Wednesday, October 12, 2016

[Just the mums] 4D3N Hong Kong & Macau Trip 2016

Yes just the moms this time. Apart from the US Trip in 2014, this is the second time I am away without the family. A very much needed breather, a break away from the vicious cycle of Vera's eczema because I felt depressed and it was sinking in further. I could tear out of the blue while I made my way for her treatment. I knew that I needed to go away, just a few days for a breather. I am lucky to have a supportive other half, Don had supportively asked me to look for a friend and go off for a few days. Very impromptu, he helped me booked the air tickets and accomodation and off I went, to the Land of Dim Sum.

Our stay was at The Cityview, a 2-minute walk from Yau Ma Tei MTR - 油麻地 . This is not the first time I am staying at this hotel. The location is very convenient and it's just a 5 mins walk to the bustling Mongkok where all the nice food and shopping were. From the airport, use the Airport Express Shuttle Bus for the free hotel connections. It is a free service and we were shuttled right to the entrance of the hotel.

Not going to talk much about shopping here becasue the main focus of the trip was purely going around for nice food and sight- seeing. Minority time was spent on shopping for sports wear. 

In less than 3 mins, there is an eatery near our hotel, serving breaskfast like shrimp wanton noodles and toast etc. I would say 80% of the wanton mee taste good just because it is in Hong Kong. The wantons are much bigger than the ones that were sold in Singapore. I forgot the name of this shop though.

We settled for a bowl of hot wanton noodles. The shrimp wantons were big and fresh!

Prior to the trip, I did make some homework on where to go for nice eats. But nothing beats getting to know a really friendly local who lives in Hong Kong and gave us his recommendations on the must eat around the area where we stayed. We were blessed indeed to have met one of the staff of The Cityview, Mr Eric Yap, someone who was warm and friendly and had readily recommended us the following:

1. Kam Wah Cafe【 金華冰廰】

Location : G/F, 47 Bute Street, Mongkok, Kowloon

This cafe is well known for their freshly baked egg tarts and polo buns. But among all the cafes we have visited, this is one we have the rudest encounter. Our first visit was a pleasant one but not the second.

We were brought to a table to be seated and ordered two drinks plus a polo bun [ 菠蘿包] . Guess what? We were asked to leave and pack the food instead just because we did not meet the minimum order requirement. We were pretty peeved of course because we felt that the customer service really sucks. Why can't we be seated since there are so many free tables at that point of time and given that there was no queue outside the cafe. Another point to note, be prepared to have your table shared with other patrons. You have to be comfortable with their table-sharing cultural.

Anyway, back to the must try dishes. The stir-fry beef slice noodles was good ! The slices were soft and tender while the noodles were springy. Portion was good enough to be shared among the two of us. Do order dishes to share so that you can order more variety to try.

牛肉炒公仔麺 - HKD 44

A must try for their award winning Puo Luo You (菠蘿油) and not forgetting the silky smooth, ice yuan yang - Iced coffee + tea.

得奬菠蘿油 + 鸳鸯奶茶

2. Australia Dairy Company【澳洲牛奶公司】

Location : G/F 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, Hong Kong
Nearest MTR : Jordan, go towards C2 exit and walk to your left down Bowring St, turn right at Parkes St
Opening hours: 0730-2300hrs daily, closed on Thursday

Look out for the big signboard or probably a queue cutting across a few shop units.

We were told that this is a must visit cafe for their steamed milk pudding and toast with scrambled eggs.

Those eggs were to die for ! The macaroni soup as well, simple as it seemed to be but once you take a sip of the very flavourful soup, be warned that you may just want to finish the whole bowl. Simple as it looked to be but it was really smooth and flavourful !

The char siew with no colouring. It did not look appealing initially (no colourings) but do not get deceived by the appearance. It was so tender and naturally sweet. I was secretly hoping that there are more slices !

We were warned before hand that the service and the staff of this cafe can be very rude and unfriendly.

Survical tips for you if you are visiting:
Tip #1:  Make up your mind fast on which item to order while you are standing in the queue to prevent the staff from scolding you if you take a long time to decide on your orders. We already have the dishes in mind as recommended. Eric told us to tell the staff we wanted "Cheung Chan" - 常 餐. We placed our orders within 3 mins after being seated.

Tip #2: Keep cool if you think that the staff is being rude to you. But trust me, they do not mean it, it is just their cultural and probably due to the lack of customer service training to provide with better customer service.

No doubt they will tell patrons off if they take too long to decide on their orders and they really have one kind of unfriendly look, with not much smile on their faces. But one of the staff was really kind. Imagine, the shop was fully occupied, one of the staff was really nice to pass me a chair for me to place it under the table as I was hugging it infront of me while I ate. This nice gesture will always be remembered.

For dim sum lovers ! Lo Dim serves equisitive dishes! The bamboo rice is a must order. Be prepared for some waiting time. Do not be like us, we actually queued outside without getting a number from the staff. We were thinking why some people who came after us managed to be seated first, not knowing that we had to get a number first.

3. Lo Dim 【老點點心竹筒飯】

Location : Shop A, G/F, 12-14A Yim Po Fong Street, Mongkok

旺角染布房街 12-14A號依利大夏地下A號舗

Tel: 2398 9992

鲜瑕肉餠竹筒飯 - HKD 30

鲜上肉響玲膓 - HKD 28

吾係老點小漢堡 - HKD 24

4. Tsui Wah Mongkok Branch 【翠華餐廰】

Location: G/F, 244 Portland Street, Hong Kong

Tel : +852 2392 3889

Operating hours: 24 hours

I had always love the 奶油猪仔包 from here. Breakfast sets have pretty limited choices, we ordered one of the bee hoon with pickled vegetables and pork slices in soup coupled with the crispy buttery bun and had the usual yuan-yang to go along.

It was still quite early after breakfast and #Auntymode was switched on. My friend suggested to visit supermarket as she would love to get some instant noodles (flavours that could not be found in Singapore)  and we got a bag-full of instant noodles back.

Another purchase from the convenience store near our hotel. What's so special ? I guess Singapore stores do not carry this BIG sized cup noodles. We were caught in a thunderstorm on one of the evenings, had no choice but to buy the cup noodles for dinner.

If you want to try the local delights like curry fishballs aka 鱼蛋, I find that the ones sold in the vicinity of Mongkok still taste the best.

If you love claypot rice, do not miss this at Temple Street. Most of the shops have a fixed price but be sure to ask for the price first if you are ordering crabs. We were recommended to try 煲仔饭 at 四季煲仔饭. Do expect a long queue in the evening.  Another mistake made and we missed the opportunity to try this.

5. Four Season Claypot Rice 【四季煲仔飯】

Location : No 46-58, Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei
Yau Ma Tei MTR, Exit 3C  (Kwun Tong Line )


Operating hours: 6pm - 12am


The mistake was, I thought I could have heard the name wrongly and stepped into 興記 instead because we spotted a few shops with the same name, not knowing that the actual one we were looking for it's located at the next street.

6. Hing Kee Restaurant 【興記菜館】

Location : G/F, 14, 19, 21 Temple Street & 48 Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei

油麻地廟街14, 19, 21 號  及鴉打街 48 號

Operating hours: 6pm - 1am

Same same but different, we managed to try the claypot rice and ordered a side dish to share.

If you love Tzhi Char, you will definately fall in love with the 大排挡 in Hong Kong. Do check out Sham Shui Po 【深水埗】, there are a few in that vicinity.

Forget about Jenny's cookies, we were recommended by Eric to get palmiers 【 蝴蝶酥】instead from Cookies Quartet.

7. Cookies Quartet 【曲奇四重奏】

Location : 10 Carnarvon Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong  (Tsim Sha Tsui MTR, Exit D2)

尖沙咀加拿分道10B 號嘉芬大夏地下E號舗

Tel: +852 2311 5119

There were a few flavours to choose from but I still prefer the original butter palmiers which were crisp on the outside yet the flaky palmiers crumbled in my mouth when I sank my teeth in. In terms of weight they are much friendlier than carrying the tins of Jenny cookies. There are a few outlets around, do make a google for their location. We went to the outlet at Tsim Sha Tsui. Click HERE for the address for other outlets.

We were told to try Eggroll Queen 【蛋卷皇后】instead of the others like 奇崋 which he deemed that those brands are too commercialized and the standard would not be as good as in the past. We did not go to this shop but if you would like to, the shop is at :

8. Eggroll Queen 【蛋卷皇后】

Location: Shop A, G/F, 19 Yim Po Fong Street, Mongkok

旺角染布房街19 號地下A舗

Tel: 3171 5228

Operating hours: 12pm- 9pm

We had an evening getting ourselves lost in Central to look for the Air Jordon shop. We found it evetually after walking "miles". If you are a fan of these shoes, come by this shop. Then, we found out the shortest route to the shop, which is at Central MTR - 中環站, Exit D1. Turn right after you exit, go straight and cross the road to the opposite, walk up the slope and you will reach the store. You should see this building here, opposite Air Jordon shop, location: 8 Wellington Jordon

Anyway, since we were in the vicinity, we step into Yung Kee for our dinner with the intention of ordering their famous roasted goose of course.

9. Yung Kee Restaurant 【鏞記酒家】

Location: Yung Kee Building, 32-40 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2522 1624 

10. Tai Chong Bakery 【泰昌餠家】

Location: G/F, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Shop C

I read that apart from the egg tarts, other pastries like 沙翁 (Sha Weng) and 皮蛋酥 (Pi Dan Su) are a must try too !

It ends it business at 9pm.

We were supposed to try 【一点心】as per my friend's recommendation. We woke pretty early thinking that all shops that sell dim sum would operate early and headed to the branch near Prince Edward MTR - 太子 (Exit A) , opposite Wing Sum Building - 荣森大夏 but was disappointed that the shop was not open. Big mistake for not checking out the operating hours.

11. One Dim Sum 【一点心】

Location: Shop 1 & 2, G/F, Kenwood Mansion, 15 Playing Field Road, Prince Edward


Operating hours:
Monday to Friday: 11am – 12.30 midnight.
Saturday to Sunday: 10am – 12.30 midnight.

12. Tao Heung Restaurant 【稻香超級渔港】

It's a must for me to visit Tao Heung for Dim Sum whenever I visit Hong Kong. You can google for the outlets depending on where you stay. I went to the one at Nathan Road. Since it's only the two of us and my friend was a pretty small eater. We ordered some of the below for sharing.

皮蛋瘦肉粥 - Century Egg with Lean Meat Porridge

原蝦焼賣皇 - Siew Mai (Prawn) 


炸釀茄子 - Stuffed brinjal

This what what we have been exploring for the 4 days trip (including one day trip to Macao, to be blogged later)
I have to give compliments when it's due to the person who thoroughly deserves it. After checking out, Eric saw that I was holding two bags of souvenirs (perishable items). He was really thoughtful and immediately told me that he would get me a box to hold my biscuits so that I could carry them with ease without having to worry that they may get squashed when I stowed them up in the compartment onboard.

He had really great organising skills. He arranged and packed the palmiers and other foodstuff nicely into the box, tied the box up with the strings. He was so thoughtful to the extend that he even made a "handle" so that my fingers would not be hurt from the prolonged carrying. The Cityview, you had got yourself a star worker, Eric is truly a gem!

This is not the first time I visited Hong Kong. We visited in 2009 with Xav and I think in 2014 with my inlaws (Not blogged but we stayed in The Cityview). There is always something new to try and of course going back to the same trusty shops for our favourite food.

