Friday, April 29, 2011

Friends Of Japan- F&B Charity Privilege Card

#1 To help raise funds for the victims who are affected by the devastating Japan earthquake.

#2 As a show of support to the authorities for making Singapore food safe for consumption.


For these two special reasons, Japanese food business operators in Singapore have come together; 35 brands which together run over 100 restaurants and four supply chain companies in Singapore, they launched a campaign to raise at least $250,000.

How do they plan to raise $250,000?


Purchase this $5 Friends Of Japan privilege card at any of the listed restaurants (below) between 30th April- 15th May 2011 at any of the restaurants as well. ALL proceeds will be going to the Singapore Red Cross in aid of Tsunami Disaster Relief 2011.


Flash this card at over 100 Japanese restaurants between 30th April-31st May 2011 to enjoy discounts and other promotional offers on-site.

Check out these places to enjoy the privileges(The logos are printed on the card):



The team leader of Friends Of Japan is none other than Mr Takagi, who is also the managing director of Creative Food Concept group of restaurants which includes brands like Tampopo, Tarafuku & TsuruTsuruTei.


Their launch was sincere and direct-- Sushi-eating.
Yes, Japanese food in Singapore is safe to eat.

After that, Calvin Timothy and I had Sushi for brunch as well!



Thank you Friends Of Japan & IMSG for the sincere invitation.


Mint LOVE Japanese food Lots Lots!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On Mobile(attempt 2): The Blogosphere & Singapore Blog Awards 2011

I'm trying to blog this entry with my iPhone on a bus.

It's the second attempt for the day. I accidentally published an incomplete post on my first. Whatever it is, I find this pretty amazing as I can blog on the go which will save pretty much a lot of my time.


A few evenings ago, Smith, a humble WTH blogger(think he's a sex blogger too) whom I met recently, and I hit on this topic about blogging. Both of us were already debating on the different terms used on a blogger community & about the evolution of blogs.

He termed it as "blogsphere" while I said it was "bloggersphere". Apparently, wikipedia and other dictionaries online term it as 'blogosphere'. This term is now widely use by a number of media and on the internet. (=.=") Ops, looks like we're both mistaken.

The term 'blogosphere' refers to blogs existing as a connected community where blog authors a.k.a. bloggers can publish their opinions. Blogosphere is a form of Social Network, like a big netconnecting all types of knowledge, common interests & even different types of relationships(kinships, friendship etc.) together.

My very first blog post dated all the way back on 7th June 2006. Yes, I started blogging 4 years ago. Before I created a blog, I have a habit of writing dairies. Exercise books wrap in construction paper, decorated with images, pictures and drawings, these DIY dairies accumulated on my book shelves.


That's me taken when I was a toddler. :)

Blogging did not strike upon me until I found out that it has the ability to upload and store pictures. This is something which is more inconvenient to be done on a dairy. To date, I owned more than 1500 blog entries altogether.

Technically speaking, I have two blog accounts; the first one has been set to private ever since I created the 2nd one. Like a dairy with a padlock, my 1st blog protects all my most cherished memories, photographs, milestones and lessons learnt during my teenage years. The other issue why i chose to close it privately is that there are too many secrets. *ops*

Those were not really secrets.

It's just that my first blog was all about my BGR problems, friendships, bitchings, how i spend my daily life, family, self-reflections... So to say, it is an extremely personal lifestyle blog where close friends used to come and leave comments, chit chat, gossip together. Of course majorty of these posts are ranting about the flaws of my ex-bfs and the really emotional part of me penning down my deepest thoughts which you might not even comprehend.

However, ever since I attended the 3rd Singapore Blog Awards last year, I was introduced to a group of wonderful blogger friends who invited me to participate in events. From then on, I began attending Press Conferences, Exclusive Media Events, Product & Movie Launches.

The evolution of my blog is prominent.

I get first-hand information most of the time thanks to the invitation to these exclusive events and I will blog about them.

Free movie tickets to attend movie premieres.
Complimentary goodie bags that comes with free gifts and vouchers.
At times, celebrities even came down to meet us in person for photo-taking sessions!

