Mahota Healthy Cooking Workshop With Joseph Schooling’s Mum

I had the privilege to attend a Healthy Cooking Workshop held at Mahota with May Schooling (mum of Singapore’s swim champion Joseph Schooling), sharing her experience of how to prepare quick and healthy meals to refuel and recharge her son before his swim.

After her demo on a quick cheesy sandwich, it was Chef Benson’s turn to prepare a healthy plant-powered smoothie which acts as a substitute for milo. It was a recipe created for his lactose intolerance son. However, the taste was not exactly like milo but still it tasted not that bad.

Next was sampling a version of Chef Benson’s healthy nasi lemak and watching how he mixed the spirulina protein bar. There was also a little hands on session for us with all the ingredients prepared. I started mixing everything with the glove provided, at the same time creating a little mess. With dates as its base, the spirulina protein bar was quite sweet though.

It was a fun workshop and I got to explore the beautiful interior of Mahota. Great place to wind up and chill or even shop around its retail segment for groceries!

Hosted by DBS, road to REGATTA 2018. 

"Giselle" Ballet Performance at Esplanade Theatre

Probably one of my most unusual night’s out with my friends as we spent our 2 hours in Esplanade theatre watching a ballet performance titled “Giselle”. It was my first time and never in my life I would expect myself sitting in theatre watching a ballet performance. 
“Giselle” is a ballet performance in 2 acts, featuring choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, as it remains one of the well loved classics in the company’s history. With the hint of romance and betrayal, I had to decipher the entire storyline based on the performers acting and facial expression since no dialogue were involved at all. I guess it would be normal for my friends and I to sort of got ”lost” midway yet roughly understood the storyline in the end.
Anyway it was great to see interesting medieval style props as well as beautiful costumes worn by the performers/actors, maybe the term ballerinas would perhaps be more accurate. I also noticed each jump, hop or whatever movements were in sync with the background classical music as well. By watching them performed on their toes, it definitely looks tiring and requires plenty of practise.
Still, that night was an eye-opener for me even though ballet just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. At least I get to experience watching such a unique performance.

Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant Food Review

Still not knowing how to pronounce “Don Quijote”, titled after the chivalric main character of a fictional Spanish novel, I recalled my dining experience I had at Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant which was located at Dempsey.
Don Quijote is an authentic Spanish restaurant in Singapore, not only acclaimed for their tapas and traditionally made Spanish fare, but also for their selection of alcohol. The owner has been to Spain for at least 10 times (and counting up) ever since the resturant has started 12 years ago. Every photographs framed up in his resturant were taken by him. 
The dishes served here were basically non-region specific dishes and I started off with a glass of Virgin Sangria ($10.00/glass), a non-alcohol version of Sangria Tinto (red) ($14.50/glass). It was a refreshing and light drink with fruit cubes in it.

Spicy Calamari ($16.00) was my addiction as it was rather fresh, great texture, nicely grilled with spicyiness just right for me. I had to skip the ‘Live’ Gambas al Ajillo ($18.00) due to allergy, yet the sight and fragrance of nicely brown chopped garlic loaded on top of the large sea prawns was so alluring.

I had an instant liking to the Croquetas con Jamón ($16.00) after my first bite on its non-oily, yet crisp shell with velvety smooth potato and ham filling. Definitely a great snack to go with alcohol.
The Secreto Iberico a la Plancha ($26.00) was Iberian pork grilled to what we called ”medium rare” in steak. It was slightly chewy and perfectly safe to consume despite the ”medium rare” state since these ”clean” pigs ate only grass and acorns.

Another highlight which I regret to take a decent picture of was the Rabo de Toro – Ox-tail stew ($36.00). The same recipe for the past 12 years and a great comfort food. The meat was so tender that it readily fell off the bone. I could not help grabbing bread and dipping it into the rich savoury stew!
Spicy Calamari ($16.00)

Croquetas con Jamón – Croquettes with spanish ham ($16.00)

‘Live’ Gambas al Ajillo – Live’ sea prawns in garlic and olive oil ($18.00)

Secreto Iberico a la Plancha – Grilled spanish ‘secret’ iberian pork ($26.00)
Cutting off the gimmicky plate breaking session during the serving of the Asado de Cochinillo Espanol as probably only the more tourisy resturants does that. The ½ Oven-roasted spanish suckling pig was served with really crispy skin and tender flesh as well. I would love to stuff myself silly with this dish.

