Sunday, 30 June 2013

World Colours - June; Orange guest post, by @SGVekNZ

It has been fun looking through photos and finding the Orange theme for this month.

Most of the enjoyment was actually getting the chance to go through old photos and getting a surprise; "I didn't know I took that!", kinda moments.

The trip down memory lane has been great. The impulse and desire to share every single snap has been hard to resist. I've only just managed to limit myself......somewhat. 

I'm pleased to be able to do my first contribution to the World Colours project and hope you enjoy it. 

Without further delay; I present to you World Colours June - Orange, by @SGVekNZ :)

For previous World of Colour posts, click here.

Recently went cycling at Singapore's East Coast Park. Awesome :)

This pic always reminds me of chilled out Weekends. I was with some of my best Singapore buddies here :)

The Apron stands out in this shot. World Street Food Congress in Singapore 2013

A gloomy day in Tokyo, Japan. A lone Cab drives past

Awesome Orange on these BBQed Prawns; World Street Food Congress, Singapore 2013

Comfy Chair in a Hotel lobby; Chinatown in Singapore

A stunning Orange glow from a Chicken Curry in Bali

Korean Persimmon Dessert

Orange tiles make up the rooves over Prague

Japanese kids on a School outing; all dressed up

I'm a big fan of Salmon and always love the Colour

Chinese New Year brings out the appearance of Mandarins everywhere

Kueh Pie Tee; topped with Prawn and some Fish Roe

Salmon Sashimi; stunning and tasty

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Singaporeans Are Not Emotionless - Haze Edition

Singapore has been battling the haze effects from the Indonesian forest fires for the last two weeks.

On the social media site Twitter, there has been a lot of anger directed at both the Singapore and Indonesian Governments.

Whilst we all bitch and moan (I am a culprit) about how poor the air quality is and rush out and buy up all supplies of N95 or other masks (which I did not do), spare a thought for those who cannot afford to buy even the cheapest mask available.

This YouTube video has been doing the rounds since it was posted on 20 June 2013.

Please stop and think about those that are less fortunate.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Singapore Haze - What a difference two days make!

These two pictures have been taken from the same location.

The picture on the left was taken on Wednesday 19 June and the photo on the right was taken today (Friday 21 June 2013).

Thursday, 20 June 2013

It Is Hazy in Singapore

Every year, around the month of September, Sumatra (Indonesia) does its usual burn off to clear their land for their next palm oil plantations. They use the method of burning because it is cheaper, and it makes instant compost, which guarantees a good harvest. The last time I blogged about the haze in Singapore was back in October 2010. 

This year, they seemed to have started two months earlier. We are now at the beginning of the Southwest Monsoon season, with low level winds blowing predominantly from the southeast or southwest. This typically lasts from June to September, and is the traditional dry season for the southern ASEAN region.

You start to notice the signs when you smell a an unpleasant smell of burning trees. Then symptoms of a dry, scratchy throat and maybe itchy skin and eyes appear. You can no longer see the sun in the mornings, or it appears as a bright orange circle in the sky. It's like waking up on a foggy morning in New Zealand, but the air that you breathe makes you cough.

The sun trying to break through the haze. Picture taken at 8.20am, Thurs 20 June
Singapore is now in a "National Haze Crisis."

Singapore measures its air quality using the PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) method. As you can see from the table below, the ideal 'PSI Value' would be between 0 to 50, and maybe acceptable up to 100.
Screen shot of PSI Index, from NEA website

On Wednesday 19 June, the PSI soared to 321 (hazardous level) at 10pm (local time), up from 190, two hours earlier. Then at 11pm, it eased slightly down to 282 (very unhealthy).

As per the table above, a reading above 300 indicates "hazardous" air quality and 201-300 means "very unhealthy".

The 321 level is also above the previous 226 record reached in Singapore in 1997 when smog from Indonesian forest fires disrupted shipping and air travel across Southeast Asia. It caused widespread health problems and cost the regional economy billions of dollars as a result of business and air transport disruptions.

These two pictures were taken by a friend of ours on Mon 17 Jun.
The top photo was taken at 10.24am
The bottom photo was taken at 2.46pm

You'll see from the table below that the PSI readings for today (Thursday 20 June) was in the moderate / unhealthy range up until 12pm, and then bounced up and down between very unhealthy / hazardous up until 8pm, where it dipped slightly to 197 at 9pm. The PSI is actually a 3 hour average, real time PSI numbers have gone into the 400+ range (life threatening to ill and elderly people).

