Staying home during this time has made us crave face-to-face human interaction or yearn to go back to our usual routines.
In a state of boredom, people are forced to get creative. We have quickly changed up our routines such as converting our gym sessions to home workouts, or even achieving new goals such as learning a new skill online or finishing a book that we read halfway.
But there are also some who have thought of really bizarre things. For instance, a Redditor built a life-sized Jewel Changi Airport in Minecraft to curb his boredom.
Another Redditor even came up with a ‘Stay Home MRT Line’ to sum up a day of his life.
We may be stuck at home but that doesn’t stop people from thinking of creative ways to spend their Circuit Breaker life differently. One thing’s for sure though, here are 10 things that we’ll definitely miss once the Circuit Breaker is over.
1. Wake Up Later, Wear PJs All Day
Working from home brings about many perks for the lazybones.
Firstly, you get to snooze a little longer because we no longer have to be out the door by 8am to catch the train. If work starts at 9am, we can afford to wake up five minutes before and skip the shower.
Who cares if you’ve not brushed your teeth or if you’re wearing pyjamas to work?
Ultimately, this saves us a lot of time. You also do not have to style your hair or think about what to wear every day. Doing work in comfortable PJs and messy hair all day is a true luxury that comes with working from home.
2. Home-cooked Meals
Singapore has a world-class public housing system that helps Singaporeans own their own
homes, from 9% in 1960 to over 90% today.
Yes, Singapore is often
talked about and used as a successful example of public housing done right. Our
home ownership of 91% lands us in the top three highest in the world, and over
80% of Singaporeans live in high quality and affordable HDB flats.
Housing a Nation
This was not the
case in the early years, when most people lived in over-crowded and unhygienic
The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew is a key driver in
of public housing in Singapore. The nation’s founding prime minister had set up
the HDB in 1960, and launched an ambitious building programme to provide proper
homes for Singaporeans – Housing a nation.
Watch this to find out how Singapore
fixed its housing problem,
Let’s Meet the People Living in these
You should have noticed by now that
we’re publishing a series of #myHDBstory where we check out Singaporeans’ HDB
homes and invite them to share with us their HDB stories.
we’re checking out the home of Bob
day job is a Business Manager with SingaporeBrides.com, one of the leading bridal resource
portals in Singapore. But when he’s not working, Bob transforms into a
tastemaker of sorts. Here is someone who has always loved all things
in this career, he was a highly accomplished makeup artist who helped women
look more beautiful. Some years back, he was also running a wedding gift tray business and mind you, he was so good at making
beautiful wedding gift trays he was perpetually booked!
when he’s not working, he’s an accidental Instagram-Influencer who spams lotsa
posts of beautiful
fabulous reno and cool
And believe you me, his casual post about something he bought can cause the
item to be sold out at all outlets! He also likes to feature yummy food and
seemingly fabulous people too!
Bob’s #myHDBstory is
Home to Bob is a 4-room resale flat in
Bukit Panjang, a place where Bob insists is much much nearer to town than most
people think. It’s also near where his family is staying. The flat was
completed in 1998, so it’s around 20 years old.
He knew he wanted a flat near his
family home, so that helped lots to narrow down where to start looking. But
even then, he shared that he viewed a total of 13(!!) units! The funny thing is
he ended up buying the very first flat he’d viewed. He took over the flat on
19th December 2016, signed the renovation contract on 1st January 2017 and he
has been living there in solo bliss for over two years now.
Bob had bought the flat for around
$350,000 in late 2016. Did you know that about 80% of first-time homebuyers are
able to pay their monthly mortgage instalment fully with CPF? This means that
they do not pay any cash out-of-pocket. That’s the same for Bob too! His
monthly housing instalments are all taken care of via his CPF, so no cash
out-of-pocket for him too!
Bob’s #myHDBstory is every single
Guess how many IDs Bob had checked out
before deciding? Eight.
Whoa. Not only did he top the number of
viewings I’ve ever heard of, he’s also right up there in terms of the most
number of contractors a homeowner has met for quotes. Anyway, he eventually
decided on Tid Plus, an ID that he highly recommends. He says they’re great
value-for-money and deliver good work.
Let’s go on a tour of #bobsretirementhome now!
Don’t you just love that gate! And
white doors are quite rare in HDB estates!
Come, let’s go in!
Bob shared that he had initially wanted
a black-and-white look in the colonial style.
