spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Cock-a-doodle-doo, It’s Year of the Rooster!

Cock-a-doodle-doo Year of the Rooster
Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the Year of the Rooster. Wishing everyone a prosperous year ahead, may you have something fabulous to crow about everyday :)

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A Taste of Handmade Tradition – Kim Hock Seng bak kwa 金福成肉干

Kim Hock Seng bak kwaThis Chinese New Year, I opted to skip the horrendous queue at Lim Chee Guan (a friend queued 6 hours) and try a different house of bak kwa (barbequed pork), one who doesn’t believe in making their customers queue for their candied meat (yes I am that extreme lol).

Kim Hock Seng Bak Kwa

Mr Ong Geok Hoo, 64 has been running his bak kwa business with this wife for more than 40 years. They prepare their bak kwa from scratch in their shop. In a media interview, he said “My bak kwa packaging has never changed, my recipe has never changed. My white singlet and white shorts have also not changed.

The shop is famous for its Original Barbecued Pork Slices and Bacon Bak Kwa (not available during Chinese New Year; I am so coming back to try this). Mr Ong encourages his customers to call and place an advance order at least three days before so they can just come to the shop to collect-and-go. His order chits stuck on the shop’s wall are so plenty they can masquerade as wallpaper. Traditional red boxes are piled high around the shop while trays of cooled bak kwa are ready to be packed for the next day’s orders. It’s definitely hard work, but Mr Ong is adamant about carrying on his craft for at least 10 more years. Expectedly, his 3 children have no intention to carry on the business.

Kim Hock Seng bak kwa
Kim Hock Seng’s bak kwa are less vibrant in colour and much thicker than those I have tried before, but they are tender to the bite with little fat. In fact, I meant to take the box of bak kwa out just to take one photo, but by the time I put it back, it was 500 grams lighter. In just 10 minutes. Oops.

Kim Hock Seng (Seng Kee) 金福成
Address: 34 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089141
Tel: (65) 6221 4882
Opening Hours: 11:00AM to 10:00PM (Mondays to Saturdays); 3:00PM to 10:00PM (Sundays)


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River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014One event that has become almost a tradition for most Singaporeans to visit during the Chinese New Year would be River Hongbao. An annual event held without fail for 28 years since 1986, it features large lanterns made by craftsmen from China, handicrafts, local & regional delicacies, stage performances and numerous fringe activities for all ages. Best of all, it’s free admission and possibly the best place to bring the entire family to infuse the festive atmosphere – without burning a bigger hole in your pocket after giving out all the ang pows (red packets) and buying new clothes.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

The event is held at The Float @ Marina Bay, right in the heart of Singapore’s downtown.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Look at the throngs of people!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

One of the highlights of this year’s event would be this 18-metre tall God of Fortune 财神爷 – everyone wants a piece of fortune in the new year!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Fortune God, please look after me this year okok…bring me more money!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

He does look very prosperous, and I am in love with his pom-pom hat lol

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

This decorated walkway was a natural photo opportunity. I must say it’s very pretty.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

The main feature of River Hongbao would be the large-scale lanterns hand-crafted on-site by craftsmen from the Sichuan province. They showcase familiar characters including the God of Fortune, legendary heroes from “The Three Kingdoms” (Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Liu Bei) as well as the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

马到功成
Being the Year of the Horse, a lot of the lanterns featured horses. This one features a Chinese idiom “马到功成” which literally means “success is gained when the horse arrives.” In the past wars were fought on horseback. Hence, once the horses reach the frontline, the war will be won. Now, this Chinese idiom means swift success, and is used as a well-wish.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Hungry? Feast on Yunnan and local delicacies at River Hongbao’s Food Street.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Bunny ears for you, madam?

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

It’s all kids play at Uncle Ringo!
Oh this is so nostalgic! Long before Facebook and LAN games, kids squealed in delight when parents brought them to Uncle Ringo for kiddy rides. Most of the kids entertainment centres have bitten the dust by now, and you can only find Uncle Ringo at roving events around neighbourhoods. I so very wanted to join in…but well, guess I am a teeny-weeny overaged by now.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

童真

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

I used to love such games, especially the shooting ones!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

“Daddy please, can I play again?”

