Why you should go to Ming Chung Restaurant for White Lor Mee

customers are pouring in during dinner time

Henghua Lor Mee is a traditional snack that originated from Putian, Fujian, China. Unlike Lor Mee that we usually have in hawkers that are served in thick starchy gravy and think flat yellow noodles, Henghua Lor Mee is served with a white soup broil and rich ingredients of seafood.

Being a migrant from Putian in Fujian province, China, the late founder Ho Ah Tong, has established Ming Chung Restuarant in 1933. During that time, the restaurant was opened on Weld Road, opposite of present “Thieves Market” in Sungei Road area. Catering to the Henghua immigrants’ cravings for home-style food, the restaurant has become a meeting place for local Henghua and Hokkien communities, including rickshaw riders and laborers.

The restaurant was named “Ming Chung (民众)”, means “people” in Chinese, reflecting that the root of the restaurant is to benefits the people and providing affordable Henghua food for its communities, even up till today.

modern but simple looking interior of Ming Chung Restaurant
The old shophouse was revamped to have a modern but simple look.

I really liked the style that they handled the old shophouse. They managed to transform a classic shophouse with modern look yet retaining much of the shop’s history (The wall on the right will tell you most of it).

As simple as the shophouse look, so does their menu. It has just a short list of traditional dishes for selection and I believe those are more than sufficient to keep old customers from coming back.

There is order chit which you can place an order or while waiting in the queue. Simples dishes

The infamous white lor mee
The infamous White Lor Mee (卤面)

The main reason why we are here – for the traditional White Lor Mee. Apart from Putien Restaurant, Ming Chung is the only restaurant we knew that served this traditional dish. Nothing fanciful with the ingredients, but good enough to compliment the taste of the Lor Mee.

Stir-Fried Flower Clams (La La) 炒花蛤(啦啦)

Clams (aka La La) is one of my favorite seafood. These tiny stir fried clams have the right savory and spiciness taste in every single one of them. It is just so yummy.

Pork Ribs with Bitter Gourd (苦瓜排骨)

Some loved it, but some would not even consider ordering it because of bitter gourd (Karela). Bitter gourd is rated as one of the greatest enemies to a majority of the youngsters in the “veggies colony”. In fact, bitter gourd is actually a fruit which is an excellent source of dietary fiber. It contains twice the calcium of spinach, beta-carotene of broccoli, and potassium of a banana. It really has good health benefits and I can give you 24 reasons for eating bitter gourd.

I am totally in for bitter gourd as it simply enhances a dish by creating another layer of taste. Pork ribs with bitter gourd are no exception. The ribs are stewed before fried with thin slices of bitter gourd with a black bean gravy. Don’t waste the gravy after finishing the dish. Mix it with the white lor mee and it will taste heavenly good.

Related: Blend it Up – Cheap & Good Italian Food at Neighbourhood


Tips For Eating At Ming Chung Restaurant

1. Go for early dinner to avoid huge crowd. Diners will be pouring in near to 6.30 pm to 7 pm. If you do not prefer to wait in a queue, early dinner will be a choice. You can go for a dessert after that.
2. There are many parking slots available on the roadside, but if you didn’t manage to get one, try out at the Jalan Besar Plaza directly opposite of the restaurant.

3. Make a reservation if you have a big group, they might not have enough seats to accommodate all of you which you will ended up queuing.

Restaurant Information

Ming Chung Restaurant
67 Maude Road, Singapore 208348
Tel: 6296 3428
Opens from 3pm to 11.30pm from Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday.

Body Massage Fizzio 满足爽 at Sutera Mall, Johor.

Their Services

Foot Massage (40 mins) + 4 in 1 (30 mins) = RM 57
Foot Massage (60 mins) + 4 in 1 (30 mins) = RM 70
Foot Massage (90 mins) + 4 in 1 (30 mins) = RM 90
Foot Massage (60 mins) + Body Massage (60 mins) = RM 99
Body Masssage (90 mins) with free Scrapping or Cupping = RM 95
Body Massage (120 mins) with free aroma oil or ear candle = RM 132
*4 in 1 means Head, Shoulder, Neck and Hands massage

Foot Massage
40 mins = RM 33
60 mins = RM 43

Body Massage
60 mins = RM 68
90 mins = RM 90
120 mins = RM 125

Aroma Massage
60 mins = RM 95
90 mins = RM 135
120 mins = RM 185

Special Packages for Foot or Body Massage
10 times free 2 times
20 times free 5 times

Contact Information
L1-040/041, Sutera Mall, No. 1, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4,
Taman Sutera Utama, 81300 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
L1 Car Park, Car Wash Beside
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11am to 11pm daily.
Booking: +60-7-5599118

Massage at Cozy Spa & Dinner at Echo Beach in Bali

Since our last trip two years ago to Bali, my wife and I have decided that we should visit to Bali every year for our holidays. However, it did not happened last year as I travelled twice to Bali for conferences and hence skipped promised holidays with her.

