If you want to enjoy Mookata or hotpot session in the comforts of a spacious and clean environment, Talay Kata would be at the top of my recommendation list as always.
They are always coming up with different concepts to keep customers like me happy! Previously they have came up with a huge Seafood platter and cheese dip. You can read more HERE.
Recently, I had the chance to try their Shabu Shabu set. Let's be honest here, I have never been a huge fan of Mookata but when it comes to Sukiyaki or Shabu Shabu? It's a solid YES. So I was definitely more than willing to try it out.
You can pick from different soup bases such as Beef, Duck, Tom yum, Chicken, Bonito and Salted Egg. We had the Beef soup which was recommended by the manager. The set comes with Crayfish, smoked duck, prawns, mussels, meatballs and a plate of thinly sliced beef.
Talay Kata used to serve several types of marinated meat, but they have recently made the decision to focus on non-marinated meat to allow eaters to experience the real taste, while being able to enhance the flavors through the use of spices and sauces. I personally lean towards non-marinated meat as they tend to be less salty.
Their standard has really improved from my last visit. As the beef was thinly sliced, the meat was cooked within a matter of seconds and it was really easy to chew on. The soup, on the other hand, was not really impressive to me. I would have opted for Tom Yum, but I was relatively fine with it as long as I'm not drinking the soup.
Their buffet spread was sufficient to satisfy my cravings, in fact I didn't even have the stomach space to finish trying every single item. I still love the fact that they have more non-marinated choices now. Unfortunately their stirred fried clams were unbearably salty for my palate. To give them some credits, the non-marinated ones were much nicer though.
If you don't want to drink the soup from the Shabu Shabu, they have 3 different soup flavors Shark's Fin, Green Curry and Tom Yum. The Tom Yum and Green Curry was lacking a bit of the spicy kick and was towards the sweeter flavor. For those who love Tom Yum but cannot tolerate spiciness, this is totally for you!
They also have a new waffle counter!! Having someone serve you at the waffle bar isn't in trend anymore. Seems like DIY is more fun! Look out for their instructions on the wall.
Talay Kata surely has standards that are worth your spending, and did I mention? Starting from $16.90 nett per pax, you won't even have to burn a pocket in your hole to indulge in a delicious meal with your friend! That's really affordable and let me remind you, Talay Kata has restaurant standards which means you can enjoy your meal comfortably. Just beware that you might have quite a strong BBQ smell after walking out of the restaurant!
Food videos ads on Facebook are really effective in luring you to visit the restaurant, and that's how I get to know about the new hipster steamboat place at Chinatown - Hao Lai Wu 好来屋 (Not Hollywood FYI). With a funky and colourful interior, it is surely inviting to step into the restaurant. I was however mainly drawn to the illuminated crystal steamboat pot which was a very new and interesting concept.
I tried touching the pot and it really doesn't burn at all, which will be really ideal for family with kids.
We chose Tom Yum and Chicken for our soup base (Extra $6 for 2nd selection). There was a free flow selection of meat and seafood to pick from, including the common steamboat and BBQ ingredients. Not forgetting the extensive variety of sauces and condiments to go along with your meal.
I didn't even pay attention to what was completely available at the buffet as we hurriedly dig in due to hunger. The starting impression of the meal was actually not bad, especially with the hipster interior design and decent spread of food available.
The pork belly was one of the better choices due to its tender meat (though it wasn't so fantastic overall). Unfortunately, the standards started to drop throughout our meal, the marinated meat started to get overly salty even when the grill was changed. Towards the end, I couldn't stand putting another piece into my mouth because it was way too salty and I had to drink quite a lot of water as compared to usual.
My friend also commented that the standards have dropped from the first time of her visit and she was quite disappointed with the soup. I felt that it was such a pity as it is really such a lovely place to settle your BBQ/ Steamboat cravings for an affordable price. Perhaps this was a hit and miss situation and hopefully they have better standards for their new outlet at Burlington Square!
For all Sanrio lovers, you'll be very pleased to know that Sanrio Puroland is located at Tokyo, Japan - - an indoor theme park filled with all your favourite Sanrio characters including Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars, Gudetama and many others. As we had other plans on that day, we opted for a more affordable option and bought the afternoon passport at 2000 yen as compared to 3800 yen on weekends. Entry was only allowed after 3pm, but if you're only visiting the place for a short tour, I think it's worth your money!
We were unable to complete all the rides due to the limited time and focused more on photos and shopping instead. The rides didn't really appeal to us as they were more suitable for young kids. If I were a kid, I would love to be on those rides too!
