Live It Up Like You’re In Hao Lai Wu – Enjoy Steamboat And BBQ In Lit Crystal Pots Till 3AM

There’s something to be said about Singaporeans’ devotion to a good, hearty steamboat or BBQ.

Clearly, this is something Hao Lai Wu recognises because they offer both steamboat and BBQ simultaneously, along with one of the widest arrays of ingredients we’ve seen in a single space.

[caption id="attachment_27630" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The mother lode[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27640" align="aligncenter" width="582"] Sauce galore![/caption] [caption id="attachment_27628" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Choose your own side, from kimchi to french fries[/caption]

Located at 8 Sago St, this shopfront is conveniently located next to the famous landmark, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. A spot that’s hard to miss, you and your friends won’t have any trouble finding each other at this place.

To cater to all of us Singaporeans whenever hunger strikes, the owners of Hao Lai Wu insist on keeping their store open from 11am – 3am daily! Up and hungry at ungodly hours? Hao Lai Wu’s got you covered!

[caption id="attachment_27635" align="alignnone" width="1024"] This place looks like something out of a Hong Kong film in the 70s[/caption]

We loved the charming, lived-in atmosphere permeating the entire shop.

From the moment the DiscoverSG team stepped in, we were taken with the lively, boisterous crowd, the communal cooking over steamboat bowls and BBQ grills, and the cheerful eating of family and friends.

[caption id="attachment_27631" align="alignnone" width="1024"] So much food to choose from![/caption]

Here, you can choose from 6 different soup bases: Mala, Tom Yum, Tomato, Chicken, Salted Veggie and Pork Bone.

We went with the house special, Mala soup, as well as Chicken soup. The main reason why we ordered the chicken soup was so we had a simple soup base that would allow us to properly appreciate the freshness of the ingredients served here.

Hao Lai Wu provides its customers with a wide range of fresh ingredients, sides, and sauces. It prides itself in its authentic Chinese cuisine, from the spices they put into their Mala soups to the drinks they import directly from China.

[caption id="attachment_27627" align="aligncenter" width="497"] The Honey Pomelo juice was surprisingly refreshing[/caption]

We settled down on the re-purposed oil drums and found that they came with detachable seat covers you could lift, to reveal a storage space for your bags or any knick-knacks you were carrying! With your belongings safely stowed away, the only thing you need to focus on is the mouthwatering food before you!

We were given an incredibly warm welcome with a crazy influx of dishes.

We had cute fishcakes…

[caption id="attachment_27636" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Adorable mouse-like fishcakes[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27623" align="alignnone" width="1024"] That’s mock shrimp! Fooled you, didn’t it?[/caption]

marinated meats…

[caption id="attachment_27633" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Meat, anyone?[/caption]

an understated but heavenly dish of fried mantous…

[caption id="attachment_27624" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Warm, crispy mantous[/caption]

and a TON of seafood.

[caption id="attachment_27626" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Seafood[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27638" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Just look at this crab![/caption]

And I mean a TON, because when all the food was brought out, this was what our table looked like:

[caption id="attachment_27625" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Half of these are seafood[/caption]

Someone even cooked an omelette for us on the spot as the food was on its way out! Filled with delicious, juicy sprigs of green onion, red chillis, and tiny morsels of mock crab meat, we loved every last bite of it.

[caption id="attachment_27637" align="alignnone" width="1024"] We had omelette made for us on the spot![/caption]

Being able to eat with a whole group of people, cooking and serving one another for 2-3 hours straight, and being given 3 different ways to cook your food (Mala steamboat, Chicken steamboat and BBQ), this is definitely a great place to gather with family, loved ones and friends.

As we said our goodbyes with expanded tummies and hearts, we left with 3 takeaways:

1. Come to Hao Lai Wu HUNGRY. You won’t survive if you’re simply peckish.

2. The Mala is truly delicious, and will leave you sweating as you reach for more.

3. The Mala soup should only be attempted by spicy food lovers. If you’re afraid of McDonald’s chilli sauce, you may want to pass on the Mala.

[caption id="attachment_27639" align="aligncenter" width="285"] Seriously, $1.95/100g is a steal[/caption]

If you’re looking for a new supper, dinner or lunch spot to have your next family or friend gathering, why not try Hao Lai Wu? We guarantee it’ll be worth your while, leaving you happy and satisfied both in the tummy and the heart.

Hao Lai Wu
8 Sago St, Singapore 059012
Operating Hours: 11am – 3am daily
Contact no.: 6221 0065
Hai Di Lao Tips: Essential Hacks That Will Save You Time, Money, And More!

Soup Curry Is A Thing, And You Can Now Get A Taste Of This Hokkaido Specialty In S’pore

What comes to mind when you think of curry? Spicy, thick gravy with either turmeric or coconut milk?

Be prepared to have your expectations thrown out the window at Sama Curry & Café. Originating from Sapporo, Hokkaido, they are the first Japanese soup curry restaurant here in Singapore.

[caption id="attachment_27209" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] A simple, yet flavourfully complex menu[/caption]

I have to admit, while the cafe was adorable with its grumpy bear silhouette on the walls and on the menu, I was initially a little underwhelmed by the selection on the menu. With only 8 menu items, 2 of which were simply variations of the other items, it felt strange being so quickly certain of what I wanted to eat.

I ordered the Oink2 Hamburg ($16.90), Japanese Base, at spiciness level 10. I expected a simple thick curry gravy poured over a bed of warm rice and steamed veggies–after all, that’s what Japanese curries typically look like right?

Our 2 DiscoverSG ambassadors, Nicholas and Vanessa, ordered the Hungry Bear ($18.90) with Pork Belly, with a Shrimp Base, spiciness level 10, and a Cheesy Bear ($16.90) with a Coconut Base, spiciness level 13 respectively. We also decided to get the Hokkaido Imomochi Cheese ($6.50/2 pieces) and Hokkaido Crab Cream Croquette ($6.50/2 pieces) as sides.