This year was a busy year as well and we are both overwhelmed by the workload and the holidays had slipped through our minds. Coincidentally, one of wife’s friends has open a fashion boutique shop in Ubud and we decided to tag along for a four-person trip.

We booked the tickets via Air Asia just one week before flying and the thought of traveling to Bali for holidays just kept both of us excited for the entire week ! (finally away from calls and emails…)

View taken from the Air Asia plane
Landing soon ! Wondering what was the small island there..

Touched down ! The euphoric feel of having a holiday threw all thoughts on works and emails right into the back of my brain. The immigration hall is filled with tourists whom are as excited as we are and it does take a while if you were to queue for custom clearance. Luckily, I was holding a APEC travel card which we both managed to skip the queue.

Getting a Local Sim Card and Finding a Taxi

There are two things we need to accomplish:
1. Getting a local sim to stay in contact with our friends.
2. Finding a taxi to go to the spa that we have booked earlier in the week.
Like many countries (except in China), you can get a local sim card at the Denpasar airport easily. Once you stepped out of the arrival hall, there is an eye catching red booth on the left that sell simPATI sim cards. You can approached them and they can help to setup your phone with local sim card in four simple steps:

1. Choose a plan (various plan available, depending on duration of stay)
2. Give them your phone and they will change the sim card for you.
3. Activation will be done by them.
4. Pay them the money. (I have chose a 4 day plan with 8GB of data usage at Rp 350,000 (est. S$35))

Note: There are neither need to register nor showing of any IDs. 

First thing completed, next will be calling a taxi. As advised from my Indonesian friend, it would be better to get taxi from a local taxi company, Blue Bird than finding unlicensed “taxi” which may end up more expensive. (Note that those unlicensed taxi drivers are lining up along the arrival hall trying to get customers.)
We saw a booth on the right side of the arrival hall with a Blue Bird signboard and booked a taxi promptly. It cost about Rp 215,000 (est. S$22). They politely ushered us to a waiting area before a driver came and show us to the car. Then, we realised we had booked the wrong type of taxi.
We have actually booked the Golden Blue Bird (which is still under the same group but more expensive) instead of the conventional Bird Blue taxi which you can flag down if you walk further out to the car waiting area. Nevertheless, they are using SUVs for the premium service and definitely more comfortable.

Two Hours Massage at Cozy Spa

As our friends will only land in Bali two hours later, we have booked for a massage at Cozy Spa recommended by them as well. Though it should only a 15 minutes ride to the spa, the chatty driver was hard selling his car rental services in his simple english and ended up getting lost in his way. Luckily, we still managed to reach the spa in time.

Once stepping into the spa, the staff greeted politely before explaining the procedures of the spa and making payment before commencement of the spa. It cost about Rp 290,000 (est. S$29) for 2 hours massage per person which can be paid either in cash or credit card.

They does not have individual or couple private rooms like those in the hotels, but they provides a partition room with curtains. Though it may not be fully sound proof, but the staff have gently reminds the guest to switch off or turn the phone to silent mode and observe silence during the course of massage.

Before commencement, the masseur would politely whisper in your ears that they are starting the massage. Laying a silky white cloth over your body, he slowly kneads with adequate strength slowly from neck downward before apply essential oil onto the body, focusing and working on each and every meridian points on the back. While enjoying and relieving myself from the aching back from sitting on a plane, I slipped into sleep in the tranquil ambience.

Reception and waiting area of Cozy Spa
Reception and waiting area of Cozy Spa.

Before I knew it, the masseur tapped on my shoulders and the session has ended. I dressed up with the robe provided and he ushered me to the bathroom for shower. One of the unique thing was they are using they own in-house shampoo and bath foam. There was this shampoo with olive oil and bath foam with ginger and peppermint. You will definitely feel much refresh after the bath and covered yourself with the sweet scent of these natural ingredients.

Last but not the least, we are offered a cup of ginger tea which ended the session entirely.

You may find information about the spa below:

Cozy Spa
Address: Jalan Sunset Road No. 66, Kuta, Bali
Phone: +62-812-38506611

Seafood Dinner at Echo Beach

directional signboard on echo board
I like the slogan.

If you enjoy dinner by the seaside, Jimbaran Beach is not the only place in Bali you can do that. Echo Beach also offers great seafood at your own selection as well. The restaurant is huge with indoors and outdoors sitting. My suggestion – if you like a quiet ambience, take indoor. If you would like to enjoy the sea breeze, definitely outdoor.

Benches under the tent of echo beach.
Sitting on the benches in a open tent while enjoying the sea breeze.

