The second I
stepped out of the HDB lift, I knew which house belongs to the family I was
going to interview. I spied a mini slide and a variety of kick-scooters,
ride-on toy vehicles, bicycles and a whole lot of shoes. “Must be the right
house”, I thought to myself. My guess was spot on as once the door was open, I
was greeted by chatter from the full house of children.
Housing everyone under one roof affordably
As we sat down to
talk, the children zoomed happily around on the electric toy car and indulged
in their favourite activities with their siblings, oblivious to this “intruder”
on a Saturday morning.
Steven brought us
back in time to 17 years ago when he and his wife, Laifong, first started
working. Laifong was living in her family home in Ang Mo Kio back then, and her
mother got to know of her neighbour two units away who had wanted to sell their
that the asking price was quite reasonable at $130K thereabouts for the 3-Room
HDB flat. Once he factored in the $30K first-timer housing grant and $10K
proximity housing grant for living near parents, the price came down to a very
When their fourth
kid came around, Steven and Laifong suddenly found themselves faced with a
choice of going ahead with the upgrading to a 5-Room BTO they had applied for
earlier, or to buy the adjoining 3-Room flat next door under the Conversion
Scheme since their neighbour was moving out.
The couple quickly did their sums. The asking
price of the flat next door plus the $90K he had paid for their existing flat
combined was still under the price of a 5-bedroom BTO in the same area.
During that time,
a 5-room BTO at Ang Mo Kio would have set the couple back about $510,000 after
how he and his wife gave up their BTO allocation in favour of knocking down the
wall between the two adjoining 3-Room units to form a jumbo flat with enough space for all. I guess it’s safe to say that our public
housing scheme has served Singaporeans well. For Steven and Laifong, it was not
so much a matter of whether they could house everyone affordably, but more of
what type of public housing and at which location would work better for them.
With over a million HDB flats spread across towns and estates, the
Singapore brand of public housing is uniquely different from the rest of the
world. HDB flats spell home for over 80% of Singaporeans, and our home
ownership stands over 90%, the third highest in the world.
Managing finances and balancing
not resist asking how Steven and his family manage… especially with 5 children. He shared that his
housing loan, which he and his wife split 50-50 is completely covered by CPF, freeing
up finances for day to day expenses. Home-cooked meals and hawker fare are
their go-to because eating out for two adults and five kids can be quite a
hefty sum. That said, they still budget for a yearly family holiday – Japan
being their next destination.
of seven does not own a car and they are used to taking public transport to get
around. Taxi rides are far and few between, a luxury reserved for special
circumstances or when they are very tired. Thankfully, various transport routes
are easily accessible from their home.
time is key
Being a full-time working parent,
Steven shared that time is really a precious commodity. As much as both he and
Laifong try to shower each child with individual attention, having a brood of five
means they do not get to spend as much time with each child as they would like to.
This is certainly a feeling many working parents can relate to.
This prompted Steven to come up with
an interesting way of overcoming this “guilt”. He started the habit of bringing
each child on one-on-one bonding trips overseas, timing it to coincide with
just before they enter Primary school, a nice way to spend quality time
together before they embarked on their formal education. He has since completed
3 one-on-one trips, bringing Steffi to Korea, Leroy to Gold Coast and Stacci to
He shared that these trips allowed him
to show his love for each child through spending dedicated time with them. Both
father and child got to learn more about each other on their bonding trips and
share many happy memories and experiences together. Steven’s advice – “Live the
moment, go forth and explore the world together!”
Endearing memories of home
happy squeals emanate throughout the Teo household, never a quiet moment when
the children are around. Their closeness as a family even spills over into
their unique sleeping arrangement. Even though their jumbo flat has several
bedrooms, the family of seven insists that they bunk all together.
in an elongated bedroom, made from knocking down the walls between two
bedrooms. Their configuration of two king sized beds and one super single on
the floor seems the perfect combination to fit all seven of them.
Steven which child sleeps where and he put it simply – he parks himself on one
king size bed, his wife on the other and the children will pick favourites for
the night! A recent family staycation also saw all of them cuddled up in a king
Challenges and joys
rounded up the interview to let the family get back to their lives, I
understood more and more Steven and Laifong’s decision to have more children
than the typical family. While there are challenges in raising such a big
family… the immeasurable joy and warmth the young ones bring is certainly
We thank Steven
and Laifong for sharing their #myHDBstory.
*Over the years, HDB has
enhanced its offering of subsidies and grants to help Singaporeans afford their
first home. Ninety per cent of first-time home buyers buy a flat directly from
HDB at subsidised rates.
From September 2019 onwards,
the newly announced Enhanced CPF Housing
Grant (EHG) will replace the existing
Additional and Special CPF Housing Grants (AHG and SHG).
Eligible first-timer families
buying a resale flat may now enjoy up to $160,000 of housing grants, comprising
an EHG of up to $80,000, a CPF Housing Grant of up to $50,000, and a Proximity
Housing Grant of up to $30,000.
live in a HDB flat? Share your own #myHDBstory!
It often happens that you love a person so much you
cannot even explain it with words. In such a case, a song comes to help. Even
if you are not a musician, writing about such an unconditional feeling will be
easy for you, provided your emotions are genuine. And using our instructions,
writing a song to tell somebody you are in love with them will be even easier.
- Text Creation
Tell everything you
feel about your love. Before turning your feelings into verse and music, you will want to
express yourself without limitation of rhyme and rhythm. To do this, describe
the person you love, what you feel about it, and how you are together.
You can describe physical features, including how they
look, move, what they are like – everything that describes their physical side.
Also, describe the
emotional features. This person is brave, frank, or perhaps silent and thoughtful. Write
down everything that describes personal traits.
