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Monday 31 July 2017

Lunch at Carol Mel Cafe @ Tai Seng (Revisit)

1 Irving Place #01-30 The Commerze @ Irving, Singapore 369546
Tel: 6635 5755

Cravings for a Signature Whimsical Waffle (review here) brought me back to Carol Mel Cafe at Tai Seng Area on a rainy afternoon.

The cafe was blessedly quiet at that time, not sure it was a good or bad sign. Good for the patrons I guess? Anyway people started coming in around 3pm, which was good for business.

Cafe's interior was dimly lit but brightened by natural sunlight streaming in, a rather fetching sight. Faux brick walls and some art adorned the sides, great for Instagram-worthy photography.

Started with their special Sakura Matcha Latte (SGD $6.00) which was beheld beauty in the rawest form - depicting a sakura tree and using specially-sourced Matcha powder from Japan. It looked inviting yet at the same time, stunning; I almost couldn't bear to drink it. The other 3 flavours (subject to availability) you can choose from are the Taro, Pumpkin and the Blue Peaflower.

Taro Latte (SGD $6.00) was another astonishing beauty and Damien the barista had cleverly written my name as part of latte art, with a cute design. Yam flavour was deliocious, bursting through the beverage slowly, like a sensation.

Iced Mocha here has a class of its own, served in a lovely bowl glass and comes with a marshmallow for that added sweetness. 'Secret ingredients' allowed for maximum enjoyment of this beverage, like liquid Ferrero Rocher. After we slurped the last drop, we ate the straw too.

I was also persuaded to give the Zhi Char Salted Egg Luncheon Fries (SGD $12.00) a try; this item is only available after 2.00pm. What's so special about their spam fries is that they do it the traditional Cantonese homemade style by frying the raw egg yolk with spices before tossing the luncheon fries in to absorb the salted egg sauce. Instead of being too rich or salty as I had feared, taste was surprisingly light, as was texture. In fact, each strip of luncheon fry was almost delicate, melting readily in the mouth, laden with lovely hints of curry leaves and salted egg yolk. Oddly, I also finished off all the crispy curry leaves.

Cold Seafood Pasta (SGD $16.90) comprised loads of seafood (prawns, salmon roe) with threads of angel hair pasta. Delicious could not even begin to describe it, but let's say that it was so good, I'd pay twice the price for this served at a restaurant.

Then it was time for their most special Signature Whimsical Waffle (SGD $16.00), composed of crispy buttermilk waffle, chocolate brownie ice-cream (usually ite salted caramel ice-cream), bananas, melted sharp cheddar cheese, figs, strawberries, blueberries, marshmallows, maple syrup and sprigs of parsley. The flavours burst was akin to the palate's dreams come true, threading through the sweet and the savoury, the fluffy and the juicy.

Was very happy with my revisit of Carol Mel Cafe and will definitely be back for more.

Saturday 22 July 2017

Dinner at Napoleon Wine Bar @ Raffles Place

206 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068641
Tel: 6221 9282

I have been wanting to check Napoleon Wine Bar out for a while, so it was coincidental that I got invited to an event there, enabling me to check the cosy settings out, and enjoy their food. The Italian wine bar is located at Telok Ayer shophouses with a narrow interior but dimly intimate ambience complete with faux brick walls. Service crew was friendly as well.

What drew my attention first of course, was the wine dispenser loaded with lots of quality wine for sampling (at a low cost). As it was wine appreciation night for us, we got to sample the wines by the bottles with the sommelier sharing with us the different origins and notes of each wine.

Cheese Platter (SGD$8.00 / SGD$18.00 / SGD$32.00) comprised of quality cheeses that pair best with white wine or nibbled on their own.

Photo credit: Roger Tey

The Crostini Platter (SGD$12.00 for 8 pieces) comes in many different variety, such as grilled chicken, cherry tomato on vine and pesto, truffle brie and Bayonne ham, fresh burrata mozzarella, cherry tomato on vine and basil, smoked salmon and dill cream cheese.

Many of us enjoyed the Artisan Linguine Arrabiata (SGD$19.00) as well - tomato concasse and spicy tomato sauce with prawns. One may opt for the chicken version at SGD$18.00.

My favorite section was where the desserts lay.  An assortment of huge Macarons and decadent Brownies finished up the evening beautifully, paired well with glasses of red wine.

I will definitely come back to Napoleon Wine Bar for more good food at affordable prices and wide range of good wine.

Thank you Murdoch Alumni Chapter Singapore for the invite.

Sunday 16 July 2017

Afternoon Tea at Boyle's Coffee @ Bukit Timah Plaza

1 Jalan Anak Bukit, L1-CS1 (outside), Bukit Timah Plaza, Singapore 588996
Tel: none supplied
Website: http://en.boylescoffee.com

Boyle's Coffee is under UTB Coffee, known for its world-class quality water drip coffee, slowly gaining traction around the world. We visited their outlet at Bukit Timah Plaza today, a small glasshouse kiosk situated outside level one (outside DBS bank).

