It only took us less than a week to shop for our wedding bands!

If you look at the outfits I put on everyday, it is not hard to imagine that I tend to go for things that are minimalist yet classy.

The same for my wedding which is happening in a few weeks time! For my wedding gown, I am extremely thankful and privileged to have Michelle HuiMin from Bridal Veil to dress me up for that!

What is another big task to settle? Our wedding bands! The top of the mind brand for both James and I was Goldheart Jewelry (www.goldheartjewelry.com) because of the huge selection they have.

Furthermore, we have long heard of the highly raved Celestial Star Diamond collection from friends around us who have entered into their next phase of married life before us. Hence we have decided to check them out ourselves!


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Don’t you feel that humans are just like stars?

The couple shines the brightest when their thoughts align.

Similarly for stars, they form one of the brightest constellations when they are aligned. This is the inspiration of their premium collection known as the Celestial Orion Collection.

Let me share with you some of their exquisite selection of engagement rings, eternity rings & wedding bands before revealing our pick! 😀


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This premium collection is a tribute to the modern minimalist trend, and this is exactly how I would like my marriage to embody.

It is simple & elegant with two distinct features : the Celestial Star Diamond is the world’s first 73-faceted starburst diamond that scintillates with supreme luminosity of the brightest star.

Using the blue diamond scope, I viewed the Celestial diamond up close and my eyes were greeted with the most beautiful thing I have ever seen on earth: a spectacular eight-point starburst pattern that glittered so brilliantly due to the  more reflective environment inside the diamond that allow for more light to pass through. It is this patented design that a Celestial diamond possesses a superlative, brilliant scintillation and more “fire” than any other diamond.

Look closely at this design: the Celestial diamond is nestled in a 8-point star motif made of rose gold, which works like a charming tribute to the eight pointed starburst pattern found in the Celestial diamond.  Elegant, minimalist and with a touch of storied significance – needless to say, it was simply our dream choice.

True to its reputation as a “star” diamond, the iconic Celestial promises 5 Guarantees: 1) superior cut, 2) light symmetry, 3) brilliance, 4) fire and 5) sparkle performance. Watch video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhliwkOGfq0

Celestial diamonds are graded with very strict standards and every Celestial diamond from 0.5ct is certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) attesting to its premium diamond quality. So guys and gals, if you are buying diamonds for an important event in your life such as your wedding, make sure you are getting the real stuff.

If you need further proof of the value of Celestial diamonds, you would be impressed to know that it scored distinction in all four categories in the Sarine Technologiesgrading system, which measures the brilliance, fire, sparkle and light symmetry of diamonds.

The Sarine Technologies grading is separate from GIA, so this means Celestial diamonds are certified by TWO independent institutions on its quality, which makes it a truly valuable diamond.

What’s more, each Celestial diamond comes with its own unique Sarine digital light performance report detailing its light performance and a 360-degree view of the diamond which can be access anytime. Here’s a sample of how it looks: http://tinyurl.com/ydckzkaa

However, do note that the grading is performed for Celestial diamonds with 0.3 carat and above. So you can expect all Celestial diamonds in proposal rings to come with a Sarine Certification.


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For Goldheart, the design continues beyond what you can see on the exterior of the ring. Like the icing to a cake (or inside the cake in this case!), there is a blue sapphire in the inner band. In fact, this is a unique concept called “Pure Blue” introduced by Goldheart since 2011! The blue sapphire symbolizes purity, fidelity and true love between a couple.

Initially, we thought having a blue sapphire on the inside as a design looks cute but after finding out the real reason behind the sapphire stone, we cannot help but be impressed by Goldheart’s commitment to telling every couple’s romance and love story. The blue sapphire is like a promise, or a secret, that is shared only between a couple in love (which is why it cannot be seen by from the outside… get it?). And because it is always in contact with your skin, it is like gentle touch from your S.O to remind you on the promise you’ve made together.


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Don’t leave just yet because the Celestial range is not the only pretty range that caught our eyes that day.

If you belong to the cool and edgy crowd, the stylish Felicite Collection would fit you and your spouse perfectly.


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Just look at the wide variety. I could spend all day trying on every single one of them!


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Look at the detailings and how Goldheart play with the various gold e.g. rose, white and black gold on their rings here.


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Another range that I was considering very seriously was the Intimo range.

Truth be told, Intimo was our first choice because I wanted to match the ring with my solitaire proposal ring. We discovered that the Intimo wedding bands also comes with a Pure Blue Sapphire in the inner band. It was a tough choice having to choose between these gorgeous designs but eventually we leaned towards the Orion Celestial range because James was besotted with the eight-pointed star motif. For me, seeing James happy made the call for me!


