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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

Monday, April 24, 2017


We read reviews about how Sushiro had snaking queues (partly due to its popularity and partly due to its small size) and were pleasantly surprised when we went and immediately were shown to our seat- I guess it helped to have a late lunch. 

Although they are known for their chirashi don, we were a little wary of raw food ever since there was a bacteria outbreak. I still miss sashimi and will eat small quantities of it when the craving strikes. 

I ordered the Salmon Mentaiyaki Don ($13). Needless to say, I wiped off every bit of the generous mentaiyaki. I know I said earlier that I have cut down on raw food but I was hoping for a tinge of rawness in the salmon- the sublime state between raw and fully cooked. Nonetheless, the pairing of the fully cooked slab of slightly charred salmon with the mentaiyaki still made a pleasant meal.

Extremely friendly service- the waitress knew the menu inside out, was enthusiastic to make recommendations and her energy was infectious- give her an employee's award!

Thomson Plaza
301 Upper Thomson Road
#01-113 F
Tel No: 9450 1020 

Saturday, April 15, 2017


As I recently moved house, travelling to work takes significantly longer and I was introduced to an application called Swatmobile.

It says that it is "Cheaper than taxi, faster than bus". Does it really live up to its claim?

1. App

The app is clean, user friendly and intuitive. It is extremely easy to get the app going. The bot will speak to you and you just need to answer accordingly.

Once the application is set up, you are ready to make your bookings. You can prebook your ride up to 1 day advance or up to 30 minutes before departure. Of course, there is a risk that if you don't prebook early, you don't get a slot.

You don't have to remember to pre-book everyday because the app will send you notifications asking you whether you want to pre-book for the next day. They also keep your preferences in mind and give an estimated travel time.

After you request to pre-book, they will let you know later in the day, for example, at around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. whether you have managed to secure a seat, together with your pickup points and drop off points, and what time your pick up time will be. You can then decide whether to accept or reject the trip.

2. Price 

Prior to 31 March 2017, it was a flat fee of $5. After 31 March 2017, they have launched a distance-based pricing model where rides start as low as $2 to a cap of $7.99. Where I stay, they are charging $6.30, an increase of $1.30 from the previous $5. For those who stay close to their destinations, I guess the distance-based pricing model is an incentive. This $1.30 increase, together with other reasons, as elaborated below caused me to stop using the app. I wouldn't completely rule out using the app though, as it may be useful in days when I just want to sleep through the journey instead of standing in the MRT.

3. Punctuality 

The first time I used the app, I was extremely impressed. I was ready to write a glowing review of the app, but I thought, hey let's try this a few more times to see whether it's really that good. I am glad I did.

The app will let you know the vehicle number and when the vehicle will approximately be reaching. This is of course all good and well because it gives you an idea on when you need to go out. While the van was very punctual the first time I took it, the ETAs subsequently were not very accurate. It caused me to run to the pickup point only to wait there for the next 10 minutes.

4. Time taken 

How this app works is where their algorithm inserts new people along the way without affecting the ETA. So if you look at the estimated time, that should give you a pretty good indication on how long it will take to your destination. The problem is, there were times I reached my destination around 10 minutes than I would otherwise have taken if I had taken public transport.

From where I am to my destination, the fastest way is by expressway. However, their "smart" algorithm suggests that it's better for them to go through the long route so that they can pick up more passengers along the way. So when they say it's "Faster than Bus", it really depends on your luck who else pre-booked.

I had suggested to Swatmobile that they could perhaps indicate in their estimation whether expressways would be taken. Who doesn't like going on expressways- most of the time, that's the fastest way! They didn't reply me, I guess they aren't that keen on feedbacks.

5. Pickup and Drop off points 

Their pickup and drop off points may be at bus stops, taxi stands, lamp posts, petrol kiosks or landmark buildings. However, you will not be required to walk more than 300 metres. However, do note that the pickup and drop off points might differ from what is stated.

The service does not currently cover all areas. You can download the app to see whether your commute locations are within the geofence.

6. Mode of transport 

The vehicle used is a 13-seater Toyato Hiace High Roof vans. The seats are comfortable and there is air-con. Depending on the driver, they may sometimes like to blast music, which caused mild annoyance to me because I wanted to sleep. Another passenger asked the driver to lower the volume and the driver obliged.


All in all, I think it's an app with a lot of potential. But some tweaks can definitely make the service a lot more attractive. 

Cafe & Meal Muji (Paragon)

Muji is the kind of shop that I enter just to satisfy my eyes' need to look at beautiful things, yet not buy anything from because the prices aren't exactly cheap. While doing my usual rounds, we decided to get a meal from the cafe. 

You could either order the dishes ala carte or get a set meal. There were two Basic Deli Sets ($8.80)- Japanese (minced chicken, 1 cold deli, white rice, onsen egg and miso soup) and Western (minced chicken, 1 cold deli, bread, hijiki and mushroom bisque). You could also choose a set of 3 delis ($12.90), 4 delis ($16.90) etc. I wished they had the Basic Deli Set with the hot deli instead. 

I ordered a combination of Japanese and Western- Sakura Chicken with Curry Miso and Dried Chilli ($4.80) with Mushroom Bisque, Onsen Egg and Bread. This felt a bit kopitiamesque and I would have expected it to be served on prettier plates. Leaving that aside, the mushroom bisque tasted like it was made from scratch (i.e. certainly not your canned soup) and the onsen egg was very slurp worthy. The tender Sakura Chicken with Curry and Dried Chilli was an interesting combination and was slightly spicy.

No prizes for guessing what we did after the meal!

Cafe & Meal Muji Paragon 
Orchard Paragon
290 Orchard Road
#04-36 to 40
Tel No: 6735 0123 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Poulet (Raffles City Shopping Centre)

Poulet is one of those places that we go to when we can't decide what to eat and want something safe. 

Poulet is of course best known for their Roast Chicken with Mushroom Chardonnay. We wanted to try something new and went ahead with the Roast Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce ($30.90). I guess it helps that since their main draw is their roast chicken, they constantly roast a few at the same time, and our order got served very quickly.

We are never disappointed by the roast chicken at Poulet, always timed to perfection - slightly crispy skin and moist inside. The sauce tastes different from the usual black pepper sauce and was mildly peppery. I guess if you wanted, you could eat the peppercorns which would lend a stronger peppery taste- they made this dish look almost Christmasy. Between the Mushroom Chardonnay and the Black Pepper Sauce, I prefer the Mushroom Chardonnay.

We can also never go wrong with the Tiramisu ($9.90) which in this market of over-priced desserts, is one that we think is value for money because of its large portion. It is also not too sweet and has enough soaked lady fingers, instead of some desserts where it is just 90% cream.

Good and attentive service.

Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road
Tel No: 6336 3119 

Saturday, April 1, 2017


Kucina is situated at OneKM, housing many restaurants with halal options. As I was craving for pizza that day, we headed straight to Kucina, a Halal-certified restaurant. Their menu was rather extensive. 

As we were famished, we ordered some Pane ($5) to satisfy our hunger. It consisted of a basket of warm bread with sundried tomato, herb foccacia, garlic pizza bread and country slice. They sure do their breads well- I especially enjoyed the herb foccacia.

The Pizzotto ($16) consisted of turkey bacon, mushrooms, egg, tomato and mozarella cheese. The portions at Kucina were large and this was more than enough for two of us to share. The chef was liberal with the ingredients and this was certainly on par with the better pizza restaurants that we have been to. If you don't fancy the ingredients that they have put on the pizza, you can choose to customise your pizza.

Kucina Italian Restaurant 
OneKM Mall
11 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel No: 6493 2154