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1 Apr 2017

Skip Queues During Rush Hour With DBS FasTrack

Old Tea Hut with DBS FasTrack

Singaporeans are probably not the most patient breed of people on this planet. Yes, including myself who often whine about the queue after barely 10 minutes. It was from this problem that sparked DBS to come out with this new innovative mobile solution payment that would make our lives so much easier.

Check out this short video about DBS FasTrack, acted by Sylvia Chan from Night Owl Cinematics!

video

So bascially the idea of not needing to queue at all would definitely appeal to most of us. Right now,
there are already a few brands making use of DBS FasTrack app to reduce the long waiting lines. These brands include:

1) Old Tea Hut
2) Five Star Resturant
3) Old Kim Guan (OKG Express)
4) Koufu
5) Boon Tong Kee

More brands are set to launch their apps as well. They include Li Xin Teochew Fishball, Tiong Bahru Bakery, Wolf Burger, Miam Miam, Qi Ji, Aloha Poke and Food City @ Midpoint Orchard!

DBS FasTrack is available for download in IOS and Android.

Old Tea Hut with DBS FasTrack

Time to bring DBS FasTrack to the test!

Bascially each brands had an app under their name. Download the ones that would deem relevant to you and follow the simple steps to purchase. An estimated waiting time would be shown and a notification will appear to inform you once your purchase is ready.

I basically paid by DBS PayLah!, an innovative mobile wallet app that allows customers to transfer money instantly and conveniently to one another. 

''Let DBS handle the transections while allowing the merchants to focus on their craft, which is to produce quality food.''

Old Tea Hut with DBS FasTrack
Img from DBS

Old Tea Hut with DBS FasTrack
Img from DBS

Old Tea Hut with DBS FasTrack
Img from DBS

From actual case study results of Old Tea Hut

Old Tea Hut

-Increased in productivity and sales
(Increased 15% in sales with existing manpower)
-Reduces cash and change handling

Customers

-Reduced queueing 
-Cashless Payment

With DBS FasTrack app, both the participating brand as well as their customers stand to gain in terms of effeciency and convenience. Definiely suitable since our lunch break is only an hour or less in this fast pace country.

Koufu at 100 AM mall in Tanjong Pagar and Square 2 in Novena have already started utilizing DBS FasTrack, making them the first food court in Singapore where you can pre-order your food! Koufu even have plans to expand its usage across all other outlets islandwide!
 
To celebrate DBS FasTrack official launch, enjoy 10% off ala carte orders via the Koufu app!

29 Mar 2017

Thailand (Bangkok) has its Artbox ; Taiwan (Kaohsiung) has its Pier-2 Art Center

Pier-2 Art Center

The highly popular Artbox from Bangkok is arriving in Singapore! People of all ages from non-shipping or trade and logestic wake of life would definitely want to experience being in a modified shipping container, purchasing food and shopping for goods. I bet those who deal with containers would cringe or faceplam at the thought of it.
It would definitely be Thai-rific since many stores are imported from Thailand (Bangkok) itself! (More details up in future post! Stay tune!)

Despite the fact that I have not had a chance to visit Bangkok's Artbox, I could probably relate it to Pier-2 Art Center when I visited Kaoh Siung (Taiwan) about a month back. Pier-2 Art Center was once an abandoned and forgotten warehouse, buried in history due to the move from an industrial based segment to the service sector. It was a group of artist that injected creativity and inspirations, invoking life into this place, turning it into a centre where people come together to enjoy fine arts.

As seen from the map below, Pier-2 Art Center is stretched across a couple of streets and it is one of the worthy place of attraction in Kaoh Siung. For craft enthusiasts, it would probably take from 3 to 5 hours or more, having to browse through every craft and handmade outlets, checking out the flea vendors that rotate on a weekly basics or even attending workshops such as leather craft.

Besides shopping for crafts or arty-farty liftstyle products, children and adults could visit the Hamasan Museum of Taiwan Railway and pay to have a joy ride around the area on a mini train system that run on tracks. Probably one of the best instagrammable spot in Kaohsiung would be the large open area of railway tracks (last image). Besides tourists, many locals were seen having a picnic, gathering with family or friends as well as walking and playing with their doggy pals. Many large scale bronze/brass sculptures were randomly scattered across the plains as well.

I wanted to head back another day to revisit this place since tugging along my heavy trolley luggage that day was hindering my shopping and admiring process. Due to time constraint, I did not have the chance for a revisit after checking in though.

Anyway, left with 1 more post of my Taiwan (Kaohsiung) trip!

Check out my previous post on Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館 here!

