When I moved to Singapore a mere few days ago, I arrived at Changi airport at 5 AM... in a panic. Why, you ask? Well...
1) I've never been here before.
2) My flight arrived an hour early but my phone was dead so there was no way of letting my husband know I was already here.
3) My hair sucks and thanks to this humidity, it's going to suck more... and of course, my darling husband doesn't own a hair dryer!
So naturally, once I settled in, my first mission was to find a place that sold hair dryers. A quick google search led me to Harvey Norman and the rest is history. :)
(To my American friends, this joint is similar to a Best Buy, minus the CDs/DVDs, plus bedding accessories.)
Not only do I have a Harvey Norman within walking distance from me, but I was able to get a cute travel sized Philips hair dryer that was already well priced and happened to be on sale. Score! And plus one star for accepting American Express!
Convenient store that is reminiscent of the 99 cent / dollar stores back home in the US. They sell everything from snacks, to plastic storage containers, to electrical adapters. My favorite item was the Hello Kitty ziploc bags, which apparently "prevent freshness". Oh, Japan. One day I'll snap a picture of this gem.
I was able to get a vegetable peeler (also known as a "potation peeler" on my receipt), a plastic case to organize some of my toiletries, and a small plastic basin, all under $3. Not sure if I'll need anything else from here, but mayhaps I will come back just to get a few laughs from the occasional Engrish labels. :)
One thing that excites me about living in Singapore is access to the Asian makeup market!
I've heard nothing but good things about the quality of Asian makeup brands and how their price points are awesome. After doing some light research on some beauty blogs, I bookmarked the Korean brand Skinfood. At first I was confused where to find it, but of course, when I wasn't looking, I stumbled upon one of Skinfood's outlets at my nearby mall!
This outlet is small, but it packs a punch. They offer a good amount of cosmetics, skin care, shampoos, and even products for guys.
I wanted some face powder and BB cream, and I found the woman working there to be very helpful in recommending the right products. She even gave me a sample of their black sesame hot mask and aloe vera foaming cleanser after my purchase. Sweet!
So far, I'm liking the products, especially in terms of standing up to the humidity here. And, they smell really nice and fruity! However, I think the BB cream gives me a bit of a white cast, so once I figure out the right combination of products to use, I should be worthy enough to show my face around Singapore (because really, I don't need people to throw up in their mouth a little because of my fugly natural look.)
As you can see from my ratings distribution, I am not a reviewer who hates everything and gives out 1 star reviews without merit.
If you read the majority of my reviews, I tell a story about my experience, showcase the positives, and keep it lighthearted.
Unfortunately, this is not going to be one of those reviews.
During the week, I had a big craving for sushi. I'm slowly learning that sushi is a pricier here than it is in the US. After looking for a few spots, I chose one, but my husband remembered Hokkaido as being decent, with the best prices in the vicinity of Novena.
Hokkaido is a small fish market/restaurant on the top floor of Square 2. We arrived and because it was dinner, naturally there was a wait. There's a clearly marked spot where you're supposed to queue, and we waited behind another couple. Luckily, 2 tables cleared at the same time; however, the server immediately put reserved signs on both of the tables. Strangely enough, the couple in front of us was immediately seated at the first "reserved" table. We, on the other hand, were left waiting, as the waitstaff went along their business. After a decent period of time, we noticed a woman at the cash register and saw that the owner by the fish stand offered the last reserved table to her. Keep in mind this woman came out of nowhere; she was never in the queue. My husband went up asked her if she had made a reservation, and she said "no". He told her we had been waiting in line before her.
My husband approached the owner and asked if we could have the last available table, or at the very least reserve a table. The owner, like the waitstaff, did not even bother to acknowledge my husband during this time. My husband proceeded to approach one of the staff at the counter and asked him straight up- "Do you have any tables available?" The server answered, "Can't you see they are all reserved?"
SHITTLES AND SKITTLES!
As you can imagine, my husband was taken aback by this. He responded, "You saw that we were waiting in line; why didn't you let us know how long we would be waiting?"
Are you ready for this?
"You didn't ask", he responded.
WOW! Just.... Wow.
The owner then chimed in, saying we have to call in to reserve, and someone happens to be coming at 7:30pm. Sure. We find this quite suspect as the woman who you offered the table a few minutes ago to decided not to take it after seeing that we were first. And now, someone MAGICALLY has a reservation for 7:30.
My husband pressed further.
What's the name on the reservation? No answer.
Is there a reservation list? No answer.
Oh, and here's the kicker- YOU CAN'T MAKE RESERVATIONS AT THIS PLACE, according to openrice: sg.openrice.com/singapor…
And extra kicker: my husband was denied service at this restaurant months ago, but didn't think anything of it at the time. He came by himself, and there were plenty of empty tables available to sit one person, but apparently they were all "reserved".
After a few choice words with the staff, we decided to leave.
We are very confused, and frankly, hurt, about this whole situation. Why did they not want to seat us? My husband came from work and was dressed in smart business attire. We waited patiently. We only spoke up because we felt we were ignored.
If the reason is what I think it is, then you should be ashamed of yourself, Hokkaido.
