About Grace Tan

Grace owns the award-winning business and lifestyle blog, WorkingWithGrace.wordpress.com. She is also the author of the best-selling book 'Blogging For A Living'.

Moosh Softserve @ Our Tampines Hub

This has to be the ugliest waffle + soft serve combo I’ve ever seen. Yup! This was what was served up to us at Moosh Softserve tonight, at Our Tampines Hub. My darling had bought a Fave deal for this combo and I think it was about to expire, so we quickly popped by to redeem the voucher this evening. Redeeming the voucher wasn’t easy either. I was informed that Strawberry, Blueberry and Apple Crumble were unavailable. That’s 3 out of the 4 options I could pick with the Fave deal, without topping up with cash. Smores was available. But I decided to go with the Nutella Brownie Cheesecake and had to pay an additional 50 cents (which was fine, considering it’s one of their All Time Favs). And it was served up looking like a mess, and in an abstract sort of way, it reminds me of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter series. 😀 They should call this the Sorting Hat Waffle.

But looks aside, it was delicious! Decadent, sinful, probably contained a gazillion calories, and more sugar than we should have in a week. But it tasted good! Darling asked me how I’d rate this and I said 7.85 / 10. It’s better than a 7.5 but doesn’t qualify for an ‘8’ ‘cos it looks messy and the waffle lacked a bit of crisp. But when you want to reward yourself with a sweet treat say, after you’ve run a marathon, this should be it.

Menu:

Maybe we should try the Molten Lava Pancake next time:

Of the 4 tables occupied this evening around 6.40pm, 3 had Malay customers, and then there was us. Darling commented that F&B businesses in Tampines should have Halal certification if they want to survive in this estate. And I agree.

I do think that the layout within the mall is rather confusing. I probably won’t be able to find Moosh on my own easily the next time I am here. So whether this particular space has good ‘fengshui’ or not, I don’t know. I’m guessing their other outlet at Haji Lane would be a little busier.

Moosh is at B1-53 of Our Tampines Hub.

What I’d Do If I Happen To Win $8M From Toto

My pal, who’s over 70 years old, asked me today what I’d do if I won in tonight’s Toto draw. It’s a staggering sum of $8million. I couldn’t give him a good answer as I haven’t really thought about it. Yes, I know I should buy a ticket at $1. Why not? But what exactly would I do with the money if I actually win? I think most people buy lottery tickets hoping to win. But no one really EXPECTS to win. So in the unlikely event that they do win, they’ll then think really hard (or not at all) about how to spend the money. First, I’ve just done a quick check online about taxes on lottery winnings and apparently, IRAS categorizes them as “windfalls” and not earned income and therefore winners won’t get taxed based on their winnings. Sweet.

First things first, I’d keep $1m safe and locked away. Maybe in a fixed deposit account. So even if I foolishly squander away the rest of the money, I’ll still be a millionaire. 😀

Then half of the remainder would be saved / invested while the other half would be given away.

Come to think of it, giving away money can also cause quite a headache. Who do you give to? Which charities will make the best use of the money? How to give without wanting to hound them for details on how every dollar is used? Instead of giving say 1 million dollars to 1 charity, I’d probably give $50,000 each to 70 different entities. Exactly which ones, I haven’t decided, obviously. But I know the Cat Welfare Society will be one. And the Handicaps Welfare Association another. As for the rest, I’ll decide after I win. 😀

And I’d be happy to help settle the medical bills for friends, of course. 😉 Mr L, you shouldn’t even have to ask.

As for the saving and investing bit, please don’t think it weird when I say I want to purchase a car. 😀 I’ve never owned a car personally but I think a vehicle is an asset if you pick the right one. A small and reliable Toyota or Honda car will do. ‘Small’ is better ‘cos it makes parking in tight spaces on our tiny island a breeze. I’d probably even be a GrabHitch driver just for the fun of it. 🙂 Plus I’ll get a few other things for work, which I won’t share right now.

