Colours, Sights & Patterns At Kampong Glam

In the 19th century, Kampong Glam was essentially an ethnic district with a strong Malay-Arab influence. It was a place where locals patronized for their Arab-Muslim traditional foodstuff and merchandise...

A Journey Into The Depths

In days of yore, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, sea monsters thronged the deep blue seas. With a single themed exhibition, Science Centre Singapore brings the world of massive prehistoric marine beings to life…

Back 30 Years To Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre

Iconic along this stretch of road is the rectangular block of a nondescript beige-tiled building. The facade of this building is blocked by an overhead bridge. And this is the front entrance to a shopping centre - the Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre… (USSC).

Interactive 4D Excitement At Trick Eye Museum

Trick Eye Museum recently revamped itself with brand new art exhibits and themed zones to evoke the five human senses titled "Mystery", "Excitement", "Supernatural", "Fairytale", "Fantasy", and "Trick World"…

Where Freemasons Convene

In 1886, the Masonic Club was established to support Singapore freemasonry. Guess who was the first Freemason in modern Singapore?

​Food Japan 2017 - Showcase Of Seasonal Produce & Prefecture Specialties

​Food Japan is back for its sixth edition till 28 October 2017. This annual event provides a platform for F&B businesses in Japan and Southeast Asia to showcase ingredients, seasonal produce, prefecture specialties, and innovative food technologies that Japan has to offer. 200 exhibitors spanning 37 Japanese prefectures will be represented this year showcasing some 3,000 products, with 50% of the exhibitors new to Singapore to present unique items that have yet to be launched in Southeast Asia. Open to public at S$4 per person, visit the official website oishii-world.com/en/ for more information.​

For members of the public interested to visit the event, a word of advice - do visit early as soon as the exhibition opens as many products may be sold out before the event opens to the public. It will also be common to meet exhibitors like 21 Max New Solution (Booth C28) who will refuse public queries about their "new solutions".

Japanese Tea Ceremony

At Food Japan, Merlion Wayfarer had the opportunity to sample a Japanese tea ceremony from a Japanese tea master from Shizuoka. Located at Booth E02, friendly booth staff invited us into their booth.

Artistic placemats adorn each seat...

The tea master explains each step of the process for that top quality brew...

The finished cup of tea. About the "dust" on the surface of the tea?
Don't worry, she says, these are fine tea hairs. To show that the tea is from the first harvest.

Each teapot is good for 2-3 brews with an optimal temperature of 70-80 degrees Celsius.
How to gauge that temperature? "As long as you can hold it in your hands," she says.

Each cup is thoughtfully served with a green tea biscuit.
There is a "hole" in the biscuit and a caterpillar cartoon on the packaging.
"To show that our tea has no preservatives and pesticides," she explains.

Drink this up, she says. It is full of healthy nutrients that are "good for the skin".
She tells us that she is 60 years of age, and attributes her good complexion to the tea.

The "secret recipe" to a good brew...

Thank you for your excellent service and insightful sharing, Shizuoka...

About - Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is a Japanese food which consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet.  Pork loin (ロース rōsu) or fillet (ヒレ hire) are typically used for this dish. The word Ton (豚) comes from “pork” and Katsu (カツ) is an abbreviation of Katsuretu (カツレツ) derived from the English word “cutlet”.


What’s the difference between Japanese pork cutlets from other versions? The biggest difference is that Tonkatsu is breaded with panko (パン粉), a Japanese style breadcrumb made from white bread without crusts.  The crisp and crunchy panko flakes are larger than breadcrumbs and gives it a light and airy texture.  Since it absorbs less oil than breadcrumbs, it turns crispy after being fried.

About - Wafu Pizza

Wafu (和風) or Japanese-style dressing is a vinaigrette-type salad dressing based on tosazu (fermented vinegar seasoned with bonito and konbu seaweed), popular in Japan.  In Japanese, Wa (和) means Japanese style. The standard wafu dressing consists of a mixture of Japanese soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and vegetable oil. It can be used over a salad, or in this case, in a pizza, to create that distinct Japanese umami taste.

Mini Seafood Wafu Pizza just perfect for that afternoon snack...

Capilano Launches The World's First Pure Prebiotic Honey

Australia-based FMCG business, Capilano Honey, is setting the industry abuzz with the launch of the world’s first clinically-tested honey with naturally occurring prebiotics, Beeotic. Beeotic is the result of extensive research and a world-first clinical study conducted through the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to identify the widely-recognised, and now proven prebiotic health potential of selected Australian honeys.


Boost Your Digestive Health Today

Merlion Wayfarer recommends trying out Capilano's Beeotic Honey because...
  • Consuming prebiotic rich foods help the good bacteria in your gut grow, improving the good-to-bad bacteria ratio and therefore helping improve your digestive health.
         
