Splurge or Save: 6 Ways to Spend the Ultimate Weekend in Singapore

It’s official, Singapore overtakes Tokyo and is now the world’s most expensive city to live in, according to a report by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). These days, weekends are no longer fun anymore. A weekend trip out with your partner / friends / family can easily cost more than S$100 per person. I hunt down the latest buzz for you to enjoy at a dime, but wait, there’re also options for special treats!

Weekend is the best day of the week for sleeping in. Usually I will spend Saturday hanging out with friends and keep my Sunday to laze around. After all, it definitely cost less to enjoy beer at home than a meal outside. (Read on to find out how to win FREE F&B vouchers GIVEAWAY!)

Suggested Itinerary / Recommended Program

1. Brunch @ MEDZ 

There’s a new brunch in town packed with culturally diverse flavours happening at MEDZ  – the casual dining restaurant for Mediterranean food. Recently launched on 22 February, I ditched my nasi lemak and kaya toast to choose from the wide range of cuisines from France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

SAVE: Experience one of the largest range of brunch items with prices from just $12.90 to $14.90. All brunch items come with free coffee. Go in a group of 5-6 and order 4-5 items for sharing. Remember to leave some room for the delightful dessert – The Berry Lust Pancake!

Le Jolly Monsieur (French) - Ham, bacon, Bechemel sauce, cheese, scramble egg & pork bratwurst ($13.90)

Le Jolly Monsieur (French) – Ham, bacon, Bechemel sauce, cheese, scramble egg & pork bratwurst ($13.90)

Stacked Brunch Torte (Italian) - Puff pastry, eggs, ham, mushroom, spinach, cheese & bell pepper ($14.90)

Stacked Brunch Torte (Italian) – Puff pastry, eggs, ham, mushroom, spinach, cheese & bell pepper ($14.90)

Bouncy Benedict (MEDZ style) - Home-cured salmon, baked tomato, rosti potato, English muffin & salad ($14.90)

Bouncy Benedict (MEDZ style) – Home-cured salmon, baked tomato, rosti potato, English muffin & salad ($14.90)

Toasty Tortilla (Spanish) - Scrambled egg, stewed beans with chorizo & Brioche toast ($14.90)

Toasty Tortilla (Spanish) – Scrambled egg, stewed beans with chorizo & Brioche toast ($14.90)

Poseidon's Wrap (Greek) - Prawn, fish, squid, tomato, lettuce, scramble egg, tzatziki & Greek salad ($14.90)

Poseidon’s Wrap (Greek) – Prawn, fish, squid, tomato, lettuce, scramble egg, tzatziki & Greek salad ($14.90)

A Berry Pancake Gala (dessert) - Fresh berries, summer berries, topping cream ($12.90)

A Berry Pancake Gala (dessert) – Fresh berries, summer berries, topping cream ($12.90)

Locations: MEDZ currently has two locations – Orchard Central #B2-01 to 03 / #B2-30 to 43, and Millenia Walk #01-46/47/55/56. Brunch available from 11am onwards at Orchard Central, and from 11.30am onwards at Millenia Walk out. For more information, check out their Facebook.

2. Teo Heng KTV Studio

After a hearty meal, hop on to the MRT and alight at Bras Basah station (Circle Line) or Dhoby Ghaut station (North-South / North-east Line) . A stone throw away is Teo Heng KTV Studio where you can sing your heart out without bursting the seams. For those who are not aware, this budget karaoke studio has a new outlet at Rendezvous Hotel.

SAVE: Happy Hours start from 12pm to 7pm. Medium size room costs only $10 per hour, can accommodate up to 5-6 persons. If you and 4 of your friends sing for 3 hours, that’s only $6 per person! It’s a no-frills concept but drinks available at $1 onwards.

I had a good 3-hour of singing with my UniSIM school mates after our exams

I had a good 3-hour of singing with my UniSIM school mates after our exams

gvUkXyGRJdlllzv4ihUuhuaTmVMk3bZ3tmql94p3Be4

Photo credit: http://michellelujj.com

Location: Teo Heng KTV studio is located at 9 Bras Basah Road, Rendezvous Hotel Gallery #02-03. Remember to call the outlet at 6338 0603 to make reservations at least 1-2 weeks in advance. They have other outlets spread across the island, check out their website for more information.

