Turning 26

Over the years, my social patterns have evolved, especially having a busy work life, I tend to dedicate my little personal time left to a few true friends and family. Nevertheless, I still feel loved with all the incoming birthday wishes every this time of the year. Thank you everyone who thought of me, and sincerely wished me on the week of 22 April 2014. I really appreciate. Also, a special thank you to everyone who wished me on Facebook, which I did not respond personally, so terrible, I know.

J has been really sweet for this occasion, spoiling me in many ways. Big hug! One week before, I was pretty stressed out at work and he sent me this bouquet, code name Operation Grey Skies.

Flower
Handwritten note! <3

Flower
A close-up of the flower arrangement with a combination of unique orange roses and carnations. Classy!

Flower
On my birthday, a very sweet and lovely bouquet came! Made up of eustomas, hydrangeas and green roses in pastel tones, too pretty!

Tiffany & Co
Plus a surprise gift from Tiffany & Co! #heartmelts

Birthday dinner at my favourite steakhouse Las Vacas, but instead of our usual hangout in Mont. Kiara, we decided to try the KL branch at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

Las Vacas Steak House KL
Spacious interior, less crowd.

Las Vacas Steak House KL
Australian Rib-Eye, medium done, with an ice cold draught beer! Steak is good as usual, the only setback is that they do not serve Hoegaarden in this branch.

On my actual birthday, I was sick and feeling meh. J brought me to Busaba Thai Restaurant at BSC to cheer me up.

busaba bsc
Ordered the signature Thai chilli lime steamed fish, without chili, because I was having stomach flu at that time :(

busaba bsc
The table right in front of us decorated their seats with helium balloons, cuteness.

Thank you J for the memorable surprises and celebrations, they made me feel very special. Will be writing more about my birthday celebrations in upcoming posts, stay tuned!

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Eating Out

Restoran Seng Lee which has been around for over 30 years in the Damansara neighbourhood closed down last December.

I’ve recently discovered that the famous wanton mee and curry laksa stalls have moved to a corner shoplot at Sri Hartamas, while the char kuey teow and pork noodles stalls have now moved to the corner store (same row as Seng Lee, near Hock Lee’s Minimart). Credits to J for the discovery! Love having these local delights for brunch. True Malaysian.

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Restoran Jie Mee at Sri Hartamas. Read more about it here.

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Wanton Noodles topped with char siew.

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Flavourful bowl of Curry Laksa! Although I must say I prefer the other one at the corner stall near Hock Lee as they have an option of pan mee, and I prefer pan mee. Plus, they serve curry chicken in your bowl of noodles! Meat-eater.

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Mui Chea Pork noodles, the broth is really good! Love all the innards and pork lard.

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Char Kuey Teow. Tasted a bit garlicky, they said it used to be better before. Oh wells, still good. This is a ‘large’ by the way. Dining with J, that’s why.

I am extremely hungry while typing this post!! Shall make a trip to these stalls soon.

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true story

I had to detangle a triple-tangled, extremely fine necklace

15 minutes later and, I am still trying
my thoughts gathered, I am trying

feeling warm and impatient, dumb and silly
pulled out needles from the nightstand’s drawer
one needle, two needles
trying, trying, keep trying

on the verge of giving up,
I do not have a single thought
of trying

and I succeed

I felt an almost supernatural power, quite superficial, yet true
of not trying, and just doing

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fast and furious

March 2014, this was my first time watching F1 Live at the Sepang International Circuit. Very privileged for having grandstand seats, unobstructed view of the stage and pits, thanks J! Although we missed the opening of the race due to bad traffic and missing a turn, a significant turn.

F1 Malaysia Experience
I must say, the thrills and loud vrooms were quite unforgettable! The heat, too.

F1 Malaysia
I was drenched in my own sweat the whole time, here’s a pic to prove.

F1 Malaysia Experience
Claps! Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes Team won. Old news, I know.

F1 Malaysia 2014
The race ended, and F1 enthusiasts hastily jumped (literally!) into the tracks to take photos of their idols, while we calmly walked out to grab an ice cold beer. Best.

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serenity

never thought I could spend a sunday afternoon like that, just looking at my toes and singing along to delta goodrem. thank you for being so thoughtful, J.

home spa
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Say hi to Puff Daddy, he has been very entertaining.

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Ohana

chocolate birthday cake
Jun Yong my nephew turned 4 in May. We had a mini celebration for him during a family dinner at one of the Sushi chains in town. This little boy is the gem of the family, so much love from his grandparents especially.

I, also known as his Mei Mei Gu Gu (pretty aunt, in mandarin), kind, sometimes evil (tough love!), will always take photos of him, just so he could look at them as he grows older. The best gift, something I wish I had.

Jun Yong Chocolate Cake Birthday 8
He seemed very amazed by the cake, or was it the Pikachu.

Or both.

ohana
Introducing, the other evil aunty.

Peace.

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Invictus

KL city night scene
The city, sparkles.

