Häagen-Dazs’ Ice-Cream Mooncakes 2014

Every year without fail, I’ll get Swenson’s ice-cream mooncakes. I love the sticky chewy chocolate ones! This year, I might give Häagen-Dazs’ a try. :)

haagen dazs ice cream mooncake [Blossoms of Tranquility S$25++]

“Featuring four of Häagen-Dazs’ most favoured flavours – Macadamia Nut, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Chocolate – each ice cream mooncake comes topped with unique chocolate appliques, the mooncakes are printed with designs that represent the blossoms under the full moon (月圆花好/ yuè yuán huā hǎo), wishing a blissful and tranquil life. For a burst of freshness amidst the rich ice cream, a bright amber ball of Mango Sorbet is nestled within its center, symbolising the wholeness of the full moon. Adding crunch and texture, the ice cream mooncakes sit atop either a sweet meal or peanut-butter chocolate malt ball base.”

*Available in three various gifts sets as well as an exquisite Häagen-Dazs Creation, these limited edition mooncakes will be available at all Häagen-Dazs Cafés, and selected Mid-Autumn events from 21st July to 14th September.

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Citibank and DBS/POSB Card Promotions:

Enjoy 15% off any purchase of Single, Petite or Classic sets and Blossoms of Tranquillity at any Häagen-Dazs Café

Häagen-Dazs Card Members:

Enjoy 15% off any mooncake purchase and:

  • Receive a free pint of the flavor of the month when you purchase 2 Classic Sets OR
  • Receive 1 free scoop of the ice cream of your choice when you purchase any 2 mooncake sets

Barbie Cafe in Taipei – An Explosion of PINK! :D

barbie cafe taiwan

When I visited Taiwan in May this year, I wanted to visit the Barbie Cafe as I’ve already been to the Hello Kitty Cafe, Jay Chou restaurant, Modern Toilet Restaurant, etc. And… it was pretty amazing! I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

The cafe was rather quiet at 12noon when we visited. According to the staff, it is busy mainly during tea-time. I wondered if that meant the food is not very good.

My worries were unfounded. The food here is better than at the Hello Kitty Cafe! And the customer service was good too! We ordered two set meals for lunch. :)

*For the menu and pricing, click here.

barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

barbie cafe taiwan

barbie cafe taiwan

In case you are wondering why there is a Barbie doll in the pictures above, well, I bought it in Taichung! :D

barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

Barbie Cafe Tel: 02-27528311

To get there:

Take the train to Zhongxiao Dunhua station -> Take exit 8 -> Upon exiting, turn back and cross the (immediate) first crossing you see. The Barbie Cafe is diagonally across the road and you can get there within 1 minute. :)

Alternatively (especially if it is raining), you can also take exit 12 of the station, via the underground mall. You’ll pop out right outside the cafe!

*Check out the Barbie Cafe menu :)

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House at Sentosa Cove

Blue Lotus

Tucked away in one corner of Sentosa Cove is Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House. I love the lanterns, really! :D

Their Signature Chili Pomelo Crab is apparently a must-try dish here! Compared to my previous crab dinner at Dancing Crab, an atas location like Sentosa Cove means you can’t really feel at home unless, well, you actually stay at Sentosa Cove. :P

Here’s what we ordered:

Blue Lotus

We ordered the lemongrass prawn sticks (S$18) for starters [bottom right in the picture above]. I thought it was unimpressive. It’s just oddly bland on its own and depends on the citrus spicy sauce for flavor. Like I said, I’m not impressed by this dish at all.

Similarly, the fried french beans with minced pork in xo sauce (S$22) was nothing to shout about despite its promising name. This dish was also a tad too salty. Thankfully, we’d ordered white rice.

The wok-fried kagoshima wagyu beef tenderloin with peppercorn (S$48) was lovely. The beef was tender and juicy and my only complaint is that for S$48, I should have gotten more of those bite-sized chunks of beef! I want more!

The signature chili pomelo crab (S$7.80/100g) was really good though. The pomelo added an interesting touch to the dish – I found it strangely addictive when slurped up with the saue! :D The crab was fresh (how delightful!) and the sauce they made from fresh tomatoes (not ketchup, mind you), chili padi and a host of other ingredients was yummy, if not a tad too spicy.

To end the meal, we had lemongrass gelo with lime sorbet (S$9), which was simply wonderful! A great mix of sweet and sour, it will leave you craving for more! Possibly the most intriguing jelly dessert I have ever eaten! #MustOrder

Where drinks are concerned, I liked the fresh coconut juice (S$8). The iced honey & lemon (S$6) was not the most pleasant. I guess I really should have gone with their iced lychee tea (S$6) which comes with real lychee! #IfThereIsANextTime

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I’m very impressed by how their menu and prices(!) can be found on their website, albeit without stating which are the recommended dishes to try – you can only find this on the physical menu at Blue Lotus.

Promotion: There is a 1st Anniversary Giveaway going on from 2 July to 29 September. Receive a S$50 Blue Lotus voucher with every S$200 spent in a single receipt. Check in-store for details!

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House
31 Ocean Way, #01-13 Quayside Isle
Singapore 098375

Lunch: Fridays – Sundays
11.30am to 3pm (last order 2.30pm)

Dinner: Mondays – Sundays
6pm to 10pm (last order 9.30pm)

Closed on Tuesdays

http://www.bluelotus.com.sg/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/bluelotusrestaurant

Dancing Crab at The Grandstand: Why Do People Like Eating There?!

Initially, I wanted to title this blogpost ‘I’m So Glad You Are Alive!!!’ because of what happened before yesterday’s dinner at Dancing Crab. :D To cut a long story short, due to a mis-communication and an iPhone which decided to hang at the most inopportune moment, we waited for each other for over an hour at different spots outside the Botanic Gardens (but were just, maybe, 150m apart). LOL! When Max, Kelly and myself finally got “reunited” with Steven, after nearly starting a nationwide manhunt for him because this guy is never late, we were just so glad he’s alive. :D

Dancing Crab The Grandstand

[From left: Max, Kelly, Me, Steven]

I guess the fact that we very nearly didn’t make it for our Dancing Crab dinner meant we relished it even more.

And the place was about 70% full on a Tuesday evening. At a location like The Grandstand, it is nothing short of astounding!

5 Reasons Why I Liked Dancing Crab:

1) Dining Off The Table – No Cutlery Needed: It is probably not that novel an idea anymore but it was my first time being forced to eat in public without any cutlery. It truly makes more sense to peel a prawn with your bare hands (and eat the prawn while it is still hot) than try to de-shell it with a knife and fork.

Dancing Crab The Grandstand

[Server pouring a bag of seafood onto our table... and 1 prawn landed in front of me. It was evidently mine. :D]

I really dislike those atas events where I have to keep my elbows off the table while eating, try not to cut up my steak too violently, and dab at the corners of my mouth with a napkin every so often.

Needless to say, Dancing Crab, I will be back again. It’s just like eating at home, where I can eat with just my fingers and no one thinks it is rude. :D

2) An Interesting Visual Feast

Unless you are allergic to prawns, you definitely have to order the Flaming Moonshine Tiger Prawns, because of, well, the flaming spectacle when the prawns are cooked right before your eyes by the server who wheels the portable stove over.

Dancing Crab Grandstand

The prawns are sweet and juicy, and taste really good with the sauces provided.

*Prawns – S$8/100g, with a minimum order of 500g

3) No Usage Of Handphones – Not A House Rule

I can safely say that all 4 of us are handphone addicts. We just CANNOT help but fiddle with our phones during mealtimes, catch-up sessions, and just about any other time during the day.

At Dancing Crab, because our fingers got filthy, we had no choice but to concentrate only on eating and chatting. And it was a LOT of fun!

