Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Rockafellas will ROCK YOU

[Written by Grace K from Entertainment]

I gave my intern Sara-Jean the assignment to check out the Rockafellas, our resident B-Boys in Unversal Studios and to assist me in writing a blog entry on them. Here’s what she had to say:

I have to start this post with a confession. A confession that might make the rest of this blog post seem irrelevant. But please, I beseech you, do read on. I hate dance movies. I have never watched an episode of ‘So you think you can dance’. Well, I daresay although great dance moves excite me (think the timeless Michael Jackson and his magical moonwalk), I never bought into the idea that anyone could, (pardon the cheesiness), move my heart with their dance moves, enrapturing my senses the way a beautiful, heartfelt melody could.

Well, the day when I watched the Rockafellas rehearse was the day that I changed my mind. Before I start gushing, let me take a step back to give you the hard facts.

Just who are the Rockafellas?

Initially when I heard the term ‘b-boy’ coupled with the terms ‘hip hop’ and ‘break dancing’, immediately I had the notions of young, teenage nubile Pharrell William-esque guys with white towels wrapped round their heads togged in fashionably baggy sports apparel. Of course this is not unlike those you see in the stuffy underpass between Esplanade and City Hall MRT station. Well, I have to stand corrected. Like the Transformers, these 12 guys definitely more than meets the eye.

Although their style can be broadly categorized into ‘Hip-hop’, the boys incorporate elements of b-boy, popping and locking, street and break dancing into their performances. Made up of 2 famous hip hop dance groups in Manila, the boys were scouted from the international auditions for Universal Studios in June last year, beating out thousands, and arrived on our terribly sunny island in November.

The Rockafellas have had at least 15 years of experience.

That’s 15 years of doing gravity defying flips on solid ground, 15 years of spinning on your head and of course 15 years of countless injuries, sweat, blood and hard work. (Makes me wonder what the hell I was doing with my life for the past 15 years…)

These boys are so good that they don’t even have to join competitions to prove their worth. In fact, the Rockafellas’ leader Maynard JUDGES competitions and they perform regularly on television in the Philippines, and are celebrities in their own right. To become a Rockafella, you would not only have to be extremely flexible and able to do those mind-boggling flips, most importantly- you must be able to dance.

Sounds painfully obvious right? But it’s easier said than done. After all, everyone knows men can’t multi-task.

Jokes aside, you would also have to go through at least four grueling of gymnastics and endurance training every day. In addition, the Rockafellas is also the only performing group in Universal Studios Singapore to choreograph their own dance moves.

Not impressed yet?

When I went to attend their rehearsals they were in the middle of their dance routine. With the Rockafellas seamlessly integrating their slick moves into the cranium-pounding hip hop soundtrack, I couldn’t help but be amazed.

I would think that having watched so many break dancing performances on TV, this would be a bore to me.  But really, sitting just half a metre away from their makeshift stage, I suddenly knew how it would feel like to have a Pikachu unleash a devastating ‘Thundershock’ on me- I was completely electrified (in a good way of course).

I am not exaggerating.

The way the guys defied every law of gravity- whirling, flipping, and spinning (sometimes narrowly missing my face), kept me gasping at every second that I might’ve appeared to resemble a goldfish more than a human being. The way floor seemed to resonate with mild tremors when they threw their toned bodies on the ground made me exclaim ‘ouch’!

But what really, really impressed me was that throughout their entire performance, though their bodies were dripping with perspiration, their wide grins never once left their faces.

As they executed lethal dance move after dance move, they still had the energy to toy with the audience, waving cheekily at the camera and hollering with an almost child-like glee as their mates engaged each other in a ‘dance battle’.

Their love for their craft was infectious and unknowingly I began to bob along to the beat and started cheering with wild abandon when they executed a particularly tricky move. My favourite performance was one where they were like Men in Tutus but with a Hip Hop twist. It was totally hilarious but I really shouldn’t spoil it for you. It would be like trying to describe Mr. Bean- no words or descriptions could do their comic timing any justice.

