Category Archives: Travel

The Drinking Market have a physical location now!

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Hey peeps!

It’s been a long Long LONG LONG time since i’ve updated the space. Yes i know!

I do apologise for it:(

Now, that’s because we’ve been really busy setting-up the first every Brick & Motar shop by The Drinking Market!

A Thai Kitchen + Bar concept, we have finally launched our very first neighbourhood Thai Kitchen + Bar at the charming area of Katong.

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Placing the emphasis as a neighbourhood Thai Kitchen + Bar, we made sure prices are set affordable and wallet-friendly!

Yes, all our items in the food menu are $10 or below and our prices are ALL nett!

With no Service Charge or GST, we aim to be one of the most wallet and people friendly location for all to be in!

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Introducing you to our whole list of Authentic Thai Food prepared by our Thai Chefs who have been working in Singapore for the past 20 years and counting!

You can’t get more Thai then this mates!

Wanna know more about us?

Check us out on our Facebook link:

https://www.facebook.com/thedrinkingmarket

See you here real soon!

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Add: 226 East Coast Road. Singapore 428923

Call us: 64408939

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday

12.30pm – 11.30pm

(Last order for food at 10.20pm)

 

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Attending the 12th Asia-Pacific International Honesty Enterprise Keris Award Ceremony

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This weekend was indeed an interesting and fulfilling week for our Director, Mr Joel Low.

Not only did we clinched the 2013/14/15 Singapore Brands Award, we were also featured in the Sunday Times (Life) for Jane Thai Restaurant @ Orchard Towers.

What a celebration!

Serving up the Finest Wines up above 40,000 feet

Traveling on Emirates should be about a Total Experience. Like a “jigsaw puzzle”, from the moment the chauffeur pick you up from your hotel, to the checking-in process, right up to boarding the plane and enjoying the in-flight entertainment, everything revolves around our Clients’ Experience and every part of the “jigsaw puzzle” should be complete – Mr Robin Padgett, Senior Vice President, Aircraft Catering, Emirates.

Last week, our writer at The Drinking Market had a long-distance phone interview with Mr. Robin Padgett, Senior Vice President, Aircraft Catering at Emirates. Let’s hear what he has to say:

Qn: How does having a whole range of reputable wines benefit a consumer? Is there a wine pairing option on-board the plane?

Ans: In Emirates, we always believe in giving our clients an experience just like a night out in a fine-dining restaurant. Balancing our wine list, we carry wines from both New and the Old World, focusing on both quality and balance. In fact, we normally buy our wines 8-9 years prior to serving them, this does not only ensures that we have the sufficient quantity, but it also ensures that there is a proper storage facility and minimal movements to the wines when we keep it at our private cellar.

Back to the question, Emirates does something a little more interesting, for instance, a trip to Europe, we will feature a more popular wine from the particular country or region, such as a 1996 Chateau Montrose for a flight to Europe! Our clients would not only be able to experience a whole list of well thought through wines, but also some interesting vintages from the wineries in the country they are visiting. Having said that, we do not have a fixed wine-pairing menu on-board the plane, however, our team of air crews have been through strict trainings on wines and spirits, and should be able to do a simple pairing with the meals provided. On top of that, we also recommend our clients to have fun with the pairings, a seafood dish does not necessary have to go with a white wine, try a pinot noir (red) from Burgundy, it’ll definitely go well as well!

Qn: Can the consumers be expecting reputable wines from back vintages?

Ans: Definitely! As mentioned earlier, we often purchase our wines at least 8 to 10 years prior serving them, and we usually store it at our private cellar in Bordeaux or Dubai, a good example is the 2000 Cos d’Estournel that we are currently serving, it was bought 6 to 9 years ago.

Well, since you’re based in Singapore, let me share with you an example of what we serve on-board Emirates on your flight home.

  1. 2000 Dom Perignon
  2. 2006 Domaine Bouchard Pere, Meursault
  3. 2000 Ch La Lagune, Haut Medoc
  4. 2005 Yabby Lake Vineyard Pinot Noir
  5. 1985 Dow’s Vintage Port

Wine Cellar at the First Class Lounge at Terminal 3, Dubai Airport(2)

Qn: Storage of wines on board the plane

Ans: This is definitely one of the best questions, and i am glad you asked that. In Emirates, we take very close attentions to the quality our wines, in fact, we have a strong supply chain system from Dubai which transports the wines on-board the plane through a temperature controlled cargo, which our crews ensures minimal movements to the wines, so as to provide our clients with the best and the most optimal wine experience.

