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 !

Two Days Trip in Jakarta – Dinner at Suntiang in Grand Indonesia (Day 1)

Interior of Suntiang

Exploration of our room took quite a while before finally settling down on the sofa for a short rest. One of our objectives for this trip was to enjoy one good massage and we started flipping through the directory in the hotel room. We booked a couple massage at 10pm which gives us ample time for dinner and strolling around the neighbouring complex.

Exhaustedly, we rested on the bed and unnoticeably, we had fallen asleep… The journey to our hotel has worn us out a little due to the bad traffic. We woke up in time just to catch a glimpse of the sun setting beautifully upon the central square. We pulled ourselves out from the bed to wash up a bit before going down in search for a place for our dinner.

From the hotel’s lobby, we can access to the Grand Indonesia’s West Mall without leaving the main building. The shopping centre is spacious and I would say “uniquely” designed that it becomes slightly complicated to explore. We had to go all the way to level 3 before going through the connecting mall to access the restaurants.

street-like restaurant on the dining level of Grand Indonesia Mall.

Be amazed by the interior design of the dining level as they have decorated to be like walking along an outdoor street – the entire stretch of it. Definitely much better feel compared to those Japan street or Hong Kong streets we have in Singapore’s shopping mall. I believe you can see that they really put in many efforts into designing the restaurants as well. Below are a few creative designs.

Fook Yew restaurant at Grand Indonesia Mall

Cafe at Grand Indonesia Mall

While we have wandered in the mall for so long and unable to decide which restaurant for our dinner (almost all looks appealing), we ended up at Suntiang. What is so special about them ? They are the first restaurant (maybe in Indonesia) to combine authentic West Sumatran recipes in Japanese style. They even had a conveyor belt for the food ! Below are some of the dish that we have tried.

Suntiang's Brocolli AgedashiBroccoli Agedashi – Japanese-styled tofu in miso soup with Broccoli.

Suntiang's Ayam PopAyam Pop – One of my favourite West Sumatran dish which can also be found in Nasi Padang. A Minang cooking style that involved marinating the chicken with ingredients and spices before boiling or at times fried. The chilli sauce helps to bring out the sweetness of the meat while the spiciness mingle with your tongue. A must try dish.

Suntiang's Sayur NangkaSayur Nangka – At its first sight, I was wondering if this is chunks of meat or bones. In fact, this is young jackfruit simmered with various spices. The sauce is nice but I could not accept the taste of jackfruit cooked with spices. I only managed to take a small bite out of it before giving up.

Suntiang's Gindara BakarGindara Bakar – Char-grilling the Gindara traditional Indonesian-style and set aside was a special mix chilli sauce to go with. The fish alone is flavourful. Try it with the chopped chilli and garlic sauce to enhance the taste.

Soon after dinner, we have to rush back to the hotel for our massage appointment at 10pm.

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

My client has invited me over for his daughter’s wedding dinner on a Sunday evening and I thought this could be a good opportunity to take a break away from work for a day or two and enjoy the weekend with my girl friend.

It wasn’t my first time in Jakarta yet the only places I have visited was only the factories and industrial area. Thus, I have make a point to find a hotel that is near the city centre to enjoy the views and maybe some shopping at the same time. There was ample good hotels around the vicinity but eventually we have chosen Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta since it looks like a decent hotel which is linked to the shopping malls.

We arrived Jakarta in the late morning and was greeted by the hot weather. As usual, the places is packed with people and taxis (legal and illegal) trying to get some customers for taxi hire. Fortunately, my client has arranged to pick us up from the airport to his factory. It was just a short two hours meeting before we requested to be send back to our hotel.

During the factory visit, my girl friend actually hit off went with my client and while they was chatting happily about plants and fruits, my client stopped by one of the supermarkets along the road which my girl friend could shop for some fruits. Before our eyes were rows and rows of fresh fruits like mangoes, pineapples and even durians of many different varieties – an uncommon sight in Singapore. It took us almost an hour before we could finish shopping just on the fruits section alone – so just imagine !

 Talking about fruits, did we missed our lunch ? Apparently, we was so busy buying fruits that we had totally forget about our lunch. My client has offered us for lunch which though we have politely reject but his persistency paid off and we agreed to have a light meal at a local restaurant – Sari Minang, a Nasi Padang restaurant.

