Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Summerhouse

[Media Invite]

On the invite of the good folks from The Summerhouse, we finally made our way to that part of Singapore. It was the very first time we stepped into the Seletar Aerospace vicinity after all these years and it is so happening now that the news reported recently that there will be more colonial bungalows to convert to lifestyle, food and retail use soon. 

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this trip felt almost like a trip to the countryside for our family and I loved how the bungalow was converted into a fully air-conditioned restaurant that offered an awesome view of the surrounding greens from the verandah where we dined. What made it even more awesome for the kiddos was the giant bouncing castle within its premise.

I always say that I am no food connoisseur or critic, and that I can say whether it is nice or not nice at most. Or maybe expensive or not as well. And my take on the brunch we had that day was that it was totally worth our efforts lugging the 5 kiddos on public buses no less to the place. I really cannot find any fault with the food served, from the presentation to the taste. I am basically a carnivore but somehow the dishes looked so appetizing that I 'devoured' them despite all the greens! I usually do not crave for fish, but trying to recall how the red snapper tasted made me salivate right now. With that level of freshness, all it required was some salt and herbs before going into the grill and into our mouths! The dessert looked really classy and instagrammable but I am a simple person lah, throw me a giant scoop of ice-cream with all the condiments will do. 

Open Portobello Mushroom Tart

Whole Red Snapper

Free Range French Poulet

Mud Crab Omelette

Mayura Full Blood Wagyu MB9+ Flank

French Toast

Rock Melon

After our brunch, we went on a guided tour of their edible garden where 100% of their garnish came from and had another round of food (plan) tasting right there and then! I even took some cuttings and seeds to cultivate back home as well. There were around 3 domes near the garden that looked really cosy for a small gathering of friends or even a romantic night out with your loved one. I thought initially that one can bring food into the domes for consumption only to find out that there is a special menu for couples at $350 that you can find here.

Thank you for inviting our family over for the lovely brunch, where we celebrated my wife's birthday in the very cosy setting and the kiddos were asking already when can we try having their meals in the domes and go bouncing in the inflatable castle again! My personal take of the place is that it is really worth a visit, the ambience and quality of food would be considered reasonable for many, for the prices it charged. Having said that, we are of a different SES lah, this would have to be an occasional treat apart from our usual hawker fares and fast food joints.

Useful Information

Sat, Sun and PH: 1130AM to 3PM
Last Order at 230PM

Wed to Sun, Eve of and PH: 6PM to 11PM

Last Order
930PM – Wed and Thurs
10PM – Fri – Sun, Eve of PH and PH


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Television or Projector?

[Product Review]

One of the first items we thought about getting right after we completed the merging of our two HDB units into the 'Jumbo' flat we are in right now, was a bigger television for the now enlarged living room area. I had the fleeting thought of getting a projector instead of the convention television, but ultimately decided against it because you know, everyone uses television lor. So we ended up buying a 65" television for almost $3k, which is sitting pretty in our living room now, collecting dust. To be honest, with all the entertainment available on handheld devices these days, add in how often we bring the kiddos out, television time is really quite rare for us these days.  

Very portable, can plug and play anywhere you want!

My experience with any projectors was limited to the big ones we see at the cinema screens, and the ones I use at work for presentations. Trying out the TK800 - Home Entertainment Projector from BenQ was really a first for the family. The kiddos had no idea what the device was when they first laid their eyes on it, but I can still recall their expressions when I connected the set top box to the projector and the ASEAN Football match between Malaysia and Japan came on. They were totally wowed by the HUGE screen and caught the full match in 4K HDR glory! But do not go all technical on me, I only know that output was sharp and beautiful!

The kiddos were totally wowed by the big "screen"!

Because of my existing television in the living room, the projector was actually fixed in my master bedroom instead. The installation was simple and I never had to refer to the instruction manuals because it was essentially plug and play. The usual selecting of source and the connecting of devices to the projector via HDMI cables should be familiar to most. All the buttons can be accessed on the projector itself, or via the remote control. Because there are windows at both ends of the room, with the toilet door on one end as well, I was only able to project the match on the short side of my super long master bedroom. But the output was surprisingly still much bigger than my television screen despite the short distance of only 9 feet! Just curious to see how big the projection can go, I turned it around to face the wall furthest away and the image were still sharp (with adjustments of course) and the colors vivid! It was just like in the cinemas!

