11 Ramadan Bazaars To Visit In 2018 When Geylang Serai Gets Too Crowded

Alternative Ramadan Bazaars in SG

Alternative Ramadan Bazaars cover image

Image adapted from: @jihye_e21

Ah, Geylang Serai Bazaar, the talk of the town this season. With more than 1000 food and retail stores filling it’s streets by dusk, the place is filled with traditional apparel, delicious grub…and a hundreds of other sweaty Singaporeans. 

For those who die-die don’t want to get caught in the middle of the crowd, here are 11 alternative Ramadan bazaars:

– Central –

1. Jalan Jalan! Makan Makan! Raya Edition @ Marina Bay Sands

For the very first time, Marina Bay Sands (MBS)  will be hosting Jalan Jalan! Makan Makan! Raya Edition, a mega Ramadan bazaar from 1-3 June 2018, in Expo and Convention Hall E.

We all know how the MBS area always has events done go-big-or-go-home style – think Artbox and the Marina Bay Carnival – so this one is definitely one to look out for.

Jalan Jalan! Makan Makan! Raya Edition Dendeng tacos

Dendeng tacos 
Image credit: @chuepachups

There will be tons of food there but keep your eyes peeled for Dendeng tacos by Dendeng Duo – an Indonesian take on the Mexican dish.

Jalan Jalan! Makan Makan! Raya Edition Project Keria

Image credit: @projectkeria

Do-nut let your guard down with these sweet potato donuts by Project Keria. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, they have a great bite and are highly addictive. Top them with gula melaka or chocolate sauce, or cheese if you prefer something savoury.

You can also look for your Hari Raya outfits here because they have fashion booths as well.

P.S. the first 100 visitors daily gets free limited edition Hari Raya Packets!

Size: Large
Date: 1 – 3 June 2018
Address: Marina Bay Sands, Expo Hall E
Opening Hours: 10AM – 10PM

2. LalooLalang Bazaar Raya Edition @ Malay Heritage Centre

Flamboyant in name, Laloolalang Bazaar has the atmosphere to match. This open-aired, 3 day-long festival is located at the Malay Heritage Center from 1-3 June.

You can catch the live performances during the day here, and snack under the dangling fairy nights in the evening.

LalooLalang Bazaar Raya Edition fashion

Image adapted from: Laloolalang

You can get both traditional and modern Hari Raya outfits from various retailers under the main tent.

LalooLalang Bazaar Raya Edition fashion

Last year, there were food vendors selling snacks like kebabs and satay.
Image adapted from: Laloolalang

LalooLalang Bazaar Raya Edition night

Image adapted from: Laloolalang

P.S. Laloolalang Bazaar is only 2-minute walk away from Masjid Sultan (#4). Visit both in one evening for double the fun.

Size: Medium
Date: 1 – 3 June 2018
Address: 85 Sultan Gate, 198501
Opening Hours: 3PM – 12MN

3. The Grand Bazaar @ Singapore Expo

The original Grand Bazaar began in Istanbul, Turkey, and is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world today.

This 8-10 June, a piece of that would be brought into Singapore Expo Hall 6B. Stimulating the shopping experience of the original, The Grand Bazaar’s Singapore edition will be lined with over 200 stores selling food and beverages, cosmetics, and apparel.

Size: Large
Date: 8 – 10 June 2018
Address: Singapore Expo Hall 6B
Opening Hours: 10AM – 10PM

4. Ramadan Sultan Bazaar @ Masjid Sultan

Along Arab Street is a Ramadan Sultan Bazaar, set in front of the ornate Masjid Sultan.

Ramadan Sultan Bazaar

Image credit: @jihye_e21

Lined in tentages outside the grand Masjid Sultan are stores selling your usual wholesome Ramadan bazaar grub like kebabs, mee siam and traditional kueh. On top of that, there are also a couple of Western restaurant-quality dishes like lamb racks.


Image credit: @sultangate.sg

Self-proclaimed carnivores, head straight to T Bobs Corner where you can indulge your taste buds in some sizzling hot, tenderised meat. These include lamb shanks and racks, beef ribs and various meat-filled burgers.

If you don’t mind splurging a little, make a stop at My Wholly for their Laksa Lobster ($ 16.90). It comes with a fresh and sweet half-lobster – juicy pincers included – served on thick bee hoon and drenched in creamy, mildly spicy laksa gravy.

Size: Medium/Large
Date: 16 May – 14 June 2018
Address: 3 Muscat St, Singapore 198833
Opening Hours: ~3PM – 10PM

– North – 

5. Bazar Raya UTARA @ Woodlands 

 Bazar Raya UTARA

Image credit: Kampung Sembawang

As much as the likes of Thai milk tea and raclette cheese are enticing, sometimes, all you crave for is some good ol’ traditional nosh.

To get the best variety of that, head to Bazaar Raya UTARA, located right next to Causeway Point, where there are around 80 salls. The bulk of them sell traditional Malay food – including roti kirari (lace pancake), nasi ambeng (rice platter with meat and vegetables) and dendeng (thinly sliced barbecued beef).

 Bazar Raya UTARA food

Size: Large
Date: 14 May – 12 June 2018
Address: Causeway Point, 1 Woodlands Square, 738099 (Next to Woodlands Bus Interchange)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 11PM

– East –

6. Bazaar Raya One World @ Our Tampines Hub

Bazaar Raya One World

Image credit: @drasta

Situated a 5-10 minute walk from Tampines MRT, mega mall Our Tampines Hub is a popular hangout spot for easties. And now, the building is also host to the large Bazaar Raya One World with more than 150 stalls covering its ground floor.

Bazaar Raya One World satay burger

Satay Burger.
Image credit: @bluntforks

There’s a whole lot of food to fill your tummies up including traditional-meets-modern items from Satay Burger by Famous Satay Burger to Ondeh Ondeh Ice Cream by Kava.

Bazaar Raya One World butter boo:eh

Image credit: @boo.eh

Also look out for SG’s version of Harry Potter’s famous Butterbeer- Butter BOO:EH. The beverage is cool and fizzy with a bonus of a foam mustache from its creamy butterscotch foam topping.

Music lovers can chill by the stage, where there will be performances lined up during weekends.

Size: Large
Date: 12 May – 13 June 2018
Address: Our Tampines Hub, 1 Tampines Walk, Singapore 528523
Opening Hours: ~3PM -10PM

7. Ramadan Bazaar @ Pasir Ris Blk 105

Pasir Ris Blk 105 Ramadan Bazaar

Image credit: The Halal Food Blog

Blk 105 Ramadan Bazaar is a small-scale one situated in the East of the East. Residents of Pasir Ris, this one is for you. 

Pasir Ris Blk 105 Ramadan Bazaar food

Image credit: The Halal Food Blog

Unlike its flashier counterparts, this one has more traditional Malay food like curry puffs, kueh, and cendol.

