spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Photography -Cable Ski Action at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park
I had the pleasure of trying out the new Olympus OMD EM-1 MKII over the weekend at the Singapore Wake Park. It was love at first sight – the continuous shooting at up to 18 frames per second sequential shooting with precision C-AF Tracking was AMAZING. I had so much fun. Now I can go to the safari armed with a very lightweight and EM-1 MK II and a 300mm f4 + 1.4 teleconverter (equivalent to 840mm of goodness!) Did I mention it has a weatherproof body as well? :) #inmyshoppinglist #superwant

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park


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Photography – Crested Goshawk

Crested GoshawkThe Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) is a bird of prey from tropical Asia, and the only resident and rare accipiter in Singapore.

There are 11 subspecies of goshawks, with the one in Singapore being indicus whch has the widest range from north India east to China and south to Singapore. Know as Helang-Sewah Berjambul in Malay or 凤头鹰 in Chinese, this bird of prey is found in tropical and warm subtropical areas. The Crested Goshawk can be identified by its short crest, yellow eye-rings, 6 fingers, short wings when perched, thick tail bands and thick tarsi.

Crested Goshawk

This bird is a female who recently found a liking for a particular tree branch just outside my friend’s flat. The crested goshawk inhabits deciduous and evergreen forests in humid lowlands and foothills, and have been sighted in nature reserves and parks in Singapore, so I guess the loss of their habitat has gradually forced them to come to housing estates. This particular female bird was teaching its baby goshawk, which came earlier in the morning, how to hunt.

The crested goshawk preys on large insects, small birds, small mammals (such as fruit bats, rats) and reptiles. It surprises its prey by diving from its perch. We have seen it coming back with rats or blood on its beak.

Crested Goshawk
And she blinked at me. Somehow she reminds me of a Marvel Hero like this. Well, as long as I don’t look like food to her I am fine with the attention. The crested goshawk is small compared to most other raptors, measuring 30 to 45 cm in length and weighing about 350 grams. The female goshawk is slightly larger weighing around 550 grams. The wingspan is 50 to 80 cm. The male has a dark brown crown with a grey head and sides, black moustachial and throat stripes. The female goshawk has brown plumage. Its call is a high-pitched tone.

Crested GoshawkGlad I managed to see this pretty raptor (I have decided to name her Bunny – inspired by the first photo). Hope she and her baby will continue to co-exist well with urban Singapore.

Information source: Singapore Raptors


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Tai Cheong Bakery 泰昌餅家 opens its first Cha Chaan Teng in Singapore

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家Tai Cheong Bakery, a Hong Kong brand known for its egg tarts, has opened its first Hong Kong-style cha chaan teng diner in Singapore. The diner at Holland Village comes after a series of pop-up stores and a takeaway counter at Takashimaya Food Hall.

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家Diners can have a taste of Hong Kong with traditional cha chaan teng dishes at the 60-seat eatery located right in the heart of Holland Village. With already so many similar Hong Kong cafes in town, I was curious to find out if this one is as authentic.

Cha chaan teng culture came about in the 1950s as a result of Hong Kong’s increasingly cosmopolitan and westernized middle class. Back in those days when Hong Kong was still a British colony, only high-class restaurants served western food and most of them did not welcome local Hong Kong people. After WWII, in a bid to end such discrimination, local Hong Kong people started to open their own restaurants called Cha Chaan Teng (translated into tea hall) serving affordable dishes combining elements of Western dining with unique Hong Kong flavours for people from all walks of life. Such cha chaan teng operate-around-the-clock serving a wide range of food at a breakneck pace to match Hong Kong’s busy lifestyle. In fact, cha chaan teng is so much representative of Hong Kong that it was suggested that the humble local diner should be listed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

For me, visiting a (non-touristy) cha chaan teng is a must whenever I go Hong Kong. You learn to adapt to their pace and it’s the best way to experience the local culture. You get to share tables with the locals (tab toi), get scolded for hesitating over your order and overhear the latest gossip in the neighbourhood lol. Sometimes the waiters are the funniest bunch of people to talk to when they are not so busy.

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家Tai Cheong Bakery will have a takeaway counter to sell its signature egg tart and other pastries, including a new durian and cheese tart specially created for Singapore and sold exclusively at the diner. Dine in customers can order up to 2 egg tarts per person and are not allowed to take away egg tarts. Customers at the takeaway counter may order up to 4 boxes/16 egg tarts.

