Friday, May 31, 2013

Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel, Hong Kong

This is the view that greeted us when we checked into our room at Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong. Who wouldn't be mesmerized by it? 
Victoria harbour is really lovely. I wouldn't mind coming back to this place again and again. 
Hotel lobby. I don't know why it's so fragrant inside. The moment you enter the door, you'll be enrobed with a sweet scent. 
 A welcome bookmark on top of the bed
 Sliding closet and mini bar
 Spacious toilet and bath

The carpet that they keep on changing everyday.
Thank you Kowloon Shangri-La for the wonderful stay and room upgrade. I shall definitely see you again soon!

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel - The Second Time Around

It's our second time to stay at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. And just like the previous visit, it was another great stay.

 Still as good as the first time we saw it.
This is one of the reasons why I love staying in a room with a sea view. Waking up in the morning with this sight to behold is truly relaxing.

The hotel lobby exudes a victorian charm. No matter how big the crowd becomes inside, it doesn't give that feeling of frenzy.

The kids had so much fun in the outdoor pool. This is one of the hotel's facilities that you can enjoy.

I couldn't tell you enough how much I like Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. The hotel ambiance coupled with good service from the staff makes for a really enjoyable vacation. Although the buffet at the Enchanted Garden seemed to be less exciting than before, there are still other choices of restaurants that are worth trying like Walts Cafe. The wagyu burger and the grilled sandwiches are nice.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Magical Birthday Celebration at Hong Kong Disneyland

Every little girl dreams of becoming a Princess someday. My daughter was so blessed, hers was granted on her 7th birthday. We recently celebrated her birthday at Hong Kong Disneyland and the experience was truly more than magical. Even I, was overwhelmed and elated with this unforgettable event in my daughter's life. Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel was a wonderful host to such a memorable occasion. We couldn't have chosen any other place.
In our room, we were greeted with this birthday cake towel complete with a birthday card signed by no less than Mickey Mouse himself. What a lovely welcome indeed!
Upon our arrival at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, we went straight to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for the Little Princess make over. Sofie opted to become like Princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty since she's her favourite Disney Princess character. I reserved the Castle Package which includes everything that's needed - from the gown, make-up, hair styling, accessories and the works. All that's included, was ours to bring home. They were all nice souvenirs to keep. 
The staffs (aka the Fairy Godmothers-in training) were very accommodating and efficient in their task. It didn't take too long for our little girl to have the look she wanted.
After the make over, she had the Princess pictorial. We all had fun watching her enjoying the realization of her wish.

The magical moments captured by the lenses were compiled into an exclusive Disneyland album. We had the option to choose which photos we want to be included. It's definitely, another memento worth keeping. 
One of the highlights of the birthday celebration was the meet and greet with the Disney Princess Characters at the theme park. Sofie's smile shows how delightful she was to mingle with them sans the long queue. She got an express pass to meet all the sweet, lovely ladies.   

At the Enchanted Garden restaurant, we had the birthday dinner with the much loved Disney mascots. It was another wish came true when Minnie Mouse delivered the birthday cake and lead the singing of the Happy Birthday Song. On the other handMickey Mouse made sure that he also had a birthday surprise for the celebrant. He gracefully ushered the little Princess to a magical dance which we really adored. There was also a goodie bag that was filled with Disneyland keepsake and gifts. All in all, I am absolutely grateful that everything turned out so well as planned. Thank you Disneyland for all the wonderful memories! It was undoubtedly a celebration worth remembering; a family treasure that  will last a life time. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hong Kong's Harbour View and Skyline

Hong Kong's harbour view and skyline is arguably one of the best in Asia. This is one of the many reasons why I love visiting this country. In our recent trip to the world's city, we were fortunate enough to have a perfect panoramic view of the harbour from our room courtesy of Shangrila Kowloon. And no matter how long you marvel at this beauty, you can't seem to have enough of it. How I would want to stay in this room longer.  
 This is by far, the most relaxing setting for an afternoon tea..
 Numerous boats and ships of all sizes pass by, it's such a busy harbour.
 Another stunning view of the Hong Kong skyline, best enjoyed at the Peak.

