Shangri-La The Line buffet: Get 15% Discount Plus FREE Parking

Shangri La The Line

We had an early Valentine’s Day celebration today, with a buffet lunch at Shangri-La’s The Line. I’d made a reservation online earlier this week and so we enjoyed 15% off our bill. Pretty cool, yes? Remember to book a table online before you next visit The Line. You are welcome. :)

Lunch today cost S$58++ per pax. On Valentine’s Day, it’s *ahem* S$118, I guess. Anyway, I had a S$100 voucher courtesy of my pal, Clarence Chin! (You’re da best, dude!) Only paid S$16.05 for our meal today. Hehe!

Now, as for the food…

As you can see in the first picture above, I had some sashimi and oysters. Everything else on the dish was so-so. I found the oysters not as meaty as I would like them to be. Not shiok enough, if you understand Singlish. The sashimi was fine but I found it hilarious how the cuts of sashimi changed over the course of the lunch. At the start, we had thick, generous slices, but towards the end of lunch, it became little slivers of sashimi I almost had trouble picking up with my pair of chopsticks. They ran out of salmon??? :D

There’s a good range of Indian food at The Line. I think our Indian friends would love this buffet. The prata is decent. I also had some satay (quite yummy indeed! I approve!) and a little bit of phad thai, scallop char kway teow, and some beef noodle thingy whose name I have forgotten.

There’s a nice selection of dim sum too. But I took just that one piece of siew mai:

Shangri La The Line

The duck breast dish and the roast chicken were both pretty good. There’s laksa too, which I did not try as I figured dessert would be sinful enough, after the prawn noodle soup I had ordered.

And here’s dessert. Mind you, that cute little thing in the middle is a toy I’d brought with me. It’s NOT edible. If you’re curious, google ‘Sonny Angel’ to find out more about my latest ‘collectibles’ craze. Ha!

Shangri La The Line

The mini ang ku kueh looks better than it tastes, but I love just about everything else. Only the red velvet cake was a disappointment.

There’s also a yoghurt machine! And a nice selection of ice cream – I tried the matcha and chocolate flavors. Nothing fantastic, but ice cream after a meal is always welcome, no?

And of course, a chocolate fountain…

Shangri La The Line

Possibly the best part of the dessert section. But I was too full by then. This just means I have to come back to The Line. :D

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Shangri-La’s Address:

22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350

(The Line is at the basement. Take the escalator down after entering the hotel’s main entrance)

To enjoy free parking, just get a ‘card’ from the staff at The Line counter, before you are shown to your table. We saved something like S$12 on parking, just by asking. He’d initially told me there was no way they’d give us complimentary parking but I told him that there’s no harm in asking.

So he did.

And I am right. Women always are. ;) Heh heh!

And here’s the buffet pricing for the non-holiday period:

Lunch Buffet (Prices are inclusive of coffee and tea only):
Monday to Friday: $58++ (adult), $29++ (child)
Saturday & Public Holidays: $68++ (adult), $34++ (child)
Sunday Champagne Brunch:
$158++ (adult) inclusive Champagne and house pour red and white wines, draft beer, soft drinks and chilled juices
$108++ (adult) inclusive free flow of soft drinks and chilled juices, coffee & tea
$54++ (child) inclusive of free flow of soft drinks and chilled juices

Dinner Buffet (Prices are inclusive of coffee and tea only):
Mon, Wed & Sun (International): $76++ (adult), $38++ (child)
Tues & Thurs (Marine Harvest):
$98++ (adult) inclusive of house pour sparkling wines, red and white wines, draft beer, soft drinks and chilled juices (adult)
$44++ (child) inclusive of soft drinks and chilled juices
Fri & Sat (International): $88++ (adult), $44++ (child)

Beverage Packages
$9.90++ for free flow soft drinks and juices
$35++ for free flow soft drinks, juices, house wines, beers and sparkling wines

(*All accurate at time of writing. Please check online before making your reservation: https://www.shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila/dining/restaurants/the-line/book-a-table/)

Carnarvon House Penang & My Feature in ZaoBao (联合早报)

Feature in ZaoBao

I was featured in the 5th Feb 2015 edition of ZaoBao (联合早报) wearing a cheongsam and photographed in a “vintage” setting, which is actually Carnarvon House in Penang. :) I will not be reproducing the article here, as the ‘copyright’ belongs to Singapore Press Holdings.

[The gist of the article is that I quit my high-paying job at age 24, turned to blogging full-time, won a blog award in 2013, and am conducting blogging workshops now, with a 67 year old student of mine becoming a Top 10 Finalist at last year’s Singapore Blog Awards. And that student is none other than Steven Lek, who blogs at http://www.retiredowhat.com. ]

Looking back, I think it is quite amazing how that picture for ZaoBao came about. It might sound like there was a divine plan. Let me explain.

