Gallery

A Juicery Three Day Juice Cleanse

Last week, I completed a three day juice cleanse with A Juicery and it went swimmingly well! At no point during the cleanse was I ever hungry and I finished the cleanse strong. Even more surprisingly, I ended the cleanse feeling satiated with no “brain caving-in” symptoms. A clear sign of nourishment from the juices.

Here’s how I got into it. Right before Chinese New Year, someone offered to buy me a a juice cleanse from A Juicery. I must have harped on too happily about cleanses to her. The offer was simply too irresitable for me to refuse. You see, with the longer-than-usual four days CNY celebrations, I knew my greedy self would eat everything in sight. Sure enough, I was right! With all the house visits, plus a quick trip to Penang at the start of the week, I put on an eye-watering 4kg. I almost fainted on the scales. Thank goodness I got the cleanse delivered right after CNY. 

Some of you may already know how obssessed I am with juice cleanses. My go-to juice clease company is always Daily Juice Singapore (“DJ”) for their unbeatable prices with delicious satisfying juices. The new Matcha Nut Mylk is the bomb! A Juicery differs from DJ in many many ways. From the order procedure to juices, I could not resist comparing at every step of the way. Here is an account of my whole experience (with comparisons sprinkled in.)

Placing The Order

Right from the get-go, I was dead impressed with A Juicery. They were so professional, energetic and the brand’s pink watercolour scheme so pretty. My heart rejoiced whenever the pastel pink logo popped up. Unlike DJ, this company offered three types of three-day cleanses: Rookie, Fanatic, and Junkie. From cleansing virgins to experienced cleansers, everyone was provided for. The repeated green variety but intense Junkie cleanse was enticing. But the lack of variety and content necessary for this blog led me to choose Fanatic. Three day, eight flavours, eight 400ml glass bottles, bring it on!

Immediately upon submitting my choice, I received several emails. This ensured confirmation of my order. At the same time gave me a feeling that during the cleanse I was not alone. Thanks Girls!

ajuicery confirmation order

 

ajuicery welcome email ajuicery pre cleanse download  ajuicery pre cleanse manual

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delivery

Unlike DJ which delivered the juices daily for the duration of the cleanse, A Juicery delivered all 24 bottles in the evening before the cleanse. If I had a complaint, this would be it: the inflexible delivery option. Delivery was only limited to twice a week. The company outsources their delivery so this could account for the inflexible timing.

Furthermore there was only one time slot of 6 to 9pm. This wide time slot meant I got it delivered straight to my home with my intention to drink them in the office. Big mistake. The box of eight 400ml glass bottles of juices was heavy! Imagine lugging them to work every morning. A huge chore. Plus much to the chagrain of my Mum, the three boxes took up a lot of fridge space. My Mum was only too elated to see a box removed every morning.

The Packaging

Having said that, the whole package was just so pretty. (I can not stop repeating that word. You will also see a lot of it below too.) The shade of pink was just so endearing and feminine. The branded-on-all-sides rectangular box made me want to open it and examine the contents immediately.

With the order of boxes clearly labelled, I opened to find a silver cooler bag containing the juices with the oh-so-pretty A Juicery sticker enclosing the bag. At the side of the first box was a brown envelope containing three *pretty* cards and three bags of Clipper Camomile Tea bags. The double-sided cards contained pre and post-cleanse instructions, how-to guide for cleansing, how-to care for the juices, as well as detailed ingredients and purpose of each juice.

 With all these detailed care instructions, I felt secure and ready to get juicing!

Unwrapping the silver cooler bag, I was delighted to find all the bottle caps labelled in sequence. Awesome! I ain’t gonna get lost with the juices in my hazy-non-solid-food state. Plus the glass bottles were fad! Although heavy, they were sturdy. I filled them with hot herbal tea in between juices.

