Berthold Delikatessen – Hidden gems at Arcade @ Capitol Kempinski

It’s unbelievable how crowded everywhere is on the weekends when we are supposed to be practicing social distancing. It’s like being let out of a two month jail sentence (circuit breaker) and we’re trying to catch up on lost time. Recession, job cuts, what recession?

Anyway, I was supposed to meet a couple of friends at Clinton Street Baking Co along Purvis street last Saturday. Lest you think I’m calling the kettle black, this was the first time I was out in town on a weekend. But due to a botched up booking, we had to quickly scramble for a new place to have lunch. But where, because every potential cafe would surely be fully booked, especially given a lower seating capacity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arcade at Capitol Kempinski

Photo Source: www.kempinski.com

I was at Raffles City so I kinda found myself gravitating towards Capitol Kempinski, while my friends who had already arrived at Clinton Bakery started throwing up other alternatives. Luckily I remembered that there is this chic stretch directly next to the Capitol Theatre that usually has a low footfall. This place is called Arcade @ Capitol Kempinski. It’s actually an extension of The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore.

On hindsight, no wonder the place looks so sophisticated. I’ve always thought that this place deserved more airtime. The area exudes a contemporary yet slightly whimsical vibe, thanks in part to a balcony overhang seating area for each restaurant. So much potential!

Better yet, the prices of the restaurants here are very attractive! There are 7 restaurants here. Each of them feature a weekday set lunch. For example, La Scarla Ristorante has a set lunch promo going at $19 for a 2-course meal. That’s a very affordable price for a prime location like this. Unfortunately, because of the upscale decor, most people shy away from Capitol thinking that it would be expensive to dine here. Certainly that was the first reaction from my friends when I suggested this place.  Doesn’t help too that it’s slightly hidden from the main road, and I don’t recall seeing any marketing of this place.

Berthold Delikatessen

Photo Source : www.kempinski.com

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What to eat at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

This is an updated article to the previous What to eat at the Singapore Botanic Gardens that I wrote quite some years back. A lot has changed since then. Not only has our beloved Singapore Botanic Gardens been inscribed as a World Heritage Site on 4th July 2015, it has also seen a number of significant expansions in the form of the new Learning Forest, the new Gallop Extension, newly redeveloped Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden and National Orchid Garden. If you’ve not visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens in recent years, you really should! In fact, I think it would take several days to fully cover every single aspect of the Gardens, as the area is so vast!

So, the question is, what is there to eat at the Singapore Botanic Gardens? There are quite a number of F&B options at the Gardens suiting all budgets, ranging from a Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant, to casual restaurants and cafes, takeaway kiosks and even a food court. As the Botanic Gardens is so huge, I will segment the F&B outlets by location:

– Bukit Timah Gate (nearest Botanic Gardens MRT Station)

– Nassim Gate

– Tyersall Gate

– Tanglin Gate (nearest to Gleneagles Hospital and bus stop with buses to Orchard Road)

These are also where the car parks are located. If you refer to the Singapore Botanic Gardens map, the Bukit Timah Gate is on the far right, followed by Nassim Gate and Tyersall Gate in the middle of the Gardens, and Tanglin Gate on the far left.

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How to choose a good staycation hotel

Now that staycations are allowed again, and with no knowing of when it will be safe to travel overseas again, hoards of Singaporeans have been booking staycations to somewhat satisfy the travel bug. But with so many hotel staycation deals around, how do you know which is the best hotel deal for you and your family?

I say, the best advice would be not to be too hasty. Sit down and really compare the deals. You will probably find some very good hotel staycation deals out there, no doubt. However, at the end of the day a stay at a luxury hotel will cost several hundred dollars. Ask yourself, what else could you do with the money? Most people say they need to go for a staycation to relax. But with that money, you could have a perfectly relaxing time at a spa with spare change left over. You could treat your entire family to a meal. You could even do some minor redecorating of your room, eg buy some Balinese styled furniture or fixtures to make your room feel like a hotel room, that would have a more long term impact.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing, the following recommendations will give priority to staycations in less crowded hotels.

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8 Tips for new gardeners on growing a high-rise balcony vegetable garden

The other day over a cup of coffee, I was enthusiastically regaling my gardening trials to a friend, when she suggested that I perhaps compile my woes into a blog post for people who are gardening for the first time. It had never occurred to me to do so as I consider myself very new to gardening (less than a year?) as compared to those who have done it for decades, and with a much larger garden.

But on second thoughts, I agree there is still much to share and much to be learnt despite numerous articles out there catered to the newbie gardener.

Happy Gardener

Balcony gardening is fun! Just look at this happy happy little gardener! He did proclaim that he will help to harvest but not to eat the greens!

The whole problem is that when something happens to your plant, such as it having crumpled leaves, or it not flowering, many reasons are offered and you’re none the wiser as to which reason was the cause of the problem. Also, a lot of the advice is generic and may not apply to the type of plant you have, whether it be potted or garden grown and very importantly, locality. Worst of all, the effects of whatever wrong doing you might have inflicted on your plant may take days to be visible, if at all.

So here’s what I learnt from balcony gardening living in tropical and humid Singapore, where day temperatures are in excess of 30 degress most parts of the year. I’ve been planting mainly edible plants, with the bulk being green leafy vegetables. You can follow me on Instagram or Facebook to get live updates!

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Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant – 1 for 1 dim sum at $38++ (Eat all you can!)

Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant is having a super 1-for-1 dim sum all-you-can-eat deal where 2 diners can eat for the price of $38++. That’s $38++/2 per pax! The dishes in the menu include dim sum dishes, small plates, rice and noodle dishes as well as 1-time-order large platters. There are no further hidden charges unless you wish to order water ($3 per pot per table refillable) or tea ($3.50 per person refillable). I was a little apprehensive that they might ask us to pay for compulsory wet wipes or peanut/cold dish appetisers as Chinese restaurants often do, but they didn’t. Yay!

Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant Dimsum (17)

It was too good a deal to miss out so I made a booking immediately when I saw the ad. I’ve been to Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant several times over the years and enjoyed the food there. So I knew that this dim sum had to have a minimum standard. Went there today and it was the 1st time since the start of the circuit breaker that I have dined together with my parents!

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