Tag Archive for Friends

Paradise Dynasty at ION Orchard

To enjoy a cheapish (sorry I mean ‘cost effective’) pre-Christmas meal with my mum and girlfriend, I decided to take them to ION Orchard and to the Paradise Dynasty restaurant there. We intended to enjoy the fusion xiao long bao that they serve specifically at this restaurant. Paradise’s xiao long bao are quite different – as they serve a mixed plate of 8 xiao long bao of different types: original, szechuan, ginseng, crab roe, cheese, garlic, and the kings-among-kings – foie gras and black truffle. Delicious and very tasty!

We ordered a few dishes and enjoyed the fine and relaxing company – and it was a great meal and experience overall. It wasn’t too expensive and we were able to enjoy it with a nice discount – as I had some vouchers to use up. I think I managed to use $40 of the $50 I had, and provided the difference in cash – something like S$7 – not bad, hey?

Paradise Dynasty at ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
#04-12A ION Orchard
Singapore 238801

Sunday Lunch at Keisuke Tokyo

A colleague from work was retiring after spending an enjoyable tenure with American Express – mainly around SE Asia. As he was returning to his native US, my mum and I arranged a nice farewell lunch with him and his wife.

He suggested a venue in Suntec – which was called Keisuke, which was a nice no-thrills place serving Japanese Ramen – and it certainly was a yummy meal.

We found the place pretty easily, and tuck into a delicious dish of Ramen – this place was certainly a great find, and we certainly enjoyed the meal.

Keisuke Tokyo
#02-391/392 Suntec City Mall
3 Temasek Boulevard
Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 6337 7919

My Birthday Celebration at Equinox

Well we had decided to schedule a family birthday dinner (with my mum and dad) at a nice restaurant in Singapore – so we decided to do a brunch at Equinox within the Swissôtel The Stamford (City Hall) – which also allows me to utilise my Far Card discount card – which results in 20% of food (as we had 5-10 adults), and 25% of drinks. My aunt and cousin also decided to come across, and I invited my girlfriend too – so there was 6 of us in total.

The Sunday Brunch at the Equinox was pretty good – a great location at the 74th floor of the Swissôtel The Stamford, and we did certainly enjoy the Singapore views from up above.

As it was the last Sunday of the month, there was a Pink theme to the brunch – so the usual Brunch price of $158++ per person was increased to $178++ per person – but with unlimited Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial, house red or white wines, specialty cocktails and a selection of beers (instead of the classic Moët & Chandon Impérial). Anyway, I tried to get the normal price, as I wasn’t really keen to go pink for my birthday, but they said there was no choice as it was a special pink theme. Anyway, at least I would get a discount about 1/5 off (with the Far Card), so it wasn’t all bad.

The food was pretty good – however, the selection was as good as a couple of hour brunch places (St Regis and Mandarin Oriental seemed to be better), but it was still very tasty and very enjoyable!

What was a dampener was the Roast Beef, a couple of us got a couple of slices and we tucked in, however, there was this really funny taste too – as if it the meat was rotten or gone off. I am not sure why, but never smelt or tasted beef as bad as this. Anyway, I went to speak to the chef servicing the hot meat table, and he summounded the head chef, whilst we waited, we enjoyed the rest of the meal. After a few minutes, we noticed that head chef came, tasted the meet, and then took the whole slab of meet away back to the kitchen, whilst they replaced it with another (which tasted far better). The Equinox restaurant manager then came to speak with us, and apologised for this and stated it must have been the supplier etc. I explained that unfortunately it doesn’t matter, as it is the Swissôtel was the one cooking and serving it to the public. Anyway, we relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the meal and then we requested the bill.

After a few minutes, the bill arrived, but there was nothing provided as a gesture due to the off meat. I asked to speak to the restaurant manager and asked him that they should offer something as a way of apologising, he asked me what I wanted, and I told him that it was for him to determine. He agreed and I left for them to consider the offer. After a while the he came back and returned my Amex credit card and stated that the meal was on him – wow! That was not what I was expecting, but I felt it was a great gesture, albeit too much to accept. He apologised again for the issues with the meat, and the F&B also turned up to offer an explanation and also apologised – I did state that all it required was for one customer to complain to the NEA, and they would come and shut down the place – so I sense they realised the severity of it. I just hope no one gets ill because of this – as I know there was other tables eating the meat.

I accepted the offer, but did give about $200 tip for the servicing staff, as I know it wasn’t there fault and they would not receive any service tip from our table otherwise. He accepted it, and said he will make sure the staff received it.

It was a bit of a weird birthday meal – but unfortunately, these things do happen. At least they did the honourable thing and accepted the issue – at the same time, we made quite a saving off the whole meal – wow! What a birthday meal that was!

Swissôtel The Stamford
Equinox Restaurant
2 Stamford Road
Singapore 178882
Tel: +65 6338 8585
Reservations: +65 6837 3322
URL: http://www.equinoxrestaurant.com.sg

Dad’s Marina Bay Tour (25th Oct)

It was great that my dad was able to enjoy his Singapore holiday so far whilst I was away, but now that I was back, I decided to take him for a tour of Marina Bay and the area where I work.