A sneak preview

To be a good entertainer you need talent, but to be a great entertainer, you need a lot of hard work.

And I was lucky enough to watch them work behind the scenes.

|During their supposed ‘break’ they didn’t have a kit-kat or just laze around. They immediately reviewed their performances that they recorded engaging in a serious discussion on how they could be improved.

After their discussion, without delay, they launched into their own private freestyle practice, laughing and joking as they each tried out more ridiculous and crazy dance moves. Suddenly, seeing them so hard at work, I felt a warm fuzzy sensation growing in my chest.

Never had I seen anyone love their work so much. As Maynard told me, “If you love what you do, you would want to spend all your time doing it and improving yourself. Like if you like studying (I don’t! I objected), you would want to spend all your time studying."

Simple, yet words that ring true. Before this blog post reduces into a mush of gooey Chicken Soup for the Soul-like musings, let me end off with this simple sentence.

The Rockafellas are awesome.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We want to improve!

So, the long-awaited day had finally arrived, as four of Resorts World Sentosa's hotels -- Crockfords Tower, Hotel Michael, Festive Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel were open to the public yesterday (Jan 20, 2010).

But this is obviously not the end, as we still have other properties to roll out, including Universal Studios Singapore, FestiveWalk, our casino and the Marine Life Park.

That said, what is most important to us is that you enjoy yourselves, the moment you step foot into our resort.

Hence, we need your feedback. Tell us about your experience. Tell us how we can improve. Talk to us. We value every bit of feedback, so we can become better.

Our call centre (+65 6577 8888)  is open 24/7. Or better, email us at feedback@rwsentosa.com with details about your dining experience, hotel stay, your visit to us.

We look forward to hearing from you through these channels. And rest assured we will act on your feedback!

Friday, January 8, 2010

ChildAid: The Aftermath

[Written by Grace K from Entertainment]

ChildAid is finally over. After months of preparation leading up to the final three weeks of heated meetings, sleepless nights, late night site recces, dry runs and show rehearsals, the three days of shows have come and gone in a flash. And I am so happy to read in the papers, blogs and facebook that it was a resounding success in the eyes of the public and media.

Me and S helping out at the event

Believe me, it was not easy. The resort is still partly under construction and to watch our carpark miraculously transformed in 2 weeks from a dusty, wet construction zone to a clean, clear driveway just for this event, was amazing to see. Every day of the show, we would be setting up the front of house area to the cacophony of drills and construction, but by 6pm, all work would be stopped and replaced by the soothing sounds of High Society Smooth Jazz.

I finally had a tour of Festive Grand during our dry runs. It’s a beautiful theatre with good acoustics. I wandered through the back of house to see the huge training room for our Voyage de la Vie performers (at that time crowded with excited school kids waiting for their turn on stage to rehearse), a luxurious green room and my favourite – the hair & make up room with 6 hair sinks worthy of a top hair salon in Singapore. (I know where I’m getting my hair washed from now on…) But I digress.

Back to ChildAid. I was so proud of everything. Proud of the theatre, proud of our RWS staff for their dedication and enthusiasm and proud of the concert that RWS had co-produced with SPH. My favourite part of the evening was during the first night when all the staff spontaneously lined up on either side of the theatre entrance to cheer and wave the guests off as they left the theatre – cruise-line style. A bit OTT, I know, but it was sincere, unpretentious enthusiasm and our RWS “kampung spirit” that I hope will remain with all RWS staff for every event that we do in future. With the positive response from the farewell on the first night, we decided to do the line up for the two remaining nights. On the last night, little children and some guests joined us in the line to clap and wave farewell to other guests. It was fun to see J

All in all, it was a good learning experience for our very first show and I’m looking forward to our next show on 28 Jan 2010 – Boys Like Girls concert, at the Compass Ballroom, Resorts World Convention Centre.

For more info and to buy tickets, please visit www.sistic.com.sg

See you there!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Our Celeb Chefs unveiled

Gastronomical delights await gourmands in search of great food, right in the heart of Resorts World Sentosa.