3. Platinum Movie Suite @ The Cathay

If you croak like a frog or just tired from singing, take a walk down Orchard Road to The Cathay. Golden Village has its version of Gold Class and Cathay Cineplexes has its Platinum Movie Suite. I was fortunate to enjoy the experience as my friend, Min Lee had a free pair of tickets to RoboCop (2014) from her boss. We were treated to spacious airline first class style couch with butler service and a welcome drink. The butler on duty would tuck us in a comfortable duvet before the start of the movie.

SPLURGE:  This is for one of those special occasions. Perhaps it’s your first date, anniversary or celebration, get a pair of platinum movie ticket at $28 each. Dining & Movie Experience package is at $76 per person (Priority Cardholder: $69). For the budget conscious, there is the 1-for-1 student deal every Monday & Tuesday for screen before 6pm, and discount on popcorn and F&B menu.

Image from Popspoken.com

Image from Popspoken.com

Locations: Cathay Platinum Movie Suites are located at The Cathay, level 5 (2 Handy Road), Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, level 4 (8 Grange Road) and JEM, level 5 (50 Jurong Gateway Road). Visit their website for more information.

4. Ramen Kagetsu Arashi 

After movie at The Cathay, go down Basement 1 for a mouthwatering ramen treat to end the day! Ranked one of Japan’s top 3 ramen chains with more than 290 outlets worldwide, within 6 months, Ramen Kagetsu Arashi has already opened 3 outlets in Singapore. My personal recommendations are their gyoza and the two new exclusive dishes – Ginjiro ramen and Itameshi dry curry rice.

SAVE: Gourmet ramen and tasty curry rice can be affortable. A bowl of Ginjiro ramen is priced at only $13.90 (definitely tastier than any of Ramen Champion’s ramen) and Itameshi Dry Curry Rice, priced at $12.90, gives Pepper Lunch a run for its money. Ramen Kagetsu Arashi provides freshly crushed garlic, special in-house seasoned chives (prepared daily), specially imported black pepper and their chef’s secret recipe soy sauce to accompany your meal.

DSC09056

Complement the flavours by adding freshly crushed garlic using the unique garlic press tool provided

DSC09066

I added seasoned chives and a dash black pepper to accentuate the flavours of the signature soup base

DSC09064

Even those who cannot take spicy food will like the brand new dry curry rice

DSC09069

No ramen meal is complete without gyoza (5-pc for $6.00)

Locations: Choose from 3 locations – The Cathay #B1-01/02/03, The Star Vista #01-41, or Tampines 1 #02-09/10. Their Facebook page contains more information on contact number and opening hours.

Off the beaten track – Hidden Cafes in the heartland

If a day in town is not your thing, why not try these quiet corners for cafe in Singapore? Forget about heading to shopping malls, I have enough of Starbucks and ToastBox. Here are 2 of my personal choice when it comes to the pastries, moreover, you don’t have to look far as they are probably your neighbourhood.

5. The Audacious Cakery 

Everton Park is slowly evolving into an enclave of vibrant food scene with the addition of The Audacious Cakery being the new kid on the block. Located a short walk away from Outram MRT station, this cozy, vintage theme cafe is hidden from the main road. Though a small seating area for about 10 persons, this unique cakery offers mini cakes, tarts, cupcakes and macarons. Some of my favorites include Lemon Meringue Tart and the Matcha (green tea) Cupcake.

SPLURGE: Come to The Audacious Cakery because it offers a selection of alcohol-infused pastries. I confessed I’m alcoholic hence my choice of these premium cakes. I simply can’t get enough of their Foret Noir ($9.80) and Monet ($9.80) cakes. Two distinctively flavours – one with Kirsh soaked cherries and Kirsh Cream on a dark Vairhona chocolate genoise, and the other contains orange mousse with champagne, served with a tart raspberry compote on a Cointreau soaked sponge studded with red currants.

