Singapore: Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen at Liang Court

Ah, Liang Court.

One of my new favorite malls to visit. Why? Though it sits next to Fort Canning MRT station on the Downtown Line, it doesn’t have the stressful crowds of MRT stations you’d find in Ang Mo Kio, Cityhall or Tiong Bahru. Liang Court is an old mall filled with Japanese stores and restaurants. It seems to attract a crowd that stays in the nearby condos. It’s laid back.

It also happens to be a major transit point getting from my office (Marina Bay Financial Centre next to Downtown MRT) to my house in Bukit Merah. Bus 195 is a convenient ‘feeder’ bus that takes me from MRT station to my block on a 15-minute ride.

Enough about that. I’ve done some little exploring of this pocket-sized mall and I’ve discovered a restaurant in the basement that specializes in Okinawan cuisine. I’ll write about that next time. Today, I got my ramen fix from Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen. It’s located right across from Starbucks and Subway on the ground level.

Click the images to make them bigger.

It specializes in “kazan ramen” which is ramen served in a very hot stone bowl with a conical lid cover. But for my first trip here in weeks, I went for the classic tonkotsu ramen with a piece of cha shu.

For about SGD 12-15 (standard price for ramen in Singapore), it’s not too bad. Given you can enjoy free boiled eggs.

It’s good for a quick fix. But my favorite ramen places are still in the Tanjong Pagar area near Orchid Hotel. I want to try the kazan ramen next time and I’ll write an updated review about that here.

Location: Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen, Liang Court (177 River Valley Road). Nearest MRT Station: Fort Canning (Downtown Line).

Opening Week: Photos from Jewel Changi Airport

The Jewel is open! Changi Airport’s much-anticipated new feature opened to the public on April 17, 2019, after a massive preview the week before (photos, also here). The renders and teasers looked spectacular. But up close, it exceeded expectations. It’s bigger than I thought!

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Jewel Changi Airport in daylight. It’s a monument that houses a reta

Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the S$1.7B mixed-used development really is Changi Airport’s crown jewel. Inside the tallest indoor waterfall in the world called the ‘HSBC Rain Vortex’ which itself is the centerpiece of the Shiseido Forest Valley. It’s a fitting tribute to Singapore’s image as a ‘city in a garden’.

There’s an IMAX theatre, a hotel, and over 300 retail and dining options inside this massive space. I’m most excited about the forest valley, canopy park, and its unique offerings like an A&W (returning to Singapore from 2019), Shake Shack, and Pokemon Centre.

I guess it’s funny for other people to wonder what’s the big deal with seeing another QB House, Starbucks, or Cotton On opening. But if you can do it to this scale and make it a unique shopping experience each time? Wow. Great job, Changi Airport!

Shiseido Forest Valley and Canopy Walk

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The HSBC Rain Vortex has a night show.
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A line of trees in Jewel Changi Airport’s Canopy Park.
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I love how they keep the lighting dim in the evening.
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The ceiling reflecting in the pool of water.
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I think it’s a good place for a date. If you don’t mind the crowds.
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The indoor waterfall is the highlight of this spectacular space.
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Animal topiaries in the Canopy Park.
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Let’s pay attention to the seats in the Canopy Park as well.
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It wouldn’t be Singapore without the floral spaces.
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The crowds during opening week at Jewel Changi Airport.
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One of the exclusive areas for VIP guests at Jewel Changi.

Retail and Dining 

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The Pokemon Centre. The first permanent Pokemon store in Asia outside of Japan.
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I’ll come back after the opening week crowds dissipate!
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Get your chili crab fix at Jumbo Seafood.
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Duplex-style stores include Shake Shack.
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Another duplex-style store is Nike. This is the largest Nike store in Southeast Asia.
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QB House Kids
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The design is very open. From top levels to the basement.
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At different parts of the perimeter you can take a peek at the rain vortex.
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Tokyu Hands occupies one of the duplex spaces too.
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This is a Starbucks Reserve store occupying one of the duplex slots at Jewel Changi Airport.
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Also in a duplex is the Muji store in Jewel Changi Airport.
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Go to Tim Ho Wan for your baked bun with pork BBQ.
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I associate Bengawan Solo with SGH. But this one feels like a TWG Tea cafe.
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It’s nice to see Singapore brands occupy a whole stretch of Jewel Changi Airport.
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Gift stores selling new Jewel Changi Airport are also available.
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The Changi Airport brand appears in all sorts of media. Like this piece of literature for kids.
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A&W at Jewel Changi Airport. This is located in the basement area.
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Tong Garden has a store. I associate this with the cheaper peanuts you can buy at Sheng Shiong.
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Philippine snack brand Potato Corner which is expanding in Singapore also has a store at Jewel Changi Airport.
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There’s also an IMAX brought to Jewel Changi Airport by Shaw Theatres.

