Monday, 31 December 2012

Revisiting Universal Studios With More Rides

About two weeks back we went for our 2nd visit to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) which is located in Resort World Sentosa. And since during our first visit (read more here) we missed out quite a few rides especially the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure (under renovation) and TRANSFORMERS The Ride (not ready in operation) we decided to head back again this December holiday to complete all the rides as well as to see the "snowfalls" event specially prepared for Christmas and festive season.

As usual, first we queue for the Madagascar A Crate Adventure which is a water ride located in the Madagascar zone where you could enjoy the ride watching the adventures of the Madagascar characters like Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria and etc. This ride is first attraction on your left at the end of Hollywood zone.

Inside view of the Madagascar A Crate Adventure boat ride.

Next we head down to Far Far Away castle which showcases lifestyles of the rich and fairy tales and you could also enjoy the Shred 4-D Adventure ride to see, hear and FEEL the action right from your seat such as water, hairy spiders, wind and etc.

Preview of the dungeon entrance where park attendance briefing us on the storyline and ride details.

Waiting for our tun to take the Magic Potion Spin ride which is just outside the exit of the Shrek 4D theater. It was kind of a slow kiddy ride which allows about 2 - 3 person in one carriage.

This Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure is one of the ride that we missed out during our first visit to Universal Studios last year (read more here) due to the renovation and maintenance of this attraction. The queuing time was quite bearable (45 minutes) during that day and we really hope to take this ride since we missed it out last round. And for those who did not bring along any "raincoat" like us, you could actually purchase it with S$3.00 (a bit pricey for a piece of plastic over you) at their vending machines.

However half way through the queuing it started to rain and the ride was suspended due to safety reason. But despite of the rain most of the people still stay put in the queue hoping that the rain would clear up within 30 minutes or so.  Luckily after 30 minutes of observation since there was no thunder or lighting, they decided to open the ride and we get to ride on it even though it was raining. So that was indeed a super fun experience for us to ride this "water ride" on a raining day! Too bad we didn't managed to get a second ride after our WaterWorld show around 8.15pm due to ride maintenance.

The second attractions that we missed out last year was this Transformers ride which was located at the SCI-FI CITY zone that was opened in December 2011.

Due to the raining weather that day, we managed to get our 1st ride in about 30 minutes of queuing time whereas second ride at 5 minutes. The queuing area are well-design which provided guests with background information Transformers and some safety precautions of the ride.

Basically it is a motion rides with turnings, lighting, 3D effects and excitement which you won't want to miss out. And on peak season, you might have to queue up to at least 120 minutes just for the 5 minutes ride.

Transformers Design :- Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime Water Containers

With "Big Bird's Emporium" completed and in operation, Sesame Street fans can now shop for their desire sesame street related items from water bottles, wallet, soft toys, stationery and etc. 

There is also a pushcart outside Loui's NY Pizza Parlor selling Sesame Street related items too!

Soon maybe in 1st quarter of 2013, this Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase ride would be full operation too! Till then most of us are wondering what kind of ride this attraction will provided as it seems quite interesting and full of excitement from some of the Google search.

For this year they have relocated the Christmas tree and stage to NEW YORK zone instead of the usual place which was near the fountain area at Hollywood Zone.  And also for this year they included a daily special snowfalls event which happens on specific timing.

As you could see the snowfalls look wonderful at NEW YORK zone which makes it feel real and more magical as compared to the other zones. Everyone from young to old were so excited when the "snows (foams)" started to fall from the top during the specify timing.

Each snowfalls last about 5 minutes from the varies timing from 1.00pm; 3.00pm; 5.00pm and around 6.45pm daily from November 2012 - 06 January 2013. Just in case of any chances, do check out the timing with the park attendance to avoid disappointment.

A view of Ancient Egypt Zone and Battlestar Galactica (Cylon - Blue Track and Human - Red Track)

Since the park opened till 9.00pm (extension of operating hours due to festive season) during our last visit, we managed to catch the last WaterWorld showtime (7.30pm) before heading to our second Transformers Ride.

Although the weather was not very good (rain and drizzle) during the second half of that day but we did had an enjoyable day completing some of the rides in the rain (with raincoat on) and also the queuing time was shorten by big jump due to the gloomy weather and etc. And since the park opens till 9.00pm that day we really had a great time enjoying at least twice on each rides. Would definitely be back when the new attraction(s) are ready in another year or so.