During our visit, the 54 ft inflatable Rubber Duck by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman was stationed in the Victoria harbour and there were a lot of people wanting to have a glimpse of this artwork. We got this view from the Ocean Terminal mall. Hong Kong, you never fail to appease me!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday to Our Dear Sofie


May 22, 2013

To my Darling and Sweet Sofie,

It's been seven years since I witnessed your many firsts - first cry, first embrace, first crawl, and first walk and so on and so forth. How could time passed by so fast?!!
Looking back over the years,

It brings me pure joy as I see you grow into a charming, sweet girl. Your many wonderful handcrafted cards that bear your sweet thoughts are living proof to that. And it never fails to put a smile on me, each time I receive one.


As you turn seven today, you are about to celebrate a major milestone of being a full blown youngster. I know you are slowly becoming your own person now. Continue to explore and learn new things. Mommy will be here to support and guide you all the way.
Thank you for being the lovable daughter that you are. Your countless “I Love You and I miss You” are forever engraved in my heart. Thank you for appreciating my baked goodies and for always inspiring me to be a better Mom.
Enjoy your birthday and cherish the memories that this day will bring. Not all little girls are blessed to become a Princess on their special day. Jesus is so good that He made your wish possible.
I am truly grateful whenever you tell me that I am the best Mom in the world. Now, it's my turn to say - Happy Birthday to the most caring and loving daughter in the whole wide world!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What Makes Singapore Chicken Rice Taste Better (if not the Best)?

Chicken Rice is arguably considered one of Singapore's national dishes. So popular is the dish that it's impossible not to find it in every corner of the city-state. Sellers have different versions and ways of preparing it to create a certain distinction and selling point. With competition increasingly becoming more tough, it is indeed a challenge to make ones version most noticeable. In general, there are two types of chicken that can be tried - Roasted and Steamed. Depending on your personal preference, you can have it either way. But have you ever explored the different breeds of chicken used in the dish? Or are you even aware that there are many chicken varieties to consider?  
Yes, there are more than just one chicken variety in the supermarket. The use of each is highly dependent on the particular dish you wanted to cook and the manner it is to be prepared. But perhaps, the most interesting of all is Kampong Chicken (synonymous to Native or Free Range Chicken in other countries). Kampong is a Malay word for village. So to put it simply, it is a chicken that is raised in a village. As a food, Kampong Chicken is regarded as premium and thus, commands a higher price in the market. It is believed to have  better flavour compared to the conventionally farmed chickens. To validate this claim and let our taste buds discover the difference, we've visited some popular restaurants known for serving good Chicken Rice in Singapore - Boon Tong Kee and Five Star.
Boon Tong Kee is a long heralded brand for Chicken Rice. Being one of the pioneers, it gained a loyal following from the locals. The restaurant serves the typical farmed chicken for their Chicken Rice Dish.   
 The typical sauce accompaniment to the chicken rice dish
Roasted Chicken Boon Tong Kee version - mildly salted, oily, with acidic after taste, dry and flaky in texture
Steamed Chicken Boon Tong Kee version - very strong skin note, bloody, with acidic after taste, soft in texture
Five Star is another well established brand that uses Kampong Chicken in their dish. From the signage in front of the restaurant, it looks like they are really capitalizing on that unique selling point.

Steamed Chicken Five Star version - juicy and tender meat, very lingering after taste, less skin note, not bloody at all
Roasted Chicken Five Star version - sweet, with good roasted note, full-bodied mouthfeel, more long lasting taste

Across all attributes, it's clearly noted that Kampong Chicken is a better type of chicken compared to the typical farmed raised, be it roasted or steamed. So the next time you crave for your favourite Chicken Rice, you know that there is something more to it that makes it more appetizing apart from the sauce that goes with it and the fat or broth used in the rice. Before savouring hefty servings of it, make sure that you have selected the right kind of chicken.