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Chinese

Tim Ho Wan 添好運 Dimsum arrives in Singapore at Plaza Singapura

By | Chinese, Food | No Comments

I eat a really tiny selection of dimsum (picky eater for you), but I’ve queued up before for Tim Ho Wan (Mong Kok branch, which has since moved to Olympian City) while I was in Hong Kong with friends, and the food was surprisingly delicious for the price they were charging – I believe we paid less than $60 SGD to feed 6 of us!

Andddd ladies and gentlemen – Tim Ho Wan has finally arrived in Singapore!

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In case you have totally zero idea what I’m talking about, Tim Ho Wan (添好運) is a chain of dimsum restaurants from Hong Kong helmed by Chef Mak Kwai Pui, which has earned itself an entry in the Michelin guide with their delectable dimsum. Chef Mak has joined hands with Hersing Corporation (ERA, Western Union Money Transfer) for what I believe is Hersing’s first restaurant venture, and Tim Ho Wan has opened its doors to the public since 10th April, 2013.

Tim Wan Ho’s Location & About Chef Mak

 

Tim Ho Wan Singapore
68 Orchard Road #01-29A
Plaza Singapura (New Wing)
Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6251 2000
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily
Born & raised in Hong kong, Chef Mak Kwai Pui, currently 50, began working for his uncle as an apprentice at a small restaurant in Hong kong. There, he developed a fervent passion for whipping up Dim Sum, and worked for renowned hotels such as Le Meridian & Four Seasons to expand his knowledge of the traditional Cantonese Dim Sum. He eventually went ton to set up his first restaurant, Tim Ho Wan, in Mong Kok. Within a year of business, the restaurant was awarded one Michelin star for its array of dimsum, in 2009. The success of Tim Ho Wan to open three more outlets at North Point, IFC Mall and Sham Shui Po, which is the largest outlet in Hong Kong. The branch in Mong Kok has since been relocated to Olympian City.

No Reservations… instead, a queuing system!

Much like the Hong Kong outlets, Tim Ho Wan doesn’t take reservations – seating is on a first-come first-served basis, and to cope with the crowd, they have implemented a queue system which allows patrons to get a queue number first, and go shopping should the waiting time be too long – an sms notification will be sent when the table is ready.

I understand that there was a MASSIVE crowd on Tim Ho Wan’s first day of opening, and the massive surge of orders and takeaways sort of killed the bao supplies – I strongly suggest waiting for the crowds to die down before heading down to avoid disappointment (unless you can be the first at 10am!) Relax guys, Tim Ho Wan doesn’t look like it’s gonna close anytime soon from the mad queues!

(pic credit to Yina)

(pic credit to Yina)

Tim Ho Wan Singapore seats up to 100 patrons comfortably in their modernly designed outlet with plenty of wood and bamboo – but furnished with old school chairs for a nostalgic touch. They also have a takeaway counter for the lunch crowd, and it has reported on AsiaOne that the takeaway counter had to be closed by 3pm as they could not cope with the demand for takeaways – a lady reportedly dabao-ed 40-50 buns at one go on the opening day!

There is a also 10 seater VIP Room, which requires a minimum spend of S$300 and has to be reserved in advance. VIP Guests will be able to pre-order special dishes, according to AsiaOne’s article. (That’s like $30 per person, which means on the average you’ll have to eat about 6-7 trays of dimsum per pax ohmygod hahaha)

Tim Ho Wan’s local outlet will be run by his long time friend, Chef Fung Kam Tim, and Chef Mak will visit every quarter to ensure that food quality is maintained at a good standard. Prices for the delectable made-to-order dimsum starts from $3.80 – very friendly on the pockets indeed!

A bunch of us were invited to the media preview (sampling? haha) and I was super happy to be at the table enjoying the great food with Yina, Velda and their other halves!

Velda, Fred. Yong Zhuan, Yina & I - happy faces all around hehehe (don't mind Fred please lol).

Velda, Fred. Yong Zhuan, Yina & I – happy faces all around hehehe (don’t mind Fred please lol).

Onward to the food pictures to make you drooooooool!

Steamed Dumpling Teochew Style (潮州蒸粉果), S$4.00 for 3pcs.I didn't try this (told you I was picky!), but according to Yina, it was "unmemorable".

Steamed Dumpling Teochew Style (潮州蒸粉果), S$4.00 for 3pcs.
I didn’t try this (told you I was picky!), but according to Yina, it was “unmemorable”.

Steamed Prawn Dumpling ”Har Gow“ (晶瑩鮮蝦餃), S$5.50 for 4pcsThis was delicious! The prawns were fresh, sweet and succulent. I thought there was a slight inconsistency and that the second batch we ordered tasted better than the first, but it could be because we spent quite a bit of time taking photos and the food got a little cold...

