Contests, Food News, Lifestyle

[A Sweet Pair] Tuck Into Swensen’s Ice Cream Buffet

Did you know that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Singapore? Every year, an approximate 1,500 women get diagnosed with the disease. This year, in order to encourage women over the age of 50 to get a screening mammogram done, the Singapore Cancer Society is offering a $25 subsidy for those who get their breasts screened between the months of October and December. Brochures containing these subsidy coupons can be found at the Singapore Cancer Society and at selected Guardian, The Body Shop, Metro, Sorella Lingerie and Pierre Cardin Lingerie.

“It’s too painful”, “I feel healthy”, and “I have no time” are the Top 3 excuses given by women for not going for a mammogram screening.

If your mum is 50 and above, and have not done a mammogram screening before, why not make an appointment and go along with her? After that, spend some mother-daughter time together by treating yourselves to a great dessert.

Win “A Sweet Pair” of desserts by Swensen’s Today!

Swensen's Ice-Cream Buffet 1

Swensen's Ice-Cream Buffet 3Today, we have a pair of vouchers for Swensen’s Ice Cream Buffet. You and your mother (or best friend or a colleague) can enjoy this spectacular buffet that consists of over 50 ice cream flavours, more than 40 different toppings, chocolate fondue fountains, and an assortment of pastries and cakes.

The Swensen’s Ice Cream buffet is available every weekday at $19.90 (adults) and weekend at $20.90 (adults) at ION Orchard. Besides tucking into this mindblowing spread of ice cream, be sure to give the Swensen’s limited time menu a try too. These dishes are available till end-October. You can read our review of this limited time menu here. Hint: we really like the fried chicken on waffle!!!

To win this pair of sweet treats, simply follow the steps below:

1. Click on the Facebook button below and SHARE this post with your friends. Remember to TAG Material World’s Facebook Page on your post, and make sure your post is set to PUBLIC so we may verify that you have completed this step.

3. Click on this link to Like our Facebook Page. Only Material World’s followers qualify for this contest.

4. Private message us your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, mailing address and email address. State the name of the restaurant in your message.

Contest ends October 7, 2013, Monday.

Good luck and may the best pair win!

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Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Swensen’s Fusion Dishes – Deborah Tan

A great number of people turn their nose up whenever the words “fusion” and “food” are put together. Unlike founder Denise who views all fusion dishes with suspicion, I am quite forgiving. If done sparingly, some dishes do lend themselves quite well to “fusion-ing”. Laksa pesto pasta is one such dish. Another fusion dish that I like is the rice burgers at Mos Burgers. There is nothing sacrilegious about combining the foods from two (or more!) cultures into one dish. In fact, the region of Southeast Asia is swimming with fusion food. Take the Vietnamese bahn mi for example, definitely French-inspired. Singapore’s very own kaya toast is most certainly a fusion food as well.

You probably have a instinctive feel about whether a fusion-dish works or not, so this isn’t a piece about whether you should or should not eat fusion stuff. I like to put chilli padi into my spaghetti bolognaise. Who am I to judge?

If you are as forgiving as I am, culinarily speaking, from now till 31 October, 2013, you can pop down to Swensen’s to try its version of “fusion” food. I went for the food tasting a couple of weeks ago and here are some of my favourites:

1. Spiced Maple Waffle Chicken, $14.90

Spiced Maple Chicken Waffle

What is it?
Four beautifully fried pieces of chicken stacked over a Belgian waffle.

Where’s the fusion bit?
The maple syrup. It’s chilli-padi infused maple syrup so it’s sweet with a bit of kick!

Verdict:
I can definitely wipe out the entire dish by myself. The chicken was fried just right, retaining its juiciness. There is only one small piece of waffle but, you know what, it’s just nice cos the meat will fill you up. Served with a side of butter cream and mixed greens, this dish is a must-try for fried-chicken lovers.

 

2. Crispy Cereal King Prawns, $19.90

Crispy Cereal King Prawns

What is it?
Four (if I recall correctly) huge king prawns coated with a special batter made from cereal, bread crumbs and spices.

Where’s the fusion bit?
It’s a lot like the cereal prawns you can find at cze-char stalls at kopitiams except that this batter isn’t as thick and as oily as the hawker’s version. They come with a side of steak-cut fries and mixed greens.

