Welcome to WorkingWithGrace! :)

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Hi! I’m Grace. Welcome to my blog, WorkingWithGrace. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have interviewed a number of inspiring people for my blog, many of whom are celebrities, millionaires and entrepreneurs. Here’s one of them…

Meet Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.ย Peter was one of my former interviewees, and here’s a quick clip for those who have never met him before:

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Since 2013, this blog has received awards and recognition from many brands. I’ve been blessed with awards such as these ones:

2013 Best Individual Blog WINNER at the annual Singapore Blog Awards
2013 Aries Gold Watches’ Blogger Contest WINNER
2013 Zespri Blogger Challenge WINNER
2013 StarHub Blogger Challenge WINNER
2014 BRANDS’ Blogger Challenge WINNER
2014 Influr Blogger Challenge WINNER
2014 rolleyes x Panasonic Blogger Challenge WINNER
2015 SingSaver Blogger Contest WINNER

… and more. ๐Ÿ™‚

FREE Coffee Cup (With Customisable Colours) at CPF’s Vending Machine :)

I think the CPF Board must have the most colourful and eye-catching vending machine(s) in Singapore! I spotted one such machine while on the way to Bishan Junction 8 earlier this week and did a double-take. What could it possibly be selling? Looked like it could be tokidoki merchandise from afar. ๐Ÿ˜€ A touch of the screen revealed that all you need to do to redeem a FREE coffee cup is to download an app via the App Store or Google Play store, play 3 in-app games, get a QR code upon completion and scan the code at the vending machine. As the app required some 200+MB, I decided to download it when I had WiFi. Returned today with two QR codes – mine and my sister’s.

I didn’t know that you can choose the color of the lid and the body of the cup. (@_@) I scanned my sister’s QR code first… and saw this screen…

There must be some kind of timer I didn’t know about because in the few seconds it took to snap a photo and wonder which colour I should start with… the screen switched to the checkout page – I’d not chosen anything and did not receive the freebie! And when I tried to scan the code again… it did not work. Machine assumed I’d taken my gift already! (@_@)

ERM…

So here’s a tip for you: Just pick any colour when instructed to do so. Then the machine knows you’re in the middle of customising the cup, and it won’t take you to the checkout page. You can still change your mind about the colours before submission!

Yes, this is likely the most colourful / cutest vending machine in Singapore:

As for the games, they are ridiculously easy to play. Hand your phone to the youngest member of your family! ๐Ÿ˜€ You don’t need any ‘high score’ in order to get a free coffee cup. You simply have to play all 3 games.

Apparently, through playing the games, you’ll learn how important it is to start saving (from young), appreciate how compound interest works, and understand that a little financial prudence goes a long way.

If you want to, you can download the app first. It’s called ‘Game On! Adulting with CPF’ and it’s by the CPF Board. Then after you have played the games and gotten the QR code, you can go locate a machine. I suspect all the CPF branches may have a machine each, but I may be wrong. This one is at BISHAN, so please don’t ask me about it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have fun!

Mata Thai Lunch and Homecooked Prawn Pasta Dinner

We had lunch at Mata Thai in Bishan today. Despite the Squid Game craze and all, I have not been craving for Korean food. LOL. My darling suggested we have lunch at the foodcourt in the mall, as there’s a Korean stall there but I vetoed that idea. Haha! Anyway, at Mata Thai, they had a $10 promo for 2 sets of either their Red Curry Fish + Rice or Deep Fried Saba Fish with Thai Chilli and Rice. It’s apparently their 10.10 special for 3 days, from 9th to 11th October. We went for 2 sets of the former…

My darling took this picture while I went to shop at Valudollar next door. #potential

We really enjoyed the curry, which tasted especially good when consumed hot, with fragrant rice. I have to say, though, that I found just a hint of fishiness, which should have been masked by the curry. Just that one piece of fish… ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I’d have appreciated if they had been more generous with the veggies. But oh well… promo item. ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, here’s the dinner I cooked for my darling and me…

Pasta with Saybons’ Spicy Arrabiatta Pasta Sauce, and sides of blanched kailan and stir-fried mushroom with edamame (and lots of onion + garlic only for me), prawns, and an egg on top. ๐Ÿ™‚ It may not look like much but it was delicious, even if I do say so myself. Hahaha!

