REVIEW: MAC x Giambattista Valli Lipsticks – Margherita, Tats, Charlotte & Eugenie

Hey everyone!

I remember being all hyped up over fashion designer Prabal Gurung’s makeup line with MAC last year when news of the collaboration first broke, only to be taken aback by the prices (US$30 per lipstick if my memory doesn’t fail me) when it was launched. Therefore when I learned that another team-up with a renowned fashion designer was in the works early this year, I kinda gave an indifferent shrug, thinking that nothing in that line-up would be pocket-friendly once again. But just as I was about to mentally prepare myself to give the entire collection a miss, I spotted the price list somewhere and it stated that each lipstick was going to be sold for only US$17.50! Holy moly.

Mind you, Giambattista Valli is one fashion designer (and one of my all-time faves) with impeccable craftsmanship who has captivated the international fashion scene through his cutting edge designs. Best known for the femininity of his designs (stunning florals!), his dresses have been donned by many Hollywood A-listers including Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Sarah Jessica Parker and not forgetting eight-time Grammy Award winner Rihanna. Just three weeks ago, his label celebrated its first decade in the business by having a Paris blowout. At the same time, his new makeup collection with MAC was born as well!

mac-giambattista-valli-0

Everything is just so pretty in this picture.. even the model!

With just five lipsticks and a gloss (MAC Crystal Glaze Gloss, US$23), this collection is guaranteed to be affordable for everyone especially the hoarders *raises hand* (and therefore also making it even easier for profiteers to wipe out the shelves and resell them at an exorbitant price.. thought I doubt anybody could do that on MAC website considering how terribly slow it was on launch day.. It took me about 30 minutes to check out grrrr).

MAC x Giambattista Valli Lipsticks (and free samples)

MAC x Giambattista Valli Lipsticks (and free samples)

What caught my attention, like many of you, was the product packaging. Each lipstick is encased in the signature MAC dome-shaped lid and sleek plastic tube, coloured according to the lipstick shade. How absolutely gorgeous.

from left: Tats, Margherita, Eugenie and Charlotte

from left: Tats, Margherita, Eugenie and Charlotte

What’s more, they are all MATTE! Hooray!

SWATCH. From left: Margherita, Tats, Charlotte and Eugenie

SWATCH. From left: Margherita, Tats, Charlotte and Eugenie

The fifth shade is Bianca B, a Matte pale white pink which would definitely wash anyone out unless you have really fair, porcelain complexion.. like, white paper. It kinda reminded me of Happy Hibiscus (which by the way was already sold because I disliked it so much) but in Matte finish. Strangely though, Bianca B was the first to sell out across all beauty stores that carried the collection and I seriously have no idea why.

Logo imprint

Logo imprint

Ingredient list printed on a separate slip and inserted into the box

The ingredient list was printed on a separate slip and inserted into the box

#1 Margherita

Margherita

Margherita is a yellow bright peach with Matte finish (US$17.50/S$34)

Margherita

Margherita

Margherita

Margherita

Margherita

Margherita

Margherita

Margherita

Margherita

Margherita

This shade is brighter than I had anticipated but luckily it doesn’t pop too much. It’s mostly opaque but because of the dry finish, most of the product kinda settled into my lip lines, leaving my lips looking really streaky (and that’s the thing about bright, near-luminescent matte colours I guess). Probably exfoliating your lips before applying the lipstick would give better results.

Margherita swatch comparison

Margherita swatch comparison

Margherita leans more towards nude than orange as you can see from the picture above. Reel Sexy (from MAC is Beauty collection) is a close dupe.

#2 Tats

Tats is a bright hot pink in Matte finish (US$17.50)

Tats is a bright hot pink in Matte finish (US$17.50/S$34)

Tats

Tats

Tats

Tats

Tats

Tats

Tats

Tats

Tats

Tats

The only wearable pink in this launch is a fuchsia which I noticed has been making its appearance in recent collections (refer to swatch comparison below), thus making it very dupe-able. It has great colour payoff with a single stroke and a smooth consistency which covered the lips evenly. Although it’s matte, it is actually quite creamy and not drying at all hence removal was a breeze.

Tats swatch comparison

Tats swatch comparison

Some similar shades (but of different finish) that were released in the last 12 months are Diva-ish, Catharina and No Faux Pas. No Faux Pas is quite identical to Tats in my opinion.

#3 Charlotte

Charlotte is a rich yellow red with Matte finish (US$17.50)

Charlotte is a rich yellow red with Matte finish (US$17.50/S$34)

Charlotte

Charlotte

Charlotte

Charlotte

Charlotte

Charlotte

Charlotte

Charlotte

Charlotte

Charlotte

This classic red looks very similar to numerous other reds churned out by MAC, but it stands out from the pack with its creamy Matte finish. The buttery smooth texture coupled with the rich and intense pigmentation help to conceal the flaws of the lips by giving them a subtle sheen and a silken feel which in turn reveal a pair of hydrated and baby soft lips.

Charlotte swatch comparison

Charlotte swatch comparison

Charlotte seems to be slightly darker and less glossier than most reds. It can be a dupe for either Russian Red or Ruby Woo (which is very drying because it’s made of the old formula so Charlotte makes a good alternative).

#4 Eugenie

Eugenie is a dark cherry with blue undertone (US$17.50)

Eugenie is a dark cherry with blue undertone (US$17.50/S$34)

Eugenie

Eugenie

Eugenie

Eugenie

Eugenie

Eugenie

Eugenie

Eugenie

Eugenie

Eugenie

Topping my shopping list was Eugenie, a plum shade that is in fact more semi-opaque than matte because the natural colour of my lips was still able to show through the many layers of the lipstick. The product also has the tendency to settle into my lip creases and gather along the top of my lower lip, making the colour seem uneven on the overall. I was generally quite disappointed with the consistency of this shade and I reckon it won’t last for more than 2 hours. But look, the colour is so gorgeous, I think it makes up for every shortcoming I’m unsatisfied about. 😳

Eugenie swatch comparison

Eugenie swatch comparison

I couldn’t find any dupe for Eugenie in my stash (the closest is perhaps Diva but it’s not exactly a dupe because it’s more brownish) so I believe MAC has finally produced a unique shade. *throws confetti*

What do you guys think of this collection? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more beauty reviews!

MAC x Giambattista Valli is now available on MACCosmetics.com and will be launched in singapore in september.
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Three Buns @ Keong Saik Road

Hey everyone!

As much as I love to eat, being a non-driver has made me quite reluctant to travel to eateries that are inaccessible by train (which is my main mode of transport), and even more so if I have to walk under the scorching heat of the sun to get there. Therefore, even though I get tempted by enticing food pictures from cafes on Instagram all the time, I still hardly cafe-hop since most of the new startups are normally hidden in some secluded corners of Singapore.