Nelson Mandela recited Invictus (Latin for “unconquered”), the iconic poem written in 1875 by English poet William Ernest Henley, to his fellow prisoners, empowering all with its message of self-mastery.

This poem has empowered me today, I believe I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.
Welcome, a nod against all odds, life of little panache, challenges of ambiguity,
and an experience I shall treasure.

“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my Unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”

William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)

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Singapore, Noms

1. Poulet French Casual Dining

A Singaporean friend treated me to the famous French roast chicken in Poulet. We went to the outlet in Westgate Mall. They have a few other branches around the city. Love the chicken and pork! Escargots were good too. Yums!

Poulet Singapore
Poulet Singapore
Poulet Singapore
Completed our meal with Ben & Jerry’s rich chocolate ice-cream!

2. Dempsey Hill

Brunch at Jonas the Grocer! The Big Breakfast is really up to standard, one of the best!

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dempsey hill singapore

3. Jamie’s Italian

I have always been a big fan of Jamie Oliver! The opening of his new restaurant in Vivo City got me very excited. The queue was insane, I might have waited 2 hours for a seat! But that didn’t stop me from dining there, I even went there twice since its opening in July 2013.

The restaurant manager was very chatty and friendly. He recommended the chef’s special pasta which wasn’t in the menu, forgot the name of it, to be fair I had this 6 months ago.  Thought the pasta was a bit dry and uncooked, but the desserts were heavenly! Love the brownie, the best I had so far.

Singapore Jamie Oliver Vivo City
Singapore Jamie Oliver Vivo City

4. O’Coffee Club

While waiting for our table from Jamie’s Italian, we were starving and decided to have a quick pasta treat at O’Coffee Club, Vivo City. I can’t recall the name of this pasta, but it was so good! The scallops were fresh, and those cavier roes. Oh M Gee.

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5. Maxwell Food Centre

Decided to try some local delights at the famous hawker centre. Quite disappointed as this dish tasted sweet-ish.

Maxwell Food Centre

6. Kraze Burger

Burger cravings, satisfied at Kraze Burger in Marina Bay Sands.

Kraze Burger

7. Tiong Bahru Bakery

Thumbs up for their croissants! I went to the branch in Raffles City, think they have a few other branches around the city. Read a more extensive review here.

Tiong Bahru Bakery

8. Kith’s Cafe

The breakfast sets in this neighbourhood cafe is insanely good! I’m not a fan of sausages, but these bratwursts changed me! It is located at Robertson Quay, quite a long walk from Clarke Quay but it was quite enjoyable to stroll along the riverside. Heard they have a new branch in Park Mall Orchard. Cools!

Kiths Cafe
Kiths Cafe

9. Ya Kun Kaya Toast

The name says it all, their Kaya Toast is a must-try. I love soft-boiled eggs for breakfast!

Ya Kun Kaya Toast

Read about my memorable experiences in Singapore here.

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Singapore

This blog must be revived! For a start, I’ve compiled a list of 15 memorable experiences from my trips to Singapore last year. It’s my favourite destination for a quick weekend getaway because of how easy it is to get there! Plus it’s always so much fun.

1. Art Science Museum

Cool place to visit if you are into art/culture. I visited two exhibitions in the past year, Mummy The Secrets of the Tomb and National Geographic 50 Greatest Photographs. Both were very informative and inspiring! Check out their Facebook page for latest updates on exhibitions.

Singapore Art Science Museum
Singapore Art Science Museum
Singapore Art Science Museum
singapore art science museum
Singapore Art Science Museum
Singapore Art Science Museum

2. Leisurely walk from Clarke Quay to Ann Siang Hill

Knowing that the downtown hip hangouts Clarke Quay, China Town and Ann Siang Hill are in close vicinity, I’ve decided to beat the afternoon heat and walk from my dorm at Clarke Quay to Maxwell Food Centre for some local delights. The street view along the way was amazing, plus it was a nice surprise to discover so many quirky shops and cafes at Ann Siang Hill. Victorious Smile.Singapore Ann Siang Hill Walk 1
When old meets new. The modern architecture of Park Royal Hotel (left) and an Indian Temple at Pagoda Street (right).

Singapore Ann Siang Hill Walk 2
Temple Street

Singapore Ann Siang Hill Walk 3
A Buddhist Temple in China Town.

3. Marina Barrage

Park strolls amid the city. Nice walk from Marina Reservoir to Marina Bay Sands. Caught a glimpse of sunset too! I visited on a weekend, the wide green fields were filled with Singaporean families, having picnics on their mats.

Singapore Marina Barrage
Singapore Marina Barrage
Sceneries along the way, I had a really good and relaxed time here.

Singapore Marina Barrage

4. Siloso Beach, Sentosa Island

The hip and happening beach hangout, with loud music from the row of pubs at the beach. Imagine a hot afternoon with a mug of ice cold beer, people-watching your day away. Forget about swimming or water sports, this is more like a lazy Sunday chill out or sun tan spot.

