Food News, Lifestyle

4 Food and Drinks You’re Consuming Wrongly – Denise Li

Probably the most eye-opening article you will read today. By Denise Li

Having visited Japan and Europe this year, I learnt quite a few things about eating and drinking the following things and quite frankly, I was #mindblown.

1. Belgian beer … or any other kind of craft beer, really


You can live your entire life drinking a different Belgian beer every day (starting from when you turn a legal age to do so, of course) without sampling all the beers that Belgium has to offer. That’s cos they have at least 90,000 breweries in the country alone, and most brands produce more than one type of beer. Having just spent a lot of my time on my recent trip to Belgium in bars, I learnt a lot about how to pour the perfect beer and, as it turns out, a lot of us (even bartenders here in Singapore) have been doing it wrong all along. As it’s a rather complicated process (who knew?), it’d be easier to break it down in point form.

(i) The glass: You’ll notice that there is a variety of glassware for beers in Belgium. Some are shaped like goblets, others are shaped like chalices, and yet others are tulip-shaped. These serve more than just an aesthetic or branding purposes; they’re actually the result of careful research and experimentation by the beer brewers to find out which shape best brings out the taste of the beer. So the next time you’re having a Belgian craft beer at a bar, be sure to reject any glass that’s not the same brand as the beer you’re drinking.

(ii) The pour: Bartenders in Belgium would wet the glass with cold water before tapping or pouring beer into it. Not only is this practice in the best interests of hygiene (it gets rid of any dust or dishwasher residue), it also ensures a better pour. Pouring beer into a dry glass causes more carbon dioxide to come out of the beer and create unnecessary foam.

(iii) The head: Don’t complain if you see Belgian bartenders serving you beer with a large head. That, too, serves a useful purpose. Not only does a large head mean that your beer will continue to release its aromatics as you sip your beer, it also prevents your beer from oxidising too quickly and changing its taste.

2. Xiao long bao


From a food tasting at Din Tai Fung some time back, I learnt that there is a “right” way to eat xiao long bao as well. Before that day, I tended to just dip it in vinegar. But for a more balanced flavour, the management actually recommended that the dipping sauce be mixed in a 60/40 vinegar to soya sauce ratio. Since I started mixing soya sauce in my vinegar, I found that I could better taste the meaty broth in the XLB. Also, for many of us, eating XLB is a messy affair because when we first bite into it, the soup spurts out onto the spoon and we often find ourselves just shoving the whole thing into our mouths. The right way to eat it, apparently, is to first bite off the top of the XLB and slurping up the broth before proceeding to eat the rest of it.

2. Sushi


Every time you mix the wasabi into the soya sauce, then proceed to drunk the rice part of the sushi into the mix, rest assured that there is a Japanese person observing you and cringing on the inside. When you eat sushi at higher end Japanese restaurants, the sushi chef would have already placed some wasabi in between the fish and the rice so it’s unnecessary to pile more on top of it (it’s akin to smothering an expensive, well-prepared steak in ketchup). And you’re not supposed to dip the sushi rice side down into the soya sauce because it will absorb too much of the sauce, resulting in the sushi being too salty and soggy. Instead, dip the sushi fish side down in the soy sauce, and put the whole thing in your mouth – don’t bite off half the sushi. Also, the ginger slices are NOT to be eaten with sushi but between different pieces of sushi to function as a palate cleanser.

4. The bread basket at French restaurants


I was in Paris recently and it didn’t matter whether I was dining at a casual bistro or a more formal restaurant, if there was one thing I could be sure of, it was that a basket of bread would appear on the table with my wine. Italian and French restaurants in Singapore do it too, and I always assumed it was a starter – why else would it arrive with my drink? When I was eating in Paris though, I noticed I was the only one munching on the bread before my food arrived. Turns out, the bread is supposed to function more as an accompaniment to your meal. For instance, you could spread your steak tartare on it and enjoy it that way or, if your dish is sauced-based, you can use the bread to mop it up you’ve finished your meal.

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys training in MMA, and doing conditioning workouts. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets and Instagram @smackeral83.

Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Drinks & Parties, Food News, Lifestyle, Makeup, Malls & Boutiques, Skincare

26 Things To Put On Your September Watchlist

From Mid-Autumn Festival and free champagne to plenty of new skincare products, looks like September is going to be one exciting month!

A is for All-Day Sun Protection


When you live in sunny Singapore, good sun protection is an absolute must-have. Daylong is a range of sun protection products from Switzerland, with a formulation that’s gentle enough for children (Cate Blanchett uses them on her kids!) yet offers you all-round protection from both UV rays and infrared radiation. We like its lightweight, non-greasy formula and how it doesn’t leave any whitish residue upon application. We also appreciate how it’s formulated without additional preservatives or perfumes, and is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, making it suitable for all skin types.

Daylong is available in selected pharmacies from mid-September 2014.

B is for Beauty Cleanse’s Candyfloss Nutmylk series


If you’re looking for a quick, tasty, and nutritious meal replacement, you can’t go wrong with these nutmilks from Beauty Cleanse. It comes in a package of six bottles in the following flavours: Original, matcha (green tea), cocoa, coffee (decaf), black sesame and “marshmallow” (thought it tastes like marshmallow, it’s actually an ingenious blend of fruit and veggies!). All ingredients used are organic, plant-based, vegan, and raw. Dairy-free, they are great for those who are lactose-intolerant.

A package of six bottles is priced at $95. To order, visit

C is for Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquers


The best thing about these is that they are formulated without the toxic chemicals commonly associated with nail lacquers. Available in 12 shades from neutrals, to brights and darker shades. Each nail lacquer retails for $13 each.

For a full listing of Crabtree & Evelyn stores in Singapore, click here.

D is for Skin Destiny 

SK-II’s Skin Destiny Study is definitely giving a lot of us hope. This landmark study discovered an intrinsic link between long-term usage of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and skin quality. It was found that users who started on the Essence in their 20s enjoyed better skin in their 30s and 40s. Long-term users also displayed no increase in major visible aging signs after age 50. At $99 for a 75ml bottle, we say this is as good a beauty investment as money can buy.

SK-II counters can be found at major department stores such as TANGS.

E is for Ecommerce 

With a whole slew of ecommerce sites launching these days, the days of running errands could well and truly be over. Serial entrepreneur Chris Chong has recently launched not one, but TWO ecommerce sites! The first is an online grocery service for those who want their meats, seafoods and fresh produce delivered right to their doorsteps. The second is, set up to help customers find and book photographers. What’s next? Personal chefs? Oh … that’s been done already.

F is for Free Champagne!


You are going to love HI-SO Ladies Night at Sofitel So Singapore! Ladies will be treated to a free first glass of Ruinart Champagne between 6pm and 9pm, after which, each glass of Champagne will be at $10 nett. So for a bubbly good time with your girlfriends, swing by one of Singapore’s most beautiful hotels every Wednesday.

G is for Gourmet Escape

Fancy a trip to Western Australia where you get to enjoy the finest dining and wine experiences? Well, you can! From 12 September to 11 October, guests who dine on specially-created Western Australian dishes from either Bedrock Bar & Grill or The Pelican will stand a chance to win a trip to Perth to experience the Margaret River Gourmet Escape. This 3-day event is a foodie’s dream come true with tastings and demonstrations of some of the region’s freshest produce and fine wines.

For reservations at Bedrock Bar & Grill, call 6238 0054; for reservations at The Pelican, call 6438 0400.  

H is for Hada Labo Lotion


According to findings by Hada Labo, just 3 out of 10 women in Singapore use lotions as part of their skincare regime. This compared to 10 out of 10 women in Japan. The secret to dewy, fresh skin could lie in your next bottle of Hada Labo Lotion. Featuring a new generation of 4 Interlocked Hyaluronic Acids, the new lotion promises to keep your skin supercharged with hydration, even in the hard-to-reach bottom skin layer.

Hada Labo is available at Watsons islandwide. 

