Category Archives: Hospitality

Welcome to Changi T4 – A sneak preview

One of the most famous and busiest international airports in the world, one of the best airports, if not the best. Voted the World’s Best Airport for the fifth consecutive year at the 2017 World Airport Awards, voted by international air travelers. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Singapore Changi Airport!

Having traveled to different countries around the world, whenever I return back home to Singapore, arriving at Changi Airport always gave me a sense of great pride and homecoming. It’s not just about how fast I can pick up my luggage after clearing immigration, or getting in and around the Changi Airport, the facilities and amenities, the efficiency and speed of Changi Airport as a whole.

One thing that strikes something inside about Changi Airport is that they are always constantly trying to improve on themselves, lifting Changi Airport to the next level and not being complacent in the midst of intense international airports and flying routes competition in the Asia region and around the world. Changi Airport seeks to improve and be better than before, this eventually pave away for Changi Airport to announce major plans a few years back to strengthen itself as a major aviation and travel hub in the world.

The decision to build Changi Airport Terminal 4 was announced in March 2012, taking over the plot of land originally occupied by the Budget Terminal, that was demolished in September 2012, paving the way for the construction of the new Changi Airport Terminal 4. Fast forward a few years to 2017 and Changi Airport Terminal 4 is getting ready to open for operations at the end of this year 2017!

Changi Airport Terminal 4 is getting ready to open for airport operations and they have organised open house for the public to visit (registration is fully booked!) from 7th to 20th August between 9am to 6pm. If you are not able to get the open house time slot, don’t worry, Changi Airport Terminal 4 is scheduled to start airport operations at the end of 2017.

For my traveler friends and readers around the world, who are curious and would like to know more about Changi Airport Terminal 4, and what does Changi Airport Terminal 4 looks like? Let me bring you into Changi Airport Terminal 4, through the photographs that I took recently as part of the Changi Ambassadors group visit.

Changi Airport Terminal 4 represents the future of travel, FAST as they described it, Fast And Seamless Travel for the self-service options for departing passengers. They are able to do their own check-in, collect their boarding pass, print their own luggage tags, tie it to their luggages, drop off the bag themselves, proceed to immigration counters for clearance (with automated immigration gates for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Long Term Visit Pass Holders or Visitors registered with Immigration and Checkpoints Authority), followed by centralised security screening.

For the photographers, travelers and Instagrammers, searching for the perfect Instagrammable location inside Terminal 4, there are a number of spots to take your Instagram photos! Let me share with you some of the locations inside Terminal 4!

When you are at Terminal 4, you would be greeted by greenery, the departure façade greenwall and arrival hall greenwall. Inside the transit area, boarding area and arrival hall, keep a lookout for the greenery (trees) too!

Walking around Terminal 4, keep your eyes and look for the sculptures and artworks, Petalclouds, “Hey, Ah Chek” , Travelling Family, Les Oiseaux!

Inside the transit area, you have to visit the Heritage Zone! There is a Heritage Façade inspired by our Peranakan culture and shophouses. Don’t take your eyes off the façade because you are going to catch a heritage theme theatre play titled “Peranakan Love Story”! There is also a heritage themed toilet somewhere there!

The seats inside the Transit area are very interesting, unique in design, of different shapes, sizes and colours. Explore all of them!

For the aviation geeks and plane spotters (I am one of them), the transit / boarding area has a clear view of the Changi Airport runway, time to take your cameras out and photograph your favourite airlines and planes flying off from Singapore Changi Airport!

Do also check out this article prepared by Changi Airport on “10 things not to miss at T4”.

If you are visiting Singapore soon and flying with the following airlines, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines, you would be at Changi Airport latest Terminal 4!

As an independent traveler or traveling in small groups, Changi Airport Terminal 4 suits me nicely, I can do my own check-in, drop the luggages off, clear immigration, go inside relax, eat, do plane spotting along the boarding gate corridor before boarding my flight.

There are more things to share, see and do in Terminal 4, I leave it for you to discover when you visit Singapore from overseas or when you drop by Terminal 4 for a visit (for those in Singapore)!

I just want to say, Welcome to Changi Airport Terminal 4!

** I would like to thank Changi Airport Social for organising a visit for the Changi Ambassadors to visit Changi Airport Terminal 4 **


Created with flickr slideshow.

Emirates Singapore Derby 2017

A fun Sunday afternoon, accompanied by beautiful fashion, great food and ambience, time well spent with friends at the Singapore Turf Club during the 22nd Emirates Singapore Derby on 9th July 2017. It was a great time, everyone of us were dressed, elegant dress worn by the ladies and smart looking suits for us gentlemen.

Prior to the Emirates Singapore Derby 2017, I visited their roadshow at Kallang Wave Mall atrium on 24th June, a fun and interactive roadshow with fun activities for adults as well as for young children, one of them was the art and craft activity that the children can learn about racing colours! It was fun to see the children using their creativity to produce colourful racing colours. There were also information boards to share on horse racing, history, culture and the corporate social responsibility activities conducted by the Singapore Turf Club for various local Singapore communities and organisations.

The weather was great, nice sky, pretty cloud formations over the Singapore Turf Club horizon, a good day to be at the race tracks and enjoy the carnival and festivities of the Emirates Singapore Derby 2017. The hospitality and service at the Emirates Singapore Derby were great, we had a fun and enjoyable time at the marquee, with food, drinks, friendship, networking and of course, the sporting action on the race tracks.

This wasn’t just about a racing carnival, it’s more than that! The Emirates Singapore Derby was a reminiscent of my days in Australia when I was studying there, attending the major racing carnivals whenever I am able to, learning much more about the history, culture, sports and festivities of a racing carnival. In between the races on Emirates Singapore Derby, besides enjoying the delicious food spread and drinks, listening to the live band performing, we had a fun time chatting and mingling among us. Our pretty lady friends were busy taking photos with fellow guests dressed beautifully while we gentlemen were the ones taking photos for our well dressed friends and chatting away.

