The French couple, Marie Charlotte Ley and Antoine Rouland, behind O Batignolles and O Comptoir, brings Merci Marcel, a chic French cafe/bistro, to Tiong Bahru. It is a lifestyle concept store that combines food and paraphernalia; you can buy cheeses, wines, and teas displayed at the front and back of the restaurant. I bought a good Stilton and a creamy truffle brie.
Like O Batignolles, the menu here is kept simple. For starters, the semi-dry 18th month aged Bayonne ham ($ 16), which comes with bread and pickles, has a beautiful complex taste. A sweet, almost strawberry-like fruitiness mellows into a mild saltiness. Very yummy.
uck rillettes ($ 18) and marinated crab rillettes ($ 18) are popular among customers, and we went for the latter because it is less commonly found elsewhere. It comes with sourdough and the rillettes is pleasant enough.
The French pizza, or more accurately known as the tart flambee ($ 24), is super thin, almost like biscuit. It’s topped with asparagus, blue cheese (which is easy), apple (refreshing!), and bacon.
I think mains should always come with sides at restaurants but unfortunately, at Merci Marcel, they don’t. The best of the mains we tried, black pepper tuna ($ 25), is done tataki style, just seared on the outside while raw in the middle. It’s drizzled with yuzu and soy vinaigrette and has a Japanese touch. Excellent.
The pork tenderloin ($ 24) is not gamy but it is also not memorable.
The Australian Angus beef (400g, $ 39) is topped with creamy mushrooms (which you can also order as a side for $ 10). I forgot to ask what cut it was, but it is tough, tougher than what we expected medium rare to be.
For the sides, we had French ravioli, ravioles de royan ($ 18) which are little pockets of pasta filled with Tete de Moine cheese in a creamy emulsion, topped with more shaved cheese. With that much cheese, it would be terrible if it tastes terrible. Of course, it didn’t. On the contrary, I think I could have finished it all on my own and maybe some more.
The desserts are simple but executed well. The chocolate cake ($ 10) is moist and dense but not excessively sweet, paired wonderfully with a homemade whipped cream; after a full meal, it does not add to the heaviness. The creme brulee ($ 9) is a tad too small for the price, but the passionfruit on top creates a nice contrast to the custard.
Merci Marcel provides an easy, fuss-free meal best for groups of friends to gather over cheese, wines, and meats. But who is Marcel? He is just a made-up character to give a persona to the shop. But indeed, we should thank Marcel for bringing such elegance to the ‘hood.
Merci Marcel 56 Eng Hoon St #01-68 Singapore 160056 tel: +65 6224 0113 8am-11.30pm, closed Mon facebook
Normally, at this time of day, we would have a collection of technology deals which would give you the opportunity to save money on 5 or 6 products or accessories.
Those deals are always well-received but as we head into the crux of the holiday shopping season we think it’s only right and proper that we furnish you with a huge collection of wonderful savings. So that’s exactly what we have done here today.
Notable items on the holiday deals list include the wonderful Amazon Echo Show with Alexa integration, as well as the Philips Hue Starter Kit which gives you everything that you need to get intelligent lighting in your home. Of course, if you want to spend a little less and top up those Christmas stockings for loved ones, then there are some amazing deals on iPhone X cases and even a stunning Anker PowerCore portable charger, among many other items.
Of course, if you see something that you like for yourself or as a Christmas gift for a loved one, the advice continues to be to act as quickly as possible. There is no telling how long these deals will last for or how long stock levels will be in place.
When Como Cuisine, one of the four restaurants housed under Como Dempsey, first opened, we were invited to a tastingbut for the sake of a fair and honest review, we rejected the tasting. Recently, I have been asking foodies which the best restaurants this year are and my longtime friend named Como Cuisine.
Como Cuisine is helmed by Anglo-Indian Executive Chef Timothy de Souza who has worked at three resorts by COMO Hotels and Resorts. Como Cuisine markets itself as “contemporary cuisine” but I wonder why it doesn’t market itself as “Indian-inspired modern cuisine” since, looking at the menu, there are many Indian dishes. To be fair, there are some Western and Middle-Eastern dishes and a Japanese dish, but by far, the Indian-inspired dishes outweigh the rest.