I've been living here for about a month now (woo hoo!) and I've grown to like this Fairprice. Although I still find it weird that supermarkets can be located in a mall (I assume it's because of space constraints on the island*), I like this Fairprice's location since it's near the MRT and on the way home.
The prices here are reasonable, especially if you get their house brand. And the quality of their house brand is pretty good! There's always a good sale on something and the employees are nice.
Compared to the Fairprice on Balestier, this one seems a little smaller so it'll probably feel more crowded on the weekends. Also, this location doesn't sell durian, so come here instead if durian bothers you. :)
*See, I learned something from my visit to the Singapore City Gallery!
This cafe is a bit hidden and you can easily confuse it with Pasta De Waraku, the Japanese pasta restaurant that's located near the escalators that lead down to Harvey Norman. They seem to share the same staff or something, because their locations are adjacent to each other and the servers seemed to stand at the corner where both restaurants meet, catering to patrons of both places. Confusing much?!
Anyway, it seems Viet Cafe is pretty new, as I do recall the space undergoing construction near the end of 2012. Walking in, it's very modern, with brick walls that are painted white and nicely styled photographs of their main dishes decorating the walls.
For starters, the husband and I ordered the fresh prawn rolls, always a favorite Viet appetizer in our book. Although they had the right ingredients, I think the rolls would've been better with more lemongrass.
Since we weren't too hungry, we decided to share an order of the Imperial Char Siew and the Samba prawn. The char siew was a huge FAIL, as it was dry and flavorless. The Samba prawn was better, as the sauce had the right amount of spice and was pretty flavorful.
The price points were pretty good, with the main courses costing around $10-15. Perhaps if we ordered more familiar dishes like pho, our meal would have had a better turn out. My husband wasn't a fan of this place, but I'd be willing to give it another shot should a craving of Vietnamese strike.
"Mama, mama you know I love you,
Oooh you know I love you Mama,
Mama, you're the queen of my heart,
Your love is like tears from the stars,
Mama, I just want you to know,
Loving you is like food to my soul."
If I didn't know any better, I'd be convinced that Boyz II Men's "A Song for Mama" was written for this little bakery on the 2nd floor of Square 2!
I mean, how could you not love Mama, and how could she not be the queen of your heart?! With both sweet and savory pastries to offer, there's something for everyone here. For the sweets, my husband's all about their banana caramel chocolate bun, and I always seem to gravitate towards anything decorated with sesame seeds and contains yam inside. For the savories, they have more substantial pastries with mushrooms or sausage. Their breads are awesome as well! I love their seaweed bread, and I'm definitely a fan of their French baguettes, which are normally 50 cents cheaper than the baguettes at Bread Talk.
Everything is moderately priced, and I sometimes come here to indulge in a late lunch if I'm not that hungry and I don't want to spend too much.
They also offer hot and cold beverages, which you can enjoy at the 2 small tables inside, or outside on their spacious balcony which they share with the business next door.
And since it's truly a bakery, it pays to visit them earlier in the day, as they cease baking in the afternoon/evening and it's slim pickings by that time.
This place is like walking into an adolescent girl's room- on one side you have these cutesy stuffed animals and cartoon animal hand bags, in the middle you have cosmetics and hair accessories, and on the other side you have sexy hosiery and nipple pasties. Yep!
ANYWAYS, Mix Box is an a-ok store. They offer a decent selection of (what I think are Korean) cosmetics and accessories. I like their affordable makeup brushes; I bought a travel sized blush brush and it works nicely for every day use. They also have lots of super girly hair accessories (most of which are geared towards the tween/teen girl demographic.) AND they found my weakness with their awesome assortment of fashion non-prescription glasses. Damn you Mix Box!
There's always some sort of bubble gummy pop song or music video playing in the background, and the lighting's nice and bright. Perfect place to let your inner 15 year old girl, complete with teen angst, to come out and play.*
*Or maybe your inner K-Pop princess. Or your inner naive 22 year old girl who's confused as to why you can't get a date and wonder if it's because you carry your stuff around in a stuffed animal backpack. Right.
Is it me, or is dry cleaning not as prevalent here in SG? In the US, I feel dry cleaners are a dime a dozen, where as here it feels more of a luxury.
Anyways, I digress. My husband and I patronize this tiny shop, as we don't know where else to go. (We do know of the other dry cleaner at Shaw Balestier, but they take a ridiculous amount of time to get anything done, so we've shit listed them a long time ago.)
At the earliest, your items can be cleaned in 5 business days, but you have to request that up front. If it's no rush, then it's usually done in 7 business days (or longer, depending on what the item is.) They do have express service, the earliest being 48 hours, but that comes with an additional 50% surcharge.
Most of the time, our stuff comes back in good condition, but there have been a few times that they weren't able to take out some stains. Not sure if it's because I've royally messed up my clothes, or if they don't treat it very well. Of course, they always say up front (rather defensively) that they can't promise to successfully remove all stains.
Also, you must pay when you drop off your items, and it's cash only.
Ooh, I love me some high end supermarkets, and this FairPrice Finest delivers (literally and figuratively!) It's located in the new Zhongshan Mall, which will officially open at the end of the year. (This confuses me because there are already fully operational stores and restaurants inside. Maybe there'll be a huge party with a ton of promotions in November/December, to which I wouldn't say no to and would totally go. And now I'm digressing. Get it together, Latunio!)
ANYWAYS, this is a good sized FairPrice, and I'm pretty sure it's bigger than the one in Shaw Plaza. It's a bit of a walk from my apartment, but for fine foods in my area I'll put up with it. It's well lit, everything is organized, the signage is modern and there's a good selection of Western and local goods (more Western than local, I think.) They even sell drugstore cosmetics, and the display sizes are similar to Watson's and Guardian. They also have self checkout machines, which I'm excited to try out one day because I'm a nerd like that.
I've briefly stopped by here to grab last minute classy items (brie cheese and whole grain crackers, to be exact.) Hopefully I'll be able to come back and browse at my leisure one day (that's right, I like hanging out at grocery stores because I'm a nerd like that!)
I see a dukedom in my near future... ;)
I always end up here out of desperation, when there's no food in the house and I want something under $10 but slightly healthier than McDonald's.
It can be a bit tricky finding this place. If you're coming up the escalators from the food hall next to Novena MRT, it'll be on your left. If you are coming down from the escalators near the ramen place, make a u-turn and go towards Tully's Coffee, as they share the same space.
It's pretty busy here during peak lunch hour. The order queue is a good 7-10 minutes, and to get your food can be another 10-15 minutes. Possible reasons why this is so: 1) They have a staff of only 3 people. 2) It takes time to toast sandwiches to perfection. 3) At the time of this post, both the Subway in Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the KFC in Velocity are being renovated, which means *slightly* fewer fast food options.
However, the staff gets things right, my sandwiches come out decently and my hunger is always satisfied. All of that balances out the wait and the somewhat flat soda from their machine. A-OK.
A shop the size of a coat closet in Square 2. Fate brought me here, as I just had to make copies of the apartment keys for my late night booty calls (and by booty calls, I mean my husband. Let's face it - the days of alcohol and booty calls are over for me. But a girl can dream, right? Kidding!)
5 minutes and $10 later, I was able to get copies of 3 of my apartment keys. Hooray for reasonable prices and efficiency!
This is another one of those reviews where I kinda cheated by simply leaving a review haiku. It's definitely been a while too, so this is ripe for review updatin'!
This is still my go-to Watsons for my toiletries and pharmacy needs. However, it's a small outlet and every now and then it doesn't stock certain items I'm looking for. But long ago, I've accepted that most places in Singapore don't meet my definition of a "one stop shop". (Exception: Mustafa Centre. Definitely missing my Walmarts, Targets, Walgreens, and CVS's!)
What annoys me (but may not be this outlet's fault) is that they can be inconsistent with their offerings. I love Watsons' makeup remover wipes, but I only see them on the shelves every few weeks or so! I keep forgetting to just stock up on them whenever I see them. When they're not there, they're usually replaced with Watsons wet wipes, but those aren't the same and are probably more for babies/after eating purposes.
I've used the pharmacy once, just for recommendations for stomach meds that are useful for traveling overseas, and the pharmacist was helpful. I often ogle at the makeup section, as I'm always interested in the Asian beauty brands like Majolica Majorca, Kate, Za, etc. The skin care selection is also pretty good; I normally buy my Vichy products here. Weirdest product I've seen so far? Disposable underwear.
Don't expect to find everything under the sun here, but for toiletries and beauty products, they're a-ok. If all else fails, go downstairs to Sasa or Guardian!
My husband took me here for one of my first Singaporean meals. He was initially supposed to take me to a chicken rice place, but when we passed by Founder's there was no line. Excited about that, he steered me to the entrance and proclaimed that we must eat here, as he's never seen this place without a queue.
I was jet lagged (boo for passing out between 3 PM and 7 PM!) and hot (thanks, Equator) so I couldn't help but question why he is taking me to a place that was serving hot Chinese soup.
Luckily, the joy experienced by my taste buds overshadowed my crankiness and grogginess due to oversleeping. I ended up really enjoying my meal!
The peppery broth and the short ribs were fantastically paired with the fried bread that they give you on the side. This place has been here for ages, as the walls are covered with what I assume to be famous Asian actors and/or singers. Too bad I don't recognize anyone!
Overall, great spot for anyone looking for some Chinese comfort food!
Small internet cafe off Balastier Road. I needed to print something so I ended up here. It's very no frills, a narrow room with about 20 computers in small stalls along the walls.
Prices are okay - $1 for the first hour, and they charge hourly rates from there. $0.50 per sheet that you print out. If you become a member (I don't know about membership details) you can get lower rates.
I wish they could have separate rates for those who use the computers for less than an hour- I was there for only 10 minutes but was charged a full hour of usage.
The staff is okay, cordial but not overly nice. Open 24 hours, which is a plus.
A taste of old school Singapore!
Since my husband was working late and there aren't turkeys readily available on this island, we decided to spend our first Thanksgiving abroad together at Loy Kee. I mean, Hainanese chicken is a perfect substitute for turkey, right?!
We were not disappointed. We each ordered their original boneless chicken with all the fixin's and it was absolutely delicious. The portion size was perfect for me; however, for the American appetite it's definitely on the smaller side.