Our food in all their glory

To say we were surprised was an understatement. Receiving our curries in a bowl of what seemed like soup left us speechless for a couple of seconds. Couple that with the amazing smells wafting up in roiling steam, we couldn’t wait to dig into the unusual dish.

[caption id="attachment_27201" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Oink2 Hamburg in a Japanese Base curry[/caption]

My dish came with a thick hamburg patty, surrounded by a bed of vibrant, assorted vegetables and half an Ajitsuke Tamago (Japanese marinated soft boiled egg).

At level 10 (out of 30) of spiciness, I was greeted with a gentle, warming heat from the light curry. While I thoroughly enjoyed the juicy beef patty, what intrigued me most were the vegetables. After a quick chat with the chef, we found out that the vegetables (potatoes, green peppers, baby corn, carrot and broccoli) were first pre-fried for around 10 seconds, before being assembled in the dish.

The pre-frying was clear from the crispy potatoes which only required the slightest pressure to achieve a satisfying popping of its crunchy skin, revealing a melt-in-your-mouth tender potato.

As for the curry broth… I still can’t figure out the components of its complex herb and spice mix. It was a special, secret recipe, which was probably why the chef wasn’t too keen to share what the particular herb dancing on my palate was. My guess is basil, but I could be wrong.

[caption id="attachment_27202" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Hungry Bear with Pork Belly in a Shrimp Base[/caption]

Flavours of shellfish burst forth from this curry, making one suspect that tons of shellfish, ranging from shrimp to clams, have been boiling for hours in this shrimp base to infuse it with such intense seafood flavours. You may think pork belly is a weird topping for a shrimp base curry, but the two actually paired nicely. Definitely a dish you’ll have to try for yourself to understand.

[caption id="attachment_27199" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Cheesy Bear in a Coconut Base[/caption]

We also got to try the coconut base curry, which was both unique and familiar in flavour at the same time. The milky coconut essence floods your mouth without overwhelming the flavours of sweet cabbage, carrots and fragrant, crispy chicken katsu. The cheese was a nice touch, accenting the dish without distracting from the other components of the dish.

[caption id="attachment_27200" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Hokkaido Crab Cream Croquette (centre), Hokkaido Imomochi Cheese (lower right)[/caption]

Our attentive waiter recommended the house’s special side: the Hokkaido Crab Cream Croquette.

Covered in the classic Japanese tempura breading, the croquette was stuffed with the creamiest crab mash ever. When topped with the savoury, slightly acidic dipping sauce (my guess is it’s Yakitori): Heaven.

[caption id="attachment_27207" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Hokkaido Imomochi Cheese[/caption]

I saved the best appetiser for the last: the Hokkaido Imomochi Cheese.

A thin, crispy breading reminiscent of fried ice cream, your teeth will sink into a layer of chewy mochi before hitting the jackpot of melted, oozing cheese. Coupled with a sweet teriyaki dipping sauce that enhances the delicate, dripping cheese, it’s safe to say that Sama Curry & Café has perfected their dishes.

With every dish packing a punch of flavour, scoring 10/10 on presentation, and breaking our expectations by surprising our palates, Sama Curry & Café is THE place to go to for a comforting and delicious workday lunch.

Sama Curry & Café
OUE Downtown 2 Gallery Level 2, 6a Shenton Way Singapore 068809
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat: 11am – 9pm
Contact no.: 6224 0590

Also read Visit Mini World Heritage Sites For Only $17 – We Promise ‘Everything Is Awesome’

This Outdoor ‘Escape Room’ Sent Us All Over Chinatown – Here’s How To Ace The Game

Always wanted to go on a treasure hunt? Now you can at Whisper of the Guardians!

The 3rd event of its kind, brought to life by LockdownSG and Think Out Events, this year’s epic adventure will take place in and around Chinatown.

Previously, we wrote about the premise of this adventure. Essentially, a shop house owner found an old scroll containing information leading to a hidden treasure that’s been left behind since WWII. You have been hired to decipher the scroll and find the elusive treasure.

[caption id="attachment_25795" align="alignnone" width="960"] Our ambassadors Jia Min, Dawn, Shivon and Vanessa on the hunt for treasure (Image Credit: Facebook)[/caption]

Our DiscoverSG ambassadors took up the challenge and had a blast journeying through Chinatown, trekking past famous (and some not so famous) paths on their quest to find the booty.

Having gone through the experience themselves, here are their golden tips to finding the treasure–and don’t worry, there are no spoilers ahead!

Cheryl: “It’s Very Challenging.”

“It was very challenging–perhaps a little too challenging because we had to get loads of hints from the gamemasters.

Get ready to crack your brains and burn some calories!”

Dawn: “Interact With Your Environment.”

“The game used real, physical things that are there in Chinatown to help you find clues for the next step. 

Be prepared to have your brains fried at the end of the day. I don’t think it’s easy, but it’s worth the try!”

[caption id="attachment_25798" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Image Credit: Facebook[/caption]

Shivon: “Dress Comfortably And Prepare To WALK”

“The ‘touring’ of this game will actually be like a history excursion which makes studying our history damn fun!

Dress comfortably and prepare to stroll down the whole of Chinatown. You’ll be surprised to find a lot of places where you can take nice OOTDs.”

Jia Min: “Familiarize Yourself With Chinatown Beforehand”

“We basically learnt how to read maps for those of us who didn’t already know how, and practice our map skills for those who do.

Pro Tip: Read more about Chinatown! Maybe know the roads, dress comfortably, don’t bring a big bag, and most importantly, enjoy yourself!”

[caption id="attachment_25796" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Image Credit: Facebook[/caption]

Vanessa: “Work As A Team”

“I liked how it required us to think thoroughly for each challenge and puzzle and the whole group contributed in one way or another.

Before starting, it would be good to mentally prepare yourself for a lot of time spent on this adventure! And be mentally prepared for very difficult challenges.”

