Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Sugarhall – Vanessa Tai

Good food, great drinks, excellent atmosphere. If a restaurant can do all three well, you probably have a recipe for success. Sugarhall checks all three boxes, and then some. By Vanessa Tai

This place was packed even on a Wednesday evening, a testament to its success.

It looks empty in this picture, but Sugarhall was packed when we were there on a Wednesday evening, which is a testament to its success.

The first thing that strikes you when you step into Sugarhall is its lively vibe. With its muted lighting, earthy interiors, and energetic playlist of vintage Latin, Ska, and Jamaican reggae, it’s hard not to feel perked up instantly. Deborah and I were recently there for a media tasting on a Wednesday evening and at 6.30pm, the place was already filling up with office workers chasing down a good, stiff after-work drink. Well, with the bar being helmed by Jigger & Pony’s bar manager Aki Eguchi, you can be sure the cocktails at Sugarhall more than deliver.

The owners of Sugarhall are the same folks who brought you Jigger & Pony (which is actually right next door), and the husband-and-wife team are determined to continue delivering the same top-quality, edgy cocktails that gave Jigger & Pony its fame.

Deborah had the Especial Martini, which is a blend of Brugal Extra Dry Rum, Cocchi Americano, and a mezcal-washed pickled quail’s egg (yup, you read right!) It’s not as strange as it sounds, and actually washes down nicely with the drink. I had the Bumbo Old Fashioned – a mix of El Dorado 12 YO Rum, demerara sugar, nutmeg tincture, and cinnamon. Sounds more like a dessert, right? But don’t be fooled; the cocktails at Sugarhall are potent. Don’t worry about getting too intoxicated though. The owners have thoughtfully created a menu where each cocktail comes with “Hungry to Full” indicators so you can pick a drink according to your appetite. So, if you’re famished, you might want to order a lighter-bodied concoction versus a richer, full-bodied cocktail.

Grilled Tiger Prawns

Grilled Tiger Prawns

With Sugarhall, the owners have expanded their repertoire beyond just drinks by offering an extensive flame-grilled menu. The kitchen is headed up by Polo Seah, a former alumnus of W Hotel’s steakhouse SKIRT, and you can expect a selection of meats and seafood, all carefully grilled over a wooden fire. Here, they make use of two types of wood, one from Thailand (to cook the food) and another from Japan (to keep the fire going). They also use wood chips from USA, which lends the grilled meats an aromatic, smoky flavour.

Pork Chop, Grilled Cauliflower and Roasted Beetroot

Pork Chop, Grilled Cauliflower and Roasted Beetroot

While the meats were delicious in their own right, what truly impressed us were the selections “from the garden”. This is where the chef gets to flex his creative muscles and create side dishes that are fun and inventive. Our favourite was the Creamy Mushrooms; which, despite the generous serving of cream, wasn’t stodgy and actually lent a nice contrast of textures to the meats. Another side dish we enjoyed was the Grilled Cauliflower, which came with bacon, burnt butter, capers, and hazelnut. The medley of flavours wowed everyone at the table, including Deborah, who’s a bonafide carnivore … so that’s saying something.

Grilled Cauliflower

Grilled Cauliflower

If you’re looking for a fun night out, Sugarhall — with its laidback vibe, unpretentious food and kickass cocktails — comes highly recommended.

Sugarhall is located at 102 Amoy Street, Tel: 6222 9102, Website: www.sugarhall.sg

 

Material World was invited for a tasting at Sugarhall and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Portico – Vanessa Tai

When two foodies join forces to create a new venture, you’ll know you’re in for a lip-smackingly good time. Portico is a collaboration between the owners behind the insanely popular Cicely Kitchen and Le Patio at Pasarbella, and looks set to be another culinary hit.

Dining at Portico is like having a meal at a good friend’s home. Executive Chef Leandros Stagogiannis, who comes from a background of famous fine dining restaurants like The Fat Duck in the UK, was tired of fancy OTT cooking styles and wanted to go back to the basics. Everything at Portico is prepared with traditional methods; you won’t find any molecular gastronomy tools or sous vide equipment here. The food is hearty and unpretentious, and served on a cheerful medley of mismatched crockery. Even the herbs used in the dishes have been handpicked from the restaurant’s own herb garden!

