Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sentosa Flowers (圣淘沙春节花会) 2012

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Sentosa Flowers (圣淘沙春节花会), the most celebrated flower festival during the Lunar New Year is back from 22 to 29 January 2012. The annual floral festival returns for the eighth time to usher in the Year of the Dragon transforming Sentosa into an enchanting floral extravaganza.

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The event started with bang with a dragon dance performance to usher in the year of the dragon and to reveal the first Sand Sculpture in the event's history.

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Dance of the Dragon.
The Sand Sculpture named "Dance of the Dragon" (祥龙欢舞), spans six meters in length, three meters in width and three meters in height. The majestic sand sculpture of a dancing dragon is specially sculpted and brought to life at the hand of international acclaimed sand sculptor JOOheng Tan for the event.

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This year Sentosa Flowers is themed as "Enchanted Spring" (绮域之旅), and unfolds the story of three playful kids as they venture out to discover the beauty of spring.

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Dragon Gate.
The fish is always a symbol of joy, fortune and prosperity (年年有余) and what an excellent idea to combine the tale of the carps leaping over the Dragon Gate (鯉躍龍門) as one of the floral displays.

The tale has it that the carps leap over the dragon gate to transform into dragons reminds us of the determination needed to overcome hurdles, and achieve success. The carp is a tough fish that could resist the strong currents of the China's Yellow River, showing perseverance and determination in its endeavours. .

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Floral Zodiac Dragon.
After the dragon gate, the friendly three meter tall Floral Zodiac Dragon greets you with good luck, longevity and wisdom.

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Awakening.
This is an interactive giant painting of the dragon. Take the big brush and give the painting a finishing touch. You never know, the dragon may comes to live just like the legend of the famous painter named Zhang.

Legend has it that there was a famous painter named Zhang, whose painting were true to life. The animals he drew would come of the pictures as soon as he gave the finishing touches. One day in front of a crowd, Zhang painted a dragon without eyes. They insisted that he add the eyes and so he did. In the twinkling of an eye, it started to moved and flown into the sky.

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Spring Melodies.
Celebrate the beauty of life and be enchanted in the natural sounds of moving water, humming birds and rustling leaves. A lively season that brings hope, joy, beauty, and the carefree spirit of springtime.

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Tea Journey.
How is tea associated with the year of Dragon? In China , there is a famous green tea with more than a those years of recorded history known as Xi Xu Long Jung Green Tea (West Lake Dragon Well Tea). Prized for its aroma, flavour and health benefits, it has even granted the status of Imperial Tea during the Qing Dynasty by the Chinese emperor. The majestic nature of this tea goes to the next level with the creation of the Tea Journey at the Enchanted Spring.

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Sweet Love
Thinking of pledging your love or renewing your vows to your loved one? Take a stroll with your loved ones through the tunnel of love and soak in the romantic scents from the beautiful blossoms.

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Dinoland
Kids will love this, the extinct dinosaurs were spotted at Sentosa! Is Sentosa going to be ruled by the dinosaurs and becomes another Jurassic Park?

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Dragonflies
Oh no! Even gigantic dragonflies are migrating to Sentosa

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Flower Fairies
Worry not, we have the flower fairies looking after the flowers, keeping them strong and healthy.

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Seaworld
Unknown to most, Sentosa's waters are host to an incredible array of marine life and home to almost 200 species of corals, turtles, crabs and more.

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There are many other colourful and interactive photo points such as the Tress of Life and Lost Garden at the Enchanted Spring Sentosa Flowers. Come down to Sentosa Flowers, amidst a magical floral wonderland that is cloaked in the sweet scents and brilliant hues of spring.

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Dragon Gate Inn.
This year Mount Faber also debut in the Sentosa Flower floral festival. Guests can complete the Sentosa Flowers experience by taking an idyllic ride on the Singapore Cable Car and visit the Dragon Gate Inn (龙门客栈) at The Jewel Box. Guests can take photos with a large dragon-shaped kite or enjoy a cup of Jasmine tea and light refreshments.


Event details
Date: 22 - 29 January 2012
Time: 10am - 10pm
Venue: Merlion Plaza, Imbiah Lookout, Beach Plaza, Resorts World Sentosa and The Jewel Box (Mount Faber)
Event admission: Free entry (usual island admission charges apply)
Website: http://flowers.sentosa.com.sg



Monday, January 16, 2012

Johor Bahru (JB) Day Trip Dec 2011

Last month my partner and I went to Johor Bahru for a day trip just to revel in shopping and the local food. We took the train to Kranji MRT station and then transfer to SBS bus 170 that took us to the Singapore immigration checkpoint at the causeway. After clearing the immigration and custom at Singapore side, you need to queue again for the bus to bring you to Johor Bahru. Some people may get confuse with the queue but taking either SBS bus 160 or 170 from this stage onwards is the same. Just hop on to whichever comes first and it will bring you to Malaysia, Johor Bahru immigration checkpoint.