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Ever wanted to become a goldsmith? Now, you can do that – without even sweating a single drop – with Goldheart’s Create-Your-Ring service. I thought that this idea was so cool and fun when the staff told me about it and you know what, the whole process takes place on a computer! It is a step by step procedure that lets you (go wild and) express your creativity/personality through your choice of ring design, band width, gold type, texture, gem setting, as well as engraving – both on the outside and insideof the ring! You have to take a look here to see what it is all about!: ww.goldheart.com/love_wedding


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If you fancy having premium materials on your love bands, you can consider the Le Pure Platinum collection.

To me, this collection signifies “strength” as we know that platinum is one of the strongest metal on earth! (It is 60 times tougher than gold!) It is also very rare. Hence, would you agree that finding a soulmate who you are able to form strong emotional connection is like finding platinum?


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I have to admit that I am not a girl who chases after fairytales. But even for me, it was love at first sight with their Enchantine collection. The details are delicate and feminine, featuring inspirations captured from fairytales that we are familiar with, such as dove wings, fairy lights, blooming roses and laurel wreaths.

I have a soft spot for whimsical designs so I think I will probably come back for a ring from this collection after the wedding. This is the part where I wish I had more than 10 fingers to fit on all these lovelies!


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Look at the fine detailing, it is hard to resist being enchanted by it, don’t you think so?


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Now, let’s recap some of the considerations before we make our final choice for our wedding bands? They are:

  1. Design
  2. Weight
  3. Feel
  4. The meaning behind each collection

I believe I speak for to-be-married couples that sometimes we experience difficulty in picking out the perfect ring and need to consult someone who knows jewellery more than you do. And I think you can relate when I say that the desire to know certain information strikes you at the most random moments, such as when you are on the train to work, in the middle of a meal or when you are lying in bed getting ready to sleep. The desire to get an answer NOW can make most of us anxious!

So I found out that Goldheart had created a FB chatbot called – would you guess it – “Bling”. This A-I enabled virtual assistant is designed to answer questions related to wedding jewellery, and is scripted to “talk” like a human. I must say that I was delighted chatting with Bling, like I just found a new friend!  May I have the pleasure of introducing Bling to you: : https://www.facebook.com/GoldheartJewelry/

To prove my point, take a look at my conversation with Bling below:


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The marvelous thing about Bling is that it REMEMBERS from our conversations on important dates leading up to my wedding day. After some time, Bling will remind me of the list of things I have to clear, which is really REALLY helpful now that the wedding is just a month away. I’m sure most of us have our ways of tracking, and if you are a heavy Facebook user, it wouldn’t hurt to have a friend to catch you just in case!

Besides weddings, Bling also keep track of other important dates in your life – such as birthdays to anniversaries – and alert you in a timely manner so that you have the time to shop for the perfect gift!

Guys will definitely find a friend in Bling, especially when you are planning to propose. Bling is capable of recommending the perfect proposal ring taking into consideration your budget and preferences. Shop on your phone or computer, shortlist and then visit a Goldheart boutique to examine it closer.

(Doesn’t this bring to mind J.A.R.V.I.S from the Iron Man movie series? Well, Bling was born less than 1 year ago in July 2017, so voice capabilities are still undeveloped!)

As I have shared extensively above, there is no lack of choices at Goldheart, who had taken great effort to offer modern, well-crafted designs that cater to different styles and sensibilities of couples.Where does one even begin?!

Well, my advice is that planning a wedding is like going on marathon – you need to build up your stamina and strength before you even start to run. As a leader in the love and romance category in Singapore, Goldheart had certainly walked the talk by being super generous with offering bridal resources and references. Besides chatting with Bling, you must check out their wedding blog (www.goldheart.com/weddingblog), which offers tips and advice for wedding.

One other thing that impressed me was how Goldheart had expanded their customer touchpoints, from the boutiques located islandwide, online website, social media and, of course, chatbot Bling. It doesn’t take long for Goldheart to feel like a friend that I can turn to and check in regularly for gift ideas or inspirations – no matter when or what time.

For couples who are getting married, I hope my experience in this blog had given you (new) ideas and inspirations for your big day!

NEW: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Limited Edition Festive Designs

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Author: James Aw Yong

How do you describe an evening spent with SK-II Singapore Ambassador Rebecca Lim and SK-II? Simply put, AWESOME!

We were treated to an intimate SK-II #changedestiny Festive Party at VivoCity where SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Limited Edition Festive Designs were revealed.





Available in gorgeous hues of red, blue and green, the Suminagashi-inspired designs serve as a powerful reminder that anyone can paint their own path in the same way that simple ink and water can be transformed into a masterpiece, one drop at a time.