I love when my husband introduces me to gems like these on Balastier Road, because it gives me a sense of what Singapore used to be like. Hooray for enduring the test of time!
I have (what may as well be) strange standards that determine whether a dining establishment is legitimately a Singaporean local spot or not.
I ask myself the following questions:
1) Do the employees understand you when you speak English?
2) Does the establishment offer a menu to look at?
3) Is the establishment air conditioned?
If the answers are more "no" than "yes", then it's a start towards legit-ness!
A week prior, my husband and I had dinner with his grandparents at Violet Oon's Kitchen. We were speaking to Ms. Oon's son, and his grandfather asked where the best spot for beef kway teow is nowadays. We were recommended here, and since it's not too far from our place, we decided to check it out.
My husband walked up to the stall, and I believe the conversation went something like this:
Hubby: "Do you have a menu?"
Hubby: "Alright, we'll just have beef kway teow."
Employee: "Would you like vegetables or fried chicken?"
Luckily my husband chose the CORRECT choice, which would be fried chicken. (I mean, really, veggies vs. fried chicken? Really?)
10 minutes later, we were served, and like Mrs. Mia Wallace said in Pulp Fiction, I was all, "I said GOD DAMN.... God damn..." Did you see my pictures? Beautiful chicken that was fried perfectly, putting KFC to shame. Tender, melt in your mouth beef with noodles that soaked up the best sauce I've ever tasted. I wanted to take the leftovers home, but there were none by the time we were done!
Awesome meal for $16. We looked around and noticed the fried rice that was shared at the table next to us- also looked amazingly delicious. We hope to return many times!
Convenient location at the Revenue House and across Velocity mall, and easily accessible by the underpass between the two places. I also appreciate the signs around the Revenue House that point you in the right direction!
Unlike the US, the post office employees here are very nice and they'll help you get your letters and parcels on their way to their final destination. So far, I've only come here to buy stamps, so I'm always in the shorter line. (And yes, I know you can buy stamps at other machines around the island, but I don't have a Nets card yet. Plus, it's nice to know where the post office is because knowing where things are make me feel smart.) I didn't know that there is reduced postage for holiday cards, so that was a pleasant surprise!
This place gets busy near the end of the day and on weekends. Despite the long queues, there's usually only two employees behind the desk. Perhaps if they could have an extra person behind the counter, that could help reduce the wait times a bit.
Overall, nice post office for all your snail mail and packaging needs!
Like everyone else and their mother, I am trying to eat healthier in 2013. When there's nothing in the fridge at home and I only have $20 in my pocket, I fight the urge to go to McDonald's and try to go to a place where the food doesn't go straight to my ass.
Just like the idea of healthy eating in my brain, Salad Stop! is kind of hidden in a corner, away from the escalators on the 2nd floor of Velocity. I stopped by early on a weekday evening, when there were a few patrons but no queue.
I was surprised at the many salad combinations they offered. Each combination included a lot of ingredients, and they all sounded appealing. Of course, you also have the choice to make your own combination. I tried the Omega 3, which had raw smoked salmon, sunflower seeds, and a whole bunch of other fun things. Make it a combo by trying one of their bottled juices!
I wasn't expecting much, but damn, that salad was good! The leaves were fresh, it was mixed with the perfect amount of dressing, and all the fixin's were equally distributed AND portioned. I never thought I'd say this about a salad, but the textures seriously combined perfectly in my mouth. However, the bread stick that came with it was "meh"; it tasted stale to me.
If I recall correctly, they will be partnering up with the winebar/cafe/whatever place is opening up adjacent from them. So if there's no immediate seating, you can still enjoy the best salad ever by walking a few more steps in their direction. :)
I like Korean BBQ as much as the next person, but when you add the word "buffet" after it, I go friggin NUTS! How do they not have these in the US?! Probably because we Americans eat too damn much and if you offered it to us, we'd all act like animals and it'll become The Hunger Games real quick...
It is smart to make reservations here no matter what day it is. I didn't think there'd be many people for a Tuesday evening, but I made a reservation just in case. I was right to do so, as the place was packed with a lot of big groups.
Meat eaters, you're going to be in paradise when you get to the buffet. You'll see deep trays of marinated meats- pork, chicken, and beef. They also have bacon, sausages, and seafood. If you're not into marinades, they do have regular cuts of meat not marinated, but I think you'd be crazy not to try the marinades as they are AMAZING. They also have a good amount of sides to choose from. I loved their noodles (the one on the warmer) and the chicken wings.
If you run out of water, you can also get calamansi juice, which is in a machine next to the buffet, and included in the price. I missed out on the other drink though, as it was already out for the night!
And best of all, since this is a Korean place, they play K-pop performances on TV! YESSSSS.
As we paid our bill, we asked where they will be moving, since Novena Ville is closing. Luckily, they said they'll be down the street at United Square, so hooray for being able to stay nearby!
Crab bee hooooooooon!!
Hubby had a craving for seafood on a Saturday night, but didn't feel like venturing too far. So to Balastier we went, where we noticed this place was pretty hoppin'.