The three-hour Pollution Standards Index (PSI) soared to 321 at 10pm local time (1300 GMT), up from 190 just two hours earlier.
However, the PSI level eased slightly down to 282 at 11pm - the last three-hour PSI reading for the day. This still puts it within the "very unhealthy" range and dangerously close to "hazardous" levels.
- See more at:
The three-hour Pollution Standards Index (PSI) soared to 321 at 10pm local time (1300 GMT), up from 190 just two hours earlier.
However, the PSI level eased slightly down to 282 at 11pm - the last three-hour PSI reading for the day. This still puts it within the "very unhealthy" range and dangerously close to "hazardous" levels.
- See more at:
The three-hour Pollution Standards Index (PSI) soared to 321 at 10pm local time (1300 GMT), up from 190 just two hours earlier.
However, the PSI level eased slightly down to 282 at 11pm - the last three-hour PSI reading for the day. This still puts it within the "very unhealthy" range and dangerously close to "hazardous" levels.
- See more at:
Screen shot of PSI readings for Thursday 20 June. From NEA website

After the 321 PSI reading on Wednesday, people have been rushing out to by masks. We both got ours today (the fabric version), thanks to our workplaces. However, Hubby's workplace had a special stash of N95 masks that were only given out to people who really needed them, such as the elderly or people with respiratory problems.

The Singapore government was in talks with the Indonesian government today about possible solutions to the haze, but in the mean time the nation is keeping an eye on the latest readings, hoping for rain or a change in wind direction, so that we can all breathe normally again.

The Singapore Government has set up a one-stop information portal on their website called Emergency 101, it contains information and updates about the haze.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

RSAF Flypast Schedule and Rehearsal Schedule for NDP 2013

It's coming up to that time of year again.  The time of year when Singapore celebrates its independence from Malaysia in 1965. It is celebrated every year on 9 August.

The is also the time of year for us to enjoy the fireworks and be amazed when we spot the fighters jets from the Republic of Singapore Air Force rehearsing for the National Day Parade flypast.

"But it's only June!" you exclaim.  When Singapore celebrates, they want to make sure nothing goes wrong on the day.

If you're keen to catch a glimpse of the fighter jets in action, the CAAS have released an Air Supplement schedule for airspace closure for the event.

PUB have also released a schedule of restriction of kite flying activities at the Marina Barrage.

The National Day Parade will be held at the Float @ Marina Bay again this year.

The first rehearsal is Saturday 22 June 2013, and for those who want to see what all the fuss is about, or are wanting to photograph the fireworks, this would be a good time as there aren't any crowds.

The NDP Preview is definitely a date that you do not want to miss, as this is when they do a final, full dress rehearsal before the big day.

Fireworks will be launched at the Preview Parade (3 August 2013) and the National Day Parade (9 Aug 2013).

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Naumi Liora - Keong Saik Road

We hadn't played tourists in a while, so we recently did a a stay cation in Chinatown.

We booked in at Naumi Liora Hotel (formerly the Royal Peacock Hotel). Opened in November 2012, this is a nostalgic 79-room boutique hotel located in Keong Saik Road, Chinatown.

 This is one of the waiting areas in the hotel.

The room that we had booked (Liora Porch) was smaller than expected, different to what was shown on the website.

The bedroom itself did not have much space to move around, everything seemed to be crammed in together.

Queen-size bed

Room comes with a Nespresso Machine
Attached to our room is our very own private porch . . . .

 . . . . the view from our private porch. You can just see New Bridge Road in the distance.

The bathroom was very small, only one person could fit in at any one time. The shower did not seem to drain very well as water seemed to spill out to the rest of the bathroom. We were lucky that we weren't claustrophobic.

There is much to explore around the area, for example Ann Siang Hill, Club Street, Kreta Ayer Road, Maxwell Road, Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown itself.

We would recommend this place as a long weekend stay cation, if you're stopping by Singapore for a couple of nights, or if you are travelling on a business trip.

 The Naumi Liora Hotel is located at:
 55 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089158

Friday, 14 June 2013

Have you got your Rugby Season Pass yet?

If you haven't, head down to Fern and Kiwi and pick up a Rugby Season Pass! 

Sign up for a Rugby Season Pass to receive up to S$300 worth of rewards. Stand a chance to win collectibles such as All Blacks Jerseys, Original All Blacks Cap and All Blacks Woolie, and much more! Terms and Conditions apply. Approach any of their friendly staff for an application form.

It is recommended that you book one day in advance for priority seating.  Phone 6336 2271 for more information.

Keep your eye glued to the Fern and Kiwi facebook page for details of scheduled games.

Fern and Kiwi
3C River Valley Road
#01/02/03 The Cannery
Clarke Quay
Singapore 179024

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

*CLOSED* Platters Bistro & Wine Bar - Club Street

 This is now know as My Little Tapas Bar, and officially opened in March 2014.


Platters has never ceased to amaze us, as whenever we are in the area, this place is always first on our minds.

Platters believe that "the spirit of sharing makes a meal more enjoyable". Which is why they've chosen to serve their dishes as platters.

