Are you a blogger like myself?

People always ask me what is it about blogging that I love so much? I don't have a lot of time on my hands to blog as frequently as before due to my studies, I absolutely abhor having to deal with the internal politics that goes on in this small industry and I secretly detest having to put on makeup when I go for events but have to because I sort of have an image to portray :X.

The love of sharing, the experiences and the friendships made. These are what gave me the courage to continue and face whatever the challenges are ahead. I don't always meet up with my friends, but thanks to blogs, we can catch up with each other's lives through our little rant spaces. The satisfactions from readers all over the world, leaving comments and emails on how helpful my posts were to them made me want to work even harder. The khakis I attend events with almost every week, I am thankful to know of their existence and I love their company. The sponsors who are like my friends, always spoiling me. Wouldn't have crossed paths with them if it wasn't for blogging!

This blogging route of mine has opened up many paths of opportunities for me. I've since improved myself by joining competitions, got lovingly pampered by my sponsors, as well as attended all sorts of media events I've never imagined myself being invited to. I’ve decided to study Media partly also because of the built up interests blogging gave me. I could go on and on with the gazillion number of stories, in which some bits and pieces you could find on this blog.

Do you have your own blogging story too? Also thanks to blogging, I am now managed and groomed by The Influencer Network as one of their Celebrity Bloggers. This means more paid advertorial jobs for me! Paying bloggers are so underrated; your spaces are worth money people!

The Influencer Network is currently holding “I Love Being A Blogger” blogging contest!


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I've been dying to check out the BreadTalk IHQ since I pass by quite frequently. You can find all of BreadTalk's flagship Food & Beverages under 1 roof! Finally I found the chance to visit the place because RamenPlay recently unveiled it's new a la carte menu.

You'll find that every outlet of the casual Japanese dining establishment delivers a different concept. They are characterised with different lightings and furnishings, creating an intimate yet inviting vibe. I frequent the one at Serangoon NEX, but prefer the interior at IHQ. The gorgeously-lit lanterns and traditional Japanese ambiance alone is enough to lure me in to admire!

If you've visited any of the branches recently, you'll realise that RamenPlay is no longer just about their quality ramen anymore. Constantly pushing the envelope to create new dishes that showcases the chefs' versatility in Japanese cuisine, you'll definitely fall in love with RamenPlay's latest offerings - wholesome Donburi (rice bowl) Sets!

Though inventive, RamenPlay never forgets about retaining the classic Japanese flavours. The new Donburi Set section encompasses five hearty and affordable donburi sets that will leave you craving for more.

Premium Koshihikari rice from Niigata prefecture are the secret to the new yummy donburi dishes. FYI, the rice are considered to be of highest quality in Japan, known for its distinctive flavour and sticky texture. You can purchase these bags of premium rice pearls at all of their outlets!

There's a promotion going on! Purchase a bag of 2kg rice at $16.80* (U.P. $28) and enjoy a 40% saving of $11.20.
*Prices stated are not inclusive of GST.

The new donburi sets are available for lunch and dinner at $12.80, subjected to prevailing GST, and where applicable, 10% service charge. You'll be shouting "TAKE ALL MY MONEY!" because the Donburi Sets are so value-for-money! Not just the rice bowl, but it comes with side dishes as well.

You'll love the sunny-yellow steamed egg and chicken lying atop a bed of Koshihikari rice on your Tori Momo Don Set. Served with Agedashi Tofu and Miso Soup, what added to the flavour was the special shoyu sauce! I love burst of flavours, so imagine my happiness when the egg was runny and sticked to the rice well. Chicken was tender and chewable, and I have to say that the sauce really completes the dish.

Pan-fried and seasoned with the all-time favourite Teriyaki sauce, you'll find the chicken thigh on the Teriyaki Chicken Don Set supremely tender. What I particularly love was the sprinkle of crisp seaweed at the top. You'll also find Agedashi Tofu and Miso Soup at the side as well! You can't really go wrong with teriyaki, can you? I must add that the sides were better than expected. Not the obviously low-grade ones you find at Kopitiams.

The Cha Shu Don Set has got to be one of my favourites out of the 5 new sets! It is topped with teriyaki marinated diced pork loin. But what steals the crown is the slow-cooked and oozing onsen egg! Mix all of them well for flavour burst in your mouth. I think it is perfect for the kids! This set is served with Miso Soup and Mini Salad at the side.

The mini salad is tossed in Japanese sesame dressing, with extra crunch coming from the unique red Tosaka seaweed! It is known for its vibrant colour and nutritious benefits.

Layered on the top are thinly-sliced grilled pork glazed with RamenPlay's special sauce, the Pork Yakiniku Don Set is a classic example of a simple yet memorable dish. You'll find an onsen egg in this dish as well! Mix it all together; you'll be back for your new favourite comfort food. It is also served with Miso Soup and Mini Salad.