The interior is small but tastefully decorated by their pretty cakes, dreamy swirls of macaroons and vases of faux flowers mainly in purple and fuchsia tones. Service is friendly and personable, complete with lots of smiles and sound recommendations. Menus comprise light bites such as sandwiches, an assortment of cakes and lots of coffee (main categories being the Dutch Coffee series, Nitro Coffee series, Espresso series and Special Origins series).

We started with some of those huge and pretty Macarons (SGD$2.70 each) in swirls of pastel colors. The pink ones are Strawberry Cream flavoured; sweet with strawberry aroma but not cloying. The ones with blue swirls contain Elderflower, and were very easy on the palate. Finally, the ones that look like sunset in their cheery orange and yellow hues - contain yuzu, a refreshing touch of zesty delight within the sweetness.

The Dutch Coffee looked very pretty and almost crystalline in their clarity. The feedback was that the "mild" selection was very light, that perhaps the "original" one might have boosted a more prominent flavour.

Dutch Flag White (SGD$6.50) was an abstract art in itself, punctuated by a single large white dot in the middle, looking formal yet enigmatic in its simple elegance.

The Nitro Iced Coffee (SGD$8.00) was darkly beautiful, looking like a tall glass of Stout beer; flavour was laced with bitterness as well, with a smooth finish.

My Yuzu Latte (SGD$6.50) came with pretty latte art, and citrusy notes to boost, a little like drinking coffee with sour notes, only nicer. At the bottom of the coffee were yuzu peel, which offered me a good bite and made me decide that I liked my beverage a lot more.

Overall afternoon tea experience here at Boyle's Coffee was pretty stellar, with good vibes and coffee forming the bases of a quality chillout session. If I had stomach for more, I would have tried one of their delectable looking cakes (probably cheesecake or rainbow cake) - next time, probably.

Thursday 13 July 2017

Review on Flowers by A Better Florist [Sponsored]

I got bloomed today! Yes, an exciting delivery arrived at my doorstep and I received a beautiful bouquet of The Ayla (SGD$68.00) - made up of sunflowers and luscious greens, on a Sunday morning (how befitting).

Who: A Better Florist
Address: 11 Keng Cheow Street #01-02 Riverside Piazza, Singapore 059608
Tel: 3163 1525

A Better Florist was founded by Steven Feiner (often known better as "Steve"), with the belief that sending and receiving flowers should be easy, affordable and beautiful. Their exquisite bouquets are sourced from their very own plantation in Cameron Highlands, delivered fresh to your doorstep no matter which part of Singapore you are located at.

Even better, A Better Florist offers complimentary (yes, that means "free"!) delivery between 9.00am to 6.00pm everyday. If you require their express delivery (payable), they have a 90-minute guarantee delivery service that would be ideal for sending a surprise bouquet or gift hamper to anyone at all.

Check out A Better Florist now for their gorgeous flower arrangements, or order your preferred customised boutiques for any occasions at all. Keep a lookout for their gift hamper and occasional flower arrangement classes as well.

Thank you A Better Florist for brightening up my day with the surprise delivery of flowers, as well as thoughtful "how to care for your flowers" tips on little cards attached to the bouquet. Let me sign off now to find a pair of scissors and vase for them!

Monday 10 July 2017

Shop online with ASOS discount codes and cashback with ShopBack

Payday has just arrived and I browse online stores excitedly, wondering what to shop for, more clothes probably. Online shopping is not only flexible, but also more affordable and convenient (plus I can buy anything 24/7 without having to wait for the stores' opening hours) - and my items are delivered to my doorsteps.

Recently, I heard of  ShopBack, which is a fabulous site offering cashback rewards on my online purchases. Yes, you heard it right - cash back on my shopping - meaning, savings on top of savings!! Curious to know how it works, I did a little research, and was glad to discover that Asos is under their merchants too. So now I could buy lots of dresses and still receive cash back for them!

So, recently, I was invited to try ShopBack out for myself, and I logged onto their website to register for an account.  It was a fuss-free process where I could sign up with my email or Facebook account. Within minutes, I was in.

Once I signed up, I clicked on Asos'  box to be directed to their website. Remember that you must be re-directed to the merchant's website from ShopBack, in order to enjoy the cash back benefits. See, before I shopped, I was already informed that I would be enjoying 3.5% cashback from Asos - how exciting is that!

I landed at Asos' original website, and selected the products I was interested to buy, and keyed in the discount code. Upon successful payment of my purchases, my cashback earnings would be reflected on the panel, redeemable anytime to be credited back to my bank account. Imagine that, earning cash returns for shopping - every girl's dream come true. Head over to Shopback now and buy clothes with Asos discount codes.

Besides Asos, I also took the liberty of checking out Zalora's stuff from Shopback website. I have reason to buy more clothes now that there's also Zalora promo codes together with cashback, relentlessly tempting me to make full use of these attractive savings for my shopping pleasure.

