Archive for Marina Bay

Dad Arrives in Singapore (25th Oct)

Well whilst I was on my way back from my holiday, my dad arrived in Singapore.  I arrived back on 25th October, and was able to meet my mum and dad and start the Singapore Tour with them both.

I took my dad around the Marina Bay area, visiting my office location and taking the sights and sounds of the area, as well as visiting some well-known landmarks in the area.

I didn’t want to venture too far, as it would involve a lot of walking, so after a couple of hours venturing around, we decided to go to the Lau Pa Sat (Telok Ayer) market, to relax, grab a drink and chat a bit.  After this, we then went to get some food – so we decided to try out the Satay Street, and get some sting ray, and a selection of delicious satay to enjoy and watch the world go by.  It was a great occasion, and it was a nice way to spend the weekend.

ROWAS 2014 Event (29th Aug)

ROWAS 2014

ROWAS 2014

Well another year, another Reach Out With A Smile (ROWAS) event – where we intend to visit as many merchants as possible, and refresh the POP and Decals and give the opportunity to re-enforce our Value Prop, obtain any merchant feedback and identify any new merchant leads or issues with merchant suppression.

This year, we meat at the Mapletree Business Centre, and then we registered – mine was at the Marina Square complex, so by 1pm, I made my way there with 2 other peoples, and we blasted the mall with decals, POPs and materials etc.

After finishing, I met up with a colleague and the g/f at the Black Swan – and we enjoyed the Friday evening at this quite pleasant establishment.

Another week finished…and now onto September 🙂

Magnum Pleasure Store Singapore

I had noticed that a mysteriously store had ‘popped-up’ alongside Marina Bay at Custom House.  I was intrigued to find out the reason, and it seems that it is just a Magnum’s marketing campaign – to celebrate their 25 year anniversary.

I thought it was going to be an store serving nothing but ice cream, but instead this store actually was an eatery in addition to servicing desserts that involved Magnum’s ice cream – intriguing indeed.

The view overlooking MBS and Marina Bay was very nice, especially on a nice day in the Singapore sunshine, and the store looked very nice indeed. Looking over the bay did make you feel that it was floating, so you coudl very easily feel nauseous if you stayed too much outside.

The service was very good, and the meal was average in quality and taste – they served a couple of dishes, including pasta, which was okay…wouldn’t rave too much about it. However, the desserts were simply lush – served in perfection, and tasted like most Magnum products – delicious and refreshing. It wasn’t the cheapest of places, but I am glad we paid a visit before this pop-up store closes for good. You could actually make your own dessert ice cream, with a pick and mix selection of toppings on top of the classic magnum stick.

Magnum Pleasure Store Singapore
Customs House Terrace
70 Collyer Quay
Singapore 049323

Cook and Brew, Level 33, Westin Hotel

Well after a hard week at work, what better way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Singapore from up above.  A group of us went to the Cook and Brew bar at the nearby Westin Hotel (Tower 2 of Asia Square) – another one that is located on Level 33.

Panoramic View

Panoramic View

It actually was quite a nice place, and it certainly was a great view.  It is amazing to think that over the next few years, all of the green land around this area will have skyscrapers…and more amazing to think that all of this was water before…so I guess it is good to enjoy the greenery and scenic views, whilst it lasts…!!

Cook and Brew
Westin Singapore Hotel
12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2
Singapore 018961
Tel: +65 6922 6948

St Paddy’s Weekend

Well having just arrived back from the UK, it was fortunate that the timing was just perfect for St Paddy’s Day.  The partying was extended from the Friday, 14th March through to the Monday, 17th March – which was the official St Patrick’s Day.

I was planning to take it easy, but I knew it was going to be a mad one – and it certainly was.  It started on the Saturday, with a nice session down Boat Quay at the traditional and infamous Irish Pub, Molly Malone’s (the original/first and oldest Irish Pub in Singapore), with an ex-colleague.  He had to leave after a few drinks, so I then caught up with another ex-colleague and his group of friends who were arriving in Boat Quay, and the Guinness just flowed all night – yes it was quite messy.  It involved a McD towards the end of the night to help solidify the Guinness that was mixing around in my stomach.  For some reason (maybe because I didn’t mix drinks), I was quite tired the next morning, but I did not have a hangover or headache (phew!).  I took it easy on the Sunday, relaxed and chilled – to try to recovery.

