Monday, September 30, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Part 3 - Breakfast @ The Bungalow

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.

To enjoy a breakfast under the cool breeze in The Bungalow was a bliss indeed. With a cup of cappuccino in hand, I just basked in the moment as the rest of the patrons did. Some kids were dripping wet from their dip in the pool, ready to start their breakfast after an immersing moment in the cool waters. Other patrons enjoyed a moment with each other as a couple, a family or friends on a vacation, engaged in conversations or just reading under the cool patio.

The Bungalow is a 2-story building situated next to the pool. The patio and lower floor is converted into dining area and a kitchen, whereas the top floor is off limits.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - TungLok Signatures @ Vivocity 同樂經典

Location: Harborfront, Singapore

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Vivocity branch. Experience may differ from those in another branch.
* Lokkee is operated by Tunglok Group. Other reviewed eateries from the same group include Lokkee and TungLok Signatures.

This review will start with a sincere and heartfelt thanks to my friends for treating us to a dinner for celebrating us newlyweds. It was unexpected and definitely very much appreciated. This is written fully dedicated to their thoughtfulness and undying friendship.

Tung Lok Signatures in Vivocity was chosen as the venue for our celebration. I was aware of Tung Lok Group having a range of restaurants under its management, but I was not familiar with what the Signatures brand offers. A quick surf into their website shed some light on this particular chain - its main business is in serving traditional Chinese cuisines, particularly dishes of Cantonese, Sichuan and Shanghainese variety and taste.

This celebration by my friends gave me a chance to sample their offers and compare that to their equally famous competitor which I had experienced before - Paradise Inn (樂天客棧) (read more on my Paradise Inn experience in the review here).

Tung Lok Signatures in Vivocity is situated on the ground floor, right beside one of the exits to the boardwalk facing Sentosa Island.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Hatched @ Holland Village

Location: Holland Village, Singapore

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Holland Village branch. Experience may differ from those in another branch.

Egg - one of the food items which removes the boundary of nations and cultures, catering vegetarians (some consider egg as a vegetarian food) and carnivores alike. Wherever you go, you can be sure that there will be at least a kind of food made from this universal food. You could fry it, bake it, boil it, half-boil it, scramble it or poach it. You can have it as a custard, omelette, tart or salad, even pickled or salted. The possibilities are endless. And it makes sense to have a cafe opened with a main theme based on eggs. You just couldn't go wrong with that. Thus was born one named Hatched.

Even salt and pepper are served through egg-shaped shakers! Something may hatch out of it... Salt and peppers perhaps?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Travel through Philately - Classic Locomotive of Northern Ireland

There is a charm with locomotives which I couldn't point or shake off. Especially the old timers. They captured my full attention when I was a kid and as they passed in front of me, the little boy in me watched with awe how they thundered past with a might that automobiles just couldn't compete against. I have a number of rail related FDC for my appreciation, one commemorating Singapore's retired train stations (Philately - Singapore's Historical Train Stations) and one for London Underground's centenary (Philately - London Underground). And now I have more.

These chugging reminders of the Northern Ireland's past had long gone out of date, but this FDC kept them immortalized.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - McCafe's Green Tea Latte

Location: Singapore

Some craved for their daily dose of Starbucks, others for a shot from Coffee Bean, and even others from a variety of coffee chain stores. The coffee stalls and shops catered to the office tribes sauntering past in the morning or the retired elders loitering for a chat. For me, nothing beats the offer from McCafe.

Once again, a new offer caught my attention and I immediately ordered a cup to addict myself to it. Here is McCafe's latest "invention" - a cup of Green Tea Latte. The foamy not-really-coffee for the not-really-true-coffee-lover is a caffeine fix for me without getting an insomniac night.

Green Tea Latte (SGD4.50) - one of the latest offerings from McCafe. A combination of green tea flavor and latte, it was intended to marry Japanese green tea and caffeine lovers. It may have done the opposite.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Travel through Philately - Hong Kong Delicacies

Nothing makes a nation prouder these days than to present a meal and say "This is from my home! Try it and be amazed!" Of course not everybody would be impressed by every unique food the nation would offer. Take durian for example.