And it’s never easy to cook for two. For one pax, yes. For a large group, yes it’s easy. But for two? OMG. Near impossible to ‘guesstimate’ how hungry my dining companion is. I know how hungry I am, but not anyone else. For a large group, it’s easy. Just serve up platters of food and people take however much they desire. But when it’s for two… that’s where it gets tricky.

Also, I took great care in removing the shells, leaving only the head and tail. So this makes for easy consumption. No peeling required so you don’t need to get your hands dirty when eating the prawns. Thus, when preparing the prawns, you really have to focus if you want to keep the prawn heads intact. And lo and behold… when we tucked into our meal… my darling used his fingers to peel off the prawns’ heads and tails (@_@). Why did I go to so much trouble? LOL

Anyway, I really appreciate it when hawkers do the same.

At Oasis Terraces’ foodcourt, where we had a meal recently, I was pleasantly surprised to note that the prawns from ‘Chef Meng’s Poached Rice’ had the shell around the body removed, but with the head and tail intact. AND the usual toppings of crispy rice (?) are presented separately. It is evident the chef really wants you to enjoy the food. And so I did.

It’s really good. If you’re in/near Punggol and craving for poached rice a.k.a paofan, this is the place to visit! Best part is you can finish the soup and not feel thirsty. ๐Ÿ™‚

October ‘Babies’ Can Claim $20 evoucher from SAFRA Punggol

If you’re a SAFRA member and celebrating your birthday in October, you can drop by SAFRA Punggol to claim a $20 evoucher (if you’re one of the first 50 to do so) which can be utilised at selected outlets in SAFRA Punggol (unfortunately McDonald’s isn’t one of them). I’m not sure if the other SAFRA outlets in Singapore are offering something similar but feel free to check their social media pages, ya? ๐Ÿ˜‰ My darling and I are both October babies but he’s the one with the SAFRA membership so we popped by today to claim the evoucher (for him) and I also got a small jar of (birthday) rock candy which I suspect came from Sticky. <- Yes, the business is still ‘alive’ in Singapore! Aren’t you impressed? I’ve seen their candy still stocked in Times bookstore at WWP recently so I know they haven’t folded though I’ve not seen any of their retail stores around – perhaps it’s now all online?

I think the membership costs something like $40 for two years so I wasn’t tempted to sign up just so I could get the $20 evoucher too. XD What sort of perks do SAFRA members even enjoy now?

And if you’re wondering where the $20 evoucher may be used…

To all who are celebrating their birthday this month, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Yishun Park Hawker Centre Has Lotus Biscoff Min Jiang Kueh Among Other Yummies!

I asked my darling whether he thinks he’ll still head to Yishun today if he’s in his 70s. ๐Ÿ˜€ He said he’ll still go outdoors, for sure, but perhaps not venture too far from home ‘cos of COVID-19. Thankfully, we’re not in our seventies yet (hur hur) so we made a trip down to the Yishun Park Hawker Centre today instead of spending another Sunday at home. And I’m happy we did so. Because this place has good food! On the way to the restroom (clean and free-of-charge), I spotted a queue outside a min jiang kueh (MJK) stall. I was impressed by the MJK flavours they offer, such as ‘Green Tea Redbean’ and ‘Charcoal Black Sesame’. Durian was out of stock. But I was most interested in trying their Lotus Biscoff MJK, at $1.80 per slice…

It was as the poster declared – new, innovative and delicious. It tasted even better than the traditional red bean MJK. To describe the taste, I’d probably say it tastes like a biscuit but is fluffy like a pancake. Hahaha! Yes it messes with your mind. And they can probably be a bit more generous with the spread within. But definitely worth a try!

And if you’re wondering why there’s a pink arrow in the first picture above, well, funny story: the guy ahead of me was about to pay for his purchase when his two-dollar note dropped into the gap between the two glass panels, as indicated by my pink arrow. His fleshy hand/fingers could not reach the money so he signaled for help and the auntie who was serving him decided to use the food tongs to retrieve the $2. Inwardly I was gasping. If she had succeeded in her attempt, I would have left the queue, utterly horrified. Sorry, I don’t want to have my food touched by tongs previously used to handle money. XD (In the end, the other lady at the stall put her hand into the gap and swiftly took out the note) So… that’s the story of how I almost did not get to eat MJK today.