As usual, hotels in Jakarta are often with security and Kempinski wasn’t exceptional. It was a quick check before we drove to the front porch. The moment the vehicle stopped, a porter immediately opens our door while the bell boy is standing right beside him waiting for our luggages. A female staff politely greeted and ushered us to the reception counter for our check-in which took less than ten minutes before accompanying to the lift. What a service !

Kempinski Jakarta Hotel
This is our room ! We have booked for an deluxe room but maybe they does not have sufficient room and upgraded us to grand deluxe room instead ! Comfy !

Kempinski Jakarta Hotel
Comes with a sofa set where you can sit down to watch TV and enjoy our fruits from supermarket.

Kempinski Jakarta Hotel
A stylish glass-made table top for all your business discussion and writings.

Kempinski Jakarta Hotel
A chair by the window facing the parade square where you can sit down with a nice cup of coffee with watching the busy streets and central square

Complete view of the central square from the hotel’s window.

Two basins – full with amenities. You does not need to wait for your spouse to finish her make-up to brush your teeth.

Last but not the least, a bath tub. It has a TV at the side which you can watch your favourite shows or simply relax with an overview of the central square – with a glass of wine.

Details of the hotel can be found below

Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta
Jalan M.H. Thamrin No. 1
10310 Jakarta, Indonesia
Tel: + 62 21 2358 3800

Enjoy Street Hawker Styled Satay at Lau Pa Sat Satay Club (Former Telok Ayer Market)

Once again, it has been a rushing day for me since I have schedule a massage session at Passage New York down Cecil Street and I suddenly had a craving for Satay and the nearest place for it will be the famous Satay Club at Lau Pa Sat. Formerly known as Telok Ayer Market, it has been a gourmet paradise since early 1970s and Satay Club has attracted many locals and foreigners to dine on the Boon Tat Street itself, with road being closed for the overwhelming diners in the night. An experience which you would not find anywhere else in Singapore !

While I was in the mist of choosing which satay stall to order from, a Malay local walked towards me and spoken in all languages you could not imagine. English, Malayu, Hokkien, Cantonese, Mandarin, you name it, he says it ! His “sales tactics” definitely work as I could not help but to order from him because of his humor.

The stall offer set meal for diners and despite knowing that I does have a huge appetite, I thought 30 sticks of satays and 10 sticks of grilled prawns would not be a problem for me. The set meal cost about $38, quite reasonable.

The satay was soft and chewy. the juiciness and sweetness of the satay can be tasted without dipping into the peanut sauce. However, the peanut sauce has diminished the taste of satay for it was much watery and oily compared to other peanut sauces I have tried from other stalls.

The prawn was the disappointment of the meal as though grilled, it does not taste any freshness at all. The shell sticks to the prawn and I had difficulties peeling it off from the prawn. The texture was mushy and the prawn entirely being marinated with black pepper, covered the taste of the prawn itself.

As usual, I started my “battle” to finish all the food, but after 20 sticks of satay and 8 sticks of prawn, I have waved the white flag. Not wanting to waste the food unnecessarily, I take-away the remaining food.


Definitely I will still visit Boon Tat Street again as it provide a unique ambience of the old time street hawker which has long disappeared in Singapore. A good spot for tourist to enjoy this special kind of dining experience. (By the way, it is closed for renovation at the moment and Satay Club has moved to Satay By The Bay)

Article created on 17 September 2014, updated on 16 July 2015.

A Weird Experience at Palm Acupuncture Treatment Center at Serangoon Gardens

Palm acupuncture treatment center
Shop front of Palm Acupuncture Treatment Center.

It has already been a week since I last went for a massage. It is almost a regular routine to have at least one massage per week to release my stress from work. However, this week was really busy that I could not even find time in the evening to go for a massage.

My “addiction” is acting up again and I just wanted to find one good place for my aching body. We are having a BBQ on this lazy evening, but I thought I still have some time to spare before my friends come pouring into my house at 7pm. Sitting around my dining table and talking with my sister and he boyfriend, they mentioned that they have discovered another new massage spa in Serangoon Gardens. It was a TCM treatment center but the spa does provide massage services as well. Without further delay, my girl friend and I went down immediately.

palm acupuncture treatment center, reception area
Reception Counter.

I thought that would be one of the brainless decision I have made. It is Saturday afternoon and Serangoon Gardens is simply packed with people, so was the massage spa. We climbed the stairs eagerly only to find not a single soul, no one was behind the reception counter either.  The entire spa was in simple form without decoration and there was maybe three to four rooms lined along the corridor. Maybe all rooms are occupied with customers, the spa was actually quite peaceful as well.

