Review: Novotel Clarke Quay’s Special Seafood Buffet

I’d give up every kind of food, except seafood. I’ve been relishing all kinds of seafood ever since I can remember. My parents tell me I used to enjoy fried fish and prawns more than candy. And to tell you a secret…I still do! So you can imagine I was mighty excited when Novotel Clarke Quay in Singapore invited me to try out their special, limited period seafood buffet at The Square restaurant.

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From April 6 to May 26, 2018, The Square is serving up a fabulous seafood buffet. And I can’t wait to tell you all about it. For starters, I love buffets. They’re a total value for money and you get to sample so many dishes. This one, in particular, is a steal as it features several expensive and exotic seafood.

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At The Square, the spread is crazy expansive – there’s so much variety. There’s a whole section for freshly cooked (and raw oysters) yummies from the ocean. I sampled a piece of it ALL – poached prawns, stone crabs claw, baby maroon lobsters, poached muscles, poached clams, scallops, bamboo clams, Alaskan king crabs, langoustine, Dungeness crabs and two kinds of oysters (US & Irish).

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Everything was so fresh, cold, clean and tasty. And and and… No two things tasted the same. My favourites (as hard as it was to choose) were the yum baby maroon lobster, textured scallops, cool bamboo clams, sesame infused octopus salad, the sweetest langoustine and the fresh oysters.

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Oh, and I haven’t even come to the mains yet. Wok-fried crayfish in two kinds of sauce (salted egg and pepper) – I couldn’t possibly eat both (wish I could) but I tried the pepper one. So good –  the inside was perfectly cooked and the outside was wok-fried that made it tastier! And the country’s favourite dish, chilli crab cooked in a delectable sauce. It tasted diving with soft and golden-hued mantou buns.

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Even on a regular, non-seafood buffet day, Novotel Clarke Quay is famous for its Laksa. I had to make a beeline for it. I’m a picky Laksa eater, so a DIY station made me happy. I piled a concoction of fresh ingredients into a bowl and handed it to the chef who put together a mouthwatering laksa with a broth that was not too thick.

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I liked that although there were two live stations dealing with heavily fragrant dishes (laksa and wok-fried crayfish), its scent didn’t overwhelm the restaurant. If you think about it, strong chimneys make such a difference to the dining experience.

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And now to the massive dessert bar.

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There’s an ice cream section with many toppings and classic and exotic flavours including a soothing green tea! There’s a sprawling table with cakes, pastries and chocolate fountain. Take your pick with the cakes – it’s hard to choose because everything looks beautiful. Even if you are too stuffed for dessert, you have to make room for the Wasabi cake (sweet to taste with wasabi-zingy aftertaste), the light meringue and the sinful caramel mousse pastry.

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Apart from Laksa, The Square has another speciality – Durian Pengat. Although I personally haven’t acquired the taste for this exotic fruit, all the other food bloggers on my table were humming in praise. So if you’re a Durian lover, you ought to give this a try.

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This is one of those leisurely buffets where you can sit and hammer every shellfish in sight, relish exotic seafood in Asian flavours that you might have never tried…and finally finish off with the sweetest treats and warm tea.

Okay, so how much is this buffet you ask?

Dinner buffet on Friday, Saturday, Eve of and Public Holidays
(6pm – 10pm)

Adult: $78++
Senior Citizen (above 55yrs): $55++
Child (5 – 12 yrs): $39++
++ 10% service charge and thereafter 7% GST

Where is it?
The Square Restaurant
Novotel Clarke Quay
(closest MRT is Fort Canning but can also get there from Clarke Quay MRT)
Level 7
177A River Valley Rd,
Singapore 179031

For reservations
Tel: +65 6433 8790
Email: H5993-FB8@accor.com

 

 

 

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Singapore Expat: Most essential apps to download when you reach the country

Moving to a new city can be fun, exciting and daunting in equal parts. But it helps to know that technology has your back. When we moved here late 2017, we relied heavily on apps and websites to make ourselves feel at home.

