2012 Story

December 31, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

2012 Story

It's been a wonderful 2012! Thank God for all his favour and blessings this year... Looking back, I've gone through many life changing moments in 2012!

If my life in 2012 could be told in pictures, these 98 pictures would be it. In no particular order, it features major milestones and changing points in my life, highlights like travels and special events, and wacky pictures.



TWG Tea Salon & Boutique

December 30, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
2 Orchard Turn
#02-21 ION Orchard

9 Raffles Place
#01-22 Republic Plaza

2 Bayfront Avenue
#B2-89 Marina Bay Sands


The Best Place For Tea

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 9
Ambience & Setting: 9
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 9
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $27 per person.


On the surface, TWG Tea Salon & Boutique appears to be exclusive and elitist, but is actually quite accessible and accomodating for most people. Founded in 2008 in Singapore, it channels the best of the British high tea setting.

Part of the appeal of TWG Tea Salon & Boutique is the ambience. Outlets are typically located in up-market, semi-opulent settings, and decor includes fancy lamps, elegant dining layouts, gold-plated counters and more. This gives TWG Tea Salon & Boutique the feeling of an up-market sort of cafe.

Service at TWG Tea Salon & Boutique is similar to service at a fine-dining restaurant. Staff are attentive, polite, and efficient. Most importantly, they are as knowledgable about teas as a wine sommelier is about wines... Almost like a tea sommelier! As TWG Tea Salon & Boutique has over 800 varieties / range of teas, you might want to ask for a recommendation if you're unsure about what to drink.

Food at TWG Tea Salon & Boutique is fashioned to be like the English / British high tea culture. Tea is the main highlight, but TWG Tea Salon & Boutique also has very tasty scones, cakes, chocolates and macarons. You can purchase all these items for take-away as well. Prices are relatively afforable and reasonable.

Because TWG Tea Salon & Boutique is so popular, expect long queues if you want the complete dining-in experience. Waiting times can range from a minimum of 20 minutes, to a maximum of 1 hour.


TWG Tea Salon & Boutique Interior

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique Lamps

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique Lights

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique Counter

The Macarons here are all tea-infused, but there isn't an extensive selection. From time-to-time, they also have 'limited time' specialty macarons.

Macarons Menu

Bain De Roses Tea Macaron

Earl Grey Fortune Tea And Chocolate Macaron

1837 Black Tea And Blackcurrent Macaron

Grand Wedding Tea, Passion Fruit And Coconut Macaron

TWG Tea Cup

The 1837 Black Tea is a signature house-brew, a blend of black tea with fruits and flowers from the Bermuda triangle. It has a light, tannic texure, and a mild fruity taste with hints of anise, caramel, blackcurrent and strawberries.

1837 Black Tea Pack

1837 Black Tea

The Rose Boudoir is a specialty house-brew, a blend of black tea, with spices and rose flowers from Grasse. It has a rich, malty texure, and a sweet rose-water taste with hints of rose, blackcurrent and vanilla.

Rose Boudoir Tea

The Singapore Breakfast Tea is a sophisticated blend of black tea and green tea, with vanilla, ginger and spices to make it uniquely Singaporean. It has a complex yet delicate sweetness, with a lingering aftertaste.

Singapore Breakfast Tea 01

Singapore Breakfast Tea 02

The Kilimanjaro Snow Tea is a black tea, grown in the highlands of Tanzania. It has a pleasant lingering bite, refreshing notes of zesty lemon pith and citrusy tangerine, with a clean, crisp aftertaste on the palate.

Kilimanjaro Snow Tea

The Crème Brûlée has a nicely burnt crust that shatters as you cut into the delicate interior. Taste is delicate and sweet, with hints of tea within.

Crème Brûlée

A selection of Pastries. Purely average, and can be skipped.


TWG Tea Pots And Tea Cups

A fresh Club Sandwich, rather straight forward and decent. Not outstanding, but not terrible either. Overall, rather forgettable.

Club Sandwich

The Royan Ravioli features small ravioli squares, stuffed with French cheese and herbs, tossed in a fragrant basil oil, fresh tomato and salted lemon confit. Accompanied by cured beef bresaola, straw mushroom antipasti brined in Imperial Lapsang Souchong Tea, and taggiasche olives. Earthy and aromatic dish.

Royan Ravioli


Quarter To Three Cafe

December 30, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Quarter To Three Cafe 
88 Tanjong Pagar 


Cozy Little Coffee, Cakes And Cookies Cafe 

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 8
Value for Money: 5
Spent about SGD $18 per person.


Quarter To Three Cafe is a small hole-in-the-wall specialized dessert cafe, offering only 3 main categories of items on its menu, namely, coffee, cakes and cookies. Fortunately, Quarter To Three Cafe produces rather good renditions of these! 

Ambience at Quarter To Three Cafe is perfect for chilling and shooting the breeze, and despite the small floor space, is rather comfortable. Indoor seating is limited, but they do have some outdoors seats as well. 

Service is personal and friendly, seeing as they owners are running the place. Also, most of their items are already pre-made / packaged, so there isn't much service to speak of. 

I find the coffee at Quarter To Three Cafe to be especially good. However, I personally feel their cakes aren't consistently good across the board, with some being outstanding while others were average. But I do like the cookies at Quarter To Three Cafe, when served warm, they're crisp and crunchy! 

Prices at Quarter To Three Cafe are on the expensive side, be prepared to pay slightly more for items here. 


