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Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 2

Sep 12, 13 Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 2

Posted by in Travel

Day 2 of the Melaka trip would be the a large bulk of it, since day 1 is spent travelling up, and day 3 is spend travelling down. Day 2 itinerary: Hotel buffet breakfast Massage Mall roaming Bert’s Garden Wings Music Cafe Hotels nowadays tend to exclude buffet breakfast, which is largely a good thing in my opinion, since most of the time if I’m on holiday, I don’t wake up early enough for breakfast, or I would prefer to get local food off the streets. Hatten hotel provides buffet breakfast though, and since our group is quite a mix group, it’s a way to just eat together and chit chat. Which was a good thing though. The buffet spread was one of the biggest I’ve seen for breakfast! To a point it almost looked like lunch to me. There’s cheese, cold cut meat, yogurt and salads for those who eat light. There’s buns, toasts, pastries, puffs for those who needs their flour products. There’s pancakes and waffles, and there’s a porridge station for those who want a light meal. On top of that, there were numerous hot dish stations, such as a roti prata station, an entire row of spread which has nasi lemak, prawn paste chicken, fried kway teow, and many more. In my opinion, this just makes the hotel stay more worth while. We went down for breakfast at 8am, and we only left at 10.30am. Of course, I skipped lunch after that. After breakfast, it was more or less free and easy. Some of us went to do some light shopping, some of us went to chill at the hotel pool, while some of us went for massages. I was intending to get a massage right after, but I figured it might not be so good to do a massage right after a heavy meal. So I decided to just venture around the shop houses, mainly to let the food digest a bit, as well as to take some photos. One thing I’ve...

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Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 1 (Night)

Sep 12, 13 Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 1 (Night)

Posted by in Travel

Day 1 itinerary: Travel from Singapore to Melaka Pit stop at Pagoh Lunch @ Restoran Keng-Dom Check in to Hatten Hotel Free & Easy Dinner at Aunty Lee Jonker Street After spending the large part of the morning travelling and checking in to Hatten hotel, there was only 2.5 hours left before we headed off to dinner. Essentially I roamed around the Melaka Raya region, just taking a look at the shop houses, and the streets. As what most would imagine, it really is a sleepy town. Interestingly, there seems to be quite a few interesting restaurants. I figure I would aim to try all of them with every visit, rather than repeating restaurants. There are also numerous massage parlours around. From my understanding, most are typically clean in Melaka. The only thing is that they might upsell you other spa services. If you wanted to go for dodgy services, it seems you might have to look at other towns.   Dinner was suppose to be this place called Aunty Lee. It’s apparently a famous Nonya restaurant in Melaka and we had to reserve a table and pre-order our food beforehand. However, Murphy’s Law says that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Apparently most of the food we pre-ordered was sold out. Even the curry chicken dish was left with lousy parts and there wasn’t much meat. To be fair, I will not be posting any photos and reviews on the food, but from what my friends say, the food here is suppose to be quite fantastic. I shall reserve my comments. Our next stop is to the ‘must go’ Jonker Street. Jonker Street is a pedestrian night market, where certain areas are closed to traffic and peddlers/hawkers come out to sell their goods. A good thing too, considering that I’m still hungry after dinner! One of the easiest way to get there is well, walk. Jonker Street is surrounded by hotels, and even for hotels like Hatten hotel which was at...

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Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 1

Sep 12, 13 Chill out at the historical town of Melaka Day 1

Posted by in Travel

Melaka is one of those nice laidback town where a lot of Singaporeans usually go for a weekend trip! Largely because of it’s cheap food, and historical sights, I suppose it’s usually parents that bring their kids along. I guess that’s more friendly than say Bangkok, Hong Kong or Macau. My family recently managed to get some 1st year anniversary tickets at Hatten Hotel, which is probably one of the newest big hotels in Melaka. So off we go for a short 3 day weekend trip! Our group was around 11 people, with 2 other people who lives at Melaka. We left at around 7am, in an attempt to beat the jam. But apparently everybody thought the same thing, so by the time we crossed the causeway, it was already 9am or so. Day 1 itinerary: Travel from Singapore to Melaka Pit stop at Pagoh Lunch @ Restoran Keng-Dom Check in to Hatten Hotel Free & Easy Dinner at Aunty Lee Jonker Street We had a quick roti prata breakfast at Pagoh rest stop, which was already 200km from Singapore or so. Nothing exceptional, besides the much needed toilet break. Another 40 minutes or so, we’re finally in Melaka! Arrival time, 11.40am and since hotel check ins are typically 2pm onwards, we decided to go grab lunch first. Lunch choice was a chinese style steamboat restaurant called Restoran Keng-Dom. One of their speciality was a beef steamboat. However, you need to preorder hours before, so that they can marinate the beef slices. On top of that, we ordered quite a number of the usual chinese ‘tze char’ style dishes.   13 people is quite a sqeeze on this table for sure! The first dish was a pastry crust curry chicken. In my opinion, it’s largely a gimmick, since after you remove the pastry on top, it’s just really curry chicken. The pastry does seem like roti prata though, so it’s used as a dip. In term of the curry, it’s not that fantastic. It...