But once he decided on this unit and
fell in love with the abundance of light flowing into the living space, he
decided that the natural light would be wasted on a high-contrast
black-and-white look. He next considered to go full-on white, but his ID
advised him against it. An all-white look might look too sterile and clinical
for a home.
In the end, Bob went
for a white-and-grey palette which was light and airy, whilst providing some
Bob truly believes that adding dashes of green in the form of plants works wonders. It warms the space immediately, and gives it life.
I love how the plants and his soft furnishing break the straight lines of the renovation and furniture, softening it nicely to add homeliness to the cool, modern look.
Bob has always wanted an open-concept kitchen. So he worked with the ID to hack away a curved wall that the previous owner had erected. So yea, he got his open kitchen that flows seamlessly into the dining area and opens up to the living space.
Incidentally, this is also where Bob does his work too!
His employer is apparently a very progressive one. Since SingaporeBrides.com started in 2000, the team has always worked from home. Very good, they were green and contributing to reducing carbon footprint even before it’s a thing!
And as if he ain’t talented enough, Bob
is also a good cook! Man, what can’t this bachelor do??
He loves having his friends over and
feeding them delish food that he’ll whip up himself. So yea, the kitchen is not
mere showpiece for photography, he actually puts it to good use too!
Let’s check out the bedrooms now!
Whoa, I quite like the master bedroom!
And did you think no one will actually sit on that chair? WRONG. Bob does!
We asked him where is his favourite spot at home, and he said it’s right here!
There are two other bedrooms, but we only took photos of one of them since Bob uses the third bedroom for storage.
The second bedroom, with the sofa-bed, effectively is a guestroom.
By now you must be very curious how
much the renovation and all cost. Bob had spent $46,000 on the renovation. This
seems to be a reasonable amount as resale flats sometimes can cost
significantly more than BTO in terms of renovation costs because there are
usually hacking and remodelling work, etc.
The TV and refrigerator were gifted to
Bob, but even then, he had spent only $5,000 on furniture and appliances! He
was very careful with what he spent on, and he even had a rule of not buying
anything over $1,000. He would watch the sales and promotions with eagle eyes,
and he enlisted the help of his Chinese friends to help him order items on Taobao.
His efforts sure paid off and his home
is one of the nicest we’ve featured for the #myHDBstory series.
More about the Single Citizen Scheme
As with most developed cities,
Singapore is also seeing her citizens getting married later in life, and there
are also Singaporeans who choose to remain single. The Government has
recognised this trend and in order to cater to the needs of singles, HDB
first implemented the Single Citizen Scheme to allow Singaporeans who are 35 years
old and above to own their own HDB flats in July 2013.
Singles can choose to buy BTO or resale
flats. Singles can apply for 2-room BTO Flexi units at non-mature estates and
for resale units, there are no restrictions on location or size; so singles
who want bigger flats or want their flats immediately will usually go the
There have always been grants for first-time home buyers, be it families or singles. But earlier this month, the Government announced even more good news and these enhancements were effective from 11th September 2019.
- Eligible first-timer singles aged 35 and above, and earning not more than $4,500 a month, can also enjoy an Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG for singles) of up to $40,000, and are subject to the same conditions.
- The monthly household income ceiling for eligible first-timer singles aged 35 and above will also be raised from $6,000 to $7,000.
about #bobsretirementhome: To sell or not to sell?
was penduluming between the thought of selling the current flat off after the
Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of five years, or to carry out another round of
renovation at the current unit.
View this post on Instagram
; #bobsretirementhome | totally loveeee the morning ray on a sunday. why i am up at 7.00am on a sunday, i have no idea. but when your age is approaching 40, it has a funny way of telling you to sleep at 10.00pm and be wide awake at 6.00am. • yes, especially on a sunday. • … and the public holidays. • i was talking to @msofian about selling my house after the minimum occupation period of five years, and then downgrading to three-room flat and try to be as debt free as possible, while simultaneously talking to @tidplus_design to renovate this house to do #bobsretirementhome version 2.0. • this is another peril of old age. an almost immediate dementia. talked about selling the house, and then five minutes later, planning new renovation design of the very home that i intend to sell. • #bobsretirementhome have given me so much. like the huge amount of sunlight streaming through every morning, so many opportunities have opened up for me because of this home too. to sell, or not to sell, that is the question. the answer is, will sell if can earn 100% profit. eh? • and yes, eldershield will be reaching me next year. kurang ajar punya government. tak payah nak remind lah hawau!
