Where To Buy Fortune Cookies in Singapore

fortune cookie singapore

It’s that time of the year when you’ll be able to get your hands on fortune cookies pretty easily! If you’re still wondering where you can buy fortune cookies from right here in Singapore, I have two recommendations which you’ll read about below. Interestingly, the fortune cookies sold in Singapore tend to come with 4-digit numbers on the paper slips within the cookies. I think it’s because 4D punters like activities which will give them more numbers to bet on. πŸ˜€ I’ve actually bought 4D with the first set of numbers I got from a cookie this year and the amount I’ve won is shocking (details below). But for now, let’s just focus on the taste, message contained within as well as the pricing and just where to get those cookies!

In the first picture above, I have fortune cookies from Guardian Singapore. I got mine from the store at Punggol’s Oasis Terraces. For a bag of 30 cookies, it’s S$5.95 but you can get two bags at just S$8, so each cookie will cost you only 13 cents.

I like the message in their cookie:

fortune cookie message

I’m trying to find a solution to a messy problem. Indeed, my problem is that I have trouble keeping my personal spaces tidy. Time to read Marie Kondo’s life-changing book again. Wait… it means it wasn’t life-changing the first time round. Damnit.

The other place you can get fortune cookies from in Singapore is Garden Fortune Cookies. Their office is located at 1 Ubi View #03-12 Focus One, Singapore 408555. The location is a little bit inaccessible for the general public unless you own a vehicle. The pricing is also steeper, at $8.80 for 30 pieces (29cents a cookie). *If you are too busy to make your way down to their office, they can send the package over via qdelivery for $4.50. You can find their website at foodieland.sg.

Their pricier cookies come in a box though so it might be a good gift option for some.

where to buy fortune cookies

I actually bought 4D with the numbers from one of these Garden Fortune Cookies and alas! I won the ultimate grand sum of zero dollars. Not even a consolation prize. So that was upsetting. The numbers were: 2675. Maybe the 3224 from the Guardian cookie will do the trick. πŸ˜‰ If it doesn’t, then I’m SO DONE with fortune cookies. Hahaha!

*The message within the cookie from Garden stated “Hope your day is sunshine and flowers with happy thoughts to fill the house.” Sounds pretty weird. Actually now I can’t wait to open the rest of the cookies to see what other funny things they’ll say. πŸ˜€

As for the taste, I prefer Garden’s as it’s not as hard. The one from Guardian is a bit too solid for my liking. Flavor-wise, they are about the same. These aren’t gourmet cookies after all. It’s just for a bit of fun during Chinese New Year.

Hotel Review: Suite @ Bliss Boutique Hotel in Johor Bahru

bliss boutique hotel

Our recent mantra has been to “Earn in SG, Spend in JB” because of the attractive exchange rate plus prices are generally a lot lower across the Causeway. Pineapple tarts manufactured in Malaysia, for instance, sell at a premium once they get to Singapore. So you might as well head over to the country of origin to purchase them. And whenever there’s a traffic jam with a long line of vehicles heading back to Woodlands, we can’t help but feel it’s a good idea to stay in one of the hotels located near CIQ / the checkpoint. Bliss Boutique Hotel is one of them, and it’s also near to Plaza Pelangi and KSL. It has an eye-catching facade – you must have spotted it at some point when driving into or out of JB and the lobby is also beautifully decorated.

Looks like it has lots of windows but there are quite a number of rooms w/o windows:

bliss boutique hotel jb

Over the weekend, we stayed in the Suite at Bliss Boutique Hotel and the ‘highlight’ has to be that bathtub though there’s a King-sized bed(!) in the room too. *I do wish they provided more pillows as I like to sleep amidst a ‘fort’ of pillows. Just one pillow per person (I’m not counting the decorative cushion) seems a little stingy. πŸ˜€ What’s great though is that the toilet and the shower stall (with a rainshower!) are located at opposite ends of the bathtub. And you’ll have to go check out the room yourself: the TV is visible from every corner; whether you’re sitting on the toilet bowl or whether you’re brushing your teeth! Probably tells you something about the person who designed this room. πŸ˜‰

bliss boutique hotel review

My favorite part of the room has to be the chair with an Ogawa neck and back massager though. I do wish they’ll get an actual massage chair ‘cos while my neck and back got a really good kneading, my legs were feeling sore from the 10KM run on Saturday and the subsequent shopping in JB. πŸ˜€ If the hotel would like guests to consider longer stays, then an actual massage chair might be a draw.

massage chair suite bliss boutique hotel

Overall, the decor within the rooms pale in comparison with that of the lobby area.