On the Monday, I met up with a few colleagues from work, and another lass that I met at a previous pub quiz – we stayed around the Blarney’s Irish Pub at the Marina Bay Sail, drinking throughout the evening and night.  We continued drinking and then we decided to pop along to Boat Quay to play some pool at a Public House, another British-themed park just off Circular Road, we ate some food (again to help line the stomach – or should be cap the stomach) and then we called it a night after a few more drinks.  

Wow, what a way to spend St Paddy’s day…!!

Sunday Italian Brunch at the Mandarin Oriental

When I was here in 2011, a work colleague I was working with really took me in under his wing, and looked after me pretty well. We had arranged a nice Sunday brunch to meet-up with my colleague, his wife and my mum and I – and he suggested to visit Dolce Vita – a nice Italian restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental.

This was not like any other Sunday Brunch, which are usually arranged as a food buffet – this one, they show you the menu, and then provide table service with a selection of every item on the menu. An interesting approach to the Sunday Brunch. So basically, whilst it is 3 courses in total, you actually gave several mini-courses with all of the dishes on the Appetizers and Main Course menu. The dessert was the only one that you had to get up for it.

A very delightful meal – and of course accompanied by Champagne 🙂 The cost was actually not bad at all – at S$158++ per person. An example of the menu can be found here

Dolce Vita
Mandarin Oriental
5 Raffles Avenue
Marina Square
Singapore 039797
Telephone: +65 6885 3500

Aaron acts as a tour guide

Well what an interesting start of the year, an ex-colleague from the UK office was in town, as she was now working on a project that related to Singapore. It was great that she was able to come out and meet her team, whilst at the same time, we managed to enjoy the sights and sounds of Singapore over the weekend – Aaron became the tour guide for the weekend 🙂

She was in town for about a week, and it was good to see an familiar face and catch-up on the latest happenings from the UK and my old team – it sounded like a lot of change since I left over a year ago. I do kinda miss the UK and Brighton teams, but actually I don’t really miss the work.

So on Saturday, I commenced the tour from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the north side of Marina Bay, we then walked along the promenade towards Boat Quay and the Fullerton hotel, we headed across towards China Town, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Year of the Horse – as we headed into the Chinese New Year festive period. After that, we took the MRT and went across to Marina Bay Sands, taking the sights and sounds of this landmark. We had a bite to eat at the MBS food court – like any tourist does these days. I then noticed that there was this Ice exhibition on, called 2 Degree Ice Art – in an area just outside of the main MBS facilities. So we went in here, the tickets were a bit pricey at S$32 a ticket, but at least my mum (who was joining us for the tour) was able to register with a Senior ticket (at S$26). The exhibition centre then had the audacity to ask whether we wanted coat and gloves…we asked what temperature was inside, and they said -15oC. I don’t think we had much choice as we were wearing summer-ware!! Anyway, they charged us another S$5 each…making the whole session a total of S$105. Ouch! It was fun inside, and a nice way to see the various monuments of the world calved into Ice Sculptures. We then headed back into MBS, and we decided to do a bit of retail therapy. I got a nice pair of Hush Puppies shoes – very comfortable and reasonable, and a nice selection.

We then had a couple of options, head towards the original Botanic Gardens, or visit the Gardens By the Bay. I decided that we should do this, so we headed there, which is a short walk from the MBS complex. There was a nice Dragon dance within the gardens which was very entertaining (I do wonder what these guys do for the rest of the year!!). We then continued our walk around the gardens until we arrived at the 2 domes, we went to the ticket line. I had my ‘free’ pass, and I then tried to see if there was any ‘senior’ tickets, they said only for local residents, which was a shame. Anyway, I then had this brainwave, and as local / EP-visa holders was slightly cheaper, I pretended to buy one for myself (even though I already had an annual pass entitling me free access), so I got one expensive (S$28), one cheap (S20) and I had my own annual pass …haha! a bit crafty – but that’s me 🙂 If no one tells, I won’t!!

We went into the two domes, I do feel that the flower one is better, as they change the displays to the current themes etc. The first time I went, they had a tulips display, previously it was the horse display, similar to this time. But still nice all the same. The Cloud dome was a bit boring, but was refreshing inside at least.

After this, we headed back towards the hotel across the Helix bridge, just as they were doing some sort of art projection on the ArtsScience museum monument. Very nice indeed, it was like they were throwing paint across it in time with the music. A great show! We then went to the hotel, and relaxed at the bar, and then said our farewells.