In fact, other than my friends, I have readers from US and Malaysia visiting my blog too! "HELLO FROM SINGAPORE!"

Friends asked, "Eh Mint, how did you manage to become a blogger?" And I will always pleasantly share my experience(and luck) with them:

To me, anyone who owns and writes a blog is a blogger.

It is my blessing, really, to be able to befriend such a group of extrodinary friends who happen to be actively attending such events.. At the same time, I registered and signed up with OMY Blog Club and became a member(FREE membership).

Whenever there is an invitation to an event via email, I will RSVP and attend it. Of course, there will be details like the venue, time and comprehensive information of the event itself. After which, I will blog about it and send it back to them, where they will post my reviews up on the Blog Club Site to share with others. There is also an website featuring their in-house bloggers. Before I forget to mention, is a local bilingual(Chinese and English) news and interaction website.

As the number of attending events increases, I got to meet more people- bloggers, merchandisers, PR & Marketing companies themselves, who unselfishly invited me to even more events.

Honestly speaking, the number of ACTIVE bloggers in the Singapore Blogosphere is still consider countable. You will usually meet the same bloggers at most of the events you go to due to common interest. Based on the characteristics of bloggers, everyone makes friends and build connections with everyone else really fast. So within a short period of time, you will know generally every other blogger who comes for the event.

I know some of you out there who are extremely curious about this. Well if you have a blog, be it famous or not, you can definitely join the club and experience the fun yourself! And yes, if you're genuine and sincere in making friends, you'll soon find hanging around with more bloggers just like yourself.

Please DO NOT think that just because your blog doesn't say anything much except about your personal life, you cannot join events and organisers will reject you. That's an EXCUSE to indicate how shy you are.

You see, you need to begin somewhere.

If you don't sign up and start attending something, how would you be able to write anything in the first place? Make sense? So have more confidence, take the first step!

Here is where you can start(And this was exactly how I came into the active blogosphere):

The Singapore Blog Awards is back this year- the 4th year now to be exact-- More extravagant, with more attractive prizes and definitely much more content to anticipate! In total, there are more than $30,000 worth of prizes to be won. How does this sound: winners of the Singapore Blog Awards get to fly to Melbourne; inclusive of air tickets and accommodation!

SHIOK right!

There are a total of 14 categories: Best Lifestyle Blog, Best What-The-Hell Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Best Individual blog, Best Food Blog, best photography blog and more!

This event is a big hoo-ha in the Singapore blogosphere; like the Singapore Star Awards. Bloggers & Blog Readers are welcomed to nominate or register blogs for the award under a suitable category. If you don't know which category you fit under, try 'Lifestyle' and 'Best Individual' for a start. Your blog will fit here no matter how personal you are.

Remember to be a good sport. even if you're not chosen this year, don't be disheartened because the Singapore Blog Awards happens every year. You can participate in it again. Furthermore, you'll most probably be invited to attend the Award Ceremony on the day itself as a guest where there'll be games and prizes to be won as well!

I've shared quite a fair bit with you. There are updates and news of other people who are sharing about this event on Twitter. Search for #sba2011 and you'll see.

Come on, I 'jio' you to come for Singapore Blog Awards 2011 together. Also, you can discuss about Singapore Blog Awards by using the same hashtag(#sba2011).

Welcome to the Blogosphere!

All About Eve Japan Fund Raising Campaign- A Success!



On 16th April 2011, 7 local bands performed at All About Eve bar to help raised funds in attempt to help Japan.

That's us still rehearsing at the smoking corner less than 1hr away from the start of the performance.


There were students from a local Music School,


Here are their singing teachers who performs at All About Eve Bar every Thursday night at 10pm.

Some were jamming buddies,

G.L.O.W, who performs at All About Eve Bar every Wednesday at 10pm.




while others were simply KTV kakis who love music and kena 'tikan' to sing on stage for us.


When I first proposed the idea to the bosses of All About Eve Bar that I'd like to have a fund-raising performance, they were so keen that they even offered to liaise with the other bands and sell their beverages to help raise more funds.

I invited Alex, a singer who has won several local song contests, to sing on stage with me.


