Monday, November 26, 2012

Lebanese Delicacies - Tarbush Restaurant, Sunway Pyramid

A little while ago (well actually ... more than a year ago), we visited Tarbush restaurant over at Empire Gallery and found the food pretty bland and the decor underwhelming. I'm not sure if that particular outlet is still open; what I do know is that the Sunway Pyramid branch (i.e. the one we actually like) is alive and kicking.

Arabic Mint Tea - to be honest I don't think this really tastes that much different than any other mint tea variety (peppermint, for example). It's pricey, too - something like rm6 per person.

I don't really eat brinjal / eggplant, so the Fetush Eggplant (salad with fried eggplant cubes) understandably didn't impress.

Hommus Tahinah - a must-order for any Arabian meal! This is a chickpea and sesame paste lathered with olive oil and is eaten as a dip with unleavened bread. Tarbush serves three different varieties for Hommus but this is the one we always keep coming back to.

You can choose from lamb, chicken, cheese or vegetables as stuffing for your Sambosas - crispy, savoury, yummy.

Moving on to mains - the Shish Kebab is always a hit with the family (including my two younger teenage sisters). The seasoned & spiced minced grilled lamb meat is tender, juicy, and doesn't have too much of a gamey taste.

If you prefer a little more variety, the Mix Grill might suit your fancy - it's a mixed meats platter of Shish Tawook (chicken), Shish Kebab, Lamb Cubes & Grill Arayes (meat-stuffed pita bread) served with a pretty generous serving of fries. It's actually enough to fill two regular-sized stomachs if you've been also filling up on appetizers.

Biryani Lamb - fragrant biryani rice with tender, juicy lamb chunks. Our order for the night had surprisingly little lamb in comparison to previous visits, checking in at a relatively measly three chunks to go with all that rice. And it's a pretty substantial heaping of rice, too.

Price-wise, we managed to feed a family of six for slightly under RM150 (after 15% discount from SCB Credit Card), so it actually does turn out to be pretty reasonably priced (and decent value for money). Food's overall good enough to keep its' spot as our default "go-to" restaurant whenever we have a hankering for Arabian cuisine.

Tarbush is located at LG2.123, Sunway Pyramid (Marakesh area near the blue lobby). The restaurant is open from 11am to midnight daily; call up +603 5633 9222 for reservations.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Colour Scheme of Wedding/Party. Have your favourite colour and wonder other colour matches it?

My favourite colour is purple. Have been cracking my head but stumble across this website. Pretty cool & impressive!

I'm going for Purple & Pink / Purple & Blue.

You can visit the site here for more advices & Wedding Tips! Click Here

Below images is links from the website which I believe is pretty useful for all!!

Pink Wedding Ideas Click Here

Blue Wedding Ideas Click Here

Green Wedding Ideas Click Here

Orange Wedding Ideas Click Here

Purple Wedding Ideas Click Here

Yellow Wedding Ideas Click Here

Red Wedding Ideas Click Here

Brown Wedding Ideas Click Here

Gray Wedding Ideas Click Here

Black & White Wedding Ideas Click Here

Gold Click Here

Sliver Wedding Ideas Click Here

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sin Heng (Herbal style) Claypot Bak Kut Teh

Generally speaking, Bak Kut Teh comes in two main varieties - the "Singapore style," which is relatively clear soup with loads of garlic and white pepper, and the Herbal soup style which (as its' name suggests, is a darker, stronger and thicker soup). Which style you prefer probably heavily depends on which soup you grew up drinking; since the darling and I grew up in Malaysia, we prefer the KL style.

Which is sort of a bummer in Singapore because we haven't really found any good herbal-style places so far. A friend of ours suggested Sin Heng Claypot Bak Kut Teh over on Joo Chiat Road, and since it was only about a 10 minute bus ride away, we pay a visit to see if it's any good.

The claypot BKT (without any spare parts) costs SGD12 and comes with a solid amount of meat for two average eaters. It's predominantly pork ribs; which are pretty tender without falling off the bone easily. However, we found that the soup was subpar, tasting of herbs and pepper and nothing else - in our opinion, a good BKT soup should also have a strong porky taste.

The egg fuyong with prawn (SGD7) is decently sized, and is pretty par for the course. Could perhaps use a tad bit more seasoning, though.

Kai Lan is also SGD7 ... normally we don't like ordering vegetables at restaurants because of the huge mark-up on the (extremely cheap) base cost of the greens, but with so much meat we felt compelled to order it.

Sin Heng is on 439, Joo Chiat Road. It's not within walking distance from an MRT station so you'll have to take a bus, or drive. In our opinion it's not good enough to really travel to eat on purpose, but as the restaurant is open til 4am in the mornings, it's available if you live nearby and need to satisfy a BKT craving :) Closed on Mondays. Non-halal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mondays in Lyon at Marina Bay Sands' db Bistro Moderne

I don't always look forward to Mondays. Pulling myself out of bed to go to work after a weekend of rest & relaxation isn't particularly high up on my list of enjoyable activities. What is on that list, though, is Mondays in Lyon over at db Bistro Moderne, one of Marina Bay Sands' Celebrity Chef Restaurants!

db Bistro Moderne is, of course, opened by Chef Daniel Boulud, a restaurateur who is probably most well known for his eponymous place Daniel in NYC, a 3-michelin starred restaurant which has been on Restaurant Magazine's list of The World's Best Restaurants for a remarkable eight years running.

The Singaporean outlet is helmed by Chef Stephane Istel, who's previously cooked across France, Savoie, the Côte d’Azur, from the Caribbean, New York and British Columbia. He's an affable, jovial chap who seems to have settled down in his Singapore kitchen pretty well.

The Mondays in _______ menu rotates every few months with a focus on the cuisine and ingredients in a particular town/city/region in France. For now up until the end of the year the focus is Lyon, which incidentally is where Chef Daniel grew up.

The menu comes with a choice of three starters, main courses and desserts. The first starter, one of Chef Daniel's signature dishes also available on the restaurant's regular offerings, is the Plateau de Charcuterie - a platter of delightful assorted cured meats, terrines, and pickles eaten with bread.

Soupe a L'Onion is a Classic French Onion & Beef Consommé with a liberal dosage of Gruyère cheese. Too liberal, perhaps - I thoroughly enjoyed the soup, but I ended up with several mouthfuls of chewy, chewy cheese that took a while to chew and swallow.

The Salade Lyonnaise is a frisée salad with chicken livers and bacon with a mustard and carrot dressing. Personally this was the starter that I enjoyed the least; maybe it's just me not being much of a salad person.

If you're into wine, a wine pairing option is available, with Les Vins de Vienne, Côtes du Rhône Blanc and Rouge 2010. The red is pretty strong and dry; unfortunately my wine nose and palate aren't mature enough to give you more information than that :)

The fish option for the mains is my favorite dish of the night. The Cabilleaud Poche - Poached Cod in a Nantua Sauce (a classical French Béchamel sauce with crayfish) - is delicious, with the cod being poached to perfection and nicely paired with the strong shellfish tastes of the sauce.

For vegetarians, or those of you avoiding meat, the Gratin de Cardons Dauphinois (Cardoon & Potato Gratin with Mushroom Fricassee) is a pretty hearty dish. I'm also a newcomer to the Cardoon, which is a vegetable which feels and tastes sort of like celery, only not as pungent.

Poulet au Vinaigre - Vinegar Braised Chicken served with Tarragon Rice Pilaf. The chicken was delicious, if not quite as moist and smooth as the breast we had at Petrus. Gravy was superb, though, especially when eaten with the rice.

Moving on to desserts, the Apple Tarte Fine would be my dessert of choice. The Apple Pie compote and Puff Pastry were pretty nice by themselves, but it was the accompanying Cognac Ice Cream that made the dessert simply sublime.

Coupe Chocolat et Marron is a selection of Valrhona Chocolate Ice Creams & Candied Chestnut with touches of edible Gold leaf. If you were wondering why the choice of Valrhona, it's because Valrhona actually does originate from Lyon.

