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Tech Deals: Xbox One 1TB Bundle, 55-Inch LG TV, Dual-SIM Bluetooth Adapter For iPhone, More

By | July 31st, 2016

We have an excellent mix of curated technology-based deals for you to choose from today. For those gaming fans out there who are trying to avoid the new Xbox One S, there’s a stunning deal on Microsoft’s 1TB Xbox One console.

While the 1TB Xbox One bundle is a deal worth checking out, we have of course more as well. For your not-so-dual-sim compatible iPhone, we have a Bluetooth connected dual-sim adapter for the Apple device, and even better, it can connect to an iPad as well. Ever wanted to check out what the VR fuss is all about, check out the $ 17 VR headset that is compatible with both the iPhone, as well as Android smartphones.

tech-deals-of-the-day-45

Upping the game a bit is the OnePlus 2 premium Android smartphone which comes with 64GB of in-built storage, a beautiful display, and an exquisite sandstone finish. Speaking of displays, nothing beats a large screen TV, 55-inch to be exact, especially when it’s from a brand like LG and that too, Smart.

As always, we’ll recommend grabbing the deal of your choice from our today’s ‘tech deals of the day’ package as quickly as you can. This is because these offers usually expire after a day or till stock lasts, whichever happens first. So if there’s something in here that you have your eyes and heart set on, go for it!

Hamlet iDualSim for iPhone with Bluetooth 4.0 ($ 59.99, usually $ 75.70)

hamlet-dualsim-adapter-iphone

If you have a requirement to be able to use more than one SIM card with your Apple device, be it for data or making and receiving phone calls, then this handy little piece of kit could be the solution. Rather than purchasing a cheaper, non-premium Chinese device that offers dual-SIM functionality, the Hamlet iDualSim could be the answer to your prayers as it connects to the device via Bluetooth.

Buy: Hamlet iDualSim for iPhone with Bluetooth 4.0 from Amazon: $ 59.99 | Original price: $ 76

Xbox One 1TB Console + 3 Games Bundle ($ 282.00, usually $ 349.99)

xbox-one-1tb

Microsoft’s Xbox One console doesn’t really need any introduction. Along with the PlayStation 4, the One is essentially the de-facto choice for next-generation console gaming. But of course, if you could get it cheaper than you would be a fool not to. This 1TB console comes with full-game physical copies of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Rare Reply, as well as a digital download of Ori and the Blind Forest.

Buy: Xbox One 1TB Console + 3 Games from Amazon: $ 282 | Original price: $ 350

LG 55-inch 1080p Smart LED TV ($ 499.99, usually, $ 699.99)

LG-Electronics-55LH5750-55-Inch

It makes perfect sense; if you’re about to introduce a fabulous and powerful Xbox One into your life, then you’re going to need a gorgeous LED television to play those games on. Step forward this LG TV with a full 55-inch HD LED option that’s as slim and lightweight as it is functional. Mount this bad boy on your wall and you’ll be up and running with Gears of War in no time whatsoever.

Buy: LG 55-inch 1080p Smart LED TV from Amazon: $ 499.99 | Original price: $ 700

OnePlus 2 Android Smartphone, 64GB, Sandstone Black ($ 269.99, usually $ 299.99)

oneplus-2

It’s unbelievably easy to pick an iPhone or Galaxy smartphone when considering a new device. After all, they are typically the most popular smartphones on the market. With that said, if you’re looking for something a little different, there’s also the option of the OnePlus 2 from Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus, and worry not, there’s no invite system for this one. It’s a premium offering featuring a 5.5-inch display, is powered by the company’s own OxygenOS, which is essentially a version of Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Buy: OnePlus 2 Smartphone, 64GB, Sandstone Black from Amazon: $ 269.99 | Original price: $ 300

Virtual Reality Headset for Android and iPhone ($ 16.99, usually $ 19.99)

Insten-[Adjustable]-3D-Glasses

Getting involved in the world of virtual reality doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, if you already have a 4.0 to 6.0-inch smartphone, then you can view and interact with VR content using this extremely cheap Insten virtual reality headset viewer. Slide your smartphone in, strap the viewer to your head, and immerse yourself in VR for less than twenty bucks.

Buy: Insten Virtual Reality Headset for Android and iPhone from Amazon: $ 17 | Original price: $ 20


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Snow-Museum

Asahikawa: Things to do, Food to eat!

This is Part 3 of my Hokkaido travelog.
Here are Part 1: Kamifurano and Part 2: Furano

Snow Museum

Asahikawa is the 2nd largest city in Hokkaido after Sapporo and the gateway to the central region of the island.  It also has the distinction of being the coldest place in Hokkaido with a temperature of −41 °C in 1902, the lowest ever recorded in Japan. So if it is snow you are after, this is certainly the place to find it.

The snow crystal museum is one of those places that little girls (and big ones) who have watched the movie “Frozen” would love. The museum is a popular place for Fairy Tale weddings and for a fee, you get to dress up as a princess and get your photos taken.  For my son and myself, it was a good place to chill out (pun intended) while waiting for the ladies to get dressed, get their hair done, put on make up……..yawwwnnnn…..zzzzzzz.

The museum is built over some natural ice formations which have been preserved behind glass for viewing and as the name suggests, you get to learn all about how snow flakes are formed and how every snow flake is unique.

Snow Crystal Museum: Map and Details

Sensouyen Soba

While in Asahikawa, we stayed at Ryokan Sensyoen which was just a short distance away from the snow crystal museum.  This is a lovely family run, traditional Japanese inn. We have been to a number of Ryokans on this trip and this was the most modern and well furnished.   The rooms are quite new and come with attached toilets, TV and kettle. These are things which I think most Singaporeans would expect in a hotel, but may not always be available in a Ryokan. The hotel is located about 10 min by taxi from the city centre.

Ryokan Sensyoen:  Map and Details

Ryokan Sensyoen actually grew out the popular soba restaurant, Sobasen next to it.  So a meal at the restaurant is a must.   They make their own soba noodles fresh everyday in the kitchen and aside from the noodles, they also have other items made from buckwheat flour such as their steamed buckwheat buns with pork filling which was very nice and deep fried soba noodles.  Their tempura and pumpkin gratin were also very good.

Disclosure:  We were hosted by Ryokan Sensyoen.