We were seated immediately, and although our server only knew basic English she was able to tell us that what we were ordering would be too much and to just stick with the crab bee hoon. A much appreciated gesture!
We patiently waited and it was well worth it. A huge chunk of crab sat in the middle of our clay pot, most of it already broken up for us. Awesome, less work I have to do! I found the milky broth simple, but flavorful.
Good portions worth the price, and accommodating service even though we didn't know Chinese. Great location on Balastier, and I love how it's in a conserved shophouse! Soaking in history + crab bee hoon broth = WIN. We'd come back again!
To recover from my first fail of the year (which was going to McDonald's next door after telling myself I would eat healthier in 2013) I decided to give the Iron Chefs a chance since they looked comparatively healthy to MCD.
I walked in during lunch on a weekday, and it was pretty quiet. However, there were a few patrons who were taking advantage of the free wifi and had a whole set up of laptops and books, so I guess it's a good place for working outside of home.
After browsing through the menu, I came to the conclusion that it's pretty much like a diner. There's a variety of food, from Asian to American, and they even offer an all day breakfast (though the menu didn't specify what it entailed.)
I had a Greek salad, and it was good. Too bad that's not what I originally ordered, and so I begin my reasoning behind my star deductions.
The server comes by to take my order:
Me, pointing on the menu: "I would like the Caesar salad with chicken, please."
Server: "A Caesar salad. Great, I'll put that in for you."
A few minutes later, the server puts my receipt with my order, and I immediately notice that it said "Greek salad" instead of Caesar.
Me: "Hi, this is not what I ordered. I wanted a Caesar salad."
Server: "Oh.... right. Well, let me see what I can do."
2 minutes later:
Server, in the super nicest way he can say it: "Yeah, so the kitchen already started making your order. Is it okay if you just have the Greek salad?"
Me: "There's no way to change this?"
Server: "No, there isn't, since it's almost done being made. So sorry about that. But hey, we have free wifi, here's the password..."
So through no fault of my own, and because someone entered my order incorrectly, I was forced to eat a Greek salad. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but when you psych yourself up for a Caesar the experience is slightly ruined.
Overall, decent place with decent prices, and a staff that means well, but if you could be a little more flexible in allowing the customer to get what they want, especially if it wasn't their fault, it would be much appreciated.
"If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer...
This place is a bit hard to find, as it's small, on the way to the bathrooms, and covered up by Mega Discount store. But once you find it, The Beatles song "Paperback Writer" will pop into your head, as you are welcomed with stacks of paperbacks, both new and used, to go through!
There must be a rhyme and reason behind how the store is set up... maybe if I read more books I would understand it. Going through the shelves, most of the books are stacked horizontally as opposed to vertically, I guess so they can fit more books in. Danielle Steele took a lot of space, and there's a good section of John Grisham and Stephen King. There's a small non-fiction section; everything else pretty much looked like fiction to me.
I like their buying/selling model- you can sell back the book you bought from them within a month. The selling prices are pretty good- I bought a book for $20.50 and the sell back price is $11.50. It doesn't beat the public library, but for me, it's an incentive to read the book within a decent time frame with the option of getting some cash back.
If I'm too lazy to sign up for a library membership (which I'm going to have to pay for anyway, as I'm a foreigner) it's nice to know that I have a bookshop nearby that I can technically rent from. Also a great place to stop by if you're going on holiday and need a cheesy paperback to accompany you!
Thanks to Nik T. for introducing this hawker to us!
My husband and I frequent this place for dinner on the weekend, as it's a nice walk from our apartment and it's easy on our wallet. This place is legit Singaporean realness because every time we go the locals are always here in full force, which makes seating a bit of a challenge.
Thanks to Nik T.'s suggestion, my husband is ALL OVER the $8 oyster omelette at Ah Hock Fried Oyster, stall #54. I'm a fan of the seafood fried rice, but at this moment I'm not sure what the stall number is... will have to get back to you on that. It's served with pickled jalapeno on the side, and if I weren't already married, it would've been my next choice for a future life partner. I'm also a fan of the hokkien mee. Again, I forgot the stall number, but it's one of those stalls that always has a line so it's not hard to miss. And the chicken wings in stall #76! Those are always a good time.
Add my favorite sugar cane juice with the above dishes, and all is well with the world. Guess I need to head back again so I can verify the stall numbers and lead you all in the right direction. ;)
My husband needed to buy a spiral notebook, and this store in Shaw Plaza caught his eye. It doesn't seem like much on the outside, but once you enter it's decently spacious, with a lot of useful merchandise.
In addition to selling the obvious like envelopes, pens, greeting cards and printer paper, I was surprised that they also carried an entire half aisle of Crayola products, in addition to other arts & crafts products, like glitter glue and Faber-Castell colored pencils.
They also had a well curated selection of those hooks and Command strips that you can stick to your wall to hang pictures and other art work. I found the prices slightly cheaper than the Home Fix store I usually go to at Velocity. Additionally, they had other office supplies like CD holders, binders, and business card holders.