We stayed at Bliss Boutique Hotel previously when there was still the Christmas decor and we were pleasantly surprised to see they’d done up the lobby / lounge area with a CNY theme this time…

bliss boutique hotel christmas decor

bliss boutique hotel chinese new year decor

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There’s also a beverage dispenser near the entrance where you can help yourself to a ‘Welcome Drink’. It’s the best thing ever when you’ve just stepped out of the mid-day heat and need a drink to cool down while you fish your passport out of your bag and proceed with check-in.

In the Suite, there’s coffee, tea bags and also capsules for the Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine. πŸ˜‰

bliss boutique hotel in room drinks

Have your tea or coffee and enjoy this view. Instead of skyscrapers, most of the buildings in the area consist of just two storeys…

bliss boutique hotel suite view

As for breakfast, the spread is pretty limited. There’s lots of carbo in the form of bread, prata and noodles… and they even provide bananas! But what I found missing was vegetables, which I really love to have.

bliss boutique hotel breakfast

Prata is delivered around 8am by a vendor nearby so if you want to have it warm, be at the breakfast area by 8. If you’re lucky, the hotel will be serving curry with potatoes (!) too. We weren’t so lucky during the second stay. Just some watery curry with lentils?

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If you don’t mind some minor inconveniences, Bliss Boutique Hotel’s good for a night’s stay:

  1. The first time we stayed there, the aircon stopped working near midnight (room 2-158) and we had to pack our bags, make our way to the lobby and get a change of room.
  2. The next room (1-158) had mosquitoes and we didn’t have repellent with us. Now I bring repellent when I visit JB, on top of tissue paper as most public toilets don’t provide toilet paper (which you’ll know if you’ve been to JB before)
  3. There’s free transport to CIQ, courtesy of Bliss Boutique Hotel but it’s not quite reliable. We ‘booked’ it once and it didn’t materialize. Was told the driver went missing. (@_@) But a Grab ride costs under RM10 I think, so that’s fine.
  4. There’s tourism tax of RM10 per room which you have to pay upon check-in. For our 2nd stay, the lady at the reception forgot to collect it from us, and so put a call through to our room at 10.14pm… about the 10 ringgit. Not sure why she felt it necessary to call so late at night but staff have to do what they have to do, I guess. (*Note to self: first thing to do upon entering the hotel room is to hang up the phone)
  5. Watch out for bugs. We found some in the water tank of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine in the Suite. I guess it’s generally a good practice to replace the water in the tank before making coffee. And another one came to say ‘Hi’ during breakfast…bliss boutique hotel breakfast buffetThere’s this little cockroach right there on the table where the breakfast spread is. While it is disgusting, I guess we can’t stop creatures with wings and legs from going wherever they wish. The food’s only uncovered when the guests come in for breakfast so I’m glad that little fellow wasn’t in the food, but was simply strolling past.

*I’ve already sent my feedback for both stays to Bliss Boutique Hotel so I’m hopeful that you won’t have to come across any little critters during your stay. That said, keep repellent close by. Prices for the rooms here are pretty affordable and for the convenience, I’m sure many Singaporeans will continue to be guests here.

Review: εŒ…ζ ˆ (εŒ…η‚ΉδΈ“ε–εΊ—) Bao Zhan Dim Sum Chain in JB

bao zhan review

Maybe you’ve heard of Bao Zhan from JB? I’ve only just found out about them this week. I’m not adventurous, especially when it involves food so I tend to stick with brands I’m familiar with. ThoughΒ εŒ…ζ ˆ has 8 stores in Johor, I’ve never come across them before, and don’t know if they are any good. So, when presented the opportunity to taste some of their products, after being told other people are raving about them, I decided to give them a go. So here’s my brutally honest review of their “Big Meat Bun” (ε€§θ‚‰εŒ…),Β θ±†ζ²™εŒ… and siu mai (烧卖)…

bao zhan red bean bun

TheΒ θ±†ζ²™εŒ… or red bean buns cost RM7.40 for 4pcs, i.e. S$0.60 each.

