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: reserve@harrys.com.sg .

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.


Family, Friends, Relationships

8 Ways To Survive Family Gatherings – Deborah Tan

“Do you have boyfriend?”, “When are you getting married?”, “How are you doing at work?”, “Why are you still jobless?” … The festive season may be all fun and laughter, peace and joy, but it also comes with gatherings involving relatives and frenemies. So what can you do when forced to hang out with some of the most annoying people in your life? Here are 8 ways you might consider:

1. The Uncle Who Bosses Everyone Around Just Cos He’s The Oldest/Richest/Most Educated.

What he likes to do … He enters the house and the entire clan falls into a reverential silence. He seats in a chair, usually the one at the head of the table, and gives everyone a disapproving look. He points out what he wants, he orders all the daughters (doesn’t have to be his) to bring him tea/cake/food/tissue/his phone.

What you should do:
You could place a younger cousin or sibling between Jabba The Hutt and yourself so you would never get ordered to do anything. Or, you could invest in the best damn headphones money can buy and pretend to be the reclusive niece who’s constantly wired in:

2. The Overly Competitive Cousin Who Keeps Asking The WRONG Questions

What she likes to do … She is lil’ Miss Perfect in the family – perfect job, perfect boyfriend, perfect figure .. and she knows it. This annoying human being makes it a point to ask you all the wrong questions such as, “I heard your last relationship didn’t quite work out, what happened?”, or “My friend works in the same company as you, heard you didn’t get the promotion. You want a recommendation?” Her mission: To convey the message that everyone’s life is better with her in it.

What you should do:
By all means, put your knowledge of movies and young adult fiction to good use here. Sure, your life may not be perfect but it is way more exciting and interesting than hers! Talk about the boyfriend who wants to make it on his own without using his father’s millions, talk about the company that is super-keen on you but you have plans on becoming an entrepreneur … and then, act like it’s all nothing to do.

3. The Family Drama Queen

What she likes to do … Everyone pisses her off, everything anyone says is a pointed jab at her, anything is a reason to create a scene. If she doesn’t storm off from the dinner table in a dramatic fashion, she hasn’t done her job. And always, someone has to run after her to placate her. This year, it seems, is your turn.

What you should do:
Tell her that if she doesn’t stop her nonsense, you will silence her with a fork/knife/pan/pot/plate/chocolate cake … whatever is conveniently located close by. Or, be like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer and say …

4. The Super Spoiled Brat With Ineffective Parents

What he likes to do … Shouts at the maid, screams at his mother, takes whatever catches his eye and proceeds to destroy it, runs around the house making more noise than a horde of Mongols … this kid is the Devil’s long lost son.

What you should do:
Take the most attractive (read: something that looks HIGHLY breakable) object in your house, put it in a corner that is far away from his indulgent parents, and when he approaches it, speak to him in a really low and stern voice, “Hey, young man, this is my house and you’ll learn to be polite and quiet. You can go and tell your parents what I’ve just said to you but it just shows what a crybaby you really are. Are you a crybaby?” Yes … we are not above emotional blackmail.

5. The Guy-Relative Who Loves To Crack Dirty Jokes

What he likes to do … Your mum brings out the turkey and he goes, “Now, here’s a bird who got properly stuffed! Geddit? Geddit?” Or, you ask him to pass the gravy and he goes, “So, you want my gravy?” AARGH. This dude is Mr Inappropriate and you wonder why no one’s banned him from attending family dinners yet!

What you should do:
Make it clear that you are extremely uncomfortable when he utters a loaded statement. Instead of laughing it off or getting worried about being teased as a prude, call out on his bad behavior. Squirm uncomfortably in your seat, glare at him and scream, “Oh GROSS!” Someone will support you if your discomfort with this guy is justifiable.

6. The Well-meaning In-Law Who Keeps Trying To Share Her Faith

What she likes to do … Sit you down beside her and ask you when was the last time you’ve gone to church. Or, she wants you to free up the coming Sunday to attend Mass with her. Or, there is this great youth group you can consider joining first because, “It’s always better to start mixing with young people who can set a good example”.

What you should do:
Thank her for sharing, tell her firmly that you are not ready and don’t think you would in the foreseeable future. Let her know that while you may not go to church, you try your best to be a good person in your everyday life, to be a person your parents can be proud of. Then give her a reassuring pat on the hand, smile, and steer the conversation to something else.

7. The Friend Who Is Worried For You Because You Are Single

What she likes to do … She tells you she can’t believe a fantastic person like you is still single, laments how unfair she thinks this all is, and then demands you give her an action plan on how you intend to find yourself a boyfriend in 2014. This is someone who staunchly believes that there is no other way to be than be coupled up.

What you should do:
So she has your best intentions at heart, so she is genuinely concerned and not trying to be a humble brag … BUT if you have explained repeatedly that you do not think your Single status is a problem, there’s only one way to get her to shut up …

8. The Parent Who Is Constantly Comparing You To Your Sibling

What they like to do … Tell the relatives how inadequate you are, how untalented you are, how you’re not pretty enough … They go on and on about how your older/younger sister/brother is so much more sensible, so much better … Basically, you are Loki to your parents’ Thor.

What you should do:
Well, in this case, there’s really nothing you can do but suck it up. Make a mental note to yourself and promise yourself this ..

This post is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek piece on surviving the holiday season! We know you love your family and your family loves you. Have a happy holiday and make sure you have loads of fun with your folks! If any of them do fall into any of the above types, perhaps a Christmas card is a good way to express what you really feel. If they do care about you, they will do something about it.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. She is lucky none of her family members belong to any of the abovementioned types. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.