Friday, 21 November 2014

Siem Reap, Cambodia - The Elephant bar @ Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor

When we stayed at the Siem Reap Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, we had to stop by The Elephant Bar for afternoon drinks. The bar is so gorgeous, so traditional, so part of the colonial era. Full of dark wood and cream, with lovely leather sofas and comfy chairs. Though we chose to sit at the bar.






Wednesday, 19 November 2014

DEAREST 《亲爱的》- Film Review - Heart-rending and beautifully acted

I just got home from the preview of Dearest, a new Chinese film out on Thursday and I felt compelled to write about it immediately. Based on a true story, it was just beautiful. Sadly, gut wrenchingly, beautifully sad. We both exited the room heading to talk about whilst wiping our eyes but in my case trying not to sob. And figure out what happened next. There is no perfect Hollywood clean ending.


Things are messy, how could they not be when the story hinges on a divorced couple Tian Wen-jun (HUANG BO) and Lu Xiao-juan (HAO LEI) whose son Tian Peng (PengPeng) is abducted and they search for him for three years. Three whole years of not knowing what has happened to their beloved son, whether he is alive or dead, clinging to the hope of seeing him once again. There are conmen out there trying to take the little money they have left, but they will swap money for hope as that is all they have left.

Tian Wen Jun
Lu Xiao Juan
They join a support group for parents whose children have been kidnapped without a trace. The amount of despair and pain and guilt in the room during the meetings is palpable and excruciatingly hard to watch at points. All the scenes with the parents together are like that... grasping at straws, hoping, crying, trying to keep each other going and getting up every day for years after years. Their chant of "cheer up, cheer up, cheer up" and their song about having invisible wings border on the pathetic but you can tell it is all that keeps them from falling off the edge.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Entertainer 2015 - loads more one for one opportunities for food, sport, travel and leisure

OK, it is getting to that time of year. It will soon be 2015 and we need to start planning for it! Part of the planning for me is looking at getting awesome deals. As I did this year, I will get The Entertainer application in 2015 as it saved me a lot of money in 2014 and helped me discover some fun new places. I hope The Entertainer will continue piquing my interest next year!

They have even dropped the prices this year so the mobile application will put you back only 60$ until end December when it will go up to 75$ (easy to make back super quick) and the paper book 75$ until end December when it will go up to 80$. For more info, check out the following link:

https://www.theentertainerme.com/Singapore/products/mobile/Entertainer-Singapore-2015

In the mean time I will remind you of some of the places we have visited that are available on the application.

One of the best places I discovered this year via The Entertainer application was Third and Sixth. They do amazing burgers! Check out my Third and Sixth Bistrobar post here.


We also had a great prosecco brunch at Senso - just doing that more or less paid for the application for the year!


Monday, 17 November 2014

#TheBookofDanielBoey :) Bacchanalia bar cocktails and Remy Cointreau sponsored event

Out of the blue last week I received an invitation to go to the Daniel Boey autobiography book launch, with cocktails from Bacchanalia inspired by fashion. I at that point didn't know who Daniel Boey is, as many some of you might not, but I was intrigued by the idea of event specific cocktails! I mentioned it to a friend who said that Daniel Boey is super famous so I accepted the offer and went along. I did some research and found out that I had indeed seen Daniel Boey before, on Asia's Next Top Model as he is one of the judges and he is known as the Godfather of fashion in Singapore. More info on Daniel Boey here:  http://misterdanielboey.com and his insider view on fashion in his book here: http://misterdanielboey.com/2014/11/09/the-book-of-daniel/ . We saw him that evening and had a short chat when he was signing his book, but as I am not a fashion blogger so I won't expand on #TheBookOfDanielBoey any further but will concentrate on something more up my alley i.e. cocktails and champagne!



The event's drinks were sponsored by Remy Cointreau (for more info about the Remy Cointreau brands head on over to their website) and mixed by Bacchanalia - a restaurant / bar I am now very interested in visiting. You can check out their food and drink menus on their website http://www.bacchanalia.asia/#eat-together and I have my eye on the "HAVE YOU MET MATT?" Eisen Junmai Karakuchi Sake, Belvedere Vodka, Passion Fruit and Sancerre Cordial, Rhubarb Bitters. Sounds scrumptious.

The event was in the most amazing location, Goodwood Hill. I didn't know such a gorgeous green spot with amazing houses existed in the centre of Singapore! Goodwood Hill is close to Newton, just off Scotts Road. Gothere.sg lied to me and said there was a shortcut from Newton MRT but it isn't true! So I was running late, husband waiting for me there, so I rushed up Scotts road and made it in about 12min rather than the 20min the internet said. I got there, but was rather warm! He didn't mind waiting as he had wandered around Goodwill Hill and checked out all the houses, with their tennis courts and swimming pools, the location reminded us of rich neighbourhoods in Europe. 