Treatment Rooms lined along the corridors.

Out of a sudden, a female masseur walked out of the room and before I could check with her any information, she replied that their appointment is full and we had no choice but to leave with disappointment. We went on to try our luck at The Organic Spa which was right beside this spa.

Our Second Try – Another Failed Attempt

As we did not managed to book an appointment to all the spa we visited on Saturday, I called up on Sunday afternoon made an appointment for three body massage at 5pm. 15 minutes before I leave my house for the spa, the lady that picked up my call earlier asked if three of us are male. After I responded that two of us are female, she stammered onto the phone for a while and say she had to cancel my appointment as one of the masseur was not feeling well. Kinda weird.

PS: Based on my sister’s boyfriend experience, he actually had a very good massage by one of the masseur, Kaili some time ago, so I believe it wasn’t a sleazy spa but it was just weird that she rejected our appointment. Definitely will be back to try it out again.

Palm Acupuncture Treatment Center

79A, Serangoon Garden Way
Singapore 555975
Tel:+65 6281 4452

Why Do Women Simply Love Foot Massage

In these days, our lives are busier and more stressful than ever. With work, family, school and community involvement all demanding our time and attention, many women find themselves spread too thin. It is easy to forget that having too much stress in our lives can have a negative effect on our emotional and physical health, but it is important to find regular and convenient ways of decreasing excess stress. For stress reduction, many women turn to exercise such as yoga or running. Others turn to spirituality. Especially for women who are on their feet all day, feet massage can be another great way to relax with the added bonus of feeling pampered!

I think one of the best gift is when a boyfriend gives her girlfriend a good foot massage. Photo from Life Hack.

Pleasures of Getting a Foot Massage

One of my close friends was given a gift certificate to a spa by her husband for their anniversary. She felt that it was a very thoughtful and luxurious gift, especially because her husband would never be the type to go to a spa himself. A gift certificate to a spa is a great way to make an important woman in your life feel pampered. My friend told me that after her day out she felt relaxed and extra self-confident. Personally, when I have a little extra money, I have occasionally splurged on a foot massage at a nail salon down the street from my house. With comfortable reclining chairs, friendly staff and an array of nail polish colors to choose from, it is the perfect way to give myself a little treat or pick me up if I’m feeling down.

Foot Massage Techniques

Some of the most important foot rub techniques that therapists may use include massaging the bottom of the foot, rotating the ankles, gently pulling and squeezing the toes, sliding fingers between the toes, and applying pressure to the arch of the foot. Of these sensual techniques, my friend and I agreed that massaging the bottom of the foot and toes were the most enjoyable. Spending a lot of time on your feet, whether standing, walking, or exercising, is apt to leave your feet feeling tense and achy. Having the bottom of the feet and toes massaged is an incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating feeling.

Last But Not Least, the Pedicure!

At most salons, the final step of the foot massage is one of the most fun: a pedicure! Women can choose from a rainbow of nail polish colors to decorate their freshly pampered feet. Especially during sandal season, nail polish is a must-have. A ruby red is always a good choice, but if you want to mix it up a little bit, why not choose an unusual color such as turquoise, butter yellow, or a glittery silver, as the perfect end to a stress-relieving day of pampering.

Author’s Bio: Ion Doaga is the owner of Massage Dreams where he writes about how to give a foot massage to your loving women. Via his posts he wants to empower people to take control of their health and show that the quality of our lives is directly linked to how we treat our mind and body.

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Things You Need To Know When Traveling To Dubai During Ramadan

Ramadan is a special time of the year for Muslims across the globe, and falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During the month of Ramadan, people of Muslim faith fast each day from dawn to dusk. They also use the time for inner reflection and enlightenment. Those who fast during the day have an early traditional breakfast called Suhour before dawn and break their fast in the evening with a meal called Iftar.

Image from Assabile.

The beginning of the Ramadan depends on the sighting of the new moon of the Islamic lunar month. As such, Ramadan begins and ends on a different day each year. Eid Al Fitr, three days of joyous celebration, marks the end of Ramadan.

