Monday, October 19, 2009

Bottle Tree Park

The beautiful Bottle Tree

I have my friend Barb to thank for letting me know about this place.

The story is that one tree lover bought these unusual & exotic trees from Australia, planted them in Singapore and created a concept village complete with recreational facilities, restaurant, event hall, park & lagoon. A village called Bottle Tree Park.

One Sunday morning, with no other plans, we made our way bus. Yup I even took out our bus guide to research what bus to take. The Girl was so thrilled to be taking the bus, it was a little embarrassing, as if we don't take her out much. That in itself was enough entertainment for her.

Anyway the bus turned out to be a good idea cos it dropped us right in front of the Park.

I'm guessing it must be really busy in the evenings. There is a children's playground when you enter & also paddle boats shaped like a swan for the dating couples (but none of them were taken when we were there).

But fishing was the name of the game over there. You could fish in the big pond or you could catch shrimps in this little pond & for the kids, longkang fishing.

For S$10, you get a small fish tank & a net & you are free to catch as many as you can.

It's not as easy as it looks. The Girl got frustrated very quickly so guess who did most of the work. There was a big sign prohibiting parents from helping the children fish but everybody was doing it especially for the younger ones. Nobody wanted the children to walk away empty handed. So who do you think is the talent in the family ? X 20 Mum 1. I was obviously not very skilled in that department but let me tell you, everybody was. All the other fish tanks were filled to the brim with fish.

After that very tiring exercise, we were ready for lunch & we headed over to the seafood restaurant that is within the park. We ordered the deep fried squid but practically left the plate untouched cos nobody liked the thick batter. I was so looking forward to the claypot crab tanghoon & even though it was tasty & the crabs were decent size, it was way too salty for my liking.

After lunch, we brought the tank over to the counter, they bagged the fish, pumped oxygen & we carried them home. What happened after that ? I thought, okay so we'll just buy a fish bowl & put the fishes in there. How difficult can that be ? We'll just stop by an aquarium on our way home.

1 hour later, we walked out with a fish tank, an air pump (fish need air bubbles), sand (to collect the fish poop), water stabiliser (to prevent stress for the fish, that's what it says on the bottle), fish food, plastic greens (to decorate the tank), fish food & $80 poorer.

Bottle Tree Park
81 Lorong Chencharu

Friday, October 16, 2009

My favorite spot in Singapore

This here, ladies & gentlemen, is my favorite place in Singapore (apart from my apartment of course). Forest n Trees @ The Cathay. They feature lots of Carrie Chau's designs. If you've not heard of her, she's the prolific 30 something HK artist behind Blind Fly & Blacksheep.

But it's not just a shop, it's a nail salon too. This is where I go when I'm in need of some pampering. When I was living in New York, getting a mani & pedi is de rigueur. A ritual in fact. That all stopped when I moved to France, too expensive.

Now that I'm back in Singapore, you can bet this ritual has been resurrected. In fact come to think of it, not only do I have my regular manicure & pedicure, there is also the hair cut, waxing & facial. What used to be luxury has now become necessities, especially at my age.

This is not your run of the mill nail salon.

The shop is a relaxing place with lots of quirky stuff to keep you occupied. The Girl loves it there cos she gets pampered too - she gets lots of attention & even though she's too young for a pedicure, I do let her put little nail stickers on her nails.

I'm looking at my slightly chipped toe nail. Hmm maybe it's time to make another appointment.

Forest n Trees
2 Handy Rd
#03-02 The Cathay

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Instead of going on the Singapore Flyer

Wanna know what we end up doing instead of going on the Singapore Flyer ?

You've seen them on the roads & haven't you wanted to go on one of them ? Well I have & I did.

2 weeks ago we had a house guest from France & it was the perfect opportunity aka excuse to go check it out. Remember the Great Singapore Pass that I'd blogged about, well it came in really handy & got us a good discount.

It's an hour ride - half hour on land & half an hour in the water.

It was fun seeing everything from another perspective.

Not sure if it was limitation of time or size, we didn't go near Boat Quay which I thought was a pity
But we did have a good view of the Esplanade & the Singapore Flyer....

... all angles of the Singapore Flyer

Eye candy for the ladies
Our house guest, Remy

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Seafood Paradise @ The Singapore Flyer

One Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves at the Singapore Flyer. Not because we wanted to go there. I was trying to go to Marina Barrage but headed in the wrong direction & found ourselves right at the Singapore Flyer. But we did something else instead, to find out, read my next post.

Since we were there, we decided to have lunch at Seafood Paradise, a sister restaurant of Taste Paradise. I'd always gotten not just good but outstanding food & service when I'm at one of their outlets. This was no exception. We arrived at noon explaining that we needed to be done by 12.40. No problem. No questions asked. They delivered.

