Thursday, 23 May 2013

Madam Kwan's SG Local Hawker Food Restaurant Dining @ Vivocity Harbour Front Walk

Update Fri 11 Apr 2014 12:17pm: 

Flies.  We won't be going back. Lousy food & expensive. No one can say we didn't give this restaurant many tries.

Whether day or night, they have flies hovering inside the restaurant.  We mentioned this to the staff in the daytime previously and was given excuses why the flies are inevitable.

Last night, a fly hovered around our food and I had to spread 2 paper napkins to cover our dishes. As usual, their food is lousy. I tried the Chicken Satay again & it's still lousy this 2nd time. 

Even though we were sitting outermost along the main floor area & the staff saw our food covered with paper napkins, they pretended not to see. One female waitress in white shirt who clears tables even rudely kept staring out the corner of her eye as she walked by.

Supervisors in white shirts and even the manager Jimmy kept walking by, yet none of them even bothered to address the situation in front of them.  (They need to take lessons from the Asst manager of Skinny Pizza @ Westgate).  

If we didn't cover the food, the fly would come. With the food covered,  how to eat? 

At the end when I didn't finish the food, I called a supervisor over (since Jimmy had disappeared).

He said weakly that tonight was because of the rain.

[The rain? What a poor excuse. He is either stupid or thinks the customer is.].

I said I had to cover the food. How to eat like that? (every time, I have to lift up the napkin to take & dip my satay & bro can't access it from his side). 

He mumbled that if don't cover the "fly will drop in.". 

[More than just drop in. If the fly lands & walks on the food with those dirty feet (or worse, eats & regurgitates on the food),  your know what will happen to the customer?

Also, are flies also in your kitchen Madam Kwan?  Shall I call NEA?]

The supervisor murmured he can put a candle on our table. I said, "It's Ok. We are leaving.". 

[A candle? I don't think a candle is going to work.]

Update Wed 12 Feb 2014:  The best so far is the Mushroom Chicken Noodles (dry). Chunks of lean chicken meat, the best most perfect springy good quality noodles with no cheap aftertaste, nice mushrooms (presumably China) with nice light marinated flavor, nice background sauces. I like it much & recommended to Bro to try.  Today, he tried it for lunch & agreed it was nice. But gave it 4/5 because he said it was not fragrant. He's a hawker food guy, so 4/5 is already pretty good.  At $11.90, it's expensive for just Mushroom Chicken Noodles.

While he ate that, I had the Wanton/Dumplings Noodles Soup. Dumplings are filled with shrimp & chicken. Very nice with thin skin. Nice clear soup. Pretty good, smooth and filling noodles. I like it & have been ordering this a few times already.  Again, at an expensive price.


Update 28 June 2am: Bro has since refused to order anything there. I have tried their Laksa a few more times, still only just passable with 2 large soccer balls of Tau Pok that are tough to chew (seems like they were just put in there when ordered). Shouldn't Laksa have long strips of soft Laksa-soaked Tau Pok?

Recently, I tried their Nasi Lemak. It's a Chinese version. If you are into the Malay version, then you won't like it. Bro is right that it has no kick. To me, it's passable. It's not oily and not fragrant. Maybe because it's healthier?

Their food service has also become much faster. Super fast. I guess depending on what you order.

Note that this is the first time I go back to a place that I said I wouldn't be returning to. This is because Bro didn't like it at all and since we have dinners together, I said "We just won't be going back". 


It's not really local SG. Not what we are used to at the hawker centers. Not really our hawker center style. Bro had to keep reminding me that it's Malaysian.

After 2 times eating there, bro sums it up thus:  "Bland and expensive. Bo ho Jiak (not nice to eat). Tastes like heated up food from the previous night. Bland taste. Bueh Pang (not fragrant).". 

He thinks they skimp on ingredients, that's why the quality is poor.

As of this post, Madam Kwan's is new, just opened recently.

First time, Bro ate Nasi Lemak, while I had the Laksa.  Bundung Soda drink and Gula Melaka Sago dessert.

The Laksa was so-so only. No kick.

Bro said his Nasi Lemak loses to our downstairs hawker center (when  there was a Malay shop that used to sell it).