How to get to Jewel Changi Airport?

Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 is connected directly to Jewel from the basement level (Arrivals). You can also cross the street at the drop-off level in depatures.

There’s an air-conditioned elevated walkway connecting into Jewel if you are originating from Terminal 2 and 3. If you are coming from Terminal 4, take a bus to Terminal 2 and then take the walkway into Jewel.

Despite how massive the offering is at Jewel, Changi Airport MRT station does not connect to it directly. You’ll have to follow the signs and head up into Terminals 2 or 3 and then take the walkway. Alternatively, you can take a skytrain to Terminal 1 and walk into Jewel.

Best Milk Tea in Clarke Quay? HEYTEA, maybe? Hehe.

When the app said that the next Bus 195 to pass by Fort Canning will take 22 minutes (yes, THAT long of an interval), I asked PJ if he wanted to grab a drink at Clarke Quay. Clarke Quay is just a minute away from the bus stop we were at.

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Ordering the same thing with PJ. Win for let me try yours if you try mine too.

A-ha! We should try HEYTEA which serves alcoholic milk tea (how appropriate for the tourist-driven watering hole). Or maybe we could just enjoy brown sugar milk tea.

We walk over to Block A and enter HEYTEA. It’s an Insta-worthy bubble tea establishment that’s brightly lit and has funky tables in the middle. It’s a contrast to the numerous pubs and bars all around which are dimly-lit.

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HEYTEA serving you Apple store vibes in the middle of drunken Clarke Quay.

PJ and I couldn’t really decide between the other exotic flavors available. We ended up getting the EXACT SAME Brown Sugar Bobo Bubble Tea. Bobo, by the way, means dumb in Tagalog. But who cares. We’re here for the SUGAR RUSH. No kidding my songkran diet is completed f already.

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Filled with… youth.
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The alcoholic bubble tea beverages are sold at a separate counter.
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Above 18 only.
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Remind me to try the TIPSY ICE CREAM next time.
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Not quite sure what these are for.
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Clever design if you think about it.
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So deep.
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Brown sugar Bobo!
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Went for “LESS SUGAR” but each gulp of these sugary pearls = SUGAR RUSH.
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At first I thought you could order milk tea towers here. It’s just decor.
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“Make a dent in the universe” and by that, we mean taking photographs of black holes.
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They have a CLAW machine. You can earn tokens when you order MILK TEA.
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You can win stickers and tote bags.
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Clarke Quay.

You can find HEYTEA at Block A in Clarke Quay. Here’s a map for you.

Enjoy!

VivoCity Place to Eat: Express Teppanyaki

Don’t you love the sound of sizzling meat and vegetables? Teppanyaki is about the experience of having it cooked right in front of you. It makes me smile haha.

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Express Teppanyaki is located inside VivoCity’s Food Republic.

Happy to discover a teppanyaki place that isn’t far from my house in Bukit Merah! PJ and I usually go to Orchard for our teppanyaki fix (this is the one at the food court of Wisma Atria).

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You get to enjoy watching the cook prepare your meal.

Location. You can find Express Teppanyaki at Food Republic, VivoCity. If you don’t know where Food Republic is, it’s near the Sentosa Express. Within the food court, Express Teppanyaki is on the left side as you enter.

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Express Teppanyaki has three chef’s stations.
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Express Teppanyaki VivoCity’s menu as of April 2019.

Price. We spent about SGD 12-16 each here. I think it’s a little cheaper than the one at Wisma Atria. The offerings are the teppanyaki basics you’d find like sliced beef, prawn, and a few other set meals that are bundled in different ways.

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Sauteed bean sprouts.

Taste. It’s your food court-style teppanyaki so it’s best to manage expectations. Is it good? I’ll say yes. It’s a teppanyaki quick fix. I liked the sliced beef with garlic and chilli bits. This has generous amounts of brown sauce. PJ ordered the king prawn set and I love that more.

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Sliced beef with garlic and chilli. There’s a thick amount of sauce.
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PJ ordered the king prawn and this was delicious.
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Another set of vegetables were served.

Bonus Video with PJ after the jump.

Continue reading “VivoCity Place to Eat: Express Teppanyaki”

Just checkin’ in! Changi Airport T4 Open House

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 opens October 31, 2017! They built it in under three years. It’s situated where the old Budget Terminal used to be. Terminal 4 or T4 is not connected to Terminals 1 to 3 via the Skytrain service. But shuttles will be provided.

If the video won’t play, you can click to see it on YouTube here.