Singapore Siloso Beach

Singapore Siloso Beach
Singapore Siloso Beach

5. Gardens by the Bay

The Flower Dome was really impressive. I was there in December, the huge indoor garden was decorated with Christmas trees and teddy bears, how thoughtful!

Gardens by the Bay 1 (3)
Gardens by the Bay Singapore
Singapore Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay 1 (4)
The view of city was quite amazing from the Supertree Grove.
Gardens by the Bay 1 (5)

6. Haji Lane

“This tiny lane, hidden away in the heart of the Muslim quarter, is a fashionista’s paradise. With very little fanfare, the collection of narrow shop-houses have, in less than a year, been transformed into an aggressively hip retail stretch recalling Le Marais in Paris or New York’s Meatpacking District.”TIME

Hipster place to be.

Singapore Haji Lane

7. Raffles Hotel

Lavish! Nice colonial style building, and they pride themselves on being the icon of Singapore. The Mint Museum of Toys is located right behind the hotel, seeing the great collection of vintage toys and and childhood memorabilia in the museum is an eye-opening experience.

Raffles Hotel Singapore

8. Level 33, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1

I love sky bars! This bar at the Level 33 (literally!) of the financial tower at Marina Bay Sands area is famous for its freshly brewed craft beer, and the panoramic view of Marina Bay.

Level 33 Singapore
I was here on a Friday evening, the place was filled with investment bankers and expats. Me and my girlfriends looked a bit awkward in this setting, the rare ladies in the house!

Level 33 Singapore

9. New Asia Bar

What’s an alternative to the always crowded 1Altitude or overpriced Ku De Ta? New Asia Bar.

A friend brought me here, knowing that I’m crazy over night views of city. The bar is at Level 70 of Swissotel Hotel. No open air decks like 1Altitude or Ku De Ta though. Give and take.

Singapore New Asia Bar
Singapore New Asia Bar

10. Esplanade

Didn’t know about their Sunday afternoons free public shows until a friend brought me here. Beautiful music! We hung around till evening and enjoyed the outdoor shows as well. Oh the love for arts and music!

Esplanade Singapore

Esplanade Singapore

11. Singapore Night Festival

Singapore Night Festival 2013 was a blast! Museums in the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct participated in the carnival and opened past midnight with music performances, shows etc. It’s an annual festival happening in August. Watch out for the next one! Although it could be a little crowded but it’s really worth visiting.

National Museum of Singapore

National Museum of Singapore

12. Books Actually

An indie bookstore at the Tiong Bahru Estate.

Books Actually Singapore

Books Actually Singapore

Books Actually Singapore

13. Right across the street, there’s Forty Hands, serving quality coffee.

Forty Hands Singapore

Forty Hands Singapore

14. Getting there

My preferred mode of transportation to Singapore is always Jetstar. Well the fact is a bus ride would be more economical in terms of time and money. But I just love taking flights. This is why:

Jetstar
The sparkly view you got from the plane’s window. Priceless.

Back then KLIA 2 did not exist, I enjoy having my flight taking-off and landing at a less-crowded and luxurious terminal. And Jetstar seemed like the only reasonably-priced option during then. Fan of airports!

Changi Airport
Amazing art pieces at Changi Airport – The Social Tree (left) and the Kinetic Rain (right).

15. Staying in backpackers inn

Since I frequently travel solo, or with a bunch of young and adventurous friends, I always book dorms in the Clarke Quay area. They are affordable, convenient and fun! But my policy is always to book capsule-styled dorms as I value privacy. One night would cost about RM80 – 120, it’s the cheapest form of accommodation in Singapore, perfect for single traveller.

dorms in sinapapore

Picture shows (left) Bunc Radius Clarke Quay and (right) Woke Home Capsule Hostel.

I’ve bunked in Bunc Radius Clarke Quay twice, the first time wasn’t a good experience as they gave me the top bunk which I didn’t quite like. But the second time was a pleasant experience, and the lady at the counter recognized me. Very good location, 7-11 across the street and walking distance to MRT and Clarke Quay’s nightlife. Complimentary breakfast provided in the common area.

A few shop lots away from Bunc Radius, there is Woke Home Capsule Hostel. They provide a mini TV in the capsule which I hardly watched as they only showed 2 channels. The mirror was pretty useful though. The toilets are more spacious in Woke Home, however, I tend to like Bunc Radius better.

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The common area of Woke Home Capsule Hostel is very cosy and vibrant, with complimentary all-day breakfast.

This one time I decided to be extra-adventurous and tried another location – the Bunc Radius Little India, since I read reviews that rooms are bigger and nicer. However I didn’t quite like the area, not much going on around and it’s quite a long walk to the MRT station. Clarke Quay will still be the better area to bunk in, speaking from experience.

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Bunc Radius Little India

Finally coming to an end for this extra long post. Proud face. Will be doing another post on FOOD in Singapore. Stay tuned!

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