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Habitat by Honestbee: Uniquely Shopping and Dining Experience for Family

Just by word of mouth is enough to draw us to explore Habitat at Honestbee. The newly-opened supermart prides itself as a multi-sensory, tech-meets-food grocery and dining experience like no other. See, smell, hear, touch and taste fresh flavours and food items from across the globe – all in one habitat by honestbee.

When we arrived, many curious and eager shoppers were crowding at the entrance, opening or setting up their “Bee Pass” to enter/exit habitat. Yes, first of its kind experience. You do not need to bring any physical wallets and there are no ATMs to be seen as well. Just your “Bee Pass” will do.

Potted plants for sale after entering Habitat.

We read that Habitat occupies the space of slightly larger than a football field. Upon stepping into the compound, we were greeted with so many shoppers (probably their first time).

A long queue was forming at the coconut stall. Amazing, each fresh trimmed coconut was selling for only $0.95! No wonder they are the best sellers. We thought it’s a worthy buy, at least not spending more than $4 on bubble tea.

Big & Small M made a beeline to take a mandatory photo with the friendly bee when it came by.

Exploring the section near the entrance before our hunger pang strikes. According to Honestbee, the produce were sourced directly from farmers and established producers from across the globe.

Cute cup noodles from Korea and Japan.

If you are observant enough, you get to see peoples’ orders are packed quickly and transported by these conveyor belts.

 Dining here is akin to having design thinking, digital marketing and digital awareness coming alive right in front of you.

And so, we had our lunch here. To order our food, we can’t order direct from the stalls. The only way to order is through your Honestbee app under “Habitat”. E-receipt is emailed to you and via the app, you can track your order and receive notification that your food is ready to collect.

Honestly, Habitat wasn’t as big as we thought it was. Probably much of the space was taken up for storage or collection/packing. It would be good if Honestbee can introduce stationery or some electronic items in the future to make the shopping experience more fulfilling.

Finally managed to find seats after waiting for quite a while. This is Little Neck Clams and Bacon.

Milk Made: Frozen shakes & bakes.

Tiger Beer battered fish & chips.

Crumble Vairhona Chocolate.

Poofy Pancakes served with vanilla chantilly cream, maple syrup and fresh berries.

Australia Grass-fed Flank Steak. Served with roasted chat potatoes, roasted plum tomatoes, herb salad.

Cute and shiny utensils. They are actually made of plastic 🙂

We have a soft spot for fresh bakes.

Free tasting at the Lazy Loaf counter.

Exploring the remaining sections. Fresh seafood are a hit with shoppers. The best part was that you can pick your seafood and the masterchef will cook it for you.

While almost everything is automated, we still need human assistance to help us figure out how to complete our purchase.

Scan our order and the trolley will check out and be automatically rolled into the packing area.

In case you are wondering whether you need to “rush” to the collection point after checking out your trolley, there is no need to. You can still dine or shop additional items and when ready, just proceed to the collection point to collect your honest purchase.

At the collection point, served by robot courier!

Shuttle bus is also available between Harbourfront to Habitat at Honestbee.

Address: 34 Boon Leat Terrace S(119866)

Bus: 10, 30, 30E, 51, 143, 175, 176, 188, 188E

MRT: Labrador Park, Pasir Panjang

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Family Friendly Restaurant: Thai-licious Boat Noodles @ Liang Seah Street, Simply Delicious!

Thai cuisines are undeniably one of the best cuisines in the world. Very often, we would think that tasting such heavenly dishes would require us to be whisked off to the Land of Smiles to experience it. Not really.

In fact, it didn’t take too long by word of mouth for us to try out the mouth-watering array of dishes brimming with the exicting flavours of Thailand at Thai-licious Boat Noodles, newly-opened and conveniently located at #01-01, 8 Liang Seah Street.

The ethos at Thai-licious Boat Noodles is all about woking up the best and authentic Thai food in Singapore at reasonable prices to boot.

Free Wi-Fi is a bonus to the ever data-hungry geeks for them to share Instagram worthy pictures of Thai-licious’ dishes to whet your appetite.