Without any hesitation, we walked to the outdoor area. Hey, we are facing walls so much in Singapore, it is time to take a real good look at the sea. The place is literally scattered with benches and you can sit anywhere, as long as there is no one sitting on it.

the display fridge with fresh seafood for selection
What is everyone looking at ?

So how do you order the food ? Simple.

Instead of having a conventional menu (which they do have), you can go over to the counter where there is a row of fridges with fresh seafood. You can select your favourite seafood, and they will grill it for you. The price goes according to the portion that you are ordering so I thought it was quite fair and reasonable.

Beside that, they also have free flow of rice, bread and salad at the side which you can go with your seafood. That will just make a perfect meal !

five dishes of grilled seafood
Some of the seafood that we have ordered. Yummy ~~

Look at these gorgeous seafood. Nicely char grilled and covered with a thin layer of BBQ sauce. One thing about having seafood in Bali is to taste the natural sweetness of the meat than focusing on the sauce itself. I personally liked the prawns and squid, the sweetness and texture is fantastic.

How I wish I could take some photos of the strong waves which lined along the tent, but as it was already dark in the night, it was almost impossible to see it through photos.

Echo Beach
Jl. Pura Batu Mejan, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung,
Bali 80361, Indonesia
Tel: +62 812 3978466

Push Cart Grilled Sweet Corn

holding a grilled sweet corn in the hand
Nicely grilled corn with spicy sauce. 

It really has been a fulfilling dinner for everyone of us. While we were walking back to our car, along the way there was a push cart selling grilled sweet corn. Before I could try finding more space in my stomach, we have already ordered two corns – one original and one spicy. I brought it back to my friend’s villa before gobbling down the corn. It was the best corn I had since childhood (remembering I always had steam sweet corn at City Plaza) and after tasting this delicacy, I have totally lose faith in cup corn.

That all for the night and we will move off to Ubud tomorrow !

A Lively and Colourful Shanghai Bund in a Night + Deep into history

The night scene of Shanghai Bund

Buried in the list of folders was one which has photos taken during my trip to Shanghai almost three years ago. Back then, I was using my new Blackberry Z10 and thought the photos are not as good as the current Samsung S4 or Apple iPhone 6, but I hope to share these pictures.

“Ye Shanghai, ye Shanghai” (夜上海,夜上海) while the songs goes on. This was the first thought that came to my mind while penning down this blog. In the memory of mine, Shanghai was a flourishing city that has undergo transformation on revolutionary modernization to became what they are today. Shanghai Bund will be then a good example to start with.

The Bund or Waitan (外滩) literally means “outer beach”, referring to the waterfront area in central Shanghai. It lies north of the old, walled city of Shanghai and also run along the western bank of the Huangpu River. Now, a row of commercialized historical building still remains as one of the signature street in Shanghai.

Related: The Giant Buddha in a Mountain – Chengdu’s Le Shan Grand Buddha

Shanghai Bund No. 6 Building
Bund No. 6 – Housed the first modernized bank in China.

There was a great history to be told on this four-storey Romanesque-styled building that was designed by British architects Morrison & Gratton. It backdated more than a century in 1881 which it was built as the headquarters for the powerful American traders, Russell & Co. They are one of the earliest and famous “Shanghai-landers” on the Bund, trading tea, silk, porcelain, opium and other commodities. However, it soon meet its downfall and announced bankrupt in 1891.

Later in 1897, China’s first modern bank, Imperial Bank of China (Commercial Bank of China) was established here. It was spearheaded by Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) minister Sheng Xuanhuai, who famously advocated use of western banking system to modelled the bank. He adapted the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corp (HSBC) and even hired Englishman A.M. Maitland, a former HSBC employee as a manager. (Ironically, it currently housed a HSBC branch office at The Bund No. 6) After the Revolution of 1911, it was renamed as the Commercial Bank of China.

It has undergoes two major renovation in 1919 and 1937, but there were renovations done in recent years to reinforce the facade, building’s foundation and reinforcement. The building was also used by international brand Dolce and Gabana that has moved away and now house HSBC branch offices was well as some fine restaurants at the Bund.

Related: A Walk Though the Ancient World of Geisha at Kyoto’s Gion

Former Great Northern Telegraph Building (left) and China Merchants Steam Navigation Company (right)
Former Great Northern Telegraph Building (left) and China Merchants Steam Navigation Company (right)

The Bund No. 7 was formerly owned by the Russell and Co. whom has rented the 724 sqm to Danish Great North Telegraph Company (current GN Store Nord) in 15 August 1881. The company then set up the first telephone switch in Shanghai within the building a year later. With the original building condition deteriorating, they decided to build a new one, designed by architectural firm Atkinson & Dallas. However, a large fire in October 1905 delayed the construction which only opening in January 1908. It then housed the offices of the British-owned Eastern Extension and the American-owned Commercial Cable telegraph companies.