If there's rice, there's bound to be curry in a Japanese menu! You have a choice of either the winning trinity of breaded pork or chicken cutlet for the Pork/Chicken Katsu Curry Don Set, lathered on top of vegetable curry gravy. Even though the meat is fried, it wasn't overly greasy at all. You know how some fried dishes are so oily, it's like you might as well just drink oil? Yeah, you don't find it here. In fact, what you will taste is indeed the juices coming from the meat!

The curry is not spicy at all, I can forsee my little brother (who hasn't tried the dishes yet) loving this dish already. It is served with the refreshing Mini Salad.

What could be better than sweet endings after a hearty and filling meal? Also new on the menu, the Chilled Shiratama Zenzai ($4.80) features a comforting combination of chewy glutinous rice balls complemented with chunky Azuki bean paste. Served chilled, the light drizzle of sweet Kuromitsu sauce (brown sugar syrup) was what nailed my foodgasm spot.

Life is bittersweet, as reflected on the all-new Warabi Matcha Mochi Ice Cream ($4.80). This standout dessert compromises of the Vanilla ice cream, azuki beans and matcha kochi cubes which are served warm upon ordering. Sweet and chewy, I find no reason why anyone would not love this dessert!

Other than the new offerings, here are the all time favourites that you might be interested to check out as well.

For a icy thirst-quenchers, the bubbly Super Yuzu drink is a 'super' for you! The citrus fruit is imported from Japan. Get this if you want a refreshing sweet zing!

The handmade Yaki Gyoza ($3.60 for 3pcs / $5.80 for 5 pcs) are meat dumplings plumped with pork fillings, then encased in a thin wanton skin. Deliciously crisp on the outside yet tantalisingly moist within, it is skilfully pan-fried. You can polish off the delicately-wrapped dumplings with the accompanying house dip of shoyu and chilli sauce.

New-found favourite of mine, the Crispy Dango ($3.60 for 3 pcs) is worth a try. It looks like takoyaki at first, but these are actually deep-fried juicy chicken meatballs. They are slathered with a winning combination of mayonnaise and plum sauce, kidnapping my heart one bite at a time.

Uniquely Japanese style, the Butariki Ishinabe ($13.80) is served in a heated stone pot rice bowl. This is to ensure that it is enjoyed at the optimum temperature. This signature dish boasts both pan-fried and barbecued pork, spring onions, seaweed, raw egg and drizzle of RamenPlay's addictive secret sauce.

Warning: it can be pretty hot indeed. Be prepared to get blown away when you mix it well with the pearly Koshihikari rice.

House special Sanpou Tonkotsu Ramen ($16.80) consists of the springy noodles steeped in RamenPlay's traditional rich pork bone-based broth, piled with three different braised pork cuts. They are namely the pork jowl, pork belly in special sauce, and pork belly in Japanese Cha Shu sauce. It is accompanied by preserved bamboo shoots, a dash of spring onions, and half a braised egg with a runny centre that we all love!


To be very honest, I went to RamenPlay without expecting much. I'd tried their food when they first launched, but only found it to be so-so. However, many years later the taste and quality showed a drastic improvement for sure! Especially the rice, my family devoured the entire bag I brought home. Taste the difference for yourself!

RamenPlay @ Breadtalk IHQ
30 Tai Seng Street #01-03
Singapore 534013
Tel: 6444 5516
Opens 11am-10pm daily
I've been garnering interest with no-bake recipes after my successful attempt with the Blueberry Cheesecake. They are quick and easy to do, plus they taste not too bad as well. It just so happened that I managed to stumble upon another box of mix shortly after - the Jell-O Oreo!

The pre-prepared ingredients could be found inside the box, as like any other mixes. What I appreciated more about the Jell-O Oreo is that the steps are labelled on the packets! I didn't have to fumble over which ingredient is which.

Inside, you'll find 3 different packets of items. They are the crust mix made from Oreo cookie crumbs, the filling mix, as well as Oreo cookie pieces. You'll need to purchase butter and milk separately.

RECIPE

1) First, I poured the crust mix into a bowl. Then, using 4 tablespoons of melted butter, I mixed them all up together! Make sure crumbs are evenly moistened.

2) Next, pour the filling mix into another bigger bowl and add 1-1/3 cups of cold milk. It is said that for best flavour, do not use non-fat dry milk. Also, filling will have a soft set if it's made with soy milk.

I'm supposed to beat with mixer on low speed 30 sec, then beat on medium speed 3 min. However, I do not have a beater! Alternatively, I used a spoon instead.

3) Reserve 1/2 cup of the Oreo cookie pieces and pour the remaining into the filling mix. Gently stir until well blended.

4) Now it's time to give it it's shape! Add the crust first before the filling into an empty container, or whatever you're using to serve this dessert.

Top it off with the reserved Oreo cookie pieces, refrigerate it for an hour, and it's good to go! If you'd like a crunchier topping, you can sprinkle the cookies before serving instead.