Crispy sweetbread, onion puree and heart of palm salad, $17 or $29

Crispy sweetbread, onion puree and heart of palm salad, $17 or $29

This profusion of fresh herbs was immediately apparent in the first dish we tried, Fried Herb-Crusted Chicken Wings. The fragrance of rosemary and thyme elevated this humble snack to something, dare I say it, gourmet. Apart from using herbs from his own garden, Chef Leandros also works with several trusted local and regional producers to obtain certain elusive ingredients. For example, we had a dish of Crispy Sweetbread, Onion Puree and Heart of Palm Salad. Heart of Palm is a type of vegetable that’s harvested from the inner core of particular palm trees. The Heart of Palm you get at Portico has been imported from Bali and has a bright, subtly sweet flavour. Of course, the star of the dish is the crispy sweetbread. This pretty-sounding name is actually a culinary euphemism for a gland obtained from a cow. Yes, I was a little apprehensive before I took a bite but the crispy breadcrumbs masked any gamey taste I was expecting. It was actually pretty tasty! The initial crispiness also gives way to a chewy texture that’s similar to that of foie gras.

 

 

Sea Bass fish and chips, crushed peas and fresh mint, $19

Sea Bass fish and chips, crushed peas and fresh mint, $19

Another dish, the Sea Bass Fish & Chips also has an interesting backstory. Chef Leandros gets his sea bass directly from a supplier off Pulau Ubin. After the fish have been caught, they’re delivered to the restaurant within two hours. You really can’t get any fresher than that! While the fish is encased in Tiger Beer batter, the freshness is apparent from the first bite – the flesh tastes clean, and is firm and robust. Unlike other fish and chips, which can taste stodgy after awhile, the version at Portico is refreshingly light on the palate. This is probably because it’s served with a side of crushed peas and fresh mint. The refreshing aftertaste of mint helps relieve any feeling of heaviness you might feel. For a truly refreshing dish though, I highly recommend the Grape and Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Peas and Fresh Raspberries. It’s a deceivingly simple dish but is chockfull of flavours. The dish includes diced cooked watermelon pieces, which is packed with concentrated juice, and a generous serving of high-quality Spanish olive oil.

 

Braised wagyu beef cheek and bourguignon sauce, $27

Braised wagyu beef cheek and bourguignon sauce, $27

 

If you’re in the mood for a heartier meal, the chef’s pièce de résistance – Red Wine-Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek and Bourguignon Sauce – truly hits the spot. The meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender and is accompanied by amazingly smooth mashed potatoes. Apparently, the secret behind the silky texture of the potatoes is a liberal amount of butter used, but you’ll be too busy stuffing your face with this dreamy concoction to care just how much butter was used. Although the dish is served with fresh Nashi pears and a sprinkling of spring onions to help cut through the heaviness of the meat and sauce, it can still be a bit unmanageable for just one person. It’s probably wise to share this dish. That way, you can try more items and still have room for dessert!

For desserts, there are options for both the “safe” and “adventurous” diner. For a safe option, you can’t go wrong with the Manjari H2O Ganache with Sweet Corn Sorbet and Roasted Hazelnuts. Ganache is usually a rich dessert made with cream and chocolate, but this version is made with water (hence the “H2O”) and is lighter on the palate. If you prefer to try something a little more unusual, go for the Tart Aux Citron and Onion Ice Cream. The latter may sound weird, but it’s actually not that bad tasting – it tastes like a creamy version of caramelised onions. And the truth is, the zesty tang of the lemon tart masks any lingering flavours of onions.

Tart Aux Citron and Onion Ice Cream, $14

Tart Aux Citron and Onion Ice Cream, $14

In fact, I actually like the fact that the desserts at Portico each come with some sort of savoury element. For example, another dessert comes with a blend of dragonfruit and mangoes tossed together with sugar snap peas. These little savoury touches balance out the sweetness of the desserts, and prevent them from becoming too cloying.

Dragonfruit, mango and sugar snap pea fruit salad, lychee shaved ice, $13

Dragonfruit, mango and sugar snap pea fruit salad, lychee shaved ice, $13

Portico is located at 991B Alexandra Road, #01-10, Tel: 6276 7337. Closed on Sundays. 

Material World was invited for a tasting at Portico and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Food News, Lifestyle

Brunch Spots To Check Out This Weekend – Vanessa Tai

When it comes to brunch spots in Singapore, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice. There seems to be a new one opening every other weekend, but restaurants here are also upping their ante by offering dedicated brunch menus on top of their existing menus. We check out three. 