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Spa Infinity @ Far East Shopping Centre (Orchard)

Sep 03, 13 Spa Infinity @ Far East Shopping Centre (Orchard)

Posted by in Reviews

I have always loved going for massages. They say, humans generally like touches, and who wouldn’t love being served like a VIP? Massages to me, have many uses, such as sports massage when you went for a intense gym workout, or a relaxing massage, when you just have too much on your mind and you just want to destress for that 1 hour. Other than Refresh Day Spa, one of the few spa places I really liked is Spa Infinity. While they are a little bit more pricey than Refresh, they are generally considered a full facilities spa.  That is, besides just massage rooms, they have a full range of facilities. There are less than 5 of such spas in Singapore that I know of.. Do you know of any? Located at the basement of Far East Shopping Centre, getting to the entrance is sort of a quirk. You actually have to go to the basement level, exit the mall into the car park area, and across you would see the Spa entrance. However, once you enter the spa, it’s a totally different environment. Nice dim lighting, soothing atmosphere, and friendly staff definitely brings your mood at ease. After exchanging your identity and signing in, you get a locker key. Going to the changing room, you can see the difference between a typical massage place. There’s rows of lockers, a sauna, a steam room and even a jacuzzi! I would suggest even going 1 hour earlier than your specified massage timing, just to use the facilities. I suppose soaking in the jacuzzi before an oil massage would help open up the pores? After that, you go out to the lounge area to wait for your locker number to be called. There’s a little cafe where you can get some bites, or even a TV lounge area with some plush recliner chairs for you to sink into. The massage itself wasn’t that great though. A typical sized treatment room, decent quality towels and oil. In general,...

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Menya Musashi Kodou @ Ion Orchard

Aug 21, 13 Menya Musashi Kodou @ Ion Orchard

Posted by in Food

Judging by the number of joints that has popped up in the recent years, it seems Ramen has seem to found a sweet spot in Singapore. As much as most people might say that it is essentially Japanese instant noodles, the essence is actually in the tender cha shu and the tasteful broth. I was out with a friend around Ion Orchard, and having seen and heard about the insane queues at the Menya Musashi Raffles City branch, and the apparent lack of queue at the Ion Orchard branch at 7pm on a weekday evening, there’s very little consideration before we found ourselves in the Tiger’s cave. The Menya Musashi branch at Ion Orchard is called the Kodou, or also known as the Tiger’s Cave(Den). I guess Singaporeans typically dig atmosphere and will pay good money for nice theming. In a way, it’s actually a good thing, as it does create the effect of a different restaurant, as compared to say Ajisen, which has the same concept and theming across all their outlets. On a side note, Ion is actually a very nice mall to go to on weekdays. Per entry car park, quite a number of food choices, and very little crowds in my opinion. Menya Musashi basically features a creamier broth than most other ramen joints that I have tried. Almost gravy like I would say, yet not over the top. Essentially the menu is what you see in a lot of ramen joints. You have a the typical white base, which is just the pork bone broth, the black base, where they would add soy sauce, and red which is the spicy version. Usually there’s also the miso base, which would be your more seafood/seaweed type. Interestingly, there was also a tomato and curry base. Since it’s the first visit, it only makes sense to try the standard stuff first. The tomato and curry base would have to wait. I had the Miso Cha Shu Ramen 4pcs($17.90) which came with 4 pcs...

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Kishore Buxani: A Passion for Real Estate

Feb 01, 13 Kishore Buxani: A Passion for Real Estate

Posted by in Interesting articles

First printed in Business Times, 12 Jan 2013 A passion for real estate Kishore Buxani, who heads the Buxani Group, has a nose for sniffing out undervalued assets, reports Kalpana Rashiwala Kishore Buxani had a headstart in the real estate business. When he was 12, he and his elder brother Haresh started ploughing through the classified ads to help their mother find a home for the family. One apartment in Meyer Road – a 1,250 sq ft unit with 999-year leasehold tenure – caught their eye. “When we finally bought it in 1986, it was at $165,000. But I remember having looked at it earlier in 1983, when it was $380,000,” says the 40-year-old, who heads the Buxani Group. His early experience and the skills he later gained at Goldman Sachs helped to hone his real estate investing strategy. He concentrates on what he understands best, that is, Singapore commercial real estate, seeking undervalued properties, adding value to them, and holding them for the long term. Market watchers say making shrewd property investments is a family trait for Mr Buxani. His mother, Indra, is a sister of Royal Brothers founders Raj and Asok Kumar Hiranandani – although Buxani Group is fully owned by Mr Buxani and not linked to his uncles. Mr Buxani has a nose for sniffing out undervalued assets. “We look for well-located older properties below replacement cost and which are under-performing, under-rented, under-used, and under-appreciated.” Part two of this strategy involves value-addition. “We actively manage the asset post-acquisition through refurbishment, repositioning or tenant remixing.” Founded in 2003, Buxani Group owns Katong Junction, a stake in Finexis Building in Robinson Road, four floors in Samsung Hub, and strata office units in Parkway Centre. Its partner in these four investments is a group of offshore investors advised by Seychelles-based Capital Management Group (CMG). Apart from these joint investments with CMG, Buxani Group owns more than 10 shophouses in Chinatown and Little India along with strata offices at International Plaza and Malacca Centre, and...

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