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Showing posts from November, 2014

Insight into the travel market in Singapore by Paypal

You know I love to travel, and I work in travel, travel for work and travel for fun, so I guess you could say my life revolves around travel! So I was very excited to be invited to the launch of the PayPal study into the travel market in Singapore and some of the other countries in Asia Pacific. There were also presentations from and discussions with Expedia/Air Asia, a mobile developer and Abacus.

It was interesting for us especially considering we work in a similar area, I took a couple of colleagues from work - one who manages the online / mobile aspects for airlines and the other who works in the payment area - so it was interesting for us to compare the PayPal results to what we can extract from our own data.

If you read this blog, you will have seen some of my travel posts. I think my favourite could be this one I did on my top five travel "wow" moments as I love the pictures and the memories they invoke. For all my travel posts, you can check out my travel index page…

Singapore - Rendez-vous with French Cinema - French Film Festival 2014 in Singapore

Hi everyone! As you know, I lived in France a long time and as such have been invited to the kick off of the "Rendez-vouz with French Cinema" which is a French Film Festival in Singapore in its 4th edition.

This post is just a quick info sharing post, with the info from the press release and the link to the schedule and booking options. I will post a review once I have seen the first film (Serial (Bad) Weddings / Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au bon dieu) but I wanted everyone to at least aware that this festival is on as I wasn't before I received the invitation.

Down the bottom of this post you have a description of all the different films on this following week, I will be heading to catch a couple hopefully this week! I wanted to go see Sils Maria but it is sold out already :( Which do you think I should see? A follower has recommended St Laurent for example. Drop me a comment or an email on 

For the full schedule go here with links to buy tic…

Singapore - The Eighth Note music lessons - Holiday special promotion

I am always singing away to myself in the office, at home, on the bus... So when The Eighth Note offered me 4 music classes I checked out their offering and was a bit worried when I saw mostly instruments... until I came across vocal as one of the types of lessons and jumped on it! I agreed to write up their offering for the 4 vocal lessons at Parkway Centre but I would have written it up any way as I am really enjoying my lessons and will considering continuing after the first few free classes!

Here is what The Eighth Note provides for music lessons - both Pop and Classical training for different types of guitars, keyboard, ukelele, violin and so forth:

Singapore - Hjh Maimunah Restaurant & Catering - Malay food on Jalan Pisang

A colleague of ours is super enthusiastic about a lot of things and able to eat like a horse without putting on any weight! No fair ;-) But he decided that we should head for lunch at Hjh Maimunah Restaurant and Catering which is a Malay restaurant on Jalan Pisang in the Arab Quarter. I am glad I trusted him (well, he is Italian, so I should trust him when it comes to food) as we all enjoyed our lunch at Hjh Maimunah. Nice and close to our office, good food, wide range of choice. There was a huge queue out the door and down the side, which is always a good sign in Singapore - just like the Fluff Bakery queue across the road! We had to wait for a bit, there were probably 25 people ahead of us in line, but it moves relatively quickly and there is a load of extra space upstairs.

So what did we have?

I had tempeh with beans. Aubergine with sambal. Beansprout salad with wing beans and coconut. Chicken. Potato deep fried soft thing :) 9$ including a canned drink. I enjoyed the tempeh, I us…

Singapore - The Wine Creek - a great example of how to handle social media

I wanted to share a great experience I had recently on social media. I went to the Wine Family gathering as you may know if you follow my blog. G and I love Greco di Tufo, an Italian white wine, and we were excited to see it on the list of wines to taste that day. But when we tried it from the Wine Creek stand, we were disappointed. We had taken detailed notes on all the wines we tried and Wine Family uploaded them to their site as tasting comments.

The Wine Creek posted a response inviting us to email them and that they would deliver a new bottle of wine for us to taste. We had two sets of comments and two offers of a bottle of wine, but we felt a bit bad as we are a couple and when asked by The Wine Creek whether we knew each other, I was honest and said yet, happily expecting to just get the one bottle of Greco di Tufo to share which was already above and beyond anything we expected!

And The Wine Creek shocked us by offering to give us a bottle each and then proceeded to deliver a …

Singapore - Home Cooking - Sri Lankan food - some more homecooked meals

I have posted about Sri Lankan food in the past, both for eating out in Sri Lanka and cooking it at home. Here is some more of our experimenting in the kitchen. I randomly picked up a "Jaffna cooking" book at Colombo airport at one point, and we love it.

It was obviously written by a mother whose cooking delighted her friends and family, and in the foreword she even thanks her son-in-law for typing up her recipes. She does assume that you do know how to cook, so it isn't really for novices in Sri Lankan cooking, or any cooking. But we like it, some great simple, home cooked meals.

Here is the result:

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.

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.

They join a support group for parents whose children have been kidnapped without a trace. …

Singapore - 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:

You really should get The Entertainer application - use this discount code before end Feb for 10% off - totally worth the investment, trust me: 2015ALVIN

In the mean time I will remind you of some of the places we have visited that are availa…

Singapore - #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: and his insider view on fashion in his book here: .

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. cock…

Singapore - 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.

Singapore - 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.

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 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…

Singapore - 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 Fr…

Siem Reap, Cambodia - 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:

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!

Singapore - New Chijmes - Prive Cafe followed by coffee at Dimbulah

We were heading to the Wine Family gathering in Chijmes so we needed to eat close by. We couldn't agree on any of our usual spots so we did some looking on the Chijmes website about what is there after the renovation. We discovered Prive Cafe is there, somewhere we hadn't been before so we checked out the menu, confirmed there would be something I would eat there and headed on down.

Home Cooking - Cooking after our honeymoon

I promised one of my pals from Twitter that I would write up some of our home cooked meals from the recent few weeks as she told me that some of the ones she has tried out have become firm favourites in their household. So here we go!

We had some friends over for a Sunday lunch as we really miss doing that. We used to have friends come have over all the time for good food, good wine and good fun. We wanted to reinitialise the tradition so we cooked a roast lunch and a load of veggies to go with it - roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, peas, green beans and aubergine cooked in a tomato sauce with loads of garlic to go with our roast chicken.

We had a pumpkin, you can get them quite cheaply here in Singapore, this one we got from Sheng Siong. We just peeled it, cut it up and roasted it in the oven with some herbs. Yum.

A couple of chickens as there were 6 of us.

Siem Reap, Cambodia - The Sugar Palm Restaurant

Another Siem Reap post, another Gran Tourismo recommendation for Khmer food. This one (Sugar Palm) also bears the Gordon Ramsey stamp of approval, he worked with the chef when filming the Cambodia episode of Great Escape. We looked it up on the map and it was showing as just over a kilometre from our hotel so we decided to walk there. We followed the quickest Google Maps route which let us see the life in the back streets of Siem Reap, with chickens wandering across the muddy path we were walking down, past a fish market. It was rather hot and humid so maybe we should have tuk-tuk'd it instead! But we got there before the downpour so that was good. When you find Sugar Palm you will need to head to the back and head up the stairs (past the home of the owners who live downstairs). It is all dark wood and open spaces which is pleasant. G had what was probably his dish of the trip here, the smoked fish salad... but more about that if you read on.