28 Nov 2013

Food Guide/Reviews on Balmoral Plaza Eateries

Waffletown USA

If you have been around the Bukit Timah vicinity for a significant period of time, you would probably have heard of Waffletown! My boy was craving for waffles last week so we decided to visit Waffletown! I mean like seriously. the first place I thought of was Waffletown for waffles. as its name suggests.

Though nothing out of the extraordinary, the waffles served there are something that's worth missing back from your school days, especially so if you were schooling around the Balmoral Plaza area. 

We ordered the Double Scoop Ice Cream Waffles (Raspberry and Rocky Road Chocolate Ice Cream) and Sausage & Egg Waffles for $5.80 and $4.80 each respectively.

The raspberry and rocky road chocolate ice creams complemented each other and the cream very well. That goes without saying that it tasted perfectly with the waffle. This is actually my first time trying their sweet waffle version and I am indeed impressed!

Previously, I tried the turkey ham and egg waffle three years back and was not that pleased with the ham especially. However, this time I did not regret choosing the sausages as they went so well with the egg and waffle! You gotta try eating all three of them at the same time and then you will see....the... magic. The only minus point is that I wished the eggs were more runny hehehe.

271 Bukit Timah Road 
#01-08 Balmoral Plaza 
Singapore 259708
Contact No.: +65 6836 6536

Smiths Authentic British Fish And Chips

I often pass Balmoral Plaza in my cab on the way home from town and would see the signboard of Smiths Fish & Chips! Finally I got a chance to try it today however it almost failed my expectations, sadly :/
We ordered the Small Cod & Chips ($14) to share, along with two side orders of curry sauce and baked beans ($2 each).

Well the cod fish was fine, I enjoyed it a lot with a brand new taste, thanks to a drizzle of vinegar, and tartar sauce which I had to pay an extra 20 cents for -.- The fries and the sides were the ones I had lots of issues with. I'm not sure if the fries were meant to be soggy but they were REALLY SOGGY. 

Pardon me, if the fries were meant to be soggy then I think british chippies aren't my kinda fries. But if they are not meant to be soggy then..................... hmm. The curry sauce was some pretty bland vegetable curry sauce and the baked beans tasted pretty stale. I was actually expecting baked beans made in the kitchen!

I'm still quite interested to try the other items on the menu, like the Haddock and Dory fish, however for the time being, that's enough chippies from Smiths.

271 Bukit Timah Road
#01-02 Balmoral Plaza
Singapore 259708
Contact No.: 6737 9313

Hello amigoes! I seek to have your kind understanding as this guide is yet to be completed. Me and my boy were both full after eating two waffles and a packet of fish & chips (v cui stomach space I know), hence there are only two eateries/diners in this list, but we will build on more before the end of December! :)

We're going new directions

A LEVELS ARE OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donut mind my language but 
this was my exact sentiments after the invigilator said ''you guys may leave now"

Bad language and feelings towards the A Levels aside, it is now time for me to focus on building up my whole 'career' on social media block by block and to show this world what I've got! I could not wait to start on my vlogs even way before my A's ended... So I took some chances and filmed two scenes in my first vlog EVER to be posted on Youtube! 

Just a heads up, it will not be the usual "Hi this is my first vlog let me do an introduction of myself" kinda thing.... I feel that that should come later or it may not be needed as I'm a person who can't really be described easily.

I just went to Balmoral Plaza today after my exams with the boy to have waffles at Waffletown to relieve our secondary school days as both of our schools are near Balmoral... And we also went to check out the new Smith's Britain Fish & Chips! A food review/guide to eateries at Balmoral Plaza coming up next so please do check it out!

Gosh, I really have a million and one things to do before I leave Singapore. Transfer all the recent episodes of Running Man/WGM into my ipad mini, source for background music for my vlogs and download it into my ipod for further selection, rehearse for my church's christmas production and scan in all the scores into pdf so I do not have to bring my file along with me, finish filming my first vlog on Friday and the second by the time I reach Munich, edit Japan and Taiwan photos from my June trip o god I'm way too behind BUT I WILL TRY MY BEST FOR YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just a heads up on what's planned for you guys on my blog for the month of December!
- First vlog (Will be up by 17th Dec) 
- Inflight Beauty Routine and Essentials Video (Will be up by 18th Dec) + post
- Eastern Europe Trip Vlog Part 1 and the posts on the cities in that video
and maybe also a Christmas special video!!