Kiyomoto

For dinner we met up with Junji Hirashima who is a local foodie with vast knowledge of the best restaurants and produce in Asahikawa. We met at what he considered to be the best Izakaya in the city.   It is located at the basement of a commercial building and is a casual place where the typical salarymen go for food and a drink after work.   They have the distinction of being listed in the Michelin Guide and are famous for their crab omelette and miso marinated pork chop.  The crab omelette is huge and must have contained a dozen eggs and loads of crab meat! They make their own salty miso paste which is super delicious, so do for some to accompany the Hokkaido rice. The local Asahikawa pork is uber delicious, so make sure you eat your fill before returning home!

Kiyomoto Izakaya: Map and Details

Yoshiya Yakitori

Like most major Japanese cities, Asahikawa also has its own yakitori street. The one which Junji wanted to bring us to just happened to be closed, so we visited his 2nd choice which was located just next door.  (His first choice would have been this one which is facing the main road)   The sauce was just a tad salty for me. but the grilled pork is very good and we really enjoyed the company and atmosphere of the quaint eatery.

Yoshiya Yakitori: Map and Details

Conclusion

We only had a brief stopover in Asahikawa so I didn’t managed to explore the place.  There is a local zoo which would be great for the kids as well as a soy sauce museum which I would have liked to have visited.  There are the many eateries which I would have loved to spend a few days exploring.  Junji tells me that the white corn of Asahikawa is the sweetest in all of Japan, so if you visiting during summer, make sure you eat lots of it!

Acknowledgement

Our friend Adrienne Neo, an ex-journalist at Lian He Zhao Bao,  is now based in Hokkaido and running her free-lance own tour agency together with Junji.   Planning your own itinerary is pretty easy, but if you want to really behind the scenes and off the beaten track then Adrienne would be able to help you. You can contact her at [email protected]  (She’s the one in the blue dress pretending to be Elsa).  Here is her facebook page.

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Google Rich Cards – Enhance Your Search Results for Higher CTR and Conversions

Google Rich cards was launched on 17th of May 2016 through a new markup format which is capable of displaying content (movies and recipes as of now) in a more attractive and visually stimulating manner. The main aim is to provide more visually appealing search results for users.

The announcement by Google is to notify the web community about an upgrade for the current Rich Snippets format, which is widely employed in most of the organic “mobile search results” for movies and recipes to a revamped structure, officially named as Rich Cards.

Improve Your Search Results with Rich Snippets & Schema.org Vocabulary

Improve Your Search Results with Rich Snippets & Schema.org Vocabulary

Structured data makes it possible to present your search results in a more visually appealing and informative way.…

Read more

However, the initial rollout of new cards is only available for Google mobile search results for movies and recipes websites in English language. However, it is added that this will be expanded to add more types of websites and users in the near future.

What Exactly Are Google Rich cards?

A card can be defined as a “graphical” representation unit which can be used to depict a product or service in a visual manner.

Google Rich Cards refer to a new revamped Search result format. It is a restructured update of the very successful rich snippets style. Cards apply the same schema.org structured markup, previously employed in snippets which are famous for displaying content in a visual manner (making it more attractive and engaging).

The Importance of Using Rich Cards

Rich cards can be quite useful for site owners, especially movies and recipe websites. They provide an opportunity of standing out in the search results and creating a benchmark for digital marketing of products and services. It makes your service more desirable and provides you with higher Click-Through Rates (CTR) and eventually better conversion rates.

For instance, individuals providing food and recipe services can build a richer and more tempting preview of their content by using good quality images of their dishes. When a potential customer searches for the dish, your product might get featured in the top results of Google rich cards. If your image thumbnail “looks delicious” user is more likely to visit your website.

The use of Rich cards can be summarized as below:

  • They enhance visibility of your product in the search results.
  • They boost conversion rate by making the content more tempting.
  • They help in getting more targeted traffic by using a card carousel feature which is very user friendly and is already widely employed in major android and iOS apps.
  • Cards have a higher image resolution and visual appeal to it, aimed at improving the web search and browsing experience of the user, creating a visual appeal to your product and service.
  • The Webmasters tool provides reports and a detailed analysis about CTR, bounce rates, conversions etc to monitor performance of your Rich Cards.
  • The carousel of cards has images with brand names, logos and user reviews. It makes user’s search more comfortable and response more spontaneous. They help in raising brand awareness of your product.
  • Unlike the currently used Rich Snippets, Rich Cards present users with a more enhanced visual design, helping customers to relate to your product more efficiently.

Main Features of Rich Cards

  • Rich cards are assigned a new page in the search results.
  • Additionally rich cards will be displayed on the top of general Google search results, just like the Google Images results.
  • Results in the Google rich cards page will be shown in a carousel format (widely employed in Facebook ads) which can be easily scrolled across the page.
  • Each card in the carousel will display the logo of publisher, a high quality image thumbnail from the page and a timestamp.
  • The AMP annotation on mobile results display a page customized for fast loading and consistent content for a smoother browsing experience.
  • The carousels may display cards from one specific site or from numerous different websites.
  • It is prudent to note that rich cards appear to resemble and work on the same line as Adwords sponsored shopping cards that are seen when searching for specific products. However, there are fundamental differences between the two. Rich cards are being planned to be inherently embedded in the Google search results which will not only enable cards to show up organically, but also make it populate faster.
  • The use of high quality image for cards thumbnail is also going to make the results more attractive. The following features are already being provided in the service:
  • Ability to manually enable or disable Google rich card results.
  • Supports the leading eCommerce platform Magento in its majority of versions. A single Magento installation can work for multiple views (can work for a number of customers and products).
  • They are made according to the most recent Schema.org and Google standards.
  • They are easy to set up.

How to Use Rich Cards

For using the Google Rich Cards feature your content must use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Additionally you must use schema.org and a highly recommended JSON-LD format for easy markup of content.

One can test the functionality of Google Rich Cards with this testing tool from Google. The code can be tweaked in real-time and the preview can be generated instantly to know it’s working. A link from the user’s website can be placed in the tool to generate structured data that show how your page will look in the Google Rich Card format.

Use the following steps to successfully use Google Rich Cards feature:

Step 1

Check this link and select a “markup” which suits your product.

Step 2

You can edit the markup by using the structured data testing tool and customize it to add relevant content in your card. You can test it for errors and watch the preview in real time. It is important to add “name” and url of the image for your Card.

Step 3

Add relevant details to the mark up to make it look more informative and attractive. See how adding subtle details to your cards enhances its quality.

