Sunday, October 31, 2021

CÉ LA VI SkyBar - Dessert and Cocktails @ Marina Bay Sands [Singapore]

Back when I checked out Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, I told myself I would be back again but I shall be drinking cocktails at the co-located CÉ LA VI SkyBar! 

That day took place just two months later and here I was; at the entrance to CÉ LA VI, which consisted of three main sections; the restaurant, skybar and sky lounge. 

Red carpet entrance that didn't quite make an impact as we sure didn't have hordes of reporters jostling to take pictures of us! That's a joke by the way as my friends and I were no big shots.

Singapore skyline on our left! The not so stable hand had resulted in a blurred photo and if it is of any consolation; the above was the best of the lot! 

I would have loved to sit at the edge but the skybar was almost full house when we arrived and the tables at the edges allowed smoking. We are non-smokers and didn't want to go home smelling like stale cigarettes.

As you can see, right below us would be the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck. I must remember to return again for some time-lapsed videos that transit from daytime to nighttime. 

The unknown structure that I previously talked about in my post for Sands SkyPark

Rise of the red moon! This was just two days after mid-autumn festival and I must say the moon was stunning when it appeared and rapidly rose into the sky. So point to note if you are planning for a visit to CÉ LA VI; schedule on a full-moon day! 

Celebration Platter - "selection of chef's desserts and homemade ice cream". Honestly not worth the price despite the over-the-top presentation! I have had better fruits elsewhere. 

Loving the cocktails, yuzito and old memories! Latter was inspired by a pudding in Bangkok, with touches of Southeast Asian flavours like pandan and coconut. Former was said to be a twist of mojito, always a personal favourite of mine.

Would I be back?
Maybe for more cocktails!

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Website

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Things to Note for The Cruise on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas (Cruise to Nowhere)

Travelling on a ship is different from your usual overseas land travel and I gained plenty of knowledge for the cruise to nowhere I made in August on 
Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas; hence, sharing the information I think would be useful if I were to make another trip in the future. 

For example:
  • Everything onboard would be charged in US dollars
  • There will also be an 18% gratuity (like a tip) added to "all drinks, mini bar items and spa & salon purchases".
  • Sockets on the cruise ship are for US power sockets; so remember to bring along an international adapter.
  • Don't expected bottled water to be replaced on a daily basis.
  • You may schedule activities on your app but it's not a reservation.
  • Be early for your scheduled activities as entry is on a first-come-first-served basis.

Cruise Planner would be the website for you to, as the name suggests, plan for your upcoming cruise. One of its key functions is the ability to pre-purchase packages in Singapore dollars, before your cruise, at a steep discount and that can range from 10% to an eye popping 55%! 

Voom Surf and Stream - this would be the network connectivity that we can't make do without nowadays, given our insane obsession with social media and streaming videos on youtube, facebook etc. 

Said to be "the fastest internet at sea", surf and stream are two different connections and I will suggest going with the combined surf and stream instead. You may refer to the differences as above. 

Purchase in advance and I would say a 35% off would be good enough. I thought waiting would help but I got anxious as the day for the cruise nears and I eventually settled with the 20% discount instead. Don't wait till you are onboard before you purchase; my companion did that and he had to pay full rate and it's in US dollars. 

Beverage Package - there are three types (classic soda, refreshment and deluxe beverage) as above. For stingy persons like me, I am happy with plain water, complimentary tea and coffee served in the restaurants. 

Only thing is that alcohol would be expensive and I did contemplate the deluxe beverage which allows unlimited cocktails and beer (below S$12). However, I did a calculation and would have to drink about four to five cocktails a day before I could break even. I am not a hardcore alcoholic and decided one cocktail a day, would be sufficient. 

Do also keep in mind that the package, once purchased, would be for the entire cruise and the daily rate would be pro-rated accordingly. Furthermore, "all guests of legal drinking age in the same stateroom and under the same stateroom booking number are required to purchase the same alcoholic beverage package".

Dining Package - to be honest, the dining package was the one we were waiting for and sadly, we didn't manage to secure any as we kept missing out on the emails for the "Unlimited Dining Package". There's likely a quota and unless you are glued 24-hour to the emails sent to your mailbox, I think it's hard to secure the highly sought after "Unlimited Dining Package"! 

But most importantly, did we miss anything? The specialty restaurants, offering fine food / fusion / higher end dining, were tempting but there's no way I could get hungry with free dining options like Windjammer, main dining room, seaplex dog house, sorrento's pizza, cafe promenade and The Café @ Two70! 

Of course, I would still aim to secure "Unlimited Dining Package" in my next cruise but only if there is a heavy discount. Do keep in mind the fine print though; only your first night reservation is guaranteed and for the rest of the days, it would be subject to availability, and for restaurants with "a la carte pricing", you’ll receive food credits instead. 

Other Pre-cruise Purchases - you can also buy photo packages, spa treatments etc at a discounts. I am not wealthy and don't deem the aforementioned as a necessity for me to enjoy the cruise. 

NextCruise
- a team that is onboard the cruise that will help you to book for your next cruise, with credits amounting up to $600. We did check it out but the max credits are given only when you book a high end suite, which cost a lot more than the balcony room we had. You can still reserve first as the credits are transferrable and if I recall correctly, retain them for a year even if you choose to postpone your reservation. 