Pier-2 Art Center Map

Pier-2 Art Center flea market

Pier-2 Art Center flea market

Pier-2 Art Center flea market

Pier-2 Art Center flea market

Pier-2 Art Center


Pier-2 Art Center

Pier-2 Art Center

Pier-2 Art Center

Pier-2 Art Center

Pier-2 Art Center Railway

Opening Hour : Monday to Thursday 10:00-18:00
                          Friday to Sunday 10:00-20:00
Pier-2 Art Center - Webpage

9 Mar 2017

DBS launches SPARK episode 6 at DBS Asia X

DBS Asia X

Who who've thought that DBS, a local leading consumer bank running a series of their own mini episodes?? I wasn't aware till I attended the launch of Sparks episode 6 at DBS Asia X a couple of days ago as this mini series redefines the conventional meaning of banking. DBS hopes that the public not only perceive them as a company that does transactions but also a company that embrace innovation and digitisation. 

DBS SPARK episode 6
Img. from DBS


Episode 6 of sparks is inspired by the true story of Zaya Learning Labs as they faces challenges while trying to bridge the education gap, bringing education to children in low income communities through the use of technology and innovation. Neil D'Souza, the founder of Zaya Learning Labs was one of the panelist that shared with us his story and advices that day. Zaya Learning Labs was also the grand prize winner in the inaugural DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia in 2014. 

Joining him as panellists on stage were also Dr. Alex Lin (Head of SGInnovate, DBS BusinessClass Advisor), Gillian Tee (Co-founder, Homage) and David Pong (Co-founder, WaterROAM), each with their own inspiring story to share.

Since the lanch of Sparks episodes 1-5 in Feburary 2016, their trailers together with the 5 episodes have garnered more than 42 million views and over 1.7 million digital engagements across the region.
You may want to check out these episodes from this link below before the launch of episode 6 on the 17th of March.

DBS SPARK episode 6
Host and the panellists

DBS SPARK episode 6
Gillian Tee (Co-founder, Homage)

DBS SPARK episode 6
Neil D'Souza (Zaya Learning Labs)

DBS SPARK episode 6
David Pong (Co-founder, WaterROAM)

DBS SPARK episode 6

It was an informative session for me as I learnt that DBS Foundation actually provides holistic support to social enterprises at every stage of their journey, assisting them in their success as well as scaling up their social impact.

I also took away some key advises from these founders at the end of the session as well. (Not in exact sentences but almost there..)

''There are 10 thousands reasons to say you are not ready. Do not be afraid to start the journey, experiment and fail. You need to be comfortable with a bit of chaos. It was the impact that kept me going'' - Gillian Tee

''Believe in yourself. Although you are clueless, pretend to know. Surround yourself with people who believe in your cause. Building a strong team is important. Deliver values and not let the media define your values.'' - David Pong

''Do not take investment from somebody who does not know. Get the right person. You need plenty of support as well.'' -Neil D'Souza

Anyway, couldn't wait for episode 6 to be up!  #DBSsparks

5 Mar 2017

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館 from Kaoh Siung 高雄

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

It has been almost a month since I came back from my trip from Taiwan, Kaoh Siung 高雄. I spent about a week in Kaoh Siung 高雄, mainly sight seeing in the urban cityscape and night market hopping as the friend I went with was a maniac in architectural and food photography. As for me? I definitely needed to visit places of relaxation or inspiration since I enjoy blogging about such stuff.

You probably won't find a week's worth of Kaoh Siung 高雄 itinerary since I only intend to share about Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館, Pier-2 Art Center and Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. Of course I had spammed enough pictures on my instagram as well as my migme account by now. 

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

The journey from Kaoh Siung 高雄 was long as it took about 2 hours (without traffic jam) by bus to reach 車城站. From 車城站, it was another 10 mins car ride or 45 mins walking distance to reach Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館.    

''Sichong river Hot Spring Area is located at Checheng Township in Pingtung County. The water here is Sodium Bicarbonate spring, excellent quality mineral water. The Sihjhongsi Hot Spring is considered one of the four major hot-spring areas among Taiwan, along with Yangmingshan, Beitou, and Guanziling.''

There were 2 spring options to pick from:

1) The semi outdoor naked spa 半露天景觀裸湯 which was more private and does not require you to wear swim suit and swimming cap. It comprises of Cold Spring Pool, Hot Spring Pool and Medium Hot Pool, costing NT$200 per person.

2) Health Spa Love Sea Water Therapy Spa 愛情海水療SPA which required me to purchase a swim suit and swimming cap since I did not bring mine. It comprises of  Hot Spring Spa, Spa For Children, Floral Hot Spring, Herb Hot Spring, Garra Rufa Obtuse, Cold Spring Pool, Hot Spring Pool, Medium Hot Pool and Steam Room. It cost NT$300 per person.

Garra Rufa Obtuse 溫泉親親魚池 is basically a tiny fish pond where you dip your feet in and these little fishes would start nibbling the dead skin off your feet. I even ''stole'' other people's fishes once my feet landed in LOL. 