Anyway… if you were wondering, we came to this hawker centre to hunt down one particular food stall. One donburi place called Hideki something-or-other, that my darling had read about online. But I got distracted by the AH TAN Har Cheong Gai stall that seemed to have a never-ending queue. In fact, the kids seated at the next table were eating the HCG and their expressions were priceless…

Both were giving those WOW expressions, like this is the best meal they’ve ever eaten. Should feature them in a commercial, Ah Tan.

My darling returned with this platter (cost a total of $7) with 3 har cheong gai wings, rice with a fried egg, and a mean-looking chili sauce…

That first bite of HCG was amazing. The standard can definitely rival Two Chefs’. If you’re cutting down on carbs, just buy the chicken wings. And remember to get the sauce!

For the perfect balance of yummy (read: unhealthy) and healthy, I got us some seafood beehoon soup to share. There’s a stall manned by two older ladies which offers fish soup and the like. This huge bowl of seafood soup w/beehoon cost just $5.50! It has two whole prawns, tofu, fish slices, a large fishball and a large meatball too! (Both the meatball and the fishball have surprises within – order this to find out what’s inside ;))

Delicious. And ridiculously affordable. For such a large bowl of noodle soup.

After lunch, we took a walk, went to Northpoint to shop and get bubble tea, among other things. ๐Ÿ˜€ Then, if you’d believe it, we actually went back to Yishun Park Hawker Centre!

Had an early dinner of indian rojak there – it cost all of $6. The potatoes were really good. There’s this nice crispy ‘skin’ of batter. Can’t say the same for the fishcake, which was a bit too salty for my liking. Should go for prawn next time. The tofu’s good though – fresh and not at all sour. What I’d love to have more off is the onion!

We’d also dabao-ed some Hokkien Mee ($4) to eat when we got home, since we’d likely be hungry after having an early dinner. I didn’t take a photo of the hokkien mee as, honestly, we didn’t expect it to be very good. Why? We were given hokkien mee which had been pre-cooked instead of freshly cooked to order. Basically, we placed our order, paid, waited just 5 seconds (probably) and got our food right away. We were both incredulous – like, WOW, so fast ah?! – then had no choice but to accept what was given to us. I don’t think we’ve ever encountered such *erm* efficient service at hawker stalls offering hokkien mee before. Usually we have to wait for 5 to 10 minutes (or longer during peak hours) for our food.

The two (Vietnamese, I think) ladies manning the stall probably decided it makes more sense to cook a bigger batch each time so customers don’t have to wait – they get their food packed immediately.

I guess we’d lowered our expectations. The hokkien mee tasted pretty good even after the drive home from Yishun! LOL. We’d probably order this again.

Now… if you recall, I mentioned that we went to this hawker centre to get the donburi from Hideki. When we first got there, before noon, the stall wasn’t ready for business though there were two young men, well, setting things up slowly. I wouldn’t say they were ‘dao’ (or arrogant) but there was this air of bochup-ness, like oh if you want to order, come back again in 5 minutes. They really could have taken my order and told me to return in 5 to 10 minutes to collect the food. I think most business owners would do so, eh?

Anyway… we went back again before 4pm, and there was one guy in the stall but he walked off after noting we were taking pictures of the menu (to go back to our table and discuss about what to get). He didn’t return. A lady informed us that they’d gone off for their break. Come back at 5pm to order. (@_@)

The level of bochup-ness is really off the charts. LOL. Needless to say, we’ll definitely not be visiting one particular stall on our next visit to Yishun Park Hawker Centre.

TAAN IZA-BAR: 50% Off Via Eatigo!

We had dinner at TAAN IZA-BAR yesterday. It’s located at 1 Liang Seah Street and thankfully, we’d booked the 5pm slot via Eatigo. At that time, it was still easy to find a parking lot, but the same cannot be said for an hour after we’d arrived. ๐Ÿ˜€ Once again, my darling managed to impress me. I’d thought we were in for more “pub food” but the mains here are surprisingly good. Or, at least, what we ordered was delicious. ๐Ÿ˜€ And nothing makes the meal more enjoyable than paying just half-price! Hahahaa!

When we arrived at the bar before 5pm, there were only 2 couples inside. And for some strange reason, everybody was whispering to each other. It’s like no one dared to talk loudly. Perhaps it’s because the dominant colour, I should say, is black. Like, you’re entering a den and you’re not sure when a beast will appear to devour you whole so it’s best to stay quiet as much as possible. XD

First up, we had the Salmon Mentaiko Don which I’d picked. I’ve adjusted the price to reflect the GST + service charge.

