Friday, June 21, 2019

The Magnolia @ The MiniBAR

I began my TGIF on a sweet note with F&N Magnolia ice cream indulgence at MiniBAR.

MiniBAR at Centrepoint has collaborated with F&N Magnolia Ice Cream where Instagram-worthy local desserts and signature ice cream cocktails are now introduced.

F&N Magnolia ice cream has been for generations and they are known for their tasty ice cream indulgence. Back in the 1960s, the first Magnolia Snack Bar has won the heart of many young and old Singaporeans.

50 years later, fans of Magnolia ice cream can enjoy our favourite ice cream at the new MiniBAR at Centrepoint. Fans will be spoilt for choices of elevated recipes inspired by the famous local desserts and ice cream cocktails.

We received a welcome drink upon settling down. It was Coconut Milkshake. It was a refreshing and sweet drink to cool myself from the mad rush.

I tried on Popiah Ice Cream Roll ($2.50). Consumer can choose the flavour and sauce they want. I go for coconut flavour ice cream with gula melaka sauce which blended well together. The gula melaka sauce has added sweetness to the popiah.

CK had Wafer - Single Hawker Cut ($2.50) with peppermint chocolate ice cream. A flavour that is not too sweet. 

One thing I like about Magnolia @ The MiniBar is that the desserts are all affordably priced, allowing us to indulge in all the desserts without burning a hole in our pocket.

Here's Yam Ice Cream Milkshake ($3.90). A slice of pandan cake was sitting on top of the milkshake, making the milksake infused a hint of pandan taste and fragrant aroma.

My favourite among those I tried was Traditional Dessert Reimagine with Teh Terik Dinosaur ($3.90). The dessert gave me a sugar rush with the double sensation. The charcoal cone was decorated with nut crumbs on the outside which gave extra crunch when we bite, while the inside was filled with rich whip cream and a stick of teh terik ice cream.

This is definitely a dessert for the sweet tooth.
The MiniBAR presented many Instagram-worthy desserts with the nostalgic Magnolia ice cream. Bring your friends and family down to enjoy this great taste. 

It felt so great seeing the girls again and we had a tantalising good time at The Magnolia @ The MiniBAR Come drop by the MiniBAR and perched a seat with a view of busy Orchard Road. It is located right outside The Centrepoint.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) Day 2: Independence Palace + Highlands Coffee

Good morning, we woke up at 8.20am to a bad weather as we prepared ourselves for breakfast. I have opt in for breakfast when booking this hotel as I was afraid not getting use to their local food, so international cuisine will be a safe choice. Breakfast begins from 7.30am and end at 10am. We headed down at around 9.10am.

We went down to hotel’s lobby where Sanouva restaurant was located. It was a small and cozy area just like the hotel. While I sat down, I noticed it was raining heavily outside. Why do I always encounter rain whenever I travel?

The breakfast buffer consists of cuisines from international choices. The food was regularly replenished and freshly made. Though the selection was not a wide array, the buffet spread was more than enough to satisfy my tummy with their sweet and savoury selection. 

A morning selfie, ready to start our day.

Here's my selection: fried rice, ham, fried dumpling, waffle and pancake.

Other than the food on display, we can also order eggs from the staff. I requested scrambled egg while Linda opt for sunny side up. We also have yogurt to end off the meal. The yogurt has a soft and smooth texture, we enjoyed our 50 minutes breakfast and our tummy were filled to the brim. We felt so full that we think we can skip lunch later on.
We went back to our room and rest for another 2 hours. The movies on Fox Movie were repeated, it was showing the movies we watched yesterday, but it was okay for us as we didn't catch that part yesterday. We rested until 12pm before decided to head out for our plans today. At 12pm, it was still raining heavily and did not show sign of stopping. Luckily, both of us brought umbrella for this trip.

Due to the rain, we slowed down our pace and took 20 minutes to walk to our first destination, Independence Palace. Little did we know that the palace was closed for lunch break and will open only at 1pm, we have half an hour of buffering time which we just loiter at the souvenir shops.

Independence Palace is formally known as Reunification Palace, it was home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

The Banquet Chamber in the Independence Hall.
Everything in the palace was a sight preserved from 1975. The palace housed a lush gardens, secret rooms, antique furniture, and a command bunker. 

I wore this 2 piece outfit out where the top and shorts come in a set. Whether tucked in or let out, the outfit looked chic.

Taking a look at the different function rooms in the palace from Ministers' cabinet room, dinging room to game room.

If you are looking to visit Independence Palace, do remember to plan your time properly to avoid long waiting time.

The Presidential Office.

Behind this story of Independence Palace is a tragic past, It was the site of the Fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates. I didn't have a chance to go out to take a look at the replica of the army tank due to the rain.

One hour was sufficient for touring around the palace. It was 2pm and it was still heavy downpour, I have to scrap away my initial plan of visiting other places near the palace and come back again tomorrow. We were dragging to get ourselves drenched again, hence we decided to spend our afternoon lazing in a cafe right outside the palace.

Independence Palace
135 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Operating hours: 7.30 to 11am, 1-4pm daily
Entrance fee: 40,000VND (or S$2.38)

With lots of spare time, we walked in to Highlands Coffee for cafe hopping. There are many outlets available in Ho Chi Minh City so you can find them anywhere.

Highlands Coffee has a lovely interior and it was a two storey cafe. We went up to level 2 and tucked ourselves comfortably in a quiet area. We just chilled inside the cafe over a drink and dessert. We immediately felt relaxed and happy.

Checked out the dress Linda was wearing, this was the dress she bought from the mall yesterday. It was lovely.