Steamed Prawn Dumpling ”Har Gow“ (晶瑩鮮蝦餃), S$5.50 for 4pcs
This was delicious! The prawns were fresh, sweet and succulent. I thought there was a slight inconsistency and that the second batch we ordered tasted better than the first, but it could be because we spent quite a bit of time taking photos and the food got a little cold…

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👑 Steamed Egg Cake (香滑馬來糕), S$3.80 for one
One of Tim Ho Wan’s 四大天王 dishes, this is supposed to be like our Huat Kueh, and I passed this on too as it looked rather filling to me, so I have no comments except that it looked rather tempting when it arrived, steaming hot and all hahaha.

Pork Dumpling with Shrimp "Siew Mai" (鮮蝦燒賣皇), S$5 for 4pcs A hot favorite - everyone on the table agreed that it is one of the best dishes on the table! It is juicy, tender, and fresh - I hate it when siew mai tastes siap siap, and this one delighted me with its flavors. A must order!

Pork Dumpling with Shrimp “Siew Mai” (鮮蝦燒賣皇), S$5 for 4pcs
A hot favorite – everyone on the table agreed that it is one of the best dishes on the table! It is juicy, tender, and fresh – I hate it when siew mai tastes siap siap, and this one delighted me with its flavors. A must order!

Steamed Beef Balls with Beancurd Skin (陳皮牛肉球), S$4.20 for 3pcs This dish actually made me feel a little uncomfortable when I looked at it, so I skipped it. From the others at the table who have tried it... you can safely pass this dish on.

Steamed Beef Balls with Beancurd Skin (陳皮牛肉球), S$4.20 for 3pcs
This dish actually made me feel a little uncomfortable when I looked at it, so I skipped it. From the others at the table who have tried it… you can safely pass this dish on.

Spring Roll with Egg White (賽螃蟹春卷), S$4.20 for 3pcs The skin on this one was crispy and had a satisfying crunch even after all the photo taking and adjusting - not too heavy, and just I actually didn't know it was egg white inside! Delicious.

Spring Roll with Egg White (賽螃蟹春卷), S$4.20 for 3pcs
The skin on this one was crispy and had a satisfying crunch even after all the photo taking and adjusting – not too heavy, and just I actually didn’t know it was egg white inside! Delicious.

Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork (蜜味叉燒腸), S$5.50 (3 rolls)  This was one of my most anticipated dishes (I love 猪肠粉!) but it disappointed me a little - the skin was a little too thick and was not as flavorful as I had expected it to be. As Yina mentioned, the Vermicelli roll with Pig's Liver (another of their 四大天王 dish) tasted much better, but I still think both can be improved on.

Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork (蜜味叉燒腸), S$5.50 (3 rolls)
This was one of my most anticipated dishes (I love 猪肠粉!) but it disappointed me a little – the skin was a little too thick and was not as flavorful as I had expected it to be. As Yina mentioned, the Vermicelli roll with Pig’s Liver (another of their 四大天王 👑 dish) tasted much better, but I still think both can be improved on.

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (酥皮叉燒包), S$4.50 for 3 pcs There's a reason why it's on the 四大天王 Dish, and like 张学友 who has the goods, this bao was THE. BEST. DISH. EVER. HANDS DOWN. GO DABAO NOW. Soft, crispy baked bun skin with sweet bbq pork inside *just heavenly*

👑  Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (酥皮叉燒包), S$4.50 for 3 pcs
There’s a reason why it’s on the 四大天王 Dish, and like 张学友 who has the goods, this bao was THE. BEST. DISH. EVER. HANDS DOWN. GO DABAO NOW. Soft, crispy baked bun skin with sweetest and juiciest bbq pork inside *just heavenly* Did I eat 3 of this? I think we all ate like 3 each.

Gobbed this pic from Yina's blog cos she didn't send this to me lol. My hands okay! Prying open the bun. You can see how incredibly soft it was... try this and you will understand why some lady ordered 40-50 of it to takeaway. Hahaha.

Gobbed this pic from Yina’s blog cos she didn’t send this to me lol. My hands okay! Prying open the bun. You can see how incredibly soft it was… try this and you will understand why some lady ordered 40-50 of it to takeaway. Hahaha.

Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake (杞子桂花糕) - Cold Dish, S$3.50 for 3 pieces We finished off the dimsum with this lovely dessert. I liked it, but it could be a little colder! Probably warmed up after all the photo taking and talking hahaha. Reminder to self, eat more, talk less!

Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake (杞子桂花糕) – Cold Dish, S$3.50 for 3 pieces
We finished off the dimsum with this lovely dessert. I liked it, but it could be a little colder! Probably warmed up after all the photo taking and talking hahaha. Reminder to self, eat more, talk less!

We downed the dimsum with drinks like Chinese Tea (S$1.20), Barley Water (S$2). Note that plain water costs S$0.50 and Mineral water costs S$1.50.

From what I know, Tim Ho Wan have been tweaking their recipe for the past week, testing out the new machinery and all so please do be a little more forgiving as they try to standardize the taste and texture of the food to be more like what’s served in Hong Kong. Different climate, different machinery… but definitely, so try out the bbq pork buns and the siew mai! Excellento! 

According to the press release, the restaurant will be coming up with more dishes for the local taste, so I’m looking forward to that!

Psst, from what I hear… Your ERA friends are entitled to a discounts at Tim Ho Wan! Chat up your friendly ERA agents today! (hehehe)

Us with Chef Mak!

<3

With fellow Nuffies, Melissa, Yina, Velda

With fellow Nuffies, Melissa, Yina, Velda <3

Us with the friendly (and all smiley) Chef Mak!

Us with the friendly (and all smiley) Chef Mak!

Thank you so much, Tim Ho Wan Singapore & Brand Cellar for inviting us! Looking foward to bringing my parents over for good food soon!

Keep yourself updated at Tim Ho Wan’s Facebook page!

“Bao Day” on 28th April, for Charity!

Tim Ho Wan believes in giving back to society, and on 28th April 2013, they will be organizing the Bao Day and charity event, where they will only be selling their famous pork buns! All proceeds will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and aid underprivileged children in Singapore.

Noms & Hair

By | Awesomeness, beauty, Chinese, Food, Hair, Life, Thai | 6 Comments

Last weekend, an impromptu trip to Ghim Moh Market for makan with my parents… (with my parents, it almost always is a last minute decision on where to eat or what to eat. my irritated husband just has to live with it haha.)

It was actually my second visit in a week. I’m amazed. After Star Vista, this place is a gem to me! I think I’ve got more things to eat here than Star Vista actually since I’ve mostly tried whatever I wanted to in SV. I mean, where else can you find lunch at just $2.50 SGD? Ghim Moh Market!

In fact, Chicken rice – $2.50 SGD. A bowl of mee pok? $2.50 SGD too. *tears of joy*

I’m not broke la, but geez man, $2.50 for rather nice food as compared to $25 for blah food at Watami (at SV) with less than stellar service (and service charge)… Give me Ghim Moh Market anytime.

Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre
20 Ghim Moh Road
(Just search for Ghim Moh Market on your Google Maps and it will appear!)

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That’s my momma offering incense to, I believe, the 财神 (God of Fortune)!

Back to the market. The major reason I love the market – everything feels so old school and nostalgic, especially the prices of the food, haha. I’m sorry but Clementi West market doesn’t hold a candle to this place. The food, the friendly pork sellers (hahaha I bought $10 worth of pork and cooked lunch for the hubs), the little 杂货店s, and the food area with birds chirping above you (hopefully none shitting) as you makan… I know there’s still quite a lot of this kind of markets around, but this one just has a really comfortable feel. Eunos’ market is too small, Tiong Bahru’s market is really awesome but too far, and Clementi West… I’ve been there all of 3 times to eat since I’ve moved in to West Coast 3 years ago. *Ghim Moh fangirl now*

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This place is brimming with people.
I actually got rather angry in the morning because this car who _just_ turned into the limited spaced parking lot tried to take the first vacant lot, which I was waiting for and I honked the hell out of him. He got annoyed and wound down his window after stopping beside me “This whole road is yours is it?!” Uncle, if you can speak English. YOU KNOW THE UNWRITTEN LAW OF WAITING FOR A PARKING LOT. Actually for about 5 minutes I was wondering if anyone would recognize me and lambast me on my blog, but I don’t think I did anything wrong. Dude, I’ve been waiting for 3 minutes for that lot! (Was eyeballing the auntie and reversing non stop to the lot). So if you want to get a lot and not get pissed, go for the multi-storey carpark. Okay I’ve digressed, sorry. I think carpark advice is useful anyway.

Ahhh, the food. The day before this, I actually tried one of the chicken rice stalls at the end with Estrella & her husband, but I didn’t think it was that nice despite the queue. Bluff people one – so don’t anyhow join queues unless it’s really super long and got elderly queuing for it.

This time round, my brother gamely joined a rather long queue for chicken rice (according to both my husband and brother (before eating), it’s super tender) while my husband joined the other long queue for Roasted Meat (烧腊).