Step 4

Check your markup for any error, validate it and check its preview. If you are not satisfied with its look and feel, try changing the image and content by changing the code accordingly.

Step 5

Add the markup to your page. You can deploy the customized tag at any relevant place on your website. Please note that the below snippet is valid if you are using JSON-LD and tag manager.

As soon as you deploy the markup cross your website, it will start generating the Google Rich Card for your product.

Check out the video below to learn how to use Google rich cards for your product.

Examples of Rich Cards

There are various types of Rich Cards which can be employed according to the custom needs, some examples:

1. Recipes

Google rich cards are tailor made for Recipe websites. It can be presented as a part and parcel of a “host carousel” or even as individual Rich Cards. The figure below depicts an example of delicious-looking “Apple Pie” recipes in the search results.

2. Event-Rich Cards

Rich Cards can even be used for broadcasting organized events such as weddings, art festivals or musical concerts to a targeted audience with all the relevant details like place, time, duration etc in a subtle and pleasant format.

A separate markup for a renowned artist can be created to drive carousel listings for various events. Here’s a markup for one such event.

3. Product Rich Cards

Rich Cards can contain relevant information regarding a specific product. The information may include reviews, ratings, availability, price and a brief product description. Here is a product rich card generated for “lava lamps”.

4. Review Rich Cards

Rich cards can be used to check reviews of products in a more exhaustive manner. It could comprise of review for items like a store, movie, restaurant etc. Check out this card which depicts a search result for a particular book.

Final Words

As the latest offering from Google, Google Rich Cards seem promising and a wise decision to make use of when attempting to improve your CTR. The subtle appeal and exceptionally detailed analysis provided by Google could change the digital marketing domain in the near future.

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Improve Your Search Results with Rich Snippets & Schema.org Vocabulary

Structured data makes it possible to present your search results in a more visually appealing and informative way. According to a Searchmetrics study, the addition of structured data markup to a website leads to a 36% increase in Google search results.

Structured data markup is rendered in Google, Bing, and other search engines as rich snippets. Rich snippets are enhanced search results that add extra information, such as a photo, the price, user ratings, and other characteristics, to search engine snippets.

Structured data leads to better search results for two main reasons:

  1. It extends HTML semantics by making the content more understandable for search engines.
  2. Rich snippets — the search engine presentation of structured data — have a better click-through rate than regular, less informative search results.

Schema.org Vocabulary

If you want to have rich snippets for your own site, you need to add structured data to your HTML markup. Structured data uses the schema.org vocabulary that allows you to inform search engines about the nature of your content.

Schema.org is the initiative of Google, Bing, and Yahoo that aims to provide a set of schemas for describing different kinds of web content so that search engines can better understand it.

The Schema.org vocabulary is organized in a two-level hierarchy:

  1. Types: different kinds of web content, they are arranged into their own hierarchy
  2. Properties: each type has a certain number of properties
First Level of Types

Thing is the most generic item in the schema.org vocabulary, it’s the ancestor of all other Types.

Second Level of Types

The second level of Types is a little bit more specific, and contains the Event, the Action, the Intangible, the CreativeWork, the Place, the Organization, the Product, and the Person Types. There’s also a separate second-level Thing that’s available as a schema.org extension; it’s the MedicalEntity Type.

Third Level of Types

Each second level Type contains some or many third level Types, for instance one of CreativeWork’s subtype is the Review Type. Note that more specific Types (second and third level) inherit the properties of their parent (and grandparent in case of third level).

The image below was published on the official schema blog, and it visualizes the hiearchy of the schema.org vocabulary.

IMAGE: schema.org

Find the Schema You Need

Browse the vocabulary in order to find the schema you need. For example, for recipe rich snippets you need to use the Recipe Type which is the child of CreativeWork. It has many properties, such as cookTime, cookingMethod, recipeIngredient, and others, plus it also inherits the properties of its parent (CreativeWork), and grandparent (Thing).

Schema.org is a community project, it’s frequently extended, and new versions are regularly released. If you can’t find the schema you need, you can propose it to the Schema.org Community, and you can also contribute to their Github project.

Add Structured Data to Your Markup

So how do you add your schemas to the front-end code? Schema.org can use three different formats. You need to choose one in order to add structured data markup to your site. Although in theory you can use more than one formats on the same site, it harms code readibility and maintainability, so it’s not a good practice.

The three main formats of structured data markup are the following:

  1. Microdata: It’s a web standard that extends HTML by introducing new attributes such as itemprop. The official schema.org website has a great tutorial on how to use microdata, so if you’re already familiar with HTML, this format can be a good choice.
  2. RDFa: The long form of RDFa is Resource Description Framework in Attributes, and it’s a W3C recommendation that extends HTML, XML, and SVG documents with the help of a set of specific attributes. Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol is also based on RDFa, so probably you’ve already encountered it. There’s an RDFa Lite version for beginners, and also a full version that gives many options to work with structured data in an elaborate way.
  3. JSON-LD: While the two other options extends the HTML markup, JSON-LD uses the JSON syntax. JSON-LD stands for JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data, and this is the format that Google Developers recommends, as according to their view, “structured data markup is most easily represented in JSON-LD format”. You don’t need to be a JavaScript-expert to use JSON, as it’s a simple notation system using name-value pairs.

You can easily compare the three formats with the help of a handy tab at the bottom of each schema.org Type page.

Examples for the three schema.org formats for the Recipe Type.

By scrutinizing the examples, you can easily understand how each format works, and use one of them on your own site.

The structured data markup you need to add to your code is based on the schema.org vocabulary. If you choose microdata or RDFa you need to add the extra attributes to regular HTML tags.

For example with microdata, you add the name of the Type to the container by using the itemscope itemtype="" attribute, and each property with the itemprop attribute. Here’s a very simple example:

 <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Recipe">         <h2 itemprop="name">My Recipe</h2>         <img itemprop="image" src="image.jpg" alt="Recipe Image">         <p itemprop="description">Description of Recipe</p> </div> 

And the same example using RDFa, it’s worth paying attention to the different attributes you need to use here:

 <div vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="Recipe">         <h2 property="name">My Recipe</h2>         <img property="image" src="image.jpg" alt="Recipe Image">         <p property="description">Description of Recipe</p> </div> 

If you choose the JSON-LD format, you need to place your code inside the <script type="application/ld+json"></script> tag in the head of your HTML page. The example above will look like this:

 <script type="application/ld+json"> {         "@context": "http://schema.org",   "@type": "Recipe",         "name": "My Recipe",         "image": "image.jpg",         "description": "Description of Recipe" } </script> 

Tips to Use Structured Data

Test Your Structured Data Markup

Before adding the structured data markup to your site, you can quickly test it by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. This way you can quickly find the issues if you have any.

