Karneval at Brotzeit

This is an invited media tasting, opinions are mine. Photos by the talented Roger of Camistry Lab.

The pre-Lent observance period, Karneval, is often unofficially known as the fifth season in Germany. A traditional festival, Karneval, as its name sounds, is a festive carnival parade celebrated the true German way – food, beer and lots of merry.

Since I am a plane ride away from Karneval in Germany, the next best thing is to try the Karneval menu in Brotzeit. This exclusive menu is available only from 16 January to 25 February 2018 at Brotzeit outlets in Singapore.

If you have meat-loving and beer-chugging friends, this is a great menu to try out with groups of friends, best to go in more than threes.

As Group Chef Wolfgang Ranner introduced the food to us, he emphasized that Karneval is a season of making merry and sharing food with friends and loved ones.

In that same spirit of sharing with friends, Brotzeit will be introducing a food challenge, ‘We Dare You! Brotzeit Challenge’  If a pair of friends finishes the half-metre Brotzeit’s Deutsche Halbmeter Wurst (SGD29) within four minutes, the sausage is on the house.

Half-metre German Sausage, $29

This sausage is about the length of an adult’s forearm.

Half of the baguette is served with sauerkraut and other with potato salad. Personally, I liked the sauerkraut as it whets your appetite although Roger preferred the potato salad for its balanced taste.

Even if you’re not attempting the challenge, the Halbmeter Wurst is a good dish to share with friends, especially if you’re the type who can’t do without carbs.

Along the theme of sharing, the Duo of Chicken (SGD40) is a combo of half an oven-roasted and half a golden fried chicken with fries and potato salad served on the side.

You know how you can never agree with friends which to order – the fried chicken or the roasted one? This dish will solve the problem and save your friendship.

Duo of Chicken, $40

The oven-roasted chicken was the clear winner for me. The meat was tender and juicy with flavour permeating the entire chicken.

The crispy chicken is best eaten immediately. It had a thicker breading batter, hence, eat quick or risk the batter becoming soggy.

Full platter of 12 tapas at $45

The last dish that I tried was the platter of German tapas which is a combination of old-time favourites and new dishes. The twelve items available are Bierbeisser, super food salad, spicy chicken sausages, currywurst, golden fried chicken, cheese spätzle, meatballs, seabass filet, fried mushrooms, mini Kaiser rolls with meatloaf, chicken schnitzel and meat patties.

Chef Wolfgang mentioned that his favourite was the meatloaf – a dish that brings him fond memories of the cold winters in Germany. He mentioned that customers often come back to taste this item.

Sadly, I cannot give a comprehensive review of the platter as I did not manage to taste every item.

The good thing is you can pick and mix your favourite tapas, at the following prices:

  • Three for SGD15
  • Six for SGD28
  • 12 for SGD45

If I have to make up a platter of six, I would go for Bierbeisser, super food salad, spicy chicken sausages, currywurst, cheese spätzle, meatballs.

My favourite items were:

  • Cheese Spatzle: a lighter version of Mac & Cheese which does not leave you feeling full. Each bite is coated with sauce, very shiok!
  • Meatballs: Comes with a buttery mash (which is hard to find) and well-marinated meat, very flavourful! When you have a bit of the meatball and mash together, the combination of textures go well together.
  • Superfood salad: Is a nice break from all the meat

Suggested menu for groups of four

Go for the half-metre sausage dog and platter of six or 12 tapas depending on how hungry you are!

Wash down the meal with Gaffel Kolsch beer (one bottle at $10, a bucket of five at $48 and 5-litre party keg at $98) which is available only during the Karneval menu.

If you’re more of a coffee person, the Berliner (texture is like a doughnut stuffed with chocolate) is served free with coffee.

I’m sold, where do I go?

Brotzeit is easily accessible in all corners of Singapore with 5 outlets in 313 Somerset, Vivocity, Katong, Raffles City and Westgate.

For more details, please visit Brotzeit’s website or follow them on Brotzeit Facebook Page or Instagram.

As the Germans say it, Prost (Cheers)!

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Fitness Subscriptions/Pass: Guavapass and Kfit Review 2018

This is a revised post for 2018.

NOTE: Enjoy further discounts (up to $60 off in your first purchase) in January 2018!

Useful reads:

There were multiple cases in the past couple of years on gyms and spas closing leaving members who had paid upfront fees in a ditch. I feel a little insecure when committing to large sums of money paid upfront. As my parents would say, “钱不容易赚”, which translates to, “it is not easy to earn money.”

Hence, I’ve been an advocate for fitness subscriptions like Guavapass and Kfit for the past couple of years. They offer the flexibility of month-on-month payments and extremely wide range of classes from member studios. Think of it as a “trial” to your favourite classes.

What is a fitness subscription?

  • Basically, it is a fitness membership on an app with a concept very similar to The Entertainer App. You pay an X amount of money per month to access classes by its member studios
  • There are two dominant players in Singapore: Guavapass and KFit.
  • In 2018, Guavapass has a new class-pack subscription

What are their differences?

Fitness Pass GuavaPass KFit 
 Price plans
  • $179 for 3 mth
  • $169/mth for 6 mth
  • $849 for 6 mth* (upfront payment)
  • $859 for 50 classes (6-mth validity)
  • $359 for 20 classes (6-mth validity)
  • $199 for 10 classes (2 classes per studio, 3-mth validity)
  • $99/mth for 4 classes (1 class per studio, 1-mth validity)
$129/month
Class limit Unlimited if monthly 10 classes
Max class per studio 3 usually (except for 10-class pack and 4-class pack) 1-5
Max active reservations 4 4
Late class cancellations $15 $15
No show fee $20 $15
Customer support Email In-app, live chat, email
Referral link / promo code Receive $40 off first month:  GuavaPass promo code * Receive $5 off first month: JVBGZ or KFit referral link
Unique studios / with more visits STILL
Aqua Spin
Barre to Barre
Move to Live
Actualize Crossfit
One Wellness Fitness Club
Overseas access Yes (Less than 50% of bookings) No
Other cool things
  • Includes sports such as mini-golf

* In case the referral link for KFit does not work, simply key in the promo code. There have been technical issues with regards to the referral link.

Referrals and promotions

Just like any subscription that survives on sales, referrals are important.

GuavaPass: Each new member gets $40-$60 off their first month / class-pack purchase with a referral code.

My GuavaPass referral linkhttps://goo.gl/Zo3tpd

My GuavaPass promo code: WvrXtCrUgw3NhMW

KFit: Every new member gets $5 off first purchase. Please key in the promo code if the referral link does not work, there have been technical issues before but keying in the promo code will work.

My KFit promo code / referral link is: JVBGZ

P.S. Drop me a note at hello (at) meowsyy.c0m if you’ll like to find out more about the exact discount as referrals tend to change very frequently.

Continue reading “Fitness Subscriptions/Pass: Guavapass and Kfit Review 2018”

A recap of 2017

It’s been a while since I did one of these so here’s the low down on what have been the top moments in 2017 for me.

2017 marked a year of growth for me. I was pushed to deal with more personalities (than I would have liked), discomfort and make bigger ‘adult’ decisions.

1. Finding my foothold (almost)

The Ann Siang Hill gang

One of my earliest highlights must have been finding a foothold in my career. It was a long six-month journey of finding the right fit amidst family health and caregiving issues. I found myself fitting into a new team at work.

It was also a stepping stone for me as I gained learning lessons in managing personalities, crisis communications real-time and get back to the grind of agency life.

That was where I gained some of my (now) closest friends.

I say almost, because later that year, I received an unexpected phone call to do something I’ve always wanted to try. It wasn’t the best timing but it was an opportunity I could not let go.

2. Yet another year older

I liken my birthday to another gathering for my old dance friends. We have a get-together, catch up with our past (year) happenings and sing me a birthday song!

3. Managed my first big-scale event

If you have read about it online, there was a torrential downpour on the first day. Throw in the crowds and the squeeze, you get a lot of FOMO complaints online.

Continue reading “A recap of 2017”

Osaka: Home Hostel

Can’t fit in the whole building here but Home Hostel truly stood out amongst the gaudy loud buildings in Sinsekai.