The Bundung Soda was Ok. Nothing special.  No kick.

The Sago Gula Melaka was a big disappointment for me. This is my favourite dessert that I haven't eaten in a long time and was looking forward to. Was really disappointed by the poor production of this dessert. It ain't cheap either.

Second time was last night 22 May.  I still have the receipt. *looking at it*

Bro ordered the Nasi Bojari while I got the Chicken Rice. Also ordered 6 pieces Satay Chicken which they said they didn't have the first time we were there. And a Lychee Lemon Cooler drink.

Total = $56.75. A hefty price for just 4 items and not nice.

Bro wasn't impressed with his meal. It only confirmed his first impression that it was lousy and expensive.

My Chicken Rice was so-so only. The rice was hard and too small. I know chicken rice is supposed to be small rice grains, but this is really too small and hard, like little pellets and tasteless. Hawker center chicken rice is usually very nice, soft and fragrant.

The chicken was thin, not much meat although quite lean. The only saving point was the cucumber slices soaked with the sauce. 

The Satay Chicken was a disappointment as well. The Ketupat rice squares were only 5 or 6 little squares measuring about 2 x 2 cm each. How can they possibly serve so little like that??

The chicken meat was lean but nothing special. Not fragrant. In fact, the whole restaurant lacks the fragrance of delicious food.   Out of 6 sticks, we left 1 behind. Also, the first night there, I noticed many people did not completely finish their food, leaving quite a lot behind.

The peanut sauce was quite good, however. And this was the only good thing.

The Lychee Lemon Cooler was made by a waiter instead of the actual drinks guy. I saw this waiter enter the drinks area and make the drink. He held up the glass of half-made drink and asked the drinks guy whether it was right or something. Then the drinks guy nodded approval.

How can the drink be made by someone who doesn't even know how to make it?  The result was that the drink was too sour. Even though it was stirred, it seemed syrup had not been added. The proportion of the ingredients was wrong.

I wanted to call that waiter out and demand for a better one, but bro said he would drink it.

We were supposed to share that drink, but ended up I had to endure the super sour taste.

And what's with the shortage of that hand-held device for taking orders? Not all the staff have it?

The first time we were there, a waitress took our order. When asked about the pink drink in the menu, she didn't know what it was. She guessed that it was Bundung but wasn't really sure. So I had to tell her to go ask someone.  Didn't they train their staff? 

After taking our orders, she left. But the assistant floor manager Jimmy suddenly appeared rather impolitely beside us to "confirm" our orders using his hand-held device.  Why take our orders twice because not all the staff have that device? Why should the customer have to repeat the order?

We just won't be going back.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Natsuyuki Rendezvous Anime

3:27 am Tues 21 May

Natsuyuki Rendezvous

She's so lucky to have 2 guys love her. 1 dead and 1 alive. So sad for the dead guy. Can't even touch her.

After watching the final episode: Only 11 episodes

Beautiful anime. Made me cry.
How come he still remains even after his wife and Hazuki have already left?
I'm glad he's happy. But sad he has no one. Is he going to float around like that forever?

I love him.

Brought back memories of my own grief. I'm really glad he's happy.
If the person I love is happy like that... I don't know, maybe I'll be happy too, even if I want her back.

I realized I saw the banner for this anime at the side of Animecrazy site when watching other anime previously, but ignored it because the drawing (of Hazuki with short hair) didn't look interesting. 

Animecrazy hangs sometimes.  For last episode, I watched on

The seiyuus (voice cast) are unknowns, except for Jun Fukuyama who voices the husband ghost. Fukuyama voiced Grell in Black Butler.

Last night, I was looking pages and pages for anime to watch in Most Recent anime in Animecrazy until I came upon Natsuyuki Rendevous and liked the story.  Caught my interest right away.  Good idea for a story. Perfect.

The anime plays it unexpectedly.

I've just done watching it. It's not a sad anime, but a very thoughtful and beautiful one that is rare.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

DECLEOR @ SEVIIN Tangs (Aroma Body Massage Review)

11 May Sat:  The below post was actually done right after trying out the massage but not yet posted because I was considering giving them a 2nd chance that would be free (1-for-1). If I posted it, they might know it should I return for a 2nd try.