Prior to the start of any races, we would go outside to the open air marquee and watched the sports racing action on the tracks, cheering them on when they raced past us at the marquee. After the race was completed, some of us would stay around and take photos with the grandstand and the race track behind them. Returning back to the marquee after each race, we continued with the fun, food and drinks, chatting and networking.

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The highlight was Race 9 Emirates Singapore Derby, we made our way into the main grandstand building, visiting the parade ring to view the horses getting ready for the main race of Emirates Singapore Derby 2017, along with the owners, guests and trainer. An eye opener and a close up experience inside the parade ring, watching the horses going through their paces and warm up before the race jockeys entering into the parade ring,

Soon, the bugle was sounded and the horses with their jockeys were “Call to the Post”, making their way out to the race track. We waited patiently behind for all the race horses with their jockeys to leave the parade ring and into the race track before the owners, trainer and guests made their way to the front, getting ready to watch the main race, the key highlight race of the Emirates Singapore Derby 2017.

As they lined up into their starting gates, everybody was patiently and eagerly waiting for them to start the race. Once all the competitors were lined up inside the starting gate, in the blink of an eye, the race was on! This was a high octane race, full of adrenaline and excitement! When the racers made the turn for the final home stretch, they lifted their paces and burst for the finishing line, everybody wanting to be the champion for this race! As they made a final dash to the finishing line, the visitors at the Emirates Singapore Derby cheered and encouraged them on from the sidelines!

With the main race concluded, the jubilant owner and trainer were very excited and happy, waiting for their winning horse and jockey to return. While waiting for the prize presentation to formally began, they can be spotted giving media interviews. Soon after, the winning jockey joined the jubilant owner and trainer, joining them on stage for the formal prize presentation.

The main race of Emirates Singapore Derby 2017 was over and that also marked the end of the racing carnival and festivities for us, as we bade goodbye to Singapore Turf Club, for a wonderful and fun afternoon of hospitality, food, drinks and sporting action on the race tracks, at the 22nd Emirates Singapore Derby. Thank you Singapore Turf Club for the invitation to the 22nd Emirates Singapore Derby and showering us with your warm hospitality.

New locally-inspired menu by McDonald’s

The Singapore Food Festival 2017 is just round the corner and McDonald’s Singapore is a partner of this year’s annual festival organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), with their own unique locally inspired menu that are the traditional local favourites, celebrating Singapore’s own local, multi-ethnic food heritage.

Some of the local food favourites that Singaporeans grew up eating are Nasi Lemak, Bandung and Chendol. These few favourites are the inspiration behind the new locally-inspired limited-time menu, launched in conjunction with the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) 2017 starting on 14th July 2017.

“As a brand that’s deeply woven into the fabric of Singapore, we wanted to pay homage to our traditional local fare in conjunction with the launch of the Singapore Food Festival 2017. We have given a modern twist to familiar local favourites which includes the “Nasi Lemak” Burger – and hope Singaporeans will be thrilled to unravel the local flavours in our exciting menu line-up, as we come together to celebrate National Day soon,” said Agatha Yap, Senior Director of Marketing, Menu and Digital Innovation, Hanbaobao Pte Ltd (licensee of McDonald’s Singapore).

“We are delighted that McDonald’s, a brand with a large fan base in Singapore, is on board with us as a partner for the Singapore Food Festival 2017. With this year’s theme being ‘Savour Singapore in Every Bite’, we are particularly excited by the introduction of McDonald’s locally-inspired menu, which will feature flavours well-loved by generations of Singaporeans who grew up eating them.  This will further pique the curiosity of both locals and visitors about SFF, which is still the only event in Singapore dedicated to showcasing local food and local talent,” said Ranita Sundramoorthy, Director, Attractions, Dining & Retail, STB.

Today, McDonald’s Singapore is launching this special and locally-inspired menu, Just For You Singapore! Presenting to everyone of you:

“Nasi Lemak” Burger

First and foremost, I have to confess that when I heard this name, I was a bit skeptical. When I looked at this burger, smell the fragrance and took a bite, I was swayed across and I really liked it! This is a nice transformation and fusion of traditional and modern cuisine!

The sweet and spicy sambal sauce transforms this burger into Nasi Lemak, along with the delicious chicken thigh patty, golden fried egg, lightly toasted semolina buns, caramelised onions and crunchy cucumber slices. It is mouth-watering, delicious and very enjoyable! So sedap, the taste and fragrance are just like our favourite Nasi Lemak!

The “Nasi Lemak” Burger is available from $5.95 a la carte, or from $7.80 in an Extra Value Meal.

Bandung McFizz & Criss Cut Fries

Pictures courtesy of McDonald’s Singapore

Bandung McFizz, an interesting drink of the traditional beverage Bandung with their McFizz. Cooling and refreshing, from $3, while the savoury goodness of the Criss Cut Fries is available from $3.40,

Chendol McFlurry & Coconut Pie

Picture courtesy of McDonald’s Singapore

For Chendol fans, I think you would like the Chendol McFlurry! A mix of vanilla soft serve with Gula Melaka sauce and Chendol jelly bits! A sweet heaven for those with a sweet tooth! Therefore, this is a perfect dessert to end your meal on a sweet note with the Chendol McFlurry, from $3!

If you prefer a warm dessert to end your meal, you can consider the Coconut Pie, from $1.20. During the food tasting session, I took a bite and tasted the delicious oozing tropical coconut filling with nata de coco bits! It’s quite nice especially if you love coconut!

Chendol Melaka Cone, Chendol Melaka Twist & Chendol Melaka Chococone

Pictures courtesy of McDonald’s Singapore

Chendol and ice cream fans, check out McDonald’s Chendol Melaka Cone, Chendol Melaka Twist & Chendol Melaka Chococone! Chendol Melaka Cone, Chendol Melaka Twist are from $1 each and Chendol Melaka Chococone is from $1.20! A perfect dessert to cool down for a hot and sunny tropical day in Singapore!

Pandan Coco Frappe & Kueh Salat Cake

Pictures courtesy of McDonald’s Singapore

The Pandan Coco Frappe is available all day from $4.60, the combination of a perfect bland of coconut and fragrant Pandan flavours with grass jelly, this is a perfect cooling drink for a hot and sunny tropical day in Singapore!

The Kueh Salat Cake is a unique cake consisting of pandan sponge cake and a glutinuous rice layer. Available all day from $5.

Celebrating 50 years of National Service with McDonald’s

McDonald’s is saluting our servicemen together with Singapore, celebrating 50 years of National Service (NS50). McDonald’s is offering all past and present NSmen a FREE Apple Pie or Hot Fudge Sundae with Extra Value Meal purchased (after breakfast hours) from 4th to 10th August. Eligible customers just need to present their SAFRA card, 11B or Pink IC to redeem the treat!

McDonald’s is also spreading the joy of National Day celebrations in August, with a limited-time offer for the signature Vanilla Cone available at a special price of only 50 cents from 4th to 10th August!

Just For You Singapore, as you celebrate Singapore Food Festival 2017 and National Day Parade 2017 in August, do check out and try out the new locally-inspired menu by McDonald’s Singapore! You must try the “Nasi Lemak Burger!

** Information courtesy of McDonald’s Singapore **

*** I would like to thank McDonald’s Singapore for the invitaiton to the food tasting session ***

 

Coming soon! Singapore Food Festival 2017!

Food and travel lovers in Singapore, and those travelers visiting Singapore in July 2017, you are in for a sumptuous and delightful food adventures time in Singapore! The Singapore Food Festival 2017, in its 24th edition is coming soon, starting on 14th July 2017 till 30th July 2017!

The theme for Singapore Food Festival 2017 is “Savour Singapore in Every Bite“. Locals and visitors alike can look forward to a sumptuous spread of both traditional and contemporary Singaporean food flavours, interpreted through the palates of our local home-grown culinary heroes. This is not just about celebrating our local Singapore food and culture, it’s also about celebrating our Singapore food heritage and flavours, and to honour the people behind the Singapore food heritage and culture, who work passionately to keep our local Singapore culinary traditions alive.

For Singapore Food Festival 2017, there are a wide range of interesting, delicious and fun dining events lined up for Singapore Food Festival 2017. There is not only eating that everyone of us is looking forward to, there are also food heritage tours, talks and dining experiences!

Let me share with you some key events taking place at Singapore Food Festival 2017:

STREAT – Singapore Food Festival 2017 Signature Event

STREAT is Singapore Tourism Board (STB) anchor event for Singapore Food Festival 2017. This year’s highly anticipated pop-up restaurant will be helmed by Peranakan Chef Malcolm Lee of Michelin-starred restaurant Candlenut, and Wild Rocket’s Chef Willin Low, who is widely recognised as the founder of Mod-Sin cuisine. Together, they will present contemporary interpretations of local classics, through a 3-course Mod-Sin and modern Peranakan Tok Panjang menu.

Photo Credit: MUSE

Chef Malcolm Lee and Che Willin Low will also work together and curate a selection of nine stalls, each helmed by young “hawkerpreneurs” and chefs, some of the participating vendors include New Ubin Seafood, Peranakan Khek and Whampoa Prawn Noodle. There are also first time collaborations at STREAT, such as between popular zi-char stall, Keng Eng Kee, and Good Chance Popiah, as well as between contemporary eateries, Taste Affair and The Masses.

Foodie Profiles to enjoy island wide Singapore Food Festival 2017 events

There are four Foodie Profiles that are taking spotlight during the upcoming Singapore Food Festival 2017, which food events that would be suitable for the particular Foodie Profile to visit and enjoy themselves!

  • Gutsy Gourmand: who lives and breathes modern cuisine

    Visit STREAT, the festival’s marquee event, Hawker Wine Safari, 

    Launch of Singapore-inspired bottled cocktails, Chope Exclusives: Local eats edition, Open Stoves by Timbre+ and Singapore Tea Festival

  • Traditional Taster: who believes there’s nothing like old school fare

    Visit The 50 Cents Fest: Those Years 那些年, held at Chinatown Food Street, Singapore Restaurant Festival, Kueh Pairing Workshop Series,  Heritage Town Festival and Kueh Appreciation Day

  • Culture Craver: who embraces all things local

    Visit  Hawker Spotlight 2017, ION Orchard Culinary Creations 2017, Popular Local Fare and A New Taste

  • Art Addict: who appreciates creativity not just in food, but in art form as well

      Visit Project Plait: Inheritance, photo exhibition titled One Dish, One Chef, Generation of Stories presented by Alvin Foo, supported by Canon Singapore, Transforming Your Food Images workshop and Food for Thought panel series

Personally, I am looking forward to STREAT @ Singapore Food Festival 2017! I would try to cover a few of the food events taking place during Singapore Food Festival 2017, do keep a lookout for my updates on my Facebook Page and Instagram! I was at the Hawker Spotlight @ Singapore Food Festival 2016, had a great time eating all the various delicious local Singapore hawker food!

If you love food, the Singapore Food Festival 2017 is perfect for you, for both locals and visitors alike! Mark it down in your calendar and fill your stomach with sumptuous Singapore food!

For more information on Singapore Food Festival 2017, please visit www.singaporefoodfestival.com 

* Information and pictures courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board *

Just Another Day in Western Australia!

A short flight away from Singapore, a popular destination for holidays and fun, ideal for families and their children. Western Australia is home to many gorgeous and extraordinary attractions and experiences. The number of visitors from Singapore for the year ending 2016, an estimated 104,200 visitors visited Western Australia, staying for an estimated 1,509,200 nights and estimated visitor spend $246m. All these figures placed Singapore in third place for the Top 20 international markets to Western Australia year ending December 2016 (ranked by number of visitors).