And I know someone who’ll help me make great investment decisions so I think the money would be in safe hands, and would ‘grow’. With the returns from the investments, I’d like to book a First Class seat on a Singapore Airlines flight. It’ll be my first. And I don’t even care where it’s going! 😀 And I’ll treat my pals to a meal or two at Waku Ghin (since Steven highly recommends it). Mom and Dad and Sis and everyone else I call ‘family’ are welcome to state items on their bucket lists and I’ll do my best to help them accomplish each one. 😀

Come to think of it, I don’t think $8M would truly be life-changing. Just about everyone I know has a roof over their heads, three meals or more a day, money to catch a movie or indulge in bubble tea. And no one is really struggling to put food on the table, or send kids to school or be in so severe a debt situation as to consider selling organs. In fact, most of the people I hang out with are really satisfied with their jobs or businesses.

I may want to set up a tuition agency as I have a pal who is a fantastic English tutor and I’d like to also provide free lessons for students from underprivileged families. I may also set up a school or centre of sorts for young adults with autism, and it may even have boarding facilities so if parents need to go overseas for a business trip, for instance, their children will be in good hands and be able to continue to learn, work and grow in confidence. Now I think $8M really isn’t enough. There is so much that can / should be done, and when people find out you have that money, you’ll be inundated with offers / unsolicited opinions on how to spend said money.

So I have to conclude that should I win, I’ll have to keep it a secret. If there are medical bills to help pay for, they’ll be done anonymously. And if I have no choice but to let some people know then I’ll require them to take an oath of secrecy. Haha! Yup! I think the best advice for anyone who has just won the lottery is to not tell a soul. You don’t want relatives to suddenly show up on your doorstep, “friends” to be hounding you day and night and you certainly won’t want people to be upset because you haven’t planned to give them any money. Wasn’t there a female hawker who landed a windfall at a casino and publicly announced she was giving every cent away to charity? I’m guessing winners end up with a lot of stress because once people know you have that windfall, they’ll all come wanting a slice of the pie. Good grief.

After writing all the above, I’m glad I’ve decided that before doing anything with any windfall sum, a portion is to be locked up. No matter what happens, there’ll still be $1M in the bank. 😀

What would YOU do with $8M? 🙂

Commons @ Our Tampines Hub: Decent Food, Not-so-great Service – A Pity!

Commons our tampines hub

Darling told me there’s a Fave deal for Commons at Our Tampines Hub, which included a main, a drink and ice cream. It all cost just S$13.90 so we bought two vouchers. I had the shellfish spaghetti while he had the avocado Kraftwich.

I found that the garnish wasn’t very fresh:

Commons our tampines hub review

But as long as the shellfish is fresh, I’m good. 😉

Buy the Fave deal while it’s available 😉

There was also a couple at the table next to ours who did not get the Fave vouchers but who were most intrigued by what we’d ordered. Every time something was served up – whether it be a main, or drink or dessert, the guy would look in our direction and tell his wife to do the same. She’d turn all the way to face us and not look away even when I was clearly staring back at them. They’d even openly discuss our choices. 🙄 First time I’ve met fellow diners who are so buay paiseh.

Lady, your clothes tag is sticking out:

Fix that first before staring at my food 😛

And as for my darling’s avocado Kraftwich…

Our Tampines Hub Commons

It was served with a side of potato wedges. Decent. And the avocado appeared to be very fresh. A pity the staff did not provide a knife. He ate with spoon and fork as it is terribly difficult to get the attention of the staff. Even placing our order was tough. And it wasn’t even the ‘peak hours’ for dinner as we’d arrived at 4.18pm. If you follow the instructions on the signage, and wait to be seated by the staff, you might have to wait for a long time. Just step right in.