At the end of 1921, the telegraph offices moved into a new building in East Yan’an Road, behind The Bund No. 1. The following year, the Commercial Bank of China moved its business into the building from No.6 The Bund. In 1995, Bangkok Bank took over part of the premises in 1995 till now while numerous consulates also occupied the building. That included the Royal Thai Consulate-General which moved out in 2008.

The Bund No. 9 in the past. Image: CM Energy Shipping

After the American Russell & Co. bankrupted in the 1860s, the China Merchants Steam Navigation Company (轮船招商局) bought over the land and constructed the current building at The Bund No. 9 in 1901. The building stands as one of China’s symbolic examples of the nation’s early modernisation process. The company was “official supervised” by Qing dynasty official, Minister of Beiyang, Li Hongzhang while being managed by various merchants.

Li Hongzhang established the company in 1872 to reclaim China’s share of profits from steam shipping in Chinese waters that has been enjoyed by foreign shipping firms since the early 1860s. It currently house the China Merchants Energy Shipping Co., Ltd, under China Merchants Group.

Related: Au Revoir Paris and 5 Thing I Dislike About You

Current Shanghai Pudong Development House (left) & The Customs House (right)
Current Shanghai Pudong Development House (left) & The Customs House (right)

When HSBC first opened its Shanghai branch on the ground floor of the Central Hotel (current Peace Hotel) in 4th March 1865, they did not expect business to expand so quickly that is outgrown its existing premises. Subsequently in 1874, they purchased the Foreign Club at The Bund No. 12 for 60,000 taels of silver (US$ 1,329,120 based on current silver spot price) and build a three-storey building in the same year.

In 1912, in order to further expand the business, HSBC purchased two pieces of land No. 11 (Kelly & Walsh Ltd) and No. 12 (Andrew & George Building) at a price of 4000 taels of silver per mu (667 sqm), equivalent to US$ 132 per sqm in current silver price. They tore down the old buildings and started construction of the new seven storey building in 5th May 1921, designed by architect firm, Palmer and Turner. After undergoing 25 months of construction, the building was finally completed in 23rd June 1923. The entire building sits on 1.3 hectares of land and total constructed area of 23,415 sqm. At the time it was the largest bank building in the Far East and second largest in the world, after the Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh.

During the Second World War, it was occupied by the Japanese Yokohama Specie Bank and in 1955, the political situation led to a down scale of their operation and the building was handed over to the government. Later the year Shanghai Municipal Government moved into the building and the subsidary building house the Municipal Archives from 1956. In 1990, Municipal Government planned to move government buildings along The Bund to make way for commercial use, HSBC negotiation with the government fell through after not able to agree to the price. In 1995, the Municipal Government moved out and Shanghai Pudong Development bank has been leasing the building since then.

Beside it was The Custom House located on The Bund No. 13. History backdated to the late 17th century when Qing dynasty Kangxi Emperor set up customs houses in the four coastal provinces to facilitate trading along the east coast of China which the Jiangnan Customs House was one of them. However, due to its inconvenient, the custom houses have moved twice from outside the east gate of the walled city of Shanghai to the south end of the Bund and lastly into the current site, after insistence by the British consul to move the customs house inside the British concession. It was then called the North Customs House.

Throughout the century, the custom house has been demolished and re-built four time from traditional Chinese Yamen style to Gothic design before the current building was built – again by architects Palmer and Turner. Construction started in 15 December 1925 and completed in two year time in 19 December 1927. It has a reinforced concrete core while the exterior follows a Greek-revival and Neo-Classicist design. The building was in two section; eastern section being eight storeys tall and western section five storeys tall. It has became the tallest building in Shanghai Bund in 1920s.

Close view of the clock. Image Smith of Derby

While it has been exquisitely tiled with marbles and mosaics, the most notable feature is the clock tower at the easter section. Standing at 90 metres tall and offers views over the entire Bund and Shanghai city centre. It has four faces, each with a diameter of 5.3 metres that are made up of more than 100 pieces of glass between 0.3 and 1 metres in size. It also comes with 72 automatic lamps.

The clock and bell mechanism built according to the design of Big Ben at the Palace of Westminster. The clock mechanism was built by JB Joyce & Co while the bells were casted by John Taylor Bellfounders in England. The clock will sound every 15 minutes, playing traditional tune the “Westminster Quarters”, but during the Cultural Revolution, the music was changed to “The East is Red”. Though the tune was restored in 1980s, Communist Party ordered the music to be change again to “The East is Red”. Today, the clock tower remains the largest clock in Asia, third largest in the world

Some knowledge to share
Silver are used as a means of currency in the China’s history and 1 tael of silver translate to 1.3 ounces of silver.

Related: Romantic Seaside Candlelight Dinner at Bali’s Jimbaran Beach Restaurant

The Waibaidu bridge, also called the Garden Bridge. It was the fourth western-designed bridge built at its location since 1856. It is in the downstream of the estuary of the Suzhou creek, near it confluence with the Huangpu River and adjacent to the Bund. It is the first all-steel bridge and only surviving example of a camelback truss bridge in China.

