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9 Mar 2017

DBS launches SPARK episode 6 at DBS Asia X

DBS Asia X

Who who've thought that DBS, a local leading consumer bank running a series of their own mini episodes?? I wasn't aware till I attended the launch of Sparks episode 6 at DBS Asia X a couple of days ago as this mini series redefines the conventional meaning of banking. DBS hopes that the public not only perceive them as a company that does transactions but also a company that embrace innovation and digitisation. 

DBS SPARK episode 6
Img. from DBS


Episode 6 of sparks is inspired by the true story of Zaya Learning Labs as they faces challenges while trying to bridge the education gap, bringing education to children in low income communities through the use of technology and innovation. Neil D'Souza, the founder of Zaya Learning Labs was one of the panelist that shared with us his story and advices that day. Zaya Learning Labs was also the grand prize winner in the inaugural DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia in 2014. 

Joining him as panellists on stage were also Dr. Alex Lin (Head of SGInnovate, DBS BusinessClass Advisor), Gillian Tee (Co-founder, Homage) and David Pong (Co-founder, WaterROAM), each with their own inspiring story to share.

Since the lanch of Sparks episodes 1-5 in Feburary 2016, their trailers together with the 5 episodes have garnered more than 42 million views and over 1.7 million digital engagements across the region.
You may want to check out these episodes from this link below before the launch of episode 6 on the 17th of March.

DBS SPARK episode 6
Host and the panellists

DBS SPARK episode 6
Gillian Tee (Co-founder, Homage)

DBS SPARK episode 6
Neil D'Souza (Zaya Learning Labs)

DBS SPARK episode 6
David Pong (Co-founder, WaterROAM)

DBS SPARK episode 6

It was an informative session for me as I learnt that DBS Foundation actually provides holistic support to social enterprises at every stage of their journey, assisting them in their success as well as scaling up their social impact.

I also took away some key advises from these founders at the end of the session as well. (Not in exact sentences but almost there..)

''There are 10 thousands reasons to say you are not ready. Do not be afraid to start the journey, experiment and fail. You need to be comfortable with a bit of chaos. It was the impact that kept me going'' - Gillian Tee

''Believe in yourself. Although you are clueless, pretend to know. Surround yourself with people who believe in your cause. Building a strong team is important. Deliver values and not let the media define your values.'' - David Pong

''Do not take investment from somebody who does not know. Get the right person. You need plenty of support as well.'' -Neil D'Souza

Anyway, couldn't wait for episode 6 to be up!  #DBSsparks

5 Mar 2017

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館 from Kaoh Siung 高雄

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

It has been almost a month since I came back from my trip from Taiwan, Kaoh Siung 高雄. I spent about a week in Kaoh Siung 高雄, mainly sight seeing in the urban cityscape and night market hopping as the friend I went with was a maniac in architectural and food photography. As for me? I definitely needed to visit places of relaxation or inspiration since I enjoy blogging about such stuff.

You probably won't find a week's worth of Kaoh Siung 高雄 itinerary since I only intend to share about Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館, Pier-2 Art Center and Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. Of course I had spammed enough pictures on my instagram as well as my migme account by now. 

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

The journey from Kaoh Siung 高雄 was long as it took about 2 hours (without traffic jam) by bus to reach 車城站. From 車城站, it was another 10 mins car ride or 45 mins walking distance to reach Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館.    

''Sichong river Hot Spring Area is located at Checheng Township in Pingtung County. The water here is Sodium Bicarbonate spring, excellent quality mineral water. The Sihjhongsi Hot Spring is considered one of the four major hot-spring areas among Taiwan, along with Yangmingshan, Beitou, and Guanziling.''

There were 2 spring options to pick from:

1) The semi outdoor naked spa 半露天景觀裸湯 which was more private and does not require you to wear swim suit and swimming cap. It comprises of Cold Spring Pool, Hot Spring Pool and Medium Hot Pool, costing NT$200 per person.

2) Health Spa Love Sea Water Therapy Spa 愛情海水療SPA which required me to purchase a swim suit and swimming cap since I did not bring mine. It comprises of  Hot Spring Spa, Spa For Children, Floral Hot Spring, Herb Hot Spring, Garra Rufa Obtuse, Cold Spring Pool, Hot Spring Pool, Medium Hot Pool and Steam Room. It cost NT$300 per person.

Garra Rufa Obtuse 溫泉親親魚池 is basically a tiny fish pond where you dip your feet in and these little fishes would start nibbling the dead skin off your feet. I even ''stole'' other people's fishes once my feet landed in LOL. 


Lockers available at a cost of NT$10 to place your belongings and their toilets have soap and shampoo as well. Many random photos below.

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

video
Garra Rufa Obtuse 溫泉親親魚池

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Overall it was a relaxing experience since the day before, I spent half the entire day cycling to the end (cargo area) of Cijin. The distance sure was crazy....definitely CRAZY in a foreign land. Not forgetting walking over 30km each day...

There were many cute little kids playing around, more like a family orientated Hot Spring Resort and the place was not exactly well maintained since there were faulty activation buttons. I should not be complaining since I paid only NT$300 for unlimited time and I probably spend about 3-4 hours in there. Hmmm maybe more hotspring and spa posts in future?

