Singapore

Lounge Review: Singapore Changi Airport (Sin) Terminal 2 Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Lounge, 20 December 2016

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 SilverKris Business Lounge

The Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Lounge in Terminal 2 is separated into two main areas, the dining area and the lounging area. The dining area is to the left of the entrance, while the lounging area is to the right of the entrance.

I went there pretty close to midnight, and actually just went to brush my teeth before my flight (I opted to eat at 4Fingers, rather than eat lounge food). The lounge was pretty empty at that hour, but there was quite a bit of space, and plenty of power outlets in the lounging area to charge up electronics.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 SilverKris Business Lounge

As far as I could tell, they do have a very substantial food and beverages offering. When I visited, they were offering a Teochew porridge special, so it emulates some of the paid buffets around time, in terms of their offering. There was also a selection of alcohol, although I think you can be a better judge of its quality based on the picture, since I know nothing about alcohol. They do also stock the outrageously overpriced TWG tea. I tried their earl grey and was not impressed.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 SilverKris Business Lounge

The bathroom is well-stocked for travelers. While I brought my own toothbrush and toothpaste, they actually put disposable dental kits by the sinks, along with mouthwash.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 SilverKris Business Lounge

Overall, this is a high quality lounge.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 SilverKris Business Lounge

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Lounge Review: Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 Plaza Premium Lounge, 23 September 2016

Plaza Premium Lounge @ Changi Airport Terminal 1

Of the three Priority Pass lounges I visited, this is probably my least favorite, although I have to say, that I didn’t try the food. I visited it briefly in September, because it’s the lounge that’s closest to my departure gate.

The space is pretty big, and has tarmac views. While I didn’t try the food at the Plaza Premium Lounge, unlike other lounges, it does have food made to order. When I was there, they had a breakfast set (think toast, sausage, eggs), chicken rice, and laksa on offer. I didn’t try it because I just had my breakfast and was still full. Other patrons seemed to enjoy their food.

Plaza Premium Lounge @ Changi Airport Terminal 1

I might be totally wrong, but it appears that you have to pay for alcohol in this lounge. There seemed to be quite a lot of charges, but because I was rather groggy, I didn’t really look through all their charges.

One upside of the Plaza Premium Lounge is, it’s part of Arrture, a premium airport lounge network. They have some deal, whereby if you sign up as a member, you can get one free visit after 10 visits. The visits that come with your priority pass actually counts for these visits, so I see the potential in me going to the Plaza Premium Lounge 10 times to get free lounge passes for friends/family not traveling with me.

Plaza Premium Lounge @ Changi Airport Terminal 1

Thus far, however, I’ve not returned to the Plaza Premium Lounge, and have been sticking with SATS Premium Lounge, because I just have no incentive to visit it.

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Lounge Review: Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 SATS Premium Lounge, 14 September 2016

Singapore Changi Airport T1 SATS Premier Lounge

The Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 SATS Premium Lounge is a contract lounge located adjacent to the SilverKris Lounge. It is more squarish in shape, and is brightly lit, with areas for small groups (2-4), or individuals. It’s my favorite lounge in Terminal 1, but what works for me might not work for you.

Singapore Changi Airport T1 SATS Premier Lounge

The seating area is generally set up for solo travelers, or couples. From time to time, you might get lucky, and get a space for four people. They also have several individual booths, and there are some privacy booths beside the individual booths. The family section seems permanently closed.

Singapore Changi Airport T1 SATS Premier Lounge

The food and drink selection is quite limited, although it’s perfectly adequate for a meal. They have a self-cooking station, which usually involves either a delicious mee siam or laksa. Their buffet is halal, and generally has a few options, both for Western and Asian tastes. The alcohol options are fairly limited. There is beer, and two bottles of wine. The coffee machine is ok, and
they also have a selection of sodas available.

Singapore Changi Airport T1 SATS Premier Lounge

So, why do I always end up at this lounge when I’m in Terminal 1? The three massage chairs by the corner. I love the massage chair, and spend my time before flights here. (And now, time to regret telling everyone about the massage chairs)

Singapore Changi Airport T1 SATS Premier Lounge

Overall, the options are decent, but the DNATA lounge has superior offering over the SATS Premium Lounge.

