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Archive for March, 2012

March 24th, 2012 Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW

This week, i attended a launch event for the new addition to the Benefits range of liquid foundation.

 

 

you can see the whole play station of benefit products in their office

 

new hello flawless foundation

 

the place where the workshop cum launch is conducted

 

a pic with fellow MFP bloggers whilst waiting for the event to start

 

trainer presenting the new formulation for "Hello Flawless"

 

enhanced formula and ingredients included

 

a make-up demo done on a model to show us bloggers how to use the products

 

9 new shades ranging from light, medium to deep has been developed for the new Hello Flawless

 

wendy n juann posing for a candid shot

 

mfp crew were also there to join in the fun

 

we were all given a chance to try the new foundation

 

wendy took this pic for me

 

little snacks prepared for us..

 

staff from the benefit team...

 

group pic before we leave.. since i dun get to the rest of the girls often

 

another group pic... making sure no one is being left out :)

 

Mikko’s comments: The new Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW foundation (retail $54) will be launched island wide on 1st April 2012.  Am quite impressed with the formula and ingredients Benefit has created for this new foundation.  Its Oil-free, contains SPF25,  has brightening and hydrating properties (contains Vit C & E). Last but not least, it has a natural n flawless finishing.  Hello Flawless oxygen foundation provides pretty good coverage despite being a very light-weight foundation.  The liquid foundations glides on easily and face doesnt not cake up even with 2 layers on foundation on.  For optimal look and coverage, use it with Pore-fessional (the best seller).  All the pores ‘suddenly’ disappear with a thin layer over the T-zone.

 

pore-fessional (retail at $48)

 

Am really glad to have meet Jessie and Juann in this event.  As this is my first time meeting them in person.  They are both so gentle and nice.  Hope to meet the rest of the bloggers in the near future.

 

 

 

 

 

March 20th, 2012 Lunch at Shinji by Kanesaka

Another sumptuous lunch at my favourite Japanese Sushi Restaurant.  Dining at this place is not only a treat to the tummy but the service standard and food quality, makes every visit here a true dining experience.

 

 

restaurant interior.... simple n elegant deco

 

 

meaning of omakase

 

starter.... tuna with wasabe jelly. interesting but light taste

 

torched fish and shell fish. to be eaten with salt only. light n sweet

 

a little cold sake to compliment my meal

 

boiled squid filled with roe cos its in season

 

sashimi - fish

 

uni from hokkaido. sweet n creamy

 

seasoned fish

 

mushi yaki dish ... meaning steam n grilled. This dish was quite a stunner. the clam brought out the taste in the steam fish. very very tasty.

 

baby tuna with 'secret' dressing

 

chawamushi with plum... a very delicate dish to cleanse the palatte

 

nigiri sushi to be followed next..

 

chu toro was really good..

 

nigiri sushi - fish

 

nigiri sushi - with a generous serving of uni

 

 

akagai - ark shell. chef said that the akagai is served 'alive'.

 

ebi nigiri sushi - chef was so thoughtful to cut the piece into bit size for the ladies

 

eel done in 2 flavours.... one with salt and the other is with sauce

 

the tamago yaki tasted like custard here...

 

meal was completed with yubari melon

 

Mikko’s comments : Voted as 3-star michelin restaurant by food critic, Shinji never failed to impress me with their food quality and service for each visit.  The Omakase i had consisted of a good 20-dish course.  Food served ranged from raw, to steam, seasoned, vinegard, and other various ways of cooking.  While prices are not cheap but it was definitely worth the experience.  A very good treat for myself.

 

a happy mikko after a good meal

 

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March 15th, 2012 Lunch – Penang Fare at York Hotel

Had lunch with my family at the Penang Fare at York Hotel today.  I make it a point to go for this buffet at least once a year as i really like the food.