However. lodging at Naumi Liora for our staycation had given me the opportunity to explore inconspicuous eateries in Chinatown area which I had previously found to be inconvenient by public transport. In fact, there was already one right on our doorstep!

Called Three Buns, it is a gourmet burger joint from South Jakarta and the brainchild of the PTT Family (I’d think PTT stands for Potato) which had already spawned 3 highly successful dining establishments in Indonesia namely Potato Head and Potato Head Garage in Jakarta, and Potato Head Beach Club in Bali. Three Buns arrived on Singapore’s shores some time in 2014 under the umbrella of the Potato Head Folk group and has been a pretty big hit among the nightlifers and office workers looking to unwind with some burgers and cocktails after a long day on the job.

View from our hotel lobby

View from our hotel lobby

Currently occupying the first two levels of the iconic Tong Ah building, it has its takeaway counter on the ground level and the dining area on the second. A lounge bar (Studio1939 Lounge) and a rooftop bar (The Rooftop Garden) – also part of the Potato Head Folk – sit on the third and fourth floor respectively.

Bulldog head logo

The signature logo of Three Buns is the head of a Bulldog, inspired by a staff member’s bulldog which frequented the PTT Family office grounds in Jakarta

Ground floor of Three Buns

Ground floor of Three Buns in the day

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Whimsical and nostalgic murals along the stairway that led us to the second floor

Dining area on the second floor at night

Dining area on the second floor at night

The mastermind behind the recipes of burgers is actually Chef Adam Penney from London who also helmed the kitchen of the widely acclaimed Patty & Bun burger restaurant, thus the expensive price tag for every burger on the Three Buns menu. Boyfriend and I only decided to dine there on the second night of our staycation (after much persuasion by him) because I was put off by the price. Be prepared to spend at least S$20 for a single burger and around $50 for a complete meal per pax.

The restaurant was a little dim at night so please pardon the poor lighting.

Beetroot & Horseradish Pickled Quail Eggs (S$10++) - "An intriguingly delicate flavour, these little gems are a stunning beetroot pink with a subtle freshly grated horseradish finish"

Beetroot & Horseradish Pickled Quail Eggs (S$10++) – “An intriguingly delicate flavour, these little gems are a stunning beetroot pink with a subtle freshly grated horseradish finish”

Served in the most unpretentious manner possible, these eggs were placed in a plain paper cup with no garnish whatsoever to liven up the dull presentation. Everything seemed to be true to its description except for the flavour. The eggs were nice and soft but they were so goddamn sour that it left my tongue feeling severely blistered for a day. I don’t know what that was but it tasted a lot like a truckload of vinegar. The sourness was so overwhelming that it kinda engulfed everything else, making it a struggle for us to finish the eggs. And S$10 for a few pieces of quail eggs soaked in beetroot juice? *scoffs* That money is better spent on something else on the menu so no, will not recommend this to anyone at all.

House Fries (S$5++) - "Double cooked, crushed herb salt"

House Fries (S$5++) – “Double cooked, crushed herb salt”

One of the cheapest sides available, the shoestring fries came in really small quantity that were gone in a flash. Oh well, at this point I’ve come to accept the fact that everything there was pretty much overpriced. But the fries were thick, crispy and salty enough for my liking.

Wings-Its (S$10++) - "Crispy, fall off the bone, twice cooked chicken wings, scallions & smokey BBQ sauce"

Wings-Its (S$10++) – “Crispy, fall off the bone, twice cooked chicken wings, scallions & smokey BBQ sauce”

I am bewildered by the pricing system at Three Buns. Isn’t it strange that these wings actually cost the same as the awful quail eggs? But unlike those eggs which totally didn’t justify the price, these wings were absolutely delicious! Topped with tiny chilli strips, green onion and bits of fried onion, they were sweet with a hint of spiciness. Love the distinctive crunchiness as well, which was the result of double frying. Brilliant!

Four Floors and Smokin' B-Boy

Cute stickers for Four Floors and Smokin’ B-Boy

Beef burgers are a specialty at Three Buns with the beef patties cooked medium unless otherwise requested. Chicken, lamb, crab, fish and vegetable (for vegans) burgers are also available on the menu.

Smokin' B-Boy (S$25++) - "Prime 120g beef patty, double applewood smoked cheddar, Dingley Dell beer & treacle cured bacon, BBQ ketchup, smoky mayo & crisp onions in a demi brioche bun."

Smokin’ B-Boy (S$25++) – “Prime 120g beef patty, double applewood smoked cheddar, Dingley Dell beer & treacle cured bacon, BBQ ketchup, smoky mayo & crisp onions in a demi brioche bun.”

The flavours were great because of the robust mixture of the beer and other sauces which trickled down my hand with every bite. Bacon and crisp onions were added to give the burger an added crunch but the patty was a little dry on the whole. Presentation-wise, it looked like any average and uninspiring beef burger, and messy, so to speak, because of that squashed bottom bun and excess piece of burnt cheese sticking out in the middle.

Prices for the burgers seemed to have been adjusted (or rather, inflated) to exclude the 7% GST and 10% service charge. From past reviews on other food blogs, the Smokin’ B-Boy used to be $28 nett but now, after factoring in all the additional charges, it amounts to almost $29.50. Nah, not worth it if you ask me. I would rather pay an extra dollar to get…

Four Floors (S$26++) - "Double prime 100g beef patties, double cheese, triple onions, lettuce, pickles, ‘Notorious T.O.M. sauce’ & den miso mayo in a demi brioche bun."

Four Floors (S$26++) – “Double prime 100g beef patties, double cheese, triple onions, lettuce, pickles, ‘Notorious T.O.M. sauce’ & den miso mayo in a demi brioche bun.”

THIS.

Two slabs of thick and succulent beef patties smothered in the most sinful combination of savoury sauces, layered with crunchy vegetables and an overflowing heavenly cheese, and sandwiched between two fluffy buns… I was in total awe. The burger was huge and packed with patties that were delicate and soft to the tooth. But unless you request for the burger to be sliced in four pieces, you would definitely need a big mouth to take a bite out of this burger without messing up the alignment.

A complimentary wet wipe is provided to clean your hands that were soiled with sauces while you luxuriate in the thick burger but it’s always good to prepare yourself with more in case one isn’t enough.

In general, everything – perhaps except for Four Floors – at Three Buns is pretty overpriced. The Smokin B-Boy was honestly just a better-than-average fare of its kind which I didn’t think warrant the hefty cost. The price of the nibbles (where the quail eggs are classified) are, needless to say, daylight robbery. But that’s just how I feel.

Would you pay $30 for a burger?

Thanks for reading!