If you’ve just moved to Singapore or are just passing through, I guarantee this list right here is gonna be a lifesaver. My husband and I use all these apps on a regular basis, so rest assured these are reviewed and well-loved. This is one of two apps based stories.

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This list includes only the Most Basic and Most Essential apps you will need on arriving in the country. No smartphone in Singapore ought to exist without these all-holy apps. Our second list of Must-Have apps which you can pick and choose depending on your preference.

* this info is relevant as of March 2018. I hope the future me will update the app list! 

Never Get Lost with CityMapper
There’s no use relying on Google Maps in Singapore. What you really really need is CityMapper. Yes, there are other apps to help find your way around like MyTransport and Bus@SG, and I’ve tried them all. But CityMapper comes out on top as a clear winner.

It detects where you are, punch in where you want to go and CityMapper will list out all the possible routes and means of transportation to get there – from bus stops, bus numbers, MRT stations nearby to the exact transit time, which exit to take at the MRT and various heat safe routes. It even notifies you just before your bus stop and tells you which part of the train is emptier. I can’t get over this app!

CityMapper also has a fully functional website which lets you do the same thing.

Con: If I need to walk from the MRT or bus stop, CityMapper shows me the map and directions. Only this bit can get wonky sometimes. Sometimes I’ve got not-so-accurate (longer) routes. To fix it, I usually jump to Google Maps to crosscheck.

Free Internet with Wireless@SGx
Singapore has tons of places that provide free, public access internet to everyone. It’s fast, safe and always functional. Data by telecom providers is rather expensive, so you’re gonna want to download this little app for free internet.

Wireless@SG is is a wireless broadband programme developed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. If you’re passing by the country, download Wireless@SG where you have to input your number everytime you want to use free public access internet.

If you’re here for a longer time or moving here as an expat, download Wireless@SGx. If you have a local number, you only have to register once and it automatically connects to free public access internet when you’re in range.

Find a flat with 99.co & PropertyGuru
Ah, the dread of the house hunt. Housing hunting can be fun and tiring. If you’re moving here, finding a nice place to live is probably numero uno on your checklist. Apart from FB groups, 99.co and PropertyGuru are the most popular platforms to find rentals. Almost always, the posts are uploaded by agents – which means you might have to pay them one month’s rent as a fee. But sometimes you’ll find homeowners listing their flats too. Both these apps let you call and message the person who uploaded the listing and coordinate conveniently.

Honestly, I’m not sure which of the two platform helped us find our home because we were really really active on both of them. We got lucky because our listing was posted by the homeowner himself, so we didn’t have to pay an agent fee. We just paid the deposit along with the first month’s rent.

There are several new and upcoming websites/apps like hmlet and roommates, but I haven’t really used them. So cannot vouch for them just yet.

Call a cab with Grab & Uber
Singapore is small and has one of the most connected, smooth transport systems. If you want to get somewhere quick or don’t prefer using public transport or are being lazy on a rainy day, then Grab or Uber your way around.
Be nice and use my reference codes that let both of us get free rides. 
Referral Code for Uber: aditig4063ui

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Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. All views and reviews are mine. 

 

Event: Singapore’s First Silent Piano Concert

This was my first event as a blogger in Singapore and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Yamaha Music with Silent Disco Asia and FabCafe held Singapore’s first ever silent piano concert on Dec 21, 2017. It was held at night at ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay. And we were there to witness it all!

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Young and mighty talented pianist Li Churen played several pieces on Yamaha’s hybrid Silent Piano. As the presenter pointed out, it’s built for regular people like us who live in apartments. It’s fitted with a magnificent “Quiet Mode”. In this mode, you can play the piano and listen to yourself play live on a set of headphones attached directly to the instrument.

Continue reading “Event: Singapore’s First Silent Piano Concert”