Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Media preview screening of Kung Fu Jungle

When a fellow blogger asked me to go along to the preview of Kung Fu Jungle, I didn't hesitate in saying 'yes' as I love Kung Fu movies.

Upon doing some research on what the movie was about, I found out that Donnie Yen (Ip Man) was playing one of the lead characters I got a little excited. Okay. I admit I got really excited!

Do I need to write a short review on this movie. Can't I just type DONNIE YEN and be done with it? I mean, any hard core kung fu movie fan should know his movies pan out, right?

Okay, okay . . .

The movie starts with a prologue, showing Hahou Mo (Donnie Yen) turning himself into the police station after killing a man by accident. Cut scene to three years later and there is a serial killer by the name of Fung Yu-sae (Wang Baoqiang) on the loose who is targeting different martial artists who specialise in different styles such as grappling, kicking, boxing and weaponry.

In amongst all the action, there is a storyline to it and it seems Hahou is 'fighting' to protect his love Sinn Ying, played by Michelle Bai (aka Bing Bai). She gives him a bracelet and makes him promise to never use his fists to kill. In addition to this storyline, it seems that Fung who lost his wife to cancer is more motivated to prove himself Number 1 in the martial arts world.

The film ends on an ultimate challenge between Hahou and Fung, where Hahou's promise to Sinn is questioned in the final moments of the movie.

Yet another great Kung Fu movie to come out of Hong Kong.

Kung Fu Jungle trailer in Mandarin (with English subtitles) . . .

Kung Fu Jungle trailer in Cantonese (with English subtitles) . . .

All views are my own. I would like to thank the people at and Living in Sin for the opportunity to attend the preview of this amazing action-packed movie.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Indian Safari display at Gardens by the Bay

It's been a while since I was last at the Gardens by the Bay and blogged about it. So when I saw there was an Indian floral display, it spurred me to visit again.

I asked It's Lynny Kansas if she wanted to come along and she agreed so we met up outside the Flower Dome and headed on in.

To be honest, I really didn't read too much into the website. I assumed that as it was Deepavali there would be some kind of information kiosk inside the dome which informed visitors the meaning and history of this day.

This display show more of the cultural icons of Hinduism.

There was an Elephant display, as they are sacred animals to the Hindus.

They also had an Antelope display. Upon further investigation via Google, this is actually a blackbuck and  is held sacred by the Bishnoi tribes of Rajasthan.

The peacock is considered sacred in Hindu religion. The divine vehicle or vahana of Lord Muruga is a peacock named Paravani.

The tiger is associated with Lord Ayyappan of Sabarimala, who was born by the union of Lord Shiva with Mohini (incarnation of Lord Vishnu).

As mentioned above this was more of a safari display, rather than informing visitors of the meaning behind this traditional Indian holiday. Here are pictures of other displays, including a bear that we thought 'didn't quite fit in.'

We both looked at this snake and agreed that he forgot to have his morning coffee!! What do you think?

The Indian Safari display is on from now until 3 November 2014, in the Flower Dome.

Visit the Gardens by the Bay website for more information.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Soup Restaurant - for that home cooked food feeling

Comforting and soul warming food; it should be simple, tasty, makes you think of home and just makes you feel good.

The food at the Soup Restaurant does just that. It is good unpretentious fare at reasonable prices.

Whilst you're waiting for your meal, they also serve you some braised Peanuts. If you've never had them before; they're cooked until soft and tender and have absorbed some of the braising sauce. A nice appetiser. 

One of their signature dishes; and all time favourites with regulars, is the Samsui Ginger Chicken. 

It is wonderfully poached Chicken and because the moisture is maintained, the Meat is tender, smooth and a nice pure white colour. The highlight here though is the Ginger Sauce. The Ginger is finely minced and mixed with some Oil and seasoning. It is so tasty that you can't help but cover your Chicken in it! The Samsui Ginger Chicken also comes with Lettuce leaves so you can make it into a Wrap :) This dish is a must order and every table had a plate of it. 