While Islam is a tolerant religion and respects people of all cultures, races and religions. Non-muslims are in no way forced to follow Islamic traditions during the month of Ramadan. However, as a sign of respect to the host country, guests are asked to refrain from consuming food, drinks (including water), chewing gum and from smoking in public during the fasting hours of the day (dawn to dusk).
Most restaurants are closed during the day and curtains will be drawn as a sign of respect to the fasting Muslims. Though, it is quite acceptable for children below 12 years of age to eat and drink in public, during daylight.

Alcoholic drinks are served only after Iftar. There will be no loud music, live entertainment or dancing will be available during Ramadan. Only background music and piped music are played.

As a sign of respect, guests are encouraged to wear conservative clothing in public during the month of Ramadan.

Guests can enjoy the private beach and other leisure activities in the hotels as normal. Swimming costumes are allowed on the beach and by the swimming pools. However, guests are encouraged to cover up when inside the hotel, passing through the public zones or on their way to and from the hotel Water sport facilities and health and leisure centres follow normal operating hours.

Office and business opening and closing hours changed during the month. Shops are open for limited hours in the morning, usually from 10am to 12 noon . They re-open approximately half an hour to an hour after Iftar until midnight. Parks and other public places are open after Iftar and remain open until late at night.

Hope these tips really helps to if you are visiting Dubai next time during Ramadan !

Singapore Top 20 Richest People And What They Do To Earn These Money (2015)

I was reading an article on Listabuzz on Singapore Top 20 Richest People and i thought it would be really nice to put them all under one page – with the richest on the top list.

#1 Robert Ng & Philip Ng

Net worth: $12.8 billion
Source: Real Estate
What They Do: Late father founded Far East Organization which younger son Philip Ng overseas and Sino Group, chaired by eldest son Robert Ng. They operates across Hong Kong, Malaysia and China.

#2 Leng Beng Kwek (74)

Net worth: $7.8 billion
Source: Real Estate
What He Does: Executive Chairman of Hong Leong Group of companies comprising of HL Finance, HL Investment, City Development Ltd, Millenium & Copthorne hotels. He has a on-going list of properties investments locally and overseas. One prime asset was the Tree House Condo which was listed in the Guinness world record as the world’s largest vertical garden.

#3 Khoo Family

Net worth: $7 billion
Source: Banking
What They Do: The family’s wealth has its roots in their late father handsome stakes in the British Standard Chartered Bank, although they sold the late father’s stake for $4 billion in 2006. The late banker Khoo Teck Paut who passed on in 2004 founded Maybank. One of the prominent bank assets would be Goodwood Group of hotels.

#4 Wee Cho Yaw (86)

Net worth: $6.2 billion
Source: banking
What He Does: His dad founded United Overseas Bank and currently the Chairman Emeritus of the UOB. Under his management, he has created a extensive network of 500 branches spanning across 19 countries. Other affiliations includes UOL, UIC, Haw Par Corp and Wee Foundation.

#5 Kwee Brothers (70)

Net worth: $6 billion
Source: Real Estate
What They Do: The four brothers own Pontiac Land Group and other prime assets including Ritz Charlton, Patina, Capella, Conrad Continental hotels, Millenia tower & Centennial tower. This also includes 50% stake at the $600 million Capital site revamp project. They have team up with two other property firms to construct a $1.3 billion, 72-storey residential apartment in Manhattan.

#6 Eduardo Saverin (33)

Net worth: $4.2 billion
Source: Facebook
What He Does: The Brazilion born is the co-founder of popular social media, Facebook. He owns 4% stakes in Facebook, valued about $3 billion. In addition, he is also the co-founder and chairman of Los-Angeles Velos Partners firm. he has investments in Hampton Creek foods, airport car rental service, Silvercar and international technology start-ups such as Qwiki (Joined Yahoo in July 2013) and Jumio.

#7 Goh Cheng Liang (87)

Net worth: $3.2 billion
Source: Paints
What He Does: Founded Nipsea in 1962 after joint venture with Japanese Nippon paint to become their major distributor. He owns about 50 factories across 16 Asian countries. Currently co-owns Nippon paint having the single highest stage of 39%. He has also diversified investments made via his Wuthelam firm.

#8 – Richard Chandler (56)

Net worth: $3 billion
Source: Investments
What He Does: Make investments in both private and public companies varying sectors including healthcare, financial services, energy and consumer. Some prominent assets are 10% stake in African oil, 80% stakes in Hoan My Medical (Vietnam’s biggest private hospital), 19% stake in Canada-based Inter-oil Corporation operating in Papua New Guinea (New York Stock Exchange-listed), 25% stake in London-listed Green Dragon Gas and minority stakes in Philippines The Medical City.