 

started with my fav dish....penang fried kway teow

 

prawn mee soup.... love this with lots of chillis in the soup

 

lor bak... enjoyed the yam the most

 

penang laksa.... for some this dish is heaven. but to me, its a pass.. ha ha

 

penang rojak... this dish was really nice today. not a norm... guess the prawn paste used was good

 

kangkong with cuttlefish

 

fishball kway teow (dry version).. personally prefer the soup version

 

oyster omelette.... tasty but i prefer our local version as i like my oyster omelette more crispy

 

even ordered a teh tarik.... hmmm... have to say it was so-so

 

peanut pancake (ban chang kueh)... it was really good when eaten while it was hot. crispy!!

 

had ice kachang as my dessert

 

and chendol too.... ha haha

 

Refer to this link for more details (http://www.yorkhotel.com.sg/promotions.php)

 

mikko’s comments:  Love the spread that the penang fare has to offer.  Good tasted authentic as hawkers were all brought in from Penang.  Food serving per portion is small so you have enough space in your tummy to try everything.  Service standard was ok too as the staff were all pretty helpful.  Lunch on weekday was at $25.80 +++ per head.  Promotion period from 09-25 mar 2012.  I guess the charges were not very cheap for hawker food but felt the meal was cheaper than flying to penang.

 

 

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March 11th, 2012 my own experience on Japan earthquake 03.11

On an ordinary day almost a year ago,  an event changed my perspective about a lot of things in life.

 

breakfast of egg benedict before boarding the plane

 

Took a morning flight to Tokyo on the 10th Mar 2011, to attend the Japan Annual Beauty exhibition to be held in Makhuhari (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makuhari_Messe) ( a Japanese convention center area outside Tokyo, located in the Mihama-ku ward of Chiba City, in the northwest corner of  Chiba prefecture, about 45mins by bus from Narita Airport).

 

my first meal upon arriving at the hotel.. my favourite Japanese Curry rice with hamburger steak

 

On the morning of 11th mar 2011,  many visitors from all over the world had turned up at the 3-day Beauty Fare.

many visitors registering themselves for their entry passes to the fare

 

The surprise came after we broke for lunch.  I felt the first tremor at 2.45pm in the afternoon.  I thought I was having giddy spells as I experienced the first quake.  Everything came as a shock as ceiling lights started swaying vigorously.  It was so violent that all the customers in the Japanese Restaurant ran out of the of the shop.  I thought the shaking was caused by some piling construction work nearby.  The subsequent shock came within 5-10 mins.  Out on the corridor of the restaurant, I saw many people squatting down.  A father with his family told me that I could be experiencing an earthquake.

The next moment,  I was hit by another wave of shaking.  The quake was so strong that  I could hear gas cyclinders from the restaurant’s kitchen dropping and rolling on the floor.  I was all too stunned to react.  I could only wait and see,  hoping that this was just a temporary quake that was often felt.

 

Fortunately for me,  I attended the exhibition with some friends from Singapore.  I was less frightened because of their presence.  One of my friend (Takashi)  suggested that we should get out of the building, just in case the building collapsed due to the severe shake.  The group of us got to the ground floor,  away from glass windows (in case they shatter).  I stood at the roadside, waiting to see what to do next.  An old Japanese man told our group that certain parts of  Japan had experienced quite severe quakes the day before.  He told our group that more serious ones would be expected to hit in certain parts of Japan.  We watched in fear as we saw the tall building (about 20 storeys) opposite us swaying left and right.   And the next moment, we were being hit by yet another violent shake.

 

Rows of bicycles were found laying on the floor as there were shock after shock of that earthquake.  Our group stayed at the same location for a good 30mins or so.  Making sure we were out of any possible danger.  I received a text message from my nephew in London that Fukushima had been hit by a serious earthquake.  The telco service in Japan seemed to have come to a stand still.   All the people around us, including strangers were all taking out their mobiles to call their family and loves ones.   But the line no longer worked.  My nephew texted me to tell me to be safe.

 

It then dawn on me that things had turned out to be more serious than anyone had expected.  The group decided to return to our hotel (New Otani), which was walking distance from the exhibition hall, in the hope to find out what had happened.