Size: Small
Date: 17 May to 13 June
Address: Blk 105, Pasir Ris Street 12, Singapore 510105
Opening Hours: 3.30PM – 7PM

8. Kassimbaba Raya Fest @ D’Marquee, Downtown East

Kassimbaba Raya Fest, also known as KB Raya Fest, is a 3-day long event taking place over the 25-27 May weekend at Downtown East

This festival takes place in the air conditioned D’Marquee building, so it’s a great place to escape the sweltering heat.

Kassimbaba Raya Fest Putu Piring

Putu Piring 
Image credit: @haigroadputupiring

There will be variety of retail shops and food stops in the space. Look out for the famous Putu Piring from Haig Road – soft to the bite and generously filled with gooey gula melaka.

Kassimbaba Raya Fest Burgs

Image credit: @projectwarung

If you are looking to get your hands on some hearty grub after a long day of fasting, Burgs is opening a pop up store at KB Raya Fest. One of their bestsellers is The Classic – freshly grilled beef burger smothered in in American cheese and topped with crispy fried shallots.

Size: Medium
Date: 25 – 27 May 2018
Address: 1 Pasir Ris Close, Downtown East, D’Marquee, Singapore 519599
Opening  Hours: 12PM – 11PM

9. The Royal Gala @ ONE KM Mall

Food may take the spotlight, but it certainly isn’t the only thing sold at Ramadan bazaars.

If it is Hari Raya outfits you are searching for, then hit up The Royal Gala at ONE KM Mall.

The Royal Gala

There are shops in festive tents outside, as well as pop-up stalls within the mall itself.

The Royal Gala fashion

This spot is within walking distance from Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar, so it’s a good place to take a break from the crowds and heat after you’ve got your fill of rainbow-coloured snacks.

Size: Medium
Date: 11 May – 14 June 2018
Address: OneKM, 11 Tanjong Katong Rd, Singapore 437157
Opening Hours: 11AM – 9PM

– Northeast – 

10. Masjid Al-mawaddah Ramadan Bazaar @ Sengkang 

Masjid Al-mawaddah Ramadan Bazaar

Image adapted from: Masjid Al-mawaddah

Masjid Al-mawaddah Ramadan Bazaar might be a small set-up, but it is certainly worth popping by if you happen to be in the area.  Everyone is welcome, but make sure to dress appropriately!

There are fully prepped meals for you to take away, such as mee rebus, lamb shank biryani, along with snacks like goreng pisang, curry puffs and donuts.

Masjid Al-mawaddah Ramadan Bazaar

Image adapted from: Masjid Al-mawaddah

Size: (Very) small
Date: 17 May – 10 June 2018
Address: Mosque Cafe, Masjid Al-Mawaddah, 151 Compassvale Bow, 544997
Opening Hours: 3pm – late

– West –

11. Selera Ramadan Bazaar @ Jurong Blk 425

A short bus ride away from Lakeside MRT, Selera Ramadan Bazaar at Jurong Blk 425 is a hidden gem of the West that has recently been gaining popularity.  

Selera Ramadan Bazaar

Image adapted from: Jamaludin Jaffar

Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s at a void deck. Rows upon rows of stores are lined along the HDB pillars, offering a wide selection of traditional delicacies such as lontong, roti boyan (pastry stuffed with mashed potatoes) and assorted kueh.

Selera Ramadan Bazaar goreng pisang

Goreng Pisang
Image credit: The Halal Food Blog

Compared to Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar, the food here is relatively more affordable with Sweet Potato Sago dessert bowls going at $ 2.50 and Ramly Burgers at $ 3.50.

Getting there: Take bus 98, 98M or 187 from Lakeside MRT

Size: Medium
Date: 17 May – 13 June 2018
Address: Blk 425, Jurong West Avenue 1, 640425 
Opening Hours: 11AM -10PM

Alternative Ramadan bazaars to siam the crowds

Now you know that there is more than just Geylang Serai bringing on the festivities this Ramadan season.  Traditional or “hipster”, crowded or ulu, these underrated bazaars have so much in store. Time to knock yourselves out on some tasty Ramly Burgers or raclette cheese – whichever floats your boat.

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Artbox Singapore 2018 – 10 Must Try Dishes At Singapore’s Largest Pop-Up Market!

After last year’s overwhelming response, the popular pop-up container market from Bangkok is back again! This year’s Artbox Singapore 2018 sees nearly a triple in size and covers an expansive 140,000 square feet at Bayfront Event Space. Artbox Singapore 2018 will run for two weekends from 25th May to 27th May and 1st to 3rd June.

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The theme for Artbox Singapore 2018 this year, Oasis, aims to construct a sanctuary of experiential imagination for visitors to escape from the stress of urban life. The organisers have taken the feedback for last year’s edition and improved on the layout of the aisles and stall locations. There were wider walkaways to allow for human traffic, and numerous chill out corners and cosy hammocks to relax and unwind. Our team visited the highly-anticipated Artbox Singapore 2018 and highlighted ten interesting food stalls. So what are you waiting for – let’s go!

Cereal Citizen
Stall 66

Cereal Citizen is the dessert brainchild of three good friends. They are famed for their Crododo, a cross between a croissant and donut. Toppings of Fruity Pebbles and Oreo are available for Crododos ($ 8 each). The Crocodo itself was a pastry lover’s heaven with a flakey and buttery exterior while the inside remained airy and fluffy. To complete the meal, the Cha Yen Milkshake ($ 10) sees your choice of Crododo placed on top of a rich tasting milk tea. The Curry Crododo ($ 10) was very similar to roti pairing with curry, as the Crocodo was wrapped around a cute cup holding delicious curry gravy, making it an indulgent savoury snack.

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Yossakul’s Thai Kitchen
Stall 7

Yossakul’s Kitchen serves up authentic Halal Thai food and desserts. We ordered the quintessential Pad Thai ($ 5) and Mango Sticky Rice ($ 5). The Pad Thai was wetter than usual and had an uncharacteristic tomato taste to it. Make sure you have a cup of drink at hand as the bee hoon is extremely spicy! For the Mango Sticky Rice, the glutinous rice was cooked to the right consistency and topped with sweet, juicy mango slices. We also love how Yossakul remains one of the more affordable options for a filling meal with generous portions!

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Stall 39

If the Ice Cha-Pa-Lang Float seems a tad too heavy for you, Momo’s Sakura Drink ($ 6) is a great thirst-quenching alternative. Before you gasp at this drink’s price tag, let it be known that it contains real Sakura flowers! The drink is made with a base of carbonated soda and also has a spoonful of sweet and chewy pearls at the bottom. This drink tastes just like any other fizzy and refreshing lemonade until you bite into the sour and tangy sakura. Though hard to recommend given its price, it’s one of the more ‘Instagram worthy’ drinks at the event so social-media aficionados should consider giving it a try!