You order food by scanning the QR code available at your table. This particular don was yummy, as most salmon mentaiko dons are. I would have appreciated having more of the salmon slices though.

As for his main, he asked for my help in picking something. I said he should go for either the Unagi Fried Rice or the version with crabmeat. He picked unagi and it was a fabulous choice:

You won’t see slabs of unagi but there are definitely pieces of them mixed together with the rice. And this is really delicious fried rice. It’s SO flavourful without being overly salty. And the rice is all so compact that it’s like you’re eating a… nyonya bak chang (?) Really good. I’d order this again.

Of course, with the hits, there were some misses as well. The first one is this side of Tebasaki Chicken Mid Joint. I love the mid joint portion of chicken wings. They’re the best! TAAN IZA-BAR’s version is, unfortunately, nothing special. Like chicken wings with a bit of black pepper sauce…

And the worst part is that it’s still pinkish within, so it’s not cooked through thoroughly. But I’m not inclined towards blaming folks for this ‘cos I’ve certainly undercooked chicken and fish at home before. So ya…

And my darling tends to over-order when we’ve an Eatigo reservation. LOL. He insisted on trying the Mentaiko Pasta too. This dish is, well, nothing to shout about. It’s just decent, I guess. No surprises – whether welcome or nasty. I’ll probably rate it 5.5 / 10 and that’s it.

We did not order any drinks since we had a large bottle of water with us. And the staff neither served us water nor had us order drinks, so that was fine.

The bill came up to just $30 after the Eatigo discount of 50%. Awesome right? ๐Ÿ˜€

And I think what amused me most was the spotlight above our table. I took a photo and added the name of the place:

It reminded me of the spotlight on Mr Bean… ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m not quite sure what they have the spotlight for. It doesn’t assist in photo-taking ‘cos of the color of the light. ๐Ÿ˜€ In any case, this isn’t an advertisement for the eatery. It’s simply a record of what we ate and what we should order again the next time we’re here. ๐Ÿ˜€

Nagara Thai: Easy-to-find Thai Eatery at 529 AMK Ave 10 (next to carpark!)

If you found the title of this blogpost strange, well, it’s because I’m frankly quite sick of foodie websites and blogs sharing about this “hidden” place and that “hidden” spot, like lots of F&B entrepreneurs are doing their very best to keep their businesses well-… (ahem) hidden. (I may have been guilty of blogging about some of these foodie finds and their secluded spots too but I shall repent…) So this blogpost is about one totally in-your-face impossible-to-miss Thai eatery located right next to the carpark. ๐Ÿ˜€ When you’re stumbling back to your car in a state of ‘food coma’, you’ll thank me for recommending this place that won’t have you walking very far! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ Actually, we’d wanted to eat at the Teck Ghee Food Centre yesterday (the fish soup is nice, though not as awesome as Han Kee’s) but the place was PACKED. My goodness. Who cares about COVID numbers when you’re craving for your favourite hawker fare, right?

So we drove on to where Nagara Thai is. And right next door is Pine Garden! So while waiting for our food to be served, I went next door to get cake and some buns to take home! ๐Ÿ˜€ *Pine Garden only accepts cash and GrabPay*

At Nagara Thai, I had tom yum noodles while he went for the fried rice version. And we shared the boneless chicken wings. I like this place as they serve you (free) water, have tissue dispensers at each table and the condiments holder is within reach. <- Honestly, the food’s spicy enough so unless your tongue has gone numb somehow, you won’t need any additional chili or chili sauce. ๐Ÿ˜›

I was really quite hungry yesterday so everything tasted delicious. LOL.

BUT I have to say that Pine Garden sure has very yummy char siew buns. I’d wanted to get their sushi bread but I didn’t see it anywhere so I bought a char siew bun (so good!), egg tarts (so-so only), blackforest cake (kind of pricey but helped satisfy a sugar craving), and kaya buns (better than your usual neighbourhood bakery).

We’ll definitely be back. After all, this place is ridiculously easy to spot, conveniently located next to the carpark, and there aren’t too many people. XD

Han Kee Fish Soup @ Amoy, Donuts from City Donut

Very generous with the thick fish slices. That’s why we love Han Kee.