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Curry Chicken Noodle

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Chicken Redang with Rice

We have a quick lunch at JB Sentral Mall which is conveniently connected to the JB immigration checkpoint. We had Curry Chicken Noodle and Chicken Redang at one of the basement cafes. After lunch, we walked back to the bus interchange at the JB immigration checkpoint to take bus S1 to the new KLS City Mall. We paid $1.50 ringgit per pax and the bus alight us at the entrance of the mall. Same fee and place to take the bus back to the JB immigration checkpoint.

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After shopping and doing pedicure at KLS City Mall, we took a taxi from KLS City Mall to 大马巴杀 to have Zi Char at 文记野味海鲜 (Restoran Mun). Taxi fee is about $8 Ringgit. If you are familiar with JB, actually it is within walking distance from KLS City Mall to 大马巴杀.

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Can you guess what are these? You will see it at most of the stalls there. They are called Beggar Chicken.

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Beggar Chicken

If you order the Beggar Chicken, the server will crack out the clay with a hammer and chisel. Not sure why the Malaysian called it the Beggar Chicken but it tasted similar to the Herbal Chicken in Singapore.

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Black Hokkien Mee

Black Hokkien Mee is probably one of the signature noodle Malaysian dish that every Singaporean would order whenever they visit Malaysia as we hardly find it in Singapore. The Black Hokkien Mee here is pretty sinful as it was fried in a plate full of pork lards.

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Sambal Tapioca Leaves

A simple vegetable dish but the Sambal Tapioca Leaves was well done with a good balance of spiciness.

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Ceral Crayfish

We just got to order the Creal Crayfish as almost every table was having it. If you have a chance to visit the place, this is a best order dish.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yum Cha Garden Restaurant @ Serangoon Garden Country Club

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Last Saturday my gf and I met up with with Maureen, Charlene and their partners for dinner at Yum Cha Garden Restaurant. I never knew that there is another Yum Cha restaurant at Serangoon Garden Country Club beside the Chinatown branch. Whats important, Yum Cha Garden Restaurant is open to the public.

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Sake Tapino 4.5/5

We were here to try the Sake Tapino which comes in 2 sizes at $78 (for 2-4 pax) and $156 (for 6-8 pax). I thought the ingredients will be cooked in a pot of solely Sake Soup but I was wrong. Actually the Sake Tapino uses pork bone soup as it base and a bottle of Sake was poured into it.

We opt for the waitress to prepare the Sake Tapino for us. First serving was Kurobuta Pork in a bowl of strong Sake flavour soup. Second serving the Sake flavour was milder and we had tofu, prawn and cabbage. Lastly, a bowl of udon in soup to wrap up the Sake Tapino feast.

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Prawn and Beancurd Skin Pancake 4/5

We actually ordered the 6 pax set menu which comes with the Signature Pomfret Tapino. The restaurant was kind enough for us to swap for the Sake Tapino. Beside the Sake Tapino, the menu came with Prawn and Beancurd Skin Pancake. It is basically prawn paste stuffed in beancurd skin and fried to a golden brown.

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Wine Sauce Chicken in Hot Stone 3/5

Next we have the Wine Sauce Chicken served in Hot Stone. This is the only dish we did not finish as the sauce was a bit salty. The chicken meat was also tough and dry.

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Black Pepper Crab 4.2/5

Singaporean loves crab and so do I. It has been a while since I have the Black Pepper Crab. Miss the fragrant and punch from the crushed black pepper.

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Homemade Tofu with Mushrooms and Vegetables 4.5/5

When I walked into the restaurant, I noticed a lot of people having the Homemade Tofu with Mushrooms and Vegetables. Yum Cha's homemade tofu is really smooth and silky. A best try dish.

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Braised Eefu Noodle 4/5

Like a typical wedding dinner, the second last course was a noodle dish. We had Braised Eefu Noodle with mushroom and conpoy.

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Mango Sago Pomelo 4.2/5

Actually we were all feeling a bit hot near the end of the dinner probably effect from the Sake soup. The chill and refreshing Mango Sago Pomelo dessert helped to cool down our body temperature.


