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    1-for-1 lobster set, Emporium Shokuhin
    1-for-1 lobster set at Tokujo $68++

    Our favourite time of the year is here! Like many of us, our Christmas and New Year’s are normally spent on get-together with family and close friends, so we’re always busy looking out for the best restaurants to celebrate the festive season. Apart from great food, drinks and a nice ambience, places that offer good value for money dining deals are a bonus!

    We recently came across a number of great deals at Emporium Shokuhin that checks all the boxes! The Japanese cluster dining concept at Marina Square is running a number of 1-for-1 deals to attract diners.

    Here are some of the dining deals we cherry-picked for you. The deals are running from now until 2 January. if you’re keen, make sure you make your bookings early!

    1-for-1 A5 Miyazaki Wagyu & USDA Prime Beef Buffet


    Restaurant: GYUU+ Yakiniku Grill

    Tel: 6812 2177

    Price: Adult: $98++ (Mon-Thurs), $108++ Fri-Sun, Eve of PH & PH; (Child: $26.80++ for all days)

    This has got to be one of the most value-for-money Wagyu beef BBQs in town this festive season! Beef lovers can have their fill of quality A5 wagyu beef and USDA prime beef at this all-you-can-eat beef buffet. You’ll also get to enjoy a variety of seafood like prawns and scallops. There’s also a choice of greens available to complement all that meat. Dining is limited to 90 mins.

    1-for-1 Sashimi and Lobster Sets

    Lobster set at Tokujo, Emporium Shokuhin
    Soup with a whole lobster at Tokujo, Emporium Shokuhin

    Restaurant: Takujo Japanese Dining

    Price: From $28

    Tel: 6812 2176

    With such an excellent deal, you can feast on a variety of fresh fish and seafood this festive season. Choose from an array of fresh sashimi platter, starting from $28++ and get your second one of the same or lower price for free. You get 3 types of the day’s freshest white fish such as Shima Aji, Houbou, Isaki or Mandai. The 1-for-1 lobster deal is also not to be missed. Have your lobsters in 2 ways: half prepared in sashimi style and the other half in deep-fried tempura style. The second option is a whole lobster cooked in a miso-based soup to bring out all the umami goodness. Personally, we prefer the first combo but you can always order both to try since you get the other lobster set for free. At 68++ for the lobster set, diners end up paying only $34++ per lobster!

    1-for-1 steaks and main course

    1-for-1 French oysters at UMI + VINO at $8++ each
    1-for-1 French oysters at UMI + VINO at $8++ each

    Restaurant: UMI + VINO Seafood & Wine Bar

    Tel: 6812 2175

    Price: from $8++ for oysters; $28++ for burgers

    Even dined at UMI + VINO, a Japanese and Western fusion restaurant? If not, this might be the best time to check out this steak and seafood specialty restaurant as it’s offering 1-for-1 for its mains and steaks on Saturdays and Sundays from now until 2 Jan. Their cold Hokkaido Scallop & Kombu Pasta ($32++) is worth a try, while its Lobster, Prawn & Scallop Burger ($28++) is one-of-its kind. It consists of a lobster claw and a generous seared scallop on a prawn patty. Game for more seafood? Well, oyster lovers can go for their excellent, creamy Fine de Claire oyster or the more rounded in flavour Speciale de Claire variety from France. Priced at $8++ a piece, you get 1-for-1 for every order. While you’re at it, order one of their excellent wines to pair with your meal.

    Hokkaido Scallops Pasta at UME + VINO
    Hokkaido Scallops Pasta at UME + VINO

    Emporium Shokuhin

    6 Raffles Link #01-18 New [email protected] Square Mall
    Singapore 039594

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      tea-infused cocktail recipes

      The festive season is upon us – what better way to celebrate than to get together with family and friends to catch up over great food and drinks. If you’re planning a party, we have just the right cocktail (and mocktail) recipes for you. The twist to these drinks recipes is the use of tea leaves and specially infused sugar to bring the flavours together. So put on your mixologist vest and make it a par-teh to remember.

      1. Goodnight Cap (non-alcoholic)

      This is our favourite of the three recipes. We recommend serving this as a welcome tipple as the combination of peppermint and lime will give your guests a zesty start to the evening. Being alcohol free, the Goodnight Cap makes a great thirst quencher for everyone.

