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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.

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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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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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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 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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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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Noshery – A Quaint Cafe Tucked at Rochester Park

noshery

noshery

Set in a cozy corner of Rochester Park, Noshery is the sister cafe of Nosh, which is located just above the hill. The quaint cafe provides indoors and outdoors seatings. If the weather is not too warm, you could always dine out in the open air, enjoying the serenity of the lush greeneries that surrounds it. 

As much as we would love to enjoy this breath-taking environment, our hungry tummies reminded us of our purpose. We settled with some of their recommendations such as Spicy Cold Roe Pasta ($ 16), Nosh Burger ($ 26), and Eton Mess ($ 8).

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Spicy Cold Roe Pasta ($ 16) was served looking a little plain, so we didn’t have much expectations for it. Nonetheless, the pasta caught our tastebuds by surprise. Unlike the usual cream or tomato based pasta, the savory cold pasta was slightly creamy with a hint of spiciness. The shrimps and roe gives it a touch of seafood sweetness. Every mouth felt refreshing and we really loved it.

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Sandwiched between pillow soft buns, the patty served in Nosh Burger ($ 26) were succulent and tender. The patty grilled just right leaving it slightly pinkish on the inside. The sambal béarnaise was a unique touch to the burger. The mild tingling sensation enhances the flavors of the burger. However, we didn’t quite like the dill pickles used as the sourness felt too sharp and quite off. We felt that for such a small portion, the price tagged was too high.

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noshery_eton_mess_landscape


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We concluded our meal with the recommended dessert, Eton Mess ($ 8). Served in a jar, it looked almost too pretty to be eaten. It was filled with sweetened whipped cream, strawberry sauce and meringue. Taste wise? Too sweet for us to handle.

Address: 9 Rochester Park, Singapore 139220

Website: www.noshery.com.sg

Email Address: hello@noshery.com.sg

Opening Hours: Tues – Fri 11.30am to 10.30pm. Sat – Sun 10.30am to 10.30pm. Lunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm. Light Bites: 3.00pm to 10.30pm (Baked Goods & Bar Snacks). Weekend Brunch: 10.30am to 3.00pm.

 

Aileen Lim

It all began with Aileen’s passion for food, from cooking for her family, to eating out with her friends. Then came Instagram, which became part of her life that helped to document all that she eats in photographs. Being a food lover born in a food paradise (Singapore) where food is everywhere, she was in heaven. To her, good food not only comes from top-notch restaurants, but also from hawker food and even Pasar Malam! She also finds joy in sharing the good food she comes across with the rest of the world.

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Miss Tam Chiak

iOS-9.3.3-JAILBREAK1

How To Jailbreak iOS 9.3.3 On iPhone 6s, 6, 6s Plus, 6 Plus, 5s, iPad, More [Tutorial]

By | July 24th, 2016

As you are probably more than aware by now, a working jailbreak for iOS 9.3.3 to 9.2 firmwares is finally here. China-based Pangu Team literally made the announcement and released the tool out of nowhere, much to the delight of those 64-bit device owners looking to liberate their hardware from Apple’s walled garden to install Cydia and jailbreak tweaks on it. The tool is currently only available for Windows machines, compatible with 64-bit iOS devices, and is of semi-untethered/tethered variety (more on that is detailed below), and here we’re going to take a step-by-step approach to showing you exactly how to jailbreak your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using it. Ready? Here we go.

iOS-9.3.3-JAILBREAK1

Compatible iOS devices:

  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE
  • iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 1, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro (both models)
  • iPod touch 6

Compatible firmware versions:

  • iOS 9.2, iOS 9.2.1
  • iOS 9.3, iOS 9.3.1, iOS 9.3.2, iOS 9.3.3

Requirements:

Instructions:

Before we begin, it’s important to note that the instructions below are for Chinese version of the jailbreak as the English version of the tool is not out yet but is expected to drop very soon. We will update the post once the English version is out.

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Step 1: Connect your iOS device to your computer.

Step 2: Once you have downloaded the jailbreak tool from the link given above, launch it on Windows.

Step 3: Now click the big green button with some Chinese text on it to begin the jailbreak process.

Step 4: After a short while, you will get a captcha screen on the tool. Enter the catcha letters and wait for at least a couple of minutes as the tool will now start installing a profile on your device.

Step 5: Now on your device, head to Settings > General > Device Management (on iOS 9.3.3) or Settings > General > Profile (on iOS 9.3.2 and below) and then trust the developer. Once you do this, a app called PP will start installing on your device.

Step 6: Once done, open this PP app and accept the prompt for push notifications.

Step 7: Now tap on the circle, and wait for PP app to install Cydia. You will get a notification when Cydia starts installing on the device. Once Cydia is successfully installed, the device will reboot automatically and you should have Cydia installed on your now jailbroken device.