Chuletón de Buey ($18/100gm (total – $324)) was the charcoal-flame-grilled bone-in tomahawk rib-steak weighing 1.8kg that day which wowed everyone with its grandeur size while ”bone-in”. My image was already deboned and sliced neatly, revealing the medium rare flesh. 
As for the carbs, both Paella Valenciana w ‘live’ Boston Lobster and Fideuá Negra w ‘live’ Boston Lobster ($65 (large) + $79 (w lobster)) were brimming with umami, probably the carbs had well absorbed the flavors of the seafood.  
Last but not least, the desserts served were Bomba de Chocolate -Warm-chocolate ‘lava’ cake ($19.00) and Churros with chocolate sauce ($16.00). Both desserts use Blanxart artisanal chocolate imported from Barcelona. Being a hardcore chocolate lover myself, I enjoyed how the chocolate wasn’t overly sweet nor ‘gelat’.
Trying out less common cuisines such as the Spanish fare from Don Quijote would always be an interesting experience for me. Although dining indoors tend to be more cosy, having it al fresco with alcohol and snacks would be a great way to chill too!
Asado de Cochinillo Espanol – ½ Oven-roasted spanish suckling pig ($169 for medium)

Chuletón de Buey – Charcoal-flame-grilled bone-in tomahawk rib-steak ($18/100gm (total – $324)) 

Fideuá Negra w ‘live’ Boston Lobster – ‘Live’ baby boston lobster squid-ink pasta ($65 (large) + $79 (w lobster)) 
Paella Valenciana w ‘live’ Boston Lobster – ‘Live’ baby boston lobster paella ($65 (large) + $79 (w lobster))

Churros with chocolate sauce ($16.00)
Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant

Block 7 Dempsey Road, #01-02
Singapore 249671
Tel: (+65) 6476 2811

Melacca Dream Cruise Weekends Staycay (9 – 11 March 2018)

It wasn’t my first time taking a cruise to no-where but definitely the rare few travel related post on this blog. Recently I have the habit to blog about things straight to the point and not type a whole load of grandma story, knowing that nowadays people tend to view images more than reading a chunk of text. Am I right?
It was a weekend cruise which sets off at Marina Cruise Centre at about 7.30pm instead of 7pm due to delay. Throughout the cruise trip, I did not manage to take much pictures except a couple of selfies, knowing that my mum can’t take good photos.
Typical of cruise trips, the population of senior citizens on board was approximately about 65%? 25% were families with mainly young children while 10% belongs to the others category. Most rooms had a balcony which could be seen from one of the videos I have uploaded below, at the same time featuring my room for the 2 nights. The beds were higher than normal, extremely cosy and my mum and I had 2 fluffy pillows each!
I did not really explore the cruise ship much as most of the time we were feasting, me in the room watching countless movies which I had previously missed and well, waiting for the food to digest. The food were mostly buffet style, not say that fantastic but decent. Had watched one free performance since the other performances need to pay. I think most people from the older generation were pretty much occupied with the jackpot machines and I did witnessed an auction on board a cruise of the first time in my life.
I probably would not want to go for another cruise trip anytime soon. I find the experience getting more boring as compared to last time when I was much younger and the mere thought of going for a cruise trip and indulging on food the entire day excites me. Don’t get me wrong as who knows I might have a sudden urge to go on another cruise staycay in time to come?

Staycation at Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa

Staycation at Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa
I alighted from Imbiah Cable Car Station at Sentosa, just 2 stations away from Vivocity and navigated my way over to Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa. It was so random that my mum had to book a staycation when I would rather rot at home during that weekend.

Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa looked more like a heritage landmark than a hotel and I took an awkward shot of the merlion looking as if it was decapitated above. The scotching heat was already swallowing me up as I made my way into the room which my mum had already checked into. The room look rather cosy and we had an amazing view of neighbouring constructions going on, with 2 tall cranes in sight. I guess it felt more conducive when the curtains remained closed up through the stay.

I wasn’t really in the mood to walk around exploring Sentosa that day, except travelling to Vivocity for dinner and having Starbucks while lazing in the room that night. The pool looked rather shallow and was quite empty most of the time. I actually brought my trunks but it just felt awkward to swim with parents around. My mum did felt the same way as well.

Anyway, my only consolation was the bathtub in the toilet where I soaked for probably an hour or more? Half of the time I was climbing in and out of it, setting my camera’s timer for portraits which I used for my artistic edits posted on my instagram @dessertingbeauty

As I checked up on the hotel that night, I was stunned by the beautiful photography shown on the webpage. Images can indeed be decieving to a certain extent I would say. 