I HAVE TO FLOOD MYSELF WITH ASSIGNMENTS SO THAT I WILL SPEND MY HOLIDAYS PRODUCTIVELY AND HAPPILY yes I have to do this. Ok time for me to start on my Balmoral Plaza eateries review nowwwww ciao guys see you on insta/twitter. Feel free to follow me! :)

Stay hipsterrrific,
Ming Rui L.

18 Oct 2013

Bellabox "We're 2!" October Box Review

I received my Bellabox in the mail yesterday morning yay! Bellabox is basically a makeup promoting "agent" that sends you 5 makeup samples each month in a beautifully decorated box. Brands I've received since January include: theBalm, Taylor Swift's Enchanted, Justin Bieber's Girlfriend, Lanvin, Dr Ci.Labo, MOX Botanicals, e.t.c. Best thing is that----- you only have to pay $19.95 to get all of that each month! How worth it right?

Bellabox Singapore turns two this month and dayum, their goodie bag this month is many times of the size of the usual package I received for the past few months. So, of course I was anticipating much more from this huge grey paper bag below!


Un"bagging" it: Cosmopolitan Magazine, Cosmo pads (lol srsly cosmo mag/cosmo pads) and Cosmo bag-LOL I KID, Bellabox this month came in the form of makeup pouch in a toned copper colour.

The contents inside the copper makeup pouch: Foundation Primer/Perfume Sample/Mask/Vouchers/Nail Polish/Renew Cream

I always love their colourful post-card sized introductory messages of the products every month!

Product #1: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect SPF30/PA++ 
Rating: 3.5/5

Oh come on, you won't be expecting anything lesser than awesome from Laura Mercier's face products. I've actually a bigger tube of this from the Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit I purchased earlier on this year which includes the primer, tinted moisturizer, concealer+pressed powder and a few brushes and powder puffs/sponges. 
It is pretty lightweight and gives my skin a smooth finish to make applying the rest of the makeup easier! However, it does not work as well on my T-zone as Singapore's weather is really hot and humid and the lightweight properties of it can't protect against my oily skin/sweat, especially the area on my nose. Hence, it would be perfect to use in other countries, just not Singapore. I swear Singapore is the best place to go bare faced as your makeup will just run in less 4 hours with the sweltering heat we are under everyday.
The primer is a light ivory colour and fades into your skin colour after applying. It has no smell/fragrance.

Product #2: Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau De Parfum Spray
Rating: 4.5/5

You know the feeling of smelling a certain perfume when you step into a perfume store yet not knowing what the scent is? Untold gives me the answer to that. Absolutely adore its floral scent and I shall purchase it at the airport after coming back from Europe in December! Thank you so much Bellabox for giving me a sample sized bottle for easy carry!

Product #3: Jacqueline Burchell Nail Polish in Baby I Am News
Rating: 4/5

The bottle reminds me of Nails Inc.'s packaging. Anyway, there's nothing not there to love about this nail polish. I love the colour, the applicator, the time taken to dry and the consistency of the glitter in the nail polish. The polish is in the shade of a glittery baby pink. I painted it on top of OPI's My First Knockwurst and its effects are ah-may-zing. Definitely purchasing more colours from her line! The best thing is that it's researched and developed in Singapore! *starts singing patriotic songs loudly*

Product #4: Sexy Look 4D Mask
Rating: 4/5

I'm not sure why is this mask named Sexy Look... oh wait the brand of this mask producing company is called Sexy Look, uhm ok..... But anyway I'm really satisfied with this mask. It's allllll about the detailing as there are special ''ear extensions'' for you to hook the holes onto your ears and stretch the mask fully and nicely over your face.The mask also extends up to your neck and you can hook the holes at the ends of the strip to your ears too. However after a while, I found it really painful and a little itchy on my ears at it was hooking onto it really tightly and I was feeling really quite uncomfortable. :/ 
Other than that, it was fine! My skin felt really refreshed, bouncy and 'q' after application and patting the remaining product into my skin and 15 minutes after removing the mask, my skin feels really soft and supple! I would be happy if they removed the neck part and give me just the ear hooks along with the face mask. I like masks to be fuss free, thanks! The mask smelt really good though, like some pearl-ish light scent.

Product #5: Whisper Cosmo Heavy Day
Rating: 3.9/5

Is this some sorcery or what? I got to test this pad out immediately as my period came a day after my Bellabox arrived (a little TMI here, sorry) I honestly won't think this pad would work on my kind of heavy day as when I say heavy, its really damn heavy. This pad would prolly work on the second, third or fourth day when the flow is lesser. 
Anyways, the plastic wrapping of the pad is in a cheery yellow-orange colour which might make your period days seem less gloomy. The surface of the pad has all these holes that makes the moisture seep in so that it would not leak that easily. Hmm, I am highly skeptical that this would work and am prepared to see a pool of blood when I stand up.... 
I wore it around for 4 hours on my second day of having my period and surprisingly.... it did not leak! The moisture all seeped through the holes and all of it was caught so yup!!! Thumbs up for that! However my flow on the first day was much more than today's so..... I'm not sure if it would still work.

Product #7: Indio Cosmeceutical Renew Cream
Rating: 2/5
I really didn't think much about this product and it didn't prove me to be wrong indeed! Everything about this product was just horrible, I felt no tingling sensation as it was supposed to be described in the card, and the smell of the cream while I was exfoliating my face was unbearable. It smelt really chemical and alcoholic? I just didn't like it.

Overall, I would rate this box 23/30 (rounding up all the scores and ratings a little). Of course it would be hard for all products to satisfy my needs but I thoroughly enjoyed this month's Bellabox. Always looking forward to the next month's samples! :)

Stay hipsterrrific,
Ming Rui L.

17 Oct 2013

Life Lately: Rocky Master and Chow Mein

My A's are just around 3 weeks away HOWEVER I have two posts cued to be released by tomorrow and another hopefully by the end of next week. Life of a blogger lolololololol sigh ok I'm actually quite stressed now but I haven't done anything today because of some very bad abdomen cramps this morning.

Cramps. I'm glad yet not glad to have them. Having cramps come along with your period means that you are not pregnant, neither are you having any issues with your hormones or reproductive system. However cramps are such a bitch, they halt my work for the whole day and leave me listless and slumped to my bean bag with a hot pack on my tummy. :( I can't drink my favourite yakult or cold juices, I'm forced to drink warm water and the sick tasting ginger tea :(

This week was spent on crazy 4 hour tuitions, spending lots of time at my new favourite cafe Rocky Master @ North Bridge Road, shopping at H&M after tuition, even more Rocky Master with my boyfriend on Tuesday, then tuition tuition tuition and then meeting my bros for dinner tomorrow night. My Urban Decay Shattered Face Case and Super Saturated Lip Colour has arrived at my address in America and currently I'm waiting till the end of the month to purchase some stuff from Forever 21 with my leftover money. Keeping my fingers crossed that a certain sweater doesn't go out of stock.

My favourite annoying youtube video after The Fox is now..... behold the CHINESE FOOD

Currently learning the lyrics to this song so that I can annoy everyone around me, in particular, my boyfriend. My favourite part in the video is when the panda bursts through the ceiling blasting off leaving a rainbow behind. Why am I not surprised that this video is again, brought to us by the extremely notorious and infamous Ark Music Factory that created our favourite Fridaaaay by Rebecca Black? It's funny how they used the same rapper in Friday and Chinese Food. Can't wait for all the parodies by Barely Political, Bad Lip Reading and also the Kids React/Youtubers React.

I love fried rice I love noodles I love chow mein chow me-me-me-me-mein

Meh ok time to write a GP essay, have been promising my senior to write one for a really long time so that he can help me mark it. Can't wait for everything to be over so that I can concentrate on things that I enjoy doing!!!

Do remember to comment/tell me any ideas you have for future posts on my tagboard/ask.fm or instagram! Love you hipsters.

Stay hipsterrrific,
Ming Rui L.

25 Sept 2013

Taiwan Travelogue(part 2) - Days 3 & 4

 Day 3:

We rested at our hotel: Taipei New Continental Hotel, for the night. The hotel serves a decent spread for breakfast. Like, really. It's decent compared to those budget hotels in Europe. However the free wifi in the room on the first night was crappy though :/

Since my mum and I couldn't sleep well that night, we woke up really early to have breakfast and had lots of time before our tour group set off for the day. So we went outside the hotel to have a post-brekkie walk.