Ghim Moh Market Chicken Rice

I’m sorry it looks rather unappetizing here, but this was one whole chicken and it’s FREAKING DELICIOUS. When I get on a chicken rice kick it will last for weeks. I can eat chicken rice every day.

It’s so tender, shreds so easily and the skin… Oooo. The rice was delish as well! I really dislike tough chicken so this was IT for me – best chicken rice of the West so far lol.

In case you’re curious, it’s Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (东风发), #01-49. Apparently there’s quite a few branches, Amoy, Kovan… and ieatishoot has done a blog post here if you’d like to read more about it.

Next on the must try list:
Jiu Jiang Shao La (九江烧腊), #01-45
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Yang had wanted to try this for quite some time since our friends Magdalyn and her husband raved about it being the best 烧腊 ever. According to the husband, the duck is the 招牌 dish for sure! He’s gonna eat this again and again for the next few weeks, I’m sure. I love the 烧肉, it was tender and soft without being too oily – a little salty at the end, but don’t eat too much, lah. Share with your family and it’ll be just nice.

And I had…

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I believe it is Heong Huat Fishball Noodle (雄发鱼丸面) #01-50 (I’m saying that because I cant remember exactly – it’s right opposite the 烧腊 stall!).

I was actually the last customer and the fish balls were all sold out… at 130pm on a Saturday!
Then again, I believe they usually close at 2pm. I didn’t get to taste the fish balls, but I had my mushroom meepok fix (I love meepok!) with no chilli, and with ketchup. The noodles were of a great texture – springy, tasty and just nicely cooked. Slurp. The mushrooms were surprisingly… bland. But the ketchup made up for it.

Washed it all down with sugarcane from the store in between the chicken rice and roasted duck (which was meh) – Skip that. I’ll find a nicer one soon – I’m already drooling at the thought of food from the market.

If you have any recommendation for stalls with great food, please share! Drop me a comment yes? I’d love to try them out!

And just yesterday… I spent some girl time with my girlfriends who got their hair done at Salon Vim Bugis for the upcoming CNY. Woohoo! They’re two of my closest gal pals so it was only natural for me to join them… and hope that all goes well with their hair.

And turns out that I probably should have spent my time working at home instead – there was nothing to worry about! Both of them walked out of the salon with hair so gorgeous that I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys.

First up, Felicia!

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Felicia’s two toned layered hair was done by Weng of Salon Vim – she’s been doing red almost every year, so this time round she wanted something different.. and Weng gave her something different! She was also super happy with the haircut Weng gave her, and I nodded in approval too! Her thin hair looks much more fuller and healthier with a lovely cut.

felicia-hair-by-weng-salon-vim-3

felicia-hair-by-weng-salon-vim-4

And then there’s Estrella.

She previously had brown hair with orange-red highlights done by Stephanie of Salon Vim 313.

(estrella's previous hair color)

(estrella’s previous hair color)

(estrella’s previous hair color)[/caption]

That was like in November 2012 and the color had faded to an unappealing orange which didn’t suit her skin tone. She was game for a change and decided to take the adventurous route after consulting Sham, and ding ding ding!!!
(btw, no particular reason for jumping from 313 to Bugis – Stephanie’s still as awesome, we just decided on Bugis randomly)

estrella-hair-by-sham-adam-salon-vim-1

shockedemoji shockedemoji shockedemoji shockedemoji

It’s so pretty, I don’t even…!!
(Both her and Felicia were going “wah wah” even at application and half way through blow drying. More shockedemoji kuazhang than me hahaha)

Sham gave her purple and cherry highlights / ombre (?). Aiyah just show the stylist the picture la, I tell you all the technique name also no use right!

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estrella-hair-by-sham-adam-salon-vim-4

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I quote her, “I’ve always wanted to be a My Little Pony!”

To which I said… “Now there’s two ponies!” (me lah, hahaha)

(pony sizes reflects our height as well hahahahha (done on purpose))

(pony sizes reflects our height as well hahahahha (done on purpose))

Left the salon after some 5 hours there (another friend got her hair done there too! Hope you like your new hair, Jayne!) and we trooped off for dinner. First Thai was too far away so… we ended up at Thai Express. Heh.

Turns out that they have a revamped menu! I love eateries with revamped menu every few months – like TCC – and I love pouring through the menus.

Starter to share: Prawn Toast!
I didn’t have a bite of it (don’t really dig fried stuff) and hence the speech bubbles with their comments. Hahaha.

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Felicia's Green Curry Glass Noodles, I think? The noodles absorbed the curry super fast - eat quickly! Don't let your blogger friend take too many photos or it'll end up not so nice.

Felicia’s Green Curry Glass Noodles, I think? The noodles absorbed the curry super fast – eat quickly! Don’t let your blogger friend take too many photos or it’ll end up not so nice.