The 2nd try was more than a month after the 1st.  I actually wasn't sure I would be going back and really very reluctant even though it would be free.

The first time was bad enough. Only the possibility that a different masseuse might be better managed to persuade me to return for a 2nd.

The 2nd time with a different masseuse did not improve my first opinion.

These are masseuses that don't seem to have been professionally trained. I don't know where they were recruited from. They seem to have only working experience but haven't been taught professionally. Their skills are not there. They don't know much about massage.

I've experienced the best massage so far, so I know what is good. So far, no other spa place has matched up to expectation.

The  Sevinn main front desk staff's service/attitude was also not as good as the first time I was there.  They have started to slack already.

The space within the Decleor massage rooms are also very small, such that it was distracting when the masseuse had to break the massage to go around the massage bed.  Decleor itself is very small, yet divided into 6 rooms.

There was also no soothing music playing in the ceiling speakers during the massage. When I asked during my 2nd massage, the masseuse told me the speakers were spoilt.


22 Feb

When there's a new spa place, you can expect me to check it out (if I discover it).

As one blogger mentioned, not even the Tangs staff are aware their 7th floor has been converted into a spa, salon and gentlemen's lounge.

Still, the staff should know about the new spa instead of being completely clueless.  

Near the escalator on the 2nd floor, the pillar says for the 7th floor:
Spa. Salon. Lounge.

A trio too exciting to be missed.

On 22 Feb, I stopped to ask the salesgirl nearby the escalator on the 2nd floor where I could take the lift. She appeared reluctant to realize she was being asked, and when she replied, was totally clueless, "Are you a staff? To me, the 7th floor is the office.".

That being the case, I glanced around. Near the restrooms are 2 lifts that go only till the 4th floor. However, just before these, there is a glass-door section "Carpark" within which are 2 more lifts that go up to the 7th floor.

On the 7th floor, once the lift doors opened, I saw 2 men afixing the SEVIIN name on the wall. That's how new the place is.

Once I stepped in, past the automatic door on the left, I glanced up at the long stairs leading to "The Loft" which I initially thought was the lounge. Bro brought my attention back, down to the lovely lady who was leaning forwards from the reception counter, smiling and enquiring how she may be of service.

She very naturally accepted my reason for being there (curiosity after noticing their existence on the escalator pillar) and easily began taking bro and myself on a little tour of the place as though people have been coming up and she's been doing the same for them.

As she led us, she said the place is new.

There were very few visitors there. Just a few men sitting in the sofas and male customers in the hair salon.

The Gentlemen's Lounge dominated the area with us walking around it along the narrow, carpeted corridors.

Very small area for the 7th floor.  Online, a website said it used to be the Tangs warehouse. Rather small for a warehouse.

We were not shown inside the Gentlemen's Lounge.  However, I enjoyed her professional-ish manner and smiling service. I say "professional-ish" because it wasn't as polished or sophiscated as the luxurious image of the place implies.

At the end, she gave me a Decleor brochure with the prices since I was interested in the spa massage.  Along with it, was a little brochure for the " "Urban Hair" salon with prices as well, and a Gentlemen's Lounge card with information on what's available and first-timer discounts for bro.

I liked when she smilingly said, "See you again." as we left. 

Very nice lady, lovely face, smiling attendance.

Seeing the massage price, I had every intention of returning. It is half of what I pay for at The Oriental Spa. I haven't had a massage in a long time and desperately needed one. Have been needing one for a while but no idea where else to go after the disappointments of previous spas.

Seviin provided a new choice to try.


23 Feb.   (First Try)

It has been exactly 1 month since Seviin opened if online information is correct regarding the opening date of La Mer, one of the beauty spa tenants there. I'm guessing the tenants opened at or around the same time before Seviin opened.

So, the day after I was given the tour, I returned for a body massage.

Only one spa tenant offers body massage: Decleor. The others offer facial treatments.


Excellent. VIP feeling.  Starting from Seviin's reception counter ladies. Always with a smile, even when one of them met me along the corridor as I was leaving after the massage.