Some of the special mentions include the Gudetama travel activity and Lady Kitty House which are perfect for photo-taking, but the queue for the Lady Kitty House was really long (about 45 minutes wait time). I thought it was still worth the wait for all these pretty photo opportunities!
As they only allow a certain number of people in at one time, you won't have to worry too much about people photobombing you.
Just a piece of advice: If you're not planning to buy the souvenir photo at the end, don't bother queuing to take a photo with Lady Kitty as they wouldn't allow you to use your own camera. The queue was quite a waste of our time.
I never thought I would say this but I actually enjoyed the Gudetama section the most compared to the rest, partially due to the reason that it's uncommon as compared to Hello Kitty (I have already visited at least 3 Hello Kitty cafes from different countries). I grew to love this lazy egg character more as I decorated more Gudetama cakes over the time.
Each person will receive a Gudetama 'passport' to scan at every station - either a photo booth or game. We didn't have time to go through every single section but we played some of the games which was quite fun.
My dad always commented how I was always excited to window shop at Souvenir shops when we travel. And true enough, I was more hyped up about the Sanrio products at the store more than anything else. And we spent about an hour in the shop. Surprisingly, almost everything was reasonably priced. You know how souvenir shops always mark up their prices for tourists? This shop is nothing like that. In fact, I think some stuff are really worth the buy.
I visited this place with really little expectations and it turned out a lot more interesting than I thought! Is it worth it? This is really subjective though. I would say yes, if you're a Sanrio fan like us! Otherwise, the whole place might just feel very kiddy for you.
I have fed quite a lot of animals throughout my various Japan trips but I never really had such close interactions with hedgehogs before. I am so happy to strike this off my list! Located at a secluded corner of the street, Harry Hedgehog Cafe is a 2-storey shophouse that is popular among many as proven by their snaking long queue. Everyone is waiting to touch those adorable little hedgehogs!
While I initially expected a real cafe with proper food and drinks, I was a little disappointed to know that the cafe is merely a cosy corner for humans to interact with the animals, with drinks served from the vending machine.
Admission fee: 2800yen/ 1 hour
We also opted for feeding and I totally wasn't expecting this, but we were given mealworms!!! Typing this word out already makes me irk a little. But when the staff passed me the bowl, I swear I almost dropped the whole thing on the floor. Yes I have a crazy fear over all kinds of insects, and because we paid extra to experience the feeding session. I braced myself to pick up the worms with the tweezer (while trying hard not to drop it on myself).
There were gloves if you feel uncomfortable to touch the hedgehogs directly (they can be quite a pain sometimes) especially if they are resisting your touch. Even with the gloves, they can bite really hard. My brother used his bare hands and got himself some wounds too. Nothing too serious though.
If the hedgehog likes you and finds comfort, they will usually fall asleep in your hands. It was quite a warm feeling to watch them snuggle to sleep. There was one hedgehog that refuses to get close to my brother or I though. We tried to tame it but I gave up eventually as I didn't want to give it too much stress.
WHY YOU SO CUTE!
There was also a Fennec fox which looks so adorable. We didn't really get to interact with it though.
Overall it was a decent experience with the hedgehogs, but I would prefer if the cafe was a little more spacious where I get to enjoy a cup of coffee and piece of cake while interacting with the animals - similar to most dog/cat cafes. There wasn't even a proper table for me to put my cup. The admission fee is quite high too. I think it's worth a try if you really like small animals, but one try is enough for me.
Are you looking for a suitable location for this year's Reunion dinner with your family and relatives? How does it sound like to enjoy a sumptuous meal along with a Karaoke session? Lo Hei is becoming more creative nowadays, you can toss Salmon Yusheng where the ingredients are adorably displayed in the shape of a dog. So cute I wouldn't bear to destroy it!
Enjoy a festive reunion 8-course meal with seasonal highlights which comes in a selection of three different packages:
Inclusive of Auspicious Lion Dance Performance and ‘Huat Ah!’ Goodie Bag
Golden Prosperity Reunion: S$88++/pax (Min 6 persons)
Inclusive of Auspicious Lion Dance Performance and ‘Huat Ah!’ Goodie Bag
Imperial Fortune Reunion: S$1,888++ per table
Private dining room with fully equipped karaoke system
Check out the festive menu below!
Chilled Angel Hair Pasta with Truffle Oil and Kombu
The angel hair pasta is packed with truffle flavours I just can't get enough of it. Some may find it too overpowering, but if you're a truffle lover, likely you will get a second or third serving.