Estrella's Honey Chicken. According to her, "这只鸡很像有点 Lao Hong (漏风)." (*Hokkien, she meant Stale)

Estrella’s Honey Chicken. According to her, “这只鸡很像有点 Lao Hong (漏风).” (*Hokkien, she meant Stale)

Oyster Mushroom  Tomyum. [/caption]
<p><p class=This one I nearly died on first mouthful – It’s SUPER SPICY! I couldn't take it and just picked the mushrooms from the soup. On the other end of the table the two girls were going "SHIOK!!"” width=”550″ height=”367″ class=”size-full wp-image-12264″ /> Oyster Mushroom Tomyum
This one I nearly died on first mouthful – it’s SUPER SPICY! I couldn’t take it and just picked the mushrooms from the soup. On the other end of the table the two girls were going “SHIOK!!”

[caption id="attachment_12265" align="aligncenter" width="550"]My safe, boring fried "mee sua". It is quite appetizing!!! I didn't appreciate the onions in it, so I plucked it all out... At least there's no bean sprouts, so phew. The egg tasted fabulous with the thick "mee sua", but i have weird taste so try at your own will. My safe, boring fried “mee sua”. It is quite appetizing!!! I didn’t appreciate the onions in it, so I plucked it all out… At least there’s no bean sprouts, so phew. The egg tasted fabulous with the thick “mee sua”, but i have weird taste so try at your own will.

And a last picture of the day with the two happy girls with chio chio hair. Incidentally, they’re also the fairest girls in the group. Super fair, this two. (refrains from making vulgar reference, ahem. hehehe)

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Thank you Salon Vim for making my friends so happy! In case anyone’s curious about the rates, please email them or facebook message Salon Vim to find out more.

If you guys are heading over, do quote “Evonne” to enjoy 10% off all full services! Get some Huat hair for the new year!

(You guys voted for a balance of lifestyle and beauty posts, so… how was this? : D )

Makan-ing into 2013

By | Brunch, Chinese, Food, Japanese | No Comments

Wow. These have been stuck in my drafts since November 2012.

Jones the Grocer

333a Orchard Road
Level 4 #21-23 Mandarin Gallery
Singapore, 238897
Tel: +65 6836 6372

(they have a branch in Dempsey as well, and they’re also opening a new branch in ION come Jan 2013! Check out their other addresses here)

Believe it or not this was my first time at Jones – my request for Dean & Deluca got turned down, hahaha. We went to the branch at Mandarin on a late Saturday morning, around 11+ almost 12 me think? And it was just starting to get really full. By the time we left, there was a looooong queue! Staff were friendly and swift in getting us seats – didn’t really like the cold metal chairs though – my ass was freezing!

I’m sorry I don’t have much to say about the food because I wasn’t too hungry, but the sauteed mushrooms were delectable though a tad oily. The duck confit pasta was meh (in my friend’s opinion) but the bread with bacon was nubbad! I’d actually like to try more stuff but I find the items on the menu a little expensive for me.

(Haiyah, you all see picture okay, I’m not a good food blogger, I can only tell you I like or don’t like, haha. Seriously not as if my tongue’s some bench mark – if anything’s horribly rancid I’ll definitely make a big hoo haa about it. haha.)

Pique Nique

391A Orchard Road,
Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya) #B1-01/02,
Singapore 238873
Tel: 62386705

Pique Nique’s owned by Sugar Daddy Group, started by famed Chef Pang Kok Keong who also owns Antoinette, and since I love Antoinette so much, I guess this was a safe choice for me andddddd it didn’t disappoint! *glee*

I loved the Eggs Benedict – points for the soft english muffin (I really dislike toasted, hard bread) and I’m pretty new to Eggs Benedict, so my taste buds may be a bit off – but I like how it tasted, it wasn’t too jelat for me even after two eggs and I’d definitely be back for the other items on the menu. Estrella had the beef goulash and she seemed to be quite okay with it – no violent objections there so I’m guessing it’s all good and I’ll be able to drag her back here to eat with me again. XD

I was just that little bit turned off by the chair seats though – it was stained quite horribly (don’t see that in Antoinette yet!) and there were actually hairs poking out between the seat and the arm. Urm. I’m sure I left some behind myself, but it should really be well maintained.

Lailai Casual Dining

23 Serangoon Central
#B1-30/31 Nex
Tel: 66344808

Lai lai is a taiwanese eating place, and has two other outlets at Jurong Point, and Bugis. I used to frequent the Bugis branch but I never really ate beef then, nor did I really like the taste of the beef noodles so all I had back then was 卤肉饭 and it was also what I had again after almost 3 years of eating at this place!

