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

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I’ve been blogging since 2010 (that seems like such a long time now) ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll be tagging some of my favorite 2017 blogposts here. Just scroll on to read the latest posts…

#1: CNY Floral Arrangement @ Bright Hill Evergreen Home

Bright Hill Evergreen nursing home

Continue scrolling to read more of my latest blogposts! ๐Ÿ˜€

British Airways’ New Safety Video Is Hilarious! :D

British Airways Safety Video with Rowan Atkinson

Screengrab from YouTube

I was so amused by the appearance of Rowan Atkinson at the end of the new safety video by British Airways! ๐Ÿ˜€ The beloved Mr Bean. ๐Ÿ˜€ Also, if you’re a fan of Gordon Ramsay orย Sir Ian McKellen (hello, Gandalf!), you’ll enjoy watching the video!ย The celebrities star in this humorous pre-flight safety video as part of a fund raising effort for โ€˜Flying Startโ€™, a global charity partnership between British Airways and UK charity, Comic Relief.

The new safety video will be rolled out in all British Airways flights in September to demonstrate the importance of safety in an entertaining way, whilst also raising funds for charity for the underprivileged.

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I learnt something new about the life jackets too!

This guy with the life jacket is Rob Brydon, I believe. I was so tickled by what he said: “There’s also a charming whistle and light combination for attracting attention, should you be one of those people who enjoys attention.” Oh my lord! I found that super funny! ๐Ÿ˜€

British Airways Safety Video

Screengrab from YouTube

Watch the Director’s Cut here:

And the equally funny Behind-The-Scenes video here:

Now that you know what to expect on upcoming British Airways flights, don’t be like Rowan Atkinson who was fumbling around for loose change! Get your donation ready and place it in the Flying Start envelope ๐Ÿ™‚

17A Keong Saik Road: Tea Session With Author Charmaine Leung

17A Keong Saik Road

For those who have memories of Keong Saik Road in the 70s and 80s, this book will be a most welcome read as it takes you down memory lane and allows you a glimpse into the life of a young girl whose mother managed a brothel at 17A Keong Saik Road back then. For those, like me, who were born in the 80s or later, this book is a revelation: who knew that Keong Saik was a red light district, or that some Ma Jie had female lovers? It’s definitely an eye-opening read and a very easy one (you’ll complete the book in 1 or 2 sittings). I get the sense, though, that as it reveals, it also attempts to hide. And it’s puzzling for me as I think there is no shame at all in being the daughter of a brothel operator (or even being the operator herself). So I went to the tea session with the author, hoping to get some answers. But it was in what was not said, that I had my questions answered.

Tea with Charmaine Leung

Thanks to Ethos Books for arranging the session (Pic credit: Ethos Books – IG)

A couple who were the last to show up asked Charmaine which estate her mom is living in now. Charmaine’s answer was that yes, her mom stays in Singapore. (But we already knew / suspected that) The dude pressed on, and mentioned a certain estate to which Charmaine was evidently taken aback and queried him on how he knew. I do not think he’s from the CID or anything like that. It’s just that people get more inquisitive as they get older. And a straightforward answer will usually shut these people up. The more evasive you are, the more they want to dig deeper.

So I’m guessing the topic of her mother is unwelcome. I HAD wanted to know what her mom really thought about Charmaine’s publishing of this book, as she did not want people to know she managed a brothel back when Charmaine was still in school. Has she gotten over that hurdle herself? That managing a brothel was supposedly shameful?

Charmaine herself seemed a little less open compared to some of the other authors I’ve met before, including her friend Magic Babe Ning whom I have interviewed in the past. In her book, Ning was very open to sharing about her female partners in the past (including the scuffle and whatnot) but stopped short at revealing her current partner’s name and what he/she does. Ning is a joy to meet in person as she radiates happiness and warmth. Charmaine’s a little more guarded, making me feel self-conscious and probably needing to check if I happen to have two daggers with me which are putting her on edge.

Charmaine did reveal that writing this book took about 3 years as she also had her job to work on, and after meeting several publishers, she picked Ethos Books. None of us were kaypohย or brave enough to ask her about her love life. I did have a question as she had mentioned in her book that there was no permanent male figure in her life. But I suppose that isn’t a good question, even for another time. So I asked why she picked this particular publisher. Lame question, I know.

What I did learn from this session is that there are still some brothels functioning at Keong Saik Road (numbers 6 and 8; on the upper levels, I believe). Also, that Kok Sen supposedly has good zi char, and that when you send out your wish to the Universe, it replies in marvelous ways. This book’s first print run has already sold out. And Lonely Planet has just named Keong Saik Road as #4 on its list of Best Places To Visit In Asia 2017. So I’m guessing the next couple of print runs will sell out as well!

