Adventures, Lifestyle

Why I Changed My Mind About Sentosa – Vanessa Tai

If you think Sentosa is just a tourist trap, you probably haven’t checked out all the exciting attractions the island has to offer. Vanessa Tai tells you which ones to zoom in on.

As a child, going to Sentosa was such a treat for my brother and I. We would constantly bug our parents to take us to the beach, to Fantasy Island, to the wax museum, and so on. Even as a teenager, my friends and I were there almost every other weekend to perfect our tans. However, as I got older and busier, somehow going to Sentosa didn’t seem as appealing anymore. There always seemed to be another more entertaining option elsewhere.

However, I completely changed my view of Sentosa during a recent visit with fellow co-founders Deborah and Lili. As you may know, the island recently underwent a marketing campaign where they’ve branded themselves as “The State of Fun.” And truly, there are so many different attractions and entertainment options available on the island now, one day doesn’t seem like enough. From high-octane activities like the Megazip or iFly to something more sedate like unwinding with a piña colada at Coastes, you’ll surely find something that hits that sweet spot.

Here are 4 activities you should check out:

If you’re with a date, Megazip

Picture this: You’re strapped to a harness and hoisted to a zip-line, 75m above ground. Within seconds, you’re whizzing along at 60km/h for 450m, feeling the wind in your face and hair as the scenery races past you. How thrilling is that!? This is why I highly recommend doing this with a date. It’s fun and exciting, and gives you a heady rush of adrenaline. Studies have shown that during the attraction phase of love, adrenaline is one of those powerful neurotransmitters that contribute to that lovey-dovey feeling. So, no harm having an additional shot of adrenaline to keep those feel-good feelings alive, eh?

Still need convincing? Check out this video of Deborah, Lili and I going on the “flight of our lives!”

If you’re with friends, Luge

material world_luge

A luge is sort of a hybrid of a sled and a go-kart, and comes with three wheels. It’s pretty simple to maneuver – you push the handlebars forward to accelerate and backwards to slow down. However, I’m actually a bit of a coward when it comes to operating any form of vehicle (my dismal go-karting performance is a running family joke) so I felt a familiar nervousness when I entered the luge.

My fears were unfounded once I actually started my descent down the hill. While you can control how fast you can go, the maximum speed is nothing too scary, even when you’re going downhill, and I soon found myself enjoying this leisurely ride down. In fact, I wished there were more people around me so I could race them! This is why I reckon it’ll be plenty of fun to go with a group of friends so you can race each other down the hill.

If you’re with your family, Sentosa 4D Adventure + Wings of Time 

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Have plenty of young cousins or nephews and nieces? Round them up and surprise them with a trip to the Sentosa 4D Adventure. There are four different simulator rides available here. Rock, bounce, and bump your way through various scenarios – from being a part of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island to the climactic fight scene between Green Lantern and an evil alien force.

material world_green lantern 4d

The younger ones  will also be enthralled by the Wings of Time, which is a mesmerising display of water, fire, and laser effects. Personally, I found the first part of the show – where real-life actors were singing and rallying the crowd – a little too overwhelming. But when the lights dimmed and the multimedia effects kicked in, I soon found myself enjoying the multi-sensorial experience, especially the (spoiler alert) fireworks at the end.

If you’re with your gal pals, Stand Up Paddleboarding

Having had so much fun at Sentosa the previous weekend, the three of us decided to return the following week to try our hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). Prior to this first lesson, I’ve never tried SUP before but soon discovered it’s like a combination of rowing and surfing. Our instructor Isabelle, who’s also the owner of Stand Up Paddling School, was friendly and patient, offering helpful tips throughout the lesson. I was nursing a hangover on the day of the lesson so I was admittedly not the best student, but Deborah thoroughly enjoyed herself.

If you and your girlfriends are tired of your gym or yoga routine and are looking for a new way to keep fit together, I reckon SUP is great for building overall balance and strength. Plus, you’re sure to get a gorgeous sun-kissed glow!

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These are just several suggestions of what The State Of Fun has to offer; there are so many other little nooks and crannies yet to be explored. I’m sure we’ll be back soon!

While we were there, we saw a banner that said “The land of eternal sunshine”. Of course, cynics may dismiss this by saying, “But it rains all the time in Singapore!” However, I choose to believe this is actually referring to the sunshine in your heart, because after each exhilarating visit to the island, you leave feeling lighter and more carefree.

Material World was invited by Sentosa to review some of its attractions. This post was neither paid for nor advised by Sentosa. 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.

Beauty & Shopping, Lifestyle

26 Things To Put On Your June Watchlist

Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already?! Yeah, neither can we. Thankfully, there are so many things to eat, try, and buy this month! 

A is for A Sale Like No Other

great singapore sale

This year’s Great Singapore Sale is unlike any we’ve ever had, simply because of the “giving back” factor. From 30 May to 27 July 2014, Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) will be giving away $500 to one lucky shopper every day in the GSS 2014 Daily Rewards Promotion. There will be 59 winners in total, one for each day of GSS. But that’s not all – for every eligible entry received for the GSS 2014 Daily Rewards Promotion, SRA will donate $1 to Community Chest, up to a maximum of $10,000. Go on, now you can shop to your heart’s content!

