Friday, February 28, 2014

Ramen Kagetsu Arashi

Ranked third most popular in Japan and with more than 290 outlets worldwide, Ramen Kagetsu Arashi has hit shores. This ramen chain not only delivers hot piping delicious bowls of ramen, they offer freshly crushed garlic and an in-house special soy sauce to go along as condiments to enhance the flavors of each bowl.

With three outlets all over the island (Star Vista, Tampines 1 and The Cathay), this ramen chain has expanded quickly over the past 6 months, boasting to serve ramen as good as, or even better than established ramen places in Singapore.

We had a go at two different ramen types and they both had very flavorful and rich soup, apart from the perfectly cooked noodles and tender slices of pork. The Ginjiro Ramen uses dried bonito, kelp and other ingredients to achieve its soup base. The other ramen which we also enjoyed was the Arashi Genkotsu Ramen which we thought was equally good and had thicker soup.

A unique dish that they also serve is the Itameshi Dry Curry Rice which we thought was pretty interesting. Served on a hot plate and with egg at the bottom, the flavors came together quite well when mixed together.

Apart from those, we also tried a few sides which are worth mentioning. The handmade Gyoza had generous fillings in them and the Tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) was crispy on the outside and juicy within.

Ramen Kagetsu Arashi is a place that i think is worth coming back time and again for a bowl of good, comforting ramen. The prices are extremely pocket-friendly and the wait-time isn't too long despite a queue forming outside during peak hour.

Ramen Kagetsu Arashi
2 Handy Road
The Cathay, #B1-01/02/03
Singapore 229233
+65 6736 3055

This was an invited media tasting.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Garuda Indonesia : First Class

With Garuda Indonesia's First Class Experience, one can enjoy nothing but the best treatment every step of the way on their journey, even before they board the flight. The First Class Experience offered by Garuda Indonesia ensures that every initiative is taken to give each passenger a first class experience throughout. This includes a limousine service to chauffeur you from your doorstep, to an exclusive reception at the airport (now available in Jakarta).

On board, expect only the finest and personalized in-flight service by well trained stewards, apart from the luxuries such as a 180 degree recline (full flat bed), a personal storage and a meal table that can accommodate 2 people, just to name a few. Apart from all those, First Class passengers get complimentary in-flight connectivity, allowing them to stay connected even in the air. The First Class experience also includes exclusive amenity kit and toiletries from Loewe. 

Boasting a first class dining experience, a Chef on Board will have a menu dialogue with the guest and prepare meals in the aircraft according to their preferences. They also offer a range of different cuisine such as Indonesian, Japanese and European, just to make sure everyone has an option to choose from. 

Their Indonesian menu features locally infused dishes such as Gado-gado and Indonesian Oxtail Soup. These local flavors are brought on board to compliment each aspect of their First Class Experience. 

Other options such as Japanese are also available, which includes cold starters such as Somen Noodle Soup and mains like Asparagus Beef Wraps served on the finest kitchenware from Japan. 

The option of having European cuisine in air also also available, serving up Grilled Lamb Cutlet, Duck Confit and Seared Black Cod as their mains. Of course, accompanying these delectable courses are the finest French Champagnes, Old and New World Wines and the freshest squeezed juices. 

Garuda's First Class currently flies to and from Jakarta, Seoul, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Beijing, Narita, Osaka, just to name a few. For more information, you can head on to

This was an invited media session.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Unlicensed Driver

They say your destiny is already written. But sometimes you just have to grab a pen and become the author of your life. Or for some, it means grabbing a bunch of keys and driving illegally.

Considering this to be my most controversial post for 2014 (just yet), and if you have been following my social media accounts recently, you would have realized i started 2014 with a bang, literally. And because i have cleared with my lawyers again and again and again before penning this post, any threats except a death threat isn't going to stop me from writing this.

On 17 January 2014 (close to midnight), i was hit on my rear bumper by a car. The driver, Chia Chin Herng did not possess a valid driving license. The story is straightforward, even though the driver was extremely dramatic at that point of time (refer to my tweets) - he begged me to not call the cops but i eventually did (it was the right and ethical thing to do).

Funny enough, the traffic police took 55 minutes to arrive. Talk about efficiency, i tell you straight in your face - none. Before the traffic police could arrive, the driver called his brother, K* to the scene of the accident. K* arrived in a BMW, and talked about disputing the matter privately. I nicely told him that his brother did not possess a valid driving license but he brushed me off as if it was a small issue. The unlicensed driver turned out to be driving his friend's dad's car.

His car's number plate flew off and there was a crack on my rear bumper, which they had agreed to fix and bear all the damages. K* decided to take his brother home before the TP could arrive. Not sure who to blame - the TP for taking so long to arrive, or that K* just wanted to "try and save his brother's ass."

They eventually realized that their fallen number plate was with me, and wanted it back. In return, i asked for a black and white email with the driver's particulars to be sent to me saying he would bear all the damages. This was to ensure that if they ever went missing or did not acknowledge the incident, i had something to back me up . The driver eventually sent an email and i decided to return to them the number plate.

