carrot cake, chili crab & combat durian

After living in Singapore for a year and half, I finally had my first family visitors. My brother Andrew and his wife, who actually live the farthest away from me, were here for a week. It was definitely a real blessing seeing them and actually hanging out with them, which has been rare these past few years.

My brother kept saying how he wanted to eat foods that he could only eat here in Singapore, so that challenge was easily taken on. The highlights of our Singapore food adventures would be filling up on hawker center staples like carrot cake (no actual carrots inside), satay, lime juice, prata house, plenty of seafood (including frog), chili crab, and of course, durian.

Esther who is from Malaysia loves durian, while for Andrew, it was his first time. The durian stand I ended up taking them to on Balestier was appropriately called combat durian. The pictures tell the story of how Andrew felt about durian after one piece. Luckily, we had the mangosteens to help balance the taste of the durian. In the end, Andrew could only manage to swallow one piece of durian.

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l’entrecote: steak & fries bistro

Can you imagine steak, fries, l’apertif, and salad for $29.90 (++) in Singapore? Well you had me at steak… I finally managed to satisfy my steak craving at L’Entrecote. Plus, they give you unlimited fries. Life doesn’t get much better than that. Be warned though, they don’t have ketchup. My friend joked that she would smuggle some in with her next time!

I’ve been wanting to check this place out for a long time. It’s located on top of the hill on Duxton, hidden away in Tanjong Pagar. It’s a really cute area with a lot of fun restaurants and bars. I went on a week night at 6pm, and there was literally no one in the restaurant until we arrived. I heard on the weekends there is a wait, so I would recommend going during the week (they don’t take reservations). My friends and I all ordered our steaks medium. My friend’s steak was pretty red and even blue on some parts, so she had asked to get it cooked a bit more. And, unfortunately, what came back was a bit too well done. My steak was a bit more cooked, but still pretty red. So next time, I will go on the safe side and order my steak medium well, and hope it’s not rare. Other than that, the service and rest of the meal was delicious. We ordered some ice cream and the profiteroles which were delicious according to my friends. I was honestly way too full from all the food to have room for dessert, which means I must have overdosed on the unlimited fries (my weakness).

I will definitely be going back because who doesn’t love steak & fries that’s affordable. I do recommend this place. I liked the French bistro feel inside and honestly, steak makes me very happy. I look forward to checking out some other steak places in Singapore hopefully sooner than later. Any takers?! 🙂

L’Entrocote

36 Duxton Hill

Singapore 089614

T: 6690 7561

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beach bliss in thailand {koh nangyuan}

The most beautiful island I saw during our trip to Thailand was Koh Nangyuan. We took a longboat out there from the beach outside our hotel in Koh Tao, which cost 700 baht (21 USD) for the both of us, roundtrip. It’s a tiny island with only 1 resort/hotel. There are actually 3 small islands that are connected together by this strip of white sand. The tide was a bit high when we got there in the morning, so the connecting sand to the last island was covered in water. We saw one couple trying to get to that third island walking through the ocean with their bags held high above their heads. They seemed to make it without the luggage getting wet.

It was a pretty unique beach when you have water coming in on both sides of the sand! There were a lot of people snorkeling and scuba diving as well. You do have to pay a fee to enter this island (100 baht), and you are not allowed to bring plastic bottles with you. The food and drinks are a bit pricier at the one restaurant they have at the resort there. Also, you do have to pay for the beach chairs as well. However, it was worth the bumpy boat ride we took to get there. This would definitely be a must see place if you go to Koh Tao. I think you can take boats out here from Koh Samui as well, but it would be a much longer ride!

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snorkeling, scuba diving & sharks

This was my third trip to Thailand, but my first time to Koh Samui. We flew direct to Koh Samui from Singapore, which was around 2 hours, but pretty expensive! We stayed in Koh Samui for 1 night then took a ferry the next day to Koh Tao, another smaller island that was about 2 hours away.

Koh Tao is known for the scuba diving. There are a lot of smaller islands nearby and great beaches for snorkling and scuba diving, with lots of coral, fishes and more. Janice wanted to get her scuba diving license so that was the main reason in choosing Koh Tao! There were so many different scuba diving companies in Koh Tao. Janice used Masters Divers, which she seemed to really like.  The cost of getting your certification and other courses are apparently much cheaper in Koh Tao! Despite her attempts at persuading me to take the classes with her, I decided that my vacation would not be the time to face my fears of scuba diving (there’s a story behind my fear). I wanted to relax, read, and just spend time on the beach, which I did plenty of.

During our trip, we had a good amount of time to explore the different beaches of Koh Tao. We went to a beach called Shark Bay that had great coral and fish not too far from the shore. We had a bit of trouble actually getting to the beach because the tide was so high. Basically, we walked to this restaurant that overlooks the ocean and you need to take these stairs that lead into the ocean and swim to the beach. The woman that worked there, said this was the ONLY way to the beach. We had our bags with cameras and things we didn’t want to get wet, so we had to find another way in. After walking in circles, trying to find another path, we ended up walking through a blocked off construction site next door. We luckily saw other beach goers coming out from that way!

I enjoyed snorkeling and was hoping to see some sharks!! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any shark sitings, just a lot of fish and coral. At times, I did feel a bit nervous snorkeling by myself in the ocean, because there weren’t many people in the water and no life guards. Luckily nothing bad happened, but I guess that’s the risk you take when you go to these more secluded beaches. Overall, shark bay was a very peaceful and beautiful beach. I highly recommend checking it out, if you are in Koh Tao!

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one little word for 2014

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Light. My one little word for 2013 still sticks close by to me as I enter into this new year. A few weeks ago,  I wondered what my one little word for 2014 should be.  It somehow suddenly found its way to me. It is a word that has resonated in me in different ways. Action. This word reminds me of the Bible verse, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth,” (1 John 3:18).

I am declaring that my word for 2014 is action. I want my actions to speak boldly. I want to take action on those dreams of mine that have been nurturing in my heart. I want to love others and God through my actions. However, I don’t necessarily think that action always means “doing” something.

Sometimes, I need to stop, rest and be patient.

Sometimes, I need to be still before God before I take my next action.

Sometimes, action means to be in  prayer and have faith.  

So, I’m totally done with making a list of endless goals and new years resolutions that get ignored and not done. This year,  I have my one little word, that will grow and bloom in it’s own way as the year unfolds.

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What is your one little word for 2014?