One thing about travelling without the kids, we can walk for all we wanted without having to handle the whines and tantrums. But one thing for sure when I travel on my own without Don, I had to do my own homework.  From googling for reviews and jotting down directions on how to get there, it's all in this handy notebook which I brought along.

Just happened that Adora from Life Is For Exploring shared her tips for solo female travellers, I thought it is pretty useful too for ladies who wish to go on solo trips.

I hope this makan guide is useful for those of you who may be planning for a Hong Kong Trip at the end of the year or probablyan impromptu trip after the end of the semestral exams to reward yourselves for working hard with the kids.=)

If you have any nice makan spots in Hong Kong, leave me a comment too !

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Disclaimer: This is a non sponsored post and all the above including the flight and accomodation are purely paid out of my own pocket.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

[ Homecooked ] $5 - Stir Fry Garlic Clams

Clams is one of our favourite, I have a competitor now. Xav has learnt to eat and has always wanted to order when he sees them at the economical rice stall. Once, I just want to pack the clams and no other dishes just to add on to the porridge I have cooked. I paid $5 for a portion which definately did not satisfy both of our cravings.

It was until I got to know that there was a newly Sheng Shiong Supermarket just right beside Kupang LRT Station (Sengkang West Loop). Life is made easier, I went there one fine afternoon with Xav. We bought 1 kg of clams at just $5 plus to cook for dinner.

The portion of 1 kg was just nice for the two of us. All I need was:
- some ginger (julienned)
- minced garlic (minced up more if you love more garlic)
- spring onion stalks.
- chinese cooking wine
- soy sauce
- sugar
- a little water
- corn flour (optional, use only if you want to thicken the gravy)
- cooking oil

The minced garlic were panfried to golden brown, follow by the julienned ginger, add in the clams, stir fry for a few minutes and add in the rest of the ingredients. Sugar was added last as it  might burnt the dish easily. There is no exact measurement for the condiments used, all are solely by estimation. You mix them till you get the taste you want.

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Sunday, October 2, 2016

STOP LOOK WAVE - Volvo Trucks Road Safety Proogramme

I believed all of us as parents, have been guiding our children about crossing the road only when the traffic lights are in our favour and also to cross only when the vehicles come to a complete stop before the stop line. I could tell that the school has done a great job in drilling the kerb drill as I have seen Xav practising them while crossing the road with me. Having said the above, how many of us actually teach our children about blindspots?

Personally, I had a bad encounter when I learnt from my mum a few years ago when Xav was 5. My ex-helper was seen allowing Xav to walk on his own (without holding his hand) while crosssing the bi- directional road. She thought that it was alright since she had observed the traffic rules. But having so many heavy vehicles back them due to various upcoming building projects in Sengkang West area, it can be disastrous if any heavy vehicles failed to spot the tiny-sized Xav at the blindspots or should they fail to stop in time and had him knocked down. Hence, when I was asked if I would like to share this with parents on my social media pages, I thought why not and it definately benefits the kids too.

Stop Look Wave was launched on the initiative of Volvo Trucks and was rolled out throughout the Volvo Group last year. The objective is to help children understand how to act safely in traffic and allow children an opportunity to better understand how trucks operate on the roads, be aware of the risks and doing their best to avoid them. It has been a major international success with 100,000 children having learned how to interact safely with commercial vehicles in traffic. 

In Singapore, more than 3000 children have benefited from Volvo Trucks’ outreach activities since 2014. This blue color poster is not new to me. Recently, I have spotted the standing banner at Xav's school. Volvo Trucks Singapore, together with Singapore Road Safety Council has launched the  global road safety campaign "Stop Look Wave" programme across four primary schools in Singapore, of which I believe Xav's school, is one of the schools that has benefited from it because he came back and excitedly told me about it.

Here's what I went through with Xav after having to visit Ruder Finn Asia and Josephine had kindly ran through the program with us.

#1 Always have eye contact with the driver and wave at the driver before crossing the street to make sure that the driver is aware that he is going to cross.