We both ordered the 卤肉饭 (Braised Pork Rice) set, which was super delicious – and ordered a side dish each. Saba fish for him, and Oyster Sauce Kailan for me.

Mooooo.

BRAISED PORK RICEEEEEEEEEEE! <3 <3 <3
Didn’t think the braised egg was any nice, but the braised pork was <3 <3 <3! [/caption] [caption id="attachment_11112" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Saba fish – beware of the bones!

Oyster sauce kailan was FAB. I know it looks soggy and not that chewy, but it’s better then vegetables with too much of green taste in it. This was soft, with just a bit of crunch, but just what I like. <3[/caption] Lailai is a relatively affordable dining place, and I can't say how authentic this Taiwanese food place is because I've never been to Taiwan (gee...), but it seems like the boys love it. *shrugs* And oh a really sad thing. I just got back my blood test results and it says that I have borderline high cholesterol. Sigh... cutting down on the seafood for now. : ( This is what 20+ years of high cholesterol seafood + no exercise does to you! I do wish that more eateries would offer a brown rice option though - it's so hard to eat clean outside. Here's a 2013 inclusion (hence the post title, haha)

Tonkichi at Isetan Scotts

350 Orchard Road
4F Shaw House
Tel: 66816723
http://www.pokkafood.com.sg/tonkichi/

Tonkichi is by Pokka Foods (same people who have brought you Domani and Rive Gauche) and members have a 20% off for their birthday months, and since it was Miya’s birthday month, we trooped down to town on a Sunday (I love town on Sundays – lesser people!) and had a very filling dinner!

Tonkichi prices are about $18.90 – $34.90 (agar agar there) and it can be quite expensive. Our total bill came up to $240 after a 25% discount. The food was quite not bad, but the service… Well I can’t tell if they’re short on staff or just really busy – the meals arrived sporadically and the worse was Marcus’ meal – his ramen arrived almost 15 minutes after everyone else’s was served, and then his karaage took another 10 minutes. And his tempura oyster took another 10 minutes. But that was the first time I’ve experienced such service (I’ve been there 3-4 times?), so… I’ll just say it was a bad day for them.

[caption id="attachment_12005" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Sapporo Draft beer, $11 for 2! Sapporo Draft beer, $11 for 2!

Curry side order - to go with your rice! Good for 2.

Curry side order – to go with your rice! Good for 2.

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My teriyaki chicken set was awesome - it came with a side of sashimi, and stewed pork, which was SUPER DELICIOUS. If they had the pork and the rice alone, I'd take it!

My teriyaki chicken set was awesome – it came with a side of sashimi, and stewed pork, which was SUPER DELICIOUS. If they had the pork and the rice alone, I’d take it!

Gindara Set

Gindara Set

The Gindara set came with a generous serving of Agedashi Tofu and also the fantastic stewed pork which came with my set!

The Gindara set came with a generous serving of Agedashi Tofu and also the fantastic stewed pork which came with my set!

tonkichi-shaw-isetan-katsu-sets-2

Cheers, guys! Hope you all had a fantastic week too : )

Dining at Star Vista – Part 2

By | Chinese, Food, Japanese, Sweet Treats | No Comments

Menya Musashi

Actually I’ve never been interested in Menya Musashi before except during it’s opening – when I learnt that the noodles were thick and after a bad review from a galpal that the soup was full of oil, I almost didn’t try it out until my adventurous (and stubborn) husband wanted to give it a go.

The chain of ramen restaurants were named after Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese swordsman and ronin (浪人, aka samurai without a master haha) and they actually expanded really fast – this is their third branch within half a year or just a bit more, methinks?

Well guess what… The Tokyo Akiba Curry ramen wasn’t that bad! The only thing was that it’s a seasonal item so you may not see it on the menu anymore. I’ve also seen on some food review blogs that food differs from outlet to outlet so… take a chance, I guess? : p

Type of food: Japanese Ramen
Ambiance: Slightly awkward at the Star Vista branch, but not all the seats are awkwardly positioned. Seems a little hard though.
Price: $$ ($14.90 – 15.90?)
Unit Number: #B1-08
Try: Tokyo Akiba Curry!

Menya Musashi – obviously Japanese from the decor

Seasonal Item – the Curry Ramen!

Was actually pretty yummy…

I was on a diet so I didn’t really join my husband on his ramen indulgence – but I did try the Hotate appetizer – man, awful. Don’t. Try. It.

Don’t ever ever take this. Tasted like how I’d imagine soggy cardboard would be, seriously.