Today, we unveiled our list of celebrity chefs at a press conference in Palio, Hotel Michael, Resorts World Sentosa.

Just who are they? Find out below!
Joël Robuchon
Legendary Chef/Owner of 20 Joël Robuchon dining establishments worldwide
Paris, France

“My decision to set up the three concepts in Resorts World Sentosa is because of the professionalism and cohesiveness of its food and beverage team.
The synergy and trust to work in partnership with Resorts World is based on the background history and personal links with key team members who I personally know here.
I am confident that the cuisine, style and concept of the Joël Robuchon restaurants will maintain their true authenticity and will not be compromised in Resorts World.”

Joël Robuchon will be opening three outlets, Joël Robuchon Fine Dining, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and The Pastry Shop & Lounge in first half of 2010 at Resorts World Sentosa’s FestiveWalk waterfront. 

The first and only chef to be titled ‘Chef of the Century’ by the Gault Millau guide in 1990, Joël Robuchon is legendary in the culinary world. He currently lays claim to 20 dining establishments in Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Macao, Monaco, Nagoya, New York, Paris, Taipei and Tokyo. In a time when nouvelle cuisine took centrestage in the 1980s, Chef Robuchon revolutionised the global culinary scene with his almost bourgeois French haute cuisine where he pursued absolute perfection and focused on using only the best cooking equipment to flesh out the original flavours of the freshest, highest quality produce.  
Chef Robuchon was first recognised for his culinary brilliance at age 28 when he gained the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Outstanding French Craftsman) award  and like they say, the rest is history. He was inundated with international tributes ever since, including being the youngest chef ever to own a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Jamin, in 1984; Bon Appetit magazine naming him ‘Chef of the Year’ (2006); permanently sitting on the panel of Académie Culinaire de France and receiving The Lifetime Achievement Award at The S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants.
Three of Chef Robuchon’s restaurants are ranked in the first 20 listing of the Miele Guide 2009 with first place being awarded to the L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong. He also chairs the committee of the current edition of Le Grand Larousse Gastronomique (the French authoritative encyclopedia of gastronomy) and the list runs on. He started his own daily cooking show, called Bon Appétit, Bien Sûr with producer Guy Job in 1996. With 25 stars with the Guides Michelin 2009, Joël Robuchon is the most Michelin-decorated chef in the world.

Kunio Tokuoka
Chef /Owner of Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama and Hana Kitcho
Kyoto, Japan

Singapore is renowned as a world-class city where world economy and culture have blossomed well together. In 2010, by completion of Resorts World Sentosa as an integrated resort facility, then and only then, will Singapore be reborn as a true metropolis. It is a perfect setting to launch my classical yet totally new dining establishment where my skills will be attested to and hopefully rewarded. Tradition and Innovation serve as my main principles.

Other than integrating traditional Japanese Kaiseki cuisine with the age-old 16th century tea ceremony, I’ll be showcasing foremost culinary techniques and ideas, using first-class ingredients from Japan, Singapore and other countries to present a revolutionary cuisine in a most extraordinary atmosphere, that is inspired by the traditional Japanese artistic style of ‘Rimpa’—which expresses a sense of beauty with lighting; illustrating the changing sunlight and time passing by.

Chef Tokuoka will open Kunio in the first half of 2010 in Resorts World Sentosa’s all-suite Hotel, Crockfords Tower.

Indisputably a leading culinary maestro in Japan, four-Michelin-starred Chef-Owner Kunio Tokuoka is passionate about showcasing the traditional haute Kaiseki cuisine to the world. Chef Tokuoka started his apprenticeship at Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama at age 15 and trained at Kitcho Osaka and Kitcho Tokyo before rising to the title of executive chef of the former in 1995. Since inheriting the family business (his grandfather Teiichi Yuki started the restaurant in 1930), Chef Tokuoka has captured the essence of centuries-old Japanese haute cuisine and blended it with innovative modern nuances to showcase the innate flavours of the freshest Japanese produce.