The present bridge was opened in 20 January 1908 and has been declared as a Heritage Architecture by Shanghai Municipal Government on 15 February 1994 as it symbolise Shanghai’s modern and industrial image with its rich history and unique design.

In April 2008, the bridge was removed for extensive repair and restoration and was installed back one year later on the 8 April 2009. An LED lighting system was installed on the bridge which cycles through different colours with reduced electricity consumption and to make the bridge look more attractive at night.

Related: A Glimpse of Kuching in East Malaysia – A City of Relaxation

Right across the Huangpu river, the peninsula are dotted with many modern skyscrapers, lead by the iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower. This area is known as Lujiazui, a specifically developed are as a new financial district of Shanghai since early 1990s.

Looking at both sides of the Huangpu river, it can’t help to put one into thoughts of the country’s rise and fall in the past throughout the centuries yet awed by it rapid progress to be one of the most powerful country in the world. Moreover, The Bund has also displayed its rich historic background with the ongoing changing culture, technology and scenery.

Related: Two Days Trip in Jakarta – Masssage Spa in Kempinski Hotel (Day 1)

Romantic Seaside Candle Light Dinner at Jimbaran Beach Restaurant

After two hours of rejuvenating spa treatment at Dewi Fortuna Spa, it was almost seven thirty in the evening and our stomach was rumbling. It’s time for dinner ! However, we does not know any good restaurants in this area, we asked for recommendation from the driver since he did brought us to a good restaurant for our lunch at Warung d’Sawah. Without further delay, he took us for a thirty minutes journey before reaching Jimbaran Bay.

Even before entering the restaurant, the smell of charred grilled food creeped into our noses and on the left side of the entrance was a few men grilling busily to serve the food on the tables. A receptionist welcomed us with a smile and showed us to our table. We was sat down and order our drinks, Mango Juice for me (Rp 40,000) and Tumeric Honey Lemon (Rp 80,000) for my girl friend while we enjoyed the sound of gentle waves splashing against the seashore and an occasion sea breeze.

We ordered a Seafood Basket (Rp, 500,000) which should be one person portion since my girl friend wasn’t a big eater and it proven to be a right choice. The basket include a lobster, a crab, two fish and three prawns. It was also being served with soup and Bali’s signature vegetables. The seafood was grilled with perfect timing and without much seasoning, we could taste the original freshness of the seafood. However, it actually took them some time before serving to us. While we looked around, most of the patrons was not being served as well. But the wait is worthwhile.

During our course of meal, there was a random tourist that bought some fireworks from a lady and discharging it into the dark skies and brightening the skies with an array of bright colours. There was also a live band that walks to our table and sang us a slow jazz song while we dined and enjoyed the twinkling stars up high in the skies.

Oh, by the way, did I mentioned that we did not have the candle on our table while we was eating ? The waiter actually came with one after we are done with our food. Humorous ! Time to go back to the villa for an early rest…

Government Tax and 15% service charge applicable.

The ambience was good but it would be even more beautiful if we could have reached earlier to catch a glimpse of the sunset. Food was pretty decent but the only damaging factor was the long waiting time.

Bawang Merah Bar & Bistro
Kelan, Jimbaran Bay, Bali 80361
Reservation: +62-36-770210 / +62 -36-2168521 / +62-36-2168525
Opening Hours: 12pm to 11pm daily
Direction to the restaurant: Bypass Jimbaran No. 96 Mumbiu Nusa Dua. 2. Jimbaran Bay, Kelan Beach, Tuban – Kuta
FREE pick up available.

A Glimpse of Kuching in East Malaysia – A City of Relaxation

Kuching is the last station for my overseas trip in Borneo before returning to Singapore. We arrived at Kuching International Airport from Bintulu in the late evening and one of our friends picked up us and send us to Pullman Kuching Hotel which was estimated 30-minutes journey away from the airport. Despite being the third largest city in Sarawak, the traffic flow was smooth with minimal vehicles traveling on the road.

We went to Top Spot Food Court which was 5-minutes drive located near Pullman Hotel. It is a seafood centre that is located above a 6-storey carpark with magnificent view. Seafood stalls are neatly arranged in an L-shaped and hundred of tables and chairs filled up the enormous land space for selection of your own. Fresh vegetables and seafood are lined up on stall front and customer are free to select their favourite food and request for any cooking method to the waitress. The food was good and reasonably priced. Three of us ate a fish, clams, soft shell crab, noodle and vegetables that cost only RM 66 / S$ 25. After a fruitful dinner, it is time to return to the hotel for a good night rest.

