Lawry’s The Prime Rib (Singapore) @ Mandarin Gallery

Lawry's The Prime Rib (Singapore)
Lawry's The Prime Rib (Singapore)

Once in a long while, you will forgive yourself for indulging in a little luxury. Rachel and I have not had a nice romantic dinner together for a long while since Asher was born. Last Tuesday, after a tiring day taking care of Asher and sending him to KK Hospital for his medical check-ups, we decided to dine at Lawry’s The Prime Rib (Singapore) restaurant at Mandarin Gallery as a long-deserved “reward”.

My parents kindly took care of Asher at home while we were out for dinner.We arrived at Lawry’s at around 8pm, way past dinner time, exhausted, hungry and ready to eat a cow each. Somehow, a giant slab of prime steak seems to be our common comfort food in situations like this.

Rich in heritage (via the official website), the original Lawry’s The Prime Rib was founded on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills by a Lawrence L. Frank and a Walter Van de Kamp. Much of the splendor of the meal was in the way each part of the dinner was prepared and presented. Lawrence designed the famous “Silver” carts so the beef could be carved at tableside.  Through the years, the basic elements of Lawry’s The Prime Rib have remained virtually unchanged. It is still a family business, with the second and third generations of Franks and Van de Kamps working side by side in the restaurants’ operation. Modifications and improvements have been made to meet today’s demands, but the meals served remain timeless.

The Lawry’s restaurant in Singapore is no pushover either, having picked up a slew of awards since it begun its operation here in 1999:

* Wine & Dine – Singapore’s Top Restaurant 2001 to 2009
* Excellent Food Award 2002 & 2004
* Singapore Tatler – Singapore Best Restaurants 2002 & 2004
* HSBC – Singapore Top 100 Signature Dish Award 2006
* American Express – Singapore Best Restaurants 2005
* Simply Dining – Singapore Top Restaurant 2008
* Singapore Business Review – Top 50 Restaurants Award 2009
* Citibank Gourmet Pleasures – Citibank & The Business Times Gourmet Choice Awards: Winner American / International Category 2009
* Singapore Tourism Board – Singapore Service Star 2009

Inside Lawry's
Inside Lawry's

Once we were settled at a cosy window-side table, Rachel and I both ordered Lawry’s signature USDA Prime Rib Dinner set which comes with the following:

– The Famous Lawry’s Original Spinning Bowl Salad
– Yorkshire Pudding
– Idaho Mashed Potatoes
– Whipped Cream Horseradish

Some bread and butter to start the meal with
Some bread and butter to start the meal with
Lawry's Original Spinning Bowl Salad - tossed with Lawry's vintage dressing on a bed of ice
Lawry's Original Spinning Bowl Salad - tossed with Lawry's vintage dressing on a bed of ice
Whipped cream horseradish and spicy horseradish to go with our steak
Whipped cream horseradish and spicy horseradish to go with our steak
Romaine and iceberg lettuce, watercress, shredded beets, chopped eggs and croutons
Romaine and iceberg lettuce, watercress, shredded beets, chopped eggs and croutons

Rachel ordered the The Lawry’s Cut (250g, Lawry’s traditional and most popular cut) for her main while I ordered The English Cut (200g, Three thin slices of beef, deftly carved to heighten the rich beef flavor).

Lawry's steak chefs coming by our table with their grill and our steak in it
Lawry's steak chefs coming by our table with their grill and our steak in it
The Lawry's Cut
The Lawry's Cut
Rachel's steak with mashed potato
Rachel's steak with mashed potato
The English Cut
The English Cut
My serving with Idaho mashed potato and Yorkshire pudding
My serving with Idaho mashed potato and Yorkshire pudding
Rachel enjoying her food
Rachel enjoying her food

While Rachel’s order cost more and was chunkier in portion, mine was the one which tasted better. With thinly cut slices, the gravy soaked into the meat better and you get more flavor from the grill as well.

For just these two orders, the bill came up to around S$180 after GST and service charge. Pretty steep by our standard as Rachel and I are more comfortable with dining at around S$30 to S$80 for 2 pax at restaurants in Singapore.

Nonetheless, the service was really excellent (although the waitresses look really cheesy and medieval in their French maid costumes), ambient was fantastic and food was great.

It felt good to splurge a little once in a while.

Lawry's Christmas goodie bag for all guests
Lawry's Christmas goodie bag for all guests

On our way out, we were presented with a Christmas goodie bag. There is a S$50 discount voucher inside for our next visit, with a minimum spending of S$100. I am unlikely to visit Lawry’s anytime soon. If anyone wants the voucher, drop me a reply to this blog post leaving your email address (so that I can contact you for your mailing address to snail mail the voucher). I will do a random draw and give it away. 🙂

Address: 333A Orchard Road, #04-01/31 Mandarin Gallery, Singapore
Tel: +65 6836 3333
Opening Hours:
Sundays – Thursdays: 11.30am – 10.00pm
Fridays / Saturdays / Eve & Public Holidays: 11.30am – 10.30pm

10 Dec 2011: Update on Contest Winner 

A total of 8 readers left a comment to win the $50 Lawry’s voucher. Using Random.Org to generate a random number between 1 to 8, the winner is…

Random draw to pick the winner
Random draw to pick the winner

Congratulations to Zuriel! I will be contacting you via email to get your mailing address to mail the voucher to. 🙂

Movie Review: Puss In Boots (3D)

Thanks to the folks from UIP, Rachel and I watched Puss in Boots in 3D on 16 November. The computer-animated adventure film is now showing in Singapore cinemas.