He was wondering if he could make 100%
profit if he were to sell off the unit. ONE HUNDRED PER CENT?! That would mean
$700,000 leh, so I don’t think so? But it’s entirely probable that he will make
a reasonably tidy sum if he were to sell it.
At 25 years upon MOP, the flat is still relatively “young”.
remember this: Every flat will be upgraded twice.
keep all HDB flats safe and liveable, there will be one round of upgrading when
your flat is about 30 years old through the Home Improvement Programme (HIP),
and a second round when your flat is about 60-70 years old through HIP II. The
upgrades will address common maintenance issues such as repairing spalling
from upgrading, the Government will redevelop old estates through the Voluntary
Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS) to ensure they remain vibrant places to live.
Residents offered VERS will vote as a precinct on whether they wish to return
their flats to the Government. They will be compensated for their flats.
my guess is if Bob were to sell his Bukit Panjang flat, there should be some
more upside given the flat’s relatively young “age”, and also that there should
be one round of upgrading at around 2028 when it turns 30.
about #bobsretirementhome: Unlocking the value
Bob decides to keep the unit and really make it #bobsretirementhome, there are
also several ways to monetarise the flat later, especially if he needs money in
his silver years.
- Firstly, Bob can receive cash monthly by renting out his bedroom(s) or even the entire flat and he can go live with his siblings or friends.
- Secondly, Bob can also sell part of the flat’s remaining lease to get a lump sum cash and monthly payouts in cash, for life. This is under the Lease Buyback Scheme.
- Thirdly, he can still sell the Bukit Panjang flat later in life, and buy a smaller flat or a flat with a shorter lease.
- Lastly, those moving from a larger flat to a 3-room or smaller flat can consider taking up the Silver Housing Bonus, to receive up to $20,000 in cash.
HDB, a place I spent my childhood running around with my friends playing block catching. The place I desperately longed to go home to some nights when I was made to work overtime.
The second I
stepped out of the HDB lift, I knew which house belongs to the family I was
going to interview. I spied a mini slide and a variety of kick-scooters,
ride-on toy vehicles, bicycles and a whole lot of shoes. “Must be the right
house”, I thought to myself. My guess was spot on as once the door was open, I
was greeted by chatter from the full house of children.
Housing everyone under one roof affordably
As we sat down to
talk, the children zoomed happily around on the electric toy car and indulged
in their favourite activities with their siblings, oblivious to this “intruder”
on a Saturday morning.
Steven brought us
back in time to 17 years ago when he and his wife, Laifong, first started
working. Laifong was living in her family home in Ang Mo Kio back then, and her
mother got to know of her neighbour two units away who had wanted to sell their
that the asking price was quite reasonable at $130K thereabouts for the 3-Room
HDB flat. Once he factored in the $30K first-timer housing grant and $10K
proximity housing grant for living near parents, the price came down to a very
When their fourth
kid came around, Steven and Laifong suddenly found themselves faced with a
choice of going ahead with the upgrading to a 5-Room BTO they had applied for
earlier, or to buy the adjoining 3-Room flat next door under the Conversion
Scheme since their neighbour was moving out.
The couple quickly did their sums. The asking
price of the flat next door plus the $90K he had paid for their existing flat
combined was still under the price of a 5-bedroom BTO in the same area.
During that time,
a 5-room BTO at Ang Mo Kio would have set the couple back about $510,000 after
how he and his wife gave up their BTO allocation in favour of knocking down the
wall between the two adjoining 3-Room units to form a jumbo flat with enough space for all. I guess it’s safe to say that our public
housing scheme has served Singaporeans well. For Steven and Laifong, it was not
so much a matter of whether they could house everyone affordably, but more of
what type of public housing and at which location would work better for them.
With over a million HDB flats spread across towns and estates, the
Singapore brand of public housing is uniquely different from the rest of the
world. HDB flats spell home for over 80% of Singaporeans, and our home
ownership stands over 90%, the third highest in the world.
Managing finances and balancing
not resist asking how Steven and his family manage… especially with 5 children. He shared that his
housing loan, which he and his wife split 50-50 is completely covered by CPF, freeing
up finances for day to day expenses. Home-cooked meals and hawker fare are
their go-to because eating out for two adults and five kids can be quite a
hefty sum. That said, they still budget for a yearly family holiday – Japan
being their next destination.
of seven does not own a car and they are used to taking public transport to get
around. Taxi rides are far and few between, a luxury reserved for special
circumstances or when they are very tired. Thankfully, various transport routes
are easily accessible from their home.
time is key
Being a full-time working parent,
Steven shared that time is really a precious commodity. As much as both he and
Laifong try to shower each child with individual attention, having a brood of five
means they do not get to spend as much time with each child as they would like to.
This is certainly a feeling many working parents can relate to.
This prompted Steven to come up with
an interesting way of overcoming this “guilt”. He started the habit of bringing
each child on one-on-one bonding trips overseas, timing it to coincide with
just before they enter Primary school, a nice way to spend quality time
together before they embarked on their formal education. He has since completed
3 one-on-one trips, bringing Steffi to Korea, Leroy to Gold Coast and Stacci to
He shared that these trips allowed him
to show his love for each child through spending dedicated time with them. Both
father and child got to learn more about each other on their bonding trips and
share many happy memories and experiences together. Steven’s advice – “Live the
moment, go forth and explore the world together!”
Endearing memories of home
happy squeals emanate throughout the Teo household, never a quiet moment when
the children are around. Their closeness as a family even spills over into
their unique sleeping arrangement. Even though their jumbo flat has several
bedrooms, the family of seven insists that they bunk all together.
in an elongated bedroom, made from knocking down the walls between two
bedrooms. Their configuration of two king sized beds and one super single on
the floor seems the perfect combination to fit all seven of them.
Steven which child sleeps where and he put it simply – he parks himself on one
king size bed, his wife on the other and the children will pick favourites for
the night! A recent family staycation also saw all of them cuddled up in a king
Challenges and joys
rounded up the interview to let the family get back to their lives, I
understood more and more Steven and Laifong’s decision to have more children
than the typical family. While there are challenges in raising such a big
family… the immeasurable joy and warmth the young ones bring is certainly
We thank Steven
and Laifong for sharing their #myHDBstory.
*Over the years, HDB has
enhanced its offering of subsidies and grants to help Singaporeans afford their
first home. Ninety per cent of first-time home buyers buy a flat directly from
HDB at subsidised rates.
From September 2019 onwards,
the newly announced Enhanced CPF Housing
Grant (EHG) will replace the existing
Additional and Special CPF Housing Grants (AHG and SHG).
Eligible first-timer families
buying a resale flat may now enjoy up to $160,000 of housing grants, comprising
an EHG of up to $80,000, a CPF Housing Grant of up to $50,000, and a Proximity
Housing Grant of up to $30,000.
live in a HDB flat? Share your own #myHDBstory!
If you’ve been active on social media recently, you probably would have noticed the phrase “Singapore bicentennial” marked in bold on the titles of various posts and articles.
The recent budget announcement also included a $1.1 billion Bicentennial Bonus to be given out to Singaporeans to commemorate the bicentennial year.
You probably would have also noticed that while some have termed the bicentennial as a “celebration”, others have ascribed less than favourable descriptions to it.
So what exactly is the bicentennial, and why is the ongoing debate surrounding it significant?
How The Term “Bicentennial” Came About
In essence, 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Singapore’s founding by the British, including Sir Stamford Raffles who is frequently touted as the “founder of modern Singapore”.
This has galvanised the Singapore Bicentennial Office (SBO) to organise a slew of events including exhibitions, seminars, and even a Bicentennial Edition of the annual Light to Night Festival to commemorate this historical milestone.
While some have deemed these efforts as acceptable given the occasion, others have criticised them as glorifying colonialism and white superiority.
The Good And The Bad
For instance, in a piece for Esquire, Singapore-based writer Neil Humphreys challenged, “How can the subjugation of indigenous people, in any context, be called a celebration? … Praising Raffles acknowledges a white man’s superiority over repressed colonial subjects”.
Others who grew up during the colonial era have also labelled the British as “imperialists” who not only exploited locals and the working class, but also failed in their capacity as leaders and protectors during the Japanese occupation.
Moreover, some individuals have taken issue with the concept that a celebration of the bicentennial could indicate a lack of regard for Singapore’s history before 1819 – that is, before the arrival of Raffles.
For instance, some key events include gem trader Jacques de Coutre’s recognition of Singapore’s strategic location and proposal to the King of Spain to construct a fortress here in the 1630s, as well as Singapore’s already bustling seaport that was established in the 14th century.[caption id="attachment_38785" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: Marketing Interactive[/caption]
All of these transpired well before the arrival of the British, and a bicentennial celebration could thus be perceived as perpetuating the notion that Singapore’s history in the pre-colonial era is non-existent.
There are, however, many who view the bicentennial in a more positive light.
Some have highlighted the positive impact that the British left on Singapore’s education and legal systems, and the way in which our colonial past has helped foster our amicable relations with Britain in the present.
Given SBO’s reassurance that the commemoration “will not shy away from addressing elements in history that may not be always positive”, fears that only a selective—rather than an all-encompassing and unfiltered—version of Singapore’s history will be presented have also been allayed. This official statement has addressed concerns that the bicentennial might adopt a celebratory tone which extols the British’s economic contributions.
But perhaps the most critical contribution that commemorating the bicentennial has delivered is the fervid debate which has arisen surrounding Singapore’s history.
The average Singaporean, armed with bits of information he managed to retain from social studies lessons in primary school, would likely be able to explain the oft-cited narrative on our country’s struggle for independence. Yet, the pre-1965 period generally remains hazy and unfamiliar, let alone fervently debated on or discussed.[caption id="attachment_38786" align="alignnone" width="820"] The forgotten founder of Singapore – Major-General William Farquhar. Image Credit: Under The Angsana Tree[/caption]
Why has only been featured as a footnote in our textbooks, whilst hotels, schools and statues have been established in honour of Sir Stamford Raffles? What of the other officials and figures whose contributions have been obscured by the long shadow cast by Raffles? Does Singapore owe its lingua franca, economic and political systems and, by extension, the foundations of its society, to the British? And finally, should our colonialist past be extricated and embraced, or should it be stored away in the dusty past?
These are questions that the ongoing debate seeks to address, even if they can never truly be answered.
So, the next time you hurry past Boat Quay, perhaps stop in your tracks to consider whether the pristine white statue of Raffles blends in with the immaculate, glass-encased skyscrapers, or if it sticks out like a sore thumb against the backdrop of charcoal grey.
Featured Image Credit: Yahoo Finance
With Christmas just around the corner, having some extra cash to fund your shopping trips is more important than ever (well, having extra cash is always important, but you get the point).
Now, there are several ways to obtain said cash — you could take the traditional route and get a job, or change your spending habits to save more of what you already have.
…or, you could embark on a treasure hunt to find a stack of money just lying somewhere.
Wait, How Much…?[caption id="attachment_38541" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Sqkii[/caption]
Yup, you heard us right — in the second instalment of their HuntTheMouse campaign, promotions aggregator Sqkii (pronounced “squeaky”) have hidden $100,000 somewhere in Singapore.
Of course, it won’t be easy to find the money — the first clue posted on their Facebook page yesterday states that the “Mouse” — taking the form of a shiny gold coin — is hidden under “something”. Reaalll helpful, guys.[caption id="attachment_38539" align="alignnone" width="1352"] In red: current possible locations.
Image Credit: Google Maps[/caption]
Thankfully, Sqkii have revealed several more hints since then, and will continue to post three a day until someone eventually finds the cash. Among other clues, we currently know that the Mouse is:
1) Afraid of heights,
2) not in a UNESCO site, and
3) is within 45 steps of a man-made structure.
On top of that, additional clues will also be posted on the WINK+ app, and physical hints can be found in MRT stations and trains on the Circle and North South lines as well.[caption id="attachment_38537" align="alignnone" width="3024"] Image Credit: Reddit u/—LJY—[/caption]
If you aren’t keen on fighting with what is probably a good chunk of the population, Sqkii have teamed up with venues such as Sentosa and the Singapore Sports Hub to hide silver coins worth $1,000 as well.
To put things in perspective, it took 23 days to find last year’s Mouse, so it’s probably still anyone’s game right now. If you happen to have some free time this end of year period, this sure beats aimlessly walking around Orchard road for the 15th time.
Header Image: Sqkii
A Uniquely Singaporean Omakase: Feast On An 8-Course Meal Made With Local Produce In A HDB Flat For $99
“Do I remove my shoes?” I asked sheepishly as Chef Shen laughs and warmly welcomes me into her home.
I took my place at the dinner table and awkwardly shift about my seat. Attending a private dinner in a stranger’s home is possibly the weirdest thing I’ve done in 2018. How do I act? Do I make friends? Am I supposed to eat at the same pace as others?
As the saying goes, the best food is the kind that’s cooked at home. We all love the comfort of a good home-cooked meal but the idea of stepping into a stranger’s home for dinner might sound a little strange to some.
Private home dining experiences are emerging here once more. It’s not difficult to understand why as the modern consumers can be tired of ‘outside’ food and would prefer a ‘simple’ home style cooking instead. However, it’s not exactly the cheapest option either. Some menus may cost anywhere between $80 – $100, some with unique creations and a long waiting list you have to book months prior.
Even though the price-tag seems high, a lot of Singaporeans are willing to fork out good money as many of these concepts offer recipes which are not commonly found anymore.
Ownself Make Chef
The Cook: Durian Tempoyak with Pork Ribs, Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich and Wasabi Chocolate – if you think these combination of sweet and savoury are weird, Chef Shen Tan, a virtuoso of mod-sin cuisine takes it to the next level.[caption id="attachment_38302" align="aligncenter" width="6000"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
After leaving her corporate job 10 years ago, she jumped into the F&B industry despite having zero culinary background. Famed for her Nasi Lemak at Revolution Coffee and her first restaurant venture, Wok and Barrel, Chef Shen now opens her home to public for a gastronomic experience like no other. And she’s named it Ownself Make Chef.
Ownself Make Chef is about Chef Shen’s journey as a self-taught chef and her culinary explorations. Getting inspirations from her runs and afternoon reads, her food revolves around Singaporean and Southeast Asian flavours.
The Setting: Conveniently located 5 minutes away from the MRT, who would’ve thought that a three-room HDB flat in Commonwealth plays host to some seriously amazing food creations.[caption id="attachment_38307" align="aligncenter" width="6000"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
I was warmly welcomed into her house and walked in to a minimalist dining area that could comfortably sit up to 12 people. Soft music was playing in the background as Chef Shen prepares the first course of the day. Her kitchen is located right next to the dining area so you could observe Chef Shen as she prepares the courses throughout the evening.
I was lucky enough to attend the Sinfully Seafood Dinner ($99 per pax) and it was a dinner that was about to change my life (no kidding!).
The Menu: Truly the queen of puns, just her menu names alone are worth a revisit. From the aPORKalypse Dinner to Rice to The Occasion, her menu rotates each week so diners can always expect something new each time they dine with Ownself Make Chef.
There’s a total of 12 menus to date with new ones in the pipeline. Her dinners are so popular that she’s all packed till January 2019. Check out her website and reserve a spot before they’re all sold out again. Or simply gather a group of 8 and organise a private dinner instead!
The Food: Working with the best of local seafood from Ah Hua Kelong in Singapore, the Sinfully Seafood Dinner is created for seafood lovers who enjoy Singaporean flavours. Working with familiar local flavours such as Mee Siam, Salted Egg and Durian, this 8 course seafood dinner is far from ordinary.
Here’s what was served:
Mee Siam Ceviche[caption id="attachment_38313" align="aligncenter" width="4319"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
We finally sat down for the first course. Growing up eating Mee Siam, most of us are familiar with its rich and sweet taste. For this dish, Chef Shen breaks down Mee Siam and turns it into a ceviche which is a seafood dish typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime.
The botan ebi, hokkaido scallop and grouper are cured in kalamansi lime and mee siam rempah, mixed with pineapple, cucumber, coriander, spring onions, chilli, chinese chives and topped with tau pok croutons.
What you get is a light and refreshing version of the Mee Siam that we all know and love.
Oyster Fritters with Salted Egg Yolk Aioli[caption id="attachment_38312" align="aligncenter" width="6000"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
We can all agree that the salted egg trend has gotten out of hand within the past two years and it’s about time we put an end to it. But we won’t say no to this Salted Egg Yolk Aioli.
The whole shucked oysters are lightly marinated with fish sauce and sugar then battered and fried. They’re then served with a side of housemade salted egg yolk aioli. Who would’ve thought oysters and salted egg could go so well together.
Seafood Tau Pok Pau[caption id="attachment_38311" align="aligncenter" width="4390"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
This was hands down the best dish of the night just because of all the elements that went into it. Also, plus points for creativity.
The tau pok is turned inside out and stuffed with otak mousse, blood cockles, torched ginger flower, leeks and deep fried. It is served with a side of sng ngee which is made up of garlic, lime juice and a handful of chilli padi. It may look like any ordinary chicken rice chilli but this one surely packs a punch.
For someone who can take her spice, I found myself choking from the heat of the chilli.