Simple control buttons, no need to refer to instructions!

Pardon the mess, but see how big and sharp the image is!

After experiencing for ourselves how the projector performed, I was already toying with the idea of replacing the television in the living room the projector! Maybe I should sell the television on Carousell! If you ask me now, my personal take on the TK800 in the case of my own family situation, would be that it is a very good buy at its price point, and can be a great replacement for the conventional television for the following reasons -

  • Television time is really getting lesser these days, it does not make sense to have a big white elephant sitting around collecting dust. The projector can be kept easily if not in use and with the expected lower usage these days, it would probably last a pretty long time too (up to 10,000 hrs in fact)!
  • The portability of the 4.2kg projector means we can easily place it in any of the rooms in our house, as long as there are power points nearby. The sound output is quite impressive too, without any needs for external speakers!
  • For just the price of a regular 55" television set maybe, the TK800 allows you to watch your shows in as big a screen as your space allows, in awesome HDR no less!

It reads 4K HDR, but I only know the image projected damn sharp and clear!

Go try it out, I am pretty sure you would be impressed by the projector too because we are all loving it! On a side note, it is scary how our devices track us these days that right after I finished the draft for this article, I was already shown advertisements on Instagram! In any case, you can get your projector from their Lazada shop if you wish to.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Playing Tourist in Singapore

[Media Invite]

Friends and colleagues were all going overseas with their families during the school holidays, but we were not able to for this year because of work and our newborn. So when the good folks from URA asked if we were interested to join in a heritage tour right here in Singapore, the boys said yes of course! It was a trip to Kampong Glam area and an eye-opener for us for sure! We played tourist and learnt much just from the few hours in the area, thanks to our wonderful guide, Stacey and with the help of an app, LocoMole which we will share more later.

Started right with some food and drinks at Dong Po Colonial Cafe!

Following tea-break at the meet up point with the rest of the cool peeps, we headed over to Derwish Halal Turkish Mediterranean Restaurant located at 60 Bussorah Street. Truth be told, it looked like some tourist trap that I would avoid but this is different since we were there for some hands-on dessert making! 

Making Kunefe, which is the best selling dessert at the restaurant according to the manager if I remembered correctly!

The boys with the Turkish Chef who demonstrated to the participants! 

The Masjid Sultan was just a few steps away from the restaurant.

The session took part on level two of the restaurant and I must say that the place looked really opulent with the chandelier and all the tiles on the floor and walls! The manager even said that they renovate the place and change the decor from time to time as well. Having a nice dinner here definitely have the feel lor! 

Our guide, Stacey sharing details about the Istana Kampong Glam to all of us.

Besides getting to know more about the history of the place using the app, one can also take some cute AR photo as well!

Also paid the Malay Heritage Center, which was previously know as Istana Kampong Glam and the home of the first Malay royal family in Singapore. One can browse the various artifacts in the galleries at leisure.

Chickens do not only come from the supermarkets. 

Aliwal Arts Centre was previously Chong Cheng and Chong Pun Schools.  

There are many interesting nooks and crannies within the Kampong Glam vicinity, and it is always a good idea to expose the kiddos to more of Singapore before they disappear! Leroy and Louie were definitely accustomed to the indoors and complained intermittently on the lack of air-conditioning, but some things in life are meant to be experienced in person lor!

Never knew that to access the living quarters on the 2nd level, one would have to get up this ladder, rumoured to be the only one left due to fire safety!

The tour is essentially self-guided and totally free, and you can rely on the LocoMole app for a brief history of the place, as well as what you can do there. Of course, the map will also show you exactly where you are and the directions to your next destination while showing you amenities or promotions nearby as well. We took part in the Kampong Glam - Walk To The Past Trail, which is only one of the many free trails you find in the app. You can download the free app on the App Store or Google Play. Thank you for the fun weekend once again, URA and LDR Technology!