We also fancied some Seafood this time. The Fried Fish Belly with Ginger and Spring Onions caught our eyes. 

The Fish was lightly fried and had a very nice crisp to it; whilst the outside was crispy, the flesh inside was still very moist and juicy. It was then quick stirred fried in a Wok with Ginger, Spring Onion and a sweet Sauce. The Ginger added a hint of "heatiness" to it with the nice aromatics of the Spring Onion. We really liked how fresh this dish tasted, the aromatics really made it.

As Mum always said; no meal is complete without some Vegetables. We opted for some Beans with Pork Mince. The Beans were nice but a bit over cooked for our liking; it kind of wilted from too much heat, and we like some crunch to our Vegetables. The Pork Mince was interesting; it was deliberately seasoned to be more salty to contrast with the more delicate taste of the Beans. To achieve the saltiness, it was minced preserved Vegetables that was incorporated with the Pork. It was nice having the Beans and salty Pork with white Rice. It really awakens the taste buds. 

It was a very satisfying meal and we can't wait to go back and sample more of the dishes. They also have double boiled Soup so we'll have to try that next time, and we did spy some New Zealand Venison on the menu if that's your thing :)

Where do you go when you're after that home cooked style meal?


Auspicious Banana
(Find me on Twitter)

We visited the branch located at
1 HarbourFront Walk #02-141
Singapore 098585
Opening Hours
Mon - Sun: 11.30 am – 10 pm
Last Order: 9.30pm

Friday, 17 October 2014

Five destinations we would love to re-visit

We've been living in Singapore for over four years now and it's difficult to decide which 5 places should feature on this list. Since Singapore is a great hub/stop over place, it serves as a doorway to the rest of the world. We've basically been spoilt for choice when it comes to travel destinations. So without further a do; here goes.......

1. London, United Kingdom

London was the first long-distance flight we took from Singapore. We immediately fell in love with London because there is so much history, food (including pubs) and cooler weather. Being based in a hot humid place like Singapore, it's just nice to be able to wear a Winter Coat again in a colder climate. There is just so much history in London, that you're unable to see everything in a week. We simply loved all the fresh fruits and vegetables that you can buy; especially from Borough Market (check out our post here: Borough Market) one of London's oldest and largest food markets. Borough Market is a must visit for a Bacon Butty and to admire all of the wonderful Cheeses and other goodies. 

Food aside, we can't forget the amazing Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, our ride on the London Eye and the walk along the roof of the O2 was awesome.

 London is always incredible to visit.

2. Ubud, Bali

Ubud is a different sort of place. It is quite popular with tourists, but isn't as touristy as other areas like Kuta or Seminyak. The main reason is that Ubud is more inland so there aren't any beaches close by. It is however known for some great Arts and Crafts. There are many activities you can do here, from a stroll through the Komaneka Monkey Forest, Cultural Shows, Temples, Volcanoes and Coffee made from Beans that have gone through an animal's digestive system (Yes; the Beans are collected when the Civet has pooped it back out!). And who can forget all of the yummy Indonesian food.

Ubud is a nice quiet place to chill and get in those great massage therapies. (Also check out our Ubud Monkey Forest post.)

3. Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown has really put New Zealand on the tourism map. Interest definitely peaked with the popularity of The Lord of the Rings movies. When you finally get to view the splendour of the Queenstown scenery and mountains, you realise that the landscapes in Lord of the Rings are real and not computer generated. In short Queenstown is stunning and we can't help but always feel the need to visit Queenstown when we're back in New Zealand. 

There is something for everyone to do. Foodies and Wine lovers will appreciate the array of international cuisine that is available. The food incorporates fresh New Zealand produce as well, so visitors will always get the best ingredients in their meals. There are also many vineyards to visit as Queenstown is a Wine region.

Feeling adventurous? Why not go Bungee jumping, take a walk on Fox Glacier, go skiing or take an incredible Helicopter ride to the top of The Remarkables. The views are out of this World.