Bukit Mata Seafood 25 Sdn. Bhd (猫眼嶺海鲜25有限公司)
Taman Kereta Top Spot Food Court
Kuching, Sarawak
Tel: +60 (12) 8099522 / +60 (19) 8899838 / +60 (19) 8891266

It was a  hectic second day while we visit few clients in Kuching around the industrial before coming back to the city centre. Even so, due to the smooth traffic in Kuching, we waste no time getting caught in traffic jams which we often have in Singapore, but managed to spend more time with the customer. One noticeable thing about Kuching was the human and vehicle crowd during the noon. It is amazing that you hardly see anyone walking on the streets ! You can see from the photos I have taken when I returned to our hotel in the noon, the streets are empty.

One of the scenery I loved is the Sungai Santubong river that runs through and meanders around the city. It is especially beautiful during the night.

Kuching has not undergone major development in recent years while the overall population is only around 325,000 people. Though it resemblance Singapore in the early 1950s-1960s, the slow-paced city is a good location for retirement. Time to packed my stuff and back to Singapore, the bustling city.

My girlfriend has mentioned before that Borneo is one of the top places she yearns to pay a visit and hopefully she settle down as a property agent and the dream will be realized soon. 

Enjoy Italian Fusion at Blend It Up Casual Dining

The interior of blend it up with outdoor smoking seats as well

I have certainly been missing out quite a lot on my blogging due to my wedding preparation. It took me almost three months to get everything ready for the dinner at Fairmont Hotel. After the last Sunday, I have finally finished my wedding banquet and enjoyed my blessings from guest all over the world !

Well, let’s get back to the review of the new Italian fusion casual dining that was five minutes away from my home. Though my wife and I have noticed the new restaurant along a row of shophouses nearby, we did not manage to find time to dine here. Well, it was a late Thursday night, after our completing our piled up workload at the office, we decided to go back home – with an empty stomach. My wife suggested why not try this restaurant and I was like why not ?

When we reached the restaurant, it was totally empty. There could be only two reasons – no customers or they are closing soon. We walked into the restaurant and checked with a guy sitting in the rear corner (he was the head chef), hesitated for a while and decided to serve us.

Herb bread with garlic sauce
Herb Bread with Garlic Sauce

Knowing that it is not early (almost 10pm I think), we started browsing through the menus as fast as we could while one of the waitress served us some bread on a wooden board. The bread was slightly toasted and hot while being served and it comes with a nicely blended garlic sauce as well. (After a short chat with the head chef, the bread are freshly made daily by themselves).

Wild Mushroom Soup
Wild Mushroom Soup

To warm up our stomach, we have order a Wild Mushroom Soup. Compared to other similar wild mushroom soup, they have used lesser flavourings to bring out the natural taste of the mushroom. The soup itself was very rich and it has chunks of diced mushrooms that brings out a good balance of taste and texture.

Laksa Chicken Lasagna
Laksa Chicken Lasagna

As it was a Italian fusion restaurant, the first thought, of course, was to try something that was “fused” together. My wife selected the Laksa Chicken Lasagna while I have chosen the Salted Egg Spaghetti. Appearance wise, it does look perfect as a traditional lasagna, but it was the taste that surprises me. The minced chicken are well laid between interleaving layers of pasta and the texture of the meat does matches those of traditional beef lasagna. The lasagna has a slightly spiciness which blended well with the sweetness of tomato sauce.

italian fusion salted egg spaghetti
Salted Egg Spaghetti

This is the main course that I have chosen. I would admit that it is a bold try because salted egg is not a popular among many people. In fact, I would say that it resembles the liking for durian, a great contrast between liking it and hating it in all aspects. Fortunately, it was proven that I have made the correct choice. The savory salted egg has been dissolve into the gravy but you can still taste the strong flavours of it. The food has been portioned well with generous tomatoes, shell-removed prawns and prawn roe.

Enjoying a cup of affogato

I have always know it is not the right thing to have two shots of hardcore caffeine during the night, but that is my passion with coffee. After the meal, the waitress dished out coffee – one for me and the other for my wife which we ordered earlier. We sipped the coffee while chatting with the chef, Peter Ho. He has been in the food industry for more than 30 years and currently has three outlets selling different kind of cuisine, which explains his experience of different cuisine and the expertise in creation new fusion flavours. Salute !

His food was so good that we actually revisited the restaurant the following day for our lunch. Stay tune for more reviews.

Blend It Up
325 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Quemoy Building
Singapore 534946
Tel: 6281 2688

Rejuvenating Late Night Massage at Le Spa (Club Street)

It was Sunday afternoon and I just finished my haircut at Headline Hair Salon at China Square Central. My girlfriend and I strolled along Club Street to look for some light bites before dinner time. As we passed through Gemmill Lane, there was this spa tucked in between a line of prestigious restaurants, with a 24-hour sign hang at the pillar. Glancing through the full glass shopfront, you could see its distinctive oriental design and it seems to have a nice ambience as well. We walked immediately to try our luck if we could get a slot for massage, but unfortunately the spa was fully booked and have to wait for another two hours before the masseurs are free. While we have another appointment in the evening, we had to give up today’s massage.