Rows and rows of motorcycles along the pavement: A common sight in Taipei.

Did I tell you how much I love Taiwanese convenience stores? They sell like, EVERYTHING. And you can even purchase things using your train and bus pass. Throughout the whole trip I just kept using my Taipei transport pass to purchase items from the convenience stores because my smart mum decided to top-up NTD 1000 into both our cards and didnt know how to refund the money inside. So yes, you can imagine how much I bought from the stores just to use up the stored value: Coffee, ice cream, fruit beer, playing cards, snacks, cup noodles, banana milk, face masks, make-up, nail polish, yadda yadda.

Their vitagen/yakult is like, 1.5 times the size of ours.

I love all their quick-fix breakfast sets, how I wished Singapore had them too :(

The map the tour guide used to explain to us the course of our entire trip in Taipei. 4 天 doesn't mean spending 4 days in that place. It means on Day 4 we will head there.

The first stop of our trip was a major, I don't know how major anti-climax: The Baby Boss Museum/Theme Park/Playground/Place/Palace/I don't even know what to call it. It's probably a centre. Something like our science centre/ discovery centre but for kids. So basically the kids go inside there and dress up as various occupations and roleplay the tasks in that occupation. E.g. If they enter the doctor section, they will wear the doctor's white coat and maybe use a stethoscope and hear the heartbeat of a patient. I don't know. 

But anyway, the reason why it was a major anti-climax is because IT WAS ONLY PERMITTED FOR AGES 5-15 TO ENTER. Miss Lee here is 19 now (just turned 19 two days ago) and obviously is too old for such things. I literally felt a whack on my head for choosing this tour package as it was very clearly catered for kids, not for the adventure/nature-loving. So yeah, no wonder I'm the only teenager. 

I really thought very little of this Baby Boss thingum but once we arrived with those families in my tour group who wanted to go inside at the place itself, THERE WAS A FREAKING QUEUE. According to my tour guide, families actually arrive HOURS before the place even open to be first in line. 

And once the place opens (after a really lame song and dance by the staff there) everybody RUNS in like as if its the opening of H&M and everything inside there is free. 

I'm just like:

But ok if you have a 5 year old kid that has a decent command of the Chinese language, you might consider bringing him/her inside. However to be honest, I find this place even less worth it than spending a day at the now-defunct Downtown East Theme Park, not because everything is in chinese but the idea of it is just......... what on earth?!

Anyway, our really awesome tour guide Jacky made it up to us by bringing the remaining of the group (which is like 7/8 of the members, lol see how unattractive baby boss is) to see the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. There's a really nice garden in front where people gather to meet/play games/do tai-chi/dance. You can say it's like the Scape of Taipei, just more for everyone, not just teenagers. According to my dad, this place has been the gathering place ever since he was there studying in the 1970s. You could also get a very good view of the Taipei 101 there too!

*cues touristy photos*

To completely make up for the first anti-climax itinerary, our tour guide then brought us to Dazzling Cafe at Breeze Centre (near Zhong Xiao Fu Xing MRT). It was a really pleasant place to have brunch at and he kindly recommended us to try their Honey Toast! You can read my review of Dazzling Cafe here.

After a super filling lunch 30 mins after we gobbled down our brunch (we regarded our brunch as Lunch Part I), we had a 2 hour plus bus journey to another city in Taiwan, Taichung. Our only stop there was the Feng Jia Night Market(逢甲夜市). Was looking forward to it as the tour guide said it is much bigger and offers more food and shopping. To my absolute delight, it was true!

One of the must-try street snacks when you come to Taiwan is the 大腸包小腸. As its name suggests, it is indeed a bigger"sausage" wrapping a smaller sausage. The bigger "sausage" is actually made up of glutinous rice and inside it wraps the traditional Taiwanese sausage, pickled vegetable, pork floss, garlic, onion, chilli, soya sauce, wasabi, e.t.c. They have different fillings that you can choose from and this store above is the highly raved Guan Zhi Lin sausage stall at 逢甲夜市.

Finally got to try it and............. to be honest I'm really not used to eating Taiwan's chilli and sausages and I don't really like pickled vegetables (they call it cai po) so........... I didn't really like it. But I loved the glutinous rice, it was sticky yet had a slight crunch to it!