The Juices

Here are the eight flavours for the Fanatic Cleanse. Look! Even the cooling pack is embossed with the logo… **Pretty**

My quick review of the flavours:

Dr. Green Tonic – Oh yuck! The greens were deceptively strong. The flavours failed to compliment each other so this was least appetizing drink. It was also easy to forget apples and lemon were included. I had a tough time with this flavour.
Marmalade Skies – First-sip magic! The drink may be bright orange but tasted more pineapple than carrot. I was floating on a cloud of juicy happiness throughout this drink. Definitely my second favourite drink of all.
Smells like Green Spirit – The taste of fruits was strong and the coconut water aftertaste was incredible! My only complain for this drink: not enough!
Never Miss A Beet – You can’t have a juice cleanse without beetroot. It’s detoxifying power ensures at least one drink will be beet-based. A Juicery’s take is to complement the root vegetable with the surprising additions of Kai Lan, Pear and Pineapple. The result was beautiful. Who knew Beetroot and Pineapple go so well together?! I thoroughly enjoyed every sip of this drink. It also helped that the colour was a **pretty** purple. My favourite drink of all.
Evergreen Potion – Strong celery taste – this was an acquired one. I was surprised by the lack of aloe vera or orange flavours. Devoid of any sweetness, this drink felt super clean.
Lemon Drops – Spicy! A strong ginger taste hit me at first sip. This will no doubt pull you out of that dreaded afternoon slump. I kept going back for that “kick.”
Super G – Very green…
Coco Cloud - Hallelujah!

One of the biggest difference with A Juicery from the other companies is its use of Asian vegetables in their juices like Bak Choy, Sweet Potato Leaves, Kai Lan and Chye Sim. Usually western vegetables like Kale and Spinach will be commonly used. But A Juicery drinks were more fusion. Western and Asian vegetables were paired with largely positive results. Kudos to A Juicery for recognizing the similar benefits of Asian vegetables. The presence of these vegetables made a huge difference to the taste of the drinks. For one thing, they were stronger in flavour. This made the green juices taste outrageously green. Like if you want to be part of the #eatclean movement, these juices were made for you! I had no problem with them. I liked the grassy notes.

Compared to DJ, A Juicery’s juices were appreciatively less sweet. When one begins with DJ’s Barnie and Krypto, a sore throat would inevitably creep in from the sweetness. Not for A Juicery’s offerings. Hints of bitter notes were more discernible with their green juices. It was definitely refreshing! Even the perennial favourite nut drink at the end of every juice cleanse, Coco Cloud, was noticeably mild in sweetness. This was surprising as Coconut Sugar was listed as an ingredient but it was hard to recognize when drinking. The less sweet aspect meant the coconut meat was more distinct. At first sip, the “blandness” took a while to get used but the coconut aftertaste was addictive. I wanted more! 400ml was definitely not enough.

Another noticeable difference with A Juicery’s cleanse is the quantity. Eight 400ml juices works out to be bladder-bursting 3.2 litres of juice. On my first day, I could not finish more than five bottles. But this could be partly due to my unusually busy day. However at the end of the cleanse, there were five bottles left unfinished.

My Juice Cleanse Experience

On my first day, I cruised through the cleanse like a detox warrior! I was floating blissfully at work. With all the liquid, it was hard to get hungry. At the same time, in between the juices, I was downing water and green tea like no other. This only reiterated the point that our body needs a lot more water than we need.

At the end of the second day, I notice a brain fog settling in. I knew this fogginess. When my brain lacks fat, this will inevitably set in. My energy was also lower than my usual-hyper self. But I have to admit, this was great! I dealt with low moments at work with so much ease. I just keep smiling and floating on a blissful cloud of juices.

On the third day, I awoke to find the brain fog setting in more heavily. Even after two glasses of water, it would not go away. I had to pop in two iron supplements. My energy level increased measurably. Towards the end of the day, my energy remained constantly high. I did not even notice the end of the day. Even at the very next day, instead of waking up to usual post-cleanse-hungry-savage-self, I was calm and satisfied. Woah, what a remarkable difference!

Overall, I really enjoyed this cleanse experience with A Juicery. While the packaging and branding were heart-melting, it was the overall positive effect of my body during and post cleanse that I would return to the company for. Thanks Girls for the job well done!

A French-Asian Wedding Banquet @ Capella: WOW

Last night, my dear friend from way back in Secondary School got married at Capella Singapore in Sentosa. Her husband is Italian so it seemed natural for a fusion-course wedding banquet. Also needless to say, half of the ballroom were Italians. They sure were passionate! Days before the wedding, my friend asked us to choose between “Quail” and “Beef”. I went for Beef because her “money was on it” What a way to build up anticipation! During the banquet, she spoilt us all with a scrumptious 7-course French-asian fusion wedding banquet. Us guests were blown away with everything. To top it off the band, 53A, played us upbeat music that got us dancing for hours. It was a fantastic evening!

