Sunday, February 15, 2015

Food Review: The Lab

Some aunty (Levon) jio me to do a v aunty task - go 四马路 pray. HAHAH.
Countered that aunty move by trying out a new cafe :D

The Lab
1 Jalan Pisang #01-01
Singapore 199069

Opening Hours:
Mon - Sat 12.30 pm - 10 pm
Sun 1 pm - 9.30 pm
*Kitchen closes 45 mins before closing time

As the name suggests, The Lab is based on a crazy scientist theme.
This should be interesting, especially to biomed science students like us. :D

The interior is decorated completely according to theme. 

Look at the cute bunsen burner!

Counter area. The syrups and stuff are all in reagent bottles. :D

Test tubes, reagent bottles and dropper bottles.

Salt is contained inside light bulbs.
Eh actually this seems like a cute idea, but it's damn hard to get the salt out I tell you.


Sneak peek at their (clothes hanger) menu

Iced Chocolate again, but with a shot of Hazelnut ! - $6
Drinks which come with a shot have a syringe drawn next to its name.
Nothing very special about the taste, but the experience was fun :B

Um the syringe was slightly dirty though, something they need to take note of before it starts scaring people off.

Tuna Mango Sandwich - $9
Comes with unsalted sweet potato fries, which was v nice !
I guess its the only time I like sweet potatoes. :3

Ahahah I gotta admit I expected seared tuna instead of canned flakes (I've been watching too much Masterchef :x),
but seriously, at such a reasonable price, its acceptable.
The combination worked as well, so no complaints too!
I like the ciabatta bread too, not too hard, and soft on the inside.

Levon ordered the Lab Chick Sandwich - $11, which was slightly dry.
Could have been better with more teriyaki sauce.

The Lab was quite a cool experience, with friendly service staff.
Their prices are quite affordable, which is a plus point.

In such a competitive environment,
The Lab needs to come up with more successful dishes to hold attention,
and not just the concept alone.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Swatches - Basic colors Part II !

I'm back with Part II !
Seriously considering if I should even start on the glitters, 
because it's damn hard to remove and I'll probably kill my nails.

We'll see.

China Glaze - Electric Beat
2 regular coats. No issues whatsoever!
Dusty blue-leaning periwinkle

China Glaze Bahamian Escape
1 slightly thick coat, due to its consistency.
Azure sky blue

China Glaze - Man Hunt
2 slightly thick coats
Navy blue crelly texture, dries slightly matte.

Essie - Bouncer It's Me
3 thin coats are needed for opacity, jelly polish which dries with a matte finish.
Apply carefully as there it is slightly streaky.

In the bottle its a bright cobalt blue, but you need a white base to get the true color.
Index and middle finger has no white base, Ring and pinky has 1 coat of white.
Index and pinky is the matte finish, Ring and pinky has has top coat.

China Glaze - I Sea the Point
2 regular coats, but you can get away with 1 coat if careful.
A true cobalt blue with slight matte finish

China Glaze - Sunday Funday
2 thin coats. Very watery and tends to flood cuticles, so be careful.
Medium blue.

China Glaze - Creative Fantasy
Issues are similar to Bouncer Its Me.
Neon jelly polishes tend to be like that actually;
they need more love and patience, but I find the bright color worth it.

3 thin coats are needed for opacity, jelly polish which dries with a matte finish.
Apply carefully as there it is slightly streaky.

In the bottle its a bright cobalt blue, but you need a white base to get the true color.
Index and middle finger has 1 coat of white base, Ring and pinky has no base.

Another major issue I had with this polish, was the fact that the color had changed over time.
Not sure if I was unlucky and got a bad batch,
but I had the same issue with another polish from the same collection (Cirque de Soleil).
I've given up on that one (Hanging in the Balance), because the color is not unique.

Look at the difference between the new and the old bottle.

Index and pinky is the correct shade - with / without white base.
Middle and ring is the mutant shade - with / without white base.

China Glaze - Urban Night
2 thin coats.
A deep plum creme, almost black.

Color Club - Disco Dress
2 thin coats, slightly watery.
Neon purple crème, slightly similar to Creative Fantasy.

China Glaze - Skyscraper
3 thin coats, slightly streaky on first coat.
Dark indigo jelly with silver shimmer.

China Glaze - In a Lily Bit
2 thin coats, streaky on first coat but evens out. slightly watery.
Light purple pastel, almost pink.

OPI - Pink Friday
2 regular coats, slightly streaky on first coat only.
Light pink creme.

