Chinese New Year 2014 农历新年 | Chinese New Year Day 1 初一 : Outback Steakhouse review and River Hongbao 春到河畔

Sunday, February 09, 2014

chinese new year day 1 2014 (15) river hongbao

Chinese New Year Day 1 (初一)

House visiting 拜年

Majority of the Chinese families still keep themselves busy with house visits on the first day of Chinese New Year but some have opted to gather at one house for convenience sake. 

No sweeping or cleaning should be done at home as it is equaivalent to blessings and luck being swept away.

We settled for dinner at Outback Steakhouse, Millennia Walk. Managed to escape the crowd and long queue over at Marina Square as most restaurants were packed.

Halfway through our dinner, there were more and more people in the queue. Thank God we were there early!   

We were all tickled by the novelty in the presentation of the complimentary bread with whipped butter at Outback Steakhouse. 

chinese new year day 1 2014 (1) outback steakhouse singapore review
Outback Steakhouse bread with whipped butter

As much as I am of a bread person, Grandpa beat me to cutting the bread first. He was very amused by the presentation and thought it was very clever of them to do so because - 1) The bread won't fall off the board while the server is bringing over to the diners. 2) They won't forget to bring the knife to you.

Upon the first bite of Outback Steakhouse bread, Grandpa exclaimed, "Crunchy outside, warm soft inside." I was like, "Really meh? How good can it be? Its just bread." Probably because I was reminded of my experience over at Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill, Marina Square which has a similiar setting and serves similar food as Outback Steakhouse and their bread was so hard. Although Grandpa is no food connoisseur, he can tell whether a dish is done well. 

Upon my first bite or rather the moment my teeth sank into Outback Steakhouse bread, I felt that I was on a gastronomic experience. That crunchy on the outside, soft and warm in the inside bread had a sweet taste to it and slowly bring about a hint of bitterness (which Mummy suspects is cocoa) just leaves you wanting to come back for more! A pity that they don't sell the bread alone or else you will know who will pick up a loaf or two back home. Having said that, I just googled for the recipe for Outback Steakhouse bread. I might try making it and if its successful, I will share it with you guys.

Grandpa also like how they serve the bread with whipped butter. He says that its so much more convenient and less tedious when spreading it. Do you know how whipped butter is made? I will let you in on how it is made but I bet you will be screaming, "No way, that can't be it." To make whipped butter, simply whisk a chunk of butter until it softens. 

Ordered the house salad and kookaburra wings to share with Mummy because we wanted to save some space for dessert. Almost ordered the ribs because they look so good but thank God I didn't because I was still full from lunch. You know how we Chinese eat during Chinese New Year? Its always 3 full meals with at least 5 dishes with either rice or noodles. Plus, I was wearing my new H&M skirt which is fitting so if I were to eat more than I should, I reckon the seams will tear. #vanitywoes   
chinese new year day 1 2014 (2) outback steakhouse singapore review
House Salad, $7.90
Chose ranch for dressing as they only had ranch, thousand island and caesar. I barely dipped the veggies in the dressing though. Salads with crotons and cheese always have that extra flavour. Those crotons smell and taste so good!

chinese new year day 1 2014 (4) outback steakhouse singapore review
Kookaburra Wings, Full $15.90 | Half $9.90

For the Kokkaburra wings, you could choose from mild, medium or hot. Served with blue cheese dip and celery, these wings are very crispy on the outside and juicy in the inside. To add on, they are very flavourful. Despite it being a tad too oily and salty, Mummy and I still enjoy it very much still.

There are plenty of sides to choose from such as baked potato, fries, mashed potatoes, rice, seasonal veggies. Grandpa opted for his favourite fries and baked potato.

Here's Grandpa's carb-loaded ribeye steak with Aussie fries and baked potato.

chinese new year day 1 2014 (3) outback steakhouse singapore review
Ribeye steak with loaded baked potato and aussie fries, $38.90
I ordered medium for Grandpa and he finds it too cooked. I must remember to order medium rare for him next time round. #notetoself  We all love the loaded baked potato which had cheese, bacon, sour cream and chives on it. We thought that it was done very well, moist and not too dry. 

chinese new year day 1 2014 (6) outback steakhouse singapore review
Grandpa tucking in happily

This is what we have been saving our stomachs for! 
chinese new year day 1 2014 (5) outback steakhouse singapore review
Dessert Trio $18.90 - Chocolate Thunder from Down Under, Cheesecake and Banana Nut Cake
When our dessert trio finally came (we waited for about 15-20 minutes for it after I told the server to serve it), both Mummy and I had the same expression - an astonished look on our face. Little did we expect the desserts to be of regular servings. Grandpa doesn't take sweet stuffs so imagine a whole banana cake, brownie and cheesecake just for the two of us!
Chocolate Thunder from Down Under
- Pecan brownie with vanilla ice topped with chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings and whipped cream.

This gluten-free dessert is served warm. It had a crunchy outside and I like how pecans are added to give it a nice flavour. 

The cheesecake is just okay, pretty normal to me except that its its not too sweet so Grandpa could have a bite of it. I used to love cheesecake a lot but now after a few bites, I feel sick of its richness.  

Banana Nut Cake
- Combination of banana, toffee, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, nuts and cinnamon

It has a chewy texture which I quite like it. I don't normally like creamy stuffs but the whipped cream is to die for! Its very dense, slightly frozen probably due to it being on top of the vanilla ice cream. At that moment, I was like #eatnowexerciselater.

chinese new year day 1 2014 (7) outback steakhouse singapore review
with Mommy and Grandpa at Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse
Millennia Walk
9 Raffles Blvd
Singapore 039596
Nearest MRT: Promenade
6837 3242

After dinner, we headed over to River Hongbao 春到河畔 at The Float at Marina Bay. 

River Hongbao 春到河畔 is an annual Chinese New Year carnival open to the public with free admission. It features performances, handicrafts as well as food stalls selling delicacies. This year, it showcases 28 hand-crafted lantern displays, up from 25 last year.  

chinese new year day 1 2014 (13) river hongbao
chinese new year day 1 2014 (9) river hong bao

chinese new year day 1 2014 (10) river hongbao

chinese new year day 1 2014 (11) river hongbao

The highlight of River Hongbao 春到河畔 has got to be -

chinese new year day 1 2014 (12) river hongbao
God of Fortune 财神 Cai Shen

Chinese believe that God of Fortune or God of Wealth brings wealth and riches hence you are likely to spot a picture of God of Fortune hung in homes for blessings of great luck and large wealth. This is why God of Fortune is a popular figure during Chinese New Year, liked by the young and old just like how Santa Claus is during Christmas time.

chinese new year day 1 2014 (14) river hongbao

chinese new year day 1 2014 (15) river hongbao

Ever since I was a little child, my family and I never fail to visit River Hongbao each year during Chinese New Year. There are also fireworks display on Chinese New Year Eve and on Chinese New Year 12am after countdown which I haven't managed to catch because most of the time we would be doing some last minute spring cleaning at home still. Maybe I should head down one year just to have a feel of the atmosphere.

River Hongbao 春到河畔
The Float @Marina Bay
20 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039805
Nearest MRT: Promenade

Ending off with my #ootd for Chinese New Year Day 1 初一.

chinese new year day 1 ootd
Chinese New Year Day 1 #ootd 初一穿搭

Today is 初十 which makes it Chinese New Year Day 10! 5 more days to go before the end of Chinese New Year. Hope that everyone enjoy the last few days of Chinese New Year!


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