We were greater with goodie bags containing amongst other things MAC vouchers for a makeover and eyebrow shaping, which I am excited to use and the hubby is donating them to a friend of ours so we can make a girlie afternoon of it :)

Then, of course, after securing a table, we headed over to the bar. Here is a preview (not my picture, one of the official event pictures) of the different cocktails:


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Fluff Bakery for awesome cupcakes on Jalan Pisang

We were going for lunch on Jalan Pisang at Hjh Maimunah Restaurant and we spotted an insanely long queue across the road and we got curious. We found out the queue was for Fluff Bakery, open from Tuesday to Saturday every week. They open around 1230 but the queue starts well before that! They close whenever they sell out entirely which is usually around 2pm. Yup, these cupcakes fly off the shelves. Also good to know they are halal. My Malay colleague really appreciated that!




We joined the then smaller queue after our lunch (post on Hjh Maimunah Restaurant to come) and got ourselves some of these famous cupcakes! And boy are we glad we did. Read on for some more scrumptiousness.


Friday, 14 November 2014

The Banana Leaf Apolo - Race Course Road

We fancied a dosai for lunch and went through the recommendations received when I crowdsourced Indian restaurant recommendations in Singapore. We wanted to try Anjappar so we sat ourselves down and tried to order dosai, but they only have them in the evening for some strange reason. So we walked down Race Course Road and saw The Banana Leaf Apolo was busy so we decided to go there instead. We sat ourselves down and read the menu. No dosai!! We couldn't face moving on somewhere else, we didn't fancy a heavier North Indian curry (lots of those on the Banana Leaf Apolo menu) or seafood, so we settled for a vegetarian rice plate / thali each. The conclusion that it was nice, and some of the elements were rather good, but we overall preferred the rice plates/ rice meals at Komala Vilas.




Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 《单身男女2 》- Film Review

Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 is in the cinemas in Singapore on the 13th of November. We were kindly invited by the good folks over at mig.me to attend the premiere at Golden Village Plaza Singapura.


We went in with very low expectations as we had done some research and found out it was a rom com. The husband hates romantic comedies on the best of days, let alone a romcom in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles! And he had looked on IMDB, checked out the reviews and the demographics of the ratings and saw men didn't rate Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 very high (though the women are quite excited by it :) ). We soldiered on valiantly and headed over to Plaza Singapura after work and picked up our tickets with a large salted popcorn and sat ourselves down. I couldn't see behind us in the dark but I do suspect we may have been the only two "ang moh" in the room!


So, what did we think? You can see the official info further down, the synopsis, the characters and the trailer etc. But the reason you read a review is for the viewers' feedback right? Whether we liked it? Hated it? Walked out half way through? Read on to find out!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Paul Bakery @ Marina Bay Link Mall - New Seasonal Menu

We were kindly invited by the team at Paul's Bakery Singapore to try out their new menu (they change it every six months). There are twenty-six new dishes on the menu and we were able to try out six of them plus various different drinks. We thank Paul for the invitation and all opinions below are our own (yup, hubby came with me, thank goodness at the end as a lot of dishes were not that me-friendly but right up his street!)



For anyone having spent any time travelling in France, Paul will remind you on train stations and airports as they are the default bakery in all terminals involving travel! So it was even a surprise to me that Paul also does sit-down meals as we are used to just takeaway sandwiches and pastries, depending on the time of day. But sit-down we did, and we got lucky as we sat with friends of ours and with some potential future friends with whom we had a good chat and we may well have been the loudest table at the tasting!

Paul has been around over a century in France, and has over five hundred outlets of which six are in Singapore with a seventh to open shortly in Changi airport (terminal 3 if I am correct - will be handy to pick up a good sandwich before flying!)



Saturday, 8 November 2014

Raffles Siem Reap - Champagne Breakfast

Our very very lovely friend Beiruti Brit was super super awesome and as our wedding gift she gave us a night in the Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor Siem Reap :) I will post some shots of the hotel soon (spoiler - it is an amazing place) but I thought I would start with a topic close to my heart, champagne. At breakfast. Yup, you heard me, champagne breakfast!!! It was amazing. For 25$, with a discount when you stay there, it is rather a good deal. There is a huge selection on offer, there will for sure be something for everyone.

Pretty table setting (and the service is amazing) though I am worried that my phone pictures won't do it justice (my camera battery had died):


The pastry section:



Thursday, 6 November 2014

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Marum - creative Asian/Khmer and fusion food for a cause

A must-try on both Gran Tourismo's and Beiruti Brit's list for us for Siem Reap was Marum. It is part of the same NGO-run company as Friends and Romdeng in Phnom Penh that we visited on our girlie weekend in Phnom Penh. We obeyed orders and had lunch there, and returned for dinner another day when our first choice Chanrey Tree was full. We had a lovely couple of meals, maybe a bit better for G who loves meats and fish than me with my more "vegan + chicken" diet. But there were some highs for me too, and some options on the menu I wished had been vegan or with chicken but without cheese etc!


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