Goodbye, 8 Days (print)

I feel poignant holding the last print issue of 8 Days in my hands. Started reading 8 Days when I was 11 and bought it faithfully every week (almost!) till today. 8 Days isn’t just any usual magazine because my family and I practically grew up together with it, reading their drama synopses, entertainment news, food reviews and whatnots.

My little one may never know how it is like to look forward to a magazine to hit newsstands, and thumb through the colourful pages for entertainment news when you finally have the copy in your hands. Because Instagram. Sigh.

I suppose my tingle of sadness came also from the hope that 8 Days could continue in print, being the last (few) stalwarts of print magazines that could sell relatively well. But I guess we have to embrace being digital because this is the future of communications.

If not now, then when? Eventually, they will go digital. In the meantime, thank you, 8 Days print, for accompanying my childhood, teenage years and young adulthood for the past 20 years!

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Things that I’ve learnt in school that’s actually useful for work/life

When I was younger, I would wonder what the heck was algebra. Why would I need to know “toa cah soh” (for the uninitiated, it’s a Singlish way to make us remember trigonometry formulas)? As I grew older, I realise there were some things that I learnt in school that were actually useful and essential for work and in daily life.

So if you think you want to focus your energies on learning important things that are useful, you may want to make reference to this post! But here’s a disclaimer — these things are what I personally find useful for life and my job in general.

Primary school

– Mathematics – Percentages (to know proportion, how significant are certain changes and not just rely on absolute numbers)

– English – how to write numbers in words (to write cheques)

Secondary school

– English – Summary skills (you will have to read tons of information for work and condense the critical information for your bosses or clients)

– Social studies – Cross-referencing skills (to know how to differentiate fake news, to not be easily swayed by popular opinions but know that every message has an agenda)

– Mathematics – Probability (to know whether to take a risk on a certain decision or whether you should buy certain insurance)

Junior college

– Economics – Demand & Supply concept, Return of Investment

University

– Communications fundamentals – know how to communicate to different stakeholders. Tailor your message to different audience through different medium. One topic that would be useful at work is “strategic ambiguity” :p

A food trail

About 2 weeks ago, I tried food at places that I would never usually go like Kim Keat and Chinatown. Since there are so many food photos in my phone (besides the food I had two weeks ago), I am going to post them… for my own personal consumption (pun intended)!

Salted egg crab, Kam Jia Seafood at Ang Mo Kio

Apéritif at Prisci’s surprise 30th, put together by her hubby. He baked the bread btw!

Ma La Xiang Guo, Chinatown



This is “Dragon’s breath”, Geylang Serai Bazaar. You can puff out smoke when you eat one of these balls. Novel but not yummy food.


Claypot Hokkien mee for 2, Kim Keat. See how it sizzles. 

Brotzeit’s sausage, ribs and pork knuckle platter

Week before Good Friday

It is the week before Good Friday. And I am thankful that this week, I have some space to breathe after a packed, non-stop action week (was even called back for a work meeting on a weekend). Space to think and remember that this week, we are approaching a special day that is central to our faith — having Jesus die for us on the cross for our sins, as the ultimate sacrifice, that we may see God once again. 

It has been a beautiful week. Serene. Calm. For one of the mornings, I saw this beautiful sight from my window. As if God is inviting me to be with Him and stay in Him.

*bliss*

What’s for lunch today

I’m studying for my Korean Basic Level 1 test tomorrow and I decided to do a quick post of the lunch I had today… Salad!

I didn’t post it on my (rather private) Instagram account because I decided to stay out of this social media channel until I finish reading the Bible. 

So there, good things must share! My salad made up of lettuce as base and five other toppings — steamed sweet potato, olives, egg mayo, cherry tomatoes and strawberries. I included grilled chicken breast for an additional $1.50, which adds up to $6.90 for this big box of wholesomeness. Sauces you can choose include honey mustard, pesto and sesame sauce.

In a CBD area, this would have cost more than $10! 


Don’t expect a fancy shopfront because it looks just like a random wholesale fruit shop, with some fruits on display on carton boxes — I guess that’s how they save cost. They don’t even have seats, unless you can grab the two small tables that looked like they were randomly placed outside the shop. Expect long queues when you head there during lunch time. I guess nearby office workers do know where to get a good deal. If you are interested to know where to get this affordable box of greens, here’s the name of the shop:

Sun Moon Fresh

Sultan Plaza

100 Jalan Sultan, Level 1

Staying at the top floor of an HDB block

When it was time to choose our HDB flat about five years ago, I remember I had to arm myself with knowledge on selecting a good flat. The golden rules I was given by older people were:

  1. Avoid west-facing flats, so that your house will not bear the heat of the afternoon sun.
  2. Avoid the flats at the top floor because it is usually very hot up there and there might be leaks since the water tanks would be directly above the top-floor flat.