Sadly I didn't much care for the third choice of desserts - the Ile Flottante - steamed meringue wedge floating in crème anglaise, with sugar-coated pink pralines. I thought that the meringue in itself was rather bland both from a texture and taste perspective, and the pralines were perhaps a bit too sweet.

The dinner finishes up with your choice of coffee/tea, and Chef Daniel's signature mini madeleines. I enjoyed these hot mini morsels a lot; too bad I couldn't stomach more than a few of them thanks to all the food I had throughout the night.

The Mondays in Lyon dinner goes for SGD68 per person (add on an additional SGD32 for the wine pairing), which in my opinion is a fair price for the ingredients used and the amount of love put in to the cooking. As its' name suggests, it's only available for dinner on Mondays, and only til the end of December (after which Chef will come up with a new Menu with focus on a different town/region). Non-halal.

** Please note that this was an Invited Review. Many thanks to Philicia and Elzena for the invite, and to Keropokman, Camemberu, My Food Sirens II and The Hungry Cow for the company :) **

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Research List & Price/Rate/Quotations of Makeup Artist (MUA) in Singapore & Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It's weird having this list as the first post for our Road to the Aisle page.

But I so far believe it's harder to find a MUA that you like their style. It's your wedding! Choosing a correct makeup artist will make you stunning or make you look all cake up with tons of make up. Only you know yourself best!

Here is a list of Make-up Artist (MUA) that I have done my research for my Wedding.

Please note that the prices stated below are subject to change. Just a guide on how much they are charging for you to select & fit into your budget.

For Kuala Lumpur base MUA
[New!] For this KL session, decided to go for Gene Lim, review is she is always on the dot punctual. Gentle with you no matter how tired you are. Knows how what make up is suitable for your face features. By looking at your gown & with your personality she will be able to style your hair to make you look irrepressibly beautiful bride. Best is the make up & hairdo is a lot quicker then the one i had in SG & JB one mentioned below. Believe it is due to her 6 years plus experience!

I only did my research on the Top MUAs with my friend Sharon's suggestions, they are:

Gene Lim email:
Portfolio at Facebook Click Here
Her quotation to me RM1500 for 1 morning 1 evening Click Here
Additional Items I enquire:
Family Make up w/o Hair-Do RM150
Family Make up w Hair-Do RM200
She does this alone, so probably 1 or 2 extra she will try her best to make it possible.

Angie Ng email:
Portfolio at her webpage Click Here
Here is her quotation to me Click Here
Family Make up w Hair-Do RM200

Remy Ngan email:
Apologize she was not free on the day I requested so I did not further ask for quotation.
Her Portfolio at Facebook Click Here
Trained by her, the Mimi Make Up Team:
Celeste Ngan Portfolio Click Here
Veron Woon Portfolio Click Here
Jocelyn Tan Portfolio Click Here

Rynee.T email:
Portfolio at Facebook Click Here
Actual Day (Morning or Dinner only) RM450
Actual Day (Morning & Dinner) RM900
Actual Day (Morning, Dinner & Second Dress) RM1200
Groom Makeup & Hairstyling RM50
Family Make up w Hair-Do RM150

For Singapore base MUA
[New!] For this SG session, decided to go for Fionna for my morning bridal make up, review is she is punctual. Gentle. Goes for simple make up. By looking at the hairstyle picture you provided she will be able to style your hair similarly. Sasa was my bridesmaid & my mother's make up artist for SG & JB, her extra service of borrowing the bridesmaids & my mother in law the touch up pack was not asked for by me. Love her service. ^_^
Sasa was my bridal make up for the JB dinner banquet, overall she did a great job. However, for my hairstyle she left a small ponytail at the back among the beautifully styled hair which she insisted that it was her style. For eyes, she actually took 30-40mins on them with trial & errors similar to Enya Mareine bridal studio, my pre-wedding make up experience there. But, all turns out prefect.

Fionna Lau email:
Portfolio on website Click Here
ROM Package SGD280 SGD230
Wedding Day (1 Make up & Hair Do only) SGD320 SGD250
Wedding Day (2 Make up & Hair Do) SGD850 SGD590
Mum/Bridesmaid/Sister Make up w Hair-Do SGD190
Makeup or Hair-Do Only SGD150
Fionna's price stated here is base on her website.

