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What I will miss in Singapore



This is a sequel to 'How's life in Sweden?' 之(aka) Singapore VS Sweden.

Having lived in Singapore for 22 years of life, the neither short nor long 3 months stay in Sweden was sufficient to let me compare the 2 countries, this time on a surface level. Being back in Singapore makes me clearly realise the things I will miss here when I go back to Sweden. And the list of things are as follows:

① VALUE DOLLAR SHOPS

Nope, there are no value dollar shops in Sweden and who wouldn't miss being able to save a few dollars. No '3 for SGD $1.20' toothbrushes, no cheap snacks & canned/bottled drinks, no cheap and good baby/wet wipes, sanitary pads (haha!), stationeries etc. I will miss Daiso too :(

② TEN DOLLAR KTV @ ARANDA COUNTRY CLUB

They don't even have karaoke places (with individual rooms) in the town I would be living in! Not to mention the cheap weekday 2-7pm SGD $11 ktv ($8 if you're a student!) and living the night life singing from 7pm-12am at less than SGD $20. I will miss singing my lungs out the mandarin and english songs like a madwoman with my mad friends! Even if they do have karaoke places, I'm pretty sure there won't be mandarin songs. Boohoo :'(

③ NIGHTLIFE

I like that I can meet my friends in the evening here and chill till late and there would still be places for us to hang around for food, drinks, snacks, supper. Shops, restaurants and malls in Sweden mostly close at around 5-6pm, so there is no nightlife at all other than a few pubs? Sometimes, you just enjoy an impromptu supper and catch up at some coffeeshops, not overpriced drinks and food. Cabs here are also much more affordable if you were to miss your last bus/train back home (which also operates till pretty late here compared to Sweden).

④ WATERPLAY WITH HANSEL

Yes, there are other activities that you can do in Sweden that you can't in Singapore when there is snow. But almost all year round, the weather is cold and you cannot really go swimming/play with water outdoors. And yes, there is an indoor water park/swimming pool in the town we'll be living in but imagine paying what you would have to pay for Adventure Cove (SGD $26 - $36) to enter each time you just want to go play with water. 

There are so many free/cheap water playgrounds in Singapore; Vivocity Skypark, The 3 House, Tampines 1 Wildlife-themed Playground, just to name a few. The whole list of free water playgrounds in Singapore are here

Also, the swimming complexes (Jurong & Sengkang) which are almost as big as and comparable to water theme parks like 'Wild Wild Wet' and the one-time entry fee is very minimal at SGD $0.80 for kids and SGD $1.50 for adults. Just mentioning these makes me feel so sad... especially when Hansel loves to play with water.

⑤ CHEAP(ER)/MIDNIGHT MOVIES

Now that Cathay Cineplex has banished all deals (PAssion, nEbO, NTUC etc.) for their movie tickets, it is not really cheap anymore but still cheaper than that of Sweden's cineplex. It costs SGD $18-$19 for 1 ticket there. I am not really sure but yet pretty sure that they don't have midnight showtimes as well. Who wouldn't love a midnight show once in a while?

⑥ GROUPON/DEAL.COM.SG

No more deals on products and beauty services! I always get my hair coloring, hair treatment and haircut deals from there. It is super worth it for me especially when I get deals that does not have limits on hair lengths, because I would probably have to pay $300 for the length of my hair if there were no deals. My husband always get restaurants/ice cream/yogurt deals and it would usually save us 50%! Le sigh.

⑦ TAOBAO SHOPPING

There won't be any shipping agents to help ship from China to Sweden like we do have here at an affordable rate. I have joined this Facebook group 'Taobao for Those Who Dunno How' and I see the members always getting a lot of good and cheap stuff on there. You just need to know how to source for them and to look through the reviews. From home appliances to smart robot vacuum/mop to children's toys. And I can't shop on there anymore in Sweden :(

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...


⑧ THE REVAMPED WHITE SANDS SHOPPING MALL!


Honestly speaking, there really wasn't much to do or eat in the old White Sands Shopping Mall. Even my husband was complaining and often go all the way to Tampines from Pasir Ris just to have a meal. And just when we are moving to Sweden, they decided to add so many awesome restaurants and cafes! Talk about timing...

Here are the latest additions to the mall that would hype you up:

Singaporeans love to hear the word 'free' so following are the 'free's first...

Free rental of strollers (omg thank God for this, I won't have to bring a stroller with a baby up and down the bus whenever I want to just go to White Sands), free rental of shopping trolleys (not the NTUC one of course), free full day parking* & exclusive White Sands umbrella^ when you spend a minimum of $30 at White Sands (*limited to first 150 redemptions daily, ^one redemption per shopper per day, while stocks last.)


