Food · Ho Chi Minh City

Happy Mooncake Festival! – Cherry Garden Mooncake Four Treasures by Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Today, October 4th, is the celebration of Mid-Autumn Festival. Or for easier way, some people call it Mooncake Festival. In Vietnam, majority of people celebrating it today by eating mooncake and drinking tea. I have no idea about the details on this festival. The only thing I know is about how each mooncake has salted egg yolk, because it represents the moon.

When I visited Singapore last week, I met my friend and she gave me a huge box of mooncake! It is from Mandarin Oriental Singapore. The box is very pretty and neatly made. Good thing that we were able to bring it back home to Vietnam! I love the box.

Cherry Garden Mooncake Four Treasure Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Cherry Garden Mooncake Four Treasure Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Inside the box, there are 4 pieces of mooncake. I have no idea what flavor for each one of them. From what I found on their brochure on the internet, for this Cherry Garden Treasure Box, they consists of 1 piece of Low sugar silver lotus paste with double yolk, 1 piece of Low sugar silver lotus paste with single yolk, 1 piece of Sea salt caramel with single yolk and pecan nuts, and 1 piece of Pandan with dried cherries and pistachio. They all have their own box and sat nicely inside the beautiful treasure box.

Cherry Garden Mooncake Four Treasure Mandarin Oriental Singapore

The first mooncake I ate was sea salt caramel one. Immediately fell in love with it. It was the best mooncake I’ve ever tried! Sadly there is only one for that flavor. Today I opened another mooncake box and it has 2 egg yolks, so it must be the Low sugar silver lotus paste with double yolk mooncake. Before I read about it on the internet, I thought it was mungbean flavor. Oops!

Lotus paste one is also yummy. I like the low sugar concept that is different than most of other mooncake I’ve tried before. The dough and the filling are both complete each other.

Low Sugar Silver Lotus Paste with double yolk mooncake

The downside about this mooncake from Mandarin Oriental is their price. For this cherry garden treasure box, they cost SGD 83.5 (including tax). They also selling individual flavor as a box of 2 and 4. You can see the detail on their brochure.

What I don’t know is whether this treasure box only for this year or also for the coming year. Their flavor possibly will be the same next year. They were starting to sell this mooncake since August, so better plan your craving for next year 😉

Ciao.

Experience · Food · Travel

Singapore Trip – Final Day

Since it passes the time so long already, I combined my 2 last days in Singapore in this post. My 4th day was basically spent in Farrer Park Medical Centre for the check up and meeting my doctor. This hospital is quite new and they have a very good imaging laboratory (for ultrasound, MRI, etc). To reach this hospital, I went to Farrer Park MRT Station, and searched for “Farrer Road Station Rd” exit. I think this one is easier than “Farrer Park Medical Centre” exit. At the exit, go to the left then turn left, and there you will see it already.

I had an appointment with them which was arranged by my doctor. The staff brought me to changing room and asked me to wear the top gown. After that I was ushered to the room. I often do this ultrasound check and they normally done in less than 30 minutes. But this one, it took 1 hour! She really did a thorough check and very detail, didn’t let the time hurried her.

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Instruction in Changing Room

After the check, I went to cashier and paid for it. Then I had about 3.5 hours before the appointment with my doctor. I contacted my friend who lives near that area and apparently she was busy with her child. So.. Let’s go to Plaza Singapura! It is very convenient since it is at the same route so I don’t need to change MRT. It is only 2 station away from Farrer Park.

I haven’t had breakfast and this started to bother me. I’ve been to Plaza Singapura before but it was many years ago, so I didn’t familiar with their layout and shops. But.. I found Old Chang Kee! My favorite snack there is the crispy squid head.I’m not a fan of squid head but for this one i love it!

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Old Chang Kee

The next plan would be finding place to sit and buy a drink. And I failed on that… Couldn’t find somewhere to sit and enjoy my morning. I was sure there is a place or two to sit, but I just wasn’t familiar with the place. I ended up sitting at the bench outside the plaze lol. Enjoying my squid head and headed back to the building. Wondered where the drink places are!

There are many interesting shop in Plaza Singapura. I don’t remember what I did there but it was suddenly already 12pm and time for lunch. I had lunch with my friend at coco ichibanya. I like japanese curry rice, and they made a good one here. It was hard to find the place though, since I wasn’t familiar with the plaza (again..). Apparently it is located at the junction area, the new plaza Singapura, connected at 3rd floor.

There were many construction area inside the plaza, so I was amazed that I could find my way back to MRT Station on my first attempt xD There were no signboard or anything to lead me to Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station. Maybe I could find it because I’m used to play RPG games lol. Finding routes and such. Anyway.. I’m back at the hospital and met my doctor. After a few examination, I’m done for the day. Everything is okay according to her (hooray!).

