8 Huat Reasons To Order Your 2018 Chinese New Year Catering from Foodline

The Chinese New Year (CNY) is upon us again. While it is a time to revel in festivities and catch up with family members, the period before CNY is often a crazy time of preparations.

My mum used to stay up late to cook large quantities of Pen Cai (an auspicious one-pot dish with pork, abalone, prawns, mushrooms and fatt choy), Luo Han Zai (vegetables) and other types of festive dishes. However, as I am not able to afford such time and manage that with my busy schedule and cookies baking, buffet caterings have been my saviours during such occasions in the past years. 

If you are busy like me, this Chinese New Year, leave your buffet catering needs in the hands of Foodline.

Here are 8 huat reasons why, and earn up to S$576 when you order through them (no gimmicks!):

1) Extensive Range of Menus.
Foodline is Singapore's largest online catering portal. With a network of 260 caterers offering more than 4,000 menus, there is something for everyone - whether you are planning a party for small groups of 5 to 10 persons or full buffets for 20 to 100 persons.

2) Read Reviews First.
Always be a smart consumer. Ratings of past customers usually reveal about a caterer's reliability and food quality, and there is always some truth when a few comments mention similar things. When you are on Foodline's page, sort your search results by review ratings and choose from the best!

3) Best Price Guarantee.
Should you have made a booking through Foodline but noticed that the same menu is offered at a lower price on another website, let them know and they will match the price. (Details here.)

4) 100% Satisfaction Gurantee.
Foodline is confident that you will be satisfied with your catering when you book through them. Nonetheless, in the unfortunate event that you are upset with your experience, let them know and they will compensate you within 30 days at $100 per order. (Details here.)

5) Review and Get Cash Rewards.
After you have received your order, provide your review and get cash rewards of S$10 to S$30! The amount varies for each caterer and it's indicated upfront on each caterer's page. (Details here.)

6) Earn Foodline Points.
Earn points on all your orders and offset them against future orders. Every 100 Foodline points is equivalent to $1. (Details here.)

7) FREE S$500 Food Vouchers for all online orders.
From now until 31 Jan 2018, all online orders placed before from Foodline are entitled to receive S$500 worth of food vouchers (S$25 X 20 pieces)! They can be used on your next order from any of 4,000 catering or cake menus and this is a super good deal. That's as good as having another party free of charge! (Details here.)

8) Exclusive S$38 Discount off ONLY for The Hedgehog Knows Readers.
From now until 31 Mar 2018, enjoy S$38 off your catering ordered on Foodline with my unique code: THK38. Valid with minimum spend of S$350, that's another 10% of savings exclusively for you!

Just looking at the cash rewards above, you can now calculate how you can earn up to S$576 (S$500 + S$38 + S$30).

So don't say bo jio (I didn't tell you). Start scrolling through the Chinese New Year Buffet Catering 2018 Menus here and place your CNY orders today!

Wishing all Gong Xi Fa Cai and have a happy year ahead enjoying all kinds of yummilicious food. HUAT AHHH :)

<<This is a sponsored article, but the opinions are entirely my own.>>

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LUX* South Ari Atoll (Maldives): Food, Glorious Food!

The Maldives has never been known to be a foodie's paradise. When we think of great food, the likes of Hong Kong and Japan as well as other destinations with a surfeit of Michelin star dining options come to mind. So when we visited the Maldives during the holidays, we did not come with great expectations, as we did not want to be disappointed.

Our first impressions of the Maldives usually comes from magazines, websites and blogs, leading most of us to usually associate the Maldives with pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters, lush greenery and a laid back atmosphere. But seldom do we hear of anyone raving about the food.  

12 Nights in Paradise
As we were staying in Maldives for 12 nights, we were worried that we might be having the same food over and over ad nauseum.

Thankfully at LUX* South Ari Atoll, there is a cafe (Cafe LUX*), an ice cream bar (ICI), 6 restaurants (Beach Rouge, MIXE, East Market, Senses, Allegeria and Unami) and 4 bars (Veli Bar, Lagoon Bar, East Bar and Senses Bar), so LUX* South Ari Atoll was our natural choice for our well-deserved year-end holiday.

Indeed, we could say that LUX* was perfect in every way - in terms of food, service and accommodation - and it certainly did not feel like we were having the same food everyday.

Since this is a food blog, it would be fitting to start off our series of posts on the Maldives with a review of the food we had before we move on to the other aspects of our 12-night experience in the Maldives.

Whilst all the restaurants were uniquely wonderful in their own ways, we will keep this post for our review of the food at four of the dining outlets: the LUX* Seaplane Lounge, Cafe LUX*, ICI Ice Cream Parlour and Beach Rouge, lest it becomes really photo-heavy.