As for drinks, they were served after the mains, which is weird. I had the peach soda as lychee soda was unavailable and he had the apple basilic soda. Mine was good but his might as well have been detergent. It tasted really odd and yucky! The server also asked if we wanted straws only after serving the drinks to our table. Sure would. 😅

Thankfully, the ice cream by Udders did not disappoint. I had Awesomely Chocolate and he had Mango. A good contrast. Very small cups with very long spoons. Things are done in a strange manner here:

Would we dine here again? With a Fave deal that’s as good as today’s, yes! If we have to pay full price, with service charge and all, nope nope nope. 😂

Black Pearl & S17 Durians, Lunch Plus Dinner @ The Leks’

My pal, Steven, wanted to try S17 durians while I wanted to find out what the Black Pearl durians taste like. So we ordered these, and our all-time favorite Mao Shan Wang durians, from Durian Empire recently. Both the S17 and the Black Pearl durians have whitish flesh. Black Pearl had many long seeds. The flesh is pale, creamy with some slightly firmer bits, and there is a hint of sweetness and no bitterness at all. Meanwhile, the S17 has large and fat seeds, and the flesh is bitter. Of course, nothing beats the Awesome Mao Shan Wang which had that heady fragrance, is fleshy and bittersweet.

Mao Shan Wang seeds on top, Black Pearl ones bottom-left and S17 bottom-right:

Steven’s ‘Chinese Vinegar Pork Leg’ dish for lunch:

The MasterChef at work:

We also had tofu, cabbage, and the cakes and brownies I got from Chalk Farm at Paragon:

The 24 Karat Brownies are the best brownies in Singapore. No doubt about that. If you have never tasted them before, just go buy a slice ok? Only $5.50 and so moist and chocolatey that you’ll never want to have brownies from anywhere else. This is the best.

I bought two slices of cake too: Salted Caramel Macadamia ($9) and Carrot Whiskey Sultana ($9). Hopefully, there’ll be Butterscotch Cake in future for Steven. 🙂

And for dinner, MasterChef Melinda made us pasta! Gosh! Too pretty! And I didn’t even know I’ve been washing mushrooms the wrong way my whole life! I’ll usually remove the stalks from button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms then rinse them out under running water. What Melinda taught me to do was to keep the stalk (!) and use damp kitchen towels to rub them down. This, apparently, prevents the mushrooms from going all soggy. I truly didn’t know that.

Anyway, it’s really touching to have friends who aren’t taken aback by my sudden decision to drop by for lunch. Definitely sharing more yummy pastries and premium durians with these valued friends. 🙂

Changi Airport: Peach Garden, Nectar, Icenoie Hokkaido, Hawker’s Chili Crab Bun

We made a special trip to Changi Airport today because there’s 7% + 7% GST absorption! You should visit Changi too, if you have shopping to do. Sure, Orchard Road is offering 7% GST absorption tomorrow (7th July) but Changi’s offering almost double that. No competition. We also had dinner at Peach Garden (Terminal 2) as there’s 50% off via Eatigo. We are such bargain hunters! 😀 And dinner was amazing. We had the Roasted Pork Cubes ($14), Asparagus ($20) and Horfun with Seafood ($24). After 50% off, we paid just $34.13. 🙂 The horfun is definitely enough for 2 diners and interestingly, there were different kinds of veggies for the same price. If you pick kailan instead of asparagus, well, you must really love kailan. I’d pick the pricier veggie!

Asparagus with X.O. Sauce:

We returned the braised peanuts and didn’t use any wet towels so those ‘extra’ items were off the bill. 😉 So that’s a tip for people who want to save some money.

Very worth it, at 50% off a la carte items (excluding drinks and dessert)

I was so happy to find Nectar at Jewel. I love the outlet at Punggol’s Oasis Terraces. Alas! It’s a disappointment. In Punggol, they’ll include brownie both on top and in the middle. Here, it’s just on top…

We had Icenoie Hokkaido’s soft serve too. You can find the Fave deal via their app – $6 for two. Chocolate is pretty good! Had matcha soft serve at Singpost Centre recently with my pal Grily and matcha wasn’t good. So glad chocolate is nice here!

And for once, I made a terrible decision at picking food. I thought Hawker’s Chili Crab Bun looked amazing on the menu. The crab’s even from ‘No Signboard’?! And you can add $2 to get a drink and curly fries (they’re offering a Large serving of Curly Fries as an opening special).

So dry and un-chilicrab-ish:

You could have fooled me into thinking the patty is one of those frozen fish fillets out of a bag. Dry, unappetising, tasteless. They need to add more sauce. Even Japanese mayo would be good. The burger buns are like ‘mantou’ – crispy on the outside, softer within.