I had about 4 hours before my dinner appointment. My bag was heavy because I brought my samsung tab. So tempted to go back to hotel and put everything away so I could walk without any burden, but there were many stores at plaza singapura that I haven’t checked it out! So I went there instead. Strolling through daisho with their halloween collection, and bought some for dog costume. Bought a game at game store. Trying out nana’s green tea.

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Finally I had a chance to open my samsun gtab and worked on my blog while enjoying this houjicha latte. It was yummy. Their place is very strategic. In the center of the plaza and big cafe as well.

After that, I continued my journey to look around more. There is paper market, where they sell MANY kind of paper for scrap book, cards, etc. They also have stamps, stickers, and other cute stuff to make paper craft. Next to it is Art Friend. There is one in Vietnam as well, but this one in Plaza Singapura is huge!

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In the end I didn’t have time to go back to hotel and put my heavy things away. Just went to meeting place directly. My friend wanted me to try Mentai udon in Matcha House. She said it is really delicious. So let’s try!

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This is the udon. It’s similar with the one I liked at Marugame Udon before they removed it from the menu. But this one has bacon as well. I mixed all of them together. Yup, calorie bomb! But it was delicious. Need to finish it quick though, or else it won’t taste good when they’re cold.

 

After dinner, I just remembered that I wanted to buy a battery charger for my camera. I emailed the store already and they gave me the price. With hight hope, I went to Center Point and went straight to camera store. It was closed. I couldn’t believe it. Before 9.00 pm and they already closed! My friend told me it was because of Monday. They normally closed the store early on Monday. Whaaa??

Last day

I had breakfast at Watanabe Coffee (again). This time I ordered banana cinnamon. Ahh.. they were sooo tasty. I normally can’t eat much for breakfast, but this one I can finish it.

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Banana Cinnamon Toast @ Watanabe Coffee

There was not much to do during last day. I already tired of walking, especially my back already sore from carrying the backpack all the time. I just visited some stores without buying anything, and just keep walking. And it was time for lunch before I knew it..

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Lucky Chicken Rice

My Singaporean friend asked me, why foreigner soo in love with their chicken rice. It’s just chicken and rice. True indeed. I also don’t know why people going crazy about this chicken rice. But one thing I know, I like their hainan rice. I used to hate hainan rice when I was in Indonesia. I still hate it though, but I love Singaporean hainan rice 😀

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There you go, all done for my trip. See you next time, Singapore. I’ll be back.

Ciao.

Ho Chi Minh City · Travel

Singapore Trip – Day 3

Trying breakfast at Carousel (the hotel buffet) first thing in the morning. It was 9 am when we arrived. Only 1 hour to enjoy the breakfast there. The day before, the receptionist offered us if we want to order breakfast for SGD20++ / person. They had special promotion for anyone who gets breakfast for at least 2 days in a row. We didn’t take the offer. But since yesterday my husband went there for lunch with his colleague, he is curious about the breakfast buffet.

Carousel is (apparently) famous for halal buffet. Their food at lunch had a huge variations and tastes good as well. That’s why we went there for breakfast. The normal rate for breakfast is SGD 37.5/person (with tax). Very expensive for my standard of breakfast! Especially when I couldn’t eat much in the morning. Their lunch buffet is about SGD 70/person. Too much for me.. Their breakfast dishes were good though. We enjoyed our asian breakfast!

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Cute Statue on Bus Stop, Orchard road

At 10.00 am we finished our breakfast and went back to our room, resting again. My husband needed to pack up his suitcase because his flight was in the afternoon. Me? I’m staying for check up.

For lunch, we went to Somerset 313. There is a famous and delicious hotpot restaurant there, called Hai Di Lao. It is recommended to make a reservation before hand or else you will have to wait. Luckily we didn’t have to wait for long, maybe around 20-30 minutes. They served us condiments and drinks while waiting. When a table ready for us, they called us. The waitress there was really friendly and helpful, even though some of them can’t speak English very well. If you can speak Chinese, it would be wonderful. We can’t.

Our favorite soup base in Hai Di Lao is Chicken soup. We tried mushroom soup base before and it was good as well but the chicken one is better. They used mushroom as well in chicken soup so the flavor is richer because of chicken and mushroom all together. Another favorite base is tom yum, but we never tried it because we can’t eat spicy food ><

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The picture is blurry because I took it using my phone inside a sealed bag (and was in a hurry.. so the sealed bag is actually an excuse :D). Yes! They gave you a sealed bag for your phone and lens cleaning tissue for your eye glasses. You can choose what item you want from their ipad. Just click the item and how many you want. You can order half portion as well. After finished our order, we waited for a short time only and all the food were there! There will be a special performance if you order their homemade noodle. It’s an amazing show and entertaining at the same time. And my friend said the noodle tastes really good as well. Oh well, next time we will try it then!