On top of that, I invited our famous Yongwei, to beat the cajon for the band which he immediately said 'yes'.


We practiced & gave our best shot. Even though I was down with tonsillitis, I wouldn't let my illness get in the way for Charity.


That's me singing "Tomorrow Will be Better" with another band,'Beyond Repair'.


That's 'Beyond Repair' and I on stage. Beyond Repair performs at All About Eve bar every Tuesday at 10pm.

The amount we raise for the night?


Impressive I'll say, for a little bar tucked at a corner of Arab Street where not many people knows.

Yongwei donated his last $2 into the box.
As WTH as he is, he has a heart of gold too.

Terence and I posing for the camera.

Andy, a passionate photographer, who came down and helped us snap photos at the event. He was there specially to support the fund raising! Thank you!

Thank you to each and every kind soul who made this Charity Event a success- from the musicians, to the bands, to the guests who came down to support and to the bosses of All About Eve Bar, Won and Jennifer, who fully supported this proposal of mine and helped to plan everything.




Monday, April 25, 2011

Mantis Shrimp -- An exotic delicacy?



Do not be deceived by its fugly appearance.

I'll never ever forget when I first sank my teeth into its flesh; that epic moment where my eyes opened so wide & felt I've never been so fortunate to eat something like this!

This is probably one of the juiciest, sweetest seafood I've tasted all my life, an exotic delicacy fit for emperors-- The Mantis Shrimp


It was such a rare catch that only 8 were caught coincidentally at a Kelong. Out of these 8, pathetically 3 were prepared to be served on the table.

Papa Chia had specially requested his good friend to save it for Sis and I, which I was extremely thankful for. From what I know, except for his good friend who caught them, no one else who sat at the table had eaten the Mantis Shrimp all their lives; not even after living for more than half of their lives. Everyone was equally fascinated & curious as I was when the Mantis Shrimps were taken out from the bag.


The Mantis Shrimps are dangerous and cunning predators which secrete themselves in holes within living rocks. Appearing with a variety of different colours from shades of brown to bright neon colours, they are so intelligent that they would not usually find its way to the same entrance via that same way. If their first attempt of getting caught proves unsuccessful, they can avoid being caught again by slipping from one location to the other. Traps usually don't work on them as they seldom come out of their homes; hence poorly understood even though they are one of the most important predators in their habitat. They will attack whatever is edible passing their range for food: prawns, clams, mussels, corals, tiny fishes etc.

Depending on the species(about 400 being described worldwide), they grew up to a range between 5-30cm long. I think what I ate was considered really big. Not forgetting to mention, the Mantis shrimp is a relative of the crabs.


They are referred to as 'thumb splitters' because of their ability of damaging human thumbs & fingers if handled incautiously.

They have 2 types of claws- smashers and spearers. As named, these claws either smash through shells of molluscs or stab fishes & prawns at top speed. In other words, even though it has only striked once, the prey will experience a double hit. So even if the mantis shrimp misses its target with its initial hit, a high possibility is that the prey will still be killed or stunned by the resulting shock wave.

Uncle told me, "if the claws hit you i tell you, your blood will 'phish' out non-stop."

Some of these species(must be the bright neon coloured ones) are kept as pets at home and fed with river shrimps. They are usually kept in acrylic aquariums and easily maintained as pets. Bear in mind not to put your fingers into the water though- the 'phish' issue, remember?

For others, we serve it as a delicacy. You can steam, boil, stew, barberque, skew, grill or even fry it. There are many dish names for the Mantis Shrimps in different cruisines:

The Phillippines: tatampal, hipong-dapa or alupihang-dagat,eaten like shrimps
Vietnam: tôm tít or tôm tích, used with pepper + salt + lime, fish sauce + tamarind or fennel
Cantonese: "Pissing Shrimp" (攋尿蝦)
Japanese: boil and eat as a sushi topping or as sashimi known as Shako(蝦蛄).
Meditarrenean countries: Squilla Mantis




More like lobsters & crabs, the shell of the Mantis Shrimp requires some pressure to crack. Uncle recommended scissors to cut along the sides after it is being cooked.