You know how some people go to restaurants with their friends, and everyone puts their handphones in a pile and promise not to use the phones, with the person who breaks his/her promise first footing the bill for everyone else? At Dancing Crab, there is no need for that. We can’t wait to drop our phones into our bags so we don’t get them dirty. LOL!

4) Yummy Food

I did not expect the crab cakes (just S$13) to taste so good! The prawn dips and the crab did not disappoint either.

The lobster roll was nothing fantastic, though, so I won’t order it again.

I do suspect that it’s because we were eating without using any cutlery, that the food tasted exceptionally good. Imagine eating at KFC but instead of using your fingers, you have to use a knife and fork. It will no longer be “Finger Lickin’ Good”!

5) Affordable

Our meal for 4 (including drinks) came up to about S$170+ after tax. It was pretty reasonable.

*A note about the drinks: The homemade iced lemon tea was VERY sour. I think they remembered to add the lemon but forgot about the sugar. Healthy but cringe-inducing.

Address: 200 Turf Club Road, #01-20/21

Tel: 64663303 [Call to make an appt, but if it's a weekday, no matter what they say, just turn up anyway. We were told there were no tables till 8pm, but went in around 7pm and got seated. :D Don't try this during Public Holidays and/or Fridays. I take no responsibility whatsoever :P]

Is Singapore Clean OR Cleaned?

Cleaners are often taken for granted and I guess we won’t really appreciate them till we are able to see what happens when there are no cleaners around.

Here’s a picture my pal, Clarence, posted on facebook. It shows the mess at a hawker centre in Chinatown at night:

Dirtied tables at hawker centre

As you can imagine, cleaners will have to clean up this mess in the morning. And by the time you head over for your breakfast, you will have no idea that such a mess had occurred just the previous evening!

And here’s a question: If the first thing YOU see when you reach your ‘office’ is THIS mess, and your job is to clean it up, what sort of thoughts will run through your mind? To make matters worse, your monthly pay is an average of $1000.

Singapore’s cleaners really do not have an easy time. They have to help uphold Singapore’s reputation as a clean and green city, but have to combat the messes that Singaporeans and other residents make.

One Friday, I attended Ngee Ann Poly’s Cleaners’ Appreciation Event on their Low Wage Workers’ Day 2014. Organized by the polytechnic’s Current Affairs Club in collaboration with Young NTUC, the lunch was enjoyed by about 70 of the cleaners who serve in the school.

Students got the opportunity to show their gratitude by serving these low wage workers and forging closer ties with them through the chit-chat over lunch. The cleaners were also given goodie bags containing t-shirts and other items.

Students serving the cleaning staff:

Serving the cleaning staff

A student cleaning up after the cleaners, to the latter’s amazement:

Cleaning up

MP for Nee Soon GRC, Mr Patrick Tay, commented in his opening address that “Singapore is more of a cleaned city, than a clean city.”

MP Patrick Tay speaking with the cleaning staff:

patrick tay

He also spoke about the Progressive Wage Model and the government’s serious commitment in helping workers in the cleaning industry upgrade their skills, improve productivity, and make their jobs safer to do. Ultimately, wages are supposed to go up, and soon, there will be a minimum basic salary of S$1000 for cleaning staff, under a new Public Health Act law in which cleaning companies must submit a progressive wage plan in order to obtain their business licence.

Thereafter, cleaners can expect wages to increase upwards according to their skills, productivity and career responsibilities.

Progressive Wage Model for Cleaners

progressive wage model

On top of that, the National Wages Council just recommended a minimum $60 increase for workers earning below $1000 each month, although unions wanted the monthly salary threshold to be higher so more workers could get the pay hike. $60 may not be a big deal to PMEs, but for someone working a back-breaking job for less than $1000 and knows how to stretch his or her dollar, $60 can go far in helping household expenses.

How can we help them?

