I hope all of you had a fantastic and Merry Christmas surrounded by loved ones! I can’t believe this year has gone by so quickly. It’s amazing to know that I have already made it through my first year of university. All in all it has been an exciting albeit busy year. I am currently in Singapore, having a wonderful time with my family and thought I would update the blog with one of my many meals in this land of food i.e. there are more to come in the New Year :).
Each year, I look forward to my family trip to Singapore. Both my parents were born in this wonderful city and although I’m ‘Aussie-born’, Singapore has always had a special place in my heart, holding many childhood memories, my ever-growing extended family and a melting pot of foods from across Asia.
As the ‘meal-planner’ I decided that the family deserved a culinary treat after a year of hard work. After much research across the Singaporean blogosphere, I eagerly made a reservation at JAAN at the beginning of November. I had heard many great things about the restaurant and was itching to experience this sky high dining experience.
After facing much rain in the first week of our stay in Singapore, we were blessed with clear skies and sun on the day of our meal. Located in the ‘Equinox Complex’ of Swissotel in the heart of Singapore’s Raffles Place, we soared up to the 70th level to meet our awaiting meal. I admit there was a bit of impatience on my part throughout the elevator ride.
We were greeted by very polite staff and a beautiful setting; comprising of a horizontal, free form chandelier spanning across the ceiling and a panoramic view of the city. It was quite spectacular to see how the Singaporean sky-line has changed over the years, with the addition of the iconic Marina Bay Sands (also known as ‘the ship building’ to many of my friends back in Sydney) and Gardens by the Bay.
Who knew that simple Chinese Dim Sum and noodles could become so diverse and exciting? A re-visit to Chef’s Gallery (the first time since they just opened) after being tempted by the instagrams of alwayseating, I realised just how innovative restaurants specialising in these comforting and much loved delights were becoming – not to mention their very reasonable price tag! With the global expansion of Din Tai Fung and its popularity in Sydney, the concept Chef’s Gallery definitely echoes some ideas of its nearby competitor.
[Note to self: explore the menu of Din Tai Fung i.e. drag the family there soon!]
It was a Tuesday night and knowing the never-ending popularity of Chef’s Gallery provoked my organisational side, so I had made a dinner booking for the family earlier that day. We were greeted by a first-hand preview of our meal as the restaurant’s majority glass façade provides an exciting and tempting insight into the chefs’ processes and what looked like ‘fun’ in the kitchen. As I studied what was literally the ‘Chef’s Gallery’, clouds of flour plumed in the air as long thread-like noodles were being masterfully created.
The restaurant’s menu is large, diverse and exciting – filled with photographs, which directed us straight to the house specialities!
Spying the ‘Spinach noodles wok fried with seafood’ on the menu, I was already intrigued! The waitress only confirmed my order with a slight nod of the head as she told Mumma it was the most popular item on the menu. Combining my love of seafood with such a twist took the excitement of hand-made noodles to new heights! We opted for the addition of dried prawn roe, which was meant to give the noodles its saltiness – there were no regrets! The noodles were fresh, slippery and the slices of mushroom were much appreciated, making this a favourite for both Mumma and I.
Starting university this year was not what I would call ‘easy’. I expected this new adventure in life to be quite similar to school. I would be learning new things, completing assignments and exams but there was most definitely something different about this experience – a combination of the old and known learning with the new and unknown environment and faces.
When I reflect back on this meal, I realised that Mr Wong’s seems to encapsulate this notion of bringing together the new and old and appropriately, I made the trip down the unknown city alleyways to this new and hyped joint to celebrate the end of first year uni with my family!
Merivale’s latest venture begins with the old style Chinese cuisine, which we are all rather familiar with and takes diners on a vicarious journey through a new environment and presentation of the concept of well known dishes, typical of Merivale’s ability to ‘push/blur the boundaries’ in their creations. Gone is the typical rush of Sunday morning yum cha or dinners in China Town with the clatter and flinging of bowls, being replaced with a new and impeccable level of service and refined elegance paralleled with the energy of authentic Chinese eateries.