Showing posts with label Singapore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singapore. Show all posts

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Baume & Mercier Hampton 8819

I begin March with yet another post on a watch. I was a bit hesitant to post about this watch as it is among my favorites and is one of a pair I have with the Clairvoyant. In other words, this is personal to me. :)

The Hampton is a classic piece and some articles even call it an iconic model.
The watch has a day feature.
The signed crown with the brand's logo.
The exhibition window shows a glimpse of the movement, and each watch has a serial number. Water resistance is 50m.
This watch is powered by a Sellita SW200-1 movement that runs on 28,800 bph with a power reserve of 38hours.
The bracelet features this hidden folding deployment clasp, which makes it difficult to remove the watch from the wrist.

I bought this watch brand new and was able to get a good discount as it was purchased during the Black Friday sales that came after Thanksgiving in the US. We were vacationing in California when I got the watch and our cousins sort of "encouraged" me to get it so the Clairvoyant and I would have our matching watches. You can see the wear and tear in the form of scratches. These are due to the watch being my preference for daily use since 2011. It still is, though I can now give it a rest for longer times along with my old reliable Seiko kinetic.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Chocolate review: Complementary chocolate at the hotel

It's nice to start the year with some chocolates. We did enjoy a new one on New Year's Eve that I will write about soon. Meanwhile, here is a quick one on some complementary chocolates from a recent trip. My wife traveled to London recently via Singapore and on her way back, she stayed overnight in the city state in order to catch up with friends there. We had lived for almost 2 years in Singapore and love to come back once in a while to visit friends and go around our favorite haunts including its national museum. She decided to try out the new Sofitel there as it was also strategically located and allowed her easy transport as she met up with old friends. The hotel had some complementary chocolates at her room when she came back from her meetings.

Sofitel left the chocolate in this simple but elegant-looking box
I took the white chocolate while the wife had the dark
The chocolates were exquisite and if she had tasted it earlier could have been tempted to purchase a box at the lobby shop. There will be a next time so I look forward to that with me, hopefully, also getting to go to Singapore again.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Barbecue Singaporean-style

When we met up with friends at Lau Pa Sat, we ordered barbecue from one of the hawkers so we could have some 'fuel' for the catching up and exchange of stories that night. There seemed to be a lot of choices based on the menu provided to us but when you scan the pages, you realise its basically chicken, beef, pork and an assortment of seafoods. They just appear to have many items because of the combinations (sets) that also mentioned the volume of food you get. We went for the chicken satay, pork barbecue and grilled prawns set to go with our individual purchases from the other food stalls at Lau Pa Sat.

Assortment of grilled food
There are many hawkers of grilled food that night and it appears that they are usually there only during the late afternoon to night time when there are a lot of people eating at Lau Pa Sat. It's easy to make an order as there are many hawkers going around with menus on hand. Cost-wise, there are many sets to select from and prices are very reasonable and won't hurt your pocket. Of course, it is better if you were a group so you can enjoy ordering and sharing more food. Chances are, if you are by yourself or a couple, you might best just get food from one of the many stalls at Lau Pa Sat. Of course, if you want to enjoy barbecue, you can probably opt for the smaller sets.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Indian food craving in Singapore

We liked to eat Indian food whenever we were in Singapore and it helped that the city state has a sizeable Indian community, which is part of the multi-racial, diverse composition of Singaporean society. It is not difficult to find places where you can eat good Indian food there. We didn't really go for fancy Indian restaurants. The food courts and hawker markets where many people eat at are among the places where you can eat authentic Indian food without hurting your pockets.

On this recent trip to Singapore, we decided to get some Indian food at Lau Pa Sat. We went for some safe choices in the form of chicken biryani and chicken tikka. I saw somewhere on the counter a sign stating that the food was in the Hyderabad style. Hyderabad is one of the states in India. I will probably look up what exactly is meant by the food being prepared/cooked in the "Hyderabad style". I'm no food connoisseur so I didn't really notice a very significant difference from Indian food we had in other places like Lau Pa Sat before. The food was actually quite pedestrian compared to restaurant food but that's okay for us and we enjoyed our meal.