Sasa De Maquillage email:
Portfolio on Blogspot Click Here
Portfolio on Facebook Click Here
Package 1 SGD688
1 actual day make up + 1 hairstyle
2 dinner make up + 2 hairstyles
FOC: Bridesgroom dinner make up & hairstyle
Package 2 SGD588
1 actual day make up + 1 hairstyle
1 dinner make up + 1 hairstyle
FOC: Bridegroom dinner make up & hairstyle
Package 3 SGD388
1 actual day makeup + 1 hairstyle
touch up make up + change 1 hairstyle for lunch
FOC: Bridegroom lunch make up & hairstyle
Package 4 SGD288
1 actual day makeup + 1 hairstyle
All packages for brides are including: eyelashes, ampules, body foundation, bridal hair accessories, accessories
Other Packages: Parents/Sisters Makeup and Hairstyling (package include eyelashes)
Morning Sesssion
1 person SGD85
2 persons SGD75 each
3 persons and above SGD65 each
Evening Session
1 person SGD120
2 persons SGD110 each
3 persons and above SGD100 each

Rina Sim email:
Portfolio on Flickr Click Here
Actual Day (Morning only) Package SGD500
Trial Hair & Makeup SGD250
Trial Makeup SGD200

Cleo Chang email:
Portfolio at her webpage Click Here
ROM Package SGD380
Family Make up w Hair-Do SGD150

Liren Neo email:
Portfolio on website Click Here
ROM Package SGD299
Family Make up for 1 SGD150
Family Make up for 2 or more SGD120

Icey email:
Portfolio on website Click Here
Wedding Day (1 Make up & Hair Do only) SGD300

Kate Tang email:
Portfolio on facebook Click Here
Website: Click Here
ROM Package SGD250
Trial Session SGD100
Family Make up w Hair-Do w Bridal Package SGD80/pax
Family Make up w Hair-Do w/o Bridal Package SGD90/pax

Hope this list will help any bride-to-be. Good Luck & Hope they are available! ^_^

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dim Sum at Royal China (Raffles Hotel)

Dim Sum is one of those cuisine sub-types that spawn dozens (if not hundreds) of restaurants/cafe's/hawker stalls anywhere there is a decent Chinese population. The difficulty for the dim sum lover is then to sieve through the myriad of shops on offer and separate the wheat from the chaff.

After all, there are fewer things worse than biting on a siew mai with hard, dry 'skin' and mushy overcooked insides.

We probably won't face such problems with Royal China at Raffles Hotel, though. As a regular ranking (informal) member on "Best dim sum in Singapore" lists around the Web, surely the food will be at least above average.

Looking through the menu on a weekend afternoon, there's the host of the usual dim sum stalwarts, both steamed and fried. There's a few exotic sounding dishes, that we didn't really order because to be honest they didn't sound particularly appetizing.

Of the dishes that we did order, though, in general we found the dim sum to be pretty darn good. Of course, there were outliers like the rather plain congee (porridge), and some of the egg tarts which came with undercooked pastry (gasp!) ...

... but by and large the portions were decently-sized and tasted great.

I think the most outstanding dishes of the day for us were the three different buns we had that were filled with char siu - the meat was tender with the right proportion of fats and sweet sauce - yummy!

The liu sha bao (custard bun) was pretty good too!

Oh, and we also didn't care much for the mango pudding with pomelo, which just tasted a bit off; luckily the lotus pancake was nice and a perfect sweet end to the meal.

While I don't have exact prices, a regular stomach would find it hard to eat much more than SGD30-SGD40 worth of dim sum, so considering the restaurant's target positioning, it's pretty decent value, too. We won't be doing any dim sum rankings, but suffice it to say that Royal China easily deserves reputation of being "among the best dim sum restaurants in Singapore.

Royal China is in Raffles Hotel. If you're not driving, the nearest MRT stations are either Esplanade (Circle Line) or City Hall (Red/Green Lines). Non-halal.