On the Sunday, it was more of an Orchard Road tour, so we met up for Brunch at the Wild Honey at Scotts Square location – very nice and tasty indeed. We did a relaxing walk down Orchard Road, being part of the hustle and bustle of the Sunday afternoon. A bit of window shopping and retail therapy throughout the sprawling malls and shops along the road, before we ended up at an interesting wine bar just off Orchard Road – the House of Robert Timms – an interesting spot, as you can watch the world go by and enjoy coffee (or wine, in our case) and chill and relax. We then made on our way, a nice way to end the Singapore tour and the busy weekend 🙂

Biometric Health Screening

On Monday, 25th November, we had a biometric health screening session scheduled for MBFC, so I was keen to do a check-up to see how I was doing – health-wise. I previously had one done in early 2012, so was keen to check whether I was still alive and kicking!

The Biometric screening was basically focused on a few quick checks – your height, your weight, your waist, a quick prick on the finger to check your blood sugars, your blood pressure and then a quick profile check. The great news is that I passed with flying colours.

Having been ill over the weekend prior (I had a stomach bug) I was a bit worried that this could impact my results, but in a way, it could have helped in the sense that my body was clear of any toxins 🙂

My weight was 53.8kg (8stone 6lbs), my height 176.8cm (5feet 10 inches) and 72cm waist. My BMI was 17.21 – which basically means I am slightly underweight, so I need to eat more, do more exercise, have a balance diet and eat protein etc – to puff up a bit.

My blood pressure was okay 126/75mmHg, my total cholesterol was 100mg/dl – so VERY good (and low), my glucose is 5.1 – which is in the health range, although my heart rate was in the low rate of 72bpm, so I definitely need to do more exercise.

Anyway, it’s not all bad – so I am pretty happy with the results!

The second intermediary and advance screening – was also done, and they took some blood for these more detailed tests. The funny thing is the clinic staff advised us that the costs were covered by the employer, but we then received an email later in the morning stating that there was a cost incurred for the intermediary and advance tests – I complained to them stating that we had volunteered our blood, and I felt that there was some miscommunication. Finally, they accepted this error, and they advised us that the checks would be free for those that gave the blood, and they corrected the communication for the other new tests from the afternoon onwards. Yay – more free tests 🙂

I am hoping to do a more thorough health screening to do additional checks and discuss in more details what plans I can deploy to improve my overall health and wellbeing.

Birthday Drinks – Five Izakaya Bar

After a whole day on the road and visiting Amex merchant customers, what better way to celebrate my birthday, by adding the birthday drinks after the event.

It started with a few ‘free’ drinks at the end of the ROWAS event at the Fullerton, after the barrels (tab) ran dry, we moved onto Five Izakaya which was pretty nearby, and we continued drinking away.

It was a funny session, as there was a see of Amex tops throughout the venue – we usually had about 7 tables, and the best thing is that I knew the large majority of the people here.  So I ended up going around, drinking, toasting the night, celebrating my birthday and chatting away…

A fabulous night – and it was good to have some many friendly faces out from work!

Five Izakaya Bar
16 Collyer Quay
Singapore 049318
Tel: +65 6536 8955

Amex Reach Out With a Smile (ROWAS) Merchant Event

Each year, the American Express Singapore team go out on a merchant event to say hello to them and thanks for accepting the card.  This year, it was scheduled for Friday, 25th October and we were based at the Fullerton Hotel.  This is a great way to speak to our merchant customers, something that the majority of the Amex team will unlikely do on a daily basis.

At the start of the event, there was some general quiz questions and I jumped to the chance to answer. I knew the MC that was on stage, and he knew it was my birthday, so he managed to get 400 odd Amex Singapore employees to sing Happy Birthday to me – what a nice treat 🙂

We separated into various teams, and the GNP teams were based around Orchard and Somerset.  My particular location was the Concorde Hotel – I initially was given 3 sheets of merchants (about 75-80 locations), but then 2 of the sheet were taken back, so I only had 30 merchants to visit, phew!

Some of the merchants were ‘interesting’ – especially as this place had a House of Condom and a few bars/clubs – the latter would be difficult to visit, as most would have been closed.  It is strange why these are still added to the merchant list, when we can’t “see them” during the business day. Anyway, I did the majority, gave all of my gifts out and actually enjoyed the visits and speaking with the merchants.

I took special attention to visit the House of Condom location – an ‘interesting’ shop…haha!  I managed to speak with the sales agent/owner, and she agreed to put an open/close sign on the door – which she kindly put up on the spot.  Lovely juvly – job done! 🙂

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