Thursday, 29 April 2010

This Weekend – Sparkly Little Trinkets! Free Diamonds!



Like sparkly baubles? Pop into the The Goldheart Jewel Sale this weekend, starting tomorrow, Friday 30 April until Sunday, 2 May, and pick up great deals on dinky trinkets at a whopping 70% off. That means diamonds on a whim! And if you’re a Goldheart member, that’s another 10% off for you, Luscious! Deals to beeline for are the Solitaire range and the Black Beauté Collection set with fancy‐shaped diamonds, and even a 1.03 carat sparkler, with additional diamonds set around it for $5600. But brace yourself for a heady crush though, because the nice people at the store are giving away free diamonds (!) – 120 little candies everyday for the three days from 30 April – 2 May, from 11am – 9.30 pm. Make sure you get in line and grab!



Goldheart International Building
360 Orchard Road
#01‐18 International Building
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Binge - Mother's Day Treats Part 2



Finally! A Mothers’ Day brunch that understands our need for chi-chi cocktails! The new Triple Three at Mandarin Orchard Singapore has rolled out the red carpet with a yummy Japanese Sunday brunch (11.30am – 3pm). In addition to delectables like Sashimi, Teppanyaki, Roasted Wagyu Beef and Tempura, there are Robatayaki, Shabu-shabu, Oden and Japanese Curry. And of course, late morning cocktails with a Japanese spin - Bloody Mary or Caipirinhas using Shochu and Sake – or free flow Kirin beer, and Chandon sparkling wine from Domaine Chandon in Australia’s Yarra Valley. Adult $110++ (inclusive of sparkling wine, soft drinks and fruit juices) or $90++ (no sparks); Child (5-12 years old) $45++.



Tel: 6831 6288 or email dine.orchard@meritus-hotels.com


Over at Pan Pacific Singapore, brunch at Zambuca on 9 May sparkles with free flow prosecco! At a friendly price of $88++, you also get an Italian spread of risotto, pasta and crustacean and game with self-serve appetisers and desserts in a 3-course menu. Methinks therefore you choose your main course. $68++ no fizz. If you don’t mind grilling in the afternoon heat, its al fresco outlet Brunch serves up a barbecue brunch of grilled meats and seafood, appetisers, mains and desserts with unlimited beer, wines and soda. Send your chickadees for the art contest they are holding where the winner gets a weekend stay (with Mummy Dearest, of course) at the hotel. ($58++ or $78++ with beer, wines and soda). What’s more, if you can confirm your bookings by 30 April with a minimum of 4 people, you get a 25% off all Mother’s Day promotions


12 noon to 2.30pm
Zambuca, Level 3/ Brunch, Level 4
Tel: 6826 8240 or email celebrate.sin@panpacific.com


Chinese fine dining in Singapore is always a real treat ‘cos that’s when you see the creativity of the chefs – and the guys who helm the fine dining Chinese restaurants are often pretty creative. Sebastian Goh at Fairmont Singapore’s Szechuan Court is one such guy, and I bet the set menus he is serving up for the Mother’s Day weekend – either individual set menus, which is always very good value, or what they call ‘family’ set menus requiring a minimum of six people. I like the sound of Scallop served with Deep-fried Goose Liver Paste wrapped in Smoked Duck Roll; Double-boiled Mud Crab Claw & Fish Cartilage with Chicken served in Pumpkin Crust; Truffle-braised Abalone, Thorny Sea Cucumber served with White Jade Cabbage & Beancurd; Oven-baked Pork Rib marinated with Angelica Herbs served with Duo Sweet Potato Rice and Chilled Bird’s Nest & Snow Lotus Jelly served in Dragon fruit Crust to cap the meal on a sweet note. Individual set menus start from $78++ and seven course family set menus from $788++ for 10 people.


Tel: 6431 6156 or email: dining.singapore@fairmont.com


- by EW
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Monday, 26 April 2010

Buys - This Season's Carry-All is the Hogan Trend Bag


Don't like the idea of carrying around a bulky document bag, try this season's charming carry-all from Hogan. Their best selling Trend Bag has been given a polished update - patent calf leather with the unique characteristic of creating contrast when pressure is applied to its surface. It's water resistant quality makes it perfect for the rainy days ahead in May to September.


Also in shiny silver for those dressed up days. 




And in pink and white for a more girly touch! 


