and very addictive. You really need to dip the chicken and the fries into the sauce to know why I said that. The chicken was crispy and tender but without the sauce, the chicken would just be tasteless. Also, you are able to choose three different types of sauces (Cheesy Mushroom, Nachos Cheese, Brown Stock and Cream). If I were you, I would ask the staff nicely if I can try all the sauces. Before I forget, the portion is huge as well. 

Latte // $5.50

Besides the cute latte art at L'etoile, they also ensure that their coffee beans and milk are fresh. They also have 3D latte art which I think you can request the barista to do. Definitely will cheer you up if you are feeling down on that day.

Matcha Azuki Cake // $9.80

They also have a fair range of home-baked cakes for you to choose from. A tad expensive but good and tasty cakes are totally worth the money. The most popular would be the Matcha Azuki Cake and Ondeh Ondeh Cake, while stocks last.

Very modern and European feel, about 10 minutes walk from Farrer Park Mrt Station.

The interior is really very cosy and comfortable. Many customers stayed there to do their work or even watched videos on their laptop.

Thank you L’etoile Café and Alyssa for the great hospitality. Also, stand a chance to win a slice of cake of your own preference from  L’etoile Café simply by:
1) Follow me @yongweikai and  L’etoile Café on Instagram
2) Repost my photo on Instagram
3) Tag 2 friends and comment on why you should be the winner
Contest will end 25th July 2016

Nearest Mrt Station: Farrer Park
Location: 160 Owen Road
What To Order: Mains and Cakes
Cafe Ratings: 4/5
Food Ratings: 7.5/10

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)
Powered by Blogger.