1797280_10201257816719291_848607682_n

Foret Noir (Black Forest) – $9.80 for the petit gateau servers 1-2 persons, warning it’s alcoholic

DSC01907

Quintessential vintage style environment greets you as you walk into The Audacious Cakery

1779514_10201257816759292_40847193_n

Mini cakes start from $6.80 to $9.80 each. Cupcakes at $3.50 each (addition $1.00 for alcoholic cupcakes – Irish Cream, White Russian and Strawberry Daiquiri)

DSC01913

Order your cuppa to enjoy with the delectable tarts from $5.80 to $8.80 each

DSC01917

I had a good time with Sophie and Mariana. Alcoholic pastry treats are best enjoyed with your Down Under buddies.

Location: The Audacious Cakery is located at 2 Everton Park, #01-61, Singapore 081002. Opening hours is from 8am to 7pm (closed on Sunday & public holidays). For more information, please visit their website or Facebook.

6. fRoZ Bakery

If splurging on pastries burns a hole in your hole, try these treats from fRoZ Bakery. I guarantee that you will soon be burning calories due to these irresistible muffins, cheesecakes and brownies at affordable prices.  Originally located at 128 Bedok North Street 2, fRoZ Bakery made a business decision to relocate. It’s now located near Dunman Secondary School and All Saints Home. I managed to chance upon it while attending Mr Baey Yam Keng’s monthly Kopi Talk.  Check out the review by Priscilla (Pingerrain.com) and Michelle (Michhysaurous)

SAVE: Muffins are priced at $1.30 each, brownies at $1.70 per piece and miniature cheesecake from $3.50 onwards. My all-time favorite is the Banana Walnut Muffin (only $1.30), consumed when freshly baked is a heavenly treat. Now they also have premium flavour selection muffins at $1.50 each. They have several set promotions like 6-piece Value Box consisting of 2 muffins, 2 brownies and 2 mini cheesecake at only $10.80 (usual price $14.00). Take your time and have your choice.

DSC08102

12 different flavours to choose from. A box of 6 muffins at $6.80. Ala carte at $1.30 per piece. Premium flavours available at additional $0.20 per piece.

DSC08103

6-piece Value Box with 2 muffins, 2 cheesecakes and 2 brownies at only $10.80. Let’s call for a tea party!

DSC08106

Food styling by http://www.pingerrain.com

Location: fRoZ Bakery is tucked in a corner on the eastern shore of the island at Blk 476, Tampines Street 44, #01-175B, Singapore 520476. For details, please visit their Facebook page or website. Opens daily from 9am, except every Thursday (closed).

FREE food vouchers for GIVEAWAY!

I’m doing a Rafflecopter giveaway (10 sets of $25 vouchers to be given away), simply click on the link and follow the instructions.

1. Follow @MalcolmSunny on Twitter

2. Comment on any of my blog posts

3. Follow @MalcolmSunny on Instagram

Giveaway ends on 31 March 2014. Applicable for only residents in Singapore. Good luck! 

“Save time, pay less, travel more – Get cheaper air tickets and hotel rooms with Wego.com“.

It’s $10,000 at stake and a whole load of ramen!

Food eating contests are gaining popularity in Singapore. Previously MediaCorp partnered with several malls in western Singapore when they launched 8 DAYS Eat app and now Ramen Champion presents the ultimate grand prize of $10,000. But do you have what it takes to stomach it?

IMG_7338

Last month, I was lucky to be present when Ramen Champion opened their second branch at MegaBox, Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong. The highlight of the day was the Ramen “Face-off” between the pretty and petite competitive food challenger, Tomoko Miyake and the TVB stars.

Leading the entourage of popular Hong Kong TV celebrities and radio personalities was one of my favorite actor, Eric Tsang. And Koji Tashiro, the CEO of Menya Koji Group was also there to take part for the eating challenge.