I met them at my place, and then we took the MRT from Novena to Marina Bay, we then visited the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) complex and visited Tower 2 – where I work. We rested for a few minutes, before venturing into the Marina Bay Link Mall, and then across the road to the Marina Bay walkway. We took a few photos, and then we continued walking around to the Marina Bay Gallery, which gave an insight of what the vision is for the Marina Bay and new Financial Business District area – it implies that every bit of grassland in the area will be a skyscraper within the next 5-10 years. It is amazing how much the area has changed, and how much it will continue to change, and I am glad we were able to enjoy the vision as it stands today.

We continued the tour and then headed to the Lau Pa Sat market, and we rested with a drink. After some time we decided to go to Satay Street alongside the market, and enjoy a nice Satay dinner – with nice vegetables and sting-ray fish – what a delight to enjoy it with both of my parents.

Crab in the Bag – Dan’s Birthday Dinner (13th Sept)

What a nice place to enjoy a dinner meal with a difference. I’ve heard of this place, but never been here before – so when I arrived at East Coast Parkway, at the Big Splash.

It was a great concept – it all starts with them preparing your table with a paper table cloth…but the twist is that they don’t provide any cutlery or plates. What you actually do is order Fish et Co in a Bucket…and they then serve it in the same bucket, and they then tip the contents (luckily, cooked!) onto the table top for you all to tuck in. Sauces and other sides are then delivered in little disposable cups.

Crab in Da Bag
Block D Unit #01-25
902 East Coast Parkway
Big Splash
Singapore, 449874
Tel: +65 6440 0083
URL: http://www.crabindabag.com

Birthday Drinks at Wine Connection Rob Quay (2nd Aug)

A great group of people always make for a great birthday celebration, so we went to the Wine Connection in Robertson Quay, to have a few wines and bevvies and food – to celebrate a fab mate’s birthday…what a young man he is 🙂

After a few drinks, some grub and a birthday cake, we decided to continue the night (the night was still young!), and ended up at Fern and Kiwi – which is actually one of the nicer of the bars in Clarke Quay. The night continued with drinking and dancing, and more drinking, followed by more dancing.

I decided to leave around 1.30am, as I was getting sooo sleepy … seems I do struggle doing these type of sessions now…maybe it is the lack of practice 🙂 But it sure was a great night!

Singapore Gun Club – Shot-Gun Shooting (15th June)

After an episode in the US, where I held a rifle too close, and ended up getting a bit bruised on my forehead, I was a bit weary of guns…I am not a gun person by norm.  So when a group of friends scheduled a Clay Pigeon shooting session at the Singapore Gun Club, they kindly invited me along!  I didn’t even know that a Gun Club was actually allowed in Singapore, yet alone that one existed, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was one.

I knew it was going to be a great experience, but I was also a bit concerned that I was going to be pretty crap at hitting the target.  The location of the place was a bit far to the west at Choa Chu Kang…in fact any further west I would be in Malaysia…I recognised the name, but couldn’t recall why, only to realise that it had its own MRT station on the North-South line, the one I use to get to work, so I knew I had seen the name somewhere before!  Haha!

Anyway, I knew it was still quite west of the MRT station, so I decided to go by taxi…I jumped it and then told the driver where I wanted to go, I could tell he was pretty annoyed, as it was soooo to the West, it almost out in the sticks…he agreed to go (unlike other taxi drivers) and we went on our way.  As we approached the area, I noticed that there was a lot of defense and military and similar installations around, and the driver told me that this is where all of the Singapore defense offices are largely based…now makes sense why there is an official national gun club just along here.  There was also a lot of cemeteries too, the driver made a poignant comment that they were intending to move the graves because they needed to build on the land – which I still find very distasteful – but alas, that’s the issue when you are in a Country / island with limited land around!

To the sport in hand, when we arrived, I registered which was a temporary 3 month membership for $82, which allowed you to visit for this period of time. We were then led to the Clay Pigeon shooting range and provided the gun handling and safety awareness course instructions (health and safety briefing) on what to do, and how to hold the shot-gun etc. After this, we went for the Trap Shooting, which means that we stay at one position along the line, with various severity of aim, and the clay then came out of a central location. We had 25 clays in total each, and as we were still novices, the guide went down the line to ensure that only one person was firing at any one time, so it took about 2 hours all in all to finish the session. It was actually very tiring, and you could feel your arms and shoulders aching, but it sure was great fun – I ended up hitting the target about 70% of the time, so hit around 17-18 clays, not bad for a beginner! I would certainly do it again, at some point, just need to rest my brain and arms a bit! Haha!

Singapore Gun Club
Gun Club 990 National Shooting Centre
Singapore 689810
Tel: +65 6466 1575
E-mail: info@singaporegunclub.com
URL: http://www.singaporegunclub.com/

Cycling Trip at ECP (8th June)

Another weekend, another cycling opportunity with a colleague.