Ta-dah~  End product!

I made the cake for a friend's birthday, thus I was extremely cautious as I wanted it to taste good. But seriously, my worries were unnecessary. What could go wrong with Oreos!? It turned out rather well, though the crust was rather powdery. I'll probably need to add more butter for it to stick together better.

If you've found any other similar recipes, share it with me! :D
One of my favourite restaurant and household brand Din Tai Fung is the title sponsor for Jack Neo's movie, The Lion Men!

I was invited to one of their many hands-on workshop at Suntec City where we learnt from the chef how to make their signature Xiao Long Baos which are famous for its 18-folds. But here's what made the workshop even better - lead actors of The Lion Men, Wei Liang and Tosh Zhang were there as special appearance!

Good looking guys and my favourite dish all at once, what could go wrong seriously? *.*

See through kitchen where the public can take a glimpse of chefs hard at work, as well as witness what goes on in the kitchen. Thank you for the consistently delicious food!

Talk about effort. Since the workshop was in conjunction with The Lion Men and held during the festive period, there was a special lion dance performance held right outside the restaurant. Huat ah!

Cue screaming from the ladies here. Suave and stylish, it's no wonder these 2 highlights of the event were melting hearts and stopping traffic as they arrive in a trishaw!

Together with the chef, they prepared Xiao Long Baos with us step-by-step on stage. Wei Liang had prior experiences since he got the opportunity to practice for the movie, but Tosh was as clueless as the rest of us. The session was filled with laughters from silly mistakes and little jokes.

Instead of the actual minced pork that they usually make at Din Tai Fung, we used red bean paste as a replacement instead. It is important to be precise - every weight, size and method used to create each dumpling will affect the taste!

I think it's rather obvious differentiating my "art" from the chef's... =.=

Did you know that each exquisite Xiao Long Bao undergoes 6 precise preparatory stages before they're presented? Also, each chef has to undergo years of training to perfect this little one! The effort alone is worth every amount paid.

Not only did I enjoy a feast for my eyes, my tummy was well-fed too! The hands-on workshop was followed by a “lo-hei” and high tea session.

The Salmon Prosperity Yu Sheng was hands-down one of the better and more creative ones I've ever had. Din Tai Fung's innovative version included crispy yam strips, Tian Jin roasted chestnuts, jellyfish, and homemade plum juice!

Seldom found locally, the Roselle Drink is perfect for those who are health-consious. It is packed with ingredients that are known to lower blood pressure, aid digestion and refine complexion.

I admit that the drink did not appeal to me at the first few sips because it was very concentrated. However, I found myself slowly getting used to it better afterwards with its unique and sweet taste brought to my tastebuds!

How could you go to Din Tai Fung without trying their signature appetisers? This Fragrant Pork with Crushed Garlic is a delightful cold dish consisting of thin slivers of succulent poached pork enveloping crunchy cucumbers and topped with garlic sauce, sesame and spring onions.

I am not a huge fan of the Red Dates with Glutinous Rice, though. It had a weird but sweet taste to it, slightly hard on the outside. But I'd give it a try again with my mum as I know she'd love this!

The Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing is a perennially popular appetiser with a simple mix of julienne seaweed, bean sprouts, chilli, beancurd strips and rice vermicelli, tossed in a light, tangy dressing that boasts a myriad of flavours all in one serving.

This is the Stir-fried Dou Miao with Garlic that I love! It's a deceptively simple dish made with only premium young, tender shoots. Every batch of specially selected vegetables is almost identical in length and quality, and is cut with precision before being tossed in the wok with just a teaspoon of sunflower oil.

Crispy Golden Prawn Pancake is a definite must-try! This chef's recommendation is everything the name describes. The prawns and paste mixture is wrapped in one thin layer of beancurd skin fried to perfection.

Sour, spicy and savoury notes, combined with a smooth, comforting texture, the Hot & Sour Soup is a classic Chinese soup that makes a perennial hit, stimulating the palate for dishes ahead.

Ah, there we have it. Hello, world-famous Steamed Pork Dumplings! Any trip down to Din Tai Fung without ordering this dish is a wasted trip. This crowd favourite, also affectionally known as Xiao Long Baos, traditionally contain minced pork wrapped in a delicate dough skin, which is then pleated, twisted at the top and steamed. This signature rendition consists of juicy meat filling wrapped in a melt-in-your-mouth skin with a minimum of 18 exquisite folds.

Another must-order dish for me is their fried rice! They have different add-ons for it, and the one we had was Fried Rice with Shredded Pork and Egg. The fragrance and taste had me sold. I dare say that Din Tai Fung serves the best fried rice I've ever eaten! It's kinda amazing how yummy they made it as the ingredients are pared down to simply just rice, shrimps, eggs, and spring onions. Each plate is of a certain weight and minimal seasoning is used so that the natural fragrance of the eggs and spring onions shines through.

For more information on Din Tai Fung, stalk them at: