Contests, Food News, Lifestyle

[A Sweet Pair] Enjoy Dessert And Artisan Tea From Anthesis

To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness month (click here for some need-to-know breast cancer facts), Material World has teamed up with restaurants across the island to bring you the A Sweet Pair promotion, where you get the chance to win a pair of desserts from a different establishment every couple of days.

Today’s giveaway is from newly-opened boulangerie-bistro, Anthesis. We were recently there for a media tasting, and was blown away by their wide selection of breads and desserts. Located along the Singapore River, this cosy 70-seater makes for a great brunch hangout. Plus, its alfresco area is pet-friendly as well so feel free to bring your pooches along!

In addition to freshly-baked bread, Anthesis also serves up scrumptious homemade desserts such as orange chocolate cake and sea salt chocolate caramel tart. The latter is an indulgent swirl of flavours lathered atop a crumbly tart base. The orange chocolate cake comes with hints of citrus for a zesty spin on your usual chocolate cake. These desserts are best paired with Anthesis’ well-curated range of artisan teas. Hailing from California, this range of premium organic tea comes in several unique flavours, but a house favourite is the White Acai. It is an uplifting white tea blend with refreshing fruity high notes of apple, blackcurrant and pineapple with acai powder, hibiscus and rosehip.

We’re giving away one slice of Sea Salt Caramel Tart (worth $6.50), one slice of Orange Chocolate Cake (worth $7.20) and a pot of Premium Tea blend (worth $9)!

Orange Chocolate Cake

Orange Chocolate Cake

Art of Tea available at Anthesis

Art of Tea available at Anthesis

To win this pair of sweet treats, simply follow the steps below:

1. Click on the Facebook button below and SHARE this post with your friends. Remember to TAG Material World’s Facebook Page on your post, and make sure your post is set to PUBLIC so we may verify that you have completed this step.

3. Click on this link to Like our Facebook Page. Only Material World’s followers qualify for this contest.

4. Private message us your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, mailing address and email address. State the name of the restaurant in your message.

Contest ends October 15, 2013, Tuesday.

Good luck!

Food News, Lifestyle

4 Carnivore-Approved Healthy Eating Places – Deborah Tan

Are you one of those who have to have meat at every meal? And if you don’t, you just feel like something is missing and you leave feeling unsatisfied? Well, that makes the two of us. I need to have meat. Even if I’m tucking into a healthy salad, I have to have some kind of meat in there to break the texture.

But this single-minded obsession with meat wasn’t healthy and, as I learned, causing me to miss out on a lot of places with food that are as tasty as they are wholesome. And, ever since I “accepted” that I was going to have to eat at organic and vegetarian cafes (the boyfriend, unfortunately, is a big fan of “clean eating”), my dining options have widened considerably. If I wasn’t feeling a full and heavy meal, an organic/vegetarian cafe is a good alternative – better than simply popping into Subway or a fastfood joint.

So here are four places highly recommended by folks around us, approved by the team, and loved by carnivores like Denise and I.

The Living Cafe
779 Bukit Timah Road


At The Living Cafe, the food does not contain red meat, cow dairy, white sugar, preservatives, additives and artificial colouring. While not strictly vegetarian, they do have a wide range of raw/raw-fusion dishes. I go there whenever I feel my system is a bit choked up with junk and gunk. They do a wonderful raw-food burger (TLC Burger) and I love their Flaxseed Chips. But initiates, you can try the Grilled Chicken Or Fish Brown Rice Bowl. Packed with flavours and textures, it is one satisfying, healthy meal in a bowl.

North South East West
200 Tanjong Katong Road


Despite what several websites and people may tell you, it is still in operation. I was amazed by how popular and crowded this 100% vegetarian restaurant got at lunchtime. The menu is EXTENSIVE. You’ll find local delights like laksa, satay beehoon, Hainanese “pork” chop rice, and Western dishes like baked rice and “fish” nuggets. I tried the Hainanese “pork” chop rice and found it tasty without being greasy or too salty. The curry was flavourful and very addictive. It can get quite hectic so don’t expect this to be some Zen, chill-out place.

Real Food
The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #B1-52
Tai Wah Building, 110 Killiney Road


The outlet at The Central is always crowded, I prefer the one at Killiney. Now, if you are in a rush, or expect your food to reach your table in under 10 minutes, don’t go to Real Food. Here, they make everything in small batches and from scratch. The person taking your order will also alert you if something you want is going to take a while to make. I love their Dumpling Noodles, a plate of it has like 5 full dumplings! If you are looking for something sweet, the French toast with apples and cinnamon is AWESOME (it’s so yums, I have to post up the picture too!).