      1 teaspoon Peppermint Chamomile tea leaves

      Mix 30ml chilled goodnight cap tea mixed with lemon sugar stick*

      15ml fresh lime juice/ lime syrup


      1. Brew 30ml goodnight cap tea and mix in the lemon sugar stick until completely dissolved
      2. Chill the tea in the fridge for at least an hour
      3. Remove tea from fridge.
      4. Mix all the ingredients together in a cocktail mixer filled with some ice and give it a few good shakes
      5. Serve immediately

      shaker and shot glass for cocktail recipes

      2. Day of celebration

      Served warm, this concoction of Barcardi and a special champagne tea blend will leave you feeling toasty and fuzzy. Best served towards the end of the evening or just before your guests head out.

      15ml or 3 barspoons melted butter with jujube sugar*

      2 teaspoons black champagne tea

      30ml Bacardi

      1 jujube sugar stick*


      1. Brew 90ml of black champagne tea and mix in the jujube sugar stick until completely dissolved
      2. Let the tea chill to lukewarm temperature
      3. Mix all the ingredients together in a cocktail mixer and give it a few good shakes.
      4. Serve warm

      3. Shades of Grey

      With the accent of earl grey tea and a creamy froth, this cocktail is easily the highlight of the evening. Make sure you give the cocktail a really good shake and then some so the egg white emulsifies well with the other ingredients during the dry mix (mixing all ingredients without ice).

       1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea leaves

      30ml Bacardi

      20ml orange juice

      15ml lime juice

      20ml jujube syrup (store bought)

      1 egg white (use only very fresh eggs)


      1. Brew 30ml chilled Earl Grey Tea
      2. Chill the tea in the fridge for at least an hour
      3. Mix all the ingredients together in a cocktail mixer
      4. Give it a really good shake so that the egg white emulsifies with the other ingredients to form a tasty foam. This method of mixing all the ingredients without ice is called the ‘dry mix’.
      5. Add in some ice cubes and shake again to chill and dilute the drink slightly
      6. Serve immediately

      *All flavoured sugars (lemon sugar, jujube sugar can be purchased from Cheng-1947. You can purchase them from Naiise and Clipper Tea stores.

      Freshly squeezed citrus lend a refreshing and zesty flavour to your cocktails so use them over store bought juices whenever possible.

      Cheng-1947 Jewels series
      CHENG Jewels Rock Sugar Sticks Box, $5 each

      Cocktail recipes are created by Caryn Cheah in collaboration with The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.

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        With so many restaurants offering sumptuous Christmas goodies, celebrating the festive season with friends and family don’t have to end up being a sweat fest in the kitchen. From turkeys with fancy stuffings to whole honey baked hams and champagne spiked log cakes, the options are unlimited. Just put in your order ahead of time, kick back and enjoy the evening with friends and family to the fullest. Here are 5 Christmas takeouts to choose from.

        Pan Pacific Singapore

        beef-rib eye and coconut-ham


        Pan Pacific Singapore offers an array of traditional Christmas roasts ranging from its Traditional Roasted Turkey with Cornbread, Sausage and Apple and Pecan Stuffing (4-5kg, $158) to the signature honey glazed ham with cinnamom and pear chutney (2kg, $128). If you want something different from the typical turkey, give the hotel’s other bestseller, the Roasted Beef Rib Eye with Fresh Herbs and Truffle Sauce ($158) a try. At 2.5kg, the roast beef is great for smaller parties of 4-6 people. If that’s too heavy, there’s also a healthier version of the baked ham, the healthy coconut, honey and cinnamon baked ham (2kg, $158).

        For desserts, try the hotel’s new log cake flavour, Fresh Calamansi Log Cake with Coconut Crémeux and Pandan Sponge (1kg, $68). The fresh, citrusy lime notes will make a nice pairing with the heavy Christmas meal.

        christmas takeaway

        Place your orders here from 15 November 2016. Purchases may be collected from 18 November to 25 December 2016 at Pan Pacific Singapore, Pacific Marketplace between 11:30am and 9:00pm

        Pan Pacific Singapore

        Pacific Marketplace

        7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore 039595

        Tel: 6826 8240

        Goodwood Park Hotel

        christmas takeway

        If you’re a fan of Goodwood Park’s durian pastries, then the Mao Shan Wang durian Christmas log cake ($62 for 500g) is a must for your year end celebration. Packed with creamy Mao Shan Wang durian goodness within layers of vanilla sponge, this treat is bound to excite all durian lovers.

        For turkey, try Goodwood Park’s new creation, Wu Xi turkey ($218 for 8 to 10 persons). Created by Executive Chef Foo Jong Kwang, the juicy and tender Asian-inspired turkey is the result of braising with red yeast rice, red dates and a secret blend of spices for up to two hours. The turkey is served with Shanghai-style vegetable fried rice studded with dried shrimps and goes really well with its homemade chilli sauce.