The table setting. 

We began with a bread basket containing a surprising wide assortment carbohydrates. We couldn’t get enough of the bread sticks and crisps.

Our first course was an extremely fresh and light Hamachi Carpaccio with Asian Slaw and Sesame Ginger Dressing. Thinly sliced Hamachi with a light dressing – perfect start to the huge dinner.

IMG_8070-0

Next up was a rich Potato and Leek Soup with Truffle. As the soup bowl lid was lifted, a burst of truffle hit us in the face. You will either love or hate this dish. This turned out to my least favourite dish of the evening. I could not get on board with the textureless thin soup. Although savalged by the generous truffle bits.

IMG_8073

Next up was a superb Oven-baked Soy-Glazed Cod with Braised Daikon Raddish, Hon-Shimeji and Bonito Sauce. It still hurts whenver I recalled I did not finish this dish. But there were a lot of courses including a supposedly-epic Beef course so holding back was the way forward.

Refreshing palate-cleanser Mango Sorbet to prepare us for the meat course… (Excuse the blue photo from the spotlight)


Finally, the mind-blowing Pot-Braised Beef Short-Ribs Ala Bourguignon with Carrots, Caramelised Figs, Roasted Yam and Mushrooms. Fork-tender beef in a heavenly thick sweet-savoury sauce. The Bride was right, this dish was perfect in every aspect. Everyone raved about this dish. It was rude not to finish the perfectly-braised beef despite our stuffed bellies!

My friend’s stuffed Quail Roasted Papeton of Quail Stuffed with Potatoes Parmentier with Green Vegetables and Natural Poultry Jus looked good too.

For dessert, we were served a Pandan Creme Brulee with Lychee Sorbet and Coconut Tuile. The addictive strong pandan flavour paired with a crisp tuile with shredded coconut bits – so good!

To end it off the night, an assortment of Petit Fours comprising of Shortbread biscuit coins, mini Dark Chocolate Tart, Fruit Pastilles, and Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle. It was wayyy tooo much.

IMG_8097

With amazing Italian Red Wine, we danced our heart’s out into the early morning. :)

Chocolat N Spice’s Hummingbird and Pistachio Lover Cake – The Happiest Valentine’s Day to You All!

IMG_7560

My first and best discovery yet of 2015, Chocolat N Spice, this morning once again surprised me with a cake still rarely found in Singapore and at an unbelievable price point. A Hummingbird Cake was the last cake on earth I expected to find at a hawker stall/ bakery in Shunfu Market. At $5 a slice or $40 for the whole cake, the discovery made my morning!

IMG_7561

Less popular than its cousin, Red Velvet, this U.S. Southern classic consists of a banana cake fused with coconut and chunks of pineapple paired with cream cheese frosting. Wonderfully tropical and light, it’s one of my favorites that I have baked many atimes and converted many to the flavour at the same time. So far in Singapore I can only think of one other place that serves up this flavour: Cake Spade in Tanjong Pagar. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I saw this huge cake bordered with crushed walnuts priced at $5 a slice. I had to get it! Even if it meant after a huge plates of noodles and an embarrassing amount of deep-fried accompaniments.

On first bite we all squealed out “so fresh!” It really was. The clean crisp moist texture and flavours were unmistakable. Replacing the cream cheese frosting with a cost-saving airy-whipped cinnamon buttercream, thinly spread around the sponge cake and in between three layers. This could not have been more appreciated especially by my 1.5 years old nephew who would not stop picking at it. Generous chunks of pineapple found throughout and crunchy walnuts perfectly contrasted the banana sponge cake and buttercream.

Yet another wonderful find. But wait there is more. Look what I got for lunch from the same stall?!

IMG_7562

A slice of Pistachio Lover y’all! Because it’s Valentine’s Day and this singleton needs a lover. Chocolat N Spice certainly hit a pistachio-home-run with three layers of pistachio sponge interspersed with chunks of the same nut to provide texture. To bring home the message that this was a pistachio cake, a beautiful green and thin pistachio buttercream and the best part of it all: salty pistachio crumble bordering the entire cake.