There was a set promotion going on where a drink and a cake combo set cost only 49,000VND (or S$2.92). We were so in loved with the food here, it was really delicious and cheap.

I have Green Tea with Red Bean and Peach Mousse Cake
The Green Tea has a slight bitter taste, it was added with red bean to add slight sweetness and combat the bitterness of the green tea. I was slowly getting used to the taste after a few sips.

With all the hectic schedules I was experiencing, when was the last time I have luxury time just chilling out and enjoying companionship over a meal? 

I was glad this trip allowed me the chance to do so. I am the type of person who enjoy spending quality time with the right company and a quiet place to unwind ourselves.

The Peach Mousse Cake was moist and rich in flavour. It was a perfect pastry to go with my drinks. The sweetness level was just nice for me.

Highlands Coffee is a nice and cozy place to spend our afternoon chilling over the tea break and heart to heart talk. I felt stress free when I was with Linda, she was a very nice and straight forward person, someone who will always share with you her thoughts.

Time seemed to stop when we were in our heart to heart talk that we didn't realized 3 hours have passed. It was already 5pm, we need to make our way back to hotel before the sky turned dark as the sky set early at 5.30pm here.

Highlands Coffee
135 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Operating hours: 7am to 10pm daily

The rain seemed to get even heavier, we braved the rain and make our way back to hotel. We took a longer route back as we lost our way, resulting in us taking nearly half an hour to reach. We were so happy when we saw the familiar street of our hotel, we were drenched and we need a shelter place. 

Linda suggested to have cup noodle for dinner so we went to the convenience store, Circle K, which was located right besides our hotel to purchase the cup noodles and snack.

While waiting for the water to boil, we snacked on the tidbit we bought. The chicken flavour snack cost only 6,000VND (S$0.36) and it was addictive, we finished it in no time. I going to get another pack if we go to Circle K again.

To prevent ourselves from catching a cold, we make hot tea to warm ourselves up. 

We were back in hotel since 6pm, nothing beats snuggling in hotel room on a rainy evening. We even made our dinner in the room. Having our cup noodles while watching Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

We are true Singaporean, even the cup noodle we choose implied so. We picked on Nissin Singapore Chilli Crab Noodle at 15,000VND (S$0.89). The hot and spicy cup noodle was the best comforting food to have in such a cool weather, we enjoying slurping the noodles.

I kept hearing water dripping sound so I went to check out what happen. The rain was so heavy that it sipped in to our room through the small window and there was a patch of water on the floor. We quickly took spare towel from the bathroom to cover it.

The staff has shortly came to check our room. They seemed to know we were facing the water sipping problem and replenished our towel, they were probably checking every room.

It was 8pm and Linda suggested to head down to the massage parlour that was just few shops away from our hotel. The massage parlour was supposedly to close at 9pm but they closed early that night due to the heavy rain. It was raining non-stop since yesterday, I never expect the weather to be so bad. We dropped by at Circle K again to purchase some snacks and chips to bring back home, I spent another 25,000VND (or S$1.49) on the items.

We headed back to hotel wanting a hot shower. However, the heater was not working and we got the staff to come and fix it. Halfway fixing the pipe, the television connection was gone, it got cut away by the terrible storm. It was just not our day, our only entertainment was gone.

Unable to fix the heater, the staff upgraded us to Sanouva Deluxe room and we moved our belonging to level 5.

The room was spacious and beautiful, it boosts a cozy ambience and well-equipped with all the necessary items. We loved this room so much because it was so comfortable that we wish we have longer stay at the hotel.

Finally there was some views from our hotel room but it was not very visible due to the heavy rain.
After reading news, we discovered that Southern Vietnam was affected by Typhoon Usagi resulting in the heavy storm and flooding in Ho Chi Minh City. This explained why the weather was so bad today.

Our night didn't stop here, we have a mask session to rejuvenate our skin to prevent dryness caused by long hours spent in aircon room. And also more chit-chat until our eyes felt tired since the television was down.

We loved this room, it made our stay felt even more comfortable. 
Good night.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Menya Sakura: Tonkotsu Tsukemen

I began my weekend with a delightful dinner at Menya Sakura, which is located at Orchid Hotel @ Tanjong Pagar. This was my first time patronizing Menya Sakura and I'm already looking forward to try the best Tsukemen.

Menya Sakura has just celebrated their 3rd anniversary in Singapore. The eatery is small and cosy, one can opt for indoor or alfresco dining.

The price range for their ramen is very reasonable. There is one thing to note, Menya Sakura only accept cash payment, do ensure that you have sufficient cash before heading down to the eatery.

We have chosen the regular size ramen and have our noodles to be hot. We opt for original flavour soup broth.

Tsukemen is famous in Nagoya, Japan. This is my first time trying out Tsukemen as well, the Tonkotsu broth was separated out from the ramen,

The noodles used were thick and chewy, it has elastic texture when chewed. The char siew was very tender and thick, excellent to eat on its own and dip into the Tonkotsu broth.

Dip the noodles into the broth and every strand of the noodles were coated with the rick Tonkotsu broth when consumed. The broth was what that makes the noodles tasted savoury and satisfied my taste buds.

I enjoyed the Tonkotsu Tsukemen where the broth was so flavourful, the noodles had good chewy texture and the char siew was savoury.

Thanks Menya Sakura for the opportunity to try out the Tonkotsu Tsukemen. I will be back again to try out other ramens.

Menya Sakura
1 Tras Link #01-07 Singapore 078867
Operating hours: 11.30am to 10pm from Monday to Saturday

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