Chicken biryani and a generous serving basmati rice with curry on the side
Chicken tikka and nan


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lau Pa Sat

Singapore is famous for its hawker markets that also cater to the food cravings of Singaporeans and visitors/foreigners. These are where you can have good meals without hurting your wallets or pockets. There's a lot to choose from and among the hits are Chinese, Malay, Indian and of course, Singaporean food. Lau Pa Sat also has Italian, American, Japanese and even Filipino food so you have all the choices you can have so you can eat different every mealtime each day.

Lau Pa Sat was being renovated during the time we last went there before we came home in 2012. Since the food market was just across our hotel this time, we made sure to have at least a couple of meals here. We had meet-ups with friends and these were during mealtimes. It is nice to exchange stories while sharing meals with friends.

Sign at the corner of Robinson Road and Boon Tat Street

The building is a marvel to look at in the nighttime when the lights of Lau Pa Sat mix with those of the modern building surrounding it. This is a photo from across Cross Street when coming from the Raffles Place MRT Station
The section of Boon Tat Street across from Lau Pa Sat is closed to traffic at night to accommodate the crowds enjoying their outdoor meals consisting mainly of grilled food. Orders are facilitated by hawkers affiliated with the various barbecue stalls that set-up only during this time of day.
Inside the building, one is treated with many stalls offering various food and drinks. Impressive as well is the building itself with its well-preserved steel frame and high ceiling. The gigantic fans help keep the building well-ventilated.
Another view of the steel frames supporting the building. The people in orange shirts are staff who clear tables and clean up after customers. These 'aunties' and 'uncles' do a great job of making sure Lau Pa Sat is clean and tidy for all eating there.
Still another view of Lau Pa Sat's interior and stalls.
The contrast between old and new is very evident from this photo of Lau Pa Sat against the tall modern buildings of Singapore
The same street is open to traffic during the day


Teppanyaki at Somerset

One of the things we missed about Singapore was eating out. After checking in to our hotel, we found ourselves walking to the nearby SMRT station to board a train to Orchard Road. We alighted at Somerset to check out if our old food haunts were still there. We found that there was no longer a Din Tai Fung at the Somerset mall. The old Ramen Play resto was also no longer there. Marche was still there but we decided to go for the teppanyaki at the top of Somerset.

I know its Maundy Thursday but here goes a couple of photos of the set we ordered for our 'heavy merienda'. The Clairvoyant wasn't able to have lunch so we decided to have a heavy enough meal before taking a walk along Orchard Road.

Beef and seafood

Scallops and prawn
The teppanyaki came with a generous serving of salad and a cup of rice. Afterwards, we decided to go around the mall a bit to see what other changes were there before taking our Orchard stroll. More on our Singapore sentimental weekend soon...


Monday, March 21, 2016

Filipino art at the National Gallery of Singapore

The National Gallery of Singapore has in its collection several important works of art by Filipinos including the works of Juan Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and Fernando Amorsolo. These, along with other similarly important works from other ASEAN and Asian countries are exhibited from time to time. In particular, they are often part of a theme on nation's developing their identities and the struggles each country went through to become independent not just from foreign occupation and influence but also from internal tribulations during their own trying periods. Following are some photos we took at the National Gallery of Singapore last weekend featuring the exemplary works of Filipino artists.

Sculpture by Napoleon Abueva and painting by HR Ocampo
Painting by Arturo Luz

'Defend thy honour' by Fernando Amorsolo
Distinctive work of Jose Joya
Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo's masterpiece 'Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho'
We were actually surprised to have overheard a museum guide trying to explain the meaning of Hidalgo's masterpiece and mistakenly allude to it as if it had nothing to do with the Philippines. In fact, the guide was overheard by the Clairvoyant as stating the Juan Luna and Hidalgo were Spanish and not Filipinos. We wanted to correct the guide but had to restrain the nationalists within us knowing such actions might have unwanted and unexpected repercussions in a country where people are not known to take such corrections lightly even though they are truly erring on the matter.