The open house was a wonderful opportunity to check out the Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) feature. These include the self check-in (already available at the other terminals), automated Bag-Drop and Boarding Gates with facial recognition technology, and new centralised screening areas.

It is a sparkling new compact terminal that will service budget carriers like AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. It will also cater to Cathay Pacific and Korean Air. Changi Airport is Skytrax World’s Best Airport for five consecutive years. Business Insider describes it as having “received praise from flyers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and dining and shopping options.”

Other upcoming megastructures include Project Jewel, a lustrous facility with vortex waterfalls that will bridge the first three terminals together. And a fifth terminal megastructure with a new runway set to open in the next decade.

Halloween Horror Nights 6 | bekpackr EP06

Here’s our little peek at Halloween Horror Nights 6 at Universal Studios Singapore (Resorts World Sentosa). This was recorded during Partner’s Night so the select rides were not open during our visit.

Halloween Horror Nights 6 was beautifully crafted and we had a great time. Much love and kudos to the cast behind HHN6. I can’t even imagine not just the prep but being in character throughout the night.

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EPISODE: 8 Reasons I Love the Singapore Garden Festival

I had a great time editing this one. Taking you through 8 reasons why I loved the Singapore Garden Festival… which BTW… CONCLUDED BACK IN JULY. It’s a wonderful festival that brings together the community (students, elderly, towns in Singapore, etc…)

Don’t mind some of my sarcasm in the video but to me the festival was a treat. It’s something I’d like to take my parents to. Bring your kids, your parents, bring your relatives. LOL.

Learn more about the event here:
https://www.singaporegardenfestival.com/

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Sights and Sounds: Singapore Night Festival 2016 | bekpackr EP04

The Singapore Night Festival is on its ninth year! My friend Greg and I dropped by the first night of the four-day event (running over two weekends). It felt impossible to capture everything all on one night.

Take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Singapore Night Festival! Totally worth it! I might go back next weekend if there’s still time.

This was also an opportunity to try out my new Canon G7X Mark II in low lighting. Honestly, I love the colours! See my latest episode below.

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Dropping by the Singapore City Gallery at The URA Centre

During lunch or afternoon snacks I like to head down to Maxwell Food Centre to grab a bite. My route from International Plaza to Maxwell passes by The URA Centre which contains the Singapore City Gallery. It’s a free gallery which showcases the city’s physical transformation over the past decades. It also shows upcoming plans and concepts.

I learned they are planning to move the container port from Tanjong Pagar to Tuas. This will free up a huge amount of space for a new waterfront development after the 2030s. Amazing. I can imagine it to be similar to Hong Kong’s wider waterfront.

The City Gallery website: http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/citygallery/

Photos below 🙂

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Into the Blue at the Singapore Airshow 2014

Because for me it’s mandatory to include Kylie’s latest single somewhere in the post title.

Okay so it’s the Singapore Airshow 2014! I won tickets! Such a cheapskate it’s only SGD 22.00 per adult. Lol. My wallet has been paper thin recently so winning tickets to the airshow was a delight! Thank you U.S. Embassy – Singapore.

The last time I visited an airshow was when I was a kid on Okinawa. I remember the U.S. air force planes on the tarmac. I remember it was like a carnival with lots of that “All American” vibe like hotdogs and burgers… and since it was in Japan… there were five or six sticks of steaming yakitori dipped in sauce inside these little Coca-cola paper cups.

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The Airshow happens every two years and this year they sold/gave out about 80,000 tickets. The the airshow spans about a week but the public display happens only during the weekend. Ticketholders are to proceed to Singapore EXPO (Expo MRT) where shuttles will take everyone to the venue near Changi Airport.

I noted that the airshow shuttles were quite efficient. Everything felt so systematic and well-organized. However, I read some people were not aware that tickets could not be purchased at the gate. Tickets needed to be purchased in advance because they probably have crowd control issues.

By the time we reached the venue, the airshow was already halfway through. Oh well! So I barely got any photos of the planes doing different manoeuvres.

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Ah hello… nag-ddate din tayo di ba… =p

 

 

When the planes were up in the air I lost track of my boyfriend. Lol. Nawala na lang bigla. Yun pala nag-i-Instagram siya sa isang sulok. Okay… was hoping we could steal a kiss as the planes zoomed high above us. He owes me a kiss!

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ROKOF Black Eagles spreading the Korean colours high above Singapore.

And within five minutes it had ended. The ROKOF (Republic of Korea Air Force) Black Eagles and USAF (United States Air Force) C-17 had performed for thirty minutes and we missed most of it. Ugh! But it’s okay… I came here to see the planes on display. Let’s see what else happened.

Continue reading “Into the Blue at the Singapore Airshow 2014”