Catered to groups of 6, Early Bird Tickets are still available from now to 8 May at only $228 per team! Tickets include a 1 time entry into the award winning Chinatown Heritage Centre (worth $15, valid for 3 months), which can be used at your own leisure!

There you have it! DiscoverSG’s take on this intriguing journey to find the hidden treasure. Are you up for the challenge?

Click LockdownSG and ThinkOut Events on Facebook!

Whisper of the Guardians
Where: Registration at Chinatown Heritage Centre, 48 Pagoda Street, Singapore 059207
Price: $228 per team of 6 (early bird)/ $258 (from 8th May onwards); $45 per pax

Also read This Unique Honey Cheesecake Is The Sweetest Way To Say ‘I Love You Mum’

This Tom Yam Hot Pot Lets You Dine Like Royalty With Its Premium Seafood

Love the rich, unique flavours of Thai cuisine? Considering how much Singaporeans love their Thai food, there aren’t many places you can go for some good, authentic Thai fare.

So, imagine our excitement when we found out about Soi Thai Soi Nice! After hearing about their Tom Yam hot pot, we knew we had to have a taste.

[caption id="attachment_25178" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Entrance of Soi Thai Soi Nice[/caption]

As its name suggests, Soi Thai Soi Nice is a restaurant serving Thai food.

Located at Alexandra Central Mall, the inside of the restaurant is a sight to behold with plush, red velvet dining chairs, gorgeous artwork on the walls, and a huge chandelier in the middle of the room!

With soft Thai pop music playing in the background, it’s not hard to imagine that you’re actually in Bangkok!

[caption id="attachment_25179" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The team having a grand time chatting up a storm while waiting for the food to arrive.[/caption]

It was even harder to believe we were still in Singapore when the food started arriving at our tables!

First up was the Royal Thai Hot Pot ($68.80, for up to 4 pax), the signature dish at this restaurant, and boy did it make us feel like royalty.

[caption id="attachment_25184" align="alignnone" width="1024"] You can’t resist a smile, looking at the Royal Thai Hot Pot.[/caption]

This hot pot was an entire culinary experience in and of itself.

Filled to the brim with premium ingredients like crayfish, prawns, mussels, pork belly, enoki mushrooms, sausages, and hard boiled eggs, it came atop a bed of springy noodles, and in a home-made Tom Yam Soup base.

[caption id="attachment_25186" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Royal Thai Hot Pot ($68.80, for up to 4 pax)[/caption]

A fun fact we found out was that all the spices and ingredients used at this restaurant are directly imported from Bangkok to ensure authenticity. Also, we heard that their Head Chef, Worawong Phairat (Olay), also waited to have his personal kitchen utensils, woks and knives imported from Bangkok. Talk about attention to detail!

Next up was the Yum Khai Dao (Fried Egg Salad) ($6.80), the Kai Jiao Cha Om (Fried Omelette with Thai herb Cha Om) ($7.80) and the Kho Moo Yang (Grilled Pork Neck) ($9.80) that all came at once – not that we’re complaining.

[caption id="attachment_25187" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Yum Khai Dao (Fried Egg Salad) ($6.80)[/caption]

Apparently, Cha Om is a very common Thai herb that can be found pretty much anywhere in Thailand. Our first bite left us speechless. No really, the flavours of the Kai Jiao Cha Om were hard to describe. All we could do was nod enthusiastically when asked if we enjoyed it, and hold ourselves back from licking the plate clean.

[caption id="attachment_25194" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Kai Jiao Cha Om (Fried Omelette with Thai herb Cha Om) ($7.80)[/caption]

Next, we tried the Moo Sam Chan Tord (Deep Fried Pork Belly) ($9.80)…

[caption id="attachment_25198" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Moo Sam Chan Tord (Deep Fried Pork Belly) ($9.80)[/caption]

…as well as the Chuchee Pla Kra Pong (Curry Seabass Fillet) ($13.80) and the Kung Chuchee (Curry Prawns) ($15.80).

To be honest, by this time, we were so overwhelmed by how delicious everything was, we forgot to take proper pictures of each dish.

Both the Curry Seabass Fillet and the Curry Prawns were super creamy, and were only mildly spicy.

Soi Thai Soi Nice provides dipping sauces with 4 different levels of spiciness: Mild, Spicy, Very Spicy and Extra Spicy. Considering how spicy Thai food can get, we love the fact that you can tailor the spiciness to your own tolerance levels!

The final dish was their Hor Mok Ma Praw Talay (Coconut Seafood Otah) ($12.80).

[caption id="attachment_25202" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Hor Mok Ma Praw Talay (Coconut Seafood Otah) ($12.80)[/caption]

For this dish, prawns, squid and otah came served in a coconut husk, alongside bits of soft, sweet coconut flesh. The gentle crunch of the coconut served as a pleasant surprise, in contrast to the other more tender components of the dish. Overall, this dish is definitely one for the coconut lovers.

[caption id="attachment_25205" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Stuffed.[/caption]

And finally, dessert! By this time, we were all stuffed, but our second stomachs (yes, we have a second stomach for dessert) were ready the moment dessert arrived.

No Thai meal is complete without Kao Niao Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice) ($5.80), but we were certainly surprised to see the ever famous Coconut Ice Cream presented in the same manner in the Kao Niao I-Team (Sticky Rice with Coconut Ice Cream) ($5.80).

[caption id="attachment_25203" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Kao Niao Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice) ($5.80)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25204" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Kao Niao I-Team (Sticky Rice with Coconut Ice Cream) ($5.80)[/caption]

With dessert comes heavy hearts–for it means dinner is coming to an end.

In all, the food here not only looked great but tasted fantastic as well. Coming in perfect sharing portions and boasting a huge array of Thai flavours, it’s definitely a great place to take your friends or the whole family!