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Tiew Mai
Stall 307

Tiew Mai’s logo might be familiar to some – it is actually a Thai Boat Noodle eatery situated at Upper Serangoon Road! Their main dish for Artbox Singapore 2018, the Thai Holy Basil Chicken ($ 8), features minced chicken that is stir-fried with garlic, chilli and long beans. A sweet and dark soy sauce is mixed in before the fresh and aromatic Thai holy basil is added. The dish comes with a serving of white rice and is topped with a fried egg, which still had a soft runny yolk. The minced chicken was truly mouth-watering – it was infused with the sweet flavours of the soy sauce and a hint of spiciness from the chillies. The basil, which scented the chicken with its herbaceous fragrance, did not overpower the flavour of the dish. This is a substantial and authentic dish that is sure to bring you back to the streets of Thailand!

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The De’luxe One
Stall 71

The De’luxe One definitely brought an element of creativity to Artbox Singapore 2018. The stall decided to add a Thai spin on a British classic! Their Tomyam Fish & Chips ($ 6) features two pieces of deep-fried battered fish that have been coated with Deluxe One’s very own tomyam sauce. The chips were lathered with a cheese sauce and are topped with some chopped spring onions to add some freshness. The tomyam sauce seemed to be made with a mayonnaise base and was definitely milder in flavour than I expected. It still carried the spicy and sour essence of tomyam, but it was toned down so as to not overwhelm the flavour of the fish. The fish itself was fried to crisp perfection, while the white flesh remained moist and succulent. Overall, this was a delicious plate of fish & chips! However, I felt that the sauce could’ve packed a bigger punch in terms of spiciness and flavour.

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Soi Thai Soi Nice
Stall 333

Soi Thai Soi Nice is a local Thai brand with several outlets islandwide and famous for their authentic Thai Seafood Hot Pot. They are bringing a few signature bite-sized treats from the expansive menu to Artbox Singapore 2018, which include tantalising items such as Deep Fried Pork Belly ($ 5), Fried Garlic Chicken Thigh ($ 5) and Tom Yum Mama ($ 6). We had the Grilled Pork Neck ($ 5) which saw chunky pork strips soaked in jaew, or Thai dried chilli dipping sauce. The chilli was infused with aromatic spices, which made the pork more exciting by giving it a spicy kick. The meat strips were nicely charred and flavourful, though some were chewier than usual.

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The Wicked Cream Co.
Stall 355

Their famous bright coloured Roasted #WICKEDMALLOWS are extremely Instagram-worthy as customers can mix and match three flavours on a stick for $ 4. We tried the Alphonso Mango, Cotton Candy Bubblegum and Pink Lemonade – stellar flavours that tasted like the real thing. If you are adventurous enough, they have quirky flavours such as Salted Egg and Charcoal Lemonade as well. They also do Soft Ice Cream and we had the creamy Himalayan Pink Salt Ice Cream made with Hokkaido Milk. True to its name, the subtle saltiness provided a nice contrast to the sweetness of the ice cream. The soft serve melts quickly though, so finish it fast to avoid a sticky mess!

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Cafe3 by Joan Walker
Stall 369

Cafe3 by Joan Walker jumped onto the dry ice bandwagon with an additional surprise: LED lights in their Mystical Food Cups ($ 13.80). Simply choose your Mystical LED Drink Flavour (Blue Paradise, Red Sweet Heart, Gold Shimmer) and a corresponding “food plate” with a savoury option of Combo (consisting a mix of calamari, fries, hot dogs) or Har Cheong Gai. If you are going for desserts, sweet Ice Cream Mixed Fruits is also available.

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Carrot Cubes
Stall 40

Carrot Cubes is a hidden gem in Artbox Singapore 2018 specialising in carrot cake. The chef creatively reinterpreted the all-familiar breakfast staple and transformed it into a never-seen-before carnival food! Carrot Cubes offer the Traditional White Carrot Cake ($ 5) as well as the spicy Hottie Carrot Cake ($ 6). The item to look out for is the chef recommended Bacon & Cubes ($ 7): a fusion carrot cake with the addition of bacon bits. The bacon was generous and complemented the soft carrot cake with its giamness (saltiness), making the otherwise mushy texture of the carrot cake less boring. Carrot Cubes also offer the Carrot Smoothie ($ 6): a refreshing blend of fresh carrot juice, milk and orange juice. Fibre tends to accumulate at the bottom, so the smoothie becomes harder to sip near the end. Combo sets of food and drink are available and starts at $ 10!

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Hyde & Co
Stall 44

If you’ve already visited the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar this year, you might have tried Hyde & Co’s Crispy Chicken Rendang. Now, the stall is making yet another debut at Artbox Singapore 2018! Their signature Chilli Crab Pasta ($ 10) pasta that has been thoroughly coated with a sweet and savoury tomato and chilli-based sauce is one of the offerings here. Despite being one of the pricier dishes at the event, I was pleasantly surprised by the generous amount of crab meat! Sat atop the pasta was also a few pieces of emping belinjo, which added a crunchy texture to the dish. This dish definitely captures the flavours of authentic chilli crab without being too heavy or overpowering.

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Stall 12

Ollella’s Ice Cha-Pa-Lang ($ 6) definitely lives up to its name. This sweet and indulgent drink comes filled to the brim with a plethora of refreshing ingredients, including cream corn, grass jelly, jackfruit and aloe vera – just to name a few! To complete this decadent concoction, the cup is filled with condensed milk and soda water. We took things a step further and decided to order the ‘float’ version ($ 8), which gets you a scoop of their homemade ice-cream on top (Coconut/ Pandan)! After mixing everything together, I found that this drink had a perfect balance of sweetness and savouriness. I also really enjoyed the combination of textures – you get rich creaminess from the ice-cream, a subtle crunch from the corn and springiness from the grass jelly!

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Other than the dizzying array of food choices, Artbox Singapore 2018 also houses a plethora of lifestyle, beauty, fashion and art vendors from both local and overseas. There are also fun and games available with creative installations such as the foam pit and hair-raising VR Fear Factor. So come spend your weekend at the hottest event in town – Artbox Singapore 2018 surely has something for you!

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You may also want to check out our article on 10 fun things to see and do at Artbox Singapore 2018!

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Artbox Singapore 2018 Is Back With New Food Vendors, Foam Pits & Vintage Cars

Artbox Singapore 2018

Artbox Singapore 2018

That’s right folks, Artbox Singapore is back, 3 times bigger than before – with more space, more stalls, and more ‘grammable backdrops. The massive market full of good eats, shopping, and even activities like VR games will be open at the Bayfront Event Space for 2 weekends only, from 25-27 May and 1-3 June, 3pm-11pm

We headed down today right when it opened, here are some of the highlights to look forward to:


Experience a thrilling VR challenge

MTV Artbox Singapore 2018

MTV is daring everyone to take up their VR Fear Factor Challenge. To participate, just sign up at their booth and they’ll let you try out a harrowing virtual reality experience. No spoilers on what it is, but let’s just say that this is not for anyone with a fear of heights.