Every three to four months, they invite guest chefs to showcase their expertise. Up until the end of June 2013, they have Oscar and Tracy Pasinato a husband and wife team who own Buko Nero. Apparently the waiting list for Buko Nero is an average of three weeks!

Check out this bar! This is where all the good food and wine are served from.

Check out the funky wall art. This wall features some of the wine available to purchase. You will find the extensive list on the blackboard on the wall just after you enter the wine bar.

Here are the dishes that we ordered:

Dish 1 (served on a half-board):
Seared jumbo Hokkaido Hotate / fresh rosemary sticks
Pan-fried tiger prawns / parsley salmoriglio
Crab and corn croquettes / fresh mango and green chilli salsa

Dish 2 (served on a half-board):
Mushroom-mozzarella arancini
Japanese pumpkin fritters
Modern eggplant caponata (grilled eggplant rolled with eggplant mousse topped with cherry tomatoes and basil)

And for dessert (served on a half-board):
Ginger and dark chocolate "salame" / crystallised ginger
Lemon curd pot / homemade shortbread cookies
Mini pancakes / caramelised banans

Piece of advise: if there are only two of you, then I would suggest your order the half-board. If there is a group of you, I would suggest you order the full-board.

Platters Bistro & Wine Bar is located at:
42 Club Street
Singapore 069420

Rugby Season has arrived at Fern & Kiwi

Head on down to Fern and Kiwi to watch live coverage of rugby games* on the following Saturdays:

  • Saturday 8 June
    All Blacks vs France (3.30pm)
  • Saturday 15 June
    All Blacks vs France (3.30pm)
  • Saturday 22 June
    All Blacks vs France (3.30pm)
    Wallabies vs Lions (5.50pm)
  • Saturday 29 June
    Wallabies vs Lions (5.50pm)
Kick-off is Singapore time.

It is recommended that you book one day in advance for priority seating.  Phone 6336 2271 for more information.

* Sign up for a Rugby Season Pass to receive up to S$300 worth of rewards. Stand a chance to win collectibles such as All Blacks Jerseys. Approach any of their friendly staff for an application form.

Monday, 3 June 2013

World Street Food Congress 2013 - Makan time!

<<Guest post by @SGVekNZ>>

The lure of food was too great at the inaugural World Street Food Congress (WSFC) 2013 in Singapore.

The entry fee was $28 at the door per person and included in the price is $20 worth of vouchers to use on all the food stalls. A good thing is that the timing of the event was from 11am to 10pm daily so it meant it was easy to go during the day or later on in the afternoon for dinner :)

We went at around 5:30pm, perfect time as it wasn't too crowded. 

Piece of advice; don't go too late, otherwise some of the food stalls actually run out of food! This can only lead to disappointment.
Jamboree Pack - Your license to eat.

Monopoly Money; pay for your food so that you don't need to "Get out of Jail."

There were about 40 stalls there, so there is a pretty decent food selection. Various countries were represented; Singapore, Indonesia, US, Denmark, Vietnam, India etc. All were doing some favourites which Foodies should recognise and drool over.

Stalls, all lined up, ready to serve.

Singapore ordering style; stop, snap pic, then order.

Assam Laksa; even the Dude in front, would work just to have it.

So, onto the tasty bit of the blog. Here are some of the goodies we had.

BBQ Prawns. The Pickles took an edge off the yummy Chilli Sauce.

Vietnamese Pancakes; Banh Xeo and Banh Khot - tasty with a crispy texture. The Fish Sauce was okay too.

Chicken 65; this was good with a squeeze of Lemon and dipped in the Coriander Pesto.

Corn Chips and Guacamole; nothing amazing, just for snacking.

Curry Puffs; Potato and Mutton flavours.

Rice Flour Dumplings; came in 2 varieties, savoury (Pork) and the one with Sugar is sweet.

Sticky Rice Banana; BBQ'd goodness served with Sesame and Coconut Cream.

Other food was consumed as well including a very good Porchetta Sandwich and Assam Laksa. 

It is the first time the event is in Singapore so if you're keen to try a variety of street food it might be worth checking out. 

Note that even with the initial vouchers you get with your tickets, the average price of the dishes were about $8 upwards with some costing as much as $14. If you went for Chilli Crab then expect $25 to $35 dollars. Be prepared to purchase more vouchers to use. We ended up getting another $50 or so in food vouchers just so that we can try more dishes. The common feedback from visitors will probably center around the high pricing; especially when in Singapore, you can get great quality street food at a fraction of the prices charged at WSFC.

If you're up for a Beer; you need to use the same vouchers for this as well, it can set you back $13 for a full pint. 

Overall, if you like street food, check it out. The food is tasty, pretty good quality, but it's street food that sure ain't at street food prices. If you're there to try the food; put the pricing aside, if you want to have a good time.

The WSFC is on until the 9th of June at the F1 Pit Building & Paddock.  Open daily from 11am till 10pm

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