Friday, February 15, 2013

Romance on The Love Boat

Hi peeps, it is amazing where intrepid steps may take you as you explore this lovely island. Surprises lie hidden in every corner. The lions had one of their most romantic experiences last weekend. It was totally unexpected and entirely unplanned. Heck, it was one of those surreal moments that gives you goosebumps all over. Was it divinely appointed? One will never know... ...

It all started when the frisky lion stumbled upon a dining venue with a rather strange name. He was trawling the internet for a Latin American restaurant at first when the name popped up in a list of recommended places to dine. Hmm... with such a unique moniker, "Breaking Bread" piqued his interest all at once. It was located on hey, a rather familiar place - Stewords Riverboat. Wasn't this baby docked along Sentosa's shoreline near one of the (nostalgia pangs!) old monorail stations a few years ago?  

Gosh, the lion immediately alerted his eager lioness and off they went in search of this lost makan place. They headed for the crane-infested section of the construction-heavy Marina Bay area. They were a little lost as they had never driven to this part of the island before.

Soon, a weird-looking building in the shape of a ship, lying peacefully on a field of greens, greeted their eyes. Could this be the spot?

Marina Bay Cruise Centre. Doesn't it resemble the cruise ship (see below)
that was docked in the sea just a distance away?
The salty smell of the sea.
Enjoying the view.
A group of fishing enthusiasts. These guys sure are privy to the most
beautiful spots on the island.
So are these 3 cats.
Hey, what took you so long to discover this place. Meow!
Plenty of fishes here to fill our tum tums.

No steamships in sight! Only cruise liners. Wrong spot, blah. But ahoy! The eagle-eyed lion soon spotted the silhouette of a steamship in the far distance. Off they went again!

The lion's keen navigational skills brought him finally to the
Singapore Maritime Gallery.

Ahah! Mission accomplished. All hands (or rather tummies) on deck!
Different areas on the boat, including private function rooms,
are named after biblical places.
Head for Platform 1, Berth 1.
Entering Santa Fe Tex-Mex Restaurant.
Newspaper article depicting the struggles of an entrepreneur
in Singapore.
Is this serendipity at work or what?
It happened to be a lucky Tuesday for the lions.
Window-side booth seats, please.
Patrons are given kind permission to roam around the riverboat.
Be nice!
OMG! A million dollar view here at the top deck!
This place is sooooo underrated!
Imagine spending an evening here during special occasions to catch those
elusive bursts of fireworks.
Dinner commences. A large glass of margarita to start off.
This definitely rivals the dining experience at
The Ship in Penang.
But you get the real deal here, the riverboat is
not moored on dry land but in water.
Not for people with weak stomachs though.
It was a choppy night.
Cuchi's state of blissful reverie was interrupted by
the friendly waiter who mistook her indulgent chilled-out look
for seasickness! LOL! A seasick pill was kindly offered to her but
politely she declined. Service tops the experience here.
Smurfy, the meat-lover, making a guest appearance
alongside the Smoky Ribs.

Crispy Fish and Chips.
Bethel Function Room.
Finally, the open-air deck space christened "Breaking Bread".
It was closed for the night that day.
This has got to be Singapore's very own manifested version of The Love Boat.
Where else can one find such old world charm but here on a restored American steamboat?
Dine under a carpet of stars. Oh, what heady romance!
Again, the view of lighted landmarks in the distance is stunning.

Here is our review for Santa Fe Tex-Mex Grill:

Food Quality: 7.5 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 10 pawprints out of 10

For those who are interested in going there, here is the address:

Santa Fe All American Tex-Mex Grill
31 Marina Coastal Drive
Stewords Riverboat Main Deck
Marina South Pier Berth 1

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Flavours of the Sea at The Naked Finn

Valentine's Day this year coincided with the two lions' tenth year anniversary as a couple. Celebration started a week earlier for them. 

Bouquet of Cuchi's favourite flowers.
The two lions picked The Naked Finn
to mark their 10th year together.
The lovely white shed which houses the kitchen
extends out as an adorable little glass house
(plastic sheets on closer inspection)
where patrons relax while sipping on sundowners.
The lions had passed by this restaurant one weekend afternoon
and had spoken to the amiable chef who
promised them a meal to remember.
Forgotten old fire hydrant
sitting quietly in the Gillman Barracks precint.
Washroom just across the road. How cute.
It was scorching hot in the afternoon.
Evenings at The Naked Finn
would hopefully be a cooler affair.
Arriving at 6-ish in the evening
to catch the setting sun.
Dusk falls.
Reservations are a must for this tiny place.
The Naked Finn stands in
picaresque isolation facing a field of greens.
The Naked Finn, formerly a pop-up at The Curious Tepee by the guys behind the now-defunct Klee, has finally found a permanent home amid absolutely serene and rustic surroundings. Extolling the principle of "Less is More", the menu focuses predominantly on locally sourced crustaceans and mollux presented pure and unadulterated, and priced reasonably. No fanciful cooking techniques here, seafood offerings are lightly grilled most of time with just a dash of sea salt.

The lions chose the Estella's set for two ($128+).

Live razor clams drizzled
with hot shallot oil and topped with fried shallots.
Well-executed and cooked to perfect timing!
Not too chewy and rubbery.
Chilled blanched kangkong tossed in freshly squeezed
kalamansi juice and shallot oil. Very refreshing!
Taste oddly South American like ceviche.
Cheers to more romantic years ahead!
Signature cocktails served at minus 12 degree Celsius.
Cute Cute went for the Rockmelon + orange + nigorizake +Hendrick's gin while
Cuchi picked the Lychee + pink grapefruit + acacia honey + vodka.
The cocktails were semi-frozen with the consistency of slushies.
Cute Cute's cocktail fared much better than Cuchi's. Overall, the cocktails
were elegant and subtle, rather too mild and timid for Cute Cute.
Free flow of bee hoon.
This humble dish is addictively cold and tangy. Yum!
True embodiment of the cliche East-meets-West
concept that does not alienate. 
Four sauces representing individual Asian countries  -
namely Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Grilled baby squids with sea salt and
extra virgin olive oil.
This is Cuchi's favourite dish.
Divinely fresh with an emphasis on natural flavours.
Taste like the sea :) 
Live Japanese littleneck clams boiled in comforting homemade
barramundi stock and white wine soup.
Umami-packed grilled African lobsters.
Cute Cute's favourite dish.
Again, kudos to the chef! Cooked to a perfect timing.
Tender, juicy and naturally sweet.
Pan-fried barramundi fillets with sea salt and
extra virgin olive oil.
Another outstanding dish. Crispy on the outside while
retaining the texture of steamed fish inside.
Masterful! The drizzle of accompanying vinaigrette sauce is
The lions cloud-watching (is that a whale?)
as the last slivers of sunlight fade away.

Overall, the dishes were superbly executed. Service was patchy and could have been a little warmer though but hey, no service charge! 

Here is our review for The Naked Finn:

Food Quality: 9.0 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 7.5 pawprints out of 10

For those who are interested in going there, here is the address:

The Naked Finn
41 Malan Road
Gillman Barracks
Singapore 109454