#9 Peter Lim (61)

Net worth: $2.5 billion
Source: Investments
What He Does: From his success as a local Indonesian stockbroker and income generated from his Manchester United labelled cafes in Asia. He has in 1996 invested $10 million in the oil palm company, Wilmar International, which he later sold to attain his billionaire status. As a soccer fan, he has recent acquired La Liga’s Valencia CF for $475 million and 50% stakes in England’s Salford City FC. He has also controlling stakes in McLaren Automotive, Thomson Medical Center, FJ Benjamin, Rowsley Ltd and other more.

#10 Khoon Hong Kuok (65)

Net worth: $2.4 billion
Source: Palm oil
What He Does: Co-founder and CEO of Wilmar International, the world’s number one palm oil producing company. The company also involved in bio-diesel production, fertilizer manufacturing, sugar refining, oilseed crushing, edible oil refining etc. His assets includes 12% ownership of Wilmar, 27.5% stake at Shree Renukar Sugars (India’s no. 1 sugar refinery) and Australia’s largest bakery, Goodman Fielder which he acquired at a whooping $1.25 billion.

#11 Raj Kumar & Kishin RK (60,31)

Net worth: $2.3 billion
Source: Real estate
What They Do: The father and son pair are real estate moguls with properties ranging from retail space to hotels to offices and hospital suites. The father own the Royal Holding company while his son owns and runs a similar company, RB Capital. Some paramount asset includes a 442-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel and latest on-going $800 million refurbishing of Robertson Quay.

#12 Chang Yun Chung (96)

Net worth: $2.1 billion
Source: Shipping
What He Does: Founder and Executive Chairman of Pacific International Lines which is one of the top shipping firms in the world, having a capacity of more than 100 vessels, routing between South-east Asia, Middle East, Africa and China. He is also affiliated to Singamas Container Holdings, a container manufacturing company which is listed among Hong Kong’s stock market. The company also has investments in more than 10 other shipping firms.

#13 Sam Goi (66)

Net worth: $2.1 billion
Source: Frozen food
What He Does: Also referred as The Popiah King, he owns and chairs the globally recognised food and beverage manufacturing industry Tee Yih Jia. The food business expanded and operates in four other countries including Malaysia, China, America and Europe. He is also the chairman of property development group GSH Corp. He also own stakes in numerous business enterprises including Yamada Green, JB foods and etc.

#14 Oon Kuin Lim (71)

Net worth: $2 billion
Source: Oil Trading
What He Does: Currently founder and CEO of Hin Leong Group which is not only Singapore’s largest but Asia’s largest oil traders trading with an annual figure of $14 billion. He has plans to establish a $1.7 billion oil terminal at Meizhou Bay back in his homeland in Fujian, China.

#15 Ong Beng Seng & Christina Ong (70, 67)

Net worth: $1.8 billion
Source: Diversfied
What They Do: Mr. Ong is a mega investor, having stakes in several companies, includes Mulberry and Four Seasons. He is also a successful hotelier, having built and established hotels within Singapore and in the diaspora. Similarly, his wife Mrs Christina Ong is also a successful hotelier whom has been referred as Queen of bond street because she has numerous properties in the London Bond Street and more around the world. She is the founder and CEO of COMO Group, which comprises of Club 21, involved in fashion retailing for brands such as Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, COMO Hotel and Resort and COMO Shambhala.

#16 Lee Seng Wee (84)

Net worth: $1.6 billion
Source: Banking
What He Does: Former chairman of Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), formed by a merger masterminded by his late father. Currently a member of the executive board and nominating board of OCBC. He is also affiliated with companies such as Lee Foundation and Lee Rubber Group.

#17 Wee Meng Koh (51)

Net worth: $1.6 billion
Source: Real Estate & Hotel
What He Does: Koh split away from his father jewellery making company and started his career in real estate. Today, he is the founder and CEO of Fragrance Group and also a non-executive chairman at the hotel arm of the company, Global Premium hotels which has a chain of budget hotels. Has a great passion in collecting vintage automobiles.

#18 Tang Wee Kit (60)

Net worth: $1.5 billion
Source: Retail
What He Does: He owns Singapore’s first ever retail store, a legacy acquired by their late father, The Tang Holdings also own The Marriott luxurious hotel, one of the many properties under their investment company.

