myVillage Is My New Kampung

I’ve been residing at Ang Mo Kio almost all my life, and besides Ang Mo Kio Central, the other place that I used to visit with my family and friends is the Serangoon Gardens area. I’ve always been drawn by the rather rustic vibe that I get from the area, and the very good food that Chomp Chomp Food Centre offers.

The visits there became less regular since I moved to Clementi after getting married. But after I got re-orientated to the myVillage mall, following an invitation from their marketing team, I’m determined to visit it more often and make it the kampung I hang out with my loved ones!

My reasons?

  • It has a sense of cosiness about it. I like that it doesn’t have the hustle and bustle that I have to put up with when I’m at other heartland malls (I’m sure you can think of a few as you read this).
  • It may not be a huge mall, but it has everything that I need: from NTUC Fairprice to QB House, and from Guardian to DBS Bank.
  • On top of the “necessary” services that I mentioned above, it also offers a more interesting tenant mix that most other malls don’t offer, some of which I’m going to talk about a little more in this post.

Now, come along with me on my little tour around myVillage, and I’ll show you what I meant:

There are several reputable beauty services at myVillage

And I’m talking about literally head-to-toe beauty services. MyVillage is home to Gui Ren Tang (head, for hair treatments), Beyond Beauty (for facials, massages and manicures), and Chen Kang Foot Reflexology (toe, for foot massages). Cuttour, a hairstyling salon, and Nail Addict, a manicure salon are also at myVillage.

At the tour, I visited Beyond Beauty and enjoyed a massage at the spa.

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As a beauty editor, I have visited many spas, tried many massages and spoke to many therapists. At Beyond Beauty, it was the first time I’ve encountered a therapist who was able to tell me, based on her TCM knowledge, what are some ailments I should be worried about and how I can go about resolving them.
For instance, my therapist advised me to soak my feet in warm water before I sleep if I can, because I’m someone who tends to get chills more easily. This is in fact something that I know I’ve been suffering from since I was a child. She also shared a lot more other health tips that are specific to me, which I shan’t share on this public space 🙂

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Fashion junkies: Hot spot alert!

When I was in university, I used be very excited to visit Chomp Chomp Food Centre, not just because of the food, but also because of a fashion store that’s within the area. The store isn’t your usual “market” store selling “auntie” clothes, but actually stocks very fashionable wear that I remember buying for Chinese New Year.

Guess what – the children of the owner of that store now runs their own fashion accessories outlet – U-design – at myVillage.

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It looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because the fashion taste of the U-design owners are obviously impeccable.

I understand that they source for their ware from overseas, especially from Korea. It took me very long to shop, because I want to buy everything, but I managed to go home with two necklaces and two pairs of earrings. These are the necklaces I picked!

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You might have seen me flaunting some of them on my Instagram. Here are pictures of me and Qiu Ting having a blast at the shop:

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 By the way, you can quote “Kristen Juliet” at U-design to enjoy 10% off your purchases!

Food at myVillage is quite an exciting deal too!

There are quite a number of food options at myVillage. You can go for something hearty, like steak at iSteaks, or burgers at Relish Gardens (Which I absolutely love! So much so that fellow blogger, Yina, saw me once in person there, and noticed that I was there again at the myVillage outlet in the same week. She called me out on Instagram :p).

Otherwise, if you want something that’s great for sharing, I’d recommend Yogiyo Chicken. Its owners brought the fried chicken that got its fame at the Hongdae area in Korea to Singapore, and this is their first outlet here. Very interestingly, having visited Hongdae before, I felt that Hongdae has this laidback vibe that myVillage also shares.

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I’m not a super huge fan of fried chicken, but even so, I have to say these are good stuff. MyVillage’s marketing manager shared how he can almost have this as a daily meal, and I can totally see where he’s coming from.

Whether it is the non-spicy ones with honey and topped with sesame…

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Or the spicy ones that have just enough spice to give a kick to the taste, but not too much to have me yelling for water…

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They’re both really delicious.

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I like that these very functional, but somewhat cute, thumb gloves were handed out to us so we won’t have to dirty our fingers while digging in.

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You can sweeten things up at myVillage

There are several dessert places you can visit, if you want to find a nice place to share some food and good conversations; Bakerzin, Little Wimbly Lu and Udders Ice Cream are all available at myVillage.

Ice-cream is my Achilles’ heel of all desserts, and that’s why I was on cloud nine when I was told that visiting Udders Ice Cream was part of the tour.

