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Worldly pleasures

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 5 min read
Worldly pleasures
Cake from Vienna, hairy crab cooked Cantonese style, French films and more in this week's edition of Weekout.
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Be it food, film or music, the very best from around the world are gathered in Singapore this November


Vienna Afternoon Tea

Raffles Hotel Singapore

Experience the new Vienna Afternoon Tea with its inspired delights and specially crafted cocktails available till Dec 16, before the voyage adjourns to another exciting locale.

Guests are invited to indulge in a selection of classic Austrian treats and unique creations by executive pastry chef Tai Chien Lin at The Grand Lobby, featuring Vienna sandwiches, lobster crostini and rich chocolate Sacher cake, paired with a choice of Mariage Frères premium tea or the Raffles custom-blended coffee.

Guests can also choose from a selection of handcrafted cocktails, including Eighteen Sixty Seven ($25++), a refreshing concoction made with Champagne, elderflower, saffron and eau de vie; Tea-Time Radler ($20++), made with Raffles Hotel Singapore’s exclusive Beach Road Pale Ale, apricot and peach schnapps; and Rumtopf Milk Punch ($20++), an elixir of rum, seasonal fruits, tea, bitter citrus and spice.

The Vienna Afternoon Tea experience is priced at $78++ per guest. All thematic afternoon tea reservations have to be made and indicated at least one day in advance. Make a reservation at 6412 1816 or via email at [email protected]

Hairy Crab Festival

Yàn, #05-02 National Gallery Singapore

Hairy crabs — available only during the ninth and tenth months of the lunar calendar — are highly coveted for its buttery roe and sweet flesh. Tuck into the seasonal treat at Yàn, with its Hairy Crab Festival now available till Nov 30.

From the à la carte selection, feast on the season’s bounty with the classic Steamed Hairy Crab ($88++ per 250g crab), served with a traditional dipping sauce of black vinegar and slivers of ginger, or choose the Pumpkin Broth with Hairy Crab Meat ($28++ per serving).

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Offering an enticing contrast of textures is the Stewed Bamboo Pith and Luffa with Hairy Crab Meat ($48++), while the Poached Noodles with Hairy Crab Meat ($22.80++ per person) highlights its exquisite silky flesh.

The six-course Hairy Crab Feast Set Menu ($158++ per person, two persons minimum) spotlights a whole steamed hairy crab, along with Crispy Bean Curd and Seasonal Vegetables with Hairy Crab Meat Sauce.

Complementing these dishes are Cantonese classics like Wok-Fried Crayfish with Ee Fu Noodles, before concluding with a refreshing Double-boiled Hashima in Ginger Tea.

Lunch runs from 11.30am to 2.30pm daily, with dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm. Call 6384 5585 or email [email protected] for reservations.


French Film Festival

Nov 6 - Nov 22

The French Film Festival returns this month with its biggest line-up of 37 feature films.

Presented as part of the vOilah! France Singapore Festival 2020, the longest-running foreign film festival in Singapore continues to celebrate the best of French storytelling. Running from Nov 6 to Nov 22, more than half the films in this year’s line-up are either produced by a female director or follows the story of strong female characters.

The festival also features 20 new movies fresh from France, including some which have yet to be released.

Opening the festival this year is Mama Weed, starring Academy Award-nominated actress Isabelle Huppert. Based on Hannelore Cayre’s novel, Huppert plays the role of a French-Arabic translator working for the anti-drug squad in Paris, who crosses over to the other side to become a drug dealer. The film spotlights the relationships of an intricate network of women who are forced into a grey area of choosing between survival and following their morals.

The films will be presented at the Shaw Theatres in Paya Lebar Quarter and Lido, along with Alliance Française de Singapour, Gardens By The Bay and The Projector.

For the first time, the French Film Festival will also be offering specially selected titles from the current and past editions of the festival that people can enjoy in the comforts of their own homes. Presented by both Shaw Theatres and The Projector, The Best of French Film Festival features a selection of 12 films — from the current and past editions of the festival — that people can enjoy from home.

These films will be hosted on virtual cinema platforms KinoLounge and The Projector Plus starting Nov 6. For more information on the French Film Festival, check


From Russia with love


Commissioned by Singapore’s ex-ambassador to Russia and inspired by the Singapore story, the UTOPIA Symphony by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) is set to be released on Nov 13.

Composed by Russian composer Vladimir Martynov, UTOPIA first premiered in Moscow as SINGAPORE in 2005 and was performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in Singapore in 2007.

Since then, the symphony has been renamed UTOPIA and the choral parts rewritten from Russian to English for LPO’s recording.

“UTOPIA is one of the most unusual commissions I’ve worked on,” says Martynov, 74. “To me, Singapore manages to capture the essence of ‘utopia’ very well by constantly reinventing itself, and its citizens striving to better themselves and the people around them, which is the essence of the vision that Singapore was founded on.”

Michael Tay, then Singapore’s ambassador to Russia, commissioned the piece in 2003. He now runs the non-profit Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise.

Recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios, UTOPIA was to be released earlier this year but was delayed by the pandemic.

The symphony will be available on all major digital platforms including Spotify, iTunes and Amazon. A physical album will also be released soon.

Finally, UTOPIA will make its live debut in a concert at the Esplanade on Mar 21, 2021. The Metropolitan Festival Orchestra is set to perform the symphony under the baton of Professor Chan Tze Law from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.

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