Catch live music while relaxing on a hammock

Airmock Artbox Singapore 2018

If you get weary from navigating through the sprawling market, chill out on a comfy Airmock as you soak up the live music at the performance zone.

Don’t worry about having to balance all your food in your hands while eating. There are 5 different dining zones across the compound with wooden pallet seats and barrel tables so you can dine in comfort.

Frolic around in a foam pit with flamingo floats

Foam Pit Artbox Singapore 2018

For just $ 5, you get to dive into this extra ‘grammable foam pool, complete with flamingo floats and a vivid tropical-themed backdrop. Or, spend $ 20 using any cashless payment method, and you’ll get in for free!

Snap one for the ‘gram inside a vintage car

Krombi Artbox Singapore 2018

Krombi Rocks has brought over 2 of their vintage car-turned-photoboots, along with a variety of photo props. 2 photostrips with 3 photos each cost $ 5.

– FOOD – 

Flamed Mentaiko Eggs

Easy Eggs Artbox Singapore 2018

Easy Eggs easily boasts the best egg-related dish at the carnival – their Flamed Mentaiko Eggs ($ 6.90). The fluffy scrambled egg balls coated in lightly-charred fish roe sauce make for a convenient and tasty snack.

Massive Chicken Skewer

The Beast Artbox Singapore 2018

The only thing better than fried chicken is a bigger portion of fried chicken, and that’s just what you’ll be getting with this Massive Chicken Skewer ($ 10) from The Beast. This crispy tower of meat can be coated with 3 sauces of your choice, including truffle mushroom sauce and smoked maple syrup.

Coconut Snowballs

Cocobox Artbox Singapore 2018

Cocobox’s Coconut Snowballs ($ 6.50) are the perfect remedy for Singapore’s hot weather. These cool treats are actually made from defleshed coconuts chilled whole, and you can choose to have them plain or topped with candy and cornflakes.

Chilli Crab Crispy Pancake

Messy Munch Artbox Singapore 2018

For those who can’t get enough of Singapore’s signature seafood dish, good news, because you can find these Chilli Crab Crispy Pancakes ($ 9) at the Messy Munch stall. The crunchy snack is smothered in an addictive chilli crab sauce, with real crab meat of course.

Watermelon Fried Rice

Watermelon Rice Artbox Singapore 2018

This colourful Watermelon Fried Rice ($ 13) dish is way more filling than it looks. The fried rice is topped with fish skin, peanuts, pork floss and a handful of watermelon balls.

Singha Beer Garden

Singa Artbox Singapore 2018

You’ll want to hit up Singha’s Beer Garden with the squad, because while the beer comes at $ 8 per cup or bottle, a bucket of 5 costs only $ 35. There’s a live DJ and plenty of seats here, as well as a photobooth to capture the memories.

For $ 120, you can even play a game of beer pong with 20 cups of beer.


Hand-painted animal hats and pillows

Nokkajib Artbox Singapore 2018

Get your hands on one of these adorable hats by Nokkajib for $ 30. This stall has all sorts of cute animal-themed goodies from T-shirts to pillows, and all of them are drawn by hand. 

Storm glass necklaces

Dotted Connection Artbox Singapore 2018

Image credit: @dottedsg

The elegant Storm Glass Necklaces from Dotted Collective are filled with a unique solution that reacts to surrounding temperatures. As it gets colder, “snowflakes” form in the glass, which looks super mystical.

Note: this stall only opens on the 2nd weekend of Artbox

Temporary tattoos

Tattoo Artbox Singapore 2018

If you’re thinking of getting yourself inked without the commitment, there are plenty of stalls at Artbox that do temporary tattoos. Henn.drawn and Out and Ink both do elaborate henna or jagua designs from $ 6 onwards, while Temp Fun offers more colourful stick-on tattoos that you can easily apply yourself with water.

Lightbulb Aquariums

Lightbulb aquarium Artbox

These amazingly detailed Lightbulb Aquariums ($ 28) are all crafted by hand, so no two of them are the same.

Guide to Artbox Singapore 2018

In case you were deterred by the crowd last year, now’s your chance to check out Artbox Singapore and all of its food, fun and goodies without bumping shoulders with everyone else. It can still get a little warm in the afternoon though, so we’d recommend heading down in the evening when the air is cooler.

Don’t forget to carry your phone with you either, because Artbox Singapore has teamed up with mobile applications like NTUC Plus!, DBS Paylah and Moonie to bring you giveaways, discounts and free tokens that you can spend at the stalls. 

Artbox Singapore 2018 
Address: 12A Bayfront Avenue, Bayfront Event Space, Singapore 018970
Opening hours: 25-27 May and 1-3 June 2018, 3PM-11PM
Nearest MRT station: Bayfront


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Ji Tou Chicken Rice: Surprisingly Good Roasted Chicken!

As a Westie, I hardly travel to the East side of Singapore. So on one rare occasion that I happened to be in the East, we decided to head to a random coffee shop at Tampines Street 23 for lunch. It was noon when we arrived at the kopitiam next to Blk 201E and the place was already bustling with the lunch crowd. My friends recommended Ji Tou Chicken Rice and gushed about their roasted chicken in particular.

ji tou chicken rice_storefront

Admittedly, I was highly skeptical when I saw the brightly-lit storefront because it seemed like the kind of “chain franchise” at hawker centres and kopitiams. The stall name also sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on where I have seen it before. Nevertheless, we ordered their Steamed Chicken Rice ($ 3) and Roasted Chicken Rice ($ 3).

ji tou chicken rice chicken

I am more biased towards steamed chicken in general as compared to roasted chicken. Steamed chicken is usually more tender and smooth compared to roasted chicken, which many places tend to do it too dry. When the food came, I dug into the Steamed Chicken Rice immediately, confident that it would be the better of the two based on past experiences.

ji tou chicken rice Steamed chicken in chili

To my surprise, I was greatly disappointed. The steamed chicken was uncharacteristically dry, saved for the chicken skin, and lacked the usual silkiness that I was used to. I didn’t think it was possible for steamed chicken to taste so mediocre, given that it was normally the method of roasting which leaves the chicken stringier and drier.

I moved on to the Roasted Chicken Rice with tempered expectations. If the standard of the steamed chicken was as such, how much better could the roasted chicken be?

ji tou chicken rice Roasted chicken
ji tou chicken rice Roasted chicken_1

That day, I was gladly proven wrong twice during lunch. The roasted skin was sublime: crispy yet capturing that stirring greasy fragrance from the chicken. The breast meat was surprisingly not as dry as expected, with oil from the skin penetrating the meat to make it juicier. I found myself continuously reaching for more and more of the evenly-cooked pieces of golden brown goodness.

ji tou chicken rice Chicken rice

The rice grains were oily and flavourful, indicative of how the chicken stock has been sufficiently cooked together with the rice. For the best experience, take a small mountain of rice and pile it with a few pieces of roasted chicken.

ji tou chicken rice Sauces

The sauces were however quite ordinary. Ji Tou’s ginger was too watery for me as I prefer my ginger to be more fibrous and pasty.