I had the pleasure of doing up a master piece lead by Singaporean artist, Keok Jiahui and my takeaway message was “You don’t have to always be in control, sometimes, all you have to do is to just go with the flow”.





If you need to know what is my favourite bottle among the three, it has got to be red. Grab a bottle of the limited edition Facial Treatment Essence (230ml) for your love ones if you are starting your Christmas shopping soon!





Find out more here:

REVIEW: Fancl Hydrating Focus Range

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Author: James Aw Yong

I am probably one of the vainest guy you have ever met but I am not ashamed of this. I believe that everyone, no matter the gender or age, one should take very good care of their skin. My girlfriend is an equally big vain pot or if not a bigger one than me! She has been emphasising the importance of skincare to me ever since I met her couple of years back. Well, I must claim that the biggest reason I listened to her advice was partially because she has great skin condition. I told her that she is blessed with good skin but she told me she started taking care of her skin health since young. Upon hearing that, I felt a bit guilty and started thinking I should do my part to look good beside her too.

Since I have dry skin, which can get flaky at times, I got really excited when I saw the set of FANCL Hydration Series. Even more thrilled with the fact that it comes without preservatives. Think about it: Preservatives in food are bad for health, so what about those for skin too?

FANCL Hydrating Range consists of:
– FANCL Moisturizing Mask ($64/ 6 pieces in a box)
– FANCL Lock Eye Mask ($23 / 3 pairs in a box)
– FANCL Moisturizing Essence ($64)
– FANCL Overnight Hydrating Pack ($58)

I use one piece every 4 days even though you can use it daily. After engaging in this regime, I find my skin supple and hydrated. To the extend, glowing too. I am not sure if the glowing effect is from the mask but it is apparent that my skin looks much more healthy.

Each piece of mask contains 19ml of moisturising essence which includes Raffinose, Royal Jelly Extract, Rice Ferment Filtrate and more. However, what I am happy to find is Fresh Moist Collagen as part of its ingredients because we all know the importance of collagen! It keeps your skin young and firm!





Usually, I would pick eye cream over eye mask for the eyes because it is more affordable. However, after trying out this set of eye masks, I realise its convenience and grew to love eye masks more now.

FANCL Moisture Lock Eye Mask feels light on the face but it is said to be nourishing as it allows swift penetration of they hydrating essence deep into the skin. Being extremely conscious with fine lines over the eyes area, I will do anything improve it’s condition. I left the eye masks under the eye areas for 10 minutes each time and use them only once a week. It contains moisturising composite essence, moisture lock essence and amino acid to help reduce eye’s dullness and restores moisture.





Hyaluronic acid is one important acid that you can find in almost all hydrating skin care. Of course, FANCL Moisturizing Essence contains it too! The texture of the essence is light and glides on easily. Even though it is light, it is also suitable for night use.





My favourite among the entire lot has got to be FANCL Overnight Hydrating Pack. I am a sucker for anything overnight – especially for hydration purposes.

Our skin renewal takes place at night especially over the period of 11pm-1am and FANCL Overnight Hydrating Pack is specially developed to work when you are sleeping. You will wake up to soft and radiant skin the next morning. The skin gets smoother as well, and I am guessing that this is credit of Silk Peptide present in the ingredient. Nope, not complaining because I love the effect!





Take a look at the goodness. It may look a little thick and sticky at first but it gets watery after that.





The layer below is quite thick because I wanted to show you how clear the liquid is even when a thick layer was applied. When it is this clear, you can obviously expect it to get absorbed into the skin quickly too. Thumbs up on this!





I have been using this range for the last two to three weeks and now, I can do my shoot with a peace of mind knowing that my skin is well taken care of! 🙂





If this range sounds good to you, FANCL Hydrating Focus Range is available at FANCL’s counter located at Level 1, Isetan Scotts, Shaw House.

NEW: Limited Edition Origins Skin Relief Soothing Mega-Mushroom Treatment Lotion

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Author: James Aw Yong

Keep your eyes peeled for Limited Edition Pop Art Inspired Dr.Andrew Weil for Origins Skin Relief Soothing Mega-Mushroom Treatment Lotion as Origins celebrate their Number 1 Bestseller around the globe – One bottle sold every 40 seconds.

Featuring the iconic Sea Buckthorn, a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-irritant berry which are rich in Vitamin c and E.

Out in stores and out with a bigger size at $99 for 400ml on top of their usual $62 for 200ml.

Review: Is Eye Cream Essential? – SK-II R.N.A Power Eye Cream

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Author: James Aw Yong

I started my daily beauty regime inmy early 20s with cleanser and moisturizer ONLY. However, as I age, I realized that I need more products on my face to help me fight ageing.

