Going Out at Keong Siak Road

posted on: Friday, July 31, 2015

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Finally managed to squeeze in a quick shoot at Keong Saik St. This location is rather interesting since it's close to Chinatown, known for its late night street food, while also being part of an enclave of cool restaurants and bars. I've always liked the vibe here since it has always felt less pretentious as opposed to bars located smack in town.

Sharing with you a series of urban, laid back hangout places for eating and drinking which I like to frequent whenever I'm in this area. This is by no means an exhaustive list, since there are many restaurants and bars I've yet to try here so please google for more results!


The Daily Roundup

The Working Capitol is converted from a old shophouses which used to house an old biscuit factory, into a beautiful and functional co working space for professionals. The Daily Roundup is its cafe on L1, which serves crepes, reliable coffee and iced tea. The best thing about this place is that it has ample plugs, free wifi and a quiet ambience that makes it really conducive for working.

The Lokal

This is technically not located at Keong Saik Road but just one road across at Neil Road. I love this place as it consistently churns out good stuff for both brunch and dinner. Try their Banana Bread, Pumpkin and Quinoa Salad, and Seafood Stew or Lobster Linguine for dinner.

Tong Ah Coffeeshop

This historic kopitiam has been serving grouchy uncles and working professionals in the area for decades. Still a crowd favorite for its crispy char grilled kaya toast and kopi-o.

Lime House

I love Lime House for its distinctive pastel green facade. This restaurant serves Caribbean style meats and drinks while retaining a local flavor with its decor.

Afterglow

How can I not include Afterglow on the list for such a "health freak" like me? Afterglow serves a completely vegetarian menu, with many of its dishes being raw as well. Think innovative veg based dishes like raw maki, made from nuts, sprouts and rolled in nori other than your usual salads.

Luxe Sydney

I love Luxe Sydney for its airy concept, and that copper drinks pipe making a statement at the entrance of the restaurant. Come here for Australian grub and a decidedly laid back vibe.

Bars

Potatohead Folk
Where do I begin... I'm pretty much a regular here and I love everything about this place - the interiors filled with murals and eclectic vintage homeware, the music and the cocktails. Start from burgers on L2, then proceed to the rooftop bar on L4 for some fun Latina music, and then cool down in the lounge on L3 where leather seats and dark wood interiors welcome you. Stick to L3 for more serious cocktails - you can order off the menu or ask head bartender, Irwan, to make something for you based on your tastes.

Neon Pigeon
Neon Pigeon is the cool new kid on the block but it has already gained some 'bad rep' for well executed tapas style bites to complement its drinks, such as bone marrow  and slow-cooked octopus.


The Library
The Library is a hidden bar - one of those places where you have to give a password to enter. You will be greeted with pulsating red interiors with shelves of books and then you go pass a revolving door to enter the drinking den. This place really places attention to details - from the illustrated menu to drinks presentation, I think here would be my choice place to really lose myself. 

Artisanal with Claude Bernard x 2AM Dessert Bar

posted on: Friday, July 24, 2015

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We all wear watches for different purposes but I guess we never really paid attention to the details behind a watch face. I experienced a rare chance to assemble and disassemble Claude Bernard, Swiss made watch under the guidance of John Lim, a Swiss trained watchmaker from Crystal Times.

Tools of the Trade

Magnifier loupes
Minute pliers
Tiny screwdrivers
Caseback wrencher
Sharp tweezers
Finger cots

First, we had to unscrew the watch back, and then poke at the crown to stop the time. Subsequently, we had to use the minute plier to remove the hour, minute and second hand, all the while covering the watch face with a plastic film to prevent any scratches. I swear this is a test on your patience and meticulousness, since this requires immense concentration and a pair of steady hands. Definitely a very interesting experience trying to figure out what goes on and behind a watchface.

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But moving on, I definitely found the chocolate dessert making experience a lot more fun - after all, I'm always better in the kitchen.

