From Teochew To Hakka, How Our Grandparents’ Heritage Shaped S’pore’s Chinese Cuisine

I’m not a foodie. I’m averse to too many types of food, primarily seafood, to be a foodie.

But I enjoy learning about food and different cuisines. I love learning about what goes into a dish, and how it is cooked and prepared.

I’ve spent way too many weekend afternoons watching cooking programs, from Rachael Ray to Jamie Oliver and Curtis Stone.

However, as a Chinese kid, one thing greatly annoys me about western chefs and cooks. Their version of “Asian” cuisine is always wrong. Just because a dish has fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli, or sesame seeds, does NOT make it an “Asian” or “Asian-inspired” dish.

It’s a sin that’s committed by almost all western celebrity chefs. So today, with my own knowledge, I’ll educate you guys on the different types of Chinese cuisine, specifically from the different dialect groups.

Cantonese Cuisine

Growing up, I always associated Cantonese cuisine with Dim Sum, mainly because it’s so popular in Hong Kong.

However, Cantonese cuisine is so much more than Dim Sum.

[caption id="attachment_35543" align="aligncenter" width="972"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: Wikipedia[/caption]

Cantonese cuisine also has very bold and strong flavours and it can be seen in the types of sauces that the dishes are usually paired and served with. Examples include Black bean sauce, Oyster sauce, Sweet and Sour sauce, and even our favourite Shrimp (Prawn) paste.

[caption id="attachment_35547" align="aligncenter" width="620"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: Lifestyle Food[/caption]

There’s also a lot of preserved and dried ingredients used to improve or layer flavours in a dish. Ingredients such as Century egg, Salted egg, Preserved radish (better known as Cai Po that we eat with Chwee Kueh), and Salted fish.

[caption id="attachment_35545" align="aligncenter" width="690"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: Asian Inspirations[/caption]

Hakka Cuisine

My encounters with Hakka cuisine are mostly thanks to my maternal grandfather. He’s proudly Hakka and we used to visit his hometown back in the Hakka province in China.

[caption id="attachment_35549" align="aligncenter" width="608"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: Beijing Hikers[/caption]

While Cantonese cuisine relies a lot on the condiments for flavour, Hakka cuisine has flavourful ingredients. The main ingredients is usually already preserved or braised, which already imparts a lot of flavour into the ingredient itself.

The garnish and condiments are usually to complement the main ingredient. One example of this is Braised Pork Belly with Preserved mustard greens.

[caption id="attachment_35550" align="aligncenter" width="3216"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: Saltalk[/caption]

One of my personal favourites is Hakka Yong Tau Foo. Unlike the one we commonly find in Singapore, the ingredients in Hakka Yong Tau Foo are stuffed with minced pork or a meat paste and served with a yellow bean stew.

[caption id="attachment_35551" align="aligncenter" width="640"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: Burppler Denise Ong[/caption]

A variant I’ve tried is a dry stir-fried version of minced pork-stuffed beancurd in a peppery, starchy sauce and garnished very generously with spring onions.

Other Hakka dishes you might be familiar with include Thunder Tea Rice (Lei Cha Fan), Salt-Baked Chicken, and the famous Abacus Beads.

[caption id="attachment_35552" align="aligncenter" width="640"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: keeprecipes[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35555" align="aligncenter" width="640"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: thedrinksbusiness[/caption]

Hokkien Bak Kut Teh is the dark, herbal version that’s usually found in Malaysia. I personally prefer the Teochew version.

[caption id="attachment_35553" align="aligncenter" width="640"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: Hungry Peepor[/caption]

Another famous Teochew dish is Teochew porridge. In contrast with the thicker Cantonese congee, Teochew porridge has a thinner consistency with loose grains. The porridge is usually served with salted vegetables, boiled salted egg, fried peanuts and salted fish.

[caption id="attachment_35556" align="aligncenter" width="631"]singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: singapore chinese cuisine Image Credit: Wikipedia[/caption]

Singapore’s cuisine has its roots primarily in Hokkien and Teochew cuisine, with a few influences from Cantonese cuisine. Chinese cuisine is as diverse as the provinces in China, each with its own influences, ingredients, cooking style, and flavour.

So before you go throwing sesame seeds into a dish and calling it Asian food, you might want to have PROPER Chinese cuisine first.

Also read McDonald’s Brings The Popular D24 Durian McFlurry To S’pore – Available From July 5

(Header Image Source: Burppler Denise Ong, Saltalk, Asian Inspirations)

S’pore Childhood Icon Mr Kiasu Revives This June With A Limited Edition Box Set And Figurine

Mr Kiasu

Growing up in the 90s, local television was a treasure trove of great programs.

From Under One Roof to Growing Up, our local programs were heartwarming, funny, engaging and relatable.

[caption id="attachment_35251" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Mr Kiasu Image Credit: Shogakukan Asia[/caption]

And none more so, than Mr Kiasu. Local icon, Kiasu King, Singaporean citizen.

Singapore’s True Icon

If you don’t know what kiasu means, you might want to read this article.

Mr Kiasu was a popular icon back in the early 90s.