After I took the lift to have a look upstairs at The Loft and came back down to go, both receptionists smiled their farewell greetings behind the counter as I passed them.

There was a Kiehl's Whitening workshop when I arrived. When I left, a man was packing things upstairs and the ladies were gone.

At Decleor (inside Seviin), service was excellent as well. Very friendly, warm and sincere staff from start to finish. Tea was very nice and hot. Chrysanthemum with rosebuds (and sweetened with red dates as the masseuse informed me).

Unfortunately, there are no shower facilities in Seviin at all, not even in the Gentlemen's Lounge. And if only there was a swimming pool. I wouldn't mind paying to use it, pay-per-use.  

The Aroma Body Massage:

Appointment was made for a 60 mins massage @ $120.  But as I talked to the Decleor woman and we touched on first-timer discounts,  she offered me a 1-for-1 60 mins Body Massage for $120. 

I have been to different spas at different prices.  Unfortunately, this is the only spa that has given me some aches and pains after the massage. 

Taking the bus home after the massage, I felt a little backache on the left.  It went away shortly. But at night and throughout the rest of the next day, I felt some ache and pain especially at the back of my neck and back of my shoulders where the wrong technique was applied with pressure. My knees and calves hurt a little when pressed.

I won't mention the name of the masseuse since she was sincere and attentive in her service. Plus, she looked stressed and anxious. But, she really needs to change her massage.

Her massage was not harmonious and inconsistent.  Possibly, it reflects her own anxious and stressed mind.

Inconsistent in that a set of massage would be done on one side of the body but miss out on a part of the set on the other side. Meaning, the exact same thing is not done on both sides.

Before we began, I had mentioned requiring just gentle strokes. No kneading or squeezing. At the start, I had adjusted her pressure, but during the massage, it increased.  This does not happen with professional masseuses who can maintain a steady, even pressure throughout once the initial pressure has been agreed upon.

Heavy pressure was also applied at the back of my shoulders, repeatedly over the same areas as if ironing out the "knots". I notice older masseuses tend to do this (Afond Spa did this too). However, they go against the muscles instead of with, thereby causing aches and pains. This means that they are not professionally trained.

When massaging up my legs,  a little pain was caused by her fingers against the skin as they went up. This happened on both legs.  I did not notice if her fingernails were cut.

Far from relaxing, I was awake the whole time. From the start, the massage failed to take my mind away from the massage.

Bro said perhaps she's still learning. But I doubt it because she's an older masseuse.

I have been given another chance to try a massage another time, but I am in fact, quite reluctant. Perhaps a change of masseuse might be different. But I doubt it.  What if it were the same? I don't fancy another round of bruising.

Still... maybe I might get desperate enough to want another massage... and hope another masseuse will be better.

This massage has only made me miss an amateur massage from a woman who had previously volunteered to massage me.  To think Decleor's massage could make me miss an amateur's massage and make me want to contact her again.  Decleor's massage can't even match up to that amateur's?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Eat Organic Shop Review (Bukit Timah Road SG) Rude Attitude

In my search for organic carrots delivery online, I came across their website.

Today being my birthday (8 May, Happy Birthday to me),  I decided to drop by their physical shop at far away Bukit Timah Road.

When I told bro that we would be going, he was not happy.  "Organic equals rude", he said. 

Feeling happy and optimistic, I said it's Ok, let's just go and have a look anyways. 

So far, organic sellers/shops have been rude. That's a fact.

Example: Supernature (organic shop at Orchard Road area) that other customers have complained online about (although I was not quite pleased with them myself though they weren't rude when we were there). Personally, I've blogged about how rude the woman staff was at Taste Original at Harbourfront Centre.

Bukit Timah is so remote and out of the way for us that on our way out, he joked that we were going to East Timor. 

When we arrived at Eat Organic shop, there were a few Ang Mo women getting their groceries inside.

First time being there, I started looking at what they sold on the shelves. They had some carrots in a box in the fridge but they didn't look fresh.

Unfortunately, while I came for carrots, I couldn't buy what they had. So, I continued looking at their shelves to see if there was anything I could get.

While browsing, I saw an Ang Mo woman grab stuff off the shelf and just throw it into her basket of goods.