M always tell me how delicate the skin around the eyes are and wrinkles tend to appear there first. I had quite a few lines around my eyes area. They made me look so old that I had to go for Botox to hid them.

If you don’t believe me, check out a picture of me and M below. Check out my wrinkles around my eyes and hers.





Botox can be really expensive and it is not a solution. Prevention is better than cure so I learnt that eye creams are very important. We all want to hide our age and not let our wrinkles reveal them, right?

I was introduced to SK-II R.N.A Power Eye Cream when it first launched in Singapore Changi Airport.

“According to SK-II, mid-20s is the turning point for eye aging and eyes tend to get 20% smaller over 15 years. The key reason for this is the lack of lengthwise and crosswise firmness around the eyes. With this, SK-II upgraded its STEMPOWER Eye Cream with two new ingredients to increase wrinkle resilience – Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 and Chlorella Extrac. The new R.N.A.POWER Eye Cream is formulated with the unique Radical New Age Complex to improve lengthwise and crosswise firmness of skin around the eyes.”





The new anti-aging SK-II R.N.A. Power Eye Cream contains Radical New Age Complex which can help improve the skin firmness, reducing wrinkles, lines and even refining pores. Even though it is called a cream, it has a silky texture that glides on the skin easily. The cream gets absorbed really quickly into the skin as well.

We can all experience bigger and brighter looking eyes after 6 weeks of continuous usage. No need for needles or knives.

I have to work through the night on certain days and I don’t really get enough sleep. However, after I incorporated the eye cream into my regime, I don’t feel that my eyes are as tired looking as before. Sometimes, it looks bigger too. Oh ya, not to mention, when your eyes age, they get smaller due to sagging as well.

The R.N.A Power Eye Cream is an addition to the current SK-II anti-aging boutique- R.N.A Power Cream and R.N.A Power Essence.

Thank you SK-II for turning my facial clock around!

Review: For Beloved One Mandelic Acid Series

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Author: James Aw Yong

I have previously tried chemical peels at aesthetic clinics before. Other than wanting smooth skin, I was quite concerned with my acne scars as well. But me, being the typical Singaporean has to work on weekdays and juggle between blogging and rest on weekends do not really have the extra time to visit clinics for chemical peels so frequently.
I was glad when I saw For Beloved One on the table. They have recently launched their new Mandelic Acid Series which contains a peel so gently that it is suitable for home use. Although the series is designed for Asian women’s skin types, I am still going to give it a try!

The series sounded like a home facial because it can cleanse whiteheads, lighten my acne scars, shrink pore size and even brighten my skin tone.

My favourite among the three products is the Mandelic Acid Advanced Renewal Serum ($55) as I have combination skin. My skin can get really dry now and extremely oily later. The ingredients in the renewal serum contains high purity 20% mandelic acid essence which is extracted from the precious bitter apricot, which is said to penetrate the stratum corneum, Betapur™ which create a protective membrane to control oil secretion, deeply clean pores and balances oily skin while SyriCalm CLR™ soothes and helps skin to return to its smooth and firm perfect condition.

Of course, before using the renewal serum comes Mandelic Acid Renewal Toner ($38). My skin felt softer instantly due to the presence of mild mandelic acid and Unique Hydration Renewal Technology.

The last step to the routine is applying the Renewal Lotion ($42) which can target areas which are less hydrated. It acts as a safety barrier as it helps to enhanced moisture and repair after the “peeling” stage. If you don’t have as much dead skin cells as me, you might not be able to see the peeling skin with your naked eye.

If you are interested, For Beloved One is sold exclusively at Sephora only.

Check out my skin now 😀


Staycation Review: Bay Hotel Singapore [Discount Code]

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Author: James Aw Yong

If you want to stay near one of Singapore’s most iconic beach (Sentosa) comfortably yet affordably , then I would say Bay Hotel Singapore is the BEST option for you!

Why BEST?

Let me just do a simple quick summary for you so that you can always remember this hotel easily! It is simply because Bay Hotel is….

Biggest Executive boutique hotel in Singapore (333-room Bay Hotel Singapore)
Accessibility (Less than 5mins walk to the nearby Harbourfront MRT station)
Yummy local street food favourites in restaurant open from 6am to 3am (new all-day dining menu, weekend buffet lunch and hotpot buffet dinner)
Handy smartphone for use during stay with free IDD calls to selected countries
Opposite Vivocity – the largest shopping mall in Singapore
Technology (complimentary WiFi and technologically savvy check-in perfect for millennials)
Enjoyment of Complimentary Minibar (replenished once daily) and other facilities in an eco-friendly Smoke-free hotel
Located strategically also at the gateway of Sentosa and at the foot of Mount Faber.