Leverage Google Knowledge Graph Cards

Google doesn’t only use structured data for rich snippets, but if you’re an authority for a certain content type, your content may also appear in one of the Knowledge Graph Cards displayed on the right-hand side of some Search Engine Result Pages.

Note that you can’t make Google display a Knowledge Graph Card for your content, but if your structured data markup is properly set up you have the possibility.

Google uses Facebook’s structured data markup to display extra information in the Knowledge Graph.

Make Use of Google Rich Cards

In May 2016, Google introduced Rich Cards that are “the upgrade of the current Rich Snippets format”, and provide engaging mobile search results presented in carousels that can be browsed by scrolling left and right. Google Rich Cards also use structured data markup and the schema.org vocabulary.

Add Structured Data to Your Emails

You can use structured data markup in your emails in order to trigger Google Now Cards for the recipient, Google Developers has a great tutorial on how to do it.

Generate Structured Data Dynamically

It’s possible to use Google Tag Manager to dynamically generate structured data in JSON-LD format, Moz.com teaches you how to do it.

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7 NEW Eateries In Serangoon Gardens That Are The North-East's #Represents

Shaking Up The Heartland Haven 

Serangoon Gardens is known as one of the oldest and most beloved estates in Singapore. Ask anyone who lives there, and they’ll exclaim that they never want to move! Yet, while humans root themselves to the ground, new restaurants are popping up in the area and making the neighbourhood a go-to for foodies from around the island. 

We shortlisted 7 new and worthy restaurants you should chiong to before word gets out! 

1. Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen 

Hajime’s Head Chef Tan-San is Singapore’s very first Tonkatsu chef and the man behind legendary Tonkichi and Tampopo, with 25 years of experience in the art of making Tonkatsu. So, you must try the Premium Pork Loin ($ 19.90) that’s air-flown from Japan. Besides being crisp and juicy, the pork cutlet succeeds in being perfectly seasoned and not too oily. The crumbs are also specially selected so they retain their crunch for a longer time.

Served with Tonkatsu sauce and fresh sesame seeds, you can even pretend to be a chef and grind your own mix of sauce.

I found the Tonkatsu Ramen ($ 14.90) remarkably similar to its counterpart at Tampopo, even though fresh Nama ramen noodles used at Hajime is supposed to be thicker and chewier. They don’t let you choose the hardness of your noodles, but the light and flavoursome 12-hour pork bone broth helped me to quickly forget any qualms!

Address: MyVillage @ Serangoon Garden, 1 Maju Avenue, #02-07/8/9, Singapore 556679
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11.30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm (Sat, Sun & P.H)
Telephone: 6509 9952
Website

2. Soi Thai Kitchen

Soi Thai Kitchen is the up-and-coming competitor to Nakhon Kitchen. With an outlet at Tampines that’s gaining a name for itself as a place for authentic and affordable Thai food, they opened a second branch at Serangoon Gardens last month. Expect a bright atmosphere with colourful seats and graffiti-filled brick walls at this small joint!

Beef Panaeng

Thick Tom Yam Soup Chicken

Pandan Chicken

The food lived up to its name. A must-order is Beef Panaeng ($ 11), a mild Thai curry with tender chunks of stewed beef. Those with friends who complain that Thai food in Singapore isn’t spicy enough, bring them here to try the unassuming but fiery Mango Salad ($ 6). You’ll also find classic dishes like Thick Tom Yam Soup Chicken ($ 7), Pandan Chicken ($ 8) and Thai-style Kang Kong ($ 7) on the menu, except the green curry that’s off to greener pastures. 

Address: 58 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555954
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10.30pm (Mon – Sun)
Telephone: 6282 3788
Website

3. Srisun Express

Nutella Milkshake 

We all have bad days when things don’t go our way and we just need some comfort food to feel better. At times like these, head down to Srisun Express, a new hideout in Serangoon Gardens that will break a smile on any gloomy face! And it’s one place that’ll always have your back – open 24 hours daily all year round.

Mee Goreng Special

Coin Prata

It stands out from RK eating house opposite with its unique gluttonous creations. Favourites include Honeymoon Prata ($ 5) filled with banana, chocolate and sweetened milk, and Mee Goreng Special ($ 7.50), which comes with a side of crinkle-cut cheese fries. I especially love the fluffiness of the miniature Coin Prata ($ 6), and the Nutella Milkshake ($ 7) is gorgeously insta-worthy.

Address: 56 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555952
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours daily
Telephone: 6282 2325
Website

4. Steam Box

Steam Box is a fresh concept from Hong Kong that brings steam-potting to Singapore. Like a steamboat experience, fresh ingredients are served raw and cooked at the table. You’ll notice they come in different coloured plates, cleverly indicating not their price but the amount of time to be steamed. Cook your own food before slurping up the congee hidden below!

Little patience is required at this restaurant, for all plates are cooked within 2 to 6 minutes. Also, don’t forget to pair your dishes with their array of homemade sauces. Once you’ve cleared up your food, they’ll reveal the porridge at the bottom of the pot, filled with juices that trickled down from all your steamed ingredients throughout the meal. This was undoubtedly the highlight!

Address: 68 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555964
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Tue – Sun)
Telephone: 6281 6939
Website

5. Geylang Claypot Rice 

Geylang Claypot Rice is the store that made owner Ng Kim Hock famous for his claypot rice, and showcased our delicacy to Anthony Bourdain and soon New York City. Not to be missed, they recently opened their first branch outlet since 1981 in a shophouse right opposite myVillage. 

Remember to call the restaurant before you head over to pre-order the Claypot Chicken Rice ($ 16 for 1-2 pax). As the dish is cooked upon order, the wait will otherwise be 25 minutes. While I found the rice to be slightly less fragrant and with less sha po feel than the original, it’s still pretty decent. The restaurant also offers zi char dishes, and I was told that the home-made tofu is so comforting that people go just to dabao a plate! 