Western Australia is a destination that I didn’t get to visit during my University undergraduate days (4 years) in Queensland, a holiday that I should have planned and done! Whenever I looked at Western Australia, there were many destinations in the state of Western Australia that I would really like to visit, enjoy, have fun and take many photographs. During a recent Tourism Western Australia event in Singapore, I had a better understanding and know more about the various areas and destinations of Western Australia.

At the evening with Tourism Western Australia event in Singapore, there was a special culinary ambassador appearance by Chef Tony Howell of Western Australia’s Fresh TV and Formerly Head Chef of Cape Lodge and Margaret River Hospitality Group. Chef Howell shared a lot with the guests on Western Australia food and wine, as well as sharing some delicious food from Western Australia with this cooking!

There had been great developments and growth in the tourism, hospitality and travel sectors of Western Australia. At the Tourism Western Australia event, they brought some local and authentic food, drinks and fun from Western Australia to Singapore! For a start, there were informative boards, brochures, guides and information travelers planning to visit Western Australia.

Perth and Surroundings

Let’s start with Australia sunniest capital, Perth, that is also the capital of Western Australia, consistently rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Accommodation

Since 2012, accommodation in and around Perth has expanded with nearly 1,800 new rooms added to the local market, such as COMO at the Treasury, Crown Towers Perth, Peppers Kings Square, Tribe in West Perth, Alex Hotel in Northbridge, Aloft Hotel in Rivervale and Quest Fremantle. In the next four years, more hotels are coming on board with a further 16 new or redeveloped hotels entering the market, varying from boutique, big name and luxury brands, including Ritz-Carlton’s first Australian property in 10 years, The Westin in the eastern CBD and DoubleTree Group has three developments coming up.

Dining and Wining

Western Australia fresh produce and wines can be found in Perth’s new bars, cafes and restaurants in or near the city’s centre, such as the Shadow Bar and Dining Room, Ku De Ta, The Standard. Isle of Voyage and The Reveley. The recently renovated State Buildings precinct, with its high ceilings and grand halls, is home to some of the city’s best bars and restaurants including Petition Kitchen, Long Chim and Wildflower.

Short trips from Perth City

At the event, there were informative travel boards that gave the guests more information and details on the areas that they can visit outside of Perth City, that are a short 30mins to 90mins away from Perth City, ideal for day trips to destinations such as Fremantle, Rockingham, Sunset Coast, Swan Valley, Perth Hills, Armadale and Avon Valley.

Travelers can base themselves in Perth City, rent a car and drive out of Perth City to the various destinations nearby for day trips!

Beyond Perth and Surrounds

Having studied in Queensland for my undergraduate studies, I traveled out of the major city and discovered many different parts of Australia. In Western Australia, so vast and diverse, around the size of Western Europe and boasting 20,000km of mainland and island coastline, there are a number of destinations beyond Perth and surrounds. Some of the destinations are really gorgeous and I would love to visit them for my travel photography trips in the future!

There are a lot of destinations to visit beyond Perth and their surroundings, I would like to list some of them below:

Margaret River and the South West

  • Surfing, swimming and snorkelling
  • World-class wine and fresh local produce
  • Culture, arts and history (learn more about the customs and history of the Noongar people)
  • Tall timbers (in the Valley of the Giants, between Denmark and Walpole)
  • Adventure (the bushland Bibbulmun Track, or out to the Porongurup Range’s Granite Skywalk)

Exmouth and The Coral Coast

  • Snorkelling at Ningaloo Reef
  • Swimming with gentle giants (whale sharks)
  • Friendly dolphins at Monkey Mia
  • Wildflowers and pink waters
  • Extraordinary rock formations (at the Pinnacles near the coastal town of Cervantes)

Esperance and the Golden Outback

  • White beaches and pink lakes
  • World’s largest outdoor gallery (the striking salt flats of Lake Ballard)
  • Golden Quest Discovery Trail (965-kilometre journey from Coolgardie to Laverton)
  • Wildflowers and wave walking
  • The unexpected (Corrigin Dog Cemetery)

Broome and The North West Region

  • Camels on Cable Beach
  • Aboriginal experiences
  • Best kept secrets (Karijini National Park and Purnululu National Park)
  • Horizontal Falls (Talbot Bay)
  • Remote luxury resorts (Berkeley River Lodge, Kimberley Coast Camp, El Questro Homestead, Faraway Bay)

Western Australia is huge destination, packed with my beautiful destinations to visit, that’s something for everybody to have fun and enjoy during their travels to Western Australia. This destination is one that I had missed out during my undergraduate days in Queensland that I didn’t get to visit during my studies there, I should have just flew over and visit Western Australia during my semester breaks!

I would love to plan a visit to Western Australia in the future, from Perth, traveling around and out, towards Margaret River, Exmouth and the Coral Coast, as well as Broome and The North West Region.

When I do visit Western Australia, I would shout out, “G’day mate! Just Another Day in Western Australia!”

For more information on Western Australia, visit Tourism Western Australia website!

I would like to thank Tourism Western Australia for the invitation to their An Evening with Tourism Western Australia event in Singapore.

* Information courtesy of Tourism Western Australia and cohn&wolfe *

Whiskey Appreciation Masterclass at The Whiskey House

Whisky or Whiskey? Depends on your geographic location and the English language that you are taught in, both word refer to the same alcoholic beverage around the world that we love and appreciate. My early whisky journeys evolve around Scotch whisky, bourbon whiskey before moving into Japanese whisky.

The world of whisky is pretty big out there, yet there is this duplex in the world today, that has a wide selection of whiskey from all over the world inside the duplex. Where can you find this wide whiskey selection? Inside Changi Airport Terminal 2, it is known as The Whiskey House! With a diverse range of 179 single malts, 68 blended Scotch whiskies, 30 American whiskies inside The Whiskey House, for the Whisky or Whiskey lover in you, this is a must visit place when you visit Singapore! As a whisky fan and avid traveler, I am wondering to myself, how did I manage to miss out this awesome whisky place inside Changi Airport during my previous trips?