One of my students, Kirbie, posted on Facebook one evening that there were cheongsams being sold cheaply on Gmarket. So I took her recommendation and went to purchase one. Little did I know that it comes with a pretty high slit at the sides (see picture below) and I knew I COULD NOT wear it in Singapore unless I wanted wolf whistles from lecherous old men everywhere I went.

Then I had a Penang trip planned almost on a whim and my blogger pal, Sock Peng from Penang, linked me up with the boss of Carnarvon House, Terry. It was a really last-minute decision, so thankfully, Carnarvon House still had a room for me. So I brought the cheongsam with me, thinking that I MIGHT be able to get some nice pictures wearing it in the really retro-looking Carnarvon House.

And while I was there, my pal (Jimmy) messaged me to ask if I’d be keen to be interviewed by a ZaoBao journalist (his friend). And of course I said yes. And when we met, the journalist didn’t bring a photographer. So I asked if she needed me to send her pictures. And guess what? I had all these “cheena” pictures of me in a cheongsam (in my phone) so I sent them to her on the spot [since it’s mainly the Chinese who read this paper]. Divine plan, yes? Didn’t know what possessed me to buy a cheongsam (of all things) till I realized it was perfect for ZaoBao. LOL!

And Carnarvon House is really beautiful. Room pictures are already up in an earlier post here. The rest of Carnarvon House looks fit for a Jay Chou-style MV. Check this out…

Carnarvon House Penang

*Crazily high slit not suitable for Singapore*

Where I am seated is the ground floor dining area. Carnarvon House does serve breakfast to its guests. The food will not be unfamiliar to Singaporeans – it just has a local, Penang twist. I had the ‘min chiang kueh‘ (you can google the term if you’d like) with peanut butter and sweet corn inside. It’s an interesting combination of ingredients you won’t get in Singapore though the kueh itself is something Singaporeans eat for breakfast too.

And here’s another picture… I’m standing on level 2 in this one:

Carnarvon House Penang

*Kind of looks like I’m a tai-tai of some sort, ya?*

For the first night at Carnarvon House, I stayed in the Carnarvon Room (behind me in this picture) and I loved how there’s a sofa in the room for lounging on and putting all my barang (stuff) on. For the second and third nights, I stayed in the Kimberley Room, which doesn’t have a sofa, but comes with a lounger.

If you are curious about the pricing, for the double rooms, the rate starts from RM128, which is about S$48. Extremely affordable and great value-for-money because the place is really clean, very good for photos (as I’ve demonstrated), and the people running the place are friendly. Eunice was a great host; she made all the guests feel at home.

Actually, staying at Carnarvon House is like staying at a close friend’s house, or at, say, your grandma’s house. Clean, homely, and feels like you have gone back to Singapore in the 60s. :D

Carnarvon House Penang

There are a total of 7 rooms at Carnarvon House. Two of them are really big ones, which can accommodate families with children. Room rates for these start from RM328 (about S$123). Check their website for more details – http://www.carnarvonhouse.com/

Carnarvon House Penang

If you’ve noticed, you can’t see my feet in any of the pictures in this blogpost. Hehehe. The reason for this is simple. I didn’t know what footwear would match this cheongsam. ‘Modern-looking’ heels or strappy sandals will not do. So I was wearing the slippers that Carnarvon House thoughtfully provides for guests. :D

When you next visit Penang, I highly recommend that you stay at Carnarvon House – 28 Lorong Carnarvon, 10100 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Tel: +604 262 4682. Email: carnarvonhouse@gmail.com 

~ For More Information about Carnarvon House ~

http://www.carnarvonhouse.com/

https://www.facebook.com/carnarvonhouse/timeline

How Many Cameras Can I Fit Into Maku Store’s Camera Bag?

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Maku Store has everything from key pouches to luggage. And it also has camera bags! Here, I review their Sky Blue & Neon Orange one (S$49.90) which I find super spacious!

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Inside the bag, I have 1 DSLR, 1 Lumix and 1 Instax camera. And there’s still more space!

The pouch in front is great for storing an ezlink card, SD cards, tissue, and a few other things for a photoshoot!

It’s hard to find a camera bag that can fit all my cameras and still look good. So this one is for keeps.

The only downside is that, beyond the sling, it doesn’t have a small handle / strap at the top of the bag.

All things considered, it’s affordably priced, offers a lot of room, and is so eye-catching.

Get yours now at Maku Store (#03-20 Bugis Junction). Show the staff that you are a fan of my facebook page, and theirs, and you get 15% off your bill. Check in-store for more promotions and other T&Cs. :)

The Digital Detox Challenge – I Dare YOU!

I broke my ‘digital fast’ this morning, and was rather amused to find an article in The Straits Times regarding “smartphone zombies“. Most people would feel really lost if their handphone ran out of battery juice or if the connection went dead (as with StarHub recently). Not for me, I hope. I’ve been putting myself into ‘cellphone and computer rehab’ lately.

Why?

I’ve noticed that things are getting pretty bad.

Health: I’m getting really stiff shoulders and tired-looking eyes, no thanks to long hours on the computer and scrolling through newsfeeds on my phone.

Relationship: While he’s talking to me, I’m checking my Facebook feed or replying to a non-urgent email. I didn’t think it was offensive, till the day we were having a (romantic) chili crab dinner and he set up his iPad right in front of him. I would be dining with the crab, and him the iPad. (@_@)

~

Over the weekend (Fri – Sun), I did a 3-day digital detox again. The first time I did a digital detox was in September, and a grand total of 2 friends discovered my (quiet) disappearance. LOL. Apparently, it is highly unusual if I’m not seen on Whatsapp or posting stuff online. I’m thankful they did not phone the police.

And that first attempt was definitely tougher than pouring a bucket of ice water over my head. I constantly wanted to pick up my phone (even if it was just for telling the time) and struggled with ‘separation anxiety’ when I had to leave my home without it. Strange, but true.

This time, I was quite content to leave it aside.

In fact, it felt like I was on HOLIDAY, right here in Singapore!

I woke up when I wanted to. I slept at 10pm. I didn’t care about what’s trending on facebook or in the blogosphere. I had no urge to update facebook or instagram.

When I sat down with a huge, fluffy waffle and two ginormous scoops of ice cream at Punggol End, I just went ahead and ate it, instead of thinking about how best to photograph my rapidly-melting dessert. Simply because I didn’t have a phone on me! :D

I read all the books I wanted to read. I felt alive.

In fact, I read 4 books in 3 days! That’s probably more than what some people read in a year!

digital detox

‘Woman On Top’ was a really good read – funny, enlightening, relatable. The author, Dr Loretta Chen, is the baby sister of Channel 8 heartthrob, Edmund Chen. Here are 2 of my favorite quotes from this book:

“Be an independent woman, make your own money, have your own career and stand on your own two feet. Don’t rely on anybody, especially a man. In fact, don’t get married if you don’t want to. Don’t have children if you don’t want to. It’s a lot of work. Just have your own life. And if you meet somebody, guy or girl, just be happy.” – advice from Loretta’s mom (pg 51)

“Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.”
– Poem by Dorothy Parker (pg 75)
~

The illustrated book about Warren Buffett was interesting too – an easy-to-read biography of everything you need to know about Warren.As for the detective novels, I liked ‘Dead Tomorrow’ more than ‘The Complaints’ though the latter was almost half the length.

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Are you up for the challenge? ;)
If you’d like to wean yourself off this over-reliance on technology, or take the first step to combating your addiction to your phone (and computer), do this digital detox. If you’d like to be able to go to bed early on consecutive nights, and wake up with glowing skin (as if you’d gone for a facial), do this digital detox. If you’d like to have more time for the things that matter (such as a long-neglected hobby) or experience a holiday without having to pay for one, do this digital detox.
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All you need: 3 consecutive days without your phone, computer / laptop / iPad, and TV
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How will you spend your time: You could read the papers, go for a swim, take a long stroll with your pet or spouse (or both), read a book (or four), cook yourself three meals a day, tidy up your room, journal, take a nap, etc. Just stay away from all handphones, computers and television sets. ;)
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I’m going to challenge three of my pals to do this digital detox – 2 of them discovered my disappearance during the first one, and 1 of them is constantly glued to his cellphone. Whoever does the 3-day digital detox in Singapore by the end of November 2014, and survives to tell the tale, will get a treat sponsored by me – either a facial treatment or massage worth at least S$149. :D
~ Good Luck ~
1) Andrew Chow
2) Steven Lek
3) Terence Chiew

“Cookoff” with Dr Leslie Tay and Wendy (Xiaxue)

With Xiaxue and Dr Leslie Tay

Because I won Lee Kum Kee’s blogging challenge (and S$1000 in cash), I got to participate in a filming session with Dr Leslie Tay from ieatishootipost and Wendy aka Xiaxue. :) I’ve interviewed Dr Tay for this blog back in 2011 (click here) and it was really nice to meet him again.

I’ve never spoken with Wendy before this so it was interesting to meet Singapore’s Blogging Queen in person. And she’s friendly too.

With Xiaxue

I was initially worried about the “cookoff” as I have no culinary skills to speak of. I love one-dish meals and don’t do any frying, deep-frying, pressure cooking, etc, at home.