After the meal, I found out that Ji Tou actually has another outlet in Clementi 448 Market and Hawker Centre. Having patronised the Clementi outlet, I don’t remember it being as good as the Tampines one. I guess that even within the same franchise, there can be substantial differences in the quality of food at different branches.

ji tou chicken rice Eating of chicken

Ji Tou Chicken Rice exceeds what I would expect out of an ordinary kopitiam. The lads tending the stall were also friendly and ready to strike up a conversation. Don’t expect Boon Tong Kee standards from Ji Tou, but it is a stall I will return to if I am in Tampines or around the area.

Address: 201E Tampines Street 23, Singapore 527201

Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm daily.

MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to Ji Tou Chicken Rice. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!

For more food videos, check out our official YouTube channel! You may want to check out our articles on Chang Ji Gourmet that serves cheap fried bee hoon and peanut porridge or 2ThumbsUp Hainanese Curry Rice which we think is a hidden gem in Clementi!

Yun Xin Chong

After countless hawker food adventures, Yun Xin still finds the familiarity and comfort of home cooked food the best.

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Miss Tam Chiak


Farm and Fables, Savourworld, Science Park: Good and Simple Western Food

Savourworld at Science Park is a dining enclave with 16 restaurants with an al fresco courtyard. Each individual restaurant has its own (air-conditioned) space but if a group of people want different things, you may buy from any restaurant and gather at the courtyard. Although there are 16 restaurants here, I feel like many restaurants belong to the same “genre” and don’t provide much variety.

Farm and Fables, one of the 16 restaurants at Savourworld, took over the space of Garcons that also shares the area with Blotto Bottles, a wine shop. (It’s actually a good idea to get a bottle of wine to share with friends.) I don’t really like the name “Farm and Fables” because it misleads people into thinking that it’s a farm-to-table concept; I asked the cashier about it, he said brusquely, no it isn’t.

The menu is conceptualised by the Culinary Director Chef Derek Ang, who is in charge of the selection of restaurants here, and who used to work with the Prive Group. It’s a small menu with 4 meat mains (like fish and chips $ 13.90), and 4 pastas from about $ 11 to $ 24. When we were there, they didn’t have their signature, cured Norwegian salmon ($ 17.90), which looks interesting at jiak simi png.

We went for the beef ragu rigatoni ($ 12.90), ground beef in tomato sauce tossed in a tube-shaped pasta. It’s quite good. You can taste a real nice tanginess of the sauce, but it isn’t overpowering. The rule of the thumb is usually thick pasta for thick sauce but the pairing here is nice too. I wish we can add a meat on it because it seems too little for one person, although I cannot think of a meat that would have gone well with the pasta.

The 48-hour slow-cooked beef short ribs ($ 23.90) is the most expensive item on the menu, twice as much as the cheapest dish. It consists of 280g of bone-in Australian beef short rib on a bed of garlic mashed potato, doused in a thick veal sauce.

Mr Fitness likes short ribs very much but I don’t think the beef has been cooked for 48 hours. There is still a nice crunchy bite, which means the tough tissues haven’t broken down. If it’s cooked for 48 hours, it should be completely soft. But we actually prefer the texture to have a bite, so this is great for us. The garlic mash is very addictive too, and the sauce is addictive, very savoury.

One thing about Farm and Fables is that both of us weren’t full after the two dishes, so we ordered tacos from Spruce which has an outpost here. Hm… Spruce’s standards have deteriorated greatly.

In any case, Farm and Fables is not bad. The menu, though small, has some variety, and the food is pretty tasty.

We pay for the food we review anonymously.

Farm and Fables
Savourworld #01-27, 2 Science Park Drive Singapore 118222
tel: +65 6265 0992
11.30am-2.30pm, 5pm-9.30pm, closed Sun

Food: 6.75/10
Price/value: 6/10
Decor/ambience: 6/10
Service: 6/10

You may be interested in…
Summer Hill, Sunset Way: Rustic French Bistro by Former Chefs of Cocotte and Bird Bird
Half Pound Burger Bar, Purvis Street: Before It Closes for Good…
Merci Marcel, Tiong Bahru: Who is Marcel and Why Should We Thank Him?
The Masses, Bugis: Massively Good

Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.


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My Money @ Campus – A Series Of Carnivals That Gets You Financially-Savvy With Free Food And Games

My Money @ Campus 2018

My Money @ Campus - free games and food at polytechnics

You might be busy juggling school assignments and projects, but spare a thought for your personal finances. My Money @ Campus is launching a series of carnivals with game booths and food stalls that’ll teach you everything you need to know about the basics of money – it’s an easy way to start saving and investing wisely.

From May to July, My Money @ Campus will be making their way to Singapore’s polytechnics:

  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic – 24 May 2018, 10AM – 5PM
  • Nanyang Polytechnic – 29 June 2018, 10AM – 5PM
  • Temasek Polytechnic – 10 July 2018, 10AM – 5PM

There’ll also be seminars where you can learn how to manage your personal finances, to help understand finance concepts like saving, budgeting, and investing. The next seminar will be held at Ngee Ann Polytechnic featuring speakers who certainly know what they’re doing:

  • Bryan Choo, Founder, Managing Director of TSL Media – traits needed for entrepreneurship
  • Jake Tee, Associate Director, Investment (Consumer) of Temasek International – tips on saving and investing
  • Paul Liu, Head of Wholesale Distribution, Lombard Odier – tips on budgeting

Whether you’re up for a monopoly-inspired game on life insurance or a wheel spin for stocks, all credits earned from games can be used to redeem free food and drinks like ramly burgers and thai milk tea. Here’s what you can look forward to:

– Games –

My Money @ Campus - Carnival Card

All stalls are cashless, so grab a complimentary Carnival Card and make your way through the games to earn Space Gold credits – use them to redeem free food. Everyone starts with 300 Space Gold. Much like a stock market, the prices of food fluctuate depending on the demand of the crowd but when we were there, prices of food ranged from 550 to 700 Space Gold.

Note: you need to play the games to earn Space Gold, so make your way to the registration booth as soon as you reach!

The Molecules – ball toss

My Money @ Campus - The Molecules

Predict how many balls you can clear within two rounds, but make sure you aren’t overly ambitious in your estimation. The balls symbolise loans – meaning debt – so make sure you set realistic goals. You’ve just got 30 seconds per round, and the balls that aren’t cleared in the first round are multiplied by two for the second round – ugh, much like interest repayments.