‘Let’s Give It Up For Gimme Lao’ by Sebastian Sim

Let's Give It Up For Gimme Lao

This book didn’t quite attract me with its cover (the color choice is attention-grabbing but can hardly be considered attractive) but I bought it anyway since it was a finalist in the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize. Halfway through the book, I was amazed that a book of this quality was not the winner, and only a finalist. Towards the end, I was getting a bit tired of the (perhaps) ‘gay agenda’.

I like how the author, Sebastian Sim, drew on his own experiences working as an insurance salesman and a prison officer in a maximum security prison (among other occupations) for this book. For instance, Mary Lao in the book is a shrewd insurance saleswoman who becomes wildly successful in the industry. She reminds me of Dr Mary Chen Ming Li, a legend in Singapore’s insurance industry, and also TV host Quan Yifeng’s great aunt.

This book has a lot of references to people and events in Singapore, from the anti-gay ‘Pastor Kong’ (wow) to Pink Dot and a politician with a gay son { I wonder who ๐Ÿ˜‰ } and who also has an affair with a nurse since said politician is a doctor! ๐Ÿ˜› Also, there’s the bit about the SARS episode and how the doctor-politician ended up claiming the credit for things he didn’t do.

Overall, I’d say this book is worth a second read. I’ll certainly come back to it again once I’m done reading a few other books.

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You can get a copy at Times bookstore for just $26.64. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oyoge Taiyaki @ Chinatown: So-So Taiyaki But Delicious Soft Serve

Oyoge Taiyaki

I love Taiyaki, which is the Japanese fish-shaped snack. Back in Osaka, I chanced upon a taiyaki shop and got to eat one which was piping hot (crispy outside, with sweet bean filling inside). OMG. Almost died and went to dessert heaven! But truth be told, everything seems to taste good in Japan. Correct me if I’m wrong; even the food sold in convenience stores taste yummy! What is it with the Japanese and their dedication to serving up delicious food? Back to Oyoge Taiyaki which is located in Chinatown… the taiyaki was a letdown (in my opinion) but the star here is their soft serve. It’s probably the best soft serve in the whole of Chinatown.

We’d purchased their Premium Set off Groupon/Fave and it came with one mochi taiyaki (that you see above), one crossaint taiyaki, one soft serve and a drink. All these for $10.

Oyoge Taiyaki review

I chose the red bean filling for the mochi taiyaki as I love red bean and can’t think of a better filling for this fish-shaped confection. Also, they were out ofย Belgian dark chocolate during my visit, and I thoughtย Matcha would be too mild a taste for pairing with mochi. Red bean was a good choice but the mochi was so gooey. It’s not “QQ” or chewy enough. I like mochi which you have to bite into and try to pull it apart. It shouldn’t be too soft in texture.

As for the Apple crossaint taiyaki, the taste was good. Kinda like apple pie, Japanese-style. But it needed more of that apple goodness. I could only taste a few small pieces. So it wasn’t shiok enough, if you get what I mean. And the pastry was a little soggy from sitting out in the open for too long, I guess. Would have been awesome if it was straight off the pan.

Oyoge Taiyaki Crossaint Taiyaki

But that soft serve… OMG. It’s delicious! It’s their Royal Milk Tea soft serve and it’s indeed dessert royalty! Even the cone looks like a special charcoal wafer cone. I am SO going back to this taiyaki place again solely for the soft serve. LOL!

Oyoge Taiyaki Royal Milk Tea Soft Serve

As for the genmaicha, oh dear, it was so bland, I would rather have had plain water. But I have a sweet tooth so don’t blame me if I don’t like it. I guess it is a good pairing with all the other sweet items – balances out all that sugar.

While you’re there, you might be lucky enough to get a seat at one of the 3 tables. From one of them you can even watch the lady make the taiyaki…

Oyoge Taiyaki making

Oyoge Taiyaki Chinatown

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Oyage Taiyaki is located at 191, New Bridge Road, China Town, 059423. It’s across the road from Bee Cheng Hiang – just cross the pedestrian crossing at Mosque Street after exiting from the MRT station. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kok Sen Restaurant at Keong Saik Road: We Tried The Pricey Hor Fun

Kok Sen Giant Prawn Hor Fun

After attending an event at Keong Saik, and hearing the name ‘Kok Sen’ mentioned multiple times, he wanted to visit the eatery (not quite a restaurant) while I was not as enthusiastic. When an F&B place gets honored with Michelin stars and whatnot, standards are likely to drop because of the sudden influx of customers and quality is compromised when the kitchen cannot keep up with the increase in demand. What’s more, Kok Sen appears to be a long-time favorite of many folks who like zi char meals. So we ordered only one dish at Kok Sen, of Michelin Bib Gourmand fame, and kept our fingers crossed, hoping it would taste good. And be worth that *gulp* exorbitant pricetag.

