Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore

A couple of weeks back I was in Singapore, and as with all my trips, my first need was a plate of chicken rice. So where does one go for good chicken rice at midnight? Five Star, of course. While my preference runs to Boon Tong Kee, it isn't open until 2am like Five Star is.


[Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice, East Coast Road]

Pinata and I ordered a plate each, because all bets are off where sharing chicken rice is concerned. Each man for himself!

I rarely ever dine in, so I was glad to see braised peanuts brought to our table.


[Braised Peanuts]

I really do love this stuff, and while I've got the flavour right at home, I've yet to manage to make them soft and tender. If anyone has any tips, do let me know!

In any event, they were a little on the dry side, but tasty nevertheless. 

The staple accompaniment to chicken rice is either barley or lime juice. It's been that way since I was growing up, so I had to have some. 


[Iced Barley]

In the torturous humidity that engulfs Singapore, this was quite a treat. Cooling and not to sweet, it really did hit the spot.

We've now come to one of the most important elements of good chicken rice: The chilli. It has to be equal parts fragrant, spicy and tangy. Failing any of these, it's an all out unacceptable experience. 


[Fragrant Chilli Sauce]

Yes, just stare in awe at that picture right now, because it's perfect and always has been!

In a bid to pretend we weren't eating one of the worst things you could have at midnight, we ordered some vegetables as well.


[Our Spread]

As much as I love all the chocolate in the world, I also love vegetables, and a simple stir fry of garlic and kailan. 


[Kailan Stir Fried with Garlic]

The vegetables were fresh and perfectly seasoned without being excessively oily. Nothing spectacular, but a nice pop of colour in the otherwise monochrome palette that chicken rice comes in.

More importantly, how does the chicken fare? At Five Star, they use only kampong chicken, and we ordered regular as opposed to roasted chicken breast meat (when in Rome). 


[Kampong Chicken Breast]

The chicken was tender and juicy, with a lovely hit of sesame oil. Definitely still one of the best chicken rice chickens I've ever had. The portion isn't huge, but it is definitely satisfactory when paired with the oily rice. Back when I was a little more concerned about being a ball, I'd order double the chicken and half the rice. Now that is perfection!

Pinata finds it funny that I call this "chicken rice rice". But it is, isn't it? What other way is there to describe this delicious, fluffy bowl of goodness?


[Fluffy Rice]

The rice was oily, but not too oily and the perfect treat to go with the rest of the meal. Even just the kailan with chicken rice rice was fantastic! While the soup itself is always decent, I've never been overly fond of chicken rice soup, so I didn't actually drink it on this trip.

If you ignore the fact that we spent almost RM90 on chicken rice, it was a terrific meal. Excessively priced or not, chicken rice is never something I skip when in Singapore. I still haven't found any in the Klang Valley that compares! However, where Singapore is concerned, Boon Tong Kee is my preferred stop (as mentioned), and I'll review it the next time I'm there!
Afternoon Tea @ Raisin' the Roof Cafe

Of late, the vegan craze has run amok in KL, and for the most part it tastes like cardboard slathered in other unsavoury delicacies. Raisin' the Roof has turned that on its head, and proved me wrong on that front. I will admit that I first went in there and thought the only thing that looked palatable were the Sweet Potato Fries, but I was sorely mistaken. I have yet to try anything there that I wouldn't go back for, and I'll be reviewing them as a whole in another post. 

For now, though, let's talk tea! They launched their All-Day Afternoon Tea set last weekend, and I couldn't wait to try it. Essentially, it's 2 tiers of their best stuff in smaller portions. 


The tea set comes with four savouries, four desserts, and two drinks. While the savouries are standardised, you get to pick your four desserts from whatever is on display for the day.


[Choose Your Sweets]


[Flourless Sweet Potato Brownie]


[Raw Nutella Cake and Raw Orange Chocolate Cake]


[Red Velvet Cake and Pecan Pie]


[Snickers Bar]


[Cheesecake]


[Superfood Balls]


[Mandatory Picture with Jeevart, The Enabler & Megatron]

I've tried almost every dessert at this point, and I can safely say that I would replace regular cake with them anytime. You truly don't miss regular refined flour and sugar with these, so as foreign as they sound, they're worth trying.