22nd Century Stock – wheel spin

My Money @ Campus - 22nd Century Stock

Meant to replicate real-life scenarios in the stock market, this wheel spin offers up a bunch of different scenarios. From “Internet bubble burst” to “Epidemic disease”, pick stocks from various industries like food production and telecoms. Psst, the trick is to diversify so even when you spin the wheel thrice, you won’t be so greatly hit by any single situation.

Learn from our mistakes – we actually lost 100 Space Gold here because we were emotionally invested in pharmaceuticals and telecoms.

Cashuristic – spot the difference

My Money @ Campus - Cashuristic

There’ll be three information boards presented here, replicating the check-out pages of websites. Your job is to closely inspect the faux website to see which is trustworthy. In other words, which one isn’t scamming you? It’s pretty easy, especially when you notice only one site has features like a “https” URL and OTP requirement.

Space Runner – ball-in-a-maze puzzle

MY Money @ Campus - Space Runner

This reminds us of the ball-in-a-maze game we used to play as kids – but they were a lot smaller and easier to handle. Get more points by aiming for the green holes. The trick here is to strategise, depending on the level of risk you’re comfortable with. Those who are risk-averse will take the easiest route while those with a greater risk appetite will be navigating those booby traps to get higher returns.

Time Machine – insurance monopoly

My Money @ Campus - Time Machine

Here’s a giant game of monopoly. Find three other players and decide what type of insurance coverage you need. Everyone starts with $ 2k and there are different rates for life, health, and personal accident insurance. Although life insurance might be the priciest at $ 1k, it might be best choice if you’re unlucky enough to draw a Death card.

Since life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, it’s worth getting insurance coverage to help protect yourself from any unfortunate events.

– Food –

My Money @ Campus - Menu board

Since you’d have worked up an appetite while playing the games – physically and mentally – use all the Space Gold you’ve earned to reward yourself with some tasty food. Before deciding on what foods to dish out, My Money @ Campus polled students to find out what their favourite carnival foods were.

My Money @ Campus - Ramly burgers

You can savour sweet treats like popcorn, churros and thai milk tea as well as chow down on mains like ramly burgers and fish shnack – a don with your choice of meat that’s sprinkled all over with crisp fish skin. And the best part is, these foods might be free but they come in generous servings.

My Money @ Campus - Fish Shnack

We tried the Sh-Ken Don for 700 Space Gold. It came with honey miso chicken, a glorious onsen tamago, and sprinkled bits of fish skin on top of Japanese rice. Other options include: Sh-Nack Don – grilled beef with Cajun fish skin and Sh-Otah Don – grilled otah with tom yum fish skin.

Financial planning with My Money @ Campus

Financial planning doesn’t seem like it’ll be fun and games but it certainly is with My Money @ Campus’ fun game booths that’ll get you financially-savvy in no time. Head down to one of the polytechnics, and when you’re there, remember to take part in their IG photo contest to win prizes like a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera. Simply take a photo with their event poster and use the relevant hashtags.

Find out more about My Money @ Campus here!

This post was brought to you by MoneySENSE, ABS, and Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults.

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Shi De Fu Wanton Mee @ Geylang Baru Food Centre 实得福云吞面

Shi De Fu Wanton Mee @ Geylang Baru Food Centre 得福云吞面

More than 30 years of experience in whipping out numerous plates of wanton mee and continuous to win the hearts of diners, Shi De Fu has its success attributed to the culinary skills of Mr Tang, a trade that handed down from his parents few decades ago.

Shi De Fu serves traditional wanton noodles with various toppings, besides the standard dumplings with char Siew, Chicken feets, Pork ribs and Fried Dumplings are available. Curry Chicken is another signature dish on the menu as well.

There are many good wanton noodles around and Shi De Fu has its edge when come to their wanton noodles.

Wonton mee with Char Siew and dumpling $ 3.0

The soul of a good Wonton mee highly relied on the base sauce, it has to be savoury and yet flavourful to give the noodles a good boost to the overall taste, Shi De Fu’s recipe is good enough to leave a good impressive with its tantalizing taste. Both the Char Siew and dumplings complemented well the noodles. Don’t neglect the bowl of soup that served with the noodles, you will be surprised and perhaps impressed how tasty it is.

Wonton mee with Chicken feet $ 3.0

Chicken feet which consists of tendons, skin and cartilage, is rich in gelatinous collagen, when cooked right, it can be a tantalising dish for many who know how to appreciate the beauty of this gnarly and repulsive bird’s part.

Shi De Fu Chicken feet was well-braised to ensure the right tenderness, it was a pleasant to nibble around the bones and least hassle in sucking the soften tendon from the tiny phalanx bones. We wish a little more in the spices to give the flavour a notch higher to perfect the dish.

Wonton mee with Fried Dumplings $ 3.0

Curry Chicken $ 3.0

While wonton mee may be at the centre stage of Shi De Fu, curry chicken has given the anchored dish a challenge with the right substances present of a good curry chicken, the delectable gravy, tender chicken and potatoes to make the dish another good choice when dine here. The standard is good when compared to many other curry chicken around.

Fried dumpling $ 3.5

Fried dumpling is the signature at Shi De Fu and you got to give it a try, we have to agree the dish live up to the name, deep fried crisp wanton skin encased all the flavourful ingredients, we have a strong urge to go for second serving.

Our verdict:

Shi De Fu Wonton Mee can be one of the good choices when you visit the food centre. Besides the delectable noodles, don’t miss out to order the fried dumplings or try the curry chicken noodles as well, you wouldn’t be disappointed with it.

A: 69 Geylang Bahru #01-65 Geylang Bahru Food Centre Singapore 330069

H: Mon to Sun 7am – 2pm, 4.30pm – 7pm Closed on Thursdays

Disclaimer: This is a Media Invite food review, Ieatandeat will pay the cost of the meal if the food is not up to the expectations and no review will be published.

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I Eat And Eat

Tonny Restaurant: Progressive Cantonese Cuisine

I have known of Chef Tonny since I started writing this blog in 2006 but somehow I never got to eat at his restaurant till recently.  Chef Tonny is one of those few Chinese chefs who are known by their names. When you eat at most Chinese restaurants, you probably won’t know who is cooking your food.  But here, Chef Tonny is the man behind the wok!

Tonny Chan, 56, (it was supposed to be Tony but was spelt Tonny by mistake and the rest is, as they say, history) has been cooking in various restaurants in Hong Kong since he was 17.  He arrived in Singapore in 1989 to work at East Ocean before moving on to Victory City.  He started his first restaurant, Shatin Kitchen in 2003 but by the time I ate there in 2006, he had already left to start his eponymous restaurant.