B is for Blades Of The Gods

Fans of Chef Ryan Clift of Tippling Club will be stoked to know that he has collaborated with Balinese master blacksmiths to create Blades of the Gods – a collection of kitchen knives and steak knives. These knives are made in Germany while preserving a 1100-year-old Balinese tradition of knife-making. You can buy them at Tippling Club or online at .

C is for Celeb Endorsement

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Since he took part in Manhunt 2011, Shane Pow’s career has grown from strength to strength, with regular appearances on Channel 8 drama serials. Not only has he secured a meaty role in a new film, he’s now also the face of Lab Series Skincare For Men. Up close, Shane’s complexion is flawless — smooth, poreless, as well as wrinkle- and spot-free — definitely a face that should be fronting an internationally renowned skincare brand!

D is for Dior Addict Eau de Toilette


Dior’s Perfume Creator François Demachy has imagined a new Dior Addict Eau de Toilette with an instant, multi-faceted attraction. Sicilian Mandarin blends with Jasmine Sambuc and Tunisian Neroli against a base note of evocative, woody Essence of Sandalwood and Vanilla. Resolutely feminine, it is a composition that dares to take on an unexpected woody charm thanks to notes of Sandalwood Essence. Available at all Dior counters.

E is for Elizabeth Arden


3 women. 3 Untold stories. Together with Elizabeth Arden, Material World will be sharing videos featuring 3 inspiring women, each with an Untold story behind their successes. Starting 2 June, a new video will be uploaded every Monday. We are also looking for the 4th Untold story. Share with us your personal story of success and survival and you may just win an awesome hamper worth $400!

F is for Father’s Day

June 15 is Father’s Day! Have you figured out where to take Pop yet? If not, fret not. Here are a few suggestions. For dads who are known to be a “man’s man”, take him to Dolce Vita at Mandarin Oriental where he can enjoy hearty dishes such as Murray Bridge Lamb and Iberico Pork Chop alongside beer and cigars (for reservations, call 6885 3500 or email If your dad prefers a more casual vibe, he’ll enjoy Spuds & Aprons, a casual dining eatery located atop Mount Faber. There, he can indulge in comfort food such as fries served with hot gravy and six different cheeses, as well as local favourites like Laksa and Curry Chicken. Does he prefer traditional Chinese cuisine? Restaurant Home has rolled out two special Father’s Day set menus — Gratitude Set Menu and Dedication Set Menu — which feature a wild freshwater fish called the Empurau fish (also known as “Wang Bu Liao”). This prized fish can fetch up to $1,600/kg (no kidding) but for this special occasion, it will be priced at a more affordable rate. (Check out the menu here; for reservations, call 6465 1698 or email

G is for Goodwood Park Hotel’s Durian Fiesta

Durian lovers, rejoice! Goodwood Park Hotel’s annual Durian Fiesta is back! From now until July 13, satisfy your craving for the “king of fruits” with limited-edition Mao Shan Wang durian products, including the giant profiterole “Mao Shan” Power Puff ($17.80 per piece); and “Mao Shan Wang” Ice Cream ($21.80 per 16oz tub). At the Coffee Lounge, you can also look forward to the new Durian Sampler Platter ($10.80, available only as a top-up), which consists of four items: Durian Gula Melaka roll, Mini Durian Donut, Durian Trifle and Durian Mousse Cake. For enquiries and reservations, call Goodwood Park Hotel’s Coffee Lounge at 6730 1746.

H is for Homeware

Swedish stationery brand kikki.K has a homeware collection now! This season, Svenka Hem combines sophisticated white with wooden features and stylish gold accents for a range of homewares that looks so good on any dining table. Available in-store at ION Orchard and online at .

I is for International Beers


Beerfest Asia is back! This wildly popular event brings together over 400 types of beer from all over the world for a 4-day weekend of revelry and hiccupin’ good times. Apart from just guzzling down as many beers as you can though (as we will), you can also check out the live music performances, comedy club, and other beverage tasting workshops that will be ongoing throughout the festival.

Beerfest Asia 2014 is on from 12 to 15 June. Get your tickets here.  

J is for Jermyn Street

Jermyn St logo FA-06 A new upscale barbershop will be opening at Amoy Street on June 13. Inspired by the rich grooming heritage of Jermyn Street in London, this 1,800-square-feet barbershop offers a hot towel straight razor shave, haircut, shampoo, manicure, pedicure, eyebrow grooming, waxing and more. Find out more at .

K is for Kickass Female DJs

Saturday nights at Catalunya Bar just got even more sizzling. Featuring not one, but two formidable female DJs. DJ Reiki has performed alongside international DJs Aphrodite, Mickey Finn, and Utah Jazz, as well as her own bi-monthly mixshow residency on Lush 99.5 FM. DJ Casie has been spinning in bars and clubs across Asia and North America, and was last seen at the SkyBar at KU DÉ TA.

