Thursday, 30 July 2009

Binge – Liquid Sparkles

These lovely little recipes fell into my inbox recently from the healthy people at Zespri Kiwifruit. I read up a little about these fuzzy guys and found that one kiwifruit gives you twice as much Vitamin C as an orange; and it’s among the top nutrient dense fruits, meaning you get more good stuff per gram and per calorie than most other fruit (yes – don’t waste your daily calorie quota!) Other good things about kiwifruit – it’s got one of the highest concentrations of lutein in fruits making it good for eyesight and helps prevent age-related deterioration of eye-sight (that’s me – ye olde long sighted) and it’s also a good antioxidant. Best of all, you can mix it with alcohol and turn kiwifruit into these ‘healthy’ liquid sparklies. What a lovely way to take your vitamins! I share these goodies with you, yah? Chin chin!

Serves 2

1 ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
60 ml lychee syrup, from canned lychees
90ml vodka
120 ml ginger ale

Muddle ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit, vodka, lychee syrup in cocktail shaker.
Add ice and ginger ale and shake. Strain into two ice-filled Collins glasses.
Garnish with ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit and lychee if you like.

Note: For mocktail, substitute 3 ounces extra ginger ale for alcohol.

1 generous serving or 2 small ones

2 chilled ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
¼ cup light rum
1½ Tbsp caster sugar
2 cups crushed ice


Blend the ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit until smooth but seeds are not broken up. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the ice into the blender with the remaining ingredients and blitz until they have the consistency of snow.
Fold the ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit into the icy mixture, pour into a chilled glass and serve.

- Ee Waun
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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Body - I'm CatWoman and I Kick Butt!

For the sake of our beloved little blogazine, this 'Auntie' padded off last Saturday afternoon, forsaking hearth, home and kitchen, to try out a new class – Zen Do Kai Karate & Kickboxing. (This is how it’s described: "Zen Do Kai combines the best and most effective techniques from many different styles of martial arts making Zen Do Kai Karate a complete and very effective system of self defence. The Zen Do Kai philosophy is 'if it works, we use it.'") It’s a new programme set up by Peter Robertson, a nice mixed martial arts instructor, looking all lean and crew cut and martial-artsy, who happens to be recently married to my friend. He set it up recently and is giving free introductory classes all the way to the end of August!

As I wandered up the steps, I had images of John Woo-style slow-motion fight scenes in my head, Matrix and X-Men-type moves. I’m Catwoman. I’m Jessica Alba. Stand back, World! I'm gonna kick butt (limp hair notwithstanding)!

....Oh God, cringe and wither….It couldn’t have been further from that!

The first session started with karate, and he brought us – a motley bunch of girls and guys of various experience levels – through some basic moves and drills. He got us trying out ‘wing chun hands’ – very Jackie Chan where you learn how to block opponents strikes and push it away and looks like patty-cake in slow-mo; some four-step basic move which looked slow and easy but got me all tangled up and lost (didn’t realise my hand-foot-eye coordination was so bad!); and I think there was something about how to grab a chap (imaginary of course) who’d caught you by the head, twist out of the hold and hit him back. It wasn’t in great detail, he didn’t explain exactly how to position our feet or hands but I gather it’s an introductory session, so those details would come later.

This lasted an hour, and was good fun, I must say, despite my being lost half the time. (You can see how dorky I look in the pics….which takes a lot of foolhardiness to post, mind you! a little kindness please) A little break, then on to another hour of kickboxing. Yay.

I think I followed this a lot better – not so lost, and easier to follow. Again, it was a few basic moves and drills. Move 1 – jab. Move 2- jab jab. Move 3 – jabjab, jaaaab. Move 4 – jab, jab, jab jab. I could do that. Then came the kicking, the elbowing (no real impact, so don’t worry – I left with not a single blue black – it’s nice and gentle at this stage, Peter reminds us). We had to run through a little circuit which included kicking the punching bag at different heights. One thing I also learnt… it’s not easy to kick high when you’re short like me. “Kick high,” he calls out, holding the bag. Yes yes, Peter, that’s as high as my leg goes…and it made as much of an impact as a limp sausage hitting a brick wall.