  • Honey is a good source of prebiotics; this has been evidenced with human clinical studies.
       
  • Beeotic is 100% pure Australian honey. The name ‘Beeotic®’ comes from the incredible natural phenomenon in which, during the process of converting nectar into honey, bees add special enzymes that help create prebiotic sugars in conjunction with their own diverse gut microbiota.
       
  • Consumers who are increasingly conscious about their health and well being can now improve their overall digestive health by simply consuming a 1tbsp of Beeotic honey daily.
      
  • Beeotic is halal-certified and is recommended for children 12 months and up.


Beeotic is now available in all leading supermarkets (NTUC, Giant and Cold Storage) in Singapore in two BPA-free PET variants: 340g jar (RSP with GST: $16.80) and 500g upside down (RSP with GST: $22.00). 

CharaExpo 2017 - Bushiroad Celebrates A Decade Of Trading Cards, Cosplay & Anime

CharaExpo 2017 is a Japanese manga, anime, games and cosplay event. Held on 9 and 10 September 2017 in Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Hall, CharaExpo 2017 spotlighted the team behind the scenes of Japanese-related anime content. Fans can meet these prominent producers, manga artists, illustrators, and cosplayers and learn more about their passion and motivations. Major Japanese anime, manga and game companies also participated to showcase exclusive exhibits and limited merchandise.

CharaExpo 2017 was celebrated in conjunction with Bushiroad’s 10th Anniversary, where delighted fans were given the opportunity to purchase exclusive merchandise from Bushiroad that has never been sold outside of Japan prior to the Expo.


“Each year, we aim to bring the most exclusive and latest anime content into Southeast Asia. This includes giving fans the opportunity to meet their favourite Japanese stars.”
-- Takaaki Kidani, CEO and President of Bushiroad International --


Headlined by some of the biggest names in anime, CharaExpo 2017 also saw the debut of many up-and-coming bands, including MYTH & ROID, a contemporary creative unit, which is the brainchild of producer, Tom-H@ck; Roselia, an all-girl band from popular multi-media project BanG Dream! and the Singapore Night Safari-inspired hit animation series, KEMONO FRIENDS.


Bushiroad also introduced their new high fantasy trading card game, Dragoborne - Rise to Supremacy, where Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, the brand ambassador for the game, made a guest appearance to do an autograph and meet-and-greet session with fans.


“We are extremely grateful to the thousands of fans who attended CharaExpo this year. We are heartened by the support of the fans and attendance has been steadily increasing each year. The positive feedback is highly encouraging for us.”
-- Takaaki Kidani, CEO and President of Bushiroad International --


For more information on CharaExpo, visit www.chara-expo.com.


SG Coffee Festival 2017 - Upcoming Highlights

A stimulating spread of brewing workshops, home roasting demos, flavour profile discovery classes, café talks and coffee degustation sessions await java junkies at Singapore Coffee Festival (SCF) 2017. Singapore’s only coffee-centric festival will also play host this year to the electrifying Singapore Aeropress Championships 2017, organised by Common Man Coffee Roasters, as well as the largest-ever Barter Market, a unique cashless bazaar featuring more than 20 local makers and artists and presented by urban artist Sam Lo’s Indigoism outfit.


Other highlights this year will include workshops on leather-crafting, candy-making and no filter photography, as well as morning yoga and other family-friendly activities including storytelling sessions. Arts will also play a big role in this year’s festival, which has the theme “espresso’self”. Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) will conduct SWF POP @ Coffee Festival, where two teams of writers and artists compete to produce poetry/prose and illustrations based off coffee-related prompts from the audience. Visitors can also join ST artists in live graffiti performances along the wall panels of the venue, or get coffee doodles and coffee poems on takeaway cups in an Artistic Recycling Programme.

More than 80 exhibitors will be showcasing their premium brews at the event, including new entrant Jewel Coffee and hipster stalwarts Common Man Coffee Roasters, Chye Seng Huat Hardware and Oriole Coffee + Bar. Cafes such as Symmetry and Hyde & Co will offer an al-fresco dining experiences along the Sunset Wharf amid live music acts on Saturday (5 Aug) and Sunday (6 Aug) evenings. Festival-goers can also enjoy hard-to-find artisanal gourmet and beauty products from social enterprises at The Good Market. 

Tickets are available for sale from $18 (for ST subscribers with promo code or DBS/POSB cardholders) for 4 August, Friday, to 6 August, Sunday via sgcoffeefestival.com.sg. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/sgcoffeefest or www.instagram.com/sgcoffeefest/

Korean Comedy JUMP Coming In October 2017

Having performed worldwide in over 152 cities in more than 87 countries, Red Spade Entertainment brings wacky action-packed Korean comedy sensation, JUMP, to Singapore for their 30, 000th show. Bold, funny and fascinating, JUMP is set in a typical Korean home, revolving around an average yet dramatically agile family.