Lockers available at a cost of NT$10 to place your belongings and their toilets have soap and shampoo as well. Many random photos below.

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

video
Garra Rufa Obtuse 溫泉親親魚池

Fennel Hot Spring Resort 茴香戀戀溫泉會館

Overall it was a relaxing experience since the day before, I spent half the entire day cycling to the end (cargo area) of Cijin. The distance sure was crazy....definitely CRAZY in a foreign land. Not forgetting walking over 30km each day...

There were many cute little kids playing around, more like a family orientated Hot Spring Resort and the place was not exactly well maintained since there were faulty activation buttons. I should not be complaining since I paid only NT$300 for unlimited time and I probably spend about 3-4 hours in there. Hmmm maybe more hotspring and spa posts in future?

You may want to check out their web page for more information here: http://www.fennel.com.tw

28 Jan 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show (19 - 22 Jan, 2017)

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Having heard about Singapore Contemporary Art Show (2nd edition) which opens on 19 January, 2017 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, I decided to make my way down with a friend on the very last day despite the gloomy weather that persuaded me to think twice.

The event falls strategically during Singapore Art Week which was from January 11 - 22 Jan,
2017. It hosted over 90 exhibitors, featuring a wide collection of paintings, sculptures as well as photography works. Most of these artists were also present, probably during the opening as I visited 2 hours before the event finale. Yup, I missed all the exciting talks, workshops and other sessions that were available to the public. 

My intention to visit was mainly to admire these art works, get inspirations as well as to snap photos of art that captured my attention and liking. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one capturing photos since I spotted many other art enthusiasts or collectors doing the same thing. Gone with the awkward ''am I the only one taking photos?'' feeling. Besides the countless photos which I had taken but only posted a couple of my favourites, I also uploaded 2 brief videos of what it was like in Singapore Contemporary. Not much of a crowd actually, perfect to tour around comfortably while I often looked up to see which country each exhibitors were from. I felt that a country's culture would definitely influence the artists' style of art.

Anyway, feel free to check out Singapore Contemporary's web page link below for more information:

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

Singapore Contemporary Art Show 2017

video

video


18 Jan 2017

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar by Ippudo at Marina Bay Sands

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar

Marina Bay Sands is known to be one of the more difficult places in Singapore when it comes to finding an affordable meal (at least to many of us, besides the 'high-end' food court).

With the opening of Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar by Ippudo, those working around the vicinity or frequent Marina Bay Sands visitors / Pokemon trainers would rejoice as each bowl of ramen only cost $8 to $12!

Like many ramen outlets out there, customers would be given a form where they could customise the hardness of noodles, intensity of the soup as well as the amount of oil. I love my ramen to have extra garlic but with no onions! I usually enjoy strong broth but 'light flavor' would be my preferred option here since the soup base was kind of overwhelming.

Be prepared to be full since each bowl contains 140g of thick noodles instead of the usual 100g standard of Ippudo.
I had the KURO-OBI ($12) (top right bowl form the above image) and the ingredients were done perfectly to my liking. Molten yolk egg, tender chicken chashu and soft vegetables that still retained a bite.
The other ramens available were SHIRO-OBI ($8), AKA-OBI ($10) and CHA-OBI ($9).

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar

If you would prefer to sit in, relax and enjoy your meal, Ippudo (located beside Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar) would probably be your option instead.

The Goboten Salad with Collagen Tonkatsu Dressing would be your average salad with the addition of goboten. A quick google search told me that goboten is a root type vegetable, which is actually very rich in dietary fibres.

Our Hakata Bite Size Gyoza ($9 for 5 pieces ; $16 for 10 pieces) came a little darker than usual but not burnt. Yup, I could finish one in a bite.

The Pork Belly Bun ($5) came in cute dim sum baskets. They make decent bites for those who would want a less filling non-ramen meal.

Samurai Rib ($7 per piece ; $13 for 2) was a new dish of a refreshing twist to me. It looks partially fried, giving it a slightly crisp exterior. The meat inside was delicious yet tender.   

Corn Balls (decided to call them that since I forgot the actual name) were actual corns, clustered and deep fried, finished with paprika! It was so addictive and one would never be enough.

Looking like a mini bowl of ramen, the Almond Jelly Noodle ($6) was an interesting twist to how desserts should look like. Equipped with a pair of chopsticks, I started slurping down the silky smooth agar noodle, gulping down the remaining bowl of almond soy milk (if I am not wrong). 
My friend even mistaken that piece of goji berry to be chili padi!

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Goboten Salad with Collagen Tonkatsu Dressing

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Hakata Bite Size Gyoza ($9 for 5 pieces ; $16 for 10 pieces)

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Pork Belly Bun ($5)

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Samurai Rib ($7 per piece ; $13 for 2)

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Corn Balls

Kuro-Obi Take-Away Bar
Almond Jelly Noodle ($6)