Three Buns
36 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089143
Tel: (+65) 6327 1939
Email: wordup@threebuns.com
Operating hours : Tue – Sun 11am – Midnight
Website | Menu | Facebook

Staycation at Naumi Liora

Hey everyone!

Planning a birthday celebration for your boyfriend can be really tricky especially if you’ve been with him for years. No matter how creative you are, there will come a time when you’d completely run out of fresh and unpredictable ideas to surprise him. Having dated mine for close to 6 years now, it was one of the biggest struggles I faced while trying to think of ways to make his birthday memorable a few weeks back. From portrait painting to handmaking a Pooh plushie (his favourite cartoon character) to taking him out for a luxurious meal, I had practically done everything my brain was capable of coming up with for the past 5 years.

But this year, after exhausting my brain cells, I decided to be lazy and ask him what he wanted for his 29th birthday directly. It was a no-brainer question. After all, we’ve been together for so long. I knew he had always wanted another staycation but apart from the dreaded packing process and the unnecessary money spent which could be put aside for our year-end trip, I hated to be away from my own bed. Hence I tend to avoid that subject. But since it was already his final year of his 20’s, I relented on the condition that he jointly organised the staycation with me 😆

(Plus a surprise gift – a Braun Buffel wallet – presented to him at midnight of his birthday. Yeah, couldn’t resist buying a present for him in the end #byebyemoney)

We shortlisted a few hotels and finally settled on Naumi Liora, a four-star 3-year-old boutique hotel smacked right along Keong Saik Road near Chinatown and Outram Park MRT stations. What caught our attention was its oriental-themed interiors, its 24-hour gym as well as its close proximity to amenities like cheap foot reflexology parlours (at People’s Park Complex) and hip eateries such as Lime House and Three Buns (review comin’ up after this). Ann Siang Hill is also not very far off from the hotel as it’s just a walking distance away.

Hotel Naumi Liora

Hotel Naumi Liora @ Keong Saik Road

Naumi Liora corridor

Naumi Liora corridor

Comfy orange guest chairs near the entrance

Comfy orange guest chairs near the entrance of Naumi Liora

Relaxation corner near the registration counter

Relaxation corner near the registration counter

We were greeted with a lovely scent and an array of tidbits when we entered the hotel lobby. Called The Nibbles, the little snack bar offers a great selection of complimentary treats which guests can help themselves to anytime of the day. There were crackers, jelly, miniature ice cream (choices may change from time to time), hot beverages and even alcohol (chargeable though) to wallow in when hunger strikes in the middle of the night. These snacks are also replenished daily to ensure optimal freshness.

Newspapers to keep you in the know about what's happening in the world

Newspapers to keep you in the know about what’s happening in the world

Nibbles

Complimentary nibbles

Ice cream

Ice cream. Not from a well-known brand but it was still quite nice according to my boyfriend 🙂

Coffee machine which also serves Milo, Mocha, Cappuccino, Latte and Teh Tarik

Coffee machine which also serves Milo, Mocha, Cappuccino, Latte and Teh Tarik

Vodka

Vodka

More alcohol

More alcohol

Payment was made using credit card at the time of booking but the money was not deducted from the bank account until we arrived at the hotel reception desk for check-in. We were also told to place an additional deposit which would be refundable upon check-out (to cover any damages caused to the hotel room).

Being a small boutique hotel housed in a 155-year-old heritage shophouse, there was only one (slow) elevator servicing 79 rooms across all three storeys. Our Liora Quaint room (the cheapest one because we’re poor students 😥 ) was a window-less room located on the uppermost floor. The corridor leading to it was narrow and dimly-lit with blue-tinted lights, sometimes giving me the creeps when I had to take the elevator down to the lobby alone.

Liora Quaint

We had the choice of a Queen bed or 2 Super Single Beds in this 15-18sqm room

Work desk

Work desk

Hangers

Hangers

Electrical sockets on both sides of the bed, plus a pair of complimentary bottled water

Electrical sockets on both sides of the bed, plus a pair of complimentary bottled water

Lovin' the hotel's generosity: here's 4 more cans of complimentary canned soft drinks in the refrigerator

Lovin’ the hotel’s generosity: here’s 4 more cans of complimentary soft drinks in the refrigerator

Oh what's this? Is this a wardrobe?

Oh what’s this? Is this a wardrobe?

No, it's the bathroom!

No, it’s the bathroom!

Body lotion and soap

Body lotion and soap. Shavers, toothbrush, toothpaste and other bathroom necessities available upon request

Shampoo and body wash but of course, we brought our own

Shampoo and body wash (replenished daily as well) but of course, we brought our own

At S$140 per night, the room met my needs and expectations and was more spacious and comfortable than I thought. I loved the high ceiling that created a light and free atmosphere and the relatively strong Wi-Fi signal (even though it was only two bars of coverage at most throughout our stay). But the television reception was very weak and the picture quality of all channels was poor and grainy. Boyfriend also wasn’t very pleased with the type of shower faucet used in the bathroom. He was expecting the same ceiling-mounted shower head he saw on other blog reviews (which in fact is only available in Liora Porch, the highest range of rooms in this hotel) but was given the standard kind -_- Well, he has no one to blame but himself for not making sure before booking the room 🙄

Another perk of staying in Naumi Liora is the free access to its 24-hour fitness room as mentioned earlier. In order to avoid the morning crowd (assuming that there was any), we usually go to the gym during unearthly hours like 1 or 2am to burn some fats. The fitness room is hidden beside the stretch of hotel rooms on the ground level (turn left the moment you exit from the lift). It’s pretty small with only one set of every common exercise and workout equipment so unless you don’t mind waiting for other people to be done with the machine you want, you should only go there during weird timings when it is guaranteed to be vacant.

Naumi Liora gym

For more privacy, you may even LOCK the door as you work out. But of course, it can always be opened by any hotel room access card from the outside hahaha

Bottled water and towel

Wow at the hospitality of the hotel. Free-flow of bottled mineral water and clean towels for everyone who uses the gym!

Weights of all sizes

Weights of all sizes! I can only lift the lightest one sadly. Damn weak sia me 😦

Fitness ball (reflections don't count) and yoga mat

Fitness ball (reflections don’t count) and yoga mat

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One treadmill and elliptical trainer (yes only one. The other is merely a reflection on the mirror hehe). There’s also a stationary bike at the other side, not shown in this picture. All of them are equipped with a TV screen 🙂

I hardly work out in the gym but after this experience, I still prefer to jog around in the park where I get to bask in the morning sun and enjoy the natural breeze and greenery.