I is for Ioma Cell Protector SPF 50+ PA+++


Not only does this sunscreen provide the highest possible protection against UVA and UVB rays, it’s also formulated with the active ingredient Desoxine. Desoxine is a powerful antioxidative shield and offers three benefits: (1) Detoxifies by eliminating free radicals (2) Stimulates skin’s natural antioxidant defences, and (3) Protects cells from free radical damage. Retails for $85.

Ioma counters are located at Robinsons Orchard and Isetan Scotts.

J is for Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner


These two Js will be starring opposite Marion Cotillard in The Immigrant, a story set in NYC in 1921. Joaquin plays Bruno, a pimp who thrusts Marion’s character Ewa into a world of prostitution, while Jeremy plays Orlando, a stage magician and Bruno’s cousin, who becomes Ewa’s only hope of a better future. Directed by yet another J (James Gray), this period drama is definitely one to watch – it’s received several accolades at international film festivals, including Best Actress at the International Cinephile Society Awards.

The Immigrant opens Sep 14 in cinemas islandwide.

K is for Kérastase


If you’ve been struggling with brittle or falling strands, what you probably need is proper scalp care. At Kérastase, they believe that strong and healthy hair always starts at the scalp. This is why the brand-new Kérastase Densifique range comes fortified with a combination of B Vitamins to regulate the production of sebum on the scalp and give it the nourishment it needs for healthy, beautiful hair.

The Kérastase Densifique range is available at all Kérastase consultant salons. Call 6738 3113 for salon listings.

L is for Laneige Time Freeze Intensive Cream


Laneige’s adds two more products to its Time Freeze anti-ageing line: Time Freeze Intensive Cream, and Eye Serum. The line works on the principle of restoring skin’s weakened collagen structure; its Dynamic Collagen_EX technology breaks down and “upcycles” old collagen into young and healthy collagen. The line’s other active ingredient, hyaluronic acid, helps improve the appearance of wrinkles.

Laneige Time Freeze Intensive Cream and Eye Cream retail for $95 and $69 respectively. For a full store listing, click here.

M is for Mooncakes

Bliss Collection at Bakerzin

Bliss Collection at Bakerzin

Enter any shopping mall in the month of September, and you’re bound to see bright lights and plenty of vendors selling a wide variety of mooncakes at the atrium. Here are some of our choice picks this Mid-Autumn Festival:

Peony Jade

Each year, Peony Jade never fails to impress us with their spectacular mooncake offerings. We love how they always manage to come up with new and exciting flavours such as the Honey Williams pears with organic apricot and raspberries as well as Valrhona chocolate with bananas, salted caramel and walnuts.


Bakerzin has rolled out three new snow skin mooncake collections – Bliss, Joy and Lush – to add to their existing range. The Bliss and Lush collections consist of slightly more unique flavours and fillings and contain alcohol (flavours include Frangelico Hazelnut Truffle Snow Skin, Whisky Truffle SNow Skin, Lychee Snow Skin and Yuzu Snow Skin), while Joy is made up of classic fillings (they include Pandan Lotus Snow Skin and Purple Sweet Potato). Founder Lili is not usually a fan of snow skin mooncakes, but she vouches for the tastiness of these new ones from Bakerzin! From $52 for box of 8, available at all Bakerzin outlets and participating booths until Sep 8.

Goodwood Park Hotel

There’s no doubt that Goodwood Park Hotel is the first hotel to come to mind when you mention the word “durian”. This year, they will be bringing back the Premium Durian Snowskin Combo, which consists of four mooncakes filled with the fresh pulp of four types of durians. There will be some new flavours inspired by tropical fruits as well – Calamansi, Kumquat and Sour Plum Snowskin Mooncakes. From $28 for 2 pieces, available at Goodwood Park Hotel Deli until Sep 8.

Yan Ting at The St. Regis Singapore

You can count on the acclaimed Cantonese restaurant for some of the most decadent mooncakes available, such as the all-new Chocolate Royal Liqueur Truffle, the popular Pure ‘Mao Shan Wang’ Durian Indulgence, as well as baked traditional mooncakes like Reduced Sugar White Lotus Paste with Macadamia Nuts. From $68 for 4 mooncakes, available at Yan Ting restaurant at level 1U, The St. Regis Singapore, until Sep 8.

N is for Night Owls Feasting


We are always looking for interesting places to check out for supper. Well, this month, why not check out Fish & Co.’s Supper Catch menu at Changi Airport Terminal 2? This menu is available between 11pm and 3am and features popular items like Seafood Platter for Two and Fish & Chips!

The Supper Catch menu is available at Fish & Co. at Changi Airport Terminal 2, Departure Hall, #036-058.

O is for Organic Shampoo


If you’re starting to notice that your hair’s thinning, the first thing you should look into is changing your shampoo. Dr Jones Organic Shampoo and Conditioner – which were developed by Canadian physician Dr Robert Jones – are free from synthetic, chemical and petroleum-derived ingredients – all of which are believed to play a part in hair loss. We liked how the shampoo cleansed well without over-drying the scalp, and it was also able to deal effectively with the problem of an itchy, sensitive scalp.

Dr Jones Organic Shampoo and Conditioner retail for $26.80 each (or $50 for a set) and are available here

P is for Personalised Monopoly


Revive Board Games Sundays with the latest from Monopoly! Called My Monopoly, the classic property trading game now comes with a customisable board, where you can personalise the tiles, game tokens, Chance Cards and Community Chest Cards via the My Monopoly app.

My Monopoly retails at $46.90 at all Toys “R” Us and major department stores.

Q is for Qatar Airways

Been itching to travel to far-flung destinations? This might be the chance to feed your wanderlust. Qatar Airways is having an exclusive promotion to Europe and America, with special rates from just $890! The promotion ends 2359hrs on Sep 12 (travel validity period: Aug 18 – Mar 21, 2015). Bookings can be made online, here.

R is for Rays


In case you missed it, a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays – including the majestic manta rays – are now at risk of extinction. To raise awareness on marine life and conservation, RWS has dedicated the month of September to highlight manta rays in their S.E.A. Aquarium’s SEAA Wonders series. Some activities include sharing sessions with underwater photography experts and conservationists, diving with manta rays, and witnessing the feeding of manta rays.

For the month of September, you can purchase 2 adult one-day admission passed to S.E.A. Aquarium at a discounted price of $50. For more information, click here. To make reservations, click here or call 6577 8899.

S is for Shima


Even though renowned Teppanyaki restaurant Shima recently reopened sporting a brand new look after a month-long renovation, the restaurant still retains the one-inch thick cast-iron griddles that have been in use since 34 years ago, when Shima was established – a launch that revolutionised Japanese dining in Singapore as it marks the first-ever fine-dining Teppanyaki restaurant. According to Executive Chef Michael Koh, their well-seasoned griddles not only enhance the flavours of the food but also allow for even cooking. Besides Teppanyaki, Shima also serves up sushi, sashimi, Shabu Shabu as well as Yakiniku.

Shima is located at Level 1, Goodwood Park Hotel. For reservations, call 6734 6281.

T is for Tsubaki Hair Oil

TSUBAKI - Hair Oil

Been searching for the ultimate hair oil that works to moisturise and smoothen your hair, without costing you a bomb? Look no further. Tsubaki Hair Oil is formulated with a high concentration of camellia oil, which is extracted by pressing carefully curated camellia seeds in Nagasaki, Japan. Camellia oil is highly lauded for its nourishing benefits – it prevents cuticle damage to smoothen hair strands, protects hair from UV rays, and penetrates hair quickly to add a healthy shine without leaving behind any grease.

Tsubaki Hair Oil retails for $26.90 from Sep 11, available exclusively at Watsons.

U is for Uniqlo: Now available online!

Uniqlo stores are pretty ubiquitous these days with 18 stores in Singapore alone. But just in case you’ve given up brick-and-mortar shopping altogether, you’ll be happy to know that you can now shop for your Uniqlo essentials online (desktop and mobile). To celebrate the launch of its e-commerce platform, the store will be offering exclusive online promotions for the first 11 days of September; keep a lookout for special offers on 11 different items daily.