Staycation at Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa

Staycation at Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa

Staycation at Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa

Staycation at Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa

Staycation at Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa

House Of Javanese Massage at Johor Bahru City Square

House Of Javanese Massage at Johor Bahru City Square
It was a short day trip to Johor Bahru, settling my lunch with the famous curry fish head just walking distance from Johor Bahru City Square. It was followed up with me over buying the famous wood-fired oven banana cakes from Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory.
After a bit of shopping about, my friend wanted a foot massage and we decided to walk in to Javanese Massage located at M2-23 for one. Unfortunately, the slots were fully taken and our alternative plan was to try the full body massage instead. 
I am usually not the type that would be keen for massages and that day was no exception. The interior of House Of Traditional Javanese Massage was dim and had a rustic atmosphere from rattan and bamboo furnishing. Soon, we were led into a large room, segmented into smaller ones by flimsy looking partitions. After changing into my disposable underwear, the massager assigned to me started applying oil before proceeding on with the massage. In my personal opinion, the overall experience was perhaps mediocre as the pressure was not quite on point. I somehow did not exactly feel recharged or could feel an improvement in my well being. 
The cost of the Traditioanl Foot Reflexology (30mins) is RM48 while an hour would be RM55 for non members. The Traditional Javanese Full Body Massage (60 mins) is RM79, 90 mins would be RM116 and 120 mins is RM153 for non members. They also have other services such as Aromatic Javanese Full Body Massage, Body Scrubs, Shoulder Massage as well as Pre-natal Body Massage.
House Of Javanese Massage at Johor Bahru City Square

House Of Javanese Massage at Johor Bahru City Square

House Of Javanese Massage at Johor Bahru City Square
House Of Javanese Massage at Johor Bahru City Square

Soaking Up and Relaxing at Yunomori Onsen and Spa

Yunomori Onsen and Spa
I have been to Yunomori Onsen and Spa a couple of times so far after my first visit and I do enjoy dipping in alternating pools. Remembering the first time yuzu bath was launched, I did see a couple of yuzus in netting floating about in the water. The more recent relaunch of the yuzu bath got me and a couple of my other onsen buddies questioning where did all the yuzus had gone to. Physically since nothing was seen floating on the surface and even the fragrance of the yuzu was no where to be detected.
At least I still felt that the yuzu one was better than the sakura pool during a period of time. Besides the romantic pinkish red water, I doubt I could remember smelling any sakura scent. Anyway, going to onsen with buddies definitely makes a difference to my enjoyment as occational chit chat would kill some boredom since being alone is super boring.
I felt super dumb at one point of time when I actually locked my locker key in the locker itself and I had to seek help from the kind staff. I bet they were trying hard not to laugh. How the hell was I that absent minded that day!?
I would always enjoy taking selfies while wearing yukata since it is not often that I could wear them right? I even enjoyed taking a short nap in the resting room located through the doorway at the end of the cafe after soaking in the pool for over an hour to two. The dim lights, cozy sofa-like beds with blankets and comfortable cushions could easily bring a tired being to dream land.
More visits with buddies to Yunomori Onsen and Spa in future!

Going Cashless with DBS Paylah at Food Centres

I made my way to ABC Brickworks Market and Food Centre while the heavy downpour added on to my depressing travel journey due to its location. My goal that night was to go cashless, meaning that I would only be using paylah from my mobile application to pay for my dinner.
The food centre was more like a ghost centre as more than half has already shut its shutters for the night. This place obviously caters to the lunch office crowd around the district. I wandered around trying to catch hold of the QR code stickers seen pasted on walls of hawker stalls. 
Despite the fact that some stalls had their QR code stickers on their walls which allows payment made via paylah, I still got quite a couple of rejections. I finally got a glimmer of hope as I made my way to one last stall, persuading the aunty that I wanted to make my payment through paylah. 
Like typical older generation folks, she was really skeptical about accepting cashless payment as I whipped out my mobile instead of cash. I had a bit of resistance from her as she kept questioning me, afraid that I would run away without paying. Throughout the payment process, I showed her the screen of my mobile, making sure that I had keyed in the correct amount to be paid and letting her see the green tick symbol before she finally stopped grumbling.
Cashless payment through paylah definitely was a hassle free solution, provided that these hawkers are willing to accept the new change in their lives towards digitalization. DBS is constantly working on it right now!

