Sunday, 27 September 2015

Mia's Review: Sunrise Bistro & Bar [Media Tasting]

It's been a while since I last attended a media food tasting, and this time round I was pretty glad to be able to try out Sunrise Bistro & Bar located at East Coast Park. 

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I've went by Sunrise Bistro & Bar a couple of times when I went prawning but never found the chance to check them out. 

Comprising of a bistro and bar, Sunrise also have both indoor and alfresco seatings for you to enjoy a little sea breeze (the shore is actually pretty far away, though) when the haze is gone. The Tripsters also performs here every night at 9pm, so if listening to some good songs while chilling over some beer or cocktails is your ideal way to spend your TGIF night, then be sure to check them out! 

And of course, because I've already mentioned cocktails... 
Pink Lady - Malibu, Vodka, Raspberry Juice, Sparkling Wine 

The strawberry slices were sweet and a little tangy, complimenting the slight alcoholic bitterness of the vodka and the strong coconut flavour pretty well. 

Chef Vincent of Sunrise Bistro & Bar has carefully created a 'fusion' cuisine by using Asian ingredients for French inspired cuisine, so let's quickly move on to the glorious food! And also, do note that some dishes were served in sample servings.

To kick start the foodcoma journey for the night, we were served some snacks from the bar. 

 Spam Chips - $9

Truffle Fries - $8

Those spam chips are so good! It was an, "omg, just take my money" moment as I sank my teeth into one. A highly addictive, diet-crushing snack that will go extremely well with some icy cold beer. Well, if you're to give up on the diet, might as well destroy it totally, yeah? 

The truffle fries was served reeking of truffle oil scent, like they've accidentally poured half a bottle of the truffle oil over it. But the taste was still pretty light and I ended up munching quite a bit even though I'm hardly a fan of truffle oil. 

Seafood Chowder - $12
Creamy seafood soup with seasonal fresh seafood topped with chopped chinves and extra virgin olive oil. 

This isn't your usual seafood chowder as Chef Vincent decided to make it lighter and more refreshing on the taste buds with tomatoes as compared to the usual rich and creamy white chowder. Very much thinner in consistency as compared to the common chowder, there's also a appetizing tangy flavour in the soup, topped up with a generous serving of fresh seafood and diced capsicum (one of my favourite vegetables). It was like a minestrone meets seafood chowder moment and a definite must try if you're a fan of both soups. 

Seared Foie Gras - $19
Seared goose liver on brioche bread layered with mango, with citrus jam and berry compote. 

I was a little reserved about foie gras actually because I'm terrified with any food made from organs, but my virgin foie gras taste went far better than expected.  
The foie gras was extemely tender with an oily, fatty texture to it that gives a melt-in-your mouth sensation. Paired with a cripsy toasted brioche bread, sweet-tangy mango and sour berry compote, foie gras might not be anywhere on my list of favourite food but I did polish off my plate without any difficulty. 

Sunrise Fish & Chips - $26
Crispy fried red snapper with lemon myrtle pepper served with mango salsa, tartare sauce and french fries.

This dish is truly an Asian taste with Western presentation. Frying the entire (portion of ) red snapper fish whole definitely gave this dish a Asian/Chinese cuisine taste and feel to it, so much so that I got this slight feeling of mis-match as I chewed on this "fish & chips" that tasted like some sweet & sour fish without the sauce. Well, actually the mango salsa sauce can pass off as a western style sweet & sour sauce as well. This is really the most interesting fish & chips I've tried thus far.

Cereal Crusted Cod Fish - $28
Baked cod fish with cereal crust, served with seasonal vegetable braised in sesame oil and ginger shoyu broth.

Yes, another Chinese tasting dish with a Western presentation, Due to my personal preference, I would highly recommending this fish dish over the fish & chips too. I mean, that's a generous layer of cereal crust on top of the cod fish! The fish is thick enough to give you a nice bite and the cereal crust is crispy and sweet while the savoury broth has a nice sesame oil fragrance to it and the addition of ginger also helps to 'freshen' up the overall taste of the cod fish. 

Asian Five Spice Duck Leg Confit - $28
Sous vide 8 hours crispy duck leg, infused with five spice and served with cirtus salad and passionfruit sauce.

Well, desserts aside, this may be my favourite dish of the night. I'm not really that into duck leg confit, nor the asian 5 spice, but I like how Chef Vincent has managed to get the outer skin all crisp while the inside still relatively tender, even though on the dry side. The meat is marinated extremely well to give off a really strong savoury taste, but not that strong for the distinctive five spice taste. 