Soi Thai Soi Nice
Address: 321 Alexandra Rd, #02-01 Alexandra Central Mall, S159971
Operating Hours: Mon to Fri: 11.30am-3.30pm and 6pm- 10pm; Sat-Sun, PH: 11.30am to 10pm
Contact no.: 6250 4863

Also read Goodbye Artbox, Hello Thai Festival – Authentic Thai Eats Without The Heat Or The Crowd

For 2 Days Only, Chinatown Will Become The Ultimate Escape Room – Here’s What You Can Expect

Ever tried an escape room? Come May, LockdownSG and ThinkOut Events are bringing the escape room out onto the streets of Singapore–specifically Chinatown.

[caption id="attachment_25274" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Image Credit: Journey to the End and Back[/caption]

Last year’s event saw over 1000 people putting their wits to the test, solving puzzles and journeying through the game, in hopes of bringing their unconscious friend’s soul back.

[caption id="attachment_25272" align="alignnone" width="1025"] Journey to the End and Back[/caption]

The rich history of Haw Par Villa, combined with the compelling story line of the game made for an immersive, unique adventure experience–and that’s exactly what you can expect at this year’s Whisper of the Guardians.

[caption id="attachment_25273" align="alignnone" width="1019"] Journey to the End and Back[/caption]

This time, the story has changed, but the challenges and the thrills remain the same:

A shop house owner was renovating his attic when he discovered an old scroll, which supposedly contains information leading to the treasure left behind by rich Chinese merchants escaping from the Japanese during WWII. You have been hired to help decipher the scroll, with the promise of a share of the treasure if you find it.

Along the way, you will soon discover that there are guardians of the treasures, loyal families who swore to protect the treasure through generations, who have been waiting for the rightful heir. Your task is to locate the treasure before the thieves get to them.

Sound like your cup of tea? Gather your friends into teams of 6 and make a date on 20th or 27th May. Don’t forget to bring your brains with you–you’re going to need it!

Each game will last approximately 2 hours and requires some travelling, so make sure to bring along your ez-link card, dress comfortably and bring an umbrella!

[caption id="attachment_25276" align="alignnone" width="910"] Whisper of the Guardians[/caption]

Tickets also come with a free entry into the award-winning Chinatown Heritage Centre, which can be used after your game, to explore the rich heritage and history of Chinatown at your own leisure! (Entry is valid for 3 months, worth S$15 per person)

Click ThinkOut Events on Facebook!

Whisper of the Guardians
Where: Registration at Chinatown Heritage Centre, 48 Pagoda Street, Singapore 059207
Price: $228 per team of 6 (early bird)/ $258 (from 8th May onwards); $45 per pax

Also read, 10 Electrifying Experiences To Enjoy To Close Off April [16-30 April]

This Korean Cafe Serves Pork Ribs Wrapped With Stringy Cheese – And It’s Grate

Ever lamented the need to travel to a separate cafe for a decent Korean Patbingsoo (red bean shaved ice), because the Korean restaurant you’re at doesn’t serve desserts?

Now you can have the best of both worlds at Patbingsoo Korean Dining House, and at incredibly affordable prices!

[caption id="attachment_24724" align="alignnone" width="828"] Patbingsoo Korean Dining House entrance[/caption]

Located at Basement 2 of Plaza Singapura, where the old aquarium shop used to be, Patbingsoo Korean Dining House features an impressive array of both the sweet and the savoury. Opened in December last year, the restaurant prides itself in flavours inspired by the food streets of Seoul, adapted to local tastes.

[caption id="attachment_24726" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Spoiled for choice![/caption]

This restaurant knows exactly what its customers want, providing us 2 full pages of fold-out Bingsoo menu items, and unique, fusion dishes.

That means dishes like Tteok Carbonara, Patbingsoo Buritos, and Seafood Sundubu Pasta!

[caption id="attachment_24728" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A teaser of what you can eat here[/caption]

During our visit, we decided to stick with the more classic flavours in an attempt to transport ourselves to Seoul.

We started off with some alcoholic beverages: the Lychee Makkoli, Green Tea Soju, and the Grape Yoghurt Soju ($11.90).

[caption id="attachment_24729" align="alignnone" width="1024"] L-R: Lychee Makkoli, Green Tea Soju, Grape Yoghurt Soju[/caption]

If you prefer your alcohol sweet, these are perfect for you!

More importantly, they pair really well with the Spicy and Honey Garlic Chicken Wings, our first appetisers of the day.

[caption id="attachment_24711" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Lychee Makkoli + Honey Garlic Chicken Wings = THE BOMB[/caption] [caption id="attachment_24730" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Honey Garlic Chicken Wings on the left, Spicy Chicken Wings on the right[/caption]

The smell of the roasted garlic hits you first, before suffusing your taste buds with its sweet, garlicky flavours. As for the Spicy Chicken Wings, they’re great even if you’re not too good with spices. Strong aromas with none of the pain!

Next up was the Fried Samgyeopsal ($6.90), deep fried pork belly slices served with a vibrant honey mustard dipping sauce.

[caption id="attachment_24715" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Look at the colour of that honey mustard![/caption]

Crispy and peppered with a world of seasoning, this sinful pleasure was able to mask its unhealthiness by leaving out that overly greasy taste fried food tends to have.

Next up was the restaurant’s signature dish: The Rolling Cheese Pork Ribs ($38.90)!

[caption id="attachment_24716" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Rolling Cheese Pork Ribs[/caption] [caption id="attachment_24732" align="alignnone" width="768"] Everyone couldn’t stop staring as our waiter wrapped the pork rib with cheese. No one can resist that cheese pull![/caption]

One of the more expensive items on the menu, this dish can be shared by anywhere between 2 to 4 people, depending on how many ribs you’re willing to sacrifice.

That’s because once you’ve taken a bite of this tender, sweet and spicy marinated pork rib that’s been lovingly wrapped in a mix of melted cheddar and mozzarella, you’ll want them all to yourself!

Couple that with a whole array of sides such as cream corn, potato chips, pineapple slices and fries, plus a generous serving of the best garlic mayo I have ever tasted, and you’ve got yourself a meal fit for a king!