The fries were a disappointment too – dry, a tad too salty and most of the pieces aren’t even curly.

I’d rate Hawker 3 / 10. 1 point for the friendly staff, 1 point for the cold can of green tea and 1 point for brilliant advertising. They got me. They got me good. That’s $10.90 I regret paying.

SAYBONS @ Bishan Junction 8

SAYBONS is my favorite French-style eatery in Singapore. I can usually be found at their outlet in Plaza Singapura. In fact, probably the only reason for me to head to PS is to dine at SAYBONS! 😀 If you don’t already know, I did an interview with the founder of SAYBONS a long time ago in 2011 – read it here. So Darling and I were at Junction 8 this afternoon and were horrified to find that the Korean food stall at the foodcourt is already gone, and will be replaced by another vendor soon. I’ve only just blogged about how much I like that stall and now they’re gone?! So glad I had the ginseng chicken that day! So we checked the Fave app for deals at J8 and found SAYBONS! He went for the Truffle Mushroom Carbonara set with Iced Lemon Tea and which cost just $7.90 via Fave. I stuck with my favorite Mushroom Tomato Cheese crepe ($5.90) with Seafood Bisque and Iced Lemon Tea ($5.80).

Everything tasted great. My only complaint would be that the staff appeared to have forgotten my order. Darling had his pasta ready at 3.38pm and finished it all while my crepe and (likely readymade) soup were nowhere to be seen. After alerting the staff, I got my food at 3.51pm. Tsk tsk. There were no other orders in the queue and yet they forgot about mine?! Good grief.

Anyway we were both very distracted by the two ladies seated next to the glass panels. They were talking rather loudly about boyfriends and sexual escapades. One lady was *ahem* pleasantly plump while the other was tall, slim and wearing a dress which seemed a little… attention-seeking. And the sexy one shared about how her guy asked her if he could *** in her mouth. (@_@) Do they think the other diners are hard of hearing or what? Gosh, the young people these days. They make older folks like us blush. XD Luckily I wasn’t drinking my soup then or I’d have choked on it. Ha!

SAYBONS is offering a really good deal to students who come by between 2pm and 5pm on weekdays:

I wish they’re extending the same to adults!

Here’s the menu, if you can read the fine print 😀

SAYBONS is located at #02-43 of Bishan Junction 8. Joe & Dough is right outside SAYBONS. *When you dine here, please speak softly ‘cos, really, everyone can hear you!

And this is where the Korean stall was at the foodcourt. The ginseng chicken poster is still on the wall, but the operators are gone! So sad! To Jimmy: which other stall do you recommend? 😀

$12 For 5Kg Of Durians: Punggol Durians Fiesta 2019

It seemed like an offer too good to miss. Pay $12 for a ticket to the Punggol Durians Fiesta 2019 and you’ll get at least 5 kilograms of durian (exactly which cultivar it would be was not specified). Minister Ng Chee Meng would be gracing the event. And Durian Empire, which I think is very reliable, would be supplying the durians. The weather was great, the event went without a hitch (remember how the one at Sengkang previously was such a disaster?) and there was even a guy on stage serenading us as we feasted on durian! 😀 However, there was just one problem.

The good folks from Durian Empire opened the durians for everyone and weighed them in front of us too. It actually makes sense to not collect the durians as a family, as one volunteer kindly informed us, as you’ll usually end up getting more than 5kg if you do this individually. I got around 5.2kg worth of durians. 😀

SO many durians…

The durians looked great. Out of the 12 (I think) durians we got at our table, there was just 1 seed which was a little black (was it rot?). The major issue I faced was that I didn’t enjoy the durians. The reason for that being my recent purchases of premium Mao Shan Wang durians from Durian Empire. I’ve tasted the best they have to offer. And today’s $12 durians didn’t taste like much to me. I think I had all of 4 seeds only – from different durians too as I was searching for one which would blow me away. Alas! I eventually gave up ‘cos it was impossible. If the durians I’ve been eating recently are a perfect 10, today’s would be a dismal 0. BUT everyone else was having a great time. So it’s not that today’s durians were lousy, no, it was simply ‘cos I’ve been having some fantastic durians lately. SIGH.