The fact that I can go on and on in a review about the inventory of a stationary store while being super excited about it makes me realize how much of a dork I am. So bottom line, stop by here for all your different color gel pen and $15 mechanical pencil needs! :)
I took my dad here to introduce him to Singapore's famous Chicken Rice. I really wanted to take him to Tian Tian at Maxwell, but I was afraid the heat would be unbearable for him. Being the loving daughter that I am, I opted to celebrate this momentous occasion in an air conditioned environment. :) I normally do take away here, so dining in was a new experience.
Unfortunately, our server could barely speak English, yet she still tried to upsell us by suggesting I order the more expensive, not boiled chicken. After declining, I asked for iced water and instead got some weird coconut drink. If you can't even understand the word "water" that's definitely a problem. She did manage to get the rest of our order correct, probably because I pointed on the menu.
Despite this, my dad truly enjoyed it, and our bill was under $20. (Then again, we weren't hungry so we didn't order a lot of food.)
Takeaway is still a pleasant experience, as the line moves quickly and the food remains tasty by the time I get home. Because of this, I maintain my 4 star rating.
My husband and I always pass by this restaurant on our weekly visit to the neighborhood hawker. It's always filled with a good amount of locals. Naturally, this piqued our interest so we decided to see what the fuss is about.
Once seated, we were given these HUGE menus. I have yet to convert to the metric system, so in American terms, it was like, 2.5 feet long. Staying true to the definition of a diner, the menu offered a variety of items like burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Hubby wasn't too hungry, so we decided to split a hot dog. It comes with two sides, but you can also elect to make your meal a set which adds on soup and a soda for an extra $2.50. After ordering the set, I must admit I was a bit nervous, as $9.50 is a lot more than what I would normally pay for a hot dog.
However, we were surprised, and in a good way! The sausage was perfectly spiced, and it almost reminded me of the German sausages that I like to order in my favorite Texas barbecue joints. And because I know you guys can have dirty minds, I will only say that the sausage is "well portioned". (There, I said it!) The crinkle cut fries were pretty good; this time I ordered the non-spicy version, but after seeing other guests order the spicy version, I do want to try it out next time!
The service is friendly, although at times, a bit slow. I loved how our table had crayons that we could use to doodle on the paper table covers as we waited for our food. Overall, a great first time experience. Looking forward to next time!
Small outlet in Novena Square/Velocity. I feel it's 60% skin care products, 30% makeup, and 10% nails/cosmetic accessories.
I'm more of a makeup junkie, so their limited cosmetics selection normally deters me from buying much here. However, they do have a decent selection of "The Balm" cosmetics which surprises me, as I don't find that brand very much around Singapore. They're well priced as too, so I'm a fan of that.
Another reason I keep returning to browse is because of their good selection of nail and makeup accessories. I also like their small travel section and variety of cheap facial masks.
Not a place to go out of your way for, but they may have a few things you're looking for every now and then.
LOL at Nik T. calling me out on the possibility that I'll never write a review for this place! Well, I've now been called out to the Yelp Review Plate, so I will step up and give my 2 cents.
Nik introduced me to this place, and the first time I went I only had coffee. After skimming their menu, I liked their offerings: for main courses, they have fish and chips, sausage and chips, and pastas. They offer some salads, soups, fruity drinks, and a good amount of dessert as well. I knew I'd have to come back again to give the food a try.
I'm a fan of their pasta bolognese. If I'm too lazy to cook my own version (which I do every now and then) this is a nice replacement. My husband ordered one of their seafood pastas in a light sauce, and while good, they shower it with peppers so it makes it very spicy! I'm pretty sure they mention this on the menu, though.
I've also had the pleasure of trying their fish and chips. I know Nik ordered this last time, but when I ordered it I forgot how big the portion size was! The fillet was probably 8 inches long, and although I was hungry, I couldn't finish it all.
I really like their set lunch/dinner deals, which are on the weekdays. It comes with a soup and a flavored drink, and the price is very reasonable.
Professor Brawn's prides themselves on being a restaurant that's a social enterprise. Their mission is to give employment opportunities to anyone regardless of socio-economic status and disabilities. Although I appreciate this gesture, I have mixed feelings about it. Being from the US, I was raised on the idea that ALL employers are not allowed to discriminate against potential hiring candidates regardless of gender, race, religion, etc. I guess this is something I've taken for granted, and at times I feel a bit saddened that this isn't the case everywhere else. But of course, this discussion is neither here nor there.
Bottom line: nice space, great food at affordable prices, and for a good cause. If Novena is out of the way for you, visit their other outlet at Boat Quay!
Great location, as it's at the front of Balestier Point. It's a pretty small outlet, with only one person working. Luckily, the person working when I was there was quite efficient, so the wait wasn't long even though there were 3 people in front of me.
I've never used Western Union before, and I was happy with my first visit. I went there to receive money, and I felt the process was very easy as long as you fill the form out correctly and had a valid ID to present.
As with all Western Unions, this location is open 7 days a week including public holidays; lunch break is from 2 PM - 3 PM. If you live in Novena, I would definitely recommend this location over the Singapore Post location in Revenue House because the hours are better and the queues are shorter!
Decent convenience store in a good location on Balestier, next to a bak kut teh joint and right in front of a bus stop. It's 24 hours, so it's perfect if you want to grab a late night snack to end a night of drinking, or some fruit juice to mix with your alcohol at home so you can continue a night of drinking (guava juice and rum, anyone?)
