Over The Moon At Capella Singapore’s Auriga Spa

Auriga Spa

When Capella Singapore’s Auriga spa launched its Baby Moon Experience in May, I was thrilled because being pregnant it sounded like just what I needed to soothe my aching and tired muscles.  So, one evening after work, I headed down to Auriga to try it out.  It was truly a holistic treatment that focused not only on my entire body but also on my emotional well-being as well.  I loved the experience so much that I had to share the details with you:

The Baby Moon Experience begins with a pre-natal massage for mothers.  JJ, my therapist, told me to lie on my side and gave me a nice long pillow to snuggle up against.  She then gently and tenderly massaged by back and legs.  It was such a relief!  As a mother of an eight-year-old boy, JJ imparted many invaluable tips from her own experience.   One of the things that I learnt from her was that I should try to put my legs up on a pillow every day after work to reduce swelling and water retention.  She even rubbed the Organic Pharmacy Mother & Baby Oil all around my tummy to prevent stretch marks.  The amount of care and concern she showed really moved me.

Auriga Spa

After the massage, I had an Organic Rose Facial which was not only relaxing but also purifying for my skin.  Very often, due to hormonal changes in our body, stress and anxiety, our skin can sometimes break out.  The Organic Rose Facial not only cleanses the pores naturally but also soothes any inflammations there may be.

The last part of the treatment focused on my hair and scalp.  As pregnancy often brings with it much apprehension and worry about the baby and about motherhood, I found the massage really helped calm my nerves and any headaches I was having!  JJ really rubbed the organic oil deep into my scalp and hair, which made my hair wonderfully silky soft afterward.

I left the treatment feeling wonderfully refreshed and rejuvenated.  During a time when pregnancy can leave one feeling bloated and heavy, I felt so cared for and immensely pampered.  This is something I would definitely recommend to any expecting mother.

The Capella Diaries: Diary Of A Housekeeper

Diary of A Housekeeper

One of the most magical things about working in a hotel is witnessing how the whole team works together to meet the personalized needs of all our guests.  This is especially true at Capella Singapore, where we take all our guest preferences to heart.

Diary of A Housekeeper

This episode of the Capella Diaries, I follow Maidin Rhazzamir Nicolas, affectionately known as Rhazz, as he goes about his daily duties as Housekeeping Assistant Manager.  What I discovered during my day with him was remarkable.  Rhazz’ passion, enthusiasm and love for his job was clearly evident, and so was the teamwork and camaraderie that he shared with his colleagues from other departments.  It made me proud to work here at Capella Singapore!

Diary Of A Housekeeper:

Trekking through Singapore’s River Safari

River Safari 2

Towards the end of 2012, the Wildlife Reserve Singapore opened the River Safari, which highlights the Giant Panda Forest, the new home of Kai Kai and Jia Jia, two exotic Giant Pandas.  Recently, I was fortunate enough to get a chance to visit the River Safari and it was truly a spectacular experience.

Interestingly, just like Capella Singapore, the River Safari is set on 30 acres of tropical rainforest.  It is a river-themed zoo located right in between the Singapore Zoological Gardens and Night Safari.  As its name suggests, the River Safari is inspired by eight of the world’s most famous rivers, like the Nile, Congo, Ganges, Yangtze just to name a few.

River Safari 1

My favorite part of the experience was learning about the different rivers and their unique eco systems.  At the Yangtze River, you can find exotic Chinese Giant Salamanders, while the Mekong River housed the endangered and rare Giant Catfish and Giant Stingrays.  Over at the Congo River and Mississippi River, you can find the world’s smallest crocodile, the African Dwarf Crocodile, a mesmerizing Jewel Cichlid and North America’s largest fresh water fish, the impressive Alligator Gar.

In addition to the exotic marine species, the River Safari also features an array of adorable mammals like the famed Giant Pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia as wells as the sedentary Red Pandas.

River Safari 2

At the Giant Panda Forest, there is also a quaint restaurant called Mama Panda Kitchen, which is a must-try. True to its namesake, the restaurant is Panda themed and features traditional Chinese dishes with a modern twist—like the steamed Tau Sa Pau (Red Bean Paste Bun) in shape and with the face of a panda.

River Safari 3

While the River Safari is still not fully open, the completed park is expected to be ready later this year. The new section will feature the Amazon River quest where you will find other interesting creatures like the White-Faced Saki Monkey, a Two-Toed Sloth, Brazilian Tapir and many others.

If you are planning a holiday to Singapore, be sure to save a day to visit the River Safari. What is perfect is that the Singapore Zoological Gardens, River Safari and Night Safari are all connected and the Personal Assistants at Capella Singapore are more than happy to arrange for you to visit all three attractions.

Asia’s Gemstone: Jade

Jade

Yesterday my colleagues and I were having an interesting conversation about the “Feng Shui Trail” on Sentosa Island which features one of the largest Jadeites in Singapore.  This led to an insightful discussion on the significance of Jade, an ornamental stone, commonly worn as jewelry in Asia.

Jade

Jade is very fascinating and has much mystique surrounding it.  Known to be a “living” stone because it is said to turn greener when worn by a person, according to Chinese superstition, how green the stone appears depends on how much it “likes” you.

Following that notion, Jade is also thought to absorb the feelings of its owner and if the previous owner had a lot of “negative energy”, it would be transferred to the new owner. This is why when buying the gemstone, it is important to go to a feng shui or fortune master to get a reading.  They will then prescribe the appropriate pieces to suite your personality.

Jade is also believed to ward off evil. One story holds that if you were to have a fall, the Jade would crack, absorbing the injury you would have sustained from the fall.  Furthermore, it is believed to ward off bad dreams and to bring good luck in games of chance.

The word “Jade” in Chinese is written as 玉 (yu), but did you know it is actually two different stones?  In Chinese it is given two separate names.  The first,  硬玉 (ying yu) or “hard Jade” is the term for Jadeite and 軟玉 (ruan yu), meaning “soft Jade” describes nephrite or the common Jade you would find in most Chinese stores.  As you might have guessed, Jadeite is the more refined and exclusive of the two.  One key differentiation is the color.  Nephrite  is usually dark green or grey-green in color.  Jadeite on the other hand shows more color variations, including yellow, lavender-mauve, pink and emerald-green.

Next time you are travelling to Singapore, be sure to stop by the Merlion Plaza on Sentosa Island where the giant Jadeite is located.  You can also visit some of the Feng Shui Masters for more insight into the properties of Jade.  Your Capella Singapore Personal Assistants would be more than happy to recommend a few good stores.

The World Gourmet Summit at Capella Singapore

World Gourmet Summit

Last week was the end of the annual World Gourmet Summit held in Singapore.  The event ran for two weeks and took place at restaurants all over the country.  As a lover of food, this is definitely one of my favorite events of the year because it is an opportunity to taste dishes from amazing chefs from all over the world.  Capella Singapore’s The Knolls was very fortunate to be one of the venue hosts for this event and we had the immense pleasure of hosting two renowned pastry chefs from Spain, a father and son team, Paco and Jacob Torreblanca.

The menus were truly fascinating because it was the first time I saw a full savory menu featuring chocolate.  An interesting and unlikely combination of ingredients was my first thought when I saw the menu for the dining events.  It included a Venison Pears Terrine with Chocolate Chutney, a Warm Scallop with a Chocolate Crust and Daikon, Japanese radish, and a Roasted Pigeon Breast served with a bitter chocolate sauce and hazelnut cauliflower puree.  However my apprehensions were soon put to rest, as Chefs Paco and Jacob’s blending of flavors were sublime.

This distinctive dining concept was Chef Paco Torreblanca’s idea and the result of his fascination with the possibilities of blending cocoa with Mediterranean ingredients.  From this spark of inspiration Chef Paco and his son Jacob have gone on to create a whole new and unique dining experience.

World Gourmet Summit

The series of dining events at The Knolls also included a Chocolate High Tea.  One of the most notable desserts featured the Cassis Royal, a light raspberry and pistachio layered cake marked with a giant white chocolate “oyster.”  Chef Paco shared the story behind this dessert, “I had a friend who loved oysters, but unfortunately one day he had some that made him sick.  Hearing this, I told my friend that I would create for him an oyster that would not make him sick and that he would love.”  Talk about a great friendship!

Hopefully you will be able to join us for a future World Gourmet Summit- I know my stomach is already looking forward to the next event!

Chicken And Lobster Ravioli At The Knolls

Chicken And Lobster Ravioli

Starting the first of April, The Knolls got a brand new menu, specially designed by our new Executive Chef, David Senia. It has been very exciting to have Chef Senia on the team, not just because of his vast years of experience that he brings to the kitchen but also his friendly and cheerful personality which brings much life to the kitchen at The Knolls.

Part of the exciting tasks leading up to a new menu launch is the tastings and food shows. Watching the chefs at work skillfully plating each dish is almost like watching a work of art come to life. Next up is the tasting of the food. One of the signatures on the new menu is the Chicken and Lobster Ravioli.  This is a unique dish because it is served with a light citrus sauce, giving it a mildly tangy flavor, which perfectly complements the savory elements.

And what better way to celebrate the new menu than with the recipe for Chicken and Lobster Ravioli?  Now admittedly, this recipe is a bit labor intensive.  So if it is too much for you, then please stop by The Knolls and allow our chefs to prepare it for you!

Chicken And Lobster RavioliIngredients:

Ravioli-
700g  Lobster
700g  Foie gras
500g  Celeriac
300g  Chicken breast
1tbs  Olive oil
White pepper & salt (to taste)
50g  Chicken stock
100g  Ready-made Pasta dough

Ragout-
100g  Shallots
1  Lemon skin
1  Orange skin
1  Tomatoes
100g  Olive oil

Method:

For The Ravioli-
-Remove the lobster from the shell, keeping the head and the shells
-Blend the lobster, foie gras and chicken breast in a food processor until smooth
-Add in the olive oil and mix well. Season with salt & pepper
-Roll out pasta dough and make ravioli with the lobster and chicken stuffing
-Keep refrigerated until needed

For The Ragout-
-Dice the shallots and tomatoes
-Cut the orange and lemon skins into fine slices and blanche in water to remove the bitterness
-Combine shallots, tomatoes, orange and lemon skin, with the olive oil and mix well

For The Sauce-
-Roast the lobster shells in a pan until fragrant
-Add in the chicken stock and reduce until it begins to thicken
-Add a touch of cream and season with salt & pepper
-Strain and keep aside until needed

To Serve-
-Blanche the readymade ravioli in a salted boiling water for about 2 or 3 minutes until cooked
-Add the cooked ravioli into the sauce and braise, until the sauce coats the ravioli
-Divide the ravioli into pasta plates and pour the sauce over
-Drizzle the ragout on top

 

Voila!  Enjoy this beautiful Chicken and Lobster Ravioli!