In 2008, he was the first Japanese chef, handpicked to showcase his culinary prowess at the Masterpiece Dining series, an event organised by the James Beard Foundation in New York and in the same year, he catered for the main dining of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in Japan; while professionally, he was honoured to be on the panel of Japanese masterchefs invited to The World Summit of Gastronomy in Tokyo in 2009 and being the first representative of Japanese cuisine to be invited to the 2005 International Summit of Gastronomy in Madrid. Also highly lauded at the Salone del Gusto food and wine fair in Turin, Italy in 2004 and 2006, Chef Tokuoka is truly making waves on a global scale. He authored his first book entitled, 四季の食卓 in 2007 which features seasonal ingredients, and his second book which is about Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama and his cooking philosophy is due for release out of Japan in autumn 2010.

Scott Webster
Chef/Co-Owner of Carrington Place
New South Wales, Australia

To open an outlet of my successful Osia dining brand in Singapore is both exciting and challenging. It will serve sophisticated, modern Australian cuisine— composed of healthy, light seasonal dishes featuring the freshest ingredients from Australia as well as the Pacific Rim and Asia Pacific regions.

As one of the world’s most discerning culinary markets, Singapore will allow me to challenge myself and my staff to continually move forward and create new and exciting dishes for my customers. Food and wine should be a journey of discovery; service should be professional and relaxed. So all my customers should just sit back and enjoy the ride.”

Scott Webster will be opening the re-birth of his famous London restaurant Osia in the first quarter of 2010 in Resorts World Sentosa’s all-suite hotel, Crockfords Tower.

Epitomising the face of eclectic Australian cuisine is celebrity chef and successful entrepreneur, Scott Webster. He is the main powerhouse behind Australian Culinary Consultants (ACC), which has planned and developed dining concepts for some of the world’s major hospitality projects including Hyde Park Corner in London for the InterContinental group and the Westin Hotel in Sydney on the former GPO site. Through hotel and airline food promotions, assisted menu planning, trade exhibitions, seminars and lectures abroad as well as through educational tours throughout Australia for executive chefs and importers, ACC has assisted in placing Australia at the forefront of many a chef’s preferred supplier list.

Chef Webster’s latest accomplishment was opening the highly-anticipated Carrington Place in New South Wales, Australia, in April 2009 with his wife, Jennifer. A beautifully restored and modern guesthouse, the dining room serves contemporary cuisine using superb primary products with indigenous flavours from Australia and wines from the renowned Hunter Valley region. As a chef, he had the privilege of working at the legendary Savoy Hotel in London, UK, and in Leysin, Switzerland at the Grand Hotel on top of his impressive career track throughout Europe, the USA, Canada and Asia. In 1998, he was the coordinating chef for the athletes’ village at the Winter Olympic Games in Alberta, Canada. Together with Jennifer, the couple launched ‘The Young Outback Chef Scholarship’ in 2006, creating career opportunities for promising young chefs from around regional Australia bi-annually. Also known as the founder behind ‘The Masters of Australian Food and Wine’, a leading bi-annual gastronomic event held at Crown Casino Melbourne, Chef Webster is continually changing the landscape of the Australian culinary scene.   

Susur Lee

Chef/Owner of Zentan, Washington, USA; Madeline’s, Toronto, Canada; Lee, Toronto, Canada; and Shang, New York, USA
Toronto, Canada

Susur Lee has teamed up with the Tung Lok Group to open Chinois by Susur Lee in Resorts World’s Hotel Michael in early 2010.

“Asia is home for me and will always be close to my heart.  I have always respected Andrew Tjioe, as a successful restaurateur, and Tung Lok Group. I have been traveling and working with Andrew for 12 years and he continues to possess the same strong passion for food that we shared when we first met. Hence, a partnership with Andrew and the Group is a natural progression. As a destination, Resorts World Sentosa has much to offer in terms of dining, entertainment, gaming and the entire leisure and resort experience.  It is the next big thing to happen in Singapore and I am proud to be part of it."