The reason why I picked this spot instead of the more popular areas like Namba is because Home Hostel is a skip away from Spa World, Don Quixote (for snacks to bring home) and has a train station with direct train to Kansai International Airport.

Sinsekai is the “New World” town of Osaka. On first look, the vibe is gaudy, almost like Gayworld in Singapore. The area is filled with Kushikatsu restaurants (fried skewers) that arose due to the huge Pachinko (arcade and slot machine centres) and Spa World (onsen theme park).  The buildings are adorned with huge lanterns, vibrant colours and gaming machines.

Due to its nature of the activity – the crowds veer towards the middle-aged men but there really isn’t anything to worry about!

Enter the building and you spy beautiful wall murals all around. The left is the wall of shoe lockers. One of their staff members is an artist.

This is a family-run hostel which explains their cosy vibes. The owner often brings his child to the hostel.

Continue reading “Osaka: Home Hostel”

Kyoto Food: Ichiba Coji

When I visited USA back in 2012, I was awed by the ‘sampler’ platters that eateries have. I loved the concept of being able to try a little bit of everything even when you’re a solo diner.

This is exactly why I like Ichiba Coji. You probably wouldn’t wander in if you’re not in the know.

Woody furnishing all around when you step into the restaurant located on the basement floor.

The serve an ‘Obanzai’ plate which is a platter of many cold dishes that accompany the main. Something quite similar to Korean’s ‘banchan’ dishes.

I loved this restaurant because of the wide variety of small dishes (which you do not need to share, and also, you still can get even if you’re a solo diner).

Name Ichiba Coji
Address  Japan, 〒604-8045 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Enpukujimaechō, 京都府京都市中京区寺町通錦小路上る円福寺前町283
Opening hours Monday – Friday 11: 30 ~ 15: 00 (Lunch)
Monday – Friday 17: 00 ~ 23: 00 (Dinner)
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11: 30 ~ 23: 00
How to get there 3 minutes on foot from Kawaramachi Station on Hankyu Kyoto Line
Keihan Electric Railway Main Line Gion Shijo Station 10 minutes on foot
Google Map Ichiba Coji (Restaurant next to it but accurate location!)

Kyoto: Piece Hostel Sanjo

I love staying in hostels in Japan because of the great price point and also, because of how the country is set up, there is a convenience store in every corner you turn.

Some of the hostels are so up-scale that they feel like boutique hotels.

I took a risk this year to stay in Piece Hostel Sanjo instead of my usual Khaosan Kyoto Theater.

The hostel is decorated in a beautiful industrial theme.

Continue reading “Kyoto: Piece Hostel Sanjo”

A Better Florist Flower Arrangement Class

Flower arrangement classes are a dime and dozen. To make the most out of your buck, head over to A Better Florist for a wallet-friendly flower arrangement class where you get to bring the beautiful flowers home too! You learn the art and you bring the art home.

The art of arrangement

From de-thorning roses to wrapping your bouquets, the workshop was an eye opener for first-timers like us. We got our hands “dirty” and worked with different flowers and fillers to create a beautiful half-round bouquet. This was the end product of our intensive 2-hour flower arrangement crash course: a rustic bouquet wrapped in burlap.

A Better Florist stocks its flowers from a Cameron Highlands farm that grows a variety of florals found globally. Some of the different flowers and fillers we worked with during this class included roses, carnations, baby’s breath, eucalyptus and ruscus. This was our workstation halfway through our class.

The workshop space

The 15pax class was a little squeezy for the cosy studio which would have fitted 8 pax more comfortably. Our class was split into two groups with 10 gathering at a long table, while the remaining students worked at a smaller table.

The Plus Points of A Better Florist

The class experience was enjoyable and the class went well. The instructor, Elijah, was extremely friendly and very willing to guide students in the class. Despite the large class size, he took time to stop at each student’s work area and patiently gave feedback on the different types of fillers and flowers students should be adding to create a half-round bouquet.

The prices offered by A Better Florist remain one of the most affordable at $30 (for early birds) to $40 (for regular tickets) per floral arrangement class. Classes are conducted an average of two to three classes monthly, on late Saturday afternoons.

