Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Premier Rooms (City View & Garden View) @ Marina Bay Sands [Singapore]

If you are a follower to my instagram, you might have noticed my numerous staycations at Marina Bay Sands in the past few months; all thanks to a friend who is a frequent casino-goer and was recently blessed with the gifts of complimentary stays from the integrated resorts.

Back in my first review of Marina Bay Sands, we were assigned a deluxe room facing the beautiful Gardens by the Bay but in the last two staycations, the staff on duty upgraded us to the premier room and since I took some photographs; let's not waste them! 

Premier Room No 1676
At 42 square meters, the premier is larger than the deluxe by about 12 square meters. Similar to deluxe, there was a king sized bed; albeit with an extra bedroom bench at the foot. 

My understanding is that there's no balcony for rooms with city (for lower floors) / sky (for higher floors) view and in its place was a pair of sofa chairs, with the city as the captivating backdrop. It was clever of the hotel to put in place automated curtains that drew open as one steps into the room. 

As you can see, 16th floor is still somewhat low. I did attempt to take some time lapse videos but given the floor to ceiling glass panels; focusing was an issue and the final product turned out blurred. 

The table which served as my workplace for the past two staycations. As I was working from home then, I decided to save some leave by working from hotel instead. Benefits: air conditioning was on throughout, I had a spectacular view and the internet access, using the LAN port, was better than home. 

I doubt many of you would have a LAN cable; fret not, the hotel provided one in the room. You just need to look into the drawers. For HDMI /USB cable though, please bring along your own. 

One major difference between premier and deluxe room was the bathroom; in addition to having a deep soaking bathtub, the premier room also had a double basin vanity unit!

Almost everyday, I would be up at the infinity pool; the sky view there, at 191 meters high, was obviously spectacular and my 16th floor view can't hold a candle to. 

Premier Room No 1990
For my last staycation, our allocated premier room faced Gardens by the Bay; the same side as the deluxe room given to us in our first staycation. Frankly, the room didn't feel as larger as the premier room facing the city. 

The extra square meters were placed elsewhere; for example, the balcony. Back in the deluxe room, the balcony was too narrow, with no space for even a chair! My estimation is that the balcony for the premier room (garden / harbour view) was twice as deep as the deluxe rooms. 

Garden views; noticed the cruise ship at Marina Bay Cruise Centre in the second photograph? That's Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas! I actually just came back from a cruise on the same ship and you bet there would be a number of postings about my first overseas trip in more than a year! 

Again, the bathtub. However, there's a notable difference in the bathroom. While the premier (city view) had a separate shower, the premier (garden view) had its shower next to the bathtub, which is less preferable in my opinion. 

Lastly, let's take a look at some of the time lapse videos taken at premier room (garden view) and watch the clouds dancing in the sky and supertrees coming to life at night! 

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For a more detailed post on my staycation in Marina Bay Sands, please click here. Do note that hotel guests are allowed free access to Sands SkyPark Observation Deck. Check out my review here

Monday, August 30, 2021

Ashes Burnnit - Signature Ashes Smash Cheese Burger @ Golden Mile Hawker Centre [Singapore] #goldenmilehawkercentre

For my first visit in many years, I wouldn't be satisfied with just
hokkien mee at Golden Mile Food Centre. I walked a few rounds and decided to cast my lot with Ashes Burnnit; a burger joint with three local branches! 

With six burgers to choose from, I was in a fix as always since the greedy soul in me would love to try everything! Thankfully, only two had the extra labels ; one signature and one best seller. Cheapo me went with the cheaper option, the signature Ashes Smash Cheese Burger.

The name, Ashes Burnnit. sounded like something charred would be coming my way and the first thing you would have noticed would be the charcoal black buns used for all the burgers at the stall! 

Burgers were sold as single or double patties. Since this would be a sample trial for me, a single patty should be more than sufficient, especially when it's not just hokkien mee and burgers that I was looking forward to having.

I am not exactly a French fries lover and could jolly well do without it. However, these were amazingly good; although featuring a thicker cut, the outer layer had that satisfying crisp I couldn't resist! Furthermore, they were freshly fried yet weren't that oily, and served piping hot. 

Ready to take my first chomp! Charcoal bun was surprisingly untoasted; while it was a tad disappointing, the texture was soft and that kind of reduced the disappointment. 

Taste of the patty was good but I did feel the thickness was on the thin side. Nevertheless, you can always opt for the double. What's most interesting about this signature burger was a flavour that's familiar yet seldom added to burgers; the addition of shallots! Melty cheese should be a standard for any burgers!

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Address 
505 Beach Road, #B1-24, 
Golden Mile Hawker Centre, 
Singapore 199583

Map
As above.

Website

Pricing
Signature Ashes Smash Cheese Burger - S$5.90

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee @ Golden Mile Hawker Centre [Singapore] #goldenmilehawkercentre

This would be my first time in many years to Golden Mile Hawker Centre but I think the timing was right as the food center just completed its months-long renovation and we are seeing a refreshed building with new entrants and stalls more or less staying put with the stall numbers assigned to them.

