Domino’s Bloggers Appreciation Night 2013

[This post was supposed to be out earlier, but I've been down and out with work and illness  > _ <  Also, apologies in advance for the less-than-stellar photo quality, camera phones don't do too well in romantic lighting T_T]

The last (very late!) post of 2013 which completes the trilogy of fast food-related postings here (the first 2 being McDonald’s Ebi Burger launch and McHappy Day).

I attended the Bloggers Appreciation Night 2013, hosted by Domino’s and Omy.sg, on December 17th. Now the previous food events that I’ve been to have been small-sized gatherings – so I was pleasantly surprised to see balloons, banquet tables and banners all around; more akin to a bloggers’ annual dinner ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

Domino's pizza

A pretty posh shindig! ^o^

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Celebrating McDonald’s McHappy Day in Singapore #McHappyDaySg!

Did you buy yourself a Ronald Smile last Sunday, 10th November? If you did, then congratulations on being part of McDonald’s global fundraiser drive in support of sick children in our community ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

McDonald's McHappy Day RMHC Singapore

McDonald’s McHappy Day RMHC Singapore

These Ronald Smiles, sold for $2 each, help the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to provide medical assistance for the critically ill children in Singapore. A new cornerstone of RMHC Singapore is the Ronald McDonald House at National University Hospital (RMH@NUH), a free 24/7 accommodation facility for families of children in intensive care. The parents of such children – facing cancer, trauma, or undergoing major surgery – are already emotionally worn down and heartsick. So RMH@NUH steps in to provide a ‘home-away-from-home’ – beds, showers, meals, and peer support – for these parents to be close to their little ones and stay strong to continue caring for them ( ^_^ )

Ronald McDonald House RMH NUH

RMH@NUH [Image credit: NUH Facebook]

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Japan’s Ebi Burger is coming to McDonald’s Singapore on 7th Nov 2013!

You’ve heard of the legendary shrimp-filled Ebi burger (えびフィレオ or Ebi Filet-O, pronounced as “Ebi Fi-re-O“) from McDonald’s Japan, right-o? Well, it’s coming to the sunny shores of Singapore on 7th Nov 2013, together with a hot toasty Banana Pie dessert plus a Tropical Tango McFizz to wash it all down :D

McDonald's Ebi Burger

Behold, the Ebi Burger! One of McDonald’s Japan’s top-selling burgers [Image credit: RocketNews]

Interestingly, the Ebi Burger was promoted in Japan by top Japanese model Yuri Ebihara, more popularly known as Ebi-chan. And when you have puri-puri which describes the perfectly cooked ‘meaty’ texture of a battered prawn, it allows McDonald’s Japan to come up with this pun-tastic line ~ “Ebi puri shiteru?” ~ is this a perfect (ebi)/(Ebi-chan)? Perfection in every sense of the word, I guess :P

yuri ebihara ebi-chan ebi burger

Ebi-chan + Ebi Burger = Instant win [Image credit: Jay-han.com]

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Etui Trove’s Facebook Round-Up of Halloween

A huge apology for the hiatus here; I’ve been having a bit too much fun on this blog’s Facebook - what, you didn’t know there was one? Go there and Like it now :) Anyway, I thought it would be fun do daily posts on Halloween (well, semi-daily, as work and stuff caught up). It is one of my favourite times of the year, even if Halloween’s not really big here in Singapore or Malaysia. And October has been a bonanza month for horror flicks on telly and on the silver screen! :D Without much ado, I bid you, gentle guest, a warm welcome to my house. Enter freely and of your own will…

1. … A storm’s a-coming, dark knights are rising

Samantha Lee Bento eatzy bitzy

[Image credit: Samantha Lee]

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The Nine Emperor Gods Festival & Its Psychedelically Cute Turtle Buns! (○’ω’○)

The Nine Emperor Gods (Kau Wong Yeh in Cantonese) Festival have recently concluded but I wasn’t able to make it back to my hometown Ipoh for the celebrations. I was a little bummed because I missed out on seeing the turtle buns sold as temple offerings at this time of the year. Thankfully, a Facebook friend shared his photos of this year’s turtle buns, and even better, some great behind-the-scenes shots of the bun shops (thank you, George!).

We start first with this mega terrapin beauty, likely a special order by a grateful devotee. The four blue characters on the largest turtle’s read ‘hap kah peng on‘ (family togetherness), and the second-largest one reads ‘fook‘ (fortune) while being surrounded by little baby turtles (signifying children). Interestingly, the ‘legs’ of the great turtle are mid-sized turtles themselves, completing this representation of a multi-generational family with close ties and abundance (´ω`)

Nine Gods Festival -Turtle Family Pau

Holding up the weight of their world on tiny turtle feet, very much like to the Great Turtle of many other legends. [Photo credit: George Loh]

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Why Do We Sacrifice Bedrooms When Facing Shrinking Square Feet?

Recently, I came across PropertyGuru’s post about the “Hong Kong”-ization of Singapore property - a very apt description of the double whammy of shrinking space and spiraling costs inflicting new property offerings in Singapore.

Call them studios, shoeboxes, micro units, or god forbid, “boutique luxury residences”, these tiny smaller-than-500-square-foot hutches are becoming a steady reality for single folks like myself if we want our own place and can’t fork an arm and a leg to go for full-sized domiciles. The ex-CEO of prominent Singapore property developer CapitaLand has called out shoebox units as “almost inhuman” – a statement irking many property developers (including CapitaLand itself), probably because they realize the immense profitability in selling shoeboxes under the guise of affordability.

PropertyGuru’s post also warns of the (un)liveability of such miniscule homes for people who actually have to live in them – with a good anecdote of some Hong Kong home toilets so small “that one can only enter it by reversing in”. Which definitely puts me in mind of a friend’s Hong Kong 600-plus square foot apartment where its tiny kitchen was truly where only one person could enter at one time, and had to do so laterally (!)

In fact, I still remember a Singapore showflat visit a few months back, where I asked just where the bedroom of the 400-plus square foot 1-bedroom unit was. The salesman pointed to the top, bumping his head as he did so. And when I pointed out that the unit is actually a studio, he insisted that it *is* a 1-bedroom – just that the bed was on top – with a straight face, as he bent his knees to avoid another headcrack( ̄へ ̄).

Urban Vista 1 Bedroom

Didn’t think 1-bedroom flats would require my nose to touch the ceiling during sleep….

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Kimono Sightings in Tokyo’s Springtime

“On the Tokyo subway,
Sounds of rushing wind,
Random kimono sighting” 

~by Matchahaiku.

Have you ever had a dream country which you’ve held dear in your heart? For me, that would be Japan. This is a country which I’ve been dying to go for the longest time. In my previous management consulting days, I travel extensively where I’ve worked and lived in many parts of Asia Pacific (China, South Korea, Hong Kong, etc.), and yet somehow, never Japan (!) ಠ_ಠ

There also seemed to be plenty of reasons as to why it was never a ‘right’ time to just go on my own. All this now sounds foolish when I breathed in Tokyo’s air of early spring in the last days of March this year and see my first kimono right in front of me (。♥‿♥。). Since kimono isn’t worn as daily wear anymore, I had fun playing a small game of kimono-spotting as I explored Tokyo. :D

1. At Shinjuku train station

Kimono hakama shinjuku station tokyo japan

Lady in aubergine-white patterned kimono with navy hakama. Wiki-san says hakama are usually worn by teachers for graduation ceremonies

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