Sephora’s Rouge Starlets

Not realizing that I’m wearing the National colours, I’ve walked into Sephora ION Orchard. Someone approaches me for a Polaroid shot in front of their poster. Stand to win some prizes… Lalala~

I actually fall in love with the variety Sephora carries and their home brand brushes. But brushes are too expensive. (T__T)

And Sephora carries Sarah Jessica Parker’s perfume, NYC, not even airport has that. Still deciding if I should buy. Just gotten Anna Sui’s Rock Me Summer of Love though. =x

Poster Backdrop
Me
Polaroid shot that is pinned on the board.

A Christmas All Deck Out

This year’s Orchard Road Christmas 2009 lighting ceremony is held  at Orchard ION. This lighting ceremony has started since 1984 and has been running continuously for 26 years.

This year, 3 iconic mascots are brought back into Orchard Road, namely the snowman in the blue zone, reindeer in the orange zone and Santa Claus in the red zone. If I did not remember wrongly, lighting hours from Mondays to Thursdays and Sundays are from 7pm to 12am. Fridays and Saturdays are from 7pm to 2am. On Christmas eve and New Year eve, the lights will go on from 7pm to 6am the next morning.

Blue Zone
Blue Zone
Orange Zone
Orange Zone
Red Zone
Red Zone

We hopped onto the Hippo bus for a 30 minutes tour in Orchard Road after the ceremony.

Hippo Bus
Hippo Bus

Lester blogs a little more about this. Check out his site to find out more.

R Burger

We had a very dissatisfying dinner at Taka’s Central and ended up roaming around for more food.

R Burger is a franchise brought in by a Mediacorp Artiste, Adam Chen. In Asia, you can find them in both Japan and Thailand. So far, the only stall in Singapore is located in Orchard ION basement.

Imagine substituting brown sesame bread with Chinese white bao bun. According to the description, the bread of R Burger has added marine collagen that benefits our body. The burgers are wrapped in a pocket-like wrapper, like what we always eat with in MOS Burger. Buns are served warm and soft.

They have unique burger flavors, altogether 6 of them. We choose R Burger which is beef patty and Tofu Burger which is chicken and tofu patty. Do not expect mayonnaise, mustard, bbq sauce kind of seasoning. Instead, the savory gravy are much more oriental. A bit like eating kong ba bao. I also conclude that the bun belongs to those “high absorbent” type, so if your bun has less gravy in it, the whole burger just get dryer, less moist. I believe this is what Lester means by “more taste” with my Tofu Burger than his R Burger.

Everything is healthy, the buns are freshly steamed, the patties are pan-fried only. I only hope that the patties can be slightly thicker. Maybe 2 layers will be perfect.

But sometimes you just crave for deep fried stuff, didn’t we? To me, R Burger is just an alternative.

IMG_8518R Burger at Orchard ION Basement

IMG_8520R Burger Take Away Pack

IMG_8522R Burger Sticker

IMG_8523Imprint on All Burgers

IMG_8525R Burger (Beef Patty)

IMG_8521Tofu Burger Sticker

IMG_8526Tofu Burger (Chicken + Tofu Patty)

Men-ya Kaiko

Men-ya Kaiko Hokkaido Ramen is located at the basement of Orchard ION. This small eatery counter has a little space behind the counter. You’ll need to queue in front and wait for the staff to signal for your seats. While waiting outside, I am served with cold green tea.

Men-ya Kaiko Ramen serve 4 soup bases: White Miso, Red Miso, Spicy Miso and Soy Sauce (Shoyu). And I am excited because this shop also cater chicken ramen for people who don’t eat pork like me. Both of us ordered Chicken Ramen with Red Miso and Pork & Chicken Ramen with White Miso. Seriously, you won’t find it any different with the soup bases unless you drink from 2 bowls for comparison.

I forget to count how many chicken slices I am given, but I estimated a generous 5 or 6 pieces of large lean chicken. Whoo hoo~ Pork & Chicken Ramen on the other hand is half pork slices and half chicken slices. The pork slices are quite fatty according to Lester.