They sold Okonomiyaki! It was REAAAAALLY GOOD.

Bought like so many clothes from 逢甲夜市. Happy with my haul ^^

We were on our way to dinner when we saw this along the roadside. It really seemed like funeral wreaths, but actually those are good luck messages from parents to their kids placed outside junior colleges in Taichung for their finals before they enter university! Wow ok haha.

Had dinner at this really vintage place. They called it the Banana New Paradise ........... Um ok it's like all things weird are here in Taiwan now hahahahaha. But anyway the food was really not bad, though I was freaked out by all the vintage feels at the eating house due to the fact that the tour guide was just telling us ghost stories right before we got down the bus for dinner. O God I hate ghost stories I really hate them.

Loving all these vintage cameras, oh wait looks like my Pentax SLR is one of them. Can you spot it? :)

This eating house also has an old train right outside the front door for customers to board it and take photos:

Oh look who's been here! *cues fangirl screams*

We stayed at Taichung The Splendour Hotel that night. There was free wifi, gym and even a pool in the hotel! But I had a sleepless night after I felt a pinch on my back while trying to fall asleep at midnight..... and thought back to the ghost stories the tour guide was telling us.... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. One negative point about the room is that the bed was way too hard!

Day 4:
Finally fell back asleep and woke up at 6am automatically without needing any alarms. However I can't remember what happened but my mum and I took really long to pack up the room and came down for breakfast having only like 15 minutes to eat. :/ But anyway we still mangaged to sample everything for breakfast and the spread was the best out of the whole package tour!

Our breakfast room was on the 15F and we could get a really good view of Taichung from there....... Do you see a storm approaching? :S

Our first stop for the day was Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) at Nantou (南头) which is the largest body of water in Taiwan. The east side of the lake resembles the sun, whereas the west side resembles the moon... hence Sun Moon Lake. Overlooking the lake is a temple called Wen Wu Temple which we visited. The tour guide spoke a lot of fengshui stuff that's super creepy until I couldn't process/digest anymore fengshui stuff for the rest of the whole trip.

My mum bought two charms for my family and my studies. Hmm.

After touring the temple we went on board a cruise to tour the Sun Moon Lake. To be really really honest, this can't be compared to Hang Zhou's canals or 太湖. So if you are expecting something really epic and gorgeous, Sun Moon Lake will be sure to disappoint you. But if you haven't been to the canals and lakes in China then I guess Sun Moon Lake will be an eye-opener.

This is the puny island that lies in the middle of the Sun Moon Lake called the La Lu Island. It used to house an aboriginal tribe but now they have been relocated to somewhere else. 

Have you ever seen red bananas????????

Had lunch in the Sun Moon Lake vicinity and some of the dishes were served in bamboos! It really made the dishes more aromatic!

After lunching we moved on to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village which was basically a theme park and village showcasing the various aborigines in Taiwan. The highlight of this place I felt, was the cable car up to the top most point to view the entire Sun Moon Lake. There was also a One Piece theme park inside so....... if you are a One Piece fan you might really like the place! But the exhibition has ended end of June if I'm not wrong.

 We had to switch cable cars twice in order to get to the look-out point. 

The weather that afternoon was sweltering HOT so my mum and I were really very lazy to walk around anymore. I walked on to visit ONE of the tribe's huts and that's all. I didn't want to venture any further for the fear of heatstroke.

After coming back down to ground level, my mum went to get a drink at the fast food restaurant while I daringly went on a ride alone. 
And very obviously I scared the shit out of myself as it was something similar to Space Mountain in Disneyland and I'm not a big fan of that ride. After that there was still half an hour to kill so I wasted all my spare change on those arcade games that you can never win. :/

We took a bus ride up to the He Huan Mountains for the lodge that we were going to stay at the for the night. It was a lovely place with faerie lights in the garden - for all of you hipsters/tumblr-addicts out there. However it was all so misty around due to the heavy downpour and the visibility around was close to 0. We were just walking around amongst the clouds and the feeling was pretty cool :) The weather there was really chilly too, for a hot summer in Taiwan. Oh and the name of the lodge is Cing Jing Jun Yue Hanging Garden Resort. I think it's more of a lodge as no one is at the reception once past midnight so............. good luck to you if you find cockroaches in your room. :P