Quarter To Three Cafe Interior


Iced Latte

Sun King 01

Sun King 02

Creme Brulee

Red Velvet Cake

Latte And Cookie

Fudgy Brownie

Dizzy Miss Lizzy


Shashlik Restaurant

December 29, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Shashlik Restaurant
545 Orchard Road
#06-19 Far East Shopping Centre


Simple Russian Classics Done Well

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 5
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 7
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $35 per person.


Probably the most well-known restaurant for serving Russian food in Singapore, Shashlik Restaurant has been around for years, at the top floor of Far East Shopping Centre.

As with most Russian restaurants in Singapore, the chefs were originally Hainanese, and they've slightly modified and influenced the traditional Russian recipes. As such, Shashlik Restaurant veers away from the traditional Russian ingredients in its dishes, though the look and feel of the final dish is typical Russian.

Ambience at Shashlik Restaurant is minimal, and the interior is dimly lit. While nice for romantic dinners, the overall decor is rather dated and unappealing.

Service at Shashlik Restaurant is well worth the 10% service charge, because they practice table-side service, where the final preparation for your food is prepared right in front of you before serving. However, staff could be slightly more friendly and engage you in conversation, because performing table-side service while silent is rather odd. Overall though, service at Shashlik Restaurant is efficient and quick.

Shashlik Restaurant offers many popular Russian dishes, with a Hainanese influence. Food is generally tasty, with specialties being beef and lamb, but slightly high-priced for its quality. Presentation of food can be rather unattractive too.


The Shashlik Of Beef is served table-side, although I find the final presentation rather unappealing. The beef is tender, though slightly gamey. But my biggest complaint is that it was seasoned with too much salt. It's served with Sides Of Cucumber, Tomato, Hard Boiled Egg, Potato Salad, Pickled Cabbage, Gherkin And Spring Onion.

Shashlik Of Beef With Sides Of Cucumber, Tomato, Hard Boiled Egg, Potato Salad, Pickled Cabbage, Gherkin And Spring Onion

Shashlik Of Beef

Sides Of Cucumber, Tomato, Hard Boiled Egg, Potato Salad, Pickled Cabbage, Gherkin And Spring Onion

This Fish Solianka (Solyanka Soup) is nothing like the traditional Russian Solyanka Soup. On its own though, it's a pretty food fish soup, with chunks of spanish mackerel fish (Batang), cubes of cucumbers and slices of hard boiled egg. It isn't thick and sour like the traditional Russian version, and doesn't contain cabbage or mushrooms.

Fish Solianka (Solyanka Soup)

The Borsch Soup With Sour Cream has cabbage, potatoes, beef and sour cream in a tomato-base soup. While tasty, warm and comforting, it differs from the traditional Borsch Soup as it doesn't contain beetroot and isn't cold.

Borsch Soup With Sour Cream

The Russian Salad (Oleaviea Salad) served here is a de-constructed version of the original Oleaviea Salad / Russian Salad. Consisting of a potato salad with diced carrots and peas, pickled cabbage / sauerkraut, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, hard boiled egg, spring onion and gherkin. It doesn't contain cream like the traditional version.

Russian Salad (Oleaviea Salad)

The Beef Stroganoff has tender, well-seasoned slices of beef in a savoury brown beef sauce, with pickled cabbage on the side. The Hainanese influence shows itself in the surprisingly well-cooked rice.

Beef Stroganoff

Legend tells of a Russian Tzar who wanted veal cutlets, but the chef had no more veal, and substituted chicken meat instead. Thus the Russian dish of Chicken Pozharsky (Pozharsky Chicken Cutlet) was invented. While the traditional Russian receipe uses ground / minced chicken formed into a cutlet, then covered in butter and bread crumbs and deep fried, the version here skips the bread crumbs, and instead pan grills the cutlet instead. Tasty, but as with most other dishes here, is a little over seasoned with salt.

Chicken Pozharsky (Pozharsky Chicken Cutlet)

I'm not entirely sure if I'm supposed to feel like a millionaire after consuming this dish called Egg Millionaire. But I applaud the skills it takes to cut 2 eggs neatly through the middle without cracking too much of the shell, then spoon the eggs scrambled with bacon back into the shells for a neat presentation. Love it!

Egg Millionaire

A complimentary serving of Bread Bun And Butter accompanies every meal, although this practice is more prevalent in European countries than Russia. However, the bread / bun served is the typical Hainanese style bun, also commonly served in Hawker Western Food stalls.

Bread Bun And Butter


Zi Char - Siang Hee Restaurant

December 28, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Zi Char - Siang Hee Restaurant
49A Serangoon Garden Way #01-20

Few Items On The Menu, But Most Done Well

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 4
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 7
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $12 per person.


Compared to a typical Zi Char stall, Siang Hee Restaurant has much fewer options on the menu. The chef here also tends to produce better tasting pork and fish dishes.

Part of the appeal of Siang Hee Restaurant is the value-for-money prices, as Singaporeans say, "Cheap and good". Portions are nicely sized as well.

Even with long queues, food from Siang Hee Restaurant is served quite quickly, typically with a waiting time of 5 - 10 minutes.

The most popular dishes at Siang Hee Restaurant include the Butter Prawns With Pumpkin Cream Sauce, the Fragrant Prawns, the Deep Fried Pork Knuckle, the Marmite Pork Ribs, the Assam Fish Head Curry, and the Fried Garoupa With Thai Sauce.


Butter Prawns With Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Deep Fried Pork Knuckle

Sambal Kang Kong

Stir Fried Nai Bai / Milk Cabbage

Pork Rib King

Coffee Pork Ribs

Prawn Paste Chicken

Asam Fish Head Curry

Butter Pork Rib With Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Speciality Tofu