Staycation @ Grand Park Orchard

Andrew: So – after so many entries about Dylan, thought we’d do one about some of the more ‘couply’ things we do! Yes, believe it or not, we still try find time to ensure that we have couple time. This, of course, won’t be possible without good family support, so we’re thankful when Jas’s family is willing to take in baby on special occasions and he has a ‘staycation’ of his own.

We usually have staycations at more quaint botique hotels, but this one time, we thought we’d look at a location that was more central and accessible to give us more activities (i.e. shopping and good dining!) to do. Narrowed our choices finally down to Grand Park Orchard – one of the newest hotels, right in the heart of the city.

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Jasmine: Grand Park Orchard is supposedly fashion-themed, but sticking a big mural of some model on the wall is too in your face, I think.IMG_5137

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Our view of Paragon and Taka

Andrew: You can see why the location would be attractive to Dearie.

Jasmine: Yup, especially since Andrew bought me something 😀

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Andrew: Staycations are a nice way for us to take a breather, without having to fly to another country. Not that we don’t enjoy holidays – we certainly do, but sometimes it’s nice just to be a tourist in your own country and enjoy a luxurious, pampering time without being too far away from your family.

Upon checking in, we went for a massage. Note to those who are booking this hotel – it does not have its own spa, it only has 2 small rooms and the masseuses have to take a bus from Grand Park City Hall to this hotel, so they could be late arriving depending on bus schedule. Not the best arrangement – nonetheless, the massage was still decent.

Following that, we went for a feast!

Dinner @ Lawry’s Prime Rib

Jasmine: Quite on impulse, we decided to have dinner at Lawry’s, in large part because there was no queue.

Thankfully, every course was stellar.

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Lawry’s believes that the meal is incomplete without a salad, so this crunchy, savoury salad certainly whetted our appetites. It also left me intrigued about trying their famous Spinning Salad in future, where the salad is tossed in a spinning bowl on top of ice to keep it cool.

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Holiday Greens: Mixed greens, crisp Oyster Mushrooms, Lemon Cheese and Balsamic Citrus Dressing

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Scallop Wrapped in Smoked Bacon 

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Lobster Pumpkin Bisque

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My pretty wife!

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Dark Cherry Chicken & Foie Gras with Sweet Cherry Sauce

Jasmine: This was my main course, as I’ve never been one for beef or steak, and it was quite good! The slab of foie gras, while not the highest quality, was generous and soaked up the dark cherry sauce well. Eaten in the same bite as the succulent chicken, one could not be more satisfied.

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Signature Roasted Prime Ribs

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Strawberry Symphony: Strawberry with Sweet Balsamic Sauce, Custard Pastry, Strawberry Mousse and Haagen Dazs Ice-cream

Andrew: I had heard lots about Lawry’s – especially their prime ribs, but hadn’t been there before. As Dear mentioned earlier, almost every dish being a hit from the salad to the desserts. The signature prime rib didn’t disappoint at all – tender, juicy with a lots of gravy to go with it. You don’t get creamed corn very often as a side in restaurants here. Loved it!  Yorkshire pudding brought back memories of Leeds, where it was almost a staple in the Refectory (their version of ‘canteen’) where they would just put all sorts of stews in it. Too bad it was just a sliver of it that they served – barely even a quarter of a Yorkshire pudding. We’ll be back again for sure!

Eh, not to just write about the food – but it was also great just having a nice, relaxed dinner with my Dear, without having to tend to Dylan. We had time to get a little geeky and became reflective, chatting about how we had grown over the past year as parents *gulp* – also wondered how we were going to cope in the new year with more transitions once again.

Right after dinner, we did something extremely ‘touristy’ – went to Taka food hall!

Jasmine: We have never been party animals, so we contented ourselves with buying random Japanese and German items from the Taka basement back to the hotel for our midnight snack. My favourite was the rice cracker with red bean paste. The red bean came packaged separately from the cracker to preserve the cracker’s freshness, and the combination of creamy sweet red bean and crispy salty cracker was lovely.

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The best snacks were the Jap ones: Fukuwatashi Senbei (cookie) [right most in the front row],  Kogame Mochi (Rice Cake) [middle of front row], Koganeawase (Bean Cake) [rectangular shaped cookie in the middle] and Leaf Pie [left most, front row]

Andrew: All the Jap cookies were great, but my favourite had to be the cookie in the front right and the bean cake. Yum! We even went back to buy more the next day. The huge white ball that you see is supposed to be some kind of German cookie – a tad bit too sweet for me, honestly, but still finished it anyway!

Went for a morning jog the next day around Orchard Road – first time ever being in Orchard so early in the morning – and went to the gym too. We had our breakfast (which consisted of the snacks above), we continued the ‘Jap theme’ and went to one of our favourite Jap restaurants for lunch – Tonkatsu Ma Masion!

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Andrew: I had the Hungarian Pork Loin, upon ladyironchef’s recommendation. It was tender and juicy, yet not too oily. There was such a wide range of sauces to dip your tonkatsu in, but our favourite had to be the ‘goma sauce’ dip, which was creamy and slightly sweet and sourish.

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Jasmine: Another restaurant that doesn’t disappoint! And extra points for the refillable miso soup, rice and salad too! I had three bowls of miso soup- flavourful, strong and with plenty of ingredients! Gee, now I sound like Andrew, who loves almost anything free flow.

IMG_5171To sound more like myself, I will just add that I enjoyed our impromptu staycation lots, maybe, just maybe ‘coz I scored a Paul Smith dress on 50% off and Dear bought me a Marc Jacobs wallet… To start 2014 right. Heh.

Andrew: We should really blog more about our staycations – time to trawl through old photo albums to uncover photos of our previous staycations!

Jasmine: Yes, but don’t think that replaces booking future staycations! 😀

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