Should this short summary not hit the sweet spot for you literally, let me shower you with more details on these aspects according to our own recent experience.

Walk-through

And so once again #JamesnMaybel is ALL ready for our next Hotel review!

This time falling exactly on the National Day weekend with us all donned in our sponsored Superdry outfits! (In fact, the only Superdry store in Singapore is located in Vivocity. One more perks for the Superdry Fans staying near the hotel!)





Accessibility

Firstly, let me give you some context on how accessible this location is especially for tourists visiting Singapore for the first time.

Let’s just say this hotel is just ONE traffic light away from the Biggest Shopping mall in Singapore, VivoCity (located at Harbourfront MRT Station) and walking distance to Sentosa (Most Iconic Beach in Singapore).

And if you are looking to do some serious shopping, rest assured that this location is a mere 2-3 MRT stops from Orchard Road (Singapore’s Prime Shopping district)

Room’s Interior (Deluxe)

The room given to us for this Hotel review is their ‘Deluxe’ Room.

I like the cosy, simplistic concept & earthly tones within the room which kind of makes you feel rooted to Singapore already. The walk around space is decent for 2-3 person with a comfortable bed large enough to accommodate even 3 sleepers. If not, the ‘unlucky’ odd one out can always take the caterpillar cushion by the side of the window! >< Just kidding!

But trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the super fluffy bed here which is comparable to any 4 to 5 star hotels locally!





However, if you do get the caterpillar cushion ‘bed’, don’t sulk. Because you are in for the best view within the room; One that overlooks Vivocity & Sentosa!

This view (below) getting increasingly beautiful as the sun set.





Moving onto the features within the room. They have all the basic features within a room such as TV and writing table etc.

Nonetheless, one of the tourist-friendly feature resting on the writing table is this Handy smartphone which allows for complimentary IDD calls to selected countries! So you are still connected be it locally or overseas!





One thing I like about this room is the snacks and drinks are ALL complimentary! For the drinks selection, this is not ALL!

Within the refrigerator, there are 7-8 canned drinks such as beers eg Anchor, gassy & non-gassy soft drinks. Also inclusive are 3 packets of snacks eg mixed nuts & potato chips.

Going hungry is definitely the last thing that will happen to you during your stay!





Rain Shower with decent space to accommodate two person bathing at one go. Appreciate the fact that they give a big bottle of shampoo & bathing gel.

I am not sure how many of you would understand the frustration of having to ration for these two items even for a one night stay! I have stayed in hotels which give you those ‘sample’ size bottles which seems only enough for one person usage! Luckily, you do not have to worry on such issues here!





Amenities ( Infinity Pool & Gym)

Getting out of the room, let’s check out their amenities! I am glad they have an Infinity Pool & Gym as these are the two places I will always visit when I stay in a hotel.

Even though the infinity pool here does not offer the picturesque, breathe-taking view of any 5-star hotel, there are two things I absolutely like about it: An undisturbed Nature’s view & glass protection. This allows anyone especially parents to have a peace of mind while enjoying this sanctuary.





While my dear M is indulging in her poolside shots, I get to indulge in my manly business aka Gym! Technically, its for me to burn off all the calories built during the scrumptious food tastings within this hotel (which I will share more below)!





Do not expect an extremely well equipped big gym. Nonetheless, they have all ample equipment for you to sweat it out with!





Complimentary Breakfast

The stay comes with a complimentary breakfast the next day to cure your hungry stomach.

Be sure to come down early especially when the occupancy rate is high during holidays. You are sure to get your seats at the popular ‘ Street50’ restaurant due to its large seating capacity. BUT I cannot guarantee you will get your favorite food if you are late!





The chef consistently ensure that you get hot pipping food served! Yummilicious!





The spread they have for breakfast is also pretty generous! M was totally head over heels with their Chocolate Donut balls which seeks to satisfy the sweet-tooth! For me, it just had to be their hot crunchy nuggets! I had like a 20 piece nugget meal myself!

Other food includes scrambled eggs, Ham, Croissant, yogurt, muesli, waffles, different variety of cheese, hash browns and many more!

A hearty breakfast accomplished!





For all those who are in for shopping spree & beaches, this hotel is a definite must stay! Where else can you get an affordable room in the central which is within a stone’s thrown away from the biggest shopping complex and our iconic beach, Sentosa!

ROOM DISCOUNT when you quote “Maybeline Sim”
Exclusive: 10% Off Best Available Rate plus buffet breakfast for 2 persons
Valid for stay between 21 Aug to 30 Sep 2016 only; subject to room availability
Not applicable for the period of 15 – 18 Sep 2016.