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家I visited the diner during its first opening weekend, and queued for about 45 minutes. You can give your name and mobile number to the staff, and the system will call your mobile once your table is ready. I chose to wait by the diner and feast my eyes on the menu.

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家Piping hot egg tarts are the best! I always love eating them hot when the warm egg filling slides down your throat, and the crispy crust melts as your teeth sinks into it.

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家We started out our meal with a coconut tart and an egg tart to share. The egg tart was up to expectation while the coconut tart was a disappointment – I tasted more flour than coconut.

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家I loved my spicy cola boiled with lemon and ginger; it made me feel like I was in Hong Kong once again. The Hong Kong milk tea went terribly wrong though, it was tannic and didn’t taste anything like the Hong Kong tea we knew. Even after one packet of sugar the taste wasn’t right.

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家The mains fared much better. We ordered the Three Colour Silky Egg with Rice (with roasted pork and crispy pork belly) after seeing it on many of the diners’ tables. The portion was huge. The curry fan in me initially wanted the Beef Brisket Curry Rice but decided against it after seeing the actual pitiful-looking dish being served. So, presentation does play an important part in whetting your guests’ appetite.

Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore 泰昌餅家
The Three Egg Macoroni Soup with Luncheon Meat was comfort food to me, though the luncheon meat strips were really salty. We were feeling a little ‘egged out’ by the end of our meal – almost every single dish had eggs in them so our cholesterol level must have shot up by quite a bit. Overall, it’s a nice casual place to hang out with friends, and I hope the downsides we had were just nuances of a newly-opened eatery. I would probably visit again if I am in the neighbourhood.

泰昌餅家 Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore
Address:
31 Lorong Liput Singapore 277742
Opening Hours: 10:00AM to 10:00PM (Mon to Fri)/9:00AM to 10:00PM (Sat, Sun, PH)
*Note that mains are available at 11:00AM – 2:30PM/ 5:30PM – 9:30PM (Pastries and drinks are available all day)
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/taicheongeggtarts

Tai Cheong Bakery’s original store in Hong Kong
Address: G/F 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 8300 8301
Opening Hours: 7:30AM to 9:00PM (Mon to Sat), 8:30AM to 9:00PM (Sun & PH)
Nearest Train Station: Central MTR, Exit D2
Website: http://www.taoheung.com.hk/tc/brands/tai_cheong/index.html

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Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in Singapore

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in Singapore
Tsuta, the world’s first and only Michelin star ramen eatery, has opened its first overseas branch in Singapore at Pacific Plaza.

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in SingaporeNaturally, a queue is to be expected. At Tsuta’s original nine-seater store in Sugamo, diners queue as early as 6am for a ticket to enter the nine-seater eatery which only opens at 11am. So the 1-hour queue here doesn’t sound that bad afterall.

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in SingaporeBest thing to do while you queue – look at the menu and decide what you will have. Two basic ramen choices are available – the Shoyu Soba and Shio Soba which comes with char siu, bamboo shoots, and ajitama (flavoured egg). A miso version will be introduced at a later phase.

The shoyu ramen is made with a special soya sauce and a dashi stock of chicken, vegetables, clams and seafood, and topped with black truffle puree. The shio version is made with seafood and chicken stock together with Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt, and served with green olives in truffle oil.

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in SingaporeOwner-chef Yuki Onishi, who used to be in the fashion industry, learnt how to cook ramen from his father. Tsuta emphasizes on using only natural ingredients, and to ensure quality the chef uses a custom-brewed shoyu from Wakayama Prefecture from soya beans that have been aged for two years, and another one that is concocted by Onishi himself. The noodles are also made with a blend of four wholewheat flours. The chef also introduced Western influences by adding truffle puree into his recipe.

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in SingaporeOnce seats are available, you will be lead inside to place your order at a vending machine. Simply hand over the tickets to the counter staff once you are seated.

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in SingaporeAfter an one hour wait, I am finally inside the 18-seater ramen eatery. And hungry.

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in SingaporeDiners can watch as the chefs prepare your bowl of noodles.