I’ve been a patron of Udders since forever their first outlet at Novena, and have been going back to them because of their Mao Shan Wang ice-cream (I’m a huge durian fan) and alcoholic options that are served with real alcohol (they have a license for it).

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At the tasting, I was treated to not just my favourite Mao Shan Wang Durian ice-cream, alcoholic fares like the Orange Choc Bitters, Bailey’s & Bourbon, Tira-miss-u and Rum Rum Raisin, I also had a preview to the Nian Gao ice-cream, which they served only during the Chinese New Year period.

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I spoke to co-founder Peck Lin, and learnt more about how they made sure their ice-creams are made of the freshest ingredients, and the thoughts and innovation that they put into creating new flavours every month.

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After the very indulgent tasting, I still love my Mao Shan Wang, but have also developed a new love for the Snickers Mars Honeycomb Vanilla, Awesomely Chocolate, and Salted Speculoos (as you can see, I’ve ventured beyond the intended tasting menu that day and started tasting other flavours hahaha!). I love almost all the alcoholic flavours, by the way, although I’m kind of decided to be a teetotaller for the next two years because I just got into remission. (This being said, I’ve already had a teeny weeny bit of alcohol this year, but I’m really cutting down by at least 99%.)

MyVillage is located at 1 Maju Avenue, which is just a stone’s throw away from Chomp Chomp Food Centre, in the Serangoon Gardens area. Find out more at its website.

 

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Café Fest Is Here: The World’s First Café­‐Hopping Event

This is probably an event that all café-lovers are going to luurrrrrve – the chance to café-hop, all in a day (or two!). The inaugural Café Fest will be held on 6 and 7 September, along the Waterfront Promenade Singapore, where 12 homegrown cafés will be presenting their ware to some (estimated) 4,000 café-lovers. The cafés include OZ Specialty Cafe, Jimmy Monkey, I am, Maison Ikkoku, Cake Love, and Toby’s EState. CafeFest_Logo

What you can expect at Café Fest

Enjoy freshly-brewed coffee, delectable pastries, sway to the music of live performances from bands such as 53A, Marc X Hashy and The Sessionists, and also take the chance to pit your hopping skills against your friends in an old-fashioned coffee sack race. These, and a lot more fun games and activities.

How much is the admission for Café Fest?

It’s FREE!

But if you’d like to enjoy the wide variety of drinks and treats at the event, don’t forget to purchase café-hopping passes, available on the Café Fest website. At S$20 for the Early Bird pass, you’ll also get free Uber rides on festival days and a Spa Esprit voucher notebook and if you throw in another S$10, for S$30 you’d get a VIP Experience pass, to also include expedited entry at registration, a welcome drink and a limited edition tote bag.

Visit Café Fest Facebook page for more information. You can also follow them on Instagram (@cafefestsg). More information too, in this really adorable infographic:

 

Café Fest Infographic Final

I Met Anna Sui In Person!

Thanks to the invitation from Anna Sui (the brand, not the person), I got the chance to see Anna Sui in person at the Anna Sui 15th Anniversary celebrations in Singapore!

I attended the event with two of my closest friends, Shn and Jessie, and The Fiance. Photos ahead:

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Four of us having fun at the photo booth. Keith looking really crazy here.

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Jess and I attempting a supermodel pose. I failed. Big time.

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The Fiance tried an artistic shot of me with Anna Sui products on display. See me in the mirror?

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Meet Anna Sui up close and personal

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Here she is! Anna Sui greeting the crowd.

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Another one of her addressing us.

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Kinda surreal to see the legendary Anna Sui in person.

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And yay! A shot with Anna Sui! Once in a lifetime experience, for sure.

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Another shot!

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Final picture of The Fiance and me.

Review: Sunday Brunch Buffet at Lime, Parkroyal On Pickering

Launched for barely a month, Sunday Brunch at Lime, at Parkroyal on Pickering,  is a treat that I’m quite impressed with. I’ve previously reviewed the St Gregory Spa at the new hotel, and said that I really love the design of the hotel.

Lime Park Royal Pickering

sunday brunch buffet at lime restaurant parkroyal on pickering

In my spa review, I mentioned briefly about teething problem with the service at Lime. This seems to have greatly improved. While I was still left feeling a little lost when I arrive at the door, with no staff nearby to usher me in, the service once I got in  was quite impeccable.

Plates were cleared away fast, staff took the initiative to help me out with retrieving food when they see me struggling, and they were also very chirpy – always with a ready smile, which makes my Sunday afternoon so much more joyous. There’s something infectious about smiles, so I always feel that those in the service line have to be generous with them to make their guests happier.