Qn: What triggered the move to go into fine wines on board a plane?

Ans: We have always been serving great wines on-board our planes, however, on a recent note, we are consistently finding the best solutions and strategies to improve our wine programme. The in-house team is one great example, we believe in the “jigsaw puzzle” concept, and wines are part of the “jigsaw puzzle” for a Total Experience

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Qn: How does a palate differs at 40,000 feet in the sky compared to tasting a wine on the ground? Do the in-house wine team fly to taste?

Ans: There are many school of thoughts about one’s palate that will be affected on-board the plane, however, we do not see that as the main issue, in fact, all our wines are chosen on-premise. Nevertheless, our panel, that includes the President of Emirates travels alot, thus, if any one of us were to spot a wine that does not taste necessary well or doesn’t justify the wines’ potential at 40,000 feet, we will definitely have it replaced.

Having said that, it is uncommon and extraordinary to have a wine that “does not fly”, therefore, we’re glad that the wines we choose have been well-received so far!

First Class & Business Class Onboard Lounge(4)

Qn: What can consumers expect to get in the future?

Ans: I hope that our clients would happy with the service and in-flight entertainment we have on-board Emirates. In the near future, our passengers would definitely be able to enjoy and experience more interesting wines and back vintages from both renown and artisanal wineries. The World is our playground, we will consistently find the best wines to list on board the plane.

Qn: Anything else that you wish to tell our readers?

Ans: Yes! I would like to encourage our passengers to go through our wine list, and flip through it, there are definitely more interesting wines and spirirts that is worth a try. Do not just stick to the common ones that you have heard or seen, try something different, whatever you taste on-board, would definitely taste just as well on land.

Avignonesi Wine Dinner @ Buona Terra – Advertorial

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Bored of having just a bottle of wine with your whole meal?

You’re in for a change this time!

Come 31st of October 2013, Certain Cellars alongside Chef Denis Lucchi from Buona Terra are organising a FIVE course pairing menu with the great wines from the family of Avignonesi.

For only $118++ per guest, you’ll be in for a treat!

Call or Email them for reservations now!

Tel: (65) 6733 0209    |    Email: reservation@buonaterra.com.sg

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‘Cooking with Friends’ @ Osia with Bocuse d’Or winner Chef Geir Skeie

If you think that the RWS Celebrity Chefs Dinner is all they’ve got, you’re wrong!

For the month of October, winner of the prestigious Bocuse d’Or in 2009, and owner of the famous Brygga 11 restaurant in Norway, Chef Geir Skeie will head to Singapore from 9 to 12 October for the fourth series of ‘Cooking with Friends’ at Osia.

A young legend in Europe for his take on Nordic cuisine, Skeie began his love for food when he was eight years old, after being inspired by Norwegian chef Bent Stiansen on TV.  It was at that point when he knew he wanted to be amongst the best chefs in the world, and eventually ended up as the winner of the Bocuse d’Or.

A perfectionist by nature, Skeie spent the majority of his career working with champion chefs -those that participated in famous competitions, and made their mark on a global level.  His curiosity for food and taste was a key driver pushing him to achieve success.

In line with Osia’s culinary philosophy, expect some of Chef Skeie’s signature dishes such as the dill and lemon flavoured Norwegian ocean trout paired with smoked egg cream and pickled vegetables, fennel and garlic grilled Australian lamb leg and belly as well as a baked Norwegian turbot.

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The Drinking Market is honoured to be invited for this event on the 9th of Oct 2013, make your reservations and meet us there!

Event Date: 9 – 12 Oct 2013

Price:
3-course set lunch $50++ (usual price $60++)
4-course set lunch $65++ (usual price $75++)

Venue: Osia

Reservations: Call 6577 6688 or email dining@rwsentosa.com

An Evening of Fine Food @ RWS

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I’ve written about it and now i’m there to experience the first hand experience of  the RWS Celebrity Chef’s Cuisine!

To read me previous post about the Inaugural RWS Food Affair, click HERE

Last Wednesday, a group of Bloggers, Freelance Writers and celebrated Food Authors were invited to the Resort World Sentosa to experience dining at its finest in the Ocean Gallery @ S.E.A. Aquarium.