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That's it for today! If there are more to add, I would do so via this blog. If you prefer to have more information, please refer to this blogger who did a fantastic job going into the details! 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Overscoop Gelato Cafe @ Yishun Junction Nine [Singapore]

A rainy Sunday evening on a lazy weekend; I was craving for desserts after the interesting
Thai style nasi lemak and recalled there was a new gelato cafe I spotted once at Junction Nine, which was just a few bus stops away.

Overscoop - yet another gelato / ice cream cafe right here in the notorious town of Yishun; after Moin  Moin and No Horse Run. Have you wondered what's the difference between gelato and ice cream? Gelato is Italian for ice cream actually but the Italian version uses more milk, less cream; resulting in a lower fat count and calorie.

This new cafe was quite small, with just four tables inside and two outside. It's a blessing that dining in is limited to two at the moment as I imagine it could be a tight squeeze in pre-COVID-19 times.

Iconic waffle wall with hanging 3D-printed, LED light bulb cones said to be found only at Overscoop in Singapore! My photographs don't do them justice as they were a lot more mesmerizing in real life. 

Whatever the case, I came specifically for waffles and gelato, and they shall take priority over interior design; which I deemed to be complementary and should never be the main focus for any dining establishment. The aforementioned explains why I am not into cafe-hopping. 

Hot Teapot - again, the selection came from Gryphon Tea and we chose Pearl of The Orient. Where possible, I would always go for the unique / interesting sounding tea. Unlike some cafes, I am glad that the staff automatically gave us two glass mugs and refilling the teapot with hot water was also allowed. 

Crispy waffle with two scoops of ice cream; for the former, you can also opt for an alternative called butter croffle which is essential croissant flattened and toasted by the waffle iron. Oh well, I shall go for our usual waffle, and it's tempting to see the word "crispy".

Ever wonder what the cafe is called Overscoop? My initial thought was that we would be given humongous scoops of gelato. Wrong. It's that pathetic thumb-sized scoop; better than nothing although I was disappointed. You can choose the flavor for the overscoop and I had soursop sorbet; tasted like blended soursop juice, albeit ranked very high on sweetness. 

Strawberry Cheesecake Gelato - reminded me somewhat of my first experience having the strawberry cheesecake from Bens & Jerry, without the delectable graham cracker swirl. Nevertheless, there were huge chunks of sour strawberry that contrasted nicely with the sweet gelato. 

Honeycomb Gelato - said to be the best seller, I can understand why after taking a bite! It was incredibly milky with bits of honeycomb crystals that gave a burst of honey sweetness whenever I bit into one! Rare to find an ice cream / gelato flavor that I enjoy very much.

Crispy Waffle - for something with the word "crispy", I don't think I am wrong to assume there will be an unforgettable crispiness. Sadly, while the taste was relatively buttery, there was only a light crisp on the surface that soften after a short while. 

Another disappointment after the "overscoop"; to the extent we didn't even finish the waffle. Even though honyecomb gelato was really the highlight for me, I must say the scooping size, at S$5.00 each for the signature flavors, was a bit hard to stomach for my meagre salary. 

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Address
18, Yishun Avenue 9,
Junction Nine, #01-83,
Singapore 768897

Map
As above.

Operating Hours
Mondays to Thursdays - 12.00pm to 10.00 pm
Fridays - 12.00 pm to 11.00 pm
Saturdays - 10.00 am to 11.00 pm
Sundays - 10.00 am to 10.00 pm

Website
https://overscoop.com.sg/

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Crispy Waffle - S$5.90
Strawberry Cheesecake - S$5.00
Honeycomb - S$5.00
Pearl of The Orient (Tea) - S$4.50 
(No GST, No Service Charge)

Additional Information
Poor me shall utilize their afternoon tea set (above) in the future. Instead of waffle, maybe I should try their apple crumble tea instead.

Information about the butter croffles that I shared earlier. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Cheng Tng (Cold) from Ri Xin Cold Hot Dessert @ Chong Boon Hawker Centre [Singapore] #chongboonhawkercentre

The queue I joined was for chicken rice but my head kept veering towards the dessert stall next door. It's been a while since I last had cheng tng and the sudden craving needed immediate fulfillment! 

A nice bowl of seemingly old-school looking cheng tng appeared on my table shortly. As per my standard procedure, I took a sip of the broth chilled by the mountain of shaved iced.

The sweetness was contributed primarily by sugar syrup, instead of the more laborious recipe involving rock sugar, dried longans, red dates. Ingredients were limited to just sago, grass jelly, red jelly, white fungus and one pathetic piece of canned longan! No lotus seeds, no gingkgo nuts, no dried persimmon and no pang da hai!

Disappointment was massive; to the extent I didn't even finish the dessert (a rarity)! The craving was obviously not satisficed and the very next day, I had to make my way to Bukit Panjang Dessert (武吉班让六味汤) at Sembawang

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Address 
453A Ang Mo Kio Ave 10,
#01-18, Chong Boon Market & Food Centre,
Singapore 561453

Map
As above.

Menu 
As above.

Pricing
Cheng Tng - S$1.60 a bowl.

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