Maybe the direction of marketing is because, as some Indian restaurants owners tell me, majority of Singaporeans aren’t receptive to Indian food. But no fear here: it was full house when we were there on a weekday afternoon and they had to turn away walk-in customers. We took the lunch set (2 courses $ 38, three courses $ 48), and ordered, from the a la carte menu, samosas ($ 12) and lobster roll ($ 34).
The samosas ($ 12), which come with mango chutney and a mint dip, are just okay for us. The spiced minced lamb within isn’t gamy–always a good thing. But the shell may be too thick and fried too hard.
There is a kingfish sashimi ($ 20) on their a la carte menu but in their lunch set, which we had, offers a different rendition: the sashimi is curled beautifully with a slice of cucumber, like a clog. Lightly dressed with a Japanese sauce, it’s nice and light.
The vegetarian curry for the lunch set is basically a, well, vegetarian version of their fish curry ($ 32). It comes with a bowl of saffron rice. The vegetables include cauliflower, pumpkin, okra, and kale. I LOVE IT. The curry is robust and strong with a tinge of appetising sourness. Wonderful.
The chicken breast for lunch also has an equivalent on the a la carte menu for $ 28. While the a la carte chicken breast comes with grape, radicchio (something like purple cabbage), barley and walnut, the lunch chicken breast is simpler. It is merely accompanied by polenta and half a roasted tomato.
The chicken breast is sous vide–I know because I have a sous vide machine–and I don’t really like to purchase food I can cook at home, but they sear the skin, which provides a crispy contrast to the smooth meat. I like how the tart tomato serves to undercut any heaviness. I don’t usually like polenta but this one is good. On the whole, not bad at all.
We didn’t order desserts because they don’t sound appealing, and we preferred to go to Henri Charpentier. We paid $ 148 for three persons… wait! You may realise that we ordered a lobster roll and it didn’t come. I only realised it when I got home and checked the bill. Luckily, it wasn’t on the bill. Which probably means the waiter did not key in our order. The service has been impeccable except for this peccadillo. In any case, I’m considering this remissness as a win: The waiter helped us save calories and money!
I can see why my close friend recommended Como Cuisine. The ambience is fantastic, the service excellent, and the food is elegant. I definitely want to return to try more from their a la carte menu.
You’re probably already aware of the fact that it is almost Christmas. It happens every year, you know.
You would think we would be a little bit bored of it by now but with that clearly not happening any time soon, Apple has slipped a little Easter egg into a new Apple Store app update that has been made available via the App Store.
The Easter egg was originally spotted by a Reddit user before it started to do the rounds on social media, and it’s super easy to find. All you need to do is be using the latest version of the Apple Store app on an iPhone or iPad and then search for the string “let it snow.” Once you do, the Easter egg will reveal itself.
Now, no, there will be no added functionality and unfortunately, there will be no instant discount added to your order – which is something we would prefer, if we are honest – but what you will receive is something that is sure to make you smile. Once the search is completed, your device will instantly be transformed into a snow globe, with fluffy white specs of snow falling all over your screen.
Apple is keen to make sure everyone gets into the holiday spirit this year, and this new Apple Store Easter egg joins its new holiday ad as something that the company is using to put a smile on faces. The ad probably aims at getting people to buy new $ 999 iPhones, too, but let’s not split too many hairs, shall we?
Give the Apple Store Easter egg a whirl for yourself; it will only take a moment.
They say that dogs are man’s best friend. But when you’re a broke student, your closest bestie’s none other than good ol’ sales – especially when you’re looking to get a big ticket item, like a computer.