I found the red bean paste a little too watery. It’s almost like a ‘liu sha bao’ with the filling oozing out. The bun also has an interesting texture, like it’s halfway between a pau and a mochi – bouncy and squishy. It’s a big bun, unlike those we find in Singapore, so just have one with a beverage and it’s a meal already.

bao zhan meat bun

TheΒ ε€§θ‚‰εŒ… cost RM7.20 for 2 pcs, i.e. S$1.20 each.

I really dislike this bun. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, so my apologies in advance if this happens to be your favorite pau. I thought the taste was almost bordering on disgusting, and if you hold it too tightly, a brown fluid starts dripping out from one end. Gosh. And the bun to filling ratio isn’t ideal – there’s too much carbo. I ended up eating the filling and throwing away the rest. Oops. Just get Nam Kee Pau’sΒ ε€§εŒ… – only $1.80 and SO GOOD. It hardly ever disappoints.

The Siu Mai, at RM5.90 for 6pcs or S$0.30 each are surprisingly good.

It’s not often that you can find frozen siu mai that taste good after you steam them. These taste decent even when eaten without any sauce. But of course, I enjoy pairing my food with Tiger brand chili sauce – it’s the best!

PlayMade Opens @ Waterway Point – Other Bubble Tea Stores Can Get Ready To ‘Close Shop’

playmade bubble tea waterway point

Probably because Punggol is Singapore’s youngest estate, you can find lots of bubble tea brands here. The newest entrant is PlayMade, which just opened today, drawing the crowds with their 1-for-1 promotion. I’ve tried just two of their drinks (*burp* so full already) and I’ve got a hunch that they’ll be doing pretty well in the days to come. I ordered the Taiwan Milk Tea (and added Chrysanthemum pearls) and the Orange Pulp Green Tea (with Pink Cactus Pearls) that you see in the picture above. I think the drinks are decent, definitely comparable with KOI’s and their pearls are DELICIOUS! Yes, the pink ones are gorgeous but the chrysanthemum ones are strangely addictive! Maybe I’ll try the Black Sesame Pearls and Burnt Caramel Pearls next time. For now, I’m loving the Chrysanthemum ones.

This particular outlet has said ‘Goodbye’ to Blackball and also Ah Ma Homemade Cake:

playmade punggol

I have a feeling PlayMade might be here to stay.

Besides the 1-for-1 promotion with their top 5 best-selling drinks (so clever to offer only the good stuff to new customers), there’s also tumbler and straw giveaways if you are among the first 20 customers to spend $5 at 1030am, 3pm or 8pm (thus drawing the crowd during off-peak hours). *Of course, if you’re going for the 1-for-1 promo then you’re not eligible for the freebies.

playmade punggol promotions

They’re also giving away free playmade balloons so your kid can walk around the mall and help them advertise their new store. πŸ˜€

The outlet also boasts a self-service kiosk on the right (see the 2nd picture above) and the staff make the pearls behind a glass panel on the left. <- Inspired by BreadTalk and Din Tai Fung?

Here’s the menu:

playmade menu

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I’m definitely happy about this new bubble tea store opening at Waterway Point. I’d say many of the existing ones are getting rather comfortable / complacent already. So it’s definitely time to have competition to shake things up.

KOI has been doing really well the whole time – everything runs like clockwork and they maintain their standards. Drinks can be a little pricey but they kind of make up for it with free drinks during their members’ birthday month.

LiHo’s quite an oddity. I’ve been to the store quite a few times when they should have opened already but staff still aren’t ready yet.

Partea’s not very friendly. Once I bought some drinks from them with a Fave voucher and couldn’t customize my order – it’s take it or leave it. Made a complaint via their FB page, they asked for my number and never got back to me. I’ll be very surprised if they’re still here at the end of the year.

Mr Bean and I Love Taimei also offer bubble ‘drinks’ and so far, no complaints from me.