Canton Paradise

Our friends forewarned us against this place but since we’ve already plonked our asses on the seats, we proceeded to order anwyay. Oh boy. The noodles were a little weird – it had an interesting aftertaste and the husband commented that the noodles was “old” <-- whatever does that mean!? The soup for our noodles were bland and tasted... silverish. Me no like.

The 猪肠粉 however wasn’t too bad – though there could have been more pork in it!

I honestly expected more from this place actually, because it’s also by the Paradise group which has some of my favorite eateries like Paradise Inn, Seafood Paradise.. but meh. You’re better off sticking to Crystal Jade.

Type of food: Cantonese cuisine – like Crystal Jadde
Ambiance: Plentiful seats, great for families. I like the comfy seats against the walls and partitions but I can forsee that it will crack in time.
Price: $$ (not that expensive lah)
Unit Number: #B1-45/46

Blackball Taiwanese Dessert 黑丸嫩仙草

At first glance, you’ll be confused. I was. I spent about 2 minutes asking questions about how to order and what is this, that, difference in ingredients etc. Basically, they serve you 仙草 (Grass Jelly for those who don’t read chinese – and I LOVE GRASS JELLY) + 2 or 4 toppings of your choice!

Toppings range from kidney beans, nata de coco (shiok), sweet potato balls (yummy), red bean (great with the grass jelly) to 3 kinds of yam and pearls (珍珠!). You can opt for your Grass Jelly to be served in 4 different “temperatures” – Hot, Warm, Cold, Icy (on a block of ice). I’d say, go for the icy one. It’s gooooooood.

At $4.50 for 4 ingredients + grass jelly it’s a pretty good serving and that size is enough for 2 persons (girls) to share. Don’t take too much pearls though, it’s very very starchy ah!

Didn’t really dig the al fresco area though it looks comfy – esp in this weather – so we went in and sat on the seats in the air-conditioned area. Ahhh Bliss.

Oh, btw, the pictures of the mediacorp artist on the wall… gah the desserts and drinks on/in his hands are sooooooo badly photoshopped, it’s worth taking a look haha. The dude’s okay, just not the photoshopping. Me, I want to go back there to eat again… it’s so yummy!

Type of food: Taiwanese dessert
Ambiance: Al fresco seating mostly, the indoor aircon seating can probably accomodate a maximum of 3 x 4 (12 pax)
Price: $ ($4.50 or so)
Unit Number: #02-14/15
Try: Mixing and matching your own, choose the cold one instead of the icy one. Too much ice kindda had to eat!

P.S. Sorry for the difference in photo quality – camera’s battery was flat!

Check out all the food available at Star Vista on their website.

Touched up my purple hair at Salon Vim + Salon Vim’s Appreciation Dinner at Roland’s Seafood!

By | beauty, Chinese, Food, Hair | 2 Comments

My black roots were growing out (did you know that exercise makes your hair + nails grow out faster?) + the purple has faded (really quickly cos it’s the color nearest to my scalp), so I popped by Salon Vim over at Somerset 313 along with Yina for a quick touch up!

Some people like asking “how long does the purple last?” but to be more accurate, it’s more of a “how many washes does it last” one should be asking.

I first did my hair in the beginning of September.

This is how it looks like on the 12th September, at about 4 – 5 washes.

The blue is still very vibrant, but you can see that the purple has faded a little but took on an ashy-purple tone which I LOOOOOVED. It went super well with dark plummy lipsticks!

By the 12th or 10th wash – I wash my hair every 2-3 days – it looks somewhat like this in the picture (28th September):

the color is kindda funky here due to the color treatment I applied but imagine that the ends are blue and the top is more of a faded brown-purple.

So yep, back to last week. Went for a touch up, showed Stephanie (my new stylist!) some photos and we somehow arrived at a bleaching conclusion. I mean, we have to bleach my hair so that the purple is brighter and also that when it starts fading, it wouldn’t look so yellowish. I also wanted to cover the blue a little more as well, so she streaked the purple over some parts of blue.

Andddd the bleaching begins, to remove the previous purple as well as traces of red/yellow in my hair.

You can see a little pink here… Hmm!

 

After 10 minutes…

Stephanie and her assistant were careful with the application of bleach on my head and tried to avoid my scalp (but at the same time going the nearest they could) and I was wondering for quite some time why I didn’t feel any itching or burning sensation. 可能皮真的很厚。。。。But I’m sure a part of it was their skillful application! ahem. heh.

When I told her that it wasn’t itchy at all, she went even closer to my scalp and suddenly I couldn’t see any black bits at all! It wasn’t burning or anything, just that little bit itchy at some parts, but I did start to feel restless and at the same time she decided it was time for a wash.

