Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sushi-All-You-Can at Shin Minori in UE Square, Singapore

"How was your birthday?"

This was the question that I was asked most by friends and colleagues days after the 1st of June. Well, unlike the past years when it was admittedly more festive and loud, my birthday this year was much more private, more intimate yet I had the most important people of my life sending me the sweetest birthday greetings and wishes. What more can I ask for?

Luckily, Paul didn't had to go to work on my birthday so he told me that he'd like to take me out for lunch. The best part was, I get to choose where we're eating! Yay! So days leading up to my birthday, I started shortlisting restaurants that I've been wanting to try. Should we go have steak? Perhaps indulge on pots after pots of Chinese steamboat? How about Japanese? Since I'm clearly not over my Tokyo hangover yet so sushi and sashimi was the final choice for my special day.

shin minori 4
So, off we went to Shin Minori in UE Square since I've been hearing so much good things about their Ala-Carte Lunch Buffet. I checked our Entertainer App and guess what?! Shin Minori's part of the merchant list which just means we can avail of the 1-for-1 deal for the said buffet. You can just imagine the big smile plastered on Paul's face knowing that he won't have to spend so much for our meal. Wa-is wife saved the day!

The drill is simple. All we had to do was to order from the tablet provided on our table and our orders are expected to arrive within minutes. I got to admit that Shin Minori is definitely not a very fancy Japanese restaurant and I have doubts on its authenticity too but hey, the sashimi looked pretty fresh and we found a couple of favorites too.

Let me share with you some of the things that we tried from the menu:

shin minori 5
Sashimi Moriawase 
Since we couldn't decide what type of sashimi to try. We opted to go with the platter where we got to sample an array of salmon, tuna, swordfish and cuttlefish. The salmon was the yummiest and the cuttlefish (ika) was just too chewy to be fully enjoyed. After this, we ordered another plate filled with all salmon since it was so good.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Airport Lounge : SATS Premier Lounge in Changi Airport T3

Two months ago, Paul and I had one of the best trips of our married life as we went to our dream destination -- Tokyo, Japan! After months of planning and trying hard not to get so excited so as not to jinx it, the day finally came for us to head to the airport and to get on our Singapore Airlines flight that will take us to the Land of the Rising Sun. Since we wanted to maximize on our travel time, we opted to take the 11PM flight so we'll arrive in Japan at 8AM local time. Good idea, huh?

sats lounge changi t3 3
As you all know, we love staying at airport lounges while waiting for our turn to board the plane. Since our plane is flying out of Changi Airport's Terminal 3 this time, we went to SATS Premier Lounge to grab a meal since we didn't had time to have dinner at home and to relax before our long evening flight. I'm a fan of SATS Premier Lounges if you remember me talking about this in my previous entries, where I would frequent the one in Terminal 2 every time I fly home to Manila. I just love the food options and how they have nice bathrooms and couches too. The one in Terminal 2 even has a couple of massage chairs where you can get a nice quick back massage before your flight.

SATS Premier Lounge T3 is relatively smaller to its T2 counterpart but the lack of size doesn't equate to the lack of food options and quality, believe me. Let me take you around the lounge:

The lounge has an open ceiling which actually gives you a better view of the busy airport and you can hear all the activities happening too. It may not be as conducive to working so if you're looking to have some peace and quiet, make sure to bring along a noise-cancelling headset with you. I personally didn't mind though and I can imagine how pretty the view may be in the morning where you can see all the planes landing and taking off.

sats lounge changi t3 1
Then we head to the buffet area. First stop is the bar corner where you can help yourself to your choice of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. Just a tip though, drinking alcohol prior to a flight can easily dehydrate you so be sure to follow this up with loads of water all throughout your flight. We don't want to get wrinkly in the future, right? It's so nice that they have a communal dining area right in the middle where solo travelers can interact and mingle with one another.

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Grilled Yakiniku Drumlets which was a bit bland but the meat was pretty tender. I'm pretty glad that this wasn't a preview to our trip as we surely had so much more delicious finds in Tokyo.

