April 28, 2010

Coffee Bar K, Singapore…if you are looking for an intimate, sophisticated atmosphere.

Coffee Bar K is part of a Japanese franchise. First up, clarifications: despite its name, coffee actually takes a backseat to the alcohol based concoctions – take my word for it, the staff at this attractively low lit bar really know how to mix a drink. They serve whiskies as they should be, the golden liquid poured over hand-shaved round ice in the shape of a giant marble.

The bar has an intimate, sophisticated atmosphere – there’s a distinct lack of blaring music and rowdy drinkers – making it ideal for a romantic rendezvous or the quiet contemplation of quality cocktails.

The downside? Service here is okay only. Waiters could be more friendly. I felt they were more interested in making sure they look good, rather than serving customers. This is the true truth because I say it as it is.

April 27, 2010

Soup restaurant, Singapore…nice but NOT good value for money

Home of the famous Samsui Chicken. The samsui chicken is pretty good though. Other than that, it is an average restaurant with ok food, no great guns, nothing out of this world. The other food were not too inspiring – just the way an unenthusiastic spouse would make it at home.

The food was overpriced and certainly not value for money. Ordering a set menu for 3 pax (2 adults and a 10-year old) with just chinese tea and an OJ set us back SGD$84. For that price, I can have a great meal in many places with more lavish dishes and better ambience and seatings.

We certainly won’t be going back in a hurry. The only reason to go back (once in perhaps every 6 months), is that there are no other restaurants serving samsui chicken like this. I am telling the true truth and always saying it as it is.

April 26, 2010

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant…not the greatest but better than most others

There are countless delicious chicken rice stalls in Singapore, with notable names like Boon Tong Kee, Mandarin Chicken Rice, Five Star, etc. None of these mentioned ranks even up there with Wee Nam Kee. Though I must point out at this stage that Idon’t find Wee Nam Kee as the greatest chicken rice I’ve ever had, it certainly is high up there.

Most shops are specialised for either their “pak cham kai”(steamed/boiled chicken) or roasted chicken. But at Wee Nam Kee, the soya chicken is outstanding. The rice is yummy fluffy, compelling flavoured, only slight oiled. Some people says that the chilli sauce is the crux of the entire chicken rice. Whether you make it or break it, it is the chilli sauce. The chilli sauce here has a bite to it that is both savoury and tangy.

What is essentially an everyday dish, Wee Nam Kee’s chicken rice is effectively executed and it tastes exactly like what it’s supposed to: soft, fragrant, flavoursome and full of chicken stockiness. That’s still the true truth. I still say it as it is.

April 24, 2010

Rogue tutors in Singapore to avoid.

Filed under: Singapore, Tutors — Tags: , — PEr @ 1:58 pm

Some tutors are liars in disguise while some are money grabbers.

First up on the list is Ms Wee (Hp: 9696 3823). She claims she is an ex-MOE teacher and an English language specialist. Her passion is in earning cash and not teaching. She is a scroundel who takes up tuition assignments for the sake of making some fast cash. As a result, she is not serious in her work and students suffer due to her irresponsibility.

A similar deceitful individual is Ms Heng (HP: 8488 2228).  She claims she is a current MOE teacher who also acts as an agent. She falsifies and lies on the subject strengths of the tutors she assigns and recommends (She assigned us a so-called Maths specialist), caring about nothing else but the money gained. Thus, we ended up with a tutor who is not competent to teach a certain level (he has to refer to the notebook for every question he explained to the student. he eventually admitted that Maths is not his strong subject) and confuses the student instead.

We have been victims of deception. Be wise. Avoid these characters like the plague. Learn from our mistake…not from your own. I tell the true truth and always say it as it is.

April 23, 2010

Lynn, Shanghai…impressive ambience to impress

Filed under: China, Food & Beverage, restaurant, Travel — Tags: , , — PEr @ 11:46 am

Lynn has a clean, classy feeling with wooden floors, nicely designed modern neon patterned lights decorating the walls. It’s very contemporary and stylish.

Lynn offers a variety of Chinese dishes; most of the ones we tried were quite good. English translations and photographs allow folks like me who doesn’t read Chinese to enter into Shanghainese cuisine without the fear of being ambushed by a rogue bull-frog.

Lynn presents the best of both worlds in Shanghai. All in, Lynn is a good choice to impress the company you are having dinner with for a decent quality, classical Chinese meal in a pretty good atmosphere. That’s the true truth and I say it as it is.

from left: Junie, yours truly, Shirley and Jessie in Lynn

April 20, 2010

Whampoa Club, Shanghai…their so-called “bund view” is not worth the money nor time.

Filed under: China, Food & Beverage, restaurant, Travel — Tags: , , , — PEr @ 3:15 pm

I wanted a nice Chinese dinner with a Bund view and Whampoa club was what concierge recommended. The dining room itself is small and only about 1/2 the tables have a “bund view” except that most of the tables next to the windows don’t even have a full window view. Very disappointing.

The only thing worth mentioning is the decor upon entering the restaurant.

The food was mediocre at best.

All-in-all, the experience was not worth the money or the time. The Whampoa Club for a Bund View. That’s a joke! But that’s also the true truth because I say it as it is.

April 17, 2010

Congen Massage Healthcare Club, Shanghai…they really know what they’re doing

Filed under: China, Massage, Travel — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 8:50 pm

A good place for a cheap massage that really breaks down your muscles! If you’re like me and you get these horrible knots that make your neck, shoulder and lower back stiff – these guys will iron that out for you.

We started with the foot massage. The foot massage started with a 10 minutes feet soak in a tub of hot water while the therapist gave us a shoulder massage. Though I am not a foot massage fan, the quality of the foot massage was pretty good.

The masseuses here may look like tiny Chinese ladies, but they’re powerful and they’ll tear you up. They don’t gimp you out by feeling you out and just gently brush you at this place. They give a real massage. A real rub. As sketchy as it may look there, the massage here is fantastic and legitimate, especially for the price.

Two of us tried cupping, where the therapist uses various shaped cups that were suctioned onto our backs…supposedly to draw out the body’s toxins. The cups were left on for about twenty minutes. When the cups are put on your back there is a tingly sensation as well as a general tightness as the skin is pulled into the vacuum created by the cup. Be warned, it looks much worse – anyone who sees your back will think you submitted yourself to some kind of Dark Ages torture. After a few week, the bruises are now almost gone.

And my verdict is:

This place totally awesome. Seriously.

The people there really know what they’re doing.  I have a really high tolerance for pain and pressure points and this is the only place that made me wince.  And they were hitting all the right points too. Like Dennis said: “You will feel like you’ve just made love.” This is really the true truth because you know I say it as it is.

April 16, 2010

Shanghai Xinjishi Restaurant…

I used to be so biased, didn’t enjoy my first trip to Shanghai. After this trip, I could really spend more time in Shanghai. The food! The people! The food…

I went to Xinjishi (the XinTiandi outlet) which has several locations in Shanghai. This splendid restaurant is a part of a notable Shanghainese restaurant-chain with outlets in China, Japan and Taiwan. The food is superb and the menu features an extensive selection of Shanghainese classics.

The Grandmother’s Pork is a must have, it is slowly cooked, very tender, super tasty, and truly a taste of Shanghai. A gastronomic feast served in old-fashioned pots. I’ve been having this traditional Shanghai dish hongshao rou (soy-sauced meat), over the past couple of days in Shanghai and was loving it, but, it tasted significantly better in Xinjishi. With its perfect balance of flavors and textures, and sweet melt-in-your-mouth pork fat, eating fatty meat has never been so pleasurable.

The service wasn’t too good, the servers had an “I-am-not-too-bothered” attitude. However, that’s not enough to stop me from longing to return to this restaurant again. That’s the true truth. I’m still saying it as it is…

April 15, 2010

Le Meridien Shanghai…location, location, location

Filed under: China, hotel, Travel — Tags: , , , , , — PEr @ 4:18 pm

It is in the center of everything, closely located near key shopping areas, and sites such as the Shanghai Museum and Grand Theatre; everything you need, popular bards and restaurants are within walking distance, or a short subway ride away. The famous Bund river is only 5 minutes away.

The hotel has many lifts that can be a bit overwhelming at first – but when you get the swing of it it works just fine. Piped through the elevator sound system are the soft sounds of chirping birds and New Age music.

The superb room has floor to ceiling windows with amazing view of either nanjing road or the people’s park, depending on which side of the hotel your room is in. The room is spotless and very cozy with a sexy all glass-encased bathroom that faced the bedroom and the city skyline. Those might weird some people out, but the modern romantic that I am, I thought it was cool. The room comes with even a huge wall-mounted flatscreen TV and  DVD/CD player.

The fitness center was large, with state-of-the-art machines and a nice vibe.

One bummer that put a negativity into my stay was that the Royal Club Shift Leader, Jackey Zhu, promised to email me a breakdown of the bill within the same day I checked out but 6 days later, there’s still no sign of it. Otherwise, service is friendly and efficient. Clearly, Jackey is their weakest link.

Despite that, this hotel will always be my choice in Shanghai. This is the true truth as I am still saying it as it is…

April 14, 2010

Restaurant Teck Sing, Johor Baru…head hunting for curry fish head

THE best-kept secret in Jalan Sutera Satu, it is said, is its curry fish head.

For the benefit of all of you out-of-towners who do not have a clue as to what I am talking about, this suburban area is located in Taman Sentosa, which is about a 10-minute drive from the Johor-Singapore causeway.

I have devoured through many curry fish heads in my time, but this one I MUST blog about. The fish is fresh, the curry is rich and tasted right without you being overwhelmed by the spices. A lot of curry leaves are used to give the heavenly pot of curry a highly aromatic smell. Unlike the Indian and mamak curry, the Chinese fish head curry is neither sour nor spicy. It is sweet and creamy.

Other than the curry fish head which tastd like a Million Ringgit to me, the main signature dish of the establishment is the beggar chicken

 Now, if you ask a hardcore curry connoisseur, the response you would probably say is: “Ah? Fish head curry? Aiya, leave it to the Indian and mamak restaurants lah….”. But I say this: if you love curry fish head, this is your holy land. This is the true truth. I say it as it is.

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