How to carry it? Seen spotted out and about - Jessica Alba. See: www.hoganworld.com


- Elaine
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Sunday, 25 April 2010

Beauty - DIY Home Spa Treatments at Watsons


If you have to run out to replenish some bath and spa essentials, it may be worth popping into Watsons in both Singapore and Hong Kong to check out the new value-for-money ranges that they have just launched under their own house brand with Lavender, Olive, Green Tea and Spring Water as the lead ingredients. 

The different ranges offer head to toe home spa DIY treatment options for instance, the Green Tea range offers everything from a an Antioxidant Oil control Cleansing Foam, Deep Cleansing Facial Scrub, Facial Toner, Pore Minimising Gel, Facial Spray and even Green Tea Mud!! 

Relax also with new masks harnessing the ingredient properties of Bird's Nest, Cucumber, Tomato and Ginko, Avocado, Aloe Vera and solution driven masks for prevention of Wrinkles (Anti-Wrinkle), Whitening and Moisturising. 

- Elaine



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Friday, 23 April 2010

By The Way - Mother's Day Treats We Like - Part 1


Last year I lamented how Mother’s Day promotions and events around town seemed to think all Moms are keen on traditional Chinese herbal foods, Peranakan pantoons, and slipper beading. So far, no one has suggested Hokkien love songs over lunch yet, but methinks they are all more suited for Grandparents Day! Happily there are some improvements this year and if I wasn’t so completely flat-on-my-back tired out, and can muster up enough energy to insist the family celebrate Mother’s Day in tribute to overworked moi, here’s what I won’t mind having for Mother’s Day….(second Sunday of May I was just reminded)….

A brainwave by Coriander Leaf, this is a cooking class with a difference, where mom and daughter can bond over tomato and basil bruschetta, grilled lamb, lime & thyme cream in phyllo nests with marinated strawberries, tomato soup, and other dishes. This hands-on cooking session by Samia Ahad takes place on Saturday, 8 May from 3pm – 6.30pm, culminating in a gourmet meal together at the lovely restaurant. Sounds like fun. Either Mommy and Princess will get to bond and appreciate each other better, or Mom might end up reverting back to pursed lips and nagging ways and Daughter countering with typical eyeball-rolling and teenage angst. But knowing Samia, she’ll keep everyone cool and happy, and realise (being a mom herself) that all we need is a lychee martini to set the mood right again! ($140++ per person; reservations essential.) If you can’t make it that day, sign up for any of Coriander Leaf’s scheduled demo cooking classes as a mom and daughter pair and get a complimentary mini hamper (worth $38) comprising tomato chutney, cumin crisps, homemade cookies with fresh flowers.

3A Merchant Court #02-03,
River Valley Road, Clarke Quay
Tel: 6732-3354

For all the hard work we put in, including driving the kids from tuition to everywhere else, I won’t mind a new car from my adoring family, since we live half the day in it. But if putting down some serious moolah is not on the cards right now, how about a little la dolce vita with a rented set of exotic wheels for a week or two? I am not proud….I’d be delighted to spin about in a Bentley GTC (see the nice pix?), a gorgeous sweetie with its roof down for a joy ride in the evening, to pick the kid up from school or piano, or a night out in town, etc…..A girl’s gotta move, right? Luxe Car Rental has a mouthwatering fleet of cars including this Bentley, and other lovelies like an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster, Maserati Spyder, Ferrari F430 Spider and Porsche Boxster. Time for a girls’ night out? Indeedy-do!
Tel: 65 62787800
www. luxecar.com.sg

If you’re not hung up on the date but will happily take the Mom’s Day treat, wait till the end of May and potter off on the fabled Eastern & Oriental Express. For one night only, the E&O is opening its doors to guests for an exclusive dinner! Get into your glamorous best, relive the historical romance of travel and board the train at 6:30pm. Depart from Singapore for a leisurely ride across the border into Malaysia while you enjoy a three-course dinner with wines in the restaurant cart.

Imagine trundling through the countryside of Malaysia at dusk in the old fancy train like the colonial explorers did a century ago, passing by the silent silhouette of the jungles and slipping by rural villages. How romantic! Ooo – and is that a tiger we hear over the rise? Quick, sip more Champers! We turn around and arrive back in Singapore by midnight when the magic ends. Lush, isn’t it?

This exotic expedition takes place one night only on Saturday, 22 May, from 6.30pm til midnight. $395 per person including dinner and wines. Minimum of 2 persons per booking.

Contact Sheila 63950683 
email: oereservations.singapore@orient-express.com
- by EW
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Thursday, 22 April 2010

Bytes - Retro REVO - the best MDR that money can buy!


I like spreading the love so when I learn a new term, I like to share it. So here goes... drrrrrum rrroll….purleese. Acronym Number One, say it with us… “M.D.R”. What does it mean? In short, a radio that does more than a radio should. It stands for “Multi Digital format Radio” and the name to remember behind this is “REVO”. Acronym Number Two, say it with us… “D.A.B” – no, this has nothing to do with an shiny nose and tissue-ing off the sebum. It stands for “Digital Audio Broadcasting” and is used in about 25 or more countries in the world today as a digital radio technology for broadcasting radio stations. There are apparently over 11,000 stations today that offer what we commonly call “internet radio”.

Are you sufficiently baffled? SIMPLYFAB was invited to attend the Revo launch in Hong Kong last week at the new Hertiage 1881, a fitting venue for the launch of the Revo Heritage. Revo Technologies Limited are basically are UK manufacturers of high-quality digital audio products for the DAB, DAB+ (the plus is basically an enhanced version to the original DAB technology) and internet radio platforms, as well as for Apple’s iPod and iPhone devices.

These days RETRO has definitely made a big come back and The Heritage takes on the trend as a contemporary reinterpretation of the classic European table-radio design from the 1950s and 60s (the design recently won the coveted “Red Dot Product Design award for 2010”). However the design nostalgia is only skin deep as this baby is one of the most sophisticated digital radios ever produced and apparently claims to be technically the BEST radio, money can buy today.
Users can preset their own 10 favourite stations, get access to the online music service Last.fm and build a playlist from its library of 5 million tracks, listen to wireless audio streaming, dock your iPod/iPhone from it, wirelessly stream music from PC or MAC, set the inbuilt digital alarm clock to wake you on your favourite station. There is also a free laser engraving service if you want to personalize your unit. Comes with a remote control and universal adaptor too. Selling at HK$2,380, it is also available in SG and in the Apple Store Online. Not a bad idea for Fathers Day in June this year, if Daddy or Darling is a gadget boy. Oh yeah, I forgot to add - girl not included!

- Elaine
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Bytes - Your Completely Connected Car!


Its not enough that you have got the architect to design a multi-sensory sound room into the basement of your  billion dollar dream home. Now you also want the whole audio experience  on your journey out of the house, especially as you make that arduous journey enroute to Malaysia – heaven forbid, by car (just to test drive those new wheels)! If this sounds like you then you undoubtedly are the perfect candidate for a Pioneer In-Vehicle Multimedia AV Receiver.

Whhaaaat? For the uninitiated, these multimedia receivers will transform a car into a complete multimedia hub to give you exceptional audio and video entertainment and consists of two units, the Pioneer AVH-P3250DVD, Pioneer AVH-P4250DVD, and an in-dash model, the Pioneer AVH-P5250DVD. Ok maybe I have no right to tease as this may really leave your passengers wowed! Read on for amazing specs: 

The unit apparently fits seamlessly into your dashboard and has a large touch screen display from 5.8 to 7-inches with a variety of features such as the enhanced touch slide user interface, iPod®/iPhone®1 control, USB connectivity2, SD card playback, Bluetooth®3, and navigation4 upgradeability.

You can display album art for the music you are playing, do an alphabetical speed search of music on your iPod/iPhone, plug in a number of USB storage devices, Secure Digital (SD) memory cards, and devices with mini-jack A/V outputs for diverse media playback capabilities. Your unit also comes with a an optional Pioneer Bluetooth receiver! For what the marketing folk call seamless cosmetic integration, your unit even has 112 different illumination colours to match your unit to its dashboard lighting. Imagine that!

The new system offers playback of iPod video, DVD video discs and DivX video content, allows display JPEG images during music playback and as for sound, the audio output for each player is enhanced by Pioneer’s MOSFET50 50 Watts X 4 amplification, 4-Volt preamp outputs with High-Pass/Low-Pass crossovers for subwoofer integration and patented advanced sound retriever (ASR) to restore the musical detail lost in the creation of compressed music files with an auto equalizer that automatically tailors the sound to each vehicle. Prices start at S$999 for the Pioneer AVH-P3250DVD, S$1,299 for the Pioneer AVH-P4250DVD and S$1,499 for the Pioneer AVH-P5250DVD.

With so much going on, you can’t help but fiddle rather than concentrate on the road? I don’t blame you and that is why I LOL-ed when after the reading never ending description of specs, the press release footnote firmly warns: NOTE: Do not use your Pioneer system if doing so will divert your attention in any way from the safe operation of your vehicle. Always observe safe driving rules. Yes indee-dio! See: www.pioneer.com.sg


- Elaine
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Bytes – Get Up and Go


I remember a decade ago when, in a previous life, my team and I (three waddling, pregnant women) heaved lap top, projector and other hefty paraphernalia from presentation to presentation in efforts to clinch an account. With big bumps to deal with, like we needed more weight to heave around! If only we had one of these nifty little gadgets instead, life would have been lighter!