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We were greeted with Champagnes, juices and soft drinks while we chatted with the six Celebrity Chefs who made this event possible! Read about Chef Cora’s inspiration for cooking, Chef Leong’s thoughts on the Chinese Culinary scene and Chef Joel Robuchon’s ideas on whether to open another restaurant in Singapore!

My first interview was with Chef Sam Leong, Chef Consultant and Co-owner of Forest Cooking School. Interestingly, Chef Sam Leong has a personality of his own, that not only impresses me, but a lot of other writers per-se. During our interview, Chef Leong cannot stop, but emphasise enough of his wife that is his pillar of strength throughout his career as a Chef.

A celebrated Chef, Chef Leong also realised the lack of talents in today’s culinary scene. He mentioned that  “the younger generations are afraid of hardship, many do not have the perseverance to stay in the kitchen for long.” in fact, he briefly mentioned that being a Chef is not easy, it is not what you see on the television, but years and years of hardwork and determination.

Chef Leong also left with a quote for aspiring young Chefs’ “If you’re keen to join the kitchen, make sure you are committed to it, persevere and endure. However, once you reach he age of 25 and think that the kitchen is not for you, quit. Do not waste your time anymore.”

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Chef Cat Cora, the newest addition to the list of Celebrity Chefs at RWS was also present during our short interview and i managed to “squeeze” some questions for her!

Qn: Chef Cora, being the newest addition to the team of Celebrity Chefs at the RWS, do you feel pressured?

Ans: No, i do not. it’s just like being in the Iron Chefs Competition, it is always challenging and it forces me to really innovate and create dishes that are not only delicious, but presentable. In fact, it is my honour to be working side by side all the celebrity chefs in RWS tonight.

Qn: Chef Cora, i heard that you’ve got a Vegetarian Menu, which is your favourite dish?

Ans: ALL! Haha! Isn’t that what all Chefs would say? Joking. i personally really like the Cauliflower Puree with Basil Seeds and the Roasted Egg Plant Soup with Curry and Cotton Candy.

Qn: I see that you really enjoy using Asian Ingredients into your cuisine, so what do you love about Singaporean Food?

Ans: First and foremost, i really love Singapore! Not only does it have a whole diversity of races, for a Chef, it also meant a whole diversity of dishes! A typical morning for me in Singapore would be at a local coffeeshop or offer house with my half-boiled eggs and kaya Toast!

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Not forgetting, TDM never forgets to have an Interview with Chef Joel Robuchon!

Qn: Chef, were do you find inspirations for your cuisines?

Ans: I treat culinary as an art, in all my dishes, i look at it from an artistic point of view. Like a Painting, there must be a balance. Mixing elements to do with taste first. Most importantly, using only the best products,we try our very best to work with local produce, but if it is not available locally, we source it from other parts of the World.

Qn: There a are a lot of Culinary schools that have opened in Singapore, what are your thoughts on them?

Ans: It is great! Reputable Culinary Schools such as the Culinary Institute of America, Temasek Culinary Academy and At-Sunrise are examples of such schools that lays a basic fundamentals to cooking. It is a very good way to start your career as a Chef and a great stepping stone to the industry. Most importantly, it doesn’t only teach you how to cook, but also manage a restaurant in a whole.

Qn: Chef, are there any plans for you to open another restaurant in Singapore?

Ans: Currently, no. There have been many investors and Hotels proposing to collaborate with me, but currently, i realise that there are too many restaurants in Singapore which are really good. Furthermore, i personally i feel that it is not right to open another restaurant in other hotels, especially with my current two at the RWS.

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What an impressive start! Let’s see what we were greeted with the moment we stepped into the Ocean Gallery @ S.E.A. Aquarium for dinner!

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Here comes the FOOD!! – All by the sequence of their courses, not forgetting the amazing wines that was sponsored by Bacardi – Martini Singapore Ptd Ltd

Wines served for the Evening:

  • Penfolds Koonuga Hill Autumn Riesling
  • Penfolds 2 Shiraz Mourverdre
  1. Le Caviar Imperial – by Chef Joel Robuchon
  2. Steamed Marble Goby – by Chef Sam Leong
  3. Double-Boiled Cordyceps Flower – by Chef Li Kwok Kwong
  4. Slow Cooked Salmon Roulade, Hokkaido Scallop & Fried Octopus – by Chef Cat Cora
  5. Beef Short Rib – by Chef Douglas Tay
  6. Sweet Temptation – by Chef Kenny Kong

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EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

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Meanwhile, for more information on the promotions which ends today, do not hesitate to join in the RWS Food Affair by clicking in the link HERE

 

BURNOUT – A Tribute to the Food & Beverage Industry

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BURNOUT – physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. (Google)

TDMers, i know that i’m suppose to be blogging about Oushin Japanese Steakhouse, but prior to that, on a more serious note, i’ve got some thoughts that i want to pen down on this blog entry and i sincerely wish that you can share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms.