For more information, log onto

V is for Value-For-Money Set Meals

V - Baby Pork Back Ribs

If you work somewhere in Orchard Road, you gotta make a beeline for this brand new restaurant, SET. As the name suggests, they only serve set lunches and set dinners here. The five-course set lunch is priced at $28.80++ and the six-course set dinner, $38.80++, which is incredibly good value considering the type of dishes you’ll get. For appetisers, you’ll get inventive twists on classics such as the Mushroom Soup with Peanut Butter. It sounds weird, but the peanut butter actually lends a chunkier, more layered texture to the soup. For mains, we liked the Baby Pork Back Ribs, where the meat is painstakingly steamed then boiled with star anise and cinnamon before being roasted and slathered with Chinese BBQ sauce. For desserts, we were impressed by the Pistachio Panna Cotta, which was smooth, light and silky, almost like a tofu milk pudding.

SET is located at #02-01 Pomo, Tel: 6337 7644

W is for What A Feast!

The annual Epicurean Market at Marina Bay Sands is back! From 12 to 14 September, eat your way through award-winning nosh from celebrity chef restaurants, participate in masterclasses and bring home gourmet wines and produce from the Fresh Food Market. Epicurean Market will be held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Basement 2, Hall D & E. For more information, click here.

X is for X-cite Your Senses

Don’t you love how art is getting more and more interactive, and not just people passively looking at a piece of artwork anymore? Sensorium 360°: Contemporary Art and the Sensed World is an interactive exhibition of contemporary art that explores all aspects of the human senses. The Singapore Art Museum has put together a series of workshops — from tea-tasting to perfume-making and even to learning Braille — all to give us a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

For more details, visit the Singapore Art Museum website here.

Y is for Triangles Of Youth 


There are 2 triangles of youth around each eye – the upper triangle and the lower triangle. The former refers to immediate area next to the outer corner and is where crow’s feet and droopy eyelids form. The latter is the area under your eye and is where eye bags and dark eye circles become more obvious with age. To address these problems, Clarins has launched a complete solution for your eye area to help it regain its youthful and firm appearance. Clinical evaluation shows that Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Cream can help reduce dark circles and eye bags by 7% and 13% respectively.

Visit Clarins counters at TANGS, Robinsons or Metro Paragon to find out more about this new eye cream!  

Z is for Zen’Ga


If you’re looking to take your Pilates practice to the next level, check out Breathe Pilates’ newest class, Zen’Ga. This is a new form of Pilates that combines the the latest discoveries in fascia fitness techniques with Yoga flow movements. Fascia is the term used to describe the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Regular practice of Zen’Ga is said to help improve overall strength and flexibility, and giving you smoother, more fluid movement in your day-to-day life.

Breathe Pilates is located at #09-33 Novena Medical Center, 10 Sinaran Drive (8 participants); and #13-02 Parkway Centre, 1 Marine Parade Central. For more information or to make an appointment, call 9835 5683, email, or visit

Arts & Events, Food News, Lifestyle

Cafe Fest 6 and 7 September 2014 : You Going?

Love your cafes? Then make sure you check out Cafe Fest next weekend! Below, Material World gives you more details about who’s participating and what awesome stuff you can expect to find.


Cafe-lovers, hate that there are just so many cafes to check and so little time? If so, welcome to the world’s first-ever cafe-hopping event: Cafe Fest! Conceived by public relations professionals Gabriel Tan and Sarah Lek, the event is expected to host over 4,000 cafe enthusiasts by The Waterfront Promenade. Starting at 10am on Saturday and Sunday, attendees can look forward to live performances by bands like 53A, The Sessionists and many more.

Maison Ikkoku (Photo credit: Cafe Fest)

Maison Ikkoku (Photo credit: Cafe Fest)

Participating Cafes:
(Details extracted from and provided by organizers)

Speculoos Apple Crumble Tart by Bloomsbury Bakers (Photo credit: Cafe Fest)

Speculoos Apple Crumble Tart by Bloomsbury Bakers (Photo credit: Cafe Fest)

Jimmy Monkey Cafe & Bar is an Australian-style cafe with a fully integrated bar and lounge. The cafe lives up its name, the staff are as mischievous and somewhat, wild, as the Monkey in its name. At this festival, Jimmy Monkey will be offering a new blend from his brand new hand built Slayer Machine, and this blend will be off-the-menu.

The cafe is also the first to directly import coffee from Pacamara Roasters in Bangkok, Thailand, which is found to have the most perfect body, flavour and aroma suit for the local palate. There will be specially created coffee brews from Oz Specialty’s bottle cold brews (with & without milk) for $4.

Maison Ikkoku offers a menu of gastronomic delights which include an all day breakfast, gourmet sandwiches and specialty coffee. At the festival, Maison Ikkoku will be introducing new blends.

4. I AM …
I AM … is a Muslim-owned café helmed by three brothers. They are located just before the entrance of Haji Lane and impossible to miss, especially with the large black-and-white mural of one of the many bridges and canals in bicycle-friendly Amsterdam. This Amsterdam-themed café serves up nutritious European Halal cuisine.

Toby’s Estate started in the coffee plantations of Brazil, Guatemala and Colombia, where founder, Toby Smith learnt to grow, roast and cup coffee at the source. Want something unexpected? Then you have to try its 等一個人咖啡.

Other participating establishments include Bloomsbury Bakers (who will be selling a Speculoos Apple Crumble Tart), Cake Love, Smitten Cafe, Common Man Coffee Roasters, Tiong Bahru Bakery, The Providore and Hatter Street Bakehouse & Cafe.

A two-day cafe-hopping pass costs $20 (limited time flash sale) and $26 (VIP pass which gives you extra goodies). You may purchase your tickets here.


Drinks & Parties, Food News, Lifestyle

Nobody At Marina Bay Financial Centre Knows What A Good Lunch Place This Is! – Deborah Tan

It was not crowded, the food was awesome AND this place is located at Marina Bay Link Mall. We say go have lunch at Harry’s before everyone finds out! By Deborah Tan 

Harry's - Marina Bay Link Mall (interior2)

While cocktail bars in Singapore are steadily serving up critically acclaimed “bar bites”, their beer-fronted counterparts, sadly, haven’t quite distinguished themselves in the food arena. Mention “pub grub” and many will think deep-fried chicken wings, fries drowned in a tsunami of orange, cheese-flavored sauce, and oil-sodden, sorry-looking pieces of samosas.

Love Me Tandoor

Love Me Tandoor

But Harry’s is determined to change all that. Yes, it still wants to serve up grub that goes well with a mug of frothy ice-cold beer, yes, it is still a casual, fun and unpretentious place to hang out at … but it also wants to be taken seriously for food – like proper, meal-worthy, sit-down-at-a-table-with-a-fork-and-a-knife food.

And this is where the renowned Chef-Founder of The Disgruntled Chef, Daniel Sia, and his team come in. Since taking helm as Harry’s Culinary Director last year, Chef Daniel and his team have been busy updating the menu with tweaks to the old favorites and adding a couple of new creations. The updated menu will be introduced in phases to all Harry’s islandwide but if you want to sample the new dishes now, make your way to Harry’s at Marina Bay Link Mall (it’s the one at Marina Bay Financial Centre, just round the corner from Paradise Pavilion). We did our tasting there last week at lunchtime and found the place uncrowded, which means, the office crowd there has yet to stumble upon this gem of a lunch-place, yet.

Small Plates, Big Plates, Platters, Desserts
Harry’s updated menu comprises of Small Plates, Big Plates, Platters and Desserts. Small Plates refer to appetizers and finger foods, Big Plates are your main courses and salads, and Platters are larger servings of food meant to be shared among friends.