Writing a song is a
perfect gift! Especially when you met a girl at Godatenow.com or other dating
site, and it will be your first meeting in real life. Because girls value such presents more than
- Add the metaphors
That’s where your creative abilities turn out.
Decorate your love story by describing it very fancifully. For example, in
particular, you a person because she/he has a nice smell, which is cute but not
a winning direction in writing the song! Instead, you can write that they are
like a flower field in a warm, fragrant night.
Work with all your writing, adding as many metaphors
as you can. Some of them may turn out to be refined masterpieces. At this
stage, the goal is simply to find out what you can say about your love.
- Find your style
Once you have finished the story and got a clear idea
of both the object of passion and how to describe them, you can begin to
understand what your song will be like. To give poetry a certain shape, create
a common image for the whole text.
Using the above example, you can take the garden as a
general image. You already have flowers there. You can use bees, butterflies,
or other elements of the garden to write the lyrics.
- Find the rhyme
First, you should create a list you want to implement
into your song, choosing from those that are in the style you will use. For the
words within the created image frame, use the dictionary and find the best word
If you find it hard to rhyme your thoughts, try
expressing them in the form of a free rhyme, but in this case, strictly follow
the rhythm. Otherwise, your song will be not melodic but deprived of any sense.
A white verse sounds like a monolog and can be really intimate; it touches the
heart if written sincerely. In this case, there will be more room for
- Identify the main line of your song
Now that you already have a notion of how you are
going to make out the nature of your love, determine what you want to say and
how you want to say it. The standard format of songs about love is a verse, a
couplet, a chorus, a couplet, a chorus.
Each verse says something new about the subject of
your love, and the chorus connects it all together. Make an outline of what you
would like to write in each part.
For example, in the first verse, you can tell how you
see your love, in the second verse, show what you feel about the person you are
writing to, and in the third – how you see your common future.
In the chorus, you can write the next: try switching
everything into the garden where your love grows or sing that all these things
turn into nothing outside the garden of your imagination. All this can be
developed from the story you created! Think about the concept and make your
song deep in meaning.
- The music for the text
Before putting words into music, you have to define
the main line of the melody. In the process of writing, it will occur many
times spontaneously. If so, consider yoursef lucky! However, there will be
moments when the muse will leave you, and you will have to create a melody
Turn on the recording
device. Using poems
as a measure of the tact; sing melodies that come to mind. If you want, you can
use the already written text, or you can do as many artists – sing meaningless sounds,
just to get an idea of the melodies.
Listen to what you have
recorded. Take a paper
and a pen, sit down, and listen to what you recorded. Some moments can excite
you, and some seem boring. Pay attention to those that are the catchiest and
use them to develop the melody.
When composing music, play it on your guitar or piano.
If you, like many, do not have a trained voice, playing your melody on a guitar
or piano will greatly help you focus on the song. And if you are just an
amateur, use a computer program or an app for writing music.
- Add the euphony
When creating a melody, you meant the harmony that you
would use. You can also start with a harmonious structure and develop a melody
based on chords and not vice versa. You can even create text after you have
created a musical foundation. For some, this approach is easier. If one way
does not work for you, try the other one.
- Connect everything and add final touches
When you already have the words, melody, and harmony, practice
as many times as possible! Using a special device or app on your phone, record
a few variations of your song and get back to them later with a fresh mind. On
the next day, listen to everything you recorded, select the best parts of each record,
and use them to improve the final song.
Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the
sound of your masterpiece. When you’re done, go to your love and sing your
- Final advice
– Do not be afraid to tell you what you really feel.
– Write what you really feel to the person.
– Make sure the song goes out of your heart when you
write and sing.
– Even if it’s love, or you’re already in a
relationship with this person, so do not be afraid to open your feelings.
– The more you write, the better it will go.
– Think about how you treat this person so that the
song sounds better.
– Put emotions in your verses and make them sincere.
– Have fun and do not let the side distractions become
an obstacle to your creativity.
– Do not overuse the word “love!” Try to
tell about your feelings without words such as “love,” “bunny,”
and other banal phrases.
– Power Tab, Guitar Pro, GarageBand, and other music
recording programs are great for writing songs.
When we’re out for a day with friends, family or a significant other, the question we always ask is not “what to do?”, but “where should we eat today?”.
Because having good food
is undoubtedly the favourite Singaporean activity that anchors everything else
Some may even say the
mission is to hunt down and try as many great food places as possible each time
we make a trip out.
gastronomical delight after the next is a sure way to satisfy our souls and
make it all seem right in the world, but the only problem will be the hole that
burns in our wallets.
If you’re often bursting
your budget on food, split the cost with a pal next time, because anytime is a
good time for a hearty meal when you can tap on more than 100 1-for-1 dining
deals in Singapore! Only with OCBC Cards.
Ready to feast? We’ve compiled 10 deals for you to start with.
From idyllic Amalfi, to
the bustling Singapore River, the owners of Limoncello have brought
their team over from the famous Italian coastal town itself.
Bringing the flavour
right from its origins, they promise an authentic spread of traditional Italian
fare. Needless to say, you can expect they check all the boxes like homemade
pastas, wood fired pizzas and charcoal-grilled meats.
Limoncello may not give
you a view of green hills and crystal blue waters, but they offer plenty of
alfresco seats, and even private dining rooms where you can raise your glass to
the fancy life.
Dishes like linguine
aragosta (lobster linguine) and costolette di agnello alla griglia
(grilled lamb chop) can be a mouthful, but you won’t be fretting over the
pronunciation once you actually dig into them.