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PlayMade is located very near to KOI at B1 (in-between the East and West wings), sandwiched between ToastBox and CRAVE nasi lemak. πŸ™‚

Book Review: ‘Freedom Fighter’ by Joanna Palani

freedom fighter book by joanna palani

This is one book I’d recommend if you want to know more about the individuals who go and join the war against ISIS. ‘Freedom Fighter: My War Against ISIS on the Frontlines of Syria’ is the true story of Joanna Palani and how she left Denmark to travel to the Middle East and joined the YPJ – the all-female brigade of the Kurdish militia in Syria. You know how we’re often told not to judge books by their covers? I took one look at this cover, saw how attractive this lady is and knew that some part of this book would involve romance (how could it not?) What I couldn’t have known was that she has also gotten special-forces training, and is a saboteur and sniper. How cool is that? Upon returning to Denmark, though, she ended up in jail because of laws which supposedly were for stopping citizens from joining ISIS. (She’d been fighting against ISIS)

This book is an exceedingly good read – I had someone chanting “unputdownable” near me all the time ‘cos I was engrossed in reading this. πŸ˜€ I believe a lot of the credit has to go to co-writer, Lara Whyte. Though Joanna doesn’t go into great detail about the training, strategies employed and plans of the organizations she has worked with (for obvious reasons), there’s still enough excitement and even gore. Within the first chapter alone, you’ll read about how her comrade put a grenade in his own mouth and blew his head off, just to save the group by sacrificing himself during an attack by Daesh.

Joanna also shares about her difficult childhood. I really think her father’s quite an a**hole. The ‘ultimate’ a**hole deed was what happened after Joanna’s uncle died –Β her father ‘forced’ his sister-in-law to become his second wife. He told her that if she refused, she can find another husband but she’ll lose her children. So of course she had to agree for the sake of her kids. And when he moved in with his second wife, it was obvious he never spared a thought for his first wife.

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“The worst place in the world to be a woman is the Middle East. The worst places to be born as a woman are Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and northern Iraq.”

“I believe that an educated mind is the best weapon a woman can have against men.”

~

Towards the end of the book, Joanna also shares about a family she stayed with – in a sort of safe house. The head of the household, Shorash, kept molesting her at home, in the car, when she was asleep, etc. And for the life of me, I cannot figure out why she would not just rip him apart. Here’s a woman who can make as well as defuse bombs, killed maybe a hundred Daesh fighters, and she’s tolerating the sexual abuse? Is it because you can’t kill someone who’s supposedly part of your movement, or that the guy has young children aged 4, 10 and 16 and can’t afford to lose their father? Is it because males have ‘authority’ and can do whatever they like? I think, at the very least, she should have chopped off one of his fingers as a warning? πŸ˜›

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“I always find it difficult when anyone asks me why I went to join the war, and I have decided there is no easy answer – or at least not one that seems to satisfy. In some ways going to war was just natural for me, in the way that it is completely unnatural for others. When people ask me why I went, I always want to ask them, ‘What made you stay behind and watch all this suffering on your television, and do absolutely nothing about it?’ I really think that’s the bigger question, actually.”

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I think it’s easier to run off and join the fight when there’s tension at home, when you’re fighting so much with family members that you might as well go and kill a few of the enemies outside. When there’s a lot at stake, however, I guess most people can’t help but stay by their television sets with a bucket of popcorn. While I’m happy people like Joanna Palani are doing their part in fighting against ISIS, I’d say it’s not quite easy for women to follow in her footsteps because there’s the enemy outside, yes, but there’s also the enemy within – the men who are happy to taunt, belittle and even abuse the female fighters.

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice: Avoid Misunderstandings By Ordering In English!

wee nam kee chicken rice set

In all my years of ordering chicken rice, I’ve never encountered a misunderstanding over which part of the chicken I wish to have with my rice… until I dined at Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice in Northpoint Shopping Centre. πŸ˜€ I walked past the eatery and was taking a look at their menu when a friendly waitress asked if I’d like to place an order. I pointed to the very attractive picture in their menu and said I’d like the drumstick set… all in Mandarin. The drumstick is ιΈ‘θ…Ώ, and she related the order to a guy holding on to an iPad (like his job is just to hold the iPad the entire day) and he keyed inΒ ιΈ‘ε°Ύ (which is the portion above the chicken’s bum). Thankfully, I took a look at the order slip they printed out and placed on the table while the food was being prepared. I noticed the discrepancy and quickly told the friendly waitress I’d said ‘drumstick’, not back. She said she’ll check…

wee nam kee chicken rice

They’ll charge you for the wet tissue so return it if you’re not using it.