Long-time favorites Harry’s Wingmen and Love Me Tandoor have been updated in terms of the marinade and spices used. We found the chicken wings juicy on the inside with a mildly spicy batter that remained crispy even after they’ve been left out for 15 minutes. Love Me Tandoor’s yoghurt-marinated chicken skewers features tender, succulent meat packed with flavor.

Moving onto the Big Plates, we tried new-to-the-menu offerings such as Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Curried Lamb Shank and Prawn Star Pasta. The dish that made an impression on me was the Curried Lamb Shank, even though I have never been a fan of lamb shank, preferring the full-bodied flavor a rack of lamb gives instead. The curry sauce, a recipe of Chef Daniel’s, is robust without being too spicy. You get to experience the heady flavors of the curry spices played out on your palate without the searing heat of too much chilli. Together with its side of rice pilaf and raisins, this makes for a hearty, comforting lunch on a rainy afternoon.

Curried Lamb Shank

Curried Lamb Shank

From the Platters section, we sampled the Mushroom and Truffle Oil Flatbread which will remind you of crisp, thin-crust pizzas. A great alternative for those looking for something more satisfying than finger food but do not want to tuck into a full meal, the flatbreads come with a choice of toppings and are baked a-la-minute.

Flatbread with Mushroom and Truffle Oil

Flatbread with Mushroom and Truffle Oil

I don’t say this often but do leave space for desserts. Chef Daniel’s team have created 2 new desserts that are guaranteed to brighten up your workday blues. The Black Forest Sundae is a deconstruction of the classic Black Forest Cake. Its bite-size brownie squares make it a dessert that is easy to share (so you don’t feel so “guilty” after). My personal favorite, however, is the Apple & Pear Crumble – the buttery crumble crust melts in your mouth and is a perfect accompaniment to the soft, moreish cooked apple and pear chunks.

Black Forest Sundae

Black Forest Sundae

Because everyone is still pretty unaware that Harry’s at Marina Bay Link Mall is an awesome lunch venue, we suggest you head there before the secret is out.

Harry’s is located at Marina Bay Link Mall, 8A Marina Boulevard, #01-03, Ground Plaza. Tel: 6634 6318. Reservations email: .

Material World was invited to a tasting by Harry’s. This post was neither paid for nor advised by Harry’s. All opinions are the author’s own.


Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Fish & Co. Under 500 Calories Menu – Matthew Fam

Enjoying the same great recipes from Fish & Co. without bursting your calorie budget? This is totally possible with the restaurant’s new Under 500 Calories Menu. 

It’s no secret that we love to dine out. According to a 2010 health survey, 60% of Singaporeans eat out at least 4 times a week. However, dining out doesn’t always mean eating healthily. Firstly, it’s hard to gauge how many calories you’re consuming when your meal is presented on a large platter. We tend to finish whatever is on our plates, as we psychologically feel full only after its been cleared. This gives way to consuming excess calories.

How then, can we strike a balance with maintaining our calorie intake while still enjoying our favourite restaurant meals? Enter the new Under 500 Calories Menu by Fish & Co.

Healthier Portions of the Same Recipes You Love

Fish & Co.'s Under 500 Calories Menu contains 11 portioned dishes so you don't burst your calorie budget.

Fish & Co.’s Under 500 Calories Menu contains 11 portioned dishes so you don’t burst your calorie budget.

Fish & Co. partners with the Health Promotion Board to offer portioned-controlled meals that are less than 500 calories. The restaurant’s Under 500 Calories Menu features 11 favourite Fish & Co. dishes that have been re-portioned to cater to healthier diets.

You are even given a choice on how you wish to have the dish served. Sides are interchangeable- so you can opt for a serving of steamed vegetables in place of rice, for instance, while still keeping the dish below the set calorie amount.

Plus, these portion-controlled dishes are priced at 40% off their standard counterparts. Set from $7.95 to $11.95, you can do away with the misconception of paying more for healthier food, and enjoy them at reasonable prices.

Clinical dietician, Jaclyn Reutens explaining the importance of portion control.

Clinical dietician Jaclyn Reutens explaining the importance of portion control.

Why 500 Calories?

Clinical dietician Jaclyn Reutens, was at the event to share how this magical number came into play. She tells us that the recommended intake of calories for females is pitched at approximately 1700 calories. Sounds manageable? A single food court meal can go up to 800 calories per serving. And that’s not inclusive of the desserts we usually enjoy after! With this set target of 500 calories per meal, you can easily fit three within each day and sneak in a snack- all while keeping within your calorie allowance.

The Taste Test

Seafood Spaghetti, 376kcal.

Seafood Spaghetti, 471kcal. $10.95.


When I first ordered the Seafood Spaghetti, I thought having smaller portions meant measly smatterings of seafood chunks. But instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find my plate dressed with ample servings of prawn, squid, and mussels.

Moreover, with the option of having whole wheat pasta, one serving of this dish gives you 7g of fibre (out of a daily recommendation of 20g). I liked how its tomato-base sauce had the right amount of tang to compliment the seafood.


Grilled Salmon Cajun, 443 kcal.

Grilled Salmon Cajun, 443 kcal. $11.95.


I was also pleased to know that the same great taste of my favourite Fish & Co. dish (the Grilled Salmon Cajun) was not compromised, even though its portion had been reduced. The fillet wasn’t overcooked and remained succulent on the inside.

Even though I didn’t finish one serving feeling completely filled, the portions are adequate. Fish & Co.’s Under 500 Calories Menu isn’t designed to be a feast of epic proportions, but is instead a sensible way to enjoy the restaurant’s tasty dishes without breaking the calorie bank. Be it an outing with family, friends or dates, these portioned servings will satisfy your cravings and keep waistlines in check.


Material World was invited for a tasting at Fish & Co. and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and contributing beauty assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram at @mattjfam.



Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Sugarhall – Vanessa Tai

Good food, great drinks, excellent atmosphere. If a restaurant can do all three well, you probably have a recipe for success. Sugarhall checks all three boxes, and then some. By Vanessa Tai

This place was packed even on a Wednesday evening, a testament to its success.

It looks empty in this picture, but Sugarhall was packed when we were there on a Wednesday evening, which is a testament to its success.

The first thing that strikes you when you step into Sugarhall is its lively vibe. With its muted lighting, earthy interiors, and energetic playlist of vintage Latin, Ska, and Jamaican reggae, it’s hard not to feel perked up instantly. Deborah and I were recently there for a media tasting on a Wednesday evening and at 6.30pm, the place was already filling up with office workers chasing down a good, stiff after-work drink. Well, with the bar being helmed by Jigger & Pony’s bar manager Aki Eguchi, you can be sure the cocktails at Sugarhall more than deliver.

The owners of Sugarhall are the same folks who brought you Jigger & Pony (which is actually right next door), and the husband-and-wife team are determined to continue delivering the same top-quality, edgy cocktails that gave Jigger & Pony its fame.

Deborah had the Especial Martini, which is a blend of Brugal Extra Dry Rum, Cocchi Americano, and a mezcal-washed pickled quail’s egg (yup, you read right!) It’s not as strange as it sounds, and actually washes down nicely with the drink. I had the Bumbo Old Fashioned – a mix of El Dorado 12 YO Rum, demerara sugar, nutmeg tincture, and cinnamon. Sounds more like a dessert, right? But don’t be fooled; the cocktails at Sugarhall are potent. Don’t worry about getting too intoxicated though. The owners have thoughtfully created a menu where each cocktail comes with “Hungry to Full” indicators so you can pick a drink according to your appetite. So, if you’re famished, you might want to order a lighter-bodied concoction versus a richer, full-bodied cocktail.

Grilled Tiger Prawns

Grilled Tiger Prawns

With Sugarhall, the owners have expanded their repertoire beyond just drinks by offering an extensive flame-grilled menu. The kitchen is headed up by Polo Seah, a former alumnus of W Hotel’s steakhouse SKIRT, and you can expect a selection of meats and seafood, all carefully grilled over a wooden fire. Here, they make use of two types of wood, one from Thailand (to cook the food) and another from Japan (to keep the fire going). They also use wood chips from USA, which lends the grilled meats an aromatic, smoky flavour.