For lack of stuff to buy, I chose 3 small tomatoes and was thinking they didn't have the skincare/cosmetic products they showed at their website (probably stopped selling and didn't update the site?).

Didn't know they had an upstairs until I heard their old boss (?) woman tell the staff where to put Dr Hauschka and D Bronners (Dr Bronner's). 

I said to bro while glancing towards the back of the shop, "They have Bronner's? Why didn't I see it?".

The woman was unpacking something at the bottom of the steps.  Bro said they have an upstairs that we could go.

We can? I glanced at the direction, saw the sign that said more stuff upstairs. So we went.

Upstairs was like what the 2nd half of Supernature used to contain.  Supernature has since closed down that section of their shop and it's become a carpet shop (if I recall correctly when the bus passed by previously).

Limited selection of the same organic brands. With no expiry dates and expensive prices.  Stuff that people can get for themselves easily and cheaper (if buy more) from online US websites like Vitacost.

What people in SG want, are fresh produce that can't be bought the same way online. No US website will ship to individuals in SG.  These companies deal with companies that order in bulk. I tried and they asked me how many pallets I want.  -.-

While upstairs, I heard the boss woman (who had come up to sit at her desk) call a customer, and say in a stuck-up voice that the products had arrived.

The space was very small and rather stuffed up with poor shelving.  Bro became irritated and said, "Actually this whole Bukit Timah area is boring."  which depressed me although I said nothing. Admittedly, it's true the area is not as upmarket as the central areas.  Rather like the countryside.

Done with looking at their stuff, I came back downstairs and picked a loaf of bread (about 6 pieces at $5.50). Didn't know how much the 3 tomatoes would cost. Guessed they might be weighed.

Throughout my browsing, though the stocking up staff were polite in letting us through the little narrow aisles, none of them bothered handing me a basket even though they kept looking at me knowing I wasn't a regular customer. 

Proceeded to the cashier where I saw an unhappy oldish woman standing aside and doing paperwork.

She looked at me, and looked back at her paperwork, pen in hand.

I started having second thoughts about buying what I had in my hands while looking at her. Finally, she reluctantly came forward and said, "Finished?".

Her attitude was so bad, I just said, "I will look for more.", then put everything back and while walking out, said to bro (who preceded me to the door), "Come, let's go.". 

Her tone was really upsetting.  What does she mean "Finished?"?  Who does she think she's talking to?

Rather than make a scene there, better to give them a bad rep by reviewing the shop online. 

As their door closed, I said loud enough, "We'll go to the other shop.".

The other shop being Sunnychoice Organic at Upper Bukit Timah Road at The Rail Mall (some bus stops further up).

Eat Organic should just shut down if they can't do a good business or be nice to their customers. Just because I am not a regular or buy plenty, doesn't mean I'm not a customer.  And why keep looking at a customer? A supermarket's staff don't look at their customers as if they are aliens or might steal.

As a customer, I have a right to browse and not buy, or buy little. I have a right to look at your things and put them back without buying. Understand, you stupid women?  If calculation, or whatever crap it is you are doing is so bad that it makes you sigh in front of customers, just close shop!!  Is it true that aunties like you can't do mental work? Too much for you?

When we walked out, bro was upset. By his upset, he also upset me. Although I told bro to brush it off as nothing,  I inwardly felt it was very disturbing.

He made me aware that the staff at the shop were sighing in front of customers. It means they don't enjoy their work and treat it as a chore.

He said paperwork should not even be done in front of customers, let alone let the customer wait at the cashier.

I was made to wait at the cashier on purpose because I had browsed but didn't buy much after being there for a while. That woman was actually being insulting and sarcastic by saying, "Finished?".

On my birthday,  Eat organic shop made me mad. Congrats to Eat Organic  Shop!

MJ Tokyo @ Marina Square (Hair Salon Review)

May 8 Wed 2013

On schedule, Thurs 2 May I dropped by the place.  As of my last search online, there are no (proper) reviews of MJ Tokyo. 

Different prices depending on what you want done. I chose the haircut with Ice Shampoo $20. Blow drying is self-service (which is strange. How hard can it be? Can't even do this little bit more for the customer?).