Queenstown has a very special place in our hearts. 

Oh; and did we mention there is a Wine Cave? (read our Wine Cave post to find out more.)

4. Venice, Italy

Venice; the wonderment of it all is so hard to explain. It's like a movie set with its old world charm and unique canals and waterways. Venice is beautiful and is a great place to get lost in. Part of the charm is getting off the beaten track; avoiding the crowded tourist areas, and just head down some random alley. We enjoyed doing this immensely and ended up in some great bars, found some markets or stumbled across beautiful Churches. Make an effort to get lost in Venice.

We have fond memories of our Gondola ride, the amazing St Marks Square and the Doge Palace.

Be prepared for some extremely tasty Pizza and Pasta too; and definitely remember to have your daily aperitivo!

5. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Another perfect candidate as a place to chill out, sip a cocktail and let your troubles blow away with the wind. There is no hustle and bustle here like Bangkok; it's more inland and doesn't have the beach crowds as well. 

We love Chiang Mai for the People. By far some of the nicest people we've had the pleasure of meeting on our travels; always quick with a smile and a greeting. 

Aside from the many temples you can visit and the yummy Thai food, we also had the experience of visiting an Elephant Sanctuary. We spent the day learning about these incredible creatures, learning basic commands, going for a ride in the Jungle and then finally coming to a river where we could wash our Elephants. They just loved this part! It's only fair right? They gave us a ride so we can return the favour by giving the Elephants a good scrub.


For the more adventurous, there is also mountain biking. This was a perfect way to see the surrounding areas from up high. The tracks were pretty steep and challenging but one can always stop along the way down to pick some Lychees to quench the thirst. Lychee Trees lined some parts of the mountain tracks. 

As customary with a Thailand chillout, don't forget the massages as well :)

And there we have it; the top 5 places that we would go back to in a heart beat. They're truly wonderful and it is with a heavy heart that we're not there this very minute. Writing this post has been a great trip down memory lane though. It has also started us thinking; where to next? Decisions, decisions...... :)

Don't forget to check out our other posts using the links in the article for London's Borough Market, Buckingham Palace, Ubud's Monkey Forest, and the Wine Cave in Queenstown New Zealand.

What are your top 5 places that you'd like to revisit?


We were nominated to write this post on our five favourite destinations by the British Girl in Bangkok - as part of the " - Top Destinations to Go There" competition.

We would now like to nominate the following bloggers to share their fave places:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Mexican grub comes to Boat Quay

During my weekday lunch wanders; I sometimes end up on Boat Quay. Most of the time it's for some Japanese Don Buri (see my previous post on Katanashi) but imagine my surprise when I came across Hombre Cantina. I'm a real fan of Mexican because you can simply have a full meal crammed inside a Burrito and it is best eaten with your hands; no knife and fork needed here. A quick check on The Entertainer app showed that Hombre Cantina was a one for one deal! Fate had decided and my lunch decision was made :)

Hombre Cantina is pretty chilled out and you can sit inside with a bit of air con; or just sit outside and watch the world go by as you munch away. The bar means that you can also sit back with a Beer.

The decor is kinda quirky too with plenty of posters and pictures everywhere. Not surprising; the theme is Mexico. I liked it as it isn't meant to be arranged in an organised manner; the pictures were just hung wherever one felt like it, so it gave the place a very casual and non pretentious feel. My kinda place :)

Onto the ordering. For anyone who has been to places like MexOut or Muchachos, the way to order should be pretty familiar to you. You start off with a base; like a Burrito, Taco, Rice, Salad etc and then choose your Meat and other toppings to go with it. Choose your Salsa carefully. I like it very hot so always ask for the spiciest one they have! The steps are easy to follow on their menu board.

On this occasion I went for the Burrito, with roasted Pork Shoulder, hot Salsa, Cabbage, Cilantro and Cheese. The Burrito does come with a small side of Corn Chips and a Can of drink.