As part of Lazada’s Online Revolution 12.12 Sale, Acer’s giving out discounts of up to 25% on all their items listed on Acer’s Official Store from 12th Dec – 14th Dec 2017. Don’t worry if you’re a tech-noob – take note of these jargon and you’ll be all set on your hunt:
Solid State Drive Capacity (SSD): The internal storage space for all your files and data
Random-access Memory (RAM): This allows your computer to run its system and the applications on it
In-plane Switching (IPS): This makes the colours on your screen remain the same even when you’re looking at it from all angles
Whether you’re a photography enthusiast who’s really particular about the quality of your display screen, or a student who’s a “professional” gamer by night, here are some of Acer’s deals that you’re going to want to mark your calendar for:
1. Swift 3 – 1.7kg laptop with 10 hours battery life (from $ 748)
If you’re looking for a reliable study companion that won’t bail on you halfway through your lectures and intense revisions, Acer’s Swift 3 is a sturdy laptop that’ll deliver speed and performance for up to an impressive 10 hours on a fully-charged battery.
With its high-performance WiFi connectivity technology (2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi) and heavy-duty storage of up to 512GB SSD and 8GB RAM, there’ll be no need to rage about lousy internet connections, limited storage space, and slow booting up of apps any more.
Plus, at just 1.7kg, the Swift 3 is extremely light and sleek for a laptop with a display screen that’s 14 inches wide. With it being so easy to stash in your bag, it’s time to say goodbye to bulky notes and textbooks – it also comes with a backlit keyboard that helps you see the keys clearly even in dim lightings, which the nocturnal peeps will appreciate.
Original Price: From $ 998 After using code ACD1250 ($ 50 off): From $ 748
Note: The Swift 3 comes in 2 editions, one with a metallic body that comes in 3 different colours – silver, pink, blue – and another special edition with white, and a Corning Gorilla Glass top cover.
Find out more about Acer’s Swift 3 here, or get it here.
Great for passionate photographers, film, and design majors, Acer’s Spin 5 has a 13.3-inch full HD screen with IPS panel that lets you view your monitor clearly up to an angle of 178°. It also comes with a stylus, and can be converted into 4 different modes thanks to its 360° hinge: laptop, tablet, display, and tent.
Equipped with the latest 8th Generation Intel processors to ensure that you’re able to edit your work smoothly without hiccups, it also has an 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD.
The Spin 5 has a battery life of up to 13 hours, so that it can last you a whole day out Image adapted from: @euniceeunny
What’s more, the Spin 5 is lightweight at just 1.5kg and 15.9mm thin, which makes it hyper convenient to bring around on the go, especially if you’ve got a camera and tripod in tow. And if all that didn’t already make Spin 5 the epitome of functionality, it also includes snazzy features like an embedded fingerprint reader to keep your files secure.
Original Price: From $ 1,698 After using code ACD1250 ($ 50 off): From $ 1,298
Find out more about Acer’s Spin 5here, or get it here.
3. Nitro 5 – Gaming laptop with a 256gb SSD (from $ 1,348)
Lying in bed all day binge-watching dramas and playing MMORPG games can now become a sweet, sweet reality, thanks to Nitro 5’s nifty ability to combat screen glares and overheating.
With its in-built 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel that’s flexible up to 170° and formidable NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics and Intel® Core i7 processor of up to 3.80 GHz, virtually every video watched on this laptop will have absolute clarity even when you’re lying flat on your tummy.
Thank heavens that there’ll also finally be none of that frustrating buffering when you’re watching the latest episode of Stranger Things on Netflix – Nitro 5 boasts up to 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and 2×2 Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology that allow for faster wireless speed.
Plus, Nitro 5 comes with dual fans and the Acer Coolboost technology. This means that it can keep its temperature down by 11%, and users can even manually control the cooling process if it doesn’t cool down fast enough on its own.
Original Price: From $ 1,698 After using code ACD1250 ($ 50 off): From $ 1,348
Find out more about Acer’s Nitro 5here, or get it here.