‘SINGAPORE FOOD STORY’ Weekend Buffet Lunch (For those who are Foodies only!)

If you are planing for food venture tour instead of a shopping spree, I will highly urge you to try out their ‘Singapore Food Story’ Weekend Buffet lunch!

Why?

For Foreigners – Unless you are staying for a good one week in Singapore, chances is that you are going to miss out either one or two of our famous local delicacies. With this buffet, you are almost able to capture all our famous local delights across different races eg Malay Satay, Indian Rojak etc.

For Locals – Yes, you guys might already be familiar with the local delicacies since you stayed almost half your life here. It would then be the affordability and quality of the local food!

I would say the new chef makes a good concerted effort with perfecting every local cuisines on the table here especially the Laksa which Maybel had two bowls in a row. For me, it’s their satay as he made it extremely palatable without overly burning it! Especially, I have see really ‘carcinogenic’ ones elsewhere!





Apart from local cuisines, they also have additional ‘Grill’ Stations that prepares Grilled Beef, Chicken and etc. So in totality, their spread is definitely generous and bang for buck!

Additional Details

Every Saturday & Sunday, 12pm to 3pm

(After the special debut on National Day, 9 Aug 2016, 12pm to 3pm)

Adult: $42 ++, Child (6yrs to 12yrs): $20 ++

(Children below 6 yrs dine for free with every paying adult, subject to maximum of 2 children per table)

Bay Hotel is located at 50 Telok Blangah Road Singapore 098828.

Review of Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore

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Author: James

To our local friends who have been to Japan, Bangkok and yet still missed visiting the Onsen Spa? OR rather the local Japanese population missing your therapeutic hot bath back in hometown? Rest assured! You guys are going to get your wish granted immediately with the opening of 1st Singapore Onsen Spa – Yunomori Onsen & Spa !

Location

Spanning a huge space of 16,000 square feet, the Onsen Spa is nestled within the Kallang district. To be more exact, it is located in the ever-buzzing Kallang Wave Mall within Singapore Sports Hub. For those commuting by our MRT system, you can alight at Stadium MRT station (not Kallang Station).

When I first heard about this Onsen Spa, it got it really excited! This is simply because I have always been catching this Open Bath concept on ‘Japan Hours’ & snippets of it in Japanese-themed movies BUT never officially get to try it before!

Now, the opportunity just came and I am ready to knock at its door! Yesss!! And here we are..





Facilities & Space within Spa

Wondering what does Yunomori means in Japanese? It simply refers to the hot water in the forest. Ah! Sounds like exactly what our urbanized Singapore with its wide array of skyscrapers need!

This Onsen spa has easily the largest number of pools as compared to any other popular local spas with a total of 11 pools and up to 6 different variations serving very different health and wellnessfunctions.

And this is not all! They have no lack of other facilities such as steam room, sauna, resting and treatment rooms etc to help you pass time easily and relaxingly.

Just to share one interesting fact, I was told that the part of this ‘forest’ customers get to see & experience is only ONE/FORTH of the entire space!

What happen to the other 3/4 space then?! Think about the technologies & machineries that goes behind literally to treat these hot & cold bath. They sure does put a lot of serious effort into closely mimic those original natural ones in Japan!

With this said, are you ready to dwell deeper into this brick and mortar ‘forest’ with me? If yes, ‘Dozo Yoroshiku~!’ (which means ‘Glad to meet you’ in Japanese). Let me be your guide for today and let’s move on!!





Outfit within Spa (Yukata)

Notice that I am wearing the beautifully-designed traditional Japanese outfit which is commonly known as the ‘Yukata’. You are going to see customers walking around the spa, dressed in this outfit.

If this is the first time you are wearing a yukata like me, you are going to face a tiny bit of trouble putting it on especially the part on wrapping the obi(slash) around your body. Fortunately, they have instruction posters and friendly staff to help you along for this part. With that, I am well-cladded & ready to take that very Instagram-worthy #OOTD shot! 😛





Entry to Spa (What to expect and What to Do)

After you head over to the counter to sign in, the staff will direct you to place your shoes in these shoe lockers outside the spa. This is to ensure the cleanliness of the spa’s interior environment (with wooden planks). As such, not only does the interior feel fresh and clean but it also makes you feel at home too!

They will also give you a wristband tag which you will need to access your own locker in the changing room (based on the number on the wrist band tag) and for making additional payment (not covered within the entry fee) such as for the food. For convenience, please do remember to wear your tag at ALL times even into the pool as they are all water-proof!