I did not follow one of the rules and I did not regret it. I chose a flat at the top floor.

I was sure I had to avoid west-facing flats as I personally experienced the heat at my parents’ place, which had some afternoon sun. If the afternoon sun (and it’s not even direct) could make me so irritated (especially after taking afternoon naps), I must make sure I don’t get a flat that will make me frustrated when I return home.

During the selection of my HDB flat, I was concerned about staying at the top floor due to the golden rules I mentioned above. So, choosing one was a huge leap of faith. Nonetheless, the signs I encountered before my flat selection helped me take this faith step. The signs include meeting people who stayed at the top level and shared how much they enjoyed it.

Here are the pros and cons of staying at the top floor.

The bad

  • The lift stops at almost every level in the morning when you use it to go down. Please factor in an extra 5 minutes for lift-taking in the morning when going to work. And no, I won’t walk down more than 20 levels worth of stairs.
  • Top-level flats are usually susceptible to house break-ins as it’s quieter up here (e.g. less movement up and down the staircase). We installed a CCTV and window grilles to mitigate this potential problem.
  • Some delivery companies charge by the number of levels to deliver big bulky items that can’t fit into the lift (e.g. mattresses), so imagine the amount you have to pay if they have to deliver by climbing the stairs… *shudders* But in our case, it hasn’t been an issue. A standard king-sized mattress can fit into the lift.

The good

  • The view up here is beautiful. The skies we see are always full of surprises.
  • No noisy footsteps from neighbours above.
  • No pipes in the toilet. Spacious toilets.
  • Higher ceiling than all other flats below – penthouse feeling. Good for us because Hubbs is quite tall.
  • And it’s not hot at all, because we don’t get the afternoon sun. It’s windy in the evenings. So the key thing is to avoid west-facing flats.
  • Top-level flats get higher resale value, although this doesn’t really relate to me because we plan to stay in our flat for a long, long time.

In summary, I would recommend you to get a top-level flat if you can, as long as you don’t get one that is west-facing. Best is if you get one with an unblocked view. The beautiful skies we see and the relaxed vibe we get from the extra space at the top level make those (ad-hoc) inconveniences we get seem so insignificant.

Best Wedding Lunch/Dinner in Singapore

Having attended a few wedding lunches and dinners for the past 2 years, I rank these 3 places to have served the best wedding lunches/dinners, arguably in Singapore. Do note that I voted them as the best based solely on food quality. I did not take into consideration their ambience, decorations and service. So here’s the lowdown!

1) Conrad Hotel. Sarah had her wedding held here and I must say, Conrad is really hard to beat. The food portions are generous and the quality, ‘up there’. Every dish came out piping hot and according to what we had tasted during the food tasting session. According to Sarah, they only have one ballroom, which means the whole entire kitchen is dedicated to serving your guests only. Sarah and ZH requested the food to be individually plated, so they had to pay the price of 30 tables, even though they only had 28 tables.

Take a look at their menu which we had during food-tasting. For the dessert on the actual day, it was changed to refreshing aloe vera + strawberries + mango bowl, accompanied with crispy fried pancake with black sesame paste. The first dish, Bird’s Nest Braised with Bamboo Pith, Crab Meat and Roe was warm, hearty and comforting. Save the sharks – no shark’s fins!

Everyone was also raving about the Sea Perch fillet, baked with XO Chilli Sauce (picture beside the Braised Bird’s Nest). The fish was fresh, well-seasoned and baked to flaky perfection. The 8-Head South Africa Abalone Braised with Sea Cucumber was really good too.
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2) Tung Lok Signatures at Orchard Parade Hotel. The exterior and interior of this restaurant have nothing to shout about. It’s a small and intimate restaurant (with a very low ceiling). But boy, the food was darn good! Every single dish was just delectable. I am salivating thinking about the dinner. I did not take pictures of the food because I was just too busy tucking in at the table. Here’s the menu. Every. Single. Dish. Was. Amazing. Trust me. DR, who is a picky eater, praised the restaurant and said it was the best wedding dinner he had. Of special mention is the first dish, lobster prepared in two ways – chilled salad and baked in French-style; the 4th, HK-styled Steamed Sea Star Garoupa in Superior Soya Sauce and the 6th,  Braised Sea Cucumber.

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3) Crowne Plaza, Changi Airport. This hotel surprised me. While there were one or two misses, the lunch was generally enjoyable there. For the price (I think it costs about $900+ per table for a weekend lunch?), the food is not bad. Of special mention is the Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Fresh Ginseng, Steamed Pomfret in Teochew style and Braised Broccoli with Abalone Mushroom. The ambience over there is wonderful as well, perhaps because the Changi Airport environment made people feel relaxed. Here’s the menu.

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Do consider these places for your wedding if your focus is on food quality (:

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