On the upper level of the duplex, there is an amazing, must visit destination for all whisky lovers, an intuitive and experiential whiskey shopping experience whereby you can enjoy complimentary tastings of 100 different whiskies from around the world. This is where you taste and enjoy the whisky before choosing your favourite whiskey to bring home.

This was also the location whereby I attended their Whiskey Appreciation Masterclass, part of the Whiskey Festival, taking place from May 25 to July 1 at Changi Airport. For that weekend on June 16 and 17, the regional brand ambassador for The Balvenie whisky house played host for whiskey appreciation masterclass. That was where we met Neil Strachan from Scotland, who hosted us for the whisky appreciation masterclass. His sharing was very interesting and interactive, teaching us how to appreciate and learn more about whisky, the fragrance, aroma and taste. Having an expert to share about whisky tasting makes drinking whisky even more special and fun! If you are a Scotch whisky fan, do follow Neil on his Instagram account! Neil is an awesome ambassador, I hope to have future opportunities to learn more about Scotch whisky from him!

I am probably the “worst student” among the group of us at the Whiskey Appreciation Masterclass because I was busy tasting/drinking the Balvenie single malt vintage whiskies (I don’t wish to declare the number of whisky glasses that I had during the masterclass!) and taking photos of them for this article! While this is not specifically a whisky review article, I would just share some of my thoughts, all of them are pure vintage class and each has its own distinct fragrance, aroma and strength. What were the types of Balvenie whiskies that we tasted during the Whiskey Appreciation Masterclass? There were the 12 years, 16 years, 21 years and 25 years! Do you have a favourite from these four bottles of Balvenie whiskies? From these four bottles of Balvenie vintage whiskies, my preference is the 25 years vintage!

While drinking and enjoying Balvenie whisky, it brought back my recent travel memories to Nikka distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, during October 2016. I had a memorable and fun whisky tasting/distillery tour on my own! I would love to visit the whisky distilleries in Scotland in the future! Nothing beats visiting a whisky house/distillery, soaking in the atmosphere and surroundings! It’s like a pilgrimage for whisky lovers!

Whisky and Whiskey lovers in the world, I know you have a bias towards particular whisky houses around the world, you have your favourite whiskies. When you visit Singapore, don’t miss this golden opportunity to visit the Whiskey House inside Changi Airport Terminal 2!

I hope to share more about my whisky tasting experiences in the future, along with cuisines that would be suitable for each type of whisky. Whisky and cuisines pairing sounds like a great food and beverage adventure for me!

I would like to thank Changi Airport Social for the invitation to the whiskey appreciation masterclass!

Mellower Coffee Tasting

“Just For A Cup of Good Coffee” that’s the slogan when you visit Mellower Coffee in Singapore, at their Robinson Road or Middle Road cafes. A leading boutique coffee brand from China, they have shown great professionalism and passion in their coffee culture, in a minimalist chic, classy, cosy and comfortable café boutique environment.

I heard about Mellower Coffee and visited their outlet at Robinson Road previously. They had a range of coffee that attracted my attention and I didn’t really get to know more about them during my visit with my friends. At a recent Mellower Coffee tasting event invitation, I got the opportunity to know more about Mellower Coffee, their history and origins, their range of Mellower coffee and their Mellower Coffee Signature beverages.

Established since 2011, a coffee brand from China, adopting a from-plantation-to-cup industry model. They aim to deliver quality speciality coffee through their professionalism, platform and passion for coffee. They strive to be the leading brand in the coffee industry. Mellower Coffee expanded overseas to locations Singapore and Korea, eyeing further expansion into Vietnam and United Kingdom.

After their short presentation, we started with the Mellower coffee tasting and appreciation. Being a coffee lover myself, I was most excited with the tasting and appreciation. Observing how the barista prepares the various coffee beans for tasting, he was meticulous and precise, in ensuring the prescribed amount of coffee powder and water mixing well together to deliver the best coffee tasting appreciation experience for everyone of us there.

Mellower Single Origin Series

Colombia: Nut x Green Grapes

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe: Floral x Bergamot x Lemon

Kenya: Tomato x Brown Sugar x Berry

Sumatra Mandheling: Cocoa x Butter

Each of their Mellower Single Origin Series has its own unique quality, taste and fragrance. I encourage the coffee lover in you to taste each of them before deciding which is your favourite, since we all have different taste buds and preferences.

Mellower Classic

Mellower Coffee has a range of coffee products that can be purchased for your own consumption at home or as gifts for your family and friends. They are the Drop Coffee, Coffee Beans and Bag Coffee (do check out their website for more details on their coffee products).

I am going to share on their Drip Coffee, one of the coffee products that I tried during the coffee tasting event. The barista from Mellower Coffee demonstrated how to prepare and setup the Drip Coffee when we want to drink them at home. We also got the opportunity to taste it during the session and it’s pretty good.

Mellower Coffee Signature – Sakura Fubuki

Mellower Coffee has a few signature coffee beverages (check out their website for more information)

  • Sweet Little Rain
  • Ice Lemon Sparkling Yirgacheffe
  • Ice Rose Fresh Cream Lungo
  • Sakura Fubuki

In the near future, I hope to try out their different signature coffee by Mellowe Coffee and share about my photos and experiences on my Instagram and Facebook Page.

During the coffee tasting event, we tried this Mellower Coffee signature drink, the Sakura Fubuki. This is a special coffee beverage and for those who love the cherry blossom, you would be to relate with this unique coffee beverage. Fubuki means snow storm. Therefore, Sakura Fubuki means the wind blowing the sakura petals off from the trees as though it is like a snow storm.

This is a romantic drink, the cherry blossom is only for a short period of time and when the petal falls, it’s the end of the season, just like the first love that we all had, so wonderful yet so short lived, beautiful yet there is a sense of bitterness.