You may want to check out their web page for more information here: http://www.fennel.com.tw

28 Jan 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show (19 - 22 Jan, 2017)

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Having heard about Singapore Contemporary Art Show (2nd edition) which opens on 19 January, 2017 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, I decided to make my way down with a friend on the very last day despite the gloomy weather that persuaded me to think twice.

The event falls strategically during Singapore Art Week which was from January 11 - 22 Jan,
2017. It hosted over 90 exhibitors, featuring a wide collection of paintings, sculptures as well as photography works. Most of these artists were also present, probably during the opening as I visited 2 hours before the event finale. Yup, I missed all the exciting talks, workshops and other sessions that were available to the public. 

My intention to visit was mainly to admire these art works, get inspirations as well as to snap photos of art that captured my attention and liking. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one capturing photos since I spotted many other art enthusiasts or collectors doing the same thing. Gone with the awkward ''am I the only one taking photos?'' feeling. Besides the countless photos which I had taken but only posted a couple of my favourites, I also uploaded 2 brief videos of what it was like in Singapore Contemporary. Not much of a crowd actually, perfect to tour around comfortably while I often looked up to see which country each exhibitors were from. I felt that a country's culture would definitely influence the artists' style of art.

Anyway, feel free to check out Singapore Contemporary's web page link below for more information:

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

video

video


18 Jan 2017

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar by Ippudo at Marina Bay Sands

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar

Marina Bay Sands is known to be one of the more difficult places in Singapore when it comes to finding an affordable meal (at least to many of us, besides the 'high-end' food court).

With the opening of Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar by Ippudo, those working around the vicinity or frequent Marina Bay Sands visitors / Pokemon trainers would rejoice as each bowl of ramen only cost $8 to $12!

Like many ramen outlets out there, customers would be given a form where they could customise the hardness of noodles, intensity of the soup as well as the amount of oil. I love my ramen to have extra garlic but with no onions! I usually enjoy strong broth but 'light flavor' would be my preferred option here since the soup base was kind of overwhelming.

Be prepared to be full since each bowl contains 140g of thick noodles instead of the usual 100g standard of Ippudo.
I had the KURO-OBI ($12) (top right bowl form the above image) and the ingredients were done perfectly to my liking. Molten yolk egg, tender chicken chashu and soft vegetables that still retained a bite.
The other ramens available were SHIRO-OBI ($8), AKA-OBI ($10) and CHA-OBI ($9).

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar

If you would prefer to sit in, relax and enjoy your meal, Ippudo (located beside Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar) would probably be your option instead.

The Goboten Salad with Collagen Tonkatsu Dressing would be your average salad with the addition of goboten. A quick google search told me that goboten is a root type vegetable, which is actually very rich in dietary fibres.

Our Hakata Bite Size Gyoza ($9 for 5 pieces ; $16 for 10 pieces) came a little darker than usual but not burnt. Yup, I could finish one in a bite.

The Pork Belly Bun ($5) came in cute dim sum baskets. They make decent bites for those who would want a less filling non-ramen meal.

Samurai Rib ($7 per piece ; $13 for 2) was a new dish of a refreshing twist to me. It looks partially fried, giving it a slightly crisp exterior. The meat inside was delicious yet tender.   

Corn Balls (decided to call them that since I forgot the actual name) were actual corns, clustered and deep fried, finished with paprika! It was so addictive and one would never be enough.

Looking like a mini bowl of ramen, the Almond Jelly Noodle ($6) was an interesting twist to how desserts should look like. Equipped with a pair of chopsticks, I started slurping down the silky smooth agar noodle, gulping down the remaining bowl of almond soy milk (if I am not wrong). 
My friend even mistaken that piece of goji berry to be chili padi!

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Goboten Salad with Collagen Tonkatsu Dressing

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Hakata Bite Size Gyoza ($9 for 5 pieces ; $16 for 10 pieces)

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Pork Belly Bun ($5)

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Samurai Rib ($7 per piece ; $13 for 2)

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Corn Balls

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Almond Jelly Noodle ($6)

14 Jan 2017

Saboten Food Review - 3rd Outlet in Singapore



The urge to bite into a crisp yet not oily batter that unveiled contents with their juices sealed within is definitely irresistible to many. That includes myself who usually put aside the thought of 'deep fried' to indulge once a while. 

It was my pleasure to accompany my friend to witness the official opening of Saboten's third outlet, level 3 of 100 AM Mall last month. As Saboten has over 500 branches across the world, 4 being in Singapore and the newest outlet has opened at Raffles City Shopping Centre. 

The highlights that day would probably be the Mangalitsa Katsu and it was no surprise since Saboten is acclaimed as the biggest Tonkatsu chain in the world. Mangalitsa Katsu sounds rather alien to many since its meat was from a rare pig known as ''woolly pig''. Aside from the kawaii name, its flesh contained much more fats, but still healthier due to its low saturated fat content.