Anyway, the event went really smoothly. We queued up in an orderly fashion, collected our durians as friendly ushers / volunteers told us what to do and where to go, and went to the pre-allocated tables (as indicated on our tickets) to eat the durians.

I found this amusing: Two “Durians Collection Point” signs with arrows pointing to this patch of white wall between them…

The dude singing while we were eating in the Multi Purpose Hall… too bad he couldn’t have any durian or he’d lose his voice:

There were lots of seats available both outside the hall…

… and within:

I think this event has been so successful because of a few factors:

  1. Allowing each household to purchase only a maximum of 2 tickets. You effectively exclude all the big families. There were quite a number of elderly folks. It got Punggolians to sit together at the tables allocated and mingle. Since you only have 1 family member with you, you’d probably have to chat with your ‘neighbors’ at some point.
  2. Not allowing takeaways. You won’t have lots of young children here to ‘make up the numbers’ so their parents can ‘tabao’ more durian home. Also *cough cough* these kiddos are too young to vote in the upcoming election. So yah. 😉 No young children running around or causing a din. Fantastic!
  3. Providing everything we could possibly need when eating durians. We had disposable gloves, plastic carriers for the seeds, cardboard boxes for the husks and even complimentary bottles of water! There were portable fans too. 🙂 I’d prepared wet wipes and also brought along a fan my pal Grily got from Vietnam for me. So useful when standing in queues. Thanks! 

Would I sign up for a similar event again? Probably not. I think my tastebuds are now accustomed to premium durians. I can’t enjoy regular durians anymore – I’d rather go without. It’s quite sad, really. Have to work harder and save up for the expensive stuff – those worth the calories and the pricetags.

Baek Doo San Korean Food @ Junction 8’s Foodcourt

Was craving for something hot, delicious and nutritious yesterday ‘cos I was tired from waking up early and meeting two people who drained my energy. *Hence the pictures in this post aren’t going to be exceptional, ‘cos I was tired and hangry. Haha! Just wanted to fall into a seat at the nearest F&B establishment and ‘recharge’ with good food. 😀 Since my darling picked the Food Junction foodcourt at Bishan’s Junction 8, and one of the first things to attract my attention was the poster promoting the Ginseng Chicken, that’s what I had! 😀 He picked the BBQ Combo, which came with saba fish and chicken, and cost $7.50 while I had the chicken soup (half chicken only) at $9.50. Gosh. I’ve found myself some Korean comfort food.

The BBQ Combo wasn’t overly salty. I don’t even know how they got the taste just right. For people with high blood pressure, this should be fine. Love that there’s kimchi in separate dishes too. And oh! You can get a mini bowl of soup for free. (I think you might even be able to get refills since there was another poster saying there’s free soup and side dishes when you dine here. But don’t quote me on that.)

But what I wanted wasn’t free soup. It was ginseng chicken soup!

The chicken’s tender and falling off the bone, as you can see in the picture. And the soup’s pretty good. I was surprised to find rice at the bottom but *ahem* apparently samgyetang has chicken, garlic, rice, jujube (red dates) and ginseng. You’ll have to stir this well as it’s ‘richer’ and saltier at the bottom.

I think I’ll be back again soon. Either that, or I’ll try cooking this dish at home myself. 😀

Black Thorn Durian and Wagyu Beef Steak: Our Pals’ 43rd Wedding Anniversary

After my post about the Punggol Durians Fiesta, I think this one should definitely follow. Been meaning to share about this but have been so busy. It’s about my pals’ 43rd wedding anniversary and the awesome home-cooked dinner plus durian delivery we enjoyed. I’ve ordered durians a couple of times from Durian Empire Punggol, mainly because the sellers are trustworthy and the quality is usually really good. The folks here always ask for feedback and constantly reassure customers that if there’s anything you’re not satisfied with, just get back to them and they’ll do their best for you. I stalk them on FB regularly as they provide daily updates regarding prices of the various durian cultivars. And since my most recent order was to celebrate our pals’ 43rd wedding anniversary, I let Zen (one of the bosses) know the reason for this order and he gave us free ‘Anniversary’ durian – which somehow happened to be the D24 that is Mel’s favorite (I didn’t even know!) 😀