Considering how good the food & service was, I was surprised at how empty the place was - for Sunday lunch. What a shame. Looking at the pictures, you're going to think this is going to be expensive but no.

The ubiquitous seafood tank but theirs were done beautifully. Did you see that Alaskan king crab ?

Because we were in a hurry, I ordered the set menu & this was what we got for $50+ which was more than enough for 3A1C.

Chicken Feet & Conch Soup
which we loved

This is one of my favorite vegetable dishes of all time
Spinach with 3 types of eggs - eggs, salted eggs & century eggs

Prawn balls with salted egg yolk

There was one more dish I forgot to take a photo off - fried fish fillets which was originally fish head curry on the menu but for the sake of our out of town guest, I changed it to stir fried fish fillet instead.

Good value for money.

Seafood Paradise @ Singapore Flyer
30 Raffles Avenue #01-01
Singapore Flyer

Friday, October 9, 2009

I didn't go there to shop

Since we were on the topics of shops, I thought I'd mention Ion Orchard. For my overseas friends, it's the latest addition to our fleet of shopping malls along Orchard Road.

I must be the one of the last person in Singapore to go there. I didn't go there to shop (okay well maybe to Uniqlo) but I really wanted to check out the building.

It is one amazing structure. I love the design right down to the entrance to the MRT station.

The water sprouts which are even more beautiful at night.

Urban People


I love especially the design of the retail shops.

Especially the Louis Vuitton's wave like wall
Gorgeous !

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I'm not a big shopper which is why you won't read a lot about shops or shopping on this blog. But once in a while, I'll come across something that piqued my interest. For example the huge National Geographic Shop in Vivocity.

I love travelling.

From as long as I can remember, it has always been my passion. I love exploring cities, off the beaten track exotic destinations, discovering music, food & culture but mostly I love travelling alone. I can't remember how it started but it's extremely empowering. After you've done it once, you never look back. I don't wait for friends to join me, I just decide on a place, pack my bags & I'm off.

The irony is that the moment I stopped working when I have more time to travel, I actually didn't travel as much. Part of the reason being that I had a baby, I'm sure all you mothers out there know what I mean. Even then, we managed - strapped her into her car seat & we were off.

Anyway back to the shop. To be honest, I wasn't interested in their merchandise - safari jackets are not my thing but the shop evoked such a sense of wanderlust, I found myself loitering in the shop for longer than I'd expected.

Who would have thought that National Geographic would have a retail shop ?

Monday, October 5, 2009

The real real reason we're back

I blogged about how this was the real reason we moved back. Well, that wasn't entirely true. The real real reason we're back is because of my mother's soups. I'm surprised I have not bragged about them yet.

My mum's Cantonese so soups are a must for every meal. I'm going to create a category called Mum's soups.

So this is another Cantonese classic - 3 types of *carrots* with pork bones & corn. The 3 types of carrots are carrots, radish & the green one (sorry I don't know the English name) plus the usual suspects like chinese ham & dried scallops. The trick is not to put too much water else it would dilute the taste.

Watch this space for more soups.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just to say I've been there, done that

Geez I never thought I'd get those Bali posts out of the way. For some reason, they took forever. As a result, there's a bottle neck. I have a gazillion entries waiting to be posted so here goes.

X is a big F1 fan. When we were living in France, he would set his alarm clock to wake up to watch the Asian races & now that we're living Asia, he would stay up late to watch the European races.

But I'm not. I'll watch it on TV & I get what's going on & I know who's who but you won't find me waking up in the middle of the night to watch F1. So why was I so psyched about going to watch the night race in Singapore ? Yup I was the one who surfed ebay for tickets.

Unless you're prepared to pay S$8000 for the deluxe paddock tickets, the best place to watch the race is still on TV. But I love the *atmosphere* - I enjoy a football tailgate party, eating a hotdog in Yankee stadium....& I had to do it at least once.

Blink & it's gone

After a quick survey amongst my friends, everybody recommended the walkabout tickets & since X wouldn't want to miss the action, we decided the best course of action would be to go on Saturday to catch the qualifying rounds.

Reality check - unless you have a professional camera & lens, you are not going to be able to take any decent shots of the cars going at 300 km/h at night. But everybody is patient enough to try & try again.

These cars were way easier to capture

We walked around & being novices that we were, didn't know where to go, ended up hanging out at the Padang & quite happily watching the action from the big screen.

Talk about atmosphere - what a great backdrop.

This turned out to be the highlight of the evening for us. Just before the qualifying races started, there was a performance by this group whose name I forgot to note down. They looked like men in white on stilts walking around the picnickers sitting on the lawn.

They then transformed into these huge light bulb creatures & it was an amazing show.

I can now say that I've been there & done that. Next year, am I going back ? Doubt it. Unless it's to go watch this performance again.