Things to note before you head for a class

On the night before the class, we were notified via email of a change in class timing. Do remember to check your emails the night before your class so that you don’t miss any updates!

We got a  little lost searching for the studio and was late, the class had not started as the instructor had yet to arrive. Although this really isn’t an excuse for a participant to be late, do check out directions to A Better Florist ahead of the class.

How to book a class

Check out their Eventbrite or Facebook page for more information on their upcoming workshops.

A Better Florist is also an online floral shop (aka e-commerce) that offers same-day delivery of fresh flowers and even, fruit hampers, island-wide in Singapore. They have bouquets at a variety of price points ranging for a more affordable bouquet that is perfect for any “just because” occasion to more luxury florals suitable for proposals. Alternatively, customise a personal bouquet!

Shop A Better Florist
Address  11 Keng Cheow Street, #01-02 Riverside Piazza, Singapore 059608
Opening hours 9am – 6.30pm
How to get there Nearest train station: Clarke Quay
Google Map A Better Florist
Disclosure

This post was done in collaboration with A Better Florist, brought to you by guest writers, Gabbie Teo and Shiyun.

 

 

Osaka: Endo Sushi Kyobashi

This has got to be the highlight of my Osaka trip 2017. Endo Sushi is better known for its Osaka Central Fish Market outlet, tourists are known to throng the famed outlet even before the sun rises.

Instead, try Endo’s Kyobashi outlet which is right by Kyobashi subway.

It is exactly the same as its more famous counterpart, sans the queue and the early timing.

Each plate consist of five pieces of sushi:

  • You can switch 1 piece of sushi but the number must correspond.  For e.g. You can switch Third Plate’s Tamago with Fourth Plate’s Saka
  • For the unavailable sushi, the chef will replace the piece with something of similar value, omakase (the chef’s choice) style
  • Each plate will include Ootoro (the fattiest tuna).

Top: Fourth plate Bottom: First plate

Continue reading “Osaka: Endo Sushi Kyobashi”

Penang Hostel: Container Hostel

I stayed a night in Penang as part of my overland journey to Bangkok. I was looking for a simple stay near the ferry as the night was meant to break up the monotony of the overland trip.

Container Hotel was more of a hostel than a hotel and it was situated right by the ferry. It’s a great no-frills stay if you’re not too picky.

Container Hotel group operates multiple hotels in Malaysia, including Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. The concept is similar, a budget hotel option housed in containers. You can’t see it from the exterior but inside, the rooms are made in refurbished containers.

We stayed in the female private pod which was super affordable. Your privacy is accorded with the black out blinds.

Continue reading “Penang Hostel: Container Hostel”

Osaka / Kyoto / Nara bucketlist

Food chains to try

  1. Ichiran ramen
  2. Gyukatsu Motomura
  3. Torikizoku

Kyoto food

  1. Katsukura
  2. Donguri (Okonomiyaki)
  3. Nishiki market – Kobe beef, Uni
  4. Ichiba Coji 
  5. Gram pancakes

Kyoto sights

  1. Neko Cafe Time (at Fushimi Inari)
  2. Fushimi Inari
  3. Kyoto Manga Museum (if you’re a geek)
  4. Kiyomizu
  5. Temples with flea markets (Tenmagu has one every 25th)

Nara

  1. Tofu-an Kondou (which I didn’t get to visit, so bummed.)
  2. Nara park
  3. Todaiji temple

Osaka food

  1. Endo Sushi Kyobashi – MUST TRY!
  2. Kuromon – cheap sashimi!
  3. Calbee Shinsaibashi
  4. Mizuno Okonomiyaki
  5. Isetan food hall
  6. Gourmet Food Museum at Umeda
  7. Cheese Craftworks
  8. Dashi Gura  Hankyu Sanbangai 

Osaka visits

  1. Spa World
  2. Cat Tail Cafe at Amerika Muya
  3. Shopping at Umeda + Osaka Station
  4. Yodabashi Camera
  5. Ando Momofuku Instant Ramen Museum
  6. Thrift shopping at Amerikamura