Cucumber with Sesame Dressing
Never expected myself to even mention about the cucumbers because who would have thought that cucumber dishes taste so good? It was very refreshing with a little spicy kick that lingers for a while. Excellent for an appetizer, and its a plus point that it's not too overly sour.
Homemade Beetroot Salmon
Homemade Mandarin Orange Salmon
Both Salmon dishes were very appetizing especially with the citrusy taste from the Mandarin Orange. Can't decide if I like the Beetroot or Mandarin Orange dish more.
Black Pepper Crayfish
I love the peppery taste of the fresh Crayfish and the meat was also easily removed from its shell. Glad that I didn't have to be in a huge mess just to indulge in it! And guess who had a second serving for this too?
Vegetarian Treasure Pot (Pen Cai)
Roasted Chicken with Spicy Sichuan Sauce (Whole)
Smoked Duck with Camphor and Tea Leaves (Whole)
Chempedak Crème Brulee/ Swiss Roll/ Agar Agar/ Pudding/ Butter Cake
Chempedak is a type of fruit which is similar to Jackfruit, with a sweet and pleasant fragrance. Amara Hotel has launched a series of Chempedak desserts, which is really interesting and unique unlike other common fruit flavorings. The Creme Brulee stood out the most, partially due to the nature of the fruit, making it a perfect complement to the mousse-like texture of Creme Brulee. I thought it mildly resembled a Durian mousse, except without the pungent smell. The rest of the desserts are worth trying too!
Set menus with choices from S$108* per person, minimum 2 persons to dine, S$368* for 4 persons and above, S$838* or $968* for 10 persons.
*All prices quoted are in Singapore dollars and subject to service charge and prevailing government taxes.
Monice Bakes has been running a few giveaway campaigns so far, but this is the first time we're actually giving out cartoon/animal icing cookies and a FULL UNICORN CAKE! You get to win a Unicorn pillow that comes along with this bundled set too!
Monice Bakes and Little One Dreams will be giving away a bundled set to 3 lucky winners! So don't miss your chance this time!
Little One Dreams also offer many other customisable products which are unique and personalised! Love how you are able to have different forms of creation based on the theme that you love! I don't know how many times I've said this but I have to say it again - Customisation is really one of the best choices in gifts selection.
Even though I don't have a kid, I still fell in love with their customisable pillow. You don't have to be a kid to use it anyway, right?
Psst. Guys.. you can go win it for your girlfriend/wife too!
Don't forget to join our giveaway and you might be the next lucky person if you haven't won anything before!
I had one of the best Disneyland experiences during my Tokyo trip with my family this year! The rides were awesome, ambience was magical and great as always. But the best of all was being able to stay in the princess rooms at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel.
We had 3 nights in Disneyland and since we were already going to set aside a budget for the special character rooms, we might as well experience it fully by staying in a different room every night! It might sound quite troublesome but thankfully, the bell desk handled our luggage and bags everyday before we even entered our new room.
We started off with the cheaper choice and upgraded to a better room each day.
Alice in Wonderland - About SGD700 per room per night
40 m² ~ 43 m²
Alice in Wonderland room had a whimsical and colorful theme which represented the fun and excitable story of Alice's adventure. Spot the cute green lamp which is in the shape of Madhatter's hat! The colours are all so vibrant, and I didn't expect myself to fancy this room as much as I thought!
I love the quirky-looking furnitures too, they really suit the Alice in Wonderland theme.
The Queen of Hearts headboard is surely recognizable if you have watched the movie. My favourite part of the room is the Alcove bed, which my brother claimed it to be his sleeping corner for the night. It surely isn't the most comfortable compared to the normal beds, but it does feel very cozy to sleep in.
All 3 rooms had the same toilet layout - separated into 3 parts, shower area, basin, and toilet, all equally spacious and clean. I had some bad experiences of the basin being just beside the toilet bowl and it's honestly quite gross, especially having the fear of dropping toiletries down the bowl.. Ewww.
The amenities provided are all nicely packed in a Mickey Mouse box which you can freely take home as well! I love how they have a dressing table and full length mirror which made it a lot easier for preparing.
Beauty in the Beast - About SGD 850 per room per night
59 m² ~ 61 m²
I was wow-ed by the first room but the Beauty in the Beast design just made my jaws dropped when I stepped into the room while taking a insta story. The room was huge with 3 beds and an alcove bed, so huge there wouldn't be an issue leaving all the luggage opened and lying on the floor.