4. KG271 Display Series – Monitors used in professional eSports tournaments (from $ 268)
For those of you gamers out there, now’s the chance to get a gaming monitor at a budget-friendly price. We’re not talking just any random gaming monitor as well. Under Acer’s KG271 Display Series is the KG271A, a monitor used for professional eSports tournaments.
Left v.s. right: screen tearing v.s. no screen tearing Image credit: Acer
There are a total of 3 display monitors in the series, with each of them providing full HD 1080p resolutions, built-in AMD FreeSync technology that eliminates screen tearing, and Acer’s own BlueLightShield technology that protects your eyes from long hours of staring at the screen.
If you’re a hardcore gamer though, give the KG271B a shot instead for an even smoother gameplay with less motion blurring – it has a screen refresh rate of 240Hz, which is almost double that of the KG271A.
There are many things to look forward to in December – the end of a school term, year-end holidays, Christmas, and now Acer’s 12.12 Sale. Ranging from versatile notebooks and gaming monitors to laptop carrier bags and wireless mouses, you’ll find what you’re looking for – at a much-needed steal.
On top of that, as an added bonus, Acer’s official store is also giving away up to $ 200 worth of discount vouchers – simply use the promo code “ACD1250” if you’re spending more than $ 600 and you’ll be able to get your goodies at another $ 50 less. Yasss.
Here are some discount codes you can use in December:
$ 50 Off with min. $ 600 spending – For Full Month of Dec 2017 Discount Code: <ACD1250>
$ 80 Off with min. $ 1500 spending – 11 to 14 Dec 2017 Discount Code:
$ 200 Off with min. $ 2500 spending – 11 to 14 Dec 2017 Discount Code:
Apple’s head of marketing Phil Schiller is still on the public relations trail, this time speaking with Dutch website Bright.nl.
During the interview, attention obviously turned to the iPhone X, with its brand new Face ID security feature also receiving some attention. As you might expect, Schiller was keen to make sure everyone is well aware of how impressive Face ID is and, importantly, that the competition cannot come close to it.
According to Schiller, Apple’s aim is to make security something we are all keen to do, which can only be a good thing in our eyes. However, when speaking about the competing facial recognition technologies used by Android smartphone makers, Schiller took the opportunity to stick the knife in, twist it, and then do it all over again. According to the man himself, “they all stink.”
They don’t work in all the ways we need Face ID to work. We’re very aware that through the years the simple thing, this Home button, that started as the way you click to get to the Home screen, grew into doing so many things for us. We added Touch ID, it took you to the multitasking screen, paged Siri, activated Apple Pay. All through this one mechanical button.
So for Face ID we needed the best way we know of to enable us to easily unlock our device with our face, in a protected way with the Secure Enclave, and support all these other things. We had to solve all of that. Other things that people have tried with face haven’t been anything like that. Face ID is a very unique implementation.
Schiller also took the chance to remind everyone that no developers have access to Face ID facial recognition data, just as they did not have access to fingerprints with Touch ID authentication. Developers do, of course, have access to facial mapping data for use with augmented reality applications, but Schiller pointed out that this is “different than Face ID.”
Ramen is a must eat in Hokkaido. It is cold at the northern part of Japan so a bowl of steaming ramen provides much comfort and fortitude against the weather. Even the Michelin Guide awards the Bib Gourmand to 50 ramen shops in Hokkaido. 50!
Hokkaido’s variation of ramen differs from other parts of Japan in several ways. Hokkaido specialises in miso ramen and shio (salt) ramen. The miso ramen often has sweetcorn, butter, bean sprouts, finely chopped pork, and garlic, and sometimes local seafood such as scallop, squid, and crab.
During our recent trip to Hokkaido, we tried two ramen shops, both awarded the Bib Gourmand: one in the district of Lake Toya and the other at Sapporo. To be absolutely truthful, we weren’t impressed by either. We have had better in Singapore.
First listed in the Michelin Guide 2013 and then again in 2017 (the Guide didn’t published on Hokkaido from 2014-2016), Ippontei (一本亭) is a popular ramen restaurant in the Lake Toya district (洞爺湖).