If you think dining by
the riverside along Robertson Quay is certain to rack up a big bill, you’ll be
surprised that you can indulge in a 3-course set lunch for just $35++ per pax.
Address: 95 Robertson Quay, #01-19/20, River Gate Condominium, Singapore 238256
Opening hours: Mon – Tue: 5:30pm – 10:30pm, Wed – Sun: 12pm – 2:30pm; 5:30pm – 10:30pm
2. Kyoaji Dining
It’s all in the name: Kyoaji
means “tastes from Kyoto”.
Among the endless
plethora of restaurants around Orchard, this hidden gem is tucked away inside
TripleOne Somerset where you can take a breather from the busy shopping crowd.
It’s helmed by Executive
Chef John Phua who has almost 30 years of experience in authentic Japanese
cuisine. Previously, he served at Fukuichi Japanese Dining, and he’s keeping
some of his old fan favourites alive after its closure.
Decked out in modern
furnishings, Kyoaji features a live sushi bar so you can watch Chef John and
his team cook up a storm before your eyes.
While they’re known for
their decadent assortment of sashimi and sushi, Kyoaji also dishes out a
refreshing experience with less common items like gyuniki fagura sauce
(grilled beef with goose liver sauce) and hiyashi gyomen (fish meat
Address: 111 Somerset Road, #02-05/06, TripleOne, Singapore 238164
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30pm – 3pm; 5:30pm – 10:30pm, Sat – Sun & PH: 11:30am – 10:30pm
3. The Chop House
Meat lovers come to The
Chop House to get their mouths watering over a great selection from steaks
and burgers, to baby back ribs and pork knuckles.
With their creators
hailing from the highly praised Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, The Chop House is a
more laidback rendition, bringing a range of mains and sharing dishes perfect
for hanging out with a group of pals.
Just like the first
outlet at VivoCity, its second branch at I12 Katong is decorated with an
industrial woody interior that eases you into a cosy mood.
Its hidden secret? This
location houses the legendary Southbend broiler from the US; the same one used
by the chefs at Wooloomooloo to make magic with their famous steaks.
When you’ve cleaned off
your plateful of chunky chops, hit up the bar to wash it all down with ice cold
beers, wine, or cocktails.
The Chop House
Address: 112 East Coast Road, #01-13, I12 Katong, Singapore 428802
Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 12pm – 12am, Sun: 10am – 12am
Nestled in the expansive
‘integrated community’ of Our Tampines Hub, Commons (previously
Commonground) prides itself for creating memories with its customers in the
Its warm lights and
leafy fronds give the eatery a welcoming vibe for casual get-togethers at any
time of day. Fancy a nice breakfast with your tribe of early-risers? No
problem, they’re open from 8am on weekends.
Truly a place to eat in
good company, their signature is the Commons meat platter hero loaded
with a medley of roast chicken, beef tenderloin, lamb chop, Italian sausages,
mashed potatoes, beetroot coleslaw and grilled tomatoes.
Address: 51 Tampines Ave 4, #01-103 Our Tampines Hub, Singapore 529684
Opening hours: Mon – Thu: 11am – 10pm, Fri: 11am – 11pm, Sat: 8am – 11pm, Sun: 8am – 10pm
5. Pietro Ristorante Italiano
Ristorante Italiano takes
residence along a row of old shophouses in the peaceful Seletar area.
Settle yourself in among
the traditional decor, and you’ll soon be greeted with warm hospitality and a
complimentary plate of herb-baked bread with garlic dip.
Aside from the familiar
thin crust wood fired pizzas (try the bismark: honey baked ham, feta,
mozzarella and rockets topped with a sunny side up) and pastas cooked in
parchment paper, Pietro also boasts a melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with
porcini kidney beans as its must-try item.
Pietro Ristorante Italiano
Address: 12 Jalan Kelulut, Singapore 809030
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 11am – 2:30pm; 6pm – 10:30pm
6. Chicken Up
The comforts of Korean
fried chicken never fail, and if you’re already a fan of the cuisine, then Chicken
Up is likely to evoke involuntary ‘mmm’s.
Since they opened in
2010, their fried chicken wings in ganjang (soy) and yangnyum (spicy)
flavours have been considered a reliable favourite among many Korean food
lovers in Singapore.
When it comes to the
temptation of sides like bulgolgi and kimchi fries, yangpa bomb
(fried blooming onion), and toppoki (spicy rice cakes), we’re sorry to
say there’s no way you can win this battle—so go on and indulge in your sins.
And if you and your
friends come with a big appetite, there’s nothing more quintessentially Korean
than sharing a UFO stew along with Chicken Up’s watermelon soju,
served right in the watermelon husk!
Address: 277C Compassvale Link, #01-13 (Unit No.2A), Singapore 543277
Opening hours: Sun – Thurs: 11am – 11pm, Fri – Sat: 11am – 2am
7. Masons @ Gillman Barracks
Tucked away in the artsy
locale of Gillman Barracks, the extra walk in (or drive) to get to Masons is
totally worth it.
Housed in a fully
restored black and white 1935 colonial bungalow and shrouded in lush greenery,
the restaurant gives you an uncommon chance to picture yourself in a time of
classic European luxury.
Between their main
dining hall and the serene alfresco verandah, visitors love coming to the
exclusive location to sneak away for a romantic date, or to celebrate an
occasion. It’s no surprise that many choose this venue to tie the knot too.
Mason’s kitchen is
headed by Executive Chef Jack Woolner, who has gone through training under Michelin-star
chefs and served at acclaimed restaurants in the UK.
Among a grand spread of
European cuisine peppered with local Singaporean influences, Masons highly
recommends their house special pizza and duck pasta.
Masons @ Gillman Barracks
Address: 8 Lock Rd, #01-17, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108936
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 11:30am – 11pm
8. MeatSmith Telok Ayer
With glass windows
embellished like a gentleman’s barber, a ‘rustic garage’ interior, and the
tunes of classic rock and blues, MeatSmith Telok Ayer is the ultimate
smokehouse diner in the CBD.
It’s the brainchild of
Chef Andrew Baldus and General Manager Emmanuel Bernados, who are here to prove
that a real-deal American barbecue can exist in our part of the globe too.
Chef Andrew spent most
of his life working in Southern style restaurants in Nashville and Memphis, and
he’s now brought over two Southern Pride smokers from the States to Meat
Meat is taken super
seriously here, with mouth-watering homemade sausages, stuffed
suckling pig, and pork ribs slowly smoked over hickory wood for up
to 14 hours.
Beef lovers shouldn’t
miss out on their beef brisket, perfectly charred on the outside, fatty
and tender on the inside, and of course packed full of smoky flavour.
Address: 167-169 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068620
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 11:30am – 3pm; 5:30pm – 10:30pm, Fri – Sun: 11:30am – 10:30pm
9. The Fine Line
Fine Line is comfortably nestled
in Holland Village, a popular chill-out spot that draws young Singaporeans and
expatriates to its dining and bar scene.
Head over to unwind
after a long day of work, or ring in the weekend with some well-deserved toasts
to the backdrop of rustic red brick walls and live music performances.
While some bars are
thought to offer food just to be paired alongside their main attraction of
drinks, The Fine Line doesn’t cut the slack in the kitchen, serving a
delectable spread from brunch to dinner and late night snacks.
The gastro bar’s
signature dishes include their Fine Line burger, angus steak, and
a perfectly balanced plate of salt and pepper squid.
The Fine Line
Address: 23 Lor Mambong, Singapore 277682
Opening hours: Mon – Thu: 3pm – 1am, Fri: 1pm – 1am, Sat: 11am – 2am, Sun: 11am – 1am
10. Kanpai Izakaya
Also at Holland Village,
this casual establishment is another laidback joint to raise your glass, and a
great fit for those who have a taste for Japanese cuisine and drinks.
Lifting spirits with
their all-day happy hour till 10pm (except on Fridays and public holiday eves),
Kanpai Izakaya offers a range of Japanese sake, whisky and beer.
As the food here is
served izakaya style, you’ll want to sample a variety of different bites.
Make your meal an entire
journey, starting with classics like their recommended bara chirashi or tuna
Then dive into more
adventurous terrain to try the also popular chicken heart skewers and blowfish
seasoned with sweet sake!
Address: 40 Lor Mambong, Singapore 277695
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 12pm – 2pm; 5pm – 1am
All OCBC Credit/Debit
Cardmembers can enjoy the full selection of over 100 1-for-1 dining deals.
Click here to see the full list.
If you’re not an OCBC Cardmember, but don’t want to get FOMO (fear of missing out) over these 1-for-1 deals, it’s easy to sign up for their OCBC 365 Credit Card, which also gives you 6% cashback on all your dining spend (capped at S$80, and subject to a minimum total monthly spend of S$800 per calendar month).
On top of that, the fastest fingers get the most spoils, as new OCBC Credit Card applicants who sign up by 30 September 2019 and get their card approved by 31 October 2019 will also receive a S$50 cashback!
Get instant approval right away when you sign up here.
This article was written in collaboration with OCBC Bank.
Header Image Credit: Pietro, Kanpai Izakaya, Chicken Up
Singaporeans are truly spoilt for choice when
it comes to food and shopping.
Gone are the days when we need to travel long
distances from our homes in the heartlands for a shopping spree, or to feast on
cuisines we cannot find at neighbourhood kopitiams.
For one, the folks at Westgate want to satisfy
all your cravings without you needing to take that long train ride to town.
If you’re looking for some recommendations for F&B places to check out during your next visit to the mall, Westgate is running a ‘Tantalising Treats Are Made Of These’ campaign showcasing the diverse flavours that they have to offer.
From mouth-watering Korean barbeque to an indulgent xiao long bao feast, there’s something for every craving!
Here’s a breakdown of
some of Singaporeans’ most favourite cuisines, and the eateries that you can
Move aside salted egg, mala is the flavour for the year 2019.
We’re all familiar with the tongue-numbing
goodness of a huge bowl of mala xiang guo,
but have you tried mala tang?
The soupy variation of the unofficial Singapore dish of the year, Gong Yuan Ma La Tang’s (#04-07) piping hot bowl of mala soup is the perfect complement to a cold, rainy day.
For those unable to take too spicy food, Gong
Yuan also offers soup bases like pork broth and pickled vegetables.
Regardless, we would still recommend that you
try out their signature mala soup
base with a selection of your favourite ingredients for a unique mala experience you can tell your
Still need more mala in your life?
Pop by Ooh (#02-K1) and grab a pack (or ten!) of
their signature mala potato chips, a
perfect match for your Netflix marathons.
If you want to indulge with a little less
guilt, Ooh also offers mala cassava
Known to be a healthier alternative to potato
chips, cassava is said to be a good source of protein and vitamin K!
Digging into a whole grilled fish over a flame
is the new steamboat, and TANYU (#B1-02) is one of the more well-known
brands serving that option in Singapore.
Westies will be glad to know that TANYU now
has an outlet in Westgate, and fans will be able to savour 12 different kinds
of grilled fish flavours on its menu.
Since a round of xiao long bao is already a given, why not add on a plate of
fragrant fried rice to end off the feast?
You don’t have to be a fan of K-Pop to enjoy
the bold flavours of Korean cuisine.