 

The Hotel lobby was crowded when we got back.  Filled with foreigners and Japanese, all waiting for news and instructions on what to do next.  A germany guy (Cabin crew from a German airline), dressed in his bathrobe was standing in the lobby.  Quite an unusual sight.  He related to us that he got injured as his room was on the 22nd floor.  The quake was so severe that he was being thrown around in his room.  Even the TV had fallen off the TV rack.  We watched in fear as the TV showed areas affected by the earthquake that had happened in Fukushima.  Hotel Staff all seemed pretty cool and composed but hardly any instruction was given as to what we could do, other than telling all hotel guests  ”there was an emergency,  pls remain calm”.

 

Takashi suggested that the group of us, leave the Hotel and move to an empty big football field about 5-10mins away.  As we walked to the entrance of the hotel,  there was an announcement that Tsumani will be expected in about 20mins.  The initial information was that a 2m high tsunami will be hitting the coast.  We were all told to get to higher floors.  Little did we expect that the next piece of news was more frightening.  The coming Tsunami was going to be 10m high instead.  No one will be able to understand our fears as we waited :  as  Hotel New Otani was only about 1-2 football field away from the sea.   The fear of waiting for things to happen,  the fear of not being able to see you family and loves ones again suddenly hit you.  I had butterfly in my stomach then but had to remain calm so as not to frighten the rest in the group.  Many of the hotel guests, together with the group of us headed to the 4th floor of the Hotel,  thinking that we will be on dry grounds from the 10m tsunami.

 

The rest of the afternoon passed by slowly,  with my heart skipping a beat every time the  aftershock  hit us.    The Hotel staff were all too busy with their own activities.  There was no water, no food provided.  We were all told that the lift has been stopped and we were not allowed to return to our rooms for fear of accidents in the lift if another severe earthquake was to hit.

 

I made 50 calls home.  After trying for 3 hrs, i finally managed to reach my family to tell them I was safe.  Most of us felt cold (temperature was about 10 degree celsius) and hungry.  I was lucky to have my friends around when the disaster happened as I was originally alone, to  checked-in at the hotel opposite.

 

The group of us decided to head out to buy food and drinks, for fear that we would be hungry later in the night in the cold weather.  It was almost 7pm and the hotel had not given any water.

 

cracked tiles and burst pipes were seen everywhere

 

check out the empty shelves in the convenient stores.... it was a shocking sight.

 

what you saw on TV was true as these pictures were taken using our iphones

 

All the food and drinks had been snapped up.  We only managed to buy a box of ice-cream to fill our tummies.  It was really pathetic.  Temperature had dropped to 7-8 degree celsius that night.  The group of us walked for an hour only to find a small sushi restaurant, that was opened for business. We stood for another half an hour in the cold before we were given seats in the heated restaurant.

 

the food that were being served was so little

 

I was too hungry to remember to take more pics during the meal

 

Takashi n June checking on earthquake updates on his iphone

 

we had to drink sake (japanese wine) to keep ourselves warm

 

had to sleep in the corridor of hotel that night as we were all not allowed in our rooms. it was really tough without any heater to keep us warm. I had to sleep in the same set of clothes I had on. We couldnt get a change. It was so so so cold....

 

All the hotels were all the same.  All the guests were only allowed to stay in the lobby.  Food and water was only given out by the hotel at 11.30pm.  The group of us couldnt make our way out of Makuhari cos all modes of transport had been stopped.

 

the buses out of makuhari was only available the next morning. can you see the long queue of commuters trying to board?

 

It took the group of us quite a while to get to tokyo as the train service had stopped.    Thankfully things were alot more ‘normal’ in Tokyo.  Other than power supply cut off (at certain hours),  Tokyolites continued their daily routines.