Special mention goes out to Yus, who was especially charming. His chats with us was friendly without being intrusive, and helped us understand a lot more about the meal, about wine-pairing, and about the restaurant. He also coaxed us to drink a little more – just like how a host would have done to his party guests.

Anyway, back to the food.

This is an international buffet that has the option of free flow Piper Heidsieck Champagne. There’s also red wine and white wine available, for those who aren’t so into bubbly.

Lime Park Royal Pickering Champagn

I went for the salads first and was first attracted by the Avocado Tartare with Tuna Tataki and Roe. It looks really pretty and tastes fantastic too. All ingredients are fresh and so the dish leaves a invigorating taste in your mouth.

avocado tartare with tuna

But my favourite from the salads is the Vine Tomatoes with Crab Rillette. It doesn’t actually look as pretty as the tartare but it tastes really good. Like the tartare that features a seafood with a fruit, this has the crab (seafood) that tastes especially refreshing with vine tomatoes (fruit). I’m inspired to try making my own seafood-and-fruit combination at home – salmon with cucumber, perhaps?

tomato with crab

The seafood bar is not to be missed. Watch the chefs slice salmon sashimi and prepare crabs, oysters and other shellfishes. The only gripe I have is that after the ice has melted, it flows off the bar and has wet my clothes a few times as I went over to take more food. It’s a small issue, but nonetheless annoying.

Lime Park Royal Pickering Seafood

Lime Park Royal Pickering Sashimi

Other foods that are worth a mention: the Peking Duck salad and Herb-Crusted Cod Fillet.

live stations at lime restaurant

Remember to check out the live cooking stations. I tried the Mushroom Risotto, Eggs Royale and Pan-Seared Foie Gras, all of them cooked on-the-spot. This means that they’re all served very warm. Of them, I enjoyed the Mushroom Risotto the most. I’m a huge mushroom fan and I love how the taste of mushroom filled the risotto richly.

The live stations and warm waiters aren’t the only “interaction” you’re going to get. Check out the roaming waiters who pass along freshly-made pizzas to those who want them.

Lime Park Royal Pickering Mediterrainean

Don’t forget the carving station too, if you’re a meat-lover, as they have a huge range of meats to sink your teeth into, including the US Prime Rib, Guinea Fowl and Rack of Lamb.

Lime Park Royal Pickering Meat

The dessert bar is also impressive. Pick as many macarons as you want, and enjoy the cakes, tiramisu and ice-cream. One interesting feature is probably the Matcha fondue (as opposed to the usual chocolate fondue), which earned quite a number of queries on my social media accounts. It was very tasty, by the way!

dessert bar at lime restaurant parkroyal

Lime Park Royal Pickering Dessert

Lime Park Royal Pickering Macarons

Lime Park Royal Pickering Macha Fondue Fountain
matcha fondue at lime

Lime’s Sunday Brunch Buffet is available at S$88 per person including free flow fresh juices, soft drinks, coffee and tea and S$128++ per person including free flow Piper Heidsieck Champagne and selected Red/White House Wine, fresh juices, soft drinks, coffee and tea. The buffet begins at 12 noon and ends at 3pm every Sunday.

Okay, I’m ending this off with a final photo of macarons. Just because.

macarons at lime restaurant parkroyal on pickering

This is a sponsored tasting and Lime did not pay me for this article. Opinions are my own.

My Tour At The SingPost Office

There are a lot of things in life that we somewhat take for granted. Like, how water comes out from the tap whenever we turn it on. I mean, how many of us think about the mails and parcels that arrive at our house every day, right?

I know there’s a postman involved somewhere between the sending and the receiving. (And I always write a “Thanks Mr. Postman :)” on my letters because I imagine posting letters must be a really tough job.) But I’ve never really wondered about how the colossal of letters are sorted and sent out every day.

Did you know: SingPost’s history can be traced back to the founding of Singapore in 1819?

And so I was invited by SingPost for a little tour to see the behind-the-scene of its operations to understand how our letters are sorted and posted after collection.

What happens between mail collection and delivery?

1. We are probably most familiar with and may even have seen postmen collecting letters from the post boxes. Mail is also collected from post offices, airports and seaports to the processing centre. The customs are in charge of screening through the overseas mail and this is where some mails get stopped because they carry items that aren’t meant to get in to Singapore.