IMG_7569

If you can finish this mammoth slice, be prepared for a pistachio-coma to hit you swiftly. I did and am now deeply worried for myself. I have better advise my parents to eschew this hawker centre for breakfast here on now if I want to save my waistline!

Before signing off, I wish you the happiest and most loving Valentine’s Day ever! <3

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck @ Asia Square Tower: Raffles Place’s Gemstone

It must have been awhile since I dined in a fine-dining Chinese restaurant because there seems to be a particular dining procedure that will not sit well with hungry diners. Dishes will ONLY be served when ALL guests are seated. Satiate yourself with the candied sesame walnuts in the meantime. If Peking Duck has been ordered, the shiny crispy skin with pancakes will be served and enjoyed first as an appetizer. Thereafter the mains. Please bear in mind the duck needs time to be prepared. So the procedure last night went like this: 7pm – enter and sit down at the restaurant. 7:10pm – put down order. 7:50pm – last dining companion arrives, waitress promptly asked if dishes can be served? 7:58pm – hears tummy growling, looks at watch, asks for dishes to be served. Informed that Peking Duck takes time to be prepared and the rest will be served after the pancakes. Asks for others to be served at the same time, receive bewildered and ridiculous-request look. 8+ – dishes start flowing in… 

Of course, if you are pressed for time and waited a full hour for your food, you could always chase them to serve everything together. Peking pancakes and all. There might have been slight suffering but when the food arrived, we swiftly surrended to its goodness.   

Tucked in a corner of Asia Square Tower’s food court, Food Garden, Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck’s offerings make it a gemstone in Raffles Place. Every dish was sublime: exquisite and supremely tasty. I am in awe. It was not my first Imperial Treasure Peking Duck experience but I do not remember the Paragon branch being as good as the dinner we had in Asia Square. If not for the wallet-busting $52 per pax bill last night, I reckon I will be a regular.

Here’s what we had last night. 

The star of the evening but not the best dish because every other was equally as good! Beijing Style/ Peking Duck Pancakes.

First up was the shiny crisp skin.

IMG_7532

Then large pieces of the roasted fatty skin with some meat… Dunk it with the addictive thick sweet sauce provided and be prepared to swoon.

IMG_7541

You will be asked how the roasted duck meat itself was to be prepared: we chose stir-fried black pepper with onions. You could request to be fried with carbohydrates too. Each chunk of duck meat was coated with a thick uber-peppery sauce. Perfect.

IMG_7542

Double Roasted Meat Combination: Roast Pork Belly and Char Siew. Dunk the roast pork belly in the yellow mustard provided – heavenly. Both meat were equally juicy and every bite a joy. I was popping in those cubes of pork belly like popcorn.

IMG_7528

This golden Salted Egg Yolk Squid rendered us speechless. Large pieces of snappy squid and not the least bit overcooked. Swathed in a thick salted egg yolk batter, such deep-fried goodness should be declared illegal!

IMG_7530

Three individual portions of Steamed Egg White & Mixed Mushroom with Crab Meat were shared between the six of us. A surprisingly truffle taste hit us immediately beckoning the truffle-lover diners to squeal with joy.

IMG_7531

I never knew Braised Beancurd with Mushroom & Oyster Sauce could be executed so well. Imperial Treasure definitely blew us away! Those were some silky smooth beancurd. 

IMG_7544

For dessert: little dainty bowls of Sweetened Walnut Cream and Mango Sago with Pomelo. I am so embarrassed to admit that I have never had Chinese nut soup before. On first bite, the rich nuttiness tasted exactly like melted Skippy Peanut Butter. It was revelating and so so hard to stop at a scoop. Is it possible to fall in love with Peanut Butter again?! Yes because I sure did last night!

IMG_7545

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck at Asia Square is now ranked high on my list of “special places” in my heart. Unfortunately during this festive season, Dim Sum will not be served in the afternoons. Opportunity to savour their baked pork pastry shall have to be delayed until next month. Boo. :(

Gallery

Safari Zoo Run 12km Recap: Fuss-free Race With Unexpected Tough Terrain


First race of 2015 and the event was in memory of an orangutan. LOL This race could not have a better start to the year as I absolutely loved this race! I only decided to run this race at 12pm that day as someone provided me with a bib. Thank goodness I ran. I really needed this race for motivation. Not racing for a full month, it can be so easy to lose momentum.