They cook their broth for 20 hours using more than 10 ingredients and “electronic energy water.” (Google Translate provided the translation from the ramen shop’s website but I guess it means “ionized water”?) Their egg noodles are supplied by Nishiyama Noodles Factory, a popular supplier for many ramen shops in Hokkaido. They are committed to sourcing pork locally, using fresh (not frozen) pork known as “golden pig.”
Ippontei is most famous for their black shoyu (soy sauce) ramen (黒醬油ラーメン). You can also order their red ramen, which is essentially the black ramen with extra shio (salt).
See lah, see lah. Didn’t do research. We didn’t know what their specialty was and we couldn’t communicate. So four of us ordered two spicy miso ramen and two shio ramen and two plates of gyoza. When the ramen came, there was no egg. We realized, after listening to Japanese patrons order, that we had to say “shio tamago ramen.” In any case, we added 2 eggs. You should probably add char siew since the original bowl has only a slice or none.
The best thing here is the gyoza, which is a sad thing to say about a ramen shop. The gyoza is well seasoned, has thin skin, and is crisp.
But similar compliments can’t be paid to the ramen. The noodles aren’t spring, aren’t eggy, aren’t thick enough to give a good mouthfeel; I felt like I was eating instant noodles.
The shio broth is not too bad. But I think it should be called a stock, not broth. It’s not dense enough to be called broth. The stock tastes subtle, which is ok. But the spicy miso broth is not thick enough although it is indeed fiery.
You don’t have to go all the way out to try this ramen but if you’re touring Lake Toya like we did, this is an acceptable (though not ideal) option for lunch. It’s inexpensive: we paid about 4500¥ (S$ 60) for 4 people. Might be slightly more. I forgot the exact price.
Ramen Shingetsu ラーメン 信月 1F, N Grande Bldg, Minami 5 jo Nishi 3 chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 北海道札幌市中央区南5条西3丁目 N･グランデビル tel: +81-11-533-4844 12pm-5am
Sapporo has a ramen street, which we saw some tourists taking photos of. It’s not so much as a street than a dark cyberpunk alley and if this is situated in a third world country, it would be scary to enter the street. Ramen Shingetsu is not on the street; it’s in the building adjacent to the street.
Popular among salarymen who come here after a night of drinking, Shingetsu is really a tiny food stand with bar counter seating of 10 seats. It is newly awarded Bib Gourmand in June this year.
The ramen starts from 710¥. We ordered two shio ramen and two miso ramen. Between Ippontei and Shingetsu, the latter is better. Perhaps it’s because Shingetsu cooks the broth freshly upon ordering and the aroma fills the small space, whetting appetites. Whatever it is, there are deeper flavors here than the ramen at Ippontei.
Still, I can’t get used to the spare bits of meat floating on the miso ramen; it looks like I’m eating someone’s leftovers. And the curly chijiri-men noodles are so commonplace.
I think the Michelin inspectors are duped by the ambience of the stall to give it a bib gourmand. A portable transistor radio plays old Japanese songs in the shop, giving it a nice atmosphere.
The best thing, however, is not the ambience. It’s the price. I think we paid about 3000¥ (S$ 38) for four persons. That’s really a steal in Japan.
50 Bib Gourmand ramen in Hokkaido. 2 down, 48 more to go!
Apple has continued to expand its accessory options ahead of the holiday season, with new iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch accessories joining those that were announced earlier this week.
Starting off with the iPad Pro, the new Apple Pencil Case and the Leather Sleeve for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro are both available in a new Pink Fuchsia color, which is bright if nothing else and mimics the same color option that we have already seen elsewhere in Apple’s lineup. The Leather Sleeve costs $ 129, while the Apple Pencil Case will set fans back $ 29.
For those who love their Apple Watch bands, a new Hermes option is also available for purchase. The Noir Swift Leather Double Tour Médor is available for 38mm Apple Watch users and comes in at $ 589, which, let’s be absolutely honest, is considerably more than most people are willing to pay for watches, let alone bands to put them on. We would love to see sales numbers for these bands, but considering Apple won’t tell us how many Apple Watches it sells, we will not hold our breath.
