Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Day Out At ORTO!

[Media Invite]

I used to stay in Telok Blangah Rise and my free time when young, was always spent in the secondary jungles of Mount Faber catching tarantulas and snakes, just for the heck of it. Yes, you heard it right, there are actually Singapore tarantulas around. Sometimes, I would also go into the big canals along Bukit Purmei to catch those huge mollies, freshwater crabs and the occasional fish that swam all the way in from the sea. I was the coolest thing to do, besides video games. Those were the days.

Now, I am only desperately trying to wean the kiddos off their electronic devices and the television set. Maybe when they are slightly older, I will encourage them to take a dive into the nearest canal. Somehow parents in the olden days were more trusting of their kids, I knew mine did, they never stopped me from doing what I did. Hmm, or was I lucky that I survived passed adulthood? Anyway, speaking of catching fish from drains, we were invited to ORTO recently to try just that!

This is my first visit to ORTO, but not the kiddos and they were wondering why take photo in the hot sun! They were showing off to me that they had been here 2 times already!

Longkang Fishing

ORTO is just located 15mins walk away from Khatib MRT in case you do not know, and it was formerly know as The Bottle Tree Park. There are still lots of bottles to be found there, as the place is a very conducive drinking hole in the evenings. Nowadays, we call it longkang fishing, although I wonder why it is fishing and not fish-catching or something. The moment the kiddos saw the man-made stream or longkang, they can't wait to get themselves wet!

Be prepared for the kiddos to get wet!
Each kiddo will be given a small tank and a small net.
Look for fishes hiding in the crevices, much like how we did it last time in the canals.
Happy kiddos with their catches! If you intend to keep the fishes alive in the small tanks, I will suggest just keeping 2-4 at most.
  • Fishes (red platies) are being released at regular intervals, so do not fret if you can't find any swimming around (yet). The fishes stand no chance against the fast reflexes of the kiddos.
  • Look for the crevices between the rocks for any leftovers from previous release sessions.
  • If you intend to let your kiddos keep the fishes caught, I would suggest just 2-3 fishes for the small tank provided. Any more, and they will probably die from a lack of oxygen sooner than you think. 
  • If you intend to use these as live feeders for your other predatory fishes back at home, then I congratulate you on finding the right place, kiddos have unlimited catching time here for just $12, unlike other places where there are usually time limits.


And since we were there, how can we miss trying out the prawning there? It is after all, one of the more popular activities within the park. There were many families and couples prawning as well as we dipped our lines. I envisaged prawning happily with the Steffi, Leroy and Stacci, with each of us holding on to our own rods and having a friendly competition. But what truly happened was that I had to place the bait for each and everyone of them (since they are still young) before working on my own rod, only to have one of them call out to me that his/her bait was taken and that I had to re-bait for him/her. This would repeat and I ended up being unable to even try prawning! Despite all these, we managed to hookup close almost 20 prawns during our short session, with many contributed by the kiddos, even with their complete ignorance on how to properly "strike" when the prawn is attacking their baits!

With this type of pricing, of course we should go for the 3-hr sessions! 
Trying to teach the kiddos about patience, and I ended up honing my own. Really cannot tahan having to help them bait up almost non stop! 
But the rewards would be these happy smiles and tasty prawns.
I was amazed with Leroy, on how he managed to hook up this little baby!
Worms was most effectively during our visit but chicken liver with added flavoring works too.
  • Use worms as bait for the best results. We tried both the liver and worms, the worm baits caused the greatest feeding frenzy, and I was basically re-baiting for the kiddos nonstop.
  • Do not strike indiscriminately. Hold the line upright once you feel any tugging of the float, and strike straight up only after 3-5 seconds. Do not strike (tarik) it sideways. 
  • Don't be lazy. Move your bait around the pond to look for prawns if they are not looking for your bait! Try the corners too! 
  • Make sure that your bait reaches the bottom of the pond, otherwise you are NOT going to get any bites at all.

Katapult, Trampoline Park

It was my first time to Katapult, the trampoline park but the kiddo's third visit to the place. So it was actually them who showed me around the place and advised my on the safety guidelines when using the facilities! The trampolines gave my old bones a very good workout, to the effect that my muscles are still aching days after that short couple of minutes jump! Loving basketball when I was younger, the ability of being able to jump and dunk came too late! We also noticed that there were special function rooms for jumping parties as well. Hmm.... perhaps I should organize one for the kiddos one fine day!

Here are the pricing for the different sessions.
You can watch your older kiddos in air-con comfort (at level 2) as they explore the trampoline park on their own!
Look at his face! Jumping rocks!
Lots of space for every kiddo!
The kiddos love climbing up and down the trampolines too.
Up and down and up and down we go!
Stacci taking a rest after all the jumping!
Have a few bounce here before landing onto an air-cushion safely! Great fun!
Work your motor skills and balance here as well!
Another smaller enclosed section where enthusiasts can try out some stunts.
For the ones who wanna try out stunts from a height, otherwise, one can just jump around too.
Because the jumping never stops!

The price factor always come to mind when I visit any food establishments within special places like theme parks or this ORTO village. Consumers like myself would often have the preconceived notion that the food and drinks must be more expensive here. That is often true to a certain degree, as consumers are often held "captive" in such places. I ordered two cans of drinks at $1.60 each from the restaurant when the kiddos got thirsty in the afternoon, I felt it was rather reasonable with the plastic cup of ice included. I had a glance at the vending machines there as well, and was surprised to find that the cans were more expensive at $2 per pop!

We finally have a rest after a whole afternoon of fun and got a cabana with a great view to boot too!
Was being introduced to the $8.90 SGMY Signature Nasi Lemak. 
Loved the Nasi Lemak! The ikan bilis was crispy and the chili was awesome!
Stacci loved her Soursop drink ($2.90) but her complaint was that the container too small!
This plate of Fried Hokkien Noodles ($6.90) was sweet and much to all the kiddos' liking! They commented that the noodles looked like worms but still slurped everything down!
The Chicken Confit ($13.90) wasn't as nice as expected with its price, and was a little too dry.
Braised Pork Belly ($6.90) is great as a side dish for sharing. The pork belly was really thick but not tough! 
Another side dish to order would be the Prawn Paste Chicken Wings ($6.90). Crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside!
It was a truly enjoyable outdoor dining experience at the cabana overlooking the fishing pond. The food prices were definitely reasonable and comparable to any of the restuarants in the shopping centres. And most importantly, the food quality was great for its pricing! Surprisingly the kiddos had no complaints dining here as it was breezy. Without a doubt, ORTO is definitely a place I would revisit and recommend to friends and family, especially if we wanna bring the kiddos out for a fun day out!

Definitely wasn't exaggerating when I said we played from morning till night!
Useful Information 


No comments :

Post a Comment