Here's a comparison shot between Pink Friday (Index and Middle) and In a Lily Bit (Ring and Pinky)
You can see the purple tone for In a Lily Bit from here.

China Glaze - Surreal Appeal
2 regular coats
Coral Pink.

OPI - I Think in Pink
3 coats for visible color.
Forget about reaching full opacity with this jelly shade! VNL will be seen unless you apply a white base
Soft light pink.

OPI - You're Such a Buda-Pest
2 thin coats, slightly streaky on first coat
Purple leaning periwinkle with slight shimmer.

China Glaze - Street Chic
2 thin coats, slightly watery.
A milk chocolate brown.

OPI - My Vampire is Buff
2 thin coats, slightly watery.
A cool-toned nude creme, like panna cotta.

OPI - Nude
3 thin coats for visible color, VNL seen.
2 thick coats for partial opacity, some VNL seen.
A nude jelly.

So yupp, these are some of the basic shades I use for nail art!
I say most cause I realised I forgot about black and white.. HAHAH.

For black, I use Essence Black is back.
Doesn't dry too fast, so it's good for nail art detailing.
That's not a good sign if you want to use it for base though.

Cirque's Black has also had good reviews,
but I haven't had the chance to purchase it yet *waiting for sale :B*

For white, I use a brand which I found in Seoul, Korea.
Its quite opaque on first coat, and not streaky, super rare for a white!
With regards to drying time, its good for both nail art and base.
Makes me want to go back and stock up :xxx

Hope it has been useful !

*All nail polishes purchased by myself*

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hong Kong Travelogue: Day One

First time to Hong Kong, and I gotta sum it up in one word: Delicious!
Me and Levon basically stuffed ourselves silly during the five days there.

We made the trip mostly due to the fact that Levon has to fly there for her MCAT exam,
and being the awesome friend that I am, of course I have to accompany her :B
*and make use of that excuse to go visit HK for the first time* 

Levon flew there first, because I had a class at 7 pm and hence, my flight was booked at 6 am. 
Imagine my shock and horror when I received an email at 4 pm from Tiger Air, 
telling me that the flight was cancelled (!!)

No call or sms notification, just an email.
WTF if I didnt randomly check my inbox, 
I might have happily gone to the airport and it'll be even more of a shock.
Not impressed with you, Tiger Air. The least you could do is send a sms, isn't it.

Had to book a last minute flight at 1 am with Scoot, which cost me another $400 wtf. ):
I take it as an experience then, but such a painful one.

Flying alone was also a new experience for me, but not difficult cause I am used to solitary moments at times.
The only bad thing was sleeping all the way, and then missing out on distribution of immigration cards ._.

Pre-flight ootd !

My send off party! Ahahah.

Before I start my guide, let me show you a shot of my nails !

Land of Dim Sum deserves a fitting theme for le nails. #jtsmani

Thanks to Levon's help to, I had no problems finding the Bus Terminal for the Airport Bus!

When you leave the arrival gates, turn right and walk straight.
You should see a 24 hours ticket counter. Buy your Octopus card here!

We used the Octopus card is mainly for transport fares,
but it can be used for store transactions as well.

Continue walking straight after the counter until you see this sign on your left. 

Walk in that direction and turn right. You should see this sign below.
Exit to the bus terminal. 

Photos and directions credited to Levon! :D

I stopped by the 7-11 to rehydrate myself.
To my excitement I found this ! Ginggrae Melon Milk. 
Everyone is crazy over the Banana but I find myself liking the melon more.

Caught Bus A21 to Mongkok 旺角 , where we would be staying at!
The airport buses have an area for passengers to store their lugguage.
I was quite distrustful of that; kept eyeing my lugguage in fear that mine may be taken by mistake :x

Oh and they have free wifi onboard too!
Awesome way to keep connected, even if you havent gotten your HK SIM card yet.

Btw, buy your SIM card at Sham Shui Po 深水埗, Apliu Street Flea Market.
It's slightly cheaper than the ones at the convenience store.
And because it's slightly confusing, you can ask the store owner to activate the data plan usage.

Entertained myself on the bus by snapping shots of the bay.
I think HK is quite similar to Singapore, as both are urban cities with thriving ports.

Reached Rai Lei Hotel safely and crashed for a short nap before meeting Levon.
I wouldnt recommend our hotel, because it was quite small and cramped, even for 2 people.
There wasn't any cupboards, or water heater. Just a flat screen tv and (thankfully) a hair dryer.
Reasonable for the price we paid, but aye not worth sharing.

I think the subway is pretty similar to Korea's!

Subway selfie :B

I get the feeling that their subway names are decorated as close as possible to their meanings..