Let’s start by showing our appreciation to the cleaners and by being better customers:

1) Say “thank you”, with a smile, when cleaners come by your table to clear the trays and dishes.

2) Keep your ‘mess’ contained within your bowl or plate. Do not leave chicken bones, prawn shells, tissue paper and the like, all over the table. Spare a thought for the cleaners who have to pick up after you, thus preventing quick turnover times so other patrons can take the seat after you.

3) Whenever possible, return your tray and utensils to the cleaning stations or tray receptacles.

If you know of a cleaner who has made a difference in your life by keeping your office, neighborhood, or favorite hangout cleaner and more conducive, how about helping him/her win $100 in Fairprice vouchers?

Take part in the Cleaners’ Selfie Competition on Facebook HERE.

(Free) Royal Secrets facial & Mellben Signature Chili Crab! :D

In my RUN 350 goodie bag was a voucher for a free facial session at Royal Secrets. Since the fiancé received the exact same voucher, we went for the facial together.

Royal Secrets Beauty Indulgence

Located at 68 Peck Seah St, Royal Secrets is near exit A of Tanjong Pagar MRT Station.

The 45-minute “Diamond Peel”/microdermabrasion facial left my skin feeling soft and rid of most of the whiteheads and blackheads. :) No painful extraction required as the machine has a suction feature, like a vacuum cleaner, which quickly and painlessly cleans your pores.

I didn’t accept the initial top-up of S$28(before GST) for an eye mask and yada yada, and didn’t sign up for the packages after.

If I’m working in the vicinity, like I was previously, then it would make perfect sense to sign up for their affordable facial packages. Each session can be priced as low as S$50!

~

Then we headed to Mellben Signature at Bestway Building to redeem a 1kg crab that he’d purchased via Groupon for over 40 bucks. Turns out I enjoyed the $6 Fried Vermicelli more. :D

The portion is just nice for 2 people!

Mellben Signature Fried Vermicelli

The Chili Crab was more sweet than spicy. Apparently, Mellben is good (only) for Claypot Crab Bee Hoon. Will try that next time.

Mellben Signature Chili Crab

The Claypot Beancurd was average-tasting.

Mellben Signature Claypot Beancurd

*Photos taken using my handphone and edited with an app. Not the best as these aren’t invites. :P

Pretty good way to end my day after the appointments earlier. :) Looking forward to more facial treats and yummier chili crabs!

Fruit Frolic: Nutritious Cold-Pressed Juices, Yummy Salads & More!

[Giveaway worth over S$178 at the end of this blogpost! :D]

Fruit Frolic

Fruit Frolic

Whenever possible, you might want to select cold-pressed juices over those from a conventional juicer or blender as the latter tend to destroy the precious enzymes in fruits and vegetables. Cold-pressing prevents the excessive loss of nutrients and enzymes, ensuring your body gets all the goodness you have paid for!

I am a huge fan of Fruit Frolic at Marina Bay Link Mall. It serves very refreshing juices and fruit teas, as well as shockingly tasty salads which you absolutely have to try! And oh, don’t miss the Fruit Frosty (I’ve tried the Avocado frosty with chocolate sauce. Yumz!)

Accessible via train and conveniently located at the Downtown station (and right next to Starbucks), Fruit Frolic serves up a yummy range of over 44 concoctions, on top of smoothies, juices served neat, and fruit teas!

Concoctions are priced at S$6.50 and neat juices from S$5. A cup of carrot juice will cost you S$8 but do bear in mind that 1 to 1.2kg of carrots went into making that one cup of juice!

Fruit Frolic also grows its own wheatgrass! It takes 10 days to grow wheatgrass from seedling to the time it’s ready for harvesting. One wheatgrass shot costs just S$4.