As the hotel does not have its own dining room, breakfast is served at two separate places along the same street until 10am everyday. Based on reviews, if you have opted for Western style, you would receive coupons for The Study beside the hotel. However we, perhaps being guests of a lower-range room (don’t know about you but the clear-cut difference in treatment doesn’t quite jive with me here because I don’t like to be deprived of the freedom to choose when it comes to food 😳 ), didn’t get to choose so we were automatically given Asian style. Therefore our breakfast for both days were fixed at Tong Ah Eating House (a coffee shop) just three shops down the walkway outside the hotel, which… okay lah, was quite good too 🙂

Breakfast coupons

Breakfast coupons

Tong Ah Eating House

Tong Ah Eating House

We got to pick between two popular Singaporean breakfast choices – Nasi Lemak and the traditional Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs. Tourists who are planning to accommodate at Naumi Liora may consider opting for the Asian style to have a taste of what the locals eat for breakfast 🙂

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak with Iced Milo

Very fragrant rice and meaty fish

Very fragrant rice and meaty fish

Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs with a cup of Teh

Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs with a cup of Teh. Kaya was thick and sweet!

Ended up only eating half of it because boyfriend accidentally poured too much dark sauce :cry:

Ended up only eating half of it because boyfriend accidentally poured too much dark sauce 😥

I personally enjoyed the meal a lot and it’s honestly one of the most generous portions I’ve ever had for a hotel breakfast. Seeing how pathetic the spread of food for the Western style is on other reviews, I’d most likely opt for the Asian one anyway so alright I forgive you Naumi Liora 😛

View from the hotel lobby

View from the hotel lobby

Next up, I will be reviewing Three Buns where we dined at on boyfriend’s birthday so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Naumi Liora
55 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089158
Booking: (+65) 6403 6003
Enquiries: (+65) 6922 9000
Email: iora.aide@naumihotels.com
Website: http://www.naumiliora.com/

d’Good Cafe @ Holland Village

Hey everyone!

Being a location that is highly frequented by (presumably) well-to-do expatriates and very cultured locals (remember the Samantha incident?) has certainly shaped Holland Village into the very happening and classy place it is today. Therefore, for people like me who live in the west and don’t like to venture too far out, Holland Village immediately comes to mind when we think of hipster food like Eggs Benedict because of the abundance of brunch cafes there.

As mentioned in my PARK review, I will be taking you through some of the cafes I lunched at with my colleagues within the Holland Village area during my 6-month internship stint (which ended in June). You probably have read numerous reviews about them since they are not exactly new set-ups but how accurate are they, considering that some of them might be written as far back as three years ago when the cafes first established?

d'Good Cafe

d’Good Cafe

Blown away by the largely positive feedback on blogs and review websites, my colleagues and I decided to pay d’Good Cafe a visit for lunch one day. It was a calm and peaceful afternoon at the three-storey cafe with only a handful of diners in sight on the third level. Majority of them were students buried in books (yes, it’s a study-friendly place) and a hungry few would occasionally take a short study break to order finger food at the cashier downstairs.

Cute lil figurines along the stairway

Cute lil figurines along the stairway

D'Good Cafe dining area

D’Good Cafe dining area

Photo-worthy ornaments at the alfresco dining area

Photo-worthy ornaments at the alfresco dining area

Everything there was self-service, even the delivering of food to the table. My poor colleagues who had kindly volunteered to do the ordering (while the rest dealt with other tasks) had to travel back and forth between the third and the first floor – the first round to order and make payment and the subsequent rounds to collect the food (all appetisers, mains and desserts for the 9 of us). It took them at least three rounds before all the orders were completed because of the varying preparation times for different dishes. It’s such a silly system, don’t you think?

I mean, I am fully aware of the growing labour crunch that the food and beverage industry is facing but I couldn’t fathom why, in this day and age, a relatively popular cafe like d’Good would be unable to invest in the latest technology, like purchasing wireless handheld devices so that customers can send their orders to the cashier without having to leave their seats (and save a trip)? Or at least come up with a simple order chit to facilitate the ordering process, especially when it involves multiple orders? Despite its fascinating and modern decor, the cafe is so unbelievably backward.

And that’s not all.

Iced water is complimentary at the cafe but one has to take the stairs (lift was not in operation that day like seriously) to the ground floor to get them. There were no jugs and only average-sized plastic cups were available! Imagine having to go back down and up two storeys again if you need to refill your cup?! That’s intense workout man! I wouldn’t recommend people with mobility difficulties to dine at this cafe.

Ground level

Ground level

Having gone through all the unnecessary inconvenience, our lunch obviously didn’t start on a good note. We thought maybe the food would be marvelous enough to override all our dissatisfaction and we would eventually leave this place with a happy tummy. After all, that’s what most reviews we had read seemed to suggest.

But no.

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Eggs Benedict (S$13.50+) – “Two poached eggs are nestled on brioche & bacon and drizzled with homemade Hollandaise sauce. The salad on the side completes the eggs-trodinary morning boost”

My Eggs Benedict came looking like someone had stolen a huge portion of my Hollandaise sauce. In the most unappetising yellow, it looked miserable and diluted, a far cry from what I had at PARK and other cafes (of similar price range) prior to this. I also couldn’t believe that a piece of cheap-looking toasted white bread (what brioche??) was served in place of the English muffins, not forgetting the ridiculously small portion too. Although my mood was already partly dampened because of the presentation, I thought, okay, maybe it wouldn’t taste that bad. I picked up my cutlery and gleefully readied myself for the little yolk explosion that was to come.

MY OOZING YOLK LEH???

MY OOZING YOLK LEH???

But lo and behold! Huge disappointment overcame me when nothing oozed out as the tip of my knife sliced through the middle. I went into a frenzy of rage when I saw the overcooked poached egg and the entirely hard and dry yolk. Without the runny yolk to combine with the (awful) Hollandaise sauce, my meal was ruined. The bacon tasted slightly cold and raw too. Argh, needless to say, I didn’t enjoy my food at all. The money is better spent on 4 sets of Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs from a nearby Kopitiam which would most probably taste a million times better than this overpriced nonsense 😡

Lava Chocolate Cake (S$5.00++ or S$3.00++ as add-on)

Lava Chocolate Cake (S$5.00++ a la carte or S$3.00++ as an add-on)

Sans Lava Chocolate Cake

Sans Lava Chocolate Cake

The dessert I ordered was also a letdown. Contrary to its name, the chocolate within the Lava Chocolate Cake was nowhere near molten and gooey. It was overcooked once again hence the dense and bumpy texture. Its only saving grace was the decadently rich taste.

Still, can somebody enlighten me? Why the vast disparity between the reviews (which praised their food to the high heavens) and reality? Am I missing out on something?