And so i gullibly trusted that he would stick to his words about agreeing to repair the damages, as quoted by him. The next day, i went to my regular car workshop that i have been religiously sending my car to for servicing and asked for the driver to meet me there. His brother K* appeared instead on behalf of him.

My workshop quoted an amount which K* thought was too high, he wanted a second opinion and brought me to another workshop which specializes in spray painting. Note again that the damage on my rear bumper was a crack, not even a dent. Why would i want to have my car fixed at a spray paint workshop? Aside from that, my workshop also told him that my reverse sensor needed to be fixed, as well as a replacement of the re-enforcement bar, which was dented.

All these to be rectified at a spray paint workshop? Who was he trying to kid? Just by reading through the lines it clearly shows that he wanted the cheapest alternative out of the whole incident. And as a victim of an accident that was caused by a unlicensed driver (if i may add and remind again), why should i short-change myself on the repair cost? I am not trying to get the most out of it, the quote was given by my workshop and my workshop even told them that an invoice would be issued. K* challenged the fact that anyone could issue an invoice and felt that i had something to gain by going back to my preferred workshop to repair my car.

Right now, i believe even an imbecile person can understand what is going on :

1. They want to save as much money as they can. 

2. They are questioning the integrity of my workshop.

3. They showed zero sincerity in trying to rectify the issue.

A few days went by and my last message to them was an email asking if they have come to a conclusion, which has never been replied till date, by the way. Apparently to them, i am pressuring them for an answer. In this case, shouldn't i get an answer automatically without having to ask for one? Again, sincerity and dignity is being questioned - his brother drove without a license, damaged my vehicle. What position is he in to even bargain? The ball is not in their court, neither do they have any bargaining chip in hand.

And so i decided to take it into the media context, after not getting a reply from either party (driver nor his brother). After reiterating my story to the media, with police reports to support my case, someone claiming to be the driver's brother's girlfriend (in short, K*'s girlfriend) namely Audree Sze gave the media her side of the story. Very unfortunately, the hate comments to her very quickly surfaced. I don't think she has the courage to go through each nasty comments about her. If i were her, i would dig a hole and bury myself inside.

Firstly, she is not even a third party. Not the driver's brother, or even the vehicle owner - who is she and what right does she have to give her side of the story? Secondly, her story has many loopholes, so many she should just hide herself in one.

1. She claimed that i had agreed to settle the matter out of court, but can't show evidence that i said that. 

2. She claimed that my workshop quoted her 3-4k for the repair, but my workshop never issued a proper quotation in black and white. 

3. She claimed that they are more than willing to fix the damages on my vehicle, but she sent the media a screenshot of a message conversation with them not replying my text message. (This one, self-pawn.)

Now i don't think it is wrong for me to assume that this bi-polar woman wrote to the media and just started more controversy for the driver, his brother and the car owner. If she has the ability to make me sound like i am the " real bully" here, why isn't anyone buying her "story"? Good try Audree, i think you need to retake your PSLE and learn some public relation skills before you attempt to smoke another story about me.

Till date, no one (the driver, the car owner nor the driver's brother) had gotten back to me trying to settle the issue. My legal rights are reserved even though i have gotten advice and concern from many of the best lawyers in town.

Funny enough, i was asked this question by a reporter - Will people think i am throwing my weight around since i have a social media advantage and hang around the circle of very influential blogger friends?

My answer is this - This issue wasn't initiated on a social media context in the first place. The point i was trying to put across was that driving without a license in Singapore should be taken seriously. The media article was never to defame anyone or with the intention to name drop anyone. I may have a social media advantage but it never crossed my mind to use it because it is ethically not right. As for my friends, they have been extremely supportive about this incident and have offered help. If Singaporeans want to blow up this issue and make it a talking point, it is ultimately out of my control. My social media platforms are used as a sharing point to influence others positively.

I have since fixed my car, but instead of replacing the entire rear bumper (which costs quite a sum), i've fixed the crack and also replaced the reverse sensor. It took me almost 3 weeks (with the help of my friends who work in the automobile industry) to source for reputable workshops to do the repairs and the repair cost was brought to the minimal, bearing in mind that the unlicensed driver is only 20 and still a student.

Our most recent conversation with K* (driver's brother) was at 8.40pm on 12 February 2014. This man had claimed to be handling all matters with regards to the incident and our tele-conversation was about the compensation of my car servicing costs. We have kindly understood from his point of view the entire incident, and here are some of the major and flawed argument that he had brought up:

1. He mentioned how i had contorted his words and made up the story on STOMP. While i like to say that people on STOMP can be quite unethical, it was one of the ways for the community to take sides and formulate a localized justice for the innocent to seek a form of social redress - me, in this case.

2. He refused to pay up the sum of $445 upon request, saying that it is essential for me to "learn a lesson from this" that i had gone overboard with the incident. My point across is simple - if this issue had been resolved; if replies were forthcoming and compensation was sincere, why would this happen? We often question about the effects but let us take a closer look at the causes and be reminded what had instigated this incident.

3. He agreed to pay upon one condition that i apologize for everything. He had declined a two-way apology offer because he had insisted that he is not in the wrong. While the concept of right and wrong can overlap and lines can be blurred, the very instigation of the incident is one of an unlicensed driver - the very basis of the argument is already shaky so why should i apologize? Should i apologize and get nothing (except money) in return and swallow my pride for $445? Why should i?

And the main lead in this whole incident is of course, Chia Chin Herng (guy in red pullover in the second pic, guy in shades in the third pic). I couldn't find a picture of him alone, hence the shot of his identity card (which i kindly censored out his very personal particulars). Apparently he studies Aeronautical Engineering at Singapore Polytechnic. As much as i hate to see a 20 year old kid going through so much shit, he probably knows that he himself deserves it.

To conclude this, some of you may ask why i decided to write this post with names and pictures. The reason is simple - we both couldn't reach a mutual agreement on how the matter should be amicably resolved. The breaking points was when Audree Sze told the media her side of the story (couldn't stop giggling as i read the comments people made about her) and tried to portray an image of me extorting money out of the unlicensed driver, and also when K* requested for me to apologize for my rightful compensation.

I guess the main take-away from this post is that one should man up and take responsibility when one has done wrong. From all the tele-conversations, i get a very strong sense from the passive-aggressive brother K* that he is trying to push all the blame back to me while using my social media tactics to be his basis of argument. I feel that he had missed the valuable point that his dearest brother, Chin Herng, had driven without a license and damaged someone else's property, then shunned away from all the necessary responsibilities. I believe at the age of 20, Chin Herng should possess the maturity and sensibility to handle all these with financial assistance from his brother (who drives a BMW, if i may emphasize) or his family. It is certain they need to "learn a lesson from this" more than i do.

They say what goes around comes around, so they should have seen this coming.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Medzs : Valentine's Day

Home to an eclectic range of Mediterranean cuisine, Medzs is definitely a restaurant with variety. This Valentine's, they are offering a range of Lovers Platters put together for that very special occasion. Putting aside the hefty price tag (that Valentine's Day is well known for), their platters offer different kind of cuisines, to make sure there is one to suit every palate.

Each platter serves two and the i personally felt that the portions were good, for the price you are paying. For appetizers, the Seduction in MEDZS Garden features sliders, bread and salad.

Moving on to the main platters, my personal pick would be the Spanish Surprises which has crispy battered soft shell crab, calamari rolled in bacon, paella, pork belly and stewed octopus. The platter was filled with a good mix of meat and seafood, which both the partner and i thought had the right balance.

For meat lovers, the Classically French boasts a selection of meat ranging from sausages, pork belly, ribs and sirloin, served with roasted mushroom and fries on the side. Again, the portion is best to be shared.

Created specially for Valentine's Day, the Dainty Desserts is indeed one that fits the theme perfectly. From heart shaped chocolate crepes to heart shaped macarons, this is one that will sure to impress any girl. 

Aside from the platters which will be available from 13 - 16 February 2014, the restaurant will still offer their normal everyday menu. Which also brings me to my point that you should pick out a few pastas or freshly grilled seafood from the ala carte menu if your stomach allows. The Lovers Platters start from SGD 18.90 and ranges to SGD 38.90. 

9 Raffles Boulevard
Millenia Walk, #01-46/47/55/56
Singapore 039596
+65 6337 7507

This was an invited media tasting.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


An ambitious new franchise brought over to Singapore, Menchie's, to some, may be a haven for frozen yoghurt lovers. The outlet displays a wide variety of flavors - over 12 to choose from, and a shocking array of toppings ranging from fresh cuts, dried crunch, to sweet delectable treats.

Despite so many flavors to pick from, my partner and i still preferred the original tart flavor as it is light and comfortable to taste, unlike some of the flavors that was very acquired. Another flavor to try is green apple, which i thought was refreshing and unique. Most other flavors (no-sugar-added caramel/vanilla, tiramisu) tasted extremely unwelcoming, because the flavors come off too strongly. Unless you are a huge fan, it is a definite no from me. Quite disappointingly, there were more "bad flavors" than nice ones.

In my opinion, Menchie's yoghurt isn't friendly to your wallet, either. Prices are based on weight, and to get a decent photo-worthy and yummy treat for yourself can be pretty expensive. With the majestic display of toppings you might just bust your wallet for it. I would honestly go for a pint of ice-cream with that price.

I feel that this is quite a hit-and-miss as it tasted nothing extraordinary from other frozen yoghurt franchises and what you are really paying for is the wider choices. To end off, the owner of the Singapore franchise was too embarrassed to even weigh her own creation - you get a rough idea how steep the prices can get.

1 Harbourfront Walk
Vivocity, #01-113/114
Singapore 098585
+65 6376 9323

This was an invited media tasting.