I was half excited and half surprised to find myself dining on Christmas meals already towards the end of October. Well, good thing having a long festive mood never hurts (albeit potentially detrimental to work). Owned by CapitalMalls Asia, The Star Vista is a shopping mall (though I’d prefer to refer this mall as more of a dining mall) constructed just slightly more than a year ago, right beside Buona Vista MRT. It’s the nation’s first ‘naturally-cooled’ mall, which, although environmentally-friendly, can be tougher to tolerate at (especially day) times. We were fortunate enough to have gone on a Food Trail around the mall, scouring for Christmas options 2 months ahead of Christmas, thanks to Regent Media, Food & Travel Magazine and the mall. In this post, not only are we wishing you an early Merry Christmas, we’ll also be letting you in on what some of the Christmas offerings are this festive season.
My maiden trip to Jamaica Blue was greeted by the very passionate owner who introduced and gave us a brief history of the set up. The name was inspired from the majestic Blue Mountains in Jamaica. The franchised café is owned and operated by Foodco, one of Australia’s successful retail franchise companies and it boasts blends that are roasted from Down Under.
Jamaica Blue Signature Blend Latte :: I have always admired people who are passionate in what they do so you can imagine my disappointment when I tried the hot beverage. I very much wished the quality of coffee matched with the passion but it was mostly agreed that the blend was a little too light-bodied.
French Bread & Butter Pudding :: I had the latte with the pudding, which was accompanied with dark chocolate Ganache and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Some pudding can suffer from being overly-sweet, but I was pleasantly surprised that this was done moderately sweet. Do note that the picture only depicts a tasting portion.
The Classic Chocolate Mousse Pot is not as impressive. Served with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberry, the mousse lacks that light and airy texture you would expect which resulted it to taste more like another dish of pudding instead.
Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant
Willkommen! To the latest corporately-owned outlet @ Star Vista, which was opened in September last year.
Homemade Mulled Red Wine ($12.50++) :: To start off a very German part of this portion of the food trail, I was introduced to a very German drink, Heisser Glühwein or, Homemade Mulled Red Wine in English. I know, I think the English version of the name is boring too so let’s just stick to having fun trying to pronounce its German name. This is my very first time trying a mulled wine and I must say that I like it! A traditional German drink, it is served warm and spiced with cinnamon and cloves with a fruity note. If you are weary of the distinct taste, the sugar coated around the rim of the glass compliments and helps neutralises the flavour a little. I can see, maybe this isn’t a drink for everyone but I strongly recommend for those who have not tried before to be adventurous and have a sip at this!
Beef Wellington ($46++) :: This is a prime cut tenderloin (220g). In a new twist, the beef was wrapped with fine leg ham and mushrooms encased in a divinely crispy puff pastry. I usually like my beef just by itself, done medium-rare with no fuss but I welcome this innovative change. It is notable that it does not have an overpowering odour that you can get with beef sometimes that some eaters don’t fancy. Tender and soft, it leaves me wanting more. It is served along side sautéed beetroot, parsnip, spinach and slow cooked baby potatoes. Very indulgent.
Also on their Christmas promotion menu is Gefüllte Truthanbrust ($28.50) or Stuffed Turkey Breast, Weihnachtspfandl ($98), which is honey glazed roast duck and turkey breast. Both dishes are stuffed with baby spinach and napkin dumpling. Promotion starts 16 December 2013 and runs till 2 January 2014.
In Singapore, when you hear the name Owl, the first thing that comes to your mind is coffee. Now things have changed (well, at least a little). Established in 1956, Owl International has since become a distinct brand name renowned for its coffee manufacturing tradition. Owl Café is its first concept of its kind in Singapore.
Celebrating their first Christmas, they are serving a Christmas Set ($14.80++).
First item on the menu is Thai Styled Chicken Strips Salad. This is one of the 3 dishes that were memorable for me. The sweet Thai sauce with a hint of spicy drizzled over goes well with the crunchy salad and the breaded chicken. A straightforward appetizer to start with.
The main in the set is the Mushroom Cheese Baked Spaghetti in Creamy Sauce. This one is for all the fans of cheese out there. Imagine digging your fork through that top layer of cheese and bringing out a good portion of it, complete with strands of cheese from the top layer refusing to break as you lift it up like how you see in pizza commercials. Though other than that, there is nothing extraordinary to rave about. The spaghetti is cooked acceptably al dente and generally well-flavoured.
To finish off we were served Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream. The brownie was sticky and served with a walnut; it helps to elevate its taste for me, with some added crunch. The vanilla ice cream was great. Fragrant and moderately sweet.
Aside from the set, Owl Café will be offering a 1-For-1 Lunch ($20++) from 12pm-2pm daily. I get to try the Spaghetti Laksa With Tiger Prawns which is the second of the 3 dishes I enjoyed here. The prawns themselves were springy and the dish is served with cockles. I love cockles so I did not mind the rather prominent taste present. Don’t let this stop you from trying this dish though, request for cockles to be excluded to enjoy the very full-flavoured laksa taste! Drinks and dessert included in this lunch deal.
Lastly but certainly not the least is the third item on my list that I would go back for is the Gula Melaka Kopi ($3.80++). It is your regular kopi but with palm sugar syrup. It is also a chef’s recommendation on the menu. This kind of sugar has the same sweetness level that is similar to brown sugar but with an extra buttery taste. You might be surprised to find that it is actually light and very well-balanced; not at all too sweet.
Promotion starts 15 November 2013 and runs till 29 December 2013.
Marble Slab Creamery
What is a Christmas meal without a log cake? This season, Marble Slab Creamery created the Christmas Star Layered Log Cake ($58.80). Underneath that little Snowman, and Santa holding a star is not one, not two, not three, but four layers of ice cream! Cool Mint, Red Velvet, Salted Peanut and Double Dark Chocolate ice cream to please almost everyone.
The different layers of the ice creams are not over powering that they clash on your tongue, but for me the Cool Mint stood out. Personally, I think it is a bit too much (naturally, because of its distinct flavour) for me but a few of the other fellow diners actually find the mint a good refresher of palette to keep the cake from cloying. I guess this plays right down to your personal preference.
Demonstrated in the video is the Christmas Star Indulgence ($10). Of course it is not by chance it resembles a Christmas tree that is completed with a star on top! Vanilla ice cream with Kinder Bueno, brownie & walnuts in a dipped Chocolate Waffle Bowl. I am adopting a Joey Tribbiani principal here that is “Joey does not share food!” The crushed up Kinder Bueno and walnuts mix that accompanies the ice cream makes it so, so good. Every mouthful is a generous amount of crunch in it. Looking for a satisfying way to end your night? This is it. Note that these two are only valid at the outlet at Star Vista and will be available from 15 November and runs through 31 December 2013.
And nope, still not sharing.
Special gratitude to Helie and the Regent Media, and Food & Travel Magazine team, and the various participating outlets for the hospitality and hosting the invited tasting session.
Words & Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 1 Vista Exchange Green, The Star Vista
Telephone: 6694 3111 (Customer Service)
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm