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Lake Toya, Japan

Spot of Tranquility.

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Little India, Singapore

Spices, gold and splashes of colour!

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Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay

Garden City, City in a Garden.

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Bryce Canyon, USA

Thor's Hammer

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Chocolate Test, Singapore

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Charles M Schulz

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Breakout Games

With many of these escape rooms featuring on Tripadvisor, it would be a shame if we didn't try it out ourselves! After much googling, we settled with Breakout Games because it was one of the cheapest and the reviews looked pretty good. At $22 per pax on a weekend, this was really one of the more affordable ones. 

We booked a slot online without having to pay first. When we arrived, the previous group hadn't left so the game masters explained to us what the whole concept behind this was. Typically, such games are suitable for around 6 people. But it didn't matter that it was just the 2 of us because we had fun all the same. 

The game lasted 60 minutes and we chose The Scientist. It required observational skills and putting our brains together to figure out some stuff. When we got stuck, we just pressed the help button and the game master would come in to assist by giving clues. It was fun that way because we didn't need to waste time getting stuck and yet manage to solve stuff on our own with some help. 

If you have some time to burn, why not try Breakout Games? The game masters were all very friendly and the whole concept of this is very refreshing if you haven't tried it before.

Breakout Games
31B Kreta Ayer Road
Singapore 088998
Tel No: 6 226 2688 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Li Xin Teochew Fishball Noodle

Not knowing what to get at Ion food court, I called my mum, "What should I eat at ION?" Without hesitating, she replied "Get the fishball noodles. Fishballs very big." Indeed, this recommendation could not have been better. The queue was long and only got longer.

I ordered the Fishball Soup ($5.50). I am not really a fishball persons and I absolutely refuse to eat fishballs that they sell in the supermarkets because they taste horrible. The fishballs here are handmade and are incredibly bouncy and delicious. Considering the number and size of the fishballs, I would gladly pay $5.50 for this. My only regret eating this bowl of fishball kway teow soup was when there was nothing left to eat. Pair this with the chilli and it makes a perfect meal.

Lixin Teochew Fishball Noodle
ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Concetto by Savuer

By the same folks who brought you Saveur, this time we have Concetto by Savuer, a place that serves Italian dishes. The idea behind is this place is to use cooking techniques usually found in higher end restaurants at affordable prices.

I always liked the idea of an open kitchen concept, as long as it doesn't make me smell like I walked through oily fumes. 

I ordered a Crab Risotto ($13.90). Those who ordered the same dish before me cautioned that the portion would be rather small. But when mine came, they said the portion actually looked larger than theirs. Not sure if it's an issue of consistency or an issue of their hallucination.

Tastefully plated, the colours of the ingredients make the otherwise plain looking risotto look appetising. The crispy rice crackers added another dimension to the otherwise mushy dish. Considering the price, the crab was also adequate. The cream of the risotto can get a little overwhelming after a while though.

Yet another example of exquisite plating- the beautiful Tiramisu ($10.90) was really a deconstruction of the good ol' tiramisu. It's almost like dissecting something during biology class and then leaving it in full sight for all. Nice to look at, but not my favourite. I prefer eating the Tiramisu with all the layers together, as opposed of eating a deconstructed version where you can't really enjoy the taste of everything coming together.

Service was polite, prices reasonable. Common complaint at our table was that portions were a little small.

Concetto by Savuer
The Cathay
2 Handy Road

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blanco Court Prawn Mee

As with some things in life, the more you want something, the more you won't get it. Yet, when you least expect it, something good drops into your lap. Without any intentions to eat here, we decided to have a meal here just because it looked like that was a sizeable crowd. 

A good bowl of Prawn Mee is very elusive- average bowls of prawn noodles always miss the oomph. I got a bowl of Prawn & Pork Ribs Noodle ($4.50) and it was nothing less than satisfying. The prawns were fresh, the stock was rich yet not too heavy on the tastebuds, the pork ribs were chewy and there was little chilli padi to give that extra kick to the final slurp of this delicious stock.

While waiting for our prawn noodles, we also bought some Ngor Hiang to munch on. In an ideal world, we could eat all the oil we want without being unhealthy and/or fat. Unfortunately, this isn't an ideal world and all we can do is to eat these fatty stuff in moderation. Special mention to the crispy prawn crackers- you could actually feel the oil seeping out, but it's so addictive, you stop hearing your arteries cry for a while.

Service was also friendly- one aunty was walking around giving plates of chilli padi because she said those at the counter was probably not enough.

Blanco Court Prawn Mee
243 Beach Road
Tel No: 6 396 8464 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Vira Bali Hotel (Bali)

Located at the South Kuta Beach area, I was expecting quite a bit from this place given its excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. 

1) Location 
Conveniently located opposite Lippo Mall (which was very empty and has a hypermart), this was a good location because it was at the quieter section of the road. There was plenty of food options in this area- Western, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian- they have it all. There was also Discovery Mall. Besides the hypermart where we got some snacks and water, the shopping malls didn't have anything that appealed to us. 

We walked to everywhere with the hotel as a base. Waterbom Bali, which is featured as a top attraction on Tripadvisor, is around a 10 minute walk away. Tuban Beach takes around the same amount of time- just ask the receptionists and they will tell you to take a shortcut. There weren't many people at Tuban beach when we were there, probably because it wasn't really one of the more "happening" beaches. It is also a 25-minute walk to Kuta Square, a shopping area with brands such as Ripcurl, Adidas etc. 

2) Room
The room was decent, although the bedsheets were a little stained. Cable channels available.

Toilet was clean, although dated. 

The rooms all had a swimming pool view.

3) Breakfast 
Breakfast was slightly below average to average- some local fare with Western food. Their local fare did better than the Western food here. The best food here? My travelling partner and I agreed- the omelette made to order. Variety was lacking.

4) Service 
Service is polite and accommodating.

5) How to get here
Free airport shuttle is provided to and fro the hotel. The hotel is about a 5-10 minutes drive to the Airport.

6) Miscellaneous 
If you are looking at taking a real break from work, this place is perfect. Connection to wifi is bad and you can just give up trying to connect to your work emails after a while.

The Vira Bali Hotel
Jalan Kartika Plaza No 127
Tuban, Bali

The Pelican Seafood Bar and Grill

I'm a fan of seafood done in any style, which was why I was attracted to the Pelican Platter ($128) here. However, we didn't have it in the end because we thought our budget was better spent on a variety of food. 

First up was the complimentary sour dough bread. It took us a while before we figured that the tiny bits embedded in the bread were seaweed. The seaweed had a strong "sea smell" and this was the beginning of a good meal.

We had the Old Fashioned Crab Cakes ($22). It's been a long time since I ordered crab cakes. The crab cakes here comprised of lots of crab meat, encrusted in a crispy coating and accompanied with tartar sauce.

The Baked Snapper Pie ($38) was visually pleasing to begin with. It's obviously shouting, "Hey! I contain fish!" After you reluctantly use your fork to pierce through the flaky crust (how can anyone destroy that beautiful fish motif), you reach a bed of creamy stew with boneless snapper. The key is that it is boneless. We finished every single drop of the stew because it was not too salty, and just a bowl of good stew.

While contemplating whether to order dessert, we gave in and got a Double Chocolate Whoopie Pie ($16). This is enough for two to share because it's incredibly rich. You will definitely like it if you are a chocolate lover.

The decor and ambience of this place was excellent. Service was attentive but not intrusive.

The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill
One Fullerton
1 Fullerton Road
Tel No: 6 438 0400