In the spirit of communal dining, grab some
friends and cook up some spicy chicken galbi
at the ever-popular Yoogane (#03-08).
Don’t forget to add the cheese ring!
Cool all that spicy chicken off with naengmyeon, a chilly and refreshing bowl of buckwheat noodles in a slightly savoury broth topped with slices of sweet Korean pear and cucumbers. We guarantee that your tastebuds will thank you for the break!
If you’re looking for Korean fare with a twist,
why not check out NY Night Market (#01-08) for some
Korean-Western fusion fare?
Hailing from Seoul, NY Night Market brings you
to Korea and the US with every morsel.
Want to try something that will definitely
leave your dining buddies in awe? Try their 50cm Baguette!
An intimidating-looking 50cm-long baguette
loaded with beef, salsa, cheese, jalapeno and more, the experience that comes
with sharing one with friends is one that cannot be missed.
Cool it all off with over 15 different
flavours of bingsu at Nunsaram (#04-37). From the classic injeolmi flavour to local favourites
like Milo, there’s a bingsu flavour
for every preference.
To recreate the experience of snacking at a
roadside cart in Korea, Nunsaram also sells savoury dishes like tteokbokki and fried treats.
We’d recommend you to try Nunsaram’s Special Tteokbokki, which comes with rice cakes,
fishcakes, fried dumplings, seaweed rolls and half a roll of gimbap!
For fans of the all-time popular Japanese
cuisine, head down to Gochi-So Shokudo (#01-02) for some next level
Using Iberico Pork, Gochi-So Shokudo grills
their meat over charcoal, resulting in a delectably smoky flavour in every
Did you know: The Premium Iberico Pork they
use in their delicious rice bowls contains oleic acids which have a beneficial
effect on blood cholesterol levels!
Craving for a hearty bowl of ramen? Ippudo
(#03-03) is a renowned ramen chain which has captured the hearts and stomachs
of ramen lovers all around the world!
Try out Akamaru Shinaji, where Ippudo’s
signature tonkotsu soup is enhanced by fragrant black garlic oil, which adds
depth to the already rich broth!
Delight your taste buds with the wonderful
world of Indian cuisine!
If you can’t decide between North or South
Indian cuisine, Anjappar
(#04-08) has got any craving you have covered.
Bringing Singaporean foodies the best that the
cuisine has to offer, we suggest you get their Chicken Briyani which
comes with chunks of flavourful chicken and fragrant basmati rice.
For a garlic naan and butter chicken feast, check out Zaffron
Kitchen (#01-20) for mouth-watering dishes that will leave you hungry for
Once you’re done, wash it all down with a cup
of Teh Halia, which mixes milk tea
with ginger for a comforting combination.
Did you know: South Indian cuisine tends to
use rice and rice-based items while North Indian cuisine leans towards breads
like naan and chapati?
We’ve covered Asian favourites – what about
some Western-style cuisine?
Check out homegrown brand COLLIN’S (#01-05) for some delicious yet wallet-friendly
steaks, pizza, pastas and chicken chops.
If you’re looking for a little treat, try out
COLLIN’S Grilled Tiger Prawns and U.S. Scallops, which comes at a rather
affordable price tag of $22.
For something more indulgent, order a sharing
platter and a round of chilled beer at Brotzeit (#01-04) and get immediately
transported to Germany!
A sharing platter comes with crispy pork
knuckles, pork ribs and a generous variety of sausages so get your fill of
meaty goodness at Brotzeit!
If you’re bored of froyo, check out the
IG-worthy acai bowls at An Acai Affair (#B1-30).
With every bowl packed with fresh fruits,
organic ingredients and superfoods, who says healthy food needs to be drab?
Share Your IG-Worthy Photos And Win
Westgate is holding a
photo contest and you can be one of the 5 lucky winners to win $50 worth of
Crystal Jade vouchers if you’re selected!
All you need to do is
snap a photo of your meal and include the hashtag #WestgateSGEats
for a chance to win.
For the entire dining selection at Westgate, click through this link!
Header Image Credit: Yoogane, Collins, Gong Yuan Mala
One of the biggest news in town for soccer enthusiasts this week is definitely the International Champions Cup (ICC) happening on the 20th and 21st of July.
For non soccer fans, here are some background – this Saturday, Singapore will host two of the world’s largest football clubs, Manchester United and Inter Milan.
In conjunction with that, fans of premium blended whisky and Manchester United will be hosted a special Chivas Party at one of the Singapore’s premium music clubs, where guests will be treated to a special meet-and-greet with selected first team players as well as Manchester United Ambassador, Denis Irwin.
“We are excited to present to our Asian football fans the football extravagance from Chivas with the ICC 2019 Tournament showcasing one of the world’s greatest football teams, Manchester United. The collaboration between Chivas and Manchester United reinforces the collective belief that great things can be achieved when we come together – blended is better – in life, football and Scotch,” Janelle Tong, Marketing Director for Pernod Ricard Singapore commented.
“From balancing the perfect blend of malt and grain whiskies that go into our Scotch, to using the perfect combination of players’ on the pitch.. We look forward to using our spirit to help showcase the spirit of the Club and its fans in the Asian region,” added Janelle.
On top of the meet and greet, Chivas guests can also anticipate an exciting exclusive after-match party, lined-up at Singapore’ renowned music club.
Party-goers can expect a unique experience featuring a dazzling 3D light showcase, a delectable treat of unique Chivas cocktails, and dance to non-stop to the beats of a renowned DJ to celebrate the special occasion.
When we think of an island getaway in Singapore, Sentosa immediately pops into mind. But let’s be real—with themed attractions and man-made beaches, is it really the natural beach getaway that we sometimes crave for?
