Gardens By the Bay 2016, Cloud Forest and Gift Shop: A Photo Story Part 2

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Gardens By the Bay 2016, Cloud Forest and Gift Shop: A Photo Story Part 2
To view part 1 of my story (Cherry Blossoms Exhibition in Flower Dome), click here.

Made of Lego! Nice!

 People leaning over what seems to be a 'wishing well' of some sort. Missed this the previous couple times I visited!

 Tourist kids having a good time posing for photos.

 People walking through the Cloud Walk Skyway. This skyway is pretty awesome. When you are walking through, don't forget to look up! :)

 Steep descent!
 Gift shop:

 Limited edition Blossom Beats Sakura Candy. :)

 Cute Gardens by the Bay Bears!
My same-birthday-sister loved the explorer looking bear, so we took the chance to wefie with with it!

To learn more about Singapore's Garden By the Bay, visit their website here.

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953

Nearest MRT Station: Bayfront MRT Station (look for the exit sign to Gardens by the Bay)

Gardens By the Bay 2016, Cherry Blossoms Exhibition: A Photo Story Part 1

Friday, 25 March 2016

Gardens By the Bay 2016, Cherry Blossoms Exhibition: A Photo Story Part 1
As you know, I will be heading to Japan shortly! However, knowing I would be missing the actual Cherry Blossom, I was very sad. 

But... Gardens by the Bay in Singapore had made me very happy when I learnt that the cherry blossoms were coming to visit us instead!

So as a prelude to our Japan trip, we decided to make a trip down to Gardens by the Bay to see this exhibition in the flower dome. We queued at the ticketing counters for about 30 mins in the hot sun before getting our tickets. If you have any OCBC credit cards, be sure to use them as you are entitled to another 15% off your tickets. So that's what I did. And I paid about $17 to visit 2 cooled conservatories: Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. Woohoo!

Enjoy the part 1 of my photo story below. :)

On a side note, thank goodness the Flower Dome is a cooled conservatory, which means no hot weather! Woohoo!

The floral display is expected to run until March 27, 2016.

To learn more about Singapore's Garden By the Bay, visit their website here.

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953

Nearest MRT Station: Bayfront MRT Station (look for the exit sign to Gardens by the Bay)

Gills N Shells: Affordable, good value European seafood in the East!

Gills N Shells: Affordable, good value European seafood in the East!
When I first heard about the restaurant being held at Hotel Boss, I was thinking of what to expect.
The hotel is a short couple of minutes away from the Lavender MRT Station (Exit B). Just walk all the way straight from the exit to reach Hotel Boss, which sports a nice outdoor seating area with a sculpture which I can't exactly spell out.
Near the carpark entrance of Hotel Boss, is a new, modern European seafood-centric restaurant cum bar.

Enter: Gills N Shells. 

Opened by couple Jayson and Coreen, it is the perfect spot for both locals and visitors alike, to enjoy a cozy meal with its friendly modern ambiance. Inspired by the ocean, the menu features their Chef’s Daily Catch of freshest seafood, lobster and oysters.

First dish came, the freshest of them all: ½ Dozen Freshly Shucked Oysters ($22.90)
I actually did not want to try it, because I do not like raw oysters. But this one was pretty fresh, and my friends egged me on to try one. I ended up having 2. Served with homemade marmalade and French red wine vinegar sauce, because that's the authentic European way of enjoying fresh oysters. And I refused to put Tabasco sauce on them (that's the American style!), simply because this was supposed to be European style! So, I'll be eating it the European way.

I didn't try it with the marmalade, because the vinegar sauce already won me over, so I ended up enjoying both oysters with the vinegar sauce. And... I think I secretly asked if we could order more after that. Thanks for a positive taste of the ocean.

Wild Mushroom Soup ($6.90)
I am not a fan of wild mushroom soup, but this was good. I won't say it's heavenly, but my friends did. So if you are a fan, try this. It's made fresh daily, and drizzled with aromatic truffle oil and served with crispy garlic focaccia toast, which was also made in-house.

Oh gawd, the toast was really awesome. I could eat it every morning.

I cannot go into specifics for these side dishes, because I'm going to be repeating myself, saying that it's all extremely delicious. I can't even comment on which is my favourite, because they all are. So here's the Truffle Fries ($10.90), Gills & Shells Crab Cakes ($12.90) and the Clams & Mussels ($15.90).

Oh my gawd, the Clams & Mussels. A special shoutout for this dish because this was almost orgasmic. The sauce (we chose the spicy white wine clear broth) was so good and I could eat 2 plates of this by myself.

Truffle Infused Cod ($24.90)
The cod was tender, topped with chinese preserved turnip (a pleasant twist to the dish!) In fact, we were asking if they could give us more chinese preserved turnip a.k.a Cai Po.

The rice was interesting as it was made with red saffron, but not my favourite item.

Lobster Roll ($24.90) 
Friends who loves bread. Here you go. Enjoy a succulent lobster roll meat tossed in Chef’s specialty sauce.
The roll sports a generous serving of lobster meat that you and I will probably not be able to resist.

Australian Prime Ribeye Steak ($25.90, 200g) 
This premium ribeye steak was grilled to medium rare, and when it arrived, the meat was pink (not very visible in this photo though) without much blood as our knife entered the meat smoothly. We thought it was not as rare as it should have been, but we were wrong.
The steak was at the right texture, extremely tender and we savored every bit of it. Order this, meat lovers, you cannot go wrong.

Crab Meat Pasta ($18.90)
Made with cream, cheese, chunky crabmeat & wild fungi, this was strangely one of my favourites. It was creamy, yet not overly creamy. Not extremely thick, yet very much palatable.
The flavour of fresh crab meat was apparent, and this was a delight, even at night.

We ended off the meal with Brownie with Ice Cream ($10.90) and a Tiramisu ($10.90). I love Tiramisu!

I'm not much of a brownie person so one thing I can say about it is that it's not very thick, but chocolate factor still apparent, but still, tiramisu has won my heart.

The servers at the restaurant were knowledgeable about the food served. When we ordered our food, and a wine, specifically when we ordered the Dolce Moscato ($42.90), he advised us how we should enjoy the wine, and at which stage of our ordered dishes.

This is so that we try not to 'change' the taste of the food we ordered, as best as possible. This wine is not on the menu, but patrons can order it if it is available, a lovely, smooth and sweet dessert wine which will pair well with, uhm, desserts!

All food are prepared in-house from scratch with the best quality ingredients, so you can be sure that quality control is well managed here. I also liked that the bosses were not only friendly, but receptive to feedback, that's a good sign because they really want to make this work! And I'm very sure that they will, if they continue to keep up the standards of their food here.

Overall, this was such a pleasant experience. I will be definitely returning here, and it's not because this was a tasting session. By the way, if you'd like to know, yes - parents, you can also bring your kids here. Just sit indoors, as I've seen other parents do so.

As seats are limited, do make sure you call and make a reservation before you visit!

Gills N Shells
Location: 500 Jalan Sultan, #01-19 Hotel Boss, Singapore 199020
Hours: 3:00 pm - 1:00 am (Mon-Sun)