Sneaked a photo of these girls wearing their uniform for winter! Chio :x

The classic urban areas of HK. Their flats look v dirty and shaky on the outside. 
Makes me suddenly appreciate HDB and their maintenance LOL.

Picked up the examinee and headed off to One Dim Sum 一點心 for lunch !
一點心 is a one Michelin star dim sum restaurant, so expect to queue during lunch time.

 One Dim Sum 一點心
Shop 1&2, G/F Kenwood Mansion
15 Playing Field Road 運動場道

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri: 11 am – 12.30 am
Sat to Sun: 10 am – 12.30 am

Nearest MTR: Prince Edward 太子
Exit A and turn right, walking down against the traffic. 
Turn right into 運動場道 and walk down. 

Let the entrance staff know how many pax and she'll issue you a queue number. 
Listen carefully, cause your number is called in Cantonese! 
We went around 1pm, waited for around 15 minutes

The service was good here.
They gave us an tourist menu, with pictures of the dishes and had translations in several languages.

Turnip cake with Dry salted meat 香煎蘿蔔糕- HKD$15
This was awesome! Our favourite dish here.
Not oily at all, and very soft and fragrant.

Steam Vermicelli Roll with Dried Shrimp 蔥花蝦米腸 - HKD$17
This was a mistake ):
Dont get me wrong - the vermicelli roll was nice and soft, but I ordered the wrong fillings!
It should be the one with Shrimp & Leek Sprouts 韮王鮮蝦腸 instead.

And this kanasai Levon only ate 2 !

Steam Cake in Mala Style 精製馬拉糕 - HKD$16
This is super soft, fluffy, and had a caramel fragrance and sweetness. NICE.

Barbecued Pork Bun 蜜汁叉燒包 - HKD$13
Fluffy buns with not too sweet filling.
Levon loved this.

Fried Skin of Beancurd Roll 鮮蝦腐皮卷 - HKD$22
Crispy, crunchy beancurd skin, with sweet cabbage and shrimp inside.
Another favourite of ours!

We ordered the Deep Fried Sesame Balls 雷莎炸煎堆 - HKD$15 too, but I forgot to take a photo.
Crispy outside, with a chewy glutinous skin and piping hot sesame paste.
I love sesame paste more than peanut paste heheh.

Fried Egg Stick with Honey or Condensed Milk 古法炸蛋散 - HKD$15
Crispy, but slightly floury sticks drizzled with condensed milk and scattered peanuts.
It was recommended by many, and I liked it but it got too sweet after awhile.
Levon didn't agree.

Mango and Coconut Rolls 椰香芒果卷 - HKD$22
Chewy glutinous rice stuffed with mango and coated in coconut shavings.
The mango was sweet and slightly sour, so it balanced out and wasn't too overwhelmingly sweet.
Its a seasonal item and not on the official menu.

With an overwhelming no. of dishes (8!!!), we were super stuffed!
And this woman I'm travelling with has a smaller tummy than me, rarrr I cannot tank em all leh.
Immediately set a rule of maximum 5 dishes, to save our stomachs and wallet.

#HappyGluttons but in (deep) food coma.

Headed over to Kwai Chung Plaza (Kwai Fong 葵芳 MTR, Exit D2) for shopping!
Bimb recommends it for shoes.
It was probably a wrong season for us to accomplish much shopping miracles,
cause it was mostly winter stuff.
We die die also force ourselves to each buy a pair of shoes though. ;p

Visited Lung Shing Dispensary (龍城藥房) at Tsim Sha Shui 尖沙咀 
They sell cheap cosmetics and perfumes, but be careful and check the expiry dates of the products!
Certain brands are not significantly cheaper as well.

Lung Shing Dispensary (龍城藥房)
28 Granville Road 加连威老道
Tsim Sha Shui 尖沙咀 Exit B1, walk straight and turn right into Granville Road 

Opening Hours: 
10.20 am – 10 pm (Mon-Sat)
10.30 pm – 9 pm (Sun)

Another highlight at Tsim Sha Tsui: H&M Flagship Store at Elements Mall (on Canton Road廣東道)!
Omg we are such H&M addicts, went to different branches a total of 3 times. (AGAIN?!)
HK H&M is super cheap, would have bought countless bags of clothes if not for the season..

I'm obviously starting to get hungry. #stupidthingsIdoOverseas.

Dinner at Four Seasons Claypot Restaurant!
Its damn awesome to have steaming claypot in such cool weather.
Btw notice how everyone seems to have layers and winter coats on.
Me and Levon are coolly (pun intended) wearing our normal clothes + cardi/coat only.