Meal Plans
For a quick introduction of the meal plans on the island, three meal packages are available: (1) Breakfast only, (2) Half Board (HB) with breakfast and dinner, and (3) All Inclusive Package (AIP) with breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, drinks, some water sports and yoga. Details are available here.

We really recommend the AIP if you like to have a little wine by the beach bars throughout the day and do not wish to worry about the costs of topping up for certain activities. Definitely more worth it too.

1) LUX* Seaplane Lounge
LUX* South Ari Atoll is a five star resort which is 30 minutes by seaplane from Male Airport. Upon arrival at Male Airport, the staff from LUX* invited us to wait at the private Seaplane Lounge so that we could have a rest and some refreshments while we waited for the seaplane to take us to the private island resort that we had booked our vacation.

The LUX* lounge is located facing the dock where all the seaplanes take off and land, so it is here that we also caught the first glimpse of this fabled, mystical turquoise waters that we never get to see in Singapore.

At this private lounge, we watched the seaplanes taking off and landing while we were treated to an assortment of sandwiches, cookies, macarons and artisan coffees. One of the highlights included the dessicated coconut and fig bar which we found rather novel as we have not eaten something like this in Singapore or in other parts of the world. There were also chocolate pralines, fresh fruits, muesli, yoghurt and Rauch juices ranging from blackcurrant to orange flavours.

With such nice yummy treats, time seemed to pass by very quickly and before we knew it, we were already on board the seaplane and on the way to paradise.

It was certainly a nice preview of what is to come and it somehow reminded me of one of those luxurious high tea buffets in Goodwood Park Hotel, Regent Hotel or St Regis Singapore. Maybe a little less in terms of variety or local Singaporean flavour but still all the more compelling after our 5-hour flight from Singapore and juxtaposed with the nice view of the seaplanes and the majestic Indian Ocean.

2) Cafe LUX*
If you are a coffee lover, Cafe LUX* which offers gourmet barista-styled coffee would be like paradise in paradise for you.

Made from ethically sourced, locally roasted Island Blend of Arabica beans, the signature coffees include Frappe LUX*, Three Men in a Boat (coffee with hazelnut syrup, chocolate and vanilla ice cream) and Coconut Divine.

Imagine sipping freshly-brewed coffee while watching the herons fly or seaplanes land. Simply a wonderful moment to savour.

If classes in Latte Art and Coffee Roasting are something you have always wanted to do, try your hand at it here - free of charge! I have always lamented that they cost more S$100 a class in Singapore, so this was something I immediately jumped at - albeit just for a quick 1-hour session.
3) ICI Ice Cream Parlour
What's a beach holiday without ice cream? Here at LUX*, ice cream is made in-house. Yes, LUX* has its own brand of ice cream! How cool is that?

And trust me, their ice creams are wonderful. Very refined and you can taste how fresh it is (and certainly without the strange after-taste you get from some ice cream brands).

With flavours ranging from the more exotic Sicilian Pistachio Variegato and Bubblegum to sorbets such as Passionfruit and Mango, and the timeless Chocolate, Strawberry and Madagascan Vanilla, there is something for everyone. If something really Instagram-worthy, try the heart-shaped popsicle!

The ICI parlour, located near the Beach Rouge and Childcare Area, offers a cool respite from the heat especially during the afternoon. As we were having our ice cream, we saw the staff baking waffle cones too. Indeed, everything is made fresh in-house!

If you pass by the Wishing Tree in the late morning or late afternoon, look out for the ICI mobile cart. There was once we passed by the cart while on the buggy and the driver offered to stop his vehicle for us to take our ice cream. Double win for this mobile cart idea and the driver's spontaneity. We returned to our villa with a bright smirk on our faces and a little ice cream on our lips, no less! :)

4) Beach Rouge
Loud, unabrashed and unassuming, the reddish tones and loud music make the island come alive at night. If Zouk is a giant and the cornerstone of Singapore's night life, then Beach Rouge must be standing on the shoulder of giants.

Never a dull moment, the theme of this restaurant can be summed up in two words: Celebrate Life.

Listen to DJ Yara spin music throughout the night, while you enjoy salads and bite-sized tapas ranging from bruschetta and truffle fries to josper grilled meats.

If the Lady in Red Party takes place during your stay, come in your favourite red dress and dance to the tunes with your special one for a night to remember!

Next: Review of Buffet and Fine Dining Restaurants
Apart from the dining outlets above, there are two Buffet restaurants at MIXE and East Market, and three Fine Dining establishments at Senses, Allegeria and Unami. 