Two weeks later, my “itch” for massage come back and we really wanted to try out Le Spa and my girlfriend managed to make an appointment for two body massage in the late evening.

Related: Stiff Neck Relief Massage at Xing Mei Spa

Reception area of Le Spa

Once you stepped into the reception area, be greet by a beautifully decorated oriental theme reception and received a warm welcome from the receptionist. While preparing the masseurs for our massage, she served us a cup of ginger tea while we sat down at the waiting area.

While I was working under the hot sun during the noon, I was sweating like a swine so I thought to take a good bath before my massage. Unfortunately, the couple treatment room does not come with its own restroom so I would need to freshen up myself at their common restroom at the end corner of the spa. The masseur handed me a towel and robe to me so I could wear it when I finished my shower. (you could not expect me to walk along the common walkway with a towel wrapped around my waist)

Related: Late Night Massage at Natureland Spa & Massage at Robertson Walk

Couple treatment room at Le Spa

The treatment room is very clean and in the centre sits two massage bed with common settings. The massage beds were covered with towels and a rolled up towel which was used as leg rest while we are lying face down. The masseurs politely knocked onto the door to check if we are prepared and we commence with our massage.

While the masseurs starts kneading our tired body, they would constantly check with us if their strength is adequate before proceeding the massage. The skilful masseurs worked effortless with their experienced hands and rejuvenating our bodies during the 60-minutes massage. While we dressed ourselves up in the room, the masseurs had already prepared a drink for at the waiting area before we leave the spa. Their good services have left us a good impression.

Related: Oriental Chopsticks Massage at Huang Ah Ma Oriental Spa Chamber

2nd Visit to Le Spa

A week later, we decided to visit the spa again with two of my siblings. My girlfriend called up to make an appointment and surprisingly, she managed to identify her name which most spa don’t, and check if she is asking for the same masseur that had given her the massage during her previous treatment session. Again, the massage was satisfying and I decided to sign up a package with them, noting that it was the only first time that I have signed up for a spa package.

After rounds of experience at Le Spa, I thought they have really put in efforts into customer services and taken good care of all aspects of a customer visiting their spa for a massage. Most of the masseurs are experienced and certainly they also managed to maintain their good standards throughout our times of visit. I would highly recommended this spa for a good late night rejuvenating massage. By the way, I have also added them into my late night massage directory as well. Enjoy ~

Other Services They Provide

  • Le Urban Fusio (LUF) body masasge
  • Le Royal Balinese body massage
  • Le Classic Swedish Retreats body massage
  • Le Imperial Indulgence (Twin therapy) body massage
  • Le Taiwanese Foot Therapy
  • Le Anti Aging Essence
  • Le Luxury Spa Scrubs
  • Le Elemental Aroma
  • Le Signature Guasha Treatment
  • Le Foot Detox
  • Le Therapeutic Cupping
  • Le Rejuvenating Ear Candling

Le Spa – Oriental Massage
14 Gemmill Lane (Club Street)
Singapore 069253
Tel: + 65 6222 6803
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily (Closed between 6am to 10am for housekeeping)

Dessert in High Society at Marina Bay Sands

Dessert at High Society at Marina Bay Sands

It has been two years last since I have celebrated Chinese New Year due to my grandma’s death, a tradition which most chinese follows. It was a quiet year, with negatives news on the economies around the world looming in the news since last year. Furthermore, the festive season is on the weekdays, most of the people have to start work on Wednesday or Chu San.

Fortunately, my wife and I are on leave and we took the liberty to get a good window shopping at Marina Bay Sands together with my sister.

We just had a brief stroll and before leaving home for dinner, we had some desserts at the High Society.

Related: Mango Dessert at Chinatown Point’s Mei Heong Yuen Dessert

Rainbow Cake at High Society Marina Bay Sands
Rainbow Cake – in seven different colours.

I would say it is one of the best rainbow cakes that I have eaten so far.

Oreo Cheese Cake from High Society Marina Bay Sands
Oreo Cheese Cake

This is a perfect dessert for Oreo and / or cheese cake lovers. The flavours are well balanced between without each overpowering the taste of it.

Chocolate Mousse Cake at High Society Marina Bay Sands
Chocolate Mousse Cake

I have chosen this dessert though I am not a great fan for chocolate. Unfortunately, it did not really suits my tastebud and I had to down it with my affogato in order to finish the entire cake.