Four Seasons Claypot Restaurant 四季煲仔飯
46 Arthur Street 鴉打街
Yau Ma Tei MTR 油麻地 Exit C, walk straight and turn left into alley.

Opening Hours:
5.30 am – 12 mn Daily

Arrived at 7 pm to see a crazy queue. This is only half the queue!

Levon: "Why you go take photo of the balding head?" ... " Eh zoom in see leh!"
^ #jekarkqueen

 Selfie with said #jekarkqueen

Sneak peek at the kitchen!
The menu is handed to you once you're in sight of the entrance.
There's English translations, but the aunty taking the order only speaks in Cantonese ;p.

One thing you should know about HK:
Tea is sometimes used to rinse utensils, instead of being drunk.
So if you've any doubts, look around the place before drinking your tea!

Oyster Omelette 鴨蛋耗煎 - HKD$30 for 2 (小), HKD$60 for 4 (大) 
Oyster mixed into a duck egg and flour mixture, then deep fried.
Super crispy and just slightly chewy.
Quite a small amount of oysters but who cares?! I can eat the egg alone.

I thought I had the best oyster omelettes in Bangkok already, but this is even better!
Match it with their slightly sweet chilli and it's damn good too.

Like Levon said, why did we agree to share? HAHAH.

Salty Fish and Chicken with Rice 鹹魚滑雞飯 - HKD$42
Taaa-daaa! This is the main reason of us being here, and of course it's awesome too!
Queue so long leh.. cannot be disappointed right?

I was quite surprised to see that the salted fish was not sliced and to allow better mixing with the rice.
Quite annoying to prepare and eat.

Pour your preferred amount of dark soya sauce into the claypot, mix the ingredients and cover.
Leave it for about another 5-10 minutes to allow the flavours to soak better.

I love love love the char, or wok hei (鑊氣) from the slightly burnt bits of rice.
Its all crispy but not totally burnt black.

Since we needed some digesting time we walked down from Four Seasons Claypot.
Just go back to the MTR Exit and walk down Nathan Road. Around 10 minutes!

Yee Shun Milk Company 義順牛奶公司
513 Nathan Road 彌敦道
Yau Ma Tei 油麻地 Exit B1 or B2

Opening Hours: 
12 pm to 12 mn Daily

Yee Shun specialises in steamed milk puddings, which is quite like custard.
They have the usual suspects in traditional HK breakfasts too - scrambled eggs, toast, macaroni soup.

We both ordered the Steamed Milk in Two Films 馳名雙皮燉奶 - HKD$29
They have it in both hot and cold version, we picked hot cause it was super cold after our walk.
Levon says its more awesome hot than cold.

Verdict? Just look at my face below.

Like omg so smooth, you dont even have to bite it!
The custard is not too sweet and has that diluted condensed milk fragrance and taste.
You know, the 紅字牛奶 condensed milk mixed with hot water that people used to drink as kids?
Exactly that.

Classic night on HK streets - full of fluorescent signs.
Classic Levon kajiao fingers too.

Decided to go for night shopping around Mongkok and I was so excited when I saw the police car!
Like omg just like in HK dramas!

Until we walked forward and saw this..


Okay la actually they weren't doing much,
just standing there with the umbrellas and occasionally shouting slogans.
Still, on the first night I was a little freaked out cause I thought it was over alr.
Insisted on taking a detour to avoid them.

Still had time for supper (WTF how many stomachs we have, hahahah),
so we bought Levon's favourite Cold Noodles !
Its from this store called 百味食品 , and can be found in Mongkok, and Kwai Chung Plaza Level 4.

Show you all what the Mongkok store looks like!

Photo credits: Google Images

Basically, you choose from 4 types of noodles ($3):
Normal, Spinach, Rice, or Screw (which is fusilli, in case you ask wth is screw noodles LOL)
Then you choose from a whole list of ingredients, priced at $3 per serving. Minimum 1 ingredient!
They will add garlic, chilli, and this v v v nice sauce, and mix.

Show you all the menu.

My choices are the Spinach Noodle (quite popular), beansprouts, quail eggs and cucumber.
It looks deceptively disgusting but its damn shiok!
We had it every day without fail lor please.
The chilli is quite spicy, I like.

Another (albeit more peaceful) vehicle which got me excited!
The classic HK Softee Truck.

Um we didnt eat this at all cause our stomachs cannot tank. HAHA.

So that's all for Day One! 
Think its obvious there's ALOT of eating involved. :B
Our hashtag for this trip is #gluttonsgoHK afterall. HAHAH.

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