Taste: The flesh is really Q and bouncy in your mouth, like that of calamari. It tastes 10x sweeter than drunken prawns and the texture is similar to that of the lobster, but the flesh is more tender.

Arghhh I'm not a seafood fan but I really, really, really love this!!!

Info read from:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Japanese SOFT!serve Ice-cream

When you are stressed, what should you eat?
HINT: Try reading the word 'stressed' from back to front.

Yes, it's Desserts!
(my favourite!)


SOFT! mixes Japanese vanilla softserve ice-cream with a wide variety of quality toppings. If you think life is HARD, really, it's time to head down and enjoy SOFT!


My mum has 'lao-hua', but she'll have absolutely no problem looking at the menu; there are about 20 different combinations to choose from, drawn big and wide on the wall. The drawings are simple and easy to understand. The descriptions are straightforward too. It's much simpler for people of all ages as the combinations of the ice-cream has been meticulously chosen on your behalf. All you have to do is decide, point/order, wait and go!

Be pampered by premium softserve vanilla ice-cream and spoilt for innovative topping combinations!


But IF you choose to stay a little longer, SOFT! welcomes you. There is a corner with high chairs complimented with ice water at the side for patrons to sit and relax while enjoying their SOFT! Ice-cream.


I can't wait to show you the photos of their ice-cream!!!

Sidetrack abit: One of those food which my doctor has suggested I take in was ice-cream. Not only will it cheer me up, ice-cream can help cause temporary numbness for the pain in my throat in order for me to eat my medication. There's now plenty of ice-cream supply in my fridge. *jumps for joy*

Back to SOFT! ice-cream. I'm sure you can't wait to see the photos of the ice-cream!


Presenting to you its best-selling: Godzilla Max

Chocolate Fudge
Oreo Crumbs
Milo Powder
Crunchy Cereal

Wait a minute, doesn't these toppings add up to the colours of Godzilla?


Asian-style: Sesame Way

Sesame Cream
Sunflower seed
Red bean puree
sponge cake

A little feel of our local ice-kacang dessert for the fact that it contains red bean puree. Dig to the end. You have to make it to that SPONGE CAKE! :)


We all love this!: Zara Mango

Mango puree
cranberry chunks
sunflower seeds
mango jelly

I didn't know mango goes so well with cranberries, yummy! The texture and biting feel of the toppings compliments one another to my amaze.


Lovers Fave: Lic Kat

Kit Kat
Nestum Cereal
Butter scotch
Crunchy Cereal

When asked why it's lovers' favourite, the representative of SOFT! said that most couples who patronise the stall buys this. I think this ccan be an all-time favourite instead. The Nestum taste are so filling it BURSTS in your mouth!



Local : Straits Chendol

Gula Malaka
Chendol Jelly
Red Bean Puree
Crunchy Cereal

Chendol with cereal, give it s shot!



Strawberry lovers, this is it: Fruitful Fusion

Strawberry Puree
Cranberry chunks
Sunflower seed
Crunchy Cereal

Cranberry chunks favors up the strawberry puree.



Introducing my personal favourite: Maldon Seasalt Special.


Maldon organic seasalt
Ritz Crackers Crumbs

A heavenly-combination of salty and sweet.
Who says desserts have to be sweet?
It can be salty too, at times.



SOFT! is so innovative, they came up with the idea of the Happiness Kit. Opening the happiness kit is ONE of those happy remedies, to me! *WHEE!*



(Happy bloggers)Left to right: Andystorm, Calvin Timothy, Me, Yuxian

SOFT! Japanese Premium Softserve Ice-cream

- Downtown East #01-23 (beside Wild Wild Wet, opposite Cheers)
- Hougang Mall Basement 1 #B1-K17 (beside Ya Kun)

Cones: S$2.30 & S$2.60
Sundaes: S$3.50- S$3.90
Floats: S$2.80

Discounts and specials(Downtown East Branch)



For perks and dicsountgs, visit SOFT! Facebook: For more information, you may also enter SOFT! website.

Remember, when you're stressed, there's desserts to cheer you up!