Marmite Canadian Pork Shoulder - $26
Sous vide and grilled pork shoulder with marmite marinate served with seasonal vegetables.

This was my most anticipated dish for the night as I've been loving marmite since I was a baby. But somehow there's hardly any marmite taste in the pork and it tasted a lot more like charsiu instead. Pork shoulders are supposed to be wholly lean and a lot tougher than other cuts, so while this isn't the most tender of the pork I've ever tried, this is still a good choice for those who prefer lean meat with a tougher bite. 

BBQ Beef Short Ribs - $32
24 hours sous vide to tender and roast with homemade BBQ sauce, served with seasonal vegetables

Due to religious belief, I couldn't eat beef so I can't tell you how this tasted. However, Chef Vincent very confidently promised that even though the outside looks pretty well cooked through, the insides will still be pink. And there you have it! Pink, tender looking meat with fatty bits throughout the cut.

Tiramisu Semi Freddo - $12
 Semi frozen mascarpone cheese layered with coffee liqueur jelly sponge topped with milo crunch and tuile biscuits, garnished with brandy soaked raisins.

I have some mixed feeling about this dessert. While I'm a tiramisu lover, I actually do not like a semi freddo cake made out wholly of cheese due to the overly rich texture. If you're unsure of what's a semi freddo, it actually means semi-frozen and can be considered the Italian's take on ice cream. The liqueur soaked lady's finger is also more crumbly and spongy as compared to a traditional tiramisu made from Savoiardi (Italian's ladyfingers). However, the liqueur (both in the spongy ladyfingers layer and in the brandy raisins) surely packed a punch!

Salted Egg Yolk Custard Molten Chocolate Cake - $14
Warm chocolate cake with molten centre of salted egg yolk custard, served with vanilla ice cream. 

You can't deny that the salted egg yolk flavour in dessert trend is still going strong, and Sunrise has upped the level by making it into a molten lava chocolate cake! Imagine cutting into a warm, rich and moist chocolate cake and see this molten bright yellow custard of salted egg yolk gushing out. Chef Vincent has successfully played matchmaker to Mr. Lava Chocolate Cake and Ms. Liu Shar Bao and this Salted Egg Yolk Custard Molten Chocolate Cake is their lovely baby. 

Sunrise Bistro & Bar is located at 
902 East Coast Parkway, Playground @ Big Splash Block B #01-05
For more information, visit their FB page HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 21 September 2015

Mia's Review: Loreal Hair Colouring and Mucota Scena Hair Treatment

Previously, I mentioned about my first experience with the latest Mucota Omega Oil Therapy at Focus Hairdressing and about 3 weeks after getting back frizz-free, shiny and smooth hair, I returned to Focus Hairdressing to get rid of my Golden Lion Tamarin hair. 

Due to previous hair damage from bleaching, Ken highly recommended that I do a glossing with a semi-permanent hair colour as they're less damaging to the hair as compared to the usual permanent hair colour. So, Loreal DiaLight it was!
Knowing that I wish to get rid of the yellowish-gold tones of my faded colour, Ken ran through his recommended colour (eg. how ash tones will help neutralise out my yellowness) and shade numbers with me before I finally decided on the colour I wanted. 

Saying goodbye to my yellow-gold hair....

They were pretty packed that day and I was tended to by Sito, and then a few other stylists who were free to check on me while Ken got busy with other customers. Even Marcus, the founder of Focus Hairdressing, was in for a haircut when I got there. 
Just like Ken, Sito isn't your overly friendly, unusually chatty kind of hair stylist, which went just right with me. The whole session of having the hair colouring cream applied onto my hair was just comfortably silent, so for those who prefer hair stylists who doesn't try too hard to strike up conversations, Sito is the stylist you'll want to look for. 

The hair colouring procedure was just like the usual and in about an hour and a half of work, I got rid of my golden yellowish hair and welcomed back my chocolate brownish hair. 

And of course, I moved on to my hair treatment for the day, the Mucota Scena hair treatment, which was highly recommended by Ken to further save my well recovering bleach-damaged hair, with its effect lasting up to 1 month. 
Well, just to show you that they're really made in Japan. 

