Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paradise Dynasty - a meal to remember!

For our recent Singapore weekend, I carefully made selections for some well appointed meals in restaurants that we loved, and also left some meal times "free" to explore and try interesting places we might happen upon unintentionally. We were lucky enough to find this great place that I feel compelled to write about - it's a must!

On our second day, hubby and I were wandering around Ion Orchard at lunchtime and were getting hungry. As I had left this particular mealtime "free", we walked around on the 4th floor looking for restaurants that we might find interesting. From afar we noticed a huge crowd of people mingling infront of a specific outlet and of course that piqued our curiousity. As we went in closer, we found it was a Chinese eatery called "Paradise Dynasty", famed for its 8 coloured/flavoured "Xiao Long Pao" ( Chinese dumplings with soup inside ). The queue was so long but we knew that the longer the queue, the better the food must be ( one of our all-time no-fail ways to select a restaurant when travelling )!! We took a number and settled down for the wait. It was well worth it!

Settling down for the wait...check out the computerized queue system! Very well organized indeed!

As we waited, we checked out the menu and the signage detailing the various colours and flavours of Xiao Long Bao - they even had instructions as to which order to eat them in to maximize enjoyment! While we were still in line, hubby and I had already decided to share one order and immediately began negotiating which flavours we each wanted - I ended up with Foie Gras, Cheesy, Szechaun and Black Truffle.

Love the colours and the instructions!

We finally got a table after about 20 minutes, and ordered the signature Xiao Long Pao along with some other accompanying dishes. The food came quickly and did not disappoint!

The famed 8 flavours! 

Had to order my favourite string beans with spicy pork - a must for me whenever I find it on the menu!

A truly enjoyable meal and one that I would love to repeat on my next visit to Singapore. Coincidentally, when I got back to Bangkok I found that Paradise Dynasty has just opened a branch here at the Paragon Shopping Mall  as well - so I will be able to enjoy the unique 8 flavours of Xiao Long Pao easily whenever I want! yumss!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bahama Mama!

While we were planning our trip to USA, hubby and I wanted to go somewhere new and fun. I have never been to the Bahamas before, and although hubby had been before during his college spring break years, we have never been there together - so, essentially, it was a new place to try. We decided that after visiting Atlanta, we would take a short flight down there for a few days. 

Because it was my first time going to the Bahamas, I wanted to stay at a place that  had alot to see, do, enjoy and eat, and somewhere where we could chill out and relax (chillax?) as well. After reading numerous reviews on Expedia and Tripadvisor ( my gurus for all my trip planning!! ), I decided that the Atlantis was the place to try! The Atlantis is great because besides being having a huge water park and a really amazing aquarium, it also has a choice of 5 hotels within the resort so you can really choose which one suits what you want most.

We finally made it to The Atlantis! This is the Royal Wing which is the main part of the hotel  - Stunning and enormous!

Out of all the hotels within Atlantis, I chose The Reef which is a service apartment/hotel and is located on the far end of the resort with a private beach. It was peaceful, quiet and private and yet a mere 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the main Royal wing that houses the casino, aquarium and shopping. Perfect for people like me who don't want to be too far from the action, yet like a little peace and quiet time as well.

The Reef's private beach  - beautiful and truly exclusive!

I have to admit, although I love the beach and the sea, I have a love/hate relationship with the sun. When I am at the beach I always have my massive sunglasses and sunhat on, and am sure to always reapply my 80 SPF sunblock - just about every 10 minutes! Having said that, it's a testament to how great the Atlantis waterpark is that I actually spent hours upon hours every day playing in the water park,  actually enjoying it! They have this ride called the River Rapids where you float along in a huge water wheel and cruise down huge waves and rapids - I went on the River Rapids everyday, at least 3 times a day! They also had their famed slides - you can see the picture below - which were like amusement parks rides! Although I didn't have the guts to try any of the big slides, I had fun watching as people sped down at breakneck speed!

I think this one was called the Drop of Doom or the Tower of Terror - either way, the closest I got to it was enjoying the screams of people as they spend downwards! Too terrifying for me for sure!