Verdict:
Firm, fresh and definitely full of bite! If you asked me which one I prefer, I’d be hard-pressed to make a choice. I love that the cereal coating isn’t oily at all. This dish is very addictive if you love your seafood. I feel my mouth watering just thinking about biting into one of these big fat juicy prawns.

And once you’re done with your main course, it’s time to tuck into Swensen’s yummy sundaes. For this period, you get to enjoy a $1 off your sundaes if you go with the recommended main-dessert pairings. But you know what? It’s dessert so I say you go with what you want. Life’s too short to be stuck with ice cream you don’t like. So … I highly recommend these two creamy treats with a strong hint of local in them.

Salted Gula MelakaˇHeaven1. Salted Gula Melaka Heaven, $9.90 (left)
It’s like salted caramel, Southeast Asian style! The fragrant aroma of gula melaka is immediately detectable the moment you scoop up a spoonful of this yummy salted gula melake ice cream. Decorated with chocolate balls, diced almonds and chocolate bits, this dessert is guaranteed to make your problems go away – at least temporarily. You’ll feel happy just eating it.

chendol delight2. Chendol Delight, $9.90 (right)
If you thought the sundae above sounded magical, this one here is simply orgasmic. It’s chendol ice cream drowned in gula melaka … TWICE THE STUFF I LOVE! Except if I were to order this again, I would ask for no red beans. This sundae comes with attap seeds and chendol jelly … it’s like eating frozen chendol without the shaved ice. Yums!

These offerings will be available at all Swensen’s restaurants from now till 31 October, 2013. To find a Swensen’s near you, click here.

Material World was invited to a food tasting session and all opinions are the author’s own.

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, Suits and loves anything with gula melaka … ANYTHING. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

 

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Food News, Lifestyle

Mad About Mooncakes – Vanessa Tai

Mid-Autumn Festival is almost on us once again! And we know what that means for F&B outlets across Singapore – an intense battle to see who can come up with the most unusual or extravagant flavours. Apparently, this craze for crazy flavours is a very local trend – our counterparts in China and Hong Kong prefer sticking to the traditional lotus seed paste variants (salted egg yolks optional.)

But because Singaporeans are known to be adventurous foodies, we’ve rounded up five of the season’s most exciting, exotic flavours just for you. Bon appétit!

Mini Snowskin Cream Cheese Mango from Peony Jade Restaurant

Peony Jade - Mini Snow-skin Cream Cheese Mango

Craving for a sweet ending after a hearty meal? The fresh flavours of the mango melds beautifully with the velvety textures of the cream cheese, making this a toothsome treat for dessert. Best part is, each mooncake is small enough so you won’t feel overly stuffed.

Price: $50 for eight pieces
Where to buy: For vendor listings, view this page

Pink Guava with Passionfruit & Rambutan from Goodwood Park Hotel

Goodwood Park Hotel -Pink Guava, Passionfruit & Rambutan Snowskin Mooncake

Goodwood Park Hotel has earned a loyal following with its variety of tropical fruit snowskin mooncakes, and this creation looks to be another hit. The light, delicate flavours of pink guava and passionfruit is given an added oomph from the rambutan bits. Equal parts sweet and tangy, this makes a refreshing mid-afternoon treat.

Price: $26 for two pieces, $46 for four pieces
Where to buy: Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, Tel: 6737 7411

Chempadak Bliss from Swensen’s

swensens_3mooncakes

Here’s another tropical fruit mooncake to tantalise your tastebuds. Chempadak (also known as jackfruit) is blended with cream to create a zingy-flavoured ice cream. Because of its naturally sweet, creamy texture, chempadak is an ideal ingredient to create smooth, delicious ice cream.

Price: $8.60 per piece, $29.80 for a box of four (with choice of flavours)
Where to buy: All Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s outlets

Mung Bean Paste with Orange Ginger Truffle from Singapore Marriott Hotel 

SMH-Mooncakes-2013-(Silk Road of Spices) Mung Bean Paste with Orange Ginger Truffle

I know what you’re thinking … ginger in a mooncake?! But trust me, the ginger flavour in this snowskin mooncake isn’t overpowering. In fact, the slight hints of spiciness actually complements the thick, smooth and sweet mung bean paste very well. A must-try!