Good Old Thai Food

It’s time for our taste buds to fall in love with Thai food. Thai Boat Noodles are notably the restaurant’s core cuisine. We were at a lost on what to order simply because there are too many incredibly good cuisines to choose from! But still, we manage to savour some of their best dishes and just one trip here might not do justice to the allure of this restaurant.

These are our humble orders..

Strong flavoured Thai Boat Noodles (pork/beef) are notably the restaurant’s core cuisine. Served in either small ($1.90) or large bowls ($7.50) and packed with such awesomeness, it would be hard to resist and give it a miss.

Seafood Tom Yum Soup ($12), hot and sour soup base that is aromatic. It comes with fresh mussels, crunchy tiger prawns, thick cuts of fish and squid. We tasted and it was really spicy!

The Braised Pork ($15) brings out the flavour of tender cuts and it is served with blanched bean sprouts and crispy garlic sprinkles. A big favourite by Big & Small M 🙂

The Thai Papaya Salad ($10) comes with a generous portion of shredded ingredients consisting of thick, crunchy unripen papaya shreds, long beans and cherry tomatoes flavoured with the right amount of sweetness and tang.

Phad Thai Wrapped in Omelette ($10.50). Widely recognised as one of the best Thai street food, our insatiable craving for Phad Thai has become the must-try food in the bucket list during our visit to this restaurant. The picture says it all – you will only understand why after tasting a mouthful of Phad Thai, with the sauce flavour, bean sprouts, crunchy prawns and ingredients blending together in such harmony.

Braised Beef Tendon Rice ($8.90), with tender pieces of beef slow-cooked in a flavorful sauce of soy sauce.

Spicing up our evening with galore of these Thai food!

We ordered these desserts which tasted super chewy but not sticky to the teeth. The Thai Mochi ($7) which comes in 3 flavours such as Mango, Thai Milk Tea and Taro, is a treat for the sweet toothed. Expect delightful ice-cream fillings enveloped in a smooth skin of glutinous rice-flour.

Topping up with the ever popular Mango Sticky Rice ($10).

Thai-licious has a rather extensive menu with over 50 items for a small sized eatery, hence customers can return to savour dishes they have yet to try whenever the Thai hankerings kick in. Did we mention that Thai-licious has no 7% GST charge and their dishes are specially prepared by chefs from Thailand? 🙂 

Thai-licious Address & Opening Hours
8 Liang Seah Street, #01-01, Singapore 189029
Mon –Thur: 1100 to 2200
Fri – Sun: 1100 to 2400

Social Media
Facebook: fb.me/thailiciousboatnoodles
Instagram: Thai-licious Boat Noodles

Restaurant & General Inquiries
Email: contactus@thailicious.com.sg
Tel: 69179857

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Brotzeit German Bier Bar and Restaurant

First time dining at Brotzeit and fell in love with the food.

CRISPY OVEN-ROASTED PORK KNUCKLE

PAN-SEARED BARRAMUNDI

Pan-seared sustainably farmed Barramundi fillet on a bed of fresh German egg noodles, with lemon herb cream sauce.

GRILLED PORK SAUSAGES

A firm German favourite, and one of Brotzeit’s signature dishes, the sausages are hearty and packed with flavour. Served with mashed potato and sauerkraut, and best enjoyed with a pint of our premium German draught beer.

BREADED CAMEMBERT

Three nuggets of oozy cheesy goodness, a decadent choice for cheese-lovers. Served with cranberry cream.

BREADED PRAWN

Enjoy the golden crunch – deep-fried breaded prawns with home-made tartar sauce.

MEDLEY OF SPREADS

Sliced premium multi-grain bread served with four traditional German spreads: Obatzda (German cheese spread), Griebenschmalz (bacon spread), Leberpastete (liver paté), and Kartofel Käse (potato cheese spread).