Two hours later, I disgorged from the gym. It wasn’t very aerobic at this stage, but when things pick up, I am told you’ll get a more vigorous work out. This was for beginners – baby steps. Did I enjoy it? Yes I guess I did – very much. It was fun because it the mood was informal and the instructor was actually quite fun; and being with mostly beginners, things were more forgiving and we laughed at ourselves a lot. And at the end of the day I learnt a few moves in self-defence. If I followed it through, it can be empowering I am certain. But Catwoman, I will never be. That said, I’d say, give it a try.

Where: Pan-I Complex, 601 Sims Drive (near Aljunied MRT)
To register or enquire:
Classes: Every Tuesday 7pm (karate), 8pm (kickboxing);
Every Saturday 1.45pm (karate) 2.45pm (kickboxing)

- Ee Waun
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They say an ugly woman is simply a lazy one. So forget the excuses, the sweltering heat and the increasing lethargy. Instead, this week, get inspired to glow, sparkle and scintillate...whilst you still can (evil laugh)!

GLOW -- serious pampering happens at Leonard Drake Skin Care and Health Spa with their DermTech range of treatments. They have a Glow Treatment at S$290 per session, a Radiant Peel at $250 per session and an Advanced Radiant Peel at $320 per session. These may seem pricey but they employ cutting edge technologies in skincare that promise to increase cell regeneration and turnover so that skin is healthier and more radiant.

Post facial, keep it oil-free and flawless with Clinique's latest, a SPF29/PA+++Perfectly Real Radiant Skin Compact Makeup. Light on the skin, it does the job in giving you that spotless, radiant 'my make-up is freshly applied' look whilst offering maximum sun protection.

Pair that with Clinique's Fall 2009 Limited Edition Collectible Colour Compact which comes in 3 different limited edition collectibles, each in a silvery zippered compact complete with a Colour Surge Eye Shadow Trio, Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher, a Curling Mascara and a rich selection of lip colours with names like Golden Brandy, Allheart and Berry Blush. More info at

SPARKLE -- In my constant pursuit of 'fabuliciousness', my latest sparkly find in Hong Kong is from the Kose counter, a product under the brand's Beaute du Kose range called Eye Fantasist Eye Colour. It is basically liquid glitter that adds luster and sparkle to your eyes. Use this as a base under your eyeshadow or eyeliner. It 'opens' your eyes immediately and adds just that right amount of dressed up glamour to your daily look. See it at

SCINTILLATE -- if you feel like a new fragrance, check out PRADA, Bvlgari and Emporio Armani. I was around for a nice gift and decided to make a run round to the perfume counters at Hong Kong's DFS. All three have new scents to tout. If you collect the bottles, then the one to keep is Diamonds, Armani's Beyonce endorsed EDT. The bottle is pretty cut like a giant piece of bling in exquisitely facetted glass bottle at $85 for a 50ml and $122 for a 100ml. Will look good on table top!

- Elaine

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Thursday, 23 July 2009

Buys – Bottoms Up with Top Wines Sale...And Just In Time for National Day

Empty your car boot and head down to Top Wines, one of my favourite wine distributors, for their warehouse sale next weekend (31 July - 2 Aug). And since it marks their anniversary, you can expect BIG discounts - up to a sweet 60% off! What makes me want to hotfoot it down to Clementi? I like that they have a big portfolio – lots to choose from and just in time to celebrate our Majulah Singapura too. I’ll be filling up my trusty little Honda Jazz (look out for the bright electric blue whizzing by!) with wines from Peter Rumball (Australian sparking shiraz!), South African winery Doolhof which does lovely, smooth reds, Chilean Anakena for good value dinner wines, Fleur Leroy (supremely chi chi but sophisticated pink Champers), Mt Riley (NZ sparkly sauvignon – nice!), and from Italy, Cantina Marabino and Zaccagini for its gorgeous Cerasuolo and Plaisir Passito Bianco from Muscat grapes. And here’s an extra tip – look out for Stone’s Original Ginger Wine which is good for splashing into braised pork and for making homemade ginger ale, and for any prosecco for making sangria! What’s more, there’ll be 10 wines for tasting during the sale.

When is it? Next weekend, sweetie….just in time for National Day celebrations! Bottoms up for Singapore!

31 July – 2 August (Fri- Sun)
3 Clementi Loop, 3rd Floor
Tel: 6468 3866
10am – 8pm
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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Buys - NEW brands to STAND UP TO

Stand up (in your three inch heels) for Singapore’s flailing economy. Yeah, so the GSS is over but that has not stopped some NEW brands from hitting our shores! Go SHOP

Check out LULU AUSTRALIA at Holland Village. It’s trademark is its clear PVC plastic that holds-in hardwearing retro fabrics. Trendy, durable and functional, this is the ultimate bag store. Find handbags from $48 onwards and a range of totes, overnighters, diaper bags, coin purses, pouches and eco-friendly shopping bags in stripes, bubbles, flowers, all dramatically eye-catching. Just launched --a range after own own hearts called 'Fabulous'! Where: #03-18, Holland Avenue, Holland Road Shopping Centre. Tel: 64677236. See:

Zara fans! You can say you heard it here! Their sista brand, BERKSHA will open at ION! Hurray!! I first found it at Tsing Yi's Airport Express Mall in Kowloon and it was love at first sight - spaghetti tops, dresses, cargo pants, Indian cotton, Summer prints ... lets just say I bought with little reserve. And at the changing rooms, a friendly sales girl with an accent just like mine, politely asked "BTW, are you Singaporean?" and there it was that I found out that Bershka will open at ION, soon, if not already opened. See their look book:

Also at ION, follow the white rabbit and join the Mad-hatter's tea party at VERY WOOONDERLAND where the fashion mantra is colourful, quirky and fun. Find underground labels like Dr Denim and EDWIN, RVCA, Sixpack, Boxfresh, Dirtee Hollywood, Jack Spade, Ambiguous, Outpost, Palmer Cash and Ringspun, BBDakota girls from California, Supreme Being from UK and InCase a range of cases and sleeves for your iphones, laptops and the like. Opens: 21 July at ION Orchard unit B3-12, Tel 67380002. See:

What do internationally acclaimed Chefs Paul Bocuse, Thomas Keller and Joel Robuchon cook with? The answer is STAUB® which launches it first exclusive flagship counter at Takashimaya Basement 1. French made, these technically-advanced cast iron products are made to last a lifetime and possess a matte black enamel interior that prevents discolouring, is highly indestructible and chip-resistant. Oven-proof, these beauties retain heat beautifully and keep dishes warm long after they are taken out of the oven or off the stove. Check out the La Cocotte ($168-$488), Sauté Pan With Cast Iron or Glass Lid ($328 to $598), Square/Rectangle Grill with Silicone Folding Handle ($188 TO $218) as well as the Chinese-style Cultural wok ($478)

And meanwhile.. online, you can shop global but support local, check out: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY launches where you can buy ‘giftable’ books, collectibles, accessories, t-shirts and stationery with a delivery service at attractive rates, overseas destinations included. BYSI, our own local fashion label also launches an online shopping portal for local and international fans. Goes ‘live’ at the end of July – watch this spot for best buys:
- Elaine
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Binge - Brimming with Red & White

National day is coming up and what annoys me is the way some people think it’s hip to be cool about it. Not to care, stick their noses up in the clouds and think the excitement is only for school kids and grassrooty people, whereas they are far, far too superior to marvel at fireworks, the parade and get into the National Day mood. But I say, life is too short to be cynical. Any reason to celebrate and be happy, please!….and if I’m being campy and corny, so be it. Snoots are not getting any apologies for that. And that’s why we’re running a National Day theme this week….for wholehearted celebrations require time for planning!! Let’s fling ourselves into feeling all overflowing with red and white!

Such magic in the fireworks, unadulterated fun in waving those little plastic flags you buy from the provision shop knowing that a stranger could be waving it back at you...and have you been to the parade? I know tix are hard to get, but I went once with some friends (we were already in our 20s then) and it was magnificent! The crowds, the lights, the little fluorescent sticks you wave in the dark, the aunties in their sunshades, and the mass singing of nationalistic songs for the season …..Lah! It was breathtaking. Lovely! Is one not brimming over with patriotic fervor yet? Does one’s cup not runneth over? Mine is! I’ve also picnicked on empty grounds near the indoor stadium for a few years running just to see the fireworks, keropok, kua-zi and Tiger beer in hand in true Singaporean style. “Stand up for Singapore…..”

Admittedly, now that I’m on the scintillating side of 40, I don’t really want to jostle with the crowds… But this is what I will do. I will wear red and white underwear (red on top, white at the bottom…must remember that…), I will make my family wear red and white all day, even tattoo the kid’s face with the flag (a temporary one, of course!), and if I am not checking into one of those hotels to catch the fireworks, I’ll be watching the flypast from East Coast beach and having a supremely Singaporean barbecue in the garden with family, complete with un-haute bee hoon, chicken wings, satay (Kwang’s satay is the best), chicken curry with French loaf from an HDB bakery and overcooked green bean soup for dessert. Howzat?

But elegance can prevail. This are what some the hotels/restaurants are doing for the occasion which caught our patriotic eyes.
Get a room in the Ritz Carlton (Tel: 6434 5118 and quote “Fireworks Fiesta” room package) on 1 August to watch the Parade preview and the fireworks. It’s just $400++ for the night with brekkie for a family (2 adults and 2 kids). What’s great about this place? You can even see the fireworks from the bathtub. Down at the lounge, drink to the nation with their special Fabulous 44 cocktail, concocted with an amazing 44 ingredients and decorated with moon and stars….. And the Ritz certainly got it right. 44 is fabulicious! Chin chin!

Jump into local fare at Orchard Hotel’s Orchard Café (Tel: 6739-6565) with the Go Local buffet (now until end Aug for lunch and dinner). Expect the usual irresistible suspects like Hokkien mee, char kway teow, bak kut teh and kueh pai-ti, and live cooking stations for yum-yums like kway chap, mee siam, laksa, etc. Round off with durians galore - durian pengat, durian puff, durian roulade and durian cake…..enough said. Go dressed in red between 1 and 9 August and get a 44% discount too. From $36++ onwards.
  • Go to Forlino’s (#02-06 One Fullerton; Tel 68776995) for dins with fireworks. A 7-course dinner with beef tenderloin carpaccio with truffles, duck with goose liver and port wine sauce, parsley tagliolini with baby cuttlefish, etc. Nice price - only $120++.
At way out destination restaurant Vanilla Pod (Mandai Orchid Garden, 200 Mandai Lake Road, Tel: 63680672), which has a brand new team is offering diners whose birthday falls on 9 August on any year, a free main course on National Day. But those whose birthdays fall on 9 August 1965 will get a complimentary three-course meal on National Day. (Two days advanced reservations please.) The rest of us can sink our teeth into their National Day Weekend Pork Knuckle Promotion (7 – 10 Aug). With every order ($25.80 big enough for two), top up with $19.80 and get a bucket of five Tiger or Heineken beers. Since you can’t catch the fireworks there, get your own sparkles with the girly, fizzy Grant Burge Moscato 2008 for $28.80. How can you get more patriotic? First go to the Zoo, then dins at Vanilla pod surrounded by Singapore orchids! Aunties will surely like! - Ee Waun

*Little Black Book Alert*
To get your little black book of these telephone numbers, SMS:
“LBB[space]ND[space]age” to 77688
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Thursday, 16 July 2009

Breaking News! - We are now MOBILE!

Like our binge tips, travel deals and best buys but can’t remember them on the run?

We’re now just a sassy click away on your handphone with these nifty new mobile options to make life even more fabulicious

….And this, we suspect, makes us the first blogazine here in Singapore to be mobile-enabled.

Yay! (Thanks to WooWorld who’s working with us on this, and all of you who supported us from the start! Muarck Muarck!)

So here’s what we’ve got for you:

SimplyFab's Mobile ‘LBB’ (Little Black Book). Blanked out on that great restaurant we just mentioned or the shop with the latest sale? Get our handy list of addys and numbers for the places featured in our stories so you know exactly where to go. Look out for the ‘Little Black Book’ alert at the end of upcoming stories and SMS us for the story’s essential addys instantly.

SMS Promos and Wins. Many of our wins will soon be via SMS participation to make it more exciting and convenient, so watch out for them in our posts. First up? Our Boncafe draw this week. Fingers at the go!....Click click!

