23 August 2013

A friend and I went to PasarBella recently with the intention of just browsing. But faced with quite a few food shops, we could not help spend even just a little.

The first thing I did was to buy Après-Soleil from The Cheese Ark which turned out great eaten together with grapes, and Francine die Rundi which was perfect with Ritz crackers.

Our shared lunch consisted of ribs from Charly T's (SGD 23.54) - tasty but the meat wasn't too tender (it wasn't falling off the bone), and seafood paella from Le Patio (SGD 13.50) which Ember and I both enjoyed (I would not mind going back for this).

Another thing I would love to go back for are the macarons by Bonheur Patisserie. At SGD 3 each they are a little bigger than others I've seen, but I only ordered two flavours - butterscotch and mint chocolate chip - because originally I am not fond of macarons. Though after eating these, I've definitely changed my mind.

I also ordered a steak and mushroom pie from Nibbles by Rabbit Carrot Gun to bring home along with a salmon and potato quiche with sun dried tomatoes. The pie wasn't to our taste (needed salt), but Earl liked the quiche (then again he likes anything with potatoes).

Unfortunately, most of the photos here were taken before lunch and in my hunger, I forgot to take pictures of the items I actually bought.

A Lesson from NATAS

17 August 2013

My cousin and I were at NATAS yesterday hoping to book a cruise to Phuket. Turns out, we should have done it online. We asked Royal Caribbean agent Janning if there was an advantage to booking with them during the travel fair compared with booking via their website, and she said there wasn't any. Hmmm... what's the point in going there then? So for future reference, here are the differences:

Royal Caribbean Booth at NATAS
- SGD 4 entrance fee per person
- Randomly assigned rooms (you won't know where your room will be until after check-in)
- Eligible for the raffle draw - every S$500 spent (up to a maximum of 3 combined receipts) at NATAS Holidays 2013 entitles the customer to one entry form.

Royal Caribbean Website
- No entrance fee
- You can choose your room - all available room numbers are listed per deck so you'll be able to check the exact location of the room you're interested in.* Once you've settled on the room, you can then just click on your preferred room number and proceed to the payment options.

*This is easily done using the deck plans found online.

Therefore, if you want to join the raffle, go ahead and book the cruise at NATAS. But if you're like me, and has been reading up on which decks to avoid, then purchase through their website to ensure that you won't be up all night due to the noise in the surrounding areas.


16 August 2013

I recently posted about how I was a bit disappointed with The Line (which you can read here), but that memory was happily obliterated by my meal at Greenhouse a few days ago.

The buffet itself was more compact, but the food seemed to taste better or this just might be due to the fact I was so happy to find they had four types of roasted meat! They had roast chicken, beef, duck and pork. Needless to say, I was a happy camper (or in this case, carnivore).

The price for lunch is SGD 68.25 and comes with free hot tea or coffee, but DBS currently has a 1-for-1 buffet lunch promo which will run until August 27th.

The Phantom of the Opera

12 August 2013

Forgive me, but this will be a rather sentimental post.

Last Saturday my husband and I went to watch The Phantom of the Opera and I must say that there were times during the show when I was overwhelmed with emotion. I had to try very hard to control my tears - and take note this isn't even my favourite musical! How to explain it?

I grew up listening to Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific and memorizing just about every song in My Fair Lady, thanks to my parents who both love Broadway. They've passed this love on to me and while I've moved on to "newer" shows, I have never actually seen an international production live. I usually either just watch the movie versions or listen to the recordings of their songs. Oh, I've attended local stagings of Avenue Q and They're Playing Our Song, but nothing on a grand scale. Not the ones I've heard about with a lot of cast members and special effects.

When Miss Saigon and Les Misérables (which is my favorite) were in Manila, the tickets were rather expensive so going was out of the question. Here in Singapore though, the arts scene is very vibrant and theatre seems to be more accessible. Thus, it was only now that attending became a feasible option. And while the one who played the Phantom seemed to be having an "off" day (Earl said he sounded like Russell Crowe singing), the lady who played Christine was up to scratch and Raoul wasn't bad, so when they started singing "The Phantom of the Opera" and "All I Ask of You" I just lost it.

Really, when you finally see it performed live, it is such a different feeling.

The Line

09 August 2013

The Line has always come up as one of the better buffets here in Singapore. So a couple of weeks ago, my cousin and I went to try it out for lunch.

Now I've been to a lot of buffets in Manila since my previous job as a travel coordinator involved meeting up with the sales staff of various hotels. And whenever you visit them, they usually treat you to the lunch buffet.

The reason I mention this is because I could not help compare The Line with their Philippine counterpart, Circles Event Café in Makati Shangri-La. For me, the food quality was the same but there's a difference in terms of quantity. Come to think of it, many of the buffets I've tried back home seem to have more food options than the one I just went to (especially Spiral at Sofitel Philippine Plaza with the unlimited foie gras).

One example is the carving station, The Line only had roast turkey. In Manila, the bigger hotels will usually have prime rib, and one other meat such as roast turkey, duck or pork. Sometimes, they even have three options.

Maybe because food is cheaper or there are no diet restrictions due to religion?

Whatever the reason, I was disappointed because what I love most about buffets is having as many dishes as possible to choose from . I don't eat everything (I have since learned to pace myself), but I like to take comfort in the knowledge that they're there - the excitement lies in the possibilities!

Drum Tao

03 August 2013

Earl had heard about this years ago so when we found out they were going to be in Singapore, we immediately bought tickets.

The seats we got were at the top most level (on the third floor), and having never been to the Esplanade Theatre before, I assumed we would be too far up to see much of anything. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded because while the place was not small, it wasn't vast so we were able to see everything quite clearly.

Another misconception was that I thought the entire production would just be about Japanese drums - I was already bracing myself for a migraine (clearly I did not read the synopsis provided online). Turns out it involved humour, acrobatics and a few other traditional Japanese instruments such as the three strings Japanese guitar, bamboo flute, and Japanese harp. The drums were still the focal point, but all of it put together made for a very pleasant afternoon.