Recce: Chye Seng Huat Hardware for Coffee & Brunch

Hubby heard from friends that there was (yet another) cafe joint open, this time in the Jalan Besar area. So, being as that we are routinely deprived of good coffee on the east, we made our way there at 12pm a few Sundays ago, just a tad worried that it’d be packed.

We were relieved to find a table, and although business was brisk – the cafe was lively and loud – it wasn’t absolute, hyped-up mayhem (thank goodness!). These days all the fancy schmancy artisanal coffee places charge around $5 for an espresso-based drink, and CHSS was no different. The light savoury fare was priced decently though (starting from $8 for an omelette), and i got a nice sandwich, kettle chips, and salad plate for around $12. Not too shabby.

It was a great place, and i especially liked the site, which was converted from an old hardware shop, with a cool metal gated entrance (turned to al fresco dining) and all. I heard there’s another (!!!) place that just opened near us in Katong, called Penny University. Must check that out soon.

p.s. i learnt this ‘recce’ word from sis-in-law… apparently it stands for ‘reconnaissance’ in Singapore, or ‘recon’ for all you North Americans. Pronounce it like rec-key.

A Visit to Marina Barrage + Gardens by the Bay at Night

My niece and nephew wanted to go on an outing, so i cautiously ventured out with the little monsters & their mum. Marina Barrage is a dam built at the confluence of 5 rivers, and serves as a freshwater reservoir for water-strapped Singapore, as flood control, and as a recreation area popular for flying huge huge kites. There was also a gallery on-site to educate on environmental sustainability through multimedia displays and installations, such as the one done up with plastic bottles below.

The gallery itself wasn’t very big (only 6 exhibits) but i think the kids enjoyed the interactive bits, including the room-sized model showing how the dam would operate under high and low tide scenarios, with fake rain pouring from the ceiling and all.

There was also a small water park just outside, so the kids got into their swimsuits and played for a bit. Luckily, the tourists who were attacked by water sprays from these little monsters were good-natured about it.

Our next destination was Gardens by the Bay, which had looked incredibly crowded to me every time we drove by on the freeway. It was pretty Instagram’ed out too, if my Facebook feed was at all representative. But anyhow, we were there to catch the supertrees after dusk, and to enjoy our chicken rice dinner picnic on the park grounds. We weren’t sure if setting up a picnic was allowed, but a park employee auntie came by to chat up the kids, and didn’t kick us out = all systems go. Since we were there on a super cheapy trip we didn’t pay the fee to go up to the skyway ($5) or to enter the Cloud Forest or Flower Dome buildings ($20 if you’re Singaporean and $28 otherwise). But, why wouldn’t i just go to the treetop walk at MacRitchie, which is in a real rain forest and free? I don’t get it… 

Of course, i was still bitten to death by mosquitoes, because even if we can terraform and plasticize everything into synthetic utopia, we’d still never be able to get rid of pests =P