I apologise for the really bad picture of the products, I gave up on trying to arrange them nicely on the obstructing cloth. 
The mucota scena hair treatment also comes in 3 step procedure: 
1. Moisture Treatment (Blue bottle)
2. Hair Repair (Blue spray)
3. Protect Cuticle (Pink bottle)

By right, I should have my hair going into the steamer after both step 1 and 2, but in order to protect my new hair colour, hair steaming was skipped for step 1. 
And so, after going through all 3 steps of the hair treatment....

Say hello to my brown, soft, smooth and shiny tresses! 

I know, the 'balayage' effect from the bleaching is still there, but at least I don't get a random tuff of barbie-blonde hair on the left side of my head.

It's really important that we do a hair treatment after a hair colouring, not just to keep our hair soft and shiny, but also because the effects of the hair treatment done right after hair colouring is the greatest (apparently, the hair absorbs the nutrients better and more easily as our hair cuticles are all 'opened' from the chemical procedure). 
And it's just so nice that Focus Hairdressing gives a 20% discount on Mucota Scena Hair Treatment as long as you couple it with a hair colouring service for now, so instead of the usual $120 (flat rate, unless you have abnormally thick and long mane), it will only be $96! 

For more information on Focus Hairdressing's rates and latest promotion, please visit their facebook page HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Mia's Bangkok Travelogue: Shopping Places

In the last post of my Bangkok travelogue, I'm finally going to share with you on my own list of recommended shopping places to go, if you're keen on some extremely inexpensive buys. 
Yeah, I know. You've had enough of animals, yes?

So, after 3 Bangkok trips over the years with itinerary being shopping, shopping, and more shopping (okay, I exaggerated. I did cafe-hop and visited Kanchanaburi along the way too) I think I can roughly put up a small list for all you shopaholics' consideration. 

Let's get started with the list of To Gos

1. Pratunam Market
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For absolutely cheap apparels, pratunam market is the place you definitely need to visit! A wholesale market, prices generally go down significantly if you take a minimum of 3 pieces per stall. Some stallholders are a little more strict and limit it to the same design as well, so if you happen to travel with another 2 or more friends, say hello to effortless, ridiculously cheap apparels.
Any attempts to slash prices or ask for discounts will get you a, "3 piece, 180 Baht." So yes, save your efforts and just grab that 3 pieces instead.
The place is packed, stuffy and hot, with no air-conditioning, so do pack a bottle of water to hydrate yourself and perhaps, a portable fan for some comfort if the weather gets unbearable.
The market claims to be opened for 24 hours but for apparel shopping, do keep your visit timing from 10am to 9pm.

To get to Pratunam Market, the nearest BTS station will either be Ratchathewi or Phayathai and head towards the Baiyoke Towers.

2. Chatuchak Weekend Market

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The CTC weekend market has reached a landmark status and is definitely a must-visit place for all tourists. The 35-acre area is home to more than 8000 stalls that sells almost everything. The usual fashion apparels, to crafts, home & living, and even pets! It's really impossible to name all, but the selection of goods offered at CTC can be roughly divided into the following categories:
1. Clothings & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
2. Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
3. Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
4. Furniture and Home Decor (sections 1, 3, 4, 7, 8)
5. Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
6. Plants and Gardening (sections 3, 4)
7. Art Gallery (section 7)
8. Pets and Pets Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
9. Books (sections 1, 27)
10. Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
11. Misc. and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)

While it might seem like a major maze that puts the Maze Runner to shame, conquering the CTC isn't impossible, even for a first-time visitor. Just remember to grab a copy of the map, and bear in mind that there's only 1 main walkway that encircles the entire market while branching into the small numbered alleyways. Or, if all else fails, head back into the main walkway (the "open") and look for the guards on duty to give you a more detailed direction. 

While some sites claim that CTC is opened on Friday night, I'll highly recommend that you visit on the weekends instead as what's open on Friday night are only the stalls that line the main walkway. It's still enough to give you a few bags full of bargained goods, in 1 to 2 hours work though. But why settle for 2 hours when you can shop for (at least) 4 to 6 hours? 

To get to CTC, simply hop onto the BTS and get to Mo Chit station and just follow the crowd. This method will absolutely NOT fail you, even on Friday night, unless you decided to visit on a Thursday instead. 

3. Rod Fai Market
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Apparently, the original Rod Fai market garnered a huge reputation when it was still at its former location next to the train tracks behind CTC market. Subsequently, due to expansion of the BTS, it was forced to move in 2013 and returned at their new location beside Seacon Square Mall and is bigger and better than ever. Although there's no more train tracks, there's definitely more market space for traders to sell a vast array of goods, ranging from fashion apparel to vintage collectibles.