Price: $60 for a box of eight (comes with four assorted snowskin flavours)
Where to buy: Singapore Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard Road, Tel: 6831 4708

Yuzu Vodka Snowskin Mooncakes from Bakerzin

Bakerzin Moon Rabbits Mooncake 2013 - Heavenly Collection

Fans of this delicate citrus fruit from Japan will love this snowskin creation from Bakerzin. Sweet without being cloying, each bite is a harmony of different flavours – from the citrusy yuzu to crunchy white chocolate to the elegant nuances of vodka.

Price: $52 for a box of eight (comes with four assorted snowskin flavours)
Where to buy: All Bakerzin outlets

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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Hidden picture!

Hidden picture!

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material world food review of earle swensens
Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Earle Swensen’s – Deborah Tan

material world food review of earle swensens

All-You-Can-Eat Salad Buffet with every main course ordered. Also available as a la carte for $13.90

Swensen’s has always been a “childhood” restaurant for me. That was the place my mum and my grandmother would take us for an ice cream treat, that was the place my friends and I would go if we were feeling a bit “generous” with our pocket money. Since I’ve “grown up”, I hardly stepped into a Swensen’s. Until recently.

So an invitation to check out Earle Swensen’s new menu came up and it had a very, very crucial word on it: STEAK.

Now, what’s the difference – first of all – between Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s? Think of the latter as a more “grown up” dining venue! The new menu clearly exhibited this fact. It is chockfull of hearty choices featuring good quality ingredients with a well thought-out combination of meats, seafood and, of course, desserts.

Are you a fan of all-you-can-eat salad bars? If so, you will be pleased to find that at Earle Swensen’s. Besides the usual offerings of Caesar salad, macaroni and fruit salad, potato salad, you will also find thematic salads that change with the “seasons”. So whether it’s a Szechuan theme or a Indian theme, your tastebuds will be tantalised just enough for your main course.

material world food review of earle swensens

Charbroiled Black Angus Ribeye Steak

The steak menu is surprisingly affordable, considering the cuts used. Featuring Black Angus steaks and grass-fed steaks from New Zealand, the average price of each steak is about $36. You might wonder if the affordable pricing means anorexic cuts of meat. Not at all. My Charbroiled Black Angus Ribeye Steak ($35.90) was HUGE. I actually had problems finishing my steak! And I always take that as a good sign of a restaurant aiming to be a go-to location for steak.

I’m not asking for a GINORMOUS piece of carcass, don’t get me wrong. To me, a good portion should be slightly bigger than my palm and almost as thick as a deck of poker cards. I don’t mind paying a bit more for good steak and so, Earle Swensen’s Black Angus ribeye surpassed my expectations in terms of pricing and portion size. Good start.

The meat was done to my request and every bite filled my mouth with the subtle iron-ish sweetness of beef jus. In fact, the steak itself was so redolent of natural flavour that I didn’t even need to smother it with the accompanying black pepper sauce. Thank god that the restaurant served the sauce on the side and did not drown the steak in it.

You may choose between black pepper sauce or beef jus. Every steak order also gives you a choice of how you want your potatoes – mashed, fries and, if I remembered correctly, baked.

material world food review of earle swensens

Creamy Seafood Chowder in a bread bowl

There were other dishes for us to try. For non-beef fans, I found these dishes equally memorable: the Lamb Loin Skewer, the Fried Game Hen, and the Seafood Chowder. The chowder I recommend you share it with a friend since the combination of salad, and soup in a bread bowl, might fill you up too much to enjoy your main course.

The mains at Earle Swensen’s are definitely the highlight of a budget-friendly menu. Not only are the portions generous, the dishes are done well and feature good ingredients.

For a venue to have your weekly family dinner tonight, I strongly recommend checking out Earle Swensen’s today.

Earle Swensen’s can be found at VivoCity (1 Harbourfront Walk, #02-117, Tel: 6272 3306) and Changi Airport Terminal 3 (Viewing Mall Central, Level 4, Tel: 6443 7123).

Material World was invited to review Earle Swensen’s new menu. All opinions are the author’s own.

 

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, Suits, and knows she can be a bit too shameless for her own good. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

 

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