Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Spices Cafe @ Concorde Hotel

Another round of buffet after so many months! This time bf and I went to try Spices Cafe @ Concorde Hotel. You know that stretch of road in between Plaza Sing and Orchard Central? You will come across a sheltered building which looks super ulu and old. That is the back of Concorde Hotel. Honestly, I immediately dropped my expectations of the food after seeing how old the building look. Sorry if I sound judgmental HAHA. 

BUT! To our surprise, the hotel actually looks quite decent and in fact, when we stepped into the restaurant, we were surprised by the restaurant setting, and of course not forgetting the sumptuous buffet spread that looked so delicious. 


The sofas and furniture looked so luxurious and pretty! I felt like I stepped into a high-class dining restaurant. I probably should have expected this because it's located in a hotel after all and the prices aren't dirt cheap. Reasonably affordable for a hotel buffet, I would say. (Check prices below)



No matter how hungry or excited I am over the food, my camera has to "eat" first.. So here goes! 

Seafood and Sashimi Spread

This got me really excited, and I also chose this restaurant because of the oysters. And there were 5 different type of Crabs (Read on..)


MUST TRY!!!

The oysters are surprisingly fresh and huge! I'm totally drooling as I am browsing through my own pics! If you find the oysters a little too "fishy" (can't think of a better word), you can always add some Tabasco sauce and lemon for that extra kick. 



The prawns were not bad too! The mussels were great as it was so juicy, I really hate those dry and tasteless ones. However, I gave the Sashimi a miss as it looked average and I would rather stuff my stomach with better food. I wasn't really craving for Sashimi anyway. You probably want to stay away from the scallops though. It's really bland and I just didn't want to take a second bite anymore. 



One AWESOME THING about Spices Cafe is that each person will get half free Baked Cheese Lobster! (The photo shows 2 halves) Although lobsters are always best when they are served chilled with the rest of the seafood, I actually loved this cooking method. The aroma of the cheese infused into the lobster meat is just too delectable. Every bite made me wanted more. But of course, cheese is definitely too filling and you wouldn't want to finish off every single bit of it.  


Now here's the special part of Spices Cafe, instead of serving freshly chilled crabs at the seafood counter like most other buffets, they offer you freshly cooked crabs which is inclusive in the buffet price. FREE FLOW! 

Butter & White Pepper Crab

Bf liked this but I found it average only. 


Black Pepper Crab (MY FAVOURITE)

Of course, this cannot be compared to the famous Pepper Crab at Jumbo Seafood. But for a free flow selection, I think this was well done! I loved the black pepper sauce so much. Although bf said that it tasted a little like NISSIN Pepper Crab cup noodles, I think that the pepper had just the right amount of spicy kick in it. 


Thai Curry with Basil Leaves Crab

I had great expectations upon ordering this as Thai Curry has always been in my favourites list. I was a tad disappointed as I found that the Thai curry was lacking in terms of the spices. Well, it could be due to the basil leaves that caused me to dislike this dish. 


Chilli Crab

You could give this a try too! My second favourite among the five. 


Salted Egg Crab

If you hate egg or salted egg, PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS. Both of us were like "urghh" and "yuckssss" after just putting a tiny bite in our mouths. Only for those who love salted eggs. The taste was really too strong for us to take. 


Anyway, back to the buffet spread! Even the appetizers look so appetizing. (Not all appetizers taste and look appetizing alright!) They looked so exquisitely decorated and really colourful too! In fact, some are really quite yummy! 











Satays for you? Love the sauce! But still not the best I have tasted. 







WOW this is another MUST TRY! Stir-fried Clam with "Jin Xiang Style"

I was instantly attracted by this dish because I love spicy food. I am not sure what Jin Xiang is but the spicy taste of it was quite unique and I had quite many of them! Mhhhmmm. 




I am also glad that this buffet offers Laksa. I usually would not allow myself to waste my stomach space for "cheap" food but Laksa is always an exception. ALWAYS. I just feel like they taste much better at buffets! (Weird logic) But probably because they are served in small mini sizes, it just feels extra SHIOK. But then, I had 2 bowls of it. Just cannot resist! 


The fruits tasted really sweet and fresh. Especially the melon. 


I gave all the rest of the desserts a miss that day (Except for one cup of jelly). Surprising isn't it? But I just felt that the desserts looked mediocre that day and I wasn't craving much for sweet food. 





Overall, this buffet spread was quite satisfying and for the price of $54++, I felt that it was alright. Some other buffets cost $65++ and they don't even have much standard in the quality. Most importantly, I went there because I'm a member of the Buffet Club so I got to enjoy this at a price of 1-for-1! I would love to have another round of free flow freshly cooked crabs! It would have been better if they had included chilled crabs as well. But then, it's always nice to have something different once in awhile right?