Address: 4 Maju Ave, Singapore 556682
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11pm
Telephone: 6816 2754
Website

6. Lad & Dad

At Lad & Dad, there’s only one main on the menu. That’s the Lancashire Hotpot, which comes in classic beef or mutton. The Lad ($ 12) is dished out with 3 sides of your choice, while The Dad ($ 8) watching his belly takes only the stew. 

The stew created by the adorable father and son team woke me up instantly, as it’s filled with pepper. Along with its thick flavourful base, it was very satisfying. For the sides, you have to order the Fragrant Rice ($ 2) made with butter, fennel, raisins, onions and garlic. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try the Yorkshire Pudding ($ 2). Fresh out of the oven at 1230pm and 630pm daily, it sells out within a mere 2 hours! 

Address: Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre, #01-32, 49A Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555945
Opening Hours: 12pm – 8.30pm (Wed – Sun)
Telephone: 9247 7385
Website

7. iSteaks Diner

NZ Striploin Source: @mitsueki 

Fried Fish Fillet Source: @isteaksdiner

Disclaimer: iSteaks Diner isn’t new to Serangoon Gardens, but it relocated not too long ago and I found that many people still aren’t in the loop! From what used to be a favourite hawker stall offering no-frills Western grub, it’s now located at a more comfortable location in myVillage.

With all their grilled specialities served with 2 sides, and prices for poultry starting from $ 9, you can come here anytime to satisfy your Western cravings. Don’t miss the NZ Striploin, 250g cut ($ 19) – a wallet-friendly cut with flavour beyond its price tag. 

Address: MyVillage @ Serangoon Garden, 1 Maju Avenue, #02-03 to 06, Singapore 556679
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Sun – Thu & PH), 11am – 12am (Fri, Sat & Eve of PH)
Telephone: 6285 8839 
Website

Prep Your Tummy For A Feast

With new players shaking up the scene at Serangoon Gardens yet again, foodie lovers will never get bored of this neighbourhood. Besides the ever-crowded Chomp Chomp, there’s so much more that this little haven has to offer. You better set a date to check out these restaurants before everyone else comes and creates snaking queues! 


This post was brought to you by myVillage at Serangoon Garden.

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Free Sketch GUI Kits For Web & Mobile Design – Best of

Many designers are quickly jumping ship from Adobe Photoshop into the wonderful realm of Sketch. This digital design program for OS X provides better tools for UI design, icon design, and offers pixel+vector support in one program. This has lead to a surge in popularity for freebies released by Sketch designers.

30 Free Web & Mobile UI Kits For Your Collection

30 Free Web & Mobile UI Kits For Your Collection

Developing a new web design project from scratch is challenging, which is why designers like you and me…

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Anyone familiar with the freebie marketplace knows that UI kits are some of the most popular resources for interface design work. I’ve compiled this selection of free Sketch UI kits for websites and mobile apps. Every kit is free to download and should work with any version of Sketch. Feel free to grab anything that catches your eye and see if you can put these interface kits to good use.

Web UI Kits

Websites are still the lifeblood of UI design, and mockups are often a requirement before coding. These UI kits will give you the resources you need to create digital interfaces of beauty and purpose that can be quickly coded into real website layouts.

Dark UI Kit

This purely dark grey/blue UI kit was made specifically for Sketch 3+ and includes common elements like buttons, sliders, dropdowns and switches. Each element also features an on/off state so you can build interface elements with customized interactive states.

Dark & Light UI Kit

Here’s a unique kit that suits a wider audience with a dark and light background style. This kit focuses more on page widgets rather than simple elements, so you’ll find many more obscure items like loading bars and media players.

Summer UI Kit

This summer UI kit is full of buttons, forms, dropdowns, and other very common page elements for enhancing digital mockups. Plus it’s a fully layered Sketch document so you’ll have no trouble making alterations to content as needed.

Pearl UI Kit

The Pearl UI kit follows a very simple flat design with basic page elements. Buttons, input fields, accordions, and tabs are just a few of the options at your disposal. If you’re brand new to sketch then this kit might be useful to help you deconstruct how to design your own kit.

Landing Page Layouts

This rather obscure freebie works best during the wireframing stage. These layouts are not fully rendered in Sketch, instead offering low-fidelity layouts with static block elements. The colors, shapes, and positioning of these layouts should help every UI designer to better understand the wireframing process.

Web App UI Set

A very simple UI kit based around the theme of Tesla motor vehicles, this freebie is much more detailed than the rest. You do have access to simple buttons but also have more complex interface items like a detailed table list and a calendar widget.

Flexible UI Kit

This is undoubtedly one of the most extensive UI kits you will ever find for Sketch. The live demo page counts 25+ different types of elements from image sliders to checkout forms and user comments. Definitely one of the coolest and most useful Sketch freebie kits you’ll find on the web.

Bootsketch UI

UI designers are often left out of the loop when it comes to frontend frameworks which is why this freebie is a treat. This Bootsketch kit has vector elements for every Bootstrap element in existence. This makes it super easy to create Bootstrap-themed mockups in Sketch without even touching the browser.

Tiny Flat UI Kit

This neat UI kit moves away from flat design to embrace the aesthetic of gradients and depth in page elements. It’s a fun kit to use in any project and demonstrates that anything you can do in Photoshop is equally possible in Sketch.

More

If you’re looking for more alternatives take a peek at this small list of web UI kits below.

Mobile UI Kits

The love for native mobile apps has continued to increase as more people move into the mobile economy. Although app downloads are dropping there’s still a need for quality interfaces for native apps to supplement desktop apps. These free Sketch UI kits will help you design quality mobile apps for all devices while keeping up with differences between resolutions and retina screens.

iOS 9.3 UI Kit

Apple’s continuing push towards greater innovation pumps out a new mobile OS almost every year. The current trend is iOS 9 and this UI kit features everything you’ll need for native iOS applications.

Salesforce1 Wireframe Kit

Salesforce1 is a popular dashboard app for client & customer management. This Salesforce1 UI kit offers all the common elements of their iPhone app for tinkering and reusing their design aesthetic.

Mobile UX Template

Are you currently prototyping a mobile UX for an iPhone or Android application? Then this Sketch freebie will surely help you complete that wireframe with ease. It’s a free way to kickstart your wireframing/prototyping phase on a digital screen.

Social App iOS UI Kit

From Snapchat to Pinterest, dozens of social networks have ballooned in popularity over the past few years. This social UI kit could help launch the next major social app and scale quickly to a wide audience of iPhone users.

