Chock full of beans

Grandma stopped cooking on weekends a while ago since most of us are out and she has dinner dates regularly so I’m constantly on the look out for good eats near my place. It’s such a chore because my place is in a far flung corner of Singapore and to get to anywhere that resembles civilization takes a bus ride.

Saw Chock Full of Beans on my friend’s insta and it’s pretty near my place

I like Chock Full of Beans for its good lattes and also, its un-judging atmosphere when I head there alone. I think traveling solo kind of instilled this courage in me. I like to tell myself – “There is no shame in dining alone”.

Rose latte

 

Comes with whipped creme, rose petals (which taste sweet weirdly, because I accidentally tasted one) and rose syrup.

They serve brunch on weekends

My eggs weren’t poached perfect as you can see, they ain’t runny. The bread was not toasted and it was tough.

I guess it’s also about the price you pay. I remember my eggs benedict with salmon was chea, it was merely a 13SGD. It’s quite impossible to find eggs benedict with smoked salmon at that price.

Drinks menu

 

Brunch menu

Will I head there again? Yeah probably I think so, I like the unpretentious air, the kampong feeling of Changi Village and also the fact that it’s a cheap brunch place near my home.

Chock Full of Beans
4 Changi Village, #01-2090, Singapore 500004
Tue – Fri: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Sat – Sun: 9:00am – 10:00pm
Tel: +65 6214 8839

Bangkok food: Platinum Fashion Mall foodcourt

So.. it’s been about a year since I went Bangkok and I’ve finally found my blogging mojo back to write more stories of my life. I’ve leaving for Bangkok in 1.5 weeks, and this will be the first time I’m going to Bangkok without the family in tow. It’ll be different but enjoyable nonetheless.

Short post – Here’s a couple of my favourite food items from the foodcourt at Platinum Fashion Mall.

The foodcourt is perpetually busy

One of my favourite Thailand chap chye peng as I call it – Tang hoon, fried chicken and basil chicken. Everything that I adore.

Quail eggs! But share the cholesterol around.

 

Random yummy omelette of some sort

Some noodle soup which is really good!

 

 

Costa Victoria review/ tips

This post is almost a year late but here are some of my tips if you’re heading to Costa Victoria for a cruise.

You need a credit card
To link to your Costa card – which is used for all purchases. In addition, your Costa card will be your cabin key. As with all cruises, you’ll be required to submit your passport for safekeeping and be accounted for. The Costa card will also be linked to your passport so you’ll use your Costa card to disembark if you’re heading for any offshore trips. Oh, do note that all prices on the cruise is reflected in USD.

Bring a good sized water bottle
I can’t emphasize this strong enough. Bottled water is payable on board and it is very expensive – around the range of USD3-5 or so. The free drinks available on the cruise are mostly sweet beverages such as (lousy) fruit punch, hot tea and coffee. Hello sore throat!

Choose a room with a window
Because it makes all the difference in the world

My point in case

 

Also makes great camwhore location

Go for the offshore trip
There won’t be much activities available on the cruise and if there are, they’re mostly for the very young or elderly. Also, although information stated that the crew will check your purchases and will hold them till the end of the trip, this wasn’t true for our trip. I kinda regretted not purchasing more snacks to munch on. Our offshore trip was to Malacca.

Be prepared!
You might get bored so stock up your gadgets with shows and bring boardgames/cards/books. There are plenty of beautiful corners you can hide out. Bring some snacks from home too. There no toiletries provided in cabins and you’ll have to pay a bomb to get them. The toilet isn’t too bad but can be somewhat a squeeze.

Pack your swimsuit

Not enough for a proper lap but still relaxing

Two small jacuzzi pools and here’s one of them. Humans for comparison at size of pool.

Go for the in-cabin breakfast
I don’t recall the breakfast in bed being terribly expensive, maybe 10-15USD, and you get a massive spread.

Eggs Benedict with ham, smoked salmon, one coffee, one juice and some pastries for one person. There are two juice in this picture because of my roomie. I think there is another main course under the smoked salmon.

Don’t be bluffed by their multiple restaurants
We thought that hey, there are 10+ restaurants and there must be different types of food available! We checked them out and realise.. sheesh, they are basically repeats of each other. So much for having multiple restaurants…

Go for the Gala Dinner
That’s where the best food is served – best when compared with cruise food.

If you’re an alcoholic, room with one
Costa Victoria has a sort of alcohol buffet package, the drawback is that each room has to purchase the package together. That is, your roomie and you both have to be alcoholics.

Go star gazing on the top deck
I stayed there for close to three hours, it was such a beautiful side. I spied.. couples making out too. Yikes.

Don’t be conned into the topless revue show
Chances are the crew staff will try their utmost best to persuade you to watch the topless show. I heard that it’s really mediocre at best – I didn’t watch it though. I think, maybe just watch Magic Mike the movie in your cabin or on the top cruise deck.