Even before 5.30pm on Saturday evening, the place was already packed with diners. We managed to get the last remaining table right out at the front, next to the parked cars… and the green garbage bin. And we settled down to what we thought would be a quiet dinner for two. Alas! The store assistant tasked with taking orders ushered three more folks to join us at the table. Apparently, there’s no fixed number of diners who may be seated at any table. Simply drag some plastic stools with you and you’re free to join in. So we had three pairs of eyes watch us and the food, because they arrived later and their food was being prepared while we ate. (@_@)

Here’s the menu if you’d like to browse:

Kok Sen Restaurant

Kok Sen Menu

When it was served up, I had to ask what dish this was, as it looked like a dish of chili crab due to the color of the sauce. It was the Big Prawns Hor Fun he had ordered. This dish costs $17.50. Probably the most pricey hor fun I’ve ever eaten by the side of the road in non-airconditioned discomfort.

Kok Sen Giant Prawn Hor Fun

I have only two words to describe the dish: Over-priced, over-rated.

The prawns are big, yes. I think there were all of 3 prawns. Some noodles, some veggies, and lots of fried shallots. The sauce is thick and gooey, like chili crab sauce but saltier and with some heat from the chili. I’d hazard a guess that there was MSG as well ‘cos I was so thirsty after eating this.

Thankfully, there wasn’t any GST or service charge added to the bill. So $17.50 it was. And they didn’t charge us anything extra for the wet tissue (which we didn’t use anyway). I think I’ll keep the $17.50 next time.

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If you’d like to visit anyway:

30-32 Keong Saik Road
Tel: 62232005
Opening hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 5pm-11.30pm, closed every alternate Monday.

Lamborghini Singapore: The Test Drive My Pal Won’t Soon Forget

test drive lamborghini singapore

Last week, I brought my pals with me to celebrateย Huracรกn Day at the Lamborghini Satellite Showroom at Suntec City. And Max even went for a test drive. The usually too-cool-for-words photographer pal of mine could not stop gushing about the experience, even when we’d left the showroom and gone to Mad For Garlic for food. I joked with his wife, ‘Angie’, that he’d wake her up at night just to tell her “vroom vroom”. The sound from that Lamborghini engine is incredible. And all the contours on their cars are so sexy.

lamborghini singapore test drive

Award-winning pastry chef, Janice Wong, also created an edible chocolate installation (on the feature wall) specially for Lamborghini, with 500 chocolates in green and yellow.

Lamborghini Singapore

For many, a Lamborghini is an object of envy. Few would be able to own one here in Singapore. Because of the speed limits on our roads, it might also be impractical to own one if you love the thrill of driving a fast car. But I think it is a status symbol that many would love to have. My pal, ‘Angie’ (short for Angelina Jolie) is a fan of this particular one, because it has seats in orange. LOL. She also said that every single color Lamborghini picks for their cars somehow works – whether it be orange or green, red or white. I have to agree.ย lamborghini singapore suntec city

For those of us who don’t have a million dollars to spare, there’s also supercar rental available at Suntec City. Prices start from $298++ for a 15-minute street circuit tour, to $798++ for 60-minutes around Singapore. Check out ultimatedrive.com.

If you DO have that million dollars, then make a date with Lamborghini Singapore for a test drive. *wink* Also, follow them on Facebook for updates:ย https://www.facebook.com/lambosg/

Mad For Garlic @ Suntec City: Review, Menu & Prices

Mad For Garlic Garlic Snowing Pizza

My atas neighbor has been raving about the ‘Garlic Snowing Pizza’ at Mad For Garlic for the longest time ever, and I finally got to dine at the restaurant at Suntec City today, and I suppose I managed to figure out what the fuss is all about. While we were there, we also got to try the pasta and rice dishes, and I have to say she was right! You simply have to order the pizza, and perhaps an appetizer you fancy, and it’d make a most satisfying meal for fans of garlic. Don’t forget to chew on some mint after your meal though, because it’s really all about garlic here! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Garlic Snowing Pizza you see above is priced at $23.50++, and it has fried garlic, shrimp and pineapple on a really thin pizza crust. Probably the thinnest pizza crust I’ve ever had! There’s also a “sweet white sauce” plus cheese flakes on top (the staff come round to grate it onto your pizza, hence the “snowing” in the name).