While there’s Bali and Phuket, another little known paradise is Langkawi, also known as the Jewel of Kedah, Malaysia. Merely a 1.5 hr flight from Singapore (and usually less than SGD100 for return flight tickets), Langkawi is a duty-free island that receives more than 3 million tourists annually.
Lucky for us, another world-class hotel has joined the western coastline of Langkawi just recently. That hotel is none other than Aloft Hotel Pantai Tengah, which adds to Aloft’s fleet of over 150 hotels open in over 20 countries.
Having said that, the location of Aloft Hotel Pantai Tengah and personalised features of the hotel to its landscape helps it to stand out and hold its own charm and uniqueness.
On top of Aloft Hotel Pantai Tengah’s aesthetics and facilities, there are also other experiences that will make your trip to Langkawi a memorable one.
1. Sail on a yacht out onto the Andaman sea and have a sunset dinner cruise
Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah collaborates with local tours such as Crystal Yacht Holidays to provide guests with a chartered yacht experience, at a lower packaged rate.
The package is all-inclusive, with a BBQ buffet dinner, free flow drinks, and a salt water natural jacuzzi. The cool sea breeze and beautiful sunset is sure to melt your worries away and give you the recharge you need.
Tip: Be careful not to run on the yacht as it can get a little slippery. And try to get a good seat in front of the yacht for an unobstructed view of the horizon.
2. Experience a 4-hr jet ski adventure
If you haven’t hopped onto a jet ski before, you’re missing out! It may look (and sound) scary at first, but the guide from MegaWaterSports (another partner of Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah) is very assuring.
He tells us that there’s nothing to worry about, as long as we maintain our speed and ride fast through the waves. The slower you go, the easier it is for the waves to jerk or knock the jet ski. But then again, who would want to go slow on such an adventure?
Our top speed on the jet ski is about 60km/hour, which is more than enough to keep that adrenaline rush, but also safe enough for you to not completely lose it.
We make several stops throughout the 4-hour ride with our guide leading the way and also keeping watch on us to make sure we’re all comfortable on the jet ski.
Each stop has a special experience, such as eagle watching, swimming in a part of the Andaman sea with an unusually high salt concentration, getting up close with the limestone formations, walking along a private beach, and more.
Tip: Bring along sunblock because you’ll definitely be needing it! And don’t worry about getting your gadgets wet, your personal items can be kept in a waterproof bag in the jet ski’s front compartment.
3. Take a dip in the largest freshwater lake in Malaysia
Dayang Bunting Lake is one of the stops during the 4-hr jet ski ride and it’s too interesting to not mention it as a separate point. The Island of the Dayang Bunting (Pregnant Maiden) is the second largest island within the Langkawi archipelago (fancy word that means group of islands) and it contains the largest freshwater lake in Malaysia.
The location of the lake is extremely unique because it’s right next to the sea, and only separated by a thin ridge of limestone.
The name of the lake is inspired by a local legend of a fairy princess who married a human prince and got pregnant after drinking the water from the lake. The outline of the hills around the lake also resembles the shape of a pregnant maiden lying on her back.
Visitors can swim in the lake, rent a kayak or paddle boat, or just sit by the deck and dip your feet in the cool water. And we were extra, extra careful to not swallow any water from the lake. You know, just in case.
Tip: You have to climb up about 100 or so steps to get to the lake. It’s not too physically tiring and will take about 10 minutes.
However, there are a lot of wild monkeys along the steps who are curious and not afraid to grab your personal belongings, especially if you’re carrying food. They’re not aggressive, but it’s best to hold your things close to you and do not engage with them.
4. Dine on Malaysian heritage and Western favourites
Nook at Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah is tastefully designed with an array of geometric patterns and bold matching colours. More importantly, their all-day dining offers a selection of Malaysian cuisine and some classic international favourites.
For dinner, we got to feast on some authentic Kelantanese dishes and I still occasionally have cravings for their white percik chicken (broiled chicken in sweet coconut gravy).
Tip: Instead of taking cordial juice during breakfast, look for the fresh juice bar where they will mix fruits of your choice and you can have a customised fresh drink!
5. Chill at the only elevated infinity pool in Langkawi
Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah currently happens to be the only hotel along the Langkawi Western coast that has an elevated infinity pool. There’s also a sunken pool lounge area and jacuzzis (inside large water features).
Tip: Order a signature cocktail from the Splash bar to complete your sunken pool lounge experience. We tried the Passion Portion, Absolutely Fabulous, and Mojito Mix Berry—each priced about SGD6—no regrets.
6. Take advantage of Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah’s world class facilities
After a long day of activities, Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah has the right facilities you’d need. With complimentary high-speed WiFi connectivity and 49” Smart TVs, you can choose to rest in your room (all of the hotel’s 208 rooms have its own balcony).
Or head down to the Re:mixSM lobby for a game of billiards and get a drink at the W XYZSM bar. If you’re hungry for a midnight snack, you can also grab something from the 24/7 grab-and-go Re:fuelSM. There’s also the fully equipped, 24-hour fitness centre, Re:chargeSM.
Tip: If you’re travelling with kids and you want some alone time, take advantage of the hotel’s Kids Club that has board games, toys, art supplies and daily movie screenings. Don’t worry, your kids will be under the supervision of trained talents there too.
Header Image Credit: Discover SG
One of the common things that Singaporeans love to do is undeniably a staycation – as it is the closest thing to a vacation without burning through their wallet by going overseas.
While there are many options for a staycation, here is one from The Westin Singapore that couples should seriously consider for the value it offers.
The Westin Singapore recently introduced two new experiences for Singaporeans looking for a staycation.