[All-Day Afternoon Tea (RM55)]

The Afternoon Tea Set is for 2 persons, and it's truly well worth it for you to get to try some of the best stuff on the menu.


[Dessert Tier]


[Raw Orange Chocolate Cake]

If you're a fan of the orange chocolate combination, you're going to want to order this. It's a dessert that isn't baked, and contains fresh orange juice. It really is absolutely delicious and it's possible that I've eaten two slices of this on my own before. Just be aware that when you take it away, you're going to have to refrigerate it because it will melt. 


[Raw Sweet Potato Brownie]

While I do love sweet potato, you can't even taste it in the brownie. It, too, isn't baked and has a slightly chewy texture from the coconut in it. It's extremely tasty, and if you're a fan of coconut, the slight hit of it will make you very happy.


[Purple Pecan Pie]

I know! When I first saw this months ago, I was a little taken aback, but it truly is my favourite dessert (although the introduction of the Orange Chocolate Cake might be fighting for first place). It's made of sweet potatoes, and is a very intriguing take on pecan pie. It's a definitive must-try!


[Snickers Bar]

Yes, it's a vegan version of a regular Snickers Bar that's healthier, and dare I say it, tastier. Addictive? Just as much so as the original!

The savouries are nothing to scoff at either. I've truly yet to try a dish I wasn't a fan of, but I was all too happy to see my favourite dish on the menu featured here!


[Savoury Tier]

Prior to this, I hadn't tried their Quinoa Feta Salad, but I was pleasantly surprised by how truly delicious it was. I'm not one to eat a salad as a meal replacement, but this had all the right components as opposed to just a compilation of grass. The feta and quinoa added a good bit of protein to it, while the pine nuts brought some much needed crunch. I would definitely order this in its full size. 


[Quinoa Feta Salad]

The Egg Mayo Sandwich here is worth trying as it's not as cloying as the traditional stuff because they've lightened up the mayo with a bit of yogurt. 


[Egg Mayo Sandwich]

Like I said, there isn't anything not worth trying on the menu, and this includes the Falafel Balls. They're packed with flavour, and while I haven't tried them in their wrap form, I'm positive I'm going to have to sometime soon. 


[Falafel Balls]

My ultimate favourite, and what I can't even stop myself from ordering everytime I go in, is the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Wrap. It's so, so good that all I can is that this is what you need to have when you go in! It's a touch spicy which adds a whole other dimension to the dish and makes me very happy. Pinata ate both of these and didn't leave any for me, though, because the last time we went in he tried my order and was sad I wouldn't share any more with him.


[Sweet Potato and Black Bean Wrap]

The Afternoon Tea comes with the choice of 2 drinks from their range of teas, coffees, cold brewed teas (+RM2) or smoothies (+RM5).

(Picture Credit: Raisin' the Roof FB)

Cold Brewed teas are new to the menu as well, and come in Hibiscus Blush or Green Tea. Since I still can't have caffeine, I opted for Hibiscus Blush, and it was the perfect thing for this weather. 


[Cold Brewed Hibiscus Blush Tea (+RM2)]

While I've never been a fan of fruit teas, this was really refreshing with just a touch of tartness to counteract the heat of the day. In the future I'll have to give the green tea a shot. 


[Iced Coffee with Low Fat Milk]


[Latte]

I also love their Choc-Peanut Butter Protein Shake, and if you're into Elvis, you need to get some in your life. It's choc-full (I had to) of banana, peanut butter, protein powder, almond milk and cacao nibs. 


[Choc-Peanut Butter Protein Shake (+RM5)]

While I love dark chocolate, the cacao nibs were a little too much for Pinata, so if you're not keen on anything over 60% cocoa, you might want to request that the omit the nibs. It's still absolutely delicious without them. 

They also have a range of ice-cream in the cafe, and it was banana for the day. It was tasty, but I've never been a fan of banana ice-cream, so I personally wouldn't order this particular flavour for myself. In any event, their ice-creams are vegan, gluten free, dairy free and free of refined sugars, so it's a reasonably healthy alternative to get your fix.


[Banana Ice-Cream (RM6.90)]

Raisin' the Roof also carries a range of teas, nut butters and granola for sale, so check out their selection in store. 