Luxe Hae Mee Tng[caption id="attachment_38310" align="aligncenter" width="6000"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
The handmade oyster pasta is the star of the Hae Mee Tng. Instead of using regular yellow noodles, Chef Shen infuses oyster in her pasta which elevates the flavour of the entire dish.
The broth is made with pork bones, carrots, shallots, swimmer crabs, prawns and clams. You can also expect the freshest jumbo prawns that have been grilled with crustacean infused lard. It’s then garnished with crispy shallots and lardons.
Green Pepper Curry Clams with Nasi Lemak[caption id="attachment_38305" align="aligncenter" width="5583"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
Famed for her Nasi Lemak, you know you’re in for a real treat. Her signature dish is painstakingly cooked by steaming the rice twice over four hours.
This time, instead of having it with a fried egg and chicken wing, we’re treated to a generous portion of local clams and kampot green peppercorns cooked in a mild lemak curry served with sambal belachan.
Grilled Salted Egg Cured Grouper[caption id="attachment_38306" align="aligncenter" width="5880"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
The black grouper from Ah Hua Kelong is cured in salted egg and curry leaves which results in a lovely firm texture. The grouper is paired with grilled vegetables tossed through her own Thai basil laksa leaf pesto.
Durian Tempoyak Mussels and Bacon[caption id="attachment_38304" align="aligncenter" width="5053"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
If you’re a huge durian fan (or not), you’re definitely going to love this dish.
The super fresh mussels from Ah Hua Kelong are cooked with fermented durian from Ah Seng Durian, leeks and bacon.
Dessert[caption id="attachment_38303" align="aligncenter" width="4826"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
Ending off the 8 course dinner on a high note is a sweet and savoury dessert. Just when I thought that Chef Shen was done with surprises, the last dish did it for me again.
The sweet crepes are stuffed with a mango and crab filling, served with kaffir lime leaf lychee sorbet, salted egg yolk ice cream and grated salted egg yolk. This is the only time we’re not complaining about salted egg yolk in our food.
Let’s just say, this isn’t your average dessert course.[caption id="attachment_38308" align="aligncenter" width="6000"] Image Credit: Discover SG[/caption]
Helming Wok and Barrel, Ujong and Revolution Coffee in the past, Chef Shen’s creations were nothing short of amazing and it definitely set the bar high for all future private dining experiences. She regularly posts sneak peeks of upcoming dinners on her Facebook page and website.
In a city state known for its rigidity and conservatism, the chance to have an intimate and private experience is indeed an exciting , fresh-feeling proposition. But if you think getting into someone’s house for a private dinner is easy, think again.
Many private dining experiences involve multiple emails, follow ups and a long waiting list. But once you score an invite, the back and forth is well worth the effort. You’ll not only be treated to an exceptional meal but an unforgettable experience too.
Check out Ownself Make Chef for Chef Shen’s upcoming dinner.
(Header Image Source: Discover SG)
Who says you have to book a flight to Japan to witness the cherry blossom season?
It’s that time of year when Singapore’s version of “Sakura Season” as Trumpet Tree flowers deck our pavements and road dividers turning our island into a sea of pink.[caption id="attachment_37232" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Image Credit: NParks Facebook[/caption]
Cherry Blossom Season
Also known by their scientific name, Tabebuia Rosea, Trumpet Trees are commonly planted in Singapore as a shade providing tree. These trees are native to tropical rainforests across South Africa as well.
The flowers of Trumpet Trees are trumpet-shaped, hence their name.[caption id="attachment_37233" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Image Credit: NParks Facebook[/caption]
Planted along road sides and parks, these trees provides us with shade and also a spectacular show of pink blooms when their flowers fall to the ground.
The Trumpet Trees are also commonly referred to as Singapore’s version of the ‘Sakura’.[caption id="attachment_37234" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Image Credit: NParks Facebook[/caption]
If you’re looking for Instagram-worthy opportunities, then we suggest you find the nearest Trumpet Tree (they’re literally everywhere) before they’re no longer in season.
Also, if you didn’t already know, our trees in Singapore have their very own map! If you’re looking for a specific Trumpet Tree Singapore, you can find it here at www.trees.sg where you can learn more about Singapore’s trees![caption id="attachment_37235" align="aligncenter" width="1944"] Image Credit: Aaron Lim Facebook[/caption]
Where have you seen trumpet tree flowers? Share your pictures with us!
(Header Image Source: Aaron Lim Facebook)
Every year, in the months leading up to the festive Christmas season, Orchard Road is decked out in the prettiest of lights and glittery decor thanks to Christmas on a Great Street.
Who can forget the giant glowing arcs?[caption id="attachment_37052" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Image Credit: Orchard Road[/caption]
Now that National Day is over, that means it’s time to prepare for Halloween and Christmas. And this year, Orchard Road is about to be taken over by everyone’s favourite childhood characters.[caption id="attachment_37069" align="aligncenter" width="3529"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption]
This Christmas, Hitachi proudly presents Disney Magical Moments – Christmas on a Great Street!
A Very Disney Christmas
Disney fans can expect to see themed installations featuring Mickey Mouse and friends, the Disney Princesses, characters from Frozen, and Pixar’s Toy Story, all along the stretches of Orchard Road![caption id="attachment_37050" align="aligncenter" width="1262"] Image Credit: Study Break[/caption]
The Disney spectacle begins from Tanglin Mall along Tanglin Road with the Disney Princesses greeting you, and ends at Dhoby Ghaut, with the beloved characters of Pixar’s Toy Story.[caption id="attachment_37051" align="aligncenter" width="1146"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption] [caption id="attachment_37071" align="aligncenter" width="1045"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption] [caption id="attachment_37072" align="aligncenter" width="1044"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption] [caption id="attachment_37073" align="aligncenter" width="1046"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption]
Some of the highlights to look out for along the stretch include the Ariel (The Little Mermaid) photo spot at Shaw House, Mickey Mouse and friends set pieces, and pop-ups by popular brands such as OWNDAYS, Häagen-Dazs, Uniqlo, SK-II, and OPPO!
We heard there’ll be 25 brands in total, so stay tuned for more details on the other participating brands![caption id="attachment_37074" align="aligncenter" width="1114"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption] [caption id="attachment_37075" align="aligncenter" width="1087"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption] [caption id="attachment_37076" align="aligncenter" width="1086"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption] [caption id="attachment_37077" align="aligncenter" width="1087"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption] [caption id="attachment_37078" align="aligncenter" width="1085"] Image Credit: Christmas on a Great Street[/caption]
Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza will also host the Endless Wonder Christmas Village, with bouncy castles, food vendors, and musical performances![caption id="attachment_37055" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Image Credit: Orchard Road[/caption]
That’s not all, head over to Plaza Singapura for the Light-Up Ceremony on 10 November 2018 at 7pm and watch as the Disney-themed decor lights up Orchard Road and usher in the spirit of Christmas!
The lights and decor will be up 1 January 2019 so you’ll have plenty of time to get all your photos.
Disney Magic Moments – Christmas on a Great Street
Venue: Along Orchard Road
Date: 10 Nov 2018 – 1 Jan 2019
Let It Glow, Let It Glow – Tsum Tsum Takes Over Vivocity With 2000 Lanterns This Mid-Autumn Festival
(Header Image Source: Study Break)
It’s almost September. You know what that means? It means Mercury is no longer in retrograde and that the 1-week September school holiday is almost here.
That’s right. From 1 to 16 September 2018, all Singapore residents will get free entry into Sentosa as the island gears up for Southeast Asia’s largest sand festival, the Sentosa Sandsation: MARVEL Edition!
Free Admission For All Modes Of Entry
Whether you’re entering via the Sentosa Express trains or driving in with Singapore-registered vehicles, admission fees will be waived.[caption id="attachment_36803" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Sentosa Official[/caption]
What’s more, there will also be a competition where 14 of the world’s best sand sculptors will take part in a MARVEL-themed sand sculpting showdown.[caption id="attachment_36801" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Image Credit: Sentosa[/caption]
You can catch the sand sculptors at work if you visit Sentosa from 1 to 3 September 2018.
Admission to Sentosa Sandsation: MARVEL Edition is free.
Dress Up And Win
Lastly, stand to win $700 worth of credits from Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore and $250 worth of credits from Capella Singapore when you dress up for Sentosa Sandsation: MARVEL Edition!
All you have to do is take a photo of yourself posing in your superhero costume at Sentosa Sandsation: MARVEL Edition, upload it to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #sentosasandsation before 2 September 2018, 11:59pm!
So this September school holiday, it’s time to take the family to Sentosa!
Sentosa Sandsation: MARVEL Edition
Venue: Siloso Beach, Sentosa
Date: 1 – 16 Sep 2018
(Header Image Source: RSBU)