Pork Chop, Grilled Cauliflower and Roasted Beetroot

Pork Chop, Grilled Cauliflower and Roasted Beetroot

While the meats were delicious in their own right, what truly impressed us were the selections “from the garden”. This is where the chef gets to flex his creative muscles and create side dishes that are fun and inventive. Our favourite was the Creamy Mushrooms; which, despite the generous serving of cream, wasn’t stodgy and actually lent a nice contrast of textures to the meats. Another side dish we enjoyed was the Grilled Cauliflower, which came with bacon, burnt butter, capers, and hazelnut. The medley of flavours wowed everyone at the table, including Deborah, who’s a bonafide carnivore … so that’s saying something.

Grilled Cauliflower

Grilled Cauliflower

If you’re looking for a fun night out, Sugarhall — with its laidback vibe, unpretentious food and kickass cocktails — comes highly recommended.

Sugarhall is located at 102 Amoy Street, Tel: 6222 9102, Website:


Material World was invited for a tasting at Sugarhall and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

Accessories, Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Entertainment, Food News, Fragrances, Hair, International Fashion, Lifestyle, Makeup, Malls & Boutiques, Skincare

26 Things To Put On Your July Watchlist

Are you ready to embrace the second-half of 2014? We’re still recovering from the whirlwind that was the first-half of the year, to be honest. But with so many cool places to see, products to try and activities to check out in July, we’re all set to enter yet another whirlwind of new experiences!

A is for Anti-Ageing



Youthful skin isn’t just wrinkle-free; it’s also free from pigmentation, and glowing with youth and radiance. A two-step, in-home peel, the Philosophy Microdelivery Peel aims to rejuvenate skin by resurfacing and replenishing skin with peptides and vitamin C for smoother and more radiant skin. Best of all, results are evident after just one use, and the whole process takes less than 10 minutes!

Philosophy is at B2-03 Takashimaya S.C., Ngee Ann City; and #01-16 Bugis Junction.

B is for Becasse 

Becasse has launched its first full format dining concept at Dempsey Hill and it promises to spoil you silly with a wide menu consisting of French- and European-inspired dishes, a seafood bar and fresh hand-made pastries made on-site daily. Fans of brunch will love the Croque Madame with a truffle baked egg and the fluffy but oh-so-sinful sticky date pancakes.

Becasse is located at Blk 10 Dempsey Hill #01-21. Tel: 6479 8119.

C is for Cats of the World Photo Exhibition

One of the entries from Japan!

One of the entries from Japan!

Love cats? Then this annual exhibition is one you can’t miss! In its eighth season this year, the non-profit Cats of the World Photo Exhibition features photos of adorable furballs, taken by aspiring and professional photographers around the world. This year, look out for one-off cat-inspired creations by artists such as David Chan, Ginette Chittick, Wyn-Lyn Tan and Puffingmuffin; each artwork will be sold for $100 to raise funds for Cat Welfare Society. Of course, you can also look forward to the exhibition’s feline-themed flea market. From postcards and notebooks to accessories and even toys for cats, the Saturday Purrzaar Market has been a crowd favourite since it was launched in 2011.

Cats of the World Photo Exhibition will take place from July 2-28 at The Arts House. The Saturday Purrzaar Market, also held at The Arts House, will take place on July 5, 12 and 19, from 11am to 6pm.

D is for District 10 Brunch 


Mothers looking for a place where the kids can play while they tuck into their scrambled eggs can check out District 10 at The Star Vista. On Sundays, the restaurant installs a full-size bouncy castle to keep the kids occupied while their parents grab a bite. If you like food with a local twist, the pandan pancakes with gula melaka syrup will hit all the right spot.

District 10 is located at The Star Vista, #01-42/K3 (next to the taxi stand). Tel: 6694 2884. Email: .

E is for Exciting Fashion News

material world_zalora material girl

We may call ourselves the Material Girls, but we all know who the original Material Girl is. Apart from being the reigning Queen of Pop, Madonna also dabbles in fashion. She and daughter Lola have a popular fashion label, Material Girl, which was previously only available in department stores in the US, Australia, and Canada. But not anymore! You can now get your hands on the label’s trendy peplum tops, printed pencil skirts, bodycon dresses, and more on Zalora! The Spring collection is now available for purchase at

F is for Football Fever

So not everyone’s inclined to sit down to spend 90 minutes watching The Beautiful Game, especially when it’s screening at unearthly hours, but we’re pretty sure that practically everyone will fall in love with the Breadzil 2014 collection that Breadtalk has released to celebrate The World Cup. Our favourite? The Dillopillo, a spicy sambal chicken bun inspired by the armadillo mascot. It looks cute, and tastes even better.

For a full listing of Breadtalk stores, visit this link.

G is for Great Skin


If hot and humid weather is causing your zits to come out and party, now may be the time to switch to a BB cream that not only provides coverage but also controls shine and fights blemishes. Powered by Community Fair Trade tea tree from Kenya, The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream blends seamlessly into the skin to give you a great-looking complexion. At just $29.90 per tube, it’s a summer beauty must-have!

Available at all The Body Shop islandwide from 7 July 2014.

H is for Healthy Tresses

HWe’ve all resorted to trimming our own tresses at home to get rid of split ends, but now there’s an easier way to repair damaged hair. Enter the L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 Emergency Care Split End Sealer. Powered by active ingredient LAK1000, it promises to penetrate deep into the hair to reinforce damaged hair structure and strengthen hair fibre. Up to 6,500 strands of hair will be repaired with just one use!

Available at Watsons and Guardian pharmacies. 

I is for Instant Laksa

There’s something strangely comforting about a bowl of instant noodles, especially after a long day of work or after a night of partying. Now, MAGGI ups the ante with MAGGI SENSES Laksa, with a special wet paste made with fresh galangal, spicy red chilli, and ginger. Combined with MAGGI’s signature springy noodles, this is a slurp-worthy bowl of deliciousness.

MAGGI® SENSES™ Laksa is available at $7.95 for a pack of 4x141g at all leading super/hypermarkets and convenience stores.

J is for Jermyn Street


The trend of high-end grooming stores for men seems to be taking off in Singapore and more’s the better, we say! Jermyn Street is the new kid on the block. The decor is inspired by the 1930s style, and it offers a comprehensive suite of services including a luxury hotel towel straight razor shave, haircuts, shampoos, manicures and pedicures, eyebrow grooming and much more. Something to treat your man to on his birthday, we think.

Jermyn Street is located at 108 Amoy Street. For more information, visit

K is for Kiehl’s 

One of our all-time favourite beauty brands is celebrating its 10th year in Singapore! Kiehl’s turns 10 this July and to mark this momentous event, it is sending out Ultra Generous Trucks across 21 destinations across the island to hand out samples and treats! So keep a lookout for these trucks – there is a selfie contest too! Details in the latest issue of Kiehl’s Times at all Kiehl’s stores islandwide.

L is for Laneige


After 20 years of research (you know they mean business when they spent two decades researching on moisture), Laneige has introduced the new and improved Water Bank range, which claims to deliver eight times more moisture into the skin. Through their research, they found that Asian skin is more susceptible to moisture loss. To tackle this problem, the reformulated Water Bank range features the exclusive Moisturizing Biogene Technology and Hydro Ion Mineral Water to restore the Asian skin’s natural ability to generate and retain moisture – even under dry conditions. The Water Bank range consists of Water Bank Essence_EX ($60), Water Bank Eye Gel ($49), Water Bank Gel Cream_EX ($52), Water Bank Moisture Cream_EX ($52), and Water Bank Double Gel Soothing Mask (5 sheets, $34).

The Water Bank range is available at all Laneige boutiques and counters islandwide.