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One thing I love most about SATS Premier Lounge's buffet spread is that they always have something local as part of the menu. That evening they had Stir-Fried Vegetarian Kway Teow which was so delish! Paul and I had two servings to this as it was just so flavorful, not so oily and one that can be enjoyed on its own. I personally love the mix of flat noodles and thin yellow noodles. Nom nom nom...

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Here's my first plate: a generous portion of Kuay Teow, cold cuts and cheese and meatballs! They also had Japanese Fried Rice but I opted to have more noodles this time as the rice was loaded with peas, corn and carrots. Ick!

sats lounge changi t3 4
I normally like ending my meat at the lounge with a cup of tea while Paul would go get some coffee. This time around though, he stayed away from caffeine since he wanted to sleep all throughout our flight.

As mentioned earlier, the lounge is relatively smaller so there's really no where else to go except for the dining area and the couches. Similar to all SATS Premier Lounges though, they offer free wifi and the bathroom has a shower facility which is perfect for passengers with long layovers. I normally don't use this anymore as I would rather shower at the comforts of my home. :)

Check out SATS Premier Lounge at the Departure Transit Hall (Level 3) of Changi Airport Terminal 3. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Favorites : Chi, The Spa in EDSA Shangri-la Hotel Manila

Lately, I've been feeling very tired. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because I haven't been working out as often or I've been getting up early to prepare Paul's lunch. Whatever it is, I know I have to go back to the habit of working out more and sleeping earlier. So today is indeed TGIF for me! I can't wait for the weekend where I promise myself to sleep a little longer. (sorry hun, no work lunch for you tomorrow! heehee)

Times like this, I wish I'm back in Manila where I can easily head to my favorite spa for a full body massage or to my suking nail salon for my monthly mani-pedi session. I realized that I sure did a lot of de-stressing and self-pampering when I was still based in the Philippines where admittedly, these types of services are so affordable! While there's a lot of salons and nail spas scattered around the Lion City, I just can't get myself to start the habit of prettifying myself on a bi-weekly cycle knowing that it costs twice or three times the price of how much I used to get it back home. So, this basically explains my growing stress knots and ugly nails for the past years.

chi spa manila 2
So, during one of our recent visits home, Paul and I made the most out of it by getting a nice couple's massage at Chi, The Spa in EDSA Shangri-la Hotel. Since we rarely have our massage, we definitely went for the best in the metro. Our choice that day was the very traditional Philippine Hilot (Php. 3,200 / S$ 95 est) which will surely knead out all our stress knots and apply pressure on the right points to relax us further.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rice and Shine! : Grilllo at PasarBella, Suntec City #GrilloSG

I got a confession to make. One that took me years to realize and to fully accept. 

Okay, here goes...

I can't live without RICE.

Wow! That felt so good to put it out there. Well, I'm Asian and I grew up in the Philippines. Naturally, rice has been one of our staple in almost every meal (breakfast included). For years, I never reallly thought that I love it THAT much but living abroad, I would find myself choosing rice over noodles, rice over bread, rice over salad, rice over pasta... well that's still an ongoing debate. Anyway, you get the point. I pretty much can't live without rice.

grilllo sg2
So, when I chanced upon Grilllo at PasarBella in Suntec City and got to try some of their dishes during their opening day, I knew that this is one stall that I'll go back and visit regularly. What's there not to love? Grilllo specializes in Pan-Asian classic rice bowls with a bit of modern twist here and there.

grilllo sg5
Let me show you some of the rice bowls that Paul and I tried and what were the ones that we loved. Starting from their most popular menu item -- Truffle Short Rib Bowl  (S$14.90). We both loved the thinly-sliced tender steak that sits on top of a generous portion of fluffy white rice and served with soft-boiled egg and garlic chips. Of course, what made this special was the strong aroma of truffle oil coming from their homemade Truffle Wafu Sauce. It was so yummy! While I'm not really a fan of soft-boiled eggs, this one turned out okay as it gave the rice bowl a nice creamy texture. Talk about savoring the umami goodness in every bite.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Deliveroo Singapore : Because You Deserve The Best #BYDTB