I also ordered the Crab & Lobster Pasta ($23.50++) as it’s supposedly one of their bestsellers. On the menu, it’s stated that it comes with “crab meat, lobster meat and garlic cream sauce”. I think I tasted some chewy seafood (it might have been lobster but I’m not sure). A little disappointing to see crabstick in a $23.50++ dish though. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Mad For Garlic Crab and Lobster Pasta

The Garlic Sizzling Rice ($21.50++) is fried rice like you’ve never tasted it before. It has pickled garlic, bacon (oh my!) and flying fish roe, and it’s served on a sizzling hotplate. There’s also a really yummy sauce that’s drizzled over it – I wish there was more though! There’s also onion and capsicum in this dish which looks deceptively easy to cook, but packs a punch in terms of taste.

Mad For Garlic Garlic Sizzling Rice

My pal’s favorite item on the menu is this Dancing Salsa Rice with Beef ($22.50++) below. My goodness, the prices here are steep! But according to my pals, it’s worth it.

Mad For Garlic Dancing Salsa Rice with Beef

Also, you can purchase a Fave by Groupon voucher for dining here. You can get a $35 voucher at half price but you’ll have to order 2 main courses for every voucher you use. The restaurant will serve you complimentary iced water (you get refills for free too) so that’s a relief! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Mad For Garlic is located at #02-300/301 Suntec City Mall. Tel: 62381930.

Gudetama Travel Tissues FREE With $18 Nett Spending On Watsons’ Buy-1-Free-1 Items!

Watsons Singapore

It’s time to head to Watsons again for their 1-Day-Only promotions, with lots of housebrand items going at Buy-1-Get-1-FREE! Best of all, spend just $18 and you get the set of 3 Gudetama travel tissue packs! ๐Ÿ˜€ If you spend just $10, you get the Mr Juicy Orange Juice drink for free. I’m glad they aren’t giving out yet more pouches as free gifts! Haha! SO I stocked up on the lavender-scented hand and body wash (again). Also, this time I purchased the Watsons tissue packs and pantyliners as well. It’s no wonder I’m such a fan of Watsons as there are free gifts on top of the attractive promotions.

Watsons Buy 1 Free 1

I’m using lavender-scented everything. There are lots of mosquitoes where I stay as there’s so much construction work going on in Punggol – it’s inevitable. So there you go… lavender-scented pantyliners as well.

watsons singapore promotion

Watsons Pantyliner

Prices of items I bought today:

Shower Gel $6.90

Hand Wash $3

Tissue Packs $2.20

Pantyliners $2.50

*All Buy-1-Free-1 items ๐Ÿ˜€

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What I Did Not Buy:

Watsons baby wet wipes

Interestingly, I noticed the Watsons baby wipes are now going for 2 for $2.50 instead of the 2 for $2 previously during the most recent Buy-1-Free-1 day last month. Good thing I’ve stocked up that time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or I’ll be paying 25% more today.

Tip Of The Day: When you spot a good deal at Watsons, don’t hesitate, just purchase as many as you can if you know it’ll be of use to you. When first introduced, the housebrand items are really cheap, but sooner or later the price starts inching upwards. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Schaffen Watches Review: Empowering You To Create Your Own Personalised Timepiece

Schaffen Watches Singapore

Schaffen Watches is a homegrown brand that offers you the opportunity to customise your watch beyond simply engraving your name on it. “Schaffen” is German for the word “create” and you can certainly unleash your creativity in designing a watch that you’ll be proud to call your own. Some people choose to showcase their artwork, have their signature across the watch face or even indicate special dates on them (bonus:ย never forget an anniversary again). As for me, I chose to have my watch reflect not just the time, but what’s important in Life with specially selected quotes. (*Make sure you read till the end of this blogpost for a special giveaway you won’t want to miss!)

Every Schaffen watch is unique: it might have a Pegasus, or a signature, or be part of “couple watches”. You decide.

Schaffen

Head over to Schaffen’s website to try their Watch Builder – you can fully customise your watch in just 5 simple steps:

Schaffen Watch Builder

Start with the Dial and Caseback, then the Watch Face, Markers, Hands and Straps.

My personalised Schaffen watch has two quotes – a short one in front and a longer one on the caseback. I picked these two quotes because they are oft-repeated by two individuals I admire and respect. On the face of the watch is “Be Happy Always”, which is the phrase ‘Happiness Influencer’ Xandria Ooi from Malaysia, often ends her videos with. I love how these three words are such a useful reminder in this fast-paced society we live in.