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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant At Gardens By The Bay

Located below the Flower Dome (gardens by the bay), Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant is a newest venture for Chef Yong Bing Ngen. The 110 seater restaurant offers a spacious layout for both family and group dining as well as a private room that can occupy up to 14 guests. With it's must try Signature Bay's Kopi Crab and Baked Rice and Assorted Seafood in Chef’s Recipe Sauce, below are some of the dishes that we have tried two weeks ago.

For starter, we get to try 3 selections of Dim Sum items from their menu which are Seared Chilli Crab Meat Bun, Steamed Shanghai Dumpling Pork and Steamed Siew Mai Dumpling. The Chilli Crab Meat Bun was good with a crispy outer skin and nutty flavour from the sesame seeds. When bite, it burst with a spicy sweet chilli crab sauce which makes you having no intention to share the rest of the bun with those sitting at your table.

On the other hand, the Steamed Shanghai Dumpling Pork is surprisingly good with a thin layer of outer skin wrapping the meat filling and tasty soup broth.

Seared Chilli Crab Meat Bun - 辣椒蟹生煎包 (S$4.50 for 3 pcs)


Steamed Shanghai Dumpling Pork - 上海小笼包 (S$4.20 for 3 pcs)


Steamed Siew Mai Dumpling - 香菇蒸烧卖 (S$4.50 for 4 pcs)


Being a Cantonese styled restaurant, Majestic Bay offers quite a range of soup menu from Soup Of The Day - 瓦煲老火汤 (S$18.00 for 2-4 pax, S$27.00 for 5-8 pax) to Chicken soup with cordyceps flower, conpoy and chinese ham or Bird nest with abalone and assorted seafood treasure soup and etc. And as as soup lover, I definitely love their double-boiled soup which was boiled over low heat till thick and flavorsome. 

Steamed, Live Prawns, Minced Garlic - 金银蒜蒸开边生虾 (Market price) uses fresh live prawns that are being shelled and butterfly in order to reduce the cooking time as well as making it easier for guests to enjoy the dish without dirtying the fingers to shell the prawns. Overall the prawns were sweet and fresh but the minced garlic taste was a bit strong towards my liking.


The Bay’s Signature “Kopi” Sauce Live Crab - 冠华咖啡焗肉蟹 (market price) used Sri Lankan Mud Crab which was prepared using 3 different types of coffee beans such as Arabica, Brazilian and White Coffee together with Apple Jam, Butter and Shaoxing wine to achieve a caramelized taste. When the crab was presented on the table,  the serving staff will pour Shaoxing wine and coffee liquor over it and light up the crab to creating a "Fire Crab" effect sending coffee aroma into the air.

But although I am a coffee lover I still prefer salted egg crab as compared to this.

{MUST TRY} Baked Rice, Assorted Seafood, Chef’s Recipe Sauce - 海鲜大烩焗饭 (S$68.00 for 4-6 pax, S$88.00 for 7-12 pax) is definitely the HIT for that night with the 7 of us all agreed and raising our hands crowing it the best dish fellow by their signature Bay's Kopi Sauce Crab.

According to Janice, this dish was inspired by one of the popular Portuguese dish Chef Yong sampled in Macau and he adapted the recipe for local palate. The plate of seafood baked rice was indeed filled with treasures such as baby abalone, scallops, mussels, prawns and etc that topped with spiced cream sauce and generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Overall the dish reminded us of Paella but with a hint of spicy Japanese Curry taste that blend well with the sauce and make the whole dish very addicting.

{MUST TRY} Pan-fried Radish Cake With Prawns and XO Chilli Sauce - 极品酱鲜虾萝卜糕 (S$20.00; S$30.00) was one of the highlight for that night. Although this dish might be pricey as compared to those served in foodcourts or dim sum restaurants but with generous amount of shelled prawns and chunks of homemade radish cake that pair with their in-house XO chilli sauce. I am sure you won't want to give this a miss.

Sweet’s temptation (S$20.00) which suitable for 4 person includes Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Fresh Cream Stuffing; Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Yam Paste Stuffing (coated with shredded coconut); Steamed Custard Bun with Salted Egg Yolk and Bay’s Chinese Pancake with Red Bean Paste.

Although their Salted Egg Custard Bun taste great with soft outer skin and savory filling but my personal preference goes to their Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Yam Paste Stuffing and Bay’s Chinese Pancake with Red Bean Paste. Love the crispy outer skin of the Chinese Pancake which is not too oily and it goes well with the fragrance and smooth red bean paste.

Live Seafood (at market price) available for customers to view and select before cooking.