 

And tadah! We’re done with bleaching!
Looks a little yellow still due to the lighting in the salon but I was almost tempted to walk out of the salon like that. I haven’t seen bleached roots in a while haha.

 

The blue bits were left alone, in case anyone was wondering. The manic panic hair dye in Rockabilly blue I used during the first time was SO STRONG that it’s still around and has only faded a little – not as bright as before, but still very evidently blue! I’m in awe.



And after about 4 hours of sitting in the salon…

Initially I was going “WHOA!!!” at the bright shade purple, but then the amazement sank in.
I feel so super duper grateful for having Salon Vim as my hair sponsor – they’re so reliable, and everyone I’ve met are just amazed that my hair can be this color AND look/feel so healthy!

The next two days I went around orchard road running errands (with no make up, yikes) and everyone was staring at me to the extent that I felt a little overwhelmed by the attention and staring – though I wished I had a huge signboard hanging behind me so that they would know I did my hair at Salon Vim, haha. I felt like a walking advertisement!

Know what? Salon Vim’s damn amazing at styling my hair. I swear. I walk out of the place happy all the time, and I requested for my hair to be done before an important dinner event – they obliged, and they LISTENED to what I needed and also UNDERSTOOD my hair texture so well that they gave me a perfect hairdo which lasted me 3 days. No kidding.

I wanted curly hair like Tricia’s (vaingloriousyou) but the thing is I have A LOT of hair so if the execution wasn’t careful, the hair would be too voluminous and I’ll look like a huge messy blob on top. Just look at what they did for me!

You would have seen these pics if you are following me on instagram! And yes that is Xiaxue with her purple hair as well – I swear that’s the most colorful wedding ever.

WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?

And even on the second day, the curls were still wonderful.
They didn’t even use hairspray on me – so I didn’t have to wash my hair : p

I got to bring home some products as well! The shine expert serum you see here smells so, so so good! I like using it after I blow dry my hair for added shine and also to smooth my tresses out. And Gary passed me some dry shampoo because, ah well, I try to not wash my hair that often. And this thing smells heavenly too so you can feel free to smell my hair anytime! : p

I know I’ve said this a thousand times, but the hair sponsor is one of the best things that has ever happened to me – because my hair coloring’s just too expensive to maintain.

I know some people may think that it is expensive to have crazy hair color, but it’s WORTH IT. Do it, at least once in your life!

You may think – aiyah, you’re now sponsored, of course you can do all the colors you want in the world.

But, I was a paying customer previously – and I gladly paid Vim to do my hair for quite a while because I trusted them. A part of the awesomeness comes from the fact that I have strong hair – but even the strongest hair can break with improper bleaching (which I have experienced before) and there’s just so many things that could have gone wrong with color application – It makes me very relieved that my hair color always turns out so nicely.

I know it’s expensive (and yes, bleach _is_ damaging), so even till today, I _still_ find ways to make it last by planning my colors carefully (it helps that I know how the colors fade out due to my experience with some hair dyes, and that they advise me on that aspect as well) despite the fact that I now get my hair done for next to nothing (I pay parking fees and ERP haha).

Quote my name, and get 10% off chemical services over at Salon Vim!
They are also opening another outlet soon, so if you haven’t liked them on Facebook, do so now! I’m sure there will be some promotions for their new outet’s grand opening.

Salon Vim is located on the 4th floor of Somerset 313 in Singapore.

It is great to know that gratitude goes both ways – to thank the bloggers under them, Salon Vim held an appreciation dinner over at Roland’s Seafood Restaurant over at Marine Parade.

 

Fish! I Not a fan of fish, but like that it’s paired with broccoli and cooked two ways… in one dish!

These prawns were amazingly yummy! Prawns were fresh and the sauce coupled with it… man it had us licking our fingers.

Mango fried chicken! Once again, I don’t really take chicken – but this was really nice as well and I had to stop myself from taking another piece because there were many hungry girls on our table : p

CHILLI CRAB! It’s just what we were waiting for. I took just a pincer because I eat seafood VERY often. I haven’t had my cholesterol checked yet but I do hope that my exercise is helping me out in that department hahaha. Yums! Not too spicy, just the right amount of sweet and the meat was succulent and fresh.

I had two of these. *guilty look*

Roland’s Seafood restaurant is a great place for gatherings – they have private rooms, are able to seat many (perfect for those mega huge 三姨四姑 gatherings) and is just right beside a busy shopping centre which is one of my favorite places in the world – Parkway Parade.

Roland’s Restaurant
Block 89, Marine Parade Central,
#06 – 750 Singapore 440089
Tel: 6440 8205

Roland’s Restaurant has a specific set of opening hours for weekends and weekdays, so be sure to call to check or find out more on their Facebook Page!

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