Living abroad and away from family has its perks and of course, its disadvantages too. One thing is that with no helper around, we basically have to fend for ourselves 24/7. This means that if Paul and I have to work late, we still have to worry about where to get dinner and this doesn't exempt us from the dish-washing and house-cleaning chores after. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving our independent life but of course, there are moments when I wish I can just have dinner on our table with just a snap of a finger.

deliveroo sg
Take last Friday for instance, I was rushing to finish something for work and has resigned to the fact that I will be heading home late on a Friday night. Then I thought that perhaps Paul will be able to get home before me and he'll take care of dinner. Then I received an SMS from him saying that he will have to stay a bit later too. Oh dear! I'm pretty sure that once he gets home, he'll be so hungry and I don't have the time to cook our meal. Before I allowed myself to panic, I started to device a plan. 

Deliveroo to the rescue! I recently got an email from the cool folks of Deliveroo telling me about their upcoming promotion this week (20-26 June 2016) where several burger places around the island will be giving 1-for-1 treats to all Deliveroo customers. Why not give it a try eh? So, I quickly made an order to one of my favorite burger places, Three Buns @ Potato Head Folk which is available within my Deliveroo vicinity. I've tried this place last year and have been wanting to bring Paul to try it too. Since it's taking us forever to make that visit happen, I'll then take the burgers straight to him instead. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Celebrating Father's Day at Caffe B, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Tomorrow is Father's Day. While pessimists might just say that it's merely a marketer's gimmik, I still believe that it's a perfect day to honor the man of the house -- our Dads. After all, how often do we really get the chance to stop and say thank you for all that he has done for the family right?

franny and papa
Papa and 10-year-old me at Haw Par Villa, Singapore
Recently, Paul and I got the chance to sample the delicious Father's Day Menu at Caffe B in Marina Bay Sands but before I start talking about food, let me tell you more about the first love of my life, my Papa. Papa was turning 37 years old when I came into this world. Perhaps, a lot might say that that's just the right age to have a kid but for him, I'm pretty sure he was battling a whole bunch of emotions from happiness, excitement and the very inevitable anxiety. Just like Mommy, I'm quite certain that they had no clue how to raise a child and so I was luckily their guinea pig. They will never admit it but you know what? I think my parents passed the parenting test with flying colors. After all, raising a child, making sure she turns out well and excels in whatever makes her happy in life is not a joke.

Papa has been a very doting father since day 1. Every single school day, he and Mommy would make it a point to bring us and pick us up from school. Friday is always a happy day because we would go out for merienda and there was even a time when we would go to SM Megamall every week and they will allow me to shop for a new top or pants in hopes that I'll finally get into the habit of updating my wardrobe regularly (which sadly, I haven't still haha). Then there's my addiction to teen fiction books (hello, Sweet Valley Kids and Twins!) where despite Mommy telling me to just choose one book to buy, Papa would give in to my sweet pleas and purchase all the books that were on my hand. Papa's indeed a spoiler! These are just some of the happy and funny memories that I have of Papa and I tell you, there's a lot more! That's 34 years worth of memories and still counting. How I wish I'm back home to celebrate Father's Day with him and the family.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Touch of Class at Crystal Jade Prestige in MBFC

"Where shall we eat?"

I think this is probably the most popular question that you can hear during lunch hour most especially at the Central Business District (CBD) area. Not that we're lacking in choices but, in fact, we have an abundance of dining options that make it even tougher to choose just one. Normally, I would resort to my go-to salad bar or the local hawker shops in case I need to quickly grab a bite or I just want something quick, simple and cheap. Then, there are days when you want to treat yourself to a good meal. On those days, I'm reminded of what Papa would always tell me. "Tsiak ka ho" which means "eat well" in Hokkien. My dad constantly reminds me that once in a while, it is okay to indulge and to treat yourself to a good meal. I bring that learning with me to this day.

crystal jade prestige sg
Located right at the middle of the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) complex, Crystal Jade Prestige is the newest addition to Crystal Jade's growing list of concepts and branches here in Singapore. What sets this restaurant apart is that it's definitely much more upscale and formal than the rest. Your experience starts as you step inside their exclusive lift which takes you directly up to the restaurant's receiving area.

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