2. Then our mail is transported to the sorting machine. It’s kind of like a sushi bar conveyer belt.

SingPost MPC 2

3. Next, the mail is sorted. Stamped mail is sent to the Culler Facer Canceller (CFC), this is where mail is arranged and odd-shaped items are removed for manual sorting. At this point, an identification tag is also printed(it’s this pale orange barcode-like ID that you sometimes see on the back of the envelopes you receive, and because of the colour of this code, it is why you have to use white envelopes, preferably, to get your mail sent out faster). At the same time, the machine captures an image of the address information on the envelope so an offline Optical Character Reader can process the data. Those letters that are of a standard format already have the ID printed and are sent to the Bar Code Sorter for further processing.

SingPost sorting machines

4. Now, if the sender’s handwriting is so bad that the Optical Character Reader can’t understand it, the image of the address will be read by operators who will try to read each item within 14 seconds. Talk about speed reading!

5. On the other hand, those that comes with an ID tag that got read by the automated Bar Code Sorter will have a destination barcode printed on the front of the envelope.

SingPost sorting machines

6. Then, the Delivery Bar Sorter sorts mail into delivery sequence and trays of mail are loaded into containers for despatch!

How SingPost sort letters

SingPost postal bags

7. And finally, the sorted mail is sent to delivery bases where the postmen take them to our homes and offices!

And I did my part for the postal service heh heh!

Pretending to work at SingPost

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How to make sure your mail gets sent fast

Did you know: Over 3 million mail items are processed at the Singapore Post Centre every day?

Because a lot of processes are automated, if you want your mail and packages to be delivered out as fast as possible and without any damage, it is important to assist the machines in sorting out your mails. Here are tips:

1. Use a standard envelope (C4, C5, C6 or DL).

2. If you’re mailing things, protect the items with bubble wrap. Always use a good quality envelope that wouldn’t tear easily.

3. Write your address clearly (especially the 6-digit postal code) and with a ballpoint pen so it wouldn’t smudge even if it comes in touch with rainwater (or hailstones!). If you’re typing, use font size 12.

4. Affix sufficient postage

5. Write a return address

Funny items that get mailed

It’s funny how some people put funny things in the mailbox. Many of the items include:

letters to God at SingPost

1. Dear God letters – Unfortunately, these get thrown away, but hey, God has received them, I’m sure!
2. Wallets (usually without money) – the wallets are dumped out but the important documents are returned to the respective authorities.

SingPost wallets
3. Dear Santa letters – SingPost does a little charity act by sending them to Santa in Finland in December!
4. Identity cards, passports and other important documents – these are returned to the relevant authorities.

SingPost tour

Fancl inaugural bloggers’ party: Ballet of Beauty

Now, now, I don’t typically blog about the events that I go to and how the programme is like. But this one is rather memorable, so I thought I wanted to share 🙂

fancl ballet of beauty blogger party

The inaugural bloggers’ party by Fancl was held at Bistro Soori. And I applaud the efforts in arranging for transportation for all of us to and from the event. I raved about this on a marketing website.

On site, there’s a skin analysis where you can get your skin tested and find out what Fancl products are suitable for you.

fancl ballet of beauty blogger party

fancl ballet of beauty blogger party

fancl ballet of beauty blogger party

fancl ballet of beauty blogger party

fancl ballet of beauty blogger party

fancl ballet of beauty blogger party

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Porcelain, the Face Spa’s 3rd Anniversary Bash

Porcelain, the Face Spa is three! And they held their birthday bash at Sauce, at the Esplanade in July. Lots of activities were there, including a manicure booth, photo booth, arm wrestling booth (where you contribute to charity by dropping off money for the chance to challenge an arm-wrestling hunk). I was there with my friend, Ying, and I’m here to share photos with you 🙂

Porcelain, the Face Spa's 3rd Anniversary Bash

Porcelain, the Face Spa's 3rd Anniversary Bash - manicure station

Sally Hansen manicure booth

Sally Hansen manicure booth

Porcelain, the Face Spa birthday bash at Sauce

I’ll be scheduling for a facial treatment with Porcelain, The Face Spa soon, and hopefully I’ll be back with more updates about them. Check them out here.

I know I haven’t been updating this blog as much as I used to, and this entry isn’t that much. But I really just wanted to do some updates as soon as I can get hold of time. I’ve been providing my ehem, expert views, on Asian Marketer recently, if you still want to read what I write. As some of you know, I do journalism, PR, content strategy and social media management professionally, and I’ve been contributing to this marketing site on topics related to these. Asian Marketer is also on Facebook and Twitter, for those of you who are social media junkies.