For this first post, let's start with Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee, said to be a veteran stall within the hawker centre with a history lasting more than 30 years, and helmed by an elderly couple. Of course I had to try for the sake of their legacy. 

Furthermore, Makansutra (the local food rating site that was the standard to follow before Michelin Guide came in) had given it a "divine" rating. In view of my love for hokkien mee, it's a no-brainer for me to order. I am also curious as this was hokkien mee but the name of the stall refer to another dialect group; Hainanese. 

What's your first thought after seeing the above plate of hokkien mee? For me, it's the dryness and this reminded me of Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee, albeit with more bee hoon and had a darker shade. Taste wise, it was enveloped with wok hei but parched of broth, which was opposite of Nam Sing.

There were two small prawns and pieces of squid; what's more unusual were the inclusion of pork belly and cut chilli padi (latter of which was provided by Nam Sing, upon request). 

In summary, dry hokkien mee is always considered as unique and I personally enjoyed this as much I did with the wetter version although the same cannot be said for my dad who absolutely disliked it, like another friend of mine. Only issue for me was the pork belly; a tad too fatty for my liking. 

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Address
505 Beach Road, #B1-34,
Golden Mile Hawker Centre,
Singapore 199583

Map
As above.

Pricing
Hokkien Mee - S$5.00

Friday, August 27, 2021

Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee & Fried Oyster from Cheng Ji @ Seah Imm Hawker Centre [Singapore] #seahimmhawkercentre

Seah Imm Hawker Centre is a food centre I frequented often in my youth as it offered the cheapest option to fill up my tummy before I stepped into the touristy island of Sentosa. Back then, one of my favorite food was the hokkien mee from Cheng Ji and I think it's time to come out with an official review!

Hokkien Mee - frankly, it's been a long time since I last had this and the first thought that came to my head was "that's a huge plate, with a significantly higher ratio of thick bee hoon".

Two prawns with a few pieces of squid; noodles were soaked with the broth which would be good as it would allow us to savour the flavour better, although the key to that would involve how flavourful the broth was in the first place. And in this case, it was not fantastic.

The sambal chilli made a huge difference in bettering the taste but there was hardly any wok hei to compete with the many good hokkien mee stalls in Singapore. Has the taste deteriorated so much or my memory had remembered its taste differently? 

Fried Oyster - many people appeared to have fried oyster on their tables and I couldn't resist ordering a plate from Cheng Ji, especially when I was super in need of food for dinner, after a light lunch earlier.

Comparatively better than the hokkien mee with a faint wok-hei flavour; albeit on the salty side. Batter with egg had light, crisp edges with plenty of gooey starch within; latter of which wasn't well-liked by my family.  In terms of oysters, there were three pretty large ones. 

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Honestly, it was a relatively bad end to what I initially thought would be a nice walk down memory lane.

Address
2 Seah Im Road,
#01-59, Seah Imm Hawker Centre
Singapore 099114 

Map
As above.

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Hokkien Mee - S$3.00
Fried Oyster - S$3.50

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Ji Xiang Rainbow Ang Ku Kueh @ Victoria Street Bugis Village (Near Bugis MRT Station) [Singapore]

It wasn't too long ago when I blogged about 
Ji Xiang Confectionery at Everton Park but today's post shall be different. For one, it's for a new branch conveniently located opposite Bugis Junction, which is connected to Bugis MRT station! 

Compared to its Everton Park outlet, this one had a modern vibe even though it still operated in the takeaway format. I did notice Ji Xiang had taken over the neighbouring shop space and hope it would turn out to be a dine-in cafe. 

Coming back, another reason for blogging about this branch was its unique offerings. Aside from interesting flavors like durian, spicy sambal, multi nuts, you can also find the kueh in traditional shapes used for festivals / occasions. For example, ang ee to celebrate a baby's full month, ka tah ku for a child's first year birthday etc.

For me, my objective was the ultra pretty, rainbow ang ku kueh! 

It was mesmerizing! According to the wall menu, there's a minimum order of 10 pieces but the counter had packs of two for sale. I grabbed as this rainbow ang ku kueh had a super high price point; at S$3.50 each, it's more than triple the price of a normal piece of ang ku kueh in Ji Xiang.

Someone did share the recipe on how to do it but I am more a baking person and ang ku kueh requires steaming; which isn't something I am good at, with the tendency to steam longer than required.

Filling was the standard sweet bean paste. Frankly, the rainbow effect was a result of layer of colorings. The 'skin' was soft like the rest of Ji Xiang ang ku kueh and taste wise, no difference from the S$1.00 sweet bean paste ang ku kueh. Try once is enough. My future orders shall be exclusively the non-rainbow version. 

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Address 
235 Victoria Street,
Bugis Village,
Singapore 188027

Map
 As above.

Website

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