For something casual, try Pies & Coffee

Like the gourmet pies they’ve been dishing out for the past two years, the brunch items you’ll get at Pies & Coffee are simple, unpretentious fare. Enjoy familiar brunch favourites such as its signature breakfast set, the Hearty Brekkie, which comes with lightly toasted Belgian waffles, a juicy piece of cheesy chicken sausage, and a generous serving of scrambled eggs.

Sunriser, $11.90

Sunriser, $11.90

Probably because they are better known for their pies, I still preferred the Sunriser, which is a dish of truffle mash and cheesy chicken sausage poured into crispy pastry cups before being topped with a whole egg. This baked treat gives you a delightful medley of flavours – from the soft, velvety texture of the eggs to the savoury chewiness of the sausage.

For a full listings of Pies & Coffee outlets, click here.  Brunch is available daily, from 8.30am to 3pm.

For a big bang for your buck, try Balzac Brasserie 

Balzac Brasserie’s Executive Chef, Jean-Charles Dubois is a man of many talents. Apart from whipping up hearty, delicious French nosh, the affable father of two also found time to co-author a cookbook for children. The book, “Around the World with Sophie and Remy” was modelled after his two young children, and tells the tale of two kids who travel around the world, learning to cook national dishes from 12 different countries. The next time you pop by Balzac Brasserie, be sure to pick up a copy of the book! Proceeds from the book go to Open Book, a non-governmental organisation behind a library in Phnom Penh that provides a safe place for all to read, including children who live on the city’s streets.

When he’s not busy penning cookbooks, Chef Dubois has his hands full creating inventive new dishes. His brunch menu is a nod to traditional French cooking, sprinkled with a couple of exotic indulgences. For example, Dubois’ Lobster’s Bisque comes with a serving of sautéed organic mini black Qwehli prawns, which are premium shrimp from Mozambique. You would think having a bunch of shrimps in your soup would make it unbearably salty, but they actually add a nice crunch to the creamy bisque. For mains, Balzac offers several communal dishes, one of them being the Sautéed Free Range Yellow French Chicken served with Potato, Lardons and Onion. Imported from southwest France (just below the wine region of Bordeaux), the chicken is plump and juicy, with tender meat that soaks up the flavours from the lardons and onions.

Sautéed Free Range Yellow French Chicken served with Potato, Lardons and Onion

Sautéed Free Range Yellow French Chicken served with Potato, Lardons and Onion

Braised Spanish Pork with French Lentils and Natural Jus

Braised Spanish Pork with French Lentils and Natural Jus

Another communal dish that I absolutely loved was the Braised Spanish Pork with French Lentils and Natural Jus. Think of the best char siew you’ve ever had, and multiply that flavour by ten. That’s how flavourful this dish is, and the subtlety of the lentils is a genius accompaniment to the robust flavours of the pork. Mmm … my mouth is watering even as I type this.

For dessert, I would recommend the Lemon Tart with French Meringue. The lemon tarts that I’ve tried at other places tend to cop out and add too much sugar, which defeats the purpose because it overpowers the natural tartness of the lemon. I love the sharp and tangy flavours of Balzac’s Lemon Tart; it’s the perfect ending to a filling and satisfying meal.

Balzac Brasserie & Bar is located at #01-01 Rendezvous Gallery, 9 Bras Basah Road, Tel: 6336 0797. The brunch menu is available at $58++, on Saturdays and Sundays, from
11am to 3pm. 

For an all-out indulgence, try KU DÉ TA

At first glance, the brunch menu at KU DÉ TA appears to be terribly overpriced, but if you consider the amount of food you’re getting, it’s actually great value for money. And no, you won’t be getting the done-to-death Eggs Benedict here. Executive Chef Frederic Faucheux is determined to go beyond the usual brunch suspects like bacon and eggs, and create brunch food that retain a distinctively Asian flavour. Kick off your meal with a platter of freshly shucked oysters, salmon sashimi, and tuna tataki. The seafood is fresh and succulent, without any of that briny aftertaste.

Oysters, Salmon Sashimi, and Tuna Tataki

Oysters, Salmon Sashimi, and Tuna Tataki

 

Asian Omelette

Asian Omelette

One of the new brunch items to try is the Asian omelette with tuna. Inspired by the Japanese Okonomiyaki (a type of grilled savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients), this stuffed omelette is comfort food at its best. Another new item worth trying is the Prawn Salad with Glass Noodles, which comes with a lavish serving of fresh prawns heaped atop a bed of glass noodles and topped with seaweed flakes. For dessert, go wild at the all-you-can-eat buffet spread! The mouthwatering array of sweet treats all come in tantalising bite-sized portions, so you can try as many as you want.