Curious what  "ice" shampoo was, I decided to try it, together with their hairwashing technique.

A slim young man with yellow short hair attended to me at the menu-money machine. I spoke English, he replied in Chinese. That's when I thought he's Malaysian.  It didn't bode well.

So far, hairstylists whom I knew were Malaysians never cut well.

The "salon" looked empty. Only later, I realized there was an Ang Mo man at the front somewhere because of his loud voice talking to his auntie "stylist".  I couldn't see him, but assumed he had his hair cut.

At the start, I was led to the back of the small "salon" where I sat in a black seat facing a big mirror.

1) The design of the place is very poor. Not only is it small, it is very badly laid out.  While my hair was being washed, it looked to me more like a second-rate place trying to pass off as a salon in a shopping mall.  I'm surprised it's by a Japanese company. Very sloppily done.

2)  The yellow-haired young man didn't have his name showed anywhere (QB has its "stylists'" names in the slots in front). No name card, and I didn't bother to ask.

3)  Haircutting "skill" was bad.  He didn't know when to stop (typical of bad "stylists"). Just kept cutting in a bad way until it got too short.   A hair crop. Not haircut.  He was like a man with shears cropping a shrub until he gets a shape.

4)  Smell. I was pretty sure he didn't smell of cigarette when he spoke at the start. But the moment he put the cloth over me, I smelled stale cigarette smoke. Didn't they sterilize the cloth like QB for every customer? Or at least wash it? Do they just keep using the same piece of cloth over and over for 1 week?

And before the hairwash, he draped a plastic (?)  "bib" over me and it stank. Musty and damp odor. Didn't they dry or clean it?

5)  His hairwashing was like a man washing the dishes. I bet previously he must have worked as a kitchen hand in a cheap Chinese restaurant somewhere. Trying to pass off as a "salon stylist"?

His hands showed no feeling in his hairwashing and it was rather rough-handed. Either he needs to learn the proper way, or quit this job because it is not suitable for him.

6) He was polite throughout. Even asked me if the water temperature for the hairwash was too hot. But he is poor at his job.

A good hairstylist don't need to love a customer to do a good job. Just needs to love his job.

At the end, he informed me in Chinese that  "at our place, customers blow dry their hair over there" and indicated the little space with hairdryer and mirror with unknown brands of hair gel and hair wax by the side.

After thanking him and beginning to dry my hair, I saw that he went to the little staff area, took off his apron, hung it and left quickly.

7) Just as he started getting the ice shampoo as I lay tilted back in my seat, I asked what it was.  He said it's "cooling".  I understood it as "menthol". I asked what brand. He said Japanese.  Shiseido?   He said no.

Later when I left, I saw their poster said the brand is "Kracie". The same brand that makes facial wash that Watsons sells/sold.  I did a review on one of their facial washes as well in another blog.

8) The concept of pushing the wash basin to the customer's seat and then tilting the customer's seat back to the portable basin, is very bad. Very poor and cheap idea.

It may seem like it's ingenious and space-saving, but it really just shows how small the place is and how makeshift everything is.

9) Frankly, I think the "stylist's" own hairstyle/haircut looks better than mine. Where did he get it? Certainly not from his own workplace?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

MJ Tokyo @ Marina Square Hair Salon (Prologue)

I had the impression they charged a flat $20 like QB (flat $10).  Passed by there a few times and still can't remember the name.

Just now, had to check the Marina Square store directory to find the name of the salon.

After reading 1 review from  a man (uncle), another review by someone who said the hairwash was "shiok" at Hardwarezone forum, and watching a... tiring Youtube video of 3 Japanese (?) Korean (?) women, I'm more ... eased about going to Marina Square tomorrow.

Me to Bro: Tomorrow (which is today @ 1:52 a.m. Thurs 2 May), I will be going. (to MJ Tokyo @ Marina Square).  No negative reviews, in fact no reviews, or only 3. It had better be good. Otherwise... they are finished. KILL.

Since that person said the hairwash was "shiok", I will expect it when I drop by tomorrow.

Wait a minute... Isn't MJ .... Spiderman's girlfriend?

Here's the review: