Saturday, September 30, 2023

886 Bistro @Jalan Besar

Our last visit to Taiwan was about a decade ago, I am sure missing all the delicacies! And of course, we have no plans of visiting soon, I find comfort in the locally served Taiwanese food. Here's one located in town (if you know where the former Lavender Food Square was, 886 Bistro is just right across the road), walking distance from Boon Keng Station and Farrer Park Station. +886 is actually the international dialing code for Taiwan and I thought how unique it is, to name the bistro after the country. 

Heard from the staff that 886 Bistro was a covid baby and yes, it's a survivor!  A modern, simple and commodious bistro in blue and white, looks pretty family-friendly too if you have a pram with you and it is fully air-conditioned, you can dine in comfort.  

Here you can find comfort Taiwanese street food, commonly sought after Lu Rou Fan and Bubble Tea since Taiwan is also known as the Land of Bubble Tea. 

We ordered some of their signatures and highly recommended these dishes that we all loved:

Ah Bao Braised Pork Rice ($5.80) 

cooked using Premium Japanese Rice using high quality superior soy sauce. The melt-in-your-mouth pork belly was braised for more than 24 hours and only this was used, not even minced meat. The taste was well balanced, not salty at all. Toss it up with the garnished spring onions and sweet turnips. It's comforting like this, just like how. You can also top up with the add-on of quail eggs, pork floss or miso soup. 

Truffle Scallion Udon ($9.80) is similar to Truffle Chicken Rice, atop the ubon was moist and tender chicken strips. The aroma of the truffle was strong but not overwhelming. Toss the udon well and every mouthful was heavenly! 

Ah Bao Braised Stew ($7.80)

Braised in the same goodness as the braised pork, I find this dish pretty unique though I am not a fan of white radish. This dish contained a medley of ingredients. From Taiwanese glutinous rice cake,  something we did not try before and it had a pretty interesting texture, mushroom, quail egg, meatball and fish roe strip. (not that the ingredients are subjected to changes) 

Golden Shoestring Fries ($11.80) covered with braised minced pork instead of the usual minded beef sold elsewhere, 3 cheese, mayonnaise and spring onion. No wonder it made it as one of their signature dishes. Even my mum gave praise for it. 

Imperial Pork Chop, 2pcs ($8.80)
Recipe used was from founder of 886 Bistro's great grandparents, a family secret recipe for more than 3 decades! The boneless pork chop made it a breeze for the kids to sink their bites in. Fried to a crisp on the outside, succulent and tender on the inside, with a slightly chewy texture. Xav loved this the most, I saw that he almost cleaned up the entire serving until I had to asked him to leave me a piece to try. The spices on the pork chop enhanced the taste to something mildly sweet and aromatic. I am no fan of pork but I will not say no to more of it. 

Honey Glazed Crispy Chicken ($8.80)
Fried chicken thigh chop, glazed to perfection with honey and topped with sesame seeds. This dish made it to the kids' favorite as well. 


Under the beverage menu, it has a variety to choose from Yakult and Earl Grey beverage and Black Tea  with fruity flavors (peach, lychee, mango, passionfruit and lemon).  The youngster would probably fancy fruity sodas more! And since Taiwan is also known as the land of bubble tea, you can also opt to add in your favorite boba or jelly into the drinks. The refreshing and appetizing Sour plum lime juice ($4). 

No matter how full you are, there should always be room for desserts! They have really nice Sweet Potato Taro Ball, 5pcs ($5.80) in my opinion! 

The sweet potato taro balls were coated with sour plum mix, it was light yet appetizing to taste! For the yam lovers!! Go for this treat; Yam brûlée  ($5.20) 

and even the Yam Milk ($5.80) tasted delicious! Great alternative if you would like to go caffeine-free!

New gem discovered! This was my first and definitely not the last visit. Will be back! 

+886 Bistro 
407 Jalan Besar #01-01
Singapore 209012

Operating Hours: 
11.30am to 9pm daily, last order at 8.30pm. 
(3pm to 5pm break on weekdays)

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Village Hotel Changi - Re-imagine Ubin

If you are an adventure seeker, loves nature and enjoy the idyllic vibes, the closest to nature would be Village Hotel Changi (VHC) by Far East Hospitality. 

Though it is located in the Eastern end of Singapore and this is also one of the hotels near to Changi Airport Singapore. 

hotel lobby

Just a stone throw away from the hotel, you can find Changi Village Food Centre where you can find  some famous local hawker fare, never leave Changi Village without trying the famous Changi Village Nasi Lemak and Changi Ferry Terminal if you would like to explore Pulau Ubin which is a short ride away. 

We kickstarted the June holidays on an adventure on Re-imgaine Ubin with Village Hotel Changi. If you do appreciate nature and loves outdoor activities and would not mind getting a few shades darker, this is the one for you! 

Re-imgaine Ubin Package includes: 
- 3D2N accommodation in a Suite Room with a roll away bed. 
- Breakfast included for 2 adults and 2 children (Below 12 years old)
- Early check-in at 10am and late check-out at 3pm (who wouldn't love that! especially for families with kids)
- Executive Club Lounge benefits
- Local delicacies for brunch on Day 1 
- Village currency worth $60 (can be used on Pulau Ubin)
- Bum boat 2-way tickets to Pulau Ubin
- Bicycle Rental Vouchers
- Private 4-seater boat rental (with helmsman)
- Four course set lunch at Smith Marine Floating Restaurant
- Sing Experience 

Day 1 was pretty much of free & easy. There was Local Brunch Experience was included in the package where you get to experience to eat like a local if you are planning to visit our Sunny island! You can check it out in my Instagram stories. 

Just a stone throw from the hotel premises, you can find lots of delicious local delicacies at Changi Village Food Centre. From our local favorite Chicken rice, you can also find other cuisine of other races, such as Nasi Padang, Roti Prata, Satay, Hokkien Mee and even the traditional desserts like Ice-kachang to cool yourself down in our all year long, summer season in Singapore. 

This was our supper! It was so convenient to have the hawker centre just right across the hotel, we can head over to get our favorite food! Perks of staying at a hotel and with one of Singapore's popular Hawker Centre! 


Beef Hor Fun in black bean sauce, super nice!

Oysters in Omelette - one of  Singaporeans' favourite! 

Let me show you the Executive Suite that is included in Reimagine Ubin Package! Commodious and bright. I loved how the bedroom is separated from the 'living room' via a short walkway.

Induction stove, microwave are available too. For families with young kids and needed to cook their meals, the Executive Suite is fully equipped with what you need. You can also view the Junior Executive Suite in my IGS. It was just nice for the 4 of us! 

Head to Level 1 where the restaurant is located, it oversees the Creek pool. We could set our mind at ease when dining and overlooking through the windows wall when Vera would love to have a dip. I loved the all bright and nice ambience with natural lighting pouring in. 

Happy Vera!

Creek Pool at Level 1 

And something special, I hardly see two swimming pools within a hotel but VHC has it! Besides Creek Pool at Level 1 and there is another swimming pool on level 8! 

You can find Infinity Pool, a wading pool for kids and a jacuzzi pool side by side. Trust me that you will fall in love with the view of the pool, sky and sea merged into one! 

And it was really enjoyable for Vera to spot and name the airline of the planes that flew past. In 5 mins, make a guess how many of the airplanes we could spot flying past?

I could not help but snap away with my mobile phone camera! 

We went on to check out the gym! I was impressed with the space and the range of fitness equipment available and it is open 24 hours daily! No prize for guessing correctly who was the happiest with the gym. 

There is also a special perk for Club Room and Suite guests, the Club Lounge is an exclusive space for the mentioned guests to enjoy light refreshment all day and free flow of cocktail and canapes from 6 to 8pm. Do check out the minimum age to enter the Club Lounge in the evening. 

We could also step foot into the outdoors for bird watching! When I stood there for just a short moment, I felt myself soaking into the tranquility, feeling so calm and peaceful. It is totally a different world at Village Stay Changi, you will love the vibes here! 

Day 2, we embarked on a land adventure at Pulau Ubin. In less than 15 mins, via a bump boat ride, we began our exploration. It was all planned for, I need not squeeze out any brain juice for planning, Gian showed us the way to Changi Point Ferry Terminal for boarding. 

Always liberating to be out in the sea! 

Pulau Ubin left me with alot of happy memories asI had been there umpteen times since school days and my aunt brought me there too, it was the kids' first visit though! 

It felt like another world once we stepped foot on Pulau Ubin with the slow pace of life. 