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What you need to know before taking a home loan

Taking out a home loan can be a nerve wracking experience, and a big deal for everyone. It is often said that home purchase involves the biggest capital outlay in a person’s life and especially in Singapore where home assets do not seem to stop appreciating, this is the hard truth that everyone has to come to terms with. However, taking on a debt in the form of a home loan, when researched carefully, can be your friend.

Before settling down in your dream home, here are the questions you should know the answer to before getting your home loan.

#1 Deciding between Fixed Rate vs. Floating Rate Home Loans

Unless you are paying in full for the property, you will be affected by changes to the interest rate. Home loans are typically offered in 2 categories:

a. Fixed Rate

Fixed rate packages maintain the same interest rate during a lock-in period of 1 to 5 years, regardless of market conditions, after which the interest rate converts into a floating rate. Should customers decide to refinance during the lock-in period, banks may impose penalties. Nonetheless, fixed-rate mortgage packages are favoured by many home buyers in view of their expectations of further interest-rate hikes and protects you from any upward interest rate movement.

b. Floating Rate

Floating rate packages have interest rates that fluctuate daily, usually pegged to the SIBOR and SOR indices. They can come with or without lock-in periods. Home buyers who opt for floating rates usually take advantage of the low interest rate environment and monthly instalment amounts. This is particularly usefil in a flat-to-declining interest rate environment.

To this end, home buyers should be mindful to choose home loan packages based on their needs instead of trying to take advantage of short-term interest rate movements.

#2 Affordability

Your current financial commitments affect your affordability. Here are some useful pointers to consider:

a. TDSR

Under the latest Government regulations in Singapore, your Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) cannot exceed 60% of your income. If you are already taking on a car loan, personal loans or credit card debts, it may affect Approval in Principle (AIP) from your bank of choice. The trick to increase your loan application chance is to maintain zero to low debt ratio.

#3 Fees and Charges

When it comes to home loans, you may be inclined to settled on the cheapest home loan rate, but do remember to compare the fees and charges applicable to the loan. Fees and charges are levied under these circumstances:

– Processing the loan application

– Withdrawl after accepting loan offer

– Late payment

– Amending the loan tenor

– Restructuring the loan

– Processing the loan application

Those fees could add up to a few thousand dollars, so it’s worth knowing how much your banks in Singapore might charge you. The amount you can borrow will typically be the same across banks. So, you are not obligated to go with a bank just because it has pre-approved your loan. It is smart to seek pre-approval from multiple banks so you have options before making a conscious decision on a loan to take.

Regardless of whether you are planning to buy a hdb or private property, a great home loan deal always come with making smart decisions by comparing home loans and mortgage interest rates online. A good place to start is Moneysmart which serves as an effective tool for online loan comparison which you can surf at the comfort of your home or anywhere you prefer, so long as you have your smart device with you. Moneysmart has come as a good choice for loan comparison. The browsing experience has been intuitive, with the website creating user experience at the forefront of their thoughts. I find the site easy to navigate, stored with current and useful information and it is definitely a breeze when comparing the latest home loan deals. You would know which site to bookmark and make a visit the next time you need information on home loan packages to assist you.

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D’BUN 利满: CAFE@356 in Joo Chiat

True-blue foodies are willing to travel great distances in search of good eats. In the heart of Joo Chiat, there are no lack of culinary hotspots and most recently, D’bun (the bun specialist) newly opened Cafe@356, a cosy, homely concept that delivers the best home cooked flavours.

We know the weather can be unforgiving in the afternoon, with the sun scorching down on us. With the air-conditioned ambience, the cafe provides a great respite for customers.

Not forsaking its traditional product offerings, one can expect to find authentic light-bites. The owner shared that they aimed to make their foods with fresh, subtle and natural tasting flavours. As such, the products from our kitchens are hand made in small batches using quality ingredients.

From the way they are, the products simply doesn’t need any further embellishment.

With the mid-autumn approaching, would you like to try D’Bun Mooncakes which are baked fresh using fillings blended so that they are not overwhelmingly sweet and come in several traditional varieties. The suite of mooncake comes in these styles – snow skin, traditional baked and baked pastry.