She returned and said that since the ‘back’ had already been chopped up, won’t I like to have it instead of the drumstick? (@_@) I said no, I’ll have the drumstick, please. (Nice try, woman, but you’re not getting between me and the chicken drumstick I want to eat)

I also found this hilarious sign next to the cash register. πŸ˜€ It’s funny because the cashier was pulling a long face, like she utterly hates her job. It’s pretty common, ya? F&B staff are usually kind of upset all the time. “Free flow smiles” eh? Only the boss is smiling, I guess.

northpoint chicken rice

Wee Nam Kee serves up decent chicken rice. Though I have to say that they destroyed the chicken drumstick. It’s chopped up or rather hacked in such a fashion that the bone splinters and bits of bone end up all over with the flesh, so you think you’re biting into a piece of meat until *ouch* you bit into a piece of bone too. Maybe I’ll ask them to not chop up the drumstick next time. Yes, that might be really wise.

I do love that the condiments are available at each table, so you’ll never run out of chili sauce or that ginger/garlic sauce. I really do like their chili sauce as it’s so spicy! πŸ˜€

wee nam kee chicken rice northpoint

Here’s proof of a meal I enjoyed:

wee nam kee chicken rice review

The whole meat cost me $9, which is rather reasonable. (The drink I had – cold Barley – cost $2)

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice is at #B1-48, Northpoint City. Tel: 6481 4889.

*There are other outlets at United Sq (main branch), Jurong Point, Marina Sq and Singapore Post Centre.

Meats N Malts: Tai Seng Offers Great Places To Chill During The Weekends

meats n malts review

It was yet another 70-cent meal yesterday! πŸ˜€ I thought my 70-cent meals will only be at Starker Concept in Punggol. Haha! And this time, it’s all thanks to Eatigo as I’d earned a $25 voucher from their previous promotion and we picked a 50%-off time slot to dine at Meats N Malts. πŸ˜€ The BreadTalk IHQ is a really good place to visit during the weekends to chill as there’s not much of a crowd and there’s just this laidback vibe. As we’ve never been to Meats N Malts before, we didn’t really know what to order off their menu. So he picked the (safe) choice of the Meats N Malts Burger ($18.80) you see above, which even has onion rings in the middle! *On the menu, it’s stated that the burgers will come with a pair of gloves for diners to “get messy” but we didn’t receive a pair – oh well, less wastage then.

I like the fries and the slaw and how the plate’s ‘decorated’ with some chopped-up herb?

We also ordered the Garlic Parmesan wings ($9.80).

meats n malts garlic parmesan wings

For the same price, perhaps the Spicy Red Bull wings might have been a better choice. Not sure if you can see it in the picture – the wings are sitting in a parmesan ‘soup’. The sauce is too watery. And if you aren’t a fan of garlic, you’re not going to like this.

I’d picked the Ribeye ($22.80) which, unfortunately, I didn’t quite like. I think the heat distribution during the cooking process might not have been quite equal because one portion of the ribeye was ‘well done’ while another was more of the ‘Medium’ I’d wanted. The sunny side up egg also looked like it had a layer on top that wasn’t fully cooked – it’s still shiny and transparent. Naturally, I didn’t eat the egg. (@_@) *We also try not to return food to the kitchen no matter where we dine at, unless for example blood’s dripping from the chicken, because you really won’t want staff to spit in your food or purposely drop it on the ground and serve it back to you.

meats n malts tai seng

meats n malts menu

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We’ll probably skip the food and order only drinks the next time we visit. If you’re wondering, the prices for the cocktails start from $12, liqueurs from $10, mocktails at $8 and non-alcoholic beverages from $2. A cup of coffee will cost $3.50 and a milkshake, $7. And of course, you can get a beer, wine, etc right here too.