The Rail Mall, 434 Upper Bukit Timah Road


If you order the nasi lemak or the bak kut teh, you are going to be IMPRESSED. SunnyChoice doesn’t “fake” the meat-component of these dishes. Instead they just cook stuff like mushrooms, toufu, and eggplant creatively to give these dishes the textures meat-eaters expect to have. The bak kut teh is my all-time favourite – it’s got a strong herbal taste and the mix of veggies and toufu guarantees a filling and satisfying meal. Another thing to order at SunnyChoice is the Hakka Abacus – bite-size discs made from yam. Only, instead of minced meat, they are using a flavourful stir-fry of shredded mushrooms and carrots. Again, this is such a yummy eat, I have to show it here.


About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits and hasn’t stopped thinking about the french toast at Real Food. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Anthesis – Vanessa Tai

Tired of the same ol’ brunch offerings and looking for a new spot for weekend brunches? Anthesis is a newly opened boulangerie-bistro at Robertson Quay, facing the Singapore River. Here, you’ll get an international variety of breads and pastries freshly baked every day on site. Carb lovers will have a field day choosing from the wide variety of breads available, from pumpkin seed, dark rye, multi-grain, walnut and olive.

You'll be spoiled for choice with Anthesis' extensive bread selection.

You’ll be spoiled for choice with Anthesis’ extensive bread selection.

I knew I would be loading up on carbs at Anthesis, so I made sure to go with an empty stomach, which turned out to be a good idea. My meal kicked off with a Bread Platter, $14, which comes with three varieties of bread of your choice as well as thinly-sliced Cheddar cheese, hummus, orange marmalade and strawberry preserves. By the way, even the orange marmalade and strawberry preserves are freshly made by the Anthesis chefs, so it doesn’t have that cloying sweetness some off-the-shelf brands tend to have. As part of my media tasting, I got to try five varieties of bread – dark rye, baguette, walnut, ciabatta and light rye. The bread tasted delightfully fresh, and had a nice, chewy texture complemented by a slightly crispy crust. My favourites were the walnut as it had a distinctively nutty flavour – which I love – as well as the light rye, which had hints of sourdough flavours. The homemade hummus, made with a blend of chickpeas, salt, pepper, lemon juice and onion, was very addictive … I would have kept stuffing my face if the next dish didn’t arrive just in time.

Tuna Tataki topped with avocado salsa on freshly baked bread

Tuna Tataki, $18, is one of Anthesis’ signature sandwiches. It’s seared tuna topped with avocado salsa set on top freshly baked olive focaccia. While the chefs recommend using focaccia for the sandwich, you can actually pair it with any bread of your choice. What I like about the Tuna Tataki is how it comes with different layers of flavours – from the chewiness of lightly seared tuna, to the abundant freshness of avocado and the spice of cracked pepper.

Banana Split Brioche French Toast Stack

Banana Split Brioche French Toast Stack

For something sweet, the Banana Split Brioche French Toast Stack, $16, comes highly recommended. A generous serving of strawberries, blackberries and caramelised bananas are stacked atop pillowy soft brioche toast, and layered with maple syrup and mascarpone cheese. The sweetness can get a little overwhelming for one person, so it might be a better idea to share it with a friend, or pair it with one of their many artisanal teas.

Premium tea blends from California

Premium tea blends from California

The teas at Anthesis are specially sourced from a organic specialty tea purveyor based in California. I tried the house favourite, White Acai, $9, which is a refreshing white tea blend that’s light on the palate. Another interesting blend is the Velvet Tea, $9, which has subtle caramel undertones. The coffee here is made with an exclusive blend of Brazilian Yellow Bourbon, Guatemala and Sumatra LinTong. I tried the Piccolo Latte, and found it a tad too acidic for my liking, but that’s possibly because I prefer my coffee with much more milk.

The stretch of restaurants along Robertson Quay fills up fast on weekends, so if you’re thinking of popping by Anthesis this weekend, be sure to go early. Oh, and the outdoor dining area is pet-friendly too so feel free to bring your dogs!

Anthesis is located at 86 Robertson Quay, #01-01 Robertson Blue, Tel: 6737 9873

Material World was invited to a tasting at Anthesis 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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Eco-Friendly Brands In Singapore – Vanessa Tai

You can’t escape it. For several months now, the “Save My World” song has been repeated ad nauseum on television and outdoor screens in malls. As cheesy as the lyrics are, the endless repetition has drummed the message into my head. But the big question is, how do we save our world? Apart from the obvious 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – being environmentally-conscious should be a part of your daily lifestyle in order to have any form of sustainable effect. That said, here’s a round-up of several homegrown eco-friendly brands to get you started.


Etrican – One of Singapore’s pioneering eco fashion labels, the apparel are surprisingly stylish and are all made from 100 percent certified organic cotton.