Combining comedy, martial arts and acrobatics, eight kick-ass shenanigans showcase an incredible display of gymnastic and combat moves with a generous dosage of slapstick humour sure to tickle your funny bone.

From the dictatorial grandfather, drunken uncle and Tae Kwan Do savvy mother to the daughter’s inappropriate suitor, each member is a martial arts expert possessing championship levels of Taekwando, Taekkyum and butt-kicking moves. 

The plot thickens when two burglars daringly break into the house in the middle of the night. When the family discovers the intruders, a mighty battle begins, entertaining audiences with their skilled yet hilarious antics as they try to get rid of their unwanted visitors.

Catch jaw-dropping moves and be prepared to laugh out loud from October 6 to 8. Suitable for the whole family, this non-verbal theatre comedy will be staged live for four shows only at Resorts World Singapore Theatres. Tickets priced from $38 (excluding SISTIC booking fee), are available at all SISTIC outlets and online via sistic.com.sg


Scotland Beats Italy In Historic Rugby Test Match In Singapore

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend was rewarded with a well-deserved 34-13 win over Italy for his first match in the first-ever international test match played between two Six Nations teams in Southeast Asia at Singapore's Sports Hub Stadium.

Singing of the national anthems by the choir...

The Scots delivered a five-try victory for their coach in front of over 9,000 fans at the Singapore National Stadium and were off to a fast start when flyhalf Finn Russell kicked Scotland into an early 3-0 lead after just six minutes. Italy drew level through a Tommaso Allan penalty in the 10th minute and managed to hold the Scots for most of the first half.


Scotland finally made the breakthrough in the 38th minute when scrumhalf Ali Price dived over the line for a 8-3 lead. At the stroke of half-time, Scotland scored yet another try when Tim Visser gathered a delightful chip kick from Russell. Duncan Taylor stepped up to convert for a 15-3 half time lead for Scotland.

Scotland's ever-present Scrum Half, Ali Price, was always visible in the thick of action..

Just two minutes into the second half, Scot Ben Toolis rose highest to claim a line-out and the Azzurris defence could do nothing to stop the rolling maul powering over its try line as veteran hooker Ross Ford grounded the first of his two tries.


Soon after, Italian Dean Budd was sent off for repeated infringements and a minute later, Scotland got the crowd on their feet through quick, off-loading rugby and a sensational team try which gave Ford his second try of the night as the Scots pushed to a 27-3 lead.


A Scotland handling error in the 67th minute allowed Italy flanker Maxime Mbanda to race clear before offloading to Michele Campagnaro to score Italy’s first try and to make the score 8-27.


In the 72th minute, Italy’s discipline failed them once again when Abraham Steyn earned a yellow for a dangerous play on Henry Pyrgos and a minute later, Scotland scored their fifth try of the night through Damien Hoyland, which Peter Horne converted from the touchline for a 34-8 lead.


In the dying moments, Italy managed to make the scoreline look more respectable when winger Angela Esposito dived over in the corner to make it 13-34.


"We knew conditions were going to be tough. It’s our first game together and we started well. Italy is a tough opponent and you need to keep working at it. The players kept believing themselves and worked hard to get the two tries before half time. Our team played some good rugby in the second half and our set-pieces were key to our victory."
--- Scotland Coach Gregor Townsend ---

"Our guys never stop trying, but we had some tough calls tonight and it’s hard to play with one less man. We had to really make up ground and we need to work on our discipline. We played some incredible defence as Scotland had a lot of possession. I’m proud of the boys as they kept going and deserved the two tries in the end."
--- Italy coach Conor O’Shea ---

Scotland will travel to Australia to play the Wallabies on 17 June 2017 in Sydney, before taking on Fiji on 24 June 2017 in Suva. Italy will be facing Fiji next Saturday in Suva as part of their Summer tour.

DBS Paylah! - Cashless Payments With Ease

Southeast Asia’s largest bank DBS is leading the way in driving cashless payments within Singapore with the introduction of the “Smart Nation Ambassador Programme” (SNAP). The programme will see DBS recruiting up to 1,000 ambassadors that will fan out across the island to encourage small, cash-based merchants to adopt DBS PayLah! QR codes as a payment method.

This was announced during the DBS Paylah! X *SCAPE Palooza event – Southeast Asia’s first QR code payment-led bazaar which features some 100 youth vendors setting up shop at *SCAPE from 5 to 7 May. All vendors at the event will be able to accept payment for purchases via DBS PayLah!’s QR code payment function. Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu, officiated at the launch of the event.