These were the bicycle vouchers that were enclosed, we could rent the bikes for the whole day!

It was a good choice to let the kids learnt cycling from young! I loved that even Vera was able to join us on the two wheelers! 

But before you start on anything, Pulau Ubin is well known to have commando mozzies, be sure to wear light and airy leggings, protect yourself with mosquito repellant and get your sunblock applied as well!

Using the SING Experience App, specially curated by Village Hotel Changi for their guests who takes on the Reimagine Ubin Package,

we went on a bicycle trail, 

played mini quiz on the app, learnt about the island and nature, from animals to botanicals at various pit stops! 

Monkeys spotting was common too1 Just be sure to keep food and bags away from them. Bumpy trails, not all were easy to ride on. We came off our bicycles to push at times when we could no longer paddle up slopes. Tiring but not giving up. I was proud of Vera for biting on! And we stumbled upon a fruit Orchard and found so many mini fallen durians on the ground! Too cute and in fact cuter than those from the claw machines we say!

Chek Jawa Wetlands- Our Natural Heritage ! Finally, I got it ticked off my to-go list, even though when it is in Singapore, on the eastern part of Pulau Ubin. You can set aside 1.5 hours to 2 hours for this walk. No bicycles are allowed, so we had them parked at the designated area. 

exploration of Chek Jawa Wetlands can be done via two routes:  the Coastal Loop (600m) and Mangrove Loop (500m) boardwalk. 

Soaking in sound of nature, chirping of the birds and insects, pleasant view of the vast sea and the greatest sandbank. It brought a total relaxation to my mind even thought the scorching sun did not make things any easier. Just remember to bring a cap, a bottle of water for hydration, body sheets to wipe and keep your body fresh! Some snacks like protein bars would be great too!

Do you know that Chek Jawa Wetlands consist of 6 eco-systems in an area covering approximately 100 hectares that includes the sandy beach, rocky beach, seagrass lagoon, coral rubble, mangroves, and coastal forest. We learnt much from the educational panels. 

Aplenty to spot on the sandbank! Watch my IG Reel on our sightings! 

We also walked through the Mangrove Loop. Before you scroll down, see if you can spot anything in this photo below?

The well camouflaged at close-up. It took me some time to spot it despite its size. 

We made our way up the 7-storey high Jejawi Tower, where we were rewarded with the view of a canopy of trees, birds that were soaring above the trees and sea. 

We took this photo at the entrance of House No.1 which is also the Visitor Centre of Chek Jawa. It certainly does not look like we are in Singapore right, it was converted from the Tudor-style house built in 1930s! 

Learn more about the history and natural heritage from the information panels and interpretive displays. 

We walked through it, exited and this was where we landed up at. 

This is also a good spot for plane-watching. 

We rode back for lunch and I was so happy because I had a chance to try out the the Seafood Restaurant finally! Of my many trips here, this was my first visit! Enclosed in the package was also $60 Village Currency which we could utilize it at this restaurant and we topped up the excess. Be sure to try their  super fresh seafood. 

Pulau Ubin is indeed a place where nature lovers, photographers and outdoor lovers should visit! 

Bringing back lots of precious memories! 

Time flies when we are having fun! Day 3 of Reimagine Ubin was an adventure out to the sea! 

A dose of Vitamin Sea did us great! Out to the sea we went! It's so liberating to ride on those waves! I totally enjoyed the moments when we anchored at a spot to fish and enjoyed the serenity of the surroundings at the same time. 

The kids experienced fun fishing on the boat for the first time! Click to watch the reel.

Such a thrill when Xav had his beginner's luck! His catch of the day was a fish and a baby stingray, which we returned them back to the sea.

Aung, our boatman, even drove us to a spot which was safe to have a dip as requested by Don. But the father and son did not swim for too long as we spotted jellyfish in the sea. Just in case, we played safe in this sense. 

The last leg of the fishing tour was, a 4-course lunch at Smith Marine Floating Restaurant. The steam fish was so fresh, you had to try it! 

This is all about what Reimagine Ubin has for you! If you are looking for a fuss free nature retreat in Singapore, make your booking now. 

Thank you Village Hotel Changi for your warmest hospitality and the beautiful memories. 

Village Hotel Changi
1 Netheravon Rd, 
Singapore 508502
Phone: 6379 7111

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