The Burrito itself is very generous so is pretty filling. I was impressed with the flavour of the Pork; well seasoned and was very tasty. It seems like it had a rub on it and then slow roasted until tender. A very generous amount of Pork was given too. The Burrito was packed full of goodness so I was impressed. You would expect this at $15 per meal. 

The other ingredients had generous servings as well so I definitely didn't regret my lunch choice.

Probably on the expensive side for lunch (at $15) but with The Entertainer app, it was worth it. I would consider Hombre Cantina if I need another Mexican food fix around Raffles Place/Boat Quay. Check them out at number 53 Boat Quay.

Are you a fan of Mexican food?


Auspicious Banana
(Find me on Twitter)

Hombre Cantina
53 Boat Quay
Singapore 049842

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri:   12.00pm to 12.00am

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Hua Yu Wee - one of the oldest surviving restaurants in the East Coast

Located on Upper East Coast Road, Hua Yu Wee is the last remaining restaurant after the Singapore Government relocated restaurants in the area back in 1977, after the 1970's land reclamation project.

This restaurant has a very laid back feel to it. There is seating indoor and alfresco dining out the back. If you walk to the rear of the property there is a fenced off area. We went to have a look, and could imagine looking out to sea, and the beach being right on the doorstep.

Alfresco dining area. Looking towards Upper East Coast Road
Now onto the food. First up we had drunken prawns, which came in a herbal broth. We were amazed at how fresh the prawns were. Nice and juicy and sweet.

Next up we had olive fried rice, which came topped with a 'rice-bubble' sort of topping. Very interesting. This dish was cooked just nicely, not too salty and with very good 'wok-hei'. We would've like the bits of olive to be a little bigger so that we can taste it.

No meal is complete (we reckon) without vegetables. We order baby kai-lan stir fried with garlic.

This half of a crispy duck was cooked to perfection. The skin wasn't overly crispy and the chicken meat not too dry. The prawn crackers weren't as crispy when we got them, as the humidity got to them first!

Tip: every taxi driver should know where this restaurant is located. Just mention "Hua Yu Wee" and they should know where to go.

Hua Yu Wee Seafood Restaurant
462 Upper East Coast Road
Singapore 466508
Phone: 6241 1709 after 11.00am
Phone 6442 9313 after 4.00pm

Opening Hours:
Daily: 4.00pm to 11.30pm

Saturday, 4 October 2014

GastroSmiths Bistro and Bakery; formerly known as The Humble Loaf, on Tan Quee Lan St

From The Humble Loaf to GastroSmiths, Chef Dillon has certainly been through an exciting journey. He is now occupying a larger area, and has more staff on hand.  GastroSmiths has more to offer on its menu too!

We started off with Truffled Chopped Eggs & Caviar Bruschetta (S$12 for four pieces). The smell of the truffled eggs was heaven, and it was the right combination with the Smoked Herring Caviar, Scallions and the bread was tasty and lightly toasted.

I have always been a fan of their 63 degree egg dishes and so I ordered the Sea-Ly Eggs. The Scottish Smoked Salmon, marinated nori and chilli went very well with the egg, which was poached to perfection. It came with a slice of lightly toasted bread, which was very handy for soaking up the remaining egg.

 Then it was on to the main course. I had Shio-Koji Prawn Linguine. The tomato base with Dashi and white wine was an interesting combination and a little too tarte for my tastebuds. The linguine was cooked al dente and the prawns were also cooked to perfection.

K's main meal was the 200G Onglet Steak. You can ask them to cook the Steak the way you like it. It was nicely marinated and tender because the marinate was allowed to fuse with the Beef. It was grilled nicely so had a rich brown colour and the flavour went really well with the light Potato Puree. The Herb Salad provided a lighter texture to the meat and the tasty Shallots provided a stronger after taste to add to the Meaty grilled flavour of the Steak. The Veal Jus made extra sure the Meat wasn't too dry.

GastroSmiths Bistro & Bakery
112 East Coast Road
#03-06 I12 Katong
Singapore 428802 
Phone: 9772 9511
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