M is for Melissa


Brazilian shoe brand Melissa collaborates with some of the biggest names in fashion – Karl Lagerfeld, Jason Wu, Gareth Pugh, and J Maskrey – to roll out even more fantastic pieces for its Fall/Winter 2014 collections. These pieces will be available from July 2014 at the new MDreams Boutique at One Raffles Place, as well as its existing store at Wheelock Place.

MDreams is at #01-11/12 1 Raffles Place, and B2-03 Wheelock Place.

N is for “No” to Shark Fin

Kudos to Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) Cargo for saying “No” to shark’s fin! Starting last month, MBS is no longer serving shark’s fin in restaurants it owns and operates, as well as in MICE events at Sands Expo and Convention Centre; from August 1, SIA Cargo will no longer carry shark’s fin on its cargo flights. The two bigwigs are the latest to join the growing list of companies that have pledged to protect the environment and play a part in shark conservation.

O is for Oleosome Technology

A sunscreen is a sunscreen is a sunscreen, right? Not so, with Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50. This sunscreen is made with the new Oleosome Technology, which is a type of technique that slowly releases sunscreen directly to your skin surface over time. This increases the UV protection minus any additional chemicals or emulsifiers. Even better, this formulation comes with botanical extracts like Licorice, Orange Peel, and Ylang Ylang to soothe and nourish your skin.

Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50 is available for $75 at all AsterSpring Centres and selected Dermalogica-authorised skin treatment centres.

P is for Pretty Homeware Collection


Racking your brain for a housewarming gift for a vintage-lovin’ friend? Cath Kidston’s High Summer collection has her name on it! Featuring a botanical theme inspired by the ’50s, the Painterly Rose baking collection includes baking ware and accessories such as a ceramic cake stand, rolling pin and adjustable apron.

Cath Kidston’s High Summer collection is available at Cath Kidston outlets islandwide.

Q is for Qi Mantra

If you’re after flawless, radiant skin for that special occasion, be sure to book yourself in for the Miracle Facial, $350, at Qi Mantra. It’s a 90-minute non-invasive treatment that marries advanced VPL (Variable Pulse Light) and revolutionary stem cell technology to stimulate collagen production and significantly improve signs of ageing. Best of all, there’s no downtime!

For a full listing of Qi Mantra outlets, click on this link.

R is for Ramen 


Sake + Ramen = one deliciously addictive bowl of noodles! The sake broth at Shin-Sapporo Ramen takes a minimum of 8 hours to produce and you can taste the potent flavor of the sake with every bite. The noodles are made fresh daily in the shop and the pork broth is painstakingly prepared by boiling the bones over high heat for 15 hours. For a taste of this awesome ramen, make your way to Shin-Sapporo Ramen at Orchard Gateway today.

Shin-Sapporo Ramen is located at B2-04A/05. Tel: 6702 4906.

S is for Summer Beauty


Founder Lili sporting Priscilla lip gloss

Founder Lili sporting Priscilla Lip Gloss in Shocking Pink.

Synonymous with poolside and beach parties, summer is all about having a splashing good time and sexy, bold appearances. Complete the sun-kissed look with Nars Summer 2014 collection, whose palette is a striking mix of pop and sultry the collection. We love Priscilla Lip Gloss in Shocking Pink ($37) – it is eye-catching and amazingly wearable! Other makeup products from the collection include Tropical Princess Duo Eyeshadow in Neon Lemon Lime and Icy Lavender ($50); Lost Coast Duo Eyeshadow in Golden Pewter and Lilac Snow ($50); Malacca Single Eyeshadow in Iridescent Peacock ($38); and Hot Sand Illuminator in Peach Champagne ($45).

Nars Summer 2014 collection is available at Nars counters islandwide.

T is for Tempting Cocktails

At a recent media tasting at Ding Dong, we were blown away by the lethally delicious cocktails. One of our favourites was The Golden Mile, which is a blend of Thai herb-infused Ketel One vodka, blue ginger gomme, and citrus. The best way we can describe is like a refreshing alcoholic beverage with nuances of Tom Yam. Sounds strange but it’s surprisingly delectable. Another drink we enjoyed was the Fujiyama, which is made with Yoghurt sake, elderflower liqueur, fresh strawberries, and yuzu liqueur. Because of the sweet flavours, this is a deceptively easy drink to down. It’s only when the buzz hits you that you realise how potent the drink really is.

Ding Dong is located at 23 Ann Siang Road, Tel: 6557 0189

U is for Ujong


The chef who brought you Wok & Barrel is back with even more tantalising treats at the newly-opened Ujong. Chef Shen has a knack for putting a gourmet spin on humble local dishes and elevating them to something amazing. And now you can enjoy her signature dishes such as Claypot Rice with Five Spice Pork, Har Zi Meen, and Hae Bee Hiam Mentaiko Capellini with a side of Col di Salici Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. This is a zesty, dry Prosecco sparkling wine with fruity notes that pairs beautifully with the rich flavours of Chef Shen’s dishes.

Ujong is located at #01-10, 328 North Bridge Road, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Tel: 6635 6502

V is for Von Trapp


The delightful Von Trapp family comes to town! The Sound of Music, arguably the world’s most iconic musical, comes to the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands this July, all the way from London’s West End. Based on the original 1959 Broadway production, this is one show everyone in the whole family will enjoy! Get your tickets here.

W is for Whiff of Fabric Fragrance

Downy’s latest range of fabric softeners features an innovative technology known as the Scent Switcher Technology – and, yes, it apparently does what its name implies. The new Downy Parfum Collection is formulated with two types of Downy’s signature perfume microcapsules, which will be deposited onto the clothes during washing. Through the rubbing, moving and wearing of the fabric, the Scent Switcher Technology is activated, during which the two microcapsules are released at varying amounts. We can’t be sure exactly how and whether that works, but it sure sounds interesting!

Downy Parfum Collection, from $6, is available at all leading supermarkets.

X is for X-cellent Deals

If you have a Mastercard debit/credit card, now’s the time to put it to work. Why? Cos it’s partnered with Borderfree to give you free shipping for orders above USD100 at nine US online merchants. The merchants are: Aeropostale, Adriana Goldschmied, Bloomingdale’s, Eileem Fisher, Elie Tahari, Jos A. Bank, Lands’ End, Lane Bryant and MotoSport. Simply key in the code MCSHOP when paying with your Mastercard card. Promotion is on from now till July 14, 2014.

Y is for The Fountain of Youth 


Looking perfect at every age is now almost possible with Shiseido’s new Vital-Perfection skincare series! Combining whitening and anti-aging benefits, this skincare line brings you impossibly bright and firm skin with the revolutionary ingredient VP8. This ingredient shuts off the creation of aged proteins, which are the root cause of wrinkles, sagging, dullness and yellowish skin. Results can be seen in as little as 1 week.

Shiseido Vital-Perfection skincare series is now available at Shiseido counters islandwide.

Z is for Zero Percent Worries On Spots 


SK-II’s new Whitening Spots Care series claims to give you 0% worries when it comes pigmentation and skin damage. For a targeted solution, the Ultimate Spots Corrector boasts a dual approach, breaking the vicious cycle of spot formation and helping repair existing skin damage to prevent new ones.

SK-II is available at department stores islandwide.

Contests, Food News, Lifestyle

The Easy Cider Pie Every One Can Make – Deborah Tan

Deborah Tan shares an easy recipe for a cider pie you can create in just over an hour. What’s more? We are giving away Somersby Cider so you too can enjoy the refreshing fruity drink on a simmering hot day like this.

For this recipe, I used Somersby Pear Cider.

For this recipe, I used Somersby Pear Cider.

I love ciders because they are so easy to drink! Sweet, fruity, bubbly and with an alcoholic twist, ciders are the perfect beverages for our sunny weather. I have wondered, often, how I can incorporate it into a bake. When Somersby approached us to do a giveaway, I jumped on the opportunity to create something with its cider.

This recipe takes a little over an hour to put together. It doesn’t require any sophisticated baking skill so it’s perfect if you have a BBQ potluck party coming up and you want to bring a dessert that will end the evening on a fruity, celebratory note!