It’s been such a long time since we’ve been back to the Amoy hawker centre, for a satisfying bowl of fish soup from Han Kee (#02-129). For $7, you can get a medium-sized bowl of fish soup with (thick) bee hoon or porridge (which is basically just rice in soup) and there are so many slices of fish on top that you cannot really tell which carb you have under the fish. ๐Ÿ˜€ The aunties who take your order have the really impressive ability to memorize the orders of many customers, collect payment from each person, then relay the orders to the elderly couple doing the cooking, and then hand customers tray after tray of what they have ordered. <- It’s really rare for them to get the orders wrong.

There are usually two ladies helping to take the orders. One is a lot grumpier than the other. So make sure you already KNOW clearly what you wish to order before you join the queue. State your order clearly and confidently when asked. Hand over your money QUICKLY – don’t make them ask twice. Then wait patiently for your tray to be handed to you. Once it’s in your hands, take it respectfully and go towards your table. Do not ask for an extra bowl or additional sets of cutlery or extra chili or extra whatever. You’ll ONLY get what they give you. No requests to be entertained after your order has been placed. (Yup, you cannot even add in an extra order ‘cos someone you know just showed up) <- Very fair.

While they don’t have any Michelin stars (which they don’t need, anyway), Han Kee always has a queue, COVID or no COVID. The fish is always fresh, and you’ll be left impressed by the number of fish slices in your bowl.

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We spotted the banner stating that the hawker centre will be closed from 11 October 2021 to 10 Jan 2022 for repairs and redecoration works. So pop by before the 11th if you miss the food from any of the stalls here, ya? ๐Ÿ˜‰

~

We also dabao-ed donuts from City Donut which is just across the road…

There was just one last Citrus Yuzu donut ($2.60) so of course, I had to have it. And I also picked the Pandan Kaya ($2.30) and Milo Dinosaur ($2.30). There’s this cute one called “Chilli No Crab” going for $3.20 per piece but since there’s no crab, I didn’t think it warrants the pricetag so I didn’t get one. ๐Ÿ˜€

My verdict: Like cream puffs but with the squishy-ness of a donut. I do still prefer the good ol’ traditional donut with no cream nonsense inside and just lots of sugar on top. But that’s just me. You can go ahead and try the donuts here. For instance, there’s a Pandan Ondeh Ondeh one ($2.90) that’s their signature item. And they have a decent-sized dining area that would probably be filled with office workers taking their breaks, if not for COVID.

Even though we popped by before 2.30pm yesterday, the staff at the counter told me that they won’t be preparing more donuts for sale (“kitchen staff have gone home already”) as the pandemic has affected their business and if they put out more donuts, there may be too many left over at the end of the day. Hmm… So I was indeed very lucky to get that final Citrus Yuzu donut. ๐Ÿ˜€

Geo Aesthetics: Get Rid of Mask Acne

Because of the pandemic, we have had to stay home a lot more and that has reduced the need to put on makeup. We eat healthier home-cooked meals, and we get a lot more rest since working from home has reduced the need to wake up early in order to catch that bus or train in the morning. So if we have slept well, eaten well, and let our skin โ€˜breatheโ€™ (a lot more), does that mean all of us are experiencing glowing, crystal clear, blemish-free skin? Probably not, right? And why doesnโ€™t all that rest and self-care translate into better skin? I believe it might be due to one thing: the need to wear masks.

At least one MP is advocating for mask-wearing rules to be relaxed when we are outdoors, but it seems unlikely that this will happen any time soon as COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise, hospitals are feeling the strain, and healthcare professionals just want to urge us to keep our masks on at all times to stem the spread of the virus. But prolonged usage of a face mask has its drawbacks, especially on our skin. If youโ€™ve had an episode of mask acne, you are definitely not alone. After one such instance that was particularly troubling, there are three things I do now to prevent it from happening again.

1) Always Have A Spare Mask In Your Bag

And itโ€™s not just a good idea in case you lose or stain your mask. Ideally, we should get a change every couple of hours if we talk or sweat a lot. Once wet, the effectiveness as a โ€˜barrierโ€™ drops, so it makes sense to get a swap when necessary, from the medical standpoint.