Noodle is eggy thick type. Lester commented it’s a little overcook, soggy. However, I only feel so when I am about to finish the bowl. Perhaps, the noodle’s texture is already less diong in the first place, and needs shorter cooking time? I wish to have more spring onions and bamboo shoots in my ramen. Can forget about the shoyu eggs if you like them to be runny in the yolk. Theirs are almost well done.

The staff are really very observant and polite. But for a small eatery like that, they charge a 10% service charge and 7% GST on top of the price stated. Payment are all in cash terms. Worth it?

IMG_8506Located at Basement of Orchard ION

IMG_8486Men-ya Kaiko Hokkaido Ramen

IMG_8487Display Menu at Counter

IMG_8490Please wait… It sells fast. Only in cash.

IMG_8485I am served with cold green tea while queuing.

IMG_8491Soup Bases: but can’t figure out what’s the difference.

IMG_8493Menu

IMG_8505Behind the Counter

IMG_8495Chicken Ramen

IMG_8502Lean Chicken Slice

IMG_8498Pork & Chicken Ramen

IMG_8499Pork Slices

IMG_8501Eggy Noodle

IMG_8497Well-done Shoyu Eggs

Sho Teppan

Sho Teppan is located on basement 3 of Orchard ION is a self-service Teppanyaki restaurant. It serves both Teppanyaki and Sukiyaki (soup base). They used to have Shabu Shabu on their menu. According to one of the waiters, some Singaporeans responded that the soup is too bland. Therefore, they scrap that off their course. For people who don’t know, Shabu Shabu soups are usually bland or even not meant for drinking. It is only for you to cook your thinnly sliced meat or vegetables. It’s the sauce you dip later is important. Duh~

Anyway, most people will ushered to the counter seats. Only when you comes in pair, you are more likely to sit in the private. The electrical stove is very easy to operate. One stove only cooks one pot. Regardless of Teppanyaki or Sukiyaki you are eating, your ingredients will be prepared in a black pot. The waitress will assist you with the on-ing of the stove then you are leave alone to do your own cooking. I ordered Seafood Sukiyaki, Laily ordered Black Angus Teppanyaki and Lester ordered Beef Tenderloin Teppanyaki. Each set is serve with salad, rice, egg (for Sukiyaki set) and miso soup (for Teppanyaki set).

Sukiyaki soup tastes normal, nothing very impressive. And if you want to refill the soup, they only do it with plain water and not stock. Laily has a big problem with her Black Angus. She don’t like onions and her set is full of them. Sho Teppan is considered cheap but of course of no match with the traditional Teppanyaki. If you think back what you’ve eaten, you actually don’t get much meat. We went 2nd round at Xin Wang Cafe after that. So I assume it is not very satisfying. It’s also a place you won’t sit there for chit chat because of all the smokes.

IMG_8282Entrance

IMG_8285Teppanyaki Menu

IMG_8286Sukiyaki Menu

IMG_8284Counter Seats

IMG_8290Counter Seats

IMG_82922 Persons Private Seats

IMG_8287Electric Stove

IMG_8294Seafood Sukiyaki

IMG_8296Seafood Sukiyaki Uncooked Ingredients

IMG_8299Seafood Sukiyaki Set

IMG_8298Black Angus & Beef Tenderloin Teppanyaki Looks The Same

IMG_8300Beef Tenderloin Teppanyaki Set

HP’s City of Dreams

A long due post. Since Lester has blogged about most of the aspects, my points shall just add on.

HP has an exhibition, City of Dreams, at Orchard ION Basement 4 last week. ‘City of Dreams’ is a special HP Initiative supported by ION Orchard and Siggraph. It starts on 7th August with a blogger event at night and lasted through the week till 13th August.  We are very glad to be invited. HP has also made a special selection to the attending bloggers. They are mainly people who are interested in Technology, Design and Art. This is probably why I enjoyed my conversations with them and not lost in geeky’s 101010.