We ordered too many food… very heavy to walk after meal. We walked slowly through the shops. Stopping by in some shops and continue walking because my husband need to go to airport by 3.30 pm. And of course we didn’t forget about Garret popcorn. We always buy it whenever we visited Singapore. There are 2 places to buy Garret popcorn in Orchard Road. One shop in 313 Somerset Ground Floor and another one in Wisma Atria Basement Floor. I heard that there is one in Terminal 2 Changi Airport as well. But since we were in 313 and he wanted to put the popcorn inside luggage, we bought it there.

On the way to hotel, my husband just remembered that he needs to find something. Takashimaya was in front of us, so we went in there. He got what he wanted and rushed over to tax refund counter. Purchase above SGD 100 can claim for tax refund (or they call it GST Refund). There was no queue for GST Refund, so it was very fast. After he got the approval slip, we rushed back to hotel.

It was 4 pm when he ready to go. No chance of taking MRT to airport. He took taxi instead. It was quite fast. He arrived at airport in 20 minutes, and total cost about SGD 20. So if you want to take taxi to airport from Orchard, that is the approximate time and cost you will spend.

So.. only me left in Singapore. Fortunately I have friends who live there so I always have someone to accompany me.

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For dinner this time, I went to Novena MRT Station to meet with my friend. She wanted to bring me to a Japanese place. There are a few there in United Square, but I was interested in ramen. The place called Bari Uma Ramen. Owned by a Japanese. In fact, some of the staffs are Japanese. I ordered Ajitama Uma, and my friend ordered Nori-Tama-Uma.

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Ajitama Uma

The soup was really thick and tasty. The price for a portion of Ajitama Uma is SGD 14.90. I like the texture of the noodle and the soup, but I dont like their meat and egg. The grilled pork is not juicy. And the egg.. I was so disappointed in their egg. It was still runny when I cut it half. The taste also very bland. Usually ajitama is a bit salty or at least tasty because they put the egg marinated in soy sauce. But this one was not as good as I imagined 😦

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Nori-Tama-Uma

The difference is Nori-Tama-Uma has 3 big sheets of nori (seaweed). And it costs SGD 16.90. They have option to add more noodle after your first order finished. So you can only order the noodle then put it into your existing bowl. We didn’t do that of course! Normal portion already too much for us.

After dinner, we went to Cold Storage. My friend wanted to buy something. I don’t mind going to supermarket. In fact, this is one of my favorite thing to do when I travel. To visit their supermarket. The local it is, the better. Cold Storage is not so local, they have many imported stuff there, but it’s still a supermarket so I don’t mind 😀

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Reese’s pieces

I’ve been looking for this candy for a while. First time I got it was from my husband’s colleague in Philipines. It looks like a normal candy, like M&M, but it’s actually a peanut butter! It is soooo good! And I found it here in Singapore!! In Cold Storage. My friend asked me to buy it later in case I found it somewhere else and cheaper. But from my experience while travelling, always buy when you first found it! Of course, if you know another place to get it then this rule does not apply.

Now I know that Cold Storage has Reese’s pieces, but I found it as well at the airport! At the candy place. Cocoa & Co if I’m not mistaken. They have it as well now, but it is the bigger package.

That was all for my day 3, hopefully you can get some information here. I will continue for last days! Ciao.

Experience · Travel

Singapore Trip – day 2

We woke up quite late and then had to think about where to have breakfast. I can’t eat many in the morning, so I prefer a small portion of breakfast. My husband suggested a place in Wheelock Place, so we departed there as soon as we ready to go. On the way there, we found Watanabe Coffee, so we decided to try this one instead 😀

After breakfast, we were ready to go around with full tummy! It was a nice breakfast. It was 10.30 am and we need to go back to hotel by 12 pm, so we just strolled around ION mall.

There was a nice offer at H&M for man’s blazer. Good slim fit style for only SGD 30 and SGD 50! Good deal.

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Saw this bear necklace for kids and I was thinking about my friend’s daughter. She would loved it. I sent message to my friend and didn’t get respond :s Bye bear necklace~

Later on, she replied back and wanted the blue one for her daughter. Okay, so.. I will look for it again then!