Last Friday, as i sat on the comfortable chairs with food on my table, many thoughts and memories came through my mind. I thought that it’ll be nice for me to share with you some of my thoughts and i hope that you’ll learn to appreciate and thank the people who are serving your breakfast, lunch or dinner in a restaurant or cafe.

Let me start off by saying…

Singapore’s Service Standards are like SHIT!

No, that’s actually not what i’m trying to bring across, but have you been one of the culprits who said such things before? Or perhaps you might have heard many of your friends and family judging our service standards in Singapore.

Before we jump into any conclusion, allow me to share my personal experience when i started as a junior employee with a restaurant group.

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A typical day working in a restaurant starts at 10am for me, the moment i step into the restaurant, i would have to start doing the daily administrative work, clearing the cellar, setting-up the restaurant and making sure that everything is ready for operations. At about 11am, we would normally start the day with a row call, which the chef would then explain the specials for the day or if there’s anything that is not available.

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11.30am, the restaurant opens for operations, as usual, we would be serving the hungry diners who are rushing in-between work or meeting to catch a quick bite, in fact, the lunch operations is always a challenge as many would require us to serve fast, be quick and hopefully, turnover the table for the next seating.

2.30pm, the last order for lunch, but that’s not it. Diners who are normally a little more free would prefer to stay a while longer to have their tea or desserts slowly, thus, we would be standing-by, waiting, waiting and waiting.

4pm, we finally cleared the restaurant, and that’s almost 6 hours since i started work. This is when i probably would have my 1st meal of the day.

5.30pm, all geared up, dressed in our uniforms, we are back to set-up the restaurant for the dinner service. 6pm, our second row call for the day, and the chef would now explain the items available for dinner as well as the specials for the evening.

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6.30pm, our doors are open again for dinner, this goes all the way till 10pm- 10.30pm, depending on the chef or maitre’d who determines the time for our last order. Once the last order is made for normally desserts, coffee or tea, diners would normally stay a little longer while they sip their tea and chat with their partners or friends. A typical day ends (weekdays) at 11pm or (weekends) 12am – 1am. As usual, we’re not done yet, after all our guest have left the restaurant, it’s time to clear all the plates and wipe the wine glasses so that there will not be water marks. Next up, something that most service staff hates, wiping cutleries… all in all, these takes about an hour or so, depending on the night’s service. Having said that, most of the time when we are back home, it’ll probably be past midnight, or if you might agree with me, the wee hours…

This is not all, with the clamping down on foreign workers and the lack of Singaporeans who are unwilling to go into the service industry, we are facing lesser and lesser manpower counts. This meant that:

  1. Service quality would be affected
  2. It’ll take longer hours to complete the same task
  3. Lesser people doing more job scope

Conclusion? BURNOUT!

We spend up to 14 hours a day working in a restaurant with minimal rest, more often then not, we spend most of our time at work than to be at home. That’s not all, because of the manpower shortage, many restaurant chains are forced to have their employees to be on a six-day work week.

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I challenge any one of you to try being in their shoes. Take a week and try your hands working in a restaurant, then figure out if it’s an easy job.

So, what i’m driving at is for you to try and appreciate these people who are serving you. Many of them like myself started-off with passion, our priority is always to just do our best and provide you with the best service, at no time are we there to make your experience bad. In fact, despite the lack of time to rest, we always try to put a smile on our faces to make our guest feel welcomed and comfortable.

Like yourself, the service staff are just working hard to make ends meet for their families. We are all mature enough and i trust my readers are as well, let’s not complain so much and learn to be more patient and kind with our words. The next time you visit a restaurant or cafe, learn to recognise the employees, fill up the feedback form, be generous with your words, say thank you, these means a lot to them:)

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Have a lovely Sunday:)