[caption id="attachment_35252" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Mr Kiasu Image Credit: Shogakukan Asia[/caption]

I remember seeing Chew Chor Meng on TV with his glasses as Mr Kiasu. The character also had merchandise everywhere, including Mr Kiasu toys in a McDonald’s happy meal.

Now, if you were a hardcore Mr Kiasu fan, you probably have a collection of Mr Kiasu comic books.

[caption id="attachment_35250" align="aligncenter" width="1080"]Mr Kiasu Image Credit: @shermanwongcc[/caption]

The good news is, Shogakukan Asia is republishing all 8 original Mr Kiasu comic books, complete with a limited edition box set!

The comic books will be available from 29 June 2018 and can be purchased at all major bookstores as well as ActionCity and TOG (Toy Or Game) outlets.

Each book will cost $10.90.

For the hardcore collectors, perhaps I can interest you in the limited edition Mr Kiasu box set?

It comes with all 8 volumes of the comic books in a serialised box specially designed by the author, Johnny Lau, as well as a 3-inch Mr Kiasu figurine.

[caption id="attachment_32115" align="aligncenter" width="880"]Mr Kiasu Image Credit: ‘Mr Men And Little Miss’ Is Coming To Kumoya This July With Nasi Lemak & Other Local Dishes

(Header Image Source:

A Suaku Singaporean’s Virgin Visit To Fortune Centre Ended With A $10 Aura Reading

You’ve probably heard about Singapore’s booming food scene. However, what people don’t really tell you is that we’re also pretty religious. From various divination methods to geomancy (also known as fengshui), Singapore has no shortage of local occult practices and quirks.

Recently, I came across an intriguing little thing known as Aura Photography and as someone who enjoys reading up on horoscopes and zodiacs (don’t judge me), this is just right up my alley.

So I decided to try and get my aura read because why not?

Now there are 2 different ways of discerning and deciphering your aura – Aura Reading and Aura Photography.

We initially headed to Fu Lu Shou Complex at Albert Park because there’s a shop there offering Aura Photography services but turns out they increased their price for it. $30 for Aura Photography? Not today, Capitalism. Not today.

So we went off to Fortune Centre in search for another aura reading option. For those who don’t know, Bencoolen and Albert Park is a hotspot for occult practices. I’m not talking about voodoo shenanigans.

[caption id="attachment_34607" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]

The area is full of stores selling amulets, trinkets, sculptures of Taoist deities and the like. Fortune Centre is a building that seems to cater to Buddhists due to the sheer number of vegetarian eateries in and around the mall.

While the mall itself has an interesting collection of shops, from tiny hobby shops, to Geomancy services and even a calligraphist, we didn’t find any aura reading services.

[caption id="attachment_34608" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption] [caption id="attachment_34609" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption] [caption id="attachment_34610" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]

We were going to give up because we had our auras, but we had no one to decipher them. What a struggle. How am I supposed to know if my love life was about to improve in the next 3 months?

As we were heading back towards the famous Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple along Waterloo Street, we saw it. Aura reading for $10.

[caption id="attachment_34611" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]

This was the sign we needed so in we went to inquire about the process of aura reading. This was the more basic aura reading that uses different crystals instead of aura photography.

[caption id="attachment_34618" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]

There were quite a bit of disclaimers though. According the lady who was conducting the aura reading, the result of the reading is not set in stone and it is subject to change just like my mood and external circumstance. Just like EVERYTHING in the universe.

That’s not all, the reading is only valid and “applicable” for the following 3 months. That’s if my mood and external circumstance doesn’t change it first.

So, now that I’ve had the terms and conditions read to me, we got started. I was skeptical as to how accurate this was going to be, so I thought, I might throw them some false information when asked.

The lady told me to pick out 11 crystals from a bag and place them on a labelled cloth.

[caption id="attachment_34612" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]

After successfully picking out 11 crystals that resemble the colours in my wardrobe (lots of dark or neutral tones), it was time to get my aura read.

[caption id="attachment_34613" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: DiscoverSG[/caption]


The first thing she said was that there were no changes (good and bad) to my career. I was asked if I was in a creative industry. I told her I was an accountant (lol) but she told me I wasn’t meant for desk-bound jobs because I hate being restricted or limited and the creative industry would suit me better.

Well, while that sure sounds good, it’s also pretty generic. I mean, who likes being restricted? This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey.

Interpersonal Relationships

According to the cubic crystals of fate, I’m very good at forming and maintaining interpersonal relations. I’m incredibly likeable as you can see.

However, the lady also divined that I had to stay alert for there are darker forces working against me. “Beware of backstabbers”, she warned. Oh my, I didn’t know I was famous enough to have haters and backstabbers.

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That’s not all, along with my backstabbing haters, I do have benefactors although they don’t seem to be as strong as the searing hatred of my backstabbers.

I’m sorry, my dear benefactors. Saranghaeyo.


I’ve been single for my entire life and considering my passive attitude towards finding a partner, I’m pretty sure that nothing’s changing in the near future.

So imagine my shock when she mentioned that my love life seems “promising”. She even confirmed with my colleague who was sniggering – “He’s very popular with the girls right?” All my colleague could muster was an unconvincing “Sure jan” nod.

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Honestly though, she said my love life is blooming.

First of all, WHAT. Where? If someone was coming into my life, I think I would’ve seen it by now. But the crystals have spoken, so it must be true. WHERE ART THOU, MY BELOVED?


This aspect wasn’t a good read. Apparently I should be more careful about my legs because they’re prone to injury. But, I don’t even do anything physically demanding.

Next, I need to take better care of my digestive system and drink more water. Is this a warning? It’s true that I skip lunches at least twice a week and hold my bladder for hours. But drink more water?

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I’m the biggest advocate of drinking water among my friends so this is a lie. Any increase of water intake might probably lead to water poisoning, to be honest.

The kind divination lady ended off the aura reading session with a summary – drink more water, stay alert of backstabbers, be careful of leg-related injuries and keep my eyes open for potential romantic partners.

While I’m still skeptical about the reading, I’d say that it’s at least 60% accurate. If you’re feeling a little lost or confused or experiencing a quarter life crisis, then this might help to point you in the right direction and give you a little more clarity about your life.

Now that I think about it, maybe these ladies are just really good at judging reactions and tailoring their responses to match. But who knows?

Also read A Suaku Singaporean’s Virgin Visit To ‘Little Thailand’ Golden Mile Complex

(Header Image Credit: DiscoverSG)

The Confessions Of An Artist

Professions in the arts sector may not come to mind when people discuss career options in Singapore. In fact, when you speak to any adult born before the ‘90s, they might even tell you that working in the arts sector isn’t a “real job”.

We hear from 5 artists about the misconceptions people have about their career choice, and why they find their job worthwhile.

1. Your Profession Is Frivolous

[caption id="attachment_33795" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: @yellowmushmellow[/caption]

“People used to tell me that my job is child’s play, that it’s frivolous because all I do is “draw” and that it’s not productive.

I disagree –  I believe that art can help to draw attention to taboo issues in society and help to create conversation.”

At the beginning of my career, acquiring projects was a problem, but now the biggest issue is finding a balance between what I want to create versus what others expect me to create.

To me, the biggest compliment is when people tell me that they can relate to my illustrations and artworks.

I have a permanent mural at The Fullerton Gallery, and I remember watching people appreciate my artwork when I was at the opening of the gallery. That was a very significant moment for me.”

  • Aida, Illustrator

2. Can You Do It For Free?

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“Some clients have insisted that my art be created for free – or at my own cost – because it’s a community project, and within unrealistic timelines too. This undermines the value of the artist and the art that he/she creates.

Despite that, I still love working in the art industry. I conduct community workshops in heartlands and community centres. Some of the workshops that I’ve conducted are for Art Outreach at Gillman Barracks and Act3 International at ION Art Gallery.

Most of my workshops are catered for residents, ranging from children to senior citizens.

I feel fulfilled because I get the opportunity to inspire and influence people who attend my art workshops or volunteer at my community projects.

There was a family who told me that my art helped to bring them closer to one another. There was also a lady who told me that she was touched by my work because it depicted sights she could only see in her hometown back in India. These are moments that I live for.”

  • Eunice, Multidisciplinary Artist

3. But You Don’t Look Like An Artist

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“I’m a multidisciplinary artist and I’ve been developing my practice for almost 10 years now.

However, till today, people still occasionally tell me things like “But you don’t look like an artist” which I find offensive because there is no such thing as a standard “artist” look.

My work usually depicts identifiable moments and characters within contemporary urban society, suggesting a plethora of private and often solitary narratives.

Nothing beats that rewarding feeling whenever I complete an artwork and seeing people appreciate it.”

  • Sarah, Multidisciplinary Artist

4. He Mentioned That He Can Recreate My Artwork Using A Photo-Editing App

[caption id="attachment_33798" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: Ali Hanafiah[/caption]

“I’ve been in the creative field for almost 13 years now, working as a Senior Graphic Designer and Photographer.

I picked up drawing when I was a kid because my mother realised that I didn’t enjoy reading and gave me comic books instead.

When I first started working, the feedback I received wasn’t good and people would tell me that I cannot ‘make it’ in Singapore if I remain in this line.

The worst thing I’ve ever heard was someone mention that he can recreate my artwork with a photo-editing app. But I don’t let that get to me.

I love to sketch my friends during their birthdays, and watching them receive and love the sketch really brings me joy. At least I know that I brightened someone else’s day.”

  • Ali, Senior Graphic Designer/Photographer

5. People Think That My Art Is Vandalism

[caption id="attachment_33799" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image Credit: ZERO (Zul Othman)[/caption]

“I’ve been a full-time artist since 2003, and I’m coming up to my 15th year in the industry. I am probably the only artist with a background in the graffiti and street art scene, to have won the National Arts Council Young Artist Award.

I remember once when I was painting in the middle of Orchard Road, I overheard a father tell his son that I was vandalising. There was another incident when I was told that my profession was not “real work”.

I feel sorry for people who have such a narrow-minded mentality as to what constitutes as a “real job”.

The most encouraging thing I’ve heard was that my work and what I do as an artist and researcher is significant to my community and in the advocacy of street art and graffiti practices in South East Asia.

My advice to young aspiring artists out there, is to stay humble and keep on learning.”

  • Zul Othman (ZERO), Visual Artist

This article is a sponsored post in promotion of “Dance With Me”, a Toggle: Originals series.

All 8 episodes are now available on Toggle.

Also read Tasty Street ‘Spoils Market’ With Wagyu Beef, Iberico Pork Rice Bowls Under $7

10 Places To Get Affordable Blooms For Bae This Valentine’s Day – Starting From $18

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]

Bouquets start at $18 for a simple rose and wax flower combo, and other affordable options include a dried medicinal bottle arrangement ($28) and a dried lavender bouquet ($30).

Do take note that delivery is not free, so drop by to pick up your flowers, and save that extra money for something else!

Bloom Room 
Price: From $18

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.

The Enchanted Tree
Price: From $30

*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.

Windflower Florist
Price: From $33

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.

The Bloom Box
Price: From $35

5. Adorninglory

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

6. Fleuriste

For more rustic bouquets, check out the selection at Fleuriste.

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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.

Price: From $40 

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.

Skinny Blooms
Price: From $40

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.

Dawn Q
Price: From $65

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.

Petite Fleur
Price: From $69

This Valentine’s Day, give your special someone the gift of flowers. After all, a little romance never killed anyone.

Also read $5 Is All You Need To Get Drunk At Singapore’s Cheapest Pub Crawl

(Header Image Source: @windflowerflorist, @bloomroomsg)

$5 Is All You Need To Get Drunk At Singapore’s Cheapest Pub Crawl

Pub crawls are great for two things: Getting drunk and meeting people; the only things you really need to have a great time.

If you’ve always wanted to go on a pub crawl but never got around to doing it, here’s a deal that’ll have you procrastinating no more.

[caption id="attachment_32898" align="aligncenter" width="972"] Image Credit: Singapore Pub Crawl[/caption]

Singapore Pub Crawl has launched the cheapest pub crawl in Singapore – Five Dollar Pub Crawls. No, we’re not pulling your leg. Singapore Pub Crawl has come up with a series of Signature Crawls priced at just $5 (U.P. $35) so you can get drunk and get up to all kinds of shenanigans without breaking the bank.

Seriously, where else in Singapore can you get drunk for the price you pay for a plate of chicken rice?

Happening on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays until Feb 16, $5 will get you into five of the best bars and clubs along the iconic Singapore River, amazing deals, and needless to say, great company.

[caption id="attachment_32900" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Image Credit: BeMyGuest[/caption]

Expect a tour of some of the coolest watering holes in the country as Crawl Leaders take you to four pubs, each with their own drink deals that are exclusive to Singapore Pub Crawl. You get a complimentary shot at every bar (i.e a total of four shots), and access to deals such as 2-for-$15 cocktails.

[caption id="attachment_32901" align="alignnone" width="1050"] Image Credit: Singapore Pub Crawl[/caption]

To end off the night, get VIP entry at one of Singapore’s hottest night clubs, and party until daylight to the best R&B and hip hop beats!

Sounds like your kind of night? Get your tickets to The Five Dollar Pub Crawls The Definitive Guide To Not Appearing ‘Suaku’ At An Art Festival

(Header Image Source: Singapore Pub Crawl)

Aliwal Urban Art Festival Is Back, And It’s Bringing Food Trucks, Glamping And Amazing Music

The Aliwal Urban Art Festival is back for its fifth iteration on 20 January 2018, and you know it’s serious when they close off the road on Aliwal Street.

[caption id="attachment_32678" align="aligncenter" width="1439"] Image Credit: Aliwal Urban Art Festival 2018[/caption]

This time, Aliwal Urban Art Festival has leveled up their programmes to include skateboarding, glamping, dancing, freestyle football and many more!

Art At Aliwal

For those of you who love to bust a move, there’s The Get UP to Get DOWN featuring ScRach MarcS. Held at the Aliwal carpark, this all-out block party will feature music from the 60s all the way to 2009. There might even be a soul train.

[caption id="attachment_32695" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Image Credit: Aliwal Arts Centre[/caption]

What’s an urban art festival without urban art? Presented by RSCLS and The Blackbook, there will be a RSCLS Detour, which takes you around Kampong Glam to learn more about the history of urban art in Singapore.

That’s not all, there’s also Spin Cycle, where 3 artists use a puzzle canvas to create interactive artwork that visitors can play with. There will also be a Terrainware Tent Challenge where you get to pit your skills against outdoor gurus to glamp at the Aliwal Urban Art Festival.

Music At Aliwal

No urban art festival is complete without music and Aliwal Urban Art Festival does not disappoint.

[caption id="attachment_32680" align="aligncenter" width="1439"] Image Credit: Aliwal Urban Art Festival 2018[/caption]

Festival-goers can expect live performances from Bakers In Space, Mean, Sobs, Vandetta, and Eatmepoptart. That’s not all, other musical highlights include FFIN from Slugwife, Ras Irie, and Koflow.

Skate And Play At Aliwal

Skaters can also test their skill and flex their creativity at the Best Line and Best Trick contest at the Firing Line. There’s even prize money to be won!

There’s even a Skate Drop-In Clinic where newbie skaters get to learn from the best coaches in Singapore, in a safe and supervised environment.

[caption id="attachment_32693" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Image Credit: Aliwal Arts Centre[/caption]

Soccer buffs can also test their skills at the Street Football Challenge and pick up some freestyle skills from the pros.

Eat And Shop At Aliwal

Of course, you don’t have to go hungry at the Aliwal Urban Art Festival. There will be a bunch of food trucks available at the Aliwal carpark.

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For those who are there for the shopping, there’s the Brilliant Corners Artist Market where you can expect to find limited edition art prints, custom tees, magazines, and 12″ records.

Aliwal Urban Art Festival 2018 is the must-go art event that’s part of the Singapore Art Week. Bring your friends and family down to Aliwal Street on 20 January 2018 for a night of crazy fun!

Aliwal Urban Art Festival
Venue: Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street, Singapore, 199918
Date: 20 January 2018

Also read Here Are All The Concerts To Look Forward To In 2018 So Far

(Header Image Source: Aliwal Arts Centre)

Here Are All The Concerts To Look Forward To In 2018 So Far

2017 is quickly coming to an end.

Whether you’ve had a good or a bad year, 2018 has so much in store. Just look at how many concerts we have to look forward to?

From Bruno Mars and Fall Out Boy, to indie acts like Clean Bandit and Fleet Foxes, to nostalgic acts like S Club Party and Incubus, there’s a concert for everyone. Here are all the concerts in 2018 you can look forward to so far.


1. Jay Chou “The Invincible” Part 2 Tour

Kicking this list off with a bang is none other than the King of Mandopop himself, Jay Chou.

[caption id="attachment_32563" align="aligncenter" width="760"] Jay Chou[/caption]

Here in town on 6 Jan 2018 for Part 2 of The Invincible tour, the concert will take place at Singapore National Stadium.

Fans can look forward to belting every word of Jay Chou’s classics, and of course, watching him perform some of his latest and greatest hits.

Jay Chou “The Invincible” Part 2 Tour
Singapore National Stadium
Date: Jan 6
Time: 8pm
Tickets: SOLD OUT

2. Imagine Dragons “Evolve” World Tour

Alt-rock outfit Imagine Dragons will be returning to Singapore on 7 January 2018, and they will be performing a one night only concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

[caption id="attachment_32564" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: Live Nation Asia[/caption]

Following the debut of their 3rd studio album, Evolve, the Grammy Award-winning band will be bringing their music to Singapore, performing hits such as “Whatever It Takes”,”Believer”, and “Thunder” from the Evolve album.

That said, you can also expect old favourites such as “It’s Time”, “Radioactive” and “Demons”.

Imagine Dragons “Evolve” World Tour
Singapore Indoor Stadium
Date: 7 Jan 2018
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $98 – $228. Get your tickets Image Credit: 4. Clean Bandit Live In Singapore

Grammy Award-winning musical sensation Clean Bandit will be here in Singapore on 22 Jan 2018, performing at the Suntec City Convention & Exhibition Centre Halls 601 – 604.

[caption id="attachment_32566" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Image Credit: The Sam Willows, this is one concert you don’t want to miss.

Clean Bandit Live In Singapore
Venue: Hall 601-604, Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre
Date: 22 Jan 2018
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $108 – $208. Get your tickets

5. St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

The annual St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival is back!

This year’s event features a smashing lineup including Aldous Harding, Amy Shark, Anderson, Paak & The Free Nationals, Billie Eilish, Bonobo, Father John Misty, Loyle Carner, Mac DeMarco, Moses Sumney, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Slowdive, Sylvan Esso, The Internet, The War On Drugs, and Wolf Alice.

[caption id="attachment_32567" align="aligncenter" width="685"] Image Credit: Laneway Festival Singapore Facebook[/caption]

Happening on 27 January 2018, the festival promises to be a total sensory experience, bringing the best live acts – both new and established – onto the Laneway stage for music fans.

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Venue: The Meadow, Gardens By The Bay
Date: 27 January 2018
Tickets: Standard Tickets: $158 | Door Sales: $200. Get your tickets Image Credit: Allkpop[/caption]

While the group performed here just 2 years ago, it certainly feels like it’s been longer. Here for their 7th world tour “SUPER SHOW 7”, prepare to scream yourself hoarse (and to be deafened) when they perform at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Super Junior
Singapore Indoor Stadium
27 Jan 2018
$168 – $288. Get your tickets Image Credit: here.


8. Incubus

This one is a huge blast from the past.

[caption id="attachment_32570" align="alignnone" width="1332"] Image Credit: Image Credit: here.

10. Fifth Harmony PSA Tour

A girl group that really needs no introduction, global pop sensation Fifth Harmony will be bringing their PSA Tour to Zepp@BigBox Singapore on 14 March 2018.

[caption id="attachment_32572" align="alignnone" width="1548"] Image Credit: Billboard[/caption]

Known for their confident and empowering voice, expect to hear songs such as “Down” feat. Gucci Mane, and all the hits from their sophomore album 7/27 such as “Work from Home”, “All In My Head (Flex)”, and “That’s My Girl”.

Fifth Harmony
Venue: Zepp@BigBox Singapore
Date: 14 Mar 2018
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $138 – $168. Get your tickets here.

11. Lany

After a sold out show in 2017, Indie pop trio Lany will be returning to Singapore on 29 March 2018. This time, the band will be playing at a different venue – Capitol Theatre.

[caption id="attachment_32573" align="alignnone" width="845"] Image Credit: April

12. Perry’s Witness: The Tour

KatyCats, Katy Perry will be gracing us with her presence come 8 April 2018.

[caption id="attachment_32574" align="alignnone" width="1500"]
Image Credit: 13. The Script Live In Singapore

Irish rock band The Script will be taking the stage at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for just one night on 12 April 2018.

[caption id="attachment_32575" align="aligncenter" width="2521"]
Image Credit: 14. Yiruma Live In Singapore

What do the Twilight Saga and famous K-drama, Winter Sonata, have in common?

Both had soundtracks featuring songs composed by well-known Korean classical composer and pianist, Yiruma.

[caption id="attachment_32576" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Image Credit: Sistic[/caption]

Following his sold out concerts in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Yiruma will be returning to Singapore on 28 April 2018 for a one night only performance at The Star Theatre.

Fans can expect to watch Yiruma play his greatest hits such as “The River Flows In You”, “Kiss The Rain”, “May Be”, and “Love Me”, as well as pieces from his latest album, “f r a m e”.

Yiruma Live In Singapore
Venue: The Star Theatres
Date: 28 Apr 2018
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $98 – $288. Get your tickets here.

15. Fall Out Boy Mania Tour

We can already tell 30 April 2018 is going to be a good day because rock superstars, Fall Out Boy, will be performing in Singapore at Zepp @ BigBox Singapore.

[caption id="attachment_32577" align="alignnone" width="1548"] Image Credit: Billboard[/caption]

Here as part of their M A N I A tour, we cannot wait for the boys to perform tracks from their latest album like “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” and “The Last Of The Real Ones”, and also revisit their breakout hits like “Sugar We’re Goin Down” and “Dance Dance”.

Fall Out Boy Mania Tour
Venue: Zepp @ BigBox Singapore 
Date: 30 Apr 2018
Time: 8pm 
Tickets: $148. Get your tickets here.


16. Harry Styles Live In Concert

On 3 May 2018, the One Direction member with arguably the best hair will be here in Singapore to perform at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

[caption id="attachment_32578" align="alignnone" width="2560"] Image Credit: 17. Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour 2018

If you were lucky enough to get tickets to see Bruno Mars before they were all sold out, this is a big one to look forward to.

[caption id="attachment_32580" align="alignnone" width="1200"]
Image Credit: Image Credit: Billboard[/caption]

Here as part of his “Flicker World Tour”, Horan will be performing for just one night at The Star Theatre.

If you can’t get enough of “This Town” and “Slow Hands”, you’ll want to hear these hits sung live.

Niall Horan Flicker World Tour 2018
Venue: The Star Theatre 
Date: 12 June 2018
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $88 – $148. Get your tickets 8 Fun NYE Plans That Are Better Than Counting Down With Strangers At Marina Bay

14 Places To Get Beautiful Bridesmaid Dresses, No Matter What Your Budget

Weddings are a joyous occasion.

But before it can be a joyous occasion, it is a very chaotic one; one with many decisions to be made, many back-and-forths with wedding vendors, and many nitty gritties to be dealt with. That’s why every bride needs her own squad of trusty bridesmaids.

Not only are bridesmaids very helpful in the lead up to the wedding, if you’re forgoing a wedding planner, your bridesmaids are the ones who will make sure everything goes perfectly on your big day.

If you’re on the hunt for dresses for your best girls, here’s a list of sites/shops you can visit to get your bridesmaid dresses. We have them ranked from the most affordable to the least, so whether you’re on a budget or want to splurge on your bridal party, you’ll have plenty of options.

1. Image Credit: Boohoo[/caption]

Based in the UK, Boohoo sells on-trend clothing at affordable prices. A quick search for “bridesmaid” on their search bar will throw up a random mish-mash of styles – lace dresses, printed dresses, short dresses, long dresses – so you’ll have to pick through the lot to find one (or some) you like.

Boohoo also sells bridesmaid robes and pajamas, so you and your girls can look cute while getting ready for your special day.

Price: £12.00 – £50.00

If you like a more modern silhouette for your bridesmaids, you’ll find it at Ohvola.

[caption id="attachment_32366" align="alignnone" width="1235"] Image Credit: Ohvola[/caption]

Here, you won’t find your typical bridesmaid styles, but more interesting silhouettes, with asymmetrical hems, unique cutout details and colour blocked styles; basically, outfits that are cool, chic, and that your bridesmaids are sure to feel stylish in.

The one downside, however, is that most styles come in one or two fixed colours, so if it doesn’t fit your wedding colour theme, you may have to look elsewhere.

Price: SGD$29.00 – $86.00

3. is another popular online shopping destination for Singaporean ladies, and occasionally, you’ll find something here that’s bridesmaid-appropriate.

[caption id="attachment_32384" align="alignnone" width="1377"] Image Credit: The Closet Lover[/caption]

While The Closet Lover does not have a dedicated page for bridesmaid dresses, some casual browsing through the dress section will lead you to a couple of options that just may work for a wedding.

We’re talking midi dresses with pastel hues and romantic florals. Hey, who says you can’t bend the rules a little when it comes to your own wedding?

Price: SGD$31.90 – $52.90
Love Bonito

Love Bonito is a brand that probably requires no introduction.

A local brand with a loyal following among Singaporean women, Love Bonito has a clothing line just for bridesmaids – the ‘LYLAS’ collection.

[caption id="attachment_32362" align="aligncenter" width="920"] Image Credit: Love Bonito[/caption]

They’ve got dresses, jumpsuits, and separates. The best part? Your bridesmaids will have no problem incorporating these items into their everyday wardrobes after the wedding.

With pieces in romantic, pastel hues of pink, purple and blue, as well as in darker, more dramatic blues and reds, whatever colour scheme you’re going for, Love Bonito will have just what you need.

Also, if you’re looking to get bridesmaid robes for that fun shot with your bridal squad, you’ll be able to find them here.

Price: SGD$32 – $59.90

5. also has quite a range of styles.

[caption id="attachment_32374" align="aligncenter" width="1211"] Image Credit: Love & Bravery[/caption]

If your wedding is going to lean more casual, Love & Bravery carries some cute short dresses that your bridesmaids can use even after the wedding. They also do some nice sheer hemmed dresses that strike a nice balance between formal and casual – perfect for the hot Singapore weather!

Price: SGD$36.00 – $49.00
Thread Theory

Not to be confused with Style Theory, Thread Theory is another online women’s boutique that sells bridesmaid dresses.

[caption id="attachment_32376" align="aligncenter" width="893"] Image Credit: Thread Theory[/caption]

If you want something with more details and embellishments, Thread Theory will probably have what you’re looking for. With styles that feature embroidered flowers, beaded panels and sequins, Thread Theory adds interest to your bridesmaid dresses without going too over the top.

On the other end of the spectrum, they also have more dressy bridesmaid styles, with tulle and illusion necklines so your bridesmaids too can feel like princesses on your big day.

Price: SGD$36.00 – $89.90

7.  them all, in pretty pastel hues.

Stocking several A-line styles, these dresses will flatter bridesmaids of all body shapes.

[caption id="attachment_32378" align="alignnone" width="1170"]
Image Credit: Intoxiquette[/caption]

Price: SGD$39.90 – $55.90

Dressabelle is yet another site that has great options for your bridesmaid needs.

[caption id="attachment_32380" align="aligncenter" width="1323"] Image Credit: Dressabelle[/caption]

They’ve got layered dresses and wrap dresses. Light, airy and easy, these dresses are perfect if your bridesmaids are going to have plenty of running around to do.

Price: SGD$39.90 – $69.90

9. Double Woot

Double Woot is one of the lesser known brands on this list, but it’s one you should definitely check out, simply because of the extensive variety of styles they sell.

[caption id="attachment_32364" align="aligncenter" width="953"] Image Credit: Doublewoot[/caption]

Whether you’re looking for dresses with a more flowy silhouette, or ones that are more form-fitting, you’ll be able to find them at this Malaysia-based e-store.

If you want to mix up the styles your bridesmaids are wearing, this is a good place to look as they have off-the-shoulder styles, high neck styles, toga styles… Basically, every style you can think of.

Take note that shipping can take a while, so this isn’t somewhere you want to order from just a week before the wedding.

Price: SGD$43.68 – $70.98

10. Zalora

Did you know Zalora has its own line of bridesmaid dresses? And the selection is actually pretty extensive.

[caption id="attachment_32390" align="alignnone" width="1333"] Image Credit: Zalora[/caption]

Aside from your typical bridesmaid styles, they also have plenty of printed offerings. They also have satin dresses, which you won’t find in many of the sites listed here.

Zalora also stocks dresses from many different brands, so you can shop all of them conveniently at one place.

Price: SGD$49.90 – $299.99

11. Image Credit: ASOS[/caption]

With brands like TFNC Wedding, Maya, Jarlo, John Zack, and of course, ASOS’ home brand, you can easily shop multiple brands at one location.

If your colour scheme falls out of the pastel pink, peach, blue and purple spectrum, ASOS is a good place to start looking. Here, you’ll find dresses in less common hues like sage, green and purple.

Do take note that ASOS’ styles tend to be less conservative, with bare backs and lower necklines.

Price: SGD$64.65 – $808.13
SOIGNÉ The Label

Another site that sells dresses with a more modern silhouette is SOIGNÉ The Label.

[caption id="attachment_32370" align="aligncenter" width="1099"] Image Credit: Soigne The Label[/caption]

While they don’t have a dedicated section for bridesmaid dresses, it’s easy to picture some of these styles walking down the aisle with you.

Here, they stray from bridesmaid cliches with unique necklines and quirky touches, making for interesting details in all those wedding photos you’ll surely be taking.

Price: SGD$65 – $199

13. Lulus

Lulus has a beautiful range of bridesmaid dresses, but there is one downside – the price.

But hey, if you’re willing to shell out in the region of $100 per dress (shipping included), you’ll find some very nice designs here, and with very nice quality.

[caption id="attachment_32372" align="alignnone" width="1253"] Image Credit: Lulus[/caption]

What’s great about Lulu’s is that each style comes in a variety of colours, so you won’t have to rule out dresses because they don’t come in your desired colour.

Do take note that since Lulus is based in the US, some of the maxi dresses may run a little long on more petite Singaporean girls. That said, the sizing guide and review section are very handy when it comes to figuring out if the length or fit of a dress will be an issue.

As with ASOS, Lulus’ styles are also more revealing, so be sure your bridesmaids dare to bare before you place your order!

Price: USD$44 – $284

14. Lipsy

For sexier styles, give London-based Lipsy a look-see.

[caption id="attachment_32395" align="alignnone" width="1297"] Image Credit: Lipsy[/caption]

A go-to for party and occasion-wear, the site stocks a variety of brands, some of which you’ll recognize (Forever New, Bardot, Little Mistress) and some of which you may find less familiar (Scarlett & Jo, Sistaglam, Jessica Wright).

With side slits, applique details, and uber flattering ruching, the dresses here are for the bridal squad that’s got it and ain’t afraid to flaunt it.

Price: £62 – £170

Whatever style and/or colour you envision your bridal squad wearing, we’re sure you’ll find it at one of these shops. With that, happy shopping!

*All prices stated are accurate at the time of publication. Prices are all before discount. 

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When To Apply For Leave In 2018 For Long Weekends

Can you believe November is almost over? Where did the year go?

In just about a month’s time, we’ll be counting down the remaining seconds of 2017, ringing in the new year.

One thing we love about the new year is that you get to start on a clean slate. Everything is reset – public holidays included. We thought, what better way to go into 2018 than by thinking about all the long weekends there will be, and planning ahead for your 2018 holiday(s).

Here are all the long weekends in 2018 so you can get a head start on your planning!

Long Weekends In 2017

[caption id="attachment_31977" align="aligncenter" width="828"] Public Holidays in 2018 (Image Credit: Ministry Of Manpower)[/caption]

In 2018, there will be 4 long weekends (incl. New Year’s weekend), but you can easily make that 9 just be taking a day’s leave. If you take leave on all the days stated below, you can expect a long weekend every month, with the exception of July, September, and October.

1. January

Dates: 30 Dec – 1 January
# days: 3

The New Year’s weekend is a long one, so if you’re hung over on New Year’s Day, at least you won’t have to report to work.

2. February

Dates: 16 Feb – 18 Feb
# days: 3

Chinese New Year falls on 16 and 17 February this year, so we’re getting a long weekend in February.

3. March

Dates: 30 Mar – 1 Apr
# days: 3

Thank God It’s (Good) Friday! Good Friday means we’ll be seeing one long weekend in the month of March.

4. April

Dates: 28 Apr – 1 May
# days: 4
Take leave on: 30 April

Labour Day falls on a Tuesday this year, which means to make it a long weekend, all you have to do is book a day’s leave on 30 April. A short trip out of the country, perhaps?

5. May

Dates: 26 May – 29 May
# days: 4
Take leave on 28 May

Forsee a tough May? Vesak Day falls on a Tuesday, so you know what to do – take the Monday before off, and maybe fly yourself out of the country.

6. June

Date: 15 Jun – 17 Jun
# days: 3

The half point mark of the year brings one long weekend from 15 to 17 June, for Hari Raya Puasa weekend.

7. August

Date: 9 Aug – 12 Aug
# days: 4
Take leave on: 10 Aug

In August, we celebrate the Nation’s Birthday – as well as an extra long weekend, if you take leave on 10 August.

8. Nov

Date: 3 Nov – 6 Nov
# days: 4
Take leave on: 5 Nov

Give yourself a pat on the back for working your a** off all year. November brings a 4-day long weekend if you take leave on 5 November.

9. Dec

Date: 22 Dec – 25 Dec
# days: 4
Take leave on: 24 Dec

Everyone’s favourite time of the year is back again! Take leave on 24 December as a little Christmas gift to yourself, and you get to enjoy a 4-day weekend.

It’s never too early to start planning for your next vacation. Whether it’s a long trip overseas (be sure to schedule it over the long weekends), a short trip to Bangkok, or a staycation right here in Singapore, make use of this handy guide to make the best of the holidays in 2018!

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