Singapore Changi Airport T1 SATS Premier Lounge

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Lounge Review: Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 Dnata Lounge, 27 August 2016

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 DNATA Lounge (SIN)

The Dnata Lounge is a contract lounge for several airlines, including Cathay Pacific. The lounge is large, with some views of an indoor garden, and has a few separate areas. When I visited the lounge in the morning, the food and beverage was pretty decent.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 DNATA Lounge (SIN)

The large rectangular Dnata Lounge has a few separate areas. On both ends of the Dnata Lounge, are beverage stations. There’s a bar area, a dining area close to the buffet, and in the middle of the lounge, is a lounging area with plenty of sofas.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 DNATA Lounge (SIN)

When I visited the lounge, it was the breakfast service, slowly transitioning to the lunch service. The offering was pretty decent, with a nice selection of hot options. Within the hot options, they also had Western options and Asian options. For instance, for the Western option, they had waffles, and for the Asian option, they had dim sum. As I was about to leave, they were prepping for lunch service, and on offer, was chicken rice.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 DNATA Lounge (SIN)

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 DNATA Lounge (SIN)

What sets the Dnata Lounge apart from the other lounges in Terminal 1, is its alcohol offering. While I don’t drink, they do seem to have a larger variety of alcohol on offer.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 DNATA Lounge (SIN)

Most of the chairs do have a power point located nearby, and I’m happy to report that the power points are universal power plugs.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 DNATA Lounge (SIN)

Overall, if you are looking to get some decent food and drinks, and relax a bit before your flight, the Dnata Lounge is a solid option – I actually saw people sleeping on the sofas, so it’s not a bad spot to stretch out if you have a long layover.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 DNATA Lounge (SIN)

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Hotel Review: Orchard Hotel, 05 – 07 October 2015

Orchard Hotel

Located on the quiet end of Orchard Road (Singapore’s shopping district), it is a 5-min walk from Orchard MRT station, and erm, opposite Orchard Towers (Orchard Towers is a higher-end brothel). They bill themselves as a five-star establishment, but I personally think they are probably closer to 3.5 – 4 stars.

Check-in was slow. I arrived at about 3 pm (which is after the check-in time of 2 pm), but the room was not ready. They didn’t seem too concerned that I had to hang around for another 30-40 min, so that’s a strike against their customer service. I simply dropped my keys into the express check-out box.

The room is a decent size, though the entryway created a lot of dead space. It has a comfortable king bed, a little leeway for walking, and a seating area with armchair and table. Room 804 has a view of Scotts Road, which is kinda nice, because it has some greenery to the right, and hotels like St. Regis to the left.

The bathroom is rather tight. It has a bathtub, which looked grimy, and your regular toilet and sink. There is not much room in there. Orchard Hotel bathroom

Orchard Hotel bathub

Since this hotel was paid for by work, I didn’t have a choice. But if I were to actually pay the rack rates (~250 USD per night), it’s probably not worth it. To be fair, Singapore hotels on this stretch do tend to be rather spendy.

Miles & Points

Orchard Hotel is part of the Millennium Group. They are associated with a good number of mileage programs, even though it won’t show up on CashBackMonitor. I credited this hotel stay to my United MileagePlus account for 500 points per stay.

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Lounge Review: Changi Airport Terminal 3 Ambassador Transit Lounge, 07 October 2015

Changi Airport Terminal 3 (SIN) Ambassador Transit Lounge

Located beside the complimentary Butterfly Garden, the Ambassador Transit Lounge is decorated in very modern décor upon entry, but the seating is very tight. They have a three-hour limit, which is strictly enforced – they put a sticker on you, with the time you are allowed to stay until upon check-in.

Changi Airport Terminal 3 (SIN) Ambassador Transit Lounge

There are two advantages of the Ambassador Transit Lounge over the Dnata Lounge: food and showers. They have a rather similar buffet offering to the Dnata Lounge, but they do have a cooked-to-order counter. The dish of the day is tom yum noodle soup. Their hot stations consisted of butter rice, roast chicken, veggies, veggie pie, and chicken bun. They also had a very nice-looking salad bar. I was too stuffed to eat anything at this point, so let’s just assume they were edible.