It differs from 7-Eleven as they do offer Asian produce, meat, and seafood, although in limited quantities. They also have a decent selection of spices, oil and condiments.
It's a small space packed with a lot of goods, so be prepared to squeeze past people to get through the aisles. (Read: Please don't walk in if you're super drunk because you will knock shit over.)
**NOTE** This place recently moved from the first level of TTSH to Novena Medical Center. Once I have the suite number, I will update the business!
Well, I can't recommend this place. My husband came here a few months ago to get a spare pair of glasses. He only wears his glasses at night, before going to bed. Despite this, one of the temples of the glasses managed to break off. We brought it back and they were unable to fix it. No refund or exchange was offered.
Then I decided to come here to get my eyes checked. An immediate red flag was when I asked for an eye exam, they only used the eye exam chart. They didn't do any other tests like glaucoma or eye dilation. To add insult to injury, I'm pretty sure the person who did my "exam" was not licensed, as I kept repeating the same lines over and over on the chart, as she fumbled around, trying to figure out if my prescription stayed the same or is different. The results? Apparently my eyesight got better! Is that even possible?! She ended up giving me a contact lens prescription that was 3 grades weaker (if that makes any sense to you.)
It's fine if you want to sell glasses and contact lenses, but you shouldn't be giving out prescriptions if you're only testing eyes using an eye exam chart! In short, I won't be returning.
A dentist visit was in order when I noticed some sensitivity while chewing all the delicious food here. This was automatically a red flag for me. If I can't chew, how can I continue to review all the awesome eateries on this island?! Not wanting to take any risks with my pearly whites, I started searching for a dentist who can heal my pain!
I ended up choosing LQ Dental, because it takes my insurance and it's walking distance from where I live. I liked that it was in Novena Medical Center, which seems pretty new, and their website was pretty good in showing what the office looked like and what equipment they use.
Coming in, I noticed they were very busy for a Monday morning, so that kind of put me at ease. (They have patients! Great!) They were running a little late, but the wait was only about 10 minutes.
The room I was in was very clean and sterile, and the equipment they used was up to date. I liked how there was a TV screen attached to the chair I was sitting in, but once the chair leaned back and they started the cleaning, I couldn't see it. :( If they could re-position the TV, patients will get more use out of it!
I saw Dr. Lim, and he was a very straightforward, no nonsense person. He spoke English well, which I was happy about. He immediately assessed my issue (I was brushing WAY too hard) and was able to fix some of my gums. The teeth cleaning was okay, not as thorough as my old dentist back home, but it got the job done. I ended up making a teeth cleaning appointment for my husband, and I'm confident that he'll be fine.
Bottom line, LQ Dental is a good place to go for your general dentistry needs.
Decent chain for greeting cards and small gifts. I've stopped by here for both happy and sad occasions. They have a good assortment of Hallmark cards, but they definitely come at a price. They don't mark the cards with the raised imported price so if you're really particular about your card spending budget, be sure to ask the salesperson before you buy!
I also like this outlet because they have some decent wrapping sheets to choose from. I really like these because I never use an entire roll of wrapping paper- I don't really buy gifts that require wrapping! (Does this mean I'm a cheap bastard...???)
In addition, I noticed they have a good section of Paul Frank items (notepads, mugs, and stuff) so if you're into that this would be a good branch to check out.
I'm here a lot more than I want to admit. (Man, those Yelp check-ins don't lie!)
However, I can't hate on this McDonald's. Every time I come here, the people are nice and they really work to get your order done right and in record time. I can't say the same for Burger King. There is always enough staff and everything runs smoothly. The restaurant itself is updated, clean, and comfortable. I can't remember if they have free wi-fi, but there are a lot of good places to chill and get some studying or work done.
This branch is also open 24 hours during the weekend. This means they've capitalized on their opportunity to make even more money off my horrible life choices, because I always end up here at the end of my drinking shenanigans in CBD. (Why wait in line for bak kut teh when you can get a double cheeseburger and fries with their delicious chili sauce right NOW?!)
Damn you McDonald's and your ability to target my weak spots (and my hips! :-P)
2.5 stars rounded up to 3.
My mane was driving me crazy, as I hadn't cut it in 9 months! I decided to give Creme Hairdressing a try, as they are close to where I live AND they sent me a mailer with a Redken shampoo and conditioner sample.
I went on a weekday afternoon without an appointment, and was attended to immediately. I liked the products they used to wash my hair. My stylist followed my instructions of keeping the length and just trimming the dead ends. However, they didn't do a good job of blowdrying my hair straight. I was surprised that they didn't put any extra serums, products, or sprays to make my hair "salon shiny".
Another ding to the overall score was that they did give me a complimentary beverage- but the mug had a lipstick stain on it that WASN'T MINE. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't a permanent part of the mug. I question the cleanliness of their cups. :T
My cut was very affordable, only $35 (and that's for women with long hair; it's cheaper for shorter hair.) I guess you really get what you pay for. If your hair is easily maintained, this is a decent place to go. But if you're like me and need a lot of attention and products, go elsewhere.