'Mother Nature's Bounty Harvest' is a collaboration of three national artists - Victorio Edades, Galo Ocampo and Carlos "Botong" Francisco
The last photo on the collaborative work by Edades, Galo Ocampo and Botong Francisco is gigantic and reminded me of other collaborative works including those by national artists who were assisted by their apprentices who themselves later became national artists themselves.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Back in Singapore

We were back in Singapore last week with the Clairvoyant attending meetings over the week and I following for some rest & recreation over the weekend. I will be posting not a few photos over the next few days about things in Singapore that we missed as well as new experiences we've had during our short stay. I took the following panorama atop the National Gallery of Singapore where we spent half a day appreciating the collections of art from ASEAN artists. There were many works there by Filipino artists including those by national artists like Fernando Amorsolo, Vicente Manansala and Botong Francisco. I will post about them in the next few days.

Some landmarks in the photo are the Singapore Flyer, Esplanade Theaters, Marina Bay Sands and the Fullerton Hotel

Singapore has been kind to us. We called it our home for more than one and a half years and we certainly miss a lot of things (there were definitely much more good than bad to remember about Singapore) including the company of friends. We will definitely be going back to island-city-state from time to time and cannot wait to take our child there for her to enjoy that country's attractions especially the Singapore Zoo.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wee Nam Kee, Fairview Terraces

We were 'researching' for places to eat at Fairview Terraces and I mentioned to the wife that I saw this Singaporean-themed restaurant in that mall. So we searched for the restaurant online to see its menu. The mention of cereal prawns got us interested and, having been residents of Singapore for 1.5 years, we also missed the food we ate there whenever we ate out.

Wee Nam Kee is located at the ground level (that's the garden level) of Fairview Terraces. We regularly passed on the restaurant as we dined at other restaurants in the area. That turned out to be somewhat a bad idea as Wee Nam Kee served good food and is family friendly. Following are photos I took of the food we ate a couple of Sundays ago.

Wee Nam Kee fried rice
Salted egg Chinese style fried chicken
Sauteed beef with broccoli and mushrooms
A cool glass of barley juice
Cereal prawns
Salt and pepper squid

The service was good as the staff were attentive. The food was good and we thought it reminded us of the good times we had in Singapore. We will definitely be back at this restaurant and perhaps try out their other branches if we come upon them elsewhere.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reminiscing on ramen

I downloaded some photos from the Clairvoyant's trip back to Singapore last November and saw some taken during a lunch date she had with one of her friends at one of our favorite Japanese restaurants in the city state. Menya musashi serves very good, authentic ramen and the lines are still long for seats in the restaurant, a clear indication that they haven't failed their customers in terms of the quality of the food they serve.

If only looks and smell can make one's stomach full
The broth alone is quite satisfying
Special menu at Menya Musashi
I myself look forward to going to Singapore even for just a short weekend trip, if only to go back and eat at our favorite haunts there. Of course, such a trip would probably include a stop at our former residence where there is that Thai-Italian restaurant at the clubhouse.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Singapore Redux: Menya Musashi

I can never get over our time in Singapore. Even months after we moved back to Manila, I still think about our haunts and our adventures trying out different restaurants in the city state. And so when I stumbled into some photos from the Clairvoyant's iPhone, I just couldn't resist writing about another restaurant we will surely visit again when we're in Singapore.

Menya Musashi is a relatively new restaurant in Singapore (I think they only opened early this year.) but is actually a foreign foray for an established restaurant in Japan. One can Google its branches in Tokyo for the "original" thing. But for many who have not gone to Japan to savor its noodles in the many really good restaurants there offering their takes on ramen, udon and soba, Menya Musashi offers the real thing (i.e., authentic). I would like to think that Singaporeans and the so many expats/foreigners living in the city state have developed a sophisticated palate for the plethora of dishes available there. So it is not a surprise that a lot of people line up even before the restaurant opens, indicative of their appreciation of the quality of the food offered by the restaurant. It's a no-brainer - people won't be queuing and coming back for more if the food wasn't good.