IMG_7279 IMG_7280 IMG_7336 IMG_7372

Fast forward one month later, and I’m excited that Ramen Champion Pte Ltd is launching the Ramen Big Eater Challenge as part of the Food Challenge Asia Championship which involves Ramen Champion outlets in Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Details of Singapore Contest:

Qualifying Round

Date: 2nd October 2013 (Wednesday)

Time: 3.00pm to 5.00pm

Location: Ramen Champion @ Bugis+ (201 Victoria Street, Bugis+ #04-08/09/10, Singapore 188067)

Final Round

Date: 14th November 2013 (Thursday)

Time: 3.00pm to 5.00pm

Location: Ramen Champion @ Great World City (1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City, #01-21/22, Singapore 237994)

Here’s some questions which you probably want to ask Ramen Champion about the Big Eater Challenge:

Will the ramen be piping hot when served?

During the contest, the ramen is prepared on the spot and the chefs will try to control the temperature of the ramen broth so it won’t too hot when it’s served. It won’t be piping hot but it would not be served cold as there’s the need to maintain the quality of ramen. Side bowls will be provided so participants can use them to cool off the ramen.

Is it okay for non local to register for the event?

The organiser accepts non-local as long as they are residing in Singapore and not tourists. For example, foreign students or working professionals are eligible.

Must the soup be finished? Do I also have to finish the sides like egg and seaweed?

With regards to the contest, there is not a must to finish the soup during the contest and the organiser will only be serving noodles and broth for the ramen.

How big is the bowl of ramen and what style will be served?

The organiser are using the regular size bowl which is available at the restaurant and the ramen served will be Tonkotsu style.

Is the ramen served Halal/ Vegetarian?

The ramen served is neither Halal nor vegetarian. Also, the broth for both stalls is Tonkotsu style which means it is made from pork and pork bones, and may contain chicken and/or fish. It does NOT contain BEEF and LAMB.

Can I bring my own seasoning?

Contestants are discouraged from bringing their own seasoning.

Will water be provided?

The organiser will be providing ice water for during the contest and green tea will be served at the waiting areas.

What is the minimum age to join this contest?

The minimum age to join is 18 years old and above. All participants will be required to fill up an indemnity form together with the registration form and fee.

Can I register on behalf of my friend for the ramen eating contest?

Preferably the participant should come in person to register as he/she is required to fill up an indemnity form along with the registration form and registration fee. However, you may write in to the organiser at ramenchampion@gmail.com and they will review on a case to case basis.

How this contest works and how do I qualify the Finals?

The format of the contest will be based on the number of regular size bowls a participant can finish within 15 minutes and that will qualify him/her into the final round. The participants who can finish the most number of ramen will enter into the final round on 14 November 2013 at Great World City.

Do I still get my vouchers if I don’t qualify for the Finals? What vouchers will be given?

All participants will be given the $30 cash vouchers regardless if they qualified into the final round. The cash vouchers will be sponsored by Komars F&B Pte Ltd and can be used for restaurants such as Daikokuya, Bishamon, Menya Koji and Benten Café. There is no minimum spending required but it is not applicable for set meals or other promotional items.

Will there be any other prizes for the finalist other than the grand prize?

Currently, the organiser has decided only the grand prize of $10,000 will be given but they are working on the details of other prizes, if any. Ramen Champion would like everyone to walk away happily and hence $30 vouchers will be given to every participant.

1231132_10151714296539584_1261043751_n

I had a wonderful time in Hong Kong witnessing the eating power of Tomoko Miyake and an photo opportunity with Eric Tsang, producer of Ramen Champion Hong Kong. Registration for Ramen Big Eater Challenge starts today (26 Sep) and ends tomorrow (27 Sep)! Head down to Ramen Champion @ Bugis+ between 6.30pm to 9.30pm to register.

Though no TVB stars will be joining the contest in Singapore, but who knows, the grand prize of S$10,000 could be yours to keep.  Just a word of caution, join for fun and eat within your limit.

For more information, visit Ramen Champion Singapore at www.ramenchampion.com.sg or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RamenChampionSingapore

New Contenders Storm Ramen Champion Bugis+

Last Thursday, Ramen Champion at Bugis+ welcomed their 3 new ramen chefs with a grand promotion of 100 bowls of ramen and 50% off throughout the day. An impressive queue lined up along level 4 of Bugis+ waited anxiously for the store to be opened on 4 July 2013.