DBS’ introduction of the SNAP initiative is one of many cashless payment initiatives the bank is driving as it takes the lead in boosting the adoption of cashless payments within the nation. The bank will recruit up to 1,000 cashless payment advocates to educate small businesses – primarily hawker stalls, wet market vendors and neighbourhood stores – on the benefits of going cashless and encourage them to adopt the QR code payment method. In conjunction with the SNAP initiative, the bank will also partner ComfortDelGro Taxi to implement QR code payment in its fleet of 16,300 taxis by 3Q17. Altogether, the bank hopes to have more than 30,000 QR code payment acceptance points available to customers by the end of the year.

DBS’ decision to focus on small businesses with SNAP is driven by the fact that small businesses here still overwhelmingly prefer the use of cash, despite a concerted national drive encouraging businesses to go cashless. 

“One of the obstacles to widespread cashless payment adoption we’ve identified is that there are still various myths circulating around cashless payments – that high costs are involved in setting up the infrastructure to process payments; it is unsafe; it is complicated to use for both merchant & consumers, etc. We set up SNAP as an outreach programme so we can help debunk these myths and demonstrate to businesses how going cashless can be low-cost, easy and raise business productivity, taking us one step closer to our vision of a Smart Nation.”
--- Jeremy Soo, Head of Consumer Banking Group (Singapore), DBS Bank ---

DBS PayLah!, is the first in Singapore to give users – including non DBS/POSB customers – the ability to generate their own QR code to receive funds as well as pay via QR codes. Cashless payment using DBS PayLah!’s QR codes comes with many benefits for both merchants and consumers compared to cash. Barriers to entry are very low: Both consumers & merchants only need a Singapore bank account to send or receive funds via DBS PayLah!’s QR codes – at no cost

The Force Is Strong At Gardens By The Bay

The Force is strong this evening on "May the 4th" - Star Wars Day - as Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) officially launches the STAR WARS DAY: MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU Festival. For three days from May 4th to 6th, a dazzling spectacle awaits at the Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay in celebration of both "May the 4th" and the 40th anniversary since the release of Star Wars: A New Hope.

The Minister first takes selfies on stage, then goes on to greet Chewie on his arrival...

To turn on the lights, the Minister is inducted into the Jedi brotherhood with a blue lightsaber...

Organised by local event organiser Esprimo and The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia, with event partner Gardens by the Bay and supported by Singapore Tourism Board, the festival is a full-fledged STAR WARS celebration like never before. To transport fans to a galaxy far far away, fan-led themed activities, meet-and-greet sessions with STAR WARS characters, and a multi-sensory music and lights extravaganza were organized.

A life-sized All-Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST) - first introduced in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - stands guard at the Supertree Grove set against the panoramic Marina Bay skyline...

Now till June 2nd, visit the SuperTree Grove for the Garden Rhapsody: STAR WARS Edition. At 7.45pm and 8.45pm every night, with additional 9.45pm shows on 4 to 6 May, the spectacular light and sound show will be set against an epic STAR WARS soundtrack, with matching effects inspired from scenes such as Luke's landing in Dagobah, his first meeting with Yoda, the first appearance of Darth Vader with his lightsaber and even the fight between Anakin and Obi Wan on Mustafar.


The SaberTrees installation is a lighting marvel as it transforms the Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay into giant lightsabers that cast light beams up to 200m high...

Making their first appearance in Southeast Asia are Chewbacca, one of the heroes of the Rebellion and Kylo Ren, the dark warrior from the First Order. Choose between either for the meet and greet session. Over here, Chewie and Qui-Gon Jinn share a fun cuddly moment...

STAR WARS DAY: MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU Festival kicks off a three-year collaboration between Singapore Tourism Board and The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia. Beyond the 3-day festival this weekend, fans can also expect more unique STAR WARS experiences held in Singapore in the second half of 2017. From August 31st to September 10th, there will be more galactic excitement at Orchard Road with STAR WARS Force Friday II, a global fan event celebrating the launch of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The celebration continues with a STAR WARS activation at the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) from September 9th-10th.

Little one creating quite a stir in her Storm Trooper mask...

A Star Wars fan poses with Han Solo in carbon freeze...

Fan Art, edibles  & collectibles galore...


With Marvel and Disney Animation/Disney Pixar taking the spotlight in 2018 and 2019 respectively, locals and visitors to Singapore will continue to be entertained with a wide range of unique and fun thematic experiences and activities.

More than 60 vintage STAR WARS toys produced between 1977 and 1985 and more than 200 contemporary toys produced from 1995 to present will be on display at the fan zone...


Fan Art includes this Donald Duck light saber with a S$250 price tag with the proceeds going to charity...


The latest STAR WARS games with consoles to try out...

Decked out in their own personalized custom made movie-accurate costumes, catch the costume Fan Clubs, the 501st Legion Singapore Garrison, Rebel Legion and FightSaber, as they bring your favourite STAR WARS characters to life...

The global launch of the latest LEGO STAR WARS merchandise at the Simply Toys booth...

For more information about STAR WARS DAY: MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU Festival, click here.