Heralded as one of the ‘Ten Chefs of the Millennium’ by Food & Wine magazine in 1999, Susur Lee is regarded by food critics and gourmands around the world as ‘a culinary genius’, quoting the famous Zagat guide. Rising to fame with his bold interpretation of juxtaposing classical Chinese cooking with the classic techniques of French cuisine which is dubbed nouvelle chinoise, Chef Lee owns and manages Lee (opened in 2004); Madeline’s (opened in 2008) also in Toronto, Canada; Shang (opened in 2008)  in New York; and Zentan (opened in 2009) in Washington, USA. He made waves as the Executive Culinary Consultant for the Tung Lok group in Singapore during the late nineties and in particular, expanded the culinary repertoire of Club Chinois to one of world-class standards.
Other than being feted by the Gault Millau guide, Art Culinare, Gourmet, and the list runs on, Chef Lee’s widely acclaimed Madeline's (previously known as Susur) was named one of the World's 50 Best Restaurants by Restaurant magazine in 1998. In addition, Chef Lee was also awarded a host of accolades, including the ‘At-Sunrice GlobalChef© Award 2006’; ‘American Academy of Hospitality Services, Five-Star Diamond Award’ in 1998 where he was selected as one of the World’s Best Chefs; the ‘James Beard Foundation Award’ in 1997; and the ‘CAA Diamond Awards/Four Diamond Award’ for seven consecutive years from 2002 to 2008. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We will open from 20 Jan

First off, thank you, our dear, dear supporters, who have been very patiently waiting for us to make this announcement. (Yes, we know the wait has been unbearable for some of you.)

It's official -- we will open our doors to the world come Jan 20, 2010, where four of our hotels: Festive Hotel, Hotel Michael, Hard Rock Hotel and Crockfords Tower, will make their debut.

Besides these, 10 restaurants and lounges will open to our guests on that date.

Here's a breakdown of what our guests can expect when they step in through our doors on Jan 20:

Festive Hotel (above)
Fun and vibrant, with lots of design surprises to delight families, Festive Hotel rooms come with separate chambers for parents and loft beds for kids. Every room comes with a sofa bed for extra sleeping room. Kids will have a festive time in this hotel, which offers candies, special welcome packs and bathrobes for them.
390 rooms, including Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe Family Rooms and Deluxe Suites.

Hard Rock Hotel(above)

Hip and trendy, with an attitude and dramatic ambience, guests at Hard Rock Hotel Singapore are welcomed like rock stars. Rooms are fitted out with unique furnishings like magic “chandeliers” and the edgy Hard Rock tattoo. A retreat for trendy jet-setters, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore is also suitable for families. Deluxe Twins can accommodate up to 5 guests, with an extra pull-out bed for kids.
360 rooms, including Deluxe Rooms and Deluxe Suites.

Crockfords Tower (above)
An all-suite hotel with 24-hour butler service, Crockfords Tower’s suites are elegant and intimate. Dressed in stately dark wood, luxurious fabrics, hues of red and gold, the Crockfords’ suite comes with lavish touches, such as a magic mirror that doubles as a TV screen, an en-suite pantry and a personal steam room. Guests who check into Crockfords Tower are by-invitation only, and enjoy a range of complimentary and private dining, gaming and VIP facilities within the exclusive hotel tower.
120 rooms, including Deluxe Suites, Mansions and Villas.

Hotel Michael (above)
Named after and designed entirely by Michael Graves & Associates, Hotel Michael pays tribute to Michael Graves’ design genius. Call it a “collection’’ of Michael Graves’ favourite things, this one-and-only Hotel Michael in the world carries Graves’ stamp in everything from the rooms’ honey-coloured maple walls and the “archaic landscape” murals to their circular blue mosaic showers. Hotel Michael offers fine and contemporary dining at its restaurants.
470 rooms, including Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe Suites, Club Rooms and Suite Rooms.

