Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Being a driver, i find it ridiculous on days i have to flag for a taxi. This happens during times when i need to send my car for servicing or repairs. First of all, available taxis are always nowhere in sight, especially during peak hour. And when it rains, it's a whole other story because the only sheltered place to wait for a one is a taxi stand, which i do not have at home. No doubt there's booking through phone which most taxi companies provide - but there's always a long wait time, especially during peak hours and when there's bad weather. One of the faster apps that would get me a taxi is GrabTaxi, but although faster than most other applications and call centres, it may also take a bit of time if no taxi drivers are available.

 GrabTaxi launched its premium private hire service, GrabCar, last year. This year, they are introducing the GrabCar economy, which allows you to book a private car as an affordable alternative when the taxi supply is low.

It's basically the same as a taxi ride that reinforces GrabTaxi's brand promising a safe, certain and fast ride. I've tried it personally and it took barely a minute or two for me to get a driver on a Saturday afternoon, and approximately another 5 minutes for the driver to get to my place. What's even better is that you can track your driver on-the-go while he or she in on the way to pick you, so you have a better gauge of when they are arriving. And if you too busy prepping, the driver will call you to let you know they have arrived.

A quick chat with my driver revealed that GrabCar only allows a driver with at least 3 years of driving experience to join their team. This also means any GrabCar you get on will assure that you are in safe or if not the safest of hands. My driver also had car freshener in his car, which definitely made the ride more comfortable. I can be quite particular about hygiene but i guess you don't have to worry with GrabCar, because it is someone's car after all and i know how most drivers (like me) are particular with cleanliness in the car.

Now to the most important part - how do you book a GrabCar? Download the GrabTaxi application on your phone and select GrabCar as an option. GrabCar comes in GrabCar Economy (mostly salon cars), GrabCar+ Premium (luxury cars), GrabCar 6-seater and GrabCar 13-seater - now you don't have to worry if you are going out alone or as a group!

Next, select your pick-up location and drop-off location and hit the next button where the GrabCar team will allocate the nearest driver to you. In the next screen, you will also be advised on the amount of your fare (a fixed price) and payment can be made by credit card via the application or cash directly to your driver. By the way, the route to take to your destination is also entirely up to you.

One of the services GrabCar offers which i feel is very important is a 24-hour customer service line. This allows passengers to feedback or enquire on-the-go! So if you ever need to feedback, there's always someone to hear you out - anytime, anywhere.

It's that easy, even easier than grabbing a taxi i would say. And just for you people, GrabCar is offering a SGD8 off your first 2 GrabCar rides (any category) with no minimal spending. This means if your GrabCar ride is 8 bucks, you get the ride absolutely free!

All you have to do is key-in "GRABNICK" when making your booking via the application and enjoy SGD8 off your ride. Don't worry if the fare shown on the app does not change after inputting in the code, the deduction will be in the system and the driver will be aware of it! This promo code will run from 28 April 2015 - 12 May 2015 and can be used twice for each registered GrabTaxi user.  Now there's no reason to be late for school, work or a meeting. You can go ahead, grab a car, and thank me later.

This post is brought to you by GrabCar Singapore.

Friday, April 24, 2015


RamenPlay, as its name suggest, it best known for serving up authentic Japanese ramen. With 7 outlets island-wide, they have since made new additions to their menu, which introduces the delectable and pocket-friendly priced shabu shabu, available at 4 of their outlets - BreadTalk IHQ, Nex, Jem and Velocity.

Each Shabu Shabu pot is an individual serving and one gets a choice of either clear or kimchi soup. If you like a tinge of spiciness, opt for the kimchi, otherwise pick the lightly flavoured clear soup. For the choice of meat, you can pick either the pork collar or striploin beef, sliced to the right thickness. Additional portions of meat can also be ordered, so if you like both pork and beef, you don't need to worry.

With an assortment of vegetables including mushrooms and tofu, we found the set to be worth every bit. It also comes with a raw egg on the side which you can use as a dipping condiment, or throw it into the soup for a thicker broth. Perfect for a rainy day, this dish definitely gets a thumbs up for its taste and price.

Also on the menu is the Butariki Ishinabe, which will probably remind you of a Korean Bibimbap. Boasting the use of Niigata rice, the dish is topped with a raw egg with sliced pork and onions in a hot stone bowl. A bit like clay pot rice, expect charred bits at the bottom (which i enjoyed very much).

And if all that does not work for your palate, don't worry because you still have ramen to fall back on. The Toroniku Uobushi Tonkotsu Ramen, also known as the Pork Cheek Double Soup Ramen has a broth that isn't as heavy as most Tonkotsu and the pork cheek slices were delightfully yummy with bite.

With prices so reasonable, RamenPlay is definitely the place to be at, especially if you are fickle with your food decisions. With a new menu featuring shabu shabu, ramen and donburi, the 'everything under the roof concept' makes RamenPlay the place to go for a hearty delicious Japanese fix.

30 Tai Seng Street
BreadTalk IHQ, #01-03
Singapore 534013
+65 6444 5516

This was an invited media tasting.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Burning Oak

May the next generation of hawkers please stand up, and there you have it - The Burning Oak. Opened by a young chap and his family, it is one of the latest additions to Bedok Market Place. The stall boasts the use of Japanese charcoal, Binchotan, to grill their yakitori. They also serve bento sets in the afternoon. 

One of my favourite yakitori to order is Tsukune, also known as chicken balls made up of minced chicken and other condiments. The Tsukune at The Burning Oak however, was a total disappointment. It was a tad too mushy for my liking, to the extent i had doubts if it was actually cooked through properly. The sauce was also extremely salty (happened to be the same for all their other yakitori sticks).