KU DÉ TA is located at 1 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands SkyPark, Tel: 6688 7688. The brunch menu is available at $98++ or $178++ (with Champagne) on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am to 3.30pm. 

Material World was invited for a tasting at the abovementioned restaurants and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Lifestyle

26 Things To Put On Your April Watchlist

It’s no April Fool’s joke – there really ARE that many things to check out, try and buy this month! Bring it on, we say. 

A is for All-You-Can-Eat Easter Buffet

Spuds & Apron – a new dining spot on Mount Faber – is offering an all-you-can-eat Easter Buffet on 20 April 2014. Tuck into a sumptuous spread of sashimi, seafood, roast and hot-cross buns, and more for just $55++ per adult and $18++ per child aged 3 to 12. Make your reservation at 6377 9688 or customerservice@mountfaber.com.sg.

B is for Boats & Beats

Come April, partying on a yacht won’t just be the privilege of the rich and famous. Belvedere Vodka has partnered with AOS Collective and Sunshine Nation – the people behind the successful yacht party travel series – to organise this awesome event, which is set to take place April 26, 2014. 10 yachts will set sail from One°15 Marina Club at Sentosa Cove and will drop their anchors at Lazarus Island so revellers can party the night away.

Tickets are at $175 per person, inclusive of two complimentary Belvedere Vodka cocktails, available at http://www.boatsandbeats.com.

C is for Centrum for Women

Centrum For Women

Did you know that half of the Singapore population eat their meals at hawker centres/food courts/coffeeshops at least six times a week? According to a spokesperson from multivitamin brand Centrum, an unbalanced diet can result in chronic health conditions such as osteoporosis, birth defects and anemia due to a deficit in certain nutrients. This is why multivitamins are recommended since they cover a wide range of vitamins. Scientifically formulated to meet women’s nutritional needs, Centrum for Women helps ensure you receive the right nutrition, giving you benefits like healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as improved immunity and bone health.

Centrum for Women, $42 for a bottle of 60 tablets, is available at major health and personal care pharmacies.

WANTED: We need you to spare 5 minutes to take this survey on health supplements! Click here and do help ask your male friends to join in too!

D is for Diamond Kitchen

Diamond Kitchen - Gan Xiang Crab

How much do we love this new zi char restaurant in the East? Let’s just say that we were initially quite reluctant to share it as it’s already packing in the crowds as it is. The seafood here is the freshest and most well-prepared we’ve had in awhile; standout items include the sinfully irresistable Salted Egg Sotong, and the Gan Xiang Crab. We love how the “gan xiang” spices did well to enhance the crab’s sweetness without overpowering it. It’s comfort food at its best, with prices that won’t break the bank.

Diamond Kitchen is at #01-22/23 Laguna Park. Tel: 6448 0629 (Reservations are highly advised)

E is for Elba by Mileti

material world_mileti

If there’s one good thing about living so near the Equator, it’s getting to wear pretty swimwear all year round. Homegrown label Mileti has recently launched their latest collection, Elba, which is a vibrant mix of pastel colours, vivid hues, and loud, shiny prints. Anyone up for a pool party?

Mileti swimwear is available online at www.miletiswimwear.com.

F is for Fat Cow

Fine Wagyu beef, paired with fine whisky? Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? This dream food pairing is now available via a four-course meal at Fat Cow, available exclusively during the month of April. The Macallan 15 years will bring out the delicate flavours of chopped maguro over sushi rice, while the Macallan 18 years will enhance the smokiness of charcoal-grilled Wagyu. Mmm … our mouths are watering just typing this.

The Macallan Whisky Pairing dinner is priced at $138 and available at Fat Cow, #01-01 Camden Medical Centre.

G is for Girls Generation for Baby-G

material world_baby g

Whether or not you’re a fan of the Korean girl band, you can’t deny that the limited-edition watches in the collection are just. So. Pretty. There are three in the BA-111GG for all avid Baby-G collectors – black, green, and orange.

The watches in the BA-111GG collection are priced at $199 each and are available at all G-Factory outlets.