Bath Zone

It is a straightforward procedure after you access the locker. But please note that once you are at the locker area, you can NO LONGER be using your phone for privacy reasons. Remember this is an Open concept bath!

For the whole duration in the spa, you will only be given 1 big and 1 small towel. (Any additional towel will have to be purchased at a cost). So don’t say I did not warn you in advance: Make sure you do not throw them into the baskets lying around the locker rooms unnecessarily!

For a start, I did felt slightly a bit uncomfortable as this is the first time I am stripping down to almost full nudity around many other men. However, this awkward moment is going to only last a few minutes as you will notice no one is really feeling awkward or mindful.





You will pass two doors before you reach the actual Bath & Pool zones. Beyond this point, what is left around your body should just be yourself and that small towel & wristband tag. Not even your own underwear is allowed! This is mainly for hygiene purposes!

To ensure hygienic practices is maintained, all customers are encouraged to head to the shower area and wash clean first before entering any of the pools!

I was a bit clueless as to what to do within my own bathing compartment. You will notice stools at every compartment. Yes! Those are for you to seat down while you bath which is quite the unique japanese showering experience! So don’t be a weirdo by standing + bath in here! Basins are also given for you to wash your towels.

Pool Area

Finally, the main highlight of Yunomori Onsen & Spa: The Pools! You are going to see 6 & 5 different variation of pools in the male and female onsen respectively.





The recommended soaking procedure is to start from the Soda Spa first where the water is the least warm among all the other hot pool. Let your body temperature slowly adapt along the increasing temperature.

Like I shared, every pool has its health benefits. Take for instance the Soda Spa is enriched with high concentration of CO2 which helps to increase your blood oxygen level and hence improve circulation, reduces high blood pressure and detoxifies the blood.

*For sanitary purposes, do not dip your own towel into the pool! I know I am being a bit naggy here with all the sanitary instructions. But well, if you want a clean pool/environment, then please do respect the instructions!

My Favorite Pool

If you ask me what is my FAVOURITE pool?

It definitely has to be the Hot Onsen Bath itself. It is the most mineral-enriched pool, so much so the water is purple in color which signifies the presence of these minerals. The temperature of this pool is approximately 40-43 degree celsius. The heat helps to relaxe the mind and muscle whilst the mineral content of the water works to alleviate numerous aliments. Definitely the best pool for your elderly!

I shall leave the other pools e.g. Cold Bath, Bubble Bath, Jet bath and so on for you to explore on your own! >< More can be read up here: http://www.yunomorionsen.com/2015/sg/yunomori-onsen-spa-feather-bath.php )

Other Facilities

The Steam Room where you get to open your pores and detoxifies the skin and body. They even have a bucket of Salt to further help you in this function! End of it all, you are going to feel your skin well rejuvenated and your joints and muscle pain relieved!





Resting Area





Treatment Rooms





All-Day Dining Area

The Dining area houses a nice little cafe for customers to enjoy Japanese food & drinks. The best part is these items such as the coffee milk (shown below) is not commonly found in outside supermarkets nor Japanese restaurants.





The quality of the food is excellent & you are given a good variety of palatable Japanese delicacies!





Portion is also very generous which ensure you get your every penny spent worth its value! The pricing for these dishes are also very reasonable; they do not cost more than any outside Japanese restaurant. Mostly, roughly in the range of S$10-20+.





Pricing

Now for the most critical question all local Singaporeans are most concerned with: Pricing of Entrance Fee.

Glad to share that the entrance fee is priced reasonably at S$38+ (for Adult) & S$28+ (for Seniors of 65 years & above and Children of 15 years and below). This will entitle you to full access to all their Hot & Cold baths plus the facilities such as sauna, steam bath and such. However, if you are interested to try their massage and treatments, these will come at additional costs which starts from $68 and above.

Conclusion

One day MIGHT NOT be enough or at best JUST enough for you to explore the whole Onsen & Spa.

I like their level of cleanliness, customer service and the concept of health benefit conveyed through Hot baths. I will be more than happy to be back to try out their treatments the next round!

Other Details

Yunomori Onsen & Spa
Kallang Wave Mall
#02-17/18
1 Stadium Place
Singapore 397628
Opening hours: 10 am to 11pm
Contact Number : 6386 4126 / 6385 7985
Email: info@yunomorionsen.com.sg

Review: Bay Hotel Street 50’s New Ala Carte Menu

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Author: James

For ALL the foodies who are heading down to Vivocity, you might want to consider making a walking trip down to Street 50 Restaurant & Bar. This restaurant residing within Bay Hotel is presenting a whole new array of favourite local street food in their brand new all-day dining ala carte menu.