[caption id="attachment_24731" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A mixture of sides[/caption]

Next, we moved on to the House Special Ramyeon ($11.90). At this point, we were starting to get full, but the moment the piping hot, spicy ramyeon came to our table, our appetites were whet all over again.

[caption id="attachment_24718" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Can you say “love at first sight”?[/caption]

With a creamy, eggy broth that wasn’t too spicy, this yummy ramyeon disappeared as quickly as it appeared. That’s another thing about Patbingsoo Korean Dining House: their service was extremely quick! We barely had to wait before each dish arrived, and their service was polite and incredibly helpful.

At last, our final savoury item made its appearance: the Dynamite Spam ($11.90).

Spam is a staple of many Korean dishes, such as the classic Army Stew. Brought into South Korea during World War II, it was often smuggled back home from army bases as a treat. One mishmash of Korean stews and spam later, it is now a nation-wide beloved food item.

Patbingsoo Korean Dining House serves their spam with several slivers of raw onion, a generous serving of gochujang mayo and several seaweed rice balls. This is then torched right at your table, leaving you with an intoxicating flavour that ruins regular mayo for you from here on.

At first bite, you’ll immediately notice the sharp tang of the raw onion, before it is blanketed by the tangy, torched gochujang mayo sauce. The seaweed is very fragrant as well, helping to tie everything together in an umami bomb of flavour.

After all these savoury, carb- and protein-heavy dishes, we were more than ready to cleanse our palates with some sweet treats.

We were graciously provided with 2: The Incheon Bingsoo ($11.90) and the Hoegi Patbingsoo ($10.90).

The Incheon Bingsoo is shaved ice with tiramisu coffee, rum and coffee ice cream. Definitely a must for tiramisu lovers, this Bingsoo was extremely light as well.

[caption id="attachment_24721" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Incheon Bingsoo[/caption]

The mascarpone was light and fluffy with a hint of coffee, and the lady finger biscuits provided a nice crunch.

As for the Hoegi Patbingsoo, it came with fruits, jelly, red bean and red bean ice cream, all on top of shaved ice.

[caption id="attachment_24722" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Hoegi Patbingsoo[/caption] [caption id="attachment_24723" align="alignnone" width="1024"] I’d be lying if I said the best part was anything but pouring on that evaporated milk[/caption]

For those of you who typically eat fruits after a meal, you’ll be ecstatic with this Bingsoo as it comes with strawberries, mango, grapes and honeydew. It’s also a more classic version of Bingsoo, with a nice dollop of sweet red beans under a scoop of ice cream.

(P.S. That’s what the ‘Pat’ in Patbingsoo means: Red Beans!)

Overall, we had an amazing time trying out just a small selection of their huge menu. Insanely affordable with amazing quality food, this is one place I’m definitely going to make a regular dinner spot.

Patbingsoo Korean Dining House
Address: Plaza Singapura, #B2-47, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
Contact no.: 9181 3038
Operating hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 10pm; Friday – Saturday: 11.30am – 10.30pm
8 Best Places In Singapore With Pizzas That Look And Taste Like Heaven!

(Top Image Credit: Burpple)

Put Your Prison Break Skills To The Test At One Of Lockdown SG’s Most Challenging Escape Rooms

What better way to spend an hour with good friends than by being intentionally locked in a room?

At Lockdown SG, 1 hour might not even be enough!

Escape rooms originated from Japan and Hungary in 2010, before landing on our shores in 2013. Since then, it has taken Singapore by storm as friends, family and colleagues began putting their wits and teamwork to the test in these escape rooms.

DiscoverSG’s lovely ambassadors Cheryl, Evelyn and Jessie went down to Lockdown SG at Clarke Quay Central to try one of the 6 constantly changing rooms. With an hour on the clock in The Forgotten Temple room (one of the most challenging and technologically advanced adventure rooms), the ladies put their heads together and got out with 14 minutes to spare!

[caption id="attachment_23798" align="aligncenter" width="980"] Image credit: Joey Tan[/caption]

After a thrilling escape from the Egyptian-cursed room, we sat down at the only timed cafe in Singapore, Coffeemin, and had a talk with the owner, Zoltan.

[caption id="attachment_23800" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Image credit: Joey Tan[/caption]

A Chit-Chat With Owner, Zoltan

Why did you decide to bring Escape Adventure rooms to Singapore?

Escape games are just fun. You can come down with your friends and have fun.

Lockdown SG focuses on both the retail aspect–which is what you have here at Clarke Quay Central–and events. For retail, the idea was to make the escape rooms inclusive and suitable for all ages.

Unlike other escape rooms, it is less physically demanding so that the elderly and even corporates can participate in the experience safely.

How do you ensure the rooms are safe for all participants?

Before each team heads into the escape rooms, participants are first required to sign an indemnity agreement. Following that will be a short briefing of the safety protocols, as well as the game instructions.

Compared with other escape rooms where you are only given 3 phone calls for clues, there’s an unlimited number of phone calls [here], which [is] a safety procedure for any issues that might pop up.

To top it all off, each room has 2 CCTVs, where the staff can observe what is happening in the room at all times and intervene when necessary.

[caption id="attachment_23796" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Image credit: Joey Tan[/caption]

What can companies who are looking for escape room concept events look forward to?

One of the recent events we did was at Haw Par Villa, where dozens of people attended over 4 days. The objective of that room was to [bring back] your friend’s spirit from the spirit world. I shan’t give too much away and spoil the fun for any of you looking to experience it yourselves!

So why the decision to have a timed cafe right next to the escape rooms?

It was pertinent for us to have a venue next to the escape rooms where people could sit down and have a coffee after their game. We wanted something cool and new, and when we heard of this timed cafe concept from Russia, Japan and Korea, we decided to open one here, next to Lockdown SG.