First, Westin’s new “Singapore Fling” staycation package, targetted at couples, features a two-night or three-night stay with the following:
- Package includes daily breakfast for two at Seasonal Tastes, Westin’s all-day dining restaurant.
- Guests will also get to enjoy two Singapore Sling cocktail or mocktail at the Lobby Lounge, overlooking stunning harbor views.
- The three-night stay package includes access to Westin Club Lounge for up to two adults.
- Access to Westin’s outdoor infinity pool
- Access to Westin’s Fitness Studio
The 2-night stay in a Deluxe Room starts from SGD588++ while the 3-night stay starts from SGD888++.
Here’s a look at some of the photos of Westin Singapore:
The staycation package entitles you to the Westin’s Deluxe Room, an absolute comfort for value seekers, which comes with a bathtub overseeing the Marina bay area, a sight to behold.
The second experience, while not exactly a staycation, is also something exciting for couples looking for new date ideas.
With the new “Saturdates” package by THe Westin Singapore, you get to take your date to Cook & Brew, located on Level 33 of the hotel. This unique dining venue features raw wooden floors and the perfect contemporary setting for guests to indulge in their dinner against magnificent views of Marina Bay.
What’s also interesting about the “Saturdates” package by The Westin Singapore is that, there will be a “Conversation Card” prepared for you, if you do need that extra talking point with your date, and she will also receive a special gift courtesy of Westin Singapore.
Saturdates at Cook & Brew is available every every Saturday, 6PM, 7PM, 8PM at $98++ per couple.
You can find out more about both the new experiences by Westin here.
Have fun and do share with us your experiences at Westin, one which comes highly recommended by our team.
For room reservation, please call 65.6922.6922 or email [email protected]
There’s so much to love about Japan, from its beautiful scenery to its addictive food and entertainment.
If you’re a fan of Japan and want a way to prove it, look no further than our quiz dedicated to the Land of the Rising Sun.
So you think you know all there is to know about Japan? Prove it below!
This quiz was made in collaboration with Westgate.
We all know Deliveroo for delivering our favourite eats right to our doorstep, but they’ve since pushed the envelope to go from online to offline.
Within the last two years, the food delivery giant has launched two physical dining spaces in Singapore known as ‘Deliveroo Editions’, which double up as their delivery-only super kitchens.
Following the success of these two sites, Deliveroo has recently launched their biggest and most advanced Editions site in Singapore to date.
Called the deliveroo food market, this new space is just a stone’s throw away from the new Mediacorp headquarters, sitting on the first floor of ALICE @ MEDIAPOLIS. Its eye-catching teal interior makes the place hard to miss!
This new site is a significant ‘upgrade’ from their previous Editions sites, with the addition of a tech-enabled dining space that can accommodate up to 40 people.
7 Restaurants Housed Under One Roof
Deliveroo food market houses 7 restaurants and a total of 11 food concepts, which has been carefully curated based on user demand.
Some noteworthy restaurant partners include popular favourites like Korean fried chicken brand Bonchon, Vietnamese noodle bar NamNam, NamNam’s sister brand COMNAM, Omakase Burger, and Rasa Rasa.
You can also order from some of the virtual brands that are exclusive to Deliveroo such as EZO Hokkaido Eats by Omakase Burger, which serves quality Japanese dons (like their Signature Butadon).
For those who are health-conscious, there are plenty of wholesome options as well. VIOS by Blu Kouzina for one, offers bowls that are carefully packed for a balanced diet without compromising on taste. You can even pick your favourites with their Build Your Own Bowl option!
Its sister brand, Lucky Souvlaki by Blu Kouzina, specialises in traditional Greek street food that is made with quality ingredients like organic meat.
On the other hand, Chop Shop by Pot Luck Club offers delicious grain bowl options like the Thai BBQ Chicken, and you can also get gourmet salads and sandwiches from Delismith by Pot Luck Club.
A Taste Of Dining In The Future
What’s unique about this food market is its fully-automated ordering system.
Designed to offer customers “a taste of dining in the future”, the entire ordering experience is automated and powered by eatsa, a San Francisco-based technology automation company.
The ordering process is seamless and very user-friendly. If you’re familiar with ordering food through Deliveroo’s app, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. In any case, there are instructions on the screen to guide you along through the whole ordering process. If you do encounter any issues, there are service staff around as well.
Instead of ordering over the counter or at tables like most dining establishments, you get to browse the menu and place your order at any of the five self-serve kiosks onsite. Once you’ve settled on your order, checking out is just as easy! You simply need to tap or swipe your card for payment.
After placing your order, your name will appear on the digital status board. Once your food is ready, the number of an assigned digital cubby will appear alongside your name.
You can then head over to the designated cubby for food collection. Your name will also appear on the door of the cubby, which is a pretty nice touch as it makes the dining (or ordering) experience more personalised.
For those who prefer takeouts, there is a takeaway option as well, which you can select when you place your order at the kiosks.
An Alternative Dining Experience At One-North
Lunch can be a stressful experience for the working crowd, but the entire order-and-collect system makes it so much easier. It is perfect for those who want to avoid unnecessary fuss during their precious lunch break — simply tap to order, pay, and collect your meal.
The deliveroo food market is also a good alternative for group dining as the many restaurants housed under one roof offer a plethora of options for all. Unlike a food court, the laid-back ambience there makes you feel like you’re dining at a cafe instead.
Moreover, the space offers power points and wifi access, which makes it a great place for working professionals to dine and chill at.
For those who need their caffeine fix, the food market also houses Nineteen95 Espresso Bar—this is the first fixed location for the mobile coffee cart brand. Besides that, you can also get Magnum ice cream bars and pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream there.