Then, we have the...
Soup Spoon Union!
(The Salad Fork, The Grill Knife & The Soup Spoon; the first 2 being exclusively available only in the new White Sands Shopping Mall outlet)

My husband loves The Soup Spoon Union so we always went to the outlet at Raffles City just to have some of it. Now that there is one in White Sands, we won't have to travel there! But... it's too late for us :(

In fact, my husband and I went there to have a meal just 1 day before my White Sands Resident Blogger briefing & food tasting that was held there. It was so worth it especially with my NTUC card. There is a 10% discount for NTUC members. The both of us were so full up (and my husband RARELY feels full) with leftovers and the meal costed us only SGD $28.

On the day of the briefing & food tasting, I got to try a lot of their menu and off-menu limited items and they were ALL so delicious! No joke, they all tasted soooo damn good. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so here are the pictures I took of the food I had. P.S. My husband was so jelly!


First up were The Soup Spoon's off-menu Souper Inspiration soups that will have a different theme from time to time. These soups were Aussie inspired. Pictured below are B.F.F Stew (Beets, Fennel & Feta Cheese), Home-style Cock-a-Doodle Soup & Aussie Barramundi Chowder with Dill from top to bottom.

They will only be available till 8th of July so you'll probably miss it but don't worry, there'll be new Souper Inspirations so do keep a lookout for the special menu and all their soups taste pretty amazing anyway!



Right below is from The Grill Knife, featuring their Grilled Chicken with their House Sauce and Soupergrain Quinoa Cauliflower Rice and it costs SGD $8.80 only!

It was the first time I tried cauliflower rice and it has this crunchy texture that I like. My first time and definitely not my last! The chicken, needless to say, as long as you love chicken, you'll love this.





This, below, is also from The Grill Knife, their Flank Steak Combo with New Zealand Grass-Fed Beef, Sausage and Pasta in Japanese Curry sauce, priced reasonably at SGD $16.80. 

My verdict, long story short, value for money. You can never find such high quality beef steak at this reasonable price. If you don't like sausages, you can also choose to have chicken thigh/breast or pork cutlet instead.




Beauty below from The Grill Knife as well, Salmon Combo with Salmon Fillet, Portobello Mushroom, Mixed Green Salad and their house sauce at SGD $18.80. 

The salmon grilled almost to perfection and the portobello mushroom has this aromatic taste to it. I never really liked mushroom, but this mushroom... yes please.




And the last is from The Salad Fork. Also my favourite! There are mesclun mix being the base, sweet corn, edamame beans & cherry tomatoes for the 3 fiber, herbed chicken breast as the protein, sweet potato as the carb and caesar as the dressing. 

It was out of this world, I have never tasted salad that good, seriously!!! Just writing about this makes me feel like having it again! This combo costs $8.80. You can also choose to have it in a wrap which will cost just a dollar more.




After The Soup Spoon Union, we went to Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe. I thought it was just for desserts but I was so wrong... Look at what else we got to eat almost immediately after we had the food above...




Chicken wings, peanut butter thick toast, siew mai, har kow, mango and pomelo cream with ice cream, black sesame cream with peanut glutinous balls, and milk tea! 

Cross my heart, I loved all of them! My husband has tried the peanut butter thick toast, chicken wings and he liked them a lot too, exclaiming that he has never had such good peanut butter in Singapore before haha!



I have also tried their Xin Wang Special Yuen Yang Snow Ice with Grass Jelly. It's their signature dessert @ only SGD $6.90, same price as the Mango & Pomelo Cream with Ice Cream.


That's the end of the food tasting session. Enough to make you drool, maybe? I shall be kind and stop the food pictures here in case you get a drool flood haha!

Other than those 2 restaurants, I am also looking forward to Starbucks, Cedele Bakery Cafe, Ritz Apple Strudel & Pastry, Gelare, Gong Cha, Kiddy Palace, Sasa, Owndays and the new Public Library! I always had to go to Tampines for their Starbucks, Kiddy Palace and Sasa!

Speaking of the library, they are expanding it upwards, making it a 2 level library! The upper level will be for workshops and activities.

From now till 28th of July 2015, there is also a $1 weekday special going on at Cookhouse by Koufu. There are different promotion food items from different stalls every 2 days and it is available only from 2-5pm for the first 200 customers. CHEAP! Ok, I am so going for the Pepper Lunch Express on the 15th & 16th July heh heh!





The White Sands Management are really going all out for the promotion of their new leisure mall. They even have an outdoor carnival coming up on the 19th and 20th of September. There will be a Carboot Sale, Flea Market, performances, and movie drive-in.

You can be the seller (you can rent the carboot sale space or flea market booth space) or the buyer (just be present at the carnival), the performer (you can register to perform and the stage is yours for FREE) or the audience (for the performances and the movie drive-in).




For more information on the registration for carboot sale, flea market, and performance slots, check out their website here.

I sure am going to miss (both meanings if you get what I mean) the new awesome White Sands Leisure Mall...

Special thanks to White Sands Management team for the exclusive invite and warm host!

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