        Place your order here from 1-26 December. Last order: noon, 19 December

        Goodwood Park Hotel

        The Deli

        22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221

        Tel: 6737 7411

        Mandarin Orchard Singapore

        Image source: Sethlui.com
        Image source: Sethlui.com

        We couldn’t help but notice Mandarin Orchard’s offering of Roasted Berkshire Pork Rack with Yuzu Himalayan Salt Crust this Christmas (3kg, $230). You can just imagine how this lovely pairing of salty and bright citrus flavours would turn out. For a twist on local flavours , you can also try the roasted duck with Chinese herbs (2kg, $85) – we’re sure the in-laws will approve.

        Place your order here from 23 November to 31 December 2016.

        Mandarin Orchard Singapore

        Festive Booth

        333 Orchard Road

        Singapore 238867

        Tel: 6831 6272

        Hotel Fort Canning

        Christmas takeaway

        Crowd pleaser salted egg yolk has made its way into our favourite tze char dishes, potato chips and even croissants – so you know it’s only a matter of time before they are paired with Christmas turkeys. This year, Fort Canning Hotel has come up with 2 of our all-time Asian favourites — salted egg-yolk turkey and tom yum turkey ($138-$148+++). The turkeys are marinated for 12 hours to produce a  flavoursome and succulent treat.

        To place your order, call 6559 6795  or email [email protected] from 1 nov – 19 Dec

        Hotel Fort Canning

        The Salon

        11 Canning Walk, Singapore 178811

        Tel: 6559 6795

        Raffles Hotel

        christmas takeaway

        Jazz up your Christmas soiree with a champagne log cake (1kg, $68), alongside a traditional roasted whole turkey with apple and cashew stuffing ($238) from Raffles Hotel. At 6.5-7.5kg, the turkey is generous enough to feed 10-12 people – great for large gatherings with friends. Make sure you save the leftovers for sandwiches the next day.

        christmas takeaway

        Place your order here. Pick up from 1st to 24th December, 11.30 AM to 7 PM

        Advance order of 3 days is required for the whole roasted turkey

        Raffles Hotel

        Ah Teng’s Bakery

        ‎1 Beach Road, Singapore 18967

        Tel: 6412 1100




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          Many thanks to all who took part in our Cogito Pop smartwatch giveaway! We really appreciate your feedback on our content offering and will strive to bring you better stories based on those feedback.

          And the winners are…

          In the meantime, we’ve picked three winners from the pool of contest participants, and they are:

          • Hengky Wihardja
          • Fiona Kwen
          • Lilian Lee

          You will each receive a Cogito Pop smartwatch worth S$179.00! We will get in touch with you shortly to arrange for the prize collection.

          The Cogito Pop comes in 6 attractive colours.

          Follow us on Facebook by clicking on the LIKE button below to receive latest updates.

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          The family's depending on you for their Christmas movie, don't let them down.

          Christmas movies are exactly like Christmas music. There’s so much of them out there that just about every selection seems potentially terrible. Thankfully, we’re here with a list of the best Christmas movies to watch after a satisfying and potentially food coma-inducing meal. You’re welcome.

           1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

          Also known as: That old black and white feel good movie that involves a small town hero achieving redemption by jumping through parallel universes… wait, is this a superhero flick?

          Why it’s awesome: Frank Capra’s story of all-around do-gooder George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), who is driven to suicide but saved by divine intervention by an angel who lets him see an alternate timeline of what would have happened to his family, friends and community had he never been born, Sure, it is a little dark, but when George returns on Christmas Eve to find out that his friends have bailed him out of his debts in return for all the good deeds he’s done in life, it’s hard not to shed a little tear.

          2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

          Also known as: The movie that starts with the Macy’s Day parade. See what it was like way back in 1947.

          Why it’s awesome: Natalie Wood’s Susan Walker is pretty darn convinced that the Santa Claus working at Macy’s is the real thing. The scene when she sees him switch fluently to Dutch while conversing with a young female Jewish refugee is a sheer delight.

          3. A Christmas Story (1983)

          Also known as: The movie with that scene where the kid’s tongue is stuck to a frozen lamppost. That scene was infamously parodied by “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas”, which is an alternative you can consider.

          Why it’s awesome: The obsession of main character Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) with his desired B.B Gun comes to sweet fruition when he finally goes to bed with his prized possession, filled with content… even if he almost blinded himself with it.