Another one of the Atlantis' most popular slides! Although this was a little tamer than the "drop", it still was too much for me - yes, I am a chicken, totally!

Aside from all the fun and games, hubby and I enjoyed all the good food at the Atlantis as well. There were a great number of really good restaurants within the hotel and in Marina Village, an outdoor shopping village, which also had a great lively atmosphere and live music in the evenings. 

Hanging out at Ben&Jerry's at Marina Village - a must for staying cool in the heat!

At the Marina Village there was a dock for many private luxury yachts  - hubby had fun just walking around peering into them! In the evening the owners of the yachts would sit on their decks sipping wine - lifestyles of the rich and famous indeed!
 I can't write a post about food without posting this picture of Veal Saltimbocca at Carmines in the Marina Village - this is one dish! Can you believe the size? We ordered one between the two of us and even so,  delicious as it was, were not able to finish it! 

Am I starting to sound like an advertorial for the Atlantis? I really hope not. I enjoyed the resort and anyone who knows me knows that when I really like something I become its biggest advocate. Aside from a half day snorkelling trip out to the reefs and an hour walking along Bay Street doing some local shopping, we didn't leave the hotel at all in the 3 days we were at the Bahamas. We had such a great time and alot of it had to do with actually being at the Atlantis. Two thumbs up for sure!

One last glimpse before leaving - truly a sight to remember. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you are enjoying my vacation posts!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A few days in Hong Kong and Macau ( Part deux )

Onto the Macau part of our trip!! Once in a while on our HK trips we like to cross the hydrofoil to Macau and its always great fun. We normally stay at the Venetian Macau, which is a whirlwind of people, shopping, eating, gambling - it's like an amusement park unto itself! But this time we decided to try something a little different and I booked a room at the Four Seasons instead. The reviews on Expedia and Tripadvisor were so complimentary and the hotel is connected to the Venetian through an indoor walkway so the bustling activity was still close by.

When we got to the Four Seasons, I was blown away and couldn't believe it was situated in the center of Macau! The hotel is so discreet and peaceful and has none of that touristy gambling vibe at all. It is luxurious, elegant and quiet which I really liked. 

                                                       The Four Seasons Macau entrance

All the reception staff were so nice and even though it was only our first time there they were kind enough to upgrade us to a Deluxe Room which was so big and had a nice dining/pantry area. The Guest Relations Manager brought us up to the room and explained everything so carefully and in detail - the service standards are really superb there.

Isn't the room lovely? It was so spacious and the view was wonderful - we saw all the new hotels on the Cotai Strip. I highly reccommend this hotel if you like a little peace and quiet but still want to be close to the casino action - its just a 1 minute stroll to the Venetian, yet the atmosphere here is totally diffferent. 

While in Macau of course I had to visit one of my all time favourite eating spots - Lei Garden! There are various branches of Lei Garden in Hong Kong and Kowloon but this time we were so busy we didn't have time to visit any of them. Luckily for me, there is a Lei Garden in the Venetian and I was determined to have my favourite dishes while we were there! They didn't disappoint!

There are many truly delicious dishes at Lei Garden, but two of my can't misses ( and two of the most fattening dishes there too, I'm sure - sigh.... ) are the Honey BBQ Pork and the Crispy Pork. I am embarrassed to admit that I am able to finish one dish of the crispy pork all by myself! It's cut into such convenient little bite size squares and is accompanied by a mustard dipping sauce which gives it a little zing - completely addictive!

Lei Garden's famed Honey BBQ Pork

My favourite Crispy Pork - I couldn't resist eating 2 pieces before taking this shot!
After eating so much, we had to burn off all the calories by walking walking walking along the Cotai Strip where the new mall is opening up - so new that many of the shops weren't even open yet. They look like they would be great for shopping once everything opens and there is a vast selection of restaurants - more good food to choose from!

Love the fauna inside the Cotai Strip Mall!
We had such a good time in Macau and being at the Four Seasons was so relaxing - I am looking forward to returning again soon! The new hotels opening up on the Cotai Strip bring new flavour and a new atmosphere to the entire area - its really becoming the Las Vegas of the East. 'Til our next visit!