Destinations this year

Just about to firm up my travel plans this year (2013) and these are where I’m going/have gone for the year:

1. January: Hanoi, Vietnam
2. March: Seattle and New York
3. October: Bangkok
4. November: Office offsite (TBC)
5. December: Melbourne

Counting my blessings this year again for the opportunities to travel multiple times and finally, out of Asia, this year. If you might have any must-visits for Bangkok/Melbourne, please drop a comment below!

P.S. Lull period between March to October as I was recovering financially from March to October. New York was a toll on my pockets.

P.P.S trying to squeeze in one more trip from November to December but with other bro’s ROM, wedding and two other trips, it’s looking quite crazy now.

Best years of my life

Has gotta be the university years.

It was so liberating to stay on campus away from home. Not to sound like an ingrate but I enjoyed staying away from home and having so much privacy and space to myself. It sounds really silly but when I first moved onto campus, I was kinda homesick and kept heading home and skipping orientation.

Then I discovered dance on campus and…oh well, heading home seems to be the last thing on my mind. What a turnaround.

Sometimes, I’ll make Dadster pick me up and send me back again so that I can bring my a certain pillow/blanket home. This is something Dadster has been using as leverage to make me run errands/bake sweets for him. It’s been two years since I graduated… I really should put a stop to his guilt tripping soon.

I think I’ll be doing a post on some quirks on living on campus – those were some of the best years of my life. And also, probably also the period that my heart got trodden on badly too.

But those memories are what makes me who I am today.

Shopping

I kind of enjoy shopping but I’m not one to purchase big ticket items except for maybe the geeky stuff. I would splurge any day over a new gadget such as tablet/e-reader/camera than to get a Miu Miu. I think to date, the only branded thing I own is probably my 21st Kate Spade wallet from my JC besties.

I’m in between sizes so it gets kind of annoying for me when I purchase clothes. I got this cutie when I was in Hanoi. So in places such as Bugis Street where you aren’t allowed to try clothes, I’ll whip my ladybug out for a quick measure. It’s super useful in Bangkok too.

My grandma tends to nag at me whenever I purchase new things. It is pretty amazing how alert and sharp her mind is when she puts her mind to it. I need to be especially sneaky these days. Well, my wardrobe now kinda looks like Niagara falls of cloths and I own… maybe 6 pairs of boots.

The trick is smuggling and no plastic bags! I’ll usually stuff my new loots into my bag that I’m carrying. When I do online shopping, I’ll have them send to my bestie’s place or to my office. With shoes, it tends to get a little trickier. I’ve learnt that the key is to come home super late and quietly, hide the shoebox and plastic bag somewhere and place the new shoes in the shoe cupboard so it looked like it belonged there all the while.

I tend to get a little panicky whenever I make new purchases because it means being sneaky or incurring the dowager empress’s nagging.

Which city did you liked better?

I visited Seattle and New York earlier this year so I get this question a lot.

My personal favourite was Seattle although initially, I thought New York would have resonated better with me since it was all the glitz and glamour that Broadway was famous for – something that I have been following for the longest time.

I felt that the Northwestern Pacific people were much warmer, kinder and the food (and zomg, coffee/chai lattes) were so amazing. I had so much good chowders I was on practically a liquid diet. I adore the chilly and sunny weather. The farmer’s markets were good  fun to walk to through and poke about. The couple of dance classes I went to were also very different from New York.

New York seems to be a much more touristy as compared to Seattle. It would have been fun with friends though I think.

This was a check off my bucketlist though: traveling on my own. It took me so much courage to do this and it was with no regrets.

Travelling from SeaTac

If you have the good fortune of visiting Seattle (lucky you!) and you’re looking to travel downtown from the airport, I’ll highly recommend you to take the light rail also known as Link from the airport!

If you see the costs you’ll understand what I mean:

Traveling to downtown
A ride on the Link light rail: USD$2.40
Share ride on Shuttle Express: USD$33
Downtown Airporter: USD$18

Shuttle Express will drop you at the door step of wherever you might want to go and will leave only if there are sufficient people to fill a mini van, typically about 8 – 10 people. Downtown Airporter stops only at major hotels and leaves in 30 minute intervals.

The Link doesn’t head beyond Seattle CBD area so if you’re staying somewhere further than the city (that is across the Portage Bay or in Bellevue/Mercer Island), you’ll definitely need to connect to another service. From the airport arrival hall, it’s a bit of a hike to the Link station too. It’s not a big problem if you’re having wheelie luggage but if you’re lugging hand luggage, it will be tricky.

Unlike our blessed Changi Airport, it costs USD$5 to rent a luggage cart. I know right – what a cultural shock.

I was there during the winter to spring transition and it was a very drafty and chilly walk to the Link station. And since that was my first wintry experience, I thought my fingers were going to drop off anytime soon.

Light rail trains

You purchase a ticket ((somewhat like a stored value card) at the Link station before you head up to the platform. The funny thing is, there are no barricades anywhere that governs payment. So commuters pretty much goes by the “honour” system of tapping before of after they get on the trains. I’m guessing this is where a lot of taxpayers money goes..

The Link is not crowded in the least and it’s a pretty nice ride out to the city. It took me about 25 minutes from the airport to get to downtown where I was staying.

There was space to put your luggage

This is what the interior looks like