Dining Options 

Festive Hotel's Boulangerie (above)

Dubbed the ultimate dessert haven, Boulangerie is a modern patisserie showcasing Pastry Chef Alain Herber’s stunning Pastry creations from Europe and Asia with a twist, and a special showcase of novelty selections for Kids. Boulangerie will be supported with Artisan breads from well renowned Baker Michael Lim who returns to Singapore.

Festive Hotel's Festive Lounge (above)

After a day of fun and adventure, rest and kick back at the family-friendly Festive Lounge. Order a favorite thirst-quencher and munchy snacks from the bar to satisfy in-between cravings and just chill to the light music.

Hard Rock Hotel's Starz Restaurant
A stylish modern restaurant designed in contemporary style with touches of Hard Rock and a relaxing al fresco dining area overlooking the Rock Pool. Starz invites you to take a cross-ethnic journey through culinary worlds with the flavours of Morocco, Europe, Middle East and Australia. Inspired by the healthy and energetic lifestyle of of Singapore, our Chef de Cuisine Kok Kiong innovates blends of flavors and cooking methods for Starz. The restaurant’s buffet style dining with live cooking stations complements an A la Carte menu complete with Hard Rock Classics.

Hard Rock Hotel's The Rock Bar (above)
The Rock Bar defines the night scene in Singapore. With a DJ spinning rock and electro tunes and its chic, trendy lounge and bar, the Rock Bar will have you feeling like a rock star for the night. The menu features a selection of premium wines, liquors and champagnes and Hard Rock’s famous cocktails. A snack menu is also available.

Hard Rock Hotel's Rang Mahal (above)

The Award-winning Rang Mahal Group, established since 1971, ventures into something new to them-- Indian cuisine, with the opening of Rang Mahal Pavilion. Housed in the Hard Rock Hotel, Rang Mahal Pavilion's dining mood and decor are inspired by the colorful celebrations of India using vivid colors and ethnic Indian instruments that embrace the Indian culture.
This stylish restaurant pays tribute to "A Celebration of Indian Cuisine" with its menu highlighting classical Indian favourites as well as new trendy dishes that embody the new generation Indians. As with the Groups' brand philosophy, the authenticity of the food will be retained and cooked in a fresh and healthy manner.
Rang Mahal Pavilion will truly be a place to celebrate all that is vibrant and lively of India, tickling all five senses.

Crockfords Tower's Crockfords Lounge (above)

Take a break in this contemporary lounge, which features an extensive range of premium alcoholic beverages and cigars.

Crockfords Tower's The Dining Room (above)
The Dining Room serves comfort Cantonese food like nutritious double-boiled soups, beef brisket noodles, fried rice and dim sum, in addition to other popular Chinese dishes, where only the freshest quality ingredients are used.
For the first time in Singapore, guests can sip and indulge in a wide selection of premium Chinese teas served from a tea trolley. Famous whisky, brandy labels and Chinese liquors including mou tai and shao xing jiu are also on the wine list if you’re in a celebratory mood.

Hotel Michael's Palio (above)
Showcasing authentic Tuscan cuisine with a scrumptious variety of traditional Italian recipes and rare seasonal ingredients air-flown from Italy, guests partake in a truly gastronomic encounter that combines delectable dishes with visual artistry at Palio. With an open-concept kitchen and waterfront, guests get immersed in the affable Italian culture, the warm service, aesthetic interior conceptand the regional Italian wine list for pairing with Tuscany flavours.

Hotel Michael's Michael's Lounge (above)
This stylish and sophisticated indoor bar and lounge concept is located right next to the hotel reception, welcoming guests with hot and cold beverages. Providing light music, it’s the perfect spot for chilling out in the day, sailing into the evening or winding up before retiring for the night.

So there you go. We will start bookings on January 11 through our website at www.rwsentosa.com.

Hope to see you come January 20, 2010.

(PHOTOS: Credit: ©2009 Resorts World at Sentosa)

Related Posts with Thumbnails