It was such a pleasure being guided by Chef Janice Wong - I have huge respect for her work, her dedication to her craft and her attention to detail and demand for everything to be right. This was definitely a very interesting experience since we got to make one of her signature dishes - Nitrogen freezed Valrhona chocolate 72%, served with chocolate soil, caramel mousse, salted caramel and yuzu sorbet. I love how 2AM Dessert Bar serves deconstructed desserts and pair interesting flavors and tastes together. Working with nitrogen to achieve the nitrogen freezed chocolate crumble was definitely the most fun part. Basically, you melt butter and chocolate in a pan to make a couverture, which you subsequently pour into a vessel which holds nitrogen bullets on top. So as you shake and "spray" out the chocolate from the nozzle, it immediately is freeze dried by the nitrogen and turns into a hard pancake with a crunchy texture.

It is not hard to tell that both pastry making and watch assembly requires high precision, skill and craft, which made me appreciate my watch even more.
  Claude Bernard x nakedgloryvera textClaude Bernard x nakedgloryvera-5 Claude Bernard x nakedgloryvera-3 Claude Bernard x nakedgloryvera-1 I've always been more attracted to rose gold as opposed to silver or gold. To me, rose gold is like the best blend of both words - less passe than just gold, and more feminine as opposed to silver. So it's a no brainer that I picked this Claude Bernard timepiece which I now wear almost everyday as a fashion accessory. For someone who doesn't have the habit of wearing watches, I have to say the design of this one is good enough for me to wear it.

Paired this baby with a Rose Gold Cat's Eye teardrop earring and a monochrome, relaxed tailored outfit. I always like to mix a more masculine outfit with feminine accessories and heels - it sort of just break up the bore of the traditional look.

Thank you Claude Bernard for the invite to the workshop.

Big Hair Days with John Frieda Luxurious Volume Range

posted on: Wednesday, July 8, 2015

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Who says short hair girls can't have big hair?

I’ve always loved hair with a bit of texture and volume, which explains why I’ve never rebonded my hair. I feel that texture gives the hair more movement and a more natural look, both on the go and on the red carpet. I used to have long, wavy hair, which looks very luxurious when offset with fitted dresses for events, but since I’ve cut my hair short for 2 years, I’ve still paid attention to creating volume in my hair – it just adds an extra oomph to your whole look, especially when you’re walking down the streets and your hair moves and sways together with you.

The bob style is extremely easy to carry off volume, especially when you curl them in at the ends, or in general when you twist dry it or curl small sections of it to create a wavy bob. But for us straight hair girls, it's also kind of a pain to achieve; very often I find myself waking up with completely flat hair, especially at the crown, since my hair is really fine. And then I'll have to spend the next 10mins blowdrying and curling in the ends to create the volume = me being always late.


That's why I've decided to put John Frieda's newest voluminizing range of haircare products to the challenge and put together the steps below to achieving a voluminous crown of hair.

John Frieda
5 Steps to Luxurious Volume Hair
  1. Shampoo and condition with John Frieda Luxurious Volume range.
  2. Apply 3-4pumps of John Frieda 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment, leave on for 3-5 minutes then rinse out.
  3. When blow drying, use a round boar bristle hairbrush to lift your hair up at the roots and blow dry the crown first. Use a curl in motion using the round brush to lift up your roots and aim your hairdryer at a 45 deg angle at the brush, instead of directly on top or in front of it.
  4. If you have really fine hair which tends to get oily, you can spray a little bit of dry shampoo at the roots, which will serve to give it more volume as well.
The in-shower treatment is the one that does most of the work for voluminizing. Its formula creates texture by building a polymer network onto hair fibres, hence giving your hair with added texture to build atop each other. The result is light, bouncy hair, which feels fuller, especially when I blow dry my hair right after applying the treatment.

John Frieda before after Here’s the before and after photos. I tried to make it easy to compare by wearing the same top and shooting against the same wall in the photos. Before, my hair was easily super flat and straight – basically just hanging straight down from the roots. Obviously, you can see a lot more volume in the After photo, especially at the root area. When I was blowdrying, I could feel that my hair had a thicker texture, and felt more full, making it easier to further style my hair to maintain this curvy bob look.

This treatment lasts for about 3 washes for me, but according to John Frieda, it would last up to 7 days, depending on your original hair condition and texture.

For more info please visit John Frieda on their site here, and like them on Facebook

Disclosure: The above content was sponsored by John Frieda but all views are my own.

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