Puss in Boots movie poster
Puss in Boots movie poster

Produced by DreamWorks Animation and directed by Chris Miller (who directed Shrek the Third in 2007), the film stars the voice talents of Antonio Banderas (Puss), Salma Hayek (Kitty Softpaws), Zach Galifianakis (Humpty Dumpty), Billy Bob Thornton (Jack) and Amy Sedaris (Jill).

The film is a spinoff prequel to the Shrek franchise, and it follows the character Puss in Boots on his adventures before his first appearance in Shrek 2 in 2004. Accompanied by his sidekicks, Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws, Puss is pitted against Jack and Jill, two murderous outlaws in their quest to hunt down the magic beans that will lead them to the “Goose with the Golden Eggs”.

Like all the Shrek movies, Puss in Boot is steeped in fairy tales traditions, but with a mischievous twist of course. For instance, the hapless Jack and Jill who “went up the hill to fetch a pail of water” were transformed into a hideous, criminal duo.

A cat lover, Rachel has been dying to watch Puss In Boots since she first saw the trailer eons ago. After watching, she gives it double thumbs-up and lists it as a must-watch for 2011.

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes’s consensus on the film is, “It isn’t deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm.” This I totally agree.

While the storyline was not particularly memorable to me in any way other than frequent cutesy cats scenes, the film had my full attention through its 90 minutes screen time. Puss in Boots is those kind of movies perfect to watch with your family or a large group of friends for some light entertainment.

Trailer:

India Talent Show – Warriors of Goja

Don't Mess with the Gojas!
Don't Mess with the Gojas!

Incredible India never fails to amaze me!

Just watch this video by the “Warriors of Goja” and be blown away:

Don’t mess with the Zohan? I think it should be “Don’t mess with the Goja”!

The “Warriors Of Goja” blew away the audience of the Indian talent show Adhurs by chewing glass, breaking boards on each other’s bodies and smashing clay pots on their abs with axes, among other crazy feats. The group of Sikh men put on a stunning performance, beating the hell out of each other with wooden sticks, bending spears with their necks and even running over one of their teammate with a car and a motorbike.

At the end of their performance, many in the group were bleeding all over, on their faces, backs and arms. Nonetheless, they appeared nonchalant about their injuries and were still laughing and flashing victory signs like true warriors.

A female judge in the show looked horrified throughout the group’s performance while the other judges looked stunned beyond words.

According to International Business Times, the Warriors of Goja won 300,000 rupees, or about $7,500 SGD. However, they did not make it to the show’s finals.

Help Identify This Cat Dumper In Singapore

Via The Cat Welfare Society Facebook Page and EDMW:

This is the footage of what appears to be a large-sized Caucasian person (with a child) who drives a Mercedes Benz, dumping a cat in the bin of a local vet clinic. The cat (sterilised) was rescued 6 hours later by the clinic staff and is currently recuperating though it’s in shock. Please spread the word. Pet abandonment is a crime punishable by law. We hope that folks can help with info that will lead to the identification and apprehension of the perpetrator.

If you can identify this person, please contact The Cat Welfare Society so that appropriate action can be taken.

It is bad enough that the person committed the cruel act of pet abandonment, worse still, he/she did it in front of a little child. What kind of values do the person wish to impart to the next generation?

The fellow has been caught on three separate CCTV cameras:

Here’s an enlarged screen grab to assist in identification:

Do you know this person?
Do you know this person?

Here’s an image of the rescued cat:

The rescued cat
The rescued cat

Please help spread this identification appeal. Together, we can stop animal cruelty and move Singapore towards becoming a more animal-friendly society.

One Year Old Baby Elephant Nila Utama’s Birthday Tea Party at the Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo and Night Safari celebrated Singapore born and bred baby elephant, Nila Utama‘s birthday last Sunday (20 Nov) as he turned one today on 23 November 2011.

I was invited to Nila Utama’s birthday tea party together with Rachel, Asher and my parents, thanks to the wonderful folks from the Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which manages the Night Safari, Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and the upcoming River Safari. Also invited were omy Blog Club family bloggers, Edmund, Leonny and Maryann, who brought their family.

Family photo with the elephants
Family photo with the elephants

This was also my son, Asher’s first visit to the zoo. Rachel and I were very thrilled about the experience and were looking forward to the trip since we received the invitation a month ago.

At just three months old, Asher may still not be able to comprehend much of what goes on in his surrounding, but his eyes were alert and inquisitive at some points when we were at the zoo. Rachel and I were glad he did not fuss too much and was quite well-behaved throughout the event (despite the grumble face). This is just a beginning. We will bring him back to the zoo again as he grows older.

Back to the little birthday elephant; lovingly referred to as ‘Nila’ by his keepers and who is named after the Palembang prince who founded the kingdom of Singapura, received a giant birthday cake made with carrots, wheat and ice, among other ingredients.

Nila with his mother and aunts, enjoying his birthday cake
Nila with his mother and aunts, enjoying his birthday cake

Nila was born on 23 November last year to mother Nandong and father Chawang, and is the 11th addition to the population of Asian elephants at Wildlife Reserves Singapore. He was a whopping 151kg at birth, and at 11 months of age, is a healthy elephant weighing 544kg and measuring 1.38m in height. Considered large for a newborn at 1.5 times the average size, Nila arrived after 3 hours of labour. He has two siblings – 12-year-old Sang Raja which is currently at Cologne Zoo, Germany, and nine-year-old Sang Wira which still resides at the Night Safari.

Video on Nila Utama’s birth:

When the keepers wheeled the cake out into the elephant enclosure, Nila promptly rushed forward to crush the cake with his feet, together with his mother and aunts.His brother, Sang Wira watched earnestly from an opposite enclosure as adult male elephants have to be kept separated from the females:

Nila and his mother, charging to stomp on the birthday cake
Nila and his mother, charging to stomp on the birthday cake
Nila Utama excitedly following his mum's lead in smashing the birthday cake
Nila Utama excitedly following his mum's lead in smashing the birthday cake
Aunt trumpets her trunk to cheer them on
Aunt trumpets her trunk to cheer them on
Close-up of Nila Utama
Close-up of Nila Utama
Another close-up
Another close-up
Showing Asher his first sight of real life elephants
Showing Asher his first sight of real life elephants
Rachel and Asher
Rachel and Asher
Asher is happy
Asher is happy
Nila is happy too with his family
Nila is happy too with his family
The majestic Sang Wira, Nila Utama's elder brother
The majestic Sang Wira, Nila Utama's elder brother
Asher and I with Sang Wira in the background
Asher and I with Sang Wira in the background
My parents with Asher
My parents with Asher
Rachel with our friend, Min from Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Rachel with our friend, Min from Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Guests were treated to cute, elephant-shaped mini cakes and other tea-time items when we arrived. This was followed by a gourmet safari tram ride at the Night Safari, which stops at the Asian elephants exhibit where the party for Nila and his family was held.

Dining area where guests were first ushered to upon arrival
Dining area where guests were first ushered to upon arrival
Asher was very curious of his colourful surrounding
Asher was very curious of his colourful surrounding
Some tea-time items for all guests
Some tea-time items for all guests, served in individual plates
When the food was served, Asher cried for his milk at the same time
When the food was served, Asher cried for his milk at the same time
Special Nila Utama birthday cake for everyone
Special Nila Utama birthday cake for everyone
Asher was curious about the cake
Asher was curious about the cake
Children's activity corner where they were making elephant masks
Children's activity corner where they were making elephant masks
Riding on the zebra motif gourmet safari train
Riding on the zebra motif gourmet safari train
Family photo
Family photo
Rachel and Asher checking out the deers
Rachel and Asher checking out the deers
Checking out the water buffaloes
Checking out the water buffaloes
Close-up of a water buffalo
Close-up of a water buffalo
An exotic species of wild pigs
An exotic species of wild pigs

Nila is currently housed at the Asian elephants exhibit at the Night Safari. The birthday boy is an active calf and has his own unique quirks. Keepers noticed his strong sense of independence right from his birth. Nila is inquisitive, fun-loving and likes to swim and wallow in the mud whenever he has the chance.

Check out the official Night Safari website if you would like to visit Nila and his family or find out more about the Asian elephants at the Night Safari. 🙂

The Good Old Days: Singapore MRT Trains in 1991

The Good Old Days
The Good Old Days

There was a time when we were not packed like sardines in our MRT trains, jostling for seats, taking pictures of each other to submit to STOMP for all kinds of minor space encroachment.

There was a time when the MRT trains were beaming icons of a world class transport system in the region; efficient and providing commuters with sufficient seats and a comfortable journey at a low price.

These were just about a decade ago in the 90s. Here’s a wonderful video of how good life was, commuting on the MRT trains in 1991:

I remember how proud I was of Singapore when my parents took me on my first ride in a MRT train when it was launched in 1987.

Isn’t it ironic how our public transport system have regressed in the past decades while our COE prices hit record highs along with rising GDP and increased cost of living?

The worse thing is… transport experts predict that Singaporeans will have to put up with at least three more years of squeezing in and out of crowded trains.

Poor planning?

Corporate arrogance?

What went wrong?