If I am heading outdoors for a walk and I know Iโ€™ll end up being hot and sweaty, and with my mask soaked, I make sure I have a replacement with me – whether it be a surgical one, or a cloth or reusable one, it doesnโ€™t matter. And itโ€™s not just a matter of comfort. While preventing the spread of the coronavirus by acting as a barrier for the transmission of droplets, masks also trap moisture and bacteria, which can wreak havoc on your skin.

Hence, after a workout, Iโ€™ll discard the now-soaked mask, dry my face with a clean piece of tissue, and put on a new mask. And while Iโ€™m on the topic, let me just share that I donโ€™t encourage the use of face towels or bath towels for wiping your face. Those tend to harbour bacteria too. So always reach for a clean piece of tissue paper, and do not touch your face unless you have washed your hands with soap first.

2) Take Extra Care When Washing And Drying

If you use a cloth mask, make sure you wash it (thoroughly) daily and leave it to dry in a well-ventilated area, preferably hanging at your window where thereโ€™s adequate sunlight. Donโ€™t leave your mask hanging in a dark and damp area, such as your bathroom. Often, Iโ€™ll let one side of the mask bask in the sun for a few hours, then flip it over to the other side.

And if you are not someone who is meticulous about washing, then perhaps you should just use disposable masks. Sure, it is not environmentally friendly but for people who donโ€™t have the time or energy or patience to do the proper cleaning, I guess itโ€™s a necessary evil. And hopefully, in a year or two, we will be able to get our lives back to normal and this will all become a thing of the past.

But if you do decide to do the washing, pay attention to the straps too. Avoid washing just the portion which covers the front of your face. The straps get dirty (and oily) as well, so make sure you wash the whole thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

3) Take Your Mask Off Whenever Possible

I try to stay home as often as I can but it is tough when neighbours are getting their renovation works done. Sometimes the hacking and drilling just makes it impossible to work from home and keep my sanity. In which case, when I am out, I do take โ€˜mask breaksโ€™.

When Iโ€™m in the car, my mask will usually be off and itโ€™s a welcome reprieve. When Iโ€™m outdoors and there is no one near me, Iโ€™ll have my mask down while I walk (quickly).

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Bonus Tip: Try Acne Removal at Geo Aesthetics

If, unfortunately, youโ€™ve done everything imaginable and still canโ€™t rid your skin of acne, then perhaps it is time to let the experts help you out. For just $28, you can try out the Acne Removal treatment which removes acne, pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. It also assists in controlling oil production. Let an experienced Aesthetics Therapist work their magic on your skin while all you need to do is relax. Also, you will get to indulge in a free lymphatic massage! Perhaps itโ€™s time to find out what everyone is raving aboutโ€ฆ

Besides professional help, you have to be diligent as well. Eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and skin! Avoid consuming too much sugar and oily, fried foods. I try to eat sugary foods earlier in the day as Iโ€™ve noticed that if my sugar intake is high (with my post-dinner dessert) just before bedtime, I wake up with slightly reddish skin that looks as if a couple of pimples will surface soon.

Likewise, make sure you get enough exercise and also sufficient sleep! Watch your stress levels and take time out to relax and recharge. I have noticed that when I donโ€™t get enough rest and/or am feeling more stressed than usual, my skin just looks duller and sometimes I get pimples too. Your skin can really be a reflection of how life is like for you at the moment. I guess thatโ€™s how we immediately notice when someone is in love, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

So, what does your current skin condition say about your health, your diet, and your stress levels?

This post was brought to you by Geo Aesthetics.

The Dessert Party: Desserts Which Taste As Good As They Look. Yum! :)

We parked our car at an HDB carpark yesterday, then walked over to Tampines One. And on the way to the mall, what made me do a double take was a dessert shop called ‘the dessert party’ which was located at the foot of an (old) HDB block, alongside hair salons (which had no customers) and a shop selling organic foodstuff which would arguably be very suitable for the people who lived in the (very quiet) area, many of whom are the elderly. So this dessert place seems a little, well, out of place. And after stepping into the shop, one of the questions I asked them was about the elderly residents and whether they’ll buy these desserts. Apparently, most of their customers order the pastries online, and some elderly residents do pop by to get these treats… for their grandchildren! Ahh…

I didn’t know what to get. And it was about an hour before their stated closing time, so I picked from what was left. A sea salt chocolate cookie ($3.50), earl grey lemon cake ($4.50), 64% dark chocolate brownie ($5) and 3″ passionfruit meringue tart ($7.80). Actually there were no more brownies in the display but my disappointment was evident, and a lady went to the back of the shop where they were presumably baking more of these goodies and magically conjured up a brownie for me! Hurray!