Stay tuned for our review of them in next posts! Meanwhile, here are some photos to whet your appetite. :)

Buffet at MIXE:

Buffet at East Market:
Fine Dining at Senses:

Fine Dining at Allegeria:

Fine Dining at Unami:

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[Recipe] Salmon and Egg Wrap Using Airfryer

We have been really busy since the year started, but here's one quick and simple recipe using the airfryer - healthy Salmon and Egg Wrap! A dish that offers high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, we also love how this can be done in under 30 min.

This recipe is very adaptable and is perfect if you have leftovers. Have some tuna, ham, cheese, lettuce or tomatoes to clear out from your fridge? Sure, of course those can go in! :)

Salmon and Egg Wrap Using Airfryer

Yield: 4 wraps

260g salmon
4 eggs
Pork floss (optional)
4 ready-made wraps
French dressing/ mayonnaise

1) Preheat.
Preheat airfryer at 160 degrees for 3 min.

2) Cook salmon.
Prepare the salmon until it is 80% cooked. The salmon should look light pink and the flesh is soft to pull apart.
- Steam: Only 8 min (out of the usual 10 min) over medium fire.
- Airfry: Only 8 min (out of the usual 10 min) at 160 degrees. (Refer to our airfryer rosemary salmon recipe here.)

3) Cook eggs.
Again, prepare the eggs until they are 80% cooked. You may do it sunny side up style or scrambled.
- Airfry scrambled eggs: Only 8 min (out of the usual 10 min) at 140 min. (Refer to our airfryer scrambled egg recipe here.)

4) Assemble.
It's time to assemble the first wrap! With one wrap laid out flat, add the ingredients in this order:
- 1 egg, followed by
- 60g of mashed salmon. and
- Some pork floss.
- Finally, top the fillings with some dressing.

5) Fold.
- Fold in the sides on the left and right. Add some dressing to help you "glue" the sides. 
- Thereafter, fold the top and bottom sides, again using some dressing to seal the ends.

<<Repeat the above steps for the second wrap.>>

6)  Airfry.
Place the 2 wraps in the airfryer (placing it directly on the mesh is actually preferred). Airfry at 150 degrees for 6 min. No flipping is required.
7) Serve.
Slice the wrap in the middle. You are now ready to serve your first 2 wraps! 

<<Repeat the above steps for the remaining 2 wraps.>>

Best eaten when warm and crispy. :)

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[Review] 2017 Christmas Delights at Cake Avenue

Cake Avenue, a trusted name for high quality fully customised cakes, began as an online cake shop 17 years ago. 

Over the years, it earned itself a loyal base of customers that loves its vast range of bespoke cakes and it is now a full bistro which offers American/ Italian cuisine and cakes. 

Tucked away near Beauty World MRT Station, I like how cosy this bistro was and it is no surprise why this venue is often booked for private birthday parties and baby showers on weekends.

Christmas Menu 2017
This Christmas, I was pleased to find out Cake Avenue's new Christmas menu and its range of cakes simply blew me away. With party sets available for delivery for 4 to 8 persons ranging from S$67 to S$172 or ala carte, there is something for everyone!

Below are some of the items that I recommend. Prices in bracket denote ala carte price. Don't you agree that the entremets in particular are so beautiful? :)

Chicken Lasagna (S$32)

Braised Lamb Shank, 2 X 450g (S$38)

Chocolate Yule Log, 650g to 1.5kg (S$32 to S$67.50)

   Reindeer Cake, 1kg (S$112.50)

Chocolate Caramel Reindeer/ Christmas Apple Bauble (S$5.90 each)

Macarons, 12pcs (S$24)

Below is the full Christmas menu: 


Diner Dessert Menu
If the above are not enough to already excite you, you've got to view their other desserts which aim to mimic savoury food items - and of course tease your mind (or rather, taste buds)!

Burger Slider and Fries with burger patty made of chocolate ice cream (S$15.90)

The Great Con Dog consisting of sweetcorn custard (S$8.90)

Cake Fries with raspberry and passionfruit puree "sauce" (S$8.90)

Alphabet Soup which is actually a lychee mousse (S$8.90)

If innovation is what is required to keep one ahead of its game, I think Cake Avenue has got the formula right. Which of the following would you like to try? :)
PS: The Christmas 2017 Menu is available until 25 December 2017, with minimum of 3 days advance notice.

Visit www.cakeavenue.com, or call 6877 9008 to make your bookings!

To win a Christmas package from Cake Avenue worth S$167, join our Facebook contest here! Closes on 20 Dec 2017, 11.59pm. Good luck!

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