Pangu iOS 9.3.3 Cydia

As mentioned earlier, this is a semi-untethered/tethered jailbreak which means every time the device reboots, you will have to re-jailbreak of sorts to get the device back into jailbroken state. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you need to go through the whole process through your computer again. You don’t have to reinstall the jailbreak tweaks, settings or Cydia either. All you need to do after every reboot is to run the PP app on your device and you will get back into jailbroken state again within no time.

And there you have it. Out of the blue, literally form nowhere, a working and very simple way to jailbreak compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices running iOS 9.3.3 to iOS 9.2.

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Ivy’s Hainanese Herbal Mutton Soup Moved to Pasir Panjang

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In Hainan island, goats are slaughtered during special occasion and mutton soup is prepared. In Singapore, mutton soup is not as popular but there are some really good ones. One of them is Ivy’s Hainanese Herbal Mutton Soup. Previously located at Kim Keat Palm Market and Food Centre, Ivy’s Hainanese Herbal Mutton Soup has moved to Pasir Panjang Food Centre!

My foodie friends were raving about its Hainanese herbal mutton soup for a long time but I have never get a chance to try it till today. Thinking that I would meet Ivy (since the stall name says so), I actually met Max Ng who is the owner of the stall. Max is a Hainanese (fellow suki) and Ivy is the name of Max wife. The story goes, Max was trying to woo Ivy then and he cooked mutton soup to win her heart. Of course he succeeded because they got married and Max opened Ivy’s Hainanese Herbal Mutton Soup. Such a beautiful love story behind the mutton soup.

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How unique is Max’s mutton soup? Every morning, Max would marinate the lamb ribs with fermented red yeast and seared in oil to get rid of the gamey taste. Then, the meat is cooked with more than 10 different herbs for hours. The end result? Each spoonful of soup is flavourful with deep herbal flavours but not overpowering. Served with some tau pok, black fungus and wolfberries, the lamb ribs are tender.

With a mild gamey taste, dip the ribs into his super shiok homemade tangy chilli paste and serve it with rice. To be enjoyed any time of the day, and best savoured on a cool rainy day. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of mutton soup but Max’s herbal mutton soup has boosted the flavours in the broth well enough for us to enjoy it, especially during rainy days. Plus, he is using claypot now instead of just serving it in bowls, so it helps to keep the temperature warm till the very last drop. Each claypot mutton soups starts from $ 9.

Maureen

Born into a family of enthusiastic foodies, Maureen has always loved all things culinary, especially the local cuisine here in Singapore. With a life-long fascination with the rapidly evolving food scene in Singapore, she started this website in 2007 to explore and celebrate all types of local Singapore dishes and to share her love of travel and food with the world. With 4 years of experience as a journalist and producer, she has a wealth of experience in food writing, photography and styling.

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Miss Tam Chiak

iPhone-MESUIT-Android-case

MESUIT Case Lets You Dual-Boot Android OS On iPhone [Video]

By | July 23rd, 2016

Your mind really does get blown if you take the time to take a step back and actually consider some of the technical challenges and hurdles that individuals and companies overcome to produce cutting-edge products and accessories.

You may remember that just last month, a well-known developer Nick Lee teased a DIY hardware project that wrapped an iPhone in a hacked together case that allowed the device to dual-boot into Android. Impressive it most definitely was, but sophisticated in its build it was not. Now, a Chinese company Haimawan has taken things that one step further by releasing the MESUIT case that essentially does exactly the same thing achieved by Lee.

iPhone MESUIT Android case

If we take a step back to Nick Lee’s attempt to home-based hackery, then we find ourselves looking at a home-made case that contained an enclosed circuit board with a modified version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow on it. That circuitry and underlying software was then combined with a custom iOS app running on the iPhone that allowed the user to boot into Android Marshmallow should they wish to do so. Haimawan’s solution is kind of identical, with the MESUIT containing special hardware running a custom MESUIT-skinned version of Android.

As with Lee’s rudimentary solution, the MESUIT case also comes with a dedicated iOS app that works in conjunction with the hardware to get Android up and running on the iPhone.

Unlike Lee’s project, the MESUIT also goes one step further by shipping with a built-in external battery available in either 1,700 (for 6/6s) or 2,500mAh (for 6 Plus/6s Plus) capacities with an additional 16GB of storage. It would seem that running Android on an iOS device is particular power hungry, making the built-in battery a god send.

iPhone Android OS case

Lee’s creation may have been a feat of technical genius, and made even more impressive by the fact that it was done at home on limited resources, but the MESUIT is a commercial offering that will be sold through a company subsidiary for around the $ 150 mark in China for iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus. There’s no word yet on when will it be available in the United States.

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