For Coffeemin, I see a lot of youngsters hanging out, playing board games, Xbox, League of Legend, PC games, etc. The first hour is S$6 per hour, and S$1 every 10 minutes subsequently. You’re only charged for the time; everything else in the cafe is included for free. [There is] unlimited drinks, snacks, and all the games are available.

[caption id="attachment_23797" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Image credit: Joey Tan[/caption]

You’ve described this cafe as the new coworking space and anticafe for creative professionals, freelancers and entrepreneurs in Singapore, and a ‘Home away from home’. Who is this cafe for?

It’s for everyone! During office hours, we see quite a few corporates having meetings here. During the evening and weekends, we usually see youngsters, tourists, and occasionally even US Marines! At Coffeemin, they can Skype, chill and have some fun. We even host birthday events and baby showers in the cafe.

Our Experience At Lockdown SG

We asked the ladies how their escape adventure experience was and here’s what they had to say.

[caption id="attachment_23801" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image credit: Joey Tan[/caption]

Cheryl: “I was very impressed by the layout! I did not expect it to look so professional and well-made. The technology in place was unexpected, and was a nice surprise! You have to think out of the box to figure the room out, which I really enjoyed.”

Evelyn: “In other escape rooms, you often have to climb up and down to collect items. With Lockdown SG, it was much safer as you could do your solving at ground level. I definitely used a lot of ‘brain juice’ and strength to solve this game!”

Jessie: “I really liked the storyline, as well as the mechanisms and technology used. It was definitely interesting and interactive, and went beyond what was expected or basic like keys and locks! You have to look everywhere for the clues, and the puzzles were very hands-on.”

If you’re looking for a fun, new way to spend an afternoon with your friends, family, or even colleagues, give Lockdown SG a shot! Test your brain power, team spirit and puzzle-solving skills, and follow that up with a lovely rest at Coffeemin next door!

Lockdown SG
Where: Clarke Quay Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #02-33 Clarke Quay Central, S059817
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11am-10pm,
Price: S$19/person on weekdays before 7pm; S$22/person on weekdays after 7pm, on weekends and public holidays
Contact no.: 6222 6100

The New Chanel Pop-Up Cafe Will Serve Not Just Food, But Also Lip Glosses On A Silver Platter

Chanel lovers, you’re in for a real treat this April!

For a limited time only, between 8 – 16 April, beauty meets leisure at Chanel’s Coco Café, the latest spark of brilliance to come from the luxury French fashion house.

A pop-up concept at the Visual Arts Centre, Chanel’s Coco Café is a Parisian style café where you can enjoy beauty, bubbles and dessert specially curated by Chanel.

Take in the laid-back atmosphere of Coco Café amidst Dhoby Ghaut Green’s lush surroundings, while enjoying full access to all 27 shades of Chanel’s latest Rouge Coco Gloss collection.

You’ll also get to play around with their upcoming Cruise makeup collection, Les Indispensables De L’été, which will be exclusively pre-launched here!

[caption id="attachment_24051" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss[/caption]

Be one of the very first to experience it all by registering

From Surviving Horrific Monsters To Epic Intergalactic Battles, Escape Reality At V-Room Singapore

Want to know what the future looks like?


With virtual reality, now you can!

Experience anything from fighting intergalactic invaders to surviving terrifying monsters with a virtual reality experience. Rather than spend thousands on a lonely VR experience at home (~$2000 for a good gaming PC + ~$600 for a VR headset), have a ball in another dimension, surrounded by your friends!

You and your real life friends can spend an hour at V-Room and experience up to 23 unique VR games, available for both solo and team players!

DiscoverSG Ambassador Evelyn headed down to V-Room SG at Jcube to experience virtual reality for herself.

To ensure participants are suitable for the virtual reality experience, each participant is required to sign an indemnity form and attend a 10 minute VR trial experience. This is to ensure that if you have a history of motion sickness, this experience will not be physically uncomfortable.

Armed with hands-on experience on how to navigate the virtual reality world and a feel for the hand-sets, Evelyn headed off to experience some of the 23 games available!

There were tons of genres for all the different gamers out there: Zombie fighting, intergalatic space-fighting… You can even be a robot chef/waiter!

Here’s a sneak peak of one the games Evelyn enjoyed the most!

Tasked as either the chef or the robot waiter, this game is best played with 2 players. The player playing as the chef dons the VR headset while the player playing as the robot waiter controls his character with a computer keyboard.

Facing a flood of hungry robots craving handmade burgers, the two of you struggle to cook and serve food as quickly as possible, to keep your customers happy. Also, each time you successfully complete a round, balloons and confetti appear everywhere!

Headed by the owner of Lockdown SG and CoffeeMin, V-Room SG also has an adjoining CoffeeMin! A timed cafe concept, customers pay a small fee of $6 (weekday) or $8 (weekend, PH) per person for the first hour, with an additional $1 each for every 10 additional minutes spent there. With that, all drinks, snacks, board games, Xbox and even PC games are free of charge!

At JCube’s CoffeeMin outlet, there’s even a snooker table to help you and your friends acclimatize back to the real world!

Suitable for people above the age of 17 and perfect for friends, family and colleagues, try your hand at virtual reality with V-Room SG for an out of this world experience!

After paying a one time fee of $5 for the 10 minute VR trial before your actual VR session, you automatically become a lifetime member at V-Room SG. Also, with every 4th visit, you get amazing vouchers and promotions when you present your membership card!

So, grab your friends and get ready to travel beyond your wildest imaginations!

V-Room Singapore
2 Jurong East Central 1, JCube, #02-11, Singapore 609731.
Contact no.6904 4045
Operating Hours: 11am-10pm daily
Price: $30/hour on weekdays, $36/hour on weekends/PH for 1 VR Room (max. 3 persons/room)

Singapore’s Most Influential: Here Are Our Top 4 Women In The Arts In Singapore

March 8 is International Women’s Day!

Not enough is done to recognise and acknowledge women for all their contributions to space exploration, the medical field, the arts and every other industry out there. As such, for this year’s International Women’s Day, we celebrate 4 amazing women who have made their mark on arts and culture in Singapore!

Kumari Nahappan

A prominent artist based in Singapore, Kumari Nahappan is well-versed in a range of visual genres, from inter-disciplinary to painting, sculpture and installations.

Some of her more famous works in Singapore include Saga for Changi Airport, Nutmeg & Mace for the ION Orchard, Pedas-Pedas for the National Museum and Pembungaan for OUE Bayfront (the largest bronze mural in Singapore that’s over 45m tall).

Hi Kumari, your work has made its way into Art Museums and gallery exhibitions all over the world. How would you describe your art creation process?

As a conceptual artist, I create works in a series and often exhibit them in the context of space and time to communicate a story.

These works often make their way to the institutions or countries to be exhibited, where they are framed by the context of the art-making process in the form of an installation.

What changes have you noticed in the art industry today, compared to when you first began?

As compared to 25 years ago, the industry is vibrant and evolving, especially in terms of contemporary art, which is excellent for growth.

With more art fairs and events in Singapore recently, such as the annual Affordable Art Fair that invites people to see art as available for everyone, not just art collectors, Singapore is going through a wonderful change in terms of the public’s receptiveness and embrace of art.

What do you hope to see in Singapore’s art scene’s future?

I hope the arts will be sustainable in the future. I hope to see art, life and the sciences integrating and running parallel to each other, playing important roles to enrich the life of the being.


You started your education at LASALLE College of the Arts as a mother of 4 at the age of 37. What would you say to ease the minds of potential artists pursuing a formal education, but are set back by fears of their age, marital circumstances and stage of life?

I started my career at 23 and worked for 14 years as a space planner while teaching at Institute Technology Mara in Shah Alam, Malaysia. When I moved to Singapore in 1990, I enrolled at LASALLE College to further my education in Fine Arts. My background helped me a great deal moving forward.

Fear of age and circumstances did not bother me as I went in with no plans, just an ‘open mind’ to learn.

Catherine Lim

A household name for most Singaporeans, Catherine Lim is one of the most well-known and well-read literary authors in Singapore.

Having written short stories, novels, poems and political commentary pieces over the past decades, she has now turned her focus to mentoring the youth as they too pursue a passion and future in writing.

Hi Catherine, you’ve been a published writer since 1978, and a well-known political critic since your essay, ‘PAP and the People: A Great Affective Divide’, in 1994. What would you say is your biggest, proudest accomplishments to date for both fiction writing and political commentary?

The two kinds of writing were completely different genres, with different objectives and readership: the fiction was creative expression of my personal experiences and observations of human behaviour, cast in the form of imaginary tales, while the commentaries were my criticisms of existing social and political policies in Singapore, based on factual information.

You can say that I regard both kinds of writing as ‘proud accomplishments’. I was very glad that I was able to share my interests, thoughts and reflections with Singaporean readers, and to know from feedback that they appreciated this sharing.

While your short stories and novels are a household name in Singapore, you’ve mentioned that you’ll be focusing on a new style of writing. Could you tell us more about that?

Recently, I seemed to have shown interest in a third kind of writing – the philosophical kind that deals with large existential issues such as God, religion, death, mortality, meaning, etc.

Actually these themes had always interested me and been the subject of much private introspection. Some months ago, I decided to put my thoughts together in a systematic way in a book, entitled ‘An Equal Joy: Reflections on God, Death and Belonging.’

It comprises a series of essays on topics as diverse as my Catholic background in my youth, my love and pursuit of scientific knowledge, my thoughts on death, suicide, the right to die, etc.

The book will be launched by Marshall Cavendish in March.

What changes have you noticed in Singapore’s literary scene today, compared to when you first began?

Firstly, there is now more support and encouragement from government organisations, such as grants for writers, the Singapore Writers Festival, and campaigns to promote local writing such as the Buy Singlit campaign initiated by NAC.

Secondly, I have noted the many new young writers on the literary scene, who have impressed me by their contributions, talent and enthusiasm. All these developments are very heartening indeed!

Any advice for local aspiring writers?

My advice to local aspiring writers is this: Go for it. Nurture your interest in writing. Don’t be too hard on yourselves and think that nobody will be interested in what you write.

If you write with authenticity, honesty and passion, even if they seem trivial or too personal to you, you will come up with the kind of writing that will interest people.

Remember all true artists go through periods of self-doubt which they never allow to dampen their passion for their art. Art is hard work – the axiom goes: ’10 per cent inspiration, and 90 per cent perspiration’!


Kirsten Tan

Kirsten Tan is a New York based filmmaker whose works revolve heavily around humanity and off-beat humour.

Clinching the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting at Sundance Film Festival, her debut film POP AYE has set the stage for 32-year old Kirsten as Singapore’s up and rising filmmaker to watch.

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<p><a href=”″>POP AYE Official Trailer</a> from <a href=””>E&amp;W Films</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Hi Kirsten, besides being the first Singaporean filmmaker and director to win that award, tell us about your biggest, proudest accomplishments to date!

I think my biggest, proudest accomplishment is really just staying on the path of filmmaking all through these many years even when it felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

It takes years to cut your teeth on filmmaking and during that time, you do work that is low – or even no – paying for long stretches of time… [Filmmaking] demands a 100% full-time commitment and it really took resilience and, I suspect, a healthy dose of foolishness to keep on this path where there is no guarantee of any success at the end of it.

How long have you been in the filmmaking industry, and how did it all begin?

POP AYE is my first feature film but I’ve been working in film and making shorts for about twelve years now.

At NUS, I founded nu(STUDIOS) along with a group of friends and I worked mainly as a producer on my friend’s shorts. When I enrolled in Ngee Ann after NUS, I then moved into directing for the first time, and made my first short film titled ‘10 Minutes Later’. I’ve made 7 narrative shorts and 1 documentary short since then before embarking on my first feature film.