H is for Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream

Pint_CaramelConeExplosion_Std_3D

Haagen-Dazs introduces a brand new flavour this month – Caramel Cone Explosion! Ice cream fans will love the mix of creamy caramel ice cream, crunchy caramelised almonds, chocolate-coated cone pieces and thick caramel swirls. Every spoonful is guaranteed to be sheer dessert paradise!

Available at $14.50 per pint at all Haagen-Dazs outlets and major supermarkets.

I is for Insect-inspired Footwear

material world_on pedder

Yes, you read right. On Pedder is bringing in an entire range of footwear that feature butterfly heel detailings, blossoming flowers, and whimsical insect prints. Just in time for Spring, we say! This delightful collection is the brainchild of Sophia Webster of London, one of the hottest young designers in the fashion circuit today.

For a full listings of On Pedder outlets, click here.

J is for Jem’s Fashion Campaign

01_MRT PLATFORM PILLARS_P_FA

Fashion mavens who live in the western part of Singapore, rejoice! From April 17 to May 4, Jem will be holding its inaugural Spring/Summer fashion event with weekly themed fashion displays around the mall, as well as a street parade curated by our very own “Godfather of Fashion” Daniel Boey.

For more information on Jem’s fashion campaign, click here.

K is for Kids Capsule Collection from iROO

iROO_Tier 1_T-Shirt (Red)

Just in time for Mother’s Day (May 11), iROO will be launching a limited-edition Kids Capsule Collection, which consists of specially designed apparel for girls from four to five years old. From a cute navy dress to preppy striped jackets, you’ll definitely find something for your little princess.

The iROO Kids Capsule Collection, available from April 18 to May 11 at iROO boutiques islandwide, is available only as a gift with purchase with a minimum spending of $188.

L is for Lower East Side Tacqueria

Lower East Side Taqueria - Cuello de Pollo

Fried chicken neck seasoned with salt and white pepper

For an Easter feast with a twist, make your way to Lower East Side Tacqueria between Friday 18 and Sunday 20 April 2014. The Glorious Easter Feast, at $26 per person for a minimum of 4, features yummy dishes like the exotic Cuello de Pollo (fried chicken necks) and the buttery, cheesy chargrilled Elote (corn). The feast has a total of eight dishes, so go hungry!

Lower East Side Tacqueria is located at 19 East Coast Road. Call 6348 1302 to make your reservations.

M is for Maybelline Color Show Lipcolor

Maybelline Color Show
Lipsticks just got more fun with Maybelline Color Show! This April, 20 ultra chic shades will be introduced into the Color Show family in a myriad of Reds, Pinks, Nudes and Plums. At $9.90 each, you can experiment with these trendy shades to your heart’s content! Get these lippies at selected Watsons, Guardian, SaSa and supermarkets now.

N is for Nippon Paint

Nippon Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White_1-web

Those spots you see on the wall after a few years? That’s fungus such as mould and mildew – no surprise, considering Singapore’s humid conditions. Combat that problem with Nippon Odour-less Anti-Mould Ceiling White. Offering excellent coverage, it can be applied to a variety of surfaces, such as cement, plastered walls, and fibre boards.

For more information, visit www.nipponpaint.com.sg.

O is for Online Cheesecake Shop

material world_cat and fiddle

So … ever forgot about a friend or loved one’s birthday till the very last minute? New online cheesecake shop Cat and the Fiddle (www.catandthefiddle.com) is on hand to save the day. Offering 10 delectable selections from just $19.90, you can even personalise your cheesecake order and have it delivered the very next day. We haven’t tried the cakes ourselves, but so far, we’ve loving the quirky designs we’ve seen on the website.

P is for Pendant Necklaces

material world_amoresilver

 

If you’re looking for delicate and super-feminine silver necklaces, you have to check out online store Amore Silver. The pendants go from cute to intricate and, best of all, the prices are super friendly on the pocket. There is a 14 days no-questions-asked money-back guarantee so you can simply mail back the products for a full refund. But from what we are seeing, you have no need to. The pieces are made from 925 silver and are a breeze to match!

Check out Amore Silver’s delicate pendant necklaces at amoresilver.com now.

Q is for Quattro blade system

material world_bosch

Cooking just took on a whole new dimension with the Bosch MaxoMixxo hand blender. This nifty kitchen tool comes with 12 speed settings, 750 watts of power and a four-winged Quattro blade stainless steel foot, which makes whisking, dicing, and chopping an absolute breeze!