Catalunya is located at The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay, Tel: 6534 0886

L is for Leggings


… workout leggings that is. US high-performance sports brand Under Armour has just opened its first store in Singapore, at Orchard Gateway. What you can look forward to: well-fitting, high-tech workout gear that will help athletes stay comfortable in their quest to become faster, fitter and stronger.

Under Armour is at B1-05 Orchard Gateway.

M is for Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N

Love the intensity of liquid eyeliner but can’t control it as well as a pencil? Well, in Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N you’ll get the best of both worlds. Its improved formula and texture promise to give you a smooth intense line that is resistant to water, tears and sebum, and can last up to 13 hours.

Maquillage Long Stay Eyeliner N is available at all Shiseido counters islandwide.

N is for Nails


For once, it wasn’t about neon pops of colour or dark gothic shades – pastel and nude colours got their turn in the spotlight on F/W 2014 runways. More’s the better, because they’re so much more office friendly. If you’re thinking of adding pastels to your nail colour collection, check out Majolica Majorca’s Water Cologne Nails. It’s the one polish that smells good, as it’s been perfumed with the brand’s original scent, Majoromantica. Best part? Each bottle goes for just $7.10 each.

Majolica Majorca’s Water Cologne Nails will be available June 26, 2014, exclusively at Watsons.

O is for Old-School Arcade Games


Relive your childhood days of playing classic games like Pac Man, Namco Arcade, Sonic the Hedgehog, and King of Fighters using console-style analog controls with the new Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery. This sleek iPhone game controller also comes with an integrated 1500 mAh battery to increase the available power capacity of your iPhone 5, iPhone 5S or iPod Touch (5th generation). $129.90, available at authorised resellers. Visit for more information.

P is for Pebble

Attention all gadget lovers! Access your favourite apps like Whatsapp and Twitter through Pebble, a smartwatch that connects your smartphone via Bluetooth. Besides receiving notifications, Pebble also allows you to track your workout sessions with Runkeeper, remotely control your music, and more.

Pebble, $249, comes in five colours — Jet Black, Cherry Red, Arctic White, Orange, and Grey — and is available at EpiCentre, Harvey Norman, NuBox, Singtel, as well as selected Challenger, EpiLife, Courts, and Digital Style stores.

Q is for Quayside Tea


Yes, we know it’s hot all year round in Singapore but it seems to get exceptionally hot in June! Quench your thirst with the bright and refreshing Belvedere Lemon Tea, available in 8 different summer cocktails across 8 cocktail bars. We have our eye our Quayside Tea, available at Boomarang, which is an inventive concoction of fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, a dash of egg white, a pinch of cinnamon powder, and of course Belvedere Lemon Tea. Yum!

Belvedere Lemon Tea cocktails are available from now till 31 August 2014. Boomarang is located at 60 Robertson Quay, #01-15 The Quayside; and 52 Circular Road.

R is for runWESTIN

The next time you plan a staycation, why not pencil in a good workout as well?  The Westin Singapore has recently launched its runWESTIN programme, with veteran runner Eddie Chang as the hotel’s first-ever runWESTIN concierge. Apart from taking you and other hotel guests on a 5-km scenic run around the Marina Bay area, he will also be onhand to provide expert training and race advice.

S is for Summer Beauty Offerings


Make a date to go shopping at Sephora on 12 June! Why? Cos that’s when a jaw-dropping load of new stuff arrives at the multi-brand beauty store. From Pureheal’s Volcanic Pore Line (a 4-step pore care regime that’ll keep that unsightly shine at bay) to new makeup from Urban Decay, beauty junkies are sure to get their fill of fabulous new products on this day.

Find your nearest Sephora store here

T is for TANGS Beauty Playground

tangs beauty play ground

Beauty junkies, get ready for the biggest and most extravagant beauty event of the GSS season (and possibly the whole year)! For 3 days only, you’ll get access to yet-to-be-launched beauty items and exclusive discounts on all your favourite products. So much to see, try, and buy so be sure to make your way to TANGS this weekend!

TANGS Beauty Playground will be held from 6 to 8 June 2014.

U is for Ugly Cake Shop


Fancy some lip-smackingly good desserts while contributing to a good cause? Introducing Ugly Cake Shop, a local social enterprise that’s recently launched its online store ( Selling a wide selection of whole cakes, cupcakes, loaf cakes, brownies, and other baked goods that are handmade using only quality ingredients and without any artificial flavour, colour, and fondant, Ugly Cake Shop pledges 20 percent of its profits to the nutritional fund of Shalom School in the capital of Dili, Timor-Leste. This fund goes towards the meals of undernourished children and youth in Timor-Leste. For more information and to check out the selection of delectable baked goods, visit or send an email to Ugly Cake Shop partner/baker Lisa Tan at

V is for Vivacious, Confident Women

In conjunction with its 30th anniversary in Singapore, Cetaphil recently launched its first-ever Skin Confidence Report. We were heartened to discover that confidence among women in Singapore is actually pretty high! For example, 69 percent of Singaporean women believe they are beautiful and a whopping 86 percent believe that others perceive them as confident. Let’s keep this verve up, ladies!