Customised Schaffen Watch

When I look at the time and see that the person I’m meeting is late, I get a timely (hur hur) reminder to “Be Happy!” even when there are so many things which could potentially ruin my mood or day. I’m not sure if there’s a better reminder to have on the watch face, as hasn’t it been said that the ultimate aim in Life is to be happy? ๐Ÿ™‚

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โ€œFor every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.โ€ -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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On the back of the watch is another quote:

Schaffen Watch caseback

“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” is originally from the Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson. It’s my pal, Steven Lek’s, favorite quote. I admire many things about Steven but none more than his dedication to lifelong learning and his unwavering loyalty to his friends. He also takes pride in delivering on his promises, even if he has to stay up all night in order to put together a blogpost that he’d said he would craft. And he’s 70. (He’s also one of my most senior blogging students) ๐Ÿ˜€

While this quote is on the back, which means few people will ever get to see it, it is a reminder to me each time I put on the watch that I should strive for what I believe in, and to not give up even when times are tough. And if there’s anything my 70-year-old pal can accomplish, I should be able to do too!

My one-of-a-kind watch:

Schaffen Watch Singapore

I chose not to have my name on the watch face, unlike so many other people, as I really don’t need a reminder regarding what my name is. Haha! But if you like your accessories personalized with your name, by all means, go ahead! ๐Ÿ˜€

And if you have any other ideas regarding what you want your watch to look like, get in touch with the Schaffen team. Perhaps you want the Pegasus on the watch face instead of on the back? Maybe an image of the Hogwarts Express – to remind you to look for the magical moments in each day? I, for one, would love to have the watch straps in other colors too. The blue is great, yes, and wouldn’t pink be lovely? ๐Ÿ˜€

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Schaffen Watches

The box that the watch comes in looks so artfully designed that you’ll certainly want to keep it as well. That said, you won’t have to store the watch within the box each time you’re not wearing it though, ‘cos Schaffen watches are very durable!

The watches are assembled in Singapore, using ‘quality components from Switzerland and Korea’ such as corrosion-resistant 316L stainless steel for the watch case,ย scratch-proof sapphire crystal, Swiss-made movements (with a 3-year warranty), and genuine full-grain leather sourced from Italy and Hong Kong.

The watches don’t come cheap, at $299 each, but I have only praise for the quality and workmanship. If it’s high time you get a new watch, you might want to customise one with the help of this Singaporean brand. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Watch out for the interview with one of Schaffen’s co-founders coming up real soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

( GIVEAWAY )

WIN a Schaffen watch that YOU get to customise! ๐Ÿ˜€ Head on over to my Facebook page for the giveaway now! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kampong Chai Chee Steamboat @ Punggol Settlement

Kampong Chai Chee Punggol steamboat

If you’re a fan of ‘battleship’ a.k.a. steamboat, Kampong Chai Chee has a steamboat set for 4 to 6 pax at only $29. Purchase your voucher via Fave / Groupon. This halal eatery has a few outlets in Singapore, but we picked the Punggol one as it’s pretty quiet – great for a chill Sunday dinner. The seafood platter for “4 to 6 pax” is the one you see above. I think it’s more suitable for 3 pax instead of, say, 6 people. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Unless your friends are all supermodels who eat only salad greens.

I was a little worried about dining here as the reviews both on Groupon and facebook seemed to suggest that they were short of staff here, the food’s not the freshest, and there isn’t even any sauce to go with the steamboat.

Interestingly enough, besides the portion size, I don’t think we have any complaints about the food or service here!

As you can see, there’s chili sauce and even sliced green chili! It’s free flow so you can go ahead and take as much as you like. The chili sauce is very spicy (so shiok!), and tastes like really good chili sauce for chicken rice. Haha!

Kampong Chai Chee Punggol review

I thought the fish tasted ok, but my pal said there was a “fishy smell”. In any case, we’d cooked everything thoroughly so I don’t think anyone had a tummyache after the meal.

For the soup base, we chose chicken soup as we had a little kiddo dining with us. The other option was tom yum – too spicy for him. The chicken soup was delicious!

Not sure why there were only 3 eggs when it’s a seafood platter for 4 to 6 people, but my pals don’t eat eggs so… good for me and too bad for them. ๐Ÿ˜€

If you’d like a quiet venue for a meal with family or friends, and with a nice view to boot, pop by Punggol Settlement. It’s SO QUIET there these days. Even a seafood restaurant has folded, and I fear that many more eateries will follow suit. The place is a little out of the way, yes, and it’s more convenient if you drive. But there’s also a bus service which stops there. So take advantage of the promotions available and treat yourself to a good meal with a scenic view. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I’ve reviewed Georges By The Bay previously)

*We paid an additional $4.30 for 3 plates of rice. Drinks are charged separately too. ๐Ÿ˜‰