We also had a try at one of the chef's original recipe, the Pork Belly with Apple, which i also found hard to swallow. The apple sauce was an overkill and tasted just like cream from an apple strudel, which didn't match up with the saltiness of the pork.

There was also the 72 hours Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs which cost a whooping 6 bucks per stick. I don't normally highlight prices in exact but while some thought this was worth it, i thought it was just ridiculous for hawker pricing. I had no doubts about the texture of the beef ribs as it was tender and juicy but it wasn't well marinated enough to the extent the beefiness was so distinct it felt like i had a live cow in my mouth while i was chewing on it. You might have to brush your teeth for half an hour to get the taste out.

The saving grace i would say was the Curry Risotto Balls which were quite enjoyable to pop - crispy golden on the outside. The Burning Oak however, highlights that they are an innovative yakitori place, so i am not sure why this was the best dish we tasted from the menu.

I'm definitely sitting on the fence about The Burning Oak after trying out what they have to offer. Honestly, their dishes are difficult to stomach and for a yakitori place, it felt more like "yucky-tori". While it is a good thing that young people are coming out to do what they like, The Burning Oak definitely needs a lot more fine tuning, in my opinion. For now, i think i'll stick to the traditional satay instead of the yakitori sticks from The Burning Oak were pretty much unappetising and rancid.

The Burning Oak
348 Bedok Road
Bedok Market Place, #02-16
Singapore 469560
+65 9873 6093

This was an invited media tasting.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Brizo Restaurant & Bar : Crazier about Crabs

The title pretty much summarizes everything - from last year's success, Park Hotel has decided that 'Crazy about Crabs' be brought back this year, re-naming it 'Crazier about Crabs'. Similar to last year's menu, except that this year's spread on the buffet line includes more crab dishes, as well as other dishes such as a salad bar and a full dessert spread.

Most importantly however, is the fact that compared to last year, the crabs this year were a whole lot fresher. If your memory serves you well, you would have remembered a not so fantastic review on Crazy about Crabs last year - but we have since changed our mind after trying it out this year.

Made a la minute, the Baked Crab comes in 3 different sauces - Mariniere, Bouillabaisse and Cioppino. Baked in parchment paper, each serving not only comes with crab, but also seafood such as mussels, prawns and clams, with a few additions of corn and potato. We like the fact that this is made upon ordering, so the dish goes into the oven and is served to you piping hot.

From the chef recommendations, be sure to head for the Steamed Crab with XO, which was one of our favourites last year, and also this year. If you like your spices, the Heavenly Fragrance Crab is bound to whet your appetite and leave you wanting more, with a slightly spicy sauce which was extremely delectable. Other cooked crab dishes include the Salted Egg Crab, which we felt was coated with a tad too much flour, as well as the Butter Crab.

On the Seafood on Ice counter, one can expect to indulge in Chilled Flower Crabs, as well as Alaskan Crab Legs. Our recommendation is to not waste your time with the flower crabs and head straight for the Alaskan, which is the most easy to consume anyway. There is also sashimi and other chilled seafood for you to choose from.

Expect a total of about 22 types of crab dishes at Crazier about Crab this year. The list is never-ending but we thought the above mentioned were the most deserving dishes to be mentioned from the buffet line. The Crazier about Crabs Buffet runs from 1 April - 28 June 2015. Reservations are highly recommended.

Brizo Restaurant & Bar
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
1 Unity Street
Singapore 237983
+65 6593 8855

This was an invited media tasting.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Braun Series 7

Luxe, revolutionary and exceptional - i reckon these are the three best words to describe the Braun Series 7, the most technologically advanced range of shavers from Braun which promises you a better (or if not the best) shave that one would ever experience. The Braun Series 7 comes with a luxe full leather case to keep your shaving buddy in, making it extremely portable and a perfect stylish companion to travel with.

Unlike entry-level electrical shavers, the Braun Series 7 is equipped with more functions that you would ever have guessed, including an intelligent sonic technology that reads your face and adjusts the power to the density of your beard, as well as three personalisation modes for different facial zones. One of a kind, it is the world's only shaver with these functions equipped, taking shaving to a whole new level.

A perfect fit into the palm, the Braun Series 7 is also versatile enough to allows both wet and dry shaving and is equipped with Patented ActiveLift™, the world's only patented middle trimmer which actively lifts and cuts flat-lying hair, leaving you with the cleanest look possible to start or end the day with. 

The detachable blade also boasts a OptiFoil™ technology that captures more hair and cut them deeper than ever before. The pivoting shaver head also ensures that every part can be reached while shaving. Our favourite part however, had to be that the Braun Series 7 has an advanced display for battery status and hygiene, which informs you with the most precise indication of battery and hygiene status of your shaver.

With all that technology equipped, it was no surprise that the Braun Series 7 also comes with a Clean & Renew™ system that uses a unique alcohol base to clean your shaver for your automatically once you dunk it in. It also charges while it is cleaning, so that you look forward to a clean, fully-charged shaver each time you use it. The Braun Series 7 also has a pretty commendable charging time of only 1-hour for a full charge.

What did we like most about the Braun Series 7? Almost everything. From the technology equipped to the user-friendly interface, we think the Series 7 is the perfect shaver for men till date. An essential to a guy's grooming regime, we think that Braun has outdone themselves once again with the all-in-one Series 7. Braun Series 7 799cc is now available at all major electrical chain stores, departmental stores, leading hypermarkets and independent electrical stores at a recommended retail price of SGD549. And for the alpha males, you can thank us later.

This is a sponsored product review.