The Sakura Fubuki is presented in two separate segments, the glass contains the Sakura blossom preserve while the test tubes contain two shots of espresso. Before we started to mix them together by pouring the espresso into the glass, everyone of us were busy taking photos of this drink and the pouring process. Once you mixed them together, we would get a taste of bitterness from the espresso, saltiness of the sakura petal preserves and sweetness of the syrup. All these coming together gives a unique and special taste to the Sakura Fubuki.

There is something special about Mellower Coffee, from the quality of their coffee beans selection from different parts of the world, their minimalist chic, cosy and comfortable café boutique environment, their signature and unique coffee beverages.

I am impressed with their boutique café environment, I love the ambience, minimalist design and interiors, along with their various types of coffee under their branding. Starting from their own global procurement of coffee beans, followed by their own independent roasting in Shanghai, into their classy, minimalist boutique café outlets, delivering quality coffee experience and culture to us coffee lovers. Personally, I feel that they have live up to their slogan “Just for a Cup of Good Coffee” , in Chinese “只为一杯好咖啡”.

I would like to thank Mellower Coffee for the invitation to the coffee tasting and appreciation event.

DBS Marina Regatta 2017 is here! 1 – 4 June

The 6th edition of DBS Marina Regatta is starting today, Thursday 1st June to Sunday 4th June at the Marina Bay area. This is Singapore’s biggest BayFest and there are many exciting events taking place on the waters of Marina Bay and on the land, with food, entertainment, shopping and fun.

Let me share what are some of the key highlights that you can expect when you visit DBS Marina Regatta 2017.

On the waters of Marina Bay

Dragon Boat races

  • Friday 2nd June – 200m Dragon Boat Races (‘A’ Division and DBS Prime Warriors Mixed)
  • Saturday 3rd June – 500m Dragon Boat Races (DBS Singapore Premier and Corporate Open, Women and Mixed)
  • Sunday 4th June – 200m Dragon Boat Races (DBS Singapore Premier and Corporate Open, Women and Mixed)

Sailing at the Bay

  • Get to try out sailing in the bay during the DBS Marina Regatta with the DBS 18 metre tall Swedish Match 40 sailboats.

On the land at Promontory @ Marina Bay

There are many things to do and enjoy at Promontory @ Marina Bay, where the DBS Marina Regatta village is located. While watching Dragon Boat racing action from the sidelines, you can also enjoy the food, fun and entertainment.

Here are some of the key highlights

Urban Beach

Bay Beach

This urban beach is Southeast Asia largest ever urban beach, 21,000 sq feet and it is packed with many exciting and fun things to do and enjoy, beside just lying on the beach and relax.

Giant Games

At the urban beach, visitors can play Giant Jenga, Giant Pick Up Sticks and Giant 5 stones!

Battle Bay

Sign up and participate in Singapore’s largest inflatable water obstacle course. Many exciting prizes to be won!

Bay Eats

We all love food! The Local People are the curators for the food village this year. There will be some nice feasting at DBS Marina Regatta 2017!

Bay Dome

Singapore’s biggest pop-up interactive art experience at 7.5m tall. Visitors can customise their own artwork and watch it come to life within the zone.

Play Dome

Register for your fitness class! There are Power Up with Yoga+, Barre with WeBarre and Sweat Sesh with Eat Train Love. 

BayFest Shop

Shop for a good cause, support local businesses! BayFest Shop offers a diverse range of products , do drop by and check them out!

DBSMR X Ultra Countdown Party

For the nightlife party goers, there is the countdown party on Friday 2nd June 7pm to 10pm and Saturday 3rd June 7pm to 10pm.

Intel drone light show

On Sunday 4th June 2017 night, a grand finale to close the DBS Marina Regatta 2017. There are 50 Intel drones programmed to do bespoke designs for the regatta and dancing in mid-air, with a specially commissioned musical piece by local composer and conductor Eric Wong, against the iconic Marina Bay backdrop.

A great time for dragon boat fans, also ideal for family and children to come together and enjoy a family bonding time at the Marina Bay area with DBS Marina Regatta 2017. Enjoy and have a fun weekend at DBS Marina Regatta 2017!

For more information and updates, visit their website www.dbsmarinaregatta.com, follow them on Instagram (@dbsmarinaregatta) and on Facebook at go.dbs.com/dbsmr2017

The Quarters Experience

A modern communal dining experience, having the best of both worlds, a mix of traditional cuisine with a modern cross fusion of cooking style from other cultures. This communal dining experience had 10 different types of dishes, starting from the appetiser, followed by 7 main courses, there are so delicious and mind blowing beyond my imagination, rounding up this unique modern communal dinner with 2 desserts. This is the Quarters Experience.

The Quarters Experience was created by Deming, whom I knew a few years back when he was just doing just one food, his trademark Durian Crème Brulee at a pop up event at Haw Par Villa in 2014. In the blink of an eye, he established two food brands, The Quarters and Kush. Watching how Deming established, transformed and innovate his food cuisine over this period time from 2014, I had great respect and admiration for this innovative food entrepreneur friend of mine.

When I was invited down by Deming to experience The Quarters Experience, I was grateful and thankful to be part of this amazing modern communal dining experience. I arrived earlier than the scheduled start time, photographing the setup process on what creates the special experiences behind The Quarters Experience. This was also a time to catch up with my friend Deming before he got very busy during The Quarters experience, hosting and sharing with the guests on each and every dish that was served during The Quarters Experience.

Personally, this was one of the best dining experiences that I ever had, not because I am invited and treated to this Quarters Experience, not because Deming is a friend of mine. Why the Quarters Experience was one of the best dining experiences that I had was because of the love and passion for food, translated into the excellent cooking skills that can be experienced, felt and tasted inside all of the 10 dishes of the Quarters Experience. All the 10 dishes (except for durian crème brulee because I don’t eat durian) touched not just my taste buds, they also touched my heart, mind and soul.