Pocket Theatre
Launching this month, the 3M MPro150 is a cute little pocket projector that combines the function of laptop, projector, speaker and MP3 player in this palm sized gadget. Just over 12.7cm long and 159g, it comes with 1 GB internal memory, a micro SD card slot and a USB input for transferring files from laptop or netbook, allowing entire presentations to be pre-loaded onto the projector itself. So cool! Plus its integrated stereo speakers, so you can also play little videos using this “theatre on the go”. But it’s not all about work too. Bring it along on holidays and watch movies, share photos at parties or project video games up to 50 inches (1.27m), or just use it as an MP3 player.
The MPro150 supports Microsoft® Office applications (Word, Power Point® and Excel®), as well as Adobe® PDF. Optional accessories include an adapter cable for Apple® products, component video cable and car charger, integrated flip stand and tripod. This sweetie costs S$727 (inclusive of GST) and available at all Challenger outlets, Epicentres outlets, AAAs.com at Sim Lim Square and Funan IT Mall, and Matrix IT Gallery.
Buy Singapore!
While Elaine likes her Apple gadgets and iPod, I am an unwaveringly loyal, made-in-Singapore Creative Technology fan. I’ve been using their MP3 players since their very first model yonks ago and I’m still a loyal servant – my old Creative Zen Stone Plus is still going strong, but with the recent launch of the Creative ZEN X-Fi Style, methinks ‘tis time to upgrade and rejuvenate!

The Creative ZEN X-Fi Style is a cutey for the handbag, a full media player with particularly pristine sound quality (Creative got world famous for their Sound Blaster, which means they are known for their technology in making sounds). With technology like X-Fi Crystalizer, users experience digital music the way it was meant to be, with lost details restored, and X-Fi Expand you feel like you’re listening to the music with a pair of high-end speakers!

There’s also inbuilt FM radio, a 2.4-inch TFT display which lets you watch movies and view pictures on it, a voice recorder, built in speakers, personal organiser and a Video Out which lets you plug it directly to the TV and watch movies on the bigger screen. It also supports RSS feeds, which means they can be downloaded in their entirety with both text and images. Just sync the player via the USB connection and download the latest RSS feeds from your computer.

The Creative ZEN X-Fi Style media player is available in 8GB (S$159), 16GB (S$199)and 32GB (S$249) capacities. Selected models will be available from end April 2010 onwards at The CREATIVE Stores at International Business Park and Marina Square and authorised dealers in Singapore, and from their online store sg.store.creative.com

- By EW
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Friday, 16 April 2010

ADVERTORIAL: Binge - L'Olivier, The Best Tart Flambe's In Town


You know a place has good food if its location is totally, daringly incongruous. Remember the wonderful seafood restaurants out at Punggol Point? Or Tetsuya’s first restaurant in Sydney’s Roselle neighbourhood, a couple doors away from the neighbourhood laundromat? That’s what I mean by incongruous. So when a friend mentioned a French bistro in the Hokkien Huay Kuan opposite the historical Chinese temple, it all sounded seriously promising and intriguing. French in the Hokkien Hway Kuan? Definitely must try…!
L’Olivier Restaurant turned out to be a smart informal restaurant with easy going service and a full Alsace-inspired menu. And the thing is, it serves the absolute bestest tart flambe’s in town! An Alsace speciality, this is also one of the restaurant’s fortes. I could eat unending crates of it for lunch with a glass of wine or two. Think thin crust pizza but perhaps twice as thin – almost like a wafer and frightfully crispy! There are three choices for toppings: a simple layer of bacon and onion ($16), or with emmental cheese added to the mix ($18) or mushroom, onion and cheese ($18). Yes, it sounds simple, but don’t knock it – it’s absolutely great. And I’m not saying this just because the headline carries the word ‘advertorial’.

For the record, I had been there about 3 times on my own (‘cos its so good on the palate and pocket) before SimplyFab linked up with the owners for this little project of ours (more later!).
Mind you, L’Olivier is not a pizza joint. Let me say again, it’s a smart and proper bistro, superbly cosy and with great value prices that don’t break the bank. Also good to know is that the chef here used to head the kitchens of Le Picotin.
Anyway, back to the food. For mains, the must-have for me is the Poitrine de Porc Braissée ($24), a meltingly tender pork belly with such a shiveringly satisfying crackling served with mash potato and savoy cabbage. I have that almost every time I go. Their steaks – another speciality – are great, quality cuts too, full of natural flavour and cooked juicy and tender and lovely. I like the USA Meyer Natural Prime Ribeye (300 g for $52 only!) or their Australian 150 days Grain Fed Tenderloin (230gm, $36). For the gourmet carnivore, the Australian 500 Days Grain Fed Wagyu Cube Roll 350 gm ($78) is a treat. (Note again the price and also the age –500 days!) The prices are really reasonable considering what other restaurants charge, and this is high grade meat you are getting!

Dessert absolutely has to be the tart flambé with apple and cinnamon sugar ($12) – little matchstick size pieces of apple lightly cooked and scattered across the thin base. Yummmms! If not, the profiterole with vanilla ice cream and choc sauce ($11) is good too, or the vanilla and raspberry crème brulee ($10).

When you do head to L’Olivier, do order wines as well, another business which the owners handle. They bring in their own tipple, and you’ll find lots of good old and new world wines at very affordable prices.

It’s quiet on Saturday nights ‘cos most of the office crowd isn’t there, so if you want a cosy place to go without having to fight the crowds - whether kids included or just with the grown ups - this is a choice spot. You'll find it as fab as we do.

137 Telok Ayer Street
#01-01 Hokkien Huay Kuan
Tel: 6227 6022



SIMPLYFAB WINS! 
S$100 L'Olivier Voucher Giveaways!!
So this is the little project we mentioned earlier in the story…
L’Olivier and Simply Fab have five $100 dining vouchers up for grabs.

All you have to do is to answer two simple questions:
1) In which building is L’Olivier located?
2) Name any one of L’Olivier’s speciality dishes.



Email your answers to Simply Fab at simplyfabulicious@gmail.com by Friday, 30 April 2010 together with your name, email, telephone number and NRIC. 
Five lucky winners will get a $100 voucher each. 
Quick! Get those fingers on the keyboard!
(Winners will be notified via email by early May 2010)
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Thursday, 15 April 2010

Breakaway - Have Mountain, Have Sea (You Shan You Shui) - Take Your Holiday Pick


June’s not far away, and I have just been reminded by my pilot bro-in-law that….hyperventilate…. flights are filling up!! Okay, so he was actually referring to London so if anyone is keen to try out the Grace Kelly weekend, time to BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS!

Anyway, the world is not that small, and if one’s finger doesn’t click on the online flight reservation button fast enough, there are still options…..(though I heard too, that the sales in London are now on and the it’s a good time to go ‘cos the pound is relatively low and that means shop till you totally drop-and-smear-yourself-on-the-sidewalk-under-all-your-wonderful-bags-and-bags-of-shopping-but-it’s-ok-‘cos-it's-a great-bargain-and-you’re-happy!)
If not, there’s the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives which offers a free night tossed in for every 3 nights you book. Valid until 15 October 2010, you can pick your choice of lazy stays from ocean retreats to tropical tree house villas. The deal includes one complimentary night when paying for a minimum of three nights, return domestic flight from Malé to Gan – a 70-minute scenic flight over the Maldives’ different atolls and breakfast for two.
It says here that honeymooners staying for at least five nights get additional benefits including a 60-minute massage at CHI, The Spa for two, a flower bed decoration and a relaxing bath ritual in the intimacy of their villa. How about old married couples? Don’t we get any rewards too?!
For more information e-mail reservations.slmd@shangri-la.com

If that’s just too much luxury for you to bear, how about some adventure and how about fluttering up to the Himalayas and meet Yeti? Jet Airways is offering eight-day packages from Singapore (from S$1068) to Kathmandu via Delhi and Mumbai. 
The itinerary brings you to Kathmandu where you see the 2000 year old Swayambhunath Stupa and Lalitpur, known for its fine metal work; Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal where an hour long boat ride at Fewa Lake gives you pamoramic photo ops of the Himalayas, and to Nagarkot, 2300 m above sea level (serious hyperventilation! Oxygen, darling?) where you can soak in excellent views of the Himalayan range at sunset and even Mount Everest on a clear day….if you’re not completely struck with altitude sickness that is. 
On the return to Kathmandu, visit the famous Durbar Square, Hanumandhok (Hanuman Gate) and Kasthamandap dominated by Shiva temple where the “Living Virgin Goddess” Kumari lives and a whole lot of other temples. A number of travel agents offer this deal, of which include Asia Euro Holidays, tel: 63385566 www.aeholidays.com and Classic Travel, tel 65380993 Email : classictravel@pacific.net.sg

- By EW
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Bling - Ice, Champagne and Eden


What a girl wants? Some ice down her decolletage on a hot, hot day, a chilled flute of Moet Chandon in hand and an unihibited-ly naked wander into the Garden of Eden (moving of course, far away from the Tree of Good and Evil and that nasty snake - LOL). Bring all these images together in real terms and you get what Goldheart and Larry Jewelry are launching this year for Mothers Day.

Ice wise - introducing the new and exclusive Arctica Ice™ Diamonds harvested from the subzero Arctic barrens. These pristine diamonds are the most difficult to mine in the world. Fashioned into a registered floret setting named Arctic Bloom, this design is inspired by the Purple Saxifrage – a resilient breed of flower that blooms and flourishes in the Arctic wilderness. Rings, earrings and pendants are priced from S$907 and up at selected Goldheart boutiques.
Champagne toast - the good life is at hand with The Champagne Gold Collection from Larry in this collection of rings and earrings for the sophisticates amongst us.
Eden - Mother Nature has a name and apparently she is called 'Eden', the giver of life and the mother of all living things. Larry's new Eden Collection celebrates the life and wellness that Mother Nature has selflessly provided with two stylish pendants handcrafted using 18K white gold and enhanced with sparkling Marquise and round diamonds.


- Elaine
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Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Binge - Mustn't Miss at Habour Grill - We are giving you waaay advance notice!



Bet you’ve heard by now that Hilton Singapore’s Habour Grill, a fine old foodie institution, is going to bow out to make way for Iggy’s. Now, I like Iggy’s, but I do like Harbour Grill too. It seems a real shame that this old dame is finally closing its doors when it’s still serving up great food and superb, out of this world service in the form of their asst restaurant manager, Deepak Anakathil.
So we are giving you way long advance notice to make a date at the Harbour Grill while you still can. Over a painfully short period from 3-8 May, they are hosting a guest chef, one-michelin star Chef Laurent Peugeot (yes dear, that's the dishy young man below...)  known for his boldly creative French cuisine with Japanese influence.

His restaurant Le Charlemagne in Pernand-Vergelesses, Burgundy, has been earning rave reviews with its artistic meals like Duck foie gras candy and smoked eel and Tataki of Wagyu beef, and from the looks of the pretty food pictures, I will definitely book for dins! Plus, from my past experiences at Harbour Grill over the yeras, the guest chefs they bring in never disappoint. What’s more, Chef Laurent will be holding a Culinary Masterclass on Saturday 8 May at 10am. Must not miss, ya!

The Harbour Grill & Oyster Bar
Level 3, Hilton Singapore

581, Orchard Road
- By EW

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Breakaway – A Weekend In London Like Grace Kelly


If you’ve been working too hard, here’s a real escapade that lets you live out the glamorous life even if it’s just for a few days. To coincide with the Grace Kelly exhibition in London at The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Connaught in Mayfair has launched its ‘Grace Kelly: Style Icon Weekends’. An ab fab situation, its a getaway that screams serious, pull-out-all-the-stops, old world glamour!

Simply fabulicious Grace Kelly herself used to stay at this hotel whenever she was in London, and many staff vividly remember her presence. So what do you do? Make a grand entrance in your most retro-glam outfit, sip on a couple of special Grace kelly inspired cocktails (more later) and languish elegantly like she did in the hotel's rooms. Soak up her vibes watching her movies in-room, enjoy your own copy of the official V&A exhibition book, Grace Kelly: Style Icon -
 which you get as part of the package - then totter off to the V&A exhibition itself with two tickets in hand compliments of the hotel. And for afters? How about a spot of luxe shopping Grace Kelly style, with private visits to Balenciaga, her favourite boutique, arranged by the Connaught’s butlers. (After all, don't we all need a few investment pieces?)

After din dins, waft into the Connaught Bar and sip on three specially created cocktails inspired by different stages of her life – ‘Hollywood Star’, ‘Beloved Princess’ and ‘Royal Bride’ before you retire for the night.
By the way, here's a blingworthy 'did-you- know', (we totally didn’t!): Prince Rainier gave her a ‘friendship ring’, a band with diamonds and rubies, until the diamond engagement ring could be made. Grace Kelly's Cartier engagement ring featured a 10.47-carat emerald-cut boulder of a diamond (sweet palpitations!) and two baguettes mounted in platinum. When their engagement was announced in 1956, Grace drank vodka on the rocks and Rainier had a sidecar.