As it turned out, we were following Dr Leslie Tay’s recipes and putting together 3 dishes and 1 soup “within 30 minutes”. Thankfully, he was helping us along the way and taking over when necessary.

It was quite a learning experience for me. Learnt:

1) How to make meatballs from scratch

2) Reason why chinese cabbage is put into soup (the glutamates make soup tasty)

3) How to make a nice Korean ‘sambal’ for french beans

4) And more… watch the video when it is out! :D

Maku Store: Giveaway + Corporate Gifts! :D

I popped by Maku Store at Bugis Junction (#03-20) again recently and found yet another pretty, limited edition wallet! :D
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It is pastel pink all around, unlike the Maku Store wallet I am currently using which is half green.

This one has 9 card slots, 2 SIM card slots and a huge compartment for coins!

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And guess what? I’m going to give this away! :D

[I’d initally wanted to keep this wallet but the current one is still working well. So I am sharing the love!]

It is the only one of its kind in Singapore so it’s Super Limited Edition!

To win this wallet, leave a comment on this blogpost and tell me why I should pick you! :)

Besides the wallet, I also found corporate gifts:

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Maku Store Singapore does cater to corporate customers as well. Whether it is a cute souvenir (above), a card sticker (below) or any other customized product like luggage you need, speak to the awesome Maku Store folks. :)

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*And if you are getting any of the Maku Store items at their Bugis Junction outlet, show them you are a fan of my facebook page and get 15% discount off your purchase. Awesome much? :)

The Patissier: A Visual Feast… then Dessert Heaven

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I had the most amazing gym session today. Before the session started, my trainer asked if I’d like to go for cake first. Because the cakes might be sold out by the time we were done with gym.

Heh! :D Cake? No one needs to ask me twice.

It was my first visit to The Patissier at Mohd Sultan Rd and the meringues are pretty good. Not too sweet, just crumbly and light. :)

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Probably the only place in Singapore with cake slices costing eight dollars and THREE cents. Lol.

And here are the opening hours and contact details for anyone who’s keen on visiting them:

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The Best of You exhibition at Marina Sq & Embroidery Workshop

I’m a sucker when it comes to picking up new skills. I love all things creative. And if it happens to come free, it’s even better. Heh. Thus, I found myself at Marina Square today, on a lazy Saturday, attending an embroidery workshop (for free) from 2pm to 4pm.

I can’t say it was as useful as I had expected. We were basically given the tools required and left alone to stitch something based on who or what brings out the best in us.

Here’s my creation:

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It’s actually not me. It’s supposed to be SuperMom. I’ve always been impressed by women who seem capable of juggling so many things at one time and yet still “have it all together”.

So I stitched a house, milk bottle, fish, laptop, pot and a carrot too.

And oh… the bag is from Maku Store Singapore. It’s the only one in SG. :D Lovely sponsor I have, no? *If you’re a fan of my fb page, just show it on your mobile phone in store and get 15% off! :)

Also, I saw one lady stitch the word ‘hope’ in beautiful calligraphy-style. Thought-provoking. Hope brings out the best in her… what about you?

There are many exhibits to view at the Marina Square Central Atrium this weekend. And today we got to hear from Kumar. Michelle Chong will be sharing tomorrow so make your way down if you want to be inspired and entertained tomorrow! :)

Here’s one particular exhibit which caught my eye:

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If I remember correctly, the artist was inspired by the people at home who put heart and soul into each meal.

And don’t you think that meals cooked with love are the best? :)

*The exhibition is brought to us by Julie’s – the biscuit manufacturer. You must have seen at least one of their many ads; at bus stops, mrt stations and in the papers. :D

Organic Gluten & Wheat Free Pancakes at Real Food

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Felt like having banana pancakes for breakfast on Sunday, so I did. My love for banana pancakes goes way back to the time I was in kindergarten.

The kindergarten cook made the most delicious banana pancakes, which I devoured during teatime on those days when it was on the menu.

I have yet to find banana pancakes as good as those she made from anywhere else. :(

Anyhow, those from Real Food are organic on top of being wheat and gluten free (don’t they mean the same thing?)

The pancake is at least 1cm thick and quite fluffy. However, there are only 4 miserable slices of banana on top.

There is just a small amount of jam yet the tartness of the jam is very refreshing and I wished there was more of it!

The small chunk of warm banana in the middle came as a surprise.

Overall, I think it was good enough, as a gluten free pancake. But I won’t order it again, when there are better pancakes elsewhere. :D

*This place is my fav for noodles though. Their fried vermicelli and dumpling noodles (dry) are both very good. Ask for the chilli too. ;)

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S$10.80
Original Pancakes: Organic gluten and wheat free fluffy pancakes with banana, organic fruit jam and agave. Waiting time is at least 15 minutes.

{ Real Food at Killiney }