However the delicacies of Hong Kong, influenced by Cantonese cuisine coupled with British colonization, created a wave of frenzy the world over with its allure, with imitations and authenticity claims rising and competing wherever there is a Cantonese restaurant or tea shop. To aid in the spread of Hong Kong delicacies' recognition, Hong Kong Post chose 4 all time favorites to represent Hong Kong's taste and flavor in its FDC.

Hong Kong Post released 2 sets of FDC with the theme of Hong Kong Delicacies in 2012, one with a set of stamps, the other with the same set in a miniature sheet.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Travel through Philately - Singapore National Museum's Centenary

Whether or not you are a keen hunter of past colonial romance in Singapore, its National Museum is a must visit, much more so even than Marina Bay Sands despite the latter's fame as Singapore's latest icon. After all, how many buildings in Singapore could claim to survive both World War and is still in active service, along with its centenary in 1987, just goes to show how ancient it is compared to most of the buildings in the island republic.

This 1987 FDC highlights just how old the National Museum of Singapore is - with a deep brown.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Part 2 - Good Morning Balcony

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.
A tired drive from Ipoh expectedly led to a sound dream on a fluffy pillow. To wake afresh to the morning sun was a bliss. Especially so when, upon exiting to the balcony, the tropic breeze brought with it the sounds of chirping birds and lapping waves. And we belatedly remembered that this was not home, but the coziness offered by Lone Pine Hotel misled us. 

Nothing beats the feel of a morning cup of coffee on the balcony amidst the chirping birds and swaying branches.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

MATTA Fair 2013 is back!

If you aren't aware yet, be aware! Holidaymakers are now rushing to the greatest travel fair in Malaysia, petrol price rise and inflation be damned! Attractive tour packages to the corners of the world awaits, involving various tour agencies within Malaysia. Do choose carefully and be wary of possible disreputable agents. Read carefully and ask for details before signing up for your choice of holiday trip.

This time Indonesia holds the focus with its 'Wonderful Indonesia' theme. Be it a visit to wonderful Bali or quiet Lake Toba, you can find more info here to plan for a personal trip there or to hunt for a tour package that could meet your wants.

Date:             6th (Fri) - 8th Aug (Sun) 2013
Admission:    10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Entry fee:      RM4 (free admission of children under 12)
Location:       Putra World Trade Center (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur
Website:        Main website and Facebook page; entrance ticket can be purchased online here: MATTA Entrance Ticket

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Part 1 - A Room for A Night

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.

My latest review/sharing is a memorable one. This is the place where we took our wedding photo after all. 

To arrive into Georgetown before the sun dipped past the horizon after an exhausting drive from Ipoh was nothing short of relieve. But we had no time to marvel at the setting amber orb, as we still need to drive the half hour into Batu Ferringhi and locate the entrance of our accommodation for the night. It was partially hidden from the uncaring eyes of a casual observer but not to the determined traveler. 

I drove the car past a smiling guard, under a neon sign of ‘Lone Pine Hotel’ and past fences of climbing vines before the night market started to get busy. Once it got its momentum, the night market of Batu Ferringhi would make navigating the lone road difficult, sometimes even dangerous with the odd pedestrians jumping out from the stalls. Not to mention that the entrance of the hotel was rather difficult to spot even without the distractions of the market. 

Slot in your card key and enjoy your stay in Lone Pine Hotel!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Paradise Inn @ NEX

Location: Serangoon, Singapore

Updated 30-Dec-2013: This outlet in NEX Serangoon is permanently closed. Outlets of Paradise Inn can still be located in other locations through here: outlet locations.

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in NEX Serangoon branch. Experience may differ from those in another branch.

The name 'Paradise Group' (乐天集团) is rather famous in Singapore, holding numerous outlets across the island republic and different concept restaurants in tight competition with a few other big shots in Chinese F&B dining. That includes a group shared in my previous article, Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group (御宝饮食集团) (read more in Imperial Treasure Nan Bei Restaurant). While I tasted the latter's dim sum delicacy last time, this time I tried Paradise Inn's main course to see what they have to offer.

The outlet in NEX is really jam packed with diners. It is not unusual to see diners lining up to wait for a seat during dinner time, and this is worsened during weekends. This does not discourage diners from revisiting though, a testament to how popular the restaurant is with Singaporeans. 

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