#19 Rom Sim (56)

Net worth: $1.5 billion
Source: Retail
What He Does: His success is accomplished with his self-made retail business within and outside of Singapore. He founded OSIM International in 1980, famous for its manufacture for luxury massage chairs. Other affiliated companies includes General Nutritional Cooperation (GNC), Richlife and Brookstone.

#20 – Asok Kumar Hiranandani (60)

Net worth: $1.4 billion
Source: Real Estate
What He Does: Founder of Royal Group Holdings, a property company known to have huge investment in the health-care sector. They also own numerous buildings, especially hotels all over Singapore. In addition, they are also responsible for the recent multi-million renovation and transformation of the Ritz Charlton Double Bay in Sydney – with name changed to The Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay.

Belated Birthday Dinner at NOX – Dining In Complete Darkness

I have been going through busy weeks dotted with appointments, late night assignments and last minute overseas business trips. Just two weeks ago,  I landed in Japan and went around Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo before landing back in Singapore last week. Resting a couple of hours and I am bound for Myanmar for our company grand ceremony.

Time passed so quickly that I had even forgotten my own birthday until my dad has announced it during our celebration in Myanmar !

The first thing back in Singapore was to contact my girlfriend whom has been quietly waiting for my return. I have not seen her for weeks ! Initially, we had plans for an relaxation trip to Bali which we did last year during my birthday, but was thwarted by my busy schedule.

Hence, as a make up, she had booked a special restaurant to celebrate my belated birthday, just two of us. In addition, she has particularly curious about this restaurant which she wanted to visit during her last year’s birthday but the price was expensive if friends were to gather for the occasion.

We parked at Parkroyal Beach Road and crossed the streets to look for the restaurant that was hidden along the stretch of heritage shophouses. The restaurant’s name is NOX and similar to its slogan “Dine in the Dark”, it is located in a dark alley which could rarely catch people’s attention.

Upon entering the restaurant, we was politely greeted by the receptionist. The restaurant does not accept walk-in and strictly by appointment only. We ordered a drink and waited at the lounge for our turn. The lounge itself has a nice, quiet ambience for chit chatting among your friends.

Here comes the interesting part. The waiter walked over to our waiting table and explain about the dining. In basic terms, we will be dining in a pitch dark and served by blind waiters. There will be no food menu but a fixed three-set course – appetiser, main course and dessert. Each set consist of four different dishes of small portion. That means a total of 12 dishes ! We were served with a pre-course appetiser, which we had to eat and guess the ingredients used. Furthermore, before entering the dining area, we need to put all our stuff including mobile phones in the lockers provided. This is to ensure that no lights are being used to identify the dishes.

As we waited near a side door, a blind male waiter greeted us and ushered us to the second storey while we lined up in a row and putting our hands on each others’ shoulders. Lights becomes dimmer on every steps and finally we reached the second storey – in complete darkness. The waiter the led us to our seats, using just our sense of touch.

Can you imagine having dinner in pitch black ? This is how the blind has lives throughout their entire lifetime.

Once in our seats, the waiter explained with details on the location of the cutleries (mainly forks) and our glasses. I was feeling all over the table and slowly, I get accustomed to the sense of touch without seeing it. Pretty much after settling down in the atmosphere, the waiter started to dish out the appetisers. As told by the waiter, we need to start eating from the 6 o’clock dish in clockwise manner. This is also to make sure that both of us are eating the same dish at the same time. From here, we start to feel on the bowls and fork and getting ourselves oriented with the correct dishes. Unknowingly what we are putting into our mouth, each bite is like a surprise to us while leaving us pondering on the ingredients as the taste lingers in our mouth. Soon before we knows it, we had finished our 3-set course meal and headed back down.

We was each given a questionnaire to fill in the food and ingredients used for the course meal before the waiter revealed the answers to us.

Our Experience

A very unique dining experience. Different thoughts ran through my mind during the dining. First of all, experiencing the life of a blind person. The dining setting is similar to a blind person having a meal. Without the aid of eye sight, they could only feel for the things around them and remembering the texture, but without any visualisation. For us, remembering the ingredients used in twelve dishes are a daunting tasks, let alone someone who needs to remember everything they have felt for.