The Safari Zoo Run was a well-organized and fuss-free event. I turned up an hour before to park my car at the Zoo car park (super pricey rates but there was a free car park a distance away. One would need to catch a shuttle bus in). Ample hydration stations were provided with one just at the start pen well-stocked with cups of water and isotonic water when I got there. Along the race route, there were many hydration stations too. Drinks were always fridge-cold.

IMG_7485

And many portable loos. Line-less loos is such a rare sight at races.

IMG_7484

The Zoo was also wonderfully supportive of us runners. We were given priority to cross at pedestrian paths. If there were any worries about running alongside tourists in the Singapore Zoo, it was unnecessary. The Zoo has wide footpaths! I never noticed this before and now I am so appreciative of this. If anything, it was the walkers from the race that were a bit irritating (dear racers, please only walk on the LEFT).

IMG_7487

The race route began promptly at 4pm. We began running into the Night Safari then the Singapore Zoo and repeated the loop again. There were plentiful cute animals for most part of the race with the rangers deliberately bringing “them” forward for us to admire and wave. At first the unmistakable animal poop smell was disconcerting but once one got into the “zone”, the smell was easily ignorable. The terrain was surprisingly hill-y with small slopes dotted around the route. I was not expecting this at all. My calves definitely got some work done.

IMG_7489

The 4pm start made for a wonderful prep for the Brooks Marina Run HM next Saturday (which begins at 7.30pm.) Afternoon races are definitely tougher than 5am ones. It was hard to spend the first half of the day resting and trying not to move around much. For 5am races, one could guarantee and ensure for eight hours prior, legs would be lying on the bed. With afternoon races, it is so easy to get caught up with running errands beforehand. When the race began, I swear my legs were already feeling heavy-footed. With the blazing 4pm Sun, it was a tough run. It took me a while to settle in. Thank goodness for the ample hydration stations. At the 9km mark, I could feel the tiredness setting in but thank goodness I did not caved in to walking. I jogged slowly until the 11km mark and just blitz to the end. *phew*

IMG_7490

I finished the race in 1 hours 5 mins at a pace of 5’51″/km. Even though I surprised myself with a relatively fast timing, I was still disappointed with the run. I felt weak throughout. And hefty too. At every step I regretted the 2kg weight gain since work began. I was berating myself for the greediness and at the end, resolved to lose the weight if I wanted to become a stronger runner.

IMG_7491

After the run and two bottles of water later, I went for a salad buffet with my parents. All for dieting…

IMG_7501

The Safari Zoo Run was such a good race. Thank you organizers and the Zoo for the scenic run and uber cute Finisher Medal with an attractive lanyard. Can’t wait for more races in 2015!

Wingstop A No-Show, Tip Top To The Rescue and First-Bite Magic From Edith Patisserie

Last night was another edition of my firm’s fortnightly Associates’ Gathering! My colleagues were missing Fried Chicken so I had Wingstop all planned out. Four days before, a fairly large order on Foodpanda was placed and unlike my first time, I selected the Cash on Delivery option. Guess what? At 6pm, the star of the evening was a no-show! After a panic call to Foodpanda, I was informed my order was missed… Bleh. So I ran down to the basement of One Raffles Place and grabbed whatever fried food was available from Tip Top. Unbelievably at 6 plus in the evening, the display shelf was remarkably full. *phew* When I ran back up to my office with four boxes of fried grub (gosh, I will never forget the smell of overused oil…), guess what? Foodpanda called to say my Wingstop order was on the way… No, thank you. FYI, Chicken Up is now available on Foodpanda. Woopee to another fried chicken choice!

The savoury side may have been a letdown but the same cannot be said for the dessert from Edith Patisserie. At the risk of sound boastful, first LOOK at this cake…

IMG_7385

Salted Caramel Popcorn Cake: Vanilla Sponge, bittersweet salted caramel, salted caramel buttercream topped with Garett’s CaramelCrisp Popcorn.

You got to admit, I knocked my ordering-street-cred out of the ballpark AGAIN!