The deliveroo food market is only open for dining during lunch from 11am to 2.30pm, and for dinner from 4.30pm to 9.30pm. Beyond these hours, you can still order from the restaurants via delivery until 10pm!
Deliveroo Food Market
ALICE @ MEDIAPOLIS #01-02/03
Opening hours: 11am – 2.30pm (Lunch), 4.30pm – 9.30pm (Dinner)
As January nears its end, it means one thing: Valentine’s Day is round the corner.
A day where we celebrate love and show our partners how much they mean to us, on this special day, no gesture is too big or too small.
If you’re looking to give your partner some flowers, but don’t want to splash out over a hundred dollars on blooms, you’ll be glad to know that affordable options are not that hard to find these days.
Here are 10 florists that sell beautiful bouquets – fresh and dried – at wallet-friendly prices, so you can show your affection without burning a huge hole in your pocket.
After all, it’s the thought and not the amount of money you spend that counts.
1. The Bloom Room
A floral shop that typically sells bouquets that are on the pricier side, The Bloom Room is showing us all some love this Valentine’s Day by selling petite floral bouquets, so we can all experience the joy of giving and receiving flowers on the day of love.[caption id="attachment_32962" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Image Credit: @bloomroomsg[/caption]
Do take note that delivery is not free, so drop by to pick up your flowers, and save that extra money for something else!
2. The Enchanted Tree
If you haven’t heard of The Enchanted Tree, get acquainted – especially if your partner loves receiving flowers.[caption id="attachment_32963" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Image Credit: @theenchantedtreesg[/caption]
A company that believes in making flowers affordable anywhere in Singapore, their hand bouquets are priced at $30 each. Yes, that’s a $30 flat fee that includes delivery.
These $30 bouquets – otherwise known as ‘Daily Picks‘ – differ on a day to day* basis, so what you get really depends on what they’re selling on that particular day.
*A different style is put created everyday from Monday to Friday, excluding PH.
3. Windflower Florist
Another go-to florist for affordable bouquets is Windflower Florist. They’re the ones responsible for the dried flower vending machines you may have seen around Singapore![caption id="attachment_32952" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Image Credit: @windflowerflorist[/caption]
If your partner loves the look of dried flowers, you should definitely give Windflower Florist’s catalog a browse. Dried lavender bouquets start at $33, while $48 can get you pink, blue, purple bouquets and more with some whimsical cotton flowers.
Fresh flower bouquets here are similarly wallet-friendly, with a good selection of affordable options starting at $43.
4. The Bloom Box
For a more unique Valentine’s Day gift, why not get blooms in a box?[caption id="attachment_32958" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Image Credit: @thebloombox[/caption]
The Bloom Box rejects the notion that flower bouquets need to be expensive, reserved for special occasions, and come wrapped in coloured paper. As such, they’ve created floral boxes, and they offer only one type of box a day at $35 nett (inclusive of delivery).
Designed with a handle, these floral boxes are definitely a lot handier than the traditional hand bouquet. Their Valentine’s Day designs are out, and are available for pre-order.
Another unconventional bouquet idea is a felt floral bouquet. That is, flowers made of felt material.[caption id="attachment_32970" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Image Credit: Adorninglory Facebook[/caption]
These quirky bouquets are created by Adorninglory, a felt and fresh floral artist. For Valentine’s Day this year, Adorninglory will be selling 4 types of felt bouquets, as well as 1 dried flower bouquet.
Prices start at $39 for a felt floral bouquet, and their hand-calligraphed card + bouquet set is tagged at $55.
Price: From $39
For more rustic bouquets, check out the selection at Fleuriste.[caption id="attachment_32971" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Image Credit: @fleuriste.sg[/caption]
For fresh bouquets, the Everyday Petite Posy costs $40 while the Everyday Medium Bouquet costs $55. Here, you’ll find many soft pastel blooms, rather than the loud, bolder hues you typically see in more old school floral shops.
Their Valentine’s Day collection is also very affordable, starting at $55 for a simple bouquet of baby’s breath, cotton flowers and roses.
7. Skinny Blooms
For an all-in-one Valentine’s Day gift, you can turn to Skinny Blooms.[caption id="attachment_32966" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Image Credit: @skinnyblooms[/caption]
Aside from dainty bouquets, which start at $40 for a Dainty Posy, they also sell floral gift sets. That is, flowers with an added gift, such as bralettes in their I’m in x Petite Beauty Set ($98) and lipsticks in their Vely Vely x Dainty Posy set ($83).
With that, your Valentine’s Day gift is pretty much settled, and all that’s left to do is show your lady a good time.
8. Keira Floral
A relatively lesser known brand, Keira Floral is a name many brides and bride-to-bes will know.[caption id="attachment_32959" align="aligncenter" width="1040"] Image Credit: , and go up to $126, if you’re looking to make an Instagram
Image Credit: @dawnqflowers[/caption]
Their bouquets start at $65 and come with plenty of greenery and quirky little details.
Dawn Q has also released her own Valentine’s Day bouquet range, with prices starting at $65 for a dried flower bouquet.
10. Petite Fleur
For more sophisticated bouquets, try Petite Fleur.[caption id="attachment_32965" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Image Credit: @petitefleur_sg[/caption]
With flowers in pretty pastel hues of pink, purple and blue, these romantic bouquets are surely the way to a woman’s heart.
Prices start at $69 for a bouquet of purple roses with Dusty Miller and Baby’s Breath, or a simple 8-stalk rose bouquet. They also sell round and square flower boxes which are a nice change of pace from handheld bouquets. Flower boxes start from $60.
This Valentine’s Day, give your special someone the gift of flowers. After all, a little romance never killed anyone.