Moon Wireframe Kit

This Moon wireframing kit is a great mixture of rendered interfaces with a slant towards wireframing. The kit includes 50 unique mobile app screens that can be adjusted & rearranged for any project. You can use the Moon UI kit for basic wireframing, or for complete UI mockups.

Travel App UI Kit

Here’s a dark yet beautiful UI kit based on a travel app for Sketch 3+ users. It is made for anyone who wants to toy around with a air flight or travel mobile app concept.

Instagram UI Kit

Photo sharing mobile apps are saturating the market and some apps even include photo sharing features supplementary to the app’s main purpose. So it’s great to have this free Instagram UI kit available for Sketch designers to replicate photo functionality in their own designs. It is a basic iOS photo app UI concept pack.

More

There are far too many GUI kits to write about in this post, but I can’t leave any good ones behind either. So if you need even more mobile Sketch UI resources take a peek at these alternatives.

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2-watchsumo

39 Free Web Services & Tools To Monitor Website Downtime

An online portal of your business brings traffic and the last thing we want is for the site to go down for wahtever reason. Various factors could lead to downtime and one of the ways we can stay on top of such an occurrence is to monitor site uptime and downtime, and receive notifications if a site goes down.

In this post, we’re showcasing free online services to monitor website uptime as well as downtime. Some of them come with pricing plans for better and more features that may be helpful to you but the highlight focuses on.

PingMySite. Supports 1 site, checks the site every minute from 31 locations and sends performance reports via SMS, email and push notifications.

Monitoshi. Free tool that monitors unlimited website URLs, sends email whenever the site is down. Has simple API to create a status page or send a tweet when a site goes down.

WatchSumo. Free tool that sends instant reports via email or webhook, no limit on URLs to monitor. Generates a 24-hour mean response time for an overall look.

UptimeButler. Checks up to 5 sites, every minute. Alerts through email, web hooks or Slack.

Pingometer. Tracks your site’s status 24/7 (for one site from one location) along with smart alerts and detailed reports via SMS or email while maintaining 100% accuracy.

Uptimia. Performs check for up to 1 site every 5 minute (from 5 locations), and notifies immediately via email about downtime.

Insping. Monitors your 2 sites in 5-minute intervals and notifies via SMS or Slack as soon as a downtime is detected and does support socket, port and DNS monitoring.

DOMAlert. Monitors up to 5 sites per month and checks your site every 5 minutes, supports ports and servers too, and notifies via email when site stops responding to DOMAlert pings.

Happy Apps. Checks your 3 websites every 5minute with email notification alerts, displays the overall status for individual sites and also monitors databases and app servers.

AppBeat. Monitors for 5 sites with 5-minute interval and sends you email notifications during downtime. It also supports Slack and webhook integration and can schedule maintenance with status pages.

SynTraffic. Performs real-time monitoring of up to 2 websites (from 2 geographical locations) and sends smart alerts, sends last day reports and also allows creating public status pages.

Uptime Doctor. Constantly observes your 5 websites (every minute) and push alerts via email (up to 50/month), and also supports monitoring services like SSH, HTTPS, etc.

Site-Monitoring.NET. Sends SMS or email alerts during technical issues on the site, checks your site every 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes, emails statistic reports and keeps up to 2 years detailed monitoring history.

FreeSiteStatus. Supports monitoring 1 website (every hour) from 31 worldwide locations, keeps a constant check on your website with simple email alerts, and provides uptime and performance reports with graphs and statistics.

Uptime Dog. Checks your site every 2 minutes from two geographical stations, sends notifications via email and requires no download but just placing their HTML link on the site.

DownNotifier. Sends downtime notifications via emails and checks the site every minute, supports 1 websites’ check per year and provides simple reports on your website’s downtime.

Monitive. Provides performance and uptime reports of your site, monitors your 1 site every 10 minutes, including HTTP, FTP and MySQL services, and sends instant alerts through email or Twitter.

Port Monitor. Performs a check of your site (max. 2 websites) and content every minute, and sends email and push notifications.

LiveWatch. Checks the site every 10 minutes from several locations and alerts via SMS or email, allows integration of LiveWatch data in webpages and also offers socket and DNS monitoring.

Anturis. Monitors up to 5 sites from multiple worldwide stations with full page load monitoring, checks every minute and offers unlimited email alerts for free.

Pingability. Notifies via SMS or email when your site (supports unlimited websites) is down, provides detailed reports and analysis of your site and checks/verifies uptime from multiple locations.

My Hosting Uptime. Checks your site at specific intervals from several locations, monitors 24 x 7 x 365 and gives downtime alerts via email or Twitter along with reports.

MonTools. Analyses site every 30 minute to 1 day and notifies through email, SMS or Twitter during downtime, also monitors HTTPS, FTP, MySQL and IMAP servers along with SSL certificate verification.

UptimeSpy. Checks your 1 site from global locations and sends email notifications when site goes offline, monitors at specific intervals in a day.

Host-Tracker. Monitors the site 24/7 and sends instant response alerts via SMS, email or Skype, database monitoring and sends detailed reports weekly/monthly/yearly per choice.

WebsitePulse. Offers 24/7 monitoring on every 30 minutes, alerts you via email alerts, and provides simple alerts and reports only.

Monitis. Checks for up to 5 sites, notifies instantly during site outages via SMS, Twitter or email, checks the site every 15 minutes, and provides real-time views and reports with monitoring history.

ServiceUptime. Monitors every 30 minutes and notifies via email or SMS on site’s outage, provides a historical data of your site on the web, and supports up to 10 monitors (or sites).

BinaryCanary. Maximizes your site uptime with every 15 minute monitoring, sends alerts via SMS or email, and shows detailed reports and statistics in the control panel.

GotSiteMonitor. Checks your site (up to 5 monitors) every 10 minute and sends instant SMS or email alerts, also checks the site’s SSL certificate, web page content and web servers.

Monitority. Checks every second, sends instant notifications via SMS on site outage with 24/7 tracking and allows you to monitor a new server within just 10 seconds.

Uptime Robot. Avails 50 monitors (every 5 minutes) and provides statistics reports on site’s response time, sends alerts via email, SMS or Twitter and more, and allows sharing site stats publicly.

