the hinata diaries

Monday, July 03, 2006

June news and notes

It's been a month or so since I last blogged. Some notes (eventually with photos, damn Blogspot):

  • Zambuca is a great place for a business lunch if you need to impress without going too over the top, or if you just need a stylish recharge during the middle of the work week. Their 3-course set lunches are a reasonable $28 and you get a sleek yet sunlit setting and great service. I wasn't soooo impressed with the food as to plan a dinner trip back, but the set lunch was certainly solid enough.
  • For Easterners, Zuko! in Siglap at the corner of Upper East Coast Road and Jalan Tua Kong offers pedigree food in a residential setting. The chef was formerly from Dubai's Burj-Al-Arab and at one stage even trained under Gordon Ramsey. Service was personable and attentive. Some dishes were simply ok - bruschetta (typical), escargots (the cheese and olive oil crust was a bit too mild to be exciting) and pasta with crabmeat and pinenuts (according to Aaron, something you can easily fix up at home). The highlight of the meal was undoubtedly the Hokubee ribeye, marbled, earthy with an almost tuna-like velvety softness, which would be worthy of any fine dining establishment.
  • Forget Bintan. If you and your 9 closest friends are looking to get away from it all, you can probably do no better than Pulau Pangkil, a private island 40 minutes from Bintan. The island is lush and its driftwood accommodations the stuff of dreams. An array of optional activities such as kayaking, fishing trips, and massages give you the choice of lazing around on tented daybeds, jelly-like under the sun or getting sporty and adventurous. Plus the food is absolutely amazing and never stops flowing.
  • Peach Garden at Thomson Plaza was excellent, with signature dishes such as the roast pork and goose, as well as the shark cartilage soup and wasabi prawns, bordering on divine. The only disappointment was in our entire table experiencing MSG symptoms halfway through the meal, likely from the shark cartilage soup which honestly didn't seem to need it to be good. Parking was a bitch on Saturday night.
  • However, my prize for favourite Chinese restaurant of the moment goes to Min Jiang at One-North. The food was amazing and the simple but tasteful resort-like outdoor setting finally succeeded in making Chinese food in Singapore stylish. Don't forget to pre-order the Peking duck - the skin-and-pancake first serving is offered with three different combinations of condiments which were tons of fun to explore and compare. You also get to sign the "I ate one of your ducks" guestbook which tracks the number of ducks sold at the restaurant. That would have been fun if the pages hadn't been decorated with line drawings of fluffy little ducks, all marching (presumably) to meet their cruel and tragic fate. 647 big-eyed, innocent ducks and counting... you start to wonder if you should be signing your name with condolences instead.
  • Lastly....

Vive la France!!!!!!!!! My Euro 2004 jersey which never got to see the light of day thanks to early elimination, now has a new lease on life :) Allez Les Bleus!


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