Their showers also looked very posh. The shower area is probably almost as large as the seating area itself, and there are plenty of shower stalls. I am guessing that many people come here to shower, and take a nap (they offer nap rooms going for 42 SGD for 3 hour blocs, with additional hours costing 14 bucks per hour).

Changi Airport Terminal 3 (SIN) Ambassador Transit Lounge

Otherwise, if you are looking to relax, I’d probably pick the Dnata Lounge over the Ambassador Transit Lounge. While I am actually allergic to alcohol (and hence, alcohol offerings don’t concern me), the Ambassador Transit Lounge does not offer self-serve alcohol (or at least I couldn’t find it). Also, the seating was really tight. It was quite a challenge for me to keep my luggage out of everyone’s way. On a positive note, they do have two massage chairs, and some of their sofas look towards the butterfly garden, so you can enjoy the view.

Also, their power plugs are universal power plugs, but I tried two sockets, and neither of them worked. Bummer.

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Lounge Review: Changi Airport Terminal 3 Dnata Lounge, 07 October 2015

Changi Airport Terminal 3 Dnata Lounge

Airport lounges in Changi Airport Terminal 3 is fairly simple. They are all served by one escalator. If you turn to your left, you’ll hit the Krisflyer Lounges. The SATS Premier Lounge is currently under renovation. To your right, it’s the Dnata Lounge and the Ambassador Transit Lounge. The Dnata Lounge is medium sized, and divided into three seating areas. There is a quiet reading/business area by the bathrooms and showers, a dining area by the buffet, and a main sitting area. The main sitting area is really nice, as it is very open, offers tarmac views, and opens up to the general terminal, overlooking the ground level.

Changi Airport Terminal 3 Dnata Lounge

The food selection is small (about four hot stations), but definitely adequate (especially relative to American lounges). Today, they had BBQ pork buns, seafood dumplings, two types of pies (pesto chicken and spinach and feta), pastries, biriyani, chicken tikka masala, dhaal, and three types of cold, wrapped sandwiches, in addition to bite-sized desserts. I wasn’t too hungry, so I just had the pie, a bun, and dumplings. They were decent.

Changi Airport Terminal 3 Dnata Lounge

Drinks on offer are decent as well: espressos, tea, hard liquor (Smirnoff vodka, Bacardi rum, gin, Johnny Walker Black Label scotch), with a soda machine, and red and wine wines. The service staff are also very proactive – they clear the dishes ever so often. The wifi is decent, and there are adequate power points (every other seat). My main complaint? They only have the Singapore three-pin plug, so if you have other types of plugs, good luck. Try asking the counter staff nicely? Changi Airport Terminal 3 Dnata Lounge

Changi Airport Terminal 3 Dnata Lounge

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Singapore – Marina Bay Sands Cheese and Chocolate Bar, 23 February 2015

Marina Bay Sands Cheese and Chocolate Bar

Hours: Daily, 8 pm – midnight

Price: Adult, SGD 48++; Child, SGD 24++ (options include wine and coffee pairings at additional costs)

Reservations: You can do it online, or by calling +65 6688 8858

Email: theclub.fb@marinabaysands.com

I am back in Singapore for a short visit, and making good some of my promises to various good friends, including going to the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Chocolate Buffet, which is now re-branded as the Cheese and Chocolate Bar.

Pros

Situated on the 55th level of the MBS complex, a key draw of the Cheese and Chocolate Bar is the view. Arrive early, and ask the seating host to give you a city (or if you prefer, river) view of Singapore. I’m a city-scape person, so it was really a treat for me to enjoy my meal with a view of the Singapore skyline and waterfront.

Pairing cheese and chocolate is quite a work of genius. The savory and sweet do complement each other, and gives you the ability to keep going for a little while. Their cheese selection had some interesting flavor profiles, and I wish I knew enough about cheese to contribute to the conversation, but I don’t. So, all I shall mention is a rather pedestrian – it was nice.