W is for World Cup Madness

Why throw your money away when you can watch World Cup matches for free? Organised by the Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre and Foodpanda, catch at least 50 of the 64 matches (including the opening match on June 13 and the grand finales on July 14) on the big screen at Hong Lim Park. Exclusively for this month-long event, a few of Foodpanda’s partnered restaurants will be extending the food delivery operating hours beyond 12am for those of you having the midnight munchies. For more information, visit

X is for Xtraordinary Feats

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Back for a second time due to popular demand, Le Noir is a theatrical production like no other, combining the death-defying acrobatic feats with beautiful music and rib-tickling comedic routines. Get your tickets here.

Y is for Yummy Steaks

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There are steaks, and then there are steaks at CUT by Wolfgang Puck. This celebrity chef restaurant has recently launched a new lineup of steaks created from Hokkaido Snow Beef, which is an exceptionally rare and premium wagyu beef farmed at a private reserve in Hokkaido, Japan. This beef gets its name because of its delicate meat texture and marbling so fine and intricate that it resembles snowflakes.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck is located at 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Tel: 6688 8517

Z is for Zesty Body Treats 


The Body Shop has done it again with delicious body treats! Launching mid-June, The Body Shop Body Sorbets will bring new meaning to body moisturisers. The texture resembles that of icing sugar and it delivers a cooling dose of hydration that we all crave during the sweltering summer days. In four fruity flavours, you can store these in your refrigerator for a more refreshing treat.

The Body Shop Body Sorbets will be available at The Body Shop stores islandwide on June 16.


Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Lifestyle

26 Things To Put On Your May Watchlist

Your favourite monthly round-up of things to eat, try, and buy is back!

A is for Asia Fashion Summit 2014

The region’s premier fashion and business conference is back! Into its fifth year, Asia Fashion Summit (AFS) 2014 provides expert insights on topics that are important to fashion industry professionals and retailers in Asia. Themed Asia’s Business Perspective this year, AFS 2014 participants can look forward to an interactive exchange on the dynamic Asian fashion business landscape by top names in the fashion world.

Please for registration details.

B is for Biotherm Life Plankton Essence

A cosmetic water that promises to transform the skin in 8 days, Biotherm’s new Life Plankton Essence has the highest concentration of the brand’s iconic ingredient, Life Plankton, in every bottle. At 5%, Life Plankton has been shown to soothe symptoms of atopic dermatitis. In 8 days, you will see and feel skin that is … wait for it … UP TO 3 YEARS YOUNGER! Read our review here!

Biotherm Life Plankton Essence, $78, is available at all Biotherm counters islandwide such as TANGS Orchard.

C is for Cooking Classes with My Little Spanish Place


Love Spanish food? Then don’t miss this chance to learn from the masters! Chefs Maria Sevillano and Edward Esmero of My Little Spanish Place will be conducting a cooking class at ToTT on 25 May, 2014, 2pm. This hour-long class will teach you how to make meatballs and Spanish mussels in spicy sauce. For more information, go to


To win a pair, simply follow these steps:

1. In the Comments section, answer this question: “Which restaurant are the chefs from?”

2. Share this post and tag the friend you’ll be bringing. Tag “Material World” too.

3. Email your details (name, NRIC, age and email address) to by 15 May 2014.  

This contest is only open to fans of Material World, so please like our page here.

D is for Dolce


Dolce & Gabbana’s perfumes tend to be complex, heady affairs, which is why it’s surprising that they’ve pared it down so much for Dolce, their latest fragrance. It is a fresh, feminine mix of white flowers that leaves a trail of light woods and earthy tones. The dry-down is musky, with hints of sandalwood. As it is not too overpowering, it’s a great scent of everyday use.

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce retails from $99 and is available at all major department stores and perfumeries.

E is for Epilator


Hair removal can be messy and painful, but not if you use Panasonic’s 6-in-1 Wet/Dry Epilator. It comes with two hair removal discs to pull your hair out quickly from the root, leaving you with smooth, caressable skin. Bonus: it comes with an LED light to illuminates your skin so it’s easierto spot stray hairs.

Panasonic 6-in-1 Wet/Dry Epilator ES-ED90 retails for $169 and is available at Best Denki, selected Courts and Harvey Norman outlets, Isetan Scotts, OG, Takashimaya DS., Tangs Orchard and other authorised Panasonic dealers

F is for Foodpanda

If you’ve yet to try this nifty food delivery service, Mother’s Day is a great time to get started! Available online at or via their mobile app, take your pick from restaurants like Napolizz, Yum Cha, and Indian Curry House and enjoy piping hot gourmet nosh in the comfort of your own home.

G is for Givenchy Prisme Libre

One Prisme Libre is sold every 2 seconds worldwide! This bestselling loose powder has a new texture where pigments are more lightweight, thanks to an atomisation technology, which allows it to glide evenly onto skin for an ultra-natural effect with a luminous yet matte finish. Also, check out the new Poudre Premiere, a loose powder like Prisme Libre but in a universal shade that will give any skin tone a radiant finish.