DETAILS OF SPICES CAFE:

Breakfast at Spices
Enjoy an International spread of morning favourites, includes American, Continental and Japanese delights.

Lunch at Spices

Singapore Flavours Buffet Lunch - Peranakan cuisine
Savour delicious Peranakan dishes like Bakwan Kepiting, Ayam Buah Keluak and Loh Kai Yik. Also tuck into popular Singaporean dishes like Herbal Chicken Soup and crabs cooked in different daily flavours.


> Monday to Friday: 12 noon to 2.30 pm
Adult: $32++ *Child: $16++ (3 - 12 years old) 
Senior Citizens: $23++ (above 55 years old)


Dinner at Spices

Harvest of the Sea Buffet Dinner - Fresh succulent seafood 
Feast on a magnificent daily spread of seafood, including at least 6 crab dishes. 
To top that, each diner can choose 1 of the following: 
- one complimentary serving of baked half lobster (200gms) gratinated with cheese
- one complimentary serving of braised baby abalone with broccoli and mushroom


> Monday to Thursday:
Adult: $50++ *Child: $20++


> Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Eve of Public Holiday & Public Holiday:
Adult: $54++ *Child: $20++


Weekend Afternoon Tea
Enjoy your weekends with good food and even greater company at our Weekend Afternoon Tea Buffet, where local and Western delicacies await you.

Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday, 12noon to 4.30pm
Adult: $34++ *Child: $17++


The a-la-carte menu is available daily, for both lunch and dinner.
Spices Cafe opens daily from 6.00am to 11.00pm (Last order at 10.30pm)

> For reservations, please contact 6739 8370 or 6733 8855 Ext 8133
> All prices are subjected to 10% service charge & prevailing government taxes
> *Child (between 3 to 12 years old)

Address

Concorde Hotel Singapore
100 Orchard Road, Singapore 238840



Saturday, 23 August 2014

Baking Has Never Been This Fun

You know what?
I just got really addicted to something recently!

Yes ADDICTION.


to..


BAKING!!! 



I have liked baking for many years, but the excitement I felt this week was so great that I thought I'm really crazy over it. How crazy? During my free time (apart from baking from about 1-5pm), I would be watching video tutorials on baking and frosting/ piping techniques, watching Cupcake Wars which is a Food Network reality-based competition show on cupcakes, and checking up the different recipes for the cupcake that I was planning to bake. I even compared different recipes and tried to modify it according to my preference.

In case you are wondering where I got my baking supplies, I got them from Phoon Huat Simei. They have many other outlets too. That place is like a shopping heaven if you're a baking addict like me.

Even when I am 99% sure of what to get each time (Even making a checklist), I will still spend a long time walking around.



OMG I NEED THIS


YES I NEED THAT TOO!



Hahahaha. Anyway, here's all the pastries that I have baked over the past week! I really appreciate those really nice comments from some of you, but it's really far from perfect. I am still constantly modifying my recipe that I have referred from other baking videos and trying to improve my skills!

Hope you enjoy the photos though!
And I hope I made you hungry! :P Sorry for the poor quality as I only used my phone to take the photos!

Butter Cookies


S'mores Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow 
(Baked this with Serene)



Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

This is my first attempt for piping frosting onto a cupcake. And I instantly got addicted.



Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream Frosting 
(Baked this with Shi Hua)

Among all the cupcakes, this tasted one of the best because who doesn't love Oreo right? I even piped the extra frosting onto a whole Oreo cookie and popped it in my mouth. Mhhmmm so delicious!! 



Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting in Rose Design

This is actually one of my favourite piping techniques! Because I feel so satisfied seeing a rose on my cupcake! Of course, there is still room for improvement.

Which is your favourite design?



I wanted to add blue until I realized that I forgot to buy that! ): This Green just doesn't look as appetizing isn't it. 


Here's how the cupcakes look like without the frosting. 


Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This reminds me of Hello Kitty cupcakes! I intentionally used red fondant as my theme as it would definitely match the Red Velvet cupcake. Resembles Valentine's Day cupcakes? It's also my first few attempts of using fondant plus I didn't get any modelling tools. TOO EXPENSIVE ):

I also tried to come up with my own recipe for the Cream Cheese Frosting!




Matcha Cupcake with Matcha & Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

I think this looks a bit like soft serve ice-cream isn't it? Who loves matcha?!


I LOVE BAKING!!! 

I hope I will have more time for baking even when school is starting in a day! And thanks for all the support and compliments! I really appreciate your kind comments especially for those who wants to buy my cupcakes or even said that I can open a cafe.

As much as I feel really flattered, I don't think I am ready to sell these cupcakes as it's not good enough yet. Thanks though! ☺ Those words really mean a lot to me.