We decided to really push for Changi Park, so we met-up at 3pm, and cycled hard, to go east along East Coast Park, and reach the edge of East Coast Park, just before the Changi Airport stretch at around 4pm, not that bad going.

We rested for a few minutes and observed a group of students perform some Stand-up Paddle Boarding, looked amazing, but looked very difficult. We then continued on and pushed ourselves along the Changi Airport Perimeter road (or the coastal path along the ride), before we reached the north end of the cycling path. We arrived at Changi Beach Park – wow – what a result!

Look at the ride report at Runkeeper.

Go Green Segway Fun!

What do you get when you get a group of adults-turn-children in Sentosa and a Segway? Well definitely fun and entertainment – and plenty of laughs!

We went to Siloso beach in Sentosa for the initial training (yes all of that health and safety melarkey), but also an introduction on how to use a Segway – which was a first for me. It was actually pretty easy to get the controls, or linked to your centre of balance, you lean forward to lean forward, lean back to brake/stop, and then move your weight to your left or right leg to steer – pretty easy after you get use to it!

We then did a few puzzles: ranging from Segway scrabble, a memory game on the Segway, egg and spoon race (segway style) and then spot the mystery pieces…followed by a luge event, which was absolute speed funness, and then ended with beers and food – well all that hard work must end in some style.

It was a great session, definitely recommend the Segway and Luge, although both did seem quite a short event, but definitely good to ride both and enjoy the afternoon in the Singapore sunshine and humid heat!

Gogreen Segway Eco Adventure
Sentosa Leisure Management Pte Ltd
39 Artillery Avenue
Singapore 099958
Tel: 1800-SENTOSA (736 8672) / +65-6736 8672
E-mail: guest_services@sentosa.com.sg

Kota Kinabalu Holiday (10th to 14th May)

Well I thought it would be good to schedule my third holiday for 2014 into my busy calendar.

A colleague from work and I decided a few options in Malaysia – all centred in Borneo. Miri was one option, Kuching was another (although I had already been) and so was Kota Kinabulu (KK for short). After much discussion, we set our mind on KK, noting that it was going to be a cheap and relaxing break away from Singapore and work, and where we can also have a bit of fun.

The Air Asia flight wasn’t too bad – priced at $241 – I guess it could have been cheaper on a promo, but we couldn’t wait any longer to book up. We looked at the various accommodation comparison sites (hotels.com, booking.com and the newest site that we also now use is wego.com) – and we found a nice place in the centre of KK called “Imperial Boutec Hotel Waterfront” – at Warisan Square. it cost us 30RM to get there from the airport via taxi. The area seemed okay, not too sleazy, and it was up on the 7th floor of the shopping mall, so away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping area. We were based very central within the town, near to the seafront / promenade and near to the night food market – which we went to a couple of times in the end.

We also went around the town – which was enough to get around with relative ease. We did find a nice quarter down Jalan Gaya which overlooked the Signal Hill Observation Tower. We visited a place called ‘Party Play’ which seemed to be an tourist expat type of place, but it was a nice spot to get out of the rain and chill over a beer or two, as we watched the world go by during one afternoon.

The key intention of our visit was to visit Mounta Kinabulu mountain…whilst we weren’t that keen (or possibly well versed) to do the actual climb (about 4,095.2m or 13,435.7ft above sea level), but we did enjoy the view from below 🙂 Haha! We went as part of a tour, so we had other groups come with us, it was a nice walk up, and the lunch time food was quite tasty.

We went to the Poring Hot Springs, which was pretty relaxing. The springs were pretty close to the Kinabulu National Park, so it was good to visit and relax before the next part of the walking trail. This also included a tree-top walk during the walk, it was very similar to the one in Singapore, and a nice relaxing walk up hill. The last part of the trip involved walking to the Waterfall, it is always amazing to see the great views of nature in all its glory.

We then ended the trip and headed back to KK town, and we decided to head out to get a drink after a long days walking – exercise is hard work remember 🙂

The next day, we decided to take a taxi to visit the Low Kawi Wildlife park, just to the south of KK town – however, it wasn’t that good to visit, although it was good to get out back and see some nature again. It just looked a bit run down.

On the last day, we just walked around the town again, and we decided to find a Buk Kut Teh place – and we decided to go with the herbal variety – and it was actually very refreshing indeed. We then ventured around looking for gift ideas, and enjoying people watching in and around the town.

we then went to Hot Rod nearby for our last dinner – this pub was quite nice, and we enjoyed the live music and the pool playing – ergh… and the drinks 🙂 before we headed near by for a nice seafood dinner, our last dinner as we ended our holiday. The next morning, we had a quick brekkie nearby, before we headed to the airport for our return flight back to Singapore…I would certainly recommend visiting Kota Kinabulu and would definitely suggest going up the mountain – as there is only a limited amount of things to see and down within the two itself.

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