Yum Cha Garden Restaurant
Serangoon Garden Country Club
22 Kensington Park Road
Singapore 557271
Website: http://www.yumcha.com.sg
Nearest MRT: Lorong Chuan (CC Line), Serangoon (NE Line, CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 9am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm

Direction:
1) Alight at Lorong Chuan MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to bus stop at New Tech Park (Stop ID 66021). Take Bus 73. Alight 4 stops later. Walk to Serangoon Garden Country Club. Journey time about 15mins.

2) Alight at Serangoon MRT station. Take Exit B or E. Walk to bus stop at Serangoon Central (Stop ID 66351). Take Bus 315. Alight 5 stops later. Walk to Serangoon Garden Country Club. Journey time about 15mins.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kohii Cafe & Sandwich Bar @ One Shenton

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Located at the heart of CBD, Kohii is a contemporary Tokyo cafe and sandwich bar specialising in high quality coffees and handmade sandwiches. The 3 month's old alfresco cafe and sandwich bar is located at the new One Shenton Building directly opposite SGX centre or next to One Raffles Quay.

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Banana Coco Maltese Furappe and Ringo Cinnamon Smoothie 4/5

For the cold beverages, Kohii offers a selection of furappe, smoothie and soda. The Banana Coco Maltese Furappe has a nice balance blend of banana and chocolate flavours not overpowering each other. The Ringo Cinnamon Smoothie which is apple and cinnamon blend were the perfect refreshing drink for the hot weather.

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MangoMoMo Smoothie 4/5

The MangoMoMo Smoothie is one of their signature cold beverage named after the owner's daughter, Momo. It is an excellent thirst quenching fruity blend of mango and peach flavours. The other favourite Ichigo Nana named after the other daughter, Nana, is a strawberry and banana smoothie.

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Pumpkin Soup 4.5/5

Kohii offers only 2 types of soup on their menu. Pumpkin Soup and Mixed Mushrooms Soup. I got to try the Pumpkin Soup which was surprisingly very good. A homemade soup with simple and direct flavour. It has a unique taste and texture that is distinctly very different from others and enjoyable.

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Assorted Seafood Salad 4.2/5

The Assorted Seafood Salad would be the ladies' favourite. It has a mixed abundance of fresh seafood and greens with a choice of Japanese salad dressing. 3 types of Japanese salad dressing are available, namely Soy Vinegrette, Goma and Miso. I get to try all three and I like all of the them. If it is down to the wire, I will pick Goma since it is a more familiar Japanese sesame dressing.

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Potato and Bacon Sandwich (left) 4/5 and Curry Chicken Sandwich (right) 4.2/5

There are 10 different types of sandwich available at Kohii that comes with choice of plain, wholemeal or oatmeal bread with mayonnaise, butter letture, sliced tomatoes and sliced cucumber that are freshly made on order. The sandwiches here remind me of MOS Burger where Japanese flavours are found between the bread.

The signature Curry Chicken Sandwich has to be my favourite. The used of Japanese Curry sauce (similar to those Japanese Curry Rice) with the tender chicken fully complement each other that creates a familar but unique taste for a sandwich.

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Pesto Chicken 4/5

The Italian marinated Pesto Chicken Sandwich has a light herbal basil flavours that give an option for customers who are more health conscious.

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Teriyaki Chicken Breast 4/5

A nice balance of Japanese flavours for the Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich. I felt that the chicken was a bit tough. Maybe it is due to the used of chicken breast.

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Tuna with Apple Sandwich 4.2/5

I thought the combination of Tuna with Apple is very interesting. I asked for the sandwich when I spotted it on the menu. I like how the tuna was done, neither too wet nor dry with too much mayonnaise. The green apple chunks also gave the sandwich a fruity freshness flavour.

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Marinated Mushrooms 4.2/5

If you are a vegetarian, you can order the Marinated Mushrooms Sandwich. We did not order it but was given a small tasting portion of the marinated mushroom. The assorted mushrooms which are imported from Japan were bursting with flavours with each mouthful.

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UCC UESHIMA Coffee 4/5

Even the coffee at Kohii is from Japan. Kohii uses UCC UESHIMA coffee which has a history of coffee making dated back to 1933. It is one of the leading Japanese brand with 70 years of experience.


Kohii
One Shenton
1 Shenton Way
#01-06
Singapore 068803
Website: www.kohii.asia
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place (NS Line, EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 830am - 830pm
Sat: 9am - 3pm
(Closed on  Sun & PH)

Direction:
1) Alight at Raffles Place MRT station. Take Exit I. Exit One Raffles Quay Building and walk towards Lau Pa Sat Festival Market direction. One Sheraton Building is diagonally opposite Wendy or directly opposite SGX Centre. Journey time about 10 minutes.

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