I’d ordered 7kg of Awesome Mao Shan Wang durians, which are the most premium MSW durians available at Durian Empire. And Zen asked if I’d like to get 1 of the rare Black Thorn durians as well, which only regular customers are eligible to purchase (it’s not listed for sale). My goodness. He didn’t have to ask twice. SURE THING – I’LL TAKE ONE! It was the largest sum I’ve ever paid for durians but it was so worth it.

Black Thorn durian:

The Awesome MSW lived up to their namesake too and they’re the reason I can no longer enjoy regular durians. (@_@)

And Steven made us amazing steak that evening. Gosh. How can I convince him to cook for us again? More durian? 😀

So gorgeous, I’m in love:

I finished everything on my plate, which probably is testament to how good everything tasted. More men *ahem* should be like Steven… who is a self-proclaimed MasterChef but you’ll have to agree that he deserves the title anyway once you’ve tried his masterpieces.

And my contribution that evening – besides getting the durians – was restricted to just the fries… And I found the anaemic-looking ones tasted really good too, but MasterChef Steven wanted his more than just golden-brown; they had to be just short of being charred. 😀

It’s nice to know more about my pals over makan – who’s a fan of ‘less healthy’ fries and who loves D24 durians. For the record, it’ll always be Awesome MSW for me. If anyone wants to get me durians which aren’t as great, I apologize in advance that I won’t be eating them ‘cos I’ve already figured out that I have reached the point of no return. XD

Mid Valley Southkey Must-Tries: Tokyo Secret, Ages Ago!

My new favorite mall in Johor Bahru has to be Mid Valley Southkey. It’s much better than *cough cough* R&F Mall because the latter only has a few shops open. Southkey has my favorite TOKYO SECRET CHEESE TARTS (at G-019)! And best of all, the cafe even serves food and drinks, besides their signature desserts. I am SO heading back there again. The Grab ride from the hotel we were staying at, Puteri Pacific Johor Bahru, cost just RM10, which means that if you were to grab a ride near CIQ, you’ll probably pay about the same! If you alight at the South entrance of the mall, the first shop to greet you would be TOKYO SECRET! 😉

The interior of the store is an Instagrammer’s dream. Pastel pink seats and pretty flowers will put a smile on your face…

And there are quite a number of items on their menu too! What I’m going to try next time I’m here are the Hokkaido Mentaiko Scallops & Soba Noodles (RM18.90) and the Spaghetti Hokkaido Scallops With Ebiko Cream Sauce (RM25.90). I’ll add a slice of their beautiful Tiffany Dream cake (RM14) too. Muahaha! 😀

We’d already had our dinner when we came by for cheese tarts. That’s when we discovered they serve meals here too. Sigh. Anyway, we had a good dinner at Southkey, so no regrets. It just means we need to come back again! 😀

One of the items we couldn’t resist at the Village Grocer supermarket was the sashimi:

And FamilyMart offers a range of Japanese pastries that look so good. We had the Banana Cake which was yumz:

But dinner proper was at Ages ago (at LG008). I LOVE their Sesame Oil Chicken Soup Mee Suah (RM8.90)…

On a cold day, that bowl of hot soup hits the right spot. For less than S$3, it even comes with a fried egg on top. We ordered two side dishes: Okra Okra and Braised Tau Kee at RM3.90 each. And I had the iced Cincau for RM2.90. The Okra is delightful though the Tau Kee was a little too salty.

They are, apparently, raising their prices for the side dishes too. What you’ll probably see when you visit are the RM4.90 items: Bean Curd Roll and Fish Dumpling are the new additions.

Original prices for the side dishes:

Gosh. I can’t wait to be back at Southkey. 😀

**TOKYO SECRET has a 1-for-1 bread promotion from 9pm to 10pm so drop by if you’re still in the mall at that time. 😉