Both Prisme Libre and Poudre Premiere retail at $86 each and are available at Givenchy counters at Robinsons Orchard, Isetan Scotts and Sephora ION.

H is for Hair Loss


Hair loss in women is more common than you think, and can be attributed to factors such as hormonal disorders, an overly strict diet, stress, and a lot more. If you’re suffering from hair loss, you need a specialised haircare regime to deal with the problem. In addition to using a shampoo for hair loss, try the Apivita Propoline Hair Loss Treatment For Women. It has lupin proteins, vitamins and laurel to encourage hair growth and strengthen your hair, as well as antioxidants to guard your hair follicles against premature ageing.

Apivita Propoline Hair Loss Treatment For Women is available at all Apivita stores.

I is for Indocafe

Your mum has always been there for you, through thick and thin. Show her how much you appreciate her love and support by treating her to a Mother’s Day meal at Indocafe. Some of the dishes she’ll enjoy on this special set menu include the addictive Keluak Money Bag, a deep-fried dumpling stuffed with minced pork and buah keluak, as well as the Otak Pangang, which is cod blended with prawn, and chargrilled to smoky perfection.

The Indocafe Mother’s Day Set Menu is priced from $328 (for four). Indocafe is at 35 Scotts Road. Tel: 6733 2656.  

J is for Jabra’s Rox Wireless

If you feel out of sorts when you don’t have your music player and earphones with you while you’re out and about, these in-ear stereo wireless earphones are just what you’re looking for. The winner of Red Dot: Product Design 2014 award for excellence, Jabra Rox Wireless is modelled after the professional in-ear monitors used by musicians when they perform on stage. It features Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement, bringing full-spectrum sound and maximum bass performance for your listening pleasure. For more information and its complete features, click here.

Jabra Rox Wireless retails at $168 and is available at Apple premium resellers, Epicentre, Gadget World, Infinite, iStudio, Nubox, Tech@Vogue, selected Challenger stores and other authorised Jabra resellers.

K is for King of Fruit

Durian fans, rejoice! Goodwood Park Hotel’s annual Durian Fiesta 2014 returns, and this year’s highlights include a decadent Durian Gula Melaka Roll, as well as delicate pastries such as Mini Durian Charlotte – a “sandwich” made with Boudoir biscuits. From May 31 to July 13, you can also enjoy a sumptuous durian buffet for lunch and dinner. Yummy!

The Durian Fiesta promotion is available daily from now till July 13, 2014 at Goodwood Park Hotel.

L is for Little Voice


Fans of musicals, you wouldn’t want to miss Pangdemonium’s latest production, “The Rise & Fall of Little Voice”. It follows the tumultuous journey of a shy girl named LV (Mina Kaye) – short for Little Voice. After her father passed away when she was little, her mother Mari (Denise Tan) loses herself to alcohol and becomes detached. With no one to turn to, LV seeks comfort in listening to her dad’s old records, doing pitch-perfect impersonations of divas like Edith Piaf and Judy Garland. When Mari starts seeing sleazy “talent scout” Ray Ray (Adrian Pang), LV’s life takes a dramatic turn. Read our interview with Denise Tan here.

The Rise & Fall of Little Voice opens May 2 and runs through May 18, at Drama Centre Theatre. Tickets, from $30, are available at Sistic.

M is for Mummy Dearest

Don’t forget to shower your mum with extra tender loving care this Mother’s Day! If you’re a mum, check out our Material Moms section specially dedicated to you. Containing articles written by our pool of mummy contributors, this section is chockfull of useful parenting tips and information for you and your precious ones. Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂

N is for Nail Stickers


Decorate your nails with these Mika for Shu nail stickers! A collaboration between Japanese photographer/film director Mika Ninagawa and Shu Uemura, this limited edition series also includes the brand’s legendary cleansing oils, UV under base, a pressed powder compact, eye shadow duos, two shades of tint-in gelato and false eyelashes.

Available at all Shu Uemura counters islandwide such as TANGS Orchard and Robinsons Orchard.

O is for Omakase Sets at Sushi Kou

Sushi Kou - Special Kaisen Don Set

If you work around the Tanjong Pagar area, you need to check out this year-old Japanese restaurant located at Orchid Hotel. These value-for-money set meals are available for $50, $80, and $100 (minimum order of two sets), and are available for lunch and dinner. During our media tasting, the sashimi we sampled was some of the freshest and most flavourful we’ve ever had outside of Japan. At Sushi Kou, the fish are flown in twice a week from a few trusted suppliers in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hokkaido. With Omakase sets, you never really know what’s on the menu but with Tokyo-native Chef-Owner Koda Naokatsu at the helm, you’ll know your belly is in for a good time.

Sushi Kou is located at 1 Tras Link, #01-16 Orchid Hotel, Tel: 6444 8433

P is for Pop-up Restaurant

STORIES is a first-of-its-kind dining concept that celebrates iconic events and history of Singapore. This pop-up restaurant takes diners on a journey of food prepared by leading Singapore-based chefs who complement your meal with interesting historical and cultural anecdotes about our little island. For more information, click here.


R is for Remarkably Soft Hair


For a hair-changing experience, be sure to check out Shiseido Professional’s new THC Salon Solution Treatment. After years of extensive research, Shiseido Professional has found that coarse, damaged hair is the result of the buildup of calcium ion – which can be found in tap water. With this breakthrough discovery, they designed a five-step treatment to remove the accumulated calcium ions and prevent reabsorption, leaving you with a head of healthy, shiny locks. Founder Lili was invited to experience the treatment: “The results are truly amazing. After each step, I could feel the difference in my hair texture. The best thing is, my hair remained soft and bouncy for several weeks after the treatment! I kid you not! It is hairapeutic, indeed.”

The THC Salon Solution Treatment is an in-salon treatment. For salon listings, please call 6739 8639.

S is for Spot Eraser

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Wish you could do something to the dark spots on your skin? Try the new Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Whitening Spot Serum! The result of ginseng cosmetics research since 1966, this spot serum not only targets visible dark spots but also improves the condition of the skin surrounding them and prevents the formation and spreading of dark spots.

Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Whitening Spot Serum retails at $208 (35ml) and is available at Tangs Orchard, Tangs VivoCity, Takashimaya Department Store and Robinsons Orchard.

T is for ToTT Mother’s Day Sale

You’ve got till May 13 to grab some awesome deals from ToTT! With great deals both online and instore, this is the perfect time to buy something for Mum. With up to 50% discount off selected items, even those not into cooking will be tempted. Visit ToTT’s online store at or drop by the store at 896 Dunearn Road.

U is for


V is for Vitamins For Your Skin


We are willing to bet our last dollar that you’ll fall in love with this oil-free night cream from Origins! Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins is bursting with skin-fortifying antioxidants that renew and rejuvenate your skin while you’re asleep. For those who’ve always have to toss and turn before they fall asleep, this cream has been shown to immediately reduce feelings of tension and aid users in getting a more restful, tranquil night’s sleep. You’ll love its deliciously relaxing scent too!

Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins, $55, is now available at all Origins counters islandwide.

W is for Westgate

Who says the East is the only happening part of Singapore? Westgate, which is located in the drastically transformed Jurong East, now boasts brands such as Kate Spade Saturday, Nara Thai Cuisine, and Tim Ho Wan.

X is for


Y is for Yuzucha Beer


Local beer brewer Archipelago Brewery has launched their seasonal limited edition brew, Yuzucha Beer. Collaborating with Gryphon Tea Company, this tea-infused beer is a refreshing blend of low hop flavours and sweet citrusy Yuzu notes. Vanessa tried this on a hot day and is pleased to report it’s indeed a refreshing thirst-quencher!

Z is for Zaniest Selfie Challenge, Ever

Our selfie-loving culture has taken a new level of crazy. Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero will battling it out on the streets of Singapore in a selfie challenge using the new Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE. Yeah, for real. As part of SingTel Game On!, the two rivals will have to complete certain Singaporean activities – eat durians, perhaps? – then capture selfies and share them on Twitter. Have some ideas on the type of activities they can do? Tweet your suggestions and include the hashtag #SGGameOn. You’ll stand a chance to win passes to an exclusive dinner with the footballers!

SingTel Game On!, organised by SingTel and Samsung, will be taking place on May 15 & 16. Visit for more information.

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

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

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

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


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


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

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 ( 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 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


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 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. 

Drinks & Parties, Lifestyle

Craft Beer Weekend – Vanessa Tai

Over the last few years, craft beers have really started to take off in Singapore. Most eateries now offer more than just your usual big-name lagers, and the community of craft beer geeks is growing slowly but surely, with hardcore enthusiasts even brewing their own beers at home! Considering how widely Singaporeans travel, it’s perhaps unsurprising how our palates have become more discerning as well.

The Drinking Partners is one of the pioneers of the burgeoning craft beer movement in Singapore. Having developed a love for specialty beers during work stints overseas, the group started by importing small batches of craft beer for personal consumption. Subsequently, they branched out into organising beer education workshops, which sparked off the craft beer movement here. Psst … they are also the people behind The Great Beer Experiment at Pasarbella!

But what exactly is a craft beer, you ask. According to the Brewers Association of USA, a craft brewer has to be “small, independent and traditional”. What this means is, everything from the size of the brewery to its production volume of beers and production methods have to be kept within stringent boundaries. Personally, what I love about craft beers is how each brewer has a interesting story to tell; learning the background of the beer you’re drinking is more than half the fun. One of these unique breweries would be Danish microbrewery, Mikkeller.

Mikkel Borg Bjergsø

Mikkeller was started by two friends, high school teacher Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and journalist Kristian Klarup Keller. What started as lighthearted home brewing experiments soon saw the two friends creating innovative and intense new flavours that won international beer competitions. Kristian has since returned to his job in journalism, but Mikkel continues to win beer drinkers over with his inventive creations. Because of his creativity and rapid development of the company, Mikkel has been nicknamed “gypsy brewer” by both the Danish and international press.