SiteUptime. Monitors 1 site, sends alerts through email during site downtime, checks every 30/60 minutes, also monitors FTP and SMTP, and allows sharing reports in public status pages.

StatusCake. Allows unlimited monitoring with every 5-minute check rate, sends unlimited alerts via email, also supports monitoring from random locations worldwide.

InternetSeer. Checks any one website every 60 minutes with email alerts during outages, and sends weekly reports for details performance statistics.

Uptrends. With 30-day trial, Uptrends monitors every 1-60 minute and sends reports via email and SMS, capture error snapshots from the browser, allows exporting data and supports periodic maintenances.

Basic State. Checks your site every 15 minutes and sends alerts via email or SMS at site downtime, and provides regular uptime report with 14 days history.

Montastic. Delivers instant email alerts during site outage, monitors every 5 minutes, supports HTTP authentication and also verifies the presence of specific web page content.

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Hokkien-Mee

Hong Heng Fried Sotong Mee: Michelin Guide Hawkers!

Hokkien Mee

The Michelin Guide has put Singapore’s hawker food on the world gastronomy map with the announcement of 2 One Michelin Star Hawkers this week, viz Hillstreet Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee and Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken.  Now we can boast that Singapore is the cheapest place in the world where you can eat at a Michelin Star establishment!  Two dollars!  Yes $ 2 is all you need to eat a Michelin Star meal!

When I published “The End of Char Kway Teow” in 2010, my intention was to “glamorise” hawker food so we Singaporeans might realise the uniqueness of our own cuisine and not take it for granted. Having spoken to so many hawkers, I realised back then, that most of our hawkers are due to retire with not enough young hawkers wanting to take over the wok.  Most young aspiring chefs want to cook French cuisine and eschew local food which is often seen as “low class”.  Thus, “The End of Char Kway Teow” was meant to sound the alarm that unless we do something soon, there might not be a Char Kway Teow worth eating in the future!

Now that our hawker food has officially been anointed by the Michelin inspectors are food worthy to be placed alongside the best cuisines in the world, I am hoping that it will motivate more young Singaporeans who are planning to go into the food trade to cook Singapore food rather than some foreign cuisine.

Young aspiring chefs now have a role model in Malcolm Lee of Candlenut who, at 32, has managed to earn himself a Michelin Star and put Peranakan cuisine on the world stage.  Like most young chefs, he had dreams of becoming a Western chef, but his passion for his own heritage,  inspired by his mother and grandmother, pushed him to discover his roots. To me, the message is very clear — if you are a Singaporean cooking Singapore food, you will stand a better chance of winning a Michelin Star then if you try to compete with all the other French Chefs of the world!

Interview with our two Michelin Star Hawkers right after the announcement of the awards.  Congrats to Mr Tang Chay Seng, 70 of Hillstreet Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee, and Mr Chan of Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken.

Earlier, the announcement of the “Bib Gourmand” awardees caught many by surprise, not least Manfred Lim, the man behind the wok at Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee.  The Bib Gourmand is usually regarded as those stalls which are just shy of winning a Michelin Star but are still providing really good food for less than $ 45.

The social media was abuzz with Singaporeans expressing their disagreement with some of the awardees.  This is not unexpected as we Singaporeans are really passionate about our food,  and when we know that there are stalls that are far better than what the inspectors picked, we just need to “let go” some steam!  After all, what do these foreign inspectors know about hawker food anyway?

I have quite a different take on this.  I don’t see the list of 2 Michelin Star and 17 Bib Gourmand hawkers as a comprehensive list of all the best hawker food in Singapore.  After all, I have been doing reviews for a decade already and I have yet to cover all the best hawkers myself!  Bear in mind that there are 6500 hawkers in the NEA run hawker centres and another 10,000 stalls in coffeeshops, cafeterias and food courts.  So 19 is just a mere 0.1% of all the hawkers and I am quite sure the inspectors don’t have the resources to try them all.

Of course, I don’t expect that the inspectors will know as much about local food as we do but what they have is the vast experience of eating from some of the best restaurants from all over the world.  So, when they assess our hawker dishes, they are grading it according to the best foods that they have eaten in Japan, Europe and the US.  That,  to me, is HUGE!  Because it says to me that our hawkers are able to cook up a dish that is comparable with the best in the world and if some of the ones they picked are what we regard as just average, then wait till they get round to the other gems!  We should be looking forward to more Michelin star hawkers in next year’s edition!

The inclusion of Hong Heng Fried Sotong Mee in the Bib Gourmand list came as quite a surprise to a lot of people.  Not least to myself who have written extensively about the dish.  I thought that I had every famous Hokkien Mee covered already, but instead of picking the really famous ones like Geylang Lor 29 Hokkien Mee Nam Sing Hokkien Mee, or any of the five most famous hokkien mee stalls, they picked one that has escaped my foodie radar for the last ten years!

It turns out that Hong Heng has been around for as long as Tiong Bahru market and food centre has existed and has its fair share of fans.  Manfred is a third generation hawker who took over from his mum who in turned took over from another relative.  He is an unassuming man in his early forties who was himself surprised to have been won the award!

I felt that the fried Hokkien Mee was well fried and it has all the elements of a good Hokkien Mee, viz, the noodles have been given adequate frying time such that they are nicely charred before the stock is added and they still include some slices of pork belly to the dish.  However, I have to admit that like most Singaporeans, I felt that there are other Hokkien Mee stalls which are more worthy of the award.  That is not to say that they don’t deserve it.  I am very happy that Manfred’s dedication to his craft is finally gaining recognition.  All I am saying is that, if Hong Heng can get a Bib Gourmand Award, then we should be seeing more Hokkien Mee stalls in next year’s edition of the Michelin Guide! 4/5

Conclusion

Many people have been expressing their concerns about long queues, lowering of standards and increased prices of the award winners.  I too have these concerns.  However, do spare a thought for the hawkers who have laboured so long to provide cheap and good food for us.  Let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture and ask not how the Michelin Guide will affect you,  but ask how it will benefit the hawkers, the chefs and Singapore as a whole. We have the ambition to become the culinary centre of Asia and this is a significant milestone along the path to that goal. Let’s consider how the Michelin Stars might play a part in preserving our hawker heritage in the long term rather than how it will affect our own pockets and conveniences in the short term.  This is our hawkers’ finest hour, let’s not rob them of their well deserved honour!