However, without the sense of sight, I focused more on the texture and taste of the food in my mouth. While I carefully chewed on the food, my mind will start to run through the past experiences based on the taste and texture of the food, though I only managed to be almost 70% correct of what was in my mouth.

Last but not the least, dining in an uninterrupted atmosphere. When was the last time you had dinner without looking at your mobile phone. I think we are too “poisoned” with our electronic devices nowadays that we could not even focus on our food ! At NOX, putting all these away does gives an tranquility during the dining and definitely, a relaxing mood to enjoy the modern european cuisine.
Experience of the Blind

About NOX

While I questioned the waiter if this restaurant was meant for charity, he replied it was on business aspect that the restaurant was founded. They employed the blind but providing them an adequate pay – on par of those working in normal restaurants rather than lower wages which they had received from their previous jobs.

On further checks, NOX “Dining in the Dark” experience was organised by the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), as a form of raising awareness about the challenges that a vision impairment person face in their daily activities. The idea was originated from the Blindekuh (Blind Cow) restaurant in Switzerland.

Not to mentioned, I finished dinner with another surprise ! A birthday cake that was specially requested by my girl friend and prepared by the chef. As mentioned by the waiter, it was also the first time they have came across this cake and so far, it is not listed in the menu as well. Thanks dear for the great experience for my belated birthday !

NOX Dine in the Dark
269, Beach Road
Singapore 199546
Tel: + 65 6209 0708

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday – 6pm till late
Saturday – 5pm till late
Sunday – 5pm to 11pm (last reservation at 9pm)

Why and How You Should Pamper Your Feet in a Spa

Feet are the part of your body that suffer a  lot during the course of even the easiest days. From wearing uncomfortable shoes, standing for a prolong period of time o simply trudging along on hard surfaces where every step feels like you are ruining your feet. We must also never forget all the various injuries and ailments that can affect your feet. For all these reasons, there is a definite need for some foot pampering every now and then. The best way ? Going to the spa near you.

Foot Reflexology Takes You to Heaven

Anyone who has ever been to a spa to have a massage will tell you that it is one of the best things in the world and definitely one of the most relaxing. The good news is that there are specialized massages that are concentrated specifically on your feet and that will make you feel as if someone is taking all of your problems away.

The most popular foot massage these days is the traditional foot reflexology, today much more popular as reflexology massage. The point of this massage is to get your body rid of energy blockages that accumulate over time. This is done by pressing on specific points on the foor which then release these blockages.

Thai massage is very similar to this one, with one important difference. Instead of fingers and knuckles, the masseur (masseuse) uses wooden stocks to press the points, which then in turn alleviate blockages.

If you wish, you can always go for an athletic massage of feet and legs which is more geared towrads people who spend a lot of time on their feet and who need something more therapeutic and relaxing.

Pedicures to Really Pamper Your Feet

You can get pedicures anywhere these days, but if you ask someone who actually knows a thing or two about a professional pedicure, they will tell you one thing – go to a spa. Spas employ the best professionals from the field who will certainly do a much better job compared to those in local malls whom self-taught the skill through watching a 20-minutes Youtube video on how to do pedicures.

Pedicures are the most comprehensive treatment for your feet and they will all include the most important steps – soaking, scrubbing, exfoliation, cleaning and even massages at times. In addition to this, they will cut and trim your cuticles and nails and finally give them a good polish.

Still, despite all of them involving these steps, there are many pedicures that are very different from one another. For example, the classic French pedicure will be characterized by the white tips of the nails and clear finish for the rest. The Margarita pedicure will involve all kinds of products based on lime, hence the name. The champagne pedicure involves grape products and sometimes actual wine or champagne. With the paraffin pedicure, you dip your feet in paraffin wax before applying nail polish.

New and Exciting Treatments

One of the latest treatments that you can get in spas today is the fish pedicure. With this pedicure, you dunk your feet into a tank which is filled with special fish that eat the dead skin from the feet. If you are worried about the safety issue of fish pedicure, it is good idea to first talk to a podiatry expert who will be able to tell you all about this.

There are also detox baths and wraps that many spas do and which are supposed to help your body get rid of toxins from your body. These are an incredible way to do something truly beneficial for your body and your feet.

In short, go to a spa and give your feet some pampering !

author-pic About Guest Blogger
James Burbank is a blogger who likes to write about the finer aspects of modern living, as well as green living and home improvement. He often works with Sydney podiatry clinic and asks them for advice.