I do honestly think these pastries taste better than some of those you get at high tea sessions in the more famous hotels. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Passionfruit Meringue Tart was my favorite. It’s so gorgeous. And I don’t even like passionfruit but this piece had the perfect balance – not too sour and not too sweet either.

The brownie is also worth ordering as it has that (rare) crisp and crumbly exterior and it’s sweet and moist enough within. It’s not fudgy but it’s not dry and stiff. It’d go so well with ice cream! And the best part is how it tastes good even if you don’t pop it into a microwave oven (I don’t have one).

The sea salt chocolate cookie also impresses as the addition of just the right amount of sea salt makes this cookie much better than your average cookie.

As for the earl grey lemon cake, I have to say that the lemon steals the show. So I really wouldn’t know there’s any earl grey at all if someone had fed me this without telling me what it is. Still, very yummy. And it’ll be perfect with tea (make it earl grey!) ๐Ÿ˜€

There were a few other items in the display case, and all of them looked delectable. They looked like they should be from a shop in the middle of Orchard Road, instead of at the bottom of a block of HDB flats. But wow… people who live above the shop are so fortunate! And thankfully I don’t live there or else all my money’s going to this shop…

My absolute fav. I’ll be back! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Dessert Party is located at 406 Tampines Street 41, #01-23 SIngapore 520406. You can follow them on IG too and maybe order a box of goodies to be delivered to your home for free. Stay home and stay safe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Review: The Durian Bakery

I placed my order via The Durian Bakery‘s website this afternoon at about 4.30pm and the pastries were delivered at 6.45pm. I was too much of a cheapskate to pay $18.50 for ‘1 Hour Express Delivery’ (hahaa!) but I’m sure it’ll be comforting to know there’s such an option when you need to get a cake delivered last minute because you’ve clean forgotten that you had to order one for a special occasion! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve not tried anything from The Durian Bakery before so I picked a cake just based on the pictures on the website. Apparently, it’s a bakery that is highly recommended by the Best In Singapore website? So I picked the Dark Chocolate Fudge Drip Cake with Mao Shan Wang Core 6″ that costs $78. *If you’re celebrating a birthday, just select the option for a Happy Birthday topper, candle and knife.

Like many other brands, it seems the colors black + gold are favored for that ‘atas’ look and feel. Thus, it’s a very presentable cake box if you’re getting someone a cake, as you can see in the picture above.

I did also get the Mao Shan Wang pastries Taster Bundle that costs $51.90. In the picture on the website, the mochi looks like it’s the size of a large pau. Haha! But it’s your regular mochi size, really. The bundle includes 12pcs of D24 Durian Choux Puff, 6pcs of D24 Snowy Mochi, and 1 Dark Choco MSW Mousse.

Truth be told, I was expecting that in terms of taste, they’d be ranked as such:

  1. Dark Chocolate Fudge Drip Cake with Mao Shan Wang Core
  2. Dark Choco MSW Mousse
  3. D24 Durian Choux Puff
  4. D24 Snowy Mochi

BUT… it was the exact opposite! ๐Ÿ˜€

I really enjoyed the mochi which were soft and chewy, the size of a fishball, and plain delightful. I’d rate them 4 upon 5.

The choux puff, or what I’d just call durian puffs, were fragrant and not too sweet. 3.5 upon 5!

The Dark Choco MSW Mousse looked really pretty – a black dome with gold dusting on top – and the chocolate + durian combo worked really well. But the hazelnut palette feuilletine base was rather hard so you’ll have to eat it on its own. And that’s a 3 upon 5.

And as for the cake, well, it was delivered frozen, which allows it to be kept for up to 7 days in your freezer. (There are no preservatives in the cake hence it’s a really short shelf life) The plastic knife provided could not get a clean cut through the cake so I used a metal knife instead. Overall, it tasted like a durian ice cream cake which I’m sure many will enjoy, though it wasn’t the fudgy / gooey / mushy / chocolate-melting-into-durian-puree experience I was expecting. LOL.

All in all, good enough to satisfy a durian craving before the durian season returns… some time in December?

-> Check out The Durian Bakery’s range of cakes here.