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Sega-Mega-Drive-classic-reboot

Sega Launches $65 Mini And Handheld Mega Drive Consoles, Here Are The Details

By | July 26th, 2016

Nintendo may have had all of the attention last week with the announcement that a miniature $ 59 NES would be made available to buy including classic games from the era, but that was never going to stop Sega from having a go as well. Not content to be outdone, Sega’s Mega Drive is also getting a remake, with a standalone console being released that will ship with a massive 80 games to enjoy.

Consisting of a package including the aforementioned games and console hardware, two wireless game controllers are included for those who want to take on a friend, and the whole thing connects to a TV or screen via the evergreen HDMI port.

Sega-Mega-Drive-classic-reboot

Everything is as small as it could be made without losing the Sega charm. This new device may not quite look like a real Mega Drive, or Genesis, but it still has the Sega flavor about it – even if we can’t quite put our finger on why. Built by At Games in China, the “Sega Mega Drive Classic Game Console” is here to help everyone celebrate Sonic’s 25th birthday, which is siming to make something super-old relevant again.

Alongside the console, a new handheld is also being released, complete with rechargeable battery and 3.2-inch display on which gamers can get back into their Mortal Kombat rhythm, you know, from when the Mortal Kombat games were, well, good.

Here’s what the Sega handled looks like:

Sega-Mega-Drive-handheld

With 80 games included, all the classics are catered for, but if a user wanted to add a ROM or ten to the mix, then that would be perfectly possible via an SD card, though we won’t ask where those ROMs would come from in the first place.

The complete list of built-in games is as follows:

  1. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  2. Alien Storm
  3. Altered Beast
  4. Arrow Flash
  5. Bonanza Bros.
  6. Chakan: The Forever Man
  7. Columns
  8. Columns III
  9. ComixZone
  10. Crack Down
  11. DecapAttack
  12. Dr. Robotnik’sMean Bean Machine
  13. Ecco
  14. EccoJr
  15. ESWAT: City Under Seige
  16. Fatal Labyrinth
  17. Flicky
  18. Gain Ground
  19. Golden Axe
  20. Golden Axe 2
  21. Golden Axe 3
  22. Jewel Master
  23. Kid Chameleon
  24. Motal Kombat
  25. Mortal Kombat 2
  26. Mortal Kombat 3
  27. Ristar
  28. Shadow Dancer
  29. Shinobi 3
  30. Streets Of Rage 1
  31. Streets Of Rage 2
  32. Streets Of Rage 3
  33. Sonic & Knuckles
  34. Sonic Spinball
  35. Sonic the Hedgehog
  36. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  37. The Ooze
  38. Vectorman
  39. Vectorman 2
  40. Virtua Fighter 2
  41. Games List – bonus cartridge games
  42. Cross the road
  43. Jack’s Pea
  44. Jewel Magic
  45. Curling 2010
  46. Fish Story
  47. Mahjong Solitaire
  48. Warehouse Keeper
  49. Chess
  50. Memory
  51. Snake
  52. Air Hockey
  53. Spider
  54. Naval Power
  55. Mr. Balls
  56. Cannon
  57. Fight or Lose
  58. Bottle Taps Race
  59. Bomber
  60. Checker
  61. Hexagonos
  62. Reaction Match
  63. Whack-A-Wolf
  64. Mirror Mirror
  65. Memory Match
  66. Treasure Hunt
  67. Fire Fly Glow
  68. Panic Lift
  69. Black Sheep
  70. Space Hunter
  71. Flash Memory
  72. Table Magic
  73. Color Puzzle
  74. Brain Switch
  75. Mega Brain Switch
  76. Bulls and Cows
  77. Logic Dial
  78. Match Eleven
  79. Formula Challenge
  80. Sudoku Quiz
  81. Dominant Color

sega

UK retailer FunstockRetro already has both Mega Drive variants available for pre-order at the price of $ 65 each, with an expected shipping window set for this October. Another UK store called Smyths Toys Store is also offering pre-orders for the Classic Game Console variant at the same price.

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Scallop

Beni: French Cuisine, Japanese Style. One Michelin Star Restaurant

Beni: French Cuisine, Japanese Style. One Michelin Star Restaurant

Congrats to Beni for winning 1 Michelin Star in the Michelin Guide, Singapore 2016!

Scallop

The Japanese have a knack for mastering foreign cuisine — French, Spanish, Italian and even Sichuan cuisine as shown by Chef Kentaro  who also won a Michelin star for Shisen Hanten.  That is not to say that our local boys aren’t up to it has well.  We have to congratulate  Chef Jason Tan of Corner House also earned himself a Michelin star for French cuisine.  But what the Japanese have been able to do is to add that unmistakable Japanese touch to any dish which is instantly recognisable.


Interview with Chef Kenji, Michelin Awards presentation 21 Jul 2016

That “Japaneseness” is evident not only in the superb Japanese produce that used in the dishes but also with subtle marrying of Japanese and French cooking techniques, although Chef Kenji Yamanaka always insists that his style of cooking is classically French.

One of the most noticeable thing about the dishes is that they are not has heavy as those found in a classic French restaurant.  Chef has steered away from the use of butter and cream, substituting the heavy sauces with vegetable purees and vegetable pastes and foams instead.  Even dessert is a mild white bean mousse with light sherbet and sweeten black beans.  Everything is given a very light touch.

Beni PageClockwise: Amadai Matsukasayaki: Pan fried tilefish with scales, Shellfish with saffron sauce jelly, White bean mousse, Roasted Ozaki Wagyu with Madeira wine sauce

For starters we were presented with a medley of four shellfish commonly found at the sushi bar with a vinegar-ed jelly and a touch of caviar.  The main course of tilefish done “Matsukasayaki” style with crispy scales resembling pine cones is another example of how Chef Kenji’s French dishes are have taken on that Japanese character.  I have been a fan of Ozaki Wagyu since my visit to Osaki-san’s farm in 2012 and was glad to be able to have it presented as roast beef.  My only complaint was the lack of contrast between the slice of rosy pink beef on a plate that is also streaked with pink.  It was aesthetically jarring and does no justice to the beautiful slice of meat.  4.5/5

Video taken at previous location

Conclusion

Excellent Japanese ingredients cooked French style with that undeniable Japanese touch.  But does it deserve One Michelin Star? The Michelin inspectors certainly think so and now you have a chance to decide for yourself!

Disclosure
Thanks to Beni for hosting this media review

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