1005420_567405723340827_971846298_n

It’s reality television in real life. Every year, this popular Japanese food venue will invite some of the best Ramen masters and chefs in Japan to Singapore for a stint of one year. Their goal is to impress the diners with their scrumptious and authentic taste of Japan and influence the customers to vote for them.

Despite being popular among its followers, in June 2013, Ramen Champion bid farewell to Menya Iroha, Tai-sho-ken and Aoyama and welcome three new contenders – Muso, Buta God and Menban Yamagishi Kazuo on 1 July 2013.

MENBAN YAMAGISHI KAZUO is named after the legendary inventor of Tsukemen (dipping noodles) – Kazuo Yamagishi is given the title “Master of Ramen”. This shop is opened by his successor who follows Yamagishi’s secret recipe but with his new style. Probably the closest to Tai-sho-ken’s ramen so if you miss it, do try it and compare.

10367_567431606671572_1128978226_n 1017307_567407580007308_792571993_n 1044954_567404830007583_567882764_n

MUSO is the No.1 Ramen Champion 2012 (Hong Kong). This unrivaled chef with outlets in Tokyo and Hong Kong comes to Singapore for a new challenge. Chef Masaaki Kawamura’s ramen broth holds plenty of pork fat, which makes it rich and unique in flavor.

1016226_567408076673925_321703347_n

Brave, new contender BUTA GOD specializes in pork ramen. Chef Mamoru Kanaya matches sliced marinated pork belly and poached egg to create the perfect combination of the slightly sweet Tonkotsu broth. Try the Extra Pork Ramen to satisfy your stomach.

941461_567431586671574_1992346196_n

Ramen Champion held a grand promotion on 4 July 2013 offering free bowls of ramen to the first 100 customers. Needless to say, queuing is one of our nation’s favourite pastime and when there is free food there is bound to have a large crowd.

When I reached Bugis+ level 4 that morning the queue had extended to Crystal Jade HK Café. And I heard from the restaurant manager that some people were in the queue as early as 9 o’clock. (Did they think it’s free ramen for breakfast?)

1013474_567404240007642_355999670_n 993010_567436533337746_151860225_n 995405_567436430004423_1296239174_n 1301_567406270007439_1640321969_n 999006_567409540007112_2090329169_n

These are six ramens given out for free (100 bowls) and 50% throughout the day:

Ikkousha: Ajitama Ramen – S$13.50

Gantetsu: HOKKAIDO Tonkotsu Ramen – S$11.00

Buta God Tonkotsu: Tonkotsu Sukiyaki Ramen – S$12.00

Menban Yamgishi Kazuo: Ajitama Ramen – S$12.50

Muso Ajitama Cha Cha Ramen – S$13.00

Bario: Ajitama Ramen – S$14.50

994219_567413196673413_480788675_n 999507_567409810007085_514460698_n

The prices listed are before the discount. For me, I choose BARIO’s Ajitamen Ramen because I feel it’s the most value for money for this promotion. I also had a taste of the two champions – MUSO and IKKOUSHA.

945341_567409966673736_99596634_n 1013788_567431133338286_1229193126_n

I love the new set of Ramen Champion’s posters which look like some kind of ramen manga adapted into a movie promotional posters.

19911_557801064301293_749522980_n 1044368_557796114301788_1272813917_n 1044312_556164951131571_1514383133_n 971295_563167587097974_1808826756_n

Ramen Champion is currently running a Facebook Contest, please go and like their Facebook page Ramen Champion Singapore and answer a simple question to stand a chance to win $50 worth of Capitaland Vouchers. LIKE & SHARE: http://a.pgtb.me/dkDdQQ 1012993_563210293760370_170950480_n

For more information on Ramen Champion Singapore, please visit www.ramenchampion.com.sg

Ramen Champion (Bugis+) is located at 201 Victoria Street, Bugis+ #04-10, Singapore 188067 (nearest MRT station: Bugis), outlet tel: 6238 1011

Ramen Champion (Changi Airport Terminal 3) is located at 65 Airport Boulevard #B2-58 Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3, Singapore 819663 (nearest MRT station: Changi Airport), outlet tel: 6214 2958

1003678_567409253340474_481878307_n