Chef is known for his very innovative dishes and he is not afraid of using stuff which are not considered traditional Chinese ingredients. Our starter dish of shredded yam with truffle oil is a good example of the kind of fusion dishes that Tonny likes to do.  He shreds yam to thin slivers and deep fries them to a crisp before tossing it in a truffle scented sauce.  It actually worked quite well!  4.25/5

The most impressive dish of the day was his lotus leaf wild rice with house-cured wax pork and lup cheong.  Chef uses Canadian Wild rice which he can only procure through the internet.  The is not as easy to prepare as normal rice as it has to be soaked and steamed for hours before it is used for the dish.  The wild rice had a very amazing texture which was a joy the eat. It’s long and spindly with a bite like black glutinous rice, except more refined.  It was made more enjoyable by aroma of his excellent lup cheong and house-cured pork belly! 4.5/5 (Pre-order required)

I asked Chef why he bothers to cure his own pork belly since it is easily available from suppliers.  What he told me is exemplifies his whole approach to his craft.  It was simply so that his customers can taste something  different from other restaurants!

His steamed cabbage with conpoy (onomatopoetic for 干贝 ie dried scallops) is a simple dish but the execution was superb.  The cabbage was steamed till tender and bathed in a gravy made with scallops and topped with more crispy, shredded scallops.  I have come across many renditions of stewed cabbage but this was the most impressive!  4.25/5

The Cantonese are always big on soups, so you can expect some serious soups here.  We were served a North-South almond, black chicken soup which really grew on us as we ate it.  The nutty and mildly creamy soup is made from Northern and Southern almonds.  The reason for this is that the Northern almonds are more fragrant but tends to be bitter so both are used to create a soup with good balance.  The flavour was a little startling at first, but it kind of grows on you and really warms you up.  If you don’t like almond jelly, you won’t enjoy this.  But if you do, then this is going to shatter your paradigm of what you can use this traditional Chinese medicinal herb for.  4/5

Our next dish was Soon Hock fish smoked in Chinese herbs.  What chef did was to deep fry the fish first, then smoke it in the wok with Chinese spices like cinnamon and bay leaves,  then coat it with a sweet and savoury sauce.  We couldn’t really taste the smoke, but the sauce which was warm and woodsy with hints of licorice that was quite unique.  4/5

His braised beef shank tasted like a cross between Cantonese braised beef brisket (ngau lum) and a western style beef stew.  The beef was very tender but I felt the sauce could do with more punch. 3.5/5

For dessert we had this very nice pumpkin cakes.  It was crisp on the outside, and chewy on the inside and resonated with all our makan kakis.  4.25/5


Great place for an interesting Chinese meal. There is no doubt that Chef Tonny is a master of Cantonese cuisine, but his culinary sense of adventure means that a meal here is a meal of discovery as well as enjoyment.

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9 Online Grocery Shopping Sites In Singapore For When You're Too Lazy To Leave Home

Online grocery stores in Singapore

Online grocery stores in Singapore cover image

Image adapted from: @dannarodeza30, @ubaidihazim

There is a bit of a typical aunty in every Singaporean, regardless of age or gender. Truly, nothing beats the glee of snagging a good deal, even if the savings are a teeny tiny amount.

Enter online grocery shopping. The fact that it’s convenient is a given – you don’t even need to lift yourself off your bed. But on top of that, what most aren’t aware of is that many of them run weekly promotions, flash sales and the like.

We sifted out these top 9 online supermarkets with regular deals sure to switch on the aunty mode in you.

1. Go fresh – flash sales for meat and seafood

 Go fresh flash sales

Image credit: Go Fresh

If you’re one of them aunties, head straight to the flash sales section on Go Fresh’s homepage. Meat and seafood items are often the ones most featured here. Hit up this site if those ingredients are going to be used in your Restaurante de Home soon.

Next day delivery is available for orders placed before 3pm.

Delivery fee: $ 15, free with purchase above $ 60.

2. Redmart – 30,000 items on sale daily


Image credit: Insider Retail

No one really knows why Redmart is named as such. But what we do know, is that there are about 30,000 items going at a discounted price (up to ~50%) every day – and really, that’s all that matters.

Hailed as one of the largest online grocery shopping sites in Singapore, Redmart carries all kinds of items, from necessities like cooking ingredients to home decor and children’s books.

Redmart ss

Image credit: Redmart

Delivery is free with purchases over $ 49. If you are a live-up member, there’s no delivery charge regardless of whether you buy a set of furniture or just an avocado.

Delivery fee: $ 7, free with purchase over $ 49 ($ 30 for first-time customers).

3. EAMART – 5% rebate

Prima taste chicken rice paste

Image credit: Tirakita

Rebates don’t just exist for your Passion Card. EAMART gives you a 5% rebate (with min spend of $ 150/month) for all purchases. This will be stored into your EAMART account, ready to be redeemed in your next order.

They also have a sales category featuring chopped down prices for more than 3,000 products.

Delivery fee: free with no min purchase.

4. Giant Online – bulk specials

Giant Online Bulk Deals

From The Greatest Showman’s Jenny Lind, we all know some things are never enough. But she never came across Giant’s bulk deals.

For the snack monsters out there, this section is where you can find things like a set of 24 packs of roasted peanuts and 1 kg of prawn crackers. You can also turn to this section to stock up on munchies and beverages for parties. 

Other than that, Giant Online offers its usual gigantic range of products from groceries to home furnishings to apparels – all with same day delivery.

Delivery fee: $ 7, free with purchase over $ 59.

5. TwentyOff – up to 20% off total bill and free delivery

Giant Online Bulk Deals

Image adapted from: @dannarodeza30, @ubaidihazim

This one’s a gem that most of you are probably unfamiliar with. TwentyOff’s website might seem unassuming at first glance, but it has one really cool feature – a tiered discount system where you can save up to 20% off your total bill.

Here’s how it works:

  • Purchase of $ 50-$ 99: 10% off
  • Purchase of $ 100-$ 149.99: 15% off
  • Purchase of $ 150 and above: 20% off

With their wide variety of items, ranging from organic food to health supplements, it won’t be hard to hit the minimum spend to be eligible for the discounts.

On top of saving you some dollars, TwentyOff also helps to save the earth. The company’s main aim is to promote bulk buying which will help reduce your carbon footprint. To live up to their philosophy, TwentyOff swears off plastic bags in their delivery.

But regardless of how big or small your purchase is, there are zero delivery charges for all orders! Delivery is available from 8am to 8pm daily, in 2h time slots.

Delivery fee: free, no minimum purchase.

6. Cold Storage Online Store – weekly deals

Cold Storage Online Store weekly deals

Image credit: Small Footprint Family

With new items refreshed regularly in their weekly sales, Cold Storage Online is definitely one to keep on tab.

Known to offer a slightly more gourmet range to your everyday groceries, their sales often contain organic snacks and fruits that might be hard to find in other supermarkets – like figs and blackberries.

Delivery fee: $ 7, free with purchase over $ 59. 