 Fruit Frolic

[Picture at the bottom left-hand corner explains how much I love Fruit Frolic. I usually have leftovers at meals. :D]

What I learnt from Evan, founder of Fruit Frolic:

1) It is best to consume juices on an empty stomach. Most people get it wrong and drink juices only after food. Instead, allow your body to fully absorb all the nutrients without getting bogged down by the digestion of your meal.

2) Customize your own morning juice with your favorite fruits and vegetables. Evan usually has green apple, orange, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, beetroot and carrot in his.

No time to prepare your own salads or juices? Head to Fruit Frolic!

fruit frolic

Visit Fruit Frolic at:

8A Marina Bay Link Mall #B2-02 (Mondays to Fridays 11am to 7pm)

fruit frolic

{ The Yummilicious Fruit Frolic Giveaway }

  • 5 Winners get a Fruit Frolic Meal consisting of a Large Salad + Optional Meat + 1 Fruit Tea (worth up to $12)
  • 15 Winners get a 1-for-1 Treat Voucher for use on all items on the menu, including salads, concoction juices, fruit teas and desserts.

How To Participate: Just head over to my facebook page and follow the 3 simple steps. :)

Yakult Health Foods: Maroyaka Kale “Green Juice” review

Yakult Health Foods launch

Maroyaka Kale

I attended the launch of Yakult Health Foods last month and received a box of Maroyaka Kale extract ($87.90 before discount) to try for a month.

I usually eat a lot of vegetables daily, almost never suffer from constipation, and would ordinarily shy away from green juices.

This one is bursting with beta-carotene, calcium and minerals. Also, it’s packed individually in 30 sachets suitable even for travel, and is so easy to add into beverages.

Now… for the taste test:

1) [When mixed with only cold water*] Tastes and smells like a seaweed drink in which a marine organism died.

*On the pack, it is stated that cold water, milk and yoghurt is recommended

2) [With soy milk] MUCH better! It’s as if you’ve added spirulina powder into the soy milk. Very yummy! I can drink this every day!

3) [With milk] Not as yummy as with soy milk, for sure.

The Verdict

The Maroyaka Kale goes best with soy milk. I like the ‘reduced sugar’ version of NutriSoy. :)

Maroyaka Kale Yakult Health Foods

This is great for people who don’t take enough vegetables with their meals and/or lack calcium in their diet. I am not kidding you – this tastes real good with soy milk. Just… whatever you do… don’t try it with cold water or worse still, lukewarm water.

Yakult Health Foods

Bet you didn’t know Yakult has a Health Foods range before reading this! ;)

*Available at Guardian pharmacies

In Support Of Smile Asia Week

Smile Asia Week

I spotted an ad in a copy of the Today papers, came to know about Smile Asia Week, and placed an order for one of their Valrhona Chocolate Banana cakes.

[The Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts in Asia aim to raise funds for Operation Smile - "a medical charity that heals children's smiles, forever changing their lives."]

Till about 5 years ago, I hated smiling for photos because my crooked teeth would show. After I had braces done, my smile has been transformed and I’ll gladly smile for photos anytime.

I’m supporting Smile Asia Week as I would love to bring smiles to the faces of children with facial deformities.

I’ve ordered and tried one cake. Will be placing an order for a few more for friends. :)

Taste: It’s yummy chocolate cake – probably 2 notches below the famous one from Awfully Chocolate, but still decent nonetheless.

At just S$33 per cake, won’t you consider helping out too? :)

www.smileasiaweek.org

(Vid) Demanding Subway Customer Wants Olives Arranged In One Straight Line

If you haven’t watched this video already, you should. May the good lord bless service staff who encounter customers like this one. *face palm*

“Can you toast it a bit more… but not too hard ah.”

“Can help me put the olives in one straight line?”

“Can I try the cookie?”

As we celebrate May Day tomorrow, let’s take this as a reminder to be a better customer. Don’t make unreasonable demands, and don’t hold up the queue for everybody else waiting in line!

And unless you have serious OCD issues, no, olives do not have to be arranged in one straight line in your sub! :P