Check out the neat layers and don’t get me started on the divine whipped buttercream…

IMG_7387

However first-bite magic came from the Mini Creme Brulee Eclairs: Mini eclair filled with toasted custard filling, topped with crunchy caramel. The slab of crunchy caramel providing contrasting texture to the softly-whipped filling made all the difference in the world. I first ordered this in November last year together with the Chocolate flavour but this flavour registered deeply in me so a return order was essential!

IMG_7380

How good were the eclairs? Last night, I did not see a single person who first bit into it and not declare how good it was.

And finally 16 mini assorted tarts because my dictionary only contains the word “VARIETY”. The Fresh Mango Passionfruit and the Chocolate Salted Caramel were heartbreakers.

IMG_7378

Altogether my order from Edith Patisserie including delivery to the CBD area cost $140. And I am now stalking their website and Instagram account planning my next order…

Before I end off, here is another picture of the cake to drool over…

IMG_7382

It’s Friday, guys! Hope you all have many delicious meals planned. Can’t wait to update you all on mine on Monday. :)

Jing Hua Xiao Chi @ Palais Renaissance: The Classics Still SO Good!

2015/01/img_7332.jpg

Jing Hua Restaurant has been around for 26 years(!) and specializes in variations of Chinese Dumplings and an uncommonly-seen Chinese Pizza. A deep-fried Pastry in the shape of a pizza and stuffed with minced pork and chives – which were effectively fillings of the dumplings. It was also the first place when I tried and swiftly fell in love with Crispy Red Bean Pancake.

I have not been to Jing Hua in the longest time. On my last trip to the main-Neil Road branch years back, right after it went through a makeover, I found the dumplings a little lacklustre and uninspirational. Fast forward to the past Sunday afternoon, my family hit up the Palais Reinanssance branch and I am DELIGHTED to tell you all that their famed dumplings were BETTER THAN EVER.

That afternoon we ordered our collective weight’s worth of food as our love for Chinese dumplings were reinforced and strong! Not every dish on the menu was excellent but the stalwarts were stellar: Pan Fried Mixed Seafood & Pork Dumplings 三鲜锅贴 (addictive little nuggets. It was hard to stop at one or three!), Chinese Pizza 三鲜盒子 (solid pastry), and Mixed Seafood & Pork Dumplings 三鲜饺子 (healthier steamed dumplings but STUFFED with meat and so delectable). My one true love, Crispy Red Bean Pancake, went straight to my heart with the generous thick and sweet red bean paste contained by a doughy fried pancake.

2015/01/img_7341.jpg

2015/01/img_7351.jpg

2015/01/img_7345.jpg

2015/01/img_7348.jpg

2015/01/img_7356.jpg

They were in short, quite splendid.

New dishes (I never saw in the Neil Road branch pre-makover): long sticks of minced pork and green bean-stuff Fried Spring Rolls will see us return for more. Crispy Mixed Seafood & Pork Dumplings 三鲜饺子, fried version of the Mixed Seafood & Pork Dumplings 三鲜饺子 was equally as appetizing. Especially when the hot pork-broth bursts out when bit into. The little Rice Dumplings Balls filled with an assortment of Red Bean, Peanut and Sesame, made most of us happy campers.

2015/01/img_7334.jpg

2015/01/img_7337.jpg

2015/01/img_7354.jpg

2015/01/img_7350.jpg

There were some dishes we definitely won’t be ordering again: Noodle with Minced Pork & Soya Bean Sauce 炸酱面, Noodle with Sliced Pork & Sichuan Vegetable 搾菜肉丝面, and Green Vegetables. Them three were terribly under-seasoned and lacked “oomph”; we collectively agreed these dishes could be better. If I had to douse the noodles with the complimentary black vinegar, there is no point isn’t it? Still this ONLY meant the next time, we will skip them and have more room for the sublime stalwarts.

2015/01/img_7339.jpg

2015/01/img_7340.jpg

One of the best part of the Palais branch is the modern and fine decor. Located in Orchard Road but surprisingly quiet on a Sunday afternoon, I foresee being loads of visiting-friends to Jing Hua. It makes for the perfect respite from the hear outside and delicious grub, yeah can’t wait to plan my return trip!

2015/01/img_7330.jpg

2015/01/img_7329.jpg

And that Crispy Lotus Seed Pancake is next on my Jing Hua-bucket list! :)

2015/01/img_7333.jpg