You’ll Need
1. An 8-inch springform pan
2. A mandolin
3. A mixing bowl
4. A hand whisk or a stand mixer
5. Non-stick baking paper

For the crust
16 pieces of digestive biscuits
50g of butter, melted

For the filling
1 pear or apple (depending on which cider you are using)
Juice from 1 lemon
1 bottle of Somersby pear or apple cider
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

For the topping
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cinnamon powder

To form the pie crust
1. Crush the biscuits and pour melted butter over the crumbs. Mix the butter and crumbs together so they start resembling a bit like wet sand.
2. Line the base of the springform pan with baking paper. Grease the sides of the pan with butter.
3. Make a crust with the biscuit crumbs, pressing the crumbs to the sides of the pan.
4. Chill the crust in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Set the oven at 165 degrees Celsius.


Top with whipped cream and sprinkle some cinnamon over before serving.

Preparing the filling 
1. In a medium saucepan, boil and reduce 2 cups of cider into 1/2 cup. This will take about 10 minutes.
2. While waiting for the cider to boil off, squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl.
3. Using a mandolin, slice the pear or apple into 2mm thin slices.
4. Put the slices into the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
5. In the mixing bowl, whisk together the reduced cider, sour cream, sugar and salt.
6. Add in the eggs and whisk some more.
7. Pour 2/3 of the custard into the pie base.
8. Arrange approximately 2/3 of the sliced pear/apple evenly in the pie. Set aside 8 – 10 of the most beautiful pieces for the top.
9. Pour the remaining custard into the pie and arrange the remaining fruit slices in a nice flower pattern on top.
10. Bake in oven for 35 – 40 minutes until the custard is set around the edge of the pie but the centre is slightly jiggly.

Leave the pie to cool in the oven for 10 minutes. Then remove it and leave it to cool further on a wire rack. When you’re ready to serve the pie, make the topping:

Make the topping
11. Whisk the heavy cream, sugar and cinnamon together until the mixture is firmly whipped.
12. Layer the whipped cream on top of the cooled pie OR serve on the side with a slice of the pie.



We have 2 cartons of Somersby Apple Cider and 2 cartons of Somersby Pear Cider to give away!

We have 2 cartons of Somersby Apple Cider and 2 cartons of Somersby Pear Cider to give away!

FOUR readers will each win a carton (24 bottles) of Somersby Apple OR Pear Cider up for grabs! To win, simply follow these steps:

1. In the Comments section below, complete this sentence: “I love my Somersby Cider with ____________ (name a dish or food).” For example, your answer could be, “I love my Somersby Cider with pad thai.”

2. Share this post on your Facebook Wall and tag Material World’s Facebook Page in it. Make sure you set your post to Public so we can verify that you have completed this step.

3. Send your details (name, IC, gender, email address) to State “Somersby” in the subject field.

Contest will end 4 July, 2014. You need to be a member of Material World’s Facebook Page to qualify for this draw.

By taking part in this contest, you are consenting to be included in our mailing list for future contests and events.

This post was neither paid for nor advised by Somersby. All opinions are the author’s own.




Food News, Gyms & Trainers, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Wellbeing, Workouts

Material World’s Sunday Sizzle: The Third Edition

A great workout, healthy juices, and a delicious brunch … all the ingredients you need for a fabulous Sunday. Find out more about what went down at Material World’s latest Sunday Sizzle event.

Over here at the Material World HQ, we’re all pretty big on fitness and living healthily. When you eat right and move frequently, you have more energy to do the things that matter. In a bid to encourage holistic living, we’ve organised a series of fitness and healthy eating events we call Sunday Sizzle. The event held on June 8, was our third installation.

First up on the agenda was an invigorating willPower & Grace workout held at Momentum Lab. This hour-long barefoot workout combines the disciplines of dance, yoga and more to create an energetic routine that aids in functional movements and strengthens the core. During the class, participants’ awareness were continually brought to their feet and how their feet moved in tandem with their whole body. After all, the feet form the base of all bodily movement – a strong base will lead to improved overall strength, flexibility and agility of the body. Trainer Shira kept everyone’s spirits up with her energy and occasional quips.

The super spacious Momentum Lab can comfortably accommodate about 17 people.

The super spacious Momentum Lab can comfortably accommodate about 17 people.

Within half an hour, it was clear that everyone was working up quite a sweat, but we really have to give it to our participants for putting in 100% effort. We’re proud to say that no one gave up! “I could really feel my core muscles working hard,” said Xiuyun, 26, executive. “Plus, the workout is a great way to kickstart a lazy morning.”

Everyone was immediately rewarded for their hard work in the form of organic, cold-pressed Beauty Cleanse juices! From tasty veggie-based juices, to satisfying nut milks, and refreshing watermelon-mint-coconut juices (a hot favourite!), it was the perfect way to rehydrate after an invigorating workout. “I love the interesting juice combinations,” said Chalene 29, executive. “They are a tasty way to get essential vitamins and nutrients too.”

What better way to rehydrate than with a refreshing cold-pressed juice from Beauty Cleanse?

What better way to rehydrate than with a refreshing cold-pressed juice from Beauty Cleanse?

The Sweet & Chic salad at The Lawn

The Sweet & Chic salad at The Lawn

With everyone in high spirits and quickly making new friends, it was time to adjourn for brunch at The Lawn at Biopolis. What awaited the participants: Wonderfully fresh, generously-portioned salads topped with a selection of grilled meat or seafood. The spacious, serene surrounds of Biopolis in a quiet Sunday morning proved to be the perfect backdrop for brunch. Although some participants had mentioned to us that they were not usually fans of salads, we were glad to see everyone tucking in heartily and enjoying their brunch.

Everyone also got to take home a goodie bag, which included a Triple Dry Anti-Perspirant Roll-On – which you’re supposed to use at night to help regulate excessive sweat production – and a sample of Collection Cosmetics’ Bright & Glow BB Cream (that promises to give you a healthy, radiant complexion). Talk about the icing on a cake!


Triple Dry and Collection Cosmetics

The goodie bag, courtesy of Triple Dry/Collection Cosmetics!

If you didn’t manage to sign up for yesterday’s Sunday Sizzle, not to worry. We’ve got a few more events planned for this year, so watch this space for more details!

We would like to thank our partners for making this event possible:

Momentum Lab
354 Alexandra Road, #01-15 Alexis
Tel: 6339 2210

Beauty Cleanse

The Lawn
31 Biopolis Way, #01-07 Nanos
Tel: 6478 9739

Triple Dry (available exclusively at Guardian) and Collection Cosmetics (available at selected Watsons stores and BHG [Bugis and Clementi])

Arts & Events, Food News, Lifestyle

Public Service Announcement: Tip For A Good Cause!

A team of PR professionals have been waiting tables at a restaurant since Monday. They have pledged their salaries and tips to Willing Hearts – a non-profit organization with a soup kitchen that cooks and distributes some 3,000 meals to the needy in Singapore. We find out more about this initiative from Ivy Woo, director of FoodNews Public Relations, the woman behind it all.

Ivy (right) having a beer with her team members after their shift.

Ivy (right) having a beer with her team members after their shift.

Q. What is “A Good Serve” all about?
I actually started out as a waitress and I still have a passion for the work done on the frontline of the F&B industry. We don’t celebrate the wait staff, the unsung heroes, enough! So, when I learned that 21 May is actually National Waiters & Waitresses Day, I wanted to do something to celebrate them and do my bit for charity. The entire team of FoodNews PR has been activated for this campaign. From 19 to 23 May 2014, we will be working as waiters and waitresses at Seasons Bistro at TripleOne Somerset. The salaries and tips we receive working here will be donated to Willing Hearts.

Q. How much do you hope to raise?
I learned from Willing Hearts that it costs about $4,500 a day to cover the supplies needed to feed their beneficiaries. I certainly do hope we can at least raise enough to cover this!