Bangers and Mash

Colleague’s order: Bangers and Mash (S$12+) – “Plump and juicy Cumberland and smoked chicken sausages are grilled and served on a bed of soft mash potato with crunchy potato bits and finished off with caramelised onion”

I didn’t get to try the sausages but according to my cooking enthusiast colleague, it was alright. I wouldn’t blow 12 bucks on 2 pieces of sausages (not like they were really gigantic) which wouldn’t keep me satiated through the next few hours in the office though.

Bacon Carbonara

Colleagues’ order: Bacon Carbonara (S$15+) – “Linguine served with pork bacon in mixed herb tomato sauce”

If you’re looking to satisfy your Italian appetite, d’Good does serve pretty decent Carbonara. I tried a spoonful of my colleague’s Bacon Carbonara and really loved the creaminess but the taste gradually became heavier with more mouthfuls and you end up feeling sick of it. My colleague didn’t finish her Carbonara in the end.

Another colleague ordered Chicken Tikka Masala (Indian-spiced chicken stew with Japanese rice) as well but I didn’t manage to snap a picture of it because she was seated at the far end of the table. Before I could react she had already dug her fork into the chicken meat 😛 I vaguely remember it looked delicious and the portion was quite generous.

All in all, I think d’Good is an overrated (sorry!) cafe serving subpar food at inflated prices. It’s probably only popular because of its lovely and beautifully whimsical decor and latte art which are both very Instagram-worthy (hence words spread fast like wildfire). But now that I’ve tasted the food, I kinda doubt the credibility of any positive reviews (like, y’know, the 4-star rating on Facebook) about this cafe. Therefore I don’t see myself returning to try other stuff on the menu unless I see visible improvements (will be keeping a lookout for food pictures on Instagram). Honestly, my Eggs Benedict was so bad, it was a shame! :\

That’s all for my review! Share with me your thoughts in the comments below if you’ve been to d’Good Cafe 🙂

+ All prices are not inclusive of 7% GST

d’Good Cafe
273 Holland Ave
#02-01/02
Singapoe 278992
Tel: 62199807
Website | Facebook

Pho Street @ Westgate

MEDIA INVITE

Hey guys!

Living in a melting pot of different cultures has blessed me with the opportunity to try out different cuisines without having to step out of the country (and saving lotsa money as a result). Besides, it has become such a commonplace in Singapore for restaurants of non-local cuisines to establish their businesses in our neighbourhood, predominantly in shopping malls, thus making it even easier to satisfy our cravings for the food we ate abroad. But of course, these food usually don’t come cheap if they are prepared or created by chefs hired from their native countries in an attempt to keep the tastes as authentic as possible. So does it mean that it’s impossible to enjoy a good four-course non-local meal with just S$30 in an air-conditioned setting?

With the number of casual dining restaurants offering affordable food springing up these days, it may be possible. But with lower price, comes compromise. How many of them can actually serve quality and true-to-original (or close) non-Singaporean dishes while still maintaining its competitive prices? Not many but I have a couple of names in mind.

Pho Street, Westgate

Pho Street, Westgate

And one of them is Pho Street, a quick service restaurant offering authentic Vietnamese pho and street delights which I only came to know about recently through an invited food tasting (that I’m about to feature in this post). Having founded only in December 2013 with just 2 outlets (Westgate and Bedok Mall) nationwide currently, it’s not unusual that not many people have heard of it. But with the new Vietnamese chef (Chef Kenny Hà) on board with his new revamped menu, it’s only a matter of time before crowds start flocking to the restaurants. You will know why as I take you through the newly added items.

In fact, crowds have already started forming at the Westgate outlet (photo taken around 8pm on a weekday)

In fact, crowds have already started forming at the Westgate outlet (photo taken around 8pm on a weekday)

Let’s begin with the beverages that Pho Street has ushered in to liven up your palate and open up your appetite for the hearty meal that is to follow.

Lemon Cooler with Peppermint and Basil and Passionfruit & Basil Mojito

(left) Lemon Cooler with Peppermint & Basil and (right) Passionfruit & Basil Mojito  (S$3.50++ each)

Lemon Cooler with Peppermint & Basil and Passionfruit & Basil Mojito

Mint and basil leaves

Garnished with mint and basil leaves to give diners a burst of cool flavour, these two latest additions provided a refreshing start to our meal. Both my boyfriend and I preferred the lemon cooler because it has a very sweet and addictive tang to it. Crisp and perky, this zesty drink is a summer classic, perfect for the hot and humid weather we’re all experiencing right now (just like Vietnam!). Even before the first dish arrived, we were already halfway done with the drink. That’s how much we loved it!

The passionfruit, on the other hand, pales in comparison in terms of the intensity of flavour. Nevertheless, it’s still a nice thirst quencher with a fairly strong minty aroma to awaken your senses. If you’re especially sensitive to strong flavours, this is the drink you should go for 🙂

Fresh Summer Rolls with Prawn, Pork Belly & Fresh Herbs

Fresh Summer Rolls with Prawn, Pork Belly & Fresh Herbs (S$4.90++)

Fresh Summer Rolls with Prawn, Pork Belly & Fresh Herbs

Spot the pork belly

To whet our appetite further, we were treated to a variety of palatable street snacks. The first of the four new appetizers served was a Vietnamese staple called gỏi cuốn which literally means salad rolls. Like how it’s traditionally prepared, these rolls are made with pork (belly in this case), fresh prawns, vegetables (cucumber, turnip, lettuce and carrots), herbs (basil and mint leaves and a stalk of lemongrass visible on the surface) and rice vermicelli wrapped with rice paper, giving you a good mix of sweet and sour flavour. Every ingredient here is cooked lightly hence the roll on the whole tastes absolutely healthy yet delicious, not forgetting the resounding crunch with every bite is super shiok and melodious to the ears can 🙂 Each serving comes with two pieces of summer roll served in room temperature.

Shades of summer - green, orange and yellow :)

Shades of summer – green, orange and yellow 🙂

The dip that came with it is widely known as tương xào, a thick and pungent sauce also commonly used in Chinese cuisine. Topped with ground peanuts, the sauce gives the rolls an added sweetness and texture. It also kinda reminded me a lot of the black sweet sauce that’s drizzled over Chee Cheong Fun. Who knows, they could even be the same thing, maybe with slight modification, based on their standard recipes I saw online!

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Vietnamese Snack Platter (S$8.90++)

Roasted Chicken Skewers

Roasted Chicken Skewers

Vietnamese Crabcakes

Vietnamese Crabcakes (only 1 piece shown here)

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Crispy Fried Pork Rolls (only 1 piece shown here)

Ohh, look at the vibrancy of the colours. These snacks are not only visually appealing, but they also tantalise the taste buds. Everything on the platter was just.. delicious. The roasted chicken meat was tender, well-marinated and evenly peppered all over (hence some may find it spicy). The crispy pork rolls were fragrant and are even tastier dipped in the fish sauce (the less opaque one in the first picture) provided with the dish. But what boyfriend and I enjoyed the most were the crabcakes, which mainly consist of crab meat, pork and fungus (mushrooms). They were extremely meaty, thick but soft and chewy. This also goes well with the fish sauce.