          4. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

          Also known as: The 25-minute TV special where Charlie Brown is depressed by the over-commercialisation of Christmas.

          Why it’s awesome: With Charlie wondering if he truly does know what Christmas is all about, Linus recites an inspiring rendition of the story of Nativity, lifting Charlie’s spirits.

           5.  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

          Also known as: The movie where Chevy Chase’s quest for the perfect family Christmas celebration gets foiled time after time in spectacular fashion.

          Why it’s awesome: All the follies turn into something good as Chevy’s Clark Griswold and family get the Christmas show of a lifetime, with a methane fueled explosion blowing up Clark’s Santa and reindeer set into the night sky. Plus, a young Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki (Leonard from The Big Bang Theory) are the kids!

          6. Home Alone (1990)

          Also known as: That movie starring Macauley Culkin, which seemed to inspire the final action set piece of “Skyfall”.

          Why it’s awesome: It’s pretty much 103 minutes of Kevin (Culkin) terrifying the hell out of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Plus, the late John Candy’s cameo provides a simultaneously heartwarming and hilarious moment when he, the super jovial Gus Polinski, the leader of the Kenosha Kickers… a traveling polka band, offers Kevin’s mom a lift home on Christmas Eve just so she can be with her son on the big occasion.

          7. Scrooged (1988)

          Also known ss: The adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” that has Bill Murray starring, Richard donner producing and directing and a score by Danny Elfman. Seriously, this film’s stocking was flushed with talent.

          Why it’s awesome: Bill Murray absolutely carries the movie… and his cruel, cold hearted character’s antics as a cut throat television executive who doesn’t have love or family and fires people on a whim are matched only by his monologue at the end, where having seen the error of his ways from three ghosts, he interrupts the live staging of “A Christmas Carol” to tell viewers to “spend Christmas with the people you care about instead of watching TV”.

          8. The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)

          Also known as: The surprisingly faithful adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” that has Michael Caine as Scrooge… and the Muppets. The Great Gonzo is Charles Dickens, who narrates the movie. Yes. It’s as amazing as it sounds.

          Why it’s awesome: In a rather delightful scene, the Ghost of Christmas Present attempts to cajole Caine’s Scrooge into the joys of the season by regaling him with the anthem, “It Feels Like Christmas”. It doesn’t exactly work.

          9.  The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

          Also known as: The only Christmas movie you watch on Halloween.

          Why it’s awesome: Created by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, the stop motion animation’s best scene is arguably when Jack Skellington, “The Pumpkin King”, accidentally opens a portal from Halloween Town to Christmas Town after becoming tired of the same routine year after year. Watch as every Christmas cliche you’ve known comes to life to Danny Elfman’s “What’s This?”

          10. Elf (2003)

          Also known as: The movie where Will Ferrell plays an elf.

          Why it’s awesome: A pre-New Girl Zooey Deschanel leads the city of New York in singing “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. In doing so, Christmas Spirit is restored and Santa has enough power to move his sleigh again. Yes, it’s as insane as it sounds.


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            beauty gifts for christmas

            From having to deal with the wet weather to the maddening crowd who’ve all decided to throng the malls at the same time every year, we know how Christmas gift shopping can be a pain. That’s why we’ve come up with this Christmas gift ideas guide to make your life easier. We picked beauty items here because there’s always something to suit everyone. Besides, the sets are mostly so beautifully packaged, they save you the hassle of wrapping your presents. See we’re always thinking of how to make your life easier.

            For that fabulous colleague (her)

            Your colleague has been giving you a hand at work all year round, isn’t it only polite to return the favour by giving her the Midas touch? Caviar Manicure Luxe – Lustre

            Price: SGD 18.00

            Buy: Zalora

            For that fabulous colleague (him)

            Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and more so for that superb team player who’s always pitching in. Sleep Balm

            Price: $24

            Buy: Luxola

            For mom

            Help mom turn back the clock with this deep cleansing kit that will give her smoother skin and minimise the look of pores. Clarsonic Sonic Brightening Solution

            Price: $270

            Buy: Sephora

            For dad

            Perfect for dad who likes to de-fuzz the old fashioned way. Edwin Jagger Ivory Shaving Brush & Cream Gift Set

            Price: $139

            Buy: What he wants

            For him

            There’s no better and more discreet way to keep your partner from messing around with your beauty stash.

            SKII Essentials set for men

            Price: $322

            Buy: SK-II.com.sg

            For her

            For skin that glows — an illuminating powder made of light-diffusing pearls that minimise flaws and brightens the skin. Guerlain

            Price: $81

            Buy: Tangs

            For sis/ bestie

            Bestie and sis will be thankful for the lighter (toiletries) load during their travels.