Long line of customers even before the restaurant opens
The interiors make it seem like one is in Japan
Interesting column
Gyoza for appetizer
Among the best ramen we've had outside Japan

I think I can compare the taste to previous meals I've had when I was still in Japan though I've forgotten the names of those restaurants in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya. I believe the secret is in the broth. The process by which chicken, pork or beef is cooked and simmered including the duration and spices used would dictate how the ramen will taste. Of course, the noodles should be "perfect" and cooks should watch out that the noodles do not absorb so much water (overcooked) that they feel soggy (and sorry) even with the great broth. Menya Musashi's ramen was just right and perfect for a rainy day.

Menya Musashi is located at the ground floor of the Raffles City mall along Bras Basah Road and across from the historic Raffles Hotel.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Singapore Redux - Raffles

The Raffles Hotel is among the many landmarks in Singapore. The facade and arcade of the hotel is reminiscent of the times when the city-state was under British rule and a part of what was Malaya. Like many other buildings in Singapore, The Raffles is well-preserved and represents the country's heritage. It is accessible via a short walk from the SMRT Circle (Orange) Line's Bras Basah or Esplanade Stations (walk along the Bras Basah Road) or the North-South (Red) or East-West (Green) Lines' City Hall Station (walk along the North Bridge Road).

Facade of the famous Raffles Hotel
The Raffles Hotel is located along Bras Basah Road across from the newer Fairmont Mall and Swissotel The Stamford
People waiting to cross at the intersection at the Raffles Hotel - I like this photo because it shows both old and new architectures of the Carlton Hotel (left) and the Raffles (right), something you'd find a lot of around Singapore.
I think there should be similar efforts (and strong or aggressive ones) to preserve similar buildings in the Philippines, particularly in the older cities like Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Vigan. Such will ensure that generations to come, if not tourists, will benefit from the history and heritage that comes with such preservation.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

All boxed up

Heading home at last after a year and 7 months in Singapore, the Clairvoyant had to gather our things and place them in boxes to be transported back to the Philippines. Friends recommended a shipping company to us and we found their office at Lucky Plaza where there seemed to be quite a lot of companies offering logistics services for overseas foreign workers. We arranged for boxes delivered to our home and they arrived during one of my trips to Singapore. I was quite experienced in this work as I similarly had my stuff moved from Japan twice - the first time when I was returning home after my studies in Yokohama and the second when I was going back after a fellowship stint in Saitama. We ended up having 2 huge boxes picked up at our home and another we filled up with things we brought to Lucky Plaza.

The boxes could fit people inside them
Name recall is definitely there as Jolly-B is quite the same as the most popular fast food chain in the Philippines. Note the various bags in the background? It turns out, as I observed, that many OFWs in Singapore, particularly those sharing homes (or even rooms), probably have no storage for to keep items they wanted to send home to their families. They just drop off items in bags at Lucky Plaza until they are able to fill a box and decide to send their stuff to the Philippines.
Ready to go - after carefully sealing both ends of the box in packaging tape, we wrote our delivery address on the box itself.
Jolly-B staff marking our box after wrapping the entire box in packaging tape. That seemed to be a great idea to somehow have the package waterproofed for the journey via maritime transport.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Singapore Redux: Dimsum Delight

Din Tai Fung is another restaurant that we will surely miss. It has been one of our staples while living in Singapore the last year and a half with its signature Xiao Long Bao quickly becoming a comfort food for us. While there are many of Chinese restaurants in SG, it is Din Tai Fung that has provided us with a consistently high quality meal every time we ate there. The following photos were taken the Saturday evening prior to our return to our home country.

Cool lemongrass drink - we are still quite curious about how they make the ice that seem not to melt through the entire time we were having our dinner.
Relaxed early dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant at the NEX mall
Satisfied with my drink
Xiao long bao in the making...
The Clairvoyant and I are always asking when Din Tai Fung will finally have a branch in Manila. Perhaps one food & beverage group will get the franchise for the Philippines? Well, until then we will always look forward to eating there again on our next trip to Singapore.