Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jaan and Straits Kitchen

70 floors above street level sits the award winning restaurant Jaan. One's never sure whether to succumb to the site's panoramic view which takes in neighbouring countries of Malaysia and Indonesia or ignore and take in the immediate surrounds of Murano crystal chandelier and the southern French cuisine.

Two days - 30 dishes later

We've hit the ground running - only two days into our foodie tour and we've consumed about 30 dishes over four meals, and that doesn't count the vast amount of food at breakfast.

We're staying at the Grand Hyatt. Huge place, with welcoming staff, amazing restaurants, waterfalls, green humid formal gardens and a spa to die for.

Lunch yesterday was at the Tippling Club. Tucked away in the serene greenery of Dempsey Hill, the Tippling Club is a stunning looking restaurant, with extraordinary, fantastic food. Head chef Ryan Cliff and Executive Bartender Matthew Bax have teamed up to create a menu that is modern, progressive and themed either by the food or the cocktail. It truly is a fantasy land where food is concerned, and the theatre of presentation makes for great fun.

Dinner was at the Hua Ting Restaurant in the Orchard Hotel. Regrettably, it was rather ordinary and we certainly didn't experience the food that should have been coming out of an award winning restaurant. Other diners looked as though they were enjoying a much better deal.

Following dinner the weather had cleared so we headed off for the night's last flight on the Singapore Flyer. This is billed as the world's largest observation wheel. The lights of Singapore were impressive, and even more so was the vast area under 24-hour construction for the new casino.

Tuesday morning started with a quick tour of the Tiong Bahru Market - clean, neat, tidy and new and totally lacking in character that we'd experienced several times over the past 10 years or so. Singapore is cleaning up its markets - and the ambience is the big loser.

Then off to lunch at the St Regis - open for just over a year now, this hotel is billed as Singapore's only luxury hotel.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dateline Singapore

Have worked out why Singapore is such a shopping mecca - it's hot and humid and the shopping centres are air conditioned!

We've been travelling around on an EZ-ticket. This is the efficient, easy to use forerunner of Melbourne's MYKI. We were talking with info staff who said that there had been problems with the electronic ticketing, and they are constantly upgrading. But to an outsider it appears to function well - few delays despite the number of people using the tickets, and they are much cheaper than paying cash.

The Singapore Botanical Gardens are green green green. Lush, gorgeous, huge, and regrettably - hot. There's bird and insect sound - but am sure it's piped into the tree tops. So few birds to be seen; quite a few butterflies. And being Singapore - so clean. Dictatorships can be worthwhile ocassionally.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finally get back to the farm

After weeks (months) of endless work I finally had a chance to visit the farm the other day. The OH gets to stay there for several days every week - I'm not so lucky. Rabbit holes everywhere - in the ground, under the beans, through the orchard netting. Everyone says this is the worst year for these wretched animals - seems they are celebrating the 150th anniversary of their introduction to Victoria with a vengeance.

Autumn is a gorgeous time of the year - and this year many of the plants appear to be slightly confused. Instead of setting fruit buds the currants are sprouting leaves when they should be considering hunkering down for winter. Roses and geraniums/pelargoniums are flowering and despite the depredations of the uninvited Oryctolagus cuniculus the kitchen garden still looks colorful with its salvias and tagetes hanging on to their flowers.

Having lost our blueberry crop to the extreme heat in February (plants ok, fruit dried on the bush), we're now moving into HUGE bean production. And that's despite the fact that a rabbit or two has decided that the beautifully tilthed soil is ideal for creating underground chambers through the bean roots. Beans are causing major ructions at home - I need excitement in my meals (especially when one has to eat endless amounts of the same veg due to that thing called seasonality!) and the cook thinks that veg should be presented pretty much as they came from the plant, with a bit of cooking of course. Fortunately the neighbours love receiving our vegetable excess - quite often in exchange for bottles of wine. The chard is looking particularly attractive - red and pink stemmed varieties appear to be the strongest plants.