Do note that what you see above (except for the skewers) is just half of what you’d get. That’s right, you will have TWO pieces of each snack! All these Vietnamese delights for just S$8.90! How value-for-money is that? 🙂 (omg I subconsciously made my sentences rhyme hahahaha #hiphopfionayo)

Still not convinced? How about MORE pictures of the snacks in action? *evil cackles*

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Roasted chicken dipped in the sexiest chilli sauce..

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Glistening crabcakes calling out your name…

The crisp, the crunch and the crumbles around your lips. Mmmm-mmmm.

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OK, if this 360-degree view of the platter doesn’t entice you, I don’t know what will.

HAHAHAHA.

Moving on to the next appetizer, it was something that titillated the fried chicken fanatic in me because no casual dining menu would be complete without a plate of finger-lickin’ good fried chicken wings. I personally prefer the mid-joint area because that’s where the juiciest meat is.

Crispy Fried Chicken Mid-wings served with Caramelised Sweet Dip

Crispy Fried Chicken Mid-wings served with Caramelised Sweet Dip (S$4.90++)

Crispy Fried Chicken Mid-wings served with Caramelised Sweet Dip

Fried chicken buffalo wings served with an extra punch

The batter was a nice golden brown but it looked a bit puffed up with excess breading noticeable on various parts of the wings, making them look a lot bigger and meatier than they originally were. But the wings themselves were superb and the meat was moist and succulent with a tinge of spiciness because of the pepper in the marinade. If you have low tolerance for spiciness, submerging the meat into the nectarous caramelised dip would only make it worse because it’s also loaded with pepper. But I’d say go for it because the dip is so heavenly, it’d make the burn worthwhile 😉

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Sesame Rice Crackers with Fragrant Minced Meat and Spices Dip (S$6.90++)

Sesame Rice Crackers

Sesame Rice Crackers

Fragrant Minced Meat and Spices Dip

Fragrant Minced Meat and Spices Dip

The final appetizer of the evening was another distinctive snack unique to Vietnam. Known to the natives as bánh tráng mè, these sesame rice crackers are made from rice flour and sprinkled with sesame seed. They are the Singapore equivalent of prawn crackers, crispy and delicate. But instead of eating them on their own, they are typically served with dips, such as the minced meat and spices dip shown above!

To ensure that ingredients are of highest quality, the rice crackers at Pho Street are all imported from Vietnam.

The correct way of eating the sesame rice crackers

The correct way of eating the sesame rice crackers

The dip was warm when it came to us, which could suggest that they were freshly prepared (as opposed to preparing them way in advance and storing them elsewhere). It tasted like rendang paste and was a little greasy. Still, this was one of the best dishes we had at the restaurant that day (because we can’t decide between this and the snack platter).

After stuffing our face with the appetizers *burp*, it was finally time for our mains! When you’re at a Vietnamese restaurant, it’s almost like a hidden rule that you have to order Pho, so we did.

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Pho Beef Combination (S$9.90++)

Close up on the different cuts of beef in the Pho

Close up on the different cuts of beef in the Pho

The perfect rice noodles

The perfect rice noodles

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Chilli sauce and a slice of lime for the broth

Prior to the launch of this new menu, there were only beef balls, beef slices and beef shank in the Pho Beef Combination. Now, you get two additional beef cuts – the beef tendons and beef tripe (stomach) – for the same price of S$9.90! Seriously, you’re not true beef lover if you haven’t tried this. The overall taste seemed to have improved tremendously too as I couldn’t detect any of the faults mentioned on online negative reviews (bland broth, hard noodles, just to name a few) posted before the revamp.

In fact, I thought the broth was very flavourful and even more so after dribbling in some lime juice. The chilli sauce that comes with it is actually blended with the same soy sauce that’s served together with the summer roll I mentioned earlier. Talkin’ about getting the best of both worlds y’all 😉

Beef ball dipped in chilli sauce

Beef ball dipped in chilli sauce

The other mains we had was a dry version of Pho but it’s thinner and better.

Dry Rice Vermicelli with Roasted Pork Chop and Spring Roll (S$8.90)

Dry Rice Vermicelli with Roasted Pork Chop and Spring Roll (S$8.90)

Close up of the pork chop

Close up of the pork chop

Mixing them together

Mixing them together, lo hei style

Rice vermicelli

Rice vermicelli

Truth be told, I felt a little twinge of regret when this arrived at the table because it looked a tad too dry for my liking (I wanted bánh mì initially but changed my mind) and at this point in time I was already feeling almost like a stuffed teddy bear so I was afraid that the vermicelli wouldn’t be slippery enough to glide down my throat.

But guess what? This seemingly dry dish turned soft and moist the moment it’s mixed with the sweet and spicy gravy at the bottom! The vermicelli was so smooth, soft and easy to stomach. Plus, it also included a generous piece of chewy peppered pork chop and crispy spring roll, which in case you haven’t realised, was the exact same one from the snack platter.

I caught a whiff of the dish and was instantly reminded of rojak. But of course, it didn’t taste like it. Not even close. This wins hands-down with its uniquely piquant and gratifying flavours. Therefore this would be my go-to dish (sorry Pho Pho) when I’m at Pho Street.

Apart from the two mains featured above, there are also two others I didn’t manage to try (oh how I wish I had a bigger stomach eh no I take that back). They are the Bánh Mì combination (bun with pork belly, grilled beef and chicken ham, S$6.90++) and the Roasted Pork Chop with Fragrant Rice (S$7.90++).

And last but not least, we shared a dessert to end the meal on a sweet note (pun intended).

Cream of Mung Bean with Coconut Sauce & Crushed Peanuts

Cream of Mung Bean with Coconut Sauce & Crushed Peanuts (S$3.50++)

Topped with crushed peanuts that exuded a pleasant fragrance, this thick and milky dessert is a must-try for all coconut lovers or anybody who wants to relive their Vietnam or Thai experience. It contains shaved water chestnuts, mung beans (green beans), fresh coconut sauce and banana essence so it’s like a burst of sweetness and a party in your mouth. It’s a pretty big serving so it’d be better to share it with someone.