            Crabtree & Evelyn travel set

            Price $38

            Buy: Crabtree & Evelyn shops nationwide

            For brother/ bestie

            Give your brother or male bestie a hand with pesky ingrown hair. The gel-like formula which contains glycolic acid and salicylic acid is said to bust severe ingrowns within 12 hours. Manceuticals Ingrown Hair Doctor

            Price: $55

            Buy: What he wants


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              When talking about the fancy lights that come with Christmas in Singapore, the first – and probably only – thing that comes to mind are the lights down Orchard Road. While really pretty, it just doesn’t quite nail that Christmas spirit.

              Perhaps it’s the stories we’ve read or movies we’ve seen that give us a certain perception of what Christmas looks like? You never know.

              But what we do know is that these 14 gorgeous Christmas cities from around the world help get us in the festive mood, and we just can’t get enough of it. Enjoy the imagery folks, and Merry Christmas!

              1. Moscow

              Christmas Moscow

              2. Berlin

              Christmas market Berlin: Gendarmenmarket

              3. Prague


              4. Vatican City

              Natale in Vaticano

              5. New York

              Christmas in New York

              6. Brugge

              Bruges Christmas Market

              7. Rio de Janeiro

              Inauguração da Arvore de Natal da Lagoa - 2010

              8. Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland

              Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle

              9. Cologne

              Cologne Christmas Market

              10. Vienna

              Vienna - Christmas market

              11. Quebec

              Christmas in Quebec city

              12. Seoul


              13. Colmar

              colmar (france) alsazia

              14. Innsbruck


              Christmas in Innsbruck (Photo from Google Images)



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                A lot of the food eaten during Christmas are not new to us by now. There’s the ginormous turkey (good luck on finishing that), honey baked ham, chocolate log cake (sans the plastic pine tree décor please), to name a few. But every year, we are stumped by a particular drink that is supposed to ‘taste like Christmas’ called the eggnog. The name seems to suggest there are a whole of eggs going on but other than that, we have no idea what to expect. If you’re just as clueless, let’s find out once and for all why so many people around the world toast to this drink during the Yuletide season.

                What is eggnog?

                First up, eggnog is a drink. A standard eggnog is basically a blend of milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs (yeah, we knew that already) with spices like vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon sprinkled on top to give it that festive touch. If you’re wondering why you felt groggy after knocking back a few of this seemingly innocent drink, that’s because you’ve had one spiked with an alcohol like whiskey, brandy or rum — triple-laced in some instances. Traditionally, eggnog, which originated in the 17th century Europe, was a drink that the wealthy indulged in. After all, eggs and milk were considered to be expensive and rare ingredients back then. Raw eggs were used in traditional recipes but most store bought variety today use cooked eggs instead due to health reasons – we’re guessing some dude suffered a bad case of food poisoning from it.

                Places to enjoy

                Supermarkets like Cold Storage carry a rather extensive range of eggnog ranging from $8.95 for a 1L cartoon to $17.50 for the organic lo fat version of the same size. There is even a gluten-free version available there. NTUC Finest carries Paul’s brand for $9.90 for 1L. December is a good time to check them out.

                You can buy eggnog at Cold Storage
                Santa will be pleased

                Surprisingly, calls to popular coffee chains in Singapore such as Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Olio Dome and TCC reveal that they do not serve eggnog. However, Coffee Bean said you can buy their eggnog coffee blend for $19.90 (8oz pack) to make at home. Celede Café’s response, on the other hand, was particularly interesting when we called them. It goes like this:

                GrateNews: “Do you serve eggnog for Christmas?”

                Cedele: “What?”

                GrateNews: “Egg-nog”

                Cedele: “Er…no. But we have turkey, ham, log cake all that…”

                GrateNews (thinking): Either she thinks eggnog is a dish (not drink) or she’s trying to upsell us.


                Where eggnog is concerned, we’ve been told that nothing beats the taste of a freshly brewed cuppa. Since the drink takes only around 15-30 minutes to make and is not too complicated, we say it’s worth giving it a shot (or how ever many shots you want to add). Check out these two recipes.

                1. Eggnog with brandy and rum

                How about an extra shot while you are at it?

                2. Kids friendly (non-alcoholic version)

                Kids-friendly version

                Or better still, make the drink your very own by infusing it with local flavours like pandan or horlick or substituting sugar with gula Melaka. Have fun, it’s the festive season after all.