Weekly SMS updates. Get alerted to our new posts hot off the press with weekly mobile updates.
To get them, SMS ‘SF[space]Optin[space]your name[space] your age[space]email" to 77688 and you’ll be the first to know when we post.
(Note: Every member of our Facebook group will still continue to receive a traditional email update when we post.)

What’s more, these SMS are free. So plug in and brace yourself for intense Fabuliciousness!

Any questions? Drop us a note at

The SimplyFab Team
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WINS -SimplyFab Boncafe Lucky Draw


You’ve read about the barista courses and events available at Boncafe’s Etre Bon Gallery, and in last week’s post, the luscious syrups, frappe mixes and custom roasted coffees that you can get there.

This week, win some goodies in the SimplyFab Boncafe Lucky Draw to celebrate our mobile-enabled blogazine!

Here’s the deal. We’re giving away 5 grab-worthy Boncafe hampers worth $50 each. Each hamper includes Boncafé Roasted and Ground Gourmet Coffees, Boncafe cups and saucers, a bottle of Torani Syrup, Boncafé Mocca Instant Coffee and Bontea Ceylon Tea. To lay your hands on it, just SMS to request for this weeks’ SimplyFab’s ‘Little Black Book’ and stand a chance to win!

SMS “SF[space]LBB[space]where[space]your age[space]your name” to 77688.
Closing date: 22 July 2009 (One SMS per mobile number, please.)

And by the way, don’t forget to log onto for must-know tips on brewing the perfect coffee, using the syrups and mixes, and lots more luscious secrets.

(Winners will be picked at random and the lucky ladies will be hearing from us via telephone. Since winners will have to collect their hampers from Boncafe, this draw is open only to those who live on our sunny island set in the sea.)
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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Binge - Two Hundred Peranakans Parading

It’s funny why we have the Singapore Food Festival when we are naturally a nation of constant feeders anyway. Food is definitely the crux of nationhood here. Nevertheless the Food Festival is upon us again from 17-26 July, this time with a Peranakan theme. Yet another reason to eat.

A few things caught our eye among the line-up of activities. How about 200 costumed Peranakans parading from various locations towards Clarke Quay for the opening ceremony at 6pm tomorrow, Friday 17 July?

Other excitement include:

Clarke Quay Food Street at the Read Bridge (17-25 July, 4-11pm) for local and Peranakan fare.

Singapore River Market (17-26 July, 4-11pm) along Singapore River, with stalls selling every knick knack under the sun from scented oils to everything else.

Nonya Mobile (17-26 July), a roving kitchen plying central locations like Orchard Road and City Hall, with chefs dishing out live cooking demos on dishes like Ang Ku Kueh, Buah Keluak and Pineapple tarts.
‘Streets of Singapore’ cooking classes at Coriander Leaf with Samia Ahad (24 July, 3pm). Learn how to make 10 (yes, ten!) Singapore classics such as chilli crab, Hainanese chicken rice, tauhu telor, lamb satay, etc for $130 net. Email to book; for details.

Hawker Centres. Look out for ‘special activities’ on both festival weekends at East Coast Lagoon hawker centre and Chinatown Complex. Sketchy details by NEA, the organisers, make this mysterious but they promise lots of ‘family fun’.

The Art of Peranakan Dining and High Tea seminar (24 July, 2.30pm) at the Peranakan Museum. Tel 6255 1037 for reservations but it costs a whopping $60. Hmmm, pearls of wisdom I am sure….!

The Longest Peranakan Buffet Line (26 July, 5–10 pm) by Swissotel Merchant Court to end off the festival. It’ll span the entire Read Bridge, serving up 100 dishes under the stars. Nice. Tix at $35++ per adult, from Ellenborough Market Café. Tel: 6239 1848 for details.

Get more info on the festival at

- Ee Waun

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Binge – Where Do Former Hotel Chefs Go?