Trying out their ever popular freshly made buns. Your first bite will be a revelation. We are not sure if they are absolutely addictive, but you just can’t give it a miss.

CHAN2 (1)

Absolutely love these light-bites, served in pretty generous portion! The soya-bean milk is a thirst-quencher.

Their shop cannot be easily missed when you step into Joo Chiat Road.

Main Branch
358 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427603
Open Daily 8am – 10pm
T: +65 6345 8220
F: +65 6344 8110

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Old Siglap Flats: Goodbye Yesterday, Hello Tomorrow

Four blocks of low-rise HDB flats (pictured) at the junction of East Coast Road and Siglap Road are set to be demolished under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS).

Officially opened in 1964 by Siglap assemblyman Rahim Ishak, the flats were built to house residents whose homes were destroyed by a fire in 1962. It was learnt that  the fire was sparked by firecrackers near the then-famous Siglap Market (now rebuilt into Siglap Centre) during the Chinese New Year celebrations of 1962.

Capturing the photographic memories before the estate is demolished to make way for new development.

One of the ten commercial shops that once, used to serve many residents here. This traditional barber shop had operated for more than 40 years.

There are a total of four blocks which are made up entirely of two-bedroom units. Do you know that these HDB blocks have no lifts and each block is only served by a single staircase.

Most of the 117 units are two-bedders, with a third comprising rental flats.

Walking in, you will notice a neighbourhood preschool. The little ones who had attended the school would have been grown up by now.

Searching high and low for some outdoor activities to motivate your kids? Surprised to discover an outdoor playground, still in good condition, at the back of the estate.

With the advent of modernisation, the old Siglap HDB flats and its decaying surroundings have not escaped from the throes of urban redevelopment. Being a popular residential location, it looks like construction will continue to take place in Siglap, building onto its existing popularity. This trip has been fruitful, bringing back these precious pictures to archive in my photo library.

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Family Friendly Activities: Explore Qian Hu Fish Farm

This was our first trip to Qian Hu Fish Farm at the far west of Singapore. This place offers a beautiful, rustic feel that provides a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. When we arrived, there were many families here to get an insight into farm life and have some fun.

If you are not aware, Qian Hu is an integrated “one-stop” ornamental fish service provider where fish lovers  can buy ornamental fish as well as aquarium accessories.

The sound of air bubbles and sight of fishes have such therapeutic effect where it makes one feel happier just by gazing at these ‘water friends’.

Qian Hu Fish Farm also provides group tours as well which you can check out here.

Reminisce the good old kampong days.  Remember when families got together and children were out playing and enjoyed netting fishes from the canals and streams?  Bring your kids down to Qian Hu and let them experience the same excitement and joy of catching their own fishes, bringing them home and caring for them.

Longkang fishing over here for your little ones? A fun activity for families and children where kiddos sprint into action to scoop fishes from simple fishing nets.

Catch of the day! These fishes are live-bearers.

For those who are interested to buy some fishes back, head into the Fish Gallery.

Stacks and stacks of ornamental fishes displayed neatly along the aisles.

Beautiful albino guppies!

Different varieties of cichlid fishes.

Betta corner. A good choice for those who do not want the hassle of setting up fish tank and filtration system.

Bettas, also known as “Siamese fighting fish”, are popular pets recognized for their aggressiveness, interactivity, and low cost for care and maintenance. You do not need air pump to maintain them. They are sturdy and beautiful to look at. The better grades do not come cheap though.

Open-net fish farms.

Clumsy-looking Ranchu Goldfish is popular throughout the world. It originated in China and was further developed in Japan in the late 1800s. With its round, broad body and large bulbous head, it is also known as the Buffalo-head Goldfish, especially in Asia.

Little corners for families and kids to chill out.

Qian Hu Fish Farm Trading
仟湖鱼场贸易 

71, Jalan Lekar, Sungei Tengah
Singapore 698950
Tel: 65-6766 7087 (10 Lines)
Fax: 65-6766 3995
Contact: Andy Yap
Email: fishexport@qianhu.com 
Website : www.qianhufish.com

 

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