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in SingaporeThe delightful look of anticipation

Tsuta 蔦 – One Michelin-star Ramen in SingaporeFinally I am presented with my bowl of Ajitama Shoyu Soba! To be honest I was initially unimpressed by its appearance. My first taste of the broth fared much better. It was lighter than most ramen I have eaten before, and the truffle puree added a fragrant taste to it. I like the smooth, springy texture of the noodles and the flavoured egg. I felt that the pork char siu was a bit tough and lean for my liking (I would have preferred a bit more fat). Overall, I enjoyed my bowl of ramen, since I cleaned up the entire bowl. Being lighter in flavour, you will not get an overly-full feeling as with oilier versions. Would I queue again? Maybe, if the queue is under 30 minutes.

 

Tsuta Ramen Singapore
Address: 9 Scotts Road, #01-01, Pacific Plaza, Singapore 228210
Tel: 6734 4886
Opening Hours: 11:00AM to 10:00PM daily
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Tsutasingapore

Tsuta Ramen Japan
Address: 〒170-0002, 1 Chome-14-1 Sugamo, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0002, Japan
Opening Hours: 11:00AM to 4:00PM, 6:00PM to 9:00PM daily
Phone: +81 3 3943 1007

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Pompompurin Café in Singapore

Pompompurin Cafe
My gal pals and I recently braved the crowds to check out Pompompurin Café at Orchard Central – patience is utmost essential, from queuing for a table (thanks Jane & SJ for going to queue in advance) to waiting for your food. Of course no one really complains, since everyone is busy taking photos and Instagramming away.

Some may wonder exactly what the oversized yellow creature is (no, he is not Pikachu’s relative) – Pompompurin is a golden retriever dog character created by Sanrio (also the creator of Hello Kitty) in 1996. He wears a trademark brown beret, loves collecting shoes (that I can identify with), which includes his owner’s father’s leather shoes, his owner’s mother’s sandals, before hiding them. The huge puppy enjoys drinking milk and eating soft food and pudding that his mother makes, which also becomes the inspiration for the café’s menu. He was also voted thrice as the Most Popular Sanrio Character in Strawberry News, a magazine published by Sanrio.

Pompompurin Cafe

The 78-seater café at Orchard Central is the sixth Pompompurin-themed cafe in the world and Southeast Asia’s first. Every Pompompurin cafe in the world takes on a different theme that is in line with the local culture, and this Singapore one carries a “garden city” theme. Be greeted by a huge tree centrepiece of Pompompurin and his friends as you enter. Guests can sit at one of the four-seater “Tomodachi House” featuring Purin’s friends (left in photo) – Bagel the Squirrel, Coconut the Monkey, Mint the Frog and Macaroon the Golden Retriever.

Pompompurin Cafe

Dishes at the cafe are all shaped to look like Pompompurin, and are all very Instagram-worthy. Our food took more than 20 minutes to arrive as time was needed to shape the food.

Pompompurin Cafe

Kawaii neh!

Pompompurin CafeFor the undecided, you can try the pasta dishes as each dish comes with a new Pompompurin souvenir mug which you can take home. The price of the pasta dishes are well, a little more expensive that the others which do not come with the mug. Taste-wise, the Mushroom & Cabonara Spaghetti is okaaay.

Pompompurin Cafe

I went for the Taco Rice in a Cup of Friendship made up of minced meat, tomatoes, avocado, eggs, tacos and rice. Just because Pompompurin looked too cute. I hesitated for 5 minutes before dumping him into the sauce and started eating. Taste-wise, it wasn’t too bad but the rice was way too much. I could only eat about half the amount, so you can definitely order this to share for 2.

Pompompurin CafePuru Puru Pudding Shake

Pompompurin Cafe
Banana and Caramel Pancake which was a bit dry.

Pompompurin Cafe

It was a fun night out with the girls, and we had fun chilling out and taking photos of our food. Not exactly a cheap meal as we shelled out about S$50 each (which is about what a meal at a theme cafe costs). It’s good that they are regularly introducing new menu items, like this Beautiful Day High Tea Set (available from Monday to Friday, 2-5pm, Photo from Pompompurin Cafe Facebook page), to entice re-visits. There is also a small retail corner for fans who would like to bring home some Pompompurin merchandise.

Pompompurin Café
Address: 181 Orchard Road, #04-08, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Phone: +65 6509 8672
Opening Hours: 11:00AM to 10:00PM daily
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Pompompurincafesg

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