Also, do allow me to emphasise that only fresh coconut sauce is used so it should taste sweet and nothing else. If your Cream of Mung Bean turns out to be sour, it’d mean that the coconut sauce has turned bad and you should return your drink to the friendly servers and ask for another one 🙂

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You nutty nutty

Do note that all prices are subjected to prevailing government taxes (7% GST) and a 1% service charge. Now, if you add up the prices of the most expensive item from each course, you’ll come up with this:

Lemon Cooler with Peppermint & Basil (S$3.50) + Vietnamese Snack Platter (S$8.90) + Pho Beef Combination (S$9.90) + Cream of Mung Bean with Coconut Sauce & Crushed Peanuts (S$3.50) + 7% GST + 1% Service Charge

And the final price would only be S$27.90! It’s a very good deal for a very satisfying meal I must say.

Have you tried out the new menu at Pho Street? If not, would you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Pho Street @ Westgate
3 Gateway Drive
#B2-K6/K7
Singapore 608532
Tel: 64659909
Mon – Sun : 11:30am – 10:00pm (Last order at 9:30pm)

Pho Street @ Bedok Mall
311 New Upper Changi Road
#B1-40
Singapore 467360
Mon – Thurs : 11.00am – 10.00pm (Last Order at 9.30pm)
Fri – Sun : 11.00am – 10.30pm (Last Order at 10.00pm)

Website | Menu | Facebook

Chicken Up @ Tanjong Pagar Road

Hey everyone!

Beyond the towering commercial buildings in one of Singapore’s busiest districts lies a row of bustling shophouses, just a stone’s throw away from the nearest MRT station. As I trotted down the stretch of shops that led to my destination, I saw restaurants, convenience stores and bridal boutiques with Hangul characters prominently displayed on their shopfront. Ashamed, it was then I realised that my head had been in the clouds for most of my life.

There is a little Koreatown at Tanjong Pagar that I didn’t know of!

Crowds typically centered around the food establishments along Tanjong Pagar Road like 2D1N Soju Bang (known for its Korean BBQ) in the past. But lately, people have been flocking to its neighbour Chicken Up instead because of all the media attention it had received for its soy fried chicken. Regarded as one of the best places for soy fried chicken in Singapore, it has become so popular that the waiting time to get seated especially on weekends can be in the hours. Even so, everyone else in line appeared to be unfazed by the long wait when boyfriend and I were there last month for a dinner get-together with a few of his ex-colleagues. People were either milling around or chatting heartily with one another to kill time.

Chicken Up, Tanjong Pagar Road

Chicken Up, Tanjong Pagar Road

But not for us. Despite helping ourselves to the free flow of iced water at the outdoor waiting area for the past two hours, we still couldn’t keep our hunger at bay. We spotted many uncleared tables near the entrance which could suggest the shortage of manpower faced by the restaurant. Perhaps that also explains why the waiting list wasn’t moving along as fast as it’s supposed to be.

The long and dreading wait aside, the food there was pretty damn good! Those food critics really weren’t lying when they say that it’s better than most Korean-style fast-food restaurants (yes, even 4Fingers) out there.

Watermelon Soju

Watermelon Soju

All Sojus (cocktails) are meant for sharing hence they are served in jugs. This was a friend’s order but I managed to take a small sip. Personally, I’m not a fan of traditional Soju (dislike it as much as Vodka because they pretty much taste the same to me, equally awful) but this didn’t leave me grimacing in disgust. Probably due to the fact that it was blended with real watermelon juice, the overall taste wasn’t as strong and repulsive. It was a refreshing combination with a hint of sweetness.

Bong Bong Grape Juice

Bong Bong Grape Juice – a great thirst quencher that is not too sweet

Kimchi Fries

Kimchi Fries

Kimchi Fries

Kimchi Fries

Whoever came up with this fusion food is a pure genius. It never once crossed my mind that Kimchi would complement so well with fries. To top it off, it also comes with cheese! All the flavours combined to leave a unique yet delicious and memorable aftertaste (I’m almost salivating as I’m typing this). The fries would be soggy after awhile because of the cheese and Kimchi but trust me, that’s when the fries get tastier. If you’re a huge Kimchi lover, you have to order this when you’re at Chicken Up.

Crispy Up (Normal Fried Chicken)

Crispy Up (Normal Fried Chicken)

I didn’t really scrutinise the menu because we left our orders to the discretion of someone in our group who had dined there before. But I presumed there were at least 2 different flavours for their fried chicken like any other Korean restaurants. To my surprise, they actually serve conventional fried chicken as well. Although the batter was crispier, thicker and better than normal standards, the overall taste was just mediocre and the smell wasn’t as aromatic as the other flavours. Also, if you’re intending to order this and the other flavours as well, do not, I repeat, do not eat the flavoured ones (Soya and Spicy) before this or it will taste absolutely bland and insipid and you will lose all interest in finishing the basket of deep-fried chicken.

Ganjang Up (Soya Fried Chicken)

Ganjang Up (Soya Fried Chicken)

Ganjang Up (Soya Fried Chicken)

Ganjang Up (Soya Fried Chicken)

This highly sought-after fried chicken was the highlight of the meal and also what propelled Chicken Up to the top of food critics’ list. The consistency of the seasoning was commendable – every part of the batter was moist with Korean soy sauce while still maintaining its crispiness. Just look at those glistening golden hued skin that was fried to perfection. Rivulets of the oil flavoured with soy sauce transferred to the tender flesh as I sank my teeth into it, making the entire piece of chicken ever juicier. It was the best soy fried chicken I’ve had in my life.

Spicy Yangnyum Up (Spicy Fried Chicken)

Spicy Yangnyum Up (Spicy Fried Chicken)

Another hot favourite that night was the spicy fried chicken laced with chopped scallion, sesame seeds and piquant sweet chilli sauce which heavenly smell wafted into my nose with every bite. Mmmm.. it was so finger-lickin’ good! The level of spiciness is subjective. I have relatively high tolerance for spicy food (so much so that I could finish a cup of 70g Samyang Buldak Bokkeum Myun on my own without water hehe) so I didn’t really find the chicken spicy (like maybe a 3 on the scale of 1-10). My boyfriend on the other hand had to down a full cup of water after eating 1 or 2 pieces to cool his tongue.

Watermelon balls

Complimentary Watermelon Balls

Just moments before we footed the bill, one of the service staff handed us a bowl of juicy watermelon balls freshly carved from the fruit. Initially, we thought they had given it to the wrong table but then we realised it was indeed for us, free-of-charge, perhaps as a little form of compensation for the long wait. We were pleasantly surprised by the restaurant’s kind gesture 🙂 If I’m not wrong, the watermelon balls are the same ones found on the Watermelon Bingsu.

Apart from this Tanjong Pagar outlet, Chicken Up can also be found at Tampines, Bugis, Jurong East (opening soon-yay!) and my alma mater, Singapore Polytechnic. -_- Dammit, first Llao Llao, now this. Good things seem to come to Singapore Poly only after I graduated from that school. Lucky juniors!