Apart from the fried ebi dish which I am allergic to, it was my first time having fried Chilean abalones as well as scallops croquette. The abalone wasn't rubbery as I expected it to be while I definitely love the chunks of juicy fresh scallops embedded in the crispy batter.

I ended off the meal with a glass of low alcohol content orange flavoured sake and a scoop of refreshing yuzu ice cream.       




4 Dec 2016

Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore - First Ever Yuzu Bath


Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore

Being the first Japanese Onsen with the largest variety of pools in Singapore, Yunomori Singapore has positioned itself in being authentic and a hub for relaxation as well as rejuvenation. Besides the onsen which was probably the highlight, Yunomori also consists of Thai style treatments as well as massage.   

Stepping into Yunomori Singapore almost felt if I could just surrender myself to enlightenment and I admit that I am definitely a huge fan of zen space and elements as well as woody and earthy-toned furnishing. Just check out and admire the tessellation wall while placing your shoes into the lockers perpendicular to them.

Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore

With the launch of Singapore's first ever Yuzu Bath which I would be sharing, Yunomori cafe has also doled out a series of yuzu theme dishes!

Starting off with the irresistibly refreshing Yuzu Soda ($5+) which I couldn't help constantly sipping and enjoying the combination of the citrusy minty soda.  
  
Probably my favourite that day was the Yuzu Udon ($9.80+) which was served chilled. Try not to judge the presentation since the overall plating might looked rather 'pale'. (Soft boiled egg, tender chicken slices and a slice of Japanese fishcake ; alfalfa sprouts and yuzu peels for garnishing) The yuzu infused dipping sauce definitely added a twist to the usual savoury-salty ones, with a hint of bitter aftertaste which I found kind of pleasant after a while.

Yuzu Soda
Yuzu Soda ($5+)

Yuzu Udon
Yuzu Udon ($9.80+)

Do take some time to look around, enjoy the coziness of the cafe surroundings. Some customers were already changed into Yukatas before starting their meal and I could imagine the feel would definitely be much different.

The Japanese Assorted Plate ($17.80+) consist of teriyaki chicken, saba (grilled mackerel), oden ingredients, tofu, miso soup, salad, rice as well as the peach shaped red bean paste mochi. Sounds like a whole mixture of everything in one plate right? Great for sharing!

For deep fried chicken and Japanese curry lovers, you would not want to give Chicken Curry Kaarage ($13.80+) a miss. It comes with miso soup and salad as well.

Last but not least, a scoop of Yuzu Sorbet that was pleasantly fragrant, refreshing and pleasing to my taste buds. I could have begged for more.

Japanese Assorted Plate
Japanese Assorted Plate ($17.80+)

Chicken Curry Kaarage
Chicken Curry Kaarage ($13.80+)
  
Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore

The Onsan is split into male and female (sorry, no couple onsen..) since being naked is required before entering the onsen premise. Baskets of neatly folded Yukatas laid before me as I had a difficult choice of selection since I kind of love a couple of these designs. Wondered how I ended up with the bird prints. 
It definitely was great to have another blogger friend with me since probably the best moment to capture photos would be in Yukata, either before or after enjoying the onsen.

Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore


Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore

Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore

Armed with only a small towel while the yukata, a bigger bath towel and the rest of my belongings were placed into our individual locker. The black band that I wore around my wrist was the key to unlock my numbered locker door.
My friend and I had a quick shower (as required) before heading over to the onsen to soak. I admit that I am the type who could not be bothered to even shield my private part while in the onsen area while most people would instinctively do so. All guys isn't it?
I kept wondering how females behave in the onsen. I doubt they would reveal.   

There were a total of 7 categories of bath/spa in which you could enjoy. 
Clockwise order from entrance, they were:
 Bubble Bath, Jet Bath, Soda Bath, Yuzu Bath, Hot Bath, Cold Bath, Steam Room and Suana.

From what I personally experienced, the Yuzu Bath was my favourite as I repetitively went back into it to enjoy the fragrance of the Yuzu. Soaking in yuzu bath is practised by the Japanese during winter season where it was believed to help ward off winter colds and common flu. Not only that, the my skin felt smoother and more moisturised! The yuzus were in sachet bags and could be seen floating on the surface of the bath. Not to forget, they were specially imported from Japan!

At that time which was about 10pm, many other guys also repetitively went back to the Yuzu Bath since it would only be available for a limited time till 31 December 2016.


Image credit: http://www.yunomorionsen.com

Image credit: http://www.yunomorionsen.com

Image credit: http://www.yunomorionsen.com





Check out the EXTENDED 1 FOR 1 ONSEN PROMO due to popular demand!

T&C Apply


Thank you Brandcellar and Yunomori Singapore for the invite.

Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore
1 Stadium Place #02-17/18 Kallang Wave Mall Singpaore 397628
Tel : 6386 4126 / 6385 7985
Email: info@yunomorionsen.com.sg
https://www.facebook.com/yunomorisingapore
Opening Hours : 10.00 am. – 11.00 pm. Daily
Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore is located at Kallang Wave Mall, the retail section of Singapore Sports Hub.

Do check out their webpage for more information.