Bosch MaxoMixxo is available for $219 at all leading departmental and electrical stores islandwide,

R is for Rio

material world_rio

In line with their eco-friendly ethos, City Square Mall will be bringing you a series of nature-inspired animation films … all for FREE! This three-part series kicks off with the family-favourite Rio on April 11, Friday. Perfect way to wind down after a long week at work, we reckon.

City Square Mall Monthly Movie Madness will be screened at B1 Fountain Square.

S is for Shine-Free Skin

YvesRocher

Oily skin going out of control in this hot, hot weather? We are loving Yves Rocher’s Sebo Vegetal Mattifying Gel Cream, $24, and Pore Minimizing Serum, $30. The secret to this powerful shine-control range lies in the use of Baikal Powder – a purifier that restores freshness and mattness to the complexion. Check it out at Yves Rocher’s store at Westgate #02-16 today.

T is for Truffle

Isn’t it amazing how truffle makes everything instantly taste better? If you can’t get enough of this “black gold”, be sure to head down to District 10. Executive Chef Luca Pezzera has specially created a menu that includes items such as Homemade Angel Hair Pasta with Alba Black Truffle and Parmesan Cheese Sauce, and Black Angus Beef Burger with Alba Black Truffle. Yummy!

Available during lunch and dinner at District 10, #01-15/16/17 UE Square until April 18, 2014. For reservations, call 6738 4788.

U is for Uniqlo

material world_uniqlo

As if we need another reason to love Uniqlo! Everyone’s favourite casual-wear brand has announced an arty-farty tie up with MoMA (that’s the world-renowned Museum of Modern Art) to launch the SPRZ NY (Surprise New York) collection. Now you can wear the works of renowned artists like Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Ryan McGinness on your sleeve (or tote bag).

Uniqlo’s SPRZ NY collection is now available at Uniqlo outlets islandwide.

V is for Vacation

When it comes to travel, a bit of forward planning pays off. Book your Club Med holiday from now till April 30, 2014, and you can enjoy up to 40 percent off an all-inclusive package to two snow resorts in Asia – Club Med Sahoro (Hokkaido, Japan) and Yabuli (China). It’s the perfect opportunity to try skiing for the first time! Travel period: December 1, 2014 – April 30, 2015.

For more information, visit www.clubmed.com.sg or call 1800 Club Med.

W is for Wireless Portable Charger

material world_sony wireless charger

We are a demanding bunch. As if portable mobile phone chargers aren’t enough to satisfy today’s generation of on-the-go users, there is a rising demand of wireless chargers. Sony has recently rolled out their first of such a device: Sony CP-W5, a wireless charger that is compatible with Qi-compatible phones (read: not Apple). This inductive charging technology wirelessly charges using an electromagnetic field so you don’t have to carry a micro USB cable wherever you go – though you can also choose to charge it using the cable, if you prefer. When connected to an AC power supply, the CP-W5 serves as a charging plate; place your Qi-compatible device on it and both will be charged at the same time.

The Sony CP-W5 USB Portable Charger comes in white, and will be available from April 2014. Price unavailable at time of publication.

X is for Xtra Big Laughs

material world_happy ever laughter

We get it, life in Singapore can be stressful. Which is why all your favourite local comedians like Adrian Pang, Selena Tan, Hossan Leong, and Kumar are banding together this April for a laugh-a-minute evening of rib-tickling standup comedy. They will be cracking jokes about everything under the sun, and they promise that “Confirm Happiness Index up and Blood Pressure down.”

Tickets for Happy Ever Laughter are available at Sistic

Y is for Yoga

material world_meraki yoga

Yoga studios are a dime a dozen in Singapore, so when you do decide to commit to one, you’ll want to make sure it is a perfect fit. West-siders, here’s one for you. Meraki Yoga is a new boutique yoga studio located within the lush and quiet One North Residences, and is committed to small-group learning. To celebrate the launch of Meraki, the studio has an ongoing promotion of 40 percent extra classes with any class card package purchased.

For more information, click here.

Z is for Zero 

Zero fighter planes, that is. Hayao Miyazaki’s last film “The Wind Rises” tells the tale of real-life aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who designed many of the Japanese fighter planes during World War 2, including the Zero fighter. While several people have decried the film as glorifying the horrors of war, it’s really anything but. Instead, “The Wind Rises” is a quietly beautiful film about childhood dreams and a tender, enduring love. Like all Miyazaki films, there’s plenty to take in and think about, and you’ll be rapt from start to end.

The Wind Rises is now showing in selected theatres. 

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