And this week, you get to meet this enigmatic man himself! The Drinking Partners have lined up a slew of exciting events for both craft beer aficionados and beginners alike. Here, take your pick from three exciting events …

1. Makan with Mikkeller

makan with mikkellerThe highly anticipated annual food and beer pairing dinner is here again! This year, the focus is on cult beers from Mikkeller, as well as on heartwarming local cuisine. Click here to register.
Date: 18 October 2013 (Friday)
Time: 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Venue: Near Coronation Plaza at Bukit Timah. Exact location to be revealed upon registration.
Price: $65 nett per person
2. No Sweat, No Beer!
no sweat no beer
Join the folks of The Great Beer Experiment for a workout! You know how beer tastes better when you’re sweaty, exhausted and parched? Sweat it out by taking a trek through the jungle before proceeding for a couple of beers at the The Great Beer Experiment! Worried that you’ll be unfit? No worries, this is an easy one-hour trek – no running after rabbits or jumping over bushes required! Unless of course, Mikkel reckons it’s a glorious day for a sprint!
Date: 19 October 2013 (Saturday)
Time: 10am to 11am
Meeting Point: End of Rifle Range Road (public car park outside ST Kinetics)
This is a free event. For more details, click here.
3. Meet the Gypsy and Eat His Dogs
meet the gypsy

Here’s your final chance to meet the master behind Mikkeller. Cult brewer and founder, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø will be at The Great Beer Experiment this Saturday for a meet-and-greet. There will be Mikkeller beers on tap and in the fridge for the thirsty, and gourmet sausages for the hungry.
Date: 19 October 2013 (Saturday)

Time: 12.30pm to 2pm
Venue: The Great Beer Experiment

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 favourite alcoholic beverage is beer. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Arts & Events, Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Wawawa Bistro – Deborah Tan

(6) IMG_0446To be honest, I’ve walked past Wawawa Bistro a couple of times but I’ve never thought to eat there. Not because the surroundings or the ambiance ain’t welcoming enough. I’m just always iffy about eateries that are the ONLY dining option at far-flung places. I am of the opinion that they won’t care about the food because most people would have “no choice” but to eat there.

So when I was invited by the PRs of Wawawa to do a food review, I was – honestly – prepared to be underwhelmed.

We arrived at Wawawa at about 7pm on a Monday evening where there was still some daylight left for us to appreciate the beauty of the surroundings. I must admit that, once seated, the view in front of the restaurant was pretty breath-taking and relaxing. The vibe was casual – diners wearing their jogging clothes fitted in easily among diners in office-garb – and I liked the “wall-less” concept of the restaurant because you really feel as if you’re dining IN a park, not inside an air-conditioned box located in a park.

(1) mini burgerThe menu is extensive, boasting Western dishes and Asian-inspired ones such as the soft-shell crab laksa. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the food here are culinary works of art, but they are comfort food done well and the portion sizes, generous.

For appetizer, I recommend you share the Mini Beef Burgers ($13.80) with your friends. The juicy grilled mini patties are rich in beefy flavour and whet your appetite instead of filling your stomach. If you’re a small eater and are looking for a meaty dish with a manageable size, this could also work as your main. With mini burgers, there is always a chance that the entire patty is done too dry and you’d have to douse the entire thing in ketchup for it to be palatable. These were done just right and the buns were fresh and pillow-soft.

(2)pork knuckleThe Signature German Pork Knuckle ($25.80) is a dish for sharing. The crackling was addictive and worth every fat and calorie. The meat retained its juiciness and did not have an overwhelmingly “porky” taste. Still have room to try another main? I strongly recommend the Soft-Shell Crab Laksa ($12.80). When Vanessa wanted to order it at first, I was like, “Please?!?! Why are you ordering something you can easily get for $3 at a hawker centre?!!” But when the dish arrived, I found my mouth beginning to salivate. With an entire fried soft-shell crab on top of the laksa, this dish hit all the spots and checked all the boxes. It was flavourful, rich, comforting, spicy, and every bite makes you just want to have some more.

(3) lavaFor desserts, don’t turn your nose up at the Wawawa Chocolate Lava Cake ($10.80). Ours was done perfectly with a soft chocolate cake and a crusty shell that opened up to a thick, molten center of warm chocolate sauce. It was the perfect end to a more than satisfying meal and I understood why the restaurant had such a healthy crowd on a Monday evening – when you’re stressed, all you want is eat food that is focused on being unabashedly shiok. At Wawawa, the food is just that – shiok.

Wawawa Bistro By The Reservoir is located at Bedok Reservoir, 901 Bedok Reservoir Road. Tel: 6285 8038.

Material World was invited to a tasting by Wawawa Bistro. All opinions are the author’s own.


(5) IMG_0418

How would you like to do some yoga and have brunch here?

