Strangers’ Reunion @ Kampong Bahru Road // A dash of white magic and so much more

Strangers' Reunion, Crabcake Reunion Strangers' Reunion, Father's Favourite Sandwich Strangers' Reunion, White Magic

We enter the warmly-lit cafe and are quite taken aback by the buzz and energy rolling off the crowd in waves. The waitress at the door motions for us to follow her once she gathers it’s just two of us she needs to seat, while the family of four in front are told to wait for a bigger table – they’re all taken. We weave our way through the packed interior, past tables of boisterous mid-twenties and hungry expats, and sit by the window in what I deem an appropriate spot for food photography. Plenty of natural light, sturdy wood benchtop. Perfect.

Strangers' Reunion, Singapore

The cafe is clearly in vogue with the cafe-going crowd this side of the city. From the folks who brought us the likes of Curious Palette on Prinsep Street, it’s really no surprise. Perhaps it is the minimalist interior, with its touch of chic rustic homeliness, that keeps everyone coming back. Or, it could very well be the food dished out here — hearty and healthy with a good pinch of aesthetic finesse. One thing’s for sure: whatever Strangers’ Reunion is doing, it’s clearly doing it right.

Strangers' Reunion, Crabcake Reunion Strangers' Reunion, Singapore

Your heart will be stolen by the luscious flavours of the Crabcake Reunion, with its eye-catching presentation and impressive list of ingredients that make up the stack: ribbons of asparagus, a delightfully fluffy crab croquette, creamy avocado chunks, a poached egg that oozes perfectly, aburi chive hollandaise, and a smattering of ikura and micro herbs for colour.

Strangers' Reunion, White Magic Strangers' Reunion drinks

Thirsty? You will never taste anything more decadent than their bottled Sea Salt Chocolate – an elixir for sweet tooths who like their sweet treats with a twist. Creamy coffee lovers will no doubt want to make return trips to pick up orders of White Magic (it will heal any ailment).

Strangers’ Reunion is located at 35 Kampong Bahru Road. Closest MRT Station? Outram Park. If you have the time, have a little wander around the area after brunch. Neil Road, Everton Road and Blair Road are littered with old shophouses. You’ll find everything from antique stores to art dealers to hidden cafes. Walk a little further and you’ll find a few residential blocks and plenty of greenery. Spottiswoode Park Road and the nearby HDBs are home to some stray kitties. Blocks 106 and 107 have great views of the Keppel Harbour and all the colourful containers that come to port.

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The Datai Langkawi: The Tropical Paradise You’ve Always Dreamed Of

The Datai Langkawi The Datai Langkawi The Datai Langkawi

There are so many things we loved about The Datai Langkawi —

The fact that it is surrounded by lush virgin rainforest. The abundance of wildlife, including tame dusky leaf monkeys and cheeky macaques intent on climbing through the guestroom balcony window. The constant cicada noises that echo through the surrounding forest. The balmy sea breezes that cocoon you in tropical bliss. The sound of calm waves washing along the shore by the Beach Club. The sunbirds and swallows and hornbills that drop in to say hello. The resort’s dark wood furniture and modern touches here and there. The pretty orchid blossoms that are thoughtfully placed throughout the bedroom and bathroom. The little green frogs in the lilypad pond by the Lobby Lounge that insist on hopping all over the place — up pillars and down corridors. The panoramic view of the Thai islands belonging to Tarutao National Park in the distance (we were that close to the border!). The two swimming pools — the smaller ‘family’ pool by the beach and the larger one that the lobby overlooks. The fancy breakfasts each morning at The Dining Room (think DIY cocktails and à la minute signature dishes, among a decent buffet spread). The much-needed peace and quiet. And, as a cherry on top: the fact that there is high-speed wifi pretty much everywhere. Including down at the beach, and at every far-reaching restaurant of this sprawling place, so you can do your work wherever you are!

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Whisk & Paddle @ Tebing Lane, Singapore // For nature lovers with a penchant for waterfront dining

Whisk & Paddle, Singapore Whisk & Paddle, Singapore Whisk & Paddle, Singapore

In the middle of nowhere, set amongst a backdrop of lush greenery, located on the banks of the tranquil Punggol Serangoon Reservoir, Whisk & Paddle ticks all the away-from-the-bustling-city boxes, plus they dish up some good grub and lip-smacking beverages to make any discerning foodie want to fork out some serious cash here. With such an extensive menu and plenty of tables to go around, it’s the perfect place to bring a group of friends for a hearty brunch. And yes, that’s pretty much what we did over the weekend.

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Japan 2016: Enjoying the crisp Autumn air of Nakameguro in November

Meguro River, Nakameguro, Tokyo Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan

Since we’d already been to all the essential must-visit spots around Tokyo over the last few years (y’know, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa, and all that), we made it our priority this time around to avoid the well-trodden areas and to hit up more obscure parts of the city. Cue Nakameguro, which is pretty famous for its cherry tree-lined river and tranquil streets.

The area around the Meguro River is enchanting in Autumn, when the hidden late morning sun shrouds the quiet walkways in silver light. While Nakameguro certainly is a bit of a ghost town on weekdays, James and I quite enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere, plus it was something we probably needed at the start of our week-long finally-some-time-away-from-work vacation in Japan.

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Hitting up Wimbly Lu Chocolates for a matcha latte + an update about life

Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore

Celebrating the last chill weekend before everything gets all hectic again. In a couple of days, we’ll be heading to Kuching for an overseas wedding, then hopping straaaight into the Christmas fray back in Singapore right after that. The fam’s all coming to join us from Down Under on Christmas Eve and everything’s going to be loud – and James will no doubt want to host an ambitious Christmas dinner or something crazy. Looking forward to it all, but for now, I think I’m happy just having a laid-back Saturday. In other news, I’ve rekindled my fondness for matcha lattes.

Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore

I wrote a blog post about Wimbly Lu Chocolates back in February – have a look if you’re interested in knowing more about the cosy little cafe! ;)

Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore

Common Man Coffee Roasters @ Martin Road, Singapore // Hipsters of Robertson Quay

Common Man Coffee Roasters, Singapore Common Man Coffee Roasters, Singapore Common Man Coffee Roasters, Singapore

Overpriced perhaps, but home to a unique enough menu that stands out from the typical Eggs Bennys of today’s saturated cafe scene in Singapore. And really, those steep prices are probably to cover the cost of the cafe being in such an upmarket location. That said, Robertson Quay offers a handful of other decent cafes – Toby’s Estate and The Book Cafe come to mind. But I think Common Man has been on everyone’s radar for a while. Anyway, I chanced upon the cafe during a work thing, and because it looked so gosh darn pretty, I decided to go back to try the coffee and food that very same week with James.

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The Coffee Daily @ Brighton Crescent, Singapore // Nostalgic neighbourhood fix

The Coffee Daily, Singapore The Coffee Daily, Singapore The Coffee Daily, Singapore

Just over a decade ago, I lived in a house just a stone’s throw away from Brighton Crescent. The Coffee Daily wasn’t around then (they launched in 2012, I believe). Today, the row of shophouses there have evolved somewhat. While the area is still a quiet and sleepy one, despite its close proximity to Serangoon Gardens, there’s definitely a reason to make a trip down, if only to see what the cafes here have to offer. Continue reading “The Coffee Daily @ Brighton Crescent, Singapore // Nostalgic neighbourhood fix”