Decent store on the 2nd floor of Novena Square/Velocity. Since there's no more Subway inside Tan Tock Seng Hospital, this is my go-to for a "healthy" sandwich fix (because let's face it- I always manage to eat the most unhealthiest thing on the menu.)
The queue can get pretty long during lunch time, but dinner time on a weeknight isn't too bad. Some of the staff appeared a bit apathetic with an "I don't want to be here" attitude, but perhaps I just came on an off day.
Other than that, everything is pretty standard. The ingredients are fresh and the process is straightforward. The only thing that reminds me that I'm not in America (because sometimes I do forget where I am!) is that refills from the soda machine cost $1 extra. This rule makes no sense to me, especially if customers have direct access to the soda machine! But I guess this is a debate for another day. :)
Not my type of mall, as it's a "kid's learning mall" and I have yet to have the childrens. Why is it a kid's learning mall? Well, I wish I could say it's "because they teach kids at an early age to max out their parents' credit cards and throw hissy fits if they don't get what they want" but really, it's because there are a few learning centers on the top floor and a lot of stores that cater to the future of our human race.
If I do end up here, it's to visit the new/used bookshop in the basement level, and perhaps indulge in a blizzard from Dairy Queen. For practical purchases, they have a Watson's and Cold Storage. They don't really have any fancy eateries, but the Extra Virgin Pizza that opened up a few months ago looks promising. As for location, it isn't directly above the Novena MRT so you will have to walk a few steps under a covered walkway to get there.
One bright spot is that there's an Udders milking outlet right next to it... and that's about it.
They now offer meals! :)
I appreciate Fred, the owner, reaching out to me and responding to my constructive criticisms in a professional manner. I have visited Marco Marco since I reviewed it in the beginning of the year, and it is back to the way I remembered it.
I like how there are different set meals you can opt for- a starter meal (which includes a side), a dessert meal, and a full meal (which includes a side and dessert.) I complained about portions last time but since then they have come back to normal.
If you stay or work in the west, check out their newest outlet in Metropolis (near Buona Vista MRT) as they're already serving pizzas. Pizzas won't be at Novena until the end of the month (according to their Facebook website.)
I used to do a lot of jigsaw puzzles as a kid. But of course, once I got busy with school work, activities, and the Internet, it slowly became a past interest.
I was on my way out of Velocity Novena when I noticed this new store. What drew me in were the puzzles of beautiful pictures, like Van Gogh's Starry Night and the Eiffel Tower.
Thanks to the helpful staff members, I learned that jigsaw puzzles have entered the 21st century. Think cardboard puzzles are the only thing on the market? Well, they now have plastic puzzles that hold together perfectly without glue. Once you're done, you can attach the finished product to your wall with one of those 3M picture hanging strips!
Their product range also goes outside traditional 300-5000 piece puzzles. They offer puzzle cards, puzzle lanterns, and other 3D puzzles. Want to frame your puzzle masterpiece? You're in luck! They sell both traditional frames AND puzzle frames!
I think this store is a unique concept with unique products, and I hope it encourages people to close their laptops, put down their phones, and spend quality time with friends or the people they love. I can tell you that it's encouraging me to open a bottle of wine and start putting the pieces together!
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|Businesses, places, and events I've reviewed in 2014! :)||Hotels I've Yelped around the world. :)|
|Places I've been in this lovely Aussie city.||Every now and then I'm cool enough to be accepted into such places. Here are my experiences when that happens!|
|With 3 MRT lines at one station, there's bound to be things to do and see, right?||Got a school project to do? Feeling crafty? Here are a few places to check out when the DIY spirit kicks in!|
|As Ricky Bobby says, "If you ain't first, you're last." Okay, maybe this doesn't exactly apply to Yelp, but this is my list and I do what I want! Here's to celebrating my first to reviews!||Places to hold parties with a bunch of people!|
|These places have the space, so bring the whole gang!||Let's just say I wouldn't mind receiving gifts from these places!|
"Yelp SG's Community Manager - come say hi!"
Singapore, SingapurYelper seit
Januar 2010Dinge, die ich mag
moose, travel sized items, How I Met Your Mother, the borough of Brooklyn, the state of Maine, all of the cheese, gula melaka anything, boy bands, mapsHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
a bar asking for the strongest drink they gotHeimatort
Houston, TX USAMein Blog oder meine Website
You're lookin' at it!Wenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
Ooh, this is tough. As Yelp SG's Community Manager, it's hard NOT to Yelp!Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
Cause my Yelp is dope, and I Yelp dope sh*tMeine zweitliebste Website
youtube - love Jenna Marbles, Ryan Higa, Glozell, Daym Drops, and Gigi Gorgeous!Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
World War Z by Max BrooksMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
Nsync! with P!nk and Sisqo/Dru Hill opening!Mein Lieblingsfilm
North by Northwest, My Best Friend's Wedding, Magic MikeMeine Henkersmahlzeit
ShackBurger, Five Guys Cajun Fries, and Cendol from PenangErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
I'm obsessed with twerkingMeine neueste Entdeckung
Postmodern Jukebox. YAAAAASIch schwärme gerade für
Tambourine guy from PMJ: youtube.com/watch?v=Eddj…
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