At no point of time when he is crossing the road, should he be looking down on the ground or at his story books or even the electronic gadgets. It can be extrremely dangerous if the child is unware of the risks around them.

#2 The importance of to see and be seen. I educated Xav not to stand too close to the big trucks (because of the much bigger size of the vehicle) or to the sides of the road junction. He should always stand on the inner side of the pedestrain path when he is at the traffic junction. With the use of the mini figurines, Xav showed me his understanding of blind spots and got them placed at the various spots.

It is always important to lay the foundations for safe behaviours and practise safer road habits at an early age. This is not only for children, I would think that the grandparents and care giver should be educated on this as well.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to make the roads safer for children and requires a collective effort among all stakeholders, from government, schools to corporates and families. We empower our children today so that they, too, can in turn be advocates among their family and social circles.” -  Olivier Metzger (General Manager of Volvo Trucks Sg)

Different touchpoints to children and their family members to increase awareness. Hence, Stop Look Wave was rolled out to be interactive with both indoor and outdoor education capabilities.

Indoor Exercise : An interactive story in Powerpoint format, starring an animated truck driver named Lim. The slideshow provides good introduction of the trucks to the children and raises awareness on blind spots and the right way to cross the road. A Street Map with scale models of trucks and humans to simulate different scenerios on the roads and encourages the right and safe behaviours. A locally-adapted animated film is produced to educate young children on the importance of road safety. It's simple enough for young children to understand. You can download the video in the link given below.

To download STOP LOOK WAVE Training materials which includes:
- Street map
- Stop Look Wave Powerpoint Animation
- Stop Look Wave Video
- Instructor's Guide
- Licence

and you can start practising with your children.

Outdoor Exercise: A Volvo truck parked in the premises for hands-on demonstrations of visibility limitations to stress the importance of making eye contact with the driver to ensure you are seen. This is also to give children the opportunity to get into the driver’s seat and experience the visibility first hand. This is located in Tuas, you may wish to arrange for a visit if you would love to.

You may wish to check out Volvo Trucks Sg on their social media pages too!
Facebook: Volvo Trucks Sg
Instagram: Volvo Trucks Sg 

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Friday, September 16, 2016

Canvas Painting @ TrehausKids [For Age 3-6 & Age 7-10]

Helmed by TrehausKids Lead Facilitator and Art Educator, Ms Jessie Chandran, the weekly art classes happening every Friday (Starting 16 September 2016) is set to immerse young children in the world of modern and contemporary art while picking up core skills in painting techniques, colour mixing and sketching.

During the one week holiday, Xav got to unleash the inner Picasso in him.

In a cosy class, not more than 8 students per class, he learnt to create his own master piece with mentoring from Ms Jessie on how to draw, sketch and colour mixing and painting techniques using acrylic paints. In other lessons, students get to explore different art medium such as water colours and other painting tools.

For younger participants aged 3-4, theme-based art workshops will include storytelling to accompany each session for added inspiration and motivation to get creative. Be all ears on the exciting tales from children's favourite authors such as Eric Carle as well as other famous classics! You can check out about the class for the younger kids at Raising Faith.

Fees for each session: $35 +GST (non members); $20 +GST (Trehaus members*)
Fees for one term of 4 sessions: $120 + GST (non members); $60 + GST (Trehaus members*)

Note the time slot for the respective age group:
3-6 years old : 2pm - 3.30pm
7-10 years old : 4pm - 6pm

Venue: Trehaus Studio
442, Orchard Connect #03-01
Singapore 238879
(Right behind Orchard Delfi)

To sign up or reserve a slot (per session/ per term), just proceed to the reception or call 9843 8077,  24 hours in advance.

All tools, canvas, paints and aprons will be provided and all participants get to go back with their master pieces at the end of the lesson.

My Picasso and his master piece. Try spotting the face ?

For more information and updates, do check out their social media pages:
Facebook: Trehaus Cowork
Website :

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

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