But the great thing about dining at Meats N Malts is that there’s no 10% service charge. AND you can book a 50%-off dining slot via Eatigo. πŸ™‚

30 Tai Seng Street, #01-07, BreadTalk IHQ

Tel: 69090010

The Shopee Quiz Will Prove You Know Very Little About Singapore

shopee quiz cny edition

I’ve only just started participating in the Shopee quiz this week and… OMG… it’s seriously difficult! I get eliminated pretty early on in the game and I can only watch while other folks get their share of the 80,000 or 180,000 Shopee coins prize pool. *SIGH*. Unless you’re super knowledgeable about Singapore or you can Google for the answer really quickly (within 15 seconds), it’s near impossible to get all the answers correct in each quiz. Take, for instance, the live quiz that just happened at 6pm today. Here are the questions:

Who is the wife of Phua Chu Kang?

Who sang the National Day song in 2000?

Where is Pasir Laba Camp?

Which of the following is not a location of Singapore’s natural hot springs?

When did the government start regulating the use of fireworks?

Where will the Shopee booth be located at the Chinatown CNY Bazaar?

How many STB-approved Merlion statues have been built in Singapore?

How many times has Singapore changed her time zone since 1905?

The answer to that final question is SIX! What?!

There’s another quiz happening at 9pm so… wish me luck, and may my Internet connection be strong. XD

Avoid The Grouch – Best Place To Buy Herbal Tea in Waterway Point

ztp herbal tea punggol

In just TWO days, I’ve already met and spoken with THREE people who live in Punggol and have ulcers on their lower lips. How weird is this? Either there’s been some passionate kissing going on that I’ve totally missed out on, or people have been indulging in some unrestrained feasting on (heaty)Β CNY goodies. I’m not much of a risk taker so I’ve bought herbal tea from Waterway Point instead of bubble tea (BTW, I have found the best bubble tea place in Punggol; tell you about it next time). At Waterway Point, there are a few places you can get herbal tea but to avoid the Grouch, you should get your herbal tea fix from ZTP where staff are friendly and welcoming. When you’re nursing a cold, cough, sore throat or even one of those lip ulcers, the last thing you need is to meet THE GROUCH.

I’ll usually get 4 bottles each time: 2 x Barley, 1 Honey Lemon and 1 Honey Aloe Vera. For a total of S$5.60.

ZTP is located at B2 of the West Wing. Once you head out of FairPrice where you can do some serious shopping for CNY, it’s about 4 shops away from the escalator. The staff here are very friendly. And the drinks are reasonably priced and not too sweet.

There’s another shop I avoid because of the Grouch. She treats customers as if they’re invisible, barks out her answers at you (most of the time to say that what you want is out of stock and really, how dare you ask for it?!), and generally dislikes people – I cannot fathom why.

Take care, folks! The CNY goodies are yummy but moderation is key. Unless, of course, you don’t mind meeting people while you have a giant ulcer on your lip. As if nosy relatives don’t have enough to ask you about, ya? πŸ˜‰

LIANG Sandwich Bar: I’m Not Eating This In Singapore Or JB Again

liang sandwich bar vivocity

I first got to try the tuna ‘sandwich’ from LIANG Sandwich Bar in JB – Paradigm Mall, to be exact. And I thought I’d found the BEST thing to eat in JB on all future trips. I loved their tuna mayo sandwich (actually calling it a sandwich is just weird) and the outlet was located a few steps away from Gong Cha! Perfect pairing! But it seems that LIANG is expanding rapidly in JB and they have gone to the extent of having two outlets per mall so usually one might be at the basement and the other at the top floor of the shopping mall. The business must be flush with cash, eh? But the strangest thing ever has happened: no more tuna mayo sandwich on their menus! But in Singapore, it’s still available. I know because I just bought it yesterday at Vivocity after my visit to library@harbourfront. They’re located near GIANT at the basement. *BTW, Giant now occupies only 1 floor it seems; the one above has been all boarded up.

Here’s the menu for the SG store:

liang sandwich bar menu

I’ve been to the other one at Raffles City (I believe) and it was pretty good back then, when they first set up shop.

Yes, tuna mayo is still on the menu but I really don’t care now if they remove it. It’s just a stingy little bit of tuna with a thin layer of egg. I don’t know what happened to the mayo. But yes, the crispy ‘prata’ is really good… still. The overall standard has plummeted so it’s goodbye to LIANG.

Good choice of ambassador though. πŸ˜‰

liang sandwich bar singapore