[Range of Teas, Granola and Nut Butters]

There's also a cooler of nut milks and cold-pressed juices in store. They're 50% off on Thursdays along with all the cakes on display as they're closed on Fridays, so that would be a good time to try out everything!

A review of their regular menu will be up soon too, so stay tuned!
Althea's Birthday Box is Here!

I can't believe it's been a year since Althea first launched, can you?! To celebrate, they've launched a special edition box with a DIY party kit, and free full-sized products for their first 1500 shoppers until the 31st of July, 2016!


[Will you be within the first 1500 shoppers?]

Can you imagine? They're giving away full-sized products to 1500 of you lucky shoppers?! Pause here and go place your order now!

If you miss out however, there are still a lot of offers you get to participate in. While stocks last, all orders from today (20th of July) onwards will receive their limited edition birthday box with a DIY party kit (pictured below). Of course, this is while stocks last, so make sure your get hold of one so you can wish Althea a Happy Birthday on Instagram and participate in their contest where they'll be giving away KRW10,000,000 worth of goodies such as a Macbook Air, iPad Air 2, Canon EOS M10, and much more! The contest will run until the 15th of August, 2016.

+

[Celebrate with Althea on Instagram to Win Prizes!]

If that's not enough, place your order between now and the 31st of July and stand a chance to be one of the 3 lucky winners to have 100% rebate on your order credited to your account.


[Rebates!]

So what did this gorgeous Althea box hold for me?


[Althea's Limited Edition Birthday Box]

Seriously, how adorable is this? It's a definite keeper. The quality is on par with the regular boxes and they're perfect for storing the obscene amount of stuff we all have!


[Happy Birthday Althea!]

As mentioned, you'll get your own DIY party kit (bear not included) to join in the festivities and set Instagram on fire with your wishes!


[Decked Out for Althea's Party]

I restrained myself this time and got 2 things!


[My Haul]

First off, we have something I've been eyeing for a while now. Can you believe I've used up all the moisturiser in my stash? I can't! But it's actually happened!



So I went with belif's Aqua Bomb which comes with rave reviews! I'll let you guys know how it fares!

Of course, now that I'm addicted to Laneige's Pore Control BB Cream, I feel like I need to replace the puff regularly. 



I'll report back with how it fares in comparison with the original Laneige puff. 

There were even some samples in there for me!



I haven't tried this, but I have tried the serum in the range, so I'm definitely curious about it. 

As always, shipping is free above RM150, so shop your hearts out!
Nars' Radiant Creamy Concealer

It's been almost two years since I started using this, and it is safe to say that this is my Holy Grail concealer. It's never let me down, and it's truly the only makeup product I can't do without. Everything else is interchangeable, but I need to have this in my arsenal at all times.


[Nars' Radiant Creamy Concealer in Biscuit (Med/Dark 1)]

The concealer comes in typically sleek packaging, as all Nars products do. I like that the tube is plastic so you can tell how much product is left. the wand is attached to their signature rubberized packaging, which is a shame. I really hate the rubber on Nars products. It gets dirty really easily, but worse still, it gets sticky over time.

When you pull the wand out, it's a tight fit through the entrance of the tube, so it scrapes off some of the product to prevent you from overloading your face with concealer. There's also a traditional doe foot applicator which makes application a breeze. 


[Doe-Foot Applicator with the Right Amount of Product]

I'm still not sure how people apply their concealer with the applicator solely, but I tend to stick with application and then patting in with my ring finger. 


[Blank Canvas]


[Concealer On]

What I love about this concealer is that it counteracts dark circles fantastically well without being thick and goopy. I do think I will have to go a shade lighter just to give it a shot, but I'm still very happy with this. It also blends like a dream and stays put once it's set.


[Base On, and Concealer Set with Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder]


[5:30 pm]

I forgot to take a close-up of the application, but I have noticed that it sinks into the lines under my eyes a lot less than other concealers do. It also stays on without straying or feathering for longer than anything else. 


[1:30 am]

8 hours later and what I've got is creasing, but not excessively so. It still looks good from afar, it's just that when you're up close you can see the undereye drama going on. Unlike a lot of concealers I've used in the past, what I've found is that this doesn't wear off as easily. It keeps my dark circles hidden, and it is extremely comfortable to wear. 

This is definitely my favourite concealer of all time. It's going to take a monumental effort to dislodge this as the best concealer ever!