They just fade into the heartlands. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, because they usually bring with them five-star food and good value to the citizens of suburbia. What’s more, these local guys come from kitchens of pedigree. Here are some we’ve sussed out for laid back eating:

Wo Peng Eatery (476 MacPherson Road, Tel: 6747 9892) is a no-frills Chinese restaurant helmed by Julian Tam, former Exec Chef at Furama Hotel. Last time I went there, there was only a small menu with mainly with seafood dishes. But the chef cooks plenty of dishes off-menu so get the waitresses to recommend. The lobster noodles, giant grouper – a rarity outside super fine restaurants – sharks fin with crab roe, pig trotter bee hoon and his rich, fine soups are lovely, clearly cooked by an expert hand. Best kept secret? Poon Choy is his specialty and available any time of the year. Orders a day or so in advance are required but the price is most attractive. Also available for takeaway.

Foo House (6 Jln Pari Burong
Tel: 6445 3110) is owned by a former head chef from Hyatt. Its comfy, laid back 70s décor just means it’s a great place to chill out. The wait staff are young and friendly, and the food is really good – hearty, unpretentious and downright good. Feast on western classics like lamb shank, honeyed ribs, goulash, beef stew, salmon, roast duck and even mind-blowing burgers. Inexpensive wine and beers to boot! Reservations crucial on weekends.

Black Sheep Café (35 Mayo St Tel: 6292 5772) The small eatery tucked away in Little India is a no-frills hangout that’s cosy and cute. Really. Chef Ratha, formerly of Raffles Hotel, owns the joint and runs it with a tiny but friendly crew. The food is great and seriously good value. Signature items include lamb shank, duck confit with apple roesti and pan seared foie gras. Some wines are available too, mainly below $50 a bottle – but don’t expect a wine list or sommelier advice. A little off the beaten path but it’s a quaint find, a laid back hangout and all in all a lovely little restaurant. Mondays to Wednesdays are ‘creative nights’ when the chef tries out new dishes.

Hock Siong Waste Dealers (153 Kg Ampat #01-03 Tel: 6281 8338). Just a deviation from food….how about where those sumptuous hotel furniture? Where do they go when they are retired? To Hock Siong Waste Dealers of course, just off MacPherson Road.

Despite its less-than-evocative name, this place is an Aladdin’s Cave of furniture, tableware, lighting, glassware, even hotel robes and unused toiletries which are generally in good condition. I spied old Cherry Garden tableware there along with a few sofas which I swear came from the Grand Hyatt, and some Sheraton bathrobes. Head there for great bargain hunting. Good for coffee tables and lovely chairs.
- Ee Waun

*Little Black Book on Mobile*
Want to bring along these addys? Get our handy “Little Black Book’ on mobile and have the essential details at your fingertips.

SMS “SF[space]LBB[space]where[space]your age[space]your name” to 77688 and it'll be sent over to your mobile phone.

Just for this week, SMS for our LBB on Mobile and stand a chance to win one of five Boncafe hampers!
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Thursday, 9 July 2009

BTW - Embrace Your Inner Auntie

After extensive discussions and observations with friends, I have come to the conclusion that like there is a child in all of us, there is an inner auntie lurking within all of us. If you fight her, you might end up looking insecure, but if you embrace her, you will find it is liberating.

I know many fabulicious ladies who have wholly embraced their inner auntie, and Auntie has made them savvy shoppers, confident in their own skin, and comfy on any hunting ground from boutiques to markets, without apologies thank you. But do they look like market aunties? No – they walk in designer shoes, carry Prada handbags and sip fine wine…..the best of both worlds, in essence. You see, the key to embracing your inner auntie successfully into the 21st century is to acknowledge and listen to her, yet keeping her firmly within. Never let her hang on your wardrobe and in your hairdo.