Since it is unlikely that most of us will get such a dinky trinket, let’s just focus on the weekends. The Grace Kelly Weekends runs from 17 April – 26 September, in conjunction with the V&A exhibition which is open from 17 April – 26 September 2010. Apart from the goodies mentioned above, the package also includes two Grace Kelly cocktails in The Connaught Bar, and English brekkie for two. Starting price from £375 plus VAT per night (superior king room).

Carlos Place

Mayfair
London. W1K 2AL
Tel: +44 (0)20 7499 7070

- by EW
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Monday, 12 April 2010

Bytes - PCs galore: Small, Raw, Loud, Slim!


Good things come in small packages and when they come in colours like Coffee Brown and Hot Pink and with cute names like the ASUS Eee PC, then they are absolutely irresistible! All the more if they fit snugly into your handbag. 

For those that prefer the raw look, there is the new ASUS U Series Bamboo Collection constructed from lightly treated bamboo that reacts to its user over time. 

These and the new ASUS NX90™ offering superb audio performance crafted by acclaimed audio designer David Lewis make their debut next week at the International Design Show in Milan on 14 April. See http://sg.asus.com

If you just want it slim, then look out for the new super lightweight Fujitsu LifeBook MH330 which is less than an inch in thickness. Touted as a Mini-Notebook, this weighs in at only 1.1kg and measures just 18.5mm thin at the front and 24.5mm thin at the back. See www.fujitsu.com

- Elaine
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Binge – Gunpowder Steaks & Star Sign Meals - Weird & Wonderful at WGS 2010


There’s feasting afoot all round Singapore this coming week with the World Gourmet Summit. Anyone with the slightest interest in food would be eyeballing the events schedule and desperately making last minute reservations. But even as we know the big wigs like Ferran Adria is coming (but he’s not cooking!), David Thompson, Ben Shewry, etc, look what we discovered! Some intriguing events that are so unique and bold and whimsical, they are SimplyFab!

Here’s something to blow your mind: delve into the delights of gunpowder as an ingredients with The Prime Society’s Head Chef Damon Amos, at his masterclass on 21 April. Featured dishes include the restaurant' signature Gunpowder Beef, succulent Hokkaido scallops, and juicy figs pocketed with Gunpowder mascarpone at $88 per head. Or suck up the five course Two Smoking Barrels set lunch and dinner menus through the week from 12-17 April, featuring their signature gunpowder beef steak with other yummies like Tasmanian oysters, carpaccio of wagyu, and The Prime Society’s signature gunpowder beef and dessert of Gingerbread sorbet, spiced carrot puree, buttermilk bavarois and chocolate soil. Also $88++ per person.

If that doesn’t work your juices, how about eating according to your star sign? Balanced Libra? A tempestuous Leo? Or hot Virgo? Chef Milind Sovani of The Song of India is serving up The Zodiac Cravings on 14 April (6.30pm; $118++ per person), an 8-course menu which showcases 12 specialty dishes for all the sun signs. Book your meal preferences in advance and he will customse the main course according to your star sign! Not free that day? No worries, his a la carte menu for the week, called Soul Food (12-17 April), offers dishes that are most sought after by diners of various sun signs. Did you know Sagittarians prefer exotic cuisine, all food is an aphrodisiac for Scorpios and Librans are crazy for sweet treats? I didn’t!

Then on 21 April, there’s Japanese food with Chinese herbs and vintage wine. How odd is that? Tip toe to the Cappella Singapore and soak up the six-course meal by Chef Ronnie Chia of Tatsuya Japanese Restaurant, and Executive Chef Jakob Esko of Capella Singapore, which incorporates Eu Yan Sang herbs. How does this sound: Double-boiled Tuna Belly with Tofu, infused with mitsuba, Solomon’s seal, ophiopogon, lily bulb, poria, galanga Chinese wolfberries & American ginseng; and the Cod fish marinated with Sake, featuring seven spice, bonito stock and tangerine peel? I’m confused already, but ready for any adventure! ($228+, 7pm, Grand Ballroom) Best thing is, you’ll be nicely nourished and healthy at the end of this indulgence!

by EW
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Saturday, 10 April 2010

Breakaway - Boutique Experience at New Phuket Resort


While we’re still on the topic of all thing Thai, here’s a beautiful a new resort that’s just opened for business this month in Phuket, my flavour of the moment! And it all sounds tempting to Madam! (I do apologise for the rather uninspiring headline though. Just woke up on Saturday morning, and no caffeine fix yet!)