MAJESTIC BAY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
18 Marina Gardens Drive
Gardens By The Bay
Flower Dome, #01-10
Singapore 018953
Reservation: (65) 6604 6604
Website: http://majesticbay.sg/

OPERATING HOURS:
Lunch
Monday - Friday: 11:45am - 2:30pm
Saturday, Sunday And PH: 11.30am - 2:30pm

Dinner
5:45pm - 9:30pm


Lastly I would like to thank Majestic Bay and Janice and Sherman from foodnews for the invite tasting.


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Friday, 28 December 2012

Visiting KaiKai And JiaJia At Giant Panda Forest, River Safari (Singapore Zoo)

Finally the Giant Panda Forest exhibit which is located in the new River Safari is open for public preview since early December 2012. And since this is the last week of school holiday, my kid and I decided to take the opportunity to visit KaiKai (凯凯) and JiaJia (嘉嘉) . The pandas preview is allocated for a 15 minutes viewing session through different time slots (refer below) which is available for a top-up of S$5.00 (Adult) and S$3.00 (Child; 3 - 12 yrs old)  to the regular zoo admission price (you can check the ticket price lists here).

Although we reached the ticket booths around 8.45am (on a Thursday) but there were already quite a number of people queuing ahead and some of the time slots are selling fast too. And for your information almost everyday the viewing time slots will be SOLD OUT even before noon time. (updated status of the time slots can be found on their official site here)

At the moment, the entrance to the Giant Panda Forest is access via through Singapore Zoo (until river safari is fully open to public in 1st quarter 2013) at the admission queue which is around the Rainforest Walk that is opposite the Otter exhibit as shown on the Zoo map.

You won't miss out the entrance as there are a lot of direction signboards similar to the above shown

Although we purchased the 10.20am slot, but we are able to go in around 10.05am to queue up for our turn to enter the Giant Panda Forest which is a about few minutes walking distance away from the entrance.

Queuing up to enter the Giant Panda Forest

Upon entering the Giant Panda Forest, the first to greet us is this cute little "Red Panda" which share certain similar traits with the giant pandas because they both feed predominantly on bamboo and have extra "thumbs" to hold their food.

At the open kitchen window, there are displays showing KaiKai and JiaJia's Menu of the Day so that we get to know more about their diet and types of food they consumed.

Most of us were quite disappointed as JiaJia (嘉嘉) was taking her beauty sleep during our visit. although most of us couldn't do much but everyone is still very excited to snap photos of JiaJia or with her in the background.

JiaJia (嘉嘉) is taking her beauty sleep


Whereas KaiKai (凯凯) on the other hand is more active as he kept roaming up and down around the enclosed area making his "Panda Walk" for visitors to take photos/videos of him. Overall the pandas are not as chubby as what we thought off but they are definitely the most cutest animal of all.

Both me and my kid are very thrilled on this visit and we all felt that 15 minutes preview time is really too "short" to juggler around with those "three" cute fellows.

After the Pandas preview, you could also grab some lovely souvenirs shown above from their gift shop which are only available at the Giant Panda Forest outlet ONLY.

Mama Panda Kitchen

Above are the second reasons of our visit to the Giant Panda Forest. I first saw this Panda Pau from two of my friend's instagram posts which me and my kid fell in love immediately. This Panda shaped like steamed bun is so cute and irresistible despite of it's pricing.

Panda Pau from Mama Panda Kitchen
This cute Panda Pau is shaped to look alike like a panda head and it is filled with sweet and fragrance red bean paste which resemble our local "steamed red bao (豆沙包)" but with an over-rated price of S$2.90 each or 4 for S$11.50. Although the price is on the high end side but still you can see these cute panda pau appears on almost all the occupied tables. 

Giant Panda Cappuccino from Mama Panda Kitchen
This Giant Panda Cappuccino (S$5.50) is equally cute as compared to the Panda Pau above and it is a "must order" so that you could get a pair of this adorable panda to accompany you for either breakfast or tea-break.

On top of the above, the Mama Panda Kitchen also served hot food like Braised Beef Ramen Set (S$13.90), Chicken Cop Ramen Set (S$13.90), Vegetarian Bamboo Rice Set (S$13.90), Snacks and etc (all sets including 1 main, 1 side and 1 dessert).

View of the River Safari

View of the River Safari

Even though the visiting time for the Pandas are quite short and rushing but we all had an enjoyable time with the Giant Panda. We would definitely look forward for the official opening of the River Safari and our next visit with KaiKai and Jia Jia.

For more photos of our Giant Panda Forest and Singapore Zoo visit, please refer to the photo album over at Cuisine Paradise Facebook page HERE.

Have a great weekend everyone!!! Cheers!


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