Jewellery Design and Fabrication Short Course with Caratell

My fascination and curiosity in jewellery designing and production led me to sign up for the Jewellery Design and Fabrication short course/workshop with Caratell last year. It was held once a week from 7-10pm for about 4 months at Beacon International College. I did wondered why I was so greedy for skills and knowledge since I was also in the midst of attaining my part-time degree at the same time. Total fees I paid was S$1000.00 which excludes GST. Too bad at that point of time when I registered, the course was not yet made claimable under SkillFuture
The lessons were taught by Michael Koh, a jewellery designer as well as the boss of Caratell. A friendly and approachable lecturer who is always willing to impart his skills and knowledge to his students. My course mates, including myself would always bombard him with plenty of jewellery related questions from designs to costing to technical and practical stuffs. We even visited his outlet at United Square and also his jewellery production workshop as well.  
We all started off with basic sketching of what we would intend to produce. I basically stick to just using copper as my material (provided) since I did not want to risk investing into more expensive materials such as gold and silver which my other course mates did. Overall, I learnt about the processes from cutting shapes, annealing, polishing, craving, connecting joints, using moulds and more. It definitely wasn’t easy and it takes plenty of practise and years of experience to reach Michael Lao Shi’s (teacher) level of quality.  
Although it could be torturous during certain point of time such as filing (a lot) to smoothen sharp edges and fumes from the torch that kept irritating my eyes during the annealing process, I did learnt a lot from Lao Shi. I kept changing my mind on the design and ended up creating the abstract stacked ring that could fit nicely on my finger. Having hands-on sessions are always fun as I get to relish the moments of honing my crafting skills in the process.

Rounding Up my 2017 with a Touch of Photoshop

2017 has been a playful year for me as I started to explore the artistic side of myself, trying to manipulate images with my mediocre photoshop skills which would perhaps be seen as a joke to those experts out there.
I probably found my source of inspiration and editing style leaning towards gamification and escapism. The Japanese anime “One Piece” would be my escapism while unrealistic landscapes and predicaments were influenced by the gamification concept. Somehow my overly wild escapism concept, together my editing got a little off the grid for some to tolerate, as seen in 2 to 3 of the following images below. Still images got a bit lifeless and I played around with gifs during the last few months in order to input some life/motions into them. If only I could handle motion graphics/animations and have more than 24 hours a day, I would definitely create more digital artworks for fun. Each edit took me an hour or more to complete.  

Anyway I finally completed my part time studies of 2 years duration, in order to attain a degree while working. Loving the sense of freedom and the thought of not having to flip through notes while camping at Starbucks any longer. I even attended a hobbyist short course in jewellery fabrication as well, that lasted about 3-4 months and I have yet to blog about.
I am thankful to my blogger friend Kenny who brought me along as his +1 for countless fun events such as food tastings and some lifestyle ones this year. All my boat images below were shot by him too and I used them to play with my edits! I attended quite a couple of DBS events as well such as DBS FasTrack, Singapore Coffee Festival 2017, Pangdemonium’s Fundraiser Concert – THE JAM and more. I had a chance to watch a magical theatrical performance – The Nutcracker, which I enjoyed so much. Not forgetting the crafts related skills which I picked up such as Finger Knitting, Arm Knitting, and Cross Stitch, which I would probably forget as time goes by.

Spending my Christmas volunteering and performing a small role as a delivery boy / thief in a church related performance was indeed thrilling, fun and satisfying. The play was about imparting good values to the audience and thankfully I need not speak much since the play was in mandarin.

I did not travel overseas this year but had a staycay with mum at Sentosa. I spent my New Year’s Eve with the same group of bffs as during pre-Christmas. Although they were always annoyingly late for meet-ups, we had fun and took plenty of wefies with filters. Thank you to my different group of friends whom I still continued to hang out with, be it a meal or catching up throughout 2017.

Bye bye 2017 and hopefully 2018 would be more fulfilling and inspirational!  
“Thousand Sunny” from One Piece anime spotted

World in Flames
Static Storm
(no edits, mundane right?)

(no edits, mundane right?)
First Gif created of candle illumination.
Pokemon Suicune
Mystical skies

Dystopia Escape

Rune Stones and Blood Moon
Inspired by Hidan of Akatsuki in Naruto’s episodes

The “plotagraph” of the swirling aurora animation could be found on my instagram feed.

Newby Advert Calendar

Beer running wild at Turf City