Stunning styles available at Etrican

Stunning styles available at Etrican

Saught – Talk about mining beauty from the ugly. This social enterprise creates jewelry from landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXOs)!

Touch The Toes – Yoga lovers, gear up at this cosy Arab Street boutique. The yoga wear are all made with sustainably produced organic cotton, bamboo blends and recycled/up-cycled materials … and feel incredibly soft against your skin!


Ecoorganics – This full-service hair salon offers treatments and hair colourings that are 100 percent free of ammonia, SLS, paraben, petroleum and artificial fragrance!

Auum – Calling themselves “the honest nail spa,” this nail salon specialises in vegan, animal-cruelty free and eco-friendly nail services that are safe even for kids and expecting mums!

material world singapore-AUUM

Auum Nail Spa

Bud Cosmetics – The founders know what they’re trying to achieve is ambitious, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Their mission? To bring you ethical, cruelty-free skincare and beauty products that really work.


d-Bodhi – Using materials like teak wood, pallet wood, iron, jeans and even boats, the designs here are nothing short of award-winning. Plus, d-Bodhi is FSC-certified. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is a worldwide independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation that promotes the responsible management of the world’s forests.

material world singapore-dbodhi

Eco-conscious designs from d-Bodhi

Mil-Soles – Pronounced as Mille-So-Les, the founder of this homeware brand sources for these handmade crafts and tableware from traditional artisans across Asia.


NTUC FairPrice at City Square Mall – Stocking over 200 biodegradable and environmentally friendly products, this supermarket goes the extra environmental mile by using only 100 percent bio-degradable shopping bags as well as implementing reverse vending machines for cans and bottles.

SuperNature – Established way back in 2001, what started as a small store selling organic fresh produce and groceries has blossomed to be the island’s leading retailer for all things organic.

Organic groceries at SuperNature

Organic groceries at SuperNature


Bamboobee – To me, cycling really is one of the best modes of transport – it’s cheap, it’s environmentally-friendly and helps you stay in shape. And these beautiful, bamboo-crafted bicycles take saving the environment to a whole new level.

I want this!

I want this!

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. Her family uses eco-friendly household cleaning products. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup, Skincare

5 Incredible Drugstore Buys – Vanessa Tai

As women living in Singapore, we are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to beauty and skincare products. From luxury European brands to Asian cult favourites, the choices are endless. Those of you who’ve popped into a drugstore to pick up a few necessities only to emerge with an armload of beauty products will know what I mean. Apart from the wide variety and affordability, most drugstore buys are also high in efficacy, giving you extra bang for your buck. Here are a few of of our top picks:

For Eyes: Clio Professional Gelpresso Gel Liner Mini Set, $25.90

For Eyes: Clio Professional Gelpresso Gel Liner Mini Set, $25.90

Why it’s incredible: This Korean brand of eyeliners have always been beloved for its creamy, smudge-proof formula. The colour palette (brown, blue, green, purple and black) in this limited-edition mini set complements Asian eye colours perfectly. Plus, with five different colours, you can create a different look for every day of the work week! A regular-sized eyeliner costs about $18.90, so this is truly great value.

For Lips: Maybelline Baby Lips Love New York, $5.90

For Lips: Maybelline Baby Lips Love New York, $5.90

Why it’s incredible: It’s formulated with Centella Essence, a type of herb that’s known for its healing benefits, keeping your lips hydrated for up to eight hours. And, according to clinical trials, people who used this lip balm consistently for a week found their puckers much softer (and we’re guessing, more kissable too!)

For Skin: Leaders Aquamarinal Cream, $34.50

  For Skin: Leaders Insolution Lab Aquamarinal 1032 Cream, $34.50

Why it’s incredible: This moisturising cream is made with deep ocean water and get this, over 70 different natural minerals! With so much goodness densely packed into one cream, you can be assured of a visibly brighter and plumper skin tone. What we like about it is how it’s 100 percent free of parabens, pigments and artificial fragrances.

For Body: Nip+Fab Multi Fix Oil, $19.90

For Body: Nip+Fab Multi-Fix Oil, $19.90

Why it’s incredible: As its name suggests, this multi-purpose oil helps with a myriad of fussy problems such as the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. In addition, its formulation of safflower oil moisturises your skin and gives it a beautiful sheen.

For Hair: Sukin Moisture Restoring Shampoo, $14.90

For Hair: Sukin Moisture Restoring Shampoo, $14.90

Why it’s incredible: It brings parched locks back to life with its nutrient-rich combination of rosehip oil, aloe vera and chamomile. Plus, it does so as gently as possible – Sukin products are completely free of sulphates, synthetic fragrances, harsh detergents, parabens and a slew of other nasty stuff.

All the abovementioned products are available at Watsons. This blog post was not paid for by any of the above brands. 

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