Let me bring you into the world of The Quarters Experience, sharing my thoughts and views of every dish, and interviewing Deming, his stories behind each dish.

Achar

An innovative and unique method to showcase the Achar, it’s a breakaway from the traditional style Achar. The Quarters Experience Achar is like a small pastry/canape type of dish. I liked how the Achar taste, a good mix of the East meets West cuisine.

JH, “Deming, the Achar looks unique and very different from traditional achar, what is the inspiration behind this unique and innovative design?”

DM, “Traditionally made, it serves as an amazing Amuse Busche to whet the appetite of the diners. The combination of the crisp puff and flavour of Achar is amazing.

Shiok Bak

First and foremost, I am a big fan of roast pork and when I saw the description of the Shiok Bak from the menu, I was eagerly looking forward to it! When I saw the dish arriving, I knew I was in for something more special than I ever thought. There were buns complementing the Shiok Bak, that are usually ate with braised pork, along with fresh lettuce. The skin of the Shiok Bak was extra crispy, crunchy and dry. As the name suggests, it’s really shiok to eat this Shiok Bak! Oh yes, there is a sauce to go along with the Shiok Bak too, the spicy rempah!

JH, ”Deming, I love this dish! This Shiok Bak is really shiok and it looks like it has a mix of a few different Asia cuisines cooking style infused into this dish. Let me make a guess, Teochew (the bun for the braised pork a.k.a. lor bak) + Korean (lettuce to be wrapped with pork) + Filipino roast pork? Did I guess correctly?”

DM, “Yes. There is a myraid of influences involved here. Its combining the best of Filipino style crackling with our chinese roast pork technique. The Teochew influence comes from the braising of the pork belly and Peranakan from the Rempah inspired by the Hiam Te Bak. All in all, it is delicious!

Har Lok

A perfectly charcoal grilled prawn, fresh, juicy and declicious. The menu stated that it was Cantonese style and I got curious. What exactly is a Cantonese style cuisine prawn dish?

JH, “Cantonese style, would you mind sharing more about this style of cooking?”

DM, “ This is my contribution in preserving a dying dish in the Zhi Char world. This dish has been overshadowed by Salted Egg Prawns and Cereal Prawn. The essence from this dish is Canontese inspired with its simle yet amazing sauce. The smokiness from the charcoal grill elevates this dish which is a worthy rendition of this Hok Hei laden dish.

Ooh La La

The Venus clams, cooked in flambed style with Singapore style chilli sauce and croutons added into them. The final product is like a chilli style soup with Venus clams and croutons.

JH, “The Oooh La La dish, was it meant to be a spicy soup dish since you added croutons into it?

DM, “This is our take of Singapore’s most favourite Chilli Crab sauce. More than just a cute play on words, this clams in this dish elevates the umami experience of the dish.

Bibik’s Chicken

Another perfectly charcoal grilled dish, the Bibik’s Chicken with a rich Buah Keluak Sauce. When I ate the Bibik’s Chicken, the chicken meat was tender and not overcooked, this demonstrated the skill and experience level of the chefs charcoal grill cooking.

JH, “This Bibik’s Chicken is so delicious, so awesome! I have a few questions, is this a Peranakan cuisine? Was there any special seasoning on the chicken?”

DM, “ This dish is a tribute to the traditional Ayam Bua Keluak. Normally done as a stew, this rendition adds a few more layers into the gastronomic experience. Unlike the usual Buah Keluak Ayam, this dish brings together many more textures. The Chicken is firstly charcoal grilled to achieve a really crispy skin with the meat left tender and succulent. Infused with local herbs and spices, it is a flavour bomb when eaten together with the buah keluak paste.

Mum’s Cabbage

A plate of mixed vegetables, consisting of stewed cabbage, carrots and minced pork. This dish may not look the most glamorous compared to the other counterparts in the 10 course The Quarters Experience. Yet, when I took a bite, the feeling was like “This is Home, truly”. The type of dishes, the emotions and feelings that warms your heart, mind and soul when you are back home eating your favourite food cooked by your parents or grandparents. The menu described it as “Family favourite …” I totally agree.

JH, “Bro, this dish, a simple dish yet I felt so good, the feeling of home cooked food! They just warmed my heart! How did you do it?” 

DM, “ Inspired by what my Mum cooks at home, its about the simplicity and perfect balance of flavours which is appealing. Food done well, with love. Yum!

Quarters Fried Rice

An egg coated fried rice with two types of salted fish. The rice was so soft, fragrant and not oily at all. The Quarter’s Fried Rice was addictive because it was simply too good, too delicious.

JH, “Bro, would you mind teaching me the secret behind the secret to your Quarter’s Fried Rice?” 

DM, “ It’s yet another dish which is a hit with our diners. We go through an arduous process to make sure that the rice is of the right consistency as well as using the right combination of dried fish and cooking technique to accomplish a very satisfying dish.

“Nai You” Lobster

This lobster dish stood out among the 10 dishes, it was charcoal kissed and butter poached. The chefs of The Quarters were really skillful in their charocal cooking techniques, it was just nicely cooked, sweet and tender.

JH, “I saw it on the menu, charcoal kissed and butter poached, would you mind elaborating more on this cooking technique?”

DM, “Inspired by our favourite “Nai You” Crabs and prawns. This is our take on elevating simple ingredients with an amazing lobster. Simply put, we butter poach the lobster and finish the lobster on the grill for that bit of char and smokiness. It’s all about the right timing.

Duriancanboleh

This is Deming’s trademark dish, the original dish that got me to first know Deming for the first time (3 years ago) before he launched his food concept The Quarters. Today, I am back again to taste another revolution and innovation in his traditional and modern cuisine. I gave away my Duriancanboleh because I don’t eat durian (don’t judge me, please!)

JH, “Bro, you know that I don’t eat durian hor, not that I don’t like your Duriancanboleh hor!”

