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New York Travelogue – (Part 2): Brooklyn Bridge, Charging Bull, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Washington Square, Times Square and Bryant Park

Our stay in New York City – Club Quarters Hotel at the World Trade Center. Beautiful view of the city’s skyscrapers at the skydeck. The hotel’s snack bar has unlimited flow of canned soft drinks, coffee, nuts and snacks for guests.

The hotel was located near to the 9/11 Memorial and the vicinity was not as congested with human crowds as Times Square. The skydeck overlooking the reflecting pools.

And so we took a 3km walk to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City. It connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spanning the East River.

Popular pop-up food stalls in New York City.

The kids soaking themselves in the sights and culture on each stop.

Travelling to New York on a budget. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip if you kno whow to avoid paying too much money. Avoid pop up stalls selling simple food we thought it was expensive. Instead of signing up for guided walking tours, we thought it would be better to explore by ourselves using google maps.

At the start of the bridge walk. The bridge is a quite popular tourist attraction the best time to be here is early in the morning so that we can avoid the crowds later in the day.

There was a bike lane at the bridge in which a steady steam of cyclists never fails to utilise that lane. We were blessed that the weather was about 15 degrees else we would be sweating by the time we finished our walk.

This is the best place to catch sunrise and sunset. Photo-taking was a challenge as the crowds began to build. We chanced upon a camera team recording MTV.

Just to note that the pedestrain walk is made of wood. Reality is often different from what you see from social media where tourists dressed in tip-top costumes and high heels just for sake of taking the insta-worthy pictures. Hope the heels did not get stuck! We would suggest to forgo vanity for practicality when walking the Brooklyn Bridge.

Charging Bull, which is sometimes referred to as the Wall Street Bull or the Bowling Green Bull, is a bronze sculpture that stands in Bowling Green in the Financial District in Manhattan, New York City. It is the symbol of the US Stock Market.

The jetty was a short walk from the Charging Bull. With the tickets we purchased from 9/11 Museum, we would be taking ferry to the Liberty Island.

It was freezing cold! Visitors could opt to sit at the balcony or the sheltered basement.

Getting closer to the Statue of Liberty..

It was not a wasted trip. We thought of the possiblity of viewing Statue of Liberty from the mainland but decided to pay a visit to the island. It wasn’t expensive and by getting near here would mean we could take decent pictures.

It was also a perfect place to view the Big Apple from another angle.

To our pleasant surprise, we did not know that our tickets also included a visit to the Ellis Island. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is located in the Main Building of the former immigration station complex and tells the moving tales of the 12 million immigrants who entered America through the golden door of Ellis Island. Today, the descendants of those immigrants account for almost half of the American people.

We learned about the history of early immigrants. Actually we were not big fans of museums.

Once we returned to the mainland, we hopped onto the subway to Washington Park.

This place was basically an outskirt from the busyness of the city. Not much attractions but it would be a charming place to immerse ourselves with the life of locals.

And we were being interviewed by the college students who were doing a social experiment.

We tried McDonald’s 🙂

Some said NYC is a city of endless possibilities. We were amazed upon reaching Times Square. It was so beautiful!

Located in the heart of New York City, Times Square is home to some of the most famous attractions New York has to offer.

We were just trying to find sweet spots for photo-taking.

Exploring the stores.

Macy’s Herald Square is the flagship of the Macy’s department store chain; it is located on Herald Square in Manhattan, New York City.

Big M got what she has been looking forward to.

Amazon Books located on 34th Street (Manhattan).

The prices were not cheaper than online. In fact they were priced the same.

The Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. We did not go up as that would mean paying for expensive tickets.

Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, the Madison Square Garden is situated atop Pennsylvania Station. If one were to wonder why it is so famous, this is the home ground of the famous New York Knicks.

Up next is the Bryant Park. Surrounded by skyscrappers, Bryant Park is Bryant Park is visited many people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in NYC.

The ice skating rink would come to life during Christmas. What an atmosphere!

There’s no better place to chill out other than Bryant Park.

Next to the Bryant Park was the Whole Foods Market which offered a full range of high-quality and natural food. It is overlooking the beautiful Bryant Park and the New York Public Library.

At 43,000 square feet, the store has two levels of retail space that will host a full range of high-quality natural and organic goods, as well as the “News Agency,” a coffee and juice bar, which will pay homage to the look and feel of the city’s classic newsstands. Here’s our order. Microwave ovens were provided for diners to warm up their food.

We love the Big Apple!

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London Travelogue – (Part 5): Stevenage and Emirates Stadium

We were greeted with light rain on our final day in London. The sky was cloudy but we were determined to end the day fruitfully.

With most of the main attractions covered, we took it easy today and googled for nearby places to explore.

The rain started to pelt and we took shelter at a train station.

Hopping onto the train with our Oyster cards, we had no idea where to go. Since we were not driving, taking a train ride to see the surroundings might be a good idea.

Thanks to the rain, the weather were freezingly cold and we were loving it!