So realise that it’s perfectly fine to….
Love Tupperware and all manner of plastic food and household containers, with or without lid. Wasn’t the Jackie Onassis generation of simplyfab ladies nurtured on Tupperware parties? Don’t we all swear by Lock&Lock these days? The technology behind these receptacles is just fascinating!
Shop at the wet market. After all, the best food deals and the freshest produce are there, plus you get to chat and pick the brains of the stallholders who have endless culinary secrets to share if you let them. Plus they give you credit and even make deliveries if you’re a regular. What’s more you get all the swanky stuff there too – like fresh rosemary and sage, arugula, harumanis mangoes in season, duck breast, portobello, broccollini, etc etc etc…..
Spree in the heartlands. Hunt out the good sundry shops in HDB estates which are treasure troves of all things ingenious and wonderful (from Taiwan, Korea or Japane) or traditional. Cookie jars (including those huge ones with red plastic lids that used to reside in kopitiam countertops); retro tableware, enamel ware and retro China-made flasks (why pay top price at Tangs when you can get the same here for a song?), bakeware, hotel standard floor mats (2 for $10) and other quirky finds. I like Rissen Dept Store (heaven next to Phoon Huat in Bedok Central) and another big mama in the middle of Kaki Bukit HDB estate. Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Marine Parade has good ones too. (Do you know of others? Share the love by posting a comment at the bottom of the story.)

Love a good deal (aka 'cheap and good'). And it can be down to earth yet classy...just like the inner auntie. For a delicious example, Top Wine's wine dinner this coming Tuesday, 14 July (7.30pm) is a fantastic deal - easy drinking yet sophisticated Anakena wines with dinner at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant@ Waterfront. Five wines from this Chilean wine maker (one of my favourites!) with six seafood courses including cereal prawns, salted egg lobster, chilli crab and ‘ou nee’, that sinfully rich, quintessentially Teochew yam paste pudding. Great food, good wine and unpretentiously luscious living. ($95++ per person; #01-05 Singapore Indoor Stadium By Top Wines. Call at 6468 3866 to make your reservations.)

Embracing your inner auntie doesn’t mean you have to go down market. It just frees you to enjoy any hunting ground without guilt. So embrace her and ye shall be free.

- Ee Waun

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Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Binge - Are You A Boondock Babe?

Glamour hounds may head to the latest shops and restaurants, but the truly savvy drive out to the boondocks and suburban drags for some serious shopping. Be rewarded with cheaper prices, hard to find products and value added services not to be found in civilisation. Leg it to:

Boncafé – For an amazing range of Torani syrups, frappe and smoothie mixes, Lyons dessert sauces, and coffee blends. Must buy: custom roasted, single-origin Arabica coffees ($12 - $63 per 250g bag) including Ethiopia Harrar, the original coffee, ($14) and Jamaican Blue Mountain ($63). Advance orders must be placed on Mondays for custom roasted coffee and picked up on Thurs. Call 68740126 or email for advance orders; walk in for all other products. Free delivery above $100. (208 Pandan Loop Tel: 6776 2216)

Frosts Warehouse – For pita bread, eclairs & profiteroles, cheesecake, frozen avocado, cheeses, breaded mushrooms, Akbar teas and a huge range of fruit drinks and even Caretreats (no sugar, no additives) for kids and plenty more. Prices are 10%-20% lower than shops in civilization. Must buy: individually-packed Mrs Field’s Cookies which taste absolutely superb if you warm it up in the micro. Watch out for burrata cheese which will be coming in the next few months. Free tastings and freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads daily. Free delivery above $150. (24 Tuas Ave 12 Tel: 6862 2166)

QB Foods – For frozen pizza bases, condiments, cheese and sauces, hams, burger patties, anchovies, canned tomatoes, frozen meats including relatively cheaper pork, beef and lamb cuts, and fresh meat including Wagyu. Must buy: Johnsonville Sausages (eg. Beddar Cheddar and other flavours) at a distinct discount from shops in civilization. (8 Chin Bee Crescent)

Best Food Pte Ltd – Frozen meat heaven, with all manner of cuts including Korean beef ribs, pork collar, wagyu beef, even smoked duck breast and so much more I just can’t remember. I suspect they are the guys behind Mmmmm, the meat shop at Novena. (6 Chin Bee Crescent)

Rudi’s Fine Food – The wholesaler (and supplier to many of our luxury hotels) has no factory outlet at their warehouse but you can walk in, ask for a product list and pick out whatever you like. Get high quality hams, pate, smoked meats, sausages and friendly service. Weekdays only. (11 Chin Bee Crescent)

Tai Sun Food Industries – for all sorts of beer nuts and chips. (255 Pandan Loop)

Do you know any other great factory shops and boondock finds? Spread the love and share with the SimplyFab community. Just click the 'comment' icon and let your wisdom flow!

- Ee Waun

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