ION Insider is the new ION Orchard blog (still not active as of this writing), which seeks voluntary bloggers to join as contributors. From a pool of applicants, a few were handpicked to join the ION Insider workshops, and to have a sneak preview of the ION Orchard experience. I took part out of curiosity and joined a few other aspiring bloggers on this bright sunny day of tastings.
Workshops were divided into a few categories like Fashion, Lifestyle and Food. Obviously, I was drafted into the food tasting workshop, which works fine for me 🙂
We were brought around various F&B outlets in ION Orchard to have a taste of the perks you might enjoy as an ION insider.
Salt Grill and Sky Bar
ION Orchard #55-01 & #56-01
I’d previously reviewed Salt Tapas and Bar by Luke Mangan, and was delighted to see the amiable Ken Kuwako, one of the general managers. Salt Grill and Sky Bar has more finesse, and is positioned as a fine-dining restaurant rather than their counterpart casual drinking tapas bar.
The Afternoon Platter. $30++ per person, inclusive of a tea or coffee.
Arriving in a three tier set, the assortment of pastries were myriad and it can be a bit confusing on where to start. Well, my rule of thumb is always start with chocolate. And end with chocolate. In fact the whole tray should be chocolate. Ahem. Chocolate-ravings aside, this three tier tea set presents a classy selection of sweet and savory that can please all audiences. You can tell I really liked the Chocolate Delice.
The Smoked salmon on Rye was of worthy mention too, having cream cheese within wrapped by generous amounts of salmon.
Scones are also available. I love scones with vanilla cream rather than jam which are usually store-bought. The fresh vanilla cream could have been a tad sweet though.
No prizes for guess where the latte came from. A smooth, sweet latte that has a moderate lingering stay.
The ample glass planes let in natural sunlight and makes the afternoon atmosphere cheery and jovial.
The breathtaking sight at Salt Grill and Sky Bar is amazing, with its panoramic overview of Orchard road. Its worth it to make a fuss and get a table by the windows to truly enjoy the perks of dining at the top floor of ION Orchard.
ION Orchard #B3-21
Nara Thai is apparently huge in Thailand, famed for its boat noodles and authentic Thai dishes. Using age-old recipes, Nara Thai has a successful following back in Thailand and aims to replicate its success in Singapore too.
Probably closer to a fine-dining Thai restaurant, Nara Thai is very different from your usual coffeeshop beer Thai restaurants, which have their charm as well. Modern and sleek interiors yet with rattan-esque features that imply tradition.
Nara Thai also launched a Erawan Afternoon tea set ($12.99++) which consists of 11 sweet and savoury favourites.
Mango Sticky Rice with Fruits. Love the fried yellow beans on top of the rice that adds crunch to the stickiness. Mango was really sweet too.
Thong muan (coconut wafer rolls); Kanom Bueng (Thai crispy pancakes); Look Choop (sweet bean paste in fruit shapes); Tha Koh (Thai coconut pudding); Woon Ma Praow (agar and coconut jelly).
The Thai coconut pudding was firm like agar agar, and had strong coconut flavours yet being light on the palate. There is a semblance to many Chinese treats too on this platter.
Sakoo (tapioca dumping with chicken filling); Chicken satay, Ma Hor (minced pork and peanuts on fresh pineapple) and Toong Tong (Thai golden bag).
The selection is pretty decent and you get a good pick of Thai titbits. For $12.99 a person, this is already quite a steal. The Erawan afternoon tea set also comes with award-winning Newby premium teas.
Uncle Tetsu Cheese Cake
Ion Orchard #B4-35
Uncle Tetsu Cheese Cake is one of the new tenants in the ever-changing ION basement. All cheesecakes are baked fresh daily right here in the stall. As such, quantities can be limited as they get snapped up by hungry shoppers. A new batch will then have to be baked again, but the high turnover ensures hot-off-the-oven cakes.
Devil’s Hat – Chocolate Cheese Cake ($13.90). Upon biting in, the deep chocolate taste hits you, then leaves a linger of light cheese. Excellent emulsion of chocolate and cheese flavours.
Original Cheese Cake ($9.90). The dome shaped versions, or Aegis as they are called, are more dense, while the original cheese cake is lighter and fluffier. I found the egg taste to be a bit strong though, but texture was soft and airy.
Conversely, I preferred the Aegis cheese cake which although thicker, didn’t have much of the eggy aftertaste.
Uncle Tetsu also has other cheesecake flavors like Strawberry and Mango, which are baked religiously everyday.
Cheese cakes are finished with hot branding of Uncle Tetsu’s logo on top. It’s up to individual preference which type of cheese cakes you liket, but I’d recommend the Devil’s Hat Chocolate cheese cake hands down.
A splendid afternoon spent in one of Singapore’s most prestigious malls- ION Orchard Shopping Mall. There’s always something buzzing in ION Orchard, and I simply adore most of the chic labels all gathered here. Definitely one of the recommended malls in Singapore.
A big thanks to Coleen, Chermaine and Sweta for inviting me.