Dahdi was considered a relatively controversial film, touching on the Rohingya refugee crisis and Singapore’s stance on accepting refugees. What challenges did you have to overcome in order to bring Dahdi to life?

I wasn’t sure if I would get funding for the film from the Singapore Film Commission and had to crowd-fund the film via Indiegogo just to ensure we would have enough funds to make the film happen.


Interestingly, when we went to down to Pulau Ubin to scout for locations, we found the residents on Ubin suspicious of us because we were holding cameras.

The residents thought we were a part of the authorities or the media and were highly mistrustful of us initially since they’ve been hounded so much over time. It took a long time for us to gain their confidence.

What do you hope to see in Singapore’s film-making industry’s future?

Apart from POP AYE, local films are doing well on major film festivals – we had Apprentice and A Yellow Bird premiering at Cannes Film Festival last year.

Many talented young Singaporean filmmakers I know are working hard to get their debut feature screenplays ready for production. On a macroscopic level though, cinema as a whole can’t survive only on filmmakers so I hope that film and cultural literacy in Singapore will continue to grow as well… It’s only with the audience participation that film as a form and as an industry has a chance to thrive.

Any advice for local aspiring film-makers?

It may sound simple, but to any aspiring filmmaker reading this, I’d say – really, just focus on your work. Make sure you do everything and anything to get that script or film to its best possible potential. As a creator, your sole responsibility is to what you are creating.

Delia Prvacki

Romanian-born, Singapore-based sculptor, Delia Prvacki, has been adding flair to the Singapore arts scene with her ceramic, bronze and tapestry artworks. Spaces such as Chijmes, the Esplanade and NUS Museum have featured her works, which are strongly influenced by Singapore’s nature-concrete dichotomy.

Hi Delia, tell us about your biggest, proudest accomplishments to date!

It is the story embedded in the trajectory of my life: moving from my native country, Romania, to ex-Yugoslavia to be with my husband, learning a new language, starting to build a successful career as an artist, all along being a mother and wife.

Then, 17 years later relocating to Singapore – an unknown space, new culture, [with new challenges like] having to learn the English language, establishing a new studio and practice while keeping the family values as my top priority.

How long have you been in the sculpting industry, and how did it all begin?

I started working with clay as a teenager, in 1967. I was already committed to the arts, having interest in poetry, piano, theatre, and fine arts, but disoriented, due to limitations imposed upon all forms of creativity by the dictatorial communist regime at that time.

I found a refuge in discovering the world of ancient traditional art, very rich in my native homeland. It also suited my rebellious side, compensating for my physical fragility and petite frame, to persist in a field that regularly was dominated by males.

[caption id="attachment_23573" align="alignnone" width="975"] (Sculptures featured in the lobby of Fairmont hotel)[/caption]

As a Romanian-born, currently Singapore-citizenship holding artist, how would you say having lived in 2 drastically different cultures has influenced your art?

When I arrived in Singapore I [already had] a distinctive “style” and my body of work was already defined by my experimental and conceptual approach… My practice was within the ceramic medium and I was recognised for the merit of pushing the boundaries of the material, for its detachment from conventional presentation.

When I arrived in Singapore, I was fascinated with light, colour, vegetation, weather… that was an obvious change that inspired me instantly.

Once I began knowing and understanding the local heritage and culture, along with my admiration for the distinctive component of an ultra-modern, advanced metropolis, I found the whole new setting challenging and rejuvenating.

I became more interested in real problems facing modern societies, humanity, and mostly, I developed an awareness about the role that art plays in society.

What projects are you currently working on?

Right now I am preparing a solo exhibition with a large-scale installation at The Substation Gallery. It will run from 15-25 March.

[caption id="attachment_23576" align="aligncenter" width="975"] Patina. Photo Credits:

This exhibition is special for me, since it marks 50 years of practice, and is a recollection of my first solo show in March 1970. It also has a personal emotional meaning, since my first solo exhibition in Singapore was in March 1994, in the same Gallery space at Substation.

You have a line of art-pieces called Dulcinea, which are 11 pieces of art featuring 6 “breast cups” representing a woman’s development from adolescent to adult. I love that it is such a celebration of women’s experiences, while simultaneously fighting back against the resistance towards public breastfeeding. What can you tell us about your thought process while creating Dulcinea?

I must say that my work was never “figurative” and the idea to develop an entire production in relation to this very explicit representation of the female body was justified by the idea, intention and the whole strategy on its implementation.

I intended to have it as a pure “feminine” discourse as well as a functional product meant to enhance the living space of families, while emanating a message of “maternity”, of eternal beauty.

[It also held] a role in aesthetic education and contributing to public awareness about a very sensitive, yet, perpetual dimension of our human existence – breastfeeding and women’s health.

Any advice for local aspiring sculptors?

I think local young artists are well-equipped with information, knowledge and conceptual platforms. However, they need to spend time in practising and making a body of work that is not meant primarily for sale, but to invest their energy and resources in experimentation.

Searching and thriving for original forms of expression is the key in establishing yourself as an authentic artist.

A big thank you to these amazing ladies for taking the time to share their thoughts and experiences with DiscoverSG!

From the first spark of inspiration that led to the start of their journeys as artists, to their position today as strong artistic influences in the Singaporean arts landscape, these 4 women have shown us that the pursuit of creating art is a beautiful process.

For more about the movers and shakers in the Singapore arts scene, follow A LIST SINGAPORE. A LIST SINGAPORE regularly features and interviews inspirational Singaporeans in the arts scene, such as whose first feature film was chosen as a contender for last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

What’s more, it has the most informative list of arts and culture events happening all around Singapore.

A LIST SINGAPORE is easily available on both online and offline channels. You can follow them on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even their Youtube page, or get a hardcopy of their monthly magazine that is distributed at SMRT Stations island-wide.

We hope you were inspired by this article to explore and persevere in your own pursuit of artistic and personal expression. Happy International Women’s Day!

Also, read These Light Art Installations Popping Up At Marina Bay Will Make You See Nature In A Whole New Light