Q. What dishes would you recommend we order at Seasons Bistro then?
I highly recommend the pan-seared foie gras as a starter, then for your main, you might want to try the Southern Summer Pasta. For desserts, I personally like the mojito tart. We chose to work with Seasons Bistro because it is a casual dining restaurant with a menu that’s affordably priced. This is so our friends and family would find it less daunting to come have a meal here to support us.

The team of FoodNews PR will be waiting tables at Seasons Bistro from now till Friday, 23 May 2014. Please swing by Seasons Bistro for dinner today or tomorrow to show your support for this extremely meaningful initiative.

Seasons Bistro is located at #01-11/12 TripleOne Somerset. Tel: 6836 5841.

Ivy's team only had an hour of training before they were set to work.

Ivy’s team only had an hour of training before they were set to work.

Good luck, Ivy and team!

Material World


Food News, Gyms & Trainers, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle

The Yummiest Salad Place In Town! – Denise Li

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “salad”? If you had asked me this question a few months ago, I would have said, “Yuck, I’ll pass”. It’s not just the fact that I am ambivalent towards vegetables on most days, it is also the fact that a lot of the restaurants and eateries here give salads a bad name.

The problem with a lot of the salads you get at the restaurants and cafes here are:

1. They usually come in small portions. You’d hardly call it a meal.

2. They have too little protein. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve ordered a salad Nicoise only to be presented with a few paltry shreds of tuna from a can.

3. The vegetables are not fresh. I’m sure you’ll agree: Few things are more off-putting than encountering leaves with brown wilting edges in your salad.

A couple of months back, I found myself having to subsist on a mostly-salad diet as I had to lose three kilos to make fight weight. I discovered The Lawn upon a friend’s recommendation.

Well, what can I say? I was completely blown away. The vegetables are consistently fresh, the servings of meat are generous, they have a good variety of delicious homemade dressings and the portions are huge! Despite the fact that I was burning lots of calories daily during boxing training, I always felt full and satiated after a meal here. With prices starting from $12.90 for a salad (inclusive of one grilled meat), I think it’s really good value for money.

Here, you are given the chance to customise your salad. You start with a mesclun salad base, and can choose up to five toppings. For toppings, pick from a mix of vegetables, fruit, nuts, cheese, carbs such as pasta and cous-cous and more. Next, get a grilled topping to make your meal a more substantial one. They have chicken done in a variety of marinades, a beef rub, char-grilled asparagus and eggplant, etc. As a final step, you have a choice of one of 12 dressings.

Alternatively, if you prefer to “switch off” your brain during lunchtime and prefer not to make these decisions, you can opt for one of their three Chef’s Picks:

Salads with Grills_resized


Sweet & Chic
What it is: Chicken with maple infusion, pasta, cous cous, baby potatoes, sweet corn, egg, with a Honeyball (honey and dijon mustard) dressing.

If you’re someone who just can’t live without your carb fix, this option is for you (pasta, cous cous AND baby potatoes!) We enjoyed the slightly sweet, juicy and tender pieces of chicken. And despite what the name of the salad suggests, thankfully, the whole dish wasn’t overwhelmingly cloying.

Crunches With Munches
What it is: Char-grilled prawns, bell peppers, granola, pineapples, cucumber, cashews with a Me So Spicy (fresh chilli, samal belachan, mint) dressing.

Vanessa and I simply could not get enough of this salad due to its variety of textures (crunchy, as its name suggests!). But what really sealed the deal on this was its moreish dressing. Creamy yet spicy, it added kick and a much-welcomed local touch to the bowl.

Hunky Dory
What it is: Butter-seared dory, alfafa sprouts, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, tofu, almonds, with a Wafu (mayonnaise, sesame oil, ginger) dressing.

It sounds like a strange combination on paper, but really, all the flavours worked very well together. I’m usually not a fan of alfafa sprouts because of its slightly “grassy” taste, but I found that it served as the perfect foil to the stronger-tasting elements in this salad, the cheese. No complaints at all about how the dory was prepared – it was well-marinated (I loved the hints of garlic), fresh and flaky.

The Lawn has two outlets: 31 Biopolis Way, #01-07 Nanos; and 8 Shenton Way, #B1-11 AXA Tower. They also take orders online, as well as deliveries with a minimum order (no delivery charge!). The minimum order will differ based on where you’re located.

Material World was invited to a tasting at The Lawn. All opinions are the author’s own. 


20 Material World readers will have the chance to enjoy a Sunday morning engaging in a host of healthy activities, including brunch at The Lawn (Biopolis).

DATE: 8 June 2014, Sunday
TIME: 9.45am SHARP
MEETING POINT: Momentum Lab, 354 Alexandra Road, #01-15 Alexis (opposite the Mercedes Benz showroom)
This is a LADIES-ONLY event. Gentlemen, we appreciate the support but we are unable to accommodate men at this event.

Every participant pays $10* to sign up. You’ll receive:
1. An hour-long barefoot willPower & Grace workout (click the link to find out more about the workout)
2. A bottle of organic cold-pressed juice courtesy of Beauty Cleanse
3. Brunch, courtesy of The Lawn (at its Biopolis outlet)
4. A beauty goodie bag

*The $10 will be spent solely on covering the expenses of transport and logistics. Material World and its partners will not be profiting from this event.

Booking Deadline: May 31, 2014, Sunday

Thank you for your support, everyone! This event is FULLY REGISTERED.

Food News, Lifestyle

Celebrate Mother’s Day At The Pump Room – Vanessa Tai

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! While every other restaurant has come up with their own Mother’s Day set menu, we know where we’ll be taking Mummy Dearest.

Over the Valentine’s Day period, The Pump Room showed us their culinary chops and proved they are more than just another drinking place. This Mother’s Day, the chefs have once again pulled out all stops to ensure you have a lip-lickingly good time.


Spice-roasted Butter Pumpkin Soup

Starting this Sunday, The Pump Room will be serving a hearty 3-course set dinner that includes a complimentary glass of sparkling Moscato or Lambrusco for you and Mum. Start your meal with a belly-warming bowl of spice-roasted butter pumpkin soup served with freshly baked bush damper. Bush damper – also known as Australian bush bread – refers to the bread made by ancient indigenous Australians by crushing seeds into a dough before baking it. This modern interpretation is softer and more chewy, perfect for dipping in creamy soup. If your mum prefers something a little lighter on the palate, opt for the Prawn Cocktail. This refreshing dish is served with fresh beer, poached tiger prawns, and mesclun salad.


Sesame Teriyaki Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash, Pencil Asparagus and Sauteed Field Mushrooms

For mains, you have a choice of either the Sesame Teriyaki Chicken or Pan Seared Barramundi. Why not order one of each so that you and Mum get to try both? The plump and succulent chicken is accompanied with a generous serving of sweet potato mash, pencil asparagus, and sauteed field mushrooms.

Barramundi is an ubiquitous dish found in almost any restaurant that serves Australian cuisine. You’ll love how the chefs at The Pump Room have lightly seared the barramundi to bring out its subtle flavours. This dish is drizzled with Asian Vinaigrette, and served alongside chive celeraic mash and baby carrots. Trust us when we say even the sides at The Pump Room deserve star billings – the mash potatoes served here are unusually smooth and silky.

seared barramundi

Pan Seared Barramundi with Chive Celeriac Mash and Baby Carrots

Remember to leave some room for a sweet ending because the desserts at The Pump Room are ahh-mazing. The set menu includes a Ginger Crumbled Dark Sweet Cherry Pie, which is a mouthwatering combination of sweet dark cherries ensconced in a spicy, buttery crumble.


Ginger Crumbled Dark Sweet Cherry Pie

The Pump Room Mother’s Day menu ($45++ per person, inclusive of one complimentary sparkling Moscato or Lambrusco) is available from 3 May to 11 May. The Pump Room is located at 3B River Valley Road, #01-09/10 The Foundry, Clarke Quay. For reservations, email Katie at or call 8186 6096. 

Material World worked with The Pump Room to highlight their Mother’s Day menu. All reviews are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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