 

I managed to get my flight out for Tokyo on the 14th of mar (4 days after disaster hit),  it was also the morning when the Japanese Prime Minister made an official announcement on the severity of the disaster.  We were told that radiation may reach Tokyo in the next 4-5hours.  My flight was at 7pm but we left for Narita Airport at 12 noon after Takashi made special arrangement for a taxi to send us to the airport (cab fare was almost S$360).  Waiting for the flight time was nerve racking as well.  The whole Narita airport were filled with travellers getting out of Japan.  It was a shocking sight.  The additional commotion of a bomb scare at the Narita Airport was my last straw.  I was almost on of the verge of tears when my flight took off on schedule.  All the tension that was being built up in the last few days was suddenly released.  Felt so good to be headed back  home.

My views  after the disaster:  My heart felt very heavy after my return.  The trauma from the disaster left me many sleepless nights.  I had many nightmares weeks after.  I respect the Japanese to see how they reacted during the disaster.  Everybody behaved in a calm and orderly manner, whether to queue to make paid calls,  waiting for transport,  queueing for food…. there were no chaos.  Only considerate people trying their best to make sure there were enough for everybody, maybe it be petrol, food or drinks.

 

A few month later (in Oct 2011),  I made a trip back to Tokyo again.  Felt good to be able to make my trip to my favourite destination.  Life seemed quite the same… just that tourism took a severe beating (eg hotel rates and airfares were much cheaper).

 

My views a year later:  Since 1st mar 2012,  there were many programmes on TV featuring 0311,       a year after the Japan Triple disaster.  I decided that I should pen down my own experience.  This is my longest article I have ever written for my blog.  I have always thought that I have gotten over this experience since it happened quite a while back….  Frankly,  it still took me a few days to draft this.  The memories of everything that happened during those few days haunted me.  I “relived” the moment once again.  After many sleepless nights,  i finally finish this article.

Watching the programmes ,  i can vividly remember how i felt.  It still took me some courage to face the fear i experienced then.   I will forever respect the Fukushima 50 (who selflessly sacrificed themselves for the rest).  My heart feels very heavy whenever i read articles about the disaster.  I will never be able to imagine what will happen if the Prime Minister had not stopped the 30million Tokyo evacuation.  The chaos and fear would have been unimaginable.

My heart goes to those who didnt make it thru the triple disaster and also those who survived the ordeal.  I sincerely hope that Japan will recover soon.  Ganbatte ne , Japan!  I will sure visit again :)

 

shibuya main junction... taken in oct 2011

 

shibuya spanish steps.. taken in oct 2011omotesando hills... taken in oct 2011

 

You can read more about my recent trips with the following links:

http://blog.myfatpocket.com/mikko/tokyo-day-1/

http://blog.myfatpocket.com/mikko/tokyo-day-2/

http://blog.myfatpocket.com/mikko/tokyo-day-3/

http://blog.myfatpocket.com/mikko/tokyo-day-4/

http://blog.myfatpocket.com/mikko/tokyo-day-5/

http://blog.myfatpocket.com/mikko/last-day-in-tokyo/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 7th, 2012 Imperial Treasure Steamboat

Hi hi,  hope i am being missed here… lol.    Known to my friends to be a foodie,  obviously must start the engine with a food post.  Have been really busy with some visitors last week.  Had a very good meal at one of my favourite steamboat place.

 

crispy fish skin

 

Geo duck sashimi... definitely an indulgence :)

 

chicken

 

US prime beef.... very yummy. can tell from the marbling right?

 

fried beancurd skin.. a quick dip in the soup and this simple item will taste like heaven

 

fresh prawns

 

kurobuta or black pork. sweet and melts in your mouth

 

a good variey of soup base.. very good stock/broth. I usually go for the chicken soup. have tried their "mala" and pork bone soup. just as tasty.

 

very interesting condiments... more like the szechuan style where u can create your own concoction.

 

Imperial Treasure at Ion.. on level 4

 

Mikko’s comments:  a great place for ‘luxury’ steamboat as they serve good quality meat.  Broth tasted like its been boiled for hours.  only setback is your pocket.  prepare to spend about $50-80 per head depending food ordered.  will i go back again ?  of course…  )

 

 

 

 

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