7. Fairprice On – slashed prices with clearance sales

Fairprice On Paleco Crumble Cacao spice

Fairprice generally has some of the most affordable prices when it comes to supermarkets here. But online, on Fairprice On, the prices fall even more with their clearance sales

For all things that have reached the end of season, are near expiry, or are simply overstocked, price tag numbers drop like hot potatoes.

Their delivery scheme allows you to choose from 2h delivery time slots, from 10am to 10pm daily – perfect for those who are rarely home. And if you’re the kind who always OTs with random panggang timings, there is also a special Click and Collect ($ 3) option where your items can be picked up anytime from one of the 70 collection points around the island.

Delivery fee: $ 7, free with purchase over $ 59.

8. All For You by Sheng Siong – promos for food and household items

All For You by Sheng Siong strawberry

Image credit: My Fruit

With All For You there is a whole range of products available for you to toss into your online cart. Alongside the typical fruits, vegetable and dairy, there are also electrical appliances and pet feed available.

But before you click “check out”, visit their promotions page where there are a bunch of items on sale, all listed by category for ease of shopping.

Delivery fee: $ 6, free with purchase over $ 100.

9. Fresh by honestbee – sales items from various stores

 Fresh by honestbee delivery van

Image credit: honestbee

You’ve bound to have seen honestbee’s yellow smiling bee logo somewhere. With products sourced from various partners and merchants, it has everything you need from groceries to ready-to-eat food from it’s 70 stores.

If you are looking to get bang for your buck, check out the promotions under Fresh by honestbee, where poultry, fruits and instant pizzas are put up at slashed prices.

For those last minute chiongsters, this site has same-day delivery available with 1h time-slots to choose from, between 11am and 10pm daily.

Delivery fee: $ 4.99, free with purchase over $ 30.

Shop for groceries online and enjoy savings at the same time

As much as we love to have a feel of our groceries before getting them, shortage of time – and *cough* the need to put in effort to leave our rooms – can be a deterrent. But thankfully, with these online grocery stores and their promotions, we can now save time and a couple of bucks while we’re at it.

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After Some Admin Nightmare, I Upgraded my Skills and Took a UK WSET Certified Wine Course for Free!

Initially, I wrote a long preface about the admin nightmare of getting information from SkillsFuture and the service provider of the WSET course but nobody wants to read the shit. And I deleted 500 words. I want to talk about my positive experience with the wine course.

My friend who has a masters degree in wine recommended WSET when I asked her for a reputatable wine course. WSET gives certification if you pass the test and the certificate is recognised worldwide. I used my skillsfuture credit so the course is free! Yay!

On the day of the course, 11 April, the most reliable MRT line in Singapore broke down and the MRT station looked like the last 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. A woman next to me screamed, “The surge on Grab is $ 55?!” I almost never take train in the morning and my bad luck had affected people living in the northeast. I deeply apologise.

Yay! Breakfast was provided

After some trouble, I took a cab and the driver was a foulmouthed Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious. “KNN LJ Singaporeans don’t know how to drive.” We nearly got into accident a few times as he chased behind an ambulance van. I think his favorite song is Nikki Minaj’s “Va Va Voom.”

I arrived at 9.15am and the 9am course had already started. If you’re late for more than 30 minutes, you cannot take the class. It was a beginner’s class, level 1, but the course material and the students–most of them are wine aficionados like me or people in the service industry with lots of experience, sponsored by their hotels or restaurants–are not beginners. I’ve attended wine tastings before and I have some knowledge but I was intimidated by the course and my classmates.

Want to know what tannin is? Peel a grape. Eat the skin. Then eat the peeled grape. Then eat a normal grape. The skin is the tannin.

The course is divided into three sections. In the first, our excellent and super knowledgeable instructor taught about the characteristics of different wines. This section, I feel, is super interesting but way too short. How did the test expect us to answer questions like “what are the flavours of Shiraz” and “name a medium bodied wine”? (“black fruits, spice, herbaceous” and “White Zinfandel from New Zealand.”)

Then we had a practical, a wine tasting session at 11 a.m. Drinking at 11 in the morning! I’m a real housewife from any of the “Real Housewives” series. During this time, some mid-morning snacks were provided. I treated it as a buffet and kept eating. Not shy.

Moving into Section Two, they talked about how to take care of wine to serve it at optimal taste. A boring but essential topic.

Break for lunch. You have to pay on your own, no complimentary lunch. I took this opportunity to mug for the test later. But no one else was studying! I was the only one memorizing like crazy.

Last section is on pairing wine with food: For instance, sweet food is most problematic and exacerbates wines’ worst properties, so sweet food should go best with sweet wines like Riesling and moscato.

After listening to the instructor explain about the pairing, there was a practical round of wine tasting with food, which was fantastic and super fun. We ate smoked salmon (classified as “umami food” under the syllabus) and drank an oaked Chardonnay, and the salmon turned the wine undrinkable. But on the second tasting, adding salt and lemon juice to the salmon, the wine returned to its original citrus, creamy taste.

We also tried cake (“sweet food”) with Chianti Riserva, and the cake accentuated all the negative traits of the wine, making it more tannic and more acidic. Then we tried the cake with a German Riesling Spatlese,  which went really well together.

Funny thing: the couple in front of me treated the class like an open bar. Instead of swirling the wine in the mouth and spitting it out (because it’s gross to drink gargled wine), they just drank all the 9 glasses of wine and refilled their glasses. They also stacked up food on their plates like hungry refugees.

Then, 10 minutes later, we had our test. They were drunk while taking the test. They were trying to be discreet about their cheating… but since they were drunk, they couldn’t whisper, and had to slur audibly. HAHAHA.

tea break!

The guys behind me, who are from a certain 5-star hotel in Singapore, were cheating too. I don’t mind them cheating since this is a pass/fail course–everyone who scores 21/30 and better will pass–and I know I’ll pass as I studied during lunch. But if this is graded on a bell-curve, I would seriously be pissed off.

I’m not saying I condone cheating–people should never cheat and I didn’t–but there is a difference between taking the test as a hobby and as a career. It’s semi-ok to cheat for ordinary people like me who take the course out of interest but for people making a career out of it, isn’t it best to study and make a serious effort? Besides, they are representing their hotel; it’s not very nice to cheat and I know their hotel PR.

Anyway, not to distract from this post, I enjoyed my experience with this class immensely. It’s informative, educational, and fun. The teacher is super knowledgable and dedicated. I particularly appreciate how they meld theory and practice together.

But my suggestion is to teach quickly—there were some amicable but useless chatter during class–and leave 2 hours for students to study before the exam. Even when I took lunch time to study, I was left with two more pages that I didn’t memorise in time. But I received my test results: I scored 93%! Sad, how come not 100??? #humblebrag

In any case, I highly recommend this course. Does anyone know if the SkillsFuture credit is topped up yearly? I want to take Level 2 of the course.

Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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