Singapore’s hardest working chef, Ryan Clift, has moved his ultra-chic bar-cum-fine-diner into 3 shophouses in the heart of Chinatown. With the move, he has also reprogrammed his offers. While the old space offered 42 seats around a “C” shaped counter, the new Tippling Club has separated the drinking area from the dining. The bar, located at the restaurant’s entrance, seats 32 people while the dining room seats just 22. Gone also is the all-counter seat dining configuration for diners. You now have a choice to sit at proper tables or at one of eight bar seats that face the pass (i.e. the area from which food is inspected before being sent out into the dining room) and the main kitchen.
Truth be told, when entertaining in our home, I usually start with bubbly or wine for our guests. And if the hubby was left to the task, he’d simply crack open some bottles of ice cold beer. The idea of having to shake up an interesting beverage on top of planning, cooking and serving a meal, is a step that I’d gladly skip. However, with the stifling Singapore humidity, red wine is often too heavy. And beer tends to leave me feeling bloated (of course, I’m speaking purely from a lady’s perspective – this doesn’t seem to apply to blokes).
I have been a big fan of the Dim Sum Dollies since day one. I’ve known Selena and Pam for years and considered the late, incredibly talented Emma a friend. To date, I’ve been to all their shows. So I am extremely happy that the Dim Sum Dollies has reformed, with the affable, enthusiastic and super cool Denise Tan joining everyone’s favorite, local musical-theatre-cabaret-trio. Their new show, Crazy Christmas Ting Tong Belles, kicks off next week, on the 11th of December and runs through to the 22nd of the month. It is very much, for anyone who enjoys silliness, showtunes and Singaporeans making fun of themselves, a must-watch for the holiday season. You can purchase tickets here.
….because you can make them quickly and easily at home, and oh so much better. I remember when I first started to cook and I used to doctor up jarred tomato sauce with herbs and such. I felt very clever about making it “better” – until my mother said, hey, basically you can use plain old tomatoes and make a REAL sauce doing very nearly the same steps. A mind blowing food moment for a teenager – cooking is… easy?!?
Coincidence is a funny thing. The day I walked into the Shinola flagship store in Detroit, Michigan, I was informed by the very cool sales guy helping me that that very night, they were opening a shop-in-shop, their first international outpost in fact, in Singapore. My thoughts raced from, “How cool!” to “What? And I came all the way here?” to “The prices better be better here in Detroit” to “How come neither I nor anyone I know knows about the Singapore store?”, and finally, “So, what product is only available here?”
Fifteen years ago Brisbanites could only dream of having the kind of access to farm fresh produce that much of Europe and Asia enjoyed for as long as anyone can remember. Roadside stalls with boxes of produce and an honesty box yielded you a hit and miss selection of whatever was in season if you were prepared to hit the hinterland on a weekend but other than that and what you could grow in your backyard, produce buying happened at the local fruiterer and increasingly, at the supermarket.
Whenever Christmas comes round, it signals the start of mum’s American Cheesecake baking season. Her record was set in the early 2000s when 47 cheesecakes were made and sent out our doors over a period of 3 weeks leading up to Christmas. The whole house just smelled of cheesecake… constantly. So safe to say, everyone in the family is a sucker for the dessert.
Singapore is currently enjoying quite the culinary renaissance. It feels like there are new restaurants and cafes opening weekly. And to be honest, I can’t even keep up with all these new places. Unfortunately, judging from my dining-out experiences over the past year, far too many newbies prize style over substance, i.e. while many of these new eateries look great and attract a growing pride of local hipsters, the reality is that their food is often both mediocre and very expensive. One restaurant that opened this past year, however, whose culinary program has continued to impress me is Bacchanalia, located (oddly enough) in the city’s Masonic Hall.