For those who are existing customers, you might taste a slightly different style and flavor as they have just engaged a new head chef (Previously from Sofitel Hotel) to helm Street 50’s kitchen! In the spirit of sharing, these dishes created exclusively by this new head chef will come well-presented in palatable small plates. This ensure that NO food goes into wastage & more importantly maintaing a reasonably affordable price tag for the price conscious ones from $7.90 to $12.90!

One of the key selling point of this menu is their smart move jumping into the bandwagon of ‘Salted Egg’ craze! In fact, you will see two of the dishes being themed & teamed with Salted Egg!

Here’s some of my honest review of their LATEST menu.

1st Salted Egg Dish: Soft Shell Crab with Salted Egg Dip ($7.90)

See the yolk looking sauce, that is the Salted egg dip! Don’t be deceived by its bland looking yellow coloration, the Salted egg taste is actually pretty strong.

I have tried dipping a soft shell crab into many sauce but this is certainly the first time dipping into salted egg sauce. I must say it is a good marriage of both and promises a flavorful crunchy bite with every mouthful!





2nd Salted Egg Dish: Salted Egg Lava Chicken Breast ($9.90)

If I have to pick a favourite that night, the winner will definitely be this one! One of the reasons being which I do a bit of body building & we all know what’s one of body builders favourite food (Chicken Breast Meat). However, every body builder would also know that chicken breast meat isn’t the most tasty part of the chicken, for the fact that it is usually the driest and hardest part.

However, I am very impressed when I tasted this version of chicken cordon bleu; the meat was very tender and slightly moist most probably due to the clever move of infusing salted egg instead of cheese inside. Eat it after you cut it piping hot upon the sight of oozing hot salted egg! Yummilicious!~





Moving onto to some of the other local delicacies perfected under the hands of the chef.

Since most of our local crowd like seafood, let’s start with some prawns!

Cereal Prawns with Wasabi Dressing ($9.90)

Yes I do agree this dish might be slightly plain-looking but the taste is definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Starting from its key ingredient, the prawns are fresh to begin with; You can still get that crunchy bite even after deep frying and evenly-coating them with cereal. For those who like a bit of spice, the wasabi is going to give you that kick without overpowering the prawns’ original sweet flavor!





Missed your caffeine intake in the morning? No worries, you are going to like the next one!

Coffee Wings ($7.90)

Inspired by Coffee Pork ribs, this Coffee wings are bound to take flight in the hearts of many. Still, this is because of the crispy texture of the wings instead of the sauce. For Maybeline who is less of a caffeine addict as compared to me, felt it was just nice! For me, I would have love the coffee flavour to come on more strongly!

Nonetheless, I leave it to your good judgement on this one!





So much for protein, shall we move on to some carbs?

XO Scallops & Prawns Fried Rice ($9.90)

This tantalizing fried rice in all time favourite XO sauce is SO going to whet the appetite of carbo-lovers! Split open the egg wrapping and you are guaranteed to see an avalanche of sliced-up prawns spilling out of the crevice!





Shrimp & Eggplant Sambal ($8.90)

By this time, my stomach storage was almost up! However, space is always freed up whenever sambal comes into the picture! Especially flavorful ones like the one here! You already have an idea how fresh their prawns are based on its crunchy texture, so I will not further dwell into that!

Instead, I would just like to share how much I enjoyed gorging down the eggplant that was soaked with the palatable sambal sauce! Mouth-watering even at the thoughts of it now!





Oyster Char Kway Teow ($12.90)

How can we ever miss this famous local delicacy! I would go for this anytime for the fact that I am a bigger fan of oysters instead of cockles ! However, I was slightly disappointed to find that oyster shrink in size after stir-frying it.

Nonetheless, they make it up with quite a substantial amount of fried oyster which did satisfy my oysters craving. If that is not enough, the portion of Kway Teow is sure to make you full!





In the tropical climate of Singapore, there is always room for cooling desserts!

Such is the case here: Fresh Coconut Malibu ($8.90)

You are definitely get your fair share of fibre intake from this scrumptious dessert! It contains coconut ice cream, young coconut flesh, mixed fruits and fresh coconut juice. Worried it is too sweet? Rest assured this is not the typical diabetes-causing kind of sweet but more of refreshing one!

If your stomach still has space after those savory dishes above, I would recommend trying this one out and giving your palates that sweet ending it deserves!





In essence, I have had quite a few rounds of food tastings with Street 50 Restaurant & Bar and this is definitely one of the better ones worth going for! The new head chef has definitely done a good job perfecting local delicacies which you definitely should not miss out!

They are located at Bay Hotel Singapore, 50 Telok Blangah Road Singapore 098828.
Call in to 68186681 for reservations.