For lunch, I had appointment with my friend (which was my boss) and her family at Wild Honey in Scotts Square. They didn’t accept reservation. I came early so I made reservation on the spot and they put me on the list. After a while, I got a phone call from them, but it was an automatic answering machine. It told me that the table is ready and if I want to delay for 5 minutes, I need to press 2. And press 3 if I want to cancel the reservation. My friend was not there yet so I pressed 2, and it told me they will keep the table for the next 10 mins and if I didn’t show up, they would give it to next customer.

Then I was thinking, since I was already there why not trying to get a table for us. I approached the person in charge and said I got the message that the table is ready. She asked me where were my friends… I told her that they were in parking lot and on the way up (I lied a bit, yeah.. but not necessarily wrong since they were close by already :D). She refused to give me table until at least some of the people were there. The best would be all present at entrance. No chance then. Back to waiting..

When my friends arrived, we went in immediately. There were no empty table inside. It made sense that they are really strict in reservation term. The food in Wild Honey is all day breakfast. Almost all the menu consists of eggs and bread. I ordered I love NY. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and bagel.

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The food is delicious. Eggs were cooked and seasoned perfectly. My bagel also nice. I like the sour cream as well. All of this for about SGD 22++ Quite expensive eh?

I went back to hotel right away after lunch, cos I had a heavy package of bakwa! The specialty meat from Singapore. My friend told me that this brand is the best bakwa in Singapore. Can’t wait to try it later at home.

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Lim Chee Guan Bakwa

After resting for a while, I went out again to meet other old friend in City Hall MRT Station. I saw a Guardian so we went there to get something for my dry hair. I washed my hair in the morning and it become really dry because I didn’t use any conditioner. Found something interesting by L’ucidol but I wasn’t sure how good it is. The shopkeeper approached me and offered me another brand. They have small packaging so it’s easier to carry and if it doesn’t work I won’t feel guilty as well xD She gave me free sample of hair shampoo and hair conditioner as well. Nice!

We strolled around Citylink Mall and found some fashion shops. They have nice items and reasonable price as well. The dresses are around SGD 30+, with several styles. They have fitting room as well so we can try it easily. Some stores are busy and need to queue to get into fitting room. We walked to Esplanade direction afterward. There are several pop up stores as well there. Also with reasonable price. We didn’t go in into every shops because of limited time we have. But we managed to stop by at accessories shop 😀

I need to meet my husband back at Cityhall MRT Station. We planned to have dinner at Song Fa Bakkut Teh, but my friend suggested another place which, according to her, has a good bakkut teh as well. It is in Bukit Timah area. I’ve been in the restaurant once (with her) before. And it was okay. So I agreed with her suggestion and kind of forced my husband to try it out 😀

To reach the place, the nearest MRT station is Beauty World MRT Station. Walk out from there and go to restaurant row. The place’s name is Koon Bakkut Teh. They have similar menu as Song Fa.

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Koon Bakkut Teh

Unfortunately, they tasted bad 😦 I ate here before and it was good food, but not now. Their soup was so bland, feels like overflown water on soup. Their salted vegetable was never won from Song Fa though. The homemade Ngo Hiang also just so-so. This was a disappointing dinner meal..

We went back to hotel afterward and just rest to prepare for the next day. Thank you for reading my adventure in Singapore day 2. See you again!

Ciao.

Bread · Food

Watanabe Coffee – Singapore

We walked out from our hotel and planned to have breakfast at one of cafe in wheelock place. When we passed by Shaw Center, we saw Watanabe Coffee has opened and they have breakfast as well. We went here instead 😀

It was around 9.20 am when we entered the coffee shop. There were not many people at that time. They only serving breakfast menu, until 10 am. They will have brunch menu at 10 am to 12 am, but in the morning they only serve breakfast menu.

There are several choice for breakfast. We tried their set menu, 1 toast, 1 egg and 1 drink (coffee / tea / juice). The price for set is around SGD 8 in average. Not bad eh?

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The coffee was okay. Vietnamese coffee still better haha!

It took so long to get our food even though not many customers at that time. There are only 2 waitress as well. Very efficient in human power. They both handle everything from order until payment, and cleaning up.

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Banana Cinnamon Toast

My husband ordered banana cinnamon toast with hard boiled egg. They gave him wrong egg. It was not hard boiled egg, so we complaint and they gave him a new egg. The toast was really good! Very tasty and the sweetness was perfect. A good choice! Definitely recommend this one.

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Pizza toast

I ordered pizza toast and onsen egg. This one was delicious as well, but really heavy. I couldn’t finished it, so I gave some to my husband 😀 Win win solution. Onsen egg also cooked well.

Overall the food is tasty. I like their taste in music as well. Very cozy feeling. Next time you look for a place to have breakfast, consider to give them a visit.

Ciao.