20 Material World readers will have the chance to enjoy a Sunday morning at Bedok Reservoir with a yoga session followed by brunch at Wawawa Bistro. Details:

DATE: 15 September 2013, Sunday
TIME: 9.30am SHARP
MEETING POINT: Wawawa Bistro at Bedok Reservoir
This is a LADIES-ONLY event. Gentlemen, we appreciate the support but we are unable to accommodate men at this event.

Every participant pays $10* to sign up. You’ll receive:
1. An hour-long yoga session with yoga instructor Lu Jingshi
2. A healthy brunch courtesy of Wawawa Bistro
3. A beauty goodie bag by Maybelline
4. A yoga mat

*The $10 will be spent solely on covering the expenses of the yoga mat and logistics. Wawawa Bistro will not be profiting from this event.

Booking Deadline: 11 September 2013, Wednesday

To sign up, simply fill in the form below and we’ll advise you on the payment method. WE DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENT ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT. Only by bank transfer or cheque. All payment must be made by the Booking Deadline. Your spot will only be confirmed when we receive your payment.


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Share this story to enter your name for this draw!

Food News, Lifestyle

The One Pit-Stop You Must Make At Chinatown – Deborah Tan

dimsum7It’s easy to dismiss Singapore’s Chinatown as a tourist trap. For instance, almost every stall at the open-air market at Smith Street sells mass-produced Merlion trinkets and t-shirts bearing tacky slogans like, “Everything Is OK LAH!”. But food-wise, a fair number of gems can still be found. Tired of usual food-court fare, we decided to go to a proper hawker centre for lunch. Chinatown Complex is a very reliable choice. Besides the fact that it’s home to The Good Beer Company, it’s bursting at the seams with authentic hawker fare like satay, Hong Kong roast meats, bak kut teh and zi-char.

Unfortunately, the hawker centre was closed on this Saturday afternoon. It looked like it was closed for routine cleaning (good to know that they give the entire place a good wash every now and then!). Disappointed, we made our way to the row of shophouses across the street, hoping to find a fairly-decent place to eat

What we found turned out more than decent.

We chose Tak Po Hong Kong Dim Sum because it had a healthy crowd of both locals and tourists. The stuff I saw on the tables looked freshly made and nothing like the frozen-food types. That ticked one box. We ordered from both the steamed dim sum and the fried & baked dim sum menus, I also ordered a bowl of mixed pork congee with a side of raw fish for myself. The food came quickly and steaming hot. When I bit into a har gao (prawn dumpling), I was pleased to find chunks of shrimp, not the fish-pork paste so many budget-priced dim sum stalls now use. The deep fried prawn roll with beancurd skin (fook pi chuen) was moist with a bouncy texture only fresh ingredients can give.

Overall, we were extremely pleased with the standard of the dim sum at Tak Po. The prices were also extremely reasonable. We ordered something like nine dishes and paid just $38 in total. I think it’s safe to say we will be back!

Steamed dim sum


[Clockwise from top left: 1. Rice roll with char siew, $3.50; 2. Yam cake, $2.80; 3. Siew mai, $2.60;
4. Crystal chive balls, $3.20; 5. Har gao, $2.70] 

1. I’m not a fan of rice roll but my boyfriend (who’s British) wiped the entire plate clean in second. A safe choice if your companions have unadventurous palates.

2. The yam cake is another must-try. Topped with a generous sprinkling of spring onions, dried shrimps and Chinese ham, it is springy to the bite and packs a massive punch in terms of flavour. I love how there were chunks of yam inside the cake so it had that whole “not factory made” vibe.

Fried & baked dim sum 


[Home style puff, $3.00] 

Truth be told, we were bewildered by what home style puff meant but decided to order a plate of it anyway. It turned out to be fried glutinous flour shell filled with sweet roast pork (char siew). Totally sinful but totally worth the calories.


[Egg tarts, $3.30]

Having lived six years in Hong Kong, it has been hard finding an egg tart that met the boyfriend’s exacting standards. Who could blame him? Those famous Tai Cheung egg tarts with their renowned flaky pastry and runny custard are hard to replicate. These egg tarts will not satisfy the Tai Cheung tart devotees. But they are still very good. The pastry is a bit more “biscuity”. If you don’t like shortbread pastries, don’t order it. The custard is soft, almost toufu-like, with the just right dose of sweetness. I like it.

Congee and raw fish 


[Back to front: 1. Mixed pork congee, $4.00; 2. Raw fish, $3.00]

The congee was not nothing to shout about but at least the innards tasted well-cleaned. For $4, it was a huge helping. The raw fish, however, was appetising and very fresh. Slices of raw fish (okay, don’t ask me what fish) buried under a bed of fresh lettuce, chili padi and fried shallots. Douse the whole thing with fresh lime juice and you have a refreshing side dish that accompanies a steaming bowl of congee nicely.

Tak Po Hong Kong Dim Sum is located at 42 Smith Street. Tel: 6225 0302. Opens daily from 7am to 10.30pm. 

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 hopes to meet Steven Tyler in person one day.