The Beauty in the Beast theme was just awesomely beautiful, from the furniture to the carpet and wallpaper. Super gorgeous I was almost lost for words.
If there are at least 3 adults staying together and don't paying extra, I would highly recommend this room as it's a lot more spacious than the previous one.
I absolutely love the curtain drapes and lights above the headrest!
My favourite part of the room is the dressing table (which I was already super excited about). Check out the "library bookshelves" wallpaper with that vintage golden mirror. And that's not the cutest thing. The dresser stool is actually from the movie - The castle's pet dog which was turned into a footstool.
Even the toilet is looking so grand and fabulous..
Cinderella Suite - About SGD895 per room per night
Cinderella Suite had a more gracious and elegant design instead, and had a separate living room with an alcove bed. Comparing to the previous two rooms, I felt that the designs were slightly more subtle and therefore not as exciting. The room was still really pretty, it's just not so Disney-themed compared to the other two.
But the bed with those drapes are to die for! It makes me feel like a princess as I've always loved this kind of bed design when I was younger.
The colour of the alcove bed was a little too dull in my opinion though.
Other than the less than exciting furniture, they did a great job with the wallpaper in the toilet! Yes I love seeing more of the cartoon!
Tokyo Disneyland Lobby
The lobby is one of the prettiest I have ever seen, with huge chandeliers and high ceiling that made the whole area looked so majestic and grand. I haven't seen our room but I was already so excited about everything.
A little children's corner to watch TV while the parents are busy checking in.
So convenient to stay beside a train station where you can just travel to the rest of the hotels or Disney parks within 5 minutes walking distance!
Overall it was a really memorable experience to not only stay in Disneyland hotel itself, but to have the opportunity to stay in the princess themed rooms! We probably wouldn't splurge on Disneyland hotels in the short run but it was surely worth a try! For more generic Disney themes suitable for boys, they do have themed rooms in the Ambassador hotel. Stay tuned for more of my Japan trip posts!
There is a reason why I have been to Beauty in the Pot several times, but not once did I successfully take proper and nice photos of the food. So pardon me if the photos are insufficient in this review, as I have been busy indulging in the food once the dishes arrived at our table.
If I had a choice I would totally dabao the soup home just to drink.
Yes.. it's that awesomely addictive.
Priced at $20 per soup base (Choice of Beauty Collagen Broth or Spicy Nourishing Broth) and $25 for a twins flavour broth, it might be quite expensive to start with.
(More choices available at The Centrepoint outlet)
Average spending per person is about $50 if you want to have a decent meal, so just be prepared to spend.. and queue for long hours if you did not make a reservation. My friend and I waited for almost 2 hours for our table on a weekday evening. We did not know how long more we had to wait but we didn't want to give up halfway #EscalationOfCommitment #DinnerBecomeSupper #ButWorthItLa
The complimentary refills were quite sufficient (Look like milk bottles right?)
And we ordered almost everything in halved portion as it was cheaper and also sufficient for 2-3 pax. The prices ranged from $7 to $20+ for halved portions to cater to different budgets.
The quality of the meat is quite equivalent to its price tag and pretty reasonable too. But be careful not to over order if you're a fan of the collagen soup, because it can be very filling.
The food ain't that cheap and we'll always only stick to a few common dishes, so I can't comment much about the rest of the food. The one and only thing that always lures me back is the collagen soup, which I will never get sick of.
I have never been to the Centrepoint outlet and I have been wanting to try as there are more soup choices!
Beauty in the Pot @ One KM
11 Tanjong Katong Rd, 02-21/22,One KM, 436950
Reservations are highly recommended, otherwise be prepared to queue for more than 2 hours on certain days! (Personally tried and tested)
Have you wondered what's the difference between Restaurant and Hawker steak? I watched this Eatbook video recently, which also gave us a huge temptation to try out the "restaurant steak" that they mentioned in the video.
To be honest, I prefer to pay more for a better quality steak. If I had to dine at a Hawker Centre, I prefer having the local favourites like Chicken rice, bakchormee, hokkien mee, etc. One of my favourite all-time budget steak place would be Astons. It's not top-notch quality, but the price is really reasonable and the baked potatoes are to die for.
When it comes to beef type of dishes, I usually go for the steamboat style - thinly sliced beef which melts in your mouth. American steak is something I wouldn't mind eating, but it's not what I love.
So the question is.. Is The Chop House Steak worth $39?