See the nice pictures? The new Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa is in Mai Khao beach in the northern part of the island, which offers “a boutique experience with distinctive luxury”. I read that as no crowds, no queues to the breakfast buffet line and no horrid behaviour by other guests, such as adult women jumping into the pool fully clothed! Pristine service and pampering all the way, please.

Paste yourself here for a few days and relax on the 17km of sandy beach, see the coral reefs (bring water shoes!), snorkel at the Sirinath Marine National Park next door, and spa til you drop at Quan Spa, their award winning sanctuary.



What’s more, it’s got a kid’s club, so you can bring your tots and have them entertained while you do your own thing. The hotel has 150 deluxe rooms, four one-bedroom suites, 25 one bedroom villas with private pools (excitement!) and one oceanfront three-bedroom villa! There are five F&B outlets here, including a bake shop, a Thai restaurant and all-day diner and dinner barbecue restaurant.



Take advantage of its very affordable opening offer: THB 5,555+++ (approximately $175) for deluxe accommodation and American breakfast for two; or THB 8,888+++ (approximately $275) for the villa package with breakfast and free internet. Valid through May 31, 2010.

555 Moo 3, Mai Khao, Talang
Phuket 83110
800 6011378 (toll-free)

- by EW
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Friday, 9 April 2010

Buys - Earth-friendly Slip ons!


Final plug for Earth Day .. here is what my diary entry is going to read like on 22 April (Earth Day) ... Dear Diary, Today, I will slip on my pair of environmentally responsible footwear!

"What?" you say? 

I am talking about Ocean Minded, a manufacturer of casual footwear that marries fashion with a conscience. Their babies, 18 newly birthed slip-ons and sandals from sporty to stylish made essentially from recycled and sustainable materials such as recycled car tires, recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton and metal free leather combined with materials like CrosliteTM, a proprietary material that is lightweight and comfortable with non-slip and odor resistant properties. 

The brand's motto: "Live. Protect. Respect.TM"  Their mantra, to protect the world’s oceans and beaches. They faithfully run the Surfrider Foundation with 50,000 members and 90 chapters worldwide to address issues like water quality degradation, beach and surf spot preservation, loss of public beach access and habitat and ecosystem destruction. 
They also have a "2 Pick Up 3" programme that is an environmental saving movement based on the concept of picking up three pieces of trash every time one visits the beach to help reduce ocean pollution. 

There are styles for both HIM and HER. See www.oceanminded.com.sg

- Elaine


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Beauty and Buys - Kiehl's Earth Day Initiatives


No worries if biking is not your thing, you could still do your bit to mark Earth Day (22 April) by helping to buy a bottle of toning mist from Kiehl’s who have created a Limited Edition Collection to support the Rainforest Alliance.

Their Açaí Damage-Protecting Toning Mist Collection has 4 different product labels, three of these labels have each been designed by a celebrity - actress Julianne Moore, artist Jeff Koons, musician Pharrell Williams. The last label has been designed by the children of the Nazarezinho Community that harvests the açaí berries used in their formulations. The goal - to raise USD200,000 worldwide through 100% of net sales of this range.
If you are a customer, then bring back your empties - full-sized Kiehl's bottles and receive complimentary Kiehl's products as a token of appreciation in this activity that they call, their ECO-LOYALTY PROGRAM where if you recycle, you get rewarded. 
If seeing is believing then check out Kiehl's and The Plastiki Expedition, an Epic Journey Across the Ocean in a Boat Made of Recycled Plastic Bottles, 12,500 bottles to be exact that provide 68% of the boat's bouyancy. Setting sail on 20 March from Sausalito, CA, under San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, this journey ends in Sydney Australia with a mission to deliver a global message to beat waste. Read more at: http://www.theplastiki.com/static/whatis/voyage_full.jpg.

- Elaine
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Body and Buys - Leg Power!


What vehicle requires No COE (certificate of entitlement - compulsory in Singapore for vehicle owners), is totally friendly to the environment and provides you with a 100% great all over workout? 
A bicycle, of course and a PUMA, to be exact. It may not be as fast as it's name sake but Smart European design and Urban American style have come together to produce the next evolution in commuter bikes designed for the most ideal city ride in this collaboration between PUMA and BIOMEGA, a premium bicycle brand from Denmark.
Each bike comes with a sticker book of bike names that can be used to personalise your ride. Weather permitting this may be your answer to that morning workout! Launching first in Hong Kong from 14 April at HK$9,500, see http://www.puma.com for more details. 

- Elaine
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