But anyway, I’m glad there are outlets elsewhere because I find the Tanjong Pagar outlet rather inconvenient as a non-driver and the crowd there can be really crazy at times (though I’m not sure if it’s the same for other outlets ‘coz I haven’t been to any yet). If you’re planning to walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT station, it will take you about 10 to 15 minutes – ideal if you like walking as a workout but a terrible idea if you’re starving.

And that’s about it, guys!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Chicken Up @ Tanjong Pagar
48 Tanjong Pagar Road
#01-01
Singapore 088469
Tel: 6327 1203
Mon to Thur 5.30pm – 2.00am
Fri & Sat: 5.30pm – 3.00am
Sun: 5.30pm – 12.00am
Website | Facebook | Outlets

Indulge in the Sounds of Luxury with Harman Kardon, AKG & JBL

MEDIA INVITE

Listen up, audiophiles!

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CD galore!

If you’ve been to places like the Yankee Stadium and the iconic Beijing National Stadium for concerts, chances are you would have been awed by the incredibly high-quality sound system. But unknown to many, such superior sound quality can also be heard in enclosed places like in cars especially if you’re riding in an Audi, a BMW, Subaru, Hyundai or Chrysler, just to name a few. They may sound slightly different from one another due to the disparity in location size but ultimately they still sound insanely good to the ears.

That’s because all these venues and automobile manufacturers use HARMAN, the mastermind behind leading audio brands including JBL, AKG and Harman Kardon which are also used by international artistes like Kanye West, Maroon 5, Paul McCartney, Black Eyed Peas, Linkin Park (MY LUV!) and Kelly Clarkson in the studio and on stage.

In fact, if you have never heard of HARMAN (and the 7 highly-acclaimed audio brands under its belt), then you have not heard everything, literally. Apart from the voice of the artiste playing in your ears, the song lyrics and the main instrumental melody in the background, can you hear each and every bass and rhythmic note with your current headphones? Does it give you crisp and natural-sounding music that makes you feel like you’re at a live performance? And does it produce acoustic music that sounds so soulful and surreal, it serenades your soul and sends chills down your spine? If none of the above resonates with you, boy are you losing out a lot!

(Sadly, I was subconsciously describing what my earpiece can’t do too, boohoo)

With Harman Kardon, AKG and JBL, you get only the best sounds, so good that even Mozart would be proud.

harman-Mozart

Of course, I wouldn’t dare say that every product under Harman Kardon, AKG and JBL is rave-worthy (don’t want to risk getting slaughtered by you tech-geeks). But have you seen their latest range of portable speakers? I had the heaven-sent opportunity (since I’ve been on a lookout for better speakers as my current ones are spoiling and very unfortunately I fall into the stereotype of females who are completely clueless about technology) to experience them for myself at the recent HARMAN media event by IMS Marketing and wow, I was totally blown away by the loud-crystal clear sound projected by these small, innocuous-looking things that left my jaw hanging throughout the demo!

Here’s what I saw:

JBL (Smart Series III)

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Charge it, flip it, clip it. Fuel your passion for music!

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JBL Clip Plus (RRP S$99)

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Small but powerful – these disc-like speakers can project sounds SO loud, it puts my home speakers to shame. It’s meant to be “clipped” onto your bicycle so that you cyclists can enjoy good music on the move for up to 5 hours!

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JBL FLIP 3 (RRP S$179) – full-featured splashproof portable speaker with powerful sound in a compact form. It fits perfectly into the bottle cage attached to your bicycle! 🙂

Captain-Jack-Sparrow

It actually means this…

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HELLLLLL NOOO how cool is this?! (featuring JBL Xtreme, S$439)

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JBL Charge 2+ (RRP S$279) – another splashproof portable speaker but with 6000mAH rechargeable battery!

My Dad was gifted a JBL Charge 2+ recently and judging from his incessant music playbacks (kinda irritated by his poor choice of music but aiya, what to do?), I can vouch how long-lasting the battery life is! And the sound is just flawless.

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JBL Pulse II (RRP S$329) – 10-hour battery with custom LED light show that acts like a visualiser and changes according to the music tempo

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So preeetzz! I think ABBA’s Dancing Queen was playing 😀

All the products above come with Social Mode which you can use to connect up to 3 music sources so that everyone in your clique gets a chance to play their favourite tunes. All JBL portable speakers can also be wirelessly connected via Bluetooth to one another so as to amplify the volume of the music played.

Harman Kardon

While it’s quite obvious that JBL exudes energetic and youthful vibes, Harman Kardon takes on a different personality and goes for the elegant and sophisticated feel.

harman-kardon-esquire-mini

Esquire Mini (RRP S$269) – an sleek and chic speaker that doubles as a conference phone system with dual-microphone and built-in echo and noise cancellation technology for superb sound and USB access to recharge your favourite devices. This all-in-one (speaker/phone system/microphone/portable charger) speaker has battery that can last for up to 8 hours

This product wasn’t showcased at the event so I didn’t get to see or test it out myself. But people who are well-versed in the audiomotive market should know that Harman Kardon (and other brands of HARMAN as a matter of fact) would never compromise on quality. After all, Harman Kardon had bagged quite a number of awards, including some iF Design Awards for its Esquire Mini 🙂

AKG

I’d think that AKG is a hybrid of JBL and Harman Kardon because some of the products under its line can be both stylish and sporty at the same time, like this stunner:

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AKG N90Q (RRP S$2199, yup it’s 贵的咯) – gold headphones that listen to your ears. It has sound so realistic, the only barrier is the headphone itself

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Inspired by the Grammy Award winning producer Quincy Jones, this state-of-the-art, flagship level headphone represents the pinnacle in acoustic performance and audio customisation. It features TruNote technology, Tone Control (full control of adjustment sound signature). Stage Control (three spatial listening modes), Patented ergonomic design, USB and HD audio and a built-in DAC.

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Enjoying 5 seconds of premium sound with dual foam cushions and ear cup mounted controls (I swear my ears felt so comfortable) as well as active noise cancelling technologies. Love it so much leh. Why is it so goddamn expensive? 😦

And also not forgetting the hand-selected audio gift set I received from the event organisers:

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AKG Y23 ear headphone and Y40 mini headset

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Thank you so much, IMS Marketing! Boyfriend has been eyeing on the headset ever since. -_-

And that’s about it from HARMAN! 🙂 Did anything catch your eye? I’ll most probably be getting one of those JBL speakers to replace my current ones. Which one would you recommend? Leave me a comment below!

Thanks for reading! ❤

JBL | Harman Kardon | AKG

P/S: If you haven’t realised, this post is so full of puns, I love it.