Another aspect of the MBS Cheese and Chocolate Bar which I truly appreciated, is their inclusion of (unlimited) coffee and tea with the price. Their espresso machine is nothing special, but hey, a latte is a latte, and the bitterness of coffee goes well with chocolates. They also offer TWG teas, which was a nice way to cleanse the palate after a few servings of chocolate. Caffeine at the Fullerton buffet has to be purchased separately.

Cons

Quality-wise, I’d say that the chocolates at Fullerton Hotel’s chocolate buffet are somewhat superior in quality. In particular, I actually liked the hot chocolate tasting station at Fullerton Hotel, which featured some high quality chocolates. The chocolate spread at MBS Cheese and Chocolate Bar had probably about 20+ items (sorry, but putting out Snickers bars, Milky Way bars, and M&Ms don’t count – but perhaps might be good for the kids), and I did not have anything particularly memorable.

P.S. For those who’re really into food photos, be aware that it’s really dim, so bring a flash or something, if you really want to take good food photos.

Bottomline? Overall, it was a nice experience, given the view, and the mix of cheese and chocolate, alongside with the generous provision of caffeine. But I probably wouldn’t go there just for the chocolates.

Chocolate selection at MBS Cheese and Chocolate Bar

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Cheese Selection at MBS Cheese and Chocolate Bar

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Singapore – Ciel Patisserie, 10 November 2012

A little cake place recently opened near my place. It looks really pretty on the outside, and I have a weakness for chocolate pastries, so it’s only inevitable that I succumb to its allure. So, tonight was the night.

Meet Ciel Patisserie, located under a HDB block, in the Hougang area, nestled in Lorong Ah Soo. The pastries range from $2.00 for a bag of madeleines, to $5.80 for an opera cake for individual portions. They also do full-sized tarts and cakes that range from $22 to $47. Well, I wasn’t that crazy greedy, and just took away a chocolate hazelnut tart ($4.20). The chocolate was amazing. It doesn’t have that cheap sugar taste, and the chocolate has a rich taste, and very smooth texture. I highly recommend it. I have not tried their espresso drinks, but I suspect a latte ($3.90) would go very well with these sweets.

They are pretty small, and probably could seat about 10 people (inside and outside). They also offer various deals on weekdays, particularly at tea time. Do check out their website and Facebook Page for more details.

The details:

  • Hours: Tues – Thurs (11 00 – 20 00); Sat (11 00 – 21 00); Sun (15 00 – 21 00)
  • Address: Blk 124 Hougang Ave 1, #01-1444

Chocolate hazelnut tart @ Ciel

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart @ Ciel

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Singapore – The Coffee Daily, 08 November 2012

One night, I saw The Coffee Daily while driving home from Serangoon Gardens. It looked so cute from the outside, that I decided I wanted to return one of these days to try out their coffee. Wise choice.

The Coffee Daily @ Brighton Crescent

Exterior of The Coffee Daily

Located at 75 Brighton Crescent (Serangoon Gardens), there is only one downside of The Coffee Daily – parking. It was horrendous.

Otherwise, this is an amazing place. The interior is really cute, and matches the clean, white exterior. They have both indoor and outdoor sitting. Aside from regular tables (which are good for working), they also have a nook, which features a sofa and a rocking chair. Overall, the place looks really old school, complete with all those old school biscuit tins.

Next, food and drinks. I only had a latte ($3.90). I was very happy with the price, and it came with a very tasty biscotti. In addition, they also gave me a little platter of those biscuits with coloured sugar on top. The latte was good as well. They also have a decent selection of cakes, ice cream, and I believe they do serve sandwiches as well. It’s really hard not to love the place.

Other stuff:

  1. Power plugs: about four power plugs, all along the main wall, closer to the counter.
  2. Hours: Mon-Thu (11 00 – 22 30); Fri/Sat/eve of PH (09 30 – 23 30); Sun (09 30 – 22 30)
  3. Wifi: not sure
  4. Service: Excellent

Latte @ The Coffee Daily

Latte @ The Coffee Daily

Coffee Daily @ Brighton Crescent

 

Seating @ The Coffee Daily

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