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Bumper cars!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Wheee! I wonder if this can take my weight wuahaha

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

While the kids have Uncle Ringo, the adults can play too…lottery
I was quite surprised to see a Singapore Pools booth at River Hongbao. It was quite apt too, since everyone wanted a piece of luck during the new year. I joined in the fun too, and I think I stunned the staff for a moment when I asked “How many numbers must I choose huh?” He was dumbfounded for 5 seconds and thought I asked him a trick question.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

The Palace of Beauties and One Emperor

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Dancing Sisters
Sway left, sway right

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

十二生肖 – 马
Somehow this reminds me of My Little Pony

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

One of the reasons why people visit River Hongbao is to read their fortunes for the year at the 12 Zodiac lanterns. Find out all you want to know about your career, health, fortune, romance and even your lucky colour & number.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

恭喜发财 Gong Xi Fa Cai!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Main Stage Performances
Apart from local entertainers, River Hongbao also partnered the Yunnan Opera Theatre (云南滇剧院) to showcase performances by Yunnan’s ethnic tribes, including the Yi and Dai Tribe.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

福如吉祥

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Longevity Cranes

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

花开富贵

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

巨型走马灯
Read up on Chinese cultural festivals at this huge lantern

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

许愿池 Wishing Well
Take a coin, make a wish and aim to hit the hanging bells when you throw. If it sounds, your wish will come true. I need a super big coin.Or a gold bar.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

It was quite amusing to see Singapore’s favourite fruits on a giant lantern…if only it came with the durian smell lol

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Cartoon version of the legendary heroes from “The Three Kingdoms” (Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Liu Bei)

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

桃园结义

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

水上灯组

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

I was pleasantly surprised with fireworks from the Chingay event happening nearby. It was great to end my visit to River Hongbao on a high, and hopefully it signifies great things to come for the new year. I’m excited! :)


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Look of the Day – Chinese New Year

Look of the Day - CNY

Having a Mary Poppins moment…
Dress – Mary Katrantzou

Look of the Day - CNY
And so they say…it’s only polite to match the house owner’s theme when visiting…and it happens to be a garden, heh :D

Look of the Day - CNY

Necklace – Shourouk

Look of the Day - CNY

Rings – Vintage Hollywood
Leather bracelet – Hermes
Just en clou bangle – Cartier

Look of the Day - CNY

Bag – Hermes

Look of the Day - CNY

Platforms (and 6 inches taller) – Nina Ricci

Look of the Day - CNY

Happy New Year! :)


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Sin.less CNY Indulgence – Pineapple Tarts

Organic Pineapple Tarts
One festive goodie I can never resist is the very pretty (and fattening) pineapple tart. I make it a point to find interesting ones every year, and this year I am going for healthy pineapple tarts – organic low GI. If I can’t stop this yearly sinful indulgence, I will make it sin LESS.

Organic Pineapple Tarts

I am eating quite a bit of organic food nowadays, and was quite excited when I found these organic pineapple tarts from Bud of Joy. They definitely don’t come cheap ($38.80 for a bottle), but if it means lesser snacking guilt – why not? :) They taste pretty good and I like the melt-in-your-mouth crust. The pineapple is also not too sweet.

Organic Pineapple Tarts

The low GI pineapple pearls made from wholemeal flour and other organic ingredients taste pretty good as well. I know cos’ my mum has polished off half the bottle. And Chinese New Year hasn’t even started.

Organic Pineapple Tarts

Ordering was fuss-free via their website and they offer delivery too, so I ordered a bottle of organic kaya (coconut egg jam) to try too. While Bud of Joy has a number of perishable items such as bread and cookies at their physical shop, it’s best if you order-to-make so as to minimize food wastage. I will try ordering a pine nut butter spread the next time, sounds like it will make a yummy breakfast :)

Organic Pineapple Tarts

I’m excited about the New Year! And all the goodies to be eaten lol. What’s your favourite part of the New Year? :)