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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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)

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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“.

Bon Appetit, Hippopotamus!

Eat like a hungry hippo with ABR Holdings latest F&B concept at Marina Square! Bon Appetit. 

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After the successful of bringing Swensen’s to our shore, ABR Holdings Limited  has introduced a new casual dining experience in modern French style. Created in Paris in 1968, the Hippopotamus restaurant Grill has gained a strong reputation in France, especially in Paris. Prepared with the widest selections of cut from the well-known Sirloin, Tenderloin and Rib Steak, to the rare Hanger and Skirt Steaks at affordable prices, Hippopotamus is a contemporary restaurant with a relaxed, friendly ambience.

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Meat lovers alert! Here’s a quick French lesson, “Pour l’amour de la viande” translates to “For the love of meat”. We are lucky to be invited by ABR Holdings for a lunch time food tasting session at Hippopotamus. (Those working near Marina Square, remember to check out their special lunch treats!)

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Get some greens before you start your main course with the Caesar Salad ($8.90) adorned with chicken, parmesan and an inimitable sauce. Pair it with Hippo’s traditional rendition of French Onion Soup ($8.90) – generously peppered with onions and melted cheese.

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Try the Hot Goat Cheese Salad ($9.90) – its refined flavour of goat cheese slathered on crisp toast, topped with herbs from Provence and olive oil makes it a sunny, charming starter!

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Go bold with Escargots ($16.90), an essential item on the French menu. Have it as a starter, this comes as a set of 6, topped with herb butter. Make believe you are in a Parisian diner with Bone Marrow ($11.90), heaving with haute French flavour in these unapologetically rich renditions of French classics.

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A scrumptious selection of house sauces (Barbecue, Bearnalise, Homemade Thai Chili, Stewed Shallot, Pepper and Roquefort Cheese) is available to accompany every main course ordered, while 6 dishes – French Fries, Potato Gratin, Green Beans, Baked Potato, Ratatouille and Steamed Vegetables provide for a medley of choices on the side.

Skirt Steak Rack of Lamb

[Photo credit: Hippopotamus Restaurant] 

Skirt Steak ($18.90) is a cut of beef from the plate of the mule. Long and flat, it is often neglected because it is not known for its tenderness. Rather, it is well-loved for its strong flavour in every cut. Rack of Lamb ($36.90) serves up deliciously tender Australian choice cuts of lamb. Slow- grilled for hours, it makes for a bold, flavourful dish that will leave you hankering for more.

Grilled Game Hen US Pork Chop

[Photo credit: Hippopotamus Restaurant]

The Grilled Game Hen ($21.90) features U.S imported Cornish Game Hen tenderly grilled to fork- tender perfection. Taste the difference with Hippo’s slow- grilled U.S. Pork Chop ($19.90) that is crisp on the outside but exudes a moist, smooth texture on the inside.

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Blogger friends, Christina from huneyzworld.blogspot.com and Tiffany from missytiffany.com enjoying the beef skewer.

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For the rib fans, go for the BBQ Ribs ($19.90), a hunky-dory set of luscious pork spare ribs served with barbeque sauce. Grilled King Prawns ($22.90) also make a strong contender on the menu for prawn-lovers. Flavoursome grilled whole king prawns are served atop a bed of fresh greens.

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To finish off the satisfying meat heavy meal, grab a cup of Chocolate Mousse ($7.90), or go with a French classic, Crème Brulee ($7.90), perfectly torched with cameralized brown sugar encasing a dish of smooth cream with subtle hints of vanilla.

Hippopotamus has also revamped its drinks menu with an assortment of different kinds of new cocktails, and an updated list of beers and wines. Pair your meal with a glass of classic French wine for a boozy gastronomic experience this week!

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Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill

6 Raffles Boulevard, #01-204/205 Marina Square S039594

Opens 11am – 1030pm daily

Tel: 63385352

Website: www.hippopotamus.com.sg