Finally, and following on from the iPhone X cases that were made available earlier in the week, the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone 7/7 Plus Silicone Case is now also available in three new colors, including Spicy Orange, Flash, and Cosmos Blue.
All three cost $ 39 each, which isn’t bad value at all and if you want to stand out, that Spicy Orange option will certainly get you plenty of attention.
Yummy Rice Shop definitely serves above average food, price is very reasonable and affordable, Most importantly, if you missed the Granny’s cooking, you could probably find some solace here.
Yummy Rice Shop Review @ Albert Centre Market & Food Centre
There are always chap cai puan or cooked dishes stalls available in the local food centres, good one are fairly rare with most of them serving run of the mill dishes. Among those cooked food stalls we have tried, Yummy Rice Shop is deemed to be one of the more impressive one that able to whip out plates of delicious dishes.
The stall is named Yummy Rice Shop in English, however, the Chinese name is ultimately different and can be translated into “Granny’s Rice shop”, the lady manning the stall looks much younger and not likely can fit into the granny’s category but it implies the taste of traditional and a definitely has the touch of home-cooked flavour.
You can go for the standard set like the Hainanese curry chicken set, Teochew braised pork set, good taste fish etc or go for the ala carte menu.
We ordered the ala carte that consisted of eggplant, omelette and pork chop, doused with curry gravy and resemble more like the typical Hainanese curry rice.
The cooked dish were tastefully done, from the seasoning to the flavour and texture, it was filled with a distinctive Grandma’s art of cooking, not the commercial taste but every bite was embraced with the trace of love and passion from the old granny. It warmed our hearts and we truly enjoyed this home-cooked taste.
Yummy Rice Shop definitely serves above average food, price is very reasonable and affordable, Most importantly, if you missed the Granny’s cooking, you could probably find some solace here.
Yummy Rice Shop
A: Albert Centre Market & Food Centre, 270 Queen Street #01-65, Singapore 180270
Developer Siguza, who defines himself as a “hobbyist hacker,” has taken to the micro-blogging social network to confirm that he is currently working on an exploit for iOS devices known as v0rtex.
It’s been an information-packed week so far where the iOS jailbreak community is concerned, with this latest exploit able to achieve root on devices with an Apple A7-A9 processors running versions of iOS less than or equal to iOS 10.3.3. This comes hot on the heels of the release of a semi-jailbreak tool called Houdini for iOS 10.3.2 and below.
As with any announcement of this type, it is most definitely worth mentioning that this is not the announcement of a jailbreak tool itself, nor is it a guarantee that a jailbreak tool will follow on the back of the fact that another highly capable member of the jailbreak team is working on an exploit that could be used as part of the creation of a wider jailbreak. As mentioned by Siguza in the Twitter post, this exploit currently allows him to achieve root access on A7-A9 devices running iOS 10.3.3 or below but it doesn’t currently extend beyond that to allow code to be executed at a kernel privilege level.
It’s interesting to note that the comments in the v0rtex code – viewable by heading over to the project repository hosted on GitHub – suggests that even the developer himself isn’t sure “what’ll really become of this,” suggesting that the “hobbyist” part of his Twitter bio is once again kicking in here. The same comments are also suggesting that he will leave any attack on iOS 11 to Ian Beer of Google’s Project Zero team, who you may or may not know recently announced the existence of a tfp0 exploit applicable to iOS 11.1.2 which allows the highest level of kernel access. Siguza currently has tfp0 listed as “Very much TODO” on GitHub but it remains to be seen if anything will come of this.
We aren’t currently sure where this one will go, or if it will ever become useful at all. However, with Ian Beer announcing an important exploit which is soon to be released, and tihmstar recently demonstrating a JailbreakMe jailbreak for iOS 9 devices, it seems like it could once again be an important and exciting time to be involved in the jailbreak community.