Monday, April 27, 2015

TIGER and other cute stores in Old Spitalfields Market

Shopping in Europe is very expensive, so when I find a store with a mother-load of cute stuff... at affordable prices, I really think it's worth blogging about.

When we were in London, one such store that caught my eye was Tiger. Tiger stores originate from Denmark, and they give off that "Ikea-Scandinavian-feel" with a much cuter assortment.
We first saw Tiger in Lewisham Shopping Center, then we realized that
they already had several stores in London when we also saw them at
Old Spitalfields Market.
Just to give you an idea of what they have, in the first store we visited in Lewisham, I bought Sofia a set of Velvet Pencils, and a set of Erasers in pencil form. I think they were both 99p each, which is really a steal for one-of-a-kind knick knacks.

When we saw them again at Old Spitalfields Market, I decided I wanted to
do a more comprehensive post on their assortment.
If I lived in London, or if luggage weight was not an issue, I would buy a lot
of their snacks, stroopwaffles big and small included.
Cool disguises or costumes.
Kitchen and Coffee Stuff, including a Coffee Bean Grinder, coffee drip,
filters and cups.
A big assortment of tricks and gags
They also have a lot of educational toys and crafts with a DIY component.
and in addition to the school and office supplies that they carry, they also
have Art supplies for painting and drawing.
They layout of a Tiger store is very much like Ikea - except on a much smaller
scale. It is arranged like a maze, so you're encouraged to pass through the
whole store, before you end up at the counters, before you exit.
Tiger came in really handy when we got trapped in Old Spitalfields Market without an umbrella when it started raining.
Too bad the Samurai Umbrella and the Light Saber umbrella was too bulky.
But we opted to buy the super cute Children's Umbrella
for GBP2.99. It was the same price as the basic folding one!
I love the rain for forcing us to by these cute things! Lucky Sofia.

There are a lot of other stores in Old Spitalfields Market with an assortment of cute stuff, but I would classify them as places where I'd love to browse, but I wouldn't really buy the cute stuff at the prices they sell them at, but it's still worth visiting them. You never know, you might just find something you didn't know you really need and can't live without. Hahaha.

If you plan on going to Europe, check out You can check out their London stores here. I will definitely look for them when I go to other countries with Tiger Stores. Too bad I was too lazy to walk to their store in Shinsaibashi in Japan, I would have found out if their stores are as interesting in Asia. just saying.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekend Dimsum Brunch at Jade Fullerton

I've always wanted to try the weekend Dimsum Brunch at Jade Restaurant in the Fullerton Hotel but for some reason or the other, I never got a chance to do it while I was living in Singapore, as well as in our short trips after we moved back.

They offer two sittings, so make sure you reserve early, because if you leave it until the last minute, they are normally fully booked. We opted to go for the second seating at 1:15pm since brunch is like an a la carte version of the buffet. You can make the most of it if you arrive hungry.
The Fullerton has always been an iconic hotel.
Cavanagh Bridge which leads to the Asian Civilizations Museum.
We always used to see it from the other side since ACM used to be one of the museums Sofia and I used to visit. You can read about that here.
Boat Quay
Boat Quay in Vivid Mode
Seems like the Jade Restaurant has won several awards.
Ady's birthday lunch
Sof and Mom
We were so ready to order - since Tim and I both downloaded the menu
and we knew what we wanted to eat before we even made the reservation.
More pics while waiting for our food to arrive.

If you're going to Dimsum brunch for the first time, here are some tips.
You can only order 1 soup each, so take choose what you want, so you can
tick this off the list. Corn Soup is safe, Hot and Sour Seafood was good,
according to my brother, I personally liked the Bird's Nest with Truffle,
but I ordered Soup of the Day which they ran out of and they gave me some
sucky mushroom soup. Don't order that if they offer it!
You can also only order 1 chili crab stuffed mantou.
Personally, I'm not a fan of chili crab, but just order your full allocation,
because it's a scarce resource. Hahaha.

Now, these turned out to be our favorite dishes. When we were ordering - our server gave us the option of ordering per piece. Just keep in mind, even for dimsum, the servings are tiny! Just imagine, everything comes in a tasting portion, so you will need to order more of the ones you like.
The fried prawn dumplings were good. I'm not sure if it's because this
arrived first and we were starving, or because they were really good,
but go ahead and order more of these.
The bite-sized taro puffs were my favorite! Absolutely to die for.
I love normal taro puffs, but stuffing it with mushroom and truffle is
just a level up for this dish. Since it's bite sized, you can eat a lot.
The wasabi prawns were also good.
They came with what I think was Mango Salsa.
My other favorite was the BBQ Pork Pastries.
The pastry was thin and flaky so you really get to enjoy the BBQ Pork.

Then we ordered some appetizers and other dimsum.
Another pleasant surprise was the braised lamb.
This was tasty and melt in your mouth.
The cold chicken was also good, but I preferred the lamb.
The salt and pepper tofu was also nice for variety.

Then we also ordered the classics, which they did well enough.
Xiao Long Bao
I ordered the century egg congee and Tim ordered the lobster one.
Hakaw. (Ignore the beef balls)
Radish cake
Our first batch of orders were a bit chaotic. I thought we ordered a lot, but
the servings were so small, they disappeared after everyone had a taste.
Reviews of Jade Fullerton all include this dumpling. Vegetable I think.
It looks really nice, but it just tastes like gyoza. No offense meant.
Like the siomai, we would probably have enjoyed it more, it if didn't
arrive so late.

If you're on the fence about trying these things, just go ahead and order them because the servings are small anyway.
Under this category I would include spare ribs, yam cake,
pork belly (which was so fat) and tofu skin which was surprisingly okay.

My last category is what I call the - Don't waste your calories or time ordering them. They're just a waste of stomach space.
The custard buns according to Tim were not even among the good ones he's had.
The cheese dumplings were not great either, and so were the beef balls.

The dishes we really liked, we ordered more of. Hooray.
Tim ordered another serving of braised lamb,
but he said the first one was cooked better.

It was so weird because we were told we should order our dimsum and appetizer first, but the server never came back to us to check what we wanted from the main course! They only approached us to tell us it was time for the last order.
I ordered French Beans. I don't understand why fat beans arrived.
These are not the French beans I was expecting.
We also had to order our dessert together with the main course, though I don't understand why they had to serve it before the main course came out. (Hello, is this an expense restaurant?!?)
We ordered 2 eggs tarts (small and nothing special), some fruit jello
(not worth eating) and 1 cup of mango pomelo which was the only good one.
Sofia like the mango pomelo so much, we tried to order
more, but we were told we couldn't. Which I really don't
get for the amout that they were charging us.  It's not as if
the restaurant was closed or you need to cook the dessert!
Back to the Main Course.
We tried the coffee glazed ribs, which was good, but I was just too full.
Over-all, we didn't do too badly. Hahaha.
The weekend dimsum brunch comes out to a little less than SG$50 for adults and SG$25 for kids. Not bad, since some of their dishes were really good and can't be ordered elsewhere, but for what we're paying, I think we have the right to expect the service to be better and the restaurant to be more flexible. If I'm going to come back next time, I will just purposely over order - to compensate for their inflexibility. just saying.

Jade Restaurant Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178