DM, “ You would have enjoyed the other renditions of crème brulee which have done over the years. Lemongrass and Vanilla. The magic and texture of the crème brulee would still be the same. It’s an in house secret which we are proud of.

Profiterole

It’s called the Kaya bomb in the menu, not exactly the profiterole that you have in your mind.

JH, “Bro, this looks more like a The Quarters mini Kaya bun leh, why did u call it a profiterole?” 

DM, “ It’s a Kaya profiterole. An amazing kaya which explodes out of a crispt choux pastry. What can be more delicious and local than this?

At the end of the 10 course The Quarters Experience, I had a very wonderful and very enjoyable food dining experience, a modern communal social dinning experience with an excellent selection of dishes, a mix of traditional and modern cuisine fusion and also East meets West fusion. The chefs excellent, highly experienced and professional cooking skills can be found in their 10 course dishes, without a doubt.

The main attraction doesn’t lie in the fusion of traditional and modern cuisine, or excellent cooking skills. For me, it’s in the heart, mind and soul, the passion and love for cuisine, traditional or modern. That to me, are what makes Deming and his The Quarters stand out, that later gave birth to The Quarters Experience.

I would like to thank Deming of The Quarters for the invitation to experience The Quarters Experience. This was beyond an awesome communal dining experience, it’s a fusion of traditional and modern cuisine. The love and passion for cooking, traditional cuisine, I totally felt it in my heart

If you would like to experience The Quarters Experience for yourself, you can visit their website and register to taste it.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Epson and SO Sofitel Singapore collaborate on AR experience

The world of travel, tourism and hospitality has benefitted and also changed from the technology boom over the past few decades. As we move into the future, new technology such as augmented reality (AR) has a role to play in a customer’s overall experience. How does AR plays a part in business operation in the hospitality industry such as a hotel?

AR today and in the near future, they can play a part in enhancing a guest experience beyond the luxuries, amenities, accommodation and hospitality in the hotel. How can they go about doing this?

In Singapore, Epson, a global leader in projection technology and visual communications, partners SO Sofitel Singapore for Southeast Asia first augmented reality (AR) smart glass experience within a hotel, using Epson’s latest Moverio BT-300 smart glasses. At the media event held recently, I had the opportunity to witness the launch and experience AR technology implementation in a hospitality organisation.

This was also my first time putting on the Moverio BT-300 and trying it out in a hospitality context. The Moverio BT-300 was lightweight and beautifully designed, the experience was pretty good with the visuals through the smart glasses and accompanying audio.

Guests can look forward to a true see-through immersive experience with the Moverio BT-300’s HD high-contrast display, which uses Epson’s cutting edge silicon-based OLED (organic light emitting diode) digital display technology. Powered by software from EON Reality, a world leader in Virtual and Augmented Reality-based knowledge transfer, the curated experience transports viewers into a part-real part-virtual world where informative content and videos blend seamlessly with real design elements found within the hotel lobby and suite.

 Pictures courtesy of Epson Singapore and SO Sofitel Singapore 

“It is our pleasure to partner leaders in Luxury Hospitality, Design and Augmented Reality to curate this experience that is a first in the region. With Moverio, Epson believes that the potential of Augmented Reality is limitless for commercial and enterprise usage – to create exceptional experiences using one of the most lightweight and comfortable smart eyewear on the market. By bringing the flavours and secrets within the heritage building to life through our technology, we look forward to deliver new and exciting multi-sensory experiences and showcase the familiar in a brand new way,” said Mr Siew Jin Kiat, Regional General Manager (Southeast Asia), Printers and Visual Products Division, Epson Singapore.

“We are So delighted to partner with Epson Singapore to be the first to launch the augmented reality smart glasses experience in Southeast Asia. When you step into SO Sofitel Singapore, you will be naturally captivated by the different elements of French design blending with local touches. With this AR smart glasses experience, guests will be able to discover and be intrigued by the surprising design elements,” said Mr Piotr Kupiec, General Manager for SO Sofitel Singapore.

On the pilot project, EON Reality Singapore’s Managing Director Mr Sridhar Sunkhad added, “Collaborating with Epson to augment the SO Sofitel unique guest experience will be an exciting journey that will teach us how Augmented Reality will become a part of our everyday lifestyle.”

Source: Epson and SO Sofitel Singapore press release

Starting my AR experiential tour journey from the SO Sofitel Hotel lobby, our first stop was the “The Lion Seal” emblem, designed for the hotel by the legendary Karl Langerfield. Once the AR experience started, I was greeted virtually by Isabelle Miaja, the interior designer of SO Sofitel Singapore.

Walking along the SO Sofitel Hotel lobby, I learned about the inspiration of SO Sofitel Singapore’s beautiful design, French elegance blending with the building’s unique history and modern Singapore, through the Moverio BT-300 smart glasses.

Continuing the journey inside the hotel, we entered into a special suite, the SO Sofitel Lofy suite. Through the Moverio BT-300 smart glasses, Isabelle returned on a composite screen, sharing her thoughts on the hotel design and special touches within the suite. I saw gorgeous art pieces that gave Isabelle the inspiration to combine French indulgence and the local culture of Singapore.

If you are staying at the gorgeous SO Sofitel, do try out the AR experience tour and if you happen to stay in the SO Lofy suite, you can also experience the SO Augmented room tour as well! For members of the public, if you wish to enjoy the SO Augmented hotel lobby tour, you can enquire with the guest relations officer, with sets subject to availability.

The world of augmented reality is now entering into our life, our work, the adoption and implementation is taking place among different organisations and industries. This AR collaboration project between Epson and SO Sofitel Singapore is the first in Southeast Asia within a hotel, I believe there will be more hotels entering and implementing AR technology to enhance their guests experiences.

I would like to thank Epson Singapore and SO Sofitel Singapore for the invitation to experience the new AR experience at SO Sofitel Singapore.