The exhibition showcases 4 new workstations with customizable specifications and on another side HP’s DesignJet Z3200 Photo Printer. I remembered doing a research back in my Polytechnic days about HP. HP has a long and established history about printing. Therefore, their R&Ds have led to high quality prints and brilliant colors.  A little insight, the HP floor decal is also printed by HP z3200 Photo Printer. Cool right?

IMG_8251HP’s DesignJet Z3200 Photo Printer

IMG_8240HP Floor Decal

The blogger event starts with a prize giving ceremony to HP Lightropolis competition winners. Entries are displayed at Lightropolis, the LED walls at Orchard MRT exit to ION. I kinda like this space whenever I take the escalator up. You need not have advertising posters all the time. Light display is a great medium to transform spaces too.

The respective bloggers are then split into 3 groups for a mini competition, aim is to experience the use of the HP workstations by constructing a wallpaper of our ideal City of Dreams. We have this uber big monitor to work on and the latest Adobe CS4.  I’ve not try CS4 yet. For those who may not know, CS4 opens documents in tab format. I can’t remember what I’ve actually done in the 20 to 30 minutes, but I have fun. Indeed, launching new IT products is all about testing and using them. Below is my team’s final product and us at work. Hahaha~

3810143045_89ca97cc42_bGetting Started

3810150313_bf1331d3be_bMy Team Members

3810988426_9e612a2341_b_dPlacing The Elements

3811081830_2a07fa8b51_oPresentation Time

Team 1Wallpaper

We ended the session with photograph taking with Ben 10 mascot. Feel like a child again.

3810204271_5c71209d6c_oBen 10

More images on Lester’s facebook and HP’s Flickr album.

AOBA Hokkaido Ramen

Visited AOBA Hokkaido Ramen at new ION Orchard. This restaurant is located at level basement 3, same level with several other dining restaurants too. I remembered queuing in for food only at about 9pm, consider late I guess. Barriers are set up to facilitate the queue outside, so do follow the barrier.

We ordered Shoyu Tontoro Ramen and Spicy Miso Ramen. The ramen belongs to the thick and eggy type. Compared to Ramen Santouka‘s noodle, I prefer this though. The noodle is more chewy and tasty (less bland). However, the noodle portion is considerably lesser than the normal Japanese ramen you can find. That’s why we end up eating MacDonald after that. Each ramen is given 1 shoyu egg and a piece of seaweed.

Japanese Shoyu soup base usually tastes quite saltish, Lester’s Shoyu Tontoro Ramen is just right. It is also unusual to see Tontoro meat in Japanese Ramen because they usually serve with char siew. For those who prefer leaner alternative, Tontoro will be an ideal selection. My Spicy Miso Ramen is slightly more spicy but better in taste than Aijisen’s Spicy Miso Ramen (my usual favorite). Both soups are not oily and not as hot. I am expecting a little more spring onion, onion or leek vegetable in my ramen because the display and the menu do so. AOBA Hokkaido Ramen also belongs to Aijisen group. I believe this explains some of the similarities in taste and choices. Shoyu eggs are soft and runny on the inside. I would consider my ranking of best shoyu eggs goes to Marutama Ramen, second to AOBA Hokkaido Ramen and third to Ramen Santouka.

photo(2)Entrance of AOBA Hokkaido Ramenphoto(3)Menu (Outside)photo(4)Menu (Outside)photo(5)Window Displayphoto(6)Carbon Copy of Order & Other Food Varietyphoto(7)Shoyu Tontoro Ramenphoto(11)Tontoro Meatphoto(8)Spicy Miso Ramenphoto(9)Thick Noodlephoto(10)Shoyu Egg

AOBA Hokkaido Ramen is also having some promotions with their side dishes at 50% off the usual price. For people staying in the East, AOBA Ramen has another branch in Tampines One.

On a side note, I am considering if I should develope a standard procedure in tasting ramen?