There's something for my hubby on the site as well - as I search for hotel deals on Booking.com for our upcoming Bangkok and Vancouver trips together. Imagine earning up to 6% cashback for travelling - now we could afford to spend more on flights and good food.

Wait, did I say food? My rumbling stomach reminds me that I need to eat in between shopping online for clothes and hotels, and that I need to shop for food now. Let's see... there's even savings on food deals on ShopBack's site, wow. All right, I am going to pen off now to hunt for good food deals for dinner tonight, so that we could recharge before another online shopping bout afterwards!

Thank you ShopBack for the total savings earned today for my shopping, travelling and dining needs; I will definitely be using you more often, and sharing you with my friends and family!

Sunday 9 July 2017

Review on Luxiere Eye Mask from SleepWiz [Sponsored]

My lifestyle lately has been more hectic than usual, piped in with lots of stress - happy stress, bad stress, they are still all stress.  As such, I find that my sleeping habits have changed. While I used to sleep throughout the night the moment my head hit the pillows (which I accredited to my exhaustion and comfortable pillow), I find myself waking up in the middle of the nights and sleep became fitful.

After I tried out so many methods that did not work - such as taking chamomile and / or rose teas before bed, playing soothing music, meditation, aromatherapy and counting sheep etc - SleepWiz came to the rescue.

Now SleepWiz is a brand that totally recognizes the risks and health issues that come with sleep deprivation, and they care.  Their Luxiere Eye Masks offer an awesome solution to attaining quality sleep without the use of chemicals, pills or side effects. The 100% silk woven eye masks do wonders in the following ways:
  • Impenetrable to light with their DreamWeave technology
  • Creating perfect nighttime conditions so that the body can enjoy restorative sleep even during the day
  • Boosting melatonin levels naturally to bring about deeper, more efficient sleep
  • Extra wide design to prevent light from entering through the edges
  • Adjustable dual straps to hold the eye mask firmly in place and not fall off during sleep
  • Coolly comfortable and does not exert pressure onto the eyes / temples (adjust your straps correctly)
  • Extremely light, smooth and soft texture
  • Promotes blood circulation and relaxes facial muscle for better sleep
  • Silk protects our skin by retaining the natural oils and moisture while allowing it to breathe

Yes, that is a lot of benefits in a seemingly simple pair of Eye Masks, and on top of that, SleepWiz offers complimentary delivery in Singapore, as well as 3 months' warranty.

If you are thinking that such a marvellous product would be very expensive (like how I had thought!), well, you'll be thrilled to learn that the Luxiere Eye Masks cost a mere SGD$14.90 each, and they are divided into masks for "Side Sleepers" and "Back Sleepers".

Because of these eye masks, I now enjoy sound, uninterrupted sleep from night till morning, and it makes me enjoy my nightly slumber so much more. I also look forward to bringing them on my upcoming overseas trips. Thank you SleepWiz for these fascinating Luxiere Eye Masks and the cutting edge technology behind it - I could never look at eye masks the same way again!

Friday 7 July 2017

[Media Invite] Chang Sensory Trails 2017 @ Marina Bay Promontory

To start off the introduction, you do know what Chang Beer is, right? In case you are not aware, it is a Thai beer - a pale lager brewed by Thai Beverage (better known as "ThaiBev") - one of Thailand's and Southeast Asia's largest beverage companies with distilleries in Thailand, Scotland, Ireland. France and China.

Event: Chang Sensory Trails 2017
Where: 11 Marina Boulevard, The Promontory @ Marina Bay, Singapore 018940
When: 7 and 8 July 2017
Time: 4.00pm to 10.30pm
Price: Complimentary / free of charge

After 2 successful runs in London and San Francisco this year, Chang Sensory Trails is back in Singapore for the 2nd year, happening this weekend (Fri and Sat) at Marina Bay Promontory.

What can one expect during its 3rd global stop this year in Singapore itself?
  • A unique culinary experience curated by renowned couple chefs "Bo" Songvisava and Dylan Jones of Bo.Lan (ranked #19 in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2017)
  • The global gastronomy platform will feature mouth-watering dishes from 12 of Singapore's finest Thai restaurants such as Aroy Dee, Folks Collective, Gin Khao, Long Chim, Long Tail, Nara Thai Cuisine, Patara Fine Thai Cuisine, Sa-Yum Dining Room, Talay Thai, Tamarind Hill, Thai'd Me Up Restaurant and The Thai Society.
  • Besides the usual conventional favorites, one can also look forward to creative reinventions of Thai classics such as Watermelon Fried Rice, Durian Sticky Rice and Pork Belly Papaya Salad etc.
  • The event will also feature live music by local bands including O. K. Ready, The Good Life and Astronauts
  • Caricature artists will also be around to paint your portraits
  • Live graffiti demonstration by street artist Dem
Water-melon Fried Rice

Moo Ping

Tom Yum Lobster

Wait no further  - come by Chang Sensory Trails event this Friday and Saturday for a good time with your loved ones, treat the palate to some tantalizing Thai cuisine, and bask in the full Thai culture!

Thank you Phish Communications for the invite.