STEAK | HAWKER VS RESTAURANT | EP 2 - YouTube
This exact location at 112 Katong used to be T.G.I Fridays but it has now been replaced with The Chop House. With a comfortable ambience, this place looks great for a chill out evening with your friends and colleagues after work. But we're here to just have a quick dinner to satisfy our long awaited cravings.
I had a difficult time looking at the menu though, those jagged lines are surely distracting.
Lets start off with the Appetizer first - Sauteed Spinach and Mushrooms ($8). I am not impressed at all. How is this dish worth $8? No doubt that the taste was fragrant, but for $8 I would rather get something else. I thought that this mixed well with my Carbonara though, the dish was a little too salty on its own.
USDA Prime Grain Fed Rib Eye - served with watercress, grilled tomato and a choice of bearnaise, red wine or black peppercon sauce ($39) - medium rare. We had the Peppercon sauce as it is something that we are both comfortable with. They told us that bearnaise is somewhat similar to Hollandaise sauce.
Tip: Always go for medium-medium rare steaks for an expensive steak, otherwise it will ruin the goodness.
The steak isn't bad, but neither is it that fantastic as described in the video. As you know, high expectations lead to high disappointments. The meat was a tad dry on some parts and it wasn't as juicy as mentioned. Nonetheless, the sauce was very unique, unlike other common BBQ or pepper sauce. Bf said that he likes the steak, but felt that the price tag of $39 was a little too high for this standard.
That being said, my views could be slightly biased as I am a fan of Japanese Wagyu beef and my standards could therefore be affected.
Really glad that we chose to order 2 different dishes to share because the Carbonara - with smoky bacon, egg yolk, parmesan and pecorino cheese ($22) saved the day! It was one of the best Carbonara I have tasted ever. If you're looking for a good Carbonara, do consider the one at Harry's too.
Harry's Carbonara is a lot wetter and creamier in terms of texture. Meanwhile, The Chop House's Carbonara has a very appealing cheesy taste with a mix of both Parmesan and Pecorino cheese. But towards the end of my meal, I find that the pasta is a little dry. If both pastas are combined with their best qualities, that would be perfect for my palate.
Would I come back again? Yes for the pasta, but no for the steak. It's a hit and miss for me, have you tried the steak before? What's your take on this?
Gaston Luga kindly sent me a Praper White backpack this time round! With a minimalistic and simple design, this bag is versatile and matches most of my outfits. Apparently, it's also very matching to my pink and white room if I ever leave my bag lying around on the floor. (What a great excuse to be untidy.)
Just a recap in case you haven't read my previous review:
History of Gaston Luga
The story of Gaston Luga started off when the founder Carl Sundqvist met an interesting Frenchman with an elegant and casual style. Gaston told Carl he believed a backpack is the optimal companion when discovering the world. Since he was a person keen of his style, he had put time and effort into finding something different from the regular school style
The vision was to make a line with Scandinavian minimalism and elegance to suit all different occasions. As time went on, leather parts, thick quality cotton, metal details and a mix of carefully selected colors were put together and became the foundation of the new brand named after its predecessor, Gaston Luga.
Gaston Luga also ships to many other countries like UK, USA, Australia Hong Kong, Japan, and more! Just check it out on their website
I picked a casual pink and white outfit to stick to a duo colour theme for simplicity. Due to the neutral colour, this backpack would probably complement most outfits and even casual dresses.
While the bag is really versatile and lovely, I personally wouldn't use it as a travel backpack as I tend to be quite careless when I'm overseas. With a inner 13-15" laptop sleeve, the Praper White would be great for schooling if you are a student as the bag is really sturdy and spacious to keep heavy materials like your laptop/ books. On top of that, the strong hooks will keep your items secured. You surely wouldn't want your bag to be accidentally opened up while you're chasing for the bus.
Because of the white colour, I still have to be extra careful with how I place my bag outdoors.
This is what happens when you prioritise vanity over convenience. But with Gaston Luga, it's definitely worth it!
Gaston Luga bags are seriously too insta-worthy. It looks good against almost anything, just take a look and see.
My brother is a fan of Gaston Luga bags so I let him use it as well. Here's his review -
I fell in love when I first saw their Pråper line I mean just look at how beautiful they are! It’s really minimalistic and the color palette is amazing!
I really love the leather-canvas-metal mix of the backpack which gives it a soft, classy and slightly edgy vibes. There’s also a key ring for you to attach their leather address tag, or whatever key chain to make your bag more personal and unique! But I think the feature that makes Gaston Luga stand out is the hook which closes the bag.