The train took us into the countryside and we passed by hills, seen cattle grazing and lovely houses.

We were kind of lost and didn’t know where to alight. The train captain was surprised we had no destination in mind and recommended that we visit a little town by the name of Stevenage. Stevenage is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, 28 miles north of London.

Alas, oyster card is not valid here and we had to pay a fine of about $50. The staff was friendly and chatted with us while he prepared tickets for us to exit.

A lovely little town to explore. Maybe not that fantastic for sightseeing but it was an ideal place to buy cheap loots.

Stevenage was pretty much like Bedok neighbourhood where you could find rows of shophouses.

Delicious germany sausages..nice to try in such a cold weather.

Yes, everything’s $1!

A haven for shopping.

The Iceland store. Wait till we see how cheap the items were.

How we wished we were living over here. It’s near impossible to find such prices over in Singapore. These items were not junk qualities either.

At the other end of the town, there were restaurants and a large Cineplex.

Had our dinner here. The chicken looked kind of dry.

We headed back to our Airbnb but before that we suddenly realised our place was near to Emirates Stadium! And so we alighted from the train and followed the signs to Arsenal.

It took about 15 mins to walk from the train stadium. Along the way, we came across houses and they were so beautifully lighted and decorated with Christmas props.

The residents living in these houses were probably the most blessed of all. Just 20m in front of the Emirates Stadium, they could attend EPL match at their convenience every week!

They might not appreciate soccer but it was a worthwhile visit to the famous soccer club.

This capped off our London trip and we booked a Blackberry Car to the airport at 1am. No hidden cost and the driver was professional. The next time we visit London, we will definitely book with them again. Next up, we will travel over 3500 miles or 8 hours of flight time to New York City!

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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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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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The Best Places to Introduce Your Kids to Thai Food in Singapore

There’s something quite charming about eating Thai cuisine. In Thailand, dining is a family thing. All dishes are shared at the table at once, allowing brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers to enjoy the fragrant flavours of Thai cooking together. On the whole, Thai food relies heavily on its combination of spicy and sour flavours. Of course, there are many other ingredients that add further subtle dimensions and aromas, but Thai food is certainly considered some of the spiciest in south-east Asia. If you’re thinking of helping your children become acquainted with delicious Thai food, you’ll be pleased to know there are many fantastic Thai restaurants throughout the Lion City.

Thai J泰J花園泰式創意料理065” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by 羽諾

One major bonus for Thai over other Asian cuisines such as Chinese is that it’s easier for youngsters to eat. Traditionally, Chinese food is eaten with chopsticks, which can be somewhat off-putting for little ones that can’t get to grips – quite literally – with their new found eating devices. Meanwhile, Thai food is more often eaten with forks and spoons, with chopsticks only used to eat noodle-based soups and broths. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best family-friendly Thai restaurants in Singapore.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum” (CC BY 2.0) by kewl

Jai Thai Restaurant, Purvis Street

If you’re looking for a wide range of dining options, look no further than Jai Thai’s extensive menu offering over 100 Thai dishes. They also offer individual set menus for families that aren’t overly fussed about sharing different plates. The restaurant’s specialities include Pandan Chicken and a mesmerising Thai Green Curry that goes down perectly with a side of sticky pineapple rice.

Joe’s Kitchen, Bukit Merah Lane

As casual, laid-back Thai restaurants go, Joe’s Kitchen must be up there with the best. Established for more than a decade, Joe’s Kitchen has become a go-to eatery for families looking for authentic Thai snacks at reasonable rates. Joe and his team can also tailor the spiciness in each dish depending on the tastes of you and your bambinos. Their stuffed chicken wings are the ultimate fun Thai-style finger food!

Aroy Dee Thai Kitchen, Middle Road

Specialising in north-eastern Thai cuisine, Aroy Dee Thai Kitchen offers a great-value hawker centre-style dining experience. Lots of Singaporean and Thai families like to convene here, with their generous portions, as well as extensive starter and main options. Better still, you’re more than likely to get change from $10 per head here.

E-Sarn, Ridgewood Close

Nestled away neatly in a quiet cul-de-sac near North Buona Vista Road is the casual family-run E-Sarn Thai restaurant. At the front of house, mother Neng and son Guy are extremely accommodating when it comes to recommending dishes and adhering to requests on levels of spice. If your family are fish fiends, they’ll love tucking into the steamed sea bass, topped with toasted coconuts, lime and fried baby shrimp.

Of course, an alternative option would be let your kids experience Thai food and flavours in the comfort of you family home first. Deliveroo deliver restaurant-ready Thai food to homes across the city state. This allows your children to sample the dishes they do and don’t like without the trauma of going out to eat in a busy restaurant. Once you’re aware of their likes and dislikes, it will make ordering out at your favourite Thai joint that much easier – and cost-effective too!

As Singapore is in the same peninsular as tropical Thailand it’s unsurprising that the Lion City specialises in Thai flavours. Who knows, if your children fall in love with Thai cuisine just as much as you do, it could transform extra-special occasions in the future.

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