Related: Relaxed Brunch at Fusionpolis Jimmy Monkey Cafe & Bar

History About High Society

The company started off in 1994 at Tanglin Mall, where it was selling music CDs to a special group of customers, introducing the latest trends and genres of music to the Singapore public. That CD Shop, today is the most prominent retailer of music CDs in Singapore. 
Beginning in 2005, the company started to produce works under its own High Society record label, partnering with 4 big music labels – Universal Music, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI. Under its belts, they have more than 150 titles of High Society music CDs produced and achieved 3 Double Platinum, 11 Platinum and 26 Gold awards in sales presented by the 4 record labels companies. 
The High Society Cafe and Restaurant was the addition to one of the group of products and services. Decorated in a old world charm of the good life with a twist of contemporary lifestyle living, it allows the guests to indulge in a relax ambience, enjoying the great selection of food and desserts while listening to selections of non-stop great music
The cafe and restaurant are open for high tea, lunch or dinner.
High Society
B2-47, Canal Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65 6688 7522
Opening Hours: Weekdays – 10am to 11pm, Weekends and Eve of Public Holiday – 10am to 1am

Two Days Trip in Jakarta – Massage Spa in Kempinski Hotel (Day 1)

couple body massage at kempinski the spa

One of our agenda for this trip is to get a soothing massage. When we first tried booking at Kempinski’s Spa, it was only available at 11pm and thus we tried checking other spa locations. Not wanting to be going to far away from the hotel, we called in Grand Hyatt Hotel right opposite and query for couple massage slots. However, as indicated by the telephone receptionist, they were fully booked and it was only available for their own hotel guests. Our reaction ? We quickly called back Kempinski’s Spa to lock in our reservations.

View across the Jakarta central at the smoking area.
View across the Jakarta central at the smoking area.

After our dinner at Sun Tiang, we strolled slowly back to the hotel and went to the top level where the spa was located. Greeted politely by the receptionist, she asked for our reservation and told that we have to wait a while. Looking at our watch, we was fifteen minutes earlier and waited at the smoking area. We finished our stick of cigarette and walked back to the counter and the receptionist again politely told us that we are still ahead of schedule. It will be one hour later before our massage session. Suddenly, it strike us that we did not adjust our watches and that we are one hour behind Singapore time. Thus, we used this time to explore the entire spa area.

Resting area for the guests.
Resting area for the guests.
Another side of the resting area.
You can also choose to nap a while on bed at resting area.
You can also choose to nap a while on bed at resting area.
Jacuzzi and Swimming Pool at the back of the spa.
Jacuzzi and Swimming Pool at the back of the spa.

Exploring towards the back of the spa area, it is a tranquil area where you can enjoy the Jacuzzi and have a slip of your favourite drinks or just sit down at the comfy chairs along the swimming pools to have a heart to heart chat. I would not expect it to have much privacy because the next building is in fact quite close. (See the building with white horizontal line behind the swimming pool).

Views of the city at the back of the spa.
Views of the city at the back of the spa.

Sorry for the blur image, I just managed to adjust and took the best photo with my iPhone 6 plus. The night life of Jakarta certainly looks vibrate just like Singapore. I believe that this scene will change dramatically after Indonesia advance into the next stage of economy.

Our Couple Room

We walked back to the resting area while the receptionist served us tea before the commencement of our massage session. The masseurs came by shortly and ushered us to our couple room.
Massage beds are clean and tidy.
Massage beds are clean and tidy.
Comes with a bath tub and two basins.
Comes with a bath tub and two basins.
Basins with mirrors.
Basins with mirrors.

It looks like a traditional Indonesia-theme that emphasise heavily on using of wood. The room’s serenity and ambience let us feel calm and relaxed. Apart from that, the room is also neatly tidied to its every little details. There are a bath tub which we can choose to wash up before and / or after the massage and amenities around two basins – reduce the need to fight for a mirror.

We changed into disposable underwear provided by them and lay down comfortably on the beds while waiting for the masseurs to enter the room. We did not start immediately, the masseurs had to do some preparation to make sure all are in good order. They lit a candle burner for the aromatic essential oil, play some soothing music and dim the lights.

The body massage started from the backs and while they skilfully rub with adequate strength, my whole body relax further more before resting my mind and falls asleep. However, throughout the session, I could still feel the masseur’s experienced hands going through those intense knots in my body using smooth strokes.

Unknowingly, the massage session has ended. Unfortunately, we only managed to book an hour’s body massage. We laid lazily on the bed, take a short rest and trying to regain to our full consciousness before dressing up and walked back to the resting area for a hot tea.

Considering it is only USD 50 for a 60 minutes body massage, we find it totally worthwhile. In additional, we tipped the masseurs as well for their good service. Back to the hotel room…

Its SUPPER time ! Room service please !
Its SUPPER time ! Room service please !

I always have the tendency to have some snacks before I go to sleep. I wasn’t seriously hungry but just need some good food to go with a good sleep. We called in the room service for some fried calamari, nuggets and coroke. Yummy and sleepy !