If you're planning to visit Rod Fai, please DO NOT take your dinner before coming as there's an entire row of cool restaurants that line the route into the bazaar section of the market as you walk in from Seacon Square. There's so many restaurants I'll love to try, but because I had my dinner before visiting, I ended up not trying any. And restaurants aside, there's also many snack stalls over at the open air bazaar section, so do not fear about any lack of food!

Now, showcasing the food I've had that night I was there at Rod Fai...

chicken franks enveloped in egg, drenched in teriyaki sauce and then sprinkled with shredded seaweed

 BBQ Scallops
 fresh scallops on shell, grilled with thick layer of cheese and sprinkled with chopped spring onions

 And there's the Jeju Soft Serve Ice Cream too!

And even French Macarons, which was pretty disappointing.
I'll suggest that you don't buy them. Heh!

Rod Fai Market is open every Thursday to Sunday, from sunset to midnight. To get there, just hope on to a taxi and get to Seacon Square Shopping Mall (the market is located behind the mall). However, if avoiding the massive traffic jam is a must, you can take the BTS to Udom Suk and try to grab a taxi from there. I know some tourist-sites suggest On Nut, which was where I alighted on my way over, but I find that it was still pretty far (chalked up 100 over, almost 200 baht taxi fare on meter) and when we left for our hotel, asking the taxi driver to get us to the nearest BTS, it took us barely 10 minutes and only 80 baht on meter to get to Udom Suk.
4. Siam Square
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Siam is known to be one the more expensive shopping place and I'm not going to refute that. Apparels here are really way more expensive than the cheap finds you can get at the markets, but I'm highly recommending this are due to 2 (or 3) places.

1. A&W (for lunch!)
If you're Singaporean, you'll know that if you ever see A&W overseas, you WILL eat it. So head down to Siam Square for a day of endless shopping and have your favourite curly fries and root beer float while you give your tired legs a break

2. Siam Square One
Home to Hello Kitty Cafe Bangkok, this will naturally make Siam Square One a must visit for all HK fans out there. In addition to the cafe, there's also a wacoal store here for you to buy up your 1 year worth of lingerie supply at one go. In addition to the original cheap pricing of Wacoal in Bangkok, it so happened that Wacoal is having a store sale when I visited, so I ended up bagging home 4 sets at the price of (perhaps) 1 set in Singapore!

3. Eve and Boy
-picture credits to Lala Totem-

The most apt description I can give to Eve & Boy is, the Bangkok/Asian version of Sephora. So all you beauty junkies out there, remember to drop by and take a look for yourself.
There was really SO MANY items I wanted to buy because everything felt so affordable. But due to worries of an overweight luggage, I only bought one bag full of products in the end.

Locating Eve & Boy might be a little tricky as I only found it during my 2nd visit. Just remember to turn to your right as you exit Siam Square One to the streets of Siam Square and head all the way down until you see Watsons and Eve & Boy should be nearby.

On a side note, I've heard from multiple sources that MBK is also a good place for affordable shopping but over the 3 times I've visited Bangkok, I actually didn't get to shop at MBK. Next time, perhaps?

Then, let's move on to the No Gos

1. Platinum Mall

-credits to

Well, add on aircon to pratuman market and you end up paying almost twice the price. Go or no go for you?

I do admit that there's much more variety of goods at Platinum Mall, but what they have to offer in terms of quality and designs of their fashion apparels is really not that different from what you can find at Pratunam Market. So just grab your portable fan, water bottle and brace yourself for the heat in exchange for a much more money-saving shopping spree just across the road.

2. Asiatique
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For a chillax night out, drinking beer by the river and munching on a plate of raw oyster, Asiatique will be the place for you to visit. But when it comes to shopping, I'll say it's better elsewhere. Even though you may find some unique pieces over here, the price that comes along with it really wouldn't justify for the quality you get. So while you 'splurge' on a few pieces here and there, do bear in mind not to overspend.

 And because I mentioned beers and oysters...

The day was too cloudy for me to enjoy a beautiful sunset but hey, the Hoegaarden Rose was just pure awesome!

T had a great time gobbling down these oysters. Pricey, but it's okay to splurge once in a while, especially when you're on holiday, right?

T also bought me a Doraemon balloon, which unfortunately, has to be